Saturday, November 28, 2009

Creating a Rose Bush tree with recycled stuff

The holidays add juices to creativity. After looking around found much that could be recycled. As a horder of old laces, fabrics, and styrofoam, decided to get busy and make some fun things for the holidays.

Items used: A block of styrofoam (from old packaging), an old lace curtain, lace, wire, yarn, duct tape, pins, a dried bush branch, antique leaf paint. I used a piece of pyracantha - a bit thorny, but sturdy.

1. Cut your styrofoam block then dig a hold in it with the back of a small paintbrush, poking it in about 4 inches.

2. Prep your twig,(about 2 ft) by cutting off the lower branches, to slip it in the styrofoam after you have added a piece of lace curtain around the the stryofoam. Leave enough lace to folder over the top and bottom. I used pins to fix the lace in place. I added the same lace used for making the roses around the top lip of the styrofoam and pinned it. You can use a glue gun, but my preference was to use pins.

3. Cut a piece of cardboard for setting your styrofoam vase. I painted this with green acrylic paint, then took a piece of duct tape, rolled it around, stuck it on the bottom of the styrofoam, and attached it to the base. It can be affixed with a glue gun.

4. Making roses are easier than you think. My lace is 3" wide. Fold the lace in the center, then gather the lace around four times holding the base of the rose. Cut a small piece of floral wire and twirl it around the bottom, leaving enough wire to attach it to the branch. Take a piece of yarn and tie it over the wire, pulling the yarn to stretch it on the sides, giving it a leafy effect.

5. When you have finished attaching all the roses you choose, take your twig and place it in the hole you made in the stryfoam. If you are using a thorny twig as I did be sure to put on garden gloves.

6. You can add some glitter to your lace rose bush by brushing on some antique leaf paint on the twig stem and leaves. I also added some gold lace to the tree as a garland.

A fun project and definitely have someone in mind that wanted something pretty for their vanity!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Basics in life - tie wraps, duct tape, post-its, microwave oven

A gathering of friends led to a discussion of those "things" which most people could not live without. Interesting but not surprising results. The general consensus from both genders included a microwave oven, cable tie "ty" wraps, duct tape and post-its. Essentials for every household. Duct tape and cable tie "ty" wraps are rudimentary quick fixes, that ranked highest. Post-its adorn every refrigerator, daily planner, computer and wall in the world. To think, the invention of the Post-it was originally a "mistake".

A microwave to heat food snacks that you need to "energize" for projects that require tie wraps, duct tape or leaving a reminder message to oneself.

The uses for duct tape, its history and the end product has been written in the annals of history. Our own duct tape story is from an offroad rally, straddling a boulder, that pierced the oil pan. Duct tape to the rescue! A bit of clay and duct tape solved the problem to continue running the rally until repairs were made.

Cable ties (ty wraps), have it over rubberbands, rope, string, tape or any other materials used to hold neatly anything together. Rubber bands rot, rope and string deteriorate with weather and time, and "tape" other than duct, dry up or expand.

Duct tape and cable tie "ty" wraps may not be green friendly, but figure that most objects held together in this manner never get taken apart anyway. Seems most folks are storing an item, finding a quick fix for a project that will hopefully be completed in a lifetime. In many cases seems they are used to store or "garage" items in the rafters until the house is sold or hold together those computer wires that are always in the way.

For more duct tape fun - calling this website unique is an understatement! Tim and Jim have taken duct tape to levels that one cannot imagine.

Can't wait for the next life's critical elements discussion with friends. Duct tape, cable ties "ty-wraps", Post-its, and Microwaves rule!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yuletide Season - the true spirit! Life lessons for ten children

A favorite time to remember, the Yuletide Season was the busy work of a family of ten children. My best friend, the oldest, was appointed Lieutenant in charge. The month of December was filled with daily after school activities to keep ten active children busy.

The goal was to stay within a frugal budget for Christmas and give Mom some respite. Conventional purchases by Mom and Dad were limited to one meaningful gift for each child, although their list may be long. Ten children then drew a name of a sibling and secretly hid the name. Their job was to create a gift that brought meaning to them with their sibling in mind.

Throughout the month of December, the family thrust themselves into creating gifts for each other. Crafty items were purchased and saved during the year. Old and new fabric cut into squares, yarns, ribbon, scrap wood, paper, beads and all that could be salvaged went into this concerted effort.

After school, the children would gather at a large table for a couple of hours. This time not only presented an opportunity to gather as one, but to work selflessly with others. The older children helped the younger children create a sock monkey, rag doll, or paint wooden toys that their father cut.

One week was spent creating new Christmas tree ornaments, stringing popcorn, cut and paste Christmas scenes for refrigerator exhibits.

How else would the matriarch prepare and freeze breads, pies, and other holiday treats? This was truly a family to emulate, living within a frugal budget, and learning important and valuable lessons that would carry all of this wonderful family to great success.

Having come from a small family, my inclusion in their family venture holds an indelible memory.

What I learned from this family venture is that collectively a family can learn that thoughtfulness of each other is pivotal in life.

In a frenzied commercial world, Christmas has lost an element or two. Be it a family of two or three, these same principles can be applied to bring value to the spirit of the holidays! The added value is that Mom is given a couple hours of respite!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Shopping cautiously online.....

Shopping online is a great way to take the stress out of the mall crowds at Christmas. Like everyone else I enjoy the holiday decorations that no dime is spared to lure us in!

Saving time, energy and getting the best value prices at the most hectic time of the year, shopping online makes every bit of sense!

This is also the time to beware if you are buying a unique and pricey item touted as being original. If the price is too good to be true, might be wise to think again. Would have to ask myself why I would buy a purse that retails for $2000., created by a manufacturer that sells only through licensed shops bearing their name. At first glance, the online selling price of $900. from a non licensed dealer would send up red flags all over the place.

High end fashion and accessory shopping online of new products, poses a problem if you are not purchasing directly from the authorized and licensed store. With so many fake items bearing the hard earned reputation of signature manufacturers, exercising caution is all I can advise.

Have to question online sellers that lure unsuspecting online buyers to purse and accessory items bearing names such as Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Gucci, Tiffany, Chanel and more. Many claim to belong to groups that can validate authenticity.

Seems that valid authenticity can only be validated by the creator of such products. Knockoffs have become so sophisticated in workmanship, that the average person might have difficulty spotting an unauthentic item. From the smallest piece of hardware to product materials used, many duplicates have been reproduced to incorporate all that that "experts" caution buyers to look for when making a purchase. Doubt that that designers of exclusive items have turned over or licensed people to authenticate branded items. If designers accepted the practice of outside "expert advice", have to wonder why the designers of these products do not link to outside "experts"?

If you are buying a new pricey product outside of its element, then you have right and obligation to question the authenticity. Ask questions, determine online presence credibility, and then follow your own intuition cautiously.

Like the old adage - if it is too good to be true, likely your dream is that, an online pipeline dream that may bring you disappointment at a hefty price.

To assure authenticity of such items seems only logical to visit licensed stores bearing their name. Several years ago, visited an authorized Gucci and Hermes Store. It was like visiting a museum hosting the Hope diamond. The priciest of their handbags were under lock and key, with security so tight that I was afraid of staring too long - the security alarms might go off.

While is say this in jest, my curious window shopping trip to visit these exclusive stores, lead me to realize that high end designers take extreme measures to insure that their products remain exclusive. They have spent mega-dollars to keep this exclusivity for the affluent buyer.

Knock offs and replication of products today is incredibly sophisticated, but illegal. The reproduction of tags and authenticity certificates are produced to dupe even the most sophisticated customer.

Beware, be careful and if you think you are getting a real deal - watch out!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Engaging people on Twitter....

Twitter and social networking - not much different than attending a conference and meeting people. Acquaintances, so to speak.

The only difference that separates us at that conference are the interests we have outside of the social setting. As we all know upon meeting others, similar interests may become apparent immediately, and then we choose to keep this acquaintance for future reference.

Engagement on twitter is not much different. Interests of twitterers are critical to twitter following, and those you choose to follow.

Your Profile: A diverse smattering of personal interests is critical in your profile to attain goals you may expect of twitterers or "tweeple." Amazing how new words such as "tweeple", evolve with changing social needs!

More serious twitter followers are interested in who they follow, or at least should be. Otherwise, the result may be spam from people you follow of the highest order.

If you are selling for profit or fun - an idea, item, wisdom, knowledge, education or just simply bored, twitter can bring you engagement in a social setting that conveys your idea through your link on your profile page. If people are interested in knowing more about you, what you sell, what you do in life, they will click on your link. My approach is to use my link sparingly in a tweet, unless conveying a message in a new blog or a Squidoo lens. My link may change in twitter from time to time, but my links contain links to my other interests.

What you say on twitter:

Your message can be influential and/or informative, and those tweets are ones which I follow by virtue of my personal interests. Very good chance that tweeple of similar interests will retweet my message, or vice versa.

Setting goals:

What are your goals on twitter? If you sell goods or services that enhance another's ability to sell, inform or educate, the focus will be to twitter or retweet those that mirror your own. By limiting the scope of your interests on your profile page, you may be finding yourself with followers that do only the same thing.

Does this exclusive following or people you follow maximize your experience? Probably not. That is why expanding your interests will bring a more diverse following. If you are an online seller, why would you expose yourself only to people that do the same thing. While online sellers are buyers also, why not expand your scope significantly by interesting others that have not shared the experience of online buying. They might just click on your twitter link to learn a new experience.

I am passionate about art, music, ecommerce, environmental issues, self development, social issues, antiques, collectibles, outdoor play, online sales and much more. My goal on twitter is to engage with those that have similar interests. This brings diversity to my followers and those I follow.

How long does it take to build a following:

Twitter is like any other network of people that we build throughout our lives, in business and social lives. If I like what someone has to offer in the way of information, my own tendency is to remember that person, jot down their phone number, ask for their business card, or jot down a website link. Twitter is no different.

Following cutting edge technology online brings knowledge, information and tools that enhance my own experience. For that reason, I follow Mashable.

Like any other venture, the time it takes to build a network, success in your goal to build a following naturally follows. This is not an overnight undertaking if you seek the followers that bring value. For those tweets that want to rush followers to you on twitter, my only thought is to think about the value you wish to bring to your goal. After a time, tweeple recognize twitterers that are not merely "bots" twittering without a real live person behind the scenes. This is critical to those you follow.

How to engage:

If you liked a tweet and it brings value to you and believe it may bring value to others - retweet. Sometimes a brief comment to that tweet and your retweet can pique others interest. Simply retweeting a tweet is enough to allow others to know that you find that tweet valuable. In my opinion, that it strengthens your own credibility and influence. A useful tool to determine whether my tweets get or lose followers is TweetEffect. By knowing what treats are productive, the process of improving quality tweets that will engage others is learned through this valuable tool.

To summarize -

Improve your profile page on twitter, What you say - is it value added?, Target Goals, Building a quality following and Engagement are critical to successful twittering.

These are a few of the many people I follow on twitter that bring value to my twitter networking:

@renagades A music expert that writes for the Examiner, sells online, and reaches a broad spectrum of twitter users with similar interests. By following this twitterer, I follow and am followed by some of the fascinating people that they follow. Music is a passion in our family, and the tweets from this twitterer offer information, entertainment and value added information about music.

@eleesha Words of wisdom from this sage twitterer brings light and perspective to each day. This twitterer offers daily inspiration. Everyone that she touches is done with the personal touch.

@balmeras An expert, author, and staunch advocate for outdoors play #playoutdoors.

@booksbelow A most engaging and interesting person to follow. A diverse twitterer that adds value to each tweet. An antiquarian book expert that engages other twitters in a unique manner.

@ColderICE - Ecommerce writer - brings flair to his blogs, videos and can raise a chuckle or two. Does not mince any words, and brings light to what is happening in the Ecommerce world.

@Jamiroeclectica - This savvy website builder, graphics designer brings value by virtue of her experience and knowledge.

@EclecticDealer - An antiques collector and jewelry expert that knows her business and is willing to share what she knows.

@gypsytrading - This twitter favorite engages a diverse group of people. An antiques expert that is transparent in her field of expertise, yet can engage people in a unique way.

@AriaaJaeger - Inspirational and talented. Love her music and look forward to her daily tweets filled with wisdom and understanding. Truly an advocate of life and living.

With over 1500 people that I follow, these are just a few that bring to me, daily value.

Monday, August 17, 2009

An Antiques and Jewelry Expert that lays it on the line!

Paula’s name frequently comes up in discussions about antiques and jewelry. A Bonanzle seller at her Eclectic Dealer’s booth on, Paula brings many years of antiques and jewelry advice expertise. Buyers can feel confident that when they purchase from Paula that she has carefully done her homework for each piece listed.

Paula’s knowledge and information comes from a base of expert years in working with anything vintage or antique. A certified gemologist adds to her expert portfolio. Paula is also a seasoned online power seller on eBay and in the last year has expanded the venues where she sells her treasures.

Kate Murphy of the New York times interviewed Paula in 2004. It looks to me that this savvy antiques aficionado can view a picture and a description, and identify its origin and and it's approximate value. Anyone that is not an expert, would not be able to differentiate between something old or an item manufactured to appear old. We all know that items have been reproduced and passed off as originals. Paula knows her business and can spot a reproduction a mile away!

Virginia: Paula to what do you attribute such vast experience in antique/vintage collectibles and jewelry?

Paula: My parents were collectors of fine porcelains which included Dresden, Meissen and Spode, all first factory. We attended auctions at Sotheby’s ~ Parke Bernet, NYC whenever there was an auction, so, antiquing is really in my DNA. I attended GIA and became a Graduate Gemologist. After my schooling I owned a Jewelry store in New York dealing in Fine Gems. My personal collection leans toward Oriental and my greatest finds are Strait’s porcelain pieces.

Virginia: How do you select items for sale online?

Paula: When buying items for sale on Bonanzle I buy with my heart and only items that I would want for myself. I try to research the items to the best of my ability so when I present them I can give an honest description. My commitment to my buyers is a promise of honesty.

I am most privileged to spotlight this savvy seller and expert on my blog - Paula Amato - Eclectic Dealer on Bonanzle. Her comprehensive blog "Eclectic Dealer's - Bringing you Antiques from Around the world" highlights areas of gemology, antiques, and much more.
  • Thanks Paula!


I most most unusual item in Paula's Bonanzle booth. A 19c Asian Samovar Champleve Enamel Tea Water Heater pictured at the top of the page.

New York Estate: This is amazingly old. I was told it is from the late 1800's, water heater and dispenser made from Brass and is decorated with Champleve enamel medallions on three (3) sides and hand painted porcelain disks.

The top has a double hinged handle, either side has a single hinged handle as well. There are four (4) parts to this, an inner tube that holds what I assume would be coal or hot rocks, a cover for the tube and the base which has reticulated Oriental designs beside the enamel work.

The piece is approx. 10" tall x 5 1/4" wide on all four sides, the handle in an upright position would add another 3".

The condition is fantastic for being lovingly used and well over 100 years old. There is a latch is missing from one side and minor chipping on a few of the porcelain disks (shown in the photo ) this does not deter at all from the look or the use and took me days to realize that it wasn't there. There are many more rare and unique items from this collection in my listings.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Camping and being one with nature! No convenience camping for us...

Play outdoors - Adults and Children alike! Our excursion to Colorado is filled with excitement and adventure! As an alternative to convenience lodging, we filled our vehicle with camping equipment. As avid camping folks, we know how to pack and keep it all in one place, the number one rule.

Researching campgrounds that have shower facilities are a must, although if primitive camping is in order, we have a handy dandy Coleman shower complete with a shower curtain placed around a hula hoop.

Choosing to camp "roughing" it, is not so rough, when you plan the essentials to take! Everything fits in a small vehicle trunk. That gives our precious border collie the opportunity to enjoy the entire back seat. Just wonder who enjoys the trip most! Give her a lake and she is the first to jump in - wish that were true of bathtime!

Tents - two popups one to store our stuff and the other to sleep in.
Sleeping bags
Coleman stove
Coleman shower
Small Grill top
Skillet, coffee maker, utensils, paper products (no plastic)
Lantern, flashlights, kitchen matches, rope
Rain slicker (cannot say how those inexpensive slickers have save us from getting drenched).

Play outdoors is for everyone!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cleo Thinks Green

Bringing awareness to children about our earth and the need to recycle is a pleasant and growing venture. Parents, educators, schools and the world is increasing awareness to think green. We follow websites and projects on Twitter that bring the earth's awareness. We recently spent an afternoon helping kids create with discarded egg crates! What fun!

All can begin daily by recycling. Last year we began shopping by taking our own cloth bags to the market. They are washable and the collection of plastic bags has practically been eliminated in our household

Reminder: To insure that you take your cloth bags to the store, place them in the trunk of your vehicle after emptying them. We keep a few extra in the trunk in case we forget.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The "Other Half" of the Partnership in Life!

Keeping busy in retirement is not difficult. All those tasks you "needed to get done"- repairs on the house, gardening, painting interior and exterior walls and the back burner stuff, it's time to move on. Can keep oneself busy and out of trouble for a couple of years after retirement. Then it's on to new or old hobbies - the "fun stuff".
My husband Don has lots of interests - collects stamps, postcards, loves to fish, camp and does graphics. He recently returned to graphics after a few years out of it and opened a gallery on

After spending about ten years designing logos, cards, and business cards along with a full time job, now it time to really have fun, if nothing else to show the world new and original graphics.
Every few minutes I hear - "dear" take a look at this cool new stuff. The new stuff is getting rather "out there", but fun. Remember when people would say that we sometimes revert back to childhood as we grow into the "golden years". Does not bother us at all...because a big part of life is having "fun".
We look at the "golden" years as truly a time to reflect and integrate. It is also a time to move on to new ventures, friends and a slight change in values. Seems life's experiences and how we valued each triumph or crisis (regardless of outcome), is one that adds to a base of wisdom. Equally important in to keep the "child" in us as we enjoy this next phase.
Not 80 years old yet - quite a ways from that by twenty years, but given each day at a time, the value of each day is a gift! Visit Don on Zazzle!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Social Networking - What to expect!

Networking on Squidoo -

The worldwide web offers sites which offer stellar networking that can drive traffic to your business. Anyone can set up a page whether it be a blog, Squidoo lens, ning, or other social networking site. The optimum networking is how the owner/administrator of that page networks to get optimum views from an audience.
What follows is how to move that page on the web so buyers other than other sellers are viewing it. While sellers are buyers, there is a limit to how much sellers buy from each other, so prospective new buyers that are not sellers must be targeted.
Choosing Squidoo was a wise choice and learning how to use it has taken much time. The question I asked myself then, is "how will people know I have a Squidoo lens?" This is where the "hard work" starts. The process is a continuing one that requires information to be updated and regular networking.
If we want to think about our personal lives, how does our network of people grow. Take for example that we attend PTA meetings, and meet other parents and teachers. Exchange of information is critical. We are there to learn, offer information, or perhaps find a reciprocal solution to our purpose in attending the meeting.
For example, a parent that works, has a transportation problem getting their child home from soccer practice. They learn that another parent lives in the neighborhood and their own child plays on your child's team. A new acquaintaince makes an offer to drop your child off at home after practice. As our networks in real life work, so does social networking on the web.
Another example...if you have a garage sale, you place an ad in Craigslist, or newspaper, put out effective signs and call your friends.
Social networking is no different and as powerful as our daily networking with people. We are exchanging information that allows someone to either read, give out our link to another person, or move it ahead by sharing it via other social networking exchanges, Twitter, DIGG, Stumbleupon and many others.
A written page must move on the web to be effective. If you write a page and expect people to find you, it is not going to happen. It is like publishing a book. If you do not advertise your book, the likelihood of selling it is not very promising.
This is where the "real work" starts with social networking. Roll up your sleeves. Writing a Squidoo lens for the first time, is unchartered territory. Do so with an open mind, and that it is not going to be written and marketed in one day.
For those that say they are technically challenged, most networking sites like Squidoo have created user friendly pages that move you easily through their process. It may take you a few hours, days or months, but the first step is a commitment to use it. Working a new page is best done when taken in little bites.
If I can do it without the benefit of having honed technical computer skills, so can you! It has taken me nearly one and a half years to learn how to use most of the tools which Squidoo offers.
Key to successful networking on Squidoo
Your topic is critical. Decide what interests you have and then move your selling subject into it if you are a online seller. Like any story or information you wish to impart, the who, what, how, when and where are important. - Once you have written your lens, remember it is only the beginning!
It will require updating frequently and is wise to never bite off more than you can chew. - What do I do with this publication once finished?
The first key to networking is letting the people within the Squidoo network know you have a lens. Reading is key to networking in Squidoo. Reading others lenses on different topics is pivotal. If you like what you read and know someone else would, you likely will refer the link to someone else - or at least should.
Squidoo happens to be one of those sites where the author may allow comments from readers, be favorited, join their fan club, roll the lens so that when you have a message you want all in your network to know, they are on the list/roll you have created. There is a star system that allows you to give the author a heads up that you like their lens. By merely going in to leave a comment without doing the rest shortchanges the full advantage you have with Squidoo.
By favoriting their topic and joining another's fan club, your picture and link appear on their lens. A picture of yourself is wise. It tends to lend more credibly that a "real" person exists. As with all networking, posting in forums, as we do in cyberspace, it will have a similar effect as when we meet and deal with people in person.
I have read almost 200 Squidoo lenses, commented, favorited, joined fan clubs on topics that interest me, (not just sellers or people that sell online). Those are folks that may and do reciprocate curiously, or with interest read my lenses. In turn some will comment, favorite, lensroll, and join my fan club. Social networking is key to marketing any message and bring in people that share common interests.
To further your goals of moving your Squidoo lens outside of their site, it is necessary to apply other networking systems such as Twitter, DIGG, Stumbleupon and others you choose. You need to sign up for those services. When you do so, be sure to set up your profile page with those networking sites. Just merely signing up for other networking systems is not fully effective unless people know your interests. If it's searching for treasures, say so! There are lots of treasure hunters out there.
Built into the Squidoo process is a direct application that allows you to go direct to twitter, DIGG, Stumbleupon using your password. Sites like this are especially nice because you can do it direct from your lens. Networking takes sustained time and effort. Your network will not happen overnight. Your effort may not be apparent for months or years, but once established it can be most effective for traffic. In time, people get to know you and vice versa, and bring in new people to your network.
There are many Squidoo lensmasters that I regularly follow because of their topic content and others that bring stellar marketing tips critical to selling. As more people follow those people, you expand your own networking because a new reader may click on your link, comment, roll your lens and become a fan.
Blogs and other social networking work the same. Reading a blog, following it, or moving it along with a friendly twitter, DIGG, or Stumbleupon may result in someone else doing the same for you. Networking is about sharing, not just your own links, booth or store, it's about moving others with you.
When commencing my selling venture on alternative sites in early 2008, there was a fellow seller immersed in social networking, and were selling "successfully". What I did was to key in their seller name in google and pulled up each place with a link. Perused the sites where they were networking, and what I learned from that experience was critical to selling. I followed them into territories that were well established. Squidoo was one of those sites.

Networking should be a twofold venture. First to bring interest and a buyer base to a new and budding selling venue, and secondary to one's booth specifically. Many times, sales result from this joint effort which makes it a win-win for all. With this in mind, consider that all effort made by sellers to move ahead a new selling venue, makes for a successful investment in Bonanzle's future.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Enthusiasm - according to Wikipedia "In current English vernacular the word simply means intense enjoyment, interest, or approval."

This brings me to my topic today about intense enjoyment. A human need is to feel intense enjoyment. Would have to question anyone that does not have that need, but that is another topic. Without saying, when we are intensely enjoying ourselves, we are meeting life goals.

We are happy, motivated, and much creativity perpetuates itself as a result.

Like the company we keep. Jovial, upbeat and motivated people inspire me. Some people may say that passionate may be synonymous. Wikipedia defines passionate as "Passion (emotion), feeling very strongly about a subject or person, usually referring to feelings of intense desire and attraction, be very passionate about something.

Enthusiasm and passion may go hand in hand, but their definitions are different. Am not an expert here, but the emotion of passion can take a positive or negative role. While I am not one to express "passionately" issues that are my own opinions, my preference is to express them down the enthusiastic road. That sounds more positive.

Let me give an example. I sell online as a hobby. I am enthusiastic about selling on My first impression there was the professional humor of the owners. Is there a difference between professional humor and humor as we know it?

Professional humor in business to me is when you take someone that "reads" people well, listens, and then injects humor in the solicitation for problem solving. It inspires me to be enthusiastic. No one has to prompt me to take the gift of inspiration to the enthusiastic level. Just happens.

Never thought of myself as part of a flock, yet one bit shy to say that my opinions should count. Believe that enthusiasm cannot happen unless it comes from within.

Another term that may seem synonymous with enthusiams and passionate is zealous. The dictionary defines zealous as: " filled with or characterized by zeal : marked by fervent partisanship for a person, a cause, or an ideal".

Guess I could call myself enthusiastic and a "zealot".

How we pursue our enthusiasm or zealousness defines who we are, and not what others may perceive. But how does one go about the process of defining the genuiness of these terms when we apply them to people. These areas are as gray as my hair, but human perceptions of body language are likely the best and how well we know the other peron.

Is there any way of guessing the bona-fides of directional enthusiasm and "simply" innate enthusiasm in the written and published world. Do not think so. To write about it and place it into a perspective of ethics is where I have difficulty. Guess that is why we have Supreme Court justices that decide the gray areas of law. As a common person, I would not want to take perceptions and label them. Would I leave myself open to conflicting sides? Absolutely.

For example, if my son or daughter accomplished a great sports feat, most people would be enthusiastic and bellow this out to the world. Another person might be passionate about the ethics of sports and the use of sterioids. To question or write about whether the use of steroids might have contributed to this child's feat without little basis would create furor for those that know the child.

Do not wish to rewrite the dictionary, but find that there is little between passion and enthusiam/zealousness.