Tribute focuses on the good

I’ve been busy the past few months. So busy, in fact, that I haven’t had much time to write my usual blogs.

I decided to go ahead with an idea I have had for several years and launch Tribute magazine. However, a friend advised that I not launch in the “J” months (January, June, July), so I decided to wait until August to put out the first issue.

But before I could start laying the pages out in InDesign for my magazine, I had to create a website that would promote it.

That’s when was born.

It was a task that was more difficult than I imagined. I had to decide the theme of the website. I already knew what the magazine was going to be about (people who make a difference in my community), so the website would have to somehow reflect that.

I created the website through Weebly, a site I like and have used before several time.  Unlike other do-it-yourself websites, Weebly is easy to use and navigate. It has a variety of unique responsive themes to choose from and includes several add-ons.

After deciding on a theme I liked, I had to design the pages and decide what would go on those pages.

What is it specifically that people want in a community website? What kind of pages would I have and what kind of stories would I have?

As I thought about it, I came up with an idea that fit with my character and personality, as well as a site that would help keep the people in my community informed, and show them there is good news all around us.

I would create a website that only reported the good and positive news in our community.

I came up with the idea after hearing so many people saying there’s nothing but bad news in the world. But that’s just not true. It only seems that way because the bad news is what draws the people in. The drama and chaos is what pays the bills, unfortunately, so that is what is most prevalent.

What I have realized in the past few months is that I am in competition with everyone else on the internet. I am in competition for everyone’s attention, and that means coming up with interesting content, as well as having exceptional writing, and marketing skills.

As a result, I know my website needs to be unique, which is probably the most difficult aspect of this venture. And I believe it is.

Tribute promotes the positive and focuses on the good; good news, good people; everything good. 

Mother Teresa once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

I may not be able to change the whole world, but maybe I can provide some peace in my little corner of it.

Tribute on WordPress









Keep reaching for your goals

I have reached the 10-week mark for my very own “Live Healthy Challenge.”  I lost 25 pounds, but who’s counting? My goal wasn’t a number-it was a challenge to see if I could stick with it.

I lost 25 pounds in 10 weeks! As I have heard many times, exercise and healthy diet are both needed to maintain a  healthy lifestyle.

I lost 25 pounds in 10 weeks! As I have heard many times, exercise and a sensible diet are both needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

I did a lot better than I thought I would. It wasn’t difficult staying away from the sweets and fats, but I found it much more difficult to find time for exercise. I tried going to the workout room after work, but there was also something higher on my priority list to do.

“I’ll walk later,” I told myself, or, “I’ll work in the yard.”  Or even, “I’ll work double tomorrow.” It didn’t happen. I was mindful of it, and always tried to do better. However, I know that’s one of those things that I need to work on.

My kids had a surprise party for my birthday at a local bowling alley yesterday. Of course, there was cake. But the pieces were small and we were burning calories by bowling (217 according to still not even to account for the 330 calories of that little piece of cake!) But hey-it was my birthday. As the saying goes, “Life is too short not to eat cake.”

I am also excited to announce that my new business is off to a good start., an eMagazine, is just a part of the overall online marketing consulting business that I have created in the past few months. My parent company, Meis Communications, encompasses several aspects of the media/marketing world, including web creation, business promotion, public relations, writing and photography projects.

Late last year, I started asking myself how I could utilize everything I have learned. After a little soul-searching, I realized that I shouldn’t limit myself to one or two services. Instead, I decided to do something totally different and embarked on a new venture that included all of my talents.

I want to help my community by keeping them informed of what’s going on around them. I love being creative, letting my mind wander, and I am always entertained by where it takes me. I want to be my own boss, and I think I will get there someday. But I think what motivates me the most, the drive that keeps me going, is that I know this is going somewhere. I’m not exactly sure where, but I know it’s building on something great.

Cedar Rapids, a community working together

june 011

Looking down A Avenue S.E. toward the Cedar River June 13, 2008 (Quaker Oats is on the right). (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)

Nearly five years ago,  the Cedar River rose to an all-time level of 31 feet. It spilled over its banks to cover a whopping 10 square miles of the city. The people of Cedar Rapids were faced with the challenge of not only recovering from the damage the muddy waters created, but to look ahead at what the future held for the city and its inhabitants.

Slowly, the city began to emerge from the shell-shock that had settled on the community following the flood.  Those who had helped place sandbags to try to keep the waters from further damaging their properties came back after the waters receded to assist in the clean-up.

Together, the people of Cedar Rapids picked up the pieces of their shattered lives and began to plan how they would rebuild their city.

Businesses began moving back to the downtown area. Houses that stood empty along the river, too damaged to repair, were torn down to make way for new structures.  And the residents of Cedar Rapids finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel.

In the past year, a new federal building was built on the corner of 8th Avenue and 2nd Street SE. and a new courthouse was built downtown. The renovated civic center will make its debut June 1 with a concert by popular musical group Lady Antebellum, and several other new buildings will also be completed this summer, as well as an outdoor amphitheater.

The new amphitheater is being constructed on the banks of the Cedar River-March 2013 (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)

The new amphitheater is being constructed on the banks of the Cedar River-March 2013 (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)

The New Bo District, 12th Avenue and 3rd Street S.E., boasts the city’s first year-round farmer’s market, a new books store, a new coffee shop, and an art center in the Cherry Building. Several eating and drinking establishments also complement the district.

Additionally, Linn County residents recently voted to allow a group of investors to build a casino in Cedar Rapids, which is scheduled to open in 2016.

It has taken time, but Cedar Rapids is on its way to becoming even better than it was before the historical flood.

When the Cedar River began to rise in June 2008, no one could predict the devastation flooding could cause or how long it would take to rebuild. But according to Scott Loggins, a Cedar Rapids business owner who helped to organize the Cedar Rapids Small Business Recovery Group, communities that experience a flood such as Cedar Rapids typically take 10 years to recover. He cited the infamous flood in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the flood in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

One thing I know about my community is that when something needs to be done, we do it, together. We stand beside one another in love and support, no matter what. That’s what I love most about Cedar Rapids. That’s why people choose to live here.

Congratulations, Cedar Rapids. We have done a great job rebuilding our community, together.