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









Honoring the sacrifice of family, too

Retired Air Force Colonel Ken Rizer is a candidate for State Representative in District 68 for Marion, Bertram, and Ely here in Iowa.

He took it upon himself to hold a special event to honor veterans and their families May 23 that included presentations by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha).

Retired Air Force Colonel Ken Rizer. (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)

Retired Air Force Colonel Ken Rizer. (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)

In a phone call last week, he told me that the reason he felt compelled to gather people together for the tribute was because he knew first hand the hardships that veterans and their families had to endure while serving in the military. Not only did they have to relocate often, but they had to be separated from each other for long periods of time. It’s hard to maintain that family unit while being divided for so long.

Rizer said his wife told him she sometimes felt like a single parent. But together they made the choice to stay in the military, for Ken to serve the country. He said he realized how much his family was sacrificing, too.

Rizer was in the Air Force 25 years, including 2 one-year stints in Korea. The family relocated 16 times during that time; his son attended 19 different schools. It was hard on them, he said, but it also gave them the opportunity to experience different cultures and opportunities they may not have had if they stayed in one place.

During the tribute, Rizer told stories about veterans who were being honored that night, each from a different era; Curt Hames, a World War II veteran; Sergeant Richard Bice, honored for his service during the Korean War, Specialist Jim Felker for his service during the Vietnam Conflict, Corporal Rodney Summers who served during Desert Storm, and Lieutenant Commander Paul Pelletier, who served in the military during the Iraq/Afghanistan conflict. Governor Terry Branstad and Speaker Kraig Paulsen also served in the military; Branstad as an MP, and Paulsen as a missile officer.

Paulsen spoke to the crowd about the Home Base Iowa bill, which was signed into law by Branstad during a Memorial Day celebration at Camp Dodge.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)

The Home Base Iowa bill, a private-public partnership to recruit veterans and active duty service members for private-sector job opportunities in Iowa, means that Iowa is becoming more “Iowa-friendly.”

According to Paulsen, the bill sends a message that Iowa is open for veterans to come here,” to raise a family, and start a business if they want.

Gov. Branstad echoed the sentiments, that this law will show the nation that “we are committed to doing all we can to help veterans and their families.”

As it should be, considering all they sacrifice so the rest of us can be free.

Thank you to the service men and women of the United States armed forces, and their families, for giving so much, so freely.








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.