12/12 is an anniversary date for me as it was four years ago today that I officially launched Kathryn the Grape. While there are many things I'd love to say about the incredible journey I have traveled to share the stories and lessons of my life through illustrated me (and tease some of the cool things we are creating for 2015), I realize that the only thing to share that really matters to me today is a note honoring Mr. and Mrs. Pierozzi.
When I was a a young girl, "Mr. P" was my Navajo softball coach. He always made me feel special. In my own skin as an elementary school girl, I felt awkward and dim. But Mr. P always had a way of making each and every one of us girls feel like we were the brightest star in the universe. He was always encouraging and loving!
At the age of 11, he nicknamed me "Kathryn the Grape" because I wore purple all of the time. Even as I grew into my adulthood, whenever I'd see him riding around the lake on his beach cruiser, he'd stop and joyfully inquire, "How are you doing, Kathryn the Grape?" He also always asked about my mom, which I thought was sweet. Mr. P passed in January 2007, and there were so many of us Navajo girls at his memorial. His positive impact rippled through countless lives, and multiple generations.
Five years ago, as I was working through the layers of creating stories and building a brand from scratch, I felt a strong urge to re-connect with “Mrs. P” (Marcia) and tell her about what I was doing in honor of her husband's imprint on my life. One morning, my angels were extremely persistent in giving me the message to GO SEE MARCIA. It was a work day and I had plenty of things going on, but the message was strong and it wouldn't go away. Having grown accustomed to trusting the energy flow of being guided, I got in my car and drove to the Pierozzi house. I was trying to figure out what I'd say to her if she was home, particularly since I was showing up unannounced and completely out of the blue. In a moment of doubt I thought about not stopping at all.
But as I drove up to the house, in that exact moment, Mrs. P was standing in the driveway with her purse and coat in hand!!! Had I delayed any longer that morning, she would not have been home. She waved and smiled at me as I pulled up. When I got out of my car she said, "Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were the person I was waiting for." I laughed, "Well, I may not be the person you were expecting. But I have something important to share with you."
From that moment on, we connected quite regularly for the next few years. She was a special guest at the 12/12/2010 Gratitude & Grapes launch party I hosted to thank those nearest and dearest to me who helped bring KTG to life. This photo of us is from that event.
Yet over the past two years, I slowly lost contact with Mrs. P. This morning she lingered in my mind for quite a while. Then when I picked up my mail, I had a photo Christmas card from her and her daughter. Recognizing synchronicity and the energy around her in my life today, and the apparent changes that the last few years have had on Marcia, I knew I couldn’t delay any longer and I needed to reach out. And that is exactly what I did this afternoon.
I share this story because I want to encourage you to recognize those moments in your own life when energy flows through you to reach out to someone who matters to you. When you feel the desire to connect with someone, do it. If there is someone who has had a positive impact in your life, tell them. If you need to ask for forgiveness from someone you weren’t your best self with, ask them.
Don’t second guess! Don’t delay! There is always, always, always a gift in connection.
You never know who could be standing in their driveway waiting for a message of love from you.
I am thrilled to share that I am now offering FREE Kathryn the Grape hardcover books to schools, libraries, hospitals, and non-profit organizations. At a retail price of $16.99 + tax each, this is a value of over $50 for you!
I love sharing the messages of Kathryn the Grape with children and families! While I frequently visit schools for assemblies and participate in special events in my local community, there are many places that I am not able to reach in person at this time. Yet my heart's desire is to make the messages of Kathryn the Grape accessible to as many children as possible. That is why I have set up a way for your school, library, hospital, or nonprofit organization to receive three Kathryn the Grape award-winning hardcover books for free while allocated supplies last. You simply need to cover the cost of priority USA shipping and handling (only $8.25). Since all three books have earned the Family Choice Award and Mom's Choice Award for excellence in family-friendly media, you can be assured that these stories are appropriate for the children you love and nurture.
If you know of a teacher, school, children's hospital, or group that would benefit from this special offering, please pass along this blog link to them.
To take advantage of this special offer and receive three free Kathryn the Grape Affirmation Series books simply fill in the box(es) below and click the button.
Find out by watching this video...
This photo is so great! This is my friend Annie on the first day of school with her children, Kai and Keshi. You may recognize their names as Kai and Keshi are characters in Kathryn the Grape's Piece of Love. Annie was my boss when I worked at Club Med in 1997, and she left a HUGE footprint of love on my life. Honoring her by including her children in my series has been really important to me.
It makes my heart smile knowing that Kathryn the Grape is the only children's series focused on empowering children with tools of love, compassion, and acceptance that includes real children as characters. Kai and Keshi are two of those children!
May we all help others shine, and be thankful for those who help us shine!
Here are some more pictures of Kai and Keshi, and their pieces from "Piece of Love."
Keshi and Kai off to school, September 2014
Keshi and Kai receiving their advanced copies of Kathryn the Grape's Piece of Love in December 2014
Keshi's piece of love, as shared on page 20
Kai's piece of love, as shared on page 21
They are featured on Kathryn the Grape's signature logo. Can you find them?
This is such a special event packed with fabulous speakers, top-notch and relevant vendors, and fun entertainment. I am thrilled to be on their stage again, and this year I will be performing some Kathryn the Grape songs and other family favorites. Join us!
Earlier this year, I asked him if he would consider endorsing Kathryn the Grape and he joyfully agreed. This is what he shared about my work:
"Giving the gift to a child of inspiring them to be the best they can possibly be is the greatest gift anyone can give another. Kathryn's book does just this."
~ Howard Leonhardt
Howard's endorsement is printed on the back of the newly released paperback version of Kathryn the Grape Just Like Magic, which is available at Amazon.com, and on the testimonial page of this website. It's pretty awesome to have a grape entrepreneur support my grape messages!
The Leonhardt Zinfandel is now on the shelves at Trader Joes. If you enjoy wine, I encourage you to try this selection.
For the past few years, many people have asked me about video books. I got together with my friends at One T Film House, and we put together audio/video books for Kathryn the Grape Just Like Magic, Kathryn the Grape's Colorful Adventure, and Kathryn the Grape's Piece of Love.
Now when you are seeking positive videos to play for your magical young ones—videos that include empowering and helpful messages—you can choose Kathryn the Grape!
Each of the audio/video books are on the Kathryn the Grape YouTube page for your free viewing pleasure. Here are the links to bookmark on your phone, tablet, etc:
Kathryn the Grape Just Like Magic
Kathryn the Grape's Colorful Adventure
Kathryn the Grape's Piece of Love
If you and your child(ren) like the videos, please share them with others. Sharing my Kathryn the Grape messages of love with as many people as possible is, and always has been, the purpose for doing the work I do. FREE videos are a great way to get the messages in the hearts and homes of countless children worldwide.
I hope you have a magical weekend, and continue to ripple loving kindness to everyone you meet.
Oh and I need to make mention (as quite a few people have asked me), the new Kathryn the Grape ("KTG") music CD is in addition to my upcoming Kathryn Cloward Free to Fly music CD! All of the creative energy I have poured into bringing my childhood nickname to life over the past five years, has infused me with the confidence and soul-shining desire to manifest my BIG childhood dream into reality.
If you've been following along for a while, you know that I have always LOVED writing songs. When I was a little girl, I always wrote songs and performed them for my dolls. Throughout the years, I followed my heart to write songs and when my brave button was activated, I sang them for audiences. But my dream always felt too big...too important...too out of reach. There was a rather long season of my life when I stopped writing lyrics and I stopped singing. The music in me went dormant.
Then, a few years ago I started feeling a desire to write a KTG album. The lyrics started flowing through me, and I was thrilled to bring the first KTG music album to life (with co-writer, Astra Kelly). But while I developed confidence in knowing that I am a good lyricist, I lacked vocal confidence! Thus, I chickened out on singing lead on four of the KTG songs, as was originally planned. Argh!
Thankfully, that feeling of being fearful stuck with me over the next year. As a result, I was ignited with a fire to BE BRAVE and do what I have always, always wanted to do...write and sing lead on my own album of songs!
In a few months, I will release my first self titled music album with 11 original songs I wrote (with Rich Wiley) ~ all of which I sing lead on. Free to Fly will share my journey of healing and love, and my childhood dream will be fulfilled at the moment I hold my Free to Fly music CD in my hand. The original "Kathryn the Grape" turned 40 years old on May 5th, and is now only months away from fulfilling her childhood dream...my dream!
You may wonder why I am so passionate about sharing positive and empowering messages with children. It's because I have a pure desire to inspire kids of all ages to live their dreams and follow their heart. You are never too old or too young to live your dream. Shine, Shine, Shine!
"Mrs. Vega," was my third grade teacher at Encanto Elementary School in San Diego back in 1983. When I was inspired with the story for my third book, Kathryn the Grape's Piece of Love, which take place at Kathryn the Grape's school, I knew that the teacher I wanted to honor as Kathryn the Grape's teacher in the book was "Mrs. Vega."
There are many reasons why I loved being in Mrs. Vega's class, but the one thing I loved most was singing songs every day! Each morning after we said The Pledge of Allegiance, Mrs. Vega sat at her piano and together we sang a few songs. She had the words of each song written on a large flip chart for us to easily sing along. One of the songs imprinted in my memory from that year of my life is, "This Land Is Your Land." Mrs. Vega is still in my life, and I have enjoyed getting to experience her love and light now as an adult.
For all of you who are teachers, and perhaps wonder if you are actually making a difference and impacting the lives of the children you nurture each day in your classroom....please know that YOU ARE! While you may not experience the bloom of your influence immediately, the seeds of love you plant matter!
31 years later, on the eve of my 40th birthday, I stood in front of a group of children and families and sang a song that my third grade teacher taught me. Now I share those same seeds with other, and the ripple effect of love continues. I encourage you to keep teaching, keep inspiring, keep planting seeds...because the world needs to experience the bloom of your love and light, too.
In the new paperback Kathryn the Grape books available on Amazon.com, I added some photos of the real-life inspired characters. Here is the graphic I added to the back of "Kathryn the Grape's Piece of Love" in honor of my third grade teacher, "Mrs. Vega."