January, 2019

Two Wolves Studio & Artists Den


 Alex Profile

 Two Wolves Studio & Artists Den

114 SW 8th Avenue suite 2

Topeka, Kansas







Top Local Choice - 2019

The Local Media Collective and A Ha Moment Marketing have joined forces and are going to give away one FREE year of Branding, advertising, and marketing to one Home Grown Locally Owned Restaurant. (BAM)

One lucky Home Grown Locally Owned Restaurant will win over $25,000 worth of BAM!

You can nominate as many restaurants in Topeka as you want.

The review team will invite the top 10 nominees to present and will pick the top 5. Then the community will vote for the winner.

You can visit www.ahamomentforyou.com to nominate.

Top Local Choice Banner Front Page 1 7 19


Other partners:

Eagle Aerial Solutions LLC

Paul Denikin - A Rite of Fall

January 2019A Rite of Fall: Home Maintenance Tips and Winter Damage Prevention

For homeowners with a long list of “to-dos,” fall is the perfect time for home and lawn maintenance. Once inclement late-season weather sets in, it may be too late to prepare for cooler, wetter weather and improve your home’s energy efficiency, much of which needs to be done on your house’s exterior. When late-fall and winter winds and precipitation set in, climbing up and down ladders and installing storm windows can quickly become impractical, even dangerous. Consider the following tips as you think through your fall home maintenance routine.

Vacuum allergens

Allergies can be a major problem in the fall. Lawn material gets tracked into the house and accumulates in your carpeting, producing unpleasant allergic reactions for family members who may suffer the effects of respiratory problems as a result. Vacuum every room in your house that has carpeting. Make sure you have a vacuum model that’s designed to handle longer-pile carpets.

Yard maintenance

Fall is the time to think about cutting away dead limbs from trees and shrubs to prevent damage from falling limbs, and caring for trees that are looking threadbare and sickly. Consult with an arborist in the fall if you’re concerned about diseases, many of which can be prevented with a fungicide injection. It’s a smart precaution, considering that trees shield our houses from damaging winds and other manifestations of damaging winter weather and can be very expensive to cut down and dispose of if not cared for properly.

Clean those gutters

Fall is when gutters and downspouts are most likely to become clogged with falling leaves and lawn debris. Clogged gutters impede water flow, and can lead to pooling and overflowing water that can damage siding and your roof. Remember that you don’t even need trees in your yard to accumulate lawn build-up, which can be blown over from other lawns and into your gutter system. Once the leaves have fallen, make sure you climb the ladder and scoop out all that build-up.

Get out the rakes

Leaf raking is a familiar rite of autumn, and is as identifiable with fall as football and pumpkin spice lattes. Once the trees (yours and your neighbors’) have shed their leaves, get those rakes and lawn bags out and clear out the fallen leaves. All that orange, brown and gold may look attractive, but it’s a threat to your gutters and external drainage. It can also inhibit spring growth if left unattended, especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of snowfall. Snow-covered leaves can lead to mold and fungus, which won’t do your spring grass growth any good.

Holes and tears

Fall is also the time to look for damage to your home’s exterior. Closely inspect your siding and roof for signs of damage that could lead to lasting structural damage from high winds, snow, rain and debris. Dealing with it now before it gets too cold can save you a bundle of money on more serious repairs that might have to wait until next spring.

Shut off the water

Freezing weather can cause any water left in exterior faucets and pipes to freeze and expand, leading to burst pipes and a whole lot of expensive water damage at a time of year when repairs are most expensive. Go around and make sure that external faucets have been shut off and hoses have been drained and put away for the season. 

Fall home maintenance requires careful attention to both the interior and exterior of your home. It’s really the last chance to create a safe and healthy environment before winter sets in and to prevent damage that can put a huge dent in your finances.

Courtesy of Pixabay.com.


Behind the Business - Solid Rock Sound Machine

We are so excited about hearing from some really awesome people! Find out why, how or even when they decided to start their own business. These stories will help others begin or grow their own business!!


Solid Rock Sound Photo Jan 2019

The Solid Rock Sound Machine Story

To the businessperson(s) who will be reading this, I want you to understand that this is to encourage you in your business.

Many, many years ago, a bunch of friends and I began DJing dances and parties to make a little extra money to go to concerts and other things that, we just didn’t have the money for. We hybrid several stereos to get enough sound to create a party atmosphere. We were by no mean professional and had no real direction how to do this. We were just High School kids trying to make an honest dollar. For a little bit over 3 years we did pretty good with no real business skills. Then we met a guy who would take us to the next level of our DJ world. He had good business ideals and a way to help us develop a business plan. We even spent some of our acquired money and bought a really good stereo. DJ Gear was not readily available. He helped us create a way to make money, save money and invest money into what we do. It was awesome. We started making really good money for teenagers. Time moved on and we all parted ways to go to different schools to become the people we were destined to be.

I went to a smaller college and for a couple of years gave up the DJ thing and get a degree in music, or at least try. I did spend a lot of time at several places where there were DJ’s with skills I had not developed. One of them decided since I would hang around the booth, he would give me 15 minutes of fame. So, he worked with me a few days into weeks and I developed better skills mixing music, reading the crowd and the pattern to make a party successful. The owner of the venue had booked a huge party and needed an extra DJ to cover when the main DJ wanted to break. He suggested me and off I went to become DJ Andy. I did, what seemed like a long time, two hours set and the crowd responded better than I expected. So, I became the back up DJ when they needed me. I also did dorm floor parties and a few beer bashes at the different bars near campus. I also had a radio show on the campus radio station. Then I realized my grades were suffering and had to stop it completely. Put the DJ thing on the back burned for a while. Moving forward I met the woman who would become my wife and we got married. We didn’t have a dance, that idea was still new in the wedding world. So we had a cake and punch reception. DJ dream was still there. We had been married a few years when we were invited to a reception of a friend and his new wife. They had a guy playing music and began doing ok and then he made the reception all about him. (Not a really good idea, even today) I sat and watched and listened to what I considered things not to be said or done. He had no concept of picking music to match the crowd, no idea what to for each element of the reception. The people around me got tired of my criticisms and told me to put my money where my mouth was.

The Birth Of The Solid Rock Sound Machine

We had a lot of sound equipment and gear around the house. My father in law was an amateur recording person and would record any and everything he could. We had done all the multilevel marketing business and learned a lot of good business practices. We gave up on that idea. I also worked a lot of simple jobs to make money.   So off I went to do things for our church and youth events with the hopes of beginning a radio station that played current Christian music way before the stations that are available now. So we took everything we learned in all the business ventures we had been involved with and created a business. Starting with a really basic business plan with what our goals were, what we had hoped to make, and how we were going to do that. Then we came up with a name. I was a huge fan of Miami Sound Machine and thought that sounded really cool. I also wanted to subliminally hint I was a person of faith so I added the Solid Rock part. At this time we also wanted to develop a club for teens with a faith base. Club idea never got farther than the paper is written on. We did a church carnival, which lead to another one. From there we began to do weddings and receptions. These young people began to grow up and get married and would look for someone to do the music for their celebration. And we were now the Solid Rock Sound Machine. We were both still working full time jobs and doing the DJ thing when we could. We then found out there were DJ Conventions! Yesssss!!! We took what money we could pull together and took off to a convention where I met professional DJ’s from all over the country and a few from around the world. This convention took our business to a new level. We had people who were willing to help us be the DJ we wanted to be. We met some really amazing people who taught the basics of business management all the way to techniques. We got exposed to professional gear and people who used it on a regular basis. And then we did it. We bought some gear and won a bunch of lights and stuff. We had a DJ business. We were gonna be successful. Well that idea lasted until we got home and told folks what we were going to charge and they told us we were nuts. So we did a market study of the area we lived in and realized the realistically we were out of reality. So we came down to at least break even.

The we encountered DJ’s in our area and developed a professional friendship with most of them. And then we did our first Bridal Fair with one of the local radio stations we had done a few things with. It was a learning experience. Time continued forward and with our first logo we made cards to hand out to potential clients. Well we needed a banner and so we had a banner made.  At this show I discovered I was doing something I had never done very well in the past, SELLING and SALES! Yes, I was a salesman, but the product was me and what I could do for these people that were looking for my services. (We discovered we were a service business) In the next few years we honed our skill set and got more and more bookings and began to do more and more. Then It came to our attention we were missing opportunities to do celebrations and parties. So, I took the BIG STEP, dare I say LEAP and went Full Time and working Part Time when I had to. I am so glad I am in business for myself and I love to serve people. Working for someone is a great experience but working for your self is even more than that! Sure, you have highs and lows. It is what you do during the lows that make the Highs awesome. This, in a nutshell, is a rough story of how I went from a kid with a dream and didn’t know it and took to the level it is now.  Be encouraged!! Entrepreneurs are truly amazing people and are a force to deal with!!!

THANKS FOR YOUR TIME! I hope this gives a snapshot of my business!!

Andrew C. Walker (DJ Drew) – Chief Entertainment Officer of  the Solid Rock Sound Machine

My “F”ing life. Stories from a house who provides homes

Sam Pic  https://www.facebook.com/samantha.griffin.71

A Little Less Giving, a Lot More Action.

Hey friends, mom of 4 here. You would think that being blessed by God to have lived 30 some odd years on this earth, raising 4 children would make me pretty darn experienced at this thing called life, right? That I would be the one doing all the teaching, correcting, explaining, right? Wrong. No seriously. There are days I get schooled by my 8-year-old in one haphazard look. The thing is, even though my experience has far outweighed my children in years on this planet, my children have had way more critical life experiences that truly solidified my understanding that in many ways, they know more about this world than I do. I think I can sum up just what I mean by this past holiday season but first you will need a little back story. 

This past April we adopted our son who had spent his ENTIRE life (minus 7 months) in the foster care system.  One of his 11, yes, I said 11, sisters (there is 14 kids total) just moved in with us this past August.  These children have moved so many times since being in the system, they never truly felt safe. Things, possessions, words, had no meaning or effect on them. Literally, action is the only thing that they responded to or have emotion to because of being in a perpetual state of fight flight or freeze. So, when you try to provide these children “normalcy” you end up learning that your normal, is FOREIGN to them.  These kids have been through the ringer.  My education on what life is about for these kids started our first year of having our son.

It was the night before Halloween, and my husband and I were bound and determined to NOT forget to carve the pumpkins this year. A tradition that my biological children cherish. I on the other hand, do not like this tradition as I get grossed out by the mess and arduous task of pumpkin cleaning. Let’s just say it’s not my thing. As we start to cut open the pumpkins to prepare them for carving our 8-year-old’s mouth drops open as he exclaims, “my pumpkin’s broken”. I quickly glance over at him thinking he has dropped his pumpkin on the ground only to find him looking inside the top that his dad has just cut off. I run over, fully expecting to see a rotten and smelly pumpkin. Before I had time to prepare my nostrils for the pungent attack that I just knew was about to take place, my husband asks him: “buddy, have you never seen the inside of a pumpkin before?” When he answered no, my heart went into shock almost instantly. Here I had assumed that all the other families before us had given him the opportunity to experience this yucky tradition most American families with small children dauntingly do every year. I immediately felt guilty for not really wanting to do this with my children.  Come to find out, this was only his teenage sister’s 2nd time ever carving one herself.  I asked myself, what else have my children missed out on?

Fast-forward to Thanksgiving.  My biological child’s birthday usually falls on or right around turkey day. We usually hold a family birthday party, friend party, and a mini celebration on the day of the occasion. Since we have living family on both sides, we tend to travel and so birthday parties sometimes double if not triple. Let’s just say, we love to celebrate life at the Griffin house.  Our little guy was getting used to all our celebrating but when our beloved “princess” as we lovingly refer our 15-year-old as, she was less than impressed by all the events. All the families before her never celebrated her life. They rarely did tradition thanksgiving meals. She was used to KFC in her bedroom while the rest of the family divided into their rooms or in front of the tv. The idea of having to eat a HUGE feast in front of extended family and friends was nerve racking. No… it was downright SCARY to her. You see, she has little trust with people and rightfully so. Anyone she has ever loved, who has said they loved her back, or even just taken care of her, has hurt her by not following through with their promised adoptions or kept her physically or mentally safe. So being introduced to “family” is traumatizing. In her eyes, why get close to someone when eventually they will just give up on you and move on? Now, if you are thinking she just came outright and expressed these feelings you would be wrong. It came in her daily actions and questions leading up to the big day. She kept asking why our friends came over. She didn’t understand how friends can be “family”. She would say things like, “Didn’t we already celebrate her (our now 6-year-olds) birthday? Why do we have to do it again?” “I don’t want a sweet 16 party. I mean, there is no one who would come.” Those words liter tore through me like a machete in a recent slasher film. I was gutted ya’ll. She watched us getting prepared for the dinner and made comments suggesting she never wanted to grow up and that we were making too much food. On the actual day of Thanksgiving, she hid in her room. She would occasionally text, asking if people were gone yet. Finally, we made her a plate and she stayed down stairs to eat alone. We let her have her space. She needed it. We decided to force her to come up wouldn’t build her trust. However, when everyone left, she was right by our sides, spending every waking moment of that day with us. She just didn’t want the chaos.

Thanksgiving and our youngest’s birthday was just a mere glimpse at our eldest’s neglect. Christmas shopping seemed absurd to her. The last two years, her agency hasn’t given her the “red bags” (presents the agencies collect for all the kids in care) as they call them, and she hasn’t seen her clothing voucher in months. She is used to having little, expecting little, and wanting little when it comes to possessions. While it bugs me, it doesn’t even phase her. I see it as an injustice, and she just views it as her way of life. I know what you’re thinking, a teenager who doesn’t care about the latest and greatest? You must be lying! Trust me when I say, I was just as shocked as you were. However, Black Friday and birthdays really opened my eyes.

Okay, last flash back and I promise I’ll get to my point.  It was during the shopping season on Black Friday, another first in her book, that I realized things just don’t matter but quality time and affection does. That whole night she kept making comments about how people were rude, obsessive, crazy over things that didn’t matter. She was blown away that I had a list and had spent hours mapping out getting the best deal. She just wanted to be with me, but she didn’t want anything. My opinion, my laugh, and her feeling my skin are what mattered to her that night. She has this cute habit of always having to touch me. Doesn’t matter if we are walking or sitting, a part of her must be touching a part of me. Let me tell you, that night, I had a new definition of what claustrophobia was like. I endured because it’s what she needed.  She needed me, not things.

After this night, I knew without a doubt presence and touch is so much more important to these children than things. Experiences can be great, or scary. They don’t care about things, they care about life. Literally, they are about felt safety. That literally means they just care about being loved and feeling safe. They just don’t want to worry about their next meal or where they are going to stay next. Things come and go, they can always get new things because things can be replaced. However, feeling safe, and feeling loved, those are gifts they are after because they don’t get them often, and try as they might, seemed too hard to keep.  Knowing these lessons from Thanksgiving and Black Friday, we decided to back off and slowly do Christmas. We decided Not to travel so she didn’t have to meet new people. We decided to stay home and just decorate a Christmas tree. She honestly couldn’t believe people really put real trees in their homes, let alone went to a tree farm to cut one down. Plastic is all she’s known. What a great metaphor for how we approached the holidays to how children in care approach them.   I guess you could say this tree, summed up what we have learned. While, children that you have loved and raised from the start have felt safety, so they don’t focus on that as a want or a need, they focus on presents under the tree. Opposite of that is what our foster and adoptive children really want and need. I learned that talk is cheap and giving a million experiences and presents aren’t going to help my children but showing them love through my actions is what matters at the end of the day. Things are changing around here. We are going to be focusing more on action and doing around the holidays, rather than gifts. A lesson we needed to learn far too soon. If we do anything, the main theme will be love, each child’s love language, and less focus on just stuff. After all, you can’t take it with you when you die, but you can leave a legacy of love behind.

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