Monday, December 26, 2011

Silent Night


I hope and pray that you all had a wonderful Christmas Day.  Ours was truly wonderful.  We went to a Christmas Eve Party on Saturday.  This was a very good get together, except for when one of our friends had a  little to much to drink.  I wont go into the detail, but lets just say the end did not justify the means.

We opened our gifts when we came home for the party. I did get everything I wanted with the exception of that 10 carat ring I've been eyeing.  There's still my birthday, right?  I did get the other two books in the Stieg Larsen series, so I am truly a happy camper.

Unfortunately, it was not a Silent Night on Christmas.  I read that about 40 people were killed in Nigeria after numerous bomb attacks were carried out by a radical Islamic sect.  Sorry to see we weren't able to end 2011 with just one day of peace.

I hope everyone still has the words from "Joy to the World",  "Hark The Herald Angels Sing", "Oh Holy Night",or whatever your favorite Christmas Medley may be still running through your head,

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm Dreaming of A White Christmas

In my post last week, I talked about my favorite poem.  In the poem it speaks about one of my favorite weather conditions; snow.  I love snow.

Unfortunately right now in Indy we have no snow.  Rain and more rain in the forecast, but no snow. I'm starting to miss the white stuff so badly that now I'm tempted to either go digging out my childhood snow cone machine,  throwing the ice cubes in it and making the stuff myself.

Granted, we haven't experienced very cold days; which makes my pocketbook extremely happy, but I was  planning on getting cozy with my hubby on a horse drawn sleigh.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

During this time of year I always think about one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost and his poem "Stopping By  Woods On A Snowy Evening. "  I think of days past when we as humans appreciated nature in one of its rawest and prettiest forms.  Snow.  I think about how it wasn't unusual to see open wooded spaces and admire how nature would come down and touch the area, and let us feel and see that there is a higher being.

Now it seems a rarity to find wooded sites that aren't under construction or for sale to the highest bidder; allowing them to put some monstrosity upon the land and call it home.  How I would have liked to have lived in a time where we didn't live on top of one another, but had room to gaze and roam.

I think of Mr. Frost's poem because I love to sit for hours and watch the snow fall; trying to see if I myself can actually distinguish the differences of one snowflake from another.  I never can, but the game allows me to remove myself from the present craziness and remember whats truly important. The beauty of life.

Many don't like and don't appreciate the snow. They reflect on the way it may inhibit their driving and navigating themselves from one destination to another.  I think about the joy it brings.  Children get days off from school to go sledding, make snowmen, snow angels, or have snowball fights.  I think of how it encourages snuggling and that brings warmth.

If you're not familiar with the poem, look it up and read it.  See what thoughts and feelings it conjures up in your mind.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Exit Stage Left

In one of my earlier postings, I had discussed bringing about the change you want in your life.  Part of instrumenting  your change may include leaving your your current position in order to move on and up.  Upon leaving, you must design an exit strategy where many things are taken into consideration:

1) Decide when you will leave.  If you are leaving to start your own business, then you should be following your  business plan.  The plan should indicate the amount of time it will take to complete such steps as getting your company registered with your state, or time it will take to come up with all of your financing.  Based on the amount of time you have allotted for each step within the plan, you should then know about when you will be wanting to leave your position.  If you are veering out part-time, then have indicators in place to help you measure when your business has accomplished certain milestones to help you determine when you are ready to leave.

2) Make sure that you are being the best employee you can be. This will help to ensure that if you need your manager as a recommendation, he will be more than happy to oblige. Also you don't know everyone your boss  knows.  He could be associates with your potential new employer or with a possible client your are trying to land for your company.  Don't just say "I'm leaving in 3 months  so what do I care about the work product that I put out." Care because they may ask you to leave before you're ready to go.

3) Have a good adviser or  sounding board.  We all need to be accountable to someone.  There should be someone you can discuss your plans with who can give you constructive criticism and advise on how to improve on areas that your plan may appear to be weak in.

4) Don't tell anyone within the company about your plan to leave.  This could sabotage your exit plans. It may not be the intention of your co-worker that you let in on your plan to let the cat out of the bag.  But remember you didn't keep it to yourself, then why would you think someone else would?

5) Gain as much knowledge and information as you can.  Make sure that you properly observe your manager while you are still with your employer.  See what positive characteristics and traits about him that you can use yourself.

This is just a short list of things for you to implement into your exit strategy to help ensure that once you leave, you won't have to come back.  These items will  also help you make sure that you don/t burn any bridges.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm Gonna Follow That Dream

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a singer.  Next to reading, nothing gave me greater pleasure then to belt out tunes like Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper, Material Girl by Madonna, or Leave Me Alone by Michael Jackson.  I even wrote a few songs myself.  There was Come On Dream Boy and I'm A Killer.  You could say that I did realize my dream. Well at least partially.  I became a singer in my church and school choirs.

Although I  never lived out my dream of becoming a successful singer or recording artist, I believe that my desire to be a singer led me to my bigger dream; becoming a writer.  As I stated, I loved to read.  But what I really loved and enjoyed most about reading; just as I did about being a singer were the lyrics.  The words.  I loved the way certain words like water, or phrases like "Tomorrow is Another Day" would flow from my mouth.  I loved to scour through my mom's Websters Dictionary for the definition of such words as bifurcate or divulge.

Words I discovered created power.  The creators of the words and phrases and books were individuals who would live on forever.  Even if their books hadn't made it to a best sellers list, or won an award; the phrases that they created would remain for eternity.  In this day of modern technology(think internet), where we can access information on any person, place or subject; how much more likely is it that someone perusing the web for a little known quote about love could find a book by Sam U. Ell and use one of his.  Very likely.

I also dreamed of becoming a writer to help those who aren't able to physically escape, get away in their minds.  Reading one of my books would help them imagine and feel as if they had been to the location I wrote about.
I dream of creating words that inspire, move, and motivate; therefore I am a writer.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I was pulling out my Christmas decorations the other day, as I always do the day after Thanksgiving, and I couldn't help but laugh at myself.  As much as I hate to see people caught up in rituals, I realized that I was one of those people.  I always put up my Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving; I only play Christmas music during the season, and I overload on Christmas movies.  I am so full of the Holiday Spirit by Christmas Day that all my friends call me Mrs. Claus.

Not to say that following traditions are a bad thing( I use my mothers recipe for making eggnog because it is the  best, not simply because the season calls for it). But it's when we allow the traditions to overtake our lives, and not allow for spontaneity that we miss the whole meaning of life.  I mean would you tell Aunt Trina; who has been praying for a man for 20 years and has now found a steady up through the holidays, that she can't bring her date to the family dinner because you only have room for 20, just like you do every year?  You wouldn't dare!!!

Isn't this is why so many of us don't attend church services?  We already know how every second of the service will go. Or what about the annual Company Holiday Dinner? Or your little nieces ballet troupes Annual Dance Recital.  They always perform The Nutcracker and little Jenny is always a Sugar Plum Fairy.

The act of doing something merely because it is always done this way becomes trite and meaningless. We fail to find value in ourselves and our lives when no passion or real thought is put into the things we do, day after day.  Moments or events that occur in our lives would lose value and not remain in the corners of our memory, if we were to succumb to mere human rituals and traditions. I attended my brothers wedding several years ago, and the one thing that stands out the most to me about the ceremony is the fact that the officiating minister forgot my brothers name.  My brothers name is Tom, but the minister kept calling him Samuel.

My dream wedding use to consist of a dozen bridesmaids and groomsmen.  There would be bells, lace, a long train to my gown, and roses all over the place in a chapel with hundreds of guest.  I now dream of a room or hall where my groom and myself would stand in an empty room before the minister and declare our vows.  Talk about bucking tradition.

Don't think I'm putting you down if the night before Christmas you bake the cookies and place them on a plate along with a glass of milk, waiting for the big guy to arrive.  I'm just saying if the cookies should happen to burn and your child suggest making peanut butter crackers instead don't have a cow. We have traditions because the original event was so life changing and memorable for all involved, that we want to relive that moment year after year and time after time.  We want our family and friends to enjoy the times and conversations we share.  We want each gathering to be magical.

So once you have put up the tree and are preparing for the ceremonial lighting, look around at the faces of those in your presence; smile and add that moment into your memory bank.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Twelve Days Of Christmas

I read recently where they have determined that the cost to give someone the 12 Days of Christmas for 2011 would cost $101,119.84.   This is just a mere 3.5% increase from last year, due to the current sluggish economy. I guess the Timex watch I was planning on buying my mom this year is no comparison.

I wonder though, how much would it really cost to customize 12 Days of Christmas for your true love?

The first day you could take your true love out to your local nursery for a live tree. A lovely 6 foot Douglas Fir would only set you back about $25, and what could be better than getting out in the mild night air and selecting a tree that will help set the tone for the season.

The second day you'll purchase 2 tickets to see the annual presentation of The Nutcracker being performed by the local ballet. The cost is around $25 per ticket and the show will have her reliving her childhood fantasy; becoming a "prima ballerina".

The third day of Christmas your true love will appreciate 3 glorious hours of being pampered at the Day Spa.  They will love the Hydrotherapy Session and a Full Body Massage for $105.

On the fourth day of Christmas, oh how they will enjoy 4 new ring tones for the cell phone.  At AT&T Media Mall you can purchase music or voice ring tones for just 2.49 each.

for the fifth day how about a sterling silver bracelet with 5 red hot heart charms from Kohls.  It may not be the $1500 breath-taker from 5th Avenue in New York, but at roughly $60 bucks it will set her heart a fire.

What could be better on the sixth day, than indulging in 6 decadent scoops of Winter Chocolate Marshmallow from Baskin Robbins!!

Everyone likes to try their hands at a little luck.  Give your true love 7 chances  on the seventh day with lottery tickets.  Its fun and anywhere from $1 to $5 a pop.

Help get into the spirit of Christmas on the eighth day with 8 Christmas Holiday Movies.  You can choose selections like Billy Bobs' Bad Santa to Jimmy Stewart's classic Its A Wonderful Life.

Nine gifts to distribute to a needy family, will allow you to spread your love and cheer to others on the Ninth day of Christmas.

On the tenth day give them 10 poinsettias  to feel their home with sparkle and punch.

The eleventh day will warm their hearts when you serenade them with 11 of their favorite holiday tunes.

On the twelfth day help them spread the love and cheer you have given to them by giving your true love 12 Christmas cards to send to those nearest to their hearts.

Your 12 days will come in well under the $101,119.84 price tag for 2011 and brighten the season for your love even more.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

One Down Two More To Go

With the Thanksgiving Holiday behind us just this past Thursday, we have officially made it into the Winter Holiday Season!!! Thursday, we reflected on those things that we are thankful for and gave reverence to the people in our lives both past and present that have helped us get to our current states.  We expressed our gratitude for their prayers, constructive criticisms, their time, listening ears, but most importantly for their love.

It is during this time that we realize how important and precious love is.  We know that love is action, and we show our love for others when we spend that extra hour or so just to find that right card or that special gift that will bring a smile to their face.  We show love when we sacrifice our time to take the ones we love to places that bring them joy.  We show love with a kiss or a hug.  We know that we are loved when we receive the same measure of kindness that we have given.

It is amazing how the marketing gurus of this world can evoke us to feel nostalgic of days and times gone by.  They remind us to say " I love you" when we watch one of their commercials, and the music in the background  is a song we danced to at prom, or was a special song we shared with one of our grandparents.

Christmas is coming and New Years is not far behind.  We can let our hearts hardened back after the season is over and await for the marketing gurus to tell us what to feel next.  Or we can keep the spirits of  "thankfulness", "giving", and "love" in our hearts despite the day on the calender and remember that everyday is precious.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

Everyone loves a good riddle and this is one that has been floating around since the beginning of time.  Whenever we hear this riddle, our natural response is "To get to the other side"; and that's right huh?  Well what if I told you he crossed the road to change his way of doing things.  Maybe the chicken was stuck in a rut and he needed to find a way out.  He thought and he thought and the only solution that seemed viable to him was to cross the road.  Would that work?  You bet.

Crossing the road would give the chicken a whole new perspective on life.  It would show him a whole new way of doing things.  Everything on the other side of the road would be fresh and unfamiliar to him.  This would cause him to have to think things through differently and find new solutions to his same old dilemmas.

This could work for humans too.  How many times in the course of a day, while sitting in our cubicle cities do we say "Man I hate my job". or "I need to find something else".  Well in order for us to get to the other side, there are some steps we can follow.

-  Accept you have a problem.  Many of us know when something is wrong in our life that we try to make    
   excuses.  We say I got up on the wrong side of the bed.  If that's truly the case, then roll over and get out
   on the other side.

-  Secondly, we must determine what the problem is.  If the problem is that every time you get out of bed on
   the left side you have a terrible day, then the problem is that the left side of  the bed is not a good side for
   you.  If you work for a widget company and you hate widgets, then the problem is that you work for the
   wrong company.

-  Once you have assessed what the problem is, you can then look into finding solutions to the problem.
   If every time, I get out on the left side of the bed, I have a terrible day, then I should try getting out on
   the right side of the bed.

-  Select which solution will work best for you in resolving your problem.
    I don't like widgets, yet I work for a widget company.  I like gizmo's, so I should work for a company
    that makes gizmo's.

-  Next, and this is the hardest part for many of us; you must follow through with achieving your solution.
   This is hard for many of us because although we are miserable in our current situations, we would
   rather remain miserable then to move into a state that is unknown and unfamiliar to us.  We are creatures
   of habit.  We do not like change.

-  Finally move on with your solution, and you should find that you are happier in life and more pleasant
   to be around.

I'm not saying that solving our unhappiness can always be fixed over night.  For instance, if you hate working in a factory and would love to be a Radiologist this is not an instant fix.  Of course you would have to go to school for the necessary training before your change could come.  But in order for your fix to occur, you must take steps to enact your change.

So why did the chicken really cross the road?  I say because he wanted to succeed in life.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Blog Debut

Hello Everyone:

Well I guess I have proven to all my friends and family who said I would never actually start my blog wrong.  Maybe they kept taunting me about starting my blog to get me revved up enough  to go ahead and get out here.  I'm so psyched!!!   There are so many things going on.  The American adaptation of Stieg Larssons' The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will be out in December.  I have been waiting for the American version for some time.  I didnt think the Swedish version did the book justice. If you havent read the book yet I would suggest you get your copy now and read up.  Also coming out is Hugo.  This is the film adaptation of Brian Selznick's book The Invention of Hugo Cabret.  This is a great season for book and movie lovers!!!

Gotta go now.  I'll be talking with you later this week.