Friday, December 30, 2011

Wrapping Up the Year

It's true -- life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes. That's how I feel life has been lately.

I cannot believe 2011 is almost over. I've been busy. I want to do so much, and I don't do half of what I want to do. I truly believe the TV is stealing so much of my time. And since I'm closing in on the last 20 or 30 years, I can't waste a minute.

Katy Weber sends a Red Lotus Letter regularly, and the one I received this week included an attachment that is "My 2012 Goals -- Personal New Year Planner." The first thing the planner asks for is My Top 10 Accomplishments in 2011. That stumped me at first. I've come up with 9. Some are pretty weak.

  1. Made the decision to earn DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster).
  2. Became an Area Governor, a requirement to earn DTM.
  3. Started the High-Performance Leadership Project to earn DTM.
  4. Continued to lead the web skills team.
  5. Signed up for and started the Jim Rohn One-Year Personal Development Plan.
  6. Started writing letters to family and friends.
  7. Set up regular time to visit with my Grandson.
  8. Went on a cruise, and I paid cash for it. It didn't follow me home.
  9. Joined a gym.
  10. Found out I was allergic to several foods and have adjusted my eating to avoid those allergens.
Gosh, look at that! I have 10!

The next thing is the Goals for 2012

My goal this year is to
  1. Actually work the Jim Rohn PDP.
  2. Continue to build relationships with my daughter and her family. To visit with my dad at least once a month. To continue writing letters and sending cards to family and friends regularly.
As a result, I think, act, feel, and work as if I'm thin and healthy, I'm growing as a leader because of Toastmasters and John Rohn.

My no. 1 goal in 2012 is to Complete the Jim Rohn PDP.

My Top 5 Goals for the Year are:
  1. Continue to build my leadership skills
  2. Continue to build my relationships
  3. Save enough money to be able to pay for car repairs without having to get a loan
  4. Save enough money to be able to pay for the once a year expenses like HOA, AAA
  5. Tithe
As a result of this, I would like to earn/accomplish
Distinguished Toasmaster and have enough money to cruise from Puerto Rico to the Southern Caribbean to celebrate.

But I would be happy with Finishing the Jim Rohn PDP.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Still Plodding Along . . .

Even though I haven't blogged in a few days, I'm still plodding along. I've been busy with going to the gym and trying to make ends meet. As usual, I have more month at the end of my money. I've had some unexpected, unusual expenses, and we have just enough to get to payday. I have 4 boxes of Avon products that I've accumulated over the 3-1/2 year as an Avon rep, so I decided to wrap them and try to sell them as gifts that people could buy to give.

My son and I spent the whole day Sunday gathering wrap, tissue, gift bags, the Avon products, and the prices of the products. Then as I prepared the gifts, I took photos of the product and the bag I put it in and added the prices. Then I made flyers with the product photos listed like a catalog. Monday I sent an email to everyone at work who is a customer. Then today I sent one to all the men in my department. Monday one of my customers wanted to buy a pair of earrings, and today a coworker wants to buy a pair of sunglasses. That makes $18! And a customer still owes for her order. That's $11.61! So, with these sales, I'll even have enough for gas!

I'm trying to figure out what to do with my car. I've had a Jaguar X-Type since April 5, 2006. It's a 2004, and I LOVE it! Jaguar has been my dream car since I was 12, and I finally was able to get one. The odometer will hit 91,000 miles this week. Then the extended warranty will expire, and I'm afraid I won't be able to afford the next repair that comes along. It may be that I can drive it another year without anything going wrong. But, can I take that chance? I'm considering trading it in on something that's domestic and cheaper to repair. Then, in 3 years when I've paid off the jumbo loan I have, I can reconsider buying another Jaguar or something else.

My son found a 2006 Impala with 125,000 miles for less than $6K that I'm considering. I may put my car up for sale and see if I can get $7K for it. Then I can buy something else. I just don't want to have to make another payment. Actually, I can't afford to make another payment.

I figure when I pay off this loan, I can put these payments toward my mortgage, and by 2021, my house will be paid off. I can then retire and live a life of leisure. One thing I want to do once I retire is hang out at the gym and take the classes like Zumba, Waterworks, maybe the spin class, and enjoy life.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone at Church

You'd think that after being in Toastmasters for 20 years, I would be able to do anything in front of an audience. But no.

I haven't volunteered to be a Lay Eucharist Minister at my church because I don't want to have to read the readings or Prayers to the People. I go to the Wednesday night service at church, and I mentioned to our pastor this past Wednesday that I might read the lesson, and he said "Go for it!" So I did! I read Deuteronomy. It was a short reading, but I might ask if I can do it again next Wednesday.

There will be a training session for several of the ministries, and I'll train to be a LEM so I can help with the Eucharist during weddings. I don't plan to do the Sunday Services, but maybe Wednesday. I love the Wednesday service. It's very small and short.

Figured It Out!

Have you ever had a great idea and shared it with someone, like your boss, only to hear crickets? Then about a week later your boss comes to you with a great idea, which was yours originally. It's not a good idea until it's their.

Well, the same sort of thing has happened to me again. Only, it was I doing it to me.

For 2 years (almost exactly), I've been trying to do my own thing in Weight Watchers. I followed the plan at first and lost 24 lbs! Then, I got tired of doing it their way and tried to do it my way. Well, 2 years and a gain of 12 lbs later, I finally figured it out.

Weight Watchers knows what they're talking about! At the meeting Thursday, I realized the error of my ways, and I resolved to follow the plan, at least for a month by tracking and trying to eat the right foods. Then yesterday, I had another breakthrough. I realized the reason I had such a hard time tracking was that I wasn't weighing and measuring. Geez. It's work, but maybe I'll eat less because I'm taking my time instead of grabbing and gobbling.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Week 2 - The Plan

According to Jim Rohn, "all good things are upstream, but the natural flow of life is that downward, negative pull. To combat that downward pull, you need a plan, a map to help you reach your desired destination."

I remember when I was told I needed a degree to move forward in my job. I immediately registered at St. Mary's and worked steadily and dilligently to earn a degree. After a while, I realized my GPA was high enough to graduate with honors. Then I really put in the effort. I loved school. I liked the other students. I was the same age as the professors. It was fun, and I learned a lot.

The downward pull of that experience was my family. This sounds so negative. But I mean that if a better job was upstream, my family and the easier life, with no stresses were downstream.

As a single parent, I had to juggle family, school, and a full-time job with overtime. I feel like I cheated my kids out of so much when they were little. They were 6 and 8 when I started school. At first, we still went camping, biking, visiting. Then, as my school work became more challenging, we spent much of our time at home. I feel like my zest to get a degree and graduate with honors cheated my kids of their childhood. My daughter was 18 when I graduated -- actually, she graduated from high school a couple of weeks later. I asked them both to forgive me for spending so much of their childhood studying, and neither felt there was anything to forgive. Yet I still feel guilty.

You'd think they'd learn from this experience and go to college right after high school, but they didn't. My daughter is struggling to juggle a full-time job, school and a child. Now she's expecting another (YEA!), and it will be even more challenging.

Anyway, Week 2 is about the Plan. The main points are Develop the Plan. Establish times to spend working on the material. Keep a journal. Reflect. Set goals. Act.

Jim Rohn talked about turning nothing into something. Here are the steps:
  • Have ideas and use your imagination
  • Believe what you imagine is possible for you
  • Go to work and make it real
  • Appreciate and welcome the disciplines

To succeed in extraordinary times and unprecedented opportunity, we need to:
  • Learn multiple skills
  • Learn the disciplines
  • Be eager to learn
  • Argue later -- just take it in for now
  • Be a student, not a follower

One of Jim's famous quotes is "Giving starts the receiving process."

Laws of riches and wealth
  • Service to many leads to greatness
  • The Bitle says to find a way to serve many
  • JFK said to ask what you can do for your country
  • Zig Ziglar says if yo help enough people get what they want, you will get whatever you want out of life

The Questions for Reflection
List two ways in which you can associate with others who are of a positive mindset and who also want to move toward success.
1. Stay involved in Toastmasters
2. Stay involved in my Church

Make a list of at least five people you can associate with regularly in order to form a good support system for yourself.
1. DF - Toastmasters mentor
2. AAW - Introduced me to personal development
3. GLV - Toastmasters mate
4. My dad
5. TF - my manager

Action Steps
Take some time this week to dream and imagine your future. See what the future you (the life you desire to have, the person you desire to be) will look like one year from now.
I weigh 160 with shoulder-length hair. I've been working out in the gym at least 4 times a week for the past year, and my body has transformed quite a bit. I still have a ways to go, but I'm much happier and healthier than I was last year. I finally figured out a way to eat that is satisfying and at the same time allowing weight loss. Because of my weight loss, I was able to cut back on my medications, and that has helped save about $40 a month! Yea!

I was able to extend the warranty on my car so major repairs weren't a major drain on my budget. I have paid off my credit card and substantial amount of the loan I have just by cutting back spending.

My house is in good repair. I was able to barter with friends and family to have some things done like the sprinkler system for babysitting, web design and flyers for some minor repairs on the house. The lawn is beautiful, and I'm working to earn Yard of the Month soon.

I finished almost everything I needed to earn DTM, and I have a cruise waiting to celebrate. I was so blessed that 3 friends wanted to join me this time, so I'll have plenty of company.

My job is awesome. I have quite a bit of responsbility keeping the web up to date and marketing the programs. I didn't think I would, but I really enjoy the analytics part of my job. I guess having more time to devote to it helps. Having 2 people on my team also helps.

I've gone bowling a couple of times with my daughter and her kids and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm not as good as I once was, but I really had fun. Last year I realized I needed to set a regular routine so I could see my daughter and her family more regularly. I didn't want to be the grandmother they see only on holidays, especially since they only live 20 miles away. We've really had fun. Having a regular date made me look for things to do that were fun without being a drain on our pocketbooks. We started out by going to the library, then we explored and looked at Christmas lights, shopped at novelty shops, found museums and places to go that we'd enjoy. It has been a life-changing experience. I've never spent so much quality time with anyone in my entire life. I definitely suggest you try it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Baby Steps in Personal Development

I started reading Zig Ziglar's Fleas, Biscuits, and Pump Handles as my nighttime reading and the Bible this morning. I read the first 4 chapters of Matthew. I usually start with Genesis and by the time I get to Exodus, I've quit. Zig's book is about building up your self-esteem. I really like it. I can hear Zig's voice the whole time I read it.

As a way to exercise my brain, I bought a book of logic puzzles. Man, they're tough. I got the first one, and the example, but I didn't do so well on the next one. I'm still working on #4. They are definitely challenging. I like working puzzles. Maybe once I get the hang of these, they'll help me work out other sorts of puzzles and problems.

Tomorrow is a Matlock marathon. Hopefully I won't lose ground because of Matlock. I moved my laptop back to the dining table so I can blog while watching TV, and my Jim Rohn notebook is here as well. I'm trying to make sure everything is easy to access and keep moving forward.

Jim Rohn said that the promise of the future is an awesome force. Until I heard this, I didn't realize my vision of the future doesn't go much farther than next week. I remember when I was about 16 and I was putting things in my hope chest. I never thought I'd actually live long enough to use anything that had collected in my hope chest. Now I see at the tender age of 59-1/2 that I still don't look into the future. I still live for now. I'm going to have to work on that. Right after my nap!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Things to Improve My Life

Before I decided to restart the One-Year Personal Development Plan, I sat down and made this list:

Things to Improve My Life

  • Send notes to family and friends on Sundays. One to a friend and one to one of my grandkids.
  • Make a date with my Dad to have lunch with him.
  • See my daughter and grandson every Thursday.
  • Workout with my son 5 days a week.
  • Read the Bible in the morning and something motivational in the evening.

Once again with feeling - Week One

I've been collecting the weekly emails from the Jim Rohn One-Year Personal Development Program (OYPDP) since February 4. I actually started at that time, but I got hung up on the goal-setting pillar. Once I got behind, I just gave up and collected the emails. I actually look forward to them every week although I don't even read them. This was my second time starting the program.

Our last Toastmasters meeting theme was "We can do anything for a month." I decided Nov. 1 that I would work out regularly for a month. Well, that lasted a week when I developed a sinus problem that included a nagging cough. I couldn't go to the pool, so I stayed home instead. I felt rotten that I wasn't working out. It was too tempting to hang out at home and watch TV with my son. So I decided the best thing would be to get a gym membership for him so we'd go together. So far it has helped. I went yesterday alone and today with my son and worked out in the pool for a hour. It felt good yesterday to say I'd gone to the gym. Of course, I don't do it for others. I have to find my motivation.

Jim Rohn said something on the CD "The Day that Turns Your Life Around" about looking at your future. I realized that instant that I don't really look at the future. I live for today. I put off the unpleasant for tomorrow. But that's all I think about the future.

So, what now?

For a couple of weeks, I've been thinking about starting the One-Year Personal Development Program (OYPDP) again. The only way to make this happen is to make some changes so that would be more feasible. I'll try not to get hung up on something that is difficult. I'll work on it and work it out and move on. I figure if it's important, I can go back to it. Nothing is set in stone. The important thing is to move forward, NOT quit.

Pillar One - Personal Development
Week One - The invitation.
A dear friend of 40 years introduced me to Jim Rohn, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, and Napoleon Hill when I was newly divorced and without a clue. They have all (including my dear friend) changed my life direction. According to the OYPDP, many get the invitation and few accept it. Of those who accept it, many don't finish it. Twice, that was me. I'm hoping the Third Time's the Charm!

Personal development requires a plan. It's about association and influence, and it's about learning and education.

According to this lesson, true success is living the life you truly desire to live -- spiritually, physically, relationally, and mentally -- as you have defined it.

I'm tired of living paycheck to paycheck. I'm 59-1/2 and I figure it's time to make some major changes. It's easy to say "I should have" and think that the opportunities are over. But that's not the truth. The truth is that it's not too late to learn and grow. I have a huge library, and lots of time. Right now I'm wasting both. As of yesterday, I'm making changes. I printed the 37 lessons I have so far, put them in a 3-ring binder, and I'm ready and excited to get to it.I'm not going to do it week by week like the program was designed. I plan to do something every day. But I'm not going to stress if it slips. The important thing is that I finish.

I plan to celebrate the new me when I finish the program by taking a trip somewhere. Maybe a cruise either to the Mediterranean or from Puerto Rico to the South Caribbean. By the time I finish this program, I should be earning my Distinguished Toastmaster award. So I should be celebrating 2 BIG accomplishments in 2013.

The questions are:
Are you ready -- really ready? Are you tired of being where you are and excited to get where you want to be? -- YES!

Will you make the commitment to read? Think about one great book you have read and the changes it brought about in your life. Now imagine what this next year is going to do for you! -- "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill has helped me see the importance of thinking. Taking time to think about where I am and what might be has helped me make changes in my work life.

If personal development is whole life, then which area of your life is in the best shape? -- Spiritual, and it's not in that great shape.

Which is the worst? -- physical
Take some time to think through where you are so you can evaluate where you stand and how you are going to grow in the next year.

How disciplined are you? -- NOT at all.
Is it something you struggle with, or is it a strength of yours? -- I have absolutely NO discipline.

Which are you more focused on: intake (learning, gathering information) or output (doing, taking action)? -- Intake for sure.
We all have a bias, so to speak. The answer to this will determine how you need to make ajustments over the coming year. -- I definitely need to start taking action.

Four action points:
Write down three great books you have read and three great books you want to read. -- I've read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, The Seasons of Life by Jim Rohn, and The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason.

Jim Rohn recommends we read the Bible or something spiritual in the morning and something on the recommended reading list every night. I'm currently reading Fleas, Biscuits, and Pump Handles by Zig Ziglar. I'll read Seven Strategies for Wealth and Happiness and Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle by Jim Rohn.

Take at least one tangible action to make yourself stronger in the following area that you are weakest in: physical, spiritual or mental. -- Working out at the gym 5 times a week. And I'll find a book about health to read for inspiration.

Celebrate the fact that you have accepted the invitation to go on the journey of self-growth and personal development.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

2 weeks hive free (almost)

After 2 weeks, I've managed to keep the hive breakouts to a minimum. The only time I've broken out is when I eat something with an ingredient that I missed when reading the labels. It's usually hidden malt, soy, or rice. I keep trying to find a snack food that doesn't contain allergens. So far, I've found fruit, cheese sticks, and chocolate candy bars.

I made my own spaghetti sauce with crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, and celery salt. It was pretty good with cooked ground beef and wheat angel hair pasta. I made my own cole slaw the other day with packaged shredded cabbage and mayonnaise with celery salt. It was pretty good.

For lunch today, we had chicken thighs baked with "shake and bake." It was delicious!

I have a roast in a crock pot with potatoes and carrots for dinner tonight.

We went to Alamo Cafe yesterday, and I tried a chicken burrito with their avocado sampler in the burrito with the chicken. It was delicious, and no breakouts! It wasn't difficult skipping the chips and salsa. My son didn't have any either. But we did some damage to their tortillas.

I think my next attempt at converting a food will be enchiladas with flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Allergies and Area Governor Stuff

Since March, I've had hives. When my friend and I cruised to the Western Caribbean the end of April, I was broken out the whole time. I took the max dose of benedryl the whole time. Needless to say, I was tired and sort of grumpy the whole time.

I finally visited with an allergist, and we discovered that I'm allergic to garlic, onions, peanuts, mustard, soy, peaches, malt, and green pepper. These foods I should avoid completely. Other allergies I have are corn, pinto beans, string beans, lettuce, milk, rice, rye, soybeans, and spinach.

I've heard of allergies to garlic and peanuts, but mustard, peaches? I've eaten mustard instead of mayonnaise on my burgers for years, and I love raw garlic. I used to buy a small container of garlic and eat them like candy. I even took garlic pills! It's supposed to be a good way to keep your system clear of infections. There goes my spinach dip, peach jelly, garlic chicken, almost any ethnic food.

I was just looking online for recipes without these trigger foods, and a website that advertises they have recipes without onion and garlic didn't actually have any without these ingredients.

A couple of weeks ago I told my son that I was considering eating like a cave woman -- no more processed foods, no more fancy, complicated recipes, just meat and vegetables, and fruit. And, now that's what I HAVE to do. We're even going to have to find different restaurants. No more Carraba's or Milano's or Olive Garden, Mexican food, or Chinese food. Even Bill Miller's BBQ brisket caused a minor hive breakout last night. Waaa

I bought groceries last Sunday and got spinach dip, garlic cloves to roast, 3 large juicy peaches, hamburger helper, Italian sausage and tomato/alfredo sauce, so many of my favorite foods that I cannot eat. I'm sort of freaking out here. Instead of concentrating on what I cannot have, I should look at the list of foods I was tested for that I DID NOT have a reaction to.

Almonds (all nuts except peanuts), apples (all fruits except peaches), avocado, barley, beef (all meats and seafood), broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, cinnamon, CHOCOLATE, coconut, COFFEE, cucumber, eggs, ginger, hops, lemon, mushrooms, nutmeg, oats, olives, peas, potatoes, squash, strawberries, tea, tomato, vanilla, wheat, yeast.

So, with this list in mind, it's not so bad. It's fresh food for me. This is probably the only way I'll ever lose weight -- cut out the processed and over spiced foods. I think God had a hand in this. :O)

I've had fun this week. It was a crazy busy week, and it was stressful, but in the middle of it all, I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride.
I attended 3 Toastmaster meetings this week, 2 last week, and I completed the club visit requirement. Now I just have to fill out the area governor club visit forms and get them in to TI.

We'll probably have a club contest because a member wants to compete in the humorous speech contest. I thought I was going to get away without having to deal with a contest. But I think he was talked into competing. He is funny, and he's gone all the way to District before, so he could be a contender.

My work life had a hitch thrown into it last week when we met with our director. He had a meeting with one of the 11 VPs who told him they were unhappy with our website and service. He told me to take off my mad face. After I got over my hurt feelings, I mobilized and figured out how to address their concerns. They want to be able to get into their web pages and tweak the text when it's time to update them. Because I manage our Intranet, and it works by having many subsites for non-web people to update their own pages, I suggested we do the same with our internet server. It worked like a charm. Our new website design is set up with modules and divs so we can sort of pick and choose the parts we want to use. The first guy out of the shoot to do this using the new update feature was someone who never did a web page before. We worked out a way for him to use his Word file and insert photos. He was very happy with the results. He also wants his website updated to match the new one he just did. Yea!

I'm in the process of converting a website to the new look, and I'll teach the other 2 people on my team to convert as well. Then we'll start updating the website department by department until it has been done. The difficult part is the departments have to pay to have their sites updated.

A former coworker/friend died Thursday. I went to the visitation with a friend yesterday after work. Her funeral is happening at this moment, but I choose not to go today.

There's a bead market today that I'd like to go to, but I'm seriously thinking about staying in the house. I've already cut and dragged a huge branch from the backyard to the front for brush pickup. I've taken the recyclables to the curb, and brought the bin back. I should run to the credit union to straighten out my credit card issue. THEN I'll stay in. I'll probably go to the bead market tomorrow after church. I have flower duty tomorrow, so I'll run by the church, drop off some of the foods I cannot eat anymore with my daughter and then head to Universal City. Or maybe not . . .

Monday, August 8, 2011

Catchin' up

I had a great weekend! Saturday several friends and I had breakfast together. Again, I was late. I thought the email said 9:30. I don't know why. I arrived at 9:15 and waited patiently for the others to arrive. When I noticed a car that looked a lot like my friend's car, I started to feel like something was off. Then I saw another friend in the dining room standing up. They were all at the table. A mix of feelings rushed through me. Why didn't they wait? How could everyone have arrived so early and left me? How could I have been wrong AGAIN? I double-checked the email before I left the office Friday.

I used to have a reputation for being late when I was younger. Then, when I was a Mary Kay consultant, we learned to be early. I was a single mom for so many years, and we tried to be on time, but sometimes, we just couldn't make it. I really disliked that people didn't feel they could depend on me. Now, I'd rather wait on others than have them wait on me.

So, yesterday I had lunch with my dad. This time I took my grandson with me. Daddy and I decided to meet about 12:45. My grandson and I arrived at 12:45, and Daddy was already there. Again, someone was there before me. We always have a good time visiting and talking about old times. I told Daddy that we had a charmed childhood because we went to Medina Lake every weekend from the time I was 5 until I got a job working on the weekends at 17.

Every weekend except the winter! We had a blast. Water skiing, boating, fishing, swimming, just hanging out. There was the obligatory 1 hour after a meal that we had to wait before swimming, and that was my time to explore. We had a huge wooded area next to our cabin, and I loved walking through there, enjoying the solitude. I hardly ever invited someone to go with me. When someone did accompany me, I usually got irritated at them. They didn't want to go where I wanted or they would get hurt.

Once, something spooked me and I ran back to the cabin, grazing a cactus on my way. Ouch!!! That cactus got me good. I must have had 50 needles of all sizes stuck in my leg. Lots of tears. Wanting Mom to get them out. But don't touch it! It was excruciatingly painful, and I learned to respect cactus and to give them lots of room.

My grandson is amazing. He's 3-1/2 and he speaks clearly. He puts sentences together well and can tell you how many things there are without having to count them out. We were in the ladies room and he was talking about the changing station in the stall. He saw the elephants and said there were 3, the daddy, mommy and baby. He said that there were 3 of us at the table, not 4, not 5, 3.

My son applied to go to college this weekend. I hope it isn't too late for the fall semester. He is interested in Lakeview college in Universal City. Why there, I don't know. I think he's intimidated by the size of SAC, but he'll be driving much farther every day. He also applied for FAFSA, scholarships, and work study. He's planning to study to be an Art teacher. Maybe he'll be able to substitute teach and continue his studies to get his Bachelor's. He's excited!

I've been thinking about starting another Toastmasters club here on the Northwest side of town. There aren't any here that aren't corporate clubs. Several people are interested, and they are trying to join corporate clubs. Unfortunately, those clubs are closed to "outsiders." Slick Talkers is the only open club on the Northwest side. I think we could sustain an evening club. I'm currently a member of a Saturday morning club, and I hate it - not the club or the members - I love them - I hate the Saturday morning thing.

It seems that I always have something to do on Saturday morning, which means I can't hang out in my pjs for any length of time. It's OK to have occasions to meet friends and Altar Guild, but having something on every Saturday gets old quick.

Anyway, I had a great weekend catching up with family and friends. I hope you did too.

Friday, August 5, 2011

It's So Hot!

Last year my friend and I walked several times a week after work. People said we were crazy because on a few days, it was 99 degrees outside. We never got started this spring, and now, it's 105! I keep hoping it'll cool down soon. But we really have at least 6 weeks more of this heat. If it would only rain, it would help cool things down.

Maybe my son and I should go camping. When the kids were little we camped with Parents without Partners once a month. And just about everytime we camped, it rained. It got to where people would call us to see if we were going so they could decide if they wanted to deal with the rain. If feel we aren't doing our civic duty because we aren't going camping any more.

I walked at the mall Tuesday during the lunch hour. It took about 17 minutes to do one lap, walking briskly. I only went one lap . . . baby steps. I'll probably try again tomorrow.

I'm meeting a few friends for breakfast. We call ourselves the balcony group because we lift each other up. We haven't met in a long time, and I miss them. They are actually the first group my kids and I camped with in 1988 or 89.

I've been receiving the emails for the Jim Rohn Personal Development class, and I've been faithfully printing them out. One of these days, I'll actually get back into reading and doing the exercises.

Now, I'm catching up with Toastmasters Area Governor duties, editing a book for a friend, and busy with volunteer duties at church.

My dad called last night to see if I could meet him for lunch Sunday in Kerrville. I'm babysitting my grandson, so he and I are heading to Kerrville to visit grandpa! I love visiting with my Dad. We have a good time.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Holiday Weekend

I've been so excited about the Holiday weekend. I planned to do nothing. Rest, relax, rejuvenate, and watch suspense shows on Hallmark Movie Channel all weekend. It's fun to figure out who will die, and then to figure out who dun it.


I started the weekend by taking off early Friday because I had Altar Guild duties this weekend, and the best time for us to get together was Friday afternoon. Afterward, I stopped by the grocery store.

I had a Toastmasters meeting Saturday morning, then I met my sister for lunch. We sat at Olive Garden and visited for 3-1/2 hours! It was so great to catch up with her and visit one-on-one. By the time I got home, I was tired, so I took a nap. Then I watched some of the suspense movies.

This morning, I had to go to church. Sunday School started at 8:30 a.m., then the service at 9:30. Afterward, more Altar Guild duties, and a hair cut appointment at JCPenney at Noon. I got home at 1:15, hungry and hot. I fixed mushroom Swiss burgers for lunch and took a nap.

Tomorrow morning I'm meeting the appraiser to check the house. I'm refinancing my mortgage from a 30-year note to a 15-year note. I still have 20 years on the current note, and with the interest rates so low, I can't let this get by me. I should have done it sooner when the rates were even lower, but I didn't know where to begin. I got an email from my mortgage company, and I made a call. So far, the process has been painless, and I'm happy that paying off my mortgage earlier may be a reality. I really plan to pay off my bills. I've closed all credit cards, except one. I actually had it paid off a couple of years ago, but things happen, and it's back to its limit. Luckily, I only have one.

When I refinance, the home equity loan I got to get the new air conditioner for my house will be rolled into the loan, so that will be paid off (at least the monthly payment will go away). The loan officer I'm talking to said if I continue to make the payments like I am now, I'll pay off the mortgage in 10 years. That would be nice, I'd rather pay off my credit card, car loan, and signature loan that I have. THEN I'll work on the mortgage. I plan to follow Dave Ramsey's plan.

FIRST, I have to have the AC and brakes fixed on my car. It seems things pile on sometimes. But I've survived worse, and I'll get through this.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Who Has Time for Personal Development?

Ever since I sat down and started thinking about my goals, I've been immersed in Toastmasters. A couple of years ago, I mentioned at a Toastmaster training that our club had not grown any DTMs in the 19 years of its existence. The trainer wisely suggested I be the first. So, last year I announced to my club that I was going to go for it. It seems to have spurred a couple of members to consider doing the same thing. I know I've given enough speeches to have my ACS by now, but I can't find the manuals. I'll have to do a thorough search of my garage. I have boxes and shelves of books out there that I should go through. I know the manuals are really close by. I just have to find them.

I gave my last speech June 15 to a group of sales people who wanted to see what Toastmasters was all about. I didn't remind them that we had a meeting today, so no one showed up. I also invited people from the Heart 2 Heart Toastmasters club to visit Slick Talkers.

Slick Talkers is my home club. I also belong to Beyond Basics, an advanced club for Toastmasters who have completed their Competent Communicator manual. I saw their flyer at a couple of speech contests this past year, and it said they had several DTMs, several Past District Officers, several Area Governors, and I figured it was a club I should join to help me on my journey.

Now that I am going to be an Area Governor for 2011-2012, I'll be even busier. I got a taste of what it will be like when I visited Heart 2 Heart on Tuesday during the lunch hour. I was perfectly comfortable getting to know the members, asking questions, and encouraging them. Then instead of Table Topics, the Toastmaster of the Day asked if I'd like to say a few words. I got up and stuttered and stammered, and rambled on and on, and I don't think I made a point or sense. I was so embarrassed. I mentioned it to our past Area Governor, and he said he did the same thing. Now I know what to expect. Never go without a speech prepared about the DCP, the speech contests, the conference. There's always something to talk about.

I've achieved ACB, which is Advanced Communicator Bronze. This means I've given at least 20 speeches.

I've coordinated 2 speech crafts, which will help me toward the DTM. I have 2 more speeches and 2 more modules from the Leadership/Communicator/Club (LCC) Programs to achieve ACS, Advanced Communicator Silver.

I have achieved ALB, which is Advanced Leader Bronze. This means I've completed the Competent Leader manual and given 2 modules from the LCC Programs. To earn the DTM, I have to complete a High-Performance Leadership project. I have a couple of ideas that I'd like to talk to my management about tomorrow. I'm pretty excited about them. I hope they let me do one of them. Since it will be a Toastmasters project, I'd be willing to do it on my own time.

It's amazing how much I've learned being in Toastmasters. I've made so many friends both in my club and in the Toastmasters community.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Starting Over AGAIN?

My friends didn't start Atkins -- they started the Belly Fat Cure plan. And one of them lost 7 lbs and 1 inch in her waist!

My son and I are so excited we decided to follow this plan too. It includes foods we like. We just have to count our sugars and carbs. The best part is it includes sugars and carbs. We can eat chips, hamburger buns -- it's GREAT!

Tonight we had nachos with beef & cheese. I had a bologna sandwich for lunch and cheese sticks for snacks. It seems like I'm still on Atkins, but I can have bread and chips! Now to incorporate salads and veggies. I'm going to have to get to bed earlier tonight so I can make a salad for my lunch tomorrow.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Starting over again

A couple of friends and I are to start Atkins tomorrow. I've been following the plan for a while. I don't eat carbs at home, but if they are available where I go, I partake. Like yesterday at Toastmasters training, the breakfast included mini blueberry muffins, croissants, a donut. I took my lunch, which included roast and grapes. If I had stuck to what I took, I'd have done much better.

So, today I decided to read about the plan and what I should be doing. I'll start with the induction plan which is 20 carbs a day, 12-15 including fresh vegetables. According to, that's a whole lot of vegetables. That excites me. I love vegetables. I love salads. I'll basically be eating like a cave woman. It says that if I'm more than 50 lbs overweight and have lost and gained weight several times (try 30), I'm probably resistant to weight loss (for sure!). I can follow the same plan as anyone and not lose weight. I walked at least 3 times a week last summer and didn't lose a pound. It's very frustrating. has some good recipes and meal plans that look delicious and easy to fix. I can't wait until payday. We're getting by after several bad spending decisions a couple of weeks ago which left us down to pennies. Luckily, my birthday last weekend brought 2 gift cards that bought groceries for us. We've learned a lot about being conservative and making spending decisions.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Open Letter to Joel Osteen

I've been conflicted for several years about Joel Osteen's teachings and what I learned in Catholic Church vs Episcopal Church teachings.

This letter helps put it in perspective for me. What do you think? I really want to know. I'd like to have a discussion about it. You'll have to copy and paste this into your browser. I can't figure out what they did to this so I can make it a link. Progress -- who needs it?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Atkins Recipes

Yea! I lost 3.8 lbs!

I decided to follow the Atkins plan because my body doesn't handle carbs well at all. My son and I are doing it together. It's been difficult for him to cut out the tortillas and bread. I figured out how to make tortillas with by frying 2 egg whites and using them. It really makes tacos taste so much better than tortillas do.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Taking another look at social media

I signed up with Twitter many years ago, but I haven't tweeted in almost as long. I go to Facebook only to confirm new friends and ask people to be my friend. That was until this afternoon.

Constant Contact sponsored a seminar about social media called "Get Down to Business: Cracking the code on social media for small business."

The speakers were great. They got me excited about Tweeting, keeping my Facebook and LinkedIn up to date, and following people. I decided to go for it. I searched Toastmasters and some of my friends. This should be fun.

Julie Niehoff suggested we look at to help us keep track of our social media. It's free, and it should help save time and keep us in touch with our contacts. I've already signed up and I'm ready to see what I can do with all the Social Media.

I have 2 businesses -- Independent Avon Rep and a publisher -- which I will promote through Social Media. I work at Southwest Research Institute, but I probably won't say much about them. I may retweet, but I'll keep my personal and business lives separate if possible.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Where did the time go?

I can't believe it's been almost 2 weeks since I blogged. I went on a cruise for a week and haven't been able to get back on the blogging track. I've had nothing interesting to say, and I haven't been working on my personal development plan lately.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Keeping Track Is Hard

I'm trying to keep track of my food intake to help take Weight Watchers more seriously. Tracking helps. I know because I'm fighting having a snack even though I'm over my daily point allotment already.

I had 2 egg whites with sausage this morning. Then a Fiber One bar that was 4 points! Followed by 8 crackers and a little less than 1/2 cup of seafood salad for a total of 12 points! Yikes! Then I got home and my son made 2 fajita tacos with flour tortillas and cheese for me. But that wasn't enough. I had 2 cups of cream of broccoli soup. I'm sure I'm way over my allotment. I'll have to go through my books to see what the cream of broccoli soup was worth. It was good, so I'm sure it's way more than I want it to be. I have fruit to help. It's not that I'm hungry. I'm really wanting chocolate. I have some good snacks to eat like popcorn, fruit, carrots. So I don't have to have things that are unproductive.

Today was a good day at work. I worked out a couple of problems that cropped up. I love working out puzzles. I have to take time to go over my speeches so I can give them in the next couple of weeks so I can earn my ACS.

I tried to do the Toastmasters newsletter even though I wasn't at the meeting last Friday, but no one is letting me know what happened. Very frustrating.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I'm back!

I can't believe it has been since April 11 that I posted something here. I was incredibly busy trying to get ready to take a vacation. Then, when on the ship, I didn't have access to the web without paying exhorbitant prices, so I decided to wait until today to get back in the saddle.

I think I managed to keep the weight gain down to 3 lbs on the 7-day cruise. I go to Weight Watchers tonight to find out. I hope I find my WW paperwork before tonight.

To celebrate getting back home Sunday, I ate a whole package of cashews, then a double-meat, double-cheese jalapeno burger from Sonic and a large order of tater tots and then I followed them with a package of chocolate covered almonds. Needless to say, I was miserable with a capital MISERY the rest of the night. I felt bad all night. So yesterday, I took it easy on my poor stomach. And I realized that what I did was stupid. I don't know what I was thinking. Well, obviously, I wasn't thinking at all. Just being stupid.

A friend and I went on a 7-day cruise to the Western Caribbean (Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica). We had a lot of fun, but I have to admit, I was ready to get back home. I was exhausted the whole time we were gone. The first couple of days, we kept ending up on the wrong end of the ship and walked the length several times just getting our bearings. Then our first excursion was to the Mayan ruins of Tulum on Cozumel. The trek was pretty hard; our guide walked fast, plus it was hot and the trail was rough and uneven. The ruins were worth the discomfort. They were much more extensive than I expected, and the view of the ocean was breathtaking. I survived -- barely -- and I guess I never really recovered. My sinuses started acting up in Cozumel, and I was exhausted the rest of the trip.

Our second stop was Georgetown, Grand Caymen. There we went on a very disappointing glass-bottom boat tour of the bay. There was a "ship wreck" that could just as easily have been some steel forms thrown down and left to rust. It was less than underwhelming. The boat was followed by a bus tour of the island, which was OK. We went from tourist stop to tourist stop. Another disappointment. We went to the turtle farm; I got to send a postcard from Hell; we visited a rum and tortuga rum cake store (overcrowded at first).

In Falmouth, Jamaica, we went on a bus ride to Good Hope Estate for high tea. It was really nice. Another hot day, but the view from Good Hope Estate was nice, and the tour guides were nice. We had Walter and Kevin the bus drivers, then Daniel and someone else conducted the tour of the estate. The view was nice, and the stories they told us about the estate owners were very interesting. Falmouth is a new port that Royal Caribbean is helping to build. There is lots of new construction going on, and lots of vendors with the usual Jamaican souvenirs right off the ship. There is no real infrastructure in Jamaica. The roads are poor and narrow, and the homes look abandoned. The bus driver told us that people build a home of bathroom, kitchen and bedroom. Then when they can afford more, they build on. They own what they have. The interest rates are 25%, so they don't borrow to build their homes. Unless they're rich.

The best part of the whole vacation is it is completely paid for. It didn't follow me home. I even have money left over. We budgeted ourselves pretty well. My companion and I spent about the same amount of money while on the ship. We didn't buy but about 4 drinks each, and we didn't gamble at all. We walked through the Casino twice, I think. I meant to go down and hit the quarter slots, but didn't make it.

Once I got on the ship, I didn't like the clothes I packed. I felt fat and tired the whole time. I don't know what was wrong. Maybe it was the hives and the Benedryl I was taking to combat them; maybe it was walking on the ship. Every once in a while, we'd stagger for no reason. Then we'd remember we were on a ship. We got up early Saturday morning to see the sunrise. That was nice. We ate breakfast, then went back to sleep. Plus, I didn't drink coffee until after dinner each night. That probably contributed to my lethargy.

When we returned to Galveston, I watched people arriving to go on the two-week cruise to Spain that I really wanted to take. I was so envious. That's my next cruise.

One thing I learned -- never take a cruise the week following Easter. It is a break for kids from Mexico. Our ship was full of school-age kids that were rude and loud along with their loud, screeching mothers.

Anyway, I'm ready to get back to reality. I've been going through emails here at work to make sure everything was taken care of in my absence. So far, so good. I have an awesome team who takes care of everything as it appears. Very few things waited for me to come back. Those few things make me feel needed.

My son kept the house clean and the cat fed and medicated while I was gone. He was just about out of gas when he picked us up. We cleaned out the refrigerator last night, preparing for my trip to the store tonight. I took it apart and cleaned places that had never been cleaned before. He emptied the wine and beer bottles that had accumulated. The beer was so old that when he opened the bottles, they foamed up and practically emptied themselves. Some of the wine smelled like vinegar. We're just not drinkers. I guess it would be better for me to make sure half-full bottles find a better home than mine. They just go bad at my house.

I'm back on the WW track today. I had 2 slices of double-fiber bread with 2 tsp of mayo and 2 egg whites (4 points) for breakfast. A can of black-eyed peas for lunch (7 pts)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Goals and Dreams

I'm working on Week 6 of the personal development plan. It includes goal setting and dreaming.

I'm dreaming. It's fun putting down on paper what I dream to happen soon in my future.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Onward and Upward

Yesterday was pretty full. At least for me. I started by going to an advanced Toastmasters meeting. It was a backward meeting. Everyone was so nice, and the meeting was a lot of fun. Slick Talkers did a backward meeting about 17 years ago, and we had a blast. It was a great lesson in listening and especially thinking on your feet. I'm so shy that at Beyond Basics, I really had a hard time the one time I had to talk. I was under the impression I would get to pick my topic, so I decided on the drought. When the Table Topics master called on me, he asked about spring flowers. I could have woven the drought into my answer easily, and I actually did start to, but I got so nervous and didn't do well. Then at the end, the President asked us for some comments. Neither of us (Laura or me) answered well.

Laura was there, and she was tongue tied and nervous like me. Unlike me, she got to talk to Heather about some ideas for Membership. I got into a conversation with a member I'm not too crazy about. Actually, conversation means it was mutual -- I didn't get a chance to talk. And I couldn't break it. She started by telling me she was glad I was active in Toastmasters again. She told me she wanted to start training members about things in TI other than speeches. Blah, blah, blah. She as actually a consideration for checking out this club. I figured she belonged to another advanced club, and she didn't belong to this one. I found out she belongs to 10 clubs, so the odds of running into her are pretty high. I guess I'll just have to get over myself and consider it a learning lesson. The only way I could stop her talking was to leave.

Then I went to my daughter's house and got some chop sticks that she had left over from her wedding. We visited for a few minutes and I came home, ate lunch, and slept for 2 hours. We went to Wal-Mart to get a birthday present for my granddaughter and some windshield wipers, and we headed to my ex's for dinner, combination birthday party, and family time. We had fun.

Before I went to bed, I went through the excursions for the cruise and found some I was interested in and sent the list to my buddy. Hopefully, we'll have some interest in common.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Making Changes

I decided yesterday that I am going to change my Weight Watchers meeting. I've been going to a Weight Watchers @ Work program where I work, but I seem to have lost my motivation. It may be the lecturer, it may be me. I'm going to see if someone can make me think about things differently. Maybe our lecturer is too much about herself. I like to share. I like to talk. We don't get bravo stickers. When she finally asks us if we have anything to share, she catches us by surprise, and no one speaks up. If she'd ask us regularly, we'd have something to say. At least I would.

I took a friend to lunch today to Cheddar's. I had the chicken pecan salad. It was delicious. I took half back to the office. Then about 3:00, I finished it off. My son and I went to have Chinese for dinner, and I only ate half. I tried to eat with chop sticks, but I was so clumsy and my hands started to cramp. But it did its job. I felt full before I finished, so I took the 2nd half home. My daughter has a box of chop sticks from her wedding, and I have been wanting to get some from her so I can eat with chop sticks. I think it will make eating salads easier, and I'll definitely eat more slowly.

Tonight I'll check in to the ship so that is taken care of. My cruise buddy and I want to sign up for the Murder Mystery for sure. It's a little more than 2 weeks!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Day in the Life . . .

of me. I finally got a chance to check out the YouTube video of my mentor, and it didn't work. What do you do when a YouTube video doesn't work? I was sooooo disappointed. I really wanted to see it. Another disappointment yesterday was my inability to publish a book I'm working on to Kindle. I'm not writing the book, I'm publishing it. Once I got the HTML file done and saved it, it replaced several images with black boxes. Soo disappointing.

I went to the memorial mass of a co-worker yesterday. It was so sad. He was here one day, and had a brain tumor the next. He went through 6 months of diagnosis, treatment, health issues, and he finally died. We really miss him. I noticed a bit of mail that I didn't recall seeing before and when I went through it yesterday morning, there was a note from his wife thanking me for sending cards to him. It really lifted his spirits.

I talked to my sister yesterday. This is another part of personal development that I need to address -- being there when someone is hurting or needs help. And having a life that is so stuffed that I don't have time to do things like visit someone in the hospital. Saturday after the Beyond Basics meeting, I'll go wherever the family is. My nephew had a baby with health issues, and they've been in the hospital since her birth March 21. I haven't been by at all. My sister said I couldn't visit her, but I could probably visit them while they're waiting. I don't know. I could take food to them because they spend all their time at the hospital after work. I feel helpless and like I'm letting them down.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Rest Makes Me Thoughtful

By thoughtful, I mean full of thoughts. I could have gone to sleep at 6:00 last night, but I held off until I kept falling asleep on the couch. At 9:00 I gave up and went to bed and was asleep by 9:02. I slept soundly. Since the first of the year and beyond, I've been going, going, going. I felt guilty because I hadn't talked to my dad or called my nephew about his new daughter who is still in the hospital. She was born March 21 with a hole in her heart and other complications. My dad called yesterday to make a lunch date with me for today in Kerrville, and I sent a message to my nephew to see how things were. I'll go to see them tomorrow during lunch or after work, whichever is best. They're at the Christus Santa Rosa downtown.

As I lay in bed sort of sleeping, sort of thinking (actually, thinking and snoring), my mind drifted through all parts of my life.

I realized that in my Toastmasters club, I'm the senior active member. I'm the one who's been a member the longest, and I've progressed through the communications track more than any other active member. We have a DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster), but he isn't able to attend our meetings more than twice or so a year. This means I don't have a mentor in my club. I don't have anyone to push me. Luckily, David has sort of adopted me as a protege, and he has helped me tremendously in the last 6 months. What's sad is I didn't realize until this morning that having a mentor was what was missing. Because I don't have a mentor and I've been sort of wandering around aimlessly, I feel our club has languished. We have to have someone in our club to keep things moving. I can be that catalyst, but I have to have someone helping me. I really appreciate David more than he'll ever know. At the speech contests yesterday I picked up a flyer for the Beyond Basics club. It is for advanced Toastmasters (who have achieved CC or more), and the flyer mentions some of the club's achievements: 4 Past District Governors, 9 DTMS (and counting), 9 past and current Area Governors, willing mentors, top-notch evaluations. Wow! That's just what I need. And they meet on Saturday mornings. I'll have to step out of my comfort zone and check them out. April may be a bad month for them because they meet the 1st and 4th Saturdays and we had a contest on the 1st and the 4th is the Saturday before Easter. I'll email and find out so I can get started right away.

Another thing I thought about this morning is the hole in my kitchen cabinet where a drawer should be. For some reason, the track that the drawer ran on pulled away from the wall way in the corner of the cabinet below it. I didn't realize what the problem was until it was too late. I'm thinking a wooden dowel shoved under it will keep it place. I'm meeting my dad in Kerrville, and he's going to Home Depot and Wal-Mart afterward, so I'll probably go with him to get the dowel. I'll also take the drawer to see if he can fix it for me. He's fixed another before.

My cat is getting better according to the vet. Monday night I noticed his eye was red, and by Tuesday night, it was really bad. I took him to the vet, and $353 later, we had no diagnosis, but we did have 2 ointments to put in his eyes. That's money from my fun time on the cruise! Oh well. It'll just keep me from drinking as much wine as I did before. I know where the money went the first time. It was on impulse spending on the ship and in the ports. I'll curtail that this time because I've been there before, and I know how things work.

Got to get to the yard. It looks terribly messy and needs to be trimmed.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm Rethinking Having a Cat

OMG! The visit to the vet cost $353! And she doesn't really know what's wrong with him. His blood pressure was high ($36), she took a blood test ($177), gave us 2 meds ($79). And she wants to see him again next Monday.

My boss and I had a good meeting this morning. We talked about the QR code that can be scanned by SmartPhones. We're really excited about them and their possibilities. I have lots of research to do so we can figure out how we can use the code to our advantage and to help our internal customers figure out how to help their customers.

I'm judging 4 speech contests this Saturday, 2 international speech and 2 evaluation contests. That means I'll have to be there at 8:00 in the morning. I like judging contests. It's an opportunity to network and hear some good speeches.

I got an email from the Division H Govenor nominee saying she wanted to be able to consider me for AG if I was still interested. I told her I was. So, it's true, you back off, and if it's meant to be, they'll be there.

I Got Busy

Well, my heart just sank. I had a full page of stuff, and I accidentally hit a key (a bad key), and everything went away. I had some profound stuff here! It was all about whining last night about being busy and then I actually got busy and did 2 loads of dishes (I'm NOT Susie Homemaker), 2 loads of laundry, blah blah. I wish there was an undo key with this blog. This has happened more than once.

Oh well. Suffice it to say (what does that really mean?) I worked out a couple of issues while blogging. I know that it helps to write my thoughts out so when I read them, I can actually see the error, and insight suddenly appears to help work out issues.

My plans for today include taking Sox to the vet to see what's going on with his left eye. Monday night it was sort of orange instead of white, then it started looking cloudy. Now it's really red and cloudy. I pray it's nothig too serious or expensive.

Then I'll give my library a thorough cleaning. I wish there was some place to put Sox's box. But the library seems to be the only place. That's not really the problem. The problem is that he thinks because his box is in there, it's his room. His dander is everywhere in there. I have new vacuum bags that eliminate odor and allergens. I hope it helps.

I'll probably stop by the clinic today to have my left eye checked. It's been bothering me since Sunday. I haven't had my blood pressure checked in months either; so I'll do that as well. They're just down the hall! You'd think I'd be there more often.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Bit Sidetracked

Ok, I'm seeing my pattern begin again. I get excited about something and become consumed with it. Then I get busy with something else and I can't seem to get the momentum back. It happened with weight loss, now it's happening with learning public speaking. I've been so busy, yet I can't tell you what I've been busy doing. Maybe it's because I'm a Gemini and I have a hard time with patterns or routine.

I have a grandniece in the hospital and a friend going through chemotherapy. I should be visiting them, but I'm too busy. Busy doing what? I don't work in the yard, I'm not cleaning the house. I'm not blogging, I'm not reading, I'm not getting enouch sleep. I guess I'll have to start keeping a time card of my activities to see what I'm spending my time on.

I got some disappointing news today. The Division H Governor nominee said she has more applicants for the area governor jobs than she has positions. So, I decided to wait another year or so to try again and maybe do a better job than I would if I was to be an AG this time around.

I may even have to rethink the idea of DTM for now. In the meantime, I'll continue to do the projects, achieve the levels I have to achieve and, then when the time is right, I'll be an AG or maybe there'll be a better position for me.

I am really enjoying the Connie Podesta CDs I'm listening to. She made me realize how people manipulate others using anger or sadness. I work with someone who is sad all the time. She actually has the best of both worlds. She keeps her door closed and isolates herself from us even though she's our secretary and she used to be such a help. Now no one asks her to do anything. She comes and goes as she pleases, and we're answering her phone instead of her answering ours. We're letting her get away with it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

We made it 2 miles!

My walking buddy and I walked 2 miles today. I had to take a few breaks to catch my breath because I didn't stop talking the whole time. But we made it!

I got my income tax check today, and a check for extra escrow showed up today!

I just checked an old email account and deleted 902 emails! I thought I told everyone about my new account, but old habits die hard.

Life has been so hectic that I'm behind in listening to my Steve Siebold videos and Darren LaCroix has been put aside as well. I've been reading Jim Rohn and listening to Connie Podesta and reading Stand-up Comedy: the book by Judy Carter.

I babysat my grandson Saturday night. He wasn't thrilled to see me because that meant his mom and dad were leaving. He's pretty smart.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Cruise Is On!

Not the cruise to Barcelona, but my buddy and I are going on a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise. We booked and paid for it this evening. We'll be able to do it for the same price as getting back home from Barcelona. I found out today that there's a shuttle from SA to Galveston, so we won't have to drive and worry about parking or getting from the bus station to the dock.

I'm counting down the days! I've been so busy! Today I was very productive at work. I solved a problem that has plagued me for 4 years! Then I showed two coworkers how to do a task that I just don't have time to do, and I think they're already done! We had a problem with one of our websites going down, but that was only temporary, and I updated our intranet home page to include some featured news that's happening like road construction that's affecting several roads all the buildings around me at work. I've been having fun!

I had Altar Guild this week, so I had to be there Saturday, Sunday, and this evening. Now I'm off duty until the week before Easter.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I had a brainstorm yesterday that my son should swap some furniture so he'll have a better place to store his clothing and stuff. We originally put a desk in his room, but it really didn't serve him well. We had an entertainment center in the library that had shelves deep enough for boxes that he could use as drawers. We switched the entertainment center and the desk, and now I have a place to work, study, write, think in the library. I don't have to use my messy office, bedroom, or dining room. I really like it. The desk is just the right height, unlike my dining table. I still have the office for newsletter and web publishing, and now I have this room for learning and thinking. I'm so excited!

Now I'm by most of the books I've been collecting my entire adult life. I still have more to move in here. Now I'm right where the information is instead of across the house. I can't believe it took me this long to get this right. But I finally did.

Now to the speech front. I think I have a mastermind group to help me with the High-Performance project for my DTM. They said they'd be willing to be a part of it. I have the manuals, and I'm ready.

I also have the speech manuals to get started on my next level. I read the humorously speaking manual, and I'm ready to get started on my first humorous speech. I was telling someone this morning about being a wedding coordinator at church, and that's when I decided to talk about the adventures of being a wedding coordinator. It'll be fun!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Manifesting Everywhere I Look

Today I had a chance to work on another publishing project. It is another book to publish to Kindle and maybe to Amazon as well. It's extra money that I wasn't even expecting.

I also sent out an email newsletter for my Toastmasters Club. I called it the Blue Streak and it had some news about the District Conference, new members who were inducted today, Table Topics speakers, today's meeting team, and a letter from our President.

I got another email from Steve Siebold talking about being a keynote speaker versus a trainer. Keynote speakers get about 10 times as the trainer. Hmmm. He also talked about getting published and leveraging that with media such as Good Morning America (or SA) and he said he was able to double his fees almost overnight because of the exposure.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Filling My Library

I'm still excited about speaking professionally. I've ordered the book Darren LaCroix suggested to get: Stand Up Comedy: The Book by Judy Carter.

Steve Siebold suggested we take the Bill Gove Speaking Course for $4,000. Steve suggested the DVDs are good, but no substitute for one-on-one coaching. I'll do what I can and if I don't see any changes, I might consider something more aggressive. I can't wait until I get the Toastmasters manuals and the CDs I ordered from today of Connie Podesta about public speaking. I seem to be led to speaking authorities at every turn. It's really exciting.

A friend of mine ordered the CD of the Richest Man in Babylon for me today.

Tonight is going to be an early night for me so I'll close now.

How Much Do I Charge?

I was asked how much I charge to speak yesterday? OMG! Someone actually thinks I'm worth paying! That in itself is worth all the anxiety and preparation. I need to stop putting off practicing and assume someone will want me to do it again tomorrow.

Anyway, I'm still working on the business end of speaking. I'm still learning from Darren and Steve.

I looked at the criteria for the next few steps to DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster), and I'm surprised to see that I'm about 3 speeches away from ACS (Advanced Communicator Silver) and 7 meeting-related projects away from CL (Competent Leader). Once I apply for CL, I can apply for ALB (Advanced Leader Bronze) because I already did the projects required for that. The next steps past ALB and ACS will be more involved, but I already have those balls ready to roll. I talked to our Division Governor about what I need to do to be Area Governor, and I have the manuals for the High-Performance Leader project.

It just dawned on me that I have a group of 3 ladies that I meet with weekly that I could maybe use as my master-mind group for a Emmaus-related project. I could also approach our rector about something at my church. We just had 2 scouts do Eagle scout projects either at our church or requesting help from parishoners. Maybe I can help set up a volunteer board so people who want to do something can make one call to find out what is available or so those in charge of different volunteer groups can have a resource to draw from. Anyway, it's an idea. I was wanting to do something that would profit me personally, but I'm beginning to think outside myself now. Is this a sign of growth?

The author I worked with a few weeks ago is back. He wants me to help him publish the book to Amazon as a print-on-demand book, he has a family Haggadah book he'd like to publish to Kindle and Amazon as well. I feel I need to adjust the margins to his Kilimanjaro book, so I'll look at that today, because we'll publish it to Amazon tomorrow morning.

In addition to my speeches, I should write a "paper" that I can publish to Kindle about communication skills. I could charge for that to help defray travel expenses until I can actually start charging for speaking in the corporate world.

As a matter of fact, Steve Siebold talked about that in his lesson yesterday. Do I want to be a corporate speaker or a public speaker. Public speakers don't get as much money, they have a larger audience, and they can can start there easier. Whereas the corporate speakers can make much more money, and they have smaller, more discriminating audiences. Steve says to do both. Darren LaCroix does't charge for Toastmasters-related gigs, but he does charge for other speaking engagements. Life is full of possibilities!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Making Strides

My walking buddy and I walked yesterday and today. We're starting slowly and building up. I think we walked more today than yesterday. I should probably wear my pedometer tomorrow so we can make sure we increase daily. If we walk the same route tomorrow, it'll be easy to tell. We ran into another coworker on the track, which was nice.

I ordered 5 Toastmaster speech manuals today so I'll be prepared to speak when the time comes. I thought I had some of them already, but I can't find them, so I start over. I have 19 speeches to give as well as some of the other projects. I'm going to HAVE to speak outside the club if I plan to be finished with my DTM by January 2013.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Goals Help Make Things Happen

About 6 months ago or so, I decided to earn the DTM designation in Toastmasters. There are several steps to earn this designation. It's hard work, but it is designed to help us grow as individuals as well as helping our club and the organization as a whole.

The first step besides working through the speech manuals is to earn the Competent Leader by going through the CL manual which has hundreds (it seems) of projects to complete. I've been working through this manual for a while, and I'm down to 8 more projects so I can get that certificate. Then, I'll be able to get the ALB designation, almost the next day. I've done so many of the things that can get me to even the next level, including 2 SpeechCrafts, Mentoring a new club. I have a couple of projects to complete that I'm actually excited about. Then, I'm on my way - 1-1/2 years, tops!

Now that I've decided what I want, I've set goals to achieve the goal. I was looking at the Competent Leader manual and saw a couple of projects that I need to take care of. A couple are completely in my control. One I'd already done, but I hadn't had anyone evaluate the project. Then, I saw a project for being a newsletter editor or a webmaster. I've done both, but rather than have someone evaluate something I did years ago, I decided to institute another newsletter. I sent an email to the officers asking them to contribute. A newsletter is a way to advertise to the membership and to market to future members. I'll set it up and send it through email immediately following our meetings every other week. This may also be a way to cut down on emails. Although I've been the one sending a lot of emails lately ;O).

To wrap this up, having the goal to achieve DTM (I made a DTM badge to motivate myself) has given me the inspiration I needed to find out what needs to be done next so I can get 'er done. Now I have to get on the schedule to speak as often as possible so I can get the next 10 speeches down as soon as possible.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Jim Rohn Inspiration

I was filing my emails when I ran across something I emailed to myself. I must have received this from Jim Rohn International at my work email and felt I'd like it at home.

It's beautiful and very inspiring.

When the Student Is Ready, the Teacher Will Come

Jim Rohn said "When the student is ready, the teacher will come." I feel I'm experiencing that right now. I decided a little more than a year ago that I want to be a public speaker. I want to share my experiences and inspire people. Shortly after, I started the Jim Rohn International 1-year personal development plan with a friend, and I gingerly listed public speaking as one of my goals. Since then, I've had 3 opportunities to speak to different audiences. If you follow my blog, you've read about these opportunities and the awesome new mentor I have because of these experiences. He's calling me to task and evaluating my "performances" so I can improve.

I've been reading Rohn's 7 Strategies for Wealth and Happiness, and I'm at the part where I have to list my goals. I received an email about 10 days ago about the 2001 World Champion Speaker Darren LaCroix visiting SA and wanting to teach toastmasters how to own the stage. Because Jim Rohn said to "attend everything," I didn't miss that opportunity. I feel it was life changing. I bought his smallest set, which included a book and several CDs. I've been listening to his CDs, and I've learned so much. Then, as I was still high from my success at a presentation on Friday, I was checking out the ads surrounding my blog last night when I saw something about learning how to do public speaking in 10 lessons for free. Well, far be it from me to not take advantage of that. (I just hope I didn't screw up my monetizing contract by clicking on one of the ads on my blog.) This ad was from Steve Siebold, and I signed up. I seem to be surrounded by angels who want me to succeed. It's incredible!

I ended up staying up really late listening to Steve and getting excited. Because his signup included questions about my motives for speaking, I made a list of topics I could speak about right now -- without having to do a lot of research
  • Feng Shui
  • Leadership
  • Communication skills
  • Website marketing
  • Tweaking a newsletter or website to make it a bit more aesthetically pleasing
  • Toastmasters

So, with these angels around me, LaCroix's 52 Weeks of Tips for Getting Paid to Speak; Siebold's 10 free lessons; David, my mentor; and Toastmasters, I'm on my way.

LaCroix says to have something to "sell." I'm thinking I'd offer a guide like 10 Tips to Improve Face-to-Face Communication. If I put it on my website and, as I build my speaking repertoire, add tips for the other topics I speak about to my website, I can direct people to my website for the next time I speak to either learn more about what I present to them or how to get in touch with me to speak.

I have several resources I can cite as well as experience I can share for the other topics. Anyway, I'm so excited . . .

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I Did Good!

The little "talk" I had with myself Thursday morning made such a difference. I cannot believe that once I remembered that I chose to give this talk, that I want to be a public speaker, I stopped dreading the talk I was to give yesterday.

I guess the hard part was knowing I was going to be evaluated in front of the people I was trying to teach. I was so afraid I'd not remember my speech and have to use my notes. The room was set up so I was in the middle of a horseshoe. I was actually closer to being in the center of the horseshoe instead of in front. The lectern was too tall for me to use, so I was in the center, and I used my notes. My evaluator wrote in my manual a lot about using my notes and making my talk my own. He said he could tell when I was using my own thoughts and other people's words. In other words, I have to practice more so I can stand in front and say it without acting like I don't know the material.

The good thing is we left with 2 more invitations. One for next year doing the same thing we did yesterday, and another by Denise. I haven't heard what she's looking for -- a mini-Toastmasters meeting or my talk. My talk was 30 minutes. I could add more about texting, phone, letter writing, and email to increase it to 45 minutes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm Pumped

The talk I had with myself this morning made such a difference. I can't believe how I easy it was to put my stress aside. Then today, I listened to Darren LaCroix again, and he said not to worry about using notes. He said the audience wants our knowledge and they aren't going to think any less of us if we use notes. It's a Toastmasters thing to speak without using notes.

I'm ready and excited about giving my talk tomorrow. I have lots to share, and it's more stage time!

One More Thing . . .

That's what keeps me going...reminding myself that after this one thing, the speech tomorrow at CSLA, I can get my life back.

I finally memorized the beginning and the end of my speech. The middle will be easy. I can't wait until tomorrow at 3:00. I'm not wishing my life away, I just want to get rid of this stress. I can't think of anything coming up that can keep me away from the personal development plan. I truly want to devote the time to it that is necessary. Since I signed up for it, I worked overtime for a week, then I worked on a book, then I published a newsletter, and now I'm preparing to give this speech.

OK, I just read the beginning of this post. I really need to rethink this speech and the accompanying stress. Is it such a bad thing? Why am I considering it something bad that I have to get past? It's actually a step in the direction I chose to go. I choose to speak about communication and leadership. I choose to build on my future. This is a step in a process. I have to practice. I really can't turn down opportunities to speak if I truly want to do something with this. I like to talk. I know a lot about communication and I'm learning a lot about leadership.

It's not like everyone will have a transcript of my speech and they'll be comparing what I say word for word. It's not like I don't know my topic so I can wing it if I lose my place. The places that I found the hardest, I can get the audience to engage. This is a learning process. I'll learn; my audience will learn. I have to remember that I'm the expert. Even if someone knows everything I say, I'll just reinforce what they know. How many times have I heard someone teach something that I've already heard? How did I react? Well, at first, I reacted by thinking I already knew it all. Then they say something that triggers something and before I know it, I'm learning something new.

It was the same way with The Secret. All during the first time I saw it, I was saying "that's true." I had already heard it all, but I hadn't heard it in the format like the video. I was fascinated, reminded, encouraged, and motivated. It was something I knew for at least 15 years, yet seeing it once more got me restarted. So it is with my talk tomorrow. Even if they've all heard it all before, I'm not saying anything that isn't true. I've peppered what I'm saying with personal experiences and examples, so it should be interesting and entertaining.

OK, so let's rephrase that. I can't wait until tomorrow at 2:00! I get to give my speech and have a bit more stage time!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Countdown to CSLA Presentation

I'm definitely feeling better about the speech I'll give at CSLA in Bandera, Texas, Friday afternoon. We are on the agenda for 2:00-3:30 Friday. That's the end of a 2-day retreat. I'm assuming the participants will be tired, fighting to stay awake. So I'll have to shake them up and keep them thinking and moving. I've decided to change my narrative to more of an audience participation slant with them offering the lists of things. I think it'll be the best way to do it.

It would be better for me to get them to actively engage instead of passively listen and nodding off.

Anyway, I can just about go through my speech without notes. And for that I'm grateful. When I gave it Friday, I was so nervous, I read most of it. The parts that I read were awkward to begin with, so it was hard for me to remember them. So, I reworded them, and it feels much better. Darren LaCroix says great speeches aren't written, they are rewritten. And mine is definitely rewritten. Tweaked. Much better.

I was going to block the speech and pick what part of the stage I'd say each part, but I was struggling with the content and basic delivery, so the staging is going to have to wait for next time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Clearing the Clutter

Because of the One-Year Personal Development Plan, I started collecting books to read. The books started collecting on the dining table, and before I knew it, I was feeling very claustrophobic. I finally took the time yesterday to clear the clutter and put the books in the library. I also put books that had collected elsewhere away, and I almost filled a bookshelf. I think the next book I get will be Evelyn Wood's Speed Reading course. I feel I have to pronounce every syllable of every word when I'm reading, which really slows me down.

Another good thing that happened when I was putting things away was I found my Professional Speaker Toastmasters Manual. I thanked God out loud. I'd been looking for it since last Thursday, tearing my office and the rest of the house apart looking for it. It was on the table all along. I'm going to give my speech this week using the Keynote Speaker criteria. It's funny, the modifications I made to my speech, incorporated the criteria. I want to let the participants know that they are at the beginning of a great journey. Learning how to be a leader will change their lives.

I also got some really good feedback from my club when I gave the speech Friday. If I incorporate those points and the must haves and must avoids from Darren LaCroix, I'll have a winner for sure.

Now I just have to make time to practice. I can a couple of times today, and tonight, and tomorrow, and Wednesday. Maybe I can do it for Laura tomorrow.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Good Things Are Happening

Today I've been very productive for a Saturday. I got up about 7:30, cleaned the kitchen, loaded and started the dishwasher, washed my clothes and the various towels that have gathered in the laundry room, sorted through the 2010 receipt box, and took a 2-hour nap.

Now it's time to get ready to listen to the 2001 International World Champion speaker talk about "owning the stage." If I want to be a public speaker, I'll have to learn things like that. And I can practice this week when I speak at the CSLA retreat.

When I get home this evening I'll run through my speech a couple of times then I'll get back to the assignments for the One-Year Personal Development program. Tomorrow after church, I'll do the same thing.

Next week is my daughter's 29th birthday, so I assume I'll take her and her family out for dinner one evening. Then I'll get back to the personal development program. It's a looooong week of assignments. I may have to put the rest of it off a week or two so I can do this part justice. I think this week had 76 pages in it when most of the others had 11 or so.

Friday, March 4, 2011

It's Not Life Back to Normal

Life is so much better than it was before. My son has a car and a job at the same time for the first time ever!! He can actually pay me back some of the money he borrowed for the first time ever!!

We are both so happy!!!

He and our neighbor have been working on the Explorer all week. They fixed the door and checked and refilled any fluids that it needed. Now they're doing more extensive maintenance. Everyone says it's a good vehicle and we got it for a steal! God was watching out for us. I kept telling my son that something good was waiting for him, and I was right!

Now to me. Having my car back has been so freeing. I'm so grateful that everything is working out for my son finally. He's been under a cloud since he was 16. He turns 27 in 3 weeks, and his future seems bright.

The only thing I have that stresses me out is a speech I'm giving next week. I took the opportunity to give it today at our Toastmasters meeting. I found how rusty and unprepared I am. The evaluator made some great suggestions to polish my powerpoint and my speech. The audience of 5 liked the speech. Someone who'd heard the speech before said he learned something new this time. I'm surprised because he was nodding off most of the time. But that's OK. It helps me prepare for something similar that may happen next week. We'll either be around the lunch hour. I may make my audience participant segment of my speech flexible. If I see more than 2 people of the 25 nodding off, I'll make them stand up for an exercise that my audience today enjoyed.

My walking buddy called to let me know that she went to the passport expediting office today so she'll have a passport in 2-3 weeks. It looks like we'll be shopping for a cruise for the end of April. That means I have to start saving money!

I'm so excited!!!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Hip Hip Hooray! My Son Got a Car Today!

It's a 98 Ford Explorer, and we're both excited! I get my Jaguar all to myself for the first time in 17 months! I haven't had it to run errands in the evening since Jan 3. Believe me, I am so ready to get back to a normal life. The first place we went after the car lot was to Jiffy Lube, and I'm glad we did. It needed to be inspected, which we didn't notice. It needed a new air filter and coolant. The radiator was clogged with old rust that was the consistency of peanut butter. It needed a tail light and a rear windshield wiper. That cost $200, but the guy there said it probably would not have made it home with the radiator in that shape.

One more thing needs to be fixed. The last guys who test drove the car broke the handle on the driver's side, so my son has to climb over the console to drive. But, he does it! Our neighbor will help him fix that this weekend.

I'm so glad I took the day off today to get a car for him. We were determined that today was going to be the day! Thank you God!

Once a Wish, Now a Reality

It's small, I know, but something I put down on my New Year's resolution want list was a Kindle. I actually got a NextBook 3 about 2-1/2 weeks ago at a great price. So, listing it actually helped me get it.

Having your goals written will help achieve them. It's better than carrying them in your head. Putting it on paper helps sort things out. I'm finishing up Week 4 of my Personal Development plan, and starting Week 5, Goal Setting, this week. That's when the magic starts.

Between my Feng Shui Treasure Map and setting goals, I think big things will happen. Case in point. Until I actually wrote this goal down, I hadn't done anything, really, to achieve it. I've been saying I want to be in the Avon President's Club, but I haven't actually done anything to earn that. I heard about a book, Network Marketing for Dummies, by Zig Ziglar and John Hayes, and I ordered it from I got it Saturdeay and have already started reading it. I think it will help me get started. It won't do it for me, but it will guide me. Many of the people in the Jim Rohn organization made their money through the MLM industry, selling products and building downlines, becoming expert at Network Marketing. I believe that is how we can continue to improve our bottom line during the economic rollercoaster we're riding now. Next week I'll have been an Avon Representative for 2 years. It's been fun, and I'm ready to move up. Up until now, I've been happy building my customer base. Now it's time to build my organization. I treat this business like I'm working for Avon, when I'm actually working for myself. I ought to treat it that way. When I first joined, I did the basic training modules, then I "got busy" and haven't gone back.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm in Charge of My Life

Once I realized yesterday that I was actually in charge of my life and my Mom isn't here to watch me and tell me what to do, I felt so empowered!

Here I am, 58 years old, and I'm just now getting it. Now that I've got it, I'm working hard to keep it.

It's funny that the 1-year personal development program I'm doing with Jim Rohn, Chris Widener, and Kyle Wilson is either spurring my thoughts, or my thoughts are in sync with what's happening. Either way, the Holy Spirit is definitely guiding me.

Let me explain. Yesterday I had this epiphany about my being in control, no one else. Then last night and this morning, I was studying the materials from the Plan and there were questions that made me think a little harder about that exact thing. They say that I won't recognize myself after a year. Well, I don't think that would be a bad thing.

The realization has actually made a big change in me. I would venture to say to my psyche. I have a sign in Word that reminds me that I'm in Charge of my life. My choices are mine to make. And I put it in front of me on one of my screens first thing each morning, and it occasionally pops up to the top so I can see it. It's a great affirmation.

I lost 1 lb at Weight Watchers yesterday. I really didn't deserve it. But I feel that I will deserve it next week because I'm making many little changes that will add up to a big difference. Zig Ziglar was talking about that today. Minute changes every day add up to big changes over time.

I'm so excited about the changes that are happening. The next week the Plan will include goal setting. First I'll have go to through a series of questions asking what I want then what I plan to do to get there. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Busy and Lovin' It!

When I last blogged, I was at the tail end of a very busy couple of weeks preparing a proposal at work.

I followed that 40 hours of OT in one week with another week of 20 extra hours editing a book. I thoroughly enjoyed that project. The book was interesting, the author was easy to work with, and he really appreciated what I did. In addition to using the new MS Word skills I learned working on the proposal, I learned how to do a booklet because he wanted the book to be 5.5 x 8.5 format. Then we published it with Amazon for Kindle. AND I got paid too!

Even though I've been crazy busy, I spend at least 15 minutes each night reading something. I'm in the middle of Seven Strategies for Wealth and Happiness by Jim Rohn. I'm to the point where I have to write what I want. When I get to this point in any book, where I have to think and put down my thoughts, I balk! I find myself not wanting to make the effort to think. Maybe I'm doing this at the wrong time of the day. Maybe I'm lazy. Maybe I don't thik I'm worth the effort.

This morning I had a talk with myself. I reminded myself that I am in charge of what I eat, what I think, and what I do. No more letting the stupid little voice tell me what to do. I know what is right, and I'm going to do what is right. Discipline! That's what I'm lacking. I've always had a problem with discipline. Even the singles website Plenty of Fish nailed me. When I read that I lack discipline, I was put off at first. Then I realized they were right! Jim Rohn talks about discipline. You have to have the discipline to make a difference, to make a change, to improve yourself.

I've been treading water for a year, waiting for whatever it is I've been waiting for to inspire me to lose weight, to save money, to work out regularly. This morning I realized I'm waiting on MYSELF!

I don't have too much planned for this weekend, so the first thing I'm going to do is straighten out my office. It won't take more than a couple of hours. I have stuff in the middle of the room that needs to be sorted between trash and recyclables. This means I have to make a system for each so I won't have to go through this. I did it in my bedroom. I now have a recycle bin and a trash bin so I don't have to sort when it's time to take them out. It makes life so much easier. I still don't LIKE taking them out, but it is easier.

My son is looking for a car. I realized last weekend that his bedroom is in the Feng Shui travel sector of the house, and his room is a mess. My office is in the prosperity sector, and it's a mess. Is it any wonder we're having problems in those 2 areas? We can't seem to find a car for him, and I can't seem to keep my emergency fund in the bank. Plus, a friend and I have talked about going on a cruise for 9 months, and we haven't gone yet.

Anyway, I have dreams, big dreams. Now I have to do the homework and WRITE THEM DOWN!!! so I can develop the discipline to make them come true.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Good Things are Coming My Way!

I got paid today, and the first thing I did was figure 80% so I'd know what I have to spend on bills and necessities for the next 2 weeks. Since my house payment comes out of this check, it doesn't leave much. But, I'll do what I can.

This has been a crazy week. I've been working on a proposal team, and I worked 12.5 hours Monday, 17 hours yesterday, and 12.5 today. I'm pretty pooped. As soon as this is over, I'll begin formatting and editing the book.

I really need to have the book ready by Sunday. It's about 80 pages I think. The author wants to give it as a thank you for donations to a cause he's raising funds for to send books to Africa. He has the books, but it will cost $22,000 to ship them. He's giving a lecture Monday, and he wants to have it available by then. I think I'll send the PDF to him and suggest he email it to people as they donate to his Books for Africa cause.

Gosh, I'm excited about all the possibilities.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Seasons of Life

I'm almost finished with The Seasons of Life by Jim Rohn. It is so motivating. The chapter on Spring makes me want to go out and work on my lawn, which is pretty pathetic for several reasons. Now I just have to get busy and learn how to make it beautiful again. I know it will take some time, effort, and money. All of which have been in short supply in the past few years. I'm hoping the time and resources will be available this year.

We're in the throes of a proposal at work. I'm working on the largest part of the proposal. It's about 186 pages, the rest of the proposal is about 100 pages.

Once I finish the proposal, I have a book to edit and format. Then it'll be time to edit and format the Friends of the Library newsletter, SAPLings.

Then I'll have to get everything ready to do my income taxes. It used to be easy until I started selling Avon, now I have to figure inventory and cost of goods sold and all that stuff. This year it won't be very difficult because I don't have as much inventory as last year. And I've been through it before.

Anyway, back to The Seasons of Life.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Team Players

Yesterday was an interesting day at work. It was Saturday, and 11 of us were at the office working on a proposal. I got there first and put on a pot of coffee. By the time I was ready for my second cup, the place was buzzing with people ready to work. Of the 11, 5 of us were actually from my building, and the others came prepared with food; coffee, tea and supplies; pens and highlighters; and plates and cups. They also brought their laptops and they were ready to get started.

It was fun working with a different group of people. I've known them many years because of other proposals we've collaborated on. My department is doing the document preparation and printing. The others are supplying the information, editing, food, and moral support.

The 12 hours I worked flew by. Everyone got along so well. We really got a lot done, mainly because no one wanted to work on Super Bowl Sunday.

I managed to bring the document I was working on (162 pages) home to look over. I'll give it a quick glance because 2 others are looking at it more critically. I saw several typographic errors when I was formatting it, so I know it needs a onceover.

Today I plan to finish The 12 Pillars and start Seasons of Life by Jim Rohn. Plus I'll give the proposal document a look and Week 2 of the 1-Year Personal Development plan.

So, I best get started ;O)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Thinking About How I Think!

I find when it's time to write my thoughts or to answer questions, I always have a reason for not doing it right away. I think I'll do it later. And later never comes. I'm obviously missing something. Maybe it's the key to why I'm not progressing. Or maybe I need to be more prepared, to take my time and not be in such a hurry. When I was in school, I found the homework that was designed to teach critical thinking skills was my least favorite homework. It's funny. I avoid thinking about things other people want me to think about, but I really enjoy figuring out problems and thinking about things that interest me.

I need to realize how important these things are that people like Jim Rohn, Darren Hardy, Bob Proctor, Jeffry Gitomer, etc. want me to think about and become part of me. If I didn't have the spirit of a rebel, I'd learn these things faster and make quicker progress. Yet, Rohn says we should debate the things we learn. We should look at it from all sides. And, I do that. Anyway, I've been called an anomaly, and I guess that's what I am. Or maybe I'm just hard headed. I'm not stubborn. I just need to figure it out for myself.

Wow, here I am, 58 years old, and I'm still learning about myself. Now that I'm finding insight into my soul, maybe I can make some important changes.

I know it's been a problem that I don't write notes in the margins or highlight important things in the books I read. Most of my Bibles are still pristine. I ventured to put sticky notes in one, and I think I actually wrote in the margins a couple of times in another. Until a couple of years ago, I considered it sacreligious to write in a Bible.

I realized this was a problem, so I bought a couple of zippered book covers to hold the books I'm currently reading. Along with the books, there is ruled notebook paper that I made and punched holes in, a pen, a highlighter, and sticky notes. It has a handle, so it's easier to carry, and everything is together and convenient. This was all designed to make it easier to take notes and later keep in a small 3-ring binder. It is nice to have this "kit" with me. It's been a week since I made this kit. Do you think I've kept notes or highlighted anything. Well a little. I'm a hard nut to crack, but I'm crackable (I hope).