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Personally, I can't produce well- nothing deep, risky, or innovative- for people who "rule" that way. And if I do it's because I've found another job and don't mind getting fired. Aggghh! Got my blood boiling! HA!

2 years, 5 months ago on The Studio: Ep2: Growth, Building Relationships & Dealing with the A-hole Syndrome


I feel your pain as if it was mine. My children are trying to console me, but I just keep crying. I can't imagine the strength it took to share this with everyone.  I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.

2 years, 7 months ago on Life…and Death…Rest in Peace My Son


Yes, Lori, but it has never been this profound or lasted as long.

I am very okay with it though, because the answer I always get is "patience", don't push.

Funny, I know who I am and what I'm doing here, but right now I'm to do nothing but the essentials and the things that pop up to be attended to. It was hard to deal with at first because my whole life has been full of momentum moving forward. I still feel like I'm moving forward but I'm not doing anything like writing or researching to move it forward. 

I talk to my mom whenever I start wondering and like your friend, she listens.

Great fun!!

2 years, 7 months ago on Are You Lost?


I think that there is a "good life" to tap into for each of us, and it's possible to feel what that is and to focus on it (or a part of it) and  let ideas flow to you to achieve the best...

I regularly look at what I want and focus on it and get it OR the feeling that patience is needed.

The only thing I wanted yesterday was a house. And I found one. Waiting to hear today. It has all the space we need, it's in the right school system (small and familiar) , is in our old neighborhood AND is within walking distance of water! LOL! Everything I wanted! I can't control the decision on the other end, but it sure feels good to be "in the flow"!!!

2 years, 7 months ago on Are You in the Twilight Zone?


So true. The "universe" provides little things to lift and nourish just when we need it. I'm reminded to make memories with the people I love that will sustain me later in life...or tomorrow, whichever comes first.

2 years, 7 months ago on The Gift Of Gratitude


@TheJackB Yes, I am. Before I drove a car that's how I got around. Distance didn't matter. If I needed to get somewhere I knew that I could. I think it's practical to have a bike in case of emergencies when you can't get gas, or when your car dies. Might take longer, but you get in shape at the same time.

2 years, 7 months ago on Ask Your Father- It Is Just Like Riding A Bicycle


(had to come back and paste in my comment because I wasn't sure it stayed. Sorry if it's a duplicate)

Made me cry. Really. Wiping tears. Sniffing. Trying to figure out what the tears are for. And then I remembered that there are three little girls sleeping on the floor just feet from me and will wonder what's wrong if I wake them, I'm getting a grip and moving on!

2 years, 7 months ago on The In Between Place


Made me cry. Really. Wiping tears. Sniffing. Trying to figure out what the tears are for. And then I remembered that there are three little girls sleeping on the floor just feet from me and will wonder what's wrong if I wake them, I'm getting a grip and moving on!

2 years, 7 months ago on The In Between Place


I suck at seeing black holes. You know how moths are attracted to a flame that kills them? I'm the master of denial that playing with darkness harms me. Did I say that right? I can see and feel someone's negativity and steer clear, but I let those same people criticize and try to destroy my light. It's so subtle.I absolutely suck at truly believing that there's nobody who can be a better me than me, and by being me I will feel joy. 

2 years, 7 months ago on Come to the Dark Side: permission to own where you suck


HA! My little James just learned to ride a two-wheeler, and I missed it! I'm with you about freedom. My kids still make me nervouse when they take off to parts unknown! I have to get a bike so that I can keep up!

Couldn't resist sharing! Just found on Pinterest...

2 years, 7 months ago on Ask Your Father- It Is Just Like Riding A Bicycle


On a college admission essay I said that I wanted to be a marine biologist, even though I was in love with ballet. LOL! But I was also drawn to art and languages. I fell into family history. It's my "warm spot in the room." It's what I do without trying. You know? I mean, I work at it, but I don't try to love it. I just do. The older I get the more my dreams and my life reflect who I am at my core....and I expect to be led to a deeper, richer version every day!


newest post :

2 years, 7 months ago on Are You Living the Life You Expected to Live?


Funny. I was having fun and am back to being serious right when traffic slows; however, that happened last summer and I didn't notice 'cause I guess I didn't know enough to care. ?? 

Bucket lists? They help me to understand a person better and to see where their head is at. I figured that people started making them when diagnosed with imminent death (aren't we all?) and came to grips with what touches their soul deeply enough to add to the to-do list. 

Every day has its bucket list...or at least it should.

Smile, love, laugh, learn. serve....(with / for / at /about) the person God just placed in your path...before you get hit by that bus!

2 years, 8 months ago on The Summer Of Blogging


I think that people gravitate to the places that they grew up with whether it be the mountains, the city, the water, or a favorite vacation destination. I can rejuvenate anywhere, but, like you, water is special. It's #1 on my list when looking for a house if we are relocating. I have to be able to walk to it or at least have it very close so it's not a hardship to get to it.

The ocean makes me feel safe and protected like a warm blanket, yet free because of the endless horizon.

Swimming lets my moods dissipate without hurting me, like running, etc.

The smells of seaweed, low tide sulfur, and creosote from boat engines are so comforting because they mean, "I remember this place."

Going to the beach later today!! All are welcome!

2 years, 8 months ago on Are You Drawn to the Water?


Hate when that happens! LOL! Patterns can be very annoying, even though they give you hope. 

"Take a deep breath and relax"??? Sometimes...

I look at it like I do a brick wall and always look for a way around it...after I go for a swim!

2 years, 8 months ago on It Is A Contradiction


Try having 9 kids where you inflate and deflate and have people not only touching your belly, but talking to it! HAHA! NOT FUN! 

The cure for our bodies is no mirrors and three months of intense survival like on Survivor where you have to eat what you catch or forage!

2 years, 8 months ago on Touch Me There & I Might Break Your Arm


No comments turns a post into a monologue.Yuck. Don't like talking to myself. I can't grow out of my bubble unless I'm challenged with new thoughts.

I watched my 10 1/2-yr-old on the kiddee rides at the county fair last night. It was bittersweet to see how beautiful she is and to witness her being turned away from some of the rides because she was too tall. Her childhood has almost ended. So strange.

2 years, 8 months ago on What Is The Value Of Comment Sense?


On Sunday I woke up with lingering darkness that I didn't cause, but I wasn't strong enough to resist. It is unusual for me to get caught in its web and to be sucked in so completely that I actually feel depressed. But that's where I was Sunday morning until I found myself talking to a woman who immediately and unknowingly, just by being near me and having a benign conversation about nothing, lifted my mood. I was so surprised. I realized, because of our conversation, that she had her own struggles. Yet, she was the one who made a difference to me that morning. I went home rejuvenated. I had no new thoughts from the conversation that bouyed me up or kind words to reflect upon. I'm used to those things helping. This experience is exactly what you're talking about and it has been a long time since I've had the pleasure of experiencing such a simple and unexpected shift which proves the point that we influence for good and bad with our light!!

Thanks, Bern!

2 years, 8 months ago on Contagious light


I agree. I give something everything I've got until I hit an impenetrable wall. I'll sit back and wait for inspiration and direction, but I know it'll come in its own time. So i get out of my way and shift my focus on something else.

That happened this weekend. Happens all the time. I just wrote about it (first post in a long time!):


Interesting that after I posted it your post came through my email, and that the subject is so apropos!

2 years, 8 months ago on Why I’m Quitting – More Often


Happy Birthday to the Dark-Haired Beauty!


A few years back my Kyle caught me crying, so overwhelmed with frustration. He put a Cheerios necklace we'd made earlier in the day over my head and said it was for courage. Touched me so deeply. But I felt the same way you describe. Those struggles are mine. Not theirs. I love the innocence of childhood and find a lot of strength watching them.


Childhood really does pass so quickly. But the memories are priceless.

2 years, 8 months ago on The Birthday Girl


I'm going to go out on a "Betsy" limb here and assume we're not really talking about coffee. 

I don't drink it. LOL!

As I was reading I was jumping between thoughts of efficiency, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe (sp?), creativity, getting what you pay for, and ...well my mind is spinning! HA! 

I thought and thought and thought, and for me it comes down to money and vision (if that's the way to put it).

Stay "small" and in control, raising rates because you can only serve so many clients (of course the product would have to be exceptional. Right?), or train mini-you's because your vision is bigger.

Some of us crave self-expression and will pay for it or anything that sells it to us.

But if we can only afford the cookie-cutter things in life, we find ways to make it our own somehow, too.

So much to say, so little time!!

Have a great weekend, Ralph!



2 years, 8 months ago on How can Big vs Boutique and the Art of Service affect your choice in coffee?


 @TheJackB  @CrossBetsy Depends on who knows the secret. To me, if you've told someone something in confidence, you absolutely know deep down that there's a possibility it'll get out. If you want no one to know, keep it locked up tight!! Even then, God and you both know. :)

2 years, 8 months ago on The Secret Sits


So, you HAVE a secret? Or not? 

I don't know if I have many secrets. Maybe 2. That's it. But at least one other person knows them. They don't count as secrets then I guess.

" we’ll find out if what I sense is real and discover if I am going to end up where I always suspected I would be."

I figure sooner is better than later. Helps you get on with life while you're young...

2 years, 8 months ago on The Secret Sits


You know, Bryan, as many times as things like that happen, I STILL feel impatience and sometimes even a lot of doubt when in the middle of the transition.

Normal, I know! 

But you know what I find interesting? There's always a thought that accompanies a "down" time, typically very random and seemingly unrelated, like your thought to move, that when followed turns out to be a perfect and deliberate stepping stone!

Thank you for this. I'm in one of those space right now and it excruciating! LOL! But because of this post, and thinking it through, I know what my little "action" will be!

2 years, 8 months ago on The Key to Creating Fortunate Coincidences


When I work with people on their family history I ALWAYS start them off with pencil and forms to fill in even though most of their searching is done online.

I make them keep paper files where they have forms to update even though there are duplicate ones on a few of their sites. It's essential to their slowing down and retaining the information that they're gathering.

When they are forced to write something out they notice details that they would have otherwise missed. I insist that they take notes on the front of their files. It's amazing how much more engaged they become with the people they are researching when they put pencil to paper.

They resist at first because it seems so archaic to them. But it works, so they know if they're working with me that's what we're doing!

2 years, 8 months ago on Analog vs Digital and the Art of Sketching Words


I have no idea why, but I cried through just about the whole interview! She's so sweet. Thank to ponder...

2 years, 8 months ago on Amanda Oaks, Heart & Soul – Kindness is a Choice


It really doesn't matter where they come from-friends, that is- but that we are friends and have friends who like who we are and what we do, and are cognizant enough of the value of showing up to enjoy, support and share each other. Right?

Some of my best friends offline never read my stuff. Some of my best friends online don't either. But it's strange to me that online friends, the ones you meet here, don't read or enjoy what I do. That's originally what our relationship was about. I don't get it even though I sort of do!

2 years, 8 months ago on The Kind Of Friend You Want To Be


We STILL aren't up to date with the "Jones'"!! And I have no desire for more unless it's to make life easier!

My dad refuses to learn how to use a cellphone that we got for him so that we could all him in the nursing home. But that makes us visit more often! So, it's okay.

My mom asks me all the time to help her on the computer, too. She's perfectly capable of learning, just unwilling. And that's fine with me, too. Gives us more to do together.

Even though there is a considerable difference in our worlds when talking about music and technology, the one thing that really worries me (even though they must be up to it or they wouldn't have been born at this time in history) is the violent and abusive world they live in while on the bus and at school. It's so bad. I never knew! It makes me wonder about how well I'm doing not just enjoying them, but strengthening them to live in that world however I can.


2 years, 8 months ago on Different Worlds


I'm pretty sure I'd go bonkers if I was on a desert island...sort of like blogging or using social media with NO interaction. I'd start talking to the trees I think!

The second worst position to be in would be to find yourself surrounded by people that you can't relate to, or at the very least, serve. 

This probably means that I'm not on the path to enlightenment and that my ego dominates! HA! Who knows? 

All I know is how I feel. I want to touch hearts and minds and have mine touched, too. That's it.

2 years, 8 months ago on Using Content To Build Connections


 @rdopping  @bdorman264 Thanks, Ralph! I'll definitely take you up on that as the summer moves on and I get a bit more settled! I know you'd be able to help me a lot.

Thanks again for the great post!

2 years, 8 months ago on Would you like to be left alone with your ideas?


I believe there is a war within in each of us (and is sometimes fought with circumstances outside of us) that challenges us to decide every moment who and what we want to be. Just because I know I'm capable of achieving whatever I set my mind to, it doesn't mean I can tolerate the sacrifices required. And, although I feel the pain of looking a dream in the face and saying "I could have", I feel more and more content the older I get, that life has a way of weeding out the unimportant and making simple thinks rich enough to fill me up.

For me, it's becoming not so much "I can't", but "I won't". 

My children log away how I spend my time. They know what's important to me. And I encourage them to do what they love. We don't talk much. They just know that I'll sacrifice for them, for the important things, like basketball and fishing...things they love.

Getting too long! The whole subject is very moving!

Thanks, Jack!

2 years, 8 months ago on The Excuses We Make


Hey Ralph!

Even though I work as a volunteer as a director at a Family History Center, and all of our consultants are volunteers too, I still manage them and direct them according to my vision and goals. 

My recent eye-opening challenge is related to what you are talking about. I have had to take a step back and ask why some problems haven't been addressed-needs actually that have turned into problems.

And the solutions do come in the form of collaboration, if that's the right word! There's no way I could or should fill all of the shoes that are required to meet the needs of all of the walk-ins, call-ins, and regulars at the center. We need all kinds of people with different skill sets to make the center run better and attract more people.The community has to be scoured for more volunteers that are willing to donate time and talent to the cause. 

I can see it, the solution(s), and am excited to get to work, but then I run into the problems that come with the volunteer world! It's a fun sell getting people to give for free the skills that put food on their family's table! But the point really is that when we work together we get more done and the quality of the service is enhanced for our clients. My job, after sharing and training for completion of the vision, is to keep everyone in the corral, and not let them get too far off track when they're serving at the center!!

Great thoughts, Ralph. Thanks!

2 years, 8 months ago on Would you like to be left alone with your ideas?


If we're talking about music, I can't help but choreograph and create a story in my mind for everything I listen to!

When I write I start with a simple thought and let it play itself out. I just follow along and am always surprised when the end tidily ties itself to something at the beginning. It fun, magical, and very rewarding. 

I have had a blast getting to know my ancestors and letting them tell their stories in a way that relates to my life in the present.

Music, dancing, writing, stories, all forms of art touch and activate a part of our brains that make us feel alive. I often wonder about all of the writers, musicians, artists, and dancers who'll never know how they've influenced and added to the richness of my life...

2 years, 8 months ago on What Music Do You Dance To?


When I first started blogging it was a dream. I'd much rather speak, but was thrilled to delve in to the writing world to see if I could express myself clearly.

Then I started writing for family history.I'll continue with it , but I also want to accomplish things with those people who want and need help.

There's an  interesting challenge when you work with people online. It is very difficult to hold people accountable if you can't measure their progress or if they're reluctant to communicate (a lot of people will read, but are they reading for entertainment, relationship, information???) .

So, even though I could keep blogging to grow and to have fun, I'm more interested in really connecting with those people who need me.

It's so easy to do IRL. I love the challenge that the online world provides and the opportunities for growth I can see, too.

Have a great weekend, Jack!

2 years, 8 months ago on Writing Is Simple and So Is Guest Posting


Tropical island, palm tree, blue water! I change it every few my furniture! It has to make me happy! 

Did you get my message yesterday about the hangout? II was all set to come when Kelley said her laptop wasn't working! :(. Hope you had fun!! Maybe I can make the next one???/

2 years, 8 months ago on What’s Your Desktop Wallpaper?


"Confrontations" like that sometimes shape our destiny!

My 1st grade teacher told me my drawing of trees were lolliopops, not trees. I became an artist probably in part to prove her wrong!

Then I was asked to write a narrative for a slideshow at a conference and the person in charge edited what I wrote and I remember being so mad! If you want me to do a job then let me do it. I'm not THAT ornery that I can't be directed, but don't mess with what comes from my heart unless I ask for your input! 

I have to admit, I'm a lot more open to editing these days because I've realized that I have a lot to learn. 

I don' know where the balance is between creativity and editing (by someone else). I just figure if they chose you to do a job, they must like what you do, and should learn trust you, too!

2 years, 8 months ago on The Proper Length Of a Blog Post


Gratitude opens your eyes to everything that's already there. It helps you to see how much you have attracted to sustain you already. That's magical when you see it that way. It transforms the way you think about yourself and your life. To realize that right now is enough, and that you have the materials at your disposal to do whatever you want is vital....

2 years, 8 months ago on Gratitude is Not Enough: Here’s Why


 @Jason Fonceca What you said....I was trying to put it into words. But you did it for me!

2 years, 8 months ago on Is It Intuition Or Desire?


I LOVE to sell. But I'm a slow and steady, relationship-building salesman. The other night, while working with a woman on family history for the 4th night in 2 weeks I up-sold her by comparing 2 products, one being better suited to her needs. She already had one version of a product, we'd created a relationship where she trusted me. I told her what she needed and she agreed. So fun! The thing is I didn't care if she bought or not. But I do care about HER. Were friends now. And she knows that. 

Same as everything else. People can tell when you really care...especially when they DON'T buy something from you, or read your posts, or do anything for you and you show up anyways. Right?

2 years, 8 months ago on What's your approach to engagement when you have to sell?


My favorite time traveling was when our flight got cancelled from home (Mass.) back to "home" (Idaho) and we were put up in a hotel room and were given free reign of room service! The people at the check-in counter were so tired of people getting mad at them!  I shouted for joy when they told us we had to spend the night! I really didn't want to go!

I like looking for people to help in airports. It's fun.

2 years, 8 months ago on The Joy Of Air Travel


You are definitely a long distance runner! There comes a point in time when, after hitting and breaking through the wall, you just run, and run, and run. When you get to that point, the roots of the trees that trip you up, or the pouring rain that weighs you down, are just distractions, not failures-they actually serve to make you stronger!

That's how it seems you're living your "Newsletter Life". Good for you. You've hit the "flow" of life. That's when it's all fun!

2 years, 9 months ago on Click Here For Free & Useful Information


 @Lori conversation

2 years, 9 months ago on What Kind of Souvenirs Do You Buy?


 @Lori I'd take pictures of people I'd meet and talk to. That's fun. The person on the plane, the tour guide, the waiter, anybody with whom I had an interesting converstaion.

2 years, 9 months ago on What Kind of Souvenirs Do You Buy?


Meant to say "my mom"!! Ha!

2 years, 9 months ago on What Kind of Souvenirs Do You Buy?


I haven't been on a trip in forever! But if I went I'd be on the lookout for anything with frogs for my mo, socks for a friend of mine, or anything else that would add to someone's collection of stuff. It's fun to find out if someone's interested in something.

I'd collect pictures of new people and a notebook of memories. That's it!

2 years, 9 months ago on What Kind of Souvenirs Do You Buy?


Moving. Thanks for the video. In the end, which every day really is, it truly does boil down to our relationships and how well we choose to nurture them, online AND off.

I think about how it appears to stop visiting blogs that I went to whenever the author posted. But I don't let that thought overwhelm me because I have things I have to do and that I want to do and I can't be everywhere. So, instead of reading everything that interests me, I've chosen a few and am sticking with those. That's the best I can do. Most of the time I stop going because there's no reciprocity, no real relationship building.

Those are my thoughts for the day. Have a good one, Jack!

2 years, 9 months ago on Everything You Never Needed To Know About Blogging


The biggest challenge to me in social media is communication. And that's a GOOD thing!! At least there are real people with real thoughts and feelings to communicate with!!


There's an element of social media that will always make it a harder platform to manage than Real Life....the absence of voices and faces that add depth of understanding to words. But that barrier lets me develop patience with real people and hope for patience to be extended to me.


It's quite a platform to be experimenting with and learning from. I can't imagine a life without it. Well, I can, but I can't go backwards and try to live that life anymore! I'm different because of the people I've met. And I like that!


2 years, 9 months ago on 69 Reasons Why Social Media Platforms Don't Matter


We ate as a family with both parents until we moved when I was 5 and my dad started to travel. Then my mom made nightly meals until we moved again and my sister started high school. By then my parents were divorced. My mom was working full-time and we learned to cook for ourselves. We all missed the ritual of sitting down together. 

The world goes so fast these days. Schedules leave little time for the rituals that bind us. 

Thanks for the reminder!

2 years, 9 months ago on The Overdue Family Meal Post


The East coast??? That's cool! 

"Live, love, and laugh." O.K.....will do..:)


2 years, 9 months ago on Lessons For Being Human


I love planes! I also used to love airplane food...back in the day! My favorite part was deplaning and walking down the stairs onto the hot tarmac and humid air of the tropics. I don't like how tunnels connect the pane to the airport now. 

That's all I have to say about traveling. Enjoy the trip. Have a grand adventure!

2 years, 9 months ago on On The Road Again


This is really interesting, Ralph! Can you teach respect? The mechanics of it, sure. But when you interact with people you bring who you are, your perceptions, feelings, world view, everything to the table.

If I feel offended, you can ask me why. You can help me figure out what to do about it. But really it's up to me to look inside and see what's going on with me that would make me feel that way. 

If I find out I've offended YOU, I would LOVE to find out how or why because then I will understand you better. 

Relationships and dialogues are complicated.

When I've been very clear about something and someone still crosses a line, then I can say I've been disrespected. But even then, it's not something to get bothered about. I just let them know that they crossed a line, and figure they're either still learning (about our relationship) or are masters of destruction on purpose, in which case I leave them to be who they are, watching my step around them. 

2 years, 9 months ago on What does RESPECT have to do with it, anyway?