Archive for November, 2013

Daily Prompt: Reading Material

November 24, 2013

Daily Prompt: Reading Material

How do you pick what blogs or books to read? What’s the one thing that will get you to pick up a book or click on a link every single time?

 

Easy … it’s all in the Title.

A great title sounds easy, right? Well, not so much. If you really think about it, a title has such a huge responsibility. It has to intrigue, capture and retain a perspective reader in about three seconds.

A title will make me pick up a book or click on a blog, then read the inside or back cover to see if the description is just as intriguing, and then decide whether it goes home with me or not.

Yep, it’s all in the title.

 

Daily Prompt: On the Road

November 24, 2013

Daily Prompt: On the Road

If you could pause real life and spend some time living with a family anywhere in the world, where would you go?

 

Italy!! Doesn’t everyone want to live in the hills of Italy with a huge Italian family?!

Seriously … the food, the atmosphere, the beauty, the wine, the spirit of both the people and the place.

I want to know if the food is amazing every single day. Are the people as passionate and open as they seem. Does Italy ever have a bad day? Is everyone so beautiful?

It just seems like every day would be a good day in Italy.

Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect?

November 24, 2013

Daily Prompt: Practice Makes Perfect?

Tell us about a talent you’d love to have… but don’t

 

I would love to be able to play the violin.

It would be so cool. I love music but I’ve never pursued learning any instrument.

I think it’s because I wasn’t given a choice when I was younger. My mother forced us into piano. I was horrible at it because I would rather be doing other things. So, I wrote off all music after that.

Now, I wish I had simply been open to thinking about it. I love concerts, I love playing loud music and I love feeling music go through me. I see the violin as an instrument I could move with and be versatile with. It woul djust be cool.

Daily Prompt: No Fair

November 24, 2013

Daily Prompt: No Fair

Tell us about something you think is terribly unfair — and explain how you would rectify it.

 

I never think it is fair when hypocrisy or ‘do as I say, not as I do’ is involved.

One example is: women now being allowed in Combat roles.

Fine, some women fought for it, some politicians voted for it … and they won the right to fight in Infantry Units.

However, it is completely their choice. Meaning, they do not have to register for the draft like every 18 year-old male U.S. citizen does.

This really pissed me off after my son received a letter, less than two months after he turned 18 stating if he did not send his registration he would receive no state or federal financial aid for school. At the top of the letter, in bright RED font, it also stated that “although women can now choose to full combat roles in the military, they do not register.”

If you fight for “equal” rights – you must accept all of the rules, guidelines and standards. Period.

The way to rectify it is to have all of our female 18 year old register for the draft. PERIOD.

One gender should not have a choice while the other does not.

 

Daily Prompt: Are You Being Served

November 24, 2013

Daily Prompt: Are you being served?

What’s the most dreadful (or wonderful) experience you’ve ever had as a customer?

 

I could probably mention a few pretty unbelievable bad service rep experiences, but one experience really takes the cake.

A few years ago, I had to take my car to the actual SAAB dealership for a problem only a dealership could fix.

The first visit I made, the service rep I checked my car in with was giving another customer a very hard way to go. He was not quite yelling at him, but he was speaking very loudly and harshly. Later, after my ordeal with the same rep, I realized that was his ‘m.o.’.

Anyway, during that first visit, after that other customer left, the rep came and talked to me about the issues I was having with my car. He was extremely friendly. Then he began talking to me about buying a newer model – which I told him repeatedly I would not be buying another SAAB – I just needed this one issue fixed so I could get rid of it.  That was the first hint of his attitude changing.

As time went on, he would come out and tell me all of these other issues I needed to fix on the car. I repeatedly said ‘no, thanks’. He continued to get more short-tempered. What he didn’t realize is I am an amateur car connoisseur and have been working on cars since high school. Finally, he told me I would have to come back when the part came in.  So, I left.

In the mean time, I found another mechanic and took it for a second opinion. In the course of that visit, I realized the mechanic at the dealership had removed two sensors that cost over $250 a piece. So I went back to the dealership to get them back.

Well, the same rep was there and he went off on me. He spoke to me in the same exact manner he was speaking to the customer before me the first time I went there.

For the first time in my life, and after 20 years of buying, selling and working on cars, I felt I was being treated like an idiot because of my gender. Moreover, for the first time in my life, for anything, ever – I called on my older brother to go with me to deal with a man. I didn’t want him to say or do anything, I just knew I needed his presence.

And it worked.

That asshole didn’t treat me anywhere near the same disrespect he had given me before I had six feet one inches of brooding muscle standing next to me. Instead, it was all, “yes, mam. thank, you so much, come back soon.”

What an asshole.

Later, I found out form other high-end car owners that that man had a reputation around Louisville for his aggressive behavior.

I wrote the CEO of the SAAB Division of Chevrolet and the guy was fired.

Yep, that experience takes the cake.

Daily Prompt: EXHALE

November 24, 2013

Daily Prompt: Exhale

Tell us about a time when everything seemed to be going wrong — and then, suddenly, you knew it would be alright. 

 

Unfortunately, I seem to have a cycle of times that everything doesn’t just seem to go wrong – it does go wrong and then all of  a sudden it’s ok.

Sometimes I think it all turns around when my attitude changes. I either ‘let go’, become resigned to all of it, or become extra resourceful. Other times, divine intervention takes over.

Whenever I think about this topic, one specific situation comes to mind. This is a true story:

Twelve years ago, I was going through a rough financial period. I was four years into being a single mother and nothing I attempted career-wise would work. It all came to a head in January of 2002. I was out of money. I was out of options.

Well, I had been reading this book about true faith and about changing my attitude and outlook. Something in that book resonated with me. So, I decided that no matter what my material circumstances appeared to be in any given moment, I was going to believe +GOD+ was in charge and everything would turn out okay.

Earlier on this one particular day, I had added up all the bills I needed to pay before the second week of January was over. After that, things would begin to be cancelled, I’d be late on all of my obligations and my son and I would be hungry. I needed $984.36 I remember looking at that number and simply making myself believe, no matter what happened, it would all be okay.

The holidays were over and the next day my son went back to school from holiday break. SO, I decided to go ahead and put up all of the decorations.

The trash area in our condo complex was on the other side of the property, so I loaded up the car and drove all of it over the throw it away. When I was finished throwing away the obvious trash, I decided to clean out my car while I was there.

Well, I found a stack of mail under the front passenger seat, I suppose my son pushed it backed under the seat with his feet. By the postmarks, it had been there since the middle of December. So, I went through it, right there next to the dumpster.

In with all the junk mail and a few Christmas cards was an envelope from my insurance company Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Honestly, I didn’t want to open it thinking it was another bill I had overlooked.

Instead, it was a very welcome surprise. It was a check made out to me. It was when Anthem split, or had a settlement or something I can’t even remember what it was … all I knew was I was looking at a check made out to me in the amount of $984.37   …. one penny more than what I needed to get through that month.

That is the Gospel Truth.

I have shared that story and the book with all of my friends.

Now some may say, it would have been better if I had received much more than the exact amount I needed, however, I disagree. The whole point is – +GOD+ gives us what we need at any given moment, therefore we need not worry.

Furthermore, I sold my condo that same month, when I had been trying to sell it for over a year.

Obviously, it’s a decade later and I am still working out attitude and thought patterns that were instilled in me from a very young age – however, I always have that experience to help me get through the next down cycle – and to help me exhale.

 

 

 

Daily Prompt: Love to Love You

November 24, 2013

Daily Prompt: Love to Love You

What do you love most about yourself? What do you love most about your favorite person? Are the two connected?

 

Well …. self-love doesn’t come easily to me. However, if I must think about one of my traits that is in any way impressive, it would be my resilience. I’m like one of those egg shaped toys we used to play with – a weeble. The ones you can’t knock down, because they pop right back up. That’s me. I don’t even know how (and sometimes I don’t quite know why) but I do.

My favorite person in my dear friend, Tara. Choosing only one of her traits as one of my favorite proves to be difficult.  However, the one that pops into my mind is her ‘grace’. She is so kind and non-judgmental, to me that equals grace.

Is my resilience and her grace connected? Hmmmm …. I guess in a way. I mean, if you think of grace in the Christian precept they are. It takes +GOD’S+ grace to get back up over and over again; because through +HIM+ all things are possible and without that belief or hope, why get back up? And only with +HIS+ grace could one choose to overlook human fault over and over.

We do joke that I am the tough one and she is the sweet one – so, maybe it’s the same thing simply showing up in different traits.

 

 

Daily Prompt: The Golden Hour

November 24, 2013

You want me to show you ‘DAWN’ … you got it …

DSC_0200

To me this image embodies happiness: dancing in celebration of the dawn of a new day … GOD’s majesty and HIS grace all rolled into one magnificent ball of Samantha Rose.

It just makes me smile.

 

(this image is copyrighted by me, the photographer!)

Daily Prompt: Intense!

November 24, 2013

Daily Prompt: Intense!

Describe the last time you were surprised by the intensity of a feeling you had about something, or were surprised at how strongly you reacted to something you thought wouldn’t be a big deal.

 

Well, this is an easy one.

I am not a materialistic person. That does not mean I do not like quality items, I just do not put emotional value into them. Nor do I believe what kind or how much one owns defines who he/she is.

I believe I am this way because my mother is the opposite. In my opinion, at times, she has put more value on her things than she has the well-being of her own family. She has had this horrible habit since I can remember of referring to who gets what “in the will”. Luckily, my brothers and I couldn’t care less about material items.

Well, a few years ago, she said something about the fact she had already given my younger brother china from my father’s family. Before I knew it, I went off like a volcano. All of a sudden I told my mother what I had felt about her for the last 25 years … we didn’t talk for two years after the fact.

But you know, it wasn’t at all about the ‘thing’ she had given away. No, it went much deeper than that. It’s like when she a-matter-of-factly said she had given it to him, it touched a nerve I didn’t know was exposed … and it was raw.

She had never given my older brother or I any family heirloom and we had been married years earlier. Even when my father gave me one of his family’s bookcases years earlier, not only because I needed it, but also because it had been in the basement since 1987 – my mother took it back from me saying ‘they’ couldn’t start giving away family items. And, mostly, because I had been saying since I was 15 years old that I wanted the china from my dad’s side of the family … instead – out of 5 or 6 sets of china to choose to give my youngest brother, she gave him that one thing I had asked for since childhood. It isn’t even the ‘finest’ or prettiest – I just wanted something of my dad’s.

Talk about intense … I went nuts. But it felt really good. It all came from a place of truth and she had no good answers for her life-long hurt of my older brother and me.

It wasn’t about a thing, instead it was about her life-long wrong habit of treating one of her three children with unabashed favoritism.

I had never felt such heat in my body. It was crazy to feel it hit so fast and with such force. It wasn’t rage, it was more like it had been simmering to a boil for years.

Yes, intense it was.

Daily Prompt: Wicked Witch

November 24, 2013

Daily Prompt: Wicked Witch

Write about evil: how you understand it (or don’t), what you think it means, or a way it’s manifested, either in the world at large or in your life.

 

Unfortunately, I understand evil because I have experienced it. I feel like I have danced with the devil. Moreover, that experience led me to study it. I have read several books trying to understand it.

I believe the devil exists. What intrigues me is how people choose to do his work for him. So many devious behaviors are blamed on ‘mental’ problems or a traumatic childhood. I don’t think it can be boxed up so easily.

When I have experienced what I consider evil behavior, I witnessed people that found joy in manipulating innocent people’s lives. Which leads me to another point: evil is not only ‘big’ like a Hitler. Evil exists in every day, simple lives.

My experience with it involved a man I dated. Very charming, a three-time elected official, handsome – seemingly everything one looks for. It wasn’t until he became violent a year and a half into the relationship and we broke up that I found out everything he had ever told me about his life was a lie.

I found out he had been under state and federal investigations for years – he just always slipped right through ever having anything stick. The job history he told me he had was all fabricated. Even documents he produced over that year and a half were all fabricated by him. Moreover, it wasn’t until I looked back on it that I realized him bringing much of his lies was all his scheme of ‘laying tracks’ i.e. everything he did was for a purpose that eventually led into something else he wanted me to believe.

After studying this behavior (mostly because it devastated me that I didn’t get any kind of bad feeling about him and had wasted so much of my life on him) I learned these types of people live their life as a game. The goal is to control manipulate as many others as they can.

Yes, many of these theories related the behavior to childhood traumas, abuse, etc. However, I believe it is also indicative of people that have absolutely no belief in GOD  or HIS consequences.

Why else would smart, talented, obviously charming people, choose to lie and manipulate other people’s lives? Essentially, what they’re doing is literally stealing time out of people’s lives.

The bottom line is, whatever kind of evil we see happening in the larger circle life also happens in every day, simple life.