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Monday, October 31, 2011

Empty Nest Party-Pooper or Betty Rubble? You Decide!

Back again!  I am here to share with you my Halloween dilemma and to ask for your advise.

For an empty nest parent living in a neighborhood that only has a few children of trick-or-treat age, Halloween has become somewhat of a non-event.  It's hard to get too excited when the door bell rings three times in the whole evening. A few years ago, we only had one lonely child..........

The door bell rang and I opened the door and looked down at this 4 foot child.  His parents were standing proudly on the street watching their son.  His head was drooped and he was sort of flapping his arms up and down.  He was covered in a head-to-toe old brown sheet.  He flapped his arms a little harder for about 30 seconds then he lifted his head and gave me this desperate look.  I said, "Well now, what are we?"  "I'm a moth"................. he flaps his arms quietly, without a smile on his adorable face.  I gave him the whole bowl of candy.

"Spider infestation" at a row house ...Image via Wikipedia Just two neighborhoods away,  Halloween is hugely celebrated, second only to Christmas.  People decorate their homes, starting sometime in August.  They make haunted homes in their garages.    They have spooky music playing outside.  The adults drink adult-like witches brew and the kids are filled with little kids, teenagers, a truckloads of illegal immigrants.  Seriously, truckloads!  And the Moms and Dads and kids dress up for candy.  Perhaps a few loaves of bread should be given out.  Each house needs more than 10 pounds of candy to handle the volume of trick-or-treaters.  But no one cares about that, they are all having a blast! This also happens to be the neighborhood where my husband's brother and his family live..................

Betty and Barney Rubble figurines after the Th...Image via Wikipedia
They have invited us to partake in this very festive night. Their family is taking on "The Flintstones" theme for the house and the costumes.  Here's my problem:


My husband is sort of the Halloween Scrooge.  He doesn't want to go.  If we must go, he doesn't want to dress up and he wants to stay for just a few moments.  I could go either way.  Part of me wants to put together Barney and Betty costumes and dress Wrigley like Deno, the dinosaur.  (I've been told that Betty was the hot one!)   But, the other part of me agrees with Bill....it's a Monday night, we don't need to spend the time or money in getting costumes together, the traffic getting over there will be mad....the list of negatives is a mile long.

So, what should I do?  I have about 3 hours to figure this out.  Are we getting to be old party-poopers?  Or are we just mature people?  You be the deciders......................................HELP!
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Guilted Into Writing This Post

It's a busy, blogging day to complete my commitment to the Ultimate Blog Challenge of writing 31 posts in October.  I would start celebrating, but tomorrow, I am right back at it for NaBloPoMo in November!  But I do believe that "practice makes perfect", or in the very least....makes better, so I will continue to write and write.......

Commitment can be a very hard concept for me.  Take dieting.....I want to lose this extra five pounds that have settled in my mid-section.  I am committed to losing in theory.  But, I don't necessarily want to go to the gym today and this Klondike ice cream bar makes for a delicious breakfast treat!  (Except it melts too quickly!)  I AM committed to at least trying to commit to my commitments...

Once I say that I am going to do something if I drop the ball, I start to feel very guilty.  I have this internal fight with my self.....that goes a little like this:

Good Beth: Remember, you have 2 posts to catch up to your UBC commitment.

Bad Beth: I will, don't worry.....I just want to finish reading the paper first.

Good Beth: Two hours have past. Isn't now the perfect time to sit down and write?

Bad Beth: But, it's pretty outside.....I am going to enjoy this perfect weather and trim some branches.

(And this is when Good Beth kicks in and starts layering me with guilt)

Good Beth: Okay, but you'll probably lose your audience.  And you'll be letting down the sponsors.  And once you start to fall behind, it's so much harder to catch up.  You probably more important than this silly little commitment.  And besides you don't really have an "audience", do you?

(OUCH!)

Bad Beth: All right, I will sit down and write my stupid post, BUT it's NOT going to be good!

(Boo-YA......I told her!)


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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Take Someone Else's Advice on Dating

Day 29 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge asks us to find an article and post it on our site....with a note from us on the bottom:

Tips for Finding Love in Your Middle Ages
By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Lori_Abela]Lori Abela

Whether you are single after 40 or dating in your middle ages, most of us at this stage of our lives think that finding a soulmate is the most essential thing. You begin to ask questions like how can I find love? Or how do I find love? And sometimes you even doubt that you will ever find love again. Here are some useful tips for finding love in your middle ages:

Look for someone you can understand. If you want someone who is older than you or about the same age as you, they would most likely be someone who has never been married or who has been previously married. In the process of finding a soulmate, you should be able to accept that this person is already set in their ways. The soulmate secret is in learning how to understand your partner. You have to be able to understand that each of you have different traits that need to complement each other rather than go against each other.

Know what you want. There are many people in this age category who go from one relationship to another not knowing what it is they want and what it is they are willing to be part of. If the person you are dating has been married and have children, you need to figure out if you are willing to be a parent. You also need to understand that his or her ex will always be present as long as the kids are being raised. Finding a soulmate when you are single after 40 or dating in your middle ages means having to accept that sometimes the one you love comes with a package deal. Are you willing to entertain someone with children if you your self have children? Know that it's another different story when families are merged.

On the other hand, if both of you have no children and are at this age, you have to find out where each of you stand on whether to have kids or not. If you do, would it be through surrogacy, artificial insemination, or adoption? Even though this might be too early in the relationship, you have to at least be mentally prepared to answer such questions. Both of you are not getting any younger and shouldn't waste much time dwelling on petty stuff. This is the reality of middle age dating and the soulmate secret is knowing what you want so that things are clearer and out in the open.

Be open and comfortable with the criticism of others. When you've reached this age and you are asking yourself the questions how can I find love? Or how do I find love? The last thing you should worry about is the criticism of others. So what if you are dating someone younger or older? As long as you think that this person is your one true love and he or she keeps you happy, criticisms should just go in and out of your head. Before getting on with someone who is younger or older, ask yourself if you are ready for some criticism because definitely, there will be one or two who will not be happy to see this union.

Dating in your middle ages can also be quite tough and different since the dating practices and trends have already developed through the years. What you know about finding a soulmate then might not be of use today. You know that bars won't be a good place to start with in terms of looking for real love so you have to be open to whatever opportunities that may come your way. At times you may even need to adapt to current trends such as online dating.

Be prepared. When you are dating in your middle ages and you have custody of your children, you need to have a reliable babysitter or family member to take care of your kid(s) whenever you are on a date. Once you find your match, figure out when you would be able to introduce him or her to your children. Set proper and realistic expectations with the children since they might expect you to get back together with your ex. Remember to choose your timing wisely and choose the right person before doing this exercise. You are now on the lookout for someone who would also be capable of being a parent to your children. Dating in your middle ages and finding a soulmate entails that you look out not just for yourself but also for your kids as well.

Dating in your middle ages can be quite daunting and scary for some but this stage can also bring much excitement to your life. By this time, you would have mustered enough confidence in attracting the love of others. Stop asking yourself questions like how can I find love? Or how do I find love? And start believing that finding a soulmate can be as adventurous as it was when you were twenty years younger.

Try these dating tips for finding love in your middle ages. You can get more information on finding a soulmate by visiting [http://www.manifestingmydestiny.com/]http://www.manifestingmydestiny.com Be sure to take advantage of the 6 Day Free E-mail Mini-Course and submit your name to be advised of the release of the mini e-book "Help! How Can I Find True Love?"

Lori Abela is an expert on finding true love for expats. She has finally found the love of her life in her 40s. She shares her secrets to finding true love with the readers of http://www.manifestingmydestiny.com Lori is available for coaching, speaking engagements and consultancy.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Tips-for-Finding-Love-in-Your-Middle-Ages&id=6508509] Tips for Finding Love in Your Middle Ages


NOTE TO MY READERS: Or rather, a warning to my readers: I am not nor have never been an
"expert on finding true love".  Never take my advise on love or dating issues.  But, I would have a ball writing a post about dating.  And I just might.  But I am fearful some lonely person might actually try and USE my advice and then be sorely disappointed in the results. I do have some scruples. 


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Friday, October 28, 2011

A Texan Start to Life

It's Friday afternoon and I have the St. Louis Cardinals to thank for ruining my plans of sitting outside at our favorite wine bar and restaurant, sipping on wine and quietly enjoying the company of my husband.  In the 11th inning, a stinger of a home run placed my romantic evening on hold. Let's just say I'll have to "Freese" my plans for another night! Instead, my butt will be plopped on the couch watching Game 7 of the World Series.  I will be routing for the Texas Rangers but not just because the Cardinals rather rudely interrupted my evening's soiree.  It is because my humble start in life began deep in the heart of Texas.....flat out in the middle of this vast state.......in beautiful Killeen, Texas.

My parents were just newly married when they moved to Killeen, Texas so my Dad could "do his time" in the US Army.  I came into this world as a "BIG SURPRISE" to this young couple because...........well, that's just how I roll..................

As the story goes, my Father tried to ship enough Virginia soil to the Army hospital so that my birth certificate would hail from his hometown, but I was destined to be a Texan.  I learned patience at an early age, too, as I was born at 12:51 pm when the whole medical staff was off for lunch, somewhere in town.  I probably wanted to make a bigger statement by arriving at exactly NOON, but the staff told my Mom to "hold it up a bit" until the doctors and nurses returned from their lunch.  I don't think she has ever forgiven me for this predicament I put her in! 

We lived in Army-provided housing with our Beagle named Gertrude.  I do not believe my Father's Mom ever really appreciated the gesture of having the family dog named in her honor.  In fact, I am not sure there was anything honorable in the gesture, but he sounded like he was a wonderful pet.  There are pictures of her sitting next to me smiling and always being my protector from the other family pet....the scorpion!  Apparently very large scorpions were located all over the military base and a nuisance to all young babies and scared Mommies.

Our family lived in Killeen for about 18 months.  I love seeing the pictures of my Mom in her Peter Pan-collared shirts and Bermuda shorts and my Dad looking thin and trim as he served his country deep in the heart of Texas. It sounded like a peaceful beginning to my wonderful life.  Elvis Presley did come and perform on the Army barracks one evening in 1957, which after my birth was probably the most notable of events that year.



My absolute favorite story involved our miserable washing machine.  Mom described the machine as a sort of monster that when running, caused loud, abrupt noises that often woke me up.  (This probably explains my inherent dislike for doing laundry).  Towards the end of its cleaning cycle, the monster would bounce across the floor edging its way into thew living room.  Gertrude would bark loudly warning me of this dangerous machine approaching. 

My family moved back to Virginia and my tiny Texan cowboy boots were placed on the shelf.  It's a small part of my personal history but no less important than other parts.  I have always had a little place in my heart for all things Texan.  Tonight is no exception.....GO RANGERS!
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

As The World Turns: Doggy Style

You are in luck, because I speak dog and I am fluent in golden retriever, I will be able to interpret this Wordless Wednesday story for you today..........................I am also participating in the daily posting for the Ultimate Blog Challenge:

 The storyline is an all-time classic, two best friends living life to the fullest.....with not a care in the world.  In this story, the two boys names are Wrigley and Tucker.





 Just two months apart, they play ball and take daily walks together........................

And yet, their interests differ greatly.  One lives for a tennis ball, the other.....it's all about food!



"Say, Tucker.....did your Mum bring out the Charlie Bears tonight?"

""Who the heck cares, I've got my tennis ball".

"Stop smiling like a Cheshire cat", Wrigley groans as his stomach growls.



"Whatever, dude".  Tucker steps away slightly annoyed that his best friend cannot understand his love for the sport of running after tennis balls and wearing grass on your tongue.

"Sometimes, I just don't understand old Wriggs"...Tucker mumbles as he begs his Mum to stop gabbing and throw the ball.



 All of sudden a new face appears at the evening affair.  Enter Rosebud.........

She's different...............she's a bitch!  And she likes chasing the ball.  She immediately takes to Tucker and his speed and agility has her all in a fit.

"Why, Tucker is just dreamy!" At first, Tucker finds her to be fun and rather cute.  He enjoys her affections. Her "body bumps" were fun....at first.



 But, Tucker is a serious guy and nothing could ever really get between his tennis ball playing in the evenings.  By three years old, he was rather set in his ways.

Rosie was younger and just simply would not give up.  At first, she just nibbled at his ears.  But when he ignored her she was left with no choice than to bite hard and hang on tight.

Then, one night, Tucker was AT HIS WITS END!

"Rosie girl", Tucker started out saying, "Don't take this wrong, but I am just not that into you.  I have my priorities and they are always yellow and round-shaped, of which you are neither!"

Rosebud's world was shattered.  Her heart pounded so hard she could hardly think.  Her world seemed dark and lonely as she scanned the golf course, looking for answers to her life's struggles.


                                                                                                                                                                        
Out of the corner of her eye, she notices Tucker's best friend.  He's bigger and reminds her of a rugby player.  "Why, he's dreamy!  Why didn't I notice Wrigley before?"  
She sounders over and gives him a sniff.  Wrigley is oblivious. He has watched Rosie drive Tucker crazy and is leery to her advances.  Still, she seems nice....not like his best buddy, who often smells like freshly cut grass.
 
     He ignores her in his childish ways.

"I know he sees me, why does he simply stare into space.....like some simpleton?!", Rosie says more frustrated than usual.  But Wrigley is determined his simple plan will work.  "Just keep acting like she's not standing right by you and maybe she will go away", Wrigley thinks to himself.


Finally, she gives up.

"I will never capture the attention of Wrigley unless I bathe in bacon!"

Stayed tuned for more 'As The World Turns: Doggy Style' when Rosie asks:

"Is Rocco too old for me?"

"Is this neighborhood too boring for me?"
 
and, "What's a girl like me to do????"



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Monday, October 24, 2011

A Sidewalk Chalk Story

It's 4:20 am and like any respectable empty nest parent, I am WIDE awake and looking for things to do.  Yes, unfortunately I have fallen back into the 3-5 am wake up pattern my body seems to love so much.  So, tonight, I have stumbled into one of my children empty rooms to organize............there's always a corner or closet that needs help.  Laura's room is no exception. 

The corner behind her guest day bed is a treasure trove worth of items to organize........I discover a new purse she's never, ever going to use.......I will take it to Goodwill.  There are Christmas balls left over from when she decorated her room from last Christmas...............I will move them into the garage with all the other holiday decorations.  And then I see an odd looking white plastic bag.  It holds  a collection of sidewalk chalk.  The bag is tattered from all the years she would drag the bag out to the driveway to create her masterpieces.  Her sidewalk chalk was probably her favorite playtime activity from ages 4-8.  She's now 21, so who knows why this bag is sitting lodged in the corner of her room now.  I open it up and discover there are at least 12 different pieces in a variety of colors and lengths.  I can see that blue was her favorite because they are the most worn.  She loved the ocean even back then and many a night I would come home from work only to find waves and a beach welcoming me.




I was fortunate enough to have a fantastic nanny who was artistically talented.  Being artistically challenged (remind me to tell you about this weekend's craft project and the kitchen chairs.....), I really appreciated Darcy covering me in the arts projects!  The sidewalk chalk was used to create whole villages or beach scenes and once I arrived home to find the whole Phoenix Suns team laying on my driveway. But my most favorite sidewalk chalk story came on a weekend some 16 years ago......................

I was dating Bill #2....(now husband) and he was extremely helpful around my house.  I lived in a wonderful neighborhood called Arcadia and I had a charming house.  And when I say charming, I mean falling apart.  The windows needed to be replaced.  The carpet was getting dingy and the cedar roof was leaking and would soon need replacing....(hence, the move to North Scottsdale).  It was a beautiful Fall day, and we were all busy doing projects outside around the house.  The boys were playing next door as was often the case when work outdoors was being done.  But Laura was tagging along "helping" us with the weekend chores.  I had decided to tackle the gigantic oleander bush along the side of the house and along the street.  I suggested that during this task it would be best if Laura followed Bill around for awhile.  Bill decided that he needed to do some work on the roof along the edges.  It was a one story home but the roof was filled with branches and debris from the large trees on the property.  Laura followed him along the grass and talked to him as he worked....sidewalk chalk in hand. 

Now, as the story goes, somehow Bill managed to fall off the roof and knocked the wind out of himself.  He landed about 3 feet from where Laura was playing.  She ran over to him and said, "Hey, Bill, what are you doing"......no answer......"are you okay?"........no answer..........."are you dead?".......Bill attempt to muster an answer, but he is in pain and cannot seem to speak........."because if you are dead, I will write your name on the wall with my sidewalk chalk!"  She proceeds to get up and start writing 'BILL' on the brick siding of the house.  Bill looks up and with a grin on his face, says, "I'm not dead Laura, come help me up!"

If you are a parent of young children, I highly recommend you go get some sidewalk chalk.  Sure your driveway will be a mess 90% of the time, but it is so worth it!  And I am ready to go back to bed now, but I decide I should take this chalk down to our great nephew's house so he can make a mess of his Mom's or Grandmom's driveway.  I also think I will save the largest blue piece of chalk to keep in Laura's room.............

(I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge this month)

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Friday, October 21, 2011

A Look Ten Years From Now

Day 21 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge asks us where might we be 5, 10 years from now....and what would our lives and our blog look like............................

There's a very important saying, "Be careful what you ask for....you just might get it".  Everyday, I hope and pray for better economic times.  I work everyday with that goal in mind.  But perhaps I should be careful......as we look into my Emtnester future............................

October 21, 2021

"Kisses, kisses my darlings!  I cannot believe it's been almost 10 years since I posted here on my little blog.  I've missed you so, but darlings, my life has been a whirlwind!  I only have a few moments to spare, so let me share the highlights......

Bill's work took off in a hurry.  And once I finally convinced him to shed his Levis, khakis and button downs, he went a teensy bit crazy with the couture clothes.  Why, his Chinese tailor moved in with us in 2013!  Some habits were harder to correct....he still wears the same Washington & Lee sweatshirt every evening, but now he owns 45 of them.  

We decided to move into a mega-mansion once we paid off our house that was underwater and it really is quite divine.  Only, we don't know any of our new neighbors and there is no place for Wrigley to run free in the mornings and at night.  We bought him a treadmill which he doesn't seem to enjoy very much.

Bill has taken to playing this ridiculous game of hid-and-seek after dinner.  The house is so enormous I can never find him.  Lately, I think he's not even trying to find me. 

Now that I have very little time constraints and all the money in the world, I can finally go visit my Mom in Florida, any time I want.  Only now, she doesn't recognize who I am! 

I have had just the perfect amount of plastic work done and I look much younger than I did back in my blogging days.  Nothing moves.  Anywhere. Seriously.  Except for the tragic little experiment with my lips.  Why, I went from Angelina Jolie and her lush lip look to a no-lip Mitt Romney look in one month's time.  Quite painful, really darlings!
My children are spread around the globe and I've filled their flats and apartments to the brim with furniture and possessions and now there's little room for me to visit.  They are all happy as can be, which is comforting in itself, I guess you could say.

You may be asking why did I stop writing my Emtnester blog?  Well, sometimes the pain and strain of all this success has made me to sad to think about....much less write about.  It's all terribly exhausting to ponder now, so I really must scoot.  Ciao!"

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Will Today's Blog Post Be Funny or Sad?

It's Day 20 in the Ultimate Blog Challenge and I'd like to say "thank you" to all the new blogs/writers I have been introduced to through this group. You have enriched my last 20 days with your inspired posts!

Today's Topic:

1)What topics or posts have worked to get your readers talking? 
2)Write about the 3 or 4 blog posts that you have received the most comments on.  Were those comments positive or negative?  Were the posts controversial?  Is there a theme of some sort?  Will you be writing more on that subject?



My website is a personal site presented from my point of view as an empty nest parent (yep, that's me sitting in a gigantic nest at the Phoenix Zoo!).  I started it the day after my youngest daughter went to college and the house was officially empty of children.  I wanted to explore my feelings not just about this new status but also write about all the ideas that fill this head of mind, with the hopes that I might possibly be able to sleep through the night once my thoughts were spilled out on the site!  It's been an emotional roller coaster and the words that have followed have also had their ups and downs.....................

In the end, there are two distinctly different types of posts that have gotten my readers talking and sharing: 


  • The heart-wrenching posts about missing my children and trying to fill their void brings my audience of other empty nest people to my rescue.  Or they are experiencing the same feelings and are looking for camaraderie and/or advice.  I have no control when these lonely days will occur and they cannot be forced into my foreground, therefore, the posts come out naturally and in rhythm with my heart.  I almost feel obligated to write on these days but its also quite therapeutic for me.  (I recommend writing either in a blog or diary to many of my readers).  But, I am also glad that after three years of being an empty nester,  I don't have these emotional days as often as I once did, because they are exhausting.  I wish you could see me.....I am typing and crying and usually want to nap afterwards. Or have a big glass of wine!
  • The second category are when I am feeling a little whacky.  A little wicked.  A little sarcastic. The topics are all over the place....maybe my husband doesn't read my blog, maybe I am heavy and my pants have split in the middle of a meeting or maybe I am laughing about our political system.  The common denominator is they all are humorous and many other people in my "shoes" can relate or have had the same thing happen to them.  Laughing at ourselves and common occurrences bonds the writer/reader and we laugh together...through the internet. Everyone needs a good laugh.  I cannot always write these types of posts; the ideas seem to come out of thin air or......they don't.  It's best not to try to be funny when you're not thinking funny.  (Of course, I cannot seem to find one single example of me trying...unsuccessfully....to be funny. That's funny, isn't it!)   
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  • Finally, sometimes I just feel like writing on a serious matter or about politics.  This is dangerous territory because, really, no one reads posts that have opposing views with an open mind.  So, I am just writing for myself.  Which, in itself, is not a bad exercise in itself.  Just don't expect to learn anything from the process.  Negative comments can be hurtful, too. They just aren't my cup of tea.  (Warning, never write a guest post for the Cubs on a Cardinal's fan page......you will learn 4000 new ways to say go f**k yourself!)
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  •  Today's writing exercise was interesting....it was fun to think about my blog and why and what I write about.  Thanks for suggesting it!

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Understanding the Defining Points to Relationship Builidng

Vector image of two human figures with hands i...Image via WikipediaToday's Ultimate Blog Challenge asks us: "What is something that many people assume about your business, industry, geographical area, family/heritage, or religion?"



As a marketing and business development consultant, I am often struck how a company, a campaign or even an individual misunderstands the value of relationship building to their end goals and mission.  To the hedge fund manager, it sounds too touchy-feely, the small business owner wants to follow a set procedure that will automatically lead to sales or gain clients and politicians think people will trust them because they say so in a speech or written on their website...They all ASSUME  that the relationship begins with them and their service/product/message.  And they ASSUME once they present their service/product/message the relationship is built.  To understand better, let's approach the two words separately:

  1. Relationship
            Webster's Dictionary definition includes three sections: the state of being related or interrelateda specific instance or type of kinship; or a romantic or passionate attachment.


  • Are you related or interrelated to your customer/voter just because you think you have what they need?  (For example, the client needs a clean carpet and you offer carpet cleaning services) The simple answer is yes, you and about two thousand other carpet cleaning services in town are related/interrelated with your customer to this degree. 

  • Does your carpet cleaning services bring a specific instance or kinship to the customer, say, you use only safe, organic products and the end user is concerned with bringing dangerous chemicals into their homes?  To establish this more defined kinship, your message must be clear and concise and you must be truthful in your message.  You must also back up your claims in simple, easy-to-understand research.  While most of us have schooling beyond the 6th grade, you should be able to explain your products/message at this level for all to really comprehend your message.

  • This last part of the definition is what quality marketing and advertising is all about.  Without the heart,  the sizzle, there is no real reason for the customer to pick up the phone and ask for your company's service.  Your message is, WE are going to get your carpets cleaned using products that will keep your family healthy....and WE are going to do this wonderful thing TOGETHER because we both care deeply about this sentiment.  Without passion, you are relying on luck that the customer found you first on the internet or some other way.
So, you can create a relationship by presenting a format that is easy to understand by a 6th grader and then you must show why you are passionate about that format.  Good first step!  At this point, many of my clients, say, "What, there is more we have to do?"  Which brings us to the second word:

2. BUILDING 

            Using Webster's 'Student Dictionary' definition of this verb, there are two parts:to produce or create gradually; to move or grow toward a peak.

  • To build...building......is a verb......an action word, and that is exactly what this new and/or improved business relationship needs.  ACTION.  The first part of the definition calls for a gradual motion.  It's funny, because this is the point where several clients like to joke with me saying that perhaps I am just looking for job security here.  But the notion of building a relationship gradually has nothing to do with my monthly retainer fee!  Human beings are more comfortable with ideas when they are presented in a comfortable, relaxing manner....in a gradual manner.  We do not like to have something or someone slammed down our throat.  A very good relationship can be destroyed or damaged when the actions are pushed on us in a hastened pace.  This is the delicate part to the creation of a strong business relationship.  And it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the customer/voter/end user.  I always suggest to my clients to get into their customers shoes and feel what its like "from over there".  My example here is from a politician I have high regard for and yet, I can see clearly the mistakes he is making while building new relationships with potential voters.  Mr. Cain has developed a bold plan to improve the economy, and you've probably heard it 1000 times already, because it has a catchy title...his 9-9-9 tax plan.  And as far as I can tell, it could be a fantastic way to increase jobs and grow this economy.  But our relationship with Mr. Cain and his 9-9-9 plan are very new.  Unfortunately, our political system rarely allows anything to unfold gradually, but Herman needs to stay focused on this approach.  Last night in the debate, he told the public to just go to his website and do the math!  Well, I did, and here's how it explained the 9% National Sales Tax which is the part everyone seems to be most concerned about:
    Unlike a state sales tax, which is an add-on tax that increases the price of goods and services, this is a replacement tax. It replaces taxes that are already embedded in selling prices. By replacing higher marginal rates in the production process with lower marginal rates, marginal production costs actually decline, which will lead to prices being the same or lower, not higher.
    These are not words or a math equation a 6th grader can understand!. Most of his audience are not mathematicians like he is.  Mr. Cain has forgotten that he needs to gradually build this relationship with the clear understanding of who his constituency includes and to teach us gradually about the system and why it will be good for us.  

  • This gradual movement also needs to be moving up...forward...with the end goal of reaching a peak, as it is defined.  To the business client, the peak is often defined as a specific sales goal, such as $10,000 new business with this new relationship.  Or maybe it's a following of 500 Facebook fans or Twitter followers who will continually learn about a business' services or products.  To a politician, it is getting enough votes to win an election or to have a certain agenda passed.  Well, in order to continually move in an upwards direction, you must change it up.  What do I mean by that?  We are a restless nation, with very short attention spans.  We like to be entertained....inspired.....challenged...at a crazy pace.  So, our message, our format, our supporting marketing and advertising efforts must continue to evolve.  I know, I know, my job security thing again.  But speaking to you seriously, a company must embrace change if they want to reach the peak in today's environment.    
The best advise I can give is to ASSUME  the customer/voter/end user will need continual, easy to understand, exciting information before they will become passionate enough to have a true, long-lasting relationship with you!  


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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Sport of People Watching

People watching has got to be one of the most guilty pleasures out there. Everyone does it to some extent. And the people being watched are such givers. Put me in an airport and I can sit and be "entertained" for hours at a time. I used to embarrass my kids terribly by what they called 'direct staring' and "the making of unnecessary comments'....a double bonus! Large events where people from all walks of life are gathered together make for the most interesting people watching opportunities. Last night's Herman Cain/ AZGOP dinner event was a feast, and I am not talking about the meal that was served....................although it wasn't half bad for this kind of event. Koo-dos to the Phoenix Convention Center for handling such a large group of people at the last minute. (The event was originally scheduled for a much smaller venue, but due to his rising popularity, it was moved about 5 days ahead of the event.) All the more pleasure for those of us partaking in the sport of people watching. No, there won't be pictures....that would be cruel. "That woman" with the purple dress and shiny belt is somebody's Mother! And everyone is fair game, why, I imagine someone was eying our table and saying, "Wow, look at the stylish woman in her WORTH Collection dark suit with her wine-colored shoes, earrings and coordinated handbag!" You never know who's looking and who's being looked at, it's part of the fun of the sport. Our first victim......a woman with long, blond hair styled with a low-slinging ponytail. Was that her real hair or a wig? Our group seemed to think it didn't fit her head size and the sides seemed unnatural. Maybe she was having a bad hair day...... We counted 4 shirts made from material with the print of the American flag, all deemed ugly by our astute group. It seemed like the youngest people and the very oldest people in the crowd were the best dressed for the occasion. Simple sheath dresses, solid suits and cardigan sweaters draped over the shoulders helped dress up the majority of uninteresting outfits. Then , there were the group of men that looked like they just stepped out of the backroom where wheeling and dealing takes place. I suspect they all smoke cigars. Every single one of them had large bellies and jowls on their faces. Maybe they are the AZ mafia....... my imagination can run wild when I am people watching! One man had shoulder length silver hair that hung very straight, which was odd in itself, but adding his 6'-7" height, you could not miss him! His partner was a stout woman reaching about 5'3" in a tulip-patterned dress. Mr. Cain looked very nice at least as far as I could tell, sitting about halfway back in a room filled with about 900 people! I could tell he had a suit on with a tie...that's about it. You see, my people watching skills are somewhat diminished due to my inability to see well beyond about 10 feet. Which brings me to THE MOST WEIRD THING THAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT!! Our table of ten was talking and generally enjoying each others company, when I man in his 40s or 50s walks up to my husband and asks if he is here with me (then he points his finger at me.....a big No No....my Mom would have definitely scolded him for that type of behavior). Bill says yes, then the intruder says well, she's got this huge smile on her face and she's been staring at me. WTF??!! I said, sorry, didn't notice you at all.....and at that, he let's out a belly laugh to rival any Macy's Santa Claus and proceeded to walk away. The thing that got me so mad....I had nothing! No snarky comeback, no witty statement about our narcissistic society or pitiful men in a midlife crisis! He caught me so off guard. And he ruined the rest of my evening with the people watching activities. I was fearful he or some other nasty dude would think I was lusting after them, too! I felt robbed. Are you a people watcher? I hope you can enjoy the sport today, but we very aware of lurking idiots who can ruin your game in a nano-second!

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Monday, October 17, 2011

New Freedom That Comes With The Empty Nest

Herman CainImage via WikipediaOne of the great aspects of being an empty nester is the greater amount of flexibility you have in your daily schedule.  Owning my own small business allows me even greater freedom than most.  If Herman Cain called me up this morning and said, "Beth, can you work for me for the next month, traveling to whatever city I need you to be in, and work at whatever function and role I need you for.?...", I could pack my little bag like the PanAm stewardess do in that cute new show and say, "Why, of course, I'd love to help you....where do you need me first?!"

My husband and dog would probably enjoy my absence for a little while.  Let's face it, when you are relatively young and healthy like Bill and me (except for this little candy corn addiction of mine), you know you are probably going to be together for possibly 40 more years. So, running off to help the citizens of new Orleans after the hurricane or to a war-torn country that needs help is not out of the question.
Life is such an adventure.................
Enhanced by ZemantaI remember when my life was centered around a soccer team schedule.  Every day of the week was different and like a good working Mom, I had a ironclad schedule system that the Pentagon would have been proud to use.  I had very little "me" time.  And, I couldn't of cared less.  I was happy playing the role of Mom and Wife in my family.  My role has changed drastically now that the kids do not live at home anymore.  Over the past 3 years, I have spoken to so many empty nest people who have trouble with this particular transition. My advise?  I have told them to embrace the freedom that comes with an empty house and not to focus on the loss of the children's presence.  That's what I am doing and it's working quite well.  So, Mr. Cain....it's beth@emtnester.com or beth@anythingbutbs.com......I am ready for service!


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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Take 100% of My Money, Please!

Today seems as good a day as any to head up to San Francisco and give this guy and his buddies all 100% of my money.  He says he cannot live with 99%, so it's all or nothing.  




I am pretty sure the "stuff" he'll get with my hard earned money will be awesome, so I shouldn't have to worry about all those days I worked 10-12 hour days going to waste..........

My question is when are all of us hard working stiffs going to get really frustrated and start protesting?  Oh, that's right, we have to support the country and a zillion government programs with our taxes now.  No day off planned for us........

And while I'm up giving this guy 100% of my money, maybe I could stimulate the country by doing a little sightseeing, maybe take in a dinner or two.  Oops, that's right, I won't have any money, because he needs 100%, he can't make it on 99%.  Darn it, I love San Francisco and would enjoy a nice meal..................

Please wake me up, I am having this ridiculous, stupid, idiotic nightmare!  I just want to go back to 2005 and maybe put a group of smart regulations in place......and maybe some strict legislation curbing Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae activities.......and give some guidance to the mortgage and banking businesses.  And then, wake up and continue to live a prosperous life again!
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The Day Before You Could Get Sick

Yesterday was the day before I could have been sick today.  That's my excuse why I missed writing the daily blog post with the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  But, don't worry, because I know what to do on the day before I could get sick, I feel great today.....well, at least good enough to write two posts today!

My first husband, named Bill, is a doctor......a very good one at that.  I could have been a doctor, too, for the following all-important reasons:
  1. I have terrible handwriting;
  2. I have a complete wellness program that I devised years ago that has kept me well for 20+ years;
  3. I look good in long, white coats and teal-colored scrubs.
Yesterday, I put my wellness program in full gear, because I had that feeling that something all powerful was coming and that I could get sick. You know that feeling, right?!  Moms everywhere kick into high gear when they see that glossy-eyed look in their children's eyes.....

Being an empty nest parent now, I CAN get sick if I want to.  For so many years, when I was a divorced, single Mom, there was no way that I could even dream of being sick.  There was no time and who would make dinner and do the dishes and give everyone their baths?  So, I was well because I did not have a choice in the matter for many years.

But along came Bill #2 and he whooshed me off my feet and married me, right on the beaches of Kauai, six years ago.  I thought I might be vulnerable to getting sick, but realized that I had been willing away colds and fevers for years, so why stop now?

Of course, my kids think I am crazy.  They see that I am never sick but when they start to feel lousy, they run to their Dad.  Who could blame them.  It's out of my hands.  And they have been less sick than most kids, over the years.

It's funny because my husband is the complete opposite to me of how he keeps colds away. He holes up in the bedroom, dark and cool with no sound at all, except for an occasional baseball game on TV.  I ask him, "Would you like me to make you some homemade chicken noodle soup?" and he mutters, "No, I will be fine in a day or two", and then he just rolls over to suffer in the darkness!
Slice of lemon meringue pieImage via Wikipedia


For me, it's listening to my body in a laser-like manner.  Most important, the foods I choose are very important.  And ice cream and homemade soups have sent many a cold out of my house.  Yesterday, a lemon meringue pie did the trick.  It's something I rarely eat, so it was a treat.  And I drink a ton (literally) of water.  It's all about treating your body to pleasurable things......like the massage Bill gave me.  I was cured in a instant!  Finally, sleep and comfy clothes round out my wellness program.  Sounds simple....and it is!  Like Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan, not all things that are good and actually work have to be complex in nature.
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Dear Bethy Answers Your Most Pressing Halloween Questions


For Day 14 in the Ultimate Blog Challenge, it is suggested that we write an advice column, which is so up my alley...........................

Dear Bethy:

The Halloween season is upon us and I would love your suggestion as to which type of candy I should over-indulge in this year? signed-frustrated..............................



Candy corn.Image via Wikipedia
 

Dear Frustrated: The answer is quite simple.  You should run to the store and stock up on Candy Corn. With only 150 for every 22 pieces, you will hard it hard to go over the daily recommended 2000 calorie count before you get sick on such sweet goodness! I find eating candy that resembles my physical shape very comforting.  I do however, warn you against getting creative and making decorations with candy corn; you may start acting all "sticky-witchy".....watch what happens towards the end of this video:


http://www.thatsfit.com/videos-partner/how-to-make-a-halloween-candy-corn-tree-517169684-62  (Hope you can see this; it would not embed properly for me)

Dear Bethy:

I am 52 years old and have been invited to an adult Halloween costume party and wondering if you think its a good idea to go as a sexy nurse or a purty cat?  My legs are still in pretty decent shape. signed- sexy Momma



Dear Sexy Momma:


I suggest you have your decent shaped legs walk you straight to the psychologists office!  Do you have any idea why so many people secretly wish to be a tramp for one night a year?  Either do I!  Besides, you could get hurt or worse yet, you could hurt someone wearing that sort of outfit.  I would prefer you dress as Mr. Green Jeans or a wicked witch or better yet, a ghost! 

Dear Bethy:

My kids are all grown up and not living at home any more.  Do I still have to use up all my monthly disposable income on candy for the neighborhood kids?  And do I have to waste the whole night hanging around the front door, ready to give the candy to the trick-or-treaters....while my husband sits comfortably in front of the TV in the den? signed-tortured

Dear Tortured:


Why..............YES and YES!!!!

Bethy wishes everyone a happy, safe Halloween! 


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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lending A Helping Hand

Photo Courtesy of International Orthodox Christian Charities

Lending a hand.........................

Were you brought up in a household that encouraged helping out those less fortunate?  Have you carried that concept into your won adult life?  And have you noticed how good it feels?!

When I was young, my Mom used to drag my sister and me to downtown Chicago where we would deliver whole meals to people (Meals on Wheels).  I use the term "drag" because if you had asked either one of us, it probably wasn't high on our list of things we wanted to do on a Saturday afternoon.  Going shopping in the suburbs and eating lunch at Cock Robin would have been our preference, if anyone had asked us.  But no one did, so off we went to some scary homes and apartments in the heart of the City.  I was often struck by  how neat and clean some of the apartments were of the folks we delivered the food to.

After church, we took the flowers to nursing homes and I vividly remember the stench of the hallways and was glad we were bringing a better smell to those places.  We stuffed envelopes for fundraisers, we cleaned and painted homes for people from a sister church group from a poor rural area.  There were so many "opportunities" presented to us as kids, I think I just got used to this kind of lending a hand to others as routine.

When I got older and had children of my own, I found many ways to introduce the notion of lending a hand to others for the kids.  Plus, our schools and church had the kids running from one volunteer opportunity to another.

Now that the children have left the nest, I find this empty nester involved in new events like the recent fundraiser for Special Olympic of Arizona. I have recently been introduced to the valiant efforts of the IOCC, that offer emergency relief and development programs around the world. But I also have found giving a helping hand at the micro level is very important.  Helping family members around you is very rewarding.   Sometimes, being super supportive of your spouse is where you need to spend a majority of your time and effort.


Whatever you do, keep it as a part of your daily routine.  Make it apart of your children's routine.  Lend a helping hand every day.  It just feels right!


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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Striving To Be Perfect

Photo by Laura Stone
Day 12 of Daily Blog Posting with the Ultimate Blog Challenge:

No one ever said I was perfect, well maybe one of two may have said that, but it doesn't really count when they are in a drunken stupor. But, I strive for perfection every day.  All around me I have examples of perfection to look to for inspiration and guidance.  The key is to not be disappointed when, by the end of the day, you are no closer to being a perfect human being than you were when you woke up in the morning.  The central point is that you tried and that you enjoyed trying to be good, better, best.

I am often inspired by the sheer beauty of things...objects....around me.  Take the full moon hanging longer than usual in the sky this morning.  It was 6:25 am and the sky was a noncommittal shade of blue.  Below, the recently seeded winter lawn popped up to say, "I may be young and weak now but soon I will fill in and provide golfers with a plush landing for their golf balls".  (Yes, the grass does talk to me!)

The morning walks with the neighbors and their dogs is filled with relaxing commentary on all things political while we are entertained by the constant frolicking of our four-legged friends.  Animals make you be better people by sharing the master-servant positions; we dutifully pick up their "deposits" in small plastic bags without hesitation.

I am inspired by the writing in the Wall Street Journal each morning and get excited to put something down in writing. I am inspired as I flip through the gorgeous pages of this month's Architectural Digest magazine.  While I may never have a room with furniture that looks cohesive, my home can be clean and organized and I can be appreciative of the items I have collected to date. 

There is a laser-like focus when it comes to the work I do with clients.  Every word on their website or sell sheet must feel perfect for their business objectives.  Sometimes, I have written and rewritten a paragraph so many times that my head spins, but in the end, I feel good that the effort put forth has produced something good and decent.

Parenting is perhaps the hardest area to prefect.  The presentation to the kids is often times derailed and off-target, but you always mean well!  Tell that to a child who you have just told they look like s**t or that they are not trying hard enough, and their feelings are hurt!  But, you keep trying by repeating that you love them dearly and that you only mean well.

It is the process of becoming a better, more perfect being that I find fascinating.  It never gets boring.  It is a worthy cause.  It lasts forever........
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Meaning Behind The Name of Your Child's Teddy Bear

It's Day 11 for the Ultimate Blog Challenge and our fearless leaders have suggested writing today's post involving teddy bears, so here goes:

There is one very special teddy bear that lives in our house.  He was given to my oldest son at the hospital one day after he was born from a good friend my husband was training under.  He was fluffy and pure white and stood about a foot tall.  He held a prominent place in Andy's bassinet, then crib, then first twin big-boy bed.  He quickly became Andy's go-to bear, security blanket and all-around best friend.  At 18 months old, Andy would drag this poor bear to the dinner table every night.  I said, "If this bear is going to be a true member of the family, he'll need a name.  What shall we call your bear friend, Andy?"  Andy said, with authority, "His name is MONEY BEAR!" We had no idea where this name would come from....being a resident in general surgery and an at-home-Mom, money was not an issue around the house.  We simply laughed at the name our son had selected and moved on.

For the next several years, Money Bear and Andy were inseparable; they were together in every Christmas picture, together every night and he was often dragged to the park to play on the swings and slide down the slide.

Money Bear has survived living with the three dogs who were also members of our family, although not without some considerable damage.  Our first golden retriever decided his right arm looked tasty enough for an evening treat; luckily Andy was 14 years old and was only slightly angered at this aggressive move by the family pet.

Wrigley is more curious about this special bear:






The name Andy selected all those years.....Money Bear......is special in our family history because it is so in keeping with Andy's life history to date.  He has had a special relationship with money his whole life: he is a saver, he is thrifty, he was a business/finance major at ASU Honors, he went to work for Ernst & Young and now he is attending Columbia University MBA Grad School.....specializing in real estate finance, so yes, it's still all about the money!  Some things just stick in your lifetime.  Andy knew he loved money at 18 months old and he's followed through in this interest his whole life.  I think that's very remarkable and interesting. 

I keep Money Bear in a safe spot in Andy's old room closet and may bring him out once Andy and Kim have their first child. Or maybe when Andy lands his next big job. Or, maybe I'll wait until he becomes CEO of a large company.  That could be fun and have good "embarrass-your-child" potential.  But, he will always have a place in our lives. 

So, all you young bloggers out there.....pay close attention to what your children name their teddy bears.  It might just give you some insight into their futures!  



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Monday, October 10, 2011

Surprise Party is a Success: Are You Surpised?




Last time we talked, it was Sunday afternoon, just hours before the surprise party was to get started and Bill was lounging around the house.  I had not baked the cake, made the appetizers nor had I started the famous punch (Andrew Jackson's Inaugural Punch) I make for the neighbors quite often.  I was not really panicked....more defeated.  Bill suggests we head over to the gym to workout.  When I start to say "no thanks", he does this thing he does.....he quickly glances at my bulging tummy and then looks back into my eyes.  I think he learned this move in Catholic school.  And it works every time.  I agree and ask if he'll be going to work for awhile afterwards...thankfully, he says "yes!"

I devise plan C while running on the tread-master......

I race to the store, buy some sliced ham and biscuits and some Dijon mustard: boom! appetizers; I pick up a Cannoli Cake and some 50th birthday candles: boom! birthday cake; and then I pick up all the ingredients for the punch. While waiting in line and read a very nice comment on yesterday's blog but when I go to hit the option "Publish" on my iPhone, I hit "Delete" instead.  Darn it!  I want every comment.  (Thanks Lori....I really appreciate your words!). I race home thinking I just might make it.......

I suggest you never try to rush making punch.  I had freshly-squeezed orange and lemon juice everywhere.  Some dark rum spilled to the floor only to be licked up by my helpful golden retriever (which might explain his terrible behavior at the party....).  And in the end, the whole kitchen was a sticky mess!

With no time left to shower, I quickly place a few curls in my hair with the curling iron, throw on a black outfit and head over with all my goodies.  I place a call to Bill and say, "I think you need to come home and head over to Leslie's quickly.  Leslie has an important announcement and she really wants all of us there.  With emphasis, I say, "I really hope everything is okay at Leslie's house.....".
If our little sign about entering the Old Zone seems blurry, I think you should get your eyes checked.....'cause it is definitely NOT due to my special camera skills! 

The neighbors were arriving with their own set of goodies (and their dogs); it can get pretty crazy with a dozen dogs running around.  But none of us care....we know they love the party as much as the humans do.  


My Bill arrives wearing a sweatshirt from a school I attended in my junior year of college and the school where I met my first husband (Bill #1).  It's just weird and he wears it ALL.THE.TIME! We give him the big 50th Necklace to wear.  He hates it, I know.  I know that expression very well.  But there's nothing he can do about it.....we are out in the public now!

My (drunk?) dog has countered-surfed twice for ham biscuits and delicious ahi tuna appetizers and was eying the cake all night.  He can be quite awful when he knows Mommy is into the punch (I call it 'punch drunk') and not paying attention.......

Everyone had a great time.  I should have taken more pictures, though, because I missed about half of the party attendees and their dogs, too!  Did I mention that I have the best neighbors you can have?!

And, I have the best husband  a girl could have, too. Happy 49th Birthday, Bill (#2)!!!


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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Being A Conniving Wife is Hard Sometimes

This is Day 9 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge and is anybody else counting?!

If you came by here yesterday, you know I am having a neighborhood surprise party for my husband tonight.  A 50th celebration for someone turning 49......

So what do you suppose is happening here at the Southworth house?  You guessed it....nothing.  Bill has decided to work from the home computer and maybe not even go into the office today!  Keep in mind, for the past 4 years (since the housing/banking industry and the economy tanked), Bill has gone into work 7 days a week.  His company struggled through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and now is trying to make a go of this land banking business even with this sluggish economy.  Usually, on Saturday and Sundays, he only works about 5-6 hours.....except today!

Conversation:

Me: "Hey, are you going into work soon?  I need the computer to write my daily blog post".
Bill: "Your what?"

Me, trying a different angle:

Me: "I think I will go shopping at the mall, since I cannot get on the home computer today....."
Bill: "No, no, no.......I can finish what I am working on at the office if that would be helpful".

Then, Bill throws me a curveball:

Bill: "Say, I've got a great idea.....let's take Wrigley and head out for an all-day hike....."
Beth: (Looking out the window at what seems to be the perfect Fall-like day for Phoenix) "It's too hot for a hike.  Maybe some other time."

Bill turns on the television to a football game, puts his feet up on the coffee table and starts to relax.  Now, I have been asking for him to stop working so hard and hang around the house for 4 years straight.  But today?  I have to come up with a plan B:

Only every plan B I think of has a flawed component:

a) I could go to the store, get all the ingredients, take them to Leslie's house, make everything there, then come home complaining how busy the grocery store was today...."That took forever"!

b) Buy a bunch of ready made appetizers, cake and drinks and take them over to Leslie's house.  The timing at the store would seem right, but it doesn't seem like I put in any effort.

c) Tell him that we are having surprise party for him and that I need to make some things for the affair and that he needs to act surprised when the party begins.  Hate to spoil the surprise.  Plus, that gives him hours to think up a fake headache or some project at work that really has to get done before tomorrow's meeting! 

URGH!  What's a conniving wife to do?!  The saga continues.......

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Surprise Birthday Parties and Husbands

Does your partner/husband read your blog?  Are you sure, really sure?! It's pretty clear to me that Bill has never ever checked out by blog and he has no idea what I write about.....or even why I choose to have a blog.  Sometimes, people will stop us when we are out and say, "I love your post today, that was so hysterical"...... or "Your story about Laura made me cry!" and once they have walked past us, Bill never inquires about the posts.  It's odd really.  Personally, I thinks he's scared to find out.  Ignorance is bliss, you know. So knowing that Bill isn't lurking around reading my post, I thought I would tell you about his surprise birthday we have planned for him, tomorrow night.  (If you are reading this...you dog.....then you better act surprised as heck!) 

First, let me tell you a little bit about us.  Bill is my second husband....named Bill.  He happens to be 5 years, 5 days, 5 hours, 5 minutes and 5 seconds younger than me.  Isn't that amazing?  Okay, it's actually only 5 years and 5 days younger, but I prefer the dramatics of my first statement.  When we first dating, it really kind of bugged me that he was younger.  We would double date with his friends and the women they were dating were often much younger that the guys, making the age gap seem ridiculously large!  Plus, he's really young looking.  No grey hair, no wrinkles, and in great physical shape (just in case he's reading this.....). But over time, we seem to have melded into being the exact same age.....he's a little older than his chronological years and I seem about 2.5 years younger than I actually am.  Lucky me!

Another quirky thing about Bill is that he really does not like to talk about his age, growing older or even retirement.  He's turning 49 on the 10th.  When people ask how old he's going to be he mumbles "40-er-something".  So, naturally, his surprise birthday is going to be a "Happy 50th Birthday" party.  The way I look at it, it's going to be miserable for him, so we might as well get it over early!    We have a RIP tombstone, some old gag decorations and everything is set in black.  It's going to be a kick.  Actually, this is a party with our neighbor friends and their dogs.  We will meet in the backyard or a friend who backs up to the golf course, so the dogs can run and play with each other.  We do this sort of impromptu cocktail/appetizer/cake party fairly often.  And we will have have a laugh at Bill's expense.....almost every single person attending is older...some much older.  And everyone loves my Bill, so it's all in good spirits. (That's him in the picture with the blue sweatshirt, playing with Wrigley)




Now, I have to figure out how to make my very special punch and a few appetizers and the cake without Bill figuring out my devious plans........I'll take pictures for a later blog post!

Remember, mum's the word!

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Friday, October 7, 2011

The 'Occupy Movement' is Less Relevant Today

It's Friday!  Everyone's favorite day of the work week, right?  Before the day gets away from me, I shall #FollowFriday (#FF) and #BlogBoost blog! Personally, I think most blog writers are funnier on Fridays.  I have no idea why this is and I fear that the start of this post in not a true indicator of such findings.......

Friends have asked me if I will be blogging at the Occupy Phoenix set to occur sometime next week.  I am not too terribly excited about it, to tell you the truth.  But then again, I wasn't too terribly excited to join one of the first big tea party rallies on tax day 2009, either.  But, I took my golden retriever and a plastic bottle of water and drove down to the State Capital to see what all the fuss was about.
 
I parked my car and hopped out sporting my cute little preppy outfit consisting of khaki pants a polo shirt, a cardigan sweater and my topsiders.  I never got the message that this was also a crazy costume party!  I have never seen more ridiculous outfits on normal people.....except for this past week....of people protesting along Wall Street and the park close by!  My favorite part.....the camera crews where scattered amongst the crowd getting colorful shots of the crazies in red, white and blue outfits, but when the camera came up to my dog and me, they would shut the cameras off.  Every time!  God forbid they show the public the real story of who was in attendance.  But, it was undeniable, there was an energy and a feeling of camaraderie at these tea party rallies.

I expect the same companionship and connectivity will be felt at the Occupy events as well.  And too, I expect I will stand out like a sore thumb once again, as my tie-dye shirt was lost decades ago, if me and my golden show up.  To tell you the truth, I am not in the mood at all.  My focus and response to the world has been completed altered.....and I owe this new feeling all to Steve Jobs.  Like Steve, I am completely focused on moving forward....in my political thoughts, in my personal life and on new business development/marketing projects I am working on with clients. Standing around complaining about corporate profits and sticking it to the man seems so NOT want I feel like doing.  I think even attending these events could bring down my jubilant, entreprenurial spirit.   I think I prefer to occupy my mind on how I can change the world....how I can become more financially successful, how I can be a better partner to my incredible husband.  And I think a lot of people are thinking in my terms right now.  The Occupy movement is not dead, it's just less relevant.  

But hey, it's a free country (thank goodness) and if people want to get together in a park for whatever reason, they are free to do so.  My curiosity may get the best of me and then I promise to blog about it and take lots of pictures, too.  And Wrigley never minds attending these events with me.  (He thinks they have all come just to pet him and give him the attention he adores!)


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