Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Modern B*a*g Lady Lingo - 101

Modern B*a*g Ladies is a sisterhood as much as it is an Attitude (that's with a capital A). Its all about taking your B*A*G (Believe Act Go) on the road, so grab your keys (spreading joy, shredding fear, having fun), crank up the tunes and go lady go!

It's all in the B*a*g!

Ok, you have your..............

Baggage that needs to be dropped off or recycled into fuel for your B*a*g Traveling Sanctuary.

B*a*g Age - the ages and times in your life that you connect with as being your true self.

B*a*g Gauges - being aware of your fuel level and your speed so you don't run out of fuel, which results in your getting outside of yourself and pushing yourself uphill. Very tiring!

Getting Your B*a*g On - Being yourself.

My B*a*g isn't always Her B*a*g - accepting others as they are, looking for their goodness and reflecting their goodness back at them.

MBL are eco-friendly, body and spirit, so ................... see that link just to the right? Subscribe to our weekly Traveling Sanctuary Newsletter and claim your weekly source of Eco-friendly fuel. You'll be spreading joy, shredding fear and having fun, which are the keys to your Traveling Sanctuary, so you will need this nice new key chain sent to you compliments of Modern B*a*g Ladies. It will be your reminder to check your gauges and fuel up.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Great Family Room and Pen Pal Gals

We have a Great (Kitchen, Dining, Family) Room which makes up almost all of the square footage of the main level of our home and it is indeed GREAT. When I saw the plans one late night, searching plans online, I knew we were finally going to build a home after purchasing 6 existing homes in 12 years of marriage. I knew it would be where friends and family would gather, sharing, having fun and just do our own individual things amongst everyone gathered in this space

We've been in this home for almost 3 years now and this Great Room has exceeded our expectations. Yes sometimes the television is too loud and food is too often eaten not at the table (covered with mom and Paige's projects), but this room has bared witness to almost everything that happens in our family. Homework, meals, parties, movie night, sewing projects, playing, sleeping AND.....

Within this space I have found reason to give the laundry, dusting and toilet cleaning less attention. Some day perhaps I will meet these ladies in person just like back in the day when you would meet your pen pal. I imagine where they may be, while pouring out their wisdom, love and humor onto the keyboard. The keyboard, the new pen. They have expanded my world, sitting here in my Great Room. The grand world all within my reach by just a click of a few keys. Not an addiction, but an enhancement to my old and new real world connections. Traveling Sanctuaries through the information highway.

Mind numbing television replaced with giving and receiving love, wisdom, humor and advise. Ladies should gather together more often, virtually and in person. No pretense, just ourselves, being ourselves. Why not? Yes too busy I know. World's expectations and commitments of course. Sure we probably talk and gather with others all day long, but too often not really making a connection, not truly listening and sharing. All so plastic and a means to an end.

Let's gather with our families and with other ladies. Spreading Joy. Shredding Fear. Having Fun.

Thank you for gathering and doing it together, Mom, Michelle, Mary, Veronica, Elizabeth, Sheryl, Tashina, Teresa, Molli, Rosie, Karla, Janet, Casey, Gabrielle, Cindy, Beth, Suzie, Stephanie, PopArtDiva, Angela, Teri, Kim, Myrna, Heather, Sarah, Stephanie, Wendy, Sue, Carmen, Vickie, Sally, Lori, Patty, Paige, Gavin, Jordan, Hubby, Dad, Brian, Dean..... you fuel and blow me away.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Project Traveling Sanctuary is Underway

Who posts at 2:30 AM on Christmas Eve? A crazy Dancing BAG Lady who is too hyped up to sleep and just wants to work on her passion projects, Drop Off Your Baggage MLB Event and Project Traveling Sanctuary.

If I could get my darn camera to download I would have added a picture of my messy kitchen table. Project Traveling Sanctuary is this idea I will launch at our upcoming Drop Off Your Baggage MLB Event, January 17th. I guess you could say Kim doesn't have sugar plums dancing in her head but rather fun loving Modern B*A*G Ladies getting their B*A*G on.

This Dancing BAG Lady just doesn't get much sleep. I see this as a common theme with my Entrepreneurial BAG Ladies. We are sending emails at all hours of the day, night and morning.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Reluctant Sanctuary

I was raised in the Catholic Church. Today I wonder what that means? We attended Sunday school and church almost every Sunday. I memorized prayers, learned about the sacraments, knelt on my knees and preferred to sit in the balcony during a crowded service.

I disliked going to confession greatly, cried during my first communion and felt ashamed to receive communion after my divorce (I am not worthy for I have sinned). It all felt like a bunch of RULES to me, but I also knew it meant community and a safe place to go.

Contrary to my perception, I could see that for my parents it was something all together different. But yet it was within a sub-culture of our Catholic church that my parents participated the most and were most fulfilled, it appeared. They had their prayer groups and attended weekend retreats. At the time I didn't realize it, but now I can see the divide between religion and spirituality, yet they are linked together respectfully.

After leaving home I married somebody Catholic, so my religion routine pretty much stayed the same. We attended his church, which was much smaller, friendlier and more fun. After my divorce to my first husband, I disconnected from religion and the bought and borrowed beliefs of what a good Catholic girl should do.

I remarried, in a Baptist church, but had our first daughter baptized in the Catholic church. Moved to Minnesota. Had our son who we didn't have baptized. This last little fact weighs on my mother, which reminds me of the RULES that get ingrained in your mind. Do I really think my son would be condemned to hell if he were to pass today? No!, but the Catholic guilt still lingers inside.

Since moving to Minnesota, 10 years ago, my children and I have been members of a Catholic, Methodist and Lutheran church since. My husband rarely attends. We are now well settled into the Lutheran church and my 13 year old daughter Paige is attending confirmation classes. She is required to write sermon notes, which means we must attend church.


As I reflect on my spirituality and my religion I try to understand why "church" has been my reluctant sanctuary. I believe partially because my upbringing in the Catholic church made it feel like an obligation, a test, a set of rules, which were all outside forces.

But ironically enough it is the obligation of fulfilling my daughters requirement of sermon notes that I am drawn back to the sanctuary of a church, for which am I grateful.

Obligation or not, as I have learned that, God, spirit, the greater power (call it what you want) is not out there, but rather WITHIN me, going to my reluctant sanctuary truly fuels me. This is what my parents knew, so why didn't they just teach me this? They did teach me. It just has taken me many years to be in a place of understanding.

Everyone has their time and everyone has their reluctant sanctuary. Maybe we are lazy, selfish or maybe we don't love ourselves enough. We are worth it, so everyone, go to your reluctant sanctuary (whether that be church, 10 minutes of quiet tim or quality time with your family) and claim your well deserved fuel.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Multi Million Answers to RAQ's Rarely Asked Questions

I came across this handy little box of questions, Chat Pack - Fun Questions to Spark Conversations. I'll give you a taste for the types of questions so you have an idea. "Suppose for a moment that you are truly color blind: all you can see is black and white. then one day you wake up to find you can now see one color. Which color would you want it to be?"
I plan on using these in multiple settings including our upcoming Drop Off Your Baggage lady's event January 17th.
In the interest of not infringing on their copyright I thought I would periodically pose BAG Lady RAQ's (rarely asked questions) rather than ask FAQ's (frequently asked questions). My answer today may not be the answer I would give tomorrow or next year, but answering questions help to reveal your B*A*G (believe act go) Age.
Q: Thong, High Cut, Boy Cut or Granny Pants?

A: I know this is kind of a personal question, but the answer could reveal a lot about a lady. It is a discussion certain Best B*A*G Friends might have or maybe not. The choice of your under garments could be a matter of comfort or a matter of attitude. I know one lady who has to be matchy matchy. Her bra and panties must be the same color. Some prefer cotton, some lace. I haven't ever seen leather, but I am sure they exist. Here's my answer - All the above. Different moods different panties. Different occasion different panties. Variety is the spice of life.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Duh-um - Dazing into Space

I just realized that I called myself dumb in my title. I'll just go with it and chalk it up to laughing at myself.

Today I was at my day job, having an uninspired moment, staring at the picture on the wall in front of me. You know those stares that your eyes feel like they are crossing but you're not sure if they really are crossed.

A unassuming shy gentlemen walked into my office. I'm sure he wasn't expecting to see DUH-UM Kim all cross eyed and everything. He probably thought I was on drugs or something. One second motivated full of energy, the next DUH-UM.

Do you suppose he told his wife when he got home about the weird lady at work? Doubtful, but I'm telling you about it. What a Duh....UM post. Oh well just being me. I'm actually enjoying what I think is a mid life crisis.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good Thing I'm not a Monkey

Ever heard the expression, "Close but no Bananas"?

If I were a monkey I would be starving. Sometimes I feel like I'm slipping on everyone else's banana peels along my joyful, low fear, fun filled journey. I just can't get to that heaping mother load of bananas fast enough.

Can't say that I have talked to a monkey lately, but maybe, just maybe, it's not always about the bananas for them and it shouldn't always be about the bananas for me either.

"Close but no Bananas" is my style. You know not exactly telling the joke quite right. Every time I want to talk about a song or book I can never remember the title. I get the artist/author's first name right but rarely the last.

Having these little brain lapses could really make me get down on myself, but I do believe I have been compensated in other ways. I think in pictures. I can see the whole picture in my head and heart, but can't always verbalize it. You know like the absent minded professor.

I know other B*A*G Ladies who are so quick and bright. Sometimes I am jealous, but mostly I am in awe of them. I'm glad to be slipping on their banana peels and sometimes they take time to sit down and share a few bananas over a diet coke. These are OH Yes Moments!

I will embrace my "close but no bananas". I eventually get there because, you know?, I like to simmer my bananas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Laugh Your Traveling Sanctuary Trunk Off Ladies


Do you know what little Giggles are suppose to turn into? Laugh your trunk off, pee your pants sessions. I highly recommend you dabble a little and don't be afraid of being a dork. My kids think I am a huge dork with extreme facial expressions. I think its because my mouth is literally soooo big. I smile big, frown big, laugh big and can do some amazing tricks with my lips and tongue.

Choose your giggle. Everyone has their favorite

  1. Exploding giggle volcano (soda, mash potatoes)
  2. No logical reason to giggle giggle (nature's way to balance out extreme badness)
  3. Alcohol induced giggle (I recommend moderation, as it can quickly turn into tearful episodes)
  4. Solo giggle (alone in your office or out loud in a movie theatre)
  5. Giggle as the only medicine giggle
  6. Goofy giggles (only you and your very best B*A*G Friend understand)
  7. Contagious giggle
  8. Not sure if it is politically correct to giggle giggle ( OH that had to hurt! ouch!)
  9. I was dishing out really hard ice cream and some how it flung from the ice cream scoop to my head giggle
  10. Ladies acting unlady like giggles

Share some of your Gigglerama of Giggles and make sure you check our Wendy and Stephanie's website of Empowording products. The power of a single word is AMAZING.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Seeing isn't believing. Believing is seeing.

Heart first. Brain Second.

Follow your heart first. Set your sights on something you can't see.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Picture of "I'm" Perfection

Much is being said about Oprah "coming out" with her weight gain. You know, we've all been noticing it for a little while now. It was especially apparent after watching a re-run of one of her shows lately. Did I think any less of her? "NO!"

In a weird twisted way I was glad. It made me feel like I could do anything and I didn't have to appear to be or be PERFECT. I have actually given up that illusion a long time ago, in theory, but in my tricky little mind (no, let's rephrase, "big and beautiful brain) images of perfection linger. Ah ha I got it, now my BBB (big beautiful brain) matches my BBBBB (big beautiful body, boobs & butt).

OK now I'm really going to go out on a limb here a let you in on a little secret. I have something in common with Oprah. We both weigh 200 lbs. I think I am little taller than Oprah, but if I can carry 200 lbs (metaphorically) as well as she does I guess it's not so bad. On a more serious note, I am on round 4 of up and down weight gain and loss. I had held off my last 20 lbs for over a year which is quite an accomplishment for me. And its not really about the weight its about my health. I pray I can do better in this category.

Young ladies these days seem so obsessed with their bodies. A product of society, media and grown ladies' influences. I hope I can be a good example for my daughter and her young friends, even at 200 lbs. This is a picture of my daughter. She does some cool things with her photoshop. Her and her friends take so many picture of themselves. I guess I would have too if I had had a digital camera back then?????

Let's turn Imperfection into I'm perfection no matter what shape or size. I'm perfection within my strengths. I'm perfection even while in my imperfection. I'm perfection without striving for perfection. I'm perfection when I am ME!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cheap Vacations via Elephants and Vampires (ticket for two please)

Myrna Myrna Myrna you have created a book toting nerd, who responsibly escapes from the world's whoas for an hour or so a day. $10 ticket to where ever you want to go is a pretty cheap vacation. And Gretchen and Elissa from Evolution Through Vacation would be proud of me as I am jumping into these mini, low budget vacations with preparation, openness to learning and finally applying my learnings upon re-entry. Hey the sex, drama, mystery and suspense isn't bad for a heart racing thrill either(all done in very good taste of course). We are adults here.

FICTION TAKE TWO! Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen was waaaayyyyyy better than Nature Girl by Carl Hiiasen. I guess books are like a BOX of CHOCOLATES, you have to take a bite to see if you like it. Nature Girl didn't rank as low as a fruit cake covered with bitter dark chocolate as it worked in a chocolate craving pinch. Water for Elephants was more like a milk chocolate covered caramel YUMMMMM.

Jacob Jankowski unexpectedly is thrown from having it all to having nothing except shoveling manure, a mildew, flea infested bedroll and a schizophrenic boss. Set in the depression era, Water for Elephants has me comparing the plight of Jacob to the plight of people suffering from the current state of the economy, 2008. Think about it, 1931 was only 77 years ago, just a hiccup in God years. Jacob emerges, as we will and have, confronting his dreams, disguised as his nightmare.

My disguised dreams rest like a lump of soggy bread in my throat and runs its course down to my stomach, sitting like a huge indigestible ball, wondering if I have the flu or a bad case of anxiety. Could I shovel manure if I had to? YES, ACTION is the cure to my disease even if it stinky and sweaty work.

My daughter and I went to the movie Twilight today and she bought the book as well. I think she could really get into this book. As me, she is a slow reader, so she feels intimidated by lengthy in depth books. We will continue to exercise our reading muscle, quickening our pace and reporting to each other stories and life lessons. If you do not know, Twilight, is a high school love story between a mortal and a GOOD vampire. This is where the vampire enters our vacation plans.

I hope Paige and I can share our travel logs with each book read.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sucked into the Vortex of Spreading Fear

Let's do an experiment. Read the following and see how you feel afterwards.

The economy will crash.
I will lose everything.
I have no control.
Stock market is up, its down, its up, its down etc etc etc minute by minute

Now, how do you feel? Just like somebody punched a million holes into your fuel tank and you have a 1000 mile journey ahead of you and no fuel stations in sight.

Ok, I'll be realistic but I can't just sit here and get sucked into this vortex of fear. So, in an attempt to be realistic without being polly annish I will intake 1 dose of hard fact bad reality with ,2, 3, 100 doses of what is still good in this world. Lately I think I need the 1/100 ratio, as the SUCKING force is strong these days.

Dang my Traveling Sanctuary feels like a roller coaster. Or maybe more like rev up, peel out, stall, fuel, fuel fuel, repeat. I better keep my eyes open, hands up in the air and enjoy the ride as much as possible.

Please, please, please, find whatever it takes to keep yourself filled with positive fuel. The race of life isn't about being first, it's about remaining whole and true to yourself, each winning in their own time.

My thoughts are with everyone who is currently at the bottom of the hill not sure how they will start climbing. I pray that I can be their fuel pit stop. Only you know for sure what you need, so seek it out, be still, listen to your heart. A book. A song. A picture. A hug. Welcome the posetive energy around you.

Yet, my deepest fear is that I haven't myself reached my lowest of lows, so I must make each day my masterpiece and know that I may create my greatest of masterpieces at a time of lowest lows.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Funny Thing About Fun

It must be so exciting to be the life of the party, the one front and center, telling funny jokes, getting all the attention and the applause, it seems. You know those types, famous or not, who naturally draw attention to themselves. They're outwardly fun loving, entertaining and quick witted.

Me? Well, I am certainly not describing myself. As much as I believe that I want to be that person I have to accept the fact that, Carol Burnett, I am not. (Here's a little random side note: variety shows of the past are what I consider real entertainment. I loved the Carol Burnett Show. That's what I call real fun.) Me? Well let's just say that the show couldn't go on without the stage hands, writers, producers, caterers etc.

Wednesday evening prior to hosting a house full of guests I was busy baking pies. My hubby (life of the party) was rallying the early arrivals to a game of "Apples to Apples", not a complicated game. I was making an honest effort to participate, but was distracted with slicing apples. Since I was doing such a poor job of multi-tasking between work and play, I was dubbed the weekend's "Fun Hater". The nickname was dubbed in the spirit of FUN, but I was slightly offended and a little jealous that I wasn't the life of the party.

After much thought I announced to the "Fun Lover" who dubbed me as the "Fun Hater" that I must correct him. I am not the "Fun Hater" I am the "Fun Enabler". To which he replied, "Do you have to use such big words?" Now that was funny!

Here is the lesson I must remind myself over and over again, "It takes all kinds to make this wonderful world go round, so I should spend more time embracing my strengths and less time fantasizing about being something I truly "B"elieve in my heart I am not." Besides, I don't have to be funny to be fun or have fun. And sometimes I just need to lightened up a little.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

B*A*G Book Notes - Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen

Here's an update on an old soul reading some new material post. I finished reading, Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen, described by the Boston Globe as, "Hilarious...Pure outlandish silliness.. A breakneck narrative.

SILLINESS - Yes, but not my kind of silly

For an old soul that too easily slides into her comfort zone in almost every part of her life this Dancing B*A*G Lady is glad to have ventured out with a new kind of book. Here's what she learned.... (now back to Kim in the first person).

  1. I like lists. As I review my posts I see numbered lists. My weird way of weaving order into my holistic sometimes fuzzy style.

  2. There is a tasteful way of describing sexuality in a novel without being vulgar. As they always say, leaving something to the imagination is way more erotic and interesting.

  3. There are so many truths in fiction, as fiction is derived from a true life story just rearranged. This opens up your mind to new possibilities for life, good or bad.

  4. By the end of this bizarre story I was schooled enough to construct an even more bizarre ending than the author put to paper. Maybe he did that on purpose so we could feel our creative abilities or maybe to reassure us that at the core all people are good.
  5. I will read another fiction novel, as a very nice lady saw my endless browsing at the bookstore and recommended a fiction book and the another helpful shopper seconded the motion, Water the Elephants by Sara Gruen.
This book is a New York Times Bestseller, so there you go.

Side note, the more I read the more time I commit to reading. I guess I need to make up for too many years of being uninformed and uninspired. I think it might be rubbing off on my kids, I hope.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Naughty in a Nice Way

This post is dedicated to all the Naughty and Nice Ladies, which is all ladies. You know that naughty nice that's the real you. Not the nicey nice that's the fake you censoring everything like a Stepford Wife. And not the nasty naughty that violates the rules of B*A*G Lady Fun.

1. BAG Lady FUN helps you face problems, not run from them.
2. BAG Lady FUN never gets boring.
3. You never regret BAG Lady FUN.
4. BAG Lady FUN makes everyone feel better; not feel worse.

Here are two of my favorite celebrity naughty in a nice way Ladies.

Chelsea Handler - Although Chelsea does push the envelope with her jokes at times (rule #3 and #4), she is clever and sarcastic in a brilliant way. Her funny requires some intelligence. I would kill to see if I could hang with her comedians at her Round Table segments featured at the beginning of her show, Chelsea Lately. Too bad she promotes drinking Vodka, but nobody is perfect.

Jenny McCarthy - Jenny has had her stretches of crazy television shows/appearances in the 80's & 90's, posed for Playboy and is known for her crazy antics but recently she has channeled that unbridled drive of being herself into the being an advocate for autistic children. She made an appearance on Oprah and I have to say she oozed passion and compassion. She is a great example of how to channel your "realness". Her newly released book, Mother Warriors, was fueled by the love of her autistic son. It is filled with stories, demonstrating the power of a mother's love. Damn if we could bottle mommy love we would out energize the sun for sure.

I will not be naming Naughty in a Nice way ladies I know personally, but if you know me and are reading this you know if I am talking about you. You....

  1. show your significant other your naughty nice side and they do appreciate it
  2. speak your mind in a respectful, constructive manner
  3. love to relax and laugh
  4. are genuine and people know you are always being yourself
  5. love yourself in every way
  6. share your love with others and aren't afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve
  7. do your best to stay within the B*A*G Lady Fun rules
Be naughty & nice at the same time. It is SOOOOO much fun.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chain Re"ACTION" - You Can't Plan These Things

Chain - A series of connected links.

Reaction - Any response caused by some other event.

Call it luck, coincidence, law of attraction or destiny, but when I reflect on events in my life I think about how if that hadn't of happened this wouldn't have happened. Magic is quite simple and natural.

Life as a precise, sequence of planned events is an illusion. Give is up, go with the flow, release your control freak. I mean how does it feel to plan out your day hour by hour and BAM something unexpected. What to do? My day turns out to be a complete failure.

I prefer to start each day with a general vision, based on a reminder list of what is most important to the bigger vision. If I had a strict set of to does I am sure recent chain reactions would not have happened in my life. Absent of a "to do" list I am not void of action. Expect the unexpected, take action, overcome fears, wait for the reaction, so goes the chain.

Here's a favorite chain (we have several chains and the chains intertwined)

  1. I felt like crap for two years.
  2. It got so bad that I finally went to the doctor for my "annual" (had been 2 1/2 years) stir up visit.
  3. Long story short, I had a hysterectomy
  4. 6 weeks away from work, on medical leave, and time to reflect on my life
  5. Hey! I wanted to be an interior designer
  6. Heard of the concept "Law of Attraction"
  7. Read a book "Mommy Millionaire"
  8. Learned I could learn new skills and loved the combination of my creativity and the freedom to make all the decisions
  9. Started a staging business
  10. Started to write short stories
  11. Joined Mommy Millionaire social network
  12. Met some really great women via the virtual world
  13. Set out with new visions of aligning my inner and outer purpose
  14. Met more women
  15. Started a newsletter
  16. Started a blog
  17. and the chain goes on and on

Within this general chain is the relationships with myself and other great people. Overcoming my fears, trusting myself and taking action is creating my strongest life chain.

Somewhere between flying by the seat of your pants and keeping your head down, missing those "oh yes" moments, are the moments that create a great chain re"Action".

Think about whether you are driving with your head in the map or reading the map first, driving, stopping for rest and fuel and getting back on the road with your eyes on the vision, ready to stop for more fuel, rest, inspiration or just a NEW map, if necessary.

ACTION ACTION ACTION your way to your strong life chain reACTION and remember go along your journey spreading joy, shreading fear and having fun, always keeping your eye on the vision.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Old Spirit Reading Some New Material

I feel whole when surrounded by OLD things. Chairs, pictures, repurposed junk made into beautiful mobiles, knotted wood with worm holes and old true stories. I think I'm an old soul.

The Traveling Princess B*A*G Lady suggested that I ditch my standard non-fiction, self help, spiritual journey kind of books and venture out a little. Just finished Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. Quite good. Really my kind of book.

Well, went to the bookstore tonight and picked up, Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen. I'll let you know how it turns out. Fiction, villians, mystery and idiotic characters I'm told.

I'm forging into a new kind of book with an old soul. Boy do I know how to have an adventure. HA!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ms. Misery Loves Company or not?

You know when you are in a bad mood and your well intentioned joyous friend comes bee bopping up to you and you just want to bite her bee bopping head off, just because she is in a good mood? What in the hell gives her the right to be all bubbly? Didn't she get the memo? If my life sucks I have the right to suck the life out of everything around me. MS. MISERY LOVES COMPANY, BUT ONLY IF THAT COMPANY WANTS TO SHARE IN HER MISERY.

We've all had our Ms. Misery and Ms. Bee Bop moments. Here are some tips for our double personalities.

MS. MISERY being confronted by MS. BEE BOP

  1. If you are so far gone that you can't accept a little smile and a good morning just lock yourself in your room and send out an SOS.
  2. Give Ms. Bee Bop fair warning that you are not accepting any happiness in a very matter of fact manner. Ms. Bee Bop just wants the facts
  3. Let Ms. Bee Bop take her Happy Hammer and tap your misery shell so a little happiness can seep in.
MS. BEE BOP confronting MS. MISERY
  1. Once Ms. Misery has stated the facts, test the waters with non confrontational waves.
  2. Don't engage in happy conversation, just bring her her favorite soft drink. Ms. Misery really wants her happiness to come out, but it can't be forced. Wait for her to start talking.
  3. If her conversation is all about her misery, smile and nod, provide support, only give advise if requested.
  4. Do not feed the misery animal with misery snacks. It will cause a feeding frenzy.
Happiness can seem like the most unpopular thing, misery definitely loves misery company. I have also experienced women who disguise misery as happiness and become Ms. Rumor Mill. They are so miserable in their lives that they bee bop around talking about other's miseries or uninteresting life events, so they don't have to deal with their own misery. I challenge you to let rumors go in one ear and out the other, at the risk of entering the rumor mill isolation zone.
Smile, nod and let your happiness show in your actions. Much harder said than done for sure. A little less conversation a little more action can go a long way.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Let's Strip

We come into the world as nature's art. Beautiful, no embarrassment comes with this nudity. Mom, dad, doctor, nurse immediately focus on the boy/girl area. Wham the first label is slapped on.

We're in such a hurry to label our sweet innocent bundles. Thank goodness for ultrasounds. Well you know it is nice to plan ahead. Pink or blue. Princesses or turtles. Can you find the turtle?

The label of boy or girl evolves into Norman or Priscilla. (My dad's name is Norman and I can't imagine calling a cute little baby Norman) I did have a boyfriend whose name was Tracy, he was definitely all boy. And Johnny Cash wrote of a boy named Sue. So, it just goes to show that labels are infinitely flawed.

Last weekend, sitting in the food court at the Mall of America I enjoyed one of my favorite pass times, "people watching". From the seemingly sound proof booth of my own mind, placing labels on each person as they pass, some solo, others with their significant other and moms and dads with their families. Of course I am not being obvious. What else am I suppose to do? Continuously stare at my food? Now that would have looked strange.

We desire labels and curse labels. I am so confused. One day popular, so yesterday the next.

This one women must have been following us around or maybe I just noticed her over others because she looked so stunning. I saw her at every store. She looked very sophisticated, long perfectly ironed brunette hair, yellow coat, perfectly executed makeup application, wearing high heeled boots. I imagined she had a workaholic husband bringing in loads of cash as she occupied her time taking this cash buying labels, covering her naked soul.

Now let's imagine, people watching, where everybody was stripped of labels. Let's not go as far as having everyone at the Mall of America walking around naked. Ok everyone is wearing a white sweat suits, no make up, no hair spray, no sun glasses, no jewelry. What would we look at? Well we could look at how everyone's butts look bad in white sweat pants, but before you see their butts, just maybe you would be more inclined to look into their eyes.

I had the opportunity to learn more about somebody at work this week. He revealed a part of his life that was so fascinating. He was on his lunch break, sitting in the cafeteria reading a book. Now I knew he was a honest hard working family man, but who would have known that by asking him, "is it a good book" that it would unveil his experiences as he traveled the world for a year, carrying all his belongings on his back. I will make a point to arrange more conversations with him in the future, which will be easy because I shared some books with him today. We will need to discuss them eventually. See, even "good" labels can blind us.

Let's strip ourselves and others of labels. Hey, the cold breezy fresh air, against our nakedness, will allow us to show others we are happy to see them. Work the pole ladies.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nice BAG, Lady!

Gina makes some nice bags, ladies. She gets her B*A*G on, making bags.

I've entered to win one of her bags and if I win I am going to give it away to anybody that comments that they love it.

Her bag in my bag. Hint, Hint, Gina. No honestly I am all about fair contests.

Monday, October 27, 2008

One of my favorite words - Resonate

After listening to Rabbi Schmuley's radio broadcast today I was prepared to write my post on one of my favorite words, RESONATE. It dawned on me that the opposite of resonate is offend. Today's topic was about why Americans are so easily offended. Rabbi ends his broadcast with his Schmuleyism, so here's today's.

"America is cultivating a 'culture of offense,' whereby as groups and individuals, we look to be offended. Yet, we should not be victims, and we shouldn't allow others to wound us. If someone insults or hurts us, we should focus on the 'hurt,' and not on the 'wound.'"

Resonate - to relate harmoniously : strike a chord

Offend - to cause difficulty, discomfort, or injury

I believe you choose to be offended (in a general sense), but do not have a choice about what resonates with you. Let's start with what I have chosen to be offended by:

  1. Howard Stern's radio show. I simply do not listen therefore am not offended any longer.
  2. Gruesome horror films. The thought of these films causes a physical reaction, as I have grown older.
  3. My ex-mother-in-law judgement's of me . This was certainly about my own wounds of feeling inadequate. I rather like her now.
  4. Too much stuff in my home. It drowns out the stuff that resonates with me.

Now my resonate list or what I like to call my OH Yes Moments. You don't just go out and buy stuff that resonates with you. It's sort of like happily browsing, not forcing a purchase and suddenly, "BAM! Harmonious angels singing" And when I am not in the present moment, I miss the moments that resonate with me.

  1. Earthy colors
  2. My children's laughter
  3. Junk repurposed into cool stuff, IE: mobile hanging in my kitchen and my new prickly pickle necklace
  4. The uncontrollable urge to wiggle my butt when I hear music
  5. Cheesecake with strawberries
  6. Any fruity smelling eau de toilette
  7. Being myself, IE: being really corny and goofy (does anybody have a job that pays for being corny and goofy?)
  8. Driving through the Bad Lands in South Dakota imagining Native America's being there long ago
  9. Brief moments when my children are loving towards each other
  10. Meditating

In conclusion, in order for me to be in my resonate frequency 24/7, I must tour in the Bad Lands, dressed as a Prickly Pickle Native American, telling corny jokes, while dancing to sounds of my wind chime, while eating cheesecake. Afterwards I will spray myself with fruity eau de toilette and force my children to meditate with me, which will stop them from frighting.


The beauty about resonate is that it such a natural thing that can't be forced. Take these moments as they come and soak them in. You will be so busy finding the harmony you won't have time to be offended.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

B*A*G Book Notes - Why Work Sucks Chapter Five, Six & Seven

All and all I will conclude this series of posts by highly recommending this book to anybody who leads people or is overwhelmed with life in general. I view their philosophy as the ultimate in business process improvement. From the beginning they didn't need to win me over, but can see how introducing it to business leaders could be scary. It turns the status quo on it's head.
I feel ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) will challenge leader's egos before it will challenge leader's logic. Also leaders in ROWE will really need to come with their "A" game. And it dawned on me that when you get down to results, stereotypes and assumptions bases on sex, ethnicity etc could be given less thought.
Although supported by the leaders at Best Buy, the implementation and success was primarily due to grass roots support. For the employees, by the employees, preserved by the employees. From the mouths of our fore fathers.
In conclusion Cali and Jody are passionate about improving work environments everywhere. These ladies are on a mission and they have done their homework. Like Cali and Jody would say, "Let's rock and ROWE."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Family Tradition - Take Two

Aunt Sheryl loved the fall colors. She would come home to Iowa in the fall, as she had made Colorado her home as a younger adult. Colorado is beautiful and majestic, but I must join Sheryl's free spirit in embracing nature's collage of yellows, oranges, browns and greens, painted upon high reaching bluffs, against the gorgeous blue sky on a late October day along the Mississippi river.

The Lampe Family Tradition in Aunt Sheryl's Spirit

HELLLLOOOOO fall! Hay rides, petting ponies, Pumpkins, apples sweet, apples crisp, apples covered in carmel, heavenly sweet and tart, juice runs down our chins. 56 degrees F, with a slight breeze against the the dry leaves that hadn't yet given away to blanketing the still warm earth, broadcasting the sound of rustling and tumbling leaves. Today marks the second annual "Aunt Sheryl Fall Day Excursion".

10:30 AM, off to Pepin Heights Apple Orchard in Lake City to buy "just picked" Honeycrisp apples, sparkling apple cider, carmel apples and our first pumpkin. Off to Wabash's Eagle Center. The splitting waters between Minnesota and Wisconsin is home to these majestic birds. If Gavin could be a bird I am certain he would want to be an Eagle, strong, noble and powerful. Yes, and definitely mischievous.

Over the bridge and through the swamp to Nelson Creamery we go where cream turns into ice cream and salty cheese curbs. We're now in Wisconsin and it would be sin not to come home with some cheese.

Weaving up, down, around and through the bluffs we were on to the pumpkin patch. Mom picks a piggy with a curly tail, Gavin a misshapen Frankenstein head and Paige perfectly shaped plump green goblin with mohawk stem. Add indian corn, apple flavored donuts, squash, gourds and a few drinks and we're ready to call it day. Homeward bound.

Dad wasn't with us today as he just started a new job in Las Vegas, home every other weekend. Last year, dad navigated our first "Aunt Sheryl Fall Day Excursion" not yet considered in a tradition. I made it official today. We won't do exactly the same things each year, but we will travel this fall day in the spirit of Aunt Sheryl, making it an adventure.

Traditions create memories. Observing traditions with flexibility, outside of a set schedule make it an adventure. Buying and eating foods of fall prepare me to HIBERNATE.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

B*A*G Book Notes - The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Today I finished reading The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow and watched the video of his actual last lecture at Carnegie Mellon. Literally it was Randy's last lecture and he knew this while giving the lecture. He had received a prognosis that he would likely only live 3-6 months, after aggressively treating pancreatic cancer. Randy passed this Jul, 22 months after being diagnosed.

Talk about turning your baggage into B*A*G. His lecture and book has given me a healthy dose of fuel for my Believe Act Go Traveling Sanctuary. I've kinda been moping around lately and after reading this book I am thinking, "Self, you have got to be kidding me. What the hell do you have to be depressed about?" This man knows he will die soon, leaving behind a loving wife and three young children and look at what he is doing. He chose to LIVE the rest of his days for his wife and children and ended up gifting millions without premeditation. Major KARMA payback after leading an honest, earnest life.

I have turned Randy's 57 short story "life lessons" from his book into "Randy spent a day with Kim Lampe and they came up with this TO DO LIST:

  1. Inspire your children to dream

  2. Enable their dreams

  3. Accept help from others

  4. Don't be afraid of brick walls, they are their to remind us how bad you want what's on the other side. How bad do you want it?

  5. Spread joy

  6. Shred fear

  7. Have Fun

  8. Believe

  9. Act

  10. Go to your dreams

  11. Bring your Traveling Sanctuary to others

Fueling your Traveling Sanctuary by reading and listening to inspirational stories is a requirement if you plan on GOING where your dreams will meet your reality. False inner and outer critics will steal your fuel very quickly. Your physical body can't go very long without eating. What makes you think you can go without fueling your dreams?
Dreaming is Believing
Believing is Doing
Doing is Believing
Now Go to your Dreams.
Go Go. Go Ladies go go go. Go Ladies go go go. Go Ladies Go.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

B*A*G Book Notes - Why Work Sucks Chapter Four

What Time Feels Like in a ROWE

Trey was somewhat anti-corporate before taking a job at Best Buy. His friends could hardly believe that he could work when he wanted and wherever he wanted. This isn't the corporate America they knew.

You know those neighbors that you don't know, but casually observe their comings and goings. The ones that don't seem to have regular work hours. Well if Trey was one of those neighbors you would think that he was independently wealthy or a secret agent that has a mission every 2 weeks or so. Well he's not independently wealthy with money. He's independently wealthy with the freedom of how he spends his time as long as he gets the results expected at his career at Best Buy.

Their team works smart in ROWE. They go with each other's strengths. I hear playing with your strength is very fulfilling and rewarding. Before ROWE their team completed 12 projects a month. In ROWE they complete as many as 43.

Trey has followed his favorite bands 2 weeks straight, spent a weekend in Chicago and stayed over until Monday, camped in a state forest and back to Chicago for Lollapalooza, all without taking a day of vacation??????????? All this and tripling their production. Sounds too good to be true, but it's not.

As ROWE was being implemented they felt they needed to shake things up with 13 guideposts. Here they are directly from the book Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It, by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, Page 89, Chapter 4. They had to get management's attention and let them know they meant business.
  1. People at all levels stop doing any activity that is a waste of their time, the customer's time or the company's time.
  2. Employees have the freedom to work any way they want.
  3. Every day feels like Saturday.
  4. People have an unlimited amount of "paid time off" as long as the work gets done.
  5. Work isn't a place you go-it's something you do.
  6. Arriving at the workplace at 2:00 pm is not considered coming in late. Leaving the workplace at 2:00 pm is not considered leaving early.
  7. Nobody talks ab out how many hours they work.
  8. Every meeting is optional.
  9. It's okay to grocery shop on Wednesday morning, catch a movie on a Tuesday afternoon, or take a nap on a Thursday afternoon.
  10. There are not work schedules.
  11. Nobody feels guilty, overworked, or stressed-out.
  12. There aren't any last-minute fire drills.
  13. There is no judgement about how you spend your time.

How easily we get used to the fire drills at work. We don't even question them. They so scream, "lack of focus on results" and "we have been running around like chickens with our heads cut off for so long we don't know how to stop". "Look at me, I am so valuable and needed I am the first one they call. Here I am to save the day, from what I am not exactly sure, but damn I feel pretty important."

Employees in ROWE don't take advantage of their new found freedom. They feel so advantaged that they reward their businesses with more results.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Aren't Dads Suppose to Teach their Sons to Lift The....


I usually don't make a habit of ranting on my blog. Not too empowering, but I was so inspired by an unpleasant experience just 10 minutes ago. Let's just say that I failed to observe prior to taking a rest on the only seat available in the necessary room. GAVIN!!!!!!!!!! Oh I am so disgusted. Do boys ever learn to wrangle their their .... wee wee's? Just hit the hole. It's not a small hole. Do you have attention deficit? Usually you are so in tune with it (your wee wee's that is and well holes too for that matter). Ready! Aim! Fire!

My husband's job takes him away from home and we just ended a month long tour without him. I so appreciate what he does for Gavin and what he teaches Gavin (Gavin's 6). I'm adding a few things to the "still need to teach him" list.

  1. It's not completely healthy when your mother gets her needed dose of affection from the family dog when dad is away. Throw mom a bone occasionally and give her a hug and kiss. She will be like putty in your hands.
  2. When you show unconditional love to the family dog and tell TULA that you LOVE her, your mother takes joy in knowing that everyone has the capacity to give unconditional love. Even if you don't hug and kiss mom any more.
  3. Don't make such a big deal about dad coming home, after a month, and proclaim that the delicious supper of mashed potatoes and meatloaf, cooked by dad, is the best home cooked meal they have had in a while. Mom's not exactly proud of her new microwavable meal menu plan.
  4. LIFT THE LID. Don't wait so long to go to the bathroom that you are in such a rush and do not have time to LIFT THE LID. Ok is this clear??? LIFT THE LID.

I so admire single parents!!!!!! I believe they are champions.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Put Your Traveling Sanctuary into Nuetral - Be Still

Look at the tremendous energy just before the calm of the water below. There is a time for stillness. My wish is that you find just 5 minutes a day to quiet your mind. It takes practice being still. It's hard for women who do too much to trust the "productivity" that hides in the stillness. So much of your wisdom can be found there. Quiet room, pay attention to your breathing, close your eyes. Ask yourself, "Am I breathing?"


In the stillness my heart is full. It overflows.
I am rendered speechless. There are no words to describe this feeling I have.
As my heart overflows a river appears that reaches beyond.
This river connects to every living creature and abundance exists.

I do not want to leave the stillness, but I know I must.
I must remember that I can bring it to every moment and every moment I must.

This must be what true love is. How can it not be.
As true love is the greatest gift and in stillness the greatest gift I have received.
Love is inside me and inside every being.

This gift I have must be shared, but how I wonder.
I know it is inside us all, if only glimpses at a time.
I see, I must be the mirror to others so they can see it in themselves.

I now cry tears of joy. The river flows.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

B*A*G Book Notes - Why Work Sucks Chapter Three

A Results-Only Work Environment

Phil has worked in a ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) for 3 1/2 years. Basically Phil talks about focus, focus, focus on results, not cutting yourself into 46 pieces so you can give one piece to each of your 46 goals. Dancing B*A*G Lady translation, "Yes, yes, now I see I will give 1/46th of my brain to 1/46th of the puzzle, that's how I'll will get some results." Damn here's the problem, I'm not good at puzzles so I am not sure how we can get the 46 pieces back together again to make a whole.

Ok, I'm going to be honest about this chapter, boring. Where's the drama, the back stabbing, the judgement? Oh yah, I'm not reading a romance novel, I'm reading about businesses. Not that getting and focusing on results isn't fun, but many of us don't have the privilege of being around motivated, freed employees. If we did live in a ROWE reality I think we would love it and fight to keep it. That sounds pretty fun to me. It just takes a little getting used to.

Now get a load of the definition ROWE evolved into, "Each person is free to do whatever they want, whenever they want, as long as the work gets done." Starting to sound like they are really serious. I'm going to have a discussion like this with my daughter concerning her bedroom (she's thirteen). "Paige, you are free to do whatever you want, whenever you want as long as your room is kept free of wet towels and molding cereal bowls." Um, I don't think so, but honestly some managers think they need to treat their employees like 13 year olds. Not very empowering.

Cali and Jody do bring up of the matter of hourly employees. The Department of Labor requires by law that non-exempt employees still track their time in order to get paid. I little technicality for ROWE.

Finally, change is hard, but worth it. If you're judged on results, not time, you get pretty clear about what results are needed AND you know they mean business when you listen to how Trey talks about his work leading into chapter four. ROWE ROCKS!!!! JUST ASK TREY.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Nose Knows

Your nose knows, my nose knows and my dog's nose knows. Scents have an uncanny ability to trigger memories because they are the only sense that directly connects to the part of the brain that stores emotional memories. Oh to be a dog.

My nose diary:

I love the smell of rubber. I can't walk through Wal-Mart's automotive department without taking a deep breath. I had the hots for a guy in high school who was a gear head and we probably made out next the stack of new tires at the auto shop????? I like the power of an 8 cylinder muscle car too. Boy that Chevy had some power.

I love walking to Marien's Deli over my noon hour to have lunch. I walk in and instant comfort. It brings me back to my grandma's kitchen. Homemade bread, rhubarb jam, dill pickles, ham. We lived 7 hours away from my grandparents. Grandma would make ham sandwiches with butter for our trip back home. Mariens makes ham sandwiches with butter and other really good comfort food.

When I was a little girl I got scared a lot at night and would go to my parents room. I knew which pillow was my dad's.

I carry Bath and Body Works Instant Aromatherapy Headache Relief. Peppermint and Geranium. I'm not sure how it works but it opens up something and must let oxygen flow. Oxygen is good for the brain you know.

Corn beef hash, not so good.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

B*A*G Book Notes - Why Work Sucks Chapter Two

This Thing We Call Sludge(sm)

Sludge wonderful sludge. How can I make people look bad without it? Sludge wonderful sludge. Is there anything you can do about it? Sludge wonderful sludge. You might as well just shout it.

"SLUDGE" Say it and you visualize walking through mucky, black, slimy stuff. It slows you down. Makes you feel like you've gained 20 lbs and just is not good stuff. Here is Cali and Jody's definition from page 30, Chapter 1. Why Work Suck and How to Fix It.

"We call this kind of judgement Sludge (sm). Sludge is the negative commentary that occurs naturally in workplace and is based on the beliefs about time and work. ......When we judge people- we Sludge them - we are expressing outdated attitudes about time and about what work looks like and how it gets done. ...... We judge to make ourselves look better, to show other people (and ourselves) that we're the hardest working, we're the most dedicated."

Since reading this chapter I have become acutely aware of this practice. I have Sludged and I have been Sludged. One main point about this commentary is that is takes the attention off of results.

Chapter 2 also challenges the notion that flex time will give people work life balance. Flex time is not the same as results only work environment. And they say the issue is about trust. Typically flex time includes a bunch of BUTS and is only given to the privileged few. We trust you but let's try have this as a trial. We trust you but not so and so. The say, "....they only thing worse than complete mistrust is mistrust masquerading as trust."

Now back to the Sludge. There are three types of Sludge:

  1. Sludge Anticipation - anxiety from expecting judgement from co-workers.
  2. Sludge Justification - the excuses you rehearse to justify why you left early.
  3. Back Sludge - Talking about other workers when they are not present.

All sounds like unproductive dysfunctional finger pointing to me. Hey we have all done this at least once. So, the first thing is to not accept Sludge and start making judgements based on their ability to meet goals and their performance. Again it turns the energy toward results.

I believe Sludge is negative energy. I will not accept it. We will go get some butt kicking results without it.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ditch the Bitch Badge

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

***Warning the "B" word is coming up & it's not "B"elieve**** If you are offended I understand, but it's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Back around 1998ish (give or take a year) I was confined to the corner of a windowless office with two other women. Down the corridor in front of us were 5 other women and 2 around the corner and to the left. We talked to each other and customers 8-9 hours a day. Some days it felt like a locker room and some days like a hen house. I wouldn't exactly call it mixed company, but some days things probably did get a little out of hand. I felt bad for any man entering this estrogen domain for his first time.

It was in this locker room/hen house environment that the "three ladies in the corner" briefly adopted the song, "Bitch" by Meredith Brooks. And I think they pinned it on me first. We found the song a bit provocative with a catchy beat. I really didn't pay attention to the lyrics until this week.

The Bitch Is In Town!!!!

Now I believe we latched on to it because secretly some of us women wear it as a badge of honor one second, but certainly would be offended if somebody called us this to our face or behind our backs, the next.

An assertive woman may acquire the badge for one of two reasons:

1. The pinner is intimidated by assertive women (or any assertive person)
2. The woman is overly assertive, due to her fear of others not taking her seriously.

Yes, my husband did call me the B word once. Yes, I was being overly assertive because I let stuff build up, exploding with emotions. I was being a big itch (safe word my hubby can use to tell me I am over reacting) and not in a good way. I am letting him off the hook and "Bitch" by Meredith Brooks helps me understand why I should. I'm not condoning his actions. It was a one time offense for which I am forgiving him. Here are the lyrics.

I hate the world today......You're so good to me, I know.......But I can't change..... Tried to tell you but you looked at me like maybe i'm an angel underneath..... Innocent and sweet

Yesterday I cried.....You must have been relieved to see the softer side....I can understand how you'd be so confused...I don't envy you...I'm a little of everything...All rolled into one


I'm a bitch... I'm a lover... I'm a child... I'm a mother... I'm a sinner... I'm a saint.... I do not feel ashamed... I'm your hell... I'm your dream... I'm nothing in between... you know you wouldn't want it any other way

So take me as I am... This may mean you'll have to be a stronger man...Rest assured that when I start to make you nervous... And I'm going to extremes... Tomorrow I will change... And today won't mean a thing


Just when you think you got me figured out...The seasons already changing...I think its cool you do what you do...And don't try to save me


I'm a bitch.. .I'm a tease...I'm a goddess on my knees.. When you're hurt... When you suffer...I'm your angel undercover...I've been numb... I'm revived...Can't say I'm not alive...You know I wouldn't want it any other way

Let's ditch the bitch badge. Let's just be ourselves. Strong, but comfortable with our flaws. Willing to be the best we can be. Get your B*A*G on Ladies.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pure Love of a Child - Grandpa and Grandchild

Grandpa Longenius Hochstein came to me in my dream last night. They called him Long for short. I don't recall ever dreaming of my grandpa before last night. I came across this photograph of him weeks ago. It reminds me to love today with the pure love of a child. Unassuming, grateful for just the time together. I shouldn't let adulthood pollute the purity of my inner child.

The cousins posing so playfully. Pigeons. Pets one hour and target practice the next. The farm. Oh what a great place to be. Here's my chance. Standing on the picnic table. Just at the right height to give Grandpa a kiss.

He was a quiet thoughtful man. There was nothing better than a ride in his Chevy pickup. Brown with a topper. Always Certs in the door pocket ready for the stealing. And don't forget that monkey that lived inside the air conditioner. Strangely enough the monkey would only squeal when Grandpa turned on the fan.

There is so much more I could write about my Grandpa, but no need. It is all visible to me looking at the pure love I have for him in this picture.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

B*A*G Book Notes - Why Work Sucks Chapter 1

Chapter One - Why Work Sucks


You meet Gina. She is in her mid-thirties. Here's her view of most work environments. I'm putting a snarky spin on her view. These are my words not her's. Snarky is a word I've been hearing a lot lately.

  • Company = Parent

  • Parent = Rule setting control freaks (stock holders like it that way)

  • Employee = Child

  • Children = Not to be trusted with their own time

Time + Physical presence = results* ROWE sets out to prove that this is a false perception.

Time can become your enemy. Not enough of it or too much to fit in it. 40 hours a week at work with so many other obligations. How can you be "present" at work when all you think of is everything you need to cram into the hours outside of it? This is were presenteeism enters the workplace. Physically at your workplace, but mentally wishing you could be at your child's daytime program.

Here are some beliefs about work. (paradigms, perceptions)

  • Results are proportional to effort**

  • If you give people control over their schedules, they will take advantage of the system**

  • If people can get their work done is less time, they should get more work**

People judge other people and particularly on how they spend their time and especially at work. When these judgements are expressed directly or indirectly they call this Sludge (sm). Parents work less, therefor getting less results. So and so should get that promotion, since they put in the most hours.

They say the first step to ROWE is to change our outdated beliefs and judgements. It's not enough just knowing what makes work suck.

This post is a summary and brief intrepretation and all references are from Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It.

* page 13

**page 24

Monday, September 8, 2008

B*A*G Book Notes - First in a Series of Many

Here's my first post I will call B*A*G Book Notes". Kinda like cliff notes for really busy women (all of us). I will translate each chapter into B*A*G terms. So watch out Oprah! Your book club has nothing on me. I am actually a fan of Oprah. I totally buy into this whole, Live Your Best Life, thing.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE.............First featured book is...........ladies and ladies.........

Is WORK a four letter work for you? Sometimes work does SUCK. So, I was intrigued to learn more about how to make work SUCK less or not at all. You know there is something about the word SUCKS that kinda gets your attention. Let's say it in unison, out loud (all children out of the room) SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS. It kinda has a certain ring to it. Now that I have that out of my system. Typing this word is one thing, but saying it in a mixed crowd is not recommended.

Let me frame it up for you. This book challenges us to shift how we measure success at work. They claim our mentality around "time' at work is from The Industrial Age. It discusses presenteeism and the hours of unproductive time spent at work. There is a misconception that the more time you spend at work the more value an employee brings to the company.

Cali and Jody helped to develop the ROWE (sm) - Results Only Work Environment at Best Buy, which essentially gave employees back control of their time as long as they produced the results. This means there are no set hours or meetings. Best Buy saw their productivity increase in departments that adopted ROWE (sm). They do not claim it to be an easy transition or that it is for every company, but they.....

believe there is a better way, worthy of consideration for the sake of more productive companies and a society filled with happier citizens with more balanced lives. There are small actions needed to slowly move towards ROWE (sm). Companies can go beyond treating employees as children and reap the rewards of increased productivity, innovation and moral.

Stay tuned for chapter one B*A*G Book Notes - Why Work Sucks

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Memory of 9/11. What is a women to do?

Live. Forgive. Seek. Imagine.

I'm writing this post Sunday morning September 7th, 2008 at 12:50 am.
Without giving much thought to the soon approaching anniversary of the terrorist attacks that occured 9/11/2001 I rented a documentary, On Native Soil, yesterday afternoon. It is a documentary of the 9/11 Commission Report.
AM 9/11/2001 - I was sitting in the doctor's office, waiting to be seen by my doctor, anticipating the birth of my son. I was listening to the radio as these events unfolded in misbelief.

I do not find many movie rentals very appealing these days and decided to browse the special interest section. I suppose with my mind filled with overwhelming information, opinions and criticisms of recent events leading up to the presidential election I was drawn towards my selection.

An overpowering conclusion came to me. Not a new one, but one with more intensity. I only have control over my own actions. I am confronted with decisions every second, every hour, every day, every week, every year. Some hard, some easy, some even robotic. Being a robot? Am I hypnotized, low on fuel, complacent, traveling along my journey directed by borrowed and bought beliefs. PERHAPS.

All is not lost, tomorrow is a new day, but at the same time a new day that could be lost to my robotic mind. Which will I decide?

Stand in judgement OR seek to understand
Help OR
turn a blind eye
Find excues OR
find a way

It seems so complicated, but it is not so. You know as do I, that deep down we all know what is right and good. I have faith in humanity and in myself.

My final thoughts. People will make mistakes, people will be hurt. If you hurt or do wrong, apologize and find a way to do better. If you have been hurt, forgive (including forgiving yourself) even if an apology has not been spoken. Seemingly complicated situations require simple imagination. Allow your mind to go there.

When a small group of surviving family members of the 9/11 attacks came together to demand answers, wanting their loved ones' death not to be in vain, they were simply asking for the truth, an apology and a committment to doing better. One man gave them this at the conclusion of the long drawn out commission.

Within your reach of influence you have much power to make this world worth living in. Your mind, your heart, your family, your community, your company, your state, your country, your world, your universe. I have faith in myself and humanity. I hate to even imagine the alternative.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Put some B*A*G Fuel In Your Bag

I got a new bag yesterday and I must say I LOVE IT!!! Barbara and Sarah of ete handbags customized the perfect bag for me. You can choose your inner/outer fabrics (I added a plastic liner), add inside pockets, add a matching coin purse, etc. You see I've added some maintenance tools & fuel to my Bag (Traveling Sanctuary), so I needed some more leg room and trunk space.

My B*A*G in my bag.....
  1. What is a Dancing B*A*G Lady without her Ipod? A Crazy B*A*G Lady shaking her booty to pretend music. Trust me I do dance when there is no music playing, I call it doing the "Happy Dance". Eating yummy food and finding stray coinage invoke the "Happy Dance".
  2. A "no excuse not to use a reusable shopping bag" compact shopping bag from Target, supplied by Green Bag helps me do my part to preserve the environment. Seems so small, but every little bit helps. Small Changes = Big Benefits. 'Here I come to Save The Earth"!
  3. Food For Thought - Daily Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much. Perspective, perspective, perspective.
  4. Brain dumping into this little green journal is like having my own personal therapist. The good, the bad, the ugly. It all eventually makes sense, even if it is seven years later (story for another blog entry).

Remember, "Let's Make A Deal" game show? Well it's the end of this post so I ask, "Do you have any B*A*G fuel in your bag? Love to hear from you.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I am Sooo Tired Tonight

I am going to be good tonight and go to bed at a decent time. I'm sitting here with my daughter telling her how proud I am of myself learning all kinds of new stuff on embedding code, adding badges and other techie kind of stuff. Old dogs CAN learn new tricks and it makes us want to do back flips. Better make sure I don't throw my back out or break my arm patting myself on the back.

Right now I asked my daughter, Paige to go take a picture, so I can add it to this post. She is so creative and fun. She's my young B*A*G girl in the optimism photo. She did that herself with a timer and photoshop. I think she has some talent!!!!

Here's my random thought of the day.

Big Ass Book of Crafts - About $25 I see much blogging love out there for this book!!

Old Chair from Salvation Army $10

10 rolls of colorful Duct tape $30

Spending time with your daughter creating a cool, funky chair for her bedroom

Priceless Oh YES Moment!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Inspired By Laundry - Turning my Baggage into BAG

"Mom!!!!!!! where is my tennis uniform?!?!" Yes, I am your mother and how would I know where you left your uniform? Logic would tell you that I picked it off of your bedroom floor, scattered with clean and dirty clothes, but these days doing laundry just isn't that important. Why do you think everyone in the house has 2 weeks supply of underwear? Hey I actually wore a dress to work the other day. Everyone asked me what the occasion was and I replied, "I didn't have anything else to wear and laundry day is 3 days away."

Well as usual the laundry has piled up and today was marathon laundry day. I really was in the zone, but thinking to myself why the heck do we own so many clothes that I can let laundry go this long? Seems pretty wasteful. That got me thinking about my closet. How many times have I thought to myself, "look at all these clothes"? Old, too small, too big, FLANNEL, pleats in the front that make my belly look puffy, out of date. I have been thinking this for at least a year.

A job I thought was going to take hours took exactly 2o minutes. Like I said I was in a zone today. Here's what I learned from letting go of the baggage of old unworn clothes.

  1. Keeping a range of clothes sizes 8-16 whispers in your ear that you can not maintain a healthy weight for your life time. I gained some confidence today only keeping the stuff that fits today and will fit in a few months because I will strive to become more fit and healthy.

  2. If the weight I could lose equaled the weight of that pile of clothes I would be a size 0. Size 10-12 is more realistic.

  3. Front pleats can not look good, even on a 100 lb runway model. PLEATS???WHY???

  4. There is an irony in buying 20 plastic hangers from Wal-Mart one day and the next gaining 41 more which no longer hold old ugly clothes.

  5. Your 6 year old son can be self sufficient and get his own snack (strawberries with sugar)when mom is busy on a mission.

  6. A JUST DO IT attitude works when birthing babies AND cleaning out your closet.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Money, Power, Superwoman - All That and a Lifetime of Free Massages? I Think NOT!

If having money, being powerful, snatching up that promotion, and imitating Superman was all that and a lifetime of free massages we (women) would have gone up, up and away through that so called glass ceiling, scattering glass across corporate America and the blogospere. They're even talking about a glass ceiling for women bloggers, a topic at the Blogher conference. I'm not going to categorize all women together, but humor me while I generalize about this subject.

Let's go back to the 1943. World War II had taken away much of the manufacturing workforce needed to produce goods for the war. Rosie the Riveter was born out of the government's desire to summons women's patriotism. Women answered the call, "We Can Do It!" On average these woman worked for $31.41 per week, while men doing the same work earned $54.65. After the war most were told, "Thanks for your patriotism, now go back to your homes and let the men do their work."

Their act of patriotism probably did open many doors for women in the workforce, but I would have been fuming mad if I had been treated that way. I know exactly what I would have done with that energy. Set out to prove myself, which women have done and almost to a fault. I would say that today we misinterpret this icon to mean "We Can Do It All, with a baby on our hip, while running the household,while blah blah and blah blah blahing.

Rosie the Riveter, a believable strong women, has morphed into Superwoman, an unrealistic super hero. I love this iconic poster, but I am rethinking what it means to me and I hope you can look at it and find your own definition of being a strong successful women, whether you are in corporate America, run your own business or orchestrate a somewhat smooth running household.

Here's my Believe Act Go challenge to you today. Don't be a Yes lady and pile one more layer of Kryptonite on top of your Superwomen mentality. Be your own, Lois Lane, and try a few of these strategies.

  1. Learn some lessons from our "sometimes" smarter halves - Men usually do not ask permission to engage in male bounding time. Schedule downtime to be with yourself or girlfriend(s) without asking permission. PUT IT ON YOUR SCHEDULE JUST LIKE TIMMY'S BASEBALL SCHEDULE. If we don't "schedule" this time we will fill it with more chores.
  2. Success List - Write down what is really important to you. Maybe categorize them by your roles. Write down your typical actions. Connect the lists. Will your actions help you achieve the things that are important to you? Select an action that doesn't line up and stop doing it.
  3. Can You Believe She... - Your BAG (Believe Act Go) is not her BAG. Her BAG is not your BAG. Women have a tendency to be hard on each other. This can add to our guilt because we value other women's opinion. Often we are reflecting our own fears onto other women. Next time you start to say, "Can you believe that so and so........STOP and think why you care. Replace with, I can't believe I .....
  4. Ask for Help - Asking for help is not, I repeat, IS NOT a sign of weakness. Many times we hesitate to ask for help and before we know it we are in over our heads and reach a state of being overwhelmed. Overwhelmed? Ask for help.
  5. Balance Your Roles - When you're not fulfilled in one role we tend to over compensate in another. Re-balance your roles and energy spent in each worthwhile role.
  6. Take your own best advise.
I have found that when you have spent 15 years working towards a somewhat borrowed belief that success = a new home, new cars, promotions and buying your children pretty much anything they want, it takes a little time letting go of that false sense of security.
A wise women once told me (in not so many words) that it is not our beauty that gives us our strength. It is our strength that give us our beauty.