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!!