Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dishwashing Dictators & Kind Cake Bakers

"I can give you guidance for doing a task, but unless you "discover" your own way of doing it you won't own it."- Tom Peters.

Oh my, what a control freak.  And over such a trivial thing, loading a dishwasher.  I sit quietly, trying to appreciate that another family member is actually loading the dishwasher. "Um, no, the glasses go on the right and the the bowls on the left."  And just to add a little more annoyance to their good deed I add, "For god sakes, you don't have to wash them before you put them in the dishwasher. Get it?  It's a "dish" "washer"."

I'm having flash backs of my mother lecturing us on how to properly wash a car.  "You always start at the top and work your way down. See this is how you do it (high pitched voice)."  We'd stand back and observe knowing that by the time the demonstration was over, half the car would be spotless and done HER way.  Such cruel children, but she brought it upon herself.  We should have just told her, "Mom, we yearn to make it our own."  Yeah, right. On a more serious note, I don't know where I would be without the work ethic instilled in me by my parents.   We always give my mom grief about her slave driving days.  Now that she has relaxed about 100 fold, it's so much fun imitating her.  Today, I go to the car wash.  It does an excellent good.

I'll never forget the day my mom came home from work, finding my sister Michelle, 10 years old at the time, in the kitchen with a baffled look on her face.  "Mom the egg whites won't dissolve."  Mom said, "What are you talking about?"  "Well, the shells are the only white part, so I figured....." Mom just smiled and we all giggled, She was thrilled that Michelle had taken the initiative to bake a cake all by herself.  Michelle certainly made it her own.  Mom wasn't angry.  I vividly remember mom pouring the batter into the strainer, filtering out the shells and showing Michelle how to separate eggs.  Today Michelle is an AWESOME cook. 

On the journey of Discovering Our B*a*g we need to seek out those Kind Cake Baking Travel Guides.  Generally, I find the best Travel Guides are story tellers who share their truth. They know when to listen and when to guide. Whether it be business tactics or life lessons, it's all the business of life and it all applies.  We  find our truth inside the truth of others. We don't feel so alone.

Try this on for size. "Paige, thanks so much for doing the dishes."  "Mom, I really don't like loading the dishwasher.  It takes too long and I really don't know how to set up the dishes."  To which I reply, "This is how I load the dishwasher.  You can try it my way and if it works, great.  Maybe you have a better way.  If you do find a better way be sure and let me know.  Here is an article I found on the subject, which I found to be a pretty reliable source.  I refer to it every now and again just to make sure I'm on track."  I am now imagining myself pulling away my June Cleaver mask like in the scene when the alien from Men in Black rips open the skin of his host human skin, farmer dude, revealing himself.  I think you get the point.  If you don't, well that's okay, it's just me.

Next time your Dishwasher Dictator rears its ugly head, just remember it is all based on your fear of losing control.  Could you trust yourself if something went wrong, like say a few dirty dishes.  Wow, really?  It sounds as ridiculous as keeping an article on the proper way of loading a dishwasher handy for frequent reference.

So, are you surrounding yourself with Kind Cake Baking Travel Guides?  Who are they? Make a list. Can't think of any? Set an intention of seeking them out.  My best travel guides:

  • share stories
  • listen
  • challenge me intellectually and spiritually
  • hold me accountable
  • are honest
  • are trust worthy (confirmed with their actions)
  • admit when they are wrong
  • make me laugh
  • make me cry
  • allow me to make mistakes, but is always ready with a life line 
I'll be introducing wonderful Travel Guides right here in the near future.  Won't you leave a comment and share some of your favorite Travel Guides.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's Totally Doable........

with the right tools, fuel and passengers, so

Exhibit A:

Below is a Twitter exchange between myself and Kelly McCormick, author of OutSell Yourself(Dancing B*a*g Lady commentary, "For those who are not familiar with Twitter just imagine it is text messaging on steroids.")

@OutSellYourself (aka Kelly McCormick) tweeted: My thought of the day: Focus on the big picture. Do 5 do-able action steps to move forward - today.  (Dancing B*a*g Lady commentary: "She said the A word, Action. It's the middle work in B*a*g (believe act to) This catches my attention.")

@believeactgo replies: @OutSellYourself thank you. will do. (Dancing B*a*g Lady commentary: "This reply announces my intention and commitment to finding 5 do-able things.")

@OutSellYourself replies:@believeactgo Keep me posted on your successes! (Dancing B*a*g Lady commentary, "Sweet!  Someone who expects my success and furthers my commitment by expecting a response")

@believeactgo replies: 
#1 doable today (1am this morning.g) rewrite executive summary of prosperity plan. CC: @outsellyourself
#2 doable today - Mailed a gift to an amazing woman. CC: @OutSellYourself
#3 doable - conference call with web designers. CC: @OutSellYourself
#4 doable today - assess need for service and request feedback from benefactors. CC @OutSellYourself
 @OutSellYourself Did 5,6,7,8 and 9, which included the all important playing catch with my son. I'll think of 5 doables each day.

@OutSellYourself replies:  @believeactgo are creating success at the speed of light! You inspire me. :-) (Dancing B*a*g Lady commentary: "Inspiration always comes full circle.")

Get some fuel. Find a tool.

I invited Kelly into my Traveling Sanctuary B*a*g (believe act go), as a passenger, when I made the choice to follow her tweets. As I journey further down the path of developing Modern B*a*g Ladies I may want to invest in Kelly's coaching services, which assists with branding, selling and marketing. She outlines her services very well on her website.  

Soon after following Kelly's messages on Twitter, I knew I would be filling up with the fuel she was sharing.   Kelly offers the fuel.  And Twitter is the tool that delivers her fuel.  I've never spoken to Kelly on the phone or in person. We have never exchanged emails for that matter, but forever in my mind Kelly McCormick will be attached to "What are my 5 doables today?"

Kelly, delivers her expertise and inspiration for free, on Twitter, and I suspect she doesn't do it expecting everyone to hire her or buy her book.  I suspect she does it because she believes in community and building relationships.

So, again I ask,"What's in your B*a*g, literally and metaphorically?"  Are you getting the right fuel? Do you have the right tools to share your fuel? 

Focus on the big picture. Do 5 do-able action steps to move forward - today.  Heck, do 1 do-able action.  Doesn't matter how big or how small.  Believe.  Act. Go. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Great Women - Great Men - Great Dads - Together we make the world a better place.

From my sister, Michelle,  to my Dad. Michelle and are different in many ways and alike in others.  We have a mutual respect for each others differences and qualities.  I love my family.


One of the first things you teach a young child is to say “Thank You”. It seems so simple, but as we get older and experience more of life, sometimes we forget how important those two words are. I’d like to let you know that I learned that lesson well, and would like to say “Thank You” for all the things you have done and taught me.


You spent weeks at a time away from your family to provide a comfortable life for us. You would stay in sparsely furnished apartment and eat the same pot of goulash all week long. I loved going with you to those apartments during the summer, cooking for you and being the “gopher” on the job site. You would come home on the weekend and fit in all your “fatherly” duties with kindness, love and patience. It was a sacrifice for both you and Mom I know. I learned that your family is always number one, and you do what you have to do to provide.


I wasn’t holding up on my end of the bargain in taking care of my dog Whiskers, you said, “We’re getting rid of the dog”. I promptly said “I hate you”. You made me write that out ten times and post it on the refrigerator. I don’t remember how long it hung there, but I do remember how much it hurt to see every time I walked past it. You knew I didn’t mean it, and so did I. I learned two very important lessons from that. First, if you say something you’d better mean it, and that words can hurt. I try to practice those lessons every day. I know now you would have never really gotten rid of my dog.


I remember so many times you would tell jokes at the dinner table. Mom would get upset sometimes because they were a little off color and say “Norm”!! You would do that little jig and we would just laugh. You would get that little glint in your eye and that funny grin. I learned that humor can sometimes be your best weapon. I think many would say I’ve learned that lesson very well.
You were “green” before they called it that. We picked and cleaned bricks for the house across from the tennis courts in ditches, pig lots and torn down school houses. The shop is built out of “recycled” wood from the University of Iowa Rec Center. My shed is made out of almost exclusively re-purposed materials. I think all we bought was the cement, one window and some shingles. I learned the importance of a dollar.


When your construction company went under and we lost the house with the pigpen bricks I was devastated. I remember going into the cubbyhole under the stairs and crying for hours. We moved into the 2 bedroom apartment, you and Mom gave us kids the bedrooms, and your bed was in the living room. I remember being able to hear the upstairs neighbors using the bathroom, and the insulation in the apartment being so bad my sheets froze to the wall in the winter. We eventually bought the Finke house and remodeled it together. You and Mom made sure Kim and my room’s were done first so we could move in first. Some of my fondest memories are in that tiny apartment, and fixing up the Finke house, including scraping 3 layers of wallpaper off the ceilings. I learned that possessions are just that-possessions. Nothing replaces family and hard work will always be rewarded.


I think every one of my dates met you in your T-Shirt and underwear while sitting in that big brown recliner. You would be eating peanuts and have skins and shells in your chest hair. You were always polite and said very little, but the message was always loud and clear- “Don’t mess with Norm’s girls”. I learned that quiet strength is powerful, sometimes you say more by not saying a word, and “don’t mess with Norm’s kids-if you do, you’ll be sorry.” Just in case my dates didn’t get that message from you, they got it from my brothers…You must have taught them the same lesson.

Every remodeling project I have had has your stamp on it. I am really the least apt of all the kids when it comes to the construction trade. You do your best to be patient and teach me things. My husband has learned so much from you, and not only about construction and woodworking. He wasn’t lucky enough to have the same type of father figure in his life. Thank you for showing him the same type of fatherly love you’ve always shown me.


Sitting on the porch during thunderstorms counting the seconds between lightning and thunder to see how far away the lightning was.

Going mushrooming on Pansy Hill. We were hot and thirsty and all you had was a Pabst Blue Ribbon. That was my first sip of beer.

Letting me drive home from the pitching clinic in Des Moines. I was only 13 and was driving on the interstate! Mom had a cow when she found out. You calmly said “She did just fine.”

Calling my cats your “grand kitties” and calling to check in on them when they are ill.

I am so fortunate to have grown up in such a close, loving family. The older I get the more I realize how lucky I am. I always assumed everyone had what we have, but really my experience is more the exception not the rule. THANK YOU.

Happy Father’s Day Dad! I Love You

Friday, June 18, 2010

Modern B*a*g Lady Truth #8

She who keeps a journal with visuals (like vision boards) and writings finds clarity in this moment, which become pieces from the past that fits nicely into her visions of the future. Besides it's just good to get it out (do not censor) and you can always use the material.   Trust me.

Your true vision for your life, rooted in your Born Belief does not accelerate your Traveling Sanctuary to speeds of 100 MPH with the intent of quickly reaching your destination.  In moments of clarity your speeds will increase, but your vision will become blurred causing you to slow down or possibility stop along side the road.  These moments are as important as the moments of clarity.

Journal Entry June 3rd 2008 (stinking at drawing is no longer an excuse.)

Website Idea June 28, 2009

Believe (thoughts) Act (draw, write, sing, color, express) Go (Visions come to life and connect with others, which reinforces the belief and creates new ones)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hallmark Cards are Overrated


You made that ring for me when I was a baby. 

You taught the neighbor kid a lesson after he peed on me, while mom hosed me off. 

You came home with a beard after being on the road.  I didn't recognize you. You were void of that beard only two time after, that I can remember. 

I had an appreciation for Johnny Carson at a young age.  I'm still a night owl. 

You brought that cat home from the tavern. She always licked our ears. 

You would lay on the couch and I would bring you a glass of Kool-Aid, when we still added sugar.  

You bought that camper. I loved it.You hated camping.We went once. It turned into our clubhouse.
We would pack up the U-haul and move. We were expert movers.  

You would take us out in your hot rod truck and do cookies. It felt daring and scary and thrilling.  I want to live a better story.  

You would lay on the couch and I would make and serve you Ritz crackers and peanut butter.  

You insisted that Michelle and I drive tanks to be safe, but remember when you helped me buy that Honda after my divorce.  

You would blow dry your hair.  I didn't know guys did that. I thought it was cool.  

We would stay up on long drives to Nebraska when everyone else was sleeping.  We would guess what each other was thinking. 

You used to make that FUNNY FACE.  

You made a speech once in a high school gym and I was in awe. 

You gave waitresses a hard time when we would go to lunch after church.

You and I would go chop wood together.  I would drive the straight stick out to the wood chopping spot. That's when I learned to drive.

We have serious deep conversations.

You graduated from a couch to a recliner.  That's when I was old enough to make and serve you banana cream pie and rolls on Sundays. 

We started calling you Norman Claus after Dean forced us girls to sneak at our presents under the bed.  

I can't imagine calling a baby Norman. 

You helped on every remodeling project I ever undertook with my husbands.

I called you on the phone screaming because there was a snake in my kitchen. 

When I was a pre-teen, I'd rather hang out with you working construction than anything else. 

I realized you weren't perfect and the love and respect remained. 

I remember when those iron workers whistled at me before they knew I was YOUR daughter.

I remember the first time I made the dump truck, dump.  I thought I was hot shit.  

I know there's a solution to anything.  

Remember that time Brian forgot his belt buckle at the rest stop and you whipped the car around in the ditch to go back and get it? Boy, were you mad.  (Cadillacs used to be tanks.)

Remember when you bought that Matador car?  What were you thinking?

I've learned that silence speaks loudly.  

You always ordered the BIG Roast Beef sandwich at Hardies. To this day I love that sandwich.

You used to buy stuff from those television ads.This is how I knew you were still a kid at heart.  Can you believe Ronco is still around?  

You used to eat suckers all the time. I found a picture of Grandma with a sucker. It was the swirly LifeSaver kind.  That made me smile. 

In some pictures I'm the cute one and in others it's Michelle.  

I look really young in these pictures too.

I'm pretty sure you're the only one in our family with blue eyes.  Gavin is the only one in our family with blue eyes.

You like Johnny Cash and Johnny Horton.  Oh and Dolly Parton.

I know what's it like to want to sit quietly, in solitude. Yet, silliness and laughter are at home to this same space. The contrasts puzzle me at times.

I still tell that flashlight story and still don't know if it is actually true.

Did you like Sunday family conferences?

I love it when you laugh. It's not roaring. You get this cute grin on your face.

It's okay to cry.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Help Fuel The Ultimate Yellow Joy Machine

Join Us in Creating The Yellow Joy Machine which will be part of the The Joy Project 

Modern B*a*g Ladies Truth: The sooner you find an excuse to find joy, the sooner you can spread it.

Pick your joy color. Be prepared to find the joy in that color every day. Take a picture. Add an applicable caption about your joy. Post it here on the Yellow Joy Machine.

Survivors today have many outlets to break the silence and move forward with healing.  The intent of The Joy Project is to give survivors a chance to show the world what living a joyful life means; to express joy though art, poems, pictures and videos that actually define what joy is, where it is found, what it looks like, what it means, and how to live it.  It is a chance to shift the focus from trauma to joy.

Tracie, Vanessa, Megan and I will work on a submission video montage while at the conference.

The Joy Project is open to all attendees of The Army of Angels Conference.  Learn more about the conference.

items in Yellow Joy Machine More in Yellow Joy Machine pool

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

KISSS My B and Get on with It

I came downstairs 90 minutes ago and I am just now starting to write.  I guess I could blame my daughter for distracting me.  She came down stairs to see what mom was doing.  She actually asked if she could help me find a suitable bag for our scavenger hunt. (We interrupt this blog post to interject some mystery and shamelessly coax you into reading to the end. Just pretend you are watching the news as they break for commercial, "When we return breaking news on several Jesus sightings,")

I feel like I am getting too caught up in the details, which may be my way of putting off what is really important, MY MISSION.

Modern B*a*g Ladies is an inclusive sisterhood.  Our mission is to fuel each others Beliefs, so we are charged to take Action and Go to our dreams. 
We will spread our new found joy, shred our own and others fears and just have more fun. We are real! We are not yes ladies! We are OH YES Ladies and it feels great! 

So I've made a decision.  Which is that I will make a decision and GO!!! You know the "A" and "G" in the bag, realizing there's a false "B" (borrowed belief) which is hissing in my ear, "You can't do that. Blah, Blah and Blah."

I'm going to KISS my bought and borrowed beliefs and get on with it.  Keep it Simple Super Star!  I guess that's KISSS.  KISSS the HISS goodbye.  Yep I'm talking myself into it.  Embrace the process.  One small step for Kim. One giant step for KIM being KIND to herself.  Gosh you'd think I was trying to walk on the moon here.  Actually, sometimes it feels like it.

Here's some action words for all you Discover Your B*a*g OH Yes Ladies: Reading, Thinking, Talking.  All very nice verbs indeed.  Necessary?  YES. Enough?  NO. Reading will inspire you and get you thinking.  It may teach you a new skill.  I talk about wonderful books all the time.  I tell people my plans, but when it comes right down to it I need to blister my feet and callus my hands more.  This involves forcing myself into a corner and finding my way out. You must force change upon yourself.  You can't read and get it. Think it and get. Talk about it and get it.  You must want it bad enough that you are willing to lose going after it and then get back up again and fight some more.

So, today on my way to work I see a man walking.  I see more people walking these days.  One morning I saw a woman walking.  She was carrying a purse.  How many people carry their purse on a walk meant for exercise?  I turn the truck around. Approaching her I lower the window and ask if she needed a ride. No I'm just walking.  I kind of felt stupid.  I see her almost every day now and it makes me smile.  I honor anybody committed to more exercise.  Yet, for all I know she had her car repossessed and now she has to walk to work.  Either way she walks in a proud way.

A robe, long beard, sandals, walking stick, large rosary and a backpack.  "Should I stop?"  I lower my speed, holding up traffic behind me. My sister picked up a hitch hiker once.  Dad sternly schooled her in the dangers of picking up strangers. "I am on a major highway. What could happen?  There's too many witnesses."    I increase my speed.  "This is going to delay my arrival to work."  Blinker on, I make a quick U turn and head back toward "Jesus". 

I approach and lower my window, "Is there anything I can do for you?"  I don't remember what he says.  He looks very normal except for his clothes.  "Are you on a pilgrimage?"  "Do you walk everywhere?"  He explains that yes indeed a pilgrimage.  The first in 7 years as he as been ill.  I offer him $10.  He can not accept money, only food, water and shelter.  He had his lunch for today and today only. He explained that he was part of some brotherhood order.  "Safe journey.  I will be praying for you."   He replied, "And I will pray for you as well."  I do another U turn and he continues to walk.  "Dang I could have offered him my orange I had packed for my lunch today."  I momentarily hear that hissing in my ear.

3 years ago I would not have stopped for either traveler. Sad, but true.  In a small way this is a step towards the blisters and the calluses.  Writing tonight did not come easy. It is a labor of love or an emotional labor I wrote about in my article on The Survivor Manual titled, Sister Subsets and Brother Brackets

I will continue to read, think and talk.  Apparently it's inspiring some worthy actions.  I must be kind to myself and travel ahead with faith and less fear.  Did you know the most quoted commandment in the bible is "do not fear?"  I shared a kind word and hope with a man that looked like Jesus today.  Knowing that he is praying for me brings me comfort.  I leave this post off to bed sending loving energy to him and a few others.  It is a worthy action.  Necessary?  YES!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Truth Seeking in Hot Wings ~ Riding the Wave

Seriously I just ate a whole order of Dominoes hot wings.  Good thing I grazed solely on fruits and vegetable all day leading up to my truth seeking hot sauce mission.  Truly today was pretty tough, yet I was strangely calm, for me anyway.  Today we found out the my dad's cancer is back after 10 years of remission.

So, mom called with the news this morning while I was at work.  She handed the phone over to dad.  At first I was pretty calm, but then I started to cry a bit.  That was hard for dad, as it was all pretty fresh, just getting the call from the doctor and all. He handed the phone back to mom.

We talked again tonight.  This time it was more like the normal Kim and dad talking kind of stuff.  I was telling him all about Angela's Bible Road Trip, beings dad and I have always had deep philosophical "truth seeking" talks, ever since I was about 12 or so.  I went on to tell him about the process of re-doing my website and the plans for Modern B*a*g Ladies.  He said, "As long as you are seeking the truth it will all work out."  I do believe that. 

Tonight he asked me to write about the days to come, as we face whatever this cancer journey has in store for us. Dad has a feeling about it.  I know about those types of feelings, as the power of feminine can transcend gender.  Let's take a little jaunt.

I want to take you to the sanctuary of my grandma’s home.  I’m going to close my eyes while painting a picture of the experience with my Grandma Veronica.   Our family of 6 would enter into this modest bungalow after a long car drive.  Grandma’s house was lived in.  No plastic covered couches or fine breakables to be concerned with.  The breakfast nook was on the right as we entered the back door.  We would be eating breakfast there the next morning, watching birds outside the window at the birdbath and feeders.  Red Cardinals!  (My brother claims this is an inaccurate recollection.  Cardinals don't aren't found that far north. He's wrong.)
As I walk into the dining room I see the table where we played games and did puzzles.  I think I did that Under Dog puzzle hundreds of times.   Toby the parakeet flew freely and swooped down and perched on grandma’s shoulder.  Handmade paper helicopters with paperclips, launched from the top of the stairs.  I was fascinated with tossing things down the laundry chute.  We would venture down to the basement to retrieve our parachuted items, making out way to play a game of dart; you know the real kind with sharp points.   Occasionally, I would sleep with grandma.  I remember feeling the most peaceful feeling laying with grandma,  a peace that I hadn’t felt much in my life until recently.  I later learn from my dad, that while lying with my grandmother she was most certainly in a state of prayer.
As I grew older, visits to my grandma’s,  grew further and further apart.  I was getting on with my life.  I slowly but surely, began to bury my born beliefs, with bought and borrowed ones.    How could I be so eager to leave this sanctuary behind?  Both the physical and the one within my heart.
Later in life I learn that within the sanctuary of my grandma’s home, she was a victim of abuse by her second husband, who was an alcoholic.  Her first husband, my grandfather, passed away when my dad was only 6.  My father tells me stories, that as a teenager, he would attempt to defend and protect his mother.  Iggy spent much of their money on alcohol.  My grandmother and 3 sons were left with little.  She eventually divorced Iggy.  She struggled so hard for herself and her sons, yet I know she never lost faith.   I know this because I was there with her feeling her love.  I felt safe. I was safe with grandma.  My dad says I am very much like my Grandma Veronica.  I feel her presence with me much of the time. 

My dad once spoke of his father's passing and recollects his mother, my Grandmother Veronica, fainting upon hearing the news. 
Veronica couldn't have imagined the power she possessed as a young woman. Grandma Veronica did not have power over others. She did not have an abundance of money and had more than her share of hard times, which required her to reach deep inside to access her power. Her life and well being of her 3 sons depended on it.
I am the benefactor of my grandmother's feminine power, which transcended through my dad to me. I must do my best to honor this gift and share it with others.

In the windows surrounding my kitchen sink I perch birds figurines.  Yellow, Red, Brown.  Occasionally I see a real cardinal outside.  Oh grandma, I know you're there, guiding me to the truth.

I leave you tonight with this;  Travel I say. Reach out in search of the truth and if you happen upon a full order of Dominoes hot wings along the way, well hell sometimes you'll have a weak moment.  Accept the fact that you ate the whole thing and set out again. I'd say I left this day on a pretty damn good note.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Modern B*a*g Lady Truth #7

You raise the collective JOY meter to F when you're smiling, laughing, singing and dancing OR when you put the "ing" in your "A". What's your ING-AY, today?


Universal Truth: Burning dirty, cruddy fuel in our cars pollutes the air we breathe.