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Books | Personal Growth | Writing

Detours and Plan B

Today is Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday. Today is the day I thought I’d be selling my children’s book in local retailers for #ShopSmall and #ShopLocal. I had it all pictured in my mind. Friends and family would come by to pick up their copies. Maybe I’d even sign a few of …

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Books | Home Life | Parenting

Introducing the Terrific Toad Book Club

My oldest daughter and I formed a book club recently. Right now she and I are the only two members. We named it “The Terrific Toad Book Club.” My first suggestion was “Bloody Brilliant Book Club,” but Vivian didn’t like the idea of using the word “bloody” in it so she changed it to “Brilliant …

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Home Life | Personal Growth | Poetry | Work | Writing

A Place of Contentment (a poem)

A place I have missed visiting A place I once tried to push away A place I slipped from furiously A place for simply another day A place I thought unworthy A place I didn’t appreciate A place I deemed trivial A place to almost hate A place to prevent growth A place to stump …

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Home Life | Work

Flashbacks, Flashdance and Just Dance

My mind is a scattered machine these days. Life has held non-stop action between visitors staying with us for two weekends in a row, my new job with its transition and training, and the anticipation of what is coming (my book…I’m waiting for an update from the publisher). Also, we are planning to put our …

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Culture | Work

The Right Culture for the Best Community

I started a new job this week. My first day consisted of an all-day orientation and training. The words I heard the most for the first two hours were “culture” and “community.” I work for an organization where culture is the thing that is valued most. This is because that culture affects the entire community. …

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Parenting | Personal Growth | Work

A Fresh Start and A Leap Forward

Greek philosopher Plato is quoted as having said “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” I often agree with this. To start a new project, chore or duty can often be the most daunting task. We procrastinate.  We make excuses.  We find something or someone else that “needs” our attention. Sound familiar? …

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Home Life | Parenting | Personal Growth | Work

Take Time to Listen and Play

“Mommy, you’re always working. You never have time to play with me.”  My oldest daughter (age 8) said these sentences to me about three weeks ago. She said it out of the blue in the middle of the day.  She said it sincerely with a disappointed look.  It brought me to tears almost instantly.  I …

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Writing

Writer’s Rights, Let Me Read them to You!

I draw most of my inspiration for my writing from real people and real experiences.  From things I witness to conversations I overhear to the hilarity I spy in my own home, nothing is sacred. I may turn around and write about you.  Therefore, I believe it’s time I read you your “Mrs. Mandy Warning” …

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Personal Growth | Work

Ask for Help and Self Promote

I gave the invocation at my Toastmasters group meeting last week.  This part of the meeting is designed to be inspirational and set the tone.  A few days prior to my delivering this 1 to 3 minute speech, I gathered my thoughts.  What did I want to say? I thought about a helpful meeting I had with …

Culture | Personal Growth

How to be a Difference Maker 101

Will a difference you make OR a space you take? This was a billboard sign I read recently. Wow, that was a powerful question indeed.  It truly had me pondering.  A few years ago, I would have just dismissed the message without much regard. Now the words matter to me. I have no interest in just taking up …