Monday, July 28, 2008


When one is self-employed she has to be careful that she does not get so caught up "helping" her community that she doesn't pay attention to building and maintaining her business. Last weekend I made a decision to devote my time to my community for two organizations that I totally believe in.


Saturday my Vancouver Rotary Club spent one-half day developing a five-year plan. Twenty-five us opened our minds and used our creative talents to present new concepts and endorse current paths our club is following. At the end of the morning there was a clear consensus on many issues.

There is still a great deal of work to be done. Those of us there felt we were the true winners. We now understand the "why" of many projects we are doing AND the fellowship between all of us was terrific.


I live in a large condo complex and have access to a wonderful community room. I asked the Executive Director of the Reserve, Elson Strahan, if we could have a presentation on this great asset to our condo association. Sunday afternoon he brought five staff, wisdom, food and wine to our organization. Even though I have been connected with the Reserve for a number of years, I learned new things that are happening. It was an afternoon of fellowship and learning.

I woke up this morning feeling freshed and even more glad that I live in this commununity-Vancouver, Washington.


Traveling to a new country and want to learn some basic words to use on your trip?
Try out this amazing free website:

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Many of you know I have a sister in southern Texas right in the tip of the state. It was an anxious 24 hours for our family. I was in touch with her constantly and initially the weather forecaster said it wasn't going to be real bad. By the time it picked up intensity, it was too late to have residents go to shelters. Residents were just told to stay inside.

With each phone call I could hear the increased tension in my sister's voice. The winds kept coming and coming. At one point a large tree about 2 ft. in diameter trunk was blown sideways four feet and hit my sister's house. Amazing the power of the wind. That blow took a bite out of her roof....though that was the extent of damage to her home. Let's not talk about what her yard looks like--some beloved trees are going to have to be cut down.

Janet said, "If this is a Category l storm--I'm out of here if there is ever warning of a Category 2." She experienced the slowest moving hurricane recorded in the U.S. Fourteen hours of wind took a tow on her and the other residents in Mission, Texas.

With a spirit of community, every able body person is working together to clean up their area. Knowing my sister, once that is done....she'll go out to help others not so fortunate.


Tracking passwords. My brother gave me the idea of using a small loose-leaf notebook to record my passwords. Each site is filed alphabetically, so it is easy to turn the page and find the password used for that website.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Since my book"It Doesn't Hurt to Ask: It is all about Communication," was released I have spent a great deal of my time training in California. I am grateful for the contract and the opportunities it provides for me to explore the state at the same time.

Last week I went to my Rotary Club and announced that I was going to be home for two months. I was greeted with "Of course, you are." and a grin....people didn't believe me. Yet, I know how much work I have to do to make people aware the book exists. Since my book is on Amazon, it amazing to learn how many profiles, tags etc you need to provide in order for your book to be found. http:/

What I have learned is the world of advertising a book has many angles! I am in a huge learning curve! Guess I won't have to worry about creating new brain connections.


Actually, this is a travel tip. I was tired of some wrinkles appearing on my clothes as I unpacked them. At the end of a travel day, the last thing I wanted to do was pull out the iron.

One day, at home, I wondered if using a simple spray bottle would be my answer. I put plain water in a spray bottled, sprayed a top, it dried and presto, the wrinkles were gone. The spray bottle has been my traveling companion ever since.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


As an executive coach, I suggest to people that when something terrific happens or a goal is reach, they should come up with some way to celebrate. Last March, my book "It Doesn't Hurt to Ask: It is all about communication" was released. On March 22, I purchased my tickets to attend a dinner called "Outstanding in the Field."

The sight of the dinner was Sea Cove, six miles north of Santa Cruz, California. I went with a friend and we checked out the turnoff, and then went back to Santa Cruz and explored until 2:45 p.m. and arrived at the appointed time of 3:00 p.m.

We parked the car and then made the short walk down the path. Then there was a sense of awe. The ocean appeared, a very high cliff and at the base of the cliff were the tables set for 150 people in a horseshoe shape with white tablecloths and crystal.

At the registration desk, we were handed a glass of rose wine -- made by a local winemaster. During the next hour we mingled with the other people who we discovered were from as far away as Naples, Florida and New Jersey. Everyone had his/her own story of why they decided to come. One couple was there for the sixth time.

We were then taken to the top of the hill and a local farmer told us the story of the area and sustainable farms. All the food we would be eating was from the immediate area, including the wine .

The fisherman was proud share that the halibut we would be eating was literally caught around the corner of where we were eating. It was revealed that the cove where we were having dinner had never been open to the public. Apparently, the negotiations with the farmer who owns it were long....yet, in the end he agreed to let the artist, Jim Denevan, to use this sight.

We were escorted to our places for dinner. No words can express the feeling. In front of us was the huge stone cliff and four feet behind my chair, the ocean. We met more people, and before we knew it the first course came, hot soup. Who would've ever thought that could happen sitting on the beach. Yet, two renown chefs took up the challenge. There were four courses and four different wines--all food from the local area.

Needless to say, the conversation was fun. The atmosphere was beyond words and the food truly was outstanding. It was an amazing experience.


When I fly into an airport, I make myself some notes for future reference. Note where the airplane comes in and record the terminal. In the future, if you are changing airlines this becomes valuable information when you are scheduling a plane change. Make note which ones have tram.

Friday, July 04, 2008


June was a month of traveling --- training in Atlanta, San Jose and Sacramento. In addition I made a trip to Fresno to help with the development of a Leadership Training Series for the California State Department of Rehabilitation and the California Department of Behavior Mental Health.

During the time in Fresno I facilitated a meeting. I discovered that I really enjoyed facilitating groups who are working toward a common goal. What is interesting, it was a matter of using my communication tools that I teach people on a regular basis. One of those tools is watch body language and make sure people are asked for their input. Often the quietest person in the room is sitting there with a great solution. Everyone had the opportunity to share, we laughed and I had fun. Trusting more facilitation gigs will come my way.

With the California wild fires, air quality proved to be problematic. A couple of years ago, I learned to take a decongestant when I fly and use saline spray. Have to admit, I lost the battle with the air and ended up with a sinus infection for the first time in years. Amazing how that can take one down....everything seemed to be such an effort accomplish here at home. Thanks to my doctor and a prescription, I'm doing fine---as my Dad would say "I'm on the way up."


When you are ready to go on vacation, be sure to schedule some appointments for when you get back. Especially if you are self-employed, it is important for you have business connections lined up so you keep your business flowing in.