Sunday, November 29, 2009


I had been wanting to see this movie and just never got around to it. Today it rained for the first time since I arrived in Palm Springs on August 4th. Checked out the movies and there it was at a theatre that was charging $2 admission.

I got my ticket and then noted that I had gotten there an hour early. As luck would have it, I looked up and there was my gym, 24 Hour Fitness My gym clothes were in my trunk. There was no excuse for me not to spend the next hour working out.

After a good workout, it was time for the movie. I sat back with my bag of popcorn and my Dr. Pepper (the only time I allow myself to drink it). Determined that there were not too many movies I am looking forward to in the near future according to the previews that were shown. It was interesting to note that the theatre was filled with equal number of men and women.

Meryl Streep always seems to be having so much fun with her characters. One kind of gets the sense there is a giggle under her acting for she knows she is pretending to be the person she is portraying. Yet, she throws herself into the characters and becomes so believable.

Julia who decided to make all the recipes in “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” is portrayed so well by Amy Adams. Not only is she believable, she expresses the emotions of someone doing what seemed to be the impossible. She has a full-time job, cooking every night at least one new recipe and then taking the time to blog about her experiences---leaving nothing sugar coated.

Equally as interesting was the role the husbands played in their lives—supportive of their ideas and there when the two Julias really needed them. At the same time, the men showed their frustrations.

The movie was a wonderful example of communications. Communication between married couples, between friends and the difficulties it can be working with various businesses, whether the business are government entities or publishing companies.

It is not often one can find a movie that keeps your interest, and motivates you to start thinking about how much more you can accomplish. It worked for me; I came home and immediately sat down and started writing this article for my blog.


Carry a notebook with you at all times. One never knows when a brilliant idea will come up. Without making a note, that brilliant idea could be lost forever.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


It has gotten to the point that when you call someone, and she actually answers it is a surprise. No question emails and texting are becoming our major mode of communication. Frankly, I do not see us going back to using the phone as our main mode of communication. Generation Y lives by texting and their parents know that is how they can get their children’s attention. This generation is having a major effect on our communication modes.

However, some things help strengthen telephone communication.

When leaving a message:

Always identify yourself. Your family members often sound alike so make it easy – start with your name. “Hi, Donna, this is Lisa.”

State the reason why you are calling.

State when you will be available.

When leaving your phone number, speak slowly.

Repeat your phone number twice.

While talking to someone:

When you are talking and there is a phone call coming in, just keep talking. Your ID caller will tell you who is calling. Call them back after you have finished. Remember you were thrilled to have the person answer your call in person. Keep the focus on your present conversation.


Ask more questions. Do not assume your customer knows all about your product. Check in with their understanding. A few extra minutes, one-on-one, will help your customer AND it illustrates you truly do care about them as an individual.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


When I heard there was a rodeo in Brawley that I needed to go to for research, I was thrilled. My cousin lived there and I had not seen her in 30 years. Now 83 years old, she lives in the same ranch surrounded by her 300 acres much of which she rents out. Right next to her home is the field of organic lettuce, which is in the above picture.

My drive began in Palm Springs and I chose to drive through the entire Coachella Valley. It is always so fascinating to me to see how different the towns are, while connected and display their own personalities.

After leaving the “cities”, I entered an area where date palms orchards dot the county side. It is harvest time, so many of the dates were still on the trees protected by paper envelopes. At the moment, can’t remember if the cover is for bugs, sun, or birds.

Therefore, the orchards gave way to barren land. Before long, there it was the great Salton Lake. Actually, it reminds you somewhat of an ocean because of its’ immense size. I could not see to the other side.

Along the way, I stopped at a beach. Sure enough, there were the clumps of salt I had heard about. My first impulse was to break some off and take it home. Then I looked around, saw the dead fish carcasses, and decided that was not one of my better ideas.

I traveled along the lake for over an hour. Barren land, with lots of “washes” that obviously serve to protect the area when it rains. Remember the lake is below sea level so apparently rain rushes toward it.

Soon the land started having life to it. Large farms started appearing with buildings far and few between. This is one time I was VERY glad I had learned to trust my GPS for it took down many roads that went for miles. When the GPS announced the name of the road my cousin lived on there was both a sense of relief and excitement.

Turned the corner and there she was out her front yard. This spry woman was thinner than I had remembered, yet her smile gave her away. I was with family. Over the next five hours, we talked and share family news.

When she took me to my bedroom, there was a beautiful quilt on the bed. I commented on it and she said “Your Mom helped Larry (her son) pick it out years ago.” A moment that rather takes your breath away—Mom was right there with me on this amazing journey.

An early morning walk to view the rising sun and then off to a wonderful real Mexican breakfast. It was time to say good-bye. As I pulled away, I knew I had been given a tremendous gift of really connecting with someone and learning about life in what is considered California’s bread basket.


It is easy to get distracted with social media. My suggestion you build into your routine time to work with them. I have chosen to use LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


When I moved to Palm Springs, to work a project my routines were quickly eliminated. Exercise routine changed, and finding things became an interesting detective pursuit. All the touchstones of my life had been changed.

The first thing to go was my connection through social media. Before I moved here each day, I had been spending at least some time on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Now for some reason, I felt that was something that I could do later.

A check of my Google Analytics proved that visits to my website and blog had dropped. There was only one logical conclusion to come to---I wasn’t participating in the world of Cyberspace.

Lessons learned:

No matter what, figure out a way to go to sites and contribute. Note, I said contribute – Idle chatter about your day will not cause people to want to know more about you.

Keep your messages short and crisp. Recently articles are being posted that would require you go get a cup of coffee and settle in for the next 10 minutes to read them. People just don’t have time to read long articles on line.

Constantly keep your mind open to things that you can post of interest. When you are involved in social media, your whole environment is a resource of information that would be great to share.


Recently learned about Pokens --- the new contact card (business card). I am thinking this is one of the great new innovations in transferring our contact information.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I have never liked Halloween. My sister and I have talked about it and we are not sure why this holiday is our least favorite of all of them. We suspect we never really felt part of it because were raised 11 miles out in the country in Wisconsin. There wasn’t trick or treating in our neighborhood.

Now I found myself in a new environment. Kim, who has taken me under her wings many times, decided she was going to have a Halloween Party. The determining factor was that her friends from Vancouver were arriving on the 31st and they are totally into Halloween.

Therefore, I was trapped--for the first time in my adult life I had to come up with a costume. I knew I didn’t want to be scary, I am not into political figures, didn’t want to be an animal – the list went on.

Once again, garage sales came to the rescue. As we pursued our Saturday ritual of garage shopping, I spied the piece that would be the centerpiece of my costume. It was an amazing silver dressy hat. The minute I saw it, I knew it was perfect. I have been blessed with the ability to put on any hat and have it look right. The exception is a baseball cap—No really it is true, just ask my friends that once I put on a baseball cap they grin and say, “You’re right, it doesn’t work”.

Okay, I had the makings of a great costume. I was going to be a flapper! I mentioned the idea to my friend; Molly and she said, “Kath, I have the dress for you –complete with all the fringes”. A week later, the dress and some great fake long pearls and choker necklace arrived. I put the dress on – perfect fit.

I arrived at the party and Kim was astounded….she couldn’t believe my hat. Actually, a great hat that has NOT been relegated to the costume department. I’m thinking I can wear it some place for dress in the future.

Each time the door open, walked in people who had transformed their looks. Pilgrims arrived, a cowboy, the Blue Brothers, a farmer, a nurse –everyone had gotten into the spirit. Our host who normally has long beautiful blonde hair appeared in a red wig. Her red dress that she said was suppose to be reminiscence of fire (Just for the record that was a stretch) completed her look as the devil.

There was wonderful food and lots of laughter. Okay, I changed my mind. When you are with good friends, any holiday can be truly fun.


When you are leaving your phone number, make sure you say it slowly and give it at least twice. Then the person receiving the voicemail does not have to listen to the message again to make sure she has written down the correct number.

Monday, November 09, 2009


While working on a recent project, my role was to get the lay of the land and make recommendations to enhance a major project. Every networking skill I ever learned has been utilized.

I was plopped down in a community that I had only visited. Now I was integral part of a project that has major impact on the economy of the community. Questions needed to be asked, the answers collected and combined to make congruent recommendations.

Guiding principles that have been reinforced working on the project.

Ask questions and listen closely to the answer.
Not everyone will like you.
Not everyone will agree with you.
Honesty remains the guiding force.

No matter how difficult it may be to reveal information you have discovered, it is right that you do. It is only through trust that great things can be accomplished.


Make sure you have scheduled time in for yourself each day. Burn out results in errors.