Saturday, December 12, 2015

No place like….

After being in Cancun for a week….exploring caves and enjoying new adventures, it was nice to touch down in Chicago.

There's no place like home.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Go anyway

I was exhausted.  I was fighting a cold. I didn't want to go.

But I did anyway.

Sometimes you really don't want to do something and everything is conspiring to keep you from doing it.

Such is what happened to me last night for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Xi Nu Omega chapter fundraiser.

I put in so many excuses.  But, in the end, I fought them and went.

It was cold. Driving was a tad frightening. And it was an adventure finding my parking spot.

But I went.

To see Gloria Winston's smile when I got to the table was worth the hassle.

Sometimes you've got to go anyway.

And, like I did -- you might have a good time.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Adventures…adventure..and leaving with a smile

Last night, I had another adventure:

I went to the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge on North Broadway.

It was the first time I'd been there.

It was fun!  They had an Open Mic where poets delivered their best renditions.  It was different.

What made it fun was the eclectic crowd:  Young, old, black, white, straight gay.

It took me awhile to find it but, once in, it was uplifting.

I left with a smile.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Back to your roots

Last night, I attended my high school (Harlan) reunion -- my 50th.  I hadn't planned to go -- after all, I wasn't very popular in high school and didn't flower until college.

But then, someone bought me a ticket and I was committed.

Despite my reluctance, I had fun.  It was great to see fellow classmates who roamed the halls with me.  The popular ones are now weighed down by life but they attend these events to revisit the glory days..before..well.

The high school days represent a distant future…and I was in my total Geekdom there.  But, the years wash away that type of resentment and I greeted, hugged, laughed and had fun with my classmates.  We mourned those who didn't make it and there was an impressive sideshow that brought everyone to quiet.

In the end, I was happy I came.  Why? because at this event, I had returned to my roots -- and that is always uplifting!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Worth the trip

I love "different" types of movies but they often aren't shown at my neighborhood theater.  And, really, a lot of my friends don't like my taste.

But I own it.

Recently, I wanted to see "The Walk" about Philippe Petit's Walk across the Twin Towers as a wire walker. Problem is it was showing at a theater over 50 miles away.

I pondered it but I was moved by the reviews.  So, I jumped in the car and made the trek.  I got a little lost but I had given myself a cushion so I arrived exactly on time.

I was so glad I made the trip because the movie is great!  I was even given those 3D glasses, which made me look kinda cute. Because it is a true story, you felt triumphant as the story unfolded.  At times, I was in tears…at other times, I was jumping up and down with laughter.  And, at the height of the walk, I had to turn away so I wouldn't see how far he was from the street, and the real possibility of a fall -- and death.  With his team of accomplices, he did it and that was so uplifting.

I left the theater so exhilarated and so happy I made the journey.  Why?  Because it was worth the trip!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Treat yourself…it's a worthwhile investment

I recently attended a dinner dance. Because it is far from my home, I decided to spend the night at the hotel.

Pricey?  Yes.  Worth it.  Also yes.

I was able to luxuriate in a four-star hotel with a view of Lake Michigan.  So tranquil and serene.

In the morning, I walked over to the lake at sunrise and did some yoga breathing.  With the backdrop of the lake and the city’s beauty, I felt totally uplifted.  Walking back, I marveled at the tableaux of Chicago and got a renewed sense of appreciation for the city.

Later, I had brunch at the signature restaurant.  With omelete stations and an airy atmosphere, I was pleased to enjoy a full menu of breakfast delights.  I always check out the bacon and was happy that it was nice and crisp.

My coffee cup was constantly filled and I made too many trips for refills.  I checked out with a smile on my face and happy to have made the investment in ME.  It was worth it and I vowed to do it again…SOON!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Embrace your quirky "likes"

I admit it.  I like certain television shows…especially the "Judge" shows.

I like Judge Mablean, Judge Karen, Judge Lynn Toler, Judge Judy.

I'm guilty.

I have decided not to deny these little fetishes.  I like them, learn from them, love the witticisms of the judges and the put downs.

Yea.  I like the shows and I embrace them.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Staying in Touch -- PAYS

In 2013, I worked on a project in San Francisco.  I stayed in touch with some of the major players and thanked everyone who assisted.

Last week, a client asked me to help out with a campaign in the Bay Area.  Because I'd stayed in touch and maintained good relations, I was able to call them up and say "HEY!" and they remembered me.

Most of all, they've agreed to help with this project.

So, staying in touch PAYS off!

I'm so glad I did.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Know Your Value

My sister is a realtor.  Recently, and days before the closing, the client wanted to reduce her commission, they asked her to cut it.

She said "NO!"  Without a beat, she said I know My Value and I will not let you compromise it.

They kept it as it is.

I recall a client pulling the same stunt.  They wanted me to cut my fee and I told them NO.

They paid me my fee.

Sometimes you have to Know Your Value and tell folks so they won't try to reduce it -- and YOU!

And, if they don't want to relent, then move on.  You know your value and that is what's important!

I also am convinced that they will relent, when you stand fast.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Go it alone

People -- especially women -- have a need to run in packs.  If they can't find a friend to go with, they'll stay home.

My advice:  Go it alone!

You can set your own schedule, indulge your curiosity. be free and be open to adventures that you wouldn't have with a friend holding you back.

Many years ago, I wanted to see Red Prysock in Gary.  No one could go with me and I took a chance and went alone.

It was the best experience I ever had.  I met Red and partied with him and his band.  I am convinced that had I gone with one of my less-spirited friends, I'd have never met him.

Ditto last year.  I was in the Grand Canyon and met some wonderful women.  I ended up going with them to Martha's Vineyard and they have become fast friends.  One is a Harvard professor, the other is a buyer for the Rhode Island School of Design.

Both have uplifted me and enhanced my life.  But, it's because I was alone that I had the freedom to explore and meet new friends.

Try it -- and GROW!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Read everything!

To be wired in to all facets of life, you must READ -- EVERYTHING!

I subscribe to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.  And that is the upside of my reading range.  But, it's also important to read a daily newspaper, the black newspapers and the tabloids:  National Enquirer, OK, Hello.  I also read Essence, Ebony, Black Enterprise and other national black outlets.

To be even more well rounded, read web sites of those publications to get 24/7 feeds.  Also read Muck Rack,, Fox, One America Network -- and more!

If you devour these regularly, you will be able to engage in any conversation, mingle with any network and you will have the satisfaction of being smart, informed, interesting and intriguing.

You are a MAGNET!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A creak on the floor

I recently had a showing for a house I co-own.  I'd gotten a new roof, a new garage, new doors, new floors and overseen a wonderful rehab of this old house.

When I took the prospect on the tour, she was stoic as I listed the many upgrades to this house, that was once considered condemned.

Then, we went to the basement and there was a creak in the corner of a floor.

Suddenly, she went off.  She said the creak was an indication of some structural issues.  She went on a harangue about it and wanted the price dramatically slashed.

I viewed this as an excuse and a red herring.  She looked at me with her demands and I merely reasoned that it was something minor.  But, she was still on a tear and made her offer, which was ridiculous.

I thanked her and wished her well.

I will look into the creak but I won't let a small creak cost me tens of thousands of dollars.

I ain't crazy!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Not outlandish to bill someone for not coming to function

I recently hosted a dinner party for 25 people.  I called everyone a few days before to make sure they were coming so I could get my count right and order adequate food. So, I ordered food for 25.

Five people did not show.  Two called the day of to say there was a sudden death in the family.  I get that. But three others didn't show and didn't call.

So, there was a waste of over 20% and that meant money down the drain.  When I read the news about the bride who sent relatives a bill for not coming to the wedding, I could totally relate.

While I didn't send bills to these no shows/no calls they get something worse:  Not another invitation to anything I have and a downgraded relationship.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

That's why

I host an annual dinner party.  It's always on the last Sunday in September.  Out of five events, only one was cool and that required us to go inside the patio…so there was still an outside feel.  Last year, the last Sunday was beautiful and it was outside and festive.  The following Sunday (the first Sunday in October) was cold.  This year, my event was September 27.  My regular caterer couldn't do it and asked me to have it the first Sunday in October, when she'd be back.  I opted to find another caterer because I couldn't get my head around an October outdoor dinner.  Well, today is the first Sunday in October and it is freezing.  So, things change in a week and this is why I've stuck to my mantra about having it the last Sunday in September.  Oh…and I found a better caterer.  It all works out!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Restoring a friendship -- carefully and cautiously

I am committed to helping a friend who has gone through a ten-year ordeal.  For four years, I had to move myself away from those problems but now that I'm out of that position, we are tip toeing back into the relationship.  Now that I'm out of the Leadership Clutches, I am helping her.  I know she is suspicious but, she had to understand that I could not help her for four years. Even now, I want my involvement private.  So, we are slowly trying to build and restore the friendship while continuing to respect one another.  In my consciousness, I feel I owe her and this is payback time. But, ultimately, it is an act of restoring love.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Congratulate yourself

I just finishing hosting my annual dinner.  It was a huge success.  Great food.  Great company.  Great vibes.  Everyone had a great time and the kudos are all over social media.  I'm humbled.

Now that I've had time to reflect on the effort that went into this --  including making sure the guests represented a nice mix and that everything was coordinated --  I think it's time to CONGRATULATE MYSELF!

Saturday, September 26, 2015


Patricia Bailey is a long-time friend and the rise of our careers parallel.  She is a marketing exec whose specialty is the ethnic market.  She is a miracle marketeer who has taken ideas into profit-generating campaigns. She is responsible for me gaining a number of clients and I love her.

When her mother "developed" Alzheimer's, she took ten years out of her life to care for her until she died in 2004.  Out of that experience, she became an expert and advocate for this deadly disease.

Today, she is a preeminent expert on Alzheimer's and is a walking resource of information and tools.

Always a sharing person, she created a portal where caregivers could access information.  She also created an online blog where she shares updates and encourages those caring for those with this disease.

Most importantly, she created a chart where memories of the afflicted could be posted for the medical professionals attending to them. Her mother was once a blues singer and would be uplifted when the blues was played.

Pat developed this and, using her marketing savvy, produced it and it is being sold in a major chain.

She is the embodiment of why I admire her.

I applaud her.

Friday, September 25, 2015

It's FUN -- and an investment

Once a year, I have an event at my home.  For years, I had a Barbecue that attracted hundreds. It was a great way to connect with clients and the media. However,  I stopped hosting it the year my Dad died.

It became expensive and cumbersome.

So, I started hosting a dinner for 20.  It is now in its fourth year and it is a fun event and it pays off in goodwill.

This is a much more manageable soiree and with fewer people I'm able to manage it better -- and even have a little fun.

So, it's a trifecta:  My friends have fun, I'm able to manage it better and have FUN.  And, it is an investment in my firm and in future friendships.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Take a chance….on LIFE

I'm here in Martha's Vineyard with two friends I met at the Grand Canyon in April.  It has been a BLAST!

Had I not taken a chance and gone up to them and started a conversation, I would never have met them.  They are dynamic, educated women who have been a positive in my life.

Karen Craddock is Dr. Karen Craddock and is a researcher with a Ph.D. from Harvard and does amazing studies.

Tracy Holmes Craddock is a designer at the Rhode Island School of Design.  They have added to my life and given me joy.

But, it all started with me going up to them and saying HI….taking a chance on life.

Now, I'm exploring a different part of the country at Martha's Vineyard with a side visit to Harvard.

I took a chance on life and all of us are winning!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Tennis players are inspirations

The US Open Tennis is the final slam of the year and I've been blessed to be inspired by the players.

I love Donald Young's heart.  I also like the way he's matured from the petulant whiner to the totally evolved player.

He is an inspiration.

I love Venus Williams.  I like the way she's overcome illness to trudge forward and win…and win..and win.

She is an inspiration.

I love Serena. Even when she's down, she can dig down and draw from all of her talent to turn a threat from the opponent into a rout by her.

She is an inspiration.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Saving requires vigilance

Saving is important to me.  With me being a retirement, it is vital!  I just got a new computer and the default site is New York Times.  Now, I've been a ten-year subscriber to the NYT but with this new machine, I get all the latest news -- and DEALS!

Recently, I saw an introductory rate for 50% off for 26 weeks.  So, I called them and mentioned it.  They said I was eligible and immediately put the savings into effect.

I'm not pleased that New York Times didn't alert me to this deal but it proves you must be vigilant….if you want to save money!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Give it a second chance

I'm health conscious and I love my "regular" doctor.  When I have a cold, he's there.  Whenever I have any other kind of ailment, I know he'll write a prescription.  But, recently I went to a holistic doctor because I want to try a more organic approach to health.  He gave me tons of herbs and after a few days, I stopped with the regimen. I just couldn't see myself drinking concoctions and popping herbs with such regularity.

But, feeling ill and tired, a month later, I tried it again.

VOILA!  The herbs seem to be working. So, despite the expense, this is working and I'm feeling better without the drugs.  Yes, I have a shelf filled with drinks and herbs but they mean good health. I'm glad I gave this doctor a second chance.

Friday, September 4, 2015

OK. I have my little weird passions…don't be a hater

OK.  I like Price is Right and have finally been able to see it with regularity since I retired.  I try to revolve my time around seeing the show.  Recently, a friend wanted me to meet her at the exact time PIR is on.  Unfortunately, I made a mistake and shared this little nugget of information with her. She almost went off calling me everything under the sun!  When she was finished with this tirade, I told her that after working in a business over 30 years and missing PIR, I'm satisfying my little obsession and too bad if she doesn't like it.  It's my life!  Deal with it! Gotta go.  Price is Right is about to start!  And, no.  I won't tape it!  So there!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

You'll have to live with that

I've had a condition since I've been in college.  I've worked hard to mitigate it.  Ten years ago, I discovered the reason.  Since then I've been to many doctors.  Most of them said it's a condition I'll have to live with.

I don't accept that.  I will continue to try to find a cure and it is becoming easier to bear.  But I inch closer to finding a way, by attending health seminars, going organic, working with a doctor and a combination of all.  It gets easier as I see daylight.

I may not find a cure but I'll die with my boots on…trying!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Lessons from tragedy

When faced with a life-defining tragedy, you might as well risk your life.  I think about those heroes on the train in France.  It is for-certain that this would have been a massacre with many lives lost. So, when those three guys went for it, their rationale is that they were going to die anyway so, they may as well fight for their lives. This is a lesson the parishioners in South Carolina could have learned. One little scrawny white kid mowed down about eight church members and each watched as the others were murdered.  If they'd taken a cue from these train heroes, he could have been taken down and lives would have been saved.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Making good decisions

Over the weekend, I had to make some on-the-spot decisions.

I was at a Festival my town of Markham, Illinois.  was hosting.  It was wonderful, the vibe was great and the atmosphere was magical. There were vendors, there.  Games.  A lot of color and frolicking.  Yet, my Sorority was having a fundraiser that evening.  That meant leaving the Fest, showering, dressing and heading into the City.

I stayed with the Festival.  It's my hometown.  The Mayor just appointed me to the Library Board.  And, my Mayor David Webb, Jr., is GREAT! And, I was relaxed in my jeans.  Plus, I got to meet some of my neighbors.  It was GREAT!

Then, on Sunday, I pondered going on my 3.7 mile walk.  It's too hot, I complained.  But, I went anyway with the silent vow that if it got too much, I could turn around.  Much of the trail is enveloped in trees and the breeze was soothing.  Before I knew it, I'd finished the walk.

I'm glad I resisted the urge to stay home.  Two great decisions.  I'm on a ROLL!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Crow tastes good

I recently wrote a scathing letter about a person…only to discover that the complaint about him had not been communicating accurately.

So, I took a breath and made the call to the person I'd complained to.  And then I apologized, agreed to do whatever is necessary to rectify the problem and then ate crow.

I could have found excuses or just let the letter lie.  Instead, I did the right thing, redeemed myself to all involved and won the admiration of all.

So, in this case, while it's hard to eat, once you do try to devour it, Crow Tastes Good!

Friday, June 26, 2015


Recently, I got into a row with a prospect.  In the middle of the exchange, I got quiet and opted to be kind.

Instantly, the tone of the exchange shifted as kindness took over the dynamics of the issue.

Suddenly, the intractable and impossible became tractable and possible.  A resolution was reached!

Sometimes you have to adjust the temperature and bring kindness into the dynamics.

That's when progress is achieved, and when all is well.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Lovin' LeBron

I love LeBron James.  Why?  Because of his loyalty to his hometown.  Yes, he left and went to Miami to get a championship and he did.  He was vilified and his jerseys were torched. But, his heart was always in Ohio.

So, having gotten a ring, he took the risk and returned to Ohio.  Now, he's leading the Cavs to a possible championship.  The series is tied now at 2-2.  I don't know what will happen but I know I admire his character and applaud him.

Go LeBron!!!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Serena - win or lose

I'm watching Serena Williams playing Sloane Stephens now.  It's a tough match…very tough.  But, Serena is showing why she's a champion.  She is taking on a tough challenge and is raising her game…including her mental game.

I don't know the outcome of this match…but win or lose, she is showing why she's been a champion for so long.

It's a lesson we should all be able to learn.  Take the challenge head on…and never give up.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Don't Burn Your Bridges

In an earlier post, I referenced my high-end and low-end hair stylist.  The one in the hood actually does a great job of doing my hair but the atmosphere is not inspiring. It is noisy, peddlers come in selling street wear, mothers bring their children who can't stop making noise and/or fighting one another.  So, it is not a place for the intellectual.  Plus, my stylist is always glum, barely speaks and I've never seen her smile.  On the other hand, my high-end salon is airy, the fragrance is enticing.  Roses are everywhere, small crepe-like sandwiches dot the corners and the place just makes you smile when you walk in. So,  I made an appointment with the stylist who is good….but not as good as my hood stylist. So, I booked it!  Wouldn't you know that my high-end stylist couldn't change my appointment when a conflict came up on my end.  I am glad I didn't burn my bridge with my other one.  I called her, made the appointment and when I got there, Girlfriend actually had a half smile on her face.  Yea, it was loud.  And, yea, there were babies running around but I just closed my eyes, pretended I was at the other place and drowned it out.  My hair was lovely and looked like it had been done in a high-end salon.  Grateful that I never burned my bridges with her.

Friday, May 22, 2015

I want some atmosphere

I get my hair done every two months.  A few months ago, I tried a new stylist who is EXCELLENT!  Problem is, her salon is in the heart of the hood with all kinds of folks walking in and out hawking stuff. The customers have young babies they can't control.  Their conversations are filled with expletives. I close my eyes to shut out the view and try to get in Zen mode to shut out the noise

BUT, the stylist is good and I love the end result.  Plus, her fee is 30% less than the high-end spa.

However, I'm going to return to my regular salon which is part of a spa.  The atmosphere is soothing with flowers and aroma wafting through the air.  The clientele is elegant and coffee is served with pastries.

OK.  I'll miss the talented stylist but when I get my hair done…I want some atmosphere -- no matter the cost!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Continue to learn

Even though I'm a senior and content, I continue to seek out sources where I can be better and learn.

Recently, I've taken up meditation.  I've always been fascinated with it and found yoga to be a wonderful way to relax.  Then, I saw Russell Simmons' book on it and I bought it.

Now, I've entered the wonderful world of meditation…being quiet…going inward.

I can't say I've mastered it but I feel that this is a positive path I want to pursue.

And I'm doing it.

Friday, May 15, 2015

And a second opinion

In addition to the second test, get a second opinion. I went for a hearing test after getting a plugger in the mail for a free test.  Note the word FREE.

After it was completed, the doctor said I was hearing impaired and outlined a host of products I should get to correct the problem.  I actually started pulling my budget together in my head but kept it moving. Then, I went to a presentation at a library where I was given another hearing test.

At its conclusion, the audiologist was amazed at my excellent hearing and complimented me.

Enough said.  I can take those ear implants off my to-buy list.

Yes…Always get a second opinion.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Get a second TEST

I recently went to the doctor and got the proverbial blood pressure screening while I was there.

She hooked up the new technological machine and I was good to go. I was SHOCKED that it was so high -- almost near the dangerous zone -- as I usually don't have a problem with blood pressure.

The doctor examined me and mentioned the numbers with a concerned look on his face.  He finished the physical and vowed to "watch it" or I'd have to go on medication.

Just as I was about to leave the examining room, I asked the nurse to come in and render the test again -- but not via the machine.

My number went down by 30 points on the first number and 19 on the second.

That ended the concerned looks and the admonitions.

And, I was glad I'd insisted on getting a second test.  The anxiety would, truly, have zoomed by blood pressure to catastrophic levels!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Do something different

Going outside of your comfort zone can be so therapeutic.

Last night I went to the Mayweather/Pacquaio (sic) fight -- ALONE!  It was showing at a local bar.

Although I didn't fit in, I had a ball being part of the raucous atmosphere.  A hostess saw me looking all odd and she treated me to a drink.  I tipped her well.

Buried among the fans, I reveled in being caught up in the emotions of a major fight.  It was a wonderful feeling to take a new path.

As I left, I was happy that I decided to Do something different."

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Admit the error and..Just eat the crow

A friend of mine is conflicted about an error she made in a public venue.  She's trying to spin her way out of this mess.

As a PR practitioner, she asked for my advice.

I told her to admit the error, eat the crow and move on.  Just say, "I made a mistake."

With that, the crisis will end…the digging will stop and a quick mea culpa will show her bravery and will end it all.

Anything less will make her appear flaky, slick and untrustworthy.

I've learned that crow can taste good too.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The pen is...

Everyone knows how that ends.  The pen is mightier than the sword.

Recently, and as a past post can attest, I had an incident with a tour guide who didn't treat me well.  I was silent through the indignity.

But, when I was in a steady place/space, I wrote a letter of complaint. It was measured but succinct and outlined the incident in detail.

I've always been one who writes letters, whether the treatment was bad or good.  And, when someone thinks they are shutting me down by saying "Put it in writing," they have actually given me the ammunition.

That's why I wrote the letter.

Yesterday, I found out that the tour guide was fired. Now that was not my intent but, the manager said there had been other complaints and my letter was the final straw.

While I don't like to see someone lose a job, if he was creating problems for the company and my letter was the tipping point, then he was best gone.

On top of that, the owner refunded half of my tour price. So, one letter yielded so many results.

And, it supports the oft-repeated assertion that the pen is….

Friday, April 24, 2015

The power of the pen

In the last two weeks, I've had to deal with two unpleasant incidents.  In an earlier post, I mentioned how important it is to write a letter when you get good service.

I agree with that.

On the other hand, when you get bad service, let it RIP!

I went to a meeting of an organization where I was once an officer.  Out of pettiness, the current president didn't introduce me.  Well, as soon as I got home, I wrote a letter to the higher-ups of the organization and he was spanked but good.

I'm waiting for my apology but I know the officials gave it to him.

The second incident occurred while I was on a tour to the Grand Canyon.  The tour guide was incredibly rude.  I sucked it up but complained to the manager and owner upon my return.

I heard from them and they were LIVID.

Most people will complain and go off on the offender.  I don't waste my breath/time.  I write to those who can make change happen and who factor in that person's fate.

That is what works. The power of the pen is mightier than the sword…indeed.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Write a letter…for good service

If you get bad service, you're likely to complain, yell, scream, curse -- WHATEVER!  If you're really inspired, you'll write a letter to the appropriate source.

But, what if you get good service?  I believe in writing as well.  The energy and passion you put into a complimentary letter goes a long way in uplifting the person who rendered the good service.  And, it makes you look good!  Remember, to write the CEO…not the immediate manager.  That has better results as it will filter down to the manager.

I have a file full of responses from CEOs who were to pleased with the letters of commendation. And in the letter the leader is effusive because they get more complaints than compliments.

So, invest the time to praise. It has a domino effect that yields positive responses and is sincerely appreciated!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Walking up four flights - What you do for clients

Today, I attended a client event at a very old school.  It was a class helping young black youth overcome obstacles to achieve.  I didn't have to be there since the agreement was to write/distribute the press release.

Well, as a show of support, I had to be there.

But, I didn't know that I'd have to climb four flights of steep steps to get there.

Now I have a bad knee, arthritis and, well, I'm OLD! So, climbing those steps was a real labor.

As I finished climbing each flight, I marveled at the lesson learned:  You do what you have to do to support your client.  As I rounded the fourth flight and walked into the instruction room, the client's face lit up.

So, despite the pain and the trouble, seeing his smile was worth it.

And, as I left, he said: "I want to talk to you about another project!"

So, that made the four flights -- OUCH! -- all worth it!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Finesse…rather than lie!

I recently went to the theater to see a show a friend directed.  He really wanted me to go and I did want to support him. Plus, the reviews were great!

Well, I went. It was late and the production just didn't hold my attention.  Add the fact that the guy seated next to me as really rather large and I felt scrunched.  Well, it wasn't the best environment.

I fell asleep because it just didn't hold my attention -- even with all of the "distractions."  Then, because it ran long, I had to leave so I didn't miss my train.

It was not a good evening.

This morning, my friend called -- waiting for the full-throttle compliments.  I didn't criticize the show but used polite hedging/finessing.  "It was interesting."  "The characters were full of life." I loved the set.  The  audience was really into it.  There were some great lines.  The directing was awesome. So glad I supported you.

He seemed to accept this and I felt good that I didn't give away the real problems I had with the show.

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do in the name of friendship.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Keep your charger on you at all times

I keep my cell phone charger with me at all times.  Why?  You may get stranded and the only difference between you getting help could be finding a place to charge your phone…just in case.
I was recently in Selma for the historic walk.  I had been making a lot of calls and I was operating on low.  Then, I dashed into a church and saw an outlet.  Luckily, I had brought my charger and was able to get 15 minutes worth of a charge, giving me about 65% and 2/3 full on the bars.  That was a great move because I was able to connect with my friends and find them.  With my cellphone on low, it was a good thing that I had my charger for a quick dose of juice.  That was the difference between a good day and a horrible day as we all found out another without a problem…without any hassle.  Ditto for airports. I keep my charger so I can go into those wifi spots or just borrow an outlet.  This is a MUST!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Off to history

I'm off to history!  Based on planning, valuable networking and sensibility, I expect all to go well!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Selma and Karma

I can't say this is part of my bucket list.  But, when I learned about the 50th Anniversary of the March from Selma to Montgomery, I said "I'm In!"

And through the positive Karma I've brought, I got a ride to Selma from Montgomery, found out when/where the Sorority was meeting to March…and all signs are GO!

I'm off to history!

Monday, March 2, 2015

One of my pet peeves

OK.  So, I helped promote this dinner on Saturday and it is -- ALAS -- over.  However, I had a press table for the media.  Each person was told that they had only one ticket.  Then, of course, one brought a girlfriend (she is a woman) and I'd warned her not to do that.  So, next time, she won't be invited because I can't trust her to follow guidelines. One other media type said she couldn't come without her husband so when a ticket opened up, I gave her two.  BUT, SHE LET ME KNOW!  When there is a fundraiser and tables are tight, it is important to comply.  Period.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I made it

After a stressful experience with a client, I vowed to stay with it to its completion.  Last night was the event and I made it through…integrity and honor intact!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Don't quit

I'm working on a project and the client has been extremely -- EXTREMELY -- difficult.  She has been so infuriating that I've thought, many times, of quitting.  However, this is a short term project and I've been creating games to get me to the finish line.  If it were a long-term project, I'd work to get out of it.  But not on this one. My reputation keeps me from quitting but it stays on my mind.  But,  I would take a bigger hit so I keep saying "Don't quit."  But, I've advised my friends/associates to take me out on Michigan Avenue for a beat down if I ever work with her again.  So there!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Look on the upside because it could have been worse

I was in St. Maarten recently and had a GREAT time. However, upon my return, my water was off from the dreadful cold. Foolishly, I forgot to keep the water dripping slightly while I was away.

Then, the pipes burst!

While I was wallowing in self pity, I thought about how lucky I was that this happened right after I returned home.  Had it happened while I was away, I'd have come up to a catastrophe: a house upended, dealing with insurance, justifying the costs, losing possessions, losing my center.

Then I thought how lucky I was.  I was able to get it fixed, albeit for a price.  But the price of the repair  way outweighed what it could have been.

So, I decided to look on the upside…because it could have been worse!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Don't rub it in

Well, I'm off to vacation in St. Maarten.  It's 31 degrees in Chicago and I'm going to where it will be 81.

So, I'm tempted to make those who'll be in the snow a tad bit jealous.

But, to be a friend and considerate, I'll limit posting the pictures of me having fun and I'll keep the noise down about how NICE it is here.

In other words, I will be careful and won't rub it in.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Take advantage of the snow

OK.  It's Sunday, February 1 and it is snowing…snowing…snowing.  I have a Super Bowl Party I probably won't attend but I won't be down about it.

I have a lot of unfinished tasks in the house and books and magazines I want to catch up on.  And, if I'm so inclined, I'll bask in the beauty of this snow by tipping out and just marveling at the beauty of nature since I am surrounded by a lot of tress and live in the center of nature.

So, I won't moan. I won't complain.  I'll celebrate!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Always cultivate

Always cultivate new talent because you never know when your mainstay will fail you. This goes for every area in which I'm involved.  I have a roster of handymen that I swap out when one messes up.  I also have a team to writers and those who can help with my promotions.  I have little patience for folks who are late, short on integrity and low on customer service.  Within my stable are those who adhere and live up to all of those qualities.  When one fails in an area, I turn to someone else because I always cultivate.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Go for it!

As a direct outcome of seeing the movie, "Selma," I've decided to go to Selma from March 9-13 for the 50 mile trek to Montgomery on the occasion of the 50th anniversary.  It might be perceived as an impulsive decision but it is one that is being driven by a passion to be a part of history. President Obama will be there at the start.  Now that my mind is made up, I'm cogitating on readying for the walk, physically and mentally. They walk in ten-mile-a-day increments.  I think the rush of the crowd, being part of a bonded experience, the notion of being part of a Movement and the adrenalin will carry me through. I've booked my hotel and I've gotten it in my head to GO FOR IT!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Don't quit

I'm working with a worrisome client.  Very worrisome.  It is for a short period of time but it has been an exasperating experience.

I'm not the only one who feels that way as the media outlets I'm trying to reach have practically groaned when I mentioned her name.

It would be easy for me to quit.  But, I'm not.  I will trudge it out and stay pleasant and still try to yield results.

In the end, it would be good for my sense of professionalism.  She hasn't been abusive…cursing and going crazy.  She's just a micromanager.  Results can tame that and, even with the groans, strides have been made.

But to bail on an event would be unprofessional.  So, I have posted this quote on my laptop:

Don't quit.

I won't work with her again but, for this project, I've vowed to:

Don't quit.

When her quirkiness irks me, I'm going to stick to my mantra:

Don't quit.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fire him

I've had a handyman for years who has increasingly gotten surly and uncooperative.  I've kind of given him a pass because of our long history and because he's gone out of his way in the past. I've always liked using him because he employs neighborhood apprentices. I practically gave my house away to him as a show of loyalty for past work.  But that is the past.  Last week, he complained that I call him too much and with his voice raised, told me to stop.  I one-upped him and said he doesn't have to worry about me calling because I won't be calling him again. But, yesterday he called and we got into a tiff and he hung up on me. With that, he was fired.  I don't argue with folks I pay...I just fire them.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pay people quickly. It pays off!

Those who work with me know that I pay quickly. Even at a testimonial where I was saluted, one of my vendors praised me for that. This always comes in handy during emergencies. During this brutal winter, I've needed last-minute handymen for repairs, plumbing issues and electrical outages. Because of my habit of paying quickly, they moved their calendars around for me.  Why?  Because I pay quickly.  That is a great business practice that certainly pays off!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

What's the rush?

I have found value in taking it slow.  Whether it's a personal relationship, or a professional one, it is a value to take one's time.  Cultivate the relationship. Nurture it.  And, when it is consummated, it will be stronger and more enduring.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The importance of vetting

I'm into betting professionals. In the last year, I've had to change my dentists and gynecologist. In both situations, I was diligent about vetting. I first went to friends, including Facebook friends, who provided great lists. From there, I turned to the Internet to view the qualifications and, most important, the comments. By this time, I'd whittled the list down to a few.  So, the final hurdle was how the office handled the phone. The ones that won out were those who had a "real" person answering the phone. The ones rejected were those with voicemails with directions to call 911 in case of emergencies. Even with that, I left a message.  If I didn't hear back within 24 hours, they were eliminated. Those whom I selected had great receptionists. So, with proper vetting, I got a new dentist and a new gynecologist serving my needs. In person they are professional, caring, passionate and likable. Their receptionist, nurses and attendant help are all excellent. In the end, it was worth the time to vet.