Friday, December 30, 2016

One pound

It's the end of the year and it is time to get my annual weigh in.

The goal is to gauge the progress from year to year.

On January 1, 2016, the goal was to lose 10 pounds.  Well, I went in for my weigh in today and had only lost one pound.

Not much progress.  So, there is no reason to celebrate.

So, what did I do? I treated myself to Popeye's Chicken wings.  I'm sure if I'd gone back for the weigh-in after that, I would have gained the one pound....and then some.

So, my goal for next year is to lose more than one pound.

Now, that may be doable!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Benefits of senior citizen status

OK.  Every morning I feel the creaks, have difficulty getting the legs working and notice that my stamina isn't as high.

Welcome to Senior Citizenland.

But, there are many senior benefits and "I'm a senior," as my favorite expression.

One of my favorite perks is having my snow shoveled.  My town of Markham makes that kind concession to seniors and on days, like this week, when the snow is coming down furiously, I appreciate this "give."

Thanks, Mayor David Webb of Markham, Illinois, for making this a benefit of being a senior.

It saves me money, stress and annoyance.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Loss of someone I knew but didn't know

Today, I learned of the death of Stanley Abernathy.  He was a high school classmate and one of the most talented and coolest classmates ever!

I admired him from afar and had a crush on him since forever.  His talent as a trumpet player only made him more alluring.  Through the years, he made it as an entertainer with a band that did so well that he lived in a posh section of Nashville.

A few years ago, there was a high school reunion and he was there.  I lit up when I saw him. We chatted briefly and I felt there was a connection because unlike so many of our classmates, we'd done well after high school.  There was that common bond there.

He was a Facebook friend and I followed him...but not regularly.

So, today I went back to his FB page and saw that he'd spent the last few months in a bad place.  His illness was chronicled. His pain was apparent.  His death was imminent.

He'd stopped performing.  He'd moved back to Chicago sensing that his days were numbered and he wanted to be with family.

And it happened.  He died.

StanleyAbernathy, I hardly knew you but I admired you for the Renaissance man you are and for your passion and for being a trendsetter.

I will be at the services to say goodbye.

I'll miss you.

Friday, December 2, 2016

What to say to a person with cancer

I just read an article in the New York Times on what to say when talking to a person with cancer.  I've been doing it all wrong and so glad I read it.  In essence, you don't come off in a pitying manner, or by asking how it's going.  The correct response is to offer to help with any number of tasks.  "How Can I Help?" will go farther than saying, "Oh, I'm so sorry. What kind of cancer do you have? My friend had the same cancer and she...."  WRONG. Offering help is right!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Helping during times of mourning

I'm a writer and have gotten very good at writing funeral programs. It has become a part of my portfolio now.  I craft a unique story of the deceased and it touches those who are mourning.

But I have a policy:  For clients, I do not charge for the work.  The least I can do is donate my services during this time of grief.

It' soothes them, brings them comfort and increases my value!

Friday, October 28, 2016

I won b/c I was prepared!

Well, I went to court -- and WON!

It was a given I was going to be triumphant.  BUT, what sealed it was my preparation.

I had every conceivable defense ready and every document to prove my position.  The evidence was compelling.

When it was all said and done, the judge even said she was impressed and admonished those in the courtroom -- including the lawyers -- to be as prepared as me when presenting their case.


Monday, October 24, 2016

It's about time!

OK.  I'm a landlord...But I'm too nice!

For the last 20 years, I've only had one decent tenant..and that is a sad commentary.

But it's my fault.  I've heard sob stories, pleadings and excuse after excuse.  And, I've been nice and even had to swallow when they trashed the house.

So, now I'm turning it around.

I'm taking a tenant to court who is behind.

She acted shocked that I've made a move and finally acting like I run a business.

But, I have one sentiment:

It's about time.

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Tone of the campaign

The mean-spirited tone of the Presidential Campaign is only a small slice of the coarseness of society.

The negative ads, the shrieking charges leveled and the overall harshness are echoed in every campaign on every level.

I'm tired of the shouting, the finger pointing and the lies.

And, it's become part of the American persona as rudeness and crudeness have taken over our lives.  Just look at Social Media, the comments and the overhaul of civility.

This is real...and it's not good.

Monday, October 10, 2016

When a "friend" is "unfriended"

For over two years, I've deepened a friendship with a woman I met on Facebook.  Her spirit is so sweet, her messages so vibrant and the connection is genuine...or so I thought.

When she wrote a book, I purchased it.

When she was a guest on a radio show, I listened.

When she asked for birthday greetings for her sons (I don't like those types of messages) I joined in the chorus.

Recently, I decided to move the friendship off Facebook.  I invited her to my annual dinner party.

She RSVPd and I couldn't wait to see her in person.

So, I eagerly awaited the day.

She never showed.  I never heard from her.

So, I sent her a message via FB.

Guess what!  She'd forgotten.

How disillusioning to discover that someone whose FB friendship you cherished, did not feel the same way.

She apologized profusely and asked to take me to lunch or for a drink.

I won't go.

While I didn't unfriend on FB, in my heart and spirt, I'd ended the friendship.


Because she is not as authentic in real time as she is on Facebook

Friday, October 7, 2016

Love my living room

I detected a rip in my Asian-inspired living room set.  I contacted my reupholstered and she said she could no longer sew, tape -- repair the sofa.

As much as I loved it, I went furniture shopping.  I found a black and white asymmetrical set that I fell in love with.

It was delivered yesterday and my favorite Asian sofa, love seat and chair were hauled away.

I LOVE THE NEW SET!  It is striking and gives a modern look to the room.

I have forgotten my old set as I've basked in the feel of a new, awesome look in my living room.

Friday, September 30, 2016

True friend -- with class

My friend Kathy Times is class personified.

Yesterday, she asked me to review a press release.  I didn't mind and didn't feel put upon.  I was rushing but made a few adjustments that were incorporated into the final submission.

Today, she sent me a $60 gift certificate to a restaurant of my choice.

In the message to me, she thanked me and said she valued my time.

What a class act!  Those are the types of gestures that earn appreciation and deepen friendships.

Thanks, Kathy!

Monday, September 26, 2016


I just had a dinner party.  It was successful but two of the women who'd begged me to invite them...well, they didn't show.

I heard from one of them today.  She never received the invitation with the address.  I told her I had sent it awhile back and re-sent it.  She then acknowledged that she got it.

I haven't heard from the other woman yet.

It was a success in spite of their flakiness.  But, my opinion of them changed.  I thought these were outstanding, upstanding women.  But not showing and not calling is a big NO NO.

So, they cost me money and I'll never invite them again.

All they're good for is EXCUSES!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

It is wonderful to meet a kindred soul

I don't know when I met JPC.  High school?  Maybe. But, yes, we attended Harlan together.

I don't remember bumping into him in the hall of Harlan.

But, we know one another now.

It's been wonderful connecting with someone with similar values and a similar background.

Going down memory lane with him has been uplifting, nostalgic and fun.

So glad I met him...looking forward to the adventure...and to wherever it leads.

The fun part is that he seems to feel the same way!

And that makes it good...better...the BEST!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Trump's Tough Talk and its Implications

Trump's Tough Talking Terrorist Talk is resonating during this time when bombs and terror are in the news.  Hillary is coming off as Same Old Same Old.

If the polls tic upwards in Trump's favor, it will be because of the perception that Trump's bravado will translate into an ass kickin' for the terrorists.

My fear is that the public will be so swayed with fear that even reasonable-thinking Americans will take Trump seriously and display this inclination at the polls.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Don't Do it

I'm having my annual dinner where I invite 24 friends. I make a special effort to make sure there are an equal number of men and women in attendance. So, I put that on the invite that this is an invitation for YOU only.

And yet, last year, women brought girlfriends.  This is exactly what I try to avoid.

We, as women, must stop having a need to bring friends.  When that happens, it throws my numbers off and my balance off.

Of course, when they do that, they're not invited back.

Please, read the invitation and heed the request.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

When Serena lost - Opportunity arose

So, ya'll know I'm a Serena fan.  So, it was a major disappointment when she lost to...whoever.  Instead of being sad, I used that opportunity of when I'd be watching her in the finals to volunteer. So, I'm going to help man the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's voter registration booth.

I'd say that exchanging sadness for service is a good exchange.

Monday, September 5, 2016


Today is Labor Day.

I have an invitation to join someone at the African American Festival.

I have an invitation to a BBQ

A friend just let me know she is in town and wants me to drive to O'Hare Hilton to meet her.

Well, I'm staying home.  I'm going to watch tennis, chill out and mosey around the house.

No plans.  No drama.  No -- nothing.

It's a LA-Z-DAY and I'm going to be LA-ZY.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Beauty of Social Media

Through Facebook, I got a lot of advice on how to sue a tenant.  The generosity was especially heartwarming as one FB friend walked me through the process.

She was so awesome that I've decided to retain her firm to handle future transactions.

I would have been clueless without her and I vow to do business with her where I'll pay!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sometimes you have to do it

I have turned out to be a poor landlord. I let tenants get away with delinquency in paying rent and my heart melts when a tenant gets sick.

But, I've recently decided to get out of my passionate zone and take action.  Last month, I filed suit against one tenant who said she couldn't pay.  Yet, I bumped into her at a salon...lookin' good and spending' good. So, the lawsuit continues.

Then, my other tenant is so far behind that I'm embarrassed.  But, she has until September 1 to come up with 1/2 and if I don't get it, I commence court proceedings.

It's about time I began looking out for my interests.  About time.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Retaining a professional

OK.  I admit I need my persona life.

Recently, I had a session with a relationship expert who gave me clarity about a situation in which I was involved and one that made me cry.

She was so professional and compassionate and so spot on with her assessments that I've decided to have a monthly session with her.

When your personal life is off kilter, it affects your business life.

And when that began to intrude on my livelihood, I turned to her again.

It's worth it to retain a professional because she keeps me grounded, provides great advice and gets me clear.

That's worth it!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Don't take a chance

Last night, I was going to go Downtown to see one of the films in the Black Harvest series.  I googled Harvey train stop to get the schedule for the train. The show started at 8:30 and there was a 7:01 train.

What popped up, instead, was a story about a recent robbery on the Harvey stop.  Two riders, waiting for a train, were robbed at gunpoint and their valuables, money and cell phones were taken. It happened in the evening.

I got spooked.  While the thugs were caught, the mere thought of this violation was enough to keep me from going.

I just couldn't take a chance.

So, I'll go again next week during the afternoon hours.

At least, I'll feel safer.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Break ups

Suddenly, he stopped calling...seeing me...texting me.  No explanation. No warning.  Just gone.

I am so hurt and trying to absorb and process this.  I am trying not to act like a psycho chick...but I miss him...miss the friendship.

So, right now, I'm trying to get past the pain.

It's hard.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Stop before you press "send."

Herman Edwards once said to stop before you press SEND when transmitting a message.  I agree with that.  Never send anything in haste. Wait an hour.  Email it to yourself and then get back to it.  But, STOP.

These messages never go away and what you send in haste will never go away.  It will reflect on you.

So, STOP, RESIST the desire to press send.

Everything will change but your message will remain out there.


Friday, July 29, 2016

Get help

In the last few weeks, I've needed help for personal -- and really personal -- matters. As a big busted woman, I have always had trouble fitting into bras.  It seems like I can never get fully fit into these bras.

Finally, I decided to go to a professional:  Tina at Tina's Closet in Lisle, Illinois was an Internet recommendation.  I went out there to the most beautiful town and street that was equalled only by Tina's kindness.

She gave me such great tips and was so wonderful and patient.  She pointed out the mistakes I've made through the years and I incorporated those tips into my bra fitting. I was impressed with her kindness. She fit and adjusted my bra and gave me great advice that I plan to use.

I was so happy that I made it there and met her. I bought two bras and plan to make a twice-a-year trip to Lisle for further consultation.

Thanks, Tina!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Forgive...even if it means changing plans

Yes, I planned to break up on July 4.  But, he was so understanding, contrite and loving...I changed my mind.

You have to forgive and give folks a second chance.

I did...and we are stronger for it.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The end

Today I'm going to end a relationship.  Sad to say but when it begins to go backwards and cruelty seeps in, let it go.

Today, he's coming by for a July 4 picnic.  But the meal will not be satisfying for him.  But it will be for me.  We've only known each other a short while, but it's better to let it go early when you see the signs rather than later when the signs have become problems.


Friday, July 1, 2016

Doing what I've worked hard to do!

I had a great desire to see the play about Dick Gregory in New York, which is a one-man show in which Joe Morton stars.

But, when I discovered that it was closing soon, I made a bold decision: I decided to take the plane in the morning, take a cab to the theater, see the play and then take the plane home.

Yea, I know it seems crazy but that's what I want to do.

My haters say this is a case of a champagne lifestyle and caviar dreams and who do I think I am???  But, I've worked hard to do what I want to do and, this is what I'm doing.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Everything doesn't have to get posted on Facebook

I have a friend who has a need to post everything on Facebook.  I mean, everything.

But, for me, it's too much.  I had a dinner party for 25 people and she posted it on Facebook.  And, I got into mucho trouble from those who weren't invited.

Then, I hired her for an assignment.

You guessed it!  She posted it on Facebook...although it was an assignment I did not want broadcast.

So, it appears I'll have to stop inviting her, stop using her and evaluate our friendship -- because of her penchant to post everything on Facebook.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Someone on the same page

It's so great to meet someone who 'gets' you.  I just started seeing someone special.  Instead of acting like a crude sex fiend, he is getting to know me and likewise.

It's refreshing to be around someone who understands the value of cultivating a friendship.  It is only on a strong friendship foundation that a relationship with grow, flower and thrive.

So, I'm enjoying the journey and will patiently go where it leads.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Helping out of loyalty...and less belief

I have a friend I've known and admired based on him going from a thug to a success.  But, lately, he's run into a tad bit of trouble.  Based on what I hear, much of what he did was wrong.

But, he's still being railroaded.

And he needs my help.

I weighed it all.  Then I called him and chastised him for his f-ups while applauding him for continuing the fight.

Then, I dug in and helped him.

Monday, May 2, 2016

It's about safety.

Because I'm going alone to Cuba, my friends are worried.  However, I have contracted a company to take me around to all of the sites.  It is highly recommended and the principals are efficient.

This is better than going it alone.

And, my booking agency is very efficient and has been scheduled all the way.

So I think I'm assuring and insuring my safety.

I'll deploy all of my vigilance while milling around Havana when I'm on my own.

So, I'm putting all measures in place to make sure my trip is fun, education and safe.

And, that makes me feel safe.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Memories of Prince

Last summer NABJ went to Paisley Park. I opted not to go because I'm just not a late nighter. As it turned out, Prince made a brief appearance at a wee hour. But what struck me were Prince's rules. He forbade anyone from bringing their cell phones, cameras and recording devices. Those who came back from the Paisley Park party said Prince's rules forced them to talk to one another without checking their cell. In other words, everyone was engaged. I like those rules and would like others to impose those during other events so everyone is PRESENT at an event.

Friday, April 22, 2016


I wasn't a Prince fan...didn't like his music--but that's my choice.

When I had a chance to go to Paisley Park, I passed.

At the Essence Music Festival, he was the headline act but I didn't want to spend the $150 to see him.

So, OK.  I wasn't a fan.

That doesn't diminish his genius.

I recognize his iconic role in the pantheon of music.  I celebrate his life.  I pay tribute to his influence.

Even though his songs didn't give me a buzz, I know he was great.

So, I mourn his passing.

RIP Prince.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Living the fab life -- if only for a moment!

Recently, I spent the week with my I usually do this time of year because it's my birthday week!  But, sister had to leave out of town early to take care of some business.

Now, sis has a mansion-level house and I live in a hut...well, kind of.

So, for two days, I lived the life of a mogul with all the space.  I loved running through the halls and going from one spacious room to another...Not to mention the room-size closets and the UGE (Trump words) bathrooms.  My eyes were wide!

So, I put on my sunglasses, went out to the cabana and for two days, lived the FAB LIFE.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Back in the game

Because a client called me back up from retirement, I've been having a great time  being back in the game.

Yea.  I know that it's only for one project.  But because it is inspiring and allows me to use all of my skill sets, I'm enjoying this step back into the business.

And, in my first effort, I got three major TV stations there.  A real coup.

Until Father's Day when this project ends, I'm back in the game.

And I'm lovin' it.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Go to the doctor before traveling

A few days before I go on a journey, I go to the doctor to make sure I'm well enough for the rigors of traveling.

Since a lot of what I do requires stringent activities --  and when considering the stress of traveling with all of the airport drama -- you must be tip top.

So, I go in, get a B12 shot, air my ailments and get the appropriate prescriptions that will allow me to endure during a vacation.

There is nothing worse than going on holiday and having to go to the doctor.  The pre-visit to the doctor is a precaution and a good one and a way to pre-empt an emergency..  I've never had to interrupt my holiday for a doctor visit.


Friday, April 1, 2016

Getting ready for Cuba

I'm so excited to be going to Cuba.  It'll be an experience.

I've read a lot of materials on Cuba, and I'm getting familiar with the habits, customs, terrains -- and dangers.

But, to exhibit sincerity about assimilating into the country, the first thing I'm doing is brushing up on my Spanish.  My experience is that there is appreciation when the language is learned.

So, that's what I'm gonna do.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Coming out of retirement -- for a good cause!

Since going into semi-retirement, I've been approached to work on many projects.

The answer has always been:

"Thanks...but no."

Until Real Men Cook reached out.  This is an entity that promotes Black Fatherhood on Father's Day. I worked on it many years ago and helped with its national outreach.

But, for the last few years, the founder let her son handle and manage it and he had his own team.

This year, however, the weight of the event took its toll and it is clear that she needs to seize control again.

So she's pulled in her original team.

Including me.

It is taking a dynamic new direction that makes me excited and fired up.

So, how could I refuse?

I said "Thanks and yes." And, for this, I'm coming out of retirement.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Don't get anxious

OK. My trip to Cuba is finalized.

HOWEVER, the agency handling the trip sent me a long list of instructions. It went on for several pages.

After reading all of the dos and fonts, I was daunted and a little fearful.

Then, I took a breath.  I remembered my adventurous spirit.  I remembered that the President is opening up the gateways of Cuba.

And I remembered I was fearless.

So, I just chilled out and let the anxiety and fear pass.

If you're going to go into afraid, you will not enjoy yourself.

Breathe. Relax. Get past the Fear.

And enjoy the trip.

Monday, March 14, 2016

One "person" doesn't stop a show

I am going to Cuba...alone.  That wasn't the way it started.  I was going with a woman who heard on Facebook that I wanted to go to Havana.

She said she'd like to go.

We met over lunch and discerned that we could be companions.  In fact, she and I saw so many similarities until we agreed that being traveling companions would be a good fit.  Like me, she is free spirited and a careful risk taker.

I liked her and saw a "mini-me" in this younger woman.We corresponded via e-mail and phone as we set up plans.

But, then, she began to become scarce.  Finally, I caught up with her.  She said she'd gotten a new job and couldn't get away.

For a nano-second, I thought about not going.  But, that was only for a nano-second.

I shifted gears and gave myself the talk:  Don't let one person stop you from going.

So, I made the reservations and I'm off to Havana -- alone.  But, come to think about it, alone is how I usually roll -- and I like it!

Friday, March 11, 2016

How can you be bored?

I recently bumped into a lady who had recently retired, as I have.  She said she was so bored that she was considering going back to work.

I couldn't believe it!  I told her how I have had a ball exploring the city, going on mini-adventures, attending classes, discovering new haunts, enjoying new restaurants and having a great time in my new life!

I actually considered inviting her to go with me on these pursuits but decided that she may be too uninspired and would bore me and get on my nerves.

Bottom line:  There is no excuse for being bored in the city.  Too much to do and too much fun to be had.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

List questions and issues you want to address when you go to the doctor

Yesterday, I had a doctor's appointment regarding my leg.  However, that morning, I'd gotten scalded.  Do you know, I met with my doc for 15 minutes and forgot to mention that?

Had I made a list of all my ailments that would have been at the top of the list.  But, I got so distracted with the leg, I forgot.  I remembered enroute home.

Fortunately, I was able to access the Internet for advice and things are coming along with the healing. But, had I mentioned and written down everything, I would have remembered.

I am kicking myself...but not with the bad leg.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Vote for Kim Foxx

The title says it all.  I've been volunteering for Kim and had the pleasure to meet her.  She is warm, intelligent, beautiful -- everything wonderful rolled into one.

Her values are our values.  She has the moxie to confront the issues that matter to us.


Friday, February 26, 2016

Time to take action

OK.  I try to be nice. Where tenants are concerned, I tend to have compassion.

I have a tenant who fell behind because of her cancer and I let her rent lapse because her prescriptions were eating into the payments.

Today, with the first of the month upon us, I tallied up everything and realized this was out of hand.

I'm sending her a five-day-notice. No matter how compassionate I am and kind, there is a tipping point.  It has been reached.

Time to take action!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Check out every pain

As I've gotten older, I've begun to check out every pain.

While in St. Maarten, I experienced a searing pain in my leg.  Then it went away.

But when I got back, it flared up again.

I went to the doctor who discovered a blood clot.  Untreated, there is a possibility it could travel to my lung...putting my life at risk.

Today, I'm off to the hospital to get an x-ray to gauge the extent of the clot and to determine if it is likely to travel.

This is serious and is part of my health mission and my ultimate resolve to CHECK OUT EVERY PAIN!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Be Independent

I just came back from St. Maarten and had a MAH-VE-LOUS time!

There are about 20 of us who are down there at the same time.  I met them while in St. Maarten so it's not like I came with them.

While they get together every night and eat and laugh and talk, I find that seven days of that is a bit much.

So, I always rent a car and venture away from the crowd.  I've climbed Paradise Pic, been to the zoo, been to the tennis academy and just did my thing.

I enjoy being with them and then venturing out.  That is a perfect prescription for a wonderful vacation.  Enjoying the safe haven of the group while giving in to my natural inclination to be adventurous.

That's what I did.  And, it worked!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Make it easy to be reached

It is not wise to wait to return calls to the media. Nor is it wise to make yourself difficult to reach.

If a media outlet is trying to reach you, make sure you're available in the easiest way for the media to reach you.  I tried to reach someone once and her voicemail instructed callers to text her.  I don't like that because it means they call when they choose.


This new trend on web sites where you're required to fill out a form if they're interested leaves me perplexed.  So, they will survey their queries and determine if they want to respond, even though they're trying to solicit business.

Not a good trend and a poor way to solicit business.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Will miss my friend as he begins a new chapter in his success journey

Mack McGhee entered my life about 12 years ago as a member of Toastmasters.  He was dynamic, fresh and eager to learn.  I took him under my wing and supported him through his triumphs and tragedies.  When he won on the district level, I was there.  When he lost on the regional level to a man who'd win the international contests, I was there.

When his mother and father died, I was there quietly in the background softly consoling.

I helped get his name out to the world and his rare talent and charisma by getting him on TV, in newspapers and cementing his brand.

I helped promote the Manhood Development Camp that earned him good media, including a prominent piece in the Chicago Sun Times.  The Camp was a success and he was the face of that success!

Now, he will be the superintendent of the Youth Center in Washington, DC.  He's being uprooted for an opportunity that will truly propel him to the heights of success.

Since he called me his mother, our  bond is set and secure. I'll watch from afar with pride knowing that I'd played a part in his inevitable success.

And I'll quietly pray for his well being as he begins this new journey.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Lightning didn't strike twice

Well, went to the Travel and Tourism Show…hoping to get a complimentary room (suite) as I did last year.  No luck.  The booth was giving out tickets to a hockey game! So, there was a downgrade.  But, I did enjoy myself, rode an old-fashioned bike and heard a terrific lecture by Peter Greenberg, which I plan to, immediately, incorporate into my travel MO.  So, it was a great time and, I seriously didn't think I'd get another trip.  But, it's worth the effort!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Will lightning strike twice?

Last year I went to the Travel and Tourism Show and won an overnight stay at the hotel of my choice.  I selected the Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona.  I go there every year to be with my sister during my born day.  Well, the room was a luxury suite and I was overwhelmed with all the perks and the spaciousness.

Well, tomorrow, I'm going to the Show again.  Hopefully, I'll have good luck again.  If not, I'll just enjoy as it is one of my favorite events.

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 18, 2016

How about showing concern?

More on this robbery.

In addition to the uncaring police, the insurance agent who'd sought my business, showed no concern.

I called her the night of the incident but she was busy. She didn't call back.

Then, I had concerns about the way I called in the claim.  She seemed to mock me for making two claims.  However, she did give me a # for claims management.

They were helpful and wonderful and salvaged the company's reputation for me.

But, the agent still hasn't called as a follow up.

My sister, the customer service diva (as I am) says the days of good customer service are over.

So, I become nothing but a revenue stream after she chased me for my business.  So, she'll get no referrals from me because when it counted, she showed no concern.

Friday, January 8, 2016

I was a victim of a crime

On Tuesday, I was at home resting when I heard a thunderous noise…and then another one.

I got up and went to the source of the noise!  Someone had hurled a snowball into my window -- shattering the glass. They also hit two other windows.

I was shattered as well.  But, what made it worse was the incompetent police who made crazy conclusions including their contention that a friend who'd come into the house must have been the perpetrator.

That was a ridiculous conclusion!

Then, I had to contact the insurance but the deductible is so high until I'll have to absorb the entire cost.

His wild assumptions rattled me even more.  The next day, I wrote a letter to the officer outlining suggestions and debunking his conclusions.

I'm still cleaning up but I am lucky that I can absorb these costs.  Those who live in inner cities and are fearful of getting robbed, have to deal with this on a daily basis.

So, I count my blessings while setting the record straight.

This too shall pass!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Brrrr! It's winter

It's that time of year when it takes extra effort to get out and brave the cold.

This morning, I went to get my newspaper in freezing weather and went through quite a ritual to get out.  But I made it.

During these frigid winter days, it is time to catch up with reading, discover a new television station (I discovered BBC) and call old friends.

Yea, it's winter and it's cold.  But, by applying yourself, you can discover new things, new outlooks and indoor adventures.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Reconnecting feels so good

I have a friend who I've been estranged from for over four years.  Ours was a strong bond and she really set me on a path to success within a certain network. We "separated" for political reasons -- something she didn't understand and I couldn't communicate to her because of the emotional fog.  I wanted to reach out to her but too much hurt had occurred and I felt it would be better if she did.  In that four years, she'd endured many challenges -- all I witnessed from my safe perch. About two weeks ago, I got a call…looked on the caller ID -- it was HER!  Carefully, I answered. She was direct: "It's time to talk!"

I knew it would be hard but I scheduled lunch. I got there early -- with flowers -- and arranged to pay the meal upfront so that awkwardness of reaching for the check would not occur.

She's been through a lot and I got some clarity on what led to her troubles.  Some of it was self inflicted and some the result of a climate of hate, jealousy, and a scary resolve to GET HER BACK for a slight.

We talked frankly, honestly and brutally -- at times.  It was cathartic and I held my position.  I don't think she understood but, somewhere, I think there was a glimmer that she 'got' why I did what I did.  Eventually, the power of the friendship we had took over. We found some common ground and agreed on what we could.

In the end, we hugged and the bond is being -- slowly -- repaired.  In 2016, I hope to restore and build on that.

Friday, January 1, 2016

It's a New Year! Let it go!

Holding a grudge about something you can’t even remember?  With the New Year, it’s time to leave all of that behind in the past year.  A new year means a chance to restart, reboot, recharge.  Start by reaching out to the “grudgee” and let it go.  Then, forgive yourself.  You’ll feel lighter with the weight of that grudge lifted.  And, if you feel another grudge brewing in your psyche, shut it down before it gets life.  Start anew and keep the newness yearround.