Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Snap, Crackle ... POP!

Long ago I was forced to hold in my thoughts and feelings, which in the end tore me up inside. From this I have learned the more I share my honest feelings with people, the more support I receive.

Well, this has been a helluva couple days for me. Pretty much a mental breakdown, a train wreck of emotions, perhaps a momentary lapse of reason. Funny because it began after I returned from a wonderful weekend voluteering as a mentor at a Girl Scout Camp CEO (read about it here on Debby's blog).

Like most breakdowns, baggage has been building for months. Carrying the pressure of being a single parent, supporting a family, creating a business and enjoying life - my levy broke. Spending pretty much every other hour or so crying about everything for the past 36 hours.

I realized as I shared my woes with pretty much everyone (big Thank You to those who listened), we ALL do this. Juggling life's stresses is done by everyone and sometimes you have to stop, drop and roll to survive.

I am happy to say that I will not be purchasing a motorcycle and driving off to some remote seaside hut to live out my life away from everyone as I count seashells on a beach. My crying fits have subsided and I am ready to get back to enjoying the wonderful life I have.

My pity party has ended.
All sorts of stress has been released and "it's game on baby!"
..... well, until the next mental shakedown .......

What do you want to do when you have a mental snap?

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Farrah Fawcett Glamor Head

"OMG! Is that a Farrah Fawcett Glamor Head?
I must get a picture of that!"

Then Andrea and I just laughed at not only how unglamorous Farrah was looking, also, why did she still have Farrah after 20+ years.

Andrea needed help with her extra storage unit. These storage facilities have a quite useful function: say you're moving or having home remodeling done and need some temporary storage. Not so functional if you are using the space to store stuff that just doesn't fit into your home - costly too, mininum $100/month.

In Andrea's case it is a bit of the later, though she is also storing some memoribila from her mother's home. She had me help her sort through all these boxes and find out what is hidden.

Andrea took pictures of all the family items to see if anyone wants something in particular. She has a ton of older items that an antique dealer may be interested in purchasing.

We had a beautiful, sunny day to pull out all the boxes and see what was inside. Then organized Andrea's family items to the right side of the storage unit and her personal items to the left. I hauled away all the now empty cardboard boxes to Kroger for recycling. Andrea loaded up her SUV with the 4 bags of trash.

Now, Andrea will return to sort through the remainder of the items to get out of this storage unit and save some cash every month.

The fate of Farrah was not good: Her face was stained from decades of old make-up, hair twisted, matted and showing signs of balding. Farrah had seen much better days long ago. Her time had passed. The box was recycled. Farrah was not.

It's springtime! (Here in the USA)
Grab some bags & boxes to clear out your long-term storage.
You're not using it, get rid of it.
Plus, maybe you'll find a long lost toy and have a good laugh.

What made you laugh that you found in storage?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

2 Men Watching Alvin and the Chipmunks ... Oh and another CBS appearance!

Sounds like a great opening line
to a joke, right?

Well, not quite.

See CBS WTOL asked me to help get a family a bit more organized. They would bring the camera crew and I get the job done. Awesome!

So here I am installing the shelves in a closet, sweating my butt off, balancing one shelf on my shoulder as I drill holes into the wall. As I finish and stand up, the husband and the cameraman are sitting laughing at the movie Alvin and the Chipmunks.
....ummm, guys...watcha doing? We had a good laugh over it.

Now I posted on this project earlier (click here).
Here's the news segment that aired:

Thank you CBS WTOL and
Melissa Voetsch!
You ROCK!!!!

Look next week for the follow-up to this segment.

A client onced said I am like Rachel Ray only with a hammer drill.

That fits me pretty good!

Who do you match up with, though a bit different?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy Dollars

This week I spoke at the Monroe Kiwanis Club giving some tips on getting organized. This is an amazing group, having way too much fun. Exactly my kind of group!

One part of their meeting is Happy Dollars.

"Madame President, I have a Happy Dollar for ......."

the birth of my grandson.
being thankful bowling season has ended.
the opportunity to sit at a table of beautiful women.
the tax man not taking as much as I thought.
my wife returning home from business trip tonight.

Each time someone stood up and announced their happiness, they placed a dollar in the collection.

It was wonderful to sit and hear so much positiveness!

Getting up to speak after all this was fun and the energy of the Monroe Kiwanis was something I truly enjoyed.

Made me think.

What if the next time you attend a meeting everyone stood up and annouced what they are happy about?

Perhaps it is a simple everyday happy occurance to a once in a lifetime announcement. Both are equally important and should be celebrated.

"Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always
beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly,
may alight upon you,"
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Think for a moment .......
What are you happy about?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Smoke, Fire and Sleeping Kids

My evening ritual after getting my boys tucked into bed is to light a candle near my bed. This fills my bedroom with a wonderful, calming scent. A flickering candle is so relaxing to me.

Not tonight.......

As many times, I slip out into our bubbling hot tub to unwind from the day. Tonight was spectacular, beautiful clear skies with the stars twinkling and the moom shining bright. Aaaahhh......

I turn the bubbles off and I hear this really loud and quite obnoxious beeping. I realize it is coming from inside our home!
#&@%!!! The candle.

I dash upstairs, the candle is melted to nothing, the pedestal is on fire! Quickly get it out, then open the windows and turn on the ceiling fans.

My boys. Fast asleep.

Four. FOUR alarms going off inside our home and they did not flinch. One alarm is inside Matthew's room and he did not wake up.

Leaving a candle burning was perhaps not the best choice, though how many times have we all walked away from a burning candle to go cook, clean or entertain?

What I am still trembling about is:
my boys did NOT wake up with 4 smoke alarms going off
in our home.

I've heard of these "voice alarms" where the mom records a message calmly yelling at the kids to wake up. The point being the kids recognize the voice and will naturally react.

Guess what I am going shopping for tomorrow?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Shake, Shake, Shake

We had a wonderful WEN SEMI meeting last week. It is so exciting to see this new networking group grow. People are making new connections and business is being created amongst the members.

Every meeting we have a speaker give a 15-20 minute presentation on a business related topic, and this month Linda Everhardt-Kardux, Business Navigators, spoke to us about the 10 Commandments of Networking. Part of her presentation included a discussion on handshakes.

I'm not sure who or where I learned the importance of a proper handshake, but I know a good handshake is key. My first supervisor at Ford commented on how confident and solid my handshake was at my interview. (He ended up giving me a job offer before I left - SWEET)

Linda presented the following the observations of Robert E. Brown, a California management consultant, longtime handshake observer and lecturer on the psychology of handshakes:

- Half-handed. A finger-only squeeze may show lack of connection and a fear of intimacy.

- Clammy. A cold and indifferent shake typically conveys fear or nervousness.

- Two-handed. This double tells the person wants intimacy too quickly; it may be a sign they can't be trusted.

- Over-the-top. When the palm faces down in relation to yours, they're expressing superiority and dominance.

My boys are working on their handshakes. You are never too young to learn how to shake hands appropriately. There are many personal touches that can easily get lost in our technology world of emails, text messages and voicemails.

How's your hand shakin?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Making Your Home Useful

The rooms, closets and areas of your home can be used however you wish. Really, it's OK to use your home however you wish.

In our home, I sold our dining room furniture on eBay and moved in our keyboard, electric guitar & drumset. Now, we have an awesome music room! Dining room furniture is known to be one of the most unused items in your home. (plus I got tired of dusting it)

"Vickie's" intentions were to have the basement in her home be a place where her kids could play with their toys. Though being downstairs and quite chilly, the kids did not play in the basement. Most of the time they played in the living room.

Vickie has a coat closet, as many homes do, right as you walked into her home. After chatting with her a bit, she realized that the closet was really being used to store coats and items not being used. When there is a party, where do your guest coats end up? If you are like Vickie and myself, on someone's bed.
(and if not.....well, your just weird)

The idea Vickie and I had was to add some big shelves to her coat closet and creating an area for the kids to store games, toys, books and such. Putting these items in the same room as their use would not only make it easy for them to use but more importantly, easy for them to put their stuff away.

Best of all, if Vickie decides later that she no longer wants the added shelves and wishes to use the closet for coats again, all she has to do is pop out the shelves. No tools required. How cool is that!

When the shelves were finished, Vickie's daughter helped me place some of her toys in her new toy closet. A closet that was really not being used, now has a function for the whole family to enjoy.

So go ahead, look around your home.......

What room in your home could you use differently?

Note: the video of me installing this project will be aired this week on CBS - WTOL. Oh don't worry, it will be posted here asap.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Just Blame Me

Ever feel like you got away from a client by the skin of your teeth.

I am helping a family move their mother from her home in Toledo,OH to an assisted living home in Pittsburgh, PA. "Mary," her son "Bob" and I met a couple weeks ago to discuss the details for this project - what was to stay and be packed. We also met with a moving company to coordinate the delivery of Mary's furniture and personal belongings.

Mary's daughter, "Nancy," flew in from Colorado to work with me on getting her mom's home packed up and ready for the move. Based on conversations I had with Nancy, I was prepared for some friction with her mom.

Friction was hardly the case.
More like an explosion!

Mary had far too many clothes, pictures, home decor and furniture for her new home. Paring down what she had and what she needed was difficult. Early into the day, I told Nancy to let me take all the heat for what we were about do to. Figuring, I would be away from her mom much sooner than her.

Well, Mary was getting pretty ticked off (even swearing at me) for getting her to sort through her clothes, handbags, kick knacks and papers. The last straw of the day was blown when Nancy and I packed up some kitchen decor while Mary rested in her bedroom. Mary came into the kitchen and just lost it - yelling at both of us, demanding we unpack her items.

As Mary went to unpack the boxes, I piped up, "NO!"
(I felt like I just yelled at a puppy)
"You're not in charge," Mary yelled back.
Very calm and firmly stated, "Well, in fact, yes I am. I am here to help move you into your new home. The boxes that are packed will remain that way," as I slid a big, heavy box in front of the closet door.

I went on to explain that my concern is that Mary's new home is not overcrowded with items, furniture and clothing. Mary's wishes were to be honored as best as possible. Nancy nodded and signed a bit of relief, thanking me a bit later for taking the heat from her mom.

Moving is quite difficult under the best circumstances. Many families like Mary's face the daunting task of moving their parent to an assisted living facility. Emotions run extremely high and buttons are pushed on both sides. In the end, the parent will be in a much safer enviroment and the children will have peace of mind knowing mom/dad is cared for in their absence.

As emotionally difficult as this is becoming, it is rewarding knowing I am helping a family with their mother and getting her into a wonderful new home.

How have you taken the blame for someone?

Friday, April 04, 2008

Organizing Boobs

Now, that's a title!

I broke down and went shopping today. Shopping is one of my least favorite activities. Though the time had come and I needed to go out for the dreaded
... da da dum ... Bra Shopping!

Funny I mentioned this need of mine to a couple women and they all had the same response. "Ugh, I HATE bra shopping."

My mission: To find a bra that is comfortable and fits well as quickly as possible.

Walked through the store and snagged up 4 different brands.
Nope. These won't work.
Oh, someone left one in the fitting room, size 38D.
Way too big, but I think mine 36C, are too small.
Back out on the floor for the next round.
Another 4-5 different ones, various sizes.
Bingo! Now, I've got the size (I think), now comfort.
Some straps pinched, one didn't correct my "side boobs," another just didn't look right.
Ah, finally. Found one that fit well, looked good, felt comfortable.
I bought 5 so I won't have to do this again for awhile.

36D - a D cup?!

Geez, I am slowly becoming my grandmother.
No matter what she did, her boobs just continued to grow.

A successful day, I will no longer be tugging at my bras adjusting them for comfort
..... well, at least for a few months.

Big or little, flat or endowed -- Ladies get out there and get your boobs organized in a well fitted bra. You'll feel and look better.

When was the last time you went bra shopping?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Spring Clutter B Gone

Spring must be here now.
Birds are waking me up in the morning.
Neighborhood kids are playing and laughing outside.
I'm rushing home to OPEN the windows and get some fresh air into our home.

This month we all begin to thing about spring cleaning, which is what my latest advertising with the Toledo Free Press is about. The "in your face organizing" advertisement is meant with good intentions to say I'm here to help you get your project done.

Perhaps last Fall or Summer or ... uh, Spring ... you were going to get your garage organized, basement cleaned out or your closets purged. Now is the time! Getting that project going, you will feel soooo much better when it is complete.

What project has slipped through on getting done?