Welcome 2011..

What will you do to make 2011 better than every previous year?

Here is my initial plan:

1) Go back to a place I have been avoiding for many years and face my fears.
2) Reconnect with old friends, stay connected.
3) Have faith I am doing everything reasonable to avoid danger, trouble, tragedy....to that extension, don't obsess beyond what is "reasonable".
4) Remember I have something to offer...to my career, to my friends/family, and to the world that is of value.
5) Share my time with others.
6) Smile more.
7) Do something regularly that will make myself feel good.

Most of these may seem vague, but I know exactly what I have in mind that is specific and attainable. Share your plan, you don't have to be specific with others as long as you are specific with yourself.


Consider This...

"They first came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up." -Martin Niemoeller

Get involved in the world and be counted. To quote my favorite band, "We weren't born to follow, come on and get up off your knees.....you've got to stand up for what you believe."-Bon Jovi

This song is all about making an impact on the world and those who share it with you as well as making your own mark.

What will you do this week to stand up for what you believe?


New Texas Laws

Just to show my blog is not 100% my opinion, here is some critical information EVERYONE who drives or is a passenger in any vehicle needs to know immediately.

New laws have taken effect by Sept 1, 2009 that dictate every person, regardless of age, must wear a seat belt at all times while in any type of vehicle. Yes, this means even grown adults and teenagers riding in the back seat must now be wearing a seat belt. If you drive your friends around town, ask them to buckle up as it is the driver's insurance, driving record that will be affected if your passengers are not wearing a seat belt. Whether you agree with this new law or not, does not matter at this point as it is officially a law now!

The second new law that has taken effect is the talking and texting on cell phones and blackberries in active school zones. Note, Schools in most districts start Monday Aug 24th. Here is a tricky part though; Texas State Law says you can use a hands free device such as Bluetooth; HOWEVER some school districts have passed City Laws that says you can't be talking or texting at all, even on a Bluetooth/ hands-free device. Be safe, when you see the flashing yellow light or the school zone sign, hang up the phone.

With the economy what it is, cities also are hurting for funding and needing to make budget cuts. You can bet the police will be on high alert for every opportunity to enforce these laws and write you a ticket to improve the cities' revenue.

I have informed you, please share with everyone you know…this is not junk mail or a chain letter, this is simply information they will want to know to avoid getting a ticket.


The 11th Hour

Greetings All!

I saw another documentary called "The 11th Hour". It is about the environment and is enlightening. It made me think of the environment crisis with a different perspective. If you are one of many who, for whatever reason, don't care about the environment enough to take action...think of it this way. You are not saving the environment by recycling or conserving energy, you are saving your life and the lives of your descendants. We destroy nature, we destroy ourselves...like suicide. The Planet will eventually (maybe over a thousand years) recover from any damage we cause it, but the human race won't recover. Whether you believe in life on other planets or not, the fact is that another planet that can sustain human life as we know it on Earth has not been discovered. So if we destroy Earth where humans can no longer survive, we can't move to another planet. Nature does not waste anything like we do, what is waste to one is another's food.

We have the ability to use our CURRENT technology and knowledge of science to redesign everything we do and make today so that life now and in the future is the same or better, lasts longer and is more affordable. We may need to rewrite the constitution, so that corporations can not do whatever they please to the property they own. The writers of the constitution did not know about global warming or the ozone layer when they wrote the constitution.

1 Tree can absorb 57,000 gallons of water when it rains 10-12 inches, which prevents the water from running off and flooding. The tree holds it, then cleans it and then puts it back in the aquifer. Cut down 1 tree, you get soil erosion and floods.

Many are so afraid that they don't open there mind to these details or act on the information, they are simply denying it. Just because we ignore something, does not make it go away. This fear will kill the human race.

Everyone wants to save money and make more money. The solutions already exist.

Think: If we took better care of our environment, conserved our natural resources, grew more plants and trees and wasted less, we would reduce global warming so we would in turn not need to run our air conditioning as much which would save you money. This is just one example.

What actions are you taking to save our livelihood?



Thought of the Day

Now is the best time for you to be spontaneous. Serendipity!


Feed North Texas

In this economy there are more people unemployed due to no fault of there own than we have seen in about 20 years. Our economy will recover, but some families won't if we don't provide them with help until they can get back on their feet.

We can help honorable, law abiding families in our area. $1 feeds 4 people. The North Texas Food Bank was established during one of the worst recessions our country ever saw back in 1982.

You can help the food bank during our current recession by donating food, money or your time.

To volunteer your time:
1.Warehouse activities: Sort incoming food donations Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 3:30 p.m.

2.Service Saturday: Help sort and box donated items from 9 a.m. to noon on certain Saturdays of each month. Families (children over 10 years of age) are welcome. Weekend opportunities fill quickly, so please call early to book your volunteer day. Below are the available dates for Service Saturdays 2009-2010:
December 19, 2009
January 9, 2010
February 27, 2010
May 8, 1010 – NALC Stamp Out Hunger, 6-10 pm
May 22, 2010
June12, 2010 – 9 am – 12 pm
June 12, 2010 – 1 pm – 4 pm

3.Food For Families: Work outdoors to sort and distribute food to Agency clients in various Dallas county locations; distribution occurs every Friday and two Thursdays of the month.

4.Operation Frontline: Help Nutrition Education Coordinator Katherine Lindholm provide education on nutrition, culinary skills, food budgeting, and food safety to agency clients by serving as a chef, nutritionist, grocery shopper, or classroom manager.

5.Community Kitchen: Assist Chef James Williams and Texas Second Chance participants in our fast-paced, full production Community Kitchen where we prepare 10,000 meals a week for future use by Member Agencies. Volunteer hours for the Community Kitchen are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 am until 1:30 pm for groups of 10 or less.

6.Special Events: Working with the event management team, assist at fun activities such as Empty Bowls, the State Fair of Texas or National Hunger Awareness Day.

7.Administration: Help with mailings, database management and other clerical duties.

To Donate money, you can donate in your own name or in honor of a loved one or to commemorate a special occasion or life event.

To Donate supplies, contact the food bank. They can handle production overruns, off-specification products, mislabeled or unlabeled packages, discontinued brands, bulk, private-label brands, salvage, reformulation, customer returns, test product inventory, seasonal items, produce, over-the-counter, food service, health and beauty aids, household items, and prepared and perishable foods.

There are several other ways for you to help those in need and support the North Texas Food Bank. Go to their website to learn more: www.ntfb.org

Get Involved ~Dawn


URGENT ACTION- Sat, March 28, 2009

This Saturday is Earth Hour!

On Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 8:30 pm CST, 50 million people in 400 cities world-wide will be turning out their lights and unplugging computers and appliances not in use at that moment. I will be participating and my world-wide company will too! This is all an effort to fight against climate change. This is sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund.

All you need to do is turn off anything not in use at that moment for one hour beginning at 8:30 pm CST. This is anything that uses electricity to operate. Homes, offices and other businesses are taking this action as well, if they can do it so can you!

Join tens of millions of concerned citizens and corporations throughout the world in calling for action to save our planet for future generations. The lights went out at Sydney’s Opera House, Rome’s Coliseum, the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge in 2008. Even the Google homepage went dark on this day last year! In Israel, President Shimon Peres personally turned off lights in Tel Aviv. Many major corporations took part including HP, Coca-Cola, and Morgan Stanley in 2008.

This year, Earth Hour promises to be even bigger. In the US, many cities have already pledged to participate including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Washington, DC…with more signing up daily. They will join international cities such as Beijing, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, London, Manila, Mexico City, Moscow, Rome, and Toronto.

To get a better sense of the magnitude and inspiring nature the event, please take a moment to watch WWF’s video about Earth Hour 2008 at www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjWD8pbK5t8.

For more information and to make your commitment for this event, visit www.EarthHourUS.org where you’ll also find tips for what you and your family and friends can do when the lights go out.

I have already blogged about reducing your Carbon Footprint (see Climate in Crisis), this is just one more way you can help reverse and stop the effects of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.


Take Action Against Human Trafficking

The Definition of Human Trafficking is:

The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.

You may think this only occurs in impoverished or third-world countries, but this is not true. Human Trafficking occurs even in the US, in large cities and small towns, and in high rise apartment buildings and in the suburbs.

Prevention Address the demand and supply side of trafficking, for example by challenging discrimination against women and girls, addressing the overwhelming poverty which makes people vulnerable to trafficking; changing attitudes which allow some people (especially women and children) to be bought and sold as commodities.

Support for victims Provide immediate assistance to trafficking victims and protect them from their exploiters.

Prosecution Enact and enforce laws that criminalize trafficking in human beings by prosecuting traffickers, as well as pimps, johns and brothel owners; do not criminalize the victims.

People are trafficked into a range of exploitative practices that include: labor exploitation, domestic work, sexual exploitation (prostitution), military (child soldiers), sports (camel jockey), forced begging, marriage, chattel slavery, debt bondage, and child labor.

Human trafficking is the second most profitable criminal activity behind only arms trafficking. An estimated $32 billion is generated in annual revenue from arms, human, and drug trafficking activities worldwide.

Sexual exploitation is the most commonly identified form of human trafficking (79%), followed by forced labor (18%).

An estimated 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked annually in the United States alone.
Most trafficking is national or regional, carried out by people whose nationality is the same as that of their victims. There are also notable cases of long-distance trafficking. Europe is the destination for victims from the widest range of origins, while victims from Asia are trafficked to the widest range of destinations. The Americas are prominent both as the origin and destination of victims in the human trade.

The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 12.3 million people who have been trafficked; statistics range from 4 million to 27 million.

Approximately 80% of victims of transnational trafficking are women and up to 50% are minors. The majority of female victims are trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation, mail order brides, and domestic work. The majority of male victims are trafficked into forced labor such as agricultural, manufacturing, and construction work.

A 2006 study found that 76% of 207 trafficked women interviewed were physically assaulted by their trafficker, pimp, madam, brothel and club owner, clients, or boyfriend. The same study found that 90% of victims reported being physically forced or intimidated into sex or other sexual acts, and 91% of victims reported being threatened with death, beatings, increased debt, harm to their children and families, or re-trafficking.

Some factors that make people vulnerable to trafficking:

Low status and discrimination against women and children.
Demand-without demand for exploitation, there would be no supply.
Humanitarian disasters and armed conflict can exacerbate existing vulnerabilities.

To get involved and/or to learn more, visit one or all of these websites:
www.AssetCampaign.org www.PolarisProject.org
www.Somaly.org www.Unicefusa.org


A Planet in Crisis

I have encouraged others before to recycle to save the planet, but now I want to give you a little more information and additional resources.

I saw a movie recently that provided me with a great deal of facts that I was unaware of before. The movie is "An Inconvenient Truth" and is a documentary staring Al Gore. Now, say what you will about the Politician, Al Gore, but put your opinions aside and listen to the message. The movie is not boring and will truly enlighten you.

You can also get more information about how you and your family can positively effect change on our planet by visiting the website www.climatecrisis.net. This problem is not a racial, gender, religious or cultural problem. It is inevitable if every person, every country and every government does not make immediate changes. This site will also show you what your household's Carbon Footprint is and what it should be. (A Carbon Footprint is the total amount of carbon dioxide that you emit into the atmosphere) My household footprint is 11.5, but it should be lower. I am taking actions today to lower this number. Are you willing to make a few changes that will have a major impact?

If we don't reduce carbon dioxide emissions then our atmosphere will continue to grow thicker. The thicker the atmosphere, the more heat from the sun will stay on our planet and not escape into space. We WANT some heat to escape into space.

When too much heat remains on our planet the oceans get too warm, which increases the frequency and intensity of hurricanes. When the oceans get too warm, the polar ice melts which increases the ocean water levels. When the ocean water levels get too high, there will be instant and permanent flooding of major states and cities such as Florida, New York City, San Francisco, and New Orleans. If you think this will not occur in your lifetime, you are right. However, it will occur in your children's and grandchildren's and great grandchildren's lifetimes. Do you want them to suffer for a problem your generation could have prevented?

Think about this, where do you suppose all the people who survive the massive and permanent flooding of these major cities will go? They will be forced to move further inland into cities such as Dallas, Reno, Kansas City, Orlando, and Atlanta. Can these cities handle an extra 10,000 plus residents overnight? Remember, that this flooding is permanent so they will not be leaving to return to their former homes.

This is just the tip of the problem. You really should educate yourself by visiting the www.climatecrisis.net website and renting "An Inconvenient Truth".

Do you enjoy the change of seasons? Do you enjoy endless water usage? Do you enjoy all your electricity privileges? Do you love to travel to multiple destinations, anywhere you want from hot to cold climates?

These are just a few of the luxuries we have today that are in danger!

Take an active role. One person and One Household Can Make A Difference!



Happy 2009 !!


In honor of the one day a year that everyone on planet Earth celebrates...New Years Day...I write this blog in multiple colors to represent different cultures, races, religions, etc.

We can all admit 2009 was a rough year for everyone. Lets go back and think about the year 2008.
-Continued War in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel/Gaza.
-Hurricanes on the Texas coast leave nothing behind.
-Massive Flooding in Iowa and up and down the Mississippi River.
-The fall of the world's banks and US car manufacturers.
-Gas hit $4 a gallon...making EVERYTHING more expensive and increasing public transportation ridership
-Earthquakes in China killed 69000 people
-Massive corporations fall apart- AIG, Freddie Mac, etc.
-NY Gov Spitzer resigns after scandal
-December it was officially announced the US is in a recession
-California homes destroyed in frequent wildfires.
-Pakistan and Mumbai hit by terrorists
-China's poisoned Oreos, Baby Formula, etc.
-Cyclone wipes out Burma
-President Bush gets hit with a shoe in Iraq...wait, should this go on the Good List??

Now lets reflect on the good things that happened in 2008...believe it or not, some good came out of this year.
-The USA elected their first African-American President!!!
-New Kids on the Block made a comeback.
-Being GREEN became Cool...Recycle!!!
-HDTV will become required for all shows very soon...Feb 09
-John Walsh was finally able to lay his son to rest after finding out who murdered him.
-Russia leaves Georgia, ending war
-The 5 in one shot vaccine created for babies
...I am sure there are more, but this is all I can think of right now.

With all that has happened, we must move forward and put the past behind us. History does not have to repeat itself if we won't let it, so please learn from your mistakes and of those around you. Plan to make 2009 a great year to remember.

Many people make new years resolutions, I am not one of them. What I resolve to do is make positive contributions to society and the planet that I did not do in previous years. This never includes monetary donations, rather it is in addition to this.

For example, in 2008 I began recycling at my home, which turned out to be really easy and gave me a positive feeling so I will continue this going forward. I don't know yet what I will do in 2009 as I rarely know at the beginning of the year. I always have this at the front of my thoughts throughout the year so I can be on the lookout.

Keep checking my blog in 2009 and I will share with you what I do and learn.



Shopping Tips and Ideas

Do you have at least one person who is really hard to buy a gift for? We all do. I have found some ideas that might help.

First, shopping online can be a great time saver and present you with gifts you can't find in stores. Here is a website I like to get ideas: www.gifts.com

Another website I found tells you how you can get free shipping. This has traditional brick and mortar stores like Macy's and JCPennys, but also has online stores as well. www.freeshipping.org
Here you can get coupon codes for discounts and/or free shipping to many stores.

Have Fun!

Holiday Cards for the Troops

Seasons Greetings!

I have been presented with an idea to give back to those who are sacrificing so much for those who can't defend themselves.

Cards for the Troops is a wonderful program. When you are writing your holiday cards this year, write an additional one and send it to this address.

A Recovering American Soldier

c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center

6900 Georgia Avenue,NW

Washington,D.C. 20307-5001

Keep in mind, some soldiers don't have families to think of them. So lets think of them.



Solicitation Warning....

One night about two weeks ago, I had just come home from work about 630pm. Of course it was already dark by this time. I pulled into my garage but did not shut it yet, usually I do so just as I am walking into my house. I had seen a man in a dress shirt and tie walking down the sidewalk opposite of my house when I pulled into my garage, but I did not think anything of it until.....I stepped out of my car and suddenly this man had already walked up my driveway and was at the edge of my garage! The first thing he said was, "I'm harmless". Yet the first thing I thought was, "Yea, that is what every axe murderer says".

I simply said, "With all due respect, if you are selling something, I am not interested". He then walked away. But by this point he was already INSIDE my garage!

I then shut my garage and went inside the house as fast as I could and called the NON-EMERGENCY Police number and told the desk Sargent what occurred. He was shocked that the man had stepped into my garage. He did say solicitors are not suppose to be out after dark and also must be licensed to go door-to-door. They sent an officer to canvas my neighborhood in hopes of catching up to the man. The police also insisted I call them immediately ANY time there is a solicitor that comes to my door, day or night. They said sometimes they are not really selling anything, just checking out the homes to rob later!

The next day I told this story to a friend of mine, in hopes that if it happened to her she would know what to do. Two days ago a similar event happened to her!

This time she heard multiple voices at her door when the door bell rang at 930 at night!! She looked out the window and saw no car though. She remembered what I told her and she called the NON-EMERGENCY Police number in her city. Within 10 minutes she had an officer at her door. A few minutes later he left abruptly as the police caught up to the group going door-to-door and he was going to go get them as the officer told her the same thing the police in my city had told me just 2 weeks earlier.

You may think that just because both of us are females, that this is why we were nervous or why the police encouraged us to call them, but this is not true.

Don't believe because you live in a house full of people or live alone or because you are a man or a very strong woman or because you are smart or because you live in a "nice" neighborhood that you can protect yourself. The reality is that you can never be too safe and no city or neighborhood is immune to crime.

Just look at the case of the lady in Highland Park that simply answered her door one night and without a word being said, a man shot and killed her and then ran off....all before her husband could even react! The police still have not caught the man who committed this crime.

Regardless who you are or how brave you are, always practice these simple safety tips:

1) when you pull into your garage, shut the garage door before stepping out of your car.
2) turn on the lights in the front and back of your house to illuminate the sidewalks and alleys all night long...if you are thinking about your electric bill right now, stop! Because criminals will rob a house that is dark before they will rob one that is well lit...how much is your life worth?
3) Don't ever open the door after dark unless you are expecting someone, and then look out a window or peep hole first to make sure it is someone you know.
4) If anyone you don't know comes to your door after dark, call the NON-EMERGENCY Police in your city and have an officer canvas your neighborhood. It costs nothing, that is what they are there for. The number can always be found in the front of your city phone book or on the city's website.
5) don't go to your mailbox or bring in your trash cans if it is dark. They can wait until daylight.
6) always set your house alarm, even if you are home and it is daylight. If you don't have one, get one! It has many other advantages and the technology is very advanced. It really is not that expensive either. Once again I ask you....How much is your life worth?

I was a victim of a crime when I was in my early 20s, I never want to be that victim again. It is very easy to get complaisant and comfortable that you stop being aware of your surroundings. Don't let this happen to you.


----Better Safe Than Sorry----


Random Acts of Kindness

I know it has been about a month since I wrote...I am picking up spead now and will be writing multiple blogs in the next 30 days.

Today, I would like to remind everyone to Pay It Forward, not just in the spirit of this holiday season, but also in the spirit of Human Kind!

Many of us don't believe one person can really make a difference, I know because I used to be that person. I recently read a story out of Colorado...

In Colorado in the drive-thru of a Starbucks, the kindness of strangers became an epidemic. We have all seen the movie Pay-It-Forward...if you haven't, you MUST see it, not just because Jon Bon Jovi is in it, but because it is a moving and wonderful movie.

One day in Colorado, a person was paying for a $4+ coffee in the drive-thru of a Starbucks. After paying for her coffee, just before driving off, she handed the cashier an extra $5 and said she wanted to pay for the coffee of the car behind her....she never met the driver behind her!

When the car behind her pulled up to the window, the cashier handed the driver her order and said it was already paid for by the lady in front of her in line. The driver was so stunned, she said she wanted to pay for the driver behind her....once again, she never met the driver behind her either!

This is a reoccuring event at this Starbucks, which was in no way encouraged by Starbucks themselves. One employee said she has seen this run through 15 cars before it stopped.

I encourage everyone, preferably every day but at least once a week, to look deep inside of yourself and find a way that you can put a smile on the face of a stranger. This, without you profiting in any way and without you receiving any recognition. A true annonymous random act of kindness. This should be something beyond giving a donation to a charitable organization, rather something to impact one person immediately and directly.

If someone says, "How can I thank you?" You should say, "No thanks is necessary, just Pay-It-Forward."

Do you want to put a smile on someone's face? Try one or more of these small ideas, of course you can always expand on them:

1) pay for coffee of the person behind you in line
2) buy an extra movie ticket for a stranger at the box office
3) give $10-$20 to the cashier towards the groceries of the person behind you in line
4) put an extra quarter in a parking meter as you walk by
5) let someone go ahead of you in line even though you were there first
6) give an apple to a homeless person on the street without saying a word
7) when you get flowers from someone, take one out of the vase and hand it to a stranger on the street and say "have a nice day" then walk away

8) ladies, open a door for a man instead of the other way around

Post a comment to this blog if you have additional ideas of random acts of kindness that you would like to share.




We have all heard all that we can stand about the upcoming Presidential Election. I promise the talk is almost over. However, I do want to encourage everyone to learn about the candidates and vote. I am not here today to sway you in one direction or another. I would like you to make a decision independent of my opinions or other people's opinions.

I have compiled some resources for you to get the most accurate information. Remember, the media is not always the best source as they do force their opinions on you unwittingly. There is no such thing as an unbiased media.

-Barack Obama www.barackobama.com is his official website. Click on the SKIP SIGN UP button, then click on the ISSUES button to learn Obama's stance on the issues that matter to you.

-John McCain www.johnmccain.com is his official website. Click on the LEARN MORE button, then click on the ISSUES button to learn McCain's stance on the issues that matter to you.

Among other questions you should ask yourself as you learn about the candidates, ask yourself this:
Which candidate agrees with all or most of my feelings on the issues?

I have voted in a lot of elections, do yourself a favor, VOTE EARLY. This year's election is undoubtedly going to be the largest turnout. Remember, if you wait until Election Day, you have no choice where you vote, but in Early Voting you can vote anywhere in your county and the lines are ALWAYS shorter.

Early Voting is 10/20/08 - 10/31/08, including Saturday and Sunday.

Mon-Fri 8am-5pm (10/20-10/24)
Sat 7am-7pm (10/25)
Sun 1pm-6pm (10/26)

Mon-Fri 7am-7pm (10/27-10/31)

To find out Early Voting locations and Election Day Voting locations, go to your county's website. For Collin County www.co.collin.tx.us

Spread the word and practice your right to vote. Your Vote Does Count!



Are You A Creature of Habit?

While I am not a creature of habit as I thrive on change and seek it out whenever I can, I do realize that there are those who are creatures of habit and some even fear change. Do you know where you fall in the mix?

Answer these questions to find out:
1) Do you eat the same meal at least 3 times a week? (same food for breakfast, lunch or dinner)
2) When you want to eat out, do you go to the same restaurants?
3) Have you had essentially the same haircut for 2 years or more?
4) Have you purchased at least one article of clothing in the last 8 months that is unlike anything else in your closet?
5) Have you done anything new in the last 6 months that you have never done before?

If you answered Yes to at least 2 out of the first 3 questions and No to at least 1 out of the last 2 questions, then you are a creature of habit. If you are a creature of habit, you are entitled, however, think about something. We all can agree that life if short, the reality is that anything can happen to us when doing the same things we do everyday. Whether it is driving to work, eating at the same restaurant, walking the dog or going grocery shopping.

This may sound morbid, but what if something should happen to you and you are incapacitated but still alive. Would you live out the rest of your life knowing you lived every day to the fullest? Would you be able to be content knowing you are not missing out on anything, because you tried new things and allowed yourself new experiences? If you are a creature of habit, you will have regrets should this happen to you.

Don't live your life with regrets, experience life! I am not saying be reckless or do anything illegal. I challenge everyone, even if you are not a creature of habit, to try at least 5 new things in 6 months. Instead of the same restaurant, try a place you have never been. Instead of the same white shirt, buy it in a color you don't currently own. Gradually work your way up to more than 5 things in 6 months. When planning a vacation, go somewhere you have never been. Maybe get a hair cut or hair color that you have not had before.

I have made a vow to myself to be happy and do all I can to have no regrets at the end of my life. Will you make the same vow?



For the love of a child

Last week I saw a made-for-TV movie on the Lifetime network. Now if you have ever watched Lifetime, then you will know that all of the movies they show are emotionally moving regardless of the subject matter.

This particular movie "For the Love of a Child" was no exception. However, this movie was 100% based on actual events and people. It tells the story of how a wonderful non-profit organization was created and quickly became so trustworthy that even the state and courts began looking to them to help make decisions as to whether or not to return a child to parents accused of abuse. This organization does more though, they also heal the children of abuse with a variety of methods.

The organization is called ChildHelp.

Eleven half-American, half-Japanese orphans wandering homeless in Tokyo following a typhoon sparked a mission that has spanned internationally for nearly 50 years and impacted the lives of millions of children. Hollywood actresses Sara Buckner (O’Meara) and Yvonne Lime (Fedderson) first met on the set of The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, when they played the girlfriends of Ricky and David Nelson. Their mission for children began in 1959 when they were sent on a government-sponsored goodwill tour to visit troops in Japan. On the streets of Tokyo after a typhoon, the actresses came upon a group of cold and frightened children huddled together for warmth. Learning they had no parents and were born from American troops during the Korean War, the young women took the children to their hotel room for the night with the idea of placing them into an orphanage the next day. What they didn’t know then was that this was the beginning of a lifetime commitment to children. They learned the youngsters had been turned away from orphanages because of their mixed heritage. They were told of a woman, Kin Horuchi, living in a one-room hut that kept several Japanese-American children. Soon the actress would quit being actresses on TV and in movies and devote all their time to children.

Later in 1978, Childhelp developed a residential treatment facility exclusively for severely abused children: the Village of Childhelp West in Beaumont, California (near Palm Springs). Along with its excellent therapeutic programs, the village incorporated innovative programs such as art and animal therapy, which continue today. In 1982, Childhelp began operation of the Childhelp® National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD®, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has received as many as 300,000 calls annually from throughout the United States, Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. On average, 90 cents of every dollar donated goes to programs helping children. In nearly 50 years of operation, Childhelp Programs have helped over 4 million children.

There is so much more to this story then I have told you. Please visit their website to learn more and to learn how you can help through monetary donations or more creative means.

Even if your help is simply reporting possible abuse (anonymous) or ensuring children and adults know how to get help for themselves and others. http://www.childhelp.org/get_help/hotline-overview or call 1-800-4-A-CHILD.

Don't stand by and say "I don't want to get in the middle of family matters" or "It is not my business". Verbal, Emotional and Physical abuse is everyone's business because the children can't always help themselves. Can you live with yourself if you did not report abuse and a child died? I know I could not.



Go Green!

Have you Gone Green?
No, I am not referring to a football team.

Go Green are the latest buzz words used to describe being environmentally conscience. Corporations are going green as are individuals.

I decided about six months ago that I was going to what I could to help our environment. It has not been as difficult or time consuming as you may think. I simply started a routine that required me to remember in the beginning, but now it is second nature. I feel better knowing that I am doing what I can to help our planet and those who will come long after I m gone.

Here is what I do. First, I figured since I am already paying for a recycle bin (without a choice) with my trash service, I might as well use it! If you live in a house (lease, rent or own) and that house is in any major metropolitan city or suburb, then you too are paying for a recycle bin and for that bin to be emptied whether you put it at the curb on trash day or not. These bins do limit what you can recycle, so make it easy on yourself. Papers: copy/printer type paper, newspapers, paperback books and magazines. Cardboard: Cereal boxes (just remove the plastic bag inside), brownie & pasta type boxes (remove plastic bag inside), moving/ shipping boxes. Beer bottles, water bottles, soda cans (just rinse with water first). That is all I recycle. I don't put anything in the bin that has food residue as it can attract ants and wasps. It really is that easy. You can then have the bin emptied every week or wait until it is about half full - Your choice at no extra cost!

Every time I put something in the bin, I feel great about doing my part.

Go Green extends to other areas as well, to include but not limited to conserving electricity, reducing pollution and planting more trees and bushes.

You too could easily do your part without inconveniencing yourself at all. Simply think of one thing you could do to help then do it. The key is to not make it a one time event, rather do it on a regular basis for years. You can later add a second and a third thing if you want.

To Quote John Mellencamp, "It's what you DO and not what you say. If you're not part of the future then get out of the way."

I believe you too will have a great feeling when you help our planet and the future people who will inhabit it.

So, are you going to GO GREEN?



Best Week...

I have been at my new job for a week now...and I LOVE IT!

We spend more time at work than doing anything else, so why not have something to look forward to? It goes beyond enjoying the people you work with and the actual job you are doing. It is just as important that we have a reason to get up in the morning, such as the completion of a project or a promotion.

I have all of these things, which gives me something to work towards. I miss the people at my last job, but you have to weigh the pros and cons of both positions and determine which has the most pros. The new position out weighed the old so I had to make the change...and I am glad I did.

When you are unfulfilled in any way, make a list of pros and cons and don't be afraid to take a leap of faith....after extensive research and analyzing of course. You didn't expect me to abandon my nature did you?



Looking Ahead...

We don't always know the WHY behind the good and bad things that happen in our lives, but I truly believe everything happens for a reason, even if we don't know the reason right away or even for years.

The time has come for me to look to the future. Today is officially a new chapter in my professional career. I am excited and nervous at the same time. I don't know why this opportunity presented itself at this time rather than 6 months ago or even a year from now? I have to believe that there is a good reason for it. So I am just grateful for my blessings and make the most of them as they come.

Do you agree? Do you find yourself always questioning the events in your life?

Do yourself a favor, don't do what I am notorious for...over analyzing every event. All it will lead to is excessive stress and pressure. Be thankful for the good things and learn from the bad...then move forward. Believe me when I say it is easier said then done...but I have learned the hard way. You have to force yourself to focus on the future and not dwell on the things you can't change.

I will miss my former co-workers. I will miss the feeling of having all the answers. I will miss the comfort zone I created. However, despite all that I will miss, I am eager to move forward and be challenged and learn something new.

Look ahead and not back.