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.



To Text or Not to Text...

...That is the question and topic for today's blog.

So I realize I often act older then my actual age indicates and I know my generation is of the blackberry and texting persuasion, but is texting really the future or just a passing fad that stayed at the party too long?

Doctors are actually diagnosing thumb illnesses as a result of repetitive and excessive use of ones thumbs for texting!! Tell me 10 years or even 5 years ago you would have believed such a thing could have been possible?

Employees now text their managers to say they will be out ill or late to work. Is this appropriate and professional? I suppose it depends on the manager and company at which one works.

You may have guessed, I don't text. Okay, I confess to actually texting a few times a year in special circumstances. For instance my brother says he can't talk on the phone, but he can respond to text messages as where he is at that time, phones in general are contraband so he does not want to bring attention to himself. For exception to this situation, I don't text.

You are probably thinking, Why Not? Basically it is an efficiency thing. In every aspect of my life, every moment of the day, my brain automatically scans for the most efficient way from point A to point B. You think I am kidding? Example, I was ironing in my living room and when finished I quickly evaluated the most efficient way to put away the iron, ironing board, starch and the clothes I just ironed. That includes how to carry the items going to the same location in ONE trip so to minimize time, steps and effort. Crazy sounding I know. How I got this way, I am not sure really. I suppose I inadvertently trained my brain over the past 32 years to do just that, so now I don't try to think this way, I just do.

Back to texting....because my brain works this way, I have determined it is just as fast if not faster to speak to someone on the phone or leave them a voice mail message then to text them.
As a result, I don't text and so far I have gotten along just fine without it.

If this is the future and not just a passing fad, I will adapt and begin texting more as I do to all things that must change. I don't mind, but for now....If you want to reach me, dial my number and speak to me!



Poor Attitudes...

As a recruiter I hear every story, happy and sad, a candidate looking for a job can imagine.
It is the ones who think that giving me an attitude will encourage or entice me to get them job that amaze me.

Do they really think telling me in a voice mail...
"I am pissed off that you have not called me about a job. You need to call me today."

Then the candidate hangs up the phone without leaving his name or phone number!!

Besides the fact that the candidate expected me to read his mind and know who he is and his phone number just based on his voice...If he uses this language and attitude with me, what will he do with my clients?

Another person called and when I asked her what type of work she was looking for she replied by saying, "Same thing I am always looking for!"

I had to tell her I have never spoken to her before and therefore did not know what she has always been looking for.

Why do people think that these poor attitudes are acceptable in a business environment, much less helpful?

Being rude or having a smart mouth will in no way encourage a recruiter to help you. More likely what will happen is that the recruiter will write you off and never find you a job.

So bite your tongue and choose your words wisely when requesting assistance from anyone in business.



The First---No Day But Today


I welcome everyone to my blog. Please share with your friends and family if you feel they would enjoy or benefit from it in any way. Feel free to post comments for everyone to see (I just ask you to be "clean" with what you write).

So I begin...May 7, 2008; 8:30 pm cst.

Many movies and plays have a profound affect on our lives, but one musical I first saw on Broadway in New York City (NYC) impacted how I felt about friendship and community above all others. I saw it when I was in NYC for the millennium celebration in December 1999... the musical was RENT. Truth be told I tend to think deep and pull out every emotion that resides in the darkest corners of my soul when I watch or read anything "real". Then I do what I do best, analyze every one of them ten times. The same is true when I saw this musical. Some shy away from the controversial subjects and shelter themselves from the big, bad world outside. I am the exact opposite. I face these topics head on and immerse myself in other worlds, and I don't mean the "alien" kind. I seek to understand other people's views, experiences and lifestyles. So I analyze. Not in a demeaning or judging manner, rather with questions so I may learn to love better, live better, and impact other people's lives better.

I decided that night that I have lived a life full of good, bad and really scary experiences. However, there are many more people in the same country, state, city and neighborhood that have endured much worse. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but I am still blessed with a good mind and eyes wide open.

I have concluded we can not control our destiny, but we can realize life is short (despite being a cliche, it is true). We must live it to the fullest. We should LOVE to wake up in the morning and go to a job that challenges us, is gratifying. You may think..."Dawn, that is easier said then done. I have bills to pay". There is no denying that money makes the world go round, which is the one thing I hate the most about our world! Money never motivated me, if I could live an honest and long life without it...as God is my witness, I would in a New York Second. Since I can't change it, I have to adapt. You can have a job you love and still pay the bills....admittedly you may need to make some undesirable sacrifices, but it can be done.
We should also be better people and neighbors. Open your eyes to the world around you. Do you notice the screaming child in the grocery store? Every wonder why he/she is screaming? Why is a child unhappy? Ever get annoyed by the chatty older woman in line? Every stop yourself from feeling annoyed and wonder why she is so chatty to a complete stranger?

We should be better to our community and environment. Reality is we all make mistakes, but if we stop for a moment and think before we react or speak, we would be happier and as will those around us. Don't let the anger boil up inside and burst out in hurtful words or acts of violence. It accomplishes nothing. I don't want you to become a pessimist or allow others to take advantage of you, but you don't have to always think about how someone or something impacts just you and you can be more thoughtful.

Someone once told me "What do I care about the environment, I will be dead by the time anything really bad happens". While this is likely true, I say....Then reduce, reuse and recycle if not for yourself, but for me or your grandchildren or your great grandchildren or just because you care about your community and others.

I leave you today with these thoughts. You may think I am being unrealistic or the words "yeah, in a perfect world" may have come to mind. But think about this....If you could positively impact one person's life by a small act of kindness....whether it be in the form of recycling just a little bit of your own household trash OR maybe by taking 5 minutes out of your busy day to chat with the older woman in line OR by looking out for your neighbor who you know lives alone....Would You? I guarantee you, we will impact the way the world works one person at a time....even if you don't know it.

Live for Today...Hope for the Best....Accept others.....Strive to be a better Person.



Another Day...

July 2, 2008

I know this has been a long hiatus, but I am back and will be writing more frequently.

Have you ever sat in a drive-thru line that wraps around the building and wonder what other drivers are thinking when they block you in?

Picture this....
The line is designed to start (take your order) at the back end of the building, then you pull forward around the corner to pay for and pick up your order. As you then move forward you can't go any further because there are so many people in line that they are blocking your exit.

Now here in lies the problem. If I can't exit, then the line will never move...so when you are in a long drive-thru line that wraps around the building, stop-look where the exit is-and make sure you are not blocking the exit. This may mean you have a large gap between you and the car in front of you, but rest assured that gap will close once a couple cars get their orders and exit the drive-thru.

Enjoy your July 4th Holiday...Check back soon!