Food for Thought

I know it’s been quite some time since I wrote on my blog. Terrible – I let life get in the way! Right now I’m going to give you a scenario and let you use it as a food for thought kind of thing. The following is true, the names (only) have been changed, you know that “protect the innocent” thing.

I was talking with some friends and the topic of self-confidence and what effect it can have on one’s life and choices.

discouraged-emojiDaniel, the oldest of three siblings, stated that he had been giving this a lot of thought. He believes that most of his negative issues happened when he was small. Daniel explained that he was born at night (no, not last night…) he rolled off the time, somewhere around 9:00ish. He told us that according to his parents the month/day wasn’t the only qualifier for his birthday, the time of birth was needed. So, it isn’t his birthday until 9:00 whatever PM on July 23. So, Daniel got to go to friends’ birthday parties, but he never got one. His siblings – a sister and a brother – got to have parties because they were born at a “reasonable” time for kids to have a party. So, Daniel never felt that he was important enough. When it becomes time for him to list possible ideas for gifts (birthday or Christmas), he won’t give any, because he doesn’t believe he’s deserving. Daniel then told us that as a kid he was always told “no, you CAN’T do” whatever. The reason; just not capable, “you’re not stupid, you just not good enough, you keep messing things up.” Never mind that he got excellent grades in school. He was valedictorian in high school. When he got to his early twenties people started telling him how great he was at various things he did. He just didn’t believe them – still has a challenge with believing. It took a lot for him to tell us this, he rarely tells us about his childhood.

strong 2 emojiThen Carol spoke up. Carol is also the oldest, she has a sister. She said she never had any issues like that and was thankful she didn’t. She and her sister were allowed to make mistakes growing up – some were real doozies. The worst her parents ever said was to ask “what did you learn?” Of course there was the occasional “bet you won’t do that again” comment too. Carol was her high school’s salutatorian, and still has her National Honor Society sash. Carol is a very confident woman. She does say that occasionally she has strong bouts of depression, but she eventually gets thru them. Other than that, she’s very happy with her life. She knows she’s important, she doesn’t give a rat’s ass for what anyone might think of her. She knows who she is and likes herself and that’s all that matters. Carol never had to wait for her adult years to be told she was good/great at anything.

So folks, here is your food for thought.

How do you feel you handle life? Are you like Daniel, do you have a hard time believing when people say you did a good/great job? Or are you like Carol, more self-assured?

For the most part, Daniel had a great life as a kid. He may have been a bit nervous to try new things, but he found ways to have fun. Unfortunately, Daniel still feels undeserving.

So, something to chew on, ruminate over…how do you handle things? Do you think positively or negatively (about yourself) because it’s easier to believe what you were told in your formative years?

So, please share your thoughts. Dialogue about this is important. We need to remember words can hurt. We need to let kids make and learn from their mistakes, it only makes them stronger as they get older. But then, that’s just my thought.

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Furry Friends – Names From the Heart

Best Friends. Yes, your best, truest friend is your pet. For me it has been dogs.

When I was 3 – 4 Mom talked Dad in to getting a dog and somehow that poor dog was named Princess. Princess was a Spitz (back then not a recognized AKC breed – now they’re know as American Eskimo Dogs), and was – so the story goes – meant for me. Well, Princess had other ideas. She decided that her main “love” was my little brother. She would wiggle her way in to his playpen just to be with him. When it was his nap time, Mom had to pick up BOTH of them. Princess insisted that she couldn’t get out.

Our next dog was a Doberman/Lab mix. It was decided that her name should be peace – in some language – because it was felt that she would take a piece out of someone while defending us. So, she was named Pax. Pax was Mom’s dog, well mostly anyway. Yes, there was a time that if she could have gotten to the intruder she would have gotten a piece!

My next dog was while my husband and I were living in Colorado. A co-worker’s ex-husband brought two male Samoyed puppies for his daughters (and to make life hard for her). Well, since they couldn’t keep them I was asked if I would want one of them. Fortunately we got first choice and picked the puppy that came to us. He was adorable. I insisted that he should be named Sam. Of course my husband said but everyone names Samoyeds SAM. I didn’t care, that was his name and he liked it. Sam was a smart, tough guy. He went to work with Kim and always listened to both of us, and he was very lovable. It turned out (after about six months) that both of the puppies had been stolen. According to Colorado law, we could have kept Sam, it broke my heart but, we decided to return him to his rightful owners. It turned out his registered name (yes, he was a purebred) was Sam Spade.

Kim-96It took years for us to get our next dog, most apartments don’t allow them. But when we got our house (in 1996), we got a dog. One of my husband’s co-workers had a dog who had just had a litter of puppies. Shepherd/Lab mix. The puppy that walked up to him was mostly black with a bit of white on her chest. It took a bit of thinking, but it hit me – Kodi! Like a Kodiak bear (because at the time – 2am – I honestly thought that bear was black with white markings on the chest). Well, she seemed to like that name. Kodi also had epilepsy. She would come to me when she had seizures. She would get in the way to be there for me when I had seizures. Oh, in the way meant that it was hard for Kim to get to me so he could be there thru my seizure then get me to bed. Fortunately all the neighbors loved her – no fenced yard so she roamed a bit. When she died Kim dug a deep enough grave for her so that she wouldn’t be disturbed. She rests with her favorite blanket and toy. Yes, I still get teary eyed when I think of her.

Now it seems that every other dog is solid white with the other two being black/brown/white mixes. So, does that mean our next dog will be white? Who knows.

As of this writing one of our nieces has a new puppy and is trying to decide on his name. I told her it would come to her and that it would come from the heart – I know that’s how it worked for at least three of my dogs!

We haven’t gotten another dog yet, I guess we’ll know when “our” dog will come. Just wish it will hurry up and get here!

How’s Your Reception?

I’m back!

Today I came across someone who’s left hand didn’t know what her right foot was doing.

HUH?

Well, I think of it this way. Hands are (more or less) on the same level of play. So if they’re suppose to clap but one decides to snap instead… You get the picture.

Now imagine someone who is suppose to be clapping, but instead the left hand snaps its fingers and the right foot decides to tab a counter beat. A bit confusing, don’t you think?

This is not good for a business. Whether this person is your employee, or a person you have to try to work with to get something done (co-worker), or a customer trying to get their needs met – the reason for the visit in the first place.

5-18-16 bad receptionist-2For the example I’m giving, the uncoordinated person is a receptionist. A business first line of contact with customers. This person, even if a new employee, should follow through with requests. You want this person to tell a customer/client that they will pass the information along to the proper person. Then if the receptionist tells your customer/client that the item they want will be ready to pick up at a specific time later that day – you want that receptionist to have done their part and follow through.

Now, imagine how bad you/your business can look if the customer returns at the appointed time and: the item isn’t ready (turns out no one was notified). The receptionist then proceeds to apologize, states that she will make sure you – the owner – knows. Then leaves for the day, because it’s her scheduled time to leave – never speaking to anyone. It can make it a challenge to get back in good graces with your customer. When the customer has wasted two trips, then will have to make a third one to finally get their item, you have some major customer relations work.

Remember, your receptionist IS your first line of contact with clients. You WANT this person to be able and willing to handle things and have the temerity to follow through (as far as they can) to make sure the customer is happy. Yes, this can be a challenge for a new employee and allowances can be made – to a certain degree. So, work with your receptionist to make sure you both understand what is required and what is expected. You can’t teach common sense, but you can teach how to do the job right.

Tid Bits of Help: Learning new stuff – Microsoft 10

WOW, what I’ve been learning in the past week!

Well, it all started with having some sort of computer issue in the first place. I wasn’t able to download Windows 10. Then I got this crazy message that I had a “BSOD: Error 333 Registry Failure” on the dreaded blue screen. It had the message telling me that if I turn off my computer, more damage will happen and may not be recoverable. Swell! Then within the screen message – call Microsoft at … and it gave a toll-free number to call.

Well, with all the changes Microsoft has been making of late, I went against my cardinal rule – do not believe these screens or any phone calls from “Microsoft”. Yep, I called. Why? Because I honestly thought that this was legit – because of all the recent Microsoft changes.

WRONG! Do not fall for this.

However, because of this horrible mistake and finally listening to my little voice, I called Microsoft. Well to be more accurate, I went to the site and clicked the link to have a tech call me. The Microsoft tech (yes a REAL one), was able to fix what was “fixed” that could potentially cause more harm. Then asked me to call back, because the scan would take up to two hours. When I called back another wonderful person (yes a REAL Microsoft tech) set up my Windows 10 download!

Huzzah!!

Well, today I was wondering about Microsoft Security Essentials – I had that on Windows 7. It turns out that Windows 10 has Microsoft Defender built in – no need for a virus protection program! While researching (OK, same article) how to make sure it’s activated I found TWO handy icon/keyboard functions to know.

First one. On your keyboard, press the Windows icon + x. The screen that pops up gets you:10-18-15 keyboard icon

  • Programs & Features
  • Power Options
  • Event Viewer
  • System
  • Device Manager
  • Network Connections
  • Disk Management
  • Command Prompt
  • Task Manager
  • Control Panel
  • File Explorer (this look is a lot different)
  • Search
  • Run
  • Shut down or Sign out
  • Desktop

The second handy thing, on your keyboard, press the Windows icon + i. The screen popping up gest you:

  • System (display, notifications, apps, power)
  • Devices (Blue tooth, printers, mouse)
  • Network & Internet (Wi-Fi, airplane mode, VPN)
  • Personalization (background, lock screen, colors)
  • Accounts (yours, sync settings, work, other users)
  • Time and Language (speech, region, date)
  • Ease of Access (narrator, magnifier, high contrast)
  • Privacy (location, camera)
  • Update and Security (Windows update, recovery, backup)

Note: when it comes to Personalization, still right clicking anywhere on the screen still gets you to the personalization options. However, this too is vastly different than what Windows 7 offered.

So “dinosaur” that I am, I’m going back to playing with my desktop computer and see if I can learn more. Why “dinosaur”? Well, I’m one of those folks who believe that phones are for making calls (and I guess taking pics). Computer time is for the computer, and I’m not at all for texting. Why? Because forcing me to work at my desk is better. Actually talking with people instead of texting is better for all of us (besides, people are forgetting how to spell correctly). Looking up while walking is always a good thing.

Stupid? Result of the Consequences.

When did being stupid and not facing the consequences become acceptable? Why is this allowed? Examples of what I mean:

  • Throwing trash in the lakes and oceans. We see that it causes harm to wildlife. What happens? Let’s ban the item being thrown into the lakes and oceans. Why wouldn’t we find ways to stop stupid people from this activity? Why punish the rest of the responsible population from using that particular helpful item? (like a drinking straw)
  • 8-16-15 dogsAbusing animals. So, certain breeds of dogs (in different decades/generations) are vilified because their owners teach them to be vicious, fighting animals attacking anything that moves for sport? Why not ban the “human” monsters for the behavior? Why ban the dog breed? As has been learned in the past, these dogs are gentle, loving creatures and will do anything their human wants. It is not the dog’s fault.
  • Parents not teaching their children right from wrong, respecting others and (gasp!) proper etiquette. As a result there is a whole group of people who are completely disrespectful of people and property. Then when something bad happens these same people want to know “why” it happened. Person A didn’t like how Person B looked at them, so A pulls out a gun and shoots B. What is the “solution”? Get rid of guns, but keep the behavior. Not a solution.

What is the issue with politically correct? Why is this allowed/deemed important? This example:

  • How do you know that the black person you see does have heritage from Africa? That person’s heritage could have come from Bermuda, Jamaica, Australia, or New Zealand. So how can you say that all black people should be called African Americans? Same for Mexican Americans, how do you know they’re from Mexico? They could be from Spain, Portugal, or any Central or South American country, etc. So, if African American is OK, why can’t I be classified as European American and not call me white?
  • Actually, the only people who truly have a claim on being called “American” are tribal peoples. (I do truly hope I am properly naming them.) That would include North, Central and South America with all countries involved.

When did we all get so thin skinned that everything irritates and once it becomes a big enough issue, people try to (and sometimes succeed) ban/outlaw something? Why is this allowed? Why do we condone the behavior and condemn the item/animal/person etc. misused?

Why do police and fire departments need to show there are more “everyday” heroes in their ranks than bad people? Why can’t we believe that just as there are good and bad neighbors, there are good and bad people in all walks of life.

I don’t know what the answer is. We can’t very well lock each individual person in their own little room with no interaction of any sort until there’s no one left. The only issue that would solve – the planet would be in better health, eventually.

Yes, I’m being extreme in my thought. Perhaps I’m being naïve to think that “we” attack the person doing the bad thing instead of the method used. There are way too many examples to cite, but from what I have already stated, you get the picture.

So, what is the answer?

Just Curious Here

OK, this post will be completely different from my usual blogs and could get some angry feedback.

Was there a slow news day somewhere? Some reporter decided to tell a story about a dentist (who by all accounts is a good guy and respected) who goes big-game hunting. The result of his hunting was to shoot a “famous” lion.

Why is the media stirring up such a frenzy? When I see quotes from people in Zimbabwe like: “What lion?” acting information minister Prisca Mupfumira asked in response to a request for comment about Cecil.”

And…

Why are the Americans more concerned than us?” said Joseph Mabuwa, a 33-year-old father-of-two cleaning his car in the center of the capital. “We never hear them speak out when villagers are killed by lions and elephants in Hwange.”

Or this one…

“Are you saying that all this noise is about a dead lion? Lions are killed all the time in this country,” said Tryphina Kaseke, a used-clothes hawker on the streets of Harare. “What is so special about this one?”

So, why are so many people out to destroy this man? I’m just curious. How is a dentist, no one outside his home city/state has even heard of getting all this bad treatment? Why are people out to ruin his life?

There have been famous big game hunters over the years:

hemingway-huntingErnest Hemingway
Hemingway is one of the country’s greatest writers, but he was also an experienced big-game hunter. As an adult, he hunted the American West, and most famously Africa. In 1933 he went to Africa for three months to hunt and gather writing material. Hemingway was viewed as a man’s man and sometimes even a bit of a brute. But no one ever questioned his love for Africa or big-game hunting.

Are you going to say that if he was around now and had the same life style, NO ONE would read his books?

Roosevelt huntingTeddy Roosevelt
Roosevelt is celebrated as one of driving forces behind the establishment of the country’s national park system. He was a lover of wildlife and an avid hunter. In 1909 he set out with his son Kermit on an African safari to collect specimens for the Smithsonian Institution.

It turned into one of the largest African Safaris ever and gained world-wide recognition. With a crew of 250 porters and guides they trekked across British East Africa into the Belgian Congo and then back to the Nile ending in Kharoum. The group took 1,100 specimens including 500 big-game species.

So, this man should not have been president because he was a big-game hunter? The Smithsonian should never have asked him and his son to collect specimens?

Churchill huntingWinston Churchill
England’s most famous Prime Minister had two great loves: hunting and polo. While many people know about Teddy Roosevelt’s great African safari, Churchill actually hunted the Dark Continent first. Guided by his friend Jack Riddell, Churchill hunted through East Africa and then down the Nile taking big-game animals as they went.

Are all these people saying these men (and others like them) should be vilified for this – never mind what their accomplishments were?

Personally I do not understand the attraction to big-game hunting. However, I do understand the need for hunting. When properly managed wildlife (who’s habitat we destroy by buying property and building) population doesn’t get so out of control that they starve and/or cause harm to domestic life.

I do wonder about some of these folks raising the biggest ruckus. Did they move to an area that was forested and had to be cleared so their house could be built? Or, did they buy open land next to a farm, then complain to the township about the farm smell and force the area to be re-zoned so the farmer had to move? How is mass civilization building and destroying animal habitat (en masse) better than a few big-game hunters?

Just curious. Oh, how long do you think people will even remember the name of the lion?

One other thing, does anyone know what happened to the two teenage boys lost on their fishing trip?

What Do Garden Gnomes and Nell Have in Common?

You may know that we were “adopted” by our neighbors, and their daughter calls us Grand Neighbor. My husband and I have fun with this.

Last year she (for this I’ll call her Nell) noticed a garden gnome door I had made and asked about it. Nell wondered how we got it and how she could get one. Well we told her that gnomes are shy around people, but we’d talk with our gnomes and see what happens.

Nats gnome doorSo, of course for her birthday (in December) a gnome door appeared in their yard. Mom video taped Nell’s reaction so we could see. Grand Neighborette told Daddy that they had to show Grand Neighbors!! Yes, we’ve been having fun.

Shortly after the gnomes “arrived” it happened that someone threw trash out a car window – a pizza box. We told her that the gnomes must have had a fun house warming party.

Now it’s Summer (well according to the calendar), Nell and Mommy have been doing yard work and clearing some of the foliage around the gnome door. She put out chairs and a Welcome sign. She also sent a note saying she was glad to have a garden for them and explained what she planned for the garden. And added “Love you Gnomes.”

Of course the gnomes HAD to write back. Blue Jay and Bearfoot thanked her for the chairs and the sign and told her she’s doing a fine job.

Today’s note? Nell wants to know other gnome names (presuming Grand Neighbor’s gnomes – those will be Periwinkle and Buckhorn), wants a playdate, said it’s OK for her gnomes to add things. (Bearfoot is thinking about a picnic table…). Then added “PS please don’t leave your trash outside.” Hmm, it seems those young gnomes have to clean up their act! Oh and I understand that there’s another note, she wants the little mesh bag and ribbon (used to tie the note) returned.

It seems that Bearfoot also has to find a mailbox. Hmm, maybe Blue Jay can do that one.

Now about that play date thing. I’ll have to remind Nell that gnomes (being very shy) are night creatures and that when they’re around people at any time they “freeze” in to statues. Being a statue makes it very hard to play. Oh, have to tell her that sometimes gnomes travel to help wild creatures, so there may be some times when you won’t see an answer to your notes right away.

Now to answer that question: What Do Garden Gnomes and Nell Have in Common? Grand Neighbors!