Blog Hopping for Jewels

Rose Jewels
Photo by The Gifted Photographer

The internet is great. So much good stuff shared freely. You can learn how to do many things, whether it is making a diaper cake, a herbal education, visit places which use alternative energy, learn to do cool things on your blog, even online magazines. Blogs can contain videos, an audio podcast, enjoy beautiful photos from faraway lands. Families can use blogs to connect with their extended families, tell a story. Individual can use blogs to make a political statement, support a cause, express religious beliefs, to teach a group of people, inspire others, share their feelings.

So take some time today and visit some blogs, interact with others, add your thoughts to the conversation, you’ll find some jewels. Not sure where to go? Click on some of the links above, visit the ones below, read the comments, find a commenter you like, click on their name and visit their site, make new friends. Find a place you really like, bookmark it, subscribe to the rss feed, subscribe by email, digg it, stumble it, tweet, share on facebook, whatever fits your style.

I’d like to share a couple of gems I found today.

I’ve not visited Skelly’s blog in a while, almost forgot about it, except for her tip on using images from Flickr. But I’ve always liked everything I’ve read over there, past time to visit. I wasn’t disappointed. My kids are making decisions about school, career’s, life. I always advice them to find something they enjoy doing. To find their talents, passions. This applies to each of us, no matter what our age, our stories aren’t set in stone, still being written. In fact I have a new site in the works about this very subject. The HalfBaked Podcast. So Skellie’s post How to Find Your Hidden Talent was today’s must read. Check it out.

Christine Kane is always an inspiration. I love her post Extreme All-or-Nothing and Your Other Three Tires.

“A flat tire! On your brand new shiny car! How the heck did THAT happen?

What do you do?

Well, it is YOU after all. So you do the only logical thing.

You say, “Screw it.” You reach into your backpack, get out your camping knife – and slash the other three tires.

Hey, why even bother if they’re not all working?”

Visit Christine’s post and see what flat tires have to do with your dreams. While visiting, be sure to check out her music.

Be sure and share some of your favorite blog posts, whether by you or someone else, in the comments below. Let’s build a pile of jewels.

Worth of a Customer

Worth of a Customer
Back in the days of the long distance phone wars, I thought some of their policies where nuts. Checks passed out for switching to their service, special rates for switching over, etc. One friend of ours made no long distance calls, but bragged how he kept switching companies every few months so someone would sent him a check. It became a source of income.

My mother-in-law never switched companies at least not for many years. Yet her rates were higher than everyone else’s. She got tired of seeing the special deals going to everyone else. She called to complain. Not happy with their answer, something to the effect if she wanted lower rates she just needed to call them an request such, she changed her service. Not only that, she sold all her stock in that same company, which was a blessing in disguise.

If only they realized the value of a loyal customer instead of rewarding disloyal customers. Then you have customers who leave because they are taken for granted, no sign of appreciation, no personal contact, just recorded messages and the voice mail system which never solves your specific problem. What does it take to get a live operator?

Seth Godin understands the value of a customer. If your read his Embracing Lifetime Value you’ll see he suggests figuring the value of each customer over time. Puts each client in a new perspective.

Find out the value of each customer, remember it. See if it doesn’t change how you treat your customers.

Image by Aresauburn

Gratitude for My Oldest Daughter

So many wonderful people in my life, friends both old and new, kind strangers, others whose talent and passion inspire me, and most especially my family. It is hard to mention just one, yet just one is the blogging assignment. Besides, as a Mom I have bragging rights.

Only fitting to start with my daughter, Jessica Sellers. I remember the day she was born, 2 weeks early, morning on Mother’s Day. What a gift, she didn’t want to wait, who could ask for a better Mother’s Day present.

As the oldest of 7, she made my life easier by setting a great example for her younger siblings. Jessica loved to learn, loved meeting new people. Her first word was “Hi!”. She’d wave at everyone and give a great big smile.

Jessica did very well in school, I remember switching grade schools and her new teacher called me in. “I don’t know what to do with these grades her previous teacher sent over, I don’t know what that teacher was thinking but I don’t give those kind of grades to just anyone. Don’t be upset when her report cards comes home with lower grades.” Few weeks later my daughter was placed in the gifted and talented program and her grades where still great. That teacher, the next teacher and school went around a few rounds. 1. Don’t assume any student is less than what others say they are. 2. Being gifted doesn’t mean pile on gobs of extra work. 3. Don’t penalize her for not finishing before school busy work when she is creating a work of art and others are scribbling for 10 seconds. We ended up moving with her going to a better school, where teachers encouraged their students to excel.

Jessica has a love for music, so does her daughter. We had an electronic keyboard she loved to play. Never had music lessons, but she could listen to a song and play by ear, often with both hands. She even composed her own song, which I encouraged to to enter into the school’s talent show where she won an award.

It is great fun watching your children grow up. Jessica still uses her creativity, loves to create digital art, logos, teach piano lessons, draw. Jessica often does work for my clients. Although she lives too far away, through the internet and phone we connect often. My daughter encourages me, lifts me up, for her friendship I am very grateful.

Some of you know Jessica, not all know she is my daughter, so it is past time to let all know that she is, and that I’m very proud of the person she has become, and continues to be. If you haven’t met Jessica, you are missing out.

OK, now tell me someone you are grateful for.

Remembering Those Who’ve Served

US flag being folded

Today I was able to walk in the sunshine.

To hug my kids.

To take a drive.

To work at home.

To fix dinner for my family.

To help a friend.

To freely choose, plan, dream what I want to do with my life.

I am blessed to live in this country, to have these freedoms we so take for granted. Others have paid that price for me. They’ve paid that price for others, throughout the years.

My dad served in the Vietnam war, now retired Air Force. We didn’t have internet, cell phones and such. My mom and dad wrote a lot of letters back and forth. I remember most the tapes. We had these reel to reel tapes which we’d record for dad. I could never think
of much to say, Mom insisted that we each leave a message for Dad. I was in about the 3rd and 4th grade. Dad would
send back tapes, he always seemed happy, but often you could hear things blowing up in the background.

At that age war seemed far away. Mom kept us busy, went hiking in the mountains, played capture the flag in the backyard with neighborhood kids, cooked cookies, rode bikes, went swimming, played board games in the basement. Sure we missed Dad, but were making new friends, enjoying life, nothing like riding a bike down to the malt shop, seeing a movie. I had an elderly great aunt who lived nearby, and I enjoyed visiting her too. No worries.

Mom was able to meet Dad in Hawaii for a little R & R. My baby brother went with her, rest of us were watched by cousins. Rest of us were jealous. It was nice when Dad came back safely, we never believed it’d be otherwise. With his return cameanother transfer, another move. The innocence of youth.

Couple years later, one of my teachers was recently married to a young pilot. I remember the heartache when we’d heard he’d been
shot down. How could that be so? He’d not been out very long and his wife was expecting their first child.

As we got older, Dad shared more of his experience in Vietnam, lots of scary stuff going on. You’d never know who was your
enemy or friend. His heart went out the the children on the streets, how little they had, the things they had to deal with
at such a young age. How thankful he was knowing we were safe and well cared for in his absence.

I’m thankful for my Dad and others who have served in our military, along with civilian support.

Photo by Vince Alongi

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