Hello Ike

Galveston Sea Wall
Galveston Sea Wall

Quite windy, rain off and on, son, his wife and my grandson visiting, enjoying their company. via Twitter – 3:37pm

Stepping outside, enjoying the wind via Twitter – 4:32pm

Saying hello to ike wondering how far the trees can bend before they snap. . . via Twitter – 6:39pm

Crack, There went a tree across the street, missed the houses and cars thankfully #ike texarkana. via Twitter – 7:06pm

Getting dark outside quickly. via Twitter – 7:23pm

And then I lost my internet, silence for over 2 hours, apology to friends who were worried, hoping I’d only lost power. (Actually it was both our universal backup battery and router on the blink). Another crack and more broken trees.

Ike packed quite a punch, seemed to go on and on. Considering the size of the thing, I guess it would take a while to move on through the area. And I don’t doubt it strengthened heading on into Arkansas because the last little bit was a whammy. You’d think it’d be weakening on the tail end, but not so.

My son, his wife and their little boy were visiting, made a wise decision to to travel back to Dallas that evening. Ike took up the whole interstate between here and there.

Friday, Texarkana went crazy, Walmart parking lot looked like Christmas season. Everyone inside stocking up. Long lines at the gas station and prices had jumped. Some stations were empty. Soon they all were empty. One of my friends was stranded in Hope, Arkansas, she couldn’t get gas there either.

Now I love storms, just not the damage they cause. I love the way it feels when a storm comes in. You can smell the rain, the wind blowing in your face, everything feels so alive, the clouds, the lightshow in the sky. Don’t mind a few sprinkles. But times like this I’m very happy that I don’t live on the coast (although I wouldn’t mind it rest of the time.)

I called friends in close by, to check on how they were doing. Many were without power, but had their cell phones turned on or their old corded phones plugged in. Inside the kids played games while my grandson slept through the first half of Ike. But Ike went on and on, naps don’t last forever.

Envied Angela her blackberry she was twittering from, checking her home from her cell. Yes, if I’d have set up text messages and twitter on my phone, I could have continued to give updates even if my power and internet went down. Learned that if you checked #ike on twitter’s search engine, you’d get constant storm updates http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23ike

We made it through, so nice to see sunshine the next morning. Fences down all over the neighborhood. Chain saws cleaning up the felled trees and branches. We had a pickup load of downed branches from Gustav to which we added Ike’s. When it dries up we’ll take them all over to the recycling center to get chopped up into compost.

Thankful that things were not worse, and as much as I was tempted, I did not run around the block during the storm, dodging falling tree branches, but stayed close to the porch or safely inside.

Feel free to add your storm story to the comments or add the link to yours.

Back to School — LifeStyle Networking

school supplies
Photo by Laffy4K

Nothing like the start of a new school year. Chaos at my place. Of course getting back home right before school started didn’t help. First day of school and my kids do not have their schedules, passed out while we were out of town. My youngest is entering middle school for the first time, another one entering high school (at least she has her older brother to show her the ropes.) Few school supplies bought ahead of time.

It is never a small list. My youngest claims there is a giant storage room where her klennex boxes, paper towels, ziplock bags are sitting along with those of her much older siblings, and one day they will need to build a new building just to hold all that stuff. She said she has never once used nor seen many of those supplies.

We go to school early, pick up schedules, thankfully my high schoolers can handle that by themselves. It is much cooler to have your senior brother show you the way around campus than your mom.
My youngest doesn’t care, unlike her older brothers who once they hit that age will only hug mom in public if they are dripping sweat. She wants my hand and I show her how to find her classes. She still tells me she will never get married unless the guy agrees to move in with us, and she won’t go to college unless I come too.

So I’m catching up on stuff that accumulates when away for 2 weeks. Kids hit the house starved, grab snacks, then crash. Getting up at 5:30 to be at the pool by 6 AM then swimming a few miles had something to do with that. I wake them up about 9 so they can go to bed and it is panic city.

They said they were good on supplies, but now suddenly they forgot that they needed all kinds of stuff, and need it for tomorrow, can’t find their lock for swim locker, need a new one, etc. Fortunately Walmart is open all hours. Sadly their shelves look quite empty. I get what I can, the rest will have to wait.

My youngest has to have deodorant for her athletics class (her electives are swim, soccer, and athletics –the more time she can spend not sitting at a desk the happier she will be). Now she hasn’t quite reached that stage, but I’ve had enough whiffs from those sweaty boy hugs that I don’t mind.

There is a guy looking through the different brands, scents, so I naturally made some kind of comment about finding a smell my youngest would like. He says he likes trying new things and to smell this tropical one. So I do. It reminded me of the smell of the candles passed out in our bags at the SendOutCards convention. And the conversation went something like this:

“That smells just like this cool candle I got, sort of a pina colada smell. It was a different kind of candle.”

“What do you mean?”

“When you light the candle, it melts into a pool of massage oil”

“Cool, where can I find such a candle? I’ve never heard of such.”

“I got mine at a convention I just attended for my business. You can buy one at my website.”

“An online store?”

“Sort of, we have an easy way to send cards and gifts from your computer, saves trips to the store. I can give you a couple of cards for free to send out, give me a call and I’ll show you where to find the cool candles”

And so I give him a business card, he thanks me, introduces himself by name, blesses my business, and promises to send a card.

Take any time out of my day? Not really. But I’d have never meet him if I wasn’t out and about.

Then I look in the hardware section for new locks. I hear my name, and there is the guy who’d left a message in my absence, that I hadn’t had a chance to return his call. He wanted to pick up a big 50 gallon drum for water storage. Another friend left it with me when she moved and he was wanting one. I give him my cell number.

So much that got accomplished while shopping for school supplies. The water barrel just got picked up this morning. Not heard from the guy in the deodorant row. I need to remember to collect names and phone numbers. If I’d said “I can show you were to find those candles, give me you name and phone number, email address” it may have been better.

With all the school activities going on, there are plenty of excuses to be out and about. Start conversations. 🙂

A White House Garden?

Why not? I’ve always believed that if everyone grow some kind of food, even if only a tomato plant in a container, the healthier we would be, along with saving resources. A White House garden would be a great idea.

Still catching up from my trip, lots to share both photos and ideas, but first to unbury my house, mow down the jungle of my yard, etc. One of the things I like about twitter is the ease with with information is passed. I saw I had a new follower @EatTheView so I checked out their page. Loved the idea, made a quick blog post to share with others. As with any good thing, feel free to pass it on.

I Almost Didn’t Tweet

Twitter
Twitter[/caption
T
I’ve been hearing much about Twitter, but kept it on a back burner. Not one more thing to join. One more profile page to fill in. Not one more password to make up.

But the more I heard about twitter, the more I knew I’d have to check this one out.

Finally I decided I might as well save my name. So I grabbed a twitter account, was delighted there was no lengthy profile to fill out. I have some of those already, I can just point to one, better yet, my business page.

Funny thing happened, while I was checking it out how it worked, I just started using it, finding friends, communicating back and forth. No long posts, no more than 140 characters.

  • If you have Facebook, click on the twitter application on the left, add your twitter info, then your tweets update facebook too.
  • If you have a blog you will want your posts to auto-tweet. See Auto Tweet Your Posts</li>
  • Looking for something?Search Twitter
  • Many twitter tools make your life easier. I’m using Digsby. Thanks to Blake!
  • I believe what is even more valuable on twitter is the connections you make, read Felicia Slattery’s Ryze post
  • Learning how to Twitter. Tweet! Tweet!

Auto-Tweet Your Posts

Feed Your Blog to Twitter
Feed Your Blog to Twitter

Anything that saves me time and helps me keep up (somewhat) with all these social media trends is a good thing.

One thing I like about twitter is that I can feed my tweets to Facebook, and feed my blog’s feed to twitter. Anytime I create a new post it goes straight to twitter then Facebook. More links to my blog, and those friends and followers who hang out there are informed of my new posts. Auto-tweets.

There are several wordpress plugins that work with twitter. I don’t know which work best, but feel free to share you favorite twitter tools and plugins. If you want your tweets to show up on your blog, check out the twittertools plugin and other twitter tools.

I am using http://twitterfeed.com/, a very simply way to feed your rss feeds to twitter. I signed up for twitter and facebook same day. Two places I kept putting off investigating. To my surprise there was a twitter ap in the left side of facebook, so I filled it in and happy days, my tweets were now on face book.

Twitterfeed, “. . .feed your blog to twitter.”

Happy Birthday Divas

birthday candle flower
Birthday Candle by Tanakawho

Were did the time go? This celebration snuck up on me. The Baby Boomer Diva’s are celebrating their 1st birthday.

(So we can just start over counting years and we are all one here. Or not quite one for those of us who joined later. Less candles to blow out, less counting. . .)

Much thanks to Beverly Mahone for starting this group, and the talent, heart, and wisdom of its members.

Now how can we have a birthday without presents? I remember questions about “What is affiliate marketing?” What do I do? Well Laura Wheeler has generously given me rights to an eBook on that very subject, and to celebrate the birthday I’ll make it free to download for the next month.


Essential Strategies for Earning with Affiliate Links

http://connectsimply.com/affiliatebook.pdf

So open up your presents. Not one of the Divas? No problem, join the celebration and pick up your book.

Diva Update

I enjoyed networking and meeting the other Baby Boomer Diva’s today. It was great and I’ll post a link to the businesses involved once Bev has it up. I’ll be reviewing Rosie’s Blogging Managment System and posting that info for all first of next week.

For those who want to learn more about SendOutCards tune into the following webinar or drop me a note.

FRIDAY June 20, 2008

4 PM EST, 3 PM CST, 2 PM MST, 1 PM PST

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/941048536

Give 3222 for the ID number.

Stay tuned for the Cards to Iraq special.

Michigan Mom tells her story about being a Rock Star Mommy

Rock Star Mommy

I love real life stories of those who do something different to live their dreams. Earlier I shared how Randy Pausch lived his childhood dreams. Today brings Judy Davids, Rock Star Mommy, who shows it is never to late to learn new things and follow your dreams.

Judy, what inspired you to be a Rock Star Mommy?

I saw Jack White (of the White Stripes) play at my sons’ elementary school. He was in his mid-20s (a kid) but he had the presence of a king. He talked to the students about his passion for music and he sold me hook, line and sinker. The next day I signed up for guitar lessons. His presence convinced me to shine. A few weeks ago I saw Jack on the cover of Rolling Stone with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and I thought if he only knew what he started!

What prompted you to share your story in a book?

Right from the beginning I felt people got a kick out of our story–it’s somewhat inspiring. We (the Mydols) prove that you don’t have to be young or thin or blessed with talent to be successful.


Is it tough juggling everything?

Absolutely. We just played in Minnesota last weeked for about 1200 people at the Minneapolis Convention Center. We were on TV and the radio and little kids asked us for autographs. It was surreal. It made me wonder how far we could take this band if we toured like the 20-something bands do. But the reality is I really missed my family so we left Minneapolis at 4 AM so we had time to spend with our kids when we got back to Detroit. The word “mom” is the first word in “mom band” for a reason.

How have you used the internet and social media to promote your career?

In so many ways. After I took guitar lessons, I signed up for web design classes! I design and maintain www.judydavids.com and www.mydols.com. I also do ALL the social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. I blog. I write articles for webzines. I use CafePress and Zazzle to sell CDs and T-shirts. I use www.fanbridge.com to keep in touch with fans. What else? I am probably forgetting 20 other things I do on-line!

You have been an inspiration to many mothers and people in general, setting an example of living your dreams. Can you share one tidbit of advice for someone just starting their journey towards their dream, wondering “Is it worth it?” “Should I really try?”

I will pass along my favorite advice. My friend Rick Mills told me “it takes more guts than talent to be in a band.” Whenever I feel bad about a performance I stop and think that there is probably some guy somewhere who is a ripper on the guitar but has never played for an audience. That’s a tragedy. I have no regrets.

And then my friend Thom Sharp said to me “Judy you’re in show business now so your life is an audition.” Meaning that even if 3 people show up at a gig I need to give the show of my life because I never know who’s in the audience. I have found that really useful because sure enough even when a club looks dead there is always a radio dj, music writer, musician…someone who is passionate about music…in the crowd and they don’t care about how many people are there. They came for a show and these people want to help you. If you believe in yourself, they will too!

Yesterday the tour was hosted at Betty Lynch’s blog at My Country Kitchen.
Tomorrow the tour will be hosted at Kathie Thomas’ blog at Blessed Reading

And to order Rock Star Mommy for yourself, follow this link: http://mydols.com/judydavids.htm

Rockin’ At Daytona Beach

Walking along the beach
Photo by †?†¡?µ? ®’s photostream

We talk a lot about networking online through blogs, social networks, online conferences. But isn’t it great to be able to finally meet, connect, network and have a good time with your online friends and business associates?

The Baby Boomer Diva’s are doing just that at their first annual the http://www.enjoyyourmenopause.com , which will be held in Daytona Beach, Florida April 18-20. A talented group of women, who will be sharing their talents and expertise at a fun filled weekend. Beverly Mahone has done a great job putting this all together.

Wish I were going, not just because of the fun to be had, but to meet this group of women whom I’ve had the pleasure to know and work with online. Of course, I’d have to escape the hotel scene and take a barefoot stroll along the beach by moonlight.

Yesterday the blog tour stopped at Kathie Thomas’ blog.
and tomorrow visit Archer Fit Press

2008 Diva Retreat Banner

Thinking Blogger Award

Thinking Blogger Award I’ve been tagged as a thinking blogger by Kathie Thomas of Australia. Double whammy, hit by Beverly Mahone. Thanks!

Thanks for the Thinking Blogger Award, it is an honor.

The participation rules are simple:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’.

And I’ll have to agree, there are many bloggers whose blogs make me stop and think, many I’ve seen tagged by others, and they truly are thinking bloggers. Instead of repeating what others have said, here are 5 new ones I’m tagging today, visit their blogs and enjoy their wisdom.

1. Christine Kane check out her thoughts on “A New Earth”, her songs, organizing your life and much more.

2. Bea Kuntz Did you know that dandelions were once used as a coffee substitute? Our food choices should not be limited to what we find at Walmart, there is a much better way, learn about sustainable living and other bits of wisdom from Bea.

3. Susan Loughrin I remember Susan a short time ago just learning what a blogging was, look at her go! Enjoy her creativity.

4. Jeanie Marshall Keep it simply by connecting with nature. Yep, I need to spend more time with nature. It has been too long since we’ve connected Jeannie, I hope all is going well with you.

5. Dean Hua is another thinking blogger who is good making connections with others. I love what he does with his Dean’s list each year. Almost forgot about Dean as we don’t hang out in the same places online right now.

Enjoy!