Broken Sun

16 Sep

The Letters “EEOC” Do Not Mean “Enabling Employers to Overlook Courtesy”

10 Sep

Every Hiring Manager, Human Resource Professional, Recruiter or anyone with recruiting responsibilities should be required to spend one week a year looking for a new job. Sounds crazy right? Why would any President or CEO encourage their employees to look for a new job?
When was the last time your CHRO actually interviewed for a job? When was the last time your most tenured recruiter sent out a resume? When was the last time you looked at how YOUR company responds to potential candidates, both qualified and unqualified?
So many corporations and HR departments have become fixated on avoiding lawsuits based on potential discriminatory hiring practices that they have discontinued common courtesy. 

  • It is not discriminatory to inform a job applicant that their resume has been received. 
  • It is not discriminatory to inform a potential candidate of the hiring timeline.
  • It is not discriminatory to inform a potential candidate that they are no longer under consideration.

Keeping a candidate informed is common courtesy and only improves your company’s reputation. 

Simply ghosting a candidate (ignoring them and hoping they go away) is bad business and reflects poorly on the customer service your company provides not only in hiring but throughout your organization. 

Recruiters talk, I Know, I am a Recruiter. Candidates talk even more!

Candidates tell their family, their friends, the clerk at the supermarket, their social media networks and anyone and everyone they talk with how poorly they are treated during the hiring or not hiring process. Those rightfully disgruntled candidates name names!

I don’t think it matters how many job applicants you have, follow up. If you spoke to someone on the phone or had a face to face interview, definitely follow up. The applicant was interested enough in you to put themselves out there knowing their chances of rejection were high. Let the candidate know where they stand so they can move forward or move on.

Equal Employment Opportunities don’t mean Enabling Employers to Overlook Courtesy. 

Additional Adoption Records

10 Sep

We are all family living in separate villages. Please help bring closure from one village and unite a brother with his sister.

Asking for Help – Please Share and Help Me Find My Sister

9 Sep

Help Jason find his birth sister. Please read and pass along!

Ronnie Dunn says it all with his song “Cost of Livin”

8 Sep

Made with iMovie by a Busymommaof2

Help by hiring our Veterans!  They fought for your freedom…let’s not let their freedoms be wasted. 

Some fun with what not to say in a job interview 

4 Sep

I’m Going To Assign Dress Code Violations In My Sleep

2 Sep

Too funny and seriously relatable !

Fisticuffs and Shenanigans

Me: “Princess, your shirt is riding up again, pull that down or I’m going to make you wear the spare one in my closet.”

D’Avonte: “You can’t make me take this off.  This is COUTURE!”

Me: “Really?  Where did you buy it?”

D’Avonte: “Where do you THINK I bought it?”

Me: “At the ‘Too Short Shirt Store’?”

D’Avonte: “I will have you know I bought this at K-Mart.”

Me: “So that was ‘Kouture’ with a ‘K’?”

D’Avonte: *eye roll*

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My Youngest Daughter is Going to Change the WORLD!!!

2 Sep

Sure, go ahead, laugh, think me blinded by love but I am telling you now…my youngest daughter is going to change the world!
At twelve years old she puts together thoughts and challenges the way everyone around her thinks about things better than any philosopher I’ve ever read about. She is independent, opinionated and has an innate sense of equality and justice that sometimes drives me crazy but mostly it drives me to be a better person!

I’ve always prided myself on not being “racist” yet my daughter has taught me how sneaky racism actually can be. She has shown me that the way we describe individuals in a crowd can perpetuate racial discrimination. At first, I didn’t agree, but many months later I have changed my viewpoint and the way I describe a person.  

Let’s experiment you and I, right now. Assuming you are near a group of people… Look around you and describe individual people you are looking at. I will give you a moment…….

I bet you saw someone with a hat, or brightly colored hair, or someone wearing an item of clothing that stuck out. I bet you also said that “insert skin color here” man or woman or child… THAT is the subtly of racism. Most likely the person you mentioned by race was not sharing your same skin color.  

Why do we do that? If I saw a group of people and said that “white guy” and everyone else I described by hat color, hair color, and sweater color I am differentiating someone solely on skin color. It’s subtle and it’s wrong. And my 12 yr old daughter taught me that. 

She challenges my way of thinking every single day. She doesn’t do it to be difficult, it is just who she is as a person. I hope she challenges everyone she meets exactly like she does me. Because if she does, then she will change the world, one question at a time.

I dare you to challenge your own thoughts and ways of thinking. You never know what a different perspective might bring to your usual way of thinking….

I Quit

24 Aug

If more people demonstrated the same courage as this author to be authentic at work and in life we would have lower unemployment and turn over. Go get em !


*Disclaimer – this should have been posted on Thursday last week but I was having too much fun on my hen weekend!

Pay close attention, this story might be about you.

In life we are often told to go out and find a job and make money and therefore somehow we will become happy……….

Today, August 20, 2015, was my point of no return.

I just walked out of the revolving doors of 280 Bishopsgate for the last time and I feel……….nothing. Not sadness, not relief, not even happiness….. just nothing! It’s indescribable. It’s such a strange feeling to know that a place I worked at for 4 years 10 months and 24 days or the equivalent of 32,760,000 seconds, will never ever be apart of my life again, and all I can feel is NOTHING!

The funny thing about this post is that I am actually writing it on…

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10 Things You Should Thank Your College Best Friends For Right Now

26 Mar

I did in fact meet my best friend in college!

I don’t want you to root for my football team because you like me! 

9 Mar

I love football! A shocking fact to some and well known to others. I love the game itself, the dirty politics in recruitment and trading, the on and off the field drama, the beauty of a perfectly executed play, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat (and in Cleveland we know that agony well), the dedication and the commitment of the players, the coaches, the spouses, the parents and the fans!  

I believe in rooting for the home team even after you move away from your home. 
There’s a loyalty involved with rooting for a team and that loyalty needs to be deserved!
So when a guy or girl who has been loyal to their own home team and because of a romantic interest states they want to root for your team, as long as they don’t play each other, for some reason that makes me mad, distrustful, and annoyed! 
I earned the right to root for the Browns!  I’ve stuck with them through thick and thin, wins, losses, horrid mistakes, the DRIVE, the “relocation” (I hate that other team in that other state that other owner took them too),  sticking by Jimmy Haslam, the misguided trades, the weather and the list goes on and on and on….
So when someone says to me “I’m rooting for your team because they are your team and I care about you” that infuriates me!  There is no love in sports! It’s WAR!  You can’t have an allegiance to a team because you “like” someone (caveat is if you marry a player).  
Maybe I’m a snob, but I’m not going to root for your team just because “I like you!”  
Am I being stupid? Perhaps this is selfish.  I could be putting a block play on

a potentially huge new Browns Fan…

Root for the team you believe in but don’t root for a team because you fancy the heart of the fan!  

Should and Shall

14 Feb

Should you have
Some pains that ache
I will ease them

Should you have
Frightened moments
I will soothe you

Should you have
An injured pride
I will heal it

Should you have
Burdens too great
I will bear them

Should you have
Lost your way
I will find you

Should you have
An empty hand
Mine will fill it

My love for you
Will shift the words
And change them to…

You shall have
No aches nor pains
Fear is now set free

You shall have
No more second guessing

You shall have
A lighter load
Light will guide you home

You shall have
A hand in yours
And my heart forever more!

Written for my Valentine
February 14, 2015
By Kristin Kinczel

2014 in review

30 Dec

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 43 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Write for Me

22 Dec

Negotiating with Terrorists at the ticket counter

17 Dec

Our government might have a policy against negotiating with terrorists but apparently Hollywood doesn’t. Actually, that’s probably not fair to say.

Sony Pictures made a choice not to release The Interview on Dec. 25 for reasons of public safety, undisclosed Homeland Security reasons and peer pressure from across the pond by the overgrown bully -dictator of North Korea.

Why does the big bully in North Korea get to dictate what the entertainment choices are of the people in a free nation? What’s next? Shut down a news station, stop an offensive music album release? This jerk who rules his people through fear, intimidation, torture and who knows what other awful things he does to force his country into compliance should not be able to extend his fist into my country!

Am I angry? You better believe I am! I am furious on so many levels and mostly because I understand exactly why this film portraying the bully of North Korea as an idiot is not airing. Sadly, I would not have gone to see the movie out of safety concerns and that makes me even more angry!

Sony Pictures….I have a suggestion – it won’t save you any money and it will likely cost you money, but…. I suggest you release The Interview on December 25 as planned straight to NETWORK TELEVISION!!!

I dare you Sony to stand up to this bully and show him that he can’t control our freedoms of speech and choice and all other freedoms and rights that our men and women in the armed services are currently, have and will fight for.

Bully’s don’t deserve to have their names mentioned and they don’t get to take away my choices. Show the movie Sony…show it on Network TV…I bet you will make a lot more money in the future from this very public stand against a very public bully!

The Soul Sucking Black Star of Motherhood

13 Nov

This past Tuesday morning I earned a soul sucking black star of motherhood! That’s right, I said the black star. Oh, you’ve never heard of the black star of motherhood? Well good! I hope you never do, but just so that you have a point of reference, the soul sucking black star is the antithesis to the shiny ego boosting sticker slick gold star of everything that is good in the mother hood!

To be fair to myself I do try to hold myself up to some really, really, really far out of my reach role models: my mother (if you know Patty you know I am never reaching that goal, even though she wouldn’t say that, then there is my sister in law Susan whom I swear God used up everything perfect with, again I know she doesn’t think that but I do, and then last but not least my best friend Becky who seems to take everything life throws at her and tosses it back with a laugh). Frankly all three of those ladies deserve every bit of praise that comes their way! Then there is me…some days I think I was put together with paper scraps from a kindergarten class. Ok enough self pity….back to the black star…

So Tuesday morning I was asked to give a brief presentation to some really important people at work about some of the great things we are all doing. The presentation was slated for 7:30 am, I take my daughters to school usually at 7:45am and work is 45 min away. No worries! I preplanned their morning ride, was up extra early, had their clothes clean, dried and ready to go, a rather lovely breakfast prepared (to make up for my rushing off), extra special lunches packed and book bags, coats and boots neatly waiting by the side door. Seriously! True Story!

The morning was going great! Daughter one up and fed, daughter two up (I am leaving in 5 minutes), as she comes downstairs and I start to show her where her breakfast is my 13 year old very calmly (in a way I never heard her before) states that the toilet is overflowing upstairs. Not to worry, she says, if I will stop the water from running she will clean it up (awww). Of course I say no…. I run upstairs as the soul sucking black star slowly starts to take over, where I see at least an inch of water, I stop the water from running, then run downstairs for more towels only to observe my daughter staring at the ceiling in horror as it is raining…INSIDE!

Now I am in full blown Death Star mode! Not my most shining moment (I do actually have some though….). My oldest knows I have a work presentation that morning and she remains remarkably calm and I realize for the first time in awhile, that she actually cares about me (I knew she loved me, but she also cares!). And, where I, the 43 year old mother, was unable to demonstrate grace in a situation that certainly demanded it, my daughter, actually both of my daughters, were able to make up for my inadequacies and display grace when I could not. At my eldest’ urging to leave so not to be late and reassurance that all would be ok, I left.

And after 15 minutes when I could again think straight, I cried. Because in that moment of my second floor leaking into my first, my mascara leaking into my blouse, one of my worst mom moments ever, I realized I had just experienced an answered prayer and a realized dream for my daughters.

While I had a speech prepared for the morning, I was not at all happy with it and had been praying for days that God would provide me with the right words to say. The events of the morning would become the theme of my speech (an answered prayer). By the way, God knew what He was doing!

Next up, a realized dream….From the moment I knew I was to give birth to a daughter and then two years later a second daughter my hopes and dreams for them would that they be happy in whatever they chose to do and most importantly, each be a better woman than I am. Their ability to demonstrate grace at their age when I could not at mine brings me great pride and much peace, because already they are better than I am (thus a realized dream).

So, while Tuesday morning went nothing like I planned and I over-reacted to an ordinary everyday situation like a complete lunatic I earned my soul sucking black star and I wear it with pride! Because I know that my daughters are amazing and going to be just fine, despite their mother!


This Halloween was definitely a grab bag of a few tricks and unexpected treats!

1 Nov

Halloween is undoubtably my most favorite secular (Wiccan’s, please accept my threefold apology…) holiday!!!! Typically I begin gearing up for this fun-filled night of merriment and make believe months in advance by researching costumes, crazy artistic make-up, creating decorations and lawn props, and decorating my house in a theme that borders on a special Halloween episode of Hoarders!

But this year, my heart just wasn’t in the spirit of shall we say, the spirits? I didn’t even decorate my house until almost two weeks before the 31st (before moving to a new city November of last year my old neighbors probably would have called the police to see if I was still breathing or they may have been elated, depends on the neighbor).

Part of the trouble has been, my heart is in a different state right now, I’m grieving from afar for a friend that recently lost a child, I’m really busy with my work and most importantly my wonderful, amazing daughters are outgrowing my child-like wonder for all things spooky!

I didn’t even buy a real pumpkin this year! Seriously! How can I say I love Halloween and I didn’t even carve a Jack-O-Lantern?????? Ever since reading the Littlest Pumpkin I have felt it my sworn Halloween duty to rescue the last, ugliest, most misshapen pumpkin in the patch on Halloween. This year I let a poor, sad pumpkin down!

Being a single mom of two new teenage girls is really hard, especially on Halloween. I used to love discovering their costumes with them. Now, because they wear “Junior” sizes almost every female costume starts with words like sexy, or minx, or hot! Really? Can’t they just wear paper bags? Somehow those would probably look suggestive too!

The costume hunting did turn out ok though as one was a ninja (my absolute all time favorite and I’m going on a diet just so I can wear it myself costume and the other was well I guess I’m not sure, maybe she was scary spice?…).

Usually I get to dress up for handing out the candy but this year I was given rules! No dressing up, no causing embarrassment, just be boring plain old vanilla ice cream (and for anyone that knows me, I am definitely no Stepford Wife, well, I’m also not a wife anymore either, lol). So I was boring mom…I did have a sweet Halloween play list going though (I got several compliments and not just from adults either).

Strangely enough, I had several new neighbors stopping by prior to the onslaught of trick or treaters sharing with me advice on how to hand out trick or treat candy (really, should have been a clue)… 1. Don’t open my door (how do you hand out candy and not open your door?), 2. Stay outside, 3. Use a fire pit to keep warm (I don’t have a fire pit??? So I did the next best thing and hooked up my space heater).

I was boring, ready and well prepared, outside, with my space heater and 10 bags of candy (starting and ending with giving one piece per child)! Guess what my neighbors DIDN’T TELL ME???? They didn’t tell me I live on trick or treat street and should expect anywhere from 200 kids on a slow night to upwards of 400!!!!!!! I ran out of 10 bags of candy in 35 minutes!!!!!! Did I say I only gave out 1 piece of candy per trick-or-treater??

So, now here I am, plain old vanilla, don’t embarrass the children mom running out of candy. Dear Lord, I was horrified! And, worried about the retribution from angry trick or treaters! And, then comes the first unexpected treat of the night!

As I’m hastily trying to make my escape with empty candy bowl, wet blanket and space heater in hand, up the driveway come 4 strapping teenage boys dressed in I don’t know what because I tried not to look up (if I can’t see you then you can’t see me right?). I profusely apologize for running out of candy. Instead of the expected grumbling and bad mouthing they say “that’s ok, Happy Halloween” and then they ask, “do you need any help?” What???

Good thing my jaw is attached because it would have hurt hitting the pavement! Really? Whomever is raising those boys in 2014 is doing one heck of a great job and I salute those parents! The crazy thing is this happened two more times before I got inside and the lights turned off, all with practically the same well wishes and offers to help. My faith in adolescents is renewed!!!

The funny trick part about Halloween Night was, it really was and still is funny, was that all of my neighbors recognized I was new and they were well aware I would run out of candy. In fact, as a couple of parents on my street walked by with their kids I apologized to them also and they just giggled this knowing laugh and said welcome to the neighborhood! Apparently it’s a right of passage on Summit Drive to experience your first Halloween by running out of candy. I did ask one of my neighbors that I know well why they didn’t tell me how many kids would show up. Their response? “You didn’t ask.” Guess what, I didn’t. Lesson learned little miss can’t be wrong!

So, after getting myself together I decided to come out of my shell a bit and wander down the street to the amazing Halloween house known as the “chain saw guys.” Long story short… It’s a family and their friends who spend weeks doing up the house and their garage like a theme from the movie Halloween with a city wide reputation for Halloween awesomeness.

They all have chainsaws, less the chain part and scare the bejeebers out of most adults and a good amount of kids too. To soothe the fears of parents they offer a place to sit and a beverage (the micro-brewery kind) while the kids can then make the coolest things with glow sticks, light up wands and swords, which they get to keep, and they also give out huge candy bars! Where were these people when I was a kid???

Their own children are in college now and they actually came home for the hallowed and haunting festivities. This may not sound like a big deal but since most of them go to OU, home of the biggest college Halloween party in Ohio, it’s a big deal and a testimony to this family and the importance of family, friends and traditions.

So, I moseyed on down to the chain saw house and introduced myself as being “new” on the street (1 year next week) and my first Halloween on Summit Drive. I also quickly let them know I ran out of candy. After we all laughed and I became known as the newbie I made some really cool new friends who even came by today to help me take down (IN THE SNOW) what lame decorations I had put up.

So, while my heart was more haunted than haunting this Halloween and I’m learning that being the mom of teenagers is much harder than being the mom of 10 and 12 year olds, what I really learned this year is that kids can surprise you, traditions, family and friends are rock solid foundations, and new neighbors can really lift your spirits!

And by the way, My teenage Ninja and Spice girl? Yes, they trick or treated with their friends and yes, they were at the chain saw house (after I was). The Best part of Halloween 2014? The girls were home with me, their plain old vanilla ice cream mom, 15 minutes after trick or treat was over to show me their loot and share their night with me! So, maybe I can handle being plain old vanilla. Because when you combine plain old vanilla with two amazing young women you don’t get plain, you get a Sundae!



My car was rear ended today and I’m grateful for the lives this accident saved

9 Sep

Yes, I was in a car accident today. No worries, I am fine! It wasn’t my fault (rear ended while sitting at a stop light). The other driver and her passenger seemed ok too. Both cars will be ok, a little cosmetically banged up but fixable! Now that those details are out of the way…

Even though I’m a bit physically sore I am sooooo grateful for what happened.

Here’s my grateful list:

1. Grateful my kids weren’t in the car
2. Grateful I kept a cars length between me and the car in front of me (for sure I would have hit the other car)
3. Grateful I had on my seatbelt
4. Grateful her car was smaller than mine
5. Grateful everyone is ok
6. Grateful for the future lives this young lady saved today

You see, in the span of less than 30 seconds I looked in my rear view mirror and knew this young woman was going to hit me. She wasn’t even slowing down. And while she said she was looking at the traffic light and not me, I know different. While looking in my mirror I could see that her head was down and I’m pretty darn sure she was texting. The whole thing happened fast and like most situations where danger is imminent my senses were heightened by adrenaline.

After the impact and upon assessing all body systems were ok I exited the car. You could see the terror in this girls eyes. I’m pretty sure (because she told me so) that she was expecting me to start screaming, shouting and be filled with rage. All I wanted to do was hug her and make sure she and her passenger were ok. They were.

My gut instinct told me she didn’t have insurance (my gut was right). So, I took a risk and asked her if she would follow me into the parking lot and she did. We exchanged information. I asked her if she knew someone at a body shop (only an ex-Boyfriends dad) and there’s no reason to get ex’s involved I said. I let her know I would get a few estimates and give her the details. Neither of us is made of money and I’m hoping it’s not too costly.

I’ve been that girl before. You know the one who would rather have food than car insurance? Thankfully I’m not that girl anymore but I still remember her. What I also am not anymore as of 4 hours ago is that girl who texts and drives!

Sure, I thought I was being careful and made all kinds of excuses for my past texting stupidity. And that’s exactly what I was doing….making excuses. Today, I saw, felt, and experienced what texting and driving can do to someone (and it really does hurt) and it can really KILL someone (thankfully not today)! No longer will I be that girl putting me, my family, you and your family at risk because of my stupid excuses for why I was such a good texting driver! I am not. No one is.

To the young lady that hit me, I hope you never text and drive again either. Looking at the traffic light with your phone in hand is really just an excuse. And this could be an obituary for any one of us instead of a blog post. Thank you for what happened today and because this happened I cannot imagine the future devastation and loss you saved a future family from having due to my stupid texting excuses.

Maybe today we both saved some lives! To everyone else reading this post please, please, please do NOT, NEVER EVER EVER text and drive because you might not be as lucky as I was today. Be grateful and keep both hands and eyes on the road at all times!

Hall Of Fame Fan Video

10 Jul

I love this video by Hannah!! Check it out below! Just another reason I am a busy momma!

Hall of Fame

How to Crochet a Granny Dollie Rug using Hooplayarn – without a pattern

30 Jun

Love this rug and the tips on how to manage your stitches if the rug curls up or down!


Finished Hooplayarn Grannt Dolly Rag RugSince making my Zpagetti yarn bag I have had plans to make a crocheted Granny Dollie Rug. I’m always keen to try out new yarns, so was delighted to come across Hooplayarn for my latest ‘StitchShare’ project.

My rug is mainly made up of UK treble (US double) and chain crochet  stitches. A key aim of the project is to create a circle that will lay flat on the ground, each time I finished a round I threw her (she is called Daisy!) on the floor and had a good look at her edge. If the rug was lying flat that was perfect. If the edge of the rug was curving down / under, then it meant I needed to increase my stitches on the next round. If the rug edges curved up or became wavy, it was a sign I had too many stitches.

Do you want to see her story?

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I will endure being mentally manipulated by my teenagers but NOT by my Facebook Account!

30 Jun

It took a team of Cornell Researchers and a billion dollar social media site to research and conclude what any parent of any teenager could tell you in a nanosecond… Positive talk begets positive responses and negative talk elicits negative responses. Wow! Shocking findings! For the next research study Dearest Facebook, you should look into seeing if people eat when they are hungry. Spoiler Alert! I bet they do!

As soon as I have the contact information of those “friends” I don’t want to lose and they have mine I will be saying “Good Night, Gracie” to Facebook forever! What they have done with their one week research study this past January is deplorable and frankly I don’t even understand how any of it was at all ethical.

I am no expert on psychological studies but what I do know is that there is supposed to be some sort of debriefing done when manipulation of humans and human emotions occurs. I don’t know if my news feed was one that was tampered with or not. If it was I wasn’t told and wasn’t “debriefed.”

It is irresponsible to manipulate the emotions of people so haphazardly and it is dangerous!

Imagine this…. What if I had been suffering from serious depression and was having suicidal thoughts during the month of January? (FYI, many people do and if you live in Northeast Ohio we are second to Seattle, Washington for sunless days in the Winter, hence a high rate of seasonal depression). What if I, had been contemplating suicide in January (for the record, I wasn’t), was glued to my Facebook account and was the unwitting lab rat that received the negative news feeds? Oh My God! Think of what may have happened. The ramifications of what you irresponsible researchers did to untold thousands of individuals during your secret “testing” is beyond me! There may well be blood on your research papers.

Researching my news feed, my buying habits, my likes, etc. I have no problem with that and frankly it is to be expected in this brave new world of multiple and oh so social media we live in. But to actually attempt to manipulate and elicit my (keyword emotion, I don’t know any cyborgs) emotional responses without my permission goes beyond what I signed up for.

It’s bad enough that Google tries to personalize my search results, my smart TV attempts to tell me what to watch and even my personal email randomly chooses to place my friends’ emails in my junk folder (I decide when my friends are no longer friends, not Outlook)!

With all of these algorithms creating so called personalized searches, pretty soon I won’t even know what I want to search for anymore and the searches themselves will not actually be realistic. Google is customizing us to what they want us to be and taking away the opportunity for people to think as individuals.

I refuse to be facebooked, googled, binged, myspaced, any longer. I actually adore using social media! I embrace social media and I believe in it. What I don’t believe in is social media manipulating my mind and my emotions. I have teenagers for that!

If you want to read a good article about Facebook and their “research” check out Dino Grandoni’s article on The Huffington Post entitled “A Lab Rat in a Huge Facebook Experiment” at

I hate quitting Facebook, but more than that I refuse to stand for nothing!

Good Night Gracie. Facebook researchers, that really means Good Bye Facebook (saving you a few thousand in research funding….)


Lose Some, Find Some: or Today I Spill the Beans

26 Jun

Becoming Cliche

So I’ve been keeping a secret. I hate secrets. They put so much distance between us. So today, I’m just going to lay it right out there. I think you’re going to like it.

First, let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, an interesting species of turtle became extinct. Last seen in 1908, the Arakan Forest Turtle, Heosemys depressa, disappeared and was never seen again. It seems like a sad story, but stick with me. About 100 years later, in 1994, a scientist visiting a food market in Asia was astounded to find a few of these animals for sale! A relic population was discovered, and animals were taken into captivity in the hopes of forming assurance colonies and potentially increasing its numbers.

With wild-caught animals in general, and reptiles in particular, breeding isn’t a straightforward endeavor. With dogs and cats, boy + girl =…

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Carrying A Torch…

25 Jun

Bet you thought I was going to write about how I am carrying a torch for a past flame… Get it torch – flame… I can hear the boo’s through the internet now (and I’m giggling). Well, I am not carrying a torch for a past love, though a do carry a torch for a current one (nope, I do NOT kiss and tell) and this post isn’t about unrequited love, at least not exactly.

We all carry some sort of torch for some one, some thing, some belief, some cause, some wrong that needs to be righted and most of us keep that torch hidden under a bushel. Few of us have ever been granted the honour to carry an actual, out in the open, in your face, real live, real heavy, burning, smoking, flaming torch as those who run cross country in an Olympic torch relay.

Wow! Can you imagine the honour? The responsibility? The memories? The You Tube videos of me tripping and falling and dousing the Olympic Torch in a puddle on national tv? That’s why I will never be asked to carry an Olympic torch, well, that, and I’m not actually an Olympian….

Today, I had the honour in witnessing runners carrying an Olympic type torch. Now, because I live in Cleveland and because I know that the 2014 Gay Games are soon to begin in August I assumed these runners were carrying the Olympic Torch for The Gay Games, but since I can find no documentation that it was them I can’t be certain.

What I can be certain about is that seeing these runners filled with pride for whatever Olympic Type Competition they were proud to represent mixed with my assumption it was for GG9 (Gay Games 9), and the appalling need for serious police escort and “Suburban Anti-Crime Control” armored vehicles I am now a proud supporter and future attendee of GG9!

Before you think me homophobic, you would be 100% WRONG! My disinterest in GG9 was purely from an athletic perspective and misunderstanding of what the gay games stood for, which by the way is not merely support of LGBT athletes only, but acceptance, diversity and inclusion for ALL athletes. Do some research and you will see!

What bothered me so much was that people, athletes, whom have trained and trained and spilt blood, sweat and tears to be the best are mistreated in the “real” Olympics, hello RUSSIA with your anti-gay policies hosting the Sochi Winter Olympics (I refused to watch it) and various other sports that have turned their backs on athletes because of their sexuality. Tina Turner needs to remake her song”what’s love got to do with it” and call it “What does WHO you love got to do with it?”

Every athlete deserves a chance to represent their sport, regardless of race, nationality, gender and sexual orientation. Sports isn’t about sex (well outside of The SI swim suit edition). Sports is about a person truly being the best and working hard to be the best! You don’t win a medal just because you have talent, you win the medal because you worked for it!

I think it’s awful that there has to be a Gay Games, not because someone is LGBT, but because these athletes aren’t judged as athletes, they are judged by whom they love. Why don’t we judge heterosexual athletes that are the cheaters, the beaters, and the deceivers?

What’s love got to do with it? In sports, it doesn’t! The only love that counts in athletics, is the love for the game! So to you torch bearers in the International Rainbow Run, carry that flame high, carry it with pride and I will be out there rooting you on in every single sport you compete in (even though I don’t get all the rules or why some sports are actually sports).

Run, Compete, Believe and Be Proud of you! See you at GG9 in Cleveland-Akron this August! 20140625-133955-49195565.jpg




How and Why?

15 May


Why Every Child Should Learn to Program a Computer…

12 May

The skill of computer programming is a super power! Help our children become super heros!

Sam Foster

Like many British schoolchildren, I studied a variety of subjects at school. Mathematics, natural sciences, history, drama, music, technology and physical education. Not to mention the language subjects – as a minimum, English language, English literature plus one foreign language of your choosing from a selection of French, German, Spanish or Latin.

I chose French and, after five years of studious learning, came out of the education system aged 16 none the wiser in terms of truly grasping a foreign language. Perhaps it was that foreign languages weren’t my forte. Perhaps speaking French looked much easier on ‘Allo ‘Allo – whatever the reason, I just didn’t seem to be as enthused about French as I was about other more vocational subjects like technology.

Technology itself plays host to a whole raft of languages – some more complex than others (you’ve probably used one or more of these languages without ever realising it). These…

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This Post is at the Request of my Ex

12 May

After a particularly brutal and trying 36 hours of conflict and no resolution with my ex involving a doctors visit and impending introduction, he ended a 70 minute texting spree at 1:34 am this past Saturday saying “why don’t you blog about it?” Of course, I immediately dismissed his comment as snotty with no intention of continuing to do what he told me to do, but then I thought a bit more on his request. Perhaps in complying with his proposition to “blog about it” I may be able to appease his anger and rage in some way.

I don’t even know if he reads my blog or just has someone else give him the highlights. So to be on the safe side…I am writing this in my usual quirky style and will provide an outline of the highlights at the end. This way we have all our bases covered. I hope YOU keep reading…

I often wonder if when relationships come to an end due to abuse if the “abuser” is ever really able to turn themselves around and if so do they want to let their former spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend know they are a better person today? And if they were a better person what would they say?

Would they apologize for having acted so charming at the start of the relationship only to have turned out to be not such a prince after all? Would they admit that they were untruthful about ever really caring for the other and that what they meant by equal partners was really “do what I say and ask no questions?”

Perhaps these individuals now recognize their hatred of women or men as the case may be. And, when they increasingly verbalize their negative viewpoints of women, rant forever using harsh over-generalizations and get ever more agitated as a woman expresses her own and sometimes opposite opinion do they stop themselves before they say “of course that’s not you.” Because, of course they DO mean it is you, you know that, right?

Does the “reformed” verbally abusive ex ever realize that when they yell at you and say horrid and mean things to you that it really has nothing to do with whether they are Italian or not and more to do with their own inability to control their anger?

Do you think their own insecurity will ever improve or do these reformed ones still try to control the ones they love by calling them and emailing them and texting them over and over and over throughout the day and night wanting then demanding to know where they are, what they are doing, when they will be home (even when their loved one is at work) until this person and their friends and family finally have had enough and distance themselves from each other?

Do those things still happen when someone says they don’t do that anymore or do those behaviors just take longer to appear? If those behaviors just take longer to appear than they did before I wonder how much more difficult it would be for the person whom is under that control to recognize it and escape from it?

I wonder if those that say they are reformed or never even admit to having had a problem with abusive behavior still manipulate their “plus 1” into doing their people dirty work by googling targeted individuals for them, researching others via social networking, making snide comments and getting information for them on individuals that they could get on their own by feigning their ignorance and/inability and in doing this for them are their significant others aware that they are tightening their own noose wrapped in a knotted rope of lies.

These are some of the questions I ponder at 1:34am in the morning when I am usually asleep. I don’t know if this is what I was to write about when my ex asked me to blog but this is what came of the request. You asked I blogged. Highlights below.

1. My ex asked me to blog on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 1:34am, this blog is an agreement to that request.
2. Do abusers ever reform and do they want to apologize
3. Would they admit their charming behavior was a lie and that they never wanted a spouse to think for themselves
4. Do they know they think women are a lessor species, including their current plus 1
5. Is it ethnicity or anger management that causes them to yell and degrade
6. Insecurity + need to control = excessive texting, emailing, calling,
7. More experience being controlling can make it easier to hide for the next person
8. Rope their girlfriends into doing their own dirty work without them even knowing it
9. You asked She Blogged

Crochet Rope Basket

18 Apr

I love crochet. Great Crochet And Crafts blog to follow.

Make My Day Creative

Customisable Crochet Basket Customisable Crochet Basket

I’ve been looking for a basket of specific dimensions for a while without any luck.  Then I saw a circular version of this idea and realised I could make my own!

This uses a technique similar to thrumming, where you crochet over another thread to add bulk to a fabric.  If you have ever crocheted over your ends to avoid weaving in, this works the same way.

In this case I used rope instead of another yarn, which is a lot bulkier but great for adding stiffness and making each row deeper.  This project had the added bonus of using up a single skein I had left in my stash!

The resulting basket is rectangular with rounded corners.

Finished article Finished article

You will need:

  • Length of rope (mine was 38m in length and 6mm diameter, for a 22x42x17cm basket)
  • Stash yarn (I used 310m of Patons 100% cotton 4ply in…

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Tomorrow, April 1st, is a very special “Special Day!”

31 Mar

The First of April is many things to many different people.

For many of us pranksters out there April 1st is a national holiday ( April Fools Day is one of my top 5 favorite days of the year!). I start mapping out my childish, funny to me and hopefully harmless gags for April Fools Day starting on April 2! I am so blessed to have my youngest daughter join me in a love of all things funny on this day. Look out Hannah because I have some special pranks lined up for you!

For others April 1 is the true start of spring. My mom starts reading the Burpee Seed Catalogs and planning the precise locations, types and number of flowers she will begin planting in late May.

Beyond the pranks and planting of seedlings, April 1st is a very special day for me. For it was on April 1st that my mother and father received a call from an adoption agency letting them know that they were the proud parents of a 6 week old baby girl, me! Every year since I was old enough to remember, my family has celebrated our “Special Day” when we were brought together.

This year I am so blessed to be able to share this day with my best friend, Rebecca, as she too celebrates April 1st as a 10 year Survivor of Uterine Cancer!

I will never forget sitting with Rebecca 10 years ago in late March as her OB/GYN quietly and definitively said the word Cancer. To this day I can not forget the look of utter devastation, fear and sadness that encompassed my dearest of friends as she collapsed into my arms racked by tears of emotional pain that would kill most of us on the spot. Her surgeon went on to tell us that she was scheduling her surgery for the morning of April 1st, 2004 a mere few days away.

At the mention of the date for her surgery, Rebecca immediately stopped crying and simply said “No.” She went on to ask the surgeon to schedule the operation for any other date except for April 1st.

Now, I don’t know if you have a best friend or not or if you have ever had the opportunity to see the soul of a genuinely “good” person in action. If you haven’t then I pray that you do because true acts of selflessness will humble you and bring you to your knees in a way that changes you for good. There I sat with who was (and still is) my then 33 year old, unmarried, best friend without any children, who was being told that the chances of her retaining any possibility to bear children from her body were 1 in never as she tried to explain to this surgeon why April 1st was not an option. Rebecca told her it was my “special day” and there was no way she was having surgery that day.

How after being told such an awful diagnosis with life altering and devastating information, this beautiful young woman thought of anyone else, let alone me, to this day floods me with emotions that I am still unable to put into words. After much convincing between me and her surgeon, Rebecca finally agreed to schedule her surgery for April 1st.

To me, it made sense that she have her surgery on April 1st because that is my lucky day and I couldn’t and can’t think of a more deserving person to share in my luck! April 1st is my day of new beginnings and while this was surely not the new beginning Rebecca was dreaming about it would be the first day of her healing and I wasn’t about to let my best friend die that day or any other day!

And now, 10 years later Rebecca is cancer free, married to an amazing man, the aunt of two wonderful children and the auntie of my two daughters. She is the most amazing teacher that ever lived and while she may not have children of her body she has certainly become the mother of all children that pass through her classroom and her life.

I could not nor cannot ever bear the thought of losing Rebecca and that is why tomorrow is “OUR” special day.

I love you Beck Beck. Thank you for all you have done for me. God Bless You Always!

Back to the Future, Part 3 of Me…

27 Feb

This afternoon at a Shell Gas Station not far from where my office is in Cleveland, Ohio, I met a young woman experiencing a pretty awful moment in her new marriage. This was a smack in my face “Back to the Future, part 3” moment. For those of you born after 1985 and whom have never seen these movies I encourage you to bookmark this blog, go watch all 3 movies (they are fabulous) then come back and finish reading. You’re going to need the point of reference. The rest of you who watched these movies, well, keep on reading. And, it’s ok to keep reading even if you haven’t seen them just bear with my ’80’s flashbacks…..

In Part 3 the Professor and Marty McFly head both to the future and back in time. The Professor warns Marty to avoid seeing “himself in the future” and his “current self” who went to the past several months prior. Marty is warned that coming face to face with his “current” self could have consequences of epic proportions. Today, at 2:15pm I came face to face with my past self… OK it wasn’t my past self but it was with a girl who was headed down the path I walked and I could not stop her, no matter how much I tried. Here is what happened…

I walked in to pay for my gas and overheard a slender, blonde woman, who really didn’t look like she was feeling well, using the gas station phone to try and reach her husband. The clerk at the register was offering suggestions to this woman who appeared to be stranded there by her husband. I asked her if she needed some help. She went on to say she had just had a minor outpatient surgical procedure and upon leaving the surgery center she and her husband had had a fight. He dropped her off at the gas station and drove away leaving her there almost 30 minutes prior to me showing up. Her cell phone was in the car with him and he wasn’t answering either his cell or hers.

I offered, more like plead, with her to take her home, to a shelter, to the police, to my office to anywhere but the gas station and him. She was pale and weak from her procedure and needed rest. The young woman refused to sit down. Having no idea where she lived or if she had family that would care for her I again offered to take her somewhere, anywhere! She told me where she lived which turned out to be about an hour and a half from where we currently were. I told her I didn’t care, that I knew she didn’t know me, but I would be happy to take her home. I explained that I knew exactly how she was feeling and had experienced very similar circumstances in my past marriage. All the while I was offering to drive her, I knew she would never say yes. She was young, she was inexperienced with the pain of an abusive marriage and truly believed it would get better. I knew this because I was looking at myself 14 years in the past.

No, I was never left at a gas station, but I was merely dropped off at the urgent care after I “fell down the stairs” after hanging a picture, left at the door of the maternity ward to have a D&C following a miscarriage after 4 months of pregnancy, left at the surgery center to have my dead and infected gallbladder removed, left at the ER alone following my first epileptic seizure (he had something better to do…), and countless other times I was left alone to face an emergency or crisis or illness or whatever it was that he was too emotionally unprepared or unwilling to handle or just too busy to take the time to be there for me. Had some strange woman offered to take me home I too would probably have said no believing he would eventually come back for me. Then again, I didn’t have that sort of offer and I will never really know for sure how I would have answered.

I wanted to tuck this girl in my pocket and drive her so far away from this man, her husband who took a vow to be there for her in sickness and in health. But she would not go and you can’t make someone accept your help. All you can do is offer it with sincerity and the courage to back it up in case they ever say yes. So, I stood there with her and waited. We waited, and waited, and waited and finally after 45 minutes of waiting he came back. Her face beamed when he pulled up. “See” she said! “I told you he would come back for me.” All the while forgetting that he had LEFT HIS WIFE AT A GAS STATION FOLLOWING SURGERY BECAUSE HE WAS UNHAPPY WITH HER!!!

I offered one last time to take her home or to a shelter where she would be safe. She thanked me and said she’d be fine, after all, she said, he has never hit her. Oh dear child! I wanted again to tuck her away letting her know that bruises and words carry the same pain yet often the pain of the words carry scars long after the bruises fade.

I gave her my business card, pointing out that my cell phone number was on it. Please call me if you need anything I told her as I walked her to and helped in the waiting minivan driven by this man she called her husband. The man that had on their wedding day promised for better or for worse. I really hope things work out for those two before they get worse…

After leaving the gas station and going back to work it was more than an hour before I could feel the blood moving in my fingers again and was able to stop visibly shaking (I just kept telling people I was cold). Looking at myself in the past through the eyes of my future was almost more than I could bear today. I’m one of the lucky ones. I changed my future and it is looking really bright! But in Back to the Future the Professor was right, coming face to face with your past does have consequences of epic proportion. Mine? I may well be haunted by the face of this young woman today forever, but I’m going to keep looking and keep offering to help because one day someone is going to say “yes.”

Our Self-Imposed Scientific Process of Our Lives

7 Feb

Have you ever found yourself at a point in life where you begin to not just believe but accept that you no longer deserve good things to happen to you? Have you ever convinced yourself that true love and affection is a mere fairy tale or only happens to someone else?

Perhaps you’re even able to provide supporting evidence to back up these feelings; multiple failed relationships, abusive marriages, losing job after job, unable to keep a positive bank balance, and living day after day in a perpetual cycle of Murphy’s Law of unfortunate events.

After a time you move past wondering what you can do about the negative karma and begin to accept that your new reality is a black cloud hovering above you that the strongest wind will never be strong enough to blow away.

Have you ever felt that you are not only unloveable but incapable of love? I have felt that way.

But then in the most unlikely of places, hundreds of miles away from home, without even looking or knowing or expecting it, there was a stranger, a voice on the telephone, a person who without ever meeting me actually believed in me. Not just believed me but believed IN ME!

No expectations just conversations. And in the midst of these conversations I began to realise that the Murphy’s Law of adversity I was living in was actually my own creation.

We are each our own individual, sadistic science experiments. We create a hypothesis of what we think we deserve in life and then perform experiment after experiment, building the evidence to prove our theories correct. At the end, we conclude that yes, we deserve our lot in life for good or for ill. And then we move forward in life as if we have no control of our fate.

By living our lives through these self inflicted conclusions we have failed and worse we accept our failure based on flawed data. A true scientific process does not end with one theory, one hypothesis and one conclusion.

True scientists continue to retest their theories, formulate new hypotheses, gather additional evidence and adjust and reformulate their conclusions. So why don’t we do that with our own life theories?

An amazing person spoke through my doubt and disbelief saying to me “we owe it to ourselves to see what happens.” And he is absolutely right! You and I who live under the self-created cloud built from the truth of a thousand lies deserve better tomorrow’s than our today’s.

I dare you to retest your theory of negativity with a new hypothesis based on positivity. Seek out new evidence to prove yourself loveable and formulate a new conclusion that you deserve good things to happen to you. And slowly but surely that black cloud will reveal it’s silver lining.

It won’t be easy but the results will be amazing. Because this amazing person is right. We DO owe it to ourselves.

What if…I told you I know about a website where your child is being bullied?

18 Oct

Today, while looking for something on the internet I came across a website called Because of the way I have my search engines set up I suddenly realised my children had been on this website several times. Nothing gets my mom radar moving quicker than seeing a website repeatedly visited by both of my children, especially when it has the look and feel of social media (neither of them has yet to turn 13 years old, that skewed and randomly chosen Facebook age of consent).

As I looked at the site with my mom goggles (move over Google you don’t have anything over a mom on an internet sleuthing mission) I became increasingly uncomfortable with what I was reading. Parents, grandparents, teachers, friends, and all concerned adults, you might want to sit down or pull over before reading further. Because what I’m going to tell you will make your skin crawl.

Thankfully, after a few hours of research and several conversations with my children later I was convinced they were not actively participating on this site but that didn’t really matter because the damage had already been done simply by visiting the site and reading the posts. is a social networking site that enables individuals to ask “questions” of a specific person with an active profile. What is so unique and extremely concerning about this site is the one asking the questions is anonymous while the one answering the questions is not (likely the profile of the person answering CAN be anonymous, but the teens and pre-teens whom seem to make up the majority of active users answering these questions do not use anonymous profiles).

To restate the purpose of this site…an ANONYMOUS Asker posts a question, ANY question, to a KNOWN person whom is expected to answer that question. I know you all are smart people and I bet you can see where this is going…and you are right! Before you become too comfortable, while you are headed in the right direction after looking at the site it goes far beyond anything one could imagine.

Right before my eyes I saw 11 year olds asked questions related to their personal experiences with sex and drugs (this wasn’t limited to just 11 year olds by the way, those were common and consistent questions on almost every teen’s site). As if the inappropriate questions weren’t harmful enough, I was unprepared for the pervasive, blatant and violent cyber bullying occurring via anonymous tormentor on almost every single account I reviewed.

Askers were not just asking questions but they were also posting statements such as “you are a whore, you’re a slut, you’re a bitch, you are fat, you’re ugly,” and the bone chilling and frequent question “why don’t you just kill yourself?” I fancy myself a mom in the know, on top of social media, a mom with adequate parental controls backed up by my own review of my children’s internet usage and that being said this website still had flown completely below my radar.

Now, I’m sure you are much more savvy than I am and are probably thinking to yourself “what an idiot?” and “how can you call yourself an internet savvy mom and NOT know about” Well, I didn’t and after talking to several other parents today they didn’t either. For you “in the know” parents please keep reading because I, actually, we all, need your help!

During the course of my “browsing” I came across the profiles of several of my children’s classmates. Oddly and thankfully none of these students were close friends of my children. In fact, most of them weren’t even actually friends. Of the student profile names my children recognised they were either acquaintances or faces that they recognised and sometimes did and sometimes didn’t know their full names.

There was one profile that concerned me enough to read through months of questions and answers. The Q and A painted a picture of a 13 year old youth experiencing a year long, physically abusive dating relationship, participating in and answering questions related to oral sex and suffering repeated bullying and verbal attacks by classmates. I asked my oldest if this student was a friend and they are not. I was taken by surprise to learn that this student is considered very popular and liked by both girls and boys alike. I don’t know why that surprised me, it just did. I didn’t discuss anything I had read with my oldest (some of the questions made me blush and twice I had to look things up on google to know what the question even meant).

So now I’m disturbed and concerned. What do I do with this information? Many would say I should mind my own business while others would demand to know why I hadn’t already been knocking on the principal’s door and some would even question my reading of the Q and A.

The answer isn’t that easy because there did not appear to be any actual or implied threats of violence, even though the questions and the tone of the questions was disturbing. This student’s friends would occasionally chime in with statements of support (which were riddled with expletives) and the user would provide a retort to every innocent and hateful comment and/or question.

I found the behaviour of the profile owner strange. Responding to hateful postings is not typical social media behaviour. I don’t know enough about this website to understand if there is or isn’t a setting to block an “asker.” Popular teen sites like Facebook, MySpace and Instagram do provide this functionality and is actually often used by profile owners.

What does one do as a parent, who has no clue who this student is other than their name (because it was included with the answers), has never met the parents and isn’t even in the same grade as either one of my own children? And that right there, my hesitation, my questioning of taking action or not, based on inappropriate questions and comments to a 13 year old shouldn’t have happened and is at the very heart of why cyber bullying continues and is growing at a rapid pace.

To help me determine my course of action I turned the situation around and asked myself, would I want a stranger or a parent of one of my children’s school mates whom I had never met and didn’t even know existed, calling me to tell me about what was happening to my kid on the internet? Without thinking twice, without any hesitation there, my answer is a definitive YES!!!!! I wouldn’t like it, I would probably be somewhat defensive but I would really appreciate that call, especially if I was completely unaware of the situation. Even if I knew what was happening deep down I would be grateful that there was someone else out there who cared enough about my child to have the courage to make that call.

So my question to you is What if…? What if…we stopped looking at everyone else’s children as “someone else’s kid,” or “someone else’s responsibility” and instead looked at all kids as “all of our children?”

What if…we all took responsibility for online behaviour affecting “our children” that not only displayed blatant cause for concern but were the early seeds of discontent buried in a gut feeling?

What if…we all were courageous enough to pick up the phone and make that call to the parent we had yet to meet?

What would happen if…all of us, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, educators, law enforcement, all of us adults were to link arms, become more aware of comments, photos and social media postings of our nation’s youth and have the courage to speak up?

The lives of our children is becoming increasingly more complicated, innocence is stripped away at earlier and earlier ages and they are much more connected with one another than we can ever imagine.

What if …we as adults become just as interconnected with each other as our children are and we the collective whole were to speak up, speak out and work together to protect our children from inappropriate, concerning and bullying behaviours?

What if…one phone call from one stranger saved one child’s life?

Please, talk with your kids, any kid, about not just the website but any and all websites and the danger of social media. Talk with them about internet safety. And let them know we are ALL watching and working to keep them safe.

Stay vigilant and ready to speak up. Be brave!

Sorry to end so abruptly but I need to go because I have a phone call to make to a parent I haven’t met yet…

An Open Letter to my ex-husband’s future wife….

8 Sep

Dear Friend, Acquaintance, Future Influencer of my Children?

I just don’t know how to address this letter to you because I don’t yet know you and I hope that when I do we will somehow forge an albeit awkward friendship in the fire of parenting.

You have no idea how thrilled I am for you but you will. I am so happy that you have an opportunity to get to know my children in a way that only few have the chance to do. This is a letter to share with you some, not all, of the wonderful things about my children and to ask for you to be patient with them, respectful of them, loving, and kind. For if you are then you will experience some of the greatest love ever known!

Both of the girls are very similar and yet worlds apart in how they react to change. I hope you are already a mother, if not that’s fine you will soon learn how to be one. But I hope that you bring with you other children to grow and enrich the lives of the girls. They have always wanted a big family and the more siblings the better!

My oldest is sweet, kind, caring, often shy, a rule follower, a leader, and a soother. She will do what needs to be done to keep the peace and she will always keep your secrets close to heart. She’s quick to help and eager to learn all the while doing her best to stay out of the spot light. Oh how I long to see her shine and stand right in the center of attention. Because that’s where she deserves to be!

My youngest is also sweet, kind, caring, shy in her own way, carries the sword of justice and is just as soothing. When she flies into your arms and hugs you, there is nothing like the unencumbered and full force of her love. And when she flashes that genuine smile she rarely shares with anyone then you will almost glow with joy. She will stand up to the biggest giant to face down any wrong that’s being committed, she will rattle your brains sometimes with her tricky talk and often appear stand offish, but that’s only because she cares so very much and is afraid of being hurt.

Don’t ever hesitate to talk to me about the girls. I could go on for hours about them but I will wait for you to come to me. You should have a chance to get to know them in your own way. Don’t get me wrong…I will always be their mother and I am in no way giving that pleasure up to anyone but I am willing to share them with you as long as you share yourself with them and love the girls for who they are. I too would be your confident and will keep your secrets close.

That being said I won’t share secrets, advice or conversation with you about my ex and your now. That would not be neither right nor fair and nothing should come between your relationship with him, especially his ex wife.

I wish nothing but joy, happiness and an everlasting love for you and my ex husband. I was not that woman and everyone deserves that kind of love. I hope it is you for both of you. My ex and I both made mistakes in our marriage and we both did things well. I hope that the two of you will build on all the good and eliminate all the bad.

I will never say an unkind word to you or about you and I will do the same in regards to him. Relationships have bad days, and on those days I’m not the one to answer questions or lean on. If things are rough today remember tomorrow is a new day and a chance for improvement.

I wish you great things in your new relationship. I’m rooting for you and I know that if things are good at your home then they will be good in my children’s hearts and lives. I’m not perfect but I love my girls with all my heart. I hope you will too.

With Grace,


Alicia M. Long & Jayne J. Jones

19 Jul

Chick Lit Goddess


Alicia M. Long & Jayne J. Jones, co-authors of “Capitol Hell”

About Alicia M. Long and Jayne J. Jones:  Jayne Jones and Alicia Long, co-authors of Capitol Hell began their political careers by working for former Senator Norm Coleman (MN).

Jayne Jones, a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law, left Capitol Hill to work for the Minnesota House of Representatives, where she was the Executive Assistant to the Speaker of the House. Her favorite adventure is teaching others about the legislative process and how to draft legislation in her capacity as a political science professor at Concordia University. Jones is also in the process of starting a summer camp for teenagers interested in public policy.

Alicia Long, a South Dakota native and graduate of the University of St. Thomas School of Law, also worked for United States Senator John Thune (SD) as well as former United States Senator George…

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What This Non-Racist, White, Irish-American, Mother of 2 has Learned from the Trial of George Zimmerman and the Death of Trayvon Martin

18 Jul

I live in a pre-dominantly African-American residential area in Ohio and some of my neighbors have called me a cracker, a glow stick, many other things that I choose not to repeat and some things that are so ridiculous that I can’t even remember them. My favorites though are cracker and glow stick. I am told that the cracker reference is to the white color of Saltine Crackers and the glow stick is because “I’m so white I glow in the dark.”

I actually giggle each time I hear the word “glow stick.” I probably should be offended and outraged and who knows what else, but it’s all true! My ethnic heritage is Irish and most Irish folks are pasty white and sometimes even I believe I glow in the dark. I say all of this not to poke fun at racial slurs or because I’m any better than anyone else but because racial references are made and created no matter where we live. Of course, that doesn’t make any racial slur ok or acceptable. The mixed racial garden my neighbors and I live in has afforded me an opportunity to grow, learn and be a better person through the trial of George Zimmerman and the untimely death of Trayvon Martin.

The death of Trayvon Martin and the trial of George Zimmerman fueled through the media’s depiction of a savage racial clash (there are only two people who know the truth of that, one who had a young life cut cruelly short and the other whom will forever live his life knowing the truth) have actually taught me much about heaven, the current state of our country and how to behave during times of difficulty and earth shattering grief. I hope that we are all able to learn something from the events and devastating circumstances surrounding the trial of George Zimmerman and death of Trayvon Martin.

As a mother, I cannot imagine anything more horrible than losing one of my children and even worse losing one of them through an act of violence. I work hard to teach my daughters right from wrong, respect for all genders and ethnicities. Most days, I actually think I’m doing a pretty good job!

Someday I would like to meet Trayvon Martin’s mothers and give them a heart healing hug. I would love to ease their pain and the pain of every mother (and father) whom has ever experienced the death of a child. I appreciate the lady-like and dignified, non-accusatory way in which these women have portrayed themselves and I hope that the courage and strength they have displayed continues. Their actions in the face of grief have been admirable.

I would also like to meet George Zimmerman’s mother and hug her as well. Mrs. Zimmerman has shown decorum and self control. If my child had just been acquitted of murder I would have wanted to stand up in the courtroom and scream hallelujah, shout out loud “see I told you he wasn’t guilty” and grin from ear to ear all the while running to hug my son! But Mrs. Zimmerman did none of those things. Her relief was obvious and of course there was a glint of a mother’s smile as she watched her son be set free but there was no courtroom bravado, no gloating, no outward displays of vindication. Mrs. Zimmerman knows that her son will feel and deal with whatever really happened that awful night for the rest of his life.

As a mother, Mrs. Zimmerman knows that while she has her child to welcome home into her arms, the mother’s of Trayvon Martin do not. Brave mothers, I am so sorry for your pain! I also want to thank you for showing me and the world of women whom are watching you the right way to lean in and work through grief.

I have always wondered what heaven would look like. Even more so than the surroundings, I have oft been curious what “WE” would look like in heaven. How odd that George Zimmerman’s trial would reveal heaven to me.

Upon laying in bed the night of George Zimmerman’s acquittal I envisioned how we would look in heaven. I now believe that when we “see” each other in heaven, as we walk amongst God and the angels, that we will not see any particular body shape, I don’t think we will see or recognize gender and I definitely don’t believe there will be any acknowledgement of race or ethnicity.

I believe that we will experience each other for the gifts and abilities God has given us and that we will finally be able to look beyond male or female, past Black, White, Hispanic, Asian , Indian or any other ethnicity. I don’t know why I couldn’t see that vision before or why I am suddenly able to see it now. Whatever the reason, for me, this new thought of heaven has brought some peace.

Even with this newfound peace and my respect and awe for the mothers of both Trayvon and George, equally I am awed, correction, outraged, at our country and the blatant disregard for her laws. I’m not referring to any acts of violence or uproar in the face of the verdict but to the potential Department of Justice’s inquiry into the Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman case itself.

We are a nation of laws and rules. Our jury system is one of those “laws and rules” in which I have a firm belief and trust. Of course, we don’t always agree on various verdicts and that is our right as a nation of free people, but just because we don’t agree doesn’t make the system wrong. What I’m referring to is Double Jeopardy.

Our justice system provides for defendants to be free of double jeopardy, in other words being retried for the same crime one was acquitted of. Yet, because so many disagree with the verdict there is an outcry for the DOJ to retry George Zimmerman in a federal court room. How is that not creating a loophole around the rules of Double Jeopardy?

I sincerely hope the DOJ stays out of this case and allows this great nation to heal. I fear that if George Zimmerman was to be retried in federal court by the DOJ that we would no longer be living in a democracy and would be creeping ever so closely toward a dictatorship of and by but not for the “people.” That is not the country I live in nor love.

I’m also disappointed at how the media continues to stir up controversy of this case in the minutes, hours and days following the verdict by manipulating our delicate feelings about race. I have read more often than not about George Zimmerman the “White Hispanic.” The what???

I wonder how different the news reports might be if the media never put the word “white” before the word Hispanic and merely referred to George Zimmerman as “a Hispanic,” or God forbid never mentioned race at all. Would the emotional reactions be the same? Would the media ever dare to label someone a “White African-American?” It’s absurd and manipulative the way the media refers to various ethnicities and I am offended! In the title to this post I intentionally used the descriptor “White Irish American.”

Does it matter that I’m white? Is it important that you know I’m Irish? Does it make a difference in reading my blog that I’m an American? Do you care that I am female? Can’t I just be me?

Which brings me to my last point and then I will step off my cracker box. Why does it matter that the jury was made up of all females? Had the jury been comprised of all males and the same verdict was handed down would the jury as a whole and the jurors as individuals been granted the same amount of outrage, righteous indignation and scrutiny?

I love being female but I’m getting really tired of being a pioneer. My gender shouldn’t cause you to hold me to a different standard or for women to be held accountable regarding every action and move we make and every decision we come to just because we are female. Our great female ancestors have fought that fight. I thought we were all better than that in 2013!

I’m proud of the person I am today. I live with truth, integrity and work hard. I don’t think I’ve ever woken up in the morning thinking to myself; “Come on white girl, let’s get up and take on the day!” I’m just grateful I can still get up in the morning and that I have another day to take on.

I wish that Trayvon Martin had had another day. I wish George Zimmerman had made different choices that night and that he could awaken to a new day before that awful night. I hope that George Zimmerman will make better choices in the future. We cannot erase the past and while the past undoubtably affects us, it does not have to DEFINE US. Moving forward we can learn, we can grow and we can love the “human beings” we live and currently walk amongst.

Now, go turn on a light because Glow Stick is stepping down from her cracker box.

It’s REAL SIMPLE for me to remember the last time I cried tears of Joy!

1 Jul

A Busy Momma answers Real Simple Magazine’s July Question: “When Was the Last Time You Cried Tears of Joy?”

I can vividly recall the last time I cried tears of joy, of course it could be that it was only a mere three weeks ago. It could also be right now because every time I recall this moment it doesn’t take long for the water works to start a flowin! Before I tell you the “what” that made me cry you need to know the “why” that led up to this moment.

When this past school year started my two daughters, then ages 9 and 11, were transitioning from a small catholic grade school with only 46 children in each of their grades into a large public school system with over 300 children in each grade. To make matters worse only 4 days before school started my divorce was finalized following a 13 year tumultuous marriage and two year long divorce to their father.

My 9 year old was starting 4th grade and my 11 year old was starting middle school in the 6th grade. Each of my daughters is amazing in her own way and I could write equal novels about their unending love, kindness and bravery! The most recent moment of overflowing pride and joy involves my oldest daughter, Kate.

Kate has always been a remarkable child. She instinctively knows and follows the rules, achieves straight A’s (not easily, but with hard work), plays three sports and plays on a travel team in the fall and summer months. Often I refer to her as courageous and calming Kate. She is quick to step in when someone is hurting, lends a helping hand at home and school, and doesn’t hesitate to do the right thing even when faced with adversity. Kate has always been this way and nothing changed about her behavior when she changed schools. She remained a straight A student, adored by her new classmates and successfully avoided falling into any one clique. Kate is everyone’s best friend.

Yet not once was Kate ever recognized as student of the month or afforded any recognition at her first school. Not once from kindergarten through 5th grade. And because she is who she is there was never a comment made by her about the lack of acknowledgement. One would think that with only 46 children in her grade level that she would have been recognized at least once!

On the last day of school all parents were invited to attend a 6th grade assembly to review the first year of middle school. During the assembly several awards were given to recognize students who had achieved excellence in their studies. Kate received distinguished honors (GPA of 4.0) and was the top language arts student. While enormously proud of her, that wasn’t what brought tears to my eyes.

It was when one of the teachers stood up and began talking about the student who was recognized out of 300 peers for the citizenship award. This student, the teacher said, was remarkable. They observed this child in the cafeteria always make room at the table for anyone looking for a place to sit down. This child stopped in the hallway and helped pick up books that had fallen from a classmate’s hands and kicked about the hallway. This student always participated, this person was competitive in PE but kind. This student always had a kind word, a hug and a helping hand for a teacher or student regardless of peer pressure. This student, who has always been true to themselves from the start of kindergarten through the end of 6 th grade, who has never changed in personality and who had never recognized in a class of 46 now stood out like a beacon of hope and light amidst a class of over 300. That student was my daughter Kate. And as they called her name and her classmates erupted into cheers, she stood up and before walking to the stage to accept her award she stopped and turned to look at me and said, “thank you mom, I Love you.”

Thank goodness for waterproof mascara and pocket tissues! Thank you Kate for being you and affording me tears of joy to replace the rivers I’ve cried in sorrow. Kate is a true citizen not of only her school, but of the world. I hope you all get to meet her someday and know my courageous and caring Kate!



Busy Momma last weekend

21 Jun


“Do You Feel Safe at Home?” The question every abused woman dreads being asked and the time I finally told the truth!

21 Jun

Every person, especially a woman, who goes to an emergency room for treatment is asked the same question, “Do you feel safe at home?” Thankfully, many women are able to answer this question with an honest and definitive “Yes!” But for a victim of abuse and especially one who has been treated at the ED in the past for her injuries this question and the answer to it is both dreaded and anticipated. And unfortunately, her answers are rarely truthful.

Some abused women come into the ER with visible signs of the trauma inflicted upon her. Others arrive bearing invisible scars, deeply buried bruises beneath the surface of her skin and a broken and battered spirit that will never show up on any x-ray film. Regardless of the seen or unseen wounds from her abuser they are there and no, she isn’t safe at home.

The answer to the question of safety seems so easy to someone that has never suffered a blow from her significant other or has been berated and controlled for so long that she no longer recognizes the abuse is even occurring. For whatever reason these women present their conditions at the ER, they have carefully calculated their answers and reasonable explanations to their injuries and sickness. Many of these women long to say , “NO, NO, NO, I am NOT safe at home” and wonder to themselves how could these healers really believe that she continues to “fall down the stairs” or that she is just sick so often because she puts herself last? But, these women typically bow their heads, drudge up whatever courage they have and say in a quiet voice, “Yes, I am safe at home” while never making eye contact just in case their healer sees through their mask of pain and deceit.

How do I know this is how an abused woman feels and answers? I know, because I was that woman. Oh, I never went to the ER with a broken bone or visible scars from my abuse (and how so often I wished for those outward and visible clues to my hidden life) but there were many an ER trip because of severe migraines, horrible intestinal pain from diverticulitis, or the flu that finally took me down, all as a direct result from the controlling, obsessive, and verbal demeaning abuse my now ex-husband had been dishing out. So for me, I justified my untruthful answer of “Yes” by telling myself that I hadn’t been physically beaten or broken and convinced myself that my “Yes” was an honest reply.

I have been divorced for almost a year now. I didn’t realize until last night when I was rushed to the ER with suspected appendicitis how long it had been since I had actually been a patient in the emergency department. Before my divorce and during my 13 years of marriage I was a fairly regular patient, at least 3-4 times a year. Yesterday was the first time I had been in the ER in over 12 months! Some may laugh at that and call me a hypochondriac, others may say I should have taken better care of myself, but my sisters hiding in the shadows of their abusers will all relate to the frequency of visits and many may applaud the length of time since I was last seen by an ER Physician.

During the ambulance ride I had little time to think between throwing up and answering the incessant questions by the extremely kind paramedics. I was in so much physical pain that I actually didn’t contemplate my answer to the safety question. In fact, when the kind eyed nurse bent down to ask me ever so softly, “Did I Feel Safe At Home?” I was so taken aback that I had to ask her to repeat it. And when she did, an amazing thing happened, it was almost like being in a dreamscape from a movie. I looked up at her and for the first time in over 10 years, yes, 10 years, I answered her question with 100% honesty. My answer was “YES! I DO finally feel safe at home!” That was perhaps the first time I came nose to nose with how bad things had actually been in my marriage and how wonderfully far I had come. In just under 12 months I was no longer constantly sick, really really sick and that I really was safe at home.

I left the ER that same night. Fortunately I didn’t have a ruptured appendix, I did have a ruptured ovarian cyst which has very similar pain and symptoms. And the whole way home not once did I dread going home because I now knew that my home was safe and would allow me to heal.

To the woman, child and the man who is being abused in any way I want to hug you, to encourage you and to shout out loud for you to anyone who will listen. Most especially I want to encourage you the next time (and there will be a next time) you are asked “Do you feel safe at home” to answer honestly and to say “NO I don’t.” You can be free of the secrecy, pain and scarring of your life. And, there is nothing like being honest, especially when you can finally answer the dreaded question with a YES! Call me, I will hold your hand the whole time. The first honest answer (when you finally say no) is the hardest, the second time you answer honestly (with a yes) is earth shattering. I believe in you, you CAN do it, trust me!

My daughters are driving me nuts with the Harlem Shake

17 Mar

I can’t take anymore Harlem Shake You Tube videos so I decided to combat them with humour by asking my daughters the following questions (FYI they have stopped playing the you tube videos)

1. If there’s an earthquake in Harlem would it be a Harlem Shake

2. If I shake your hand in Harlem would it be a Harlem Shake

3. If I have a seizure in Harlem would it be a Harlem Shake (not making fun of seizures, I have epilepsy and sometimes you have to add humour)

4. If James Bond orders a martini in Harlem would it be Harlem Shaken not stirred

5. If I drink a milkshake in Harlem would it be a Harlem Shake

Come on and add your #Harlemshake Humour if you are tired of the hype!


Comparing Baseball to Gymnastics is like comparing Hamburgers to Coffee

12 Mar

Today, Brad Smith, President and CEO of Intuit, posted an article on LinkedIn comparing baseball players to gymnasts. Well, in all fairness it wasn’t so much as comparing baseball players to gymnasts as much as it was suggesting that one should “Think like a Baseball Player, Not a Gymnast” (FYI, that is the actual name of the article ). Brad’s premise is that in life and business we should not be rewarded for excellence assuming greatness to start and deductions for failing to achieve a perfect score, but rather build on the failures of striking out and improving our RBI’s through failure. From reading the article and not knowing anything about Brad and his involvement with sports I’m guessing he was never a competitive gymnast nor has children participating in gymnastics or he does and he’s well over them not succeeding in the sport. Comparing the sport of baseball to gymnastics and using that comparison in the business world is as ridiculous as forming a comparison between hamburgers and coffee.

Brad begins by stating that the gymnast’s goal is to “…avoid making any mistakes.” And further comments that “…the most successful people in business have learned and grown the most from making mistakes.” He uses the Hall of Fame Honoree, Ted Williams, and his best season batting average of .406 (not getting a hit or striking out 6 out of 10 times) as an example to us on succeeding through consistent failure. He goes on to state that the pillars of business success approach life and work like a baseball player who steps up to the plate tries to “make contact and try to get on base and when the time presents itself, swing for the fences.” He admits that more times than not you will be unsuccessful “…but when you do connect, the runners advance and the team will win.”

I do not disagree with the tenor of the article suggesting we learn from our mistakes, show up and give it our all and that when the stars, skill and practice align the outcome is success birthed from past failures. What I do disagree with is his suggestions that this is not what happens in gymnastics and the underlying themes that gymnastics as a sport isn’t of value and motivation in life.

Personally, I would welcome a gymnast on my sales team any day of the week and a baseball player, hockey player, soccer goalie, point guard or any individual previously involved in competitive sports. Regardless of the scoring method during a competition, game or season, being involved in sports trains one for success in any walk of life. No gymnast steps up to the balance beam and performs handsprings , flawless balance and a stuck dismount without countless hours of practice and repeated and often physically painful mistakes.

What a competitive gymnast does do in competition that few if no other athletes do is approach each meet with a fearless and fierce desire and ability to win based on untold hours of practice. The gymnast knows there is no second chance to make the first impression, that the difference between misjudging a centimeter is the difference between excellence and literally falling flat on your face in front of an audience and judges, concentration and focus amid chaos is crucial, how to compensate for an error in a split second, taking risks, outperforming your competition by utilizing advanced skills and techniques is tantamount to success, and that winning isn’t an average because you have to bring your best each and every time you compete!

I wonder what Ron Retton, the father of Mary Lou Retton, would think after reading Brad Smith’s article. After all Mr. Retton, who played basketball with Jerry West at West Virginia and later was a shortstop in the NY Yankees’ farm system knows a bit about both baseball and gymnastics. In 1961 Ron Retton was 5th in the league for runs, trailing Pete Rose Sr.and is the father of Mary Lou Retton the first Female US Gymnast to receive the Gold Medal in the Olympics for the All-Around in 1984. I imagine that Mary Lou’s dad just might smirk at the thought of baseball players being the icons for success in the business world based on their hitting percentage, penchant for being “average” and striking out me often than getting on base. He might think back on the potentially career ruining and possible Olympic Dream killing knee surgery that Mary Lou underwent a mere 6 weeks before her Olympic Debut, perfect 10 vault and gold earning, sport changing Olympic Competition.

Yes, baseball is a tough sport built on failures and percentages, but I think I would prefer the fearless gymnast who brings his or her “A game” ever single time!

Teachers on Strike or is it Educational Terrorism

5 Mar

Yesterday (Monday, March 4, 2013) over 600 teachers went on strike in Strongsville, Ohio (an affluent Cleveland Suburb). I have no details of the demands, requests or reasons behind the strike. I have always believed in the right for folks to join a union and en masse demonstrate their dislike of certain policies, wages, etc and that includes teachers. A teacher strike to parents ( and I have 2 school aged children) is frightening especially in light of recent horrifying school violence throughout the nation.

But what I do NOT believe in is a disgruntled group of individuals whom are responsible for educating our children impeding that education and teaching our children to retaliate. That isn’t a strike. When teachers are taking school property, telling our youth to be openly disrespectful to the substitute teachers, and stealing (unless you bought it taking something that doesn’t belong to you is stealing) classroom textbooks that’s Educational Terrorism!

Today I spoke with a retired school teacher who has walked in the halls of the Strongsville schools yesterday and today as a substitute teacher. She was at an area drugstore trying to buy white chalk. Why? Because the striking teachers have taken all of the chalk and erasers from the chalkboards, they took all the computer keyboards and any and all classroom textbooks that were not in a students desk! You might need to read that part again, I know I had to ask this woman to repeat herself because I just couldn’t believe it! Yet, here she was trying to buy white chalk for the classroom she was subbing in so that the students could learn. Thank you dear teacher!

My best friend and her husband are veteran teachers in the Cleveland Public School System and should a strike ever occur there I cannot imagine those teachers stealing school property and impeding a child’s education! Those teachers know the power of education.

Teachers deserve higher pay, I do not deny that. But with the starting salary of a Strongsville Teacher at $38,000 and the average tenured educator with a salary topping $68,000 per school year it becomes more difficult to justify a strike. Yes, they probably should be paid more. Yes, most if not all teachers purchase classroom supplies out of their own pockets with no expectation of reimbursement. Yes, they had every right to take with them those items that they purchased, received as gifts and were owned by them. What they don’t have is the right to steal.

This is a greater issue than theft of property. This is an issue of what these supposed educators are teaching our children and how they are teaching our children to respond to disagreements and crisis.

Here is what the Striking Strongsville Teachers taught our youth today:

1. Might makes right.
2. It’s ok to disrespect authority.
3. Stealing is ok, it’s especially ok when you don’t like or you disagree with the person you are stealing from.
4. Bullying is an acceptable behavior.
5. You don’t have to come to school if you don’t feel like it.
6. But the worst lesson of all is these teachers just taught their students that they and their education are not valued by their teachers.

Shame on you you so called educators. Shame on you for teaching our children that disagreement can be overcome by bullying, disrespect and theft.

If I was the superintendent and the School Board I would fire everyone of you that stole school property and told the children to disobey authority.

There are amazing teachers at Strongsville whom are required to strike as a member of the union, there are teachers who didn’t utter words to their students encouraging poor behavior and those that didn’t unlawfully take school property. Those teachers should remain. But to the others their teaching certificates should be revoked for LIFE!

Educational Terrorism should have a Zero Tolerance Policy!

What I learned from meeting #Jack Dorsey Tonight

28 Feb


Meeting Jack Dorsey 2/28/2013

Tonight I had the rare privilege of meeting a man truly ahead of his time. I was one of 5 contest winners, through a #askjack contest sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic, that were given the chance to have a 30 minute private meeting with Jack Dorsey, the creator of Twitter and the merchant credit card system called Square.

I went into the meeting with pride and a bit of gloating. I mean hey, how many people get the opportunity to meet Jack Dorsey or as many refer to him, the Spiritual Successor to Steve Jobs. I had friends that were jealous, happy for me and some that think a tweet is only the sound a bird makes and could have cared less. But when I left the meeting and sat through the blink of an eye hour presentation on innovation he gave at The Cleveland Clinic I was humbled and embarrassed by my prideful thoughts.

Of the 5 contest winners I was the oldest by 20 years! I found that somewhat funny seeing how the current majority of twitter users are over age 30. Me? I am 42. The other 4 comprised of a young medical student who flew in from Boston, a Case Western reserve student, a recent college grad and a young lady soon to graduate from college. All 4 of them have only recently started using twitter with me as both senior in age and experience having used Twitter for years.

Jack spent time talking to each one of us and answering our questions. What I found intriguing and refreshing was that he looked at you, and I mean right at you and talked to you as if there was not a single other soul in the room! Here is the man who created the social network that only allows you to use 140 characters or less to say something and he appeared to talk with you for hours on end and never run out of things to say.

Jack is a completely unassuming, brilliant, humble and respectful individual. He has a deep respect and gratitude for his mother and an unyielding and overwhelming need to unite the world. Jack is a visionary, asking for results that he only expects of himself. Never before tonight had I ever considering computer programmers and IT people to be artists. Tonight my whole perspective changed. What Jack does is truly an art form and it’s beautiful!

He has the long, graceful fingers of a world class pianist and instead of black and white ivory keys, Jack’s music is played on a black and white computer keyboard that he has mastered like a virtuoso.

Tonight Jack spoke of his youth in St. Louis, MO where at the age of 11 he became infatuated with walking and walked all over the city, a passion he still has today. Jack finds inspiration in movement and will have long conversations while walking with friends, employees, potential employees, family and often with only himself for company. He walks the office halls, local parks , hikes trails and through this movement he finds creativity and inspiration.

Jack spoke of the Twitter naysayers. Speaking to those individuals who criticize one tweeting what they had for dinner, where they went or in his case how every morning he tweets what he has for breakfast. While I have at times belonged in that group of individuals wondering why I need to know when someone is going to sleep, after hearing Jack’s reasoning for such tweets, I will never question those folks again and may even start doing more of that myself. This man, this gentle spirit who while online communicates in short sentences and URL’s counters his critics by saying “we have lost the small pieces of life. The pieces that make us human, make us individuals. Through twitter we connect with our own and the global humanity”. He shared why he tweets what he has for breakfast and it was touching. His mother is always concerned about him, as we mothers are when it comes to our children. She wants to know that he has eaten breakfast, that he is eating healthy and that he is still alive. His mother follows him on twitter. Through Twitter Jack reveals this small piece of his morning life thus, she has no need to worry.

Jack has an amazing belief in people, he is truthful in a surprising way and appears to believe that all of us are 100% truthful too. The thought that he would falsely tweet that he ate cereal for breakfast when indeed he skipped breakfast all-together doesn’t even seem to cross his mind. I am so glad that there are still people like that in the world and that those people are responsible for shaping the world we live in.

Your mother should be so proud of you Jack and you should be so proud of her too for raising such a fine young man. The honesty that Jack embodies is evident when he states that the job of the individuals at Twitter is to “make sure people can take action on information that is most relevant to them.”

Jack went on to share his vision behind creating the smart phone merchant application Square and personal pay system called Wallet. He designed Square to be a simple application that is affordable from the small proprietor to the gigantic coffee house known as Starbucks. Square charges the same processing fee (considerably less than traditional credit card services) to merchants on a per transaction basis regardless of the amount, credit card etc. By doing this a merchant will always know exactly what the cost is for each transaction every time in real time. Why create such a system? Because, Jack said “money is a concept that touches everyone on the planet. Money has caused every person at least once in their lifetime if not more to feel bad about money.” And he wanted to create something that helps to eliminate or minimize those bad feelings.

On the horizon Square and Wallet will soon be able to assist you and merchants through facial recognition and buying habits by displaying your name, your photo and your typical purchase order on the device they use to run Square and Wallet. It sounds scary at first and almost 1984 George Orwellian, but the possibilities are endless.

How nice would it be to have the Barista at Starbucks greet you by your name? Or how about the possibility of engineering this technology to assist folks with either a hearing, seeing, or speech disorder? What if this was technology that could assist with recognizing and locating a lost loved one suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s ? What about those Amber Alerts where you could assist in locating a missing child through this type of recognition. The responsibilities are great but the possibilities are endless. I have little fear of this type of technology while it’s in the hands of Jack Dorsey.

This man whom much has been given embodies the truth that much is required. He views himself as an artist not an entrepreneur. He believes that creativity is the foundation of innovation and that that creativity must be fostered. He feels a great responsibility to support the youth of today , especially those youths without opportunity for he knows that they are our future.

When asked about the comparisons between himself and Steve Jobs and the oft repeated comments that he is Jobs’ Spiritual Successor, Jack pauses and bows his head and is humbled. He says that he has learned many things from Steve Jobs, but of all the things he has learned the greatest ideal he learned from Jobs was “You Don’t Follow Someone Else’s Footsteps, You Go Your Own Way.”

Well, Mr. Dorsey you are certainly going your own way, but I hope you don’t mind if I go your way too.


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