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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Sign of the Times

Just another example of how EVERYTHING is online now. I belong to several clubs for various types of things from animal breed clubs to writing, and where I used to get newsletters from as many as twenty of them a month, now I get e-news letters. I hate to say it, as much as I love the electronic age and computers, I miss the paper newsletters. Some were just simple a few stapled sheets of typed information, some were quite elaborate and indepth... and all of them were watched for in the mail box each month. Yes, I'm a paper freak. I like to save all of the newsletters and magazines I get too. It creates a vast library... now I have to copy and paste to my hard drive... print it off if I want a hard copy. :( Not as nice. I understand it saves a great deal of paper, postage and such, for the clubs, but I miss my old newsletters in the mailbox.

The First Word In Advertising

I write a lot about marketing, and sales, and all the various techniques involved, but the mainstay of any good marketing plan is well laid out business cards. Hand them out to EVERYBODY you come in contact with. Have them as handy as your cell phone and any other constantly used piece of equipment you normally use. Put them in your wallet by your cash. Have them in your pockets. In the side of your purse. Anywhere you can think of where you can easily, casually grab one as you introduce yourself to people you meet. They're effective and constant. They've been the premier source of marketing for years and will always be the one 'old standby' that will never go out of style.

Everyday Supahstar

When I think about working from home, for me it means a lot of different things that what it may mean to some. One of the HUGE benefits for so many, that I don't really take into consideration is the ability to stay home with their children while still earning money for their households. I admire those peole so much. It takes so much ore concentration to work with young children about.

Stephanie is just such a person. Her 'Home With The Kids' blog is inspirational to me, not only for the fun to read articles and insight to a life other than my own, but because she is doing what I consider to be a Herculean task--staying home with the kids and doing right by them while STILL managing to contribute to the family income.

I LOVE her post on 'Talking With Your Children'. So often we're so busy we simply say 'yes' or 'no', or tell them what to do, or what something is without really sitting down and explaining the reasoning, or whys, or asking them what they think about something so that we can get a better understanding of how they think and understand their world that is so confusing to young minds trying to come to grips with adult perspectives. The articles on Stephanie's blogs are 'must reads' for parents of young children, and me, I'm a grandmother and I've come to have a better perspective, I think, on how to interact with my grandkids that I wish I'd had with my own children. It's never too late to improve your parenting skills, even if it skips a generation. I really appreciate the thoughts and insights gained from reading Stephanie's blog.

Even simple things like her chronicling of education broadening experiments like this week's 'experiment with yeast' are thought proking posts that help me think of ways that everyday things that I do can be used to help expand my own grandkids lives and knowledge.

Great blog Stephanie. You're an everyday supahstar in my book!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Get Over The Fear, and Get Help

One of the hardest things for an alcoholic, or drug addict to do is ask for help. Once they realize they do indeed have a problem, they are often confronted with the fear of being institutionalized. That's not the case now with the wonderful treatment centers available to everyone who needs help. Drug rehab at a reliable facility with caring well trained staff is paramount to recovering from a serious addiction. If you, or someone you know has a drug problem, let them know there is help, and show them where to find it.

More Money Than Sense

I was reading just a bit ago about the abundance of luxery homes in foreclosure and 'pre'-forclosure. What I don't understand is why we feel we need four thousand square foot homes for two or three people. I see them, even now in this supposed economic hard time, with homes being foreclosed on by the thousands, being built even in our small towns. When builders put up houses now, they don't even bother with those silly little homes like we grew up in as kids... you know, the normal houses. Nope, they go for the gold. The huge mansion style houses that sell for several hundred thousand at least depending on land values of the area you're living in. I asked my husband just the other day as we drove through the countryside on our way up to town for groceries... WHY? Who NEEDS a house that big? Typically it's a husband/wife and maybe a couple kids and a dog. What kind of 'Jones' do we have to keep up with now that we are buying homes that cost more than we could possibly make in eight years total? Why would anyone really want a house that big anyway? Right now I'm living in the house that we lived in with our two kids before they moved out. So at the moment it's just my husband and me in a 1500 foot ranch w/basement house. It has three bedrooms and one bath on the ranch level. In the basement there's a half bath no one ever used even when the kids were here, and a huge I guess family room, although there's one upstairs too, that no one ever used... and the laundry room. Okay we used that. LOL But the house is too big for just Bob and I now really. We barely use the main floor. No one ever goes in the family room anymore, and the basement may as well not exist... and this is a NORMAL sized house. I think Americans as a whole need to step back and really think about what they're throwing their money away on... money they don't even have apparently.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Great Cover Up

I love blinds as coverings for my windows and just about every window in our house has them. They're kind of a pain to buy though and if you just go to the local Wal-Mart you're not going to get the best selection either. I like the selection on places like Blinds Chalet, but not only that they have really helpful advice on how to measure, and get just what you want in window coverings.

Holy Cow--it's a girl.

My friend's cow FINALLY had it's calf! What a cutie it is too. And a girl, just what my friend was hoping for. She has Dexter cattle which are really small (so perfect for my idea of a good homestead cow) dual purpose cows. They have much more beefy frames than the average dairy cow, yet still support a good dairy udder with plenty of milk for an average family. They're also a very beautiful black (they also come in 'dun' variety which is sort of redish brown, but I prefer the black) and look like mini angus cattle. This is the first baby I've ever seen of the Dexter type cows though and they are just adorable!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A new frontier

Scientists are still trying to find other inhabitable planets. A part of me thinks, how exciting, what a cool idea. Of course I doubt in my lifetime people will just be able to pick up and move to another planet, I sort of wish that were the case. Kind of like as simple as highering a mover and packing up everything, and having it shipped to the new location, then hopping on a plane and arriving at your new home. Sounds cool right? Lots of 'new frontier' to explore. The thing is, we haven't even learned to manage THIS planet well, and live civily with each other yet. I sure hope the new planet they find doesn't have any current residents, things didn't work out too well for the Indians in America, or any other indiginous tribes in other countries when settlers moved in.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

When things feel wrong even when they're right

Kind of a bummer week this week. Did you ever have one of those weeks where everything just felt wrong even when it was right? For instance, I sold one of my horses this week. It was a good thing. We need to cut down, and the money is a good thing, but it feels so empty even though I have plenty of horses. I also sprained my ankle not doing anything at all. It was cold... not mid-winter cold, well a couple days were, but overall, typical April end of winter type cold but it was a bummer after having 70 degree temps so often in the few weeks before it that it was just a toss back to winter blues. It's starting to warm up just a bit again, maybe things will feel better.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Supahstar Saturday--Deb's Surviving NJ

Yes, yes, I know it's Sunday. I seem to always remember the Supahstar Saturday meme one or two days late. I don't do them if it's too late, but hey... one day, come on.

Deb is a great gal loves the sense of community she gets from blogging, and sharing her life that is 'Surviving NJ'. You can even read about her unique response to the first time her husband ever said 'I love you' when they were dating. Very original Deb. Check it out and be prepared to be amused as you travel through NJ and get a load of Deb's life.

Sit Awhile and Chat a Spell

My husband, Bob, and I travel a lot to shows all around the Midwest. When we go we bring a ton of gear with us to set up a 'tack' stall complete with complimentary coffee and such tables. Our trailers dressing room is crammed full of supplies that get unloaded and loaded with every stop. It's a lot of fun though. Decorating the stalls with our banners, and drapes that I made myself, and setting up a professional looking tack room with displays of pictures all around of previous wins. The most talked about feature of any set up though, ours or anyone else's at the shows is the break tables where farms offer coffee and such. It's not even so much what is offered. We usually have coffee in a big 50 cup percolator, and some sort of treat like doughnuts, or cookies. We also have a hot plate and gridle for cooking breakfast that we are happy to share with anyone up when we make our breakfast. The folding tables that contain the various farm's offerings are the stuff post-show chatter is all about. Not what was on them, but the fun had around them. Sitting there in the morning with a cup of coffee gabbing about the chores to be done to get ready for the show that day. Sitting there during the show when you don't have a class with a horse's lead rope in one hand, a can of soda in the other, and friends around to comment on the goings on in the ring. Relaxing after the days classes with a nice cold soda or beer, and laughing and talking.

Shows are about more than just competing, and who wins and loses... they're about friendship and fun and it all happens around those little tables.

Happy April--well mostly

Hey, it's April 1st! April fools day! You know what that means? Two things... first off my anniversary isn't far away. It's easy to remember. EVEN MY HUSBAND CAN'T FORGET IT. He might like to after 24 years, but he can't.... why? Because it comes the day after one of the most memorable days for Americans of the year--tax day. Yep, it's April. The month of taxes, and the month of my anniversary. On the 15th, the taxman cometh, and on the 16th we celebrate twenty-four years of happy marriage. Yes... really, they have been very happy.