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Made in the USA.

February 28th, 2009 by stephanie

Nowadays when we hear about America, we tend to only hear about how we are not appreciated or perceived well abroad. Celebrities (who have made their millions off of the American Dream and capitalism) speak negatively about who we are and how we operate.  So I got to thinking and as usual, did a bit of research. 

I for one, am pretty proud of the American Way.  For centuries, people rode horses and in carriages and worked by candlelight.  It wasn’t until America was born that things began to change for the better. Not only here, but internationally.  Take the inventions alone on our native soil for example. Here are a few things on that American resume:

       The Submarine

       The Cotton Gin

       The Coffee Pot

       The Steamboat

       The Panama Canal

       The Sewing Machine

       Power Tools

       The Telegraph

       The Passenger Elevator

       The Typewriter

       The Telephone

       The Phonograph

       The Escalator

       The Zipper

       The Dishwasher

       Air Conditioning

       The Airplane

       The Television


       The Polio Vaccine

       The Video Game

       The Space Shuttle

       The Hubble Telescope


And we wonder why people still want to come here? God Bless America.

My home, sweet home.



Are You Heading in the Right Direction.

February 27th, 2009 by stephanie

I was skimming over an incoming spam email, but realized that it actually contained some information that I found quite valuable. So much so, that I printed it off and revisit the words as I can. Since they are helpful to me, thought I’d share them with you.


The message of the email started off with this: The very worst waste of time is doing something very well that need not be done at all.


Ouch. If that’s not wisdom to ponder.


The message went on to discuss the four steps to high productivity.


  1. Set clear goals and objectives in writing.  Think through them carefully before you begin.  What are you trying to do?  How are you trying to do it?  Whenever you experience frustration of any kind, go back to these questions: What are you trying to do?  How are you trying to do it?
  2. Create a detailed plan of action for achieving the goal.  This answers the question. How are you trying to do it?  When you have done this, you will have the answers to what and how, something that very few people ever take the time to think through.
  3. Set clear priorities with activities organized in a hierarchy of value and importance to the desired result, with the 80/20 rule applied over and over again, day by day, hour by hour, before you embark on any task or activity.
  4. Single-minded concentration on the highest-paid off task leading to the goal is a must.  This is the key to getting things done.  There are real benefits from learning how to concentrate.  For one, important task completion is a source of energy and enthusiasm and self-esteem. Incompletion or only partial completion of major tasks is not only a major source of stress, but it also has no motivational power.  When you complete a task that’s important to you, you feel a burst of energy and well-being.  But when you work on something that is unimportant, even if you complete it in a timely fashion, you get no feeling of satisfaction.


A final thought: Another benefit of concentrating on the job until it is finished is that task completion gives you confidence, competence and a feeling of mastery.


Well, if that isn’t some great advice for the upcoming month, I don’t know what is.


Go get ‘em!



February 25th, 2009 by stephanie

The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world. Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice. But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice.

– Henry Knox Sherrill

February 25th, 2009 by stephanie

If Easter says anything to us today, it says this: You can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there. You can nail it to a cross, wrap it in winding sheets and shut it up in a tomb, but it will rise!

– Clarence W. Hall


February 25th, 2009 by stephanie

If you are Catholic, you most likely are familiar with the terms. Those of us outside the papal realm of spirituality have no idea what the words mean let alone how to properly say them. Basically, welcome to the season of Lent.

Today is Ash Wednesday and for those of you feeling a little left out, here is a quick run down for you on it’s relevance:

– The first day of lent

– Also known as Day of Ashes (dies cinerum, day of ashes, in the Roman Missal)

– The Wednesday after Quinquagesima Sunday (50 days before Easter)

– Ashes are made from burned palm fronds (leftovers from last year’s Palm Sunday)

– Ash Wednesday is forty days before Good Friday

– Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation

– Is the day after Shrove Tuesday

There. Feeling smarter already? Now. The significance to your daily life. Here’s the deal. In the Bible, Ashes signify mourning. And too, when in angst, people would tear their clothes and put ashes on their head (i.e.:1 Samuel 4:12, Esther 4:1).

Ashes also symbolize how the sinner feels when he stands before and acknowledges the all-just God.

And too, there is a verse in the book of Genesis that reminds us of the shortness of our lives, “”Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.”

So there you have it. Ash Wednesday brings to remembrance these things:
1. You and I are sinners (saved by the action of Christ on the cross)
2. God is all powerful, just, and holy.
3. Life is short. Make the most of it. Not just physically, and mentally, but spiritually.

May you take this next 40 days of Lent to think perhaps on these very things. With that, if you see folks today with a dark smudge on their foreheads (in the shape of a cross), you will at least now not walk up to them and say, “Hey, you have something on your forehead.” 


February 23rd, 2009 by stephanie

Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked,”Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him”

Matthew 2:1,2

February 23rd, 2009 by stephanie

If there is one thing upon this earth that mankind love

and admire better than another, it is a brave man, — it is

the man who dares to look the devil in the face and tell

him he is a devil.  –  James A. Garfield

February 21st, 2009 by stephanie

It is better by noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half the evils we anticipate than to remain in cowardly listlessness for fear of what might happen.


Herodotus (485 – 425BC) – Greek Historian

February 21st, 2009 by stephanie

The world isn’t interested in the storms you encountered, but whether or not you brought in the ship. — Raul Armesto

So, I Have This Idea…

February 21st, 2009 by stephanie

A wonderful mentor of mine used to say to me, “Talk processes. Not people.”  I always thought that was so smart. And such great advice.  When I would be very frustrated, I would remember those words and try to default to that idea. Rather than talk about the people that were being unreasonable or driving me crazy, I would work to focus on the process at hand.  How best to address it. What needed to work better. Could we change it?  Could we fix it?


Then I came across this little saying:


Great minds discuss ideas;

Average minds discuss events;

Small minds discuss people.


It’s so true.  I have met people that live small lives, and I don’t mean simple lives.  There are just people –you know the ones. They really aren’t too in tune with the rest of the world. When you are in conversation with them, you will find they do tend to talk more about people. Rather than current events. And rarely are they up for discussing new ideas.


I knew a couple that seemed to tell and re-tell the same stories.  The memories revolved around a certain few time periods and were usually about a certain group of people.  They rarely moved on from these stories, events, and people in all the years that I knew them.  It wasn’t until one of them died that I finally heard new stories. Stories that included events I had never heard about before, people that had not ever been mentioned prior and even a few new and interesting ideas.


It was sad to me.


On the other hand, there is a woman I know that always talks about or wants to fill me in on the best new idea or information that she has just come across.  She cuts articles from newspapers and mails them to me.  If she has an idea or hears of something she thinks would help me, she emails it or mentions it to me when we talk on the phone.  She doesn’t’ really talk about people. She talks about ideas and information.  At 91, she has a great mind. She usually starts off our conversations with, “I was thinking…”


So, I thought I’d take a look at myself for awhile and see what it was that I talk about.  I certainly got a bit nervous when I turned the mirror on myself.  “Gee.  Do I discuss people more than events?  Do I discuss events more than ideas?”  I’d sure like to think I have a great mind. But you know, I’m not so sure I want to hear the answer to that question. If truth be told.


It’s not rocket science, and I would definitely not base my life on that little saying, but I would have to tell you this, it certainly got my attention. So, this week, I am going to conscientiously focus on ideas.  If you catch me discussing people in the days ahead, feel free to point me back to my blog, will you?





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