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Icebreakers. Part II.

July 29th, 2010 by stephanie

So, here we are. And I am back with PART II of this week’s ICEBREAKER series. Hope you enjoyed our first installment. (Scroll down below.) Here is round 2 just for you.

11. I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.– Will Rogers

12. If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free!– P.J. O’Rourke

13. In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.– Voltaire (1764)

14. Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you! – Pericles (430 B.C.)

15. No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session. – Mark Twain (1866)

16. Talk is cheap…except when Congress does it. – Anonymous

17. The government is like a baby’s alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. – Ronald Reagan

18. The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. – Winston Churchill

19. The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. – Mark Twain

20. There is no distinctly native American criminal class…save Congress. – Mark Twain

Just their thoughts…yours?

Icebreakers for Your Week.

July 26th, 2010 by stephanie

We can all use a little levity from time to time. And, if not that, some fresh perspective now and then never hurts. Do you have any meetings scheduled this week? Gatherings perhaps? Socials? If so, here is Part One of a two-part blog that I wanted to share with you.

When you walk into that board room, perhaps you just need a little something to ease the tension. Why not try one of these out for size? Or, perhaps you have a family gathering coming up and will find a moment where you feel the need to enhance, or even change, the subject?. Maybe one or two of the below can assist. Enjoy!

1. In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress. – John Adams

2. If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed. – Mark Twain

3. Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself. – Mark Twain

4. I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. – Winston Churchill

5. A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. – George Bernard Shaw

6. Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. – James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)

7. Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries. – Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University

8. Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. – P.J. O’Rourke, Civil Libertarian

9. Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. – Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

10. Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. – Ronald Reagan (1986)

Just their thoughts. Yours?

Does the Butterfly Bring Us a Message?

July 24th, 2010 by stephanie

A few weeks ago I was sitting in a glass lobby and noticed a butterfly alight on the door outside. I can’t say as I have seen that happen before. Or, if I had, not sure why this particular occasion stuck with me. A week later, as I was pulling up to a stop light, I noticed a butterfly land on the passenger side window. Again, I took notice. Since then, I have had numerous other butterfly sitings. So, I knew it was time to pull out the laptop. Perhaps it was simply Butterfly season?

As many of you may already know, the butterfly is quite symbolic to many peoples and cutltures. Apparently, the Mandarin Chinese say the insect symbolizes long life. 70 years, actually. They also feel it is telling of young men in love.

The Japanese see it as a sign for young maidens and marital bliss.

In Germany, butterflies having once hovered around the butter churn became known as “stealers of the cream”.

Greeks saw the butterfly as a symbol of the soul. They even considered white butterflies as the souls of those who had passed away and gone on to the great beyond.

In Western culture, the creature has become a symbol of Freedom.

According to a Blackfoot Indian, the butterfly brings us our dreams. A tribal member might say after the fire burns low and the people began to make up their beds about the lodge, ‘Well, let us go to bed and see what news the butterfly will bring?” Interestingly, The Native American Indians also use a cross, similar to a Maltese cross, as a sign for the butterfly.

Which brings us to the topic of the butterfly and its connection to the Resurrection in the Christian realm. I was surprised to learn that butterflies were actually engraved in the stones of many a Christian’s tomb centuries ago. A sign that the person who had, having died and entered the tomb, had now departed their earthly cocoon only to have experienced release into life eternal.

Regardless of your particular thoughts on butterflies, one thing we can all agree on is that they truly symbolize change. A massive transition. From an, earthbound groveling worm to a free-flying, creature of beauty.

In truth? I’d love to think something wonderful is heading my way. But for now, it’s enough to be reminded of the freedom I do cherish and enjoy. Both here on my native soil and the freedom that I will someday enjoy in heaven above.

Just my thoughts. Yours?

The 24-Hour Challenge. Up for it?

July 20th, 2010 by stephanie

As the yoga instructor guided us through our final relaxation exercise, she wrapped up the session with the following challenge, “Try this. For the next 24 hours see if you can only think and speak positive.” Funny. I had done yoga for about 3 years, and I can’t say I remember that kind of homework before. 

My brain froze for a moment and focused on the discipline it would take should I be willing to embrace and attempt the task.  “Gosh,” I thought, “Is that even possible?” But I thought it was worth the attempt. 

My mind wandered off to a verse in the Bible. It’s found in  Colossians 4:6 and it goes like this:  Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.  It’s something I have strived for since I was a teen-ager. But it truth be told? I usually fall short.

Here’s another one to ponder:  The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. Lk. 6:45.

And if you like ancient Proverbs, this one usually does the trick: Prov. 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

As the instructor brought us back to her world with the “Ok…it’s time to go, folks.” I rolled up my mat and picked up the routine I’d left off at the door.  My first stop that night was to pick up a prescription. When I got to the counter I was informed that they had put it back in stock. Apparently, I had not come for it soon enough, and so it was returned. To top that off, the prescription, I learned, had now expired. I was duly informed that I would not be receiving any of my meds anytime soon. Great. 

I am pleased to report I kept my cool. I mean hey, it was my fault after all. I ordered the stuff then forgot to go and get it. Not their error.  Lesson learned.

I slept 8 of those 24 hours. But I can honestly say that happy thoughts and words filled the other 16. That was awhile ago. I am thinking this week I might revisit the challenge. 

Join me if you dare.


The Power of…silence.

July 15th, 2010 by stephanie

I was watching a new campaign ad that had just been released. As the images faded in and out, I realized there was only music…no words. The only message was the one that was written on the screen matching each image.

I am often amazed at the power of silence. A power I truly wish I personally fully understood and harnessed. But alas, my words usually find their way out into the world as we know it.

Do you ever notice that when someone sits silent, there’s a tendency to think they might just know something we don’t know? It’s like they are holding in some grand secret that will be disclosed only at the proper place and time. And we wait with baited breath.

Then, there is also the person who, whatever comes into their mind generally exits their mouth. Those folks don’t always realize it, but many times, the expression of their thoughts is simply dismissed by their hearers.

How many times have I heard that little voice deep in my own heart warn me, “Keep it to yourself.” But, alas, my pride or whatever it is at the moment gets the best of me.

It you are just dying to say something today, but that warning system seems to quietly be beeping deep down inside, might I suggest, “Save it.” For a better time. A better place.

There’s an ancient proverb, or two, that backs up that tidbit of advice for today. See what you think:
Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; when he closes his lips he is considered prudent. Proverbs 17:28

I like this one as well:
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; a time to be silent and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes 3:7

Just my thoughts, well, and again, my words…

Welcome! KVII Channel 7 (ABC) viewers.

July 12th, 2010 by stephanie


Greetings Amarillians! Is that even how you say it? If not, do let me know. But I must tell you, I have thoroughly enjoyed my visit to your very All-American town.  I just wish I could have eaten that entire 72 ounce steak at the Big Texan. Oh well, maybe next time?

We are so glad you have joined us here today. Maybe you caught the interview on DAYBREAK.  It was such a treat to meet and spend a bit of time with Meredith, Liz and the ProNews7 team. Thanks gang for a wonderful visit.  And too,  I hope a few of you  viewers were able to come on out to Barnes & Noble to join me for a cup o’ Joe and maybe even take a book or two home with you.

If this is your first time to visit the site, we’d love for you to take a few moments to click around on the tabs above.

At this website you will find:
– Stephanie’s Blog
– Information about the Chix Chat Club (Join us on Facebook)- Click Here
– A Store where you can buy Stephanie’s Book: When You Grow Up & Get…Single – Click here
– Music from Stephanie – click here!
– A Chix Chat Club Store click here 
– Join us on Twitter! Click Here

As a special offer for you viewers, and guests today, here’s a link to the first 9 chapters of Stephanie’s book. For your viewing pleasure. We hope you enjoy!
Click Here for sample!

Stephanie was honored to have the opportunity to be a brief part of DAYBREAK today. It’s truly a super show. And we have no doubt you enjoyed the entire show if you were able to tune in. What ARE you people doing up at that hour! 🙂

Thanks again for tuning in and/or stopping by.images-1

Chat soon!


The Birth of an Experiment. Here we stand.

July 3rd, 2010 by stephanie

What a joy to write to you on this July 4 weekend. Why? Because here we stand. Still. It’s miracle that we, as 13 struggling colonies, ever made it to this amazing creation known as the United States of America.

Have you had the chance to read 1776 by David McCulough? If not, why not make it a goal of yours to accomplish that challenge by election day this November. I listened to the book on CD during some of my commutes as well as a long road trip. I was riveted. Story after story. I promise…it won’t put you to sleep. And you’ll learn things you have NEVER heard before and details you won’t get in school.images

Here’s a small one. The vote for independence of the 13 colonies were 12 voting YES and one abstention. Do you know which state abstained?

With that, here’s to faith, family and freedom.

And to you, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

A very HAPPY 4th to you.


When plan “A” is replaced by plan “B”.

July 1st, 2010 by stephanie

Have you heard someone lately talk about their having to default to “Plan B”? Seems there’s alot of that in the air these days. But then too,  it’s most likely the simple reality that a lot of plan “A”s  just didn’t pan out, leaving  folks scrambling for plan “B”.

“Plan B isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” the older and much wiser woman gently reminded me as we chatted on the phone.  We had painfully watched a mutual friend of ours be “thrown under the bus” as they say,  by supposed colleagues and we were both grimmacing over the incident.  The Plan “B” for this beloved individual, however,  may be just what the doctor ordered in the end.  We shall see.

 Plan “A” is simply that: a plan. It doesn’t mean it is the perfect plan. Nor is it necessarily the permanent plan. It’s just the plan of choice for the moment. The plan everyone, or perhaps someone, thought was the best way to go. 

Time, circumstances, and a multitude of factors later Plan “A”  can sometimes suddenly be washed away like an unsuspecting tidal wave.  Those who are prepared with a Plan “B” usually land on their feet rather quickly . Those who resign themselves to sitting down and lamenting the loss are the ones that tend to be left behind. It’s always best to pick up and move on. Not easy. But best.

I remember a friend sharing with me her unanticipated Plan “B” regarding a particular situation. She said it never crossed her mind to worry.  And too, it just wasn’t necessary.  Unfortunately, when her situation suddenly changed course, she was shocked, angered and at a loss.

If you are a Plan-“A”-only kind of person, might I suggest you be open to having a Plan “B” on hand, or, simply on the back burner.  And for those of you being forced to a Plan “B”, be encouraged. It might just be the best thing that ever happened to you.   Sometimes, it’s good for you to allow those who thrust Plan “B” upon you get what they asked for. Only in doing so will you help them perhaps see what needed to be discovered or uncovered in the first place.

 And too, if you believe in Providence, is there really ever a true Plan “B”?  If you look at the situation with an appreciation for the Omnipotent, then Plan “B” might actually have been the very Plan “A” you were ignoring, missed, or weren’t ready for in the first place.

So, here’s to all of the Plan “B”s out there.  Go with it, I say. “Make it work, people. Make it work,” as fashion guru Tim Gunn likes to advise.  And don’t forget, a back up plan is always a good thing. Be sure to consider one. It never hurts. Because you never know when you might have to default to it. And if you do, take heart and remember:  it might be just what the doctor ordered.


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