Do the Right Thing – Do it All the Time

The other day, driving down my street, I stopped at the stop sign and caught sight of a black bag sitting on the corner.  I knew that the school bus picked up there so I figured it was a lunch kit. I went to investigate, and found it was a $1000+ Nikon camera.  I knew who ever lost this would be beside themselves, but I had to get to a meeting. I grabbed it, so it wouldn’t get permanently lost, and decided as I drove I would create a FOUND sign to put on the mailboxes in hopes of finding the proper owner. That evening, after two meetings and choir practice I finally get back to my office and open the bag properly to investigate it. That’s when I was relieved to see their name printed on the inside in marker (they MUST have children) it’s so a mommy thing to do.  Thankful I had a name, I called my neighbor (who seems to know everyone) and lo and behold, she had a phone number for them.

She was so relieved.

“Who does that?” She asks after receiving my message.  “It must have fallen off my motorcycle.”

It made me proud to do the right thing. How many people would be able to do that? Honestly? This was a nice camera. 42x zoom, all the bells and whistles, cables, SD cards… I could have kept it, many people would have. I could have sold it on ebay… but I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. I can’t imagine loosing something like that. It would be like me loosing my laptop – my livelihood! My books, my graphics, my websites… I’d be so sick to my stomach. I couldn’t afford to replace it and I would PRAY that someone would return it, if it were ever found. But I’ve been robbed (two home break-ins – in Houston). I’ve had things stolen from me at shows. My husband has had tools stolen right off his truck. I definitely have the stigma of not wanting to trust people… but if everyone did the right thing, all the time, our world would be a much better place.

I wanted to share a song with you. Maybe if you get this catchy tune stuck in your head it will help – it helps me – all the time!

Ages & Ages – Divisionary (Do the Right Thing) Lyrics

Do the right thing, do the right thing
do it all the time, do it all the time
make yourself right, never mind them
don’t you know you’re not the only one suffering

I see you up again wandering so diligent
crossing your t’s as though it weren’t irrelevant
they say formality, this is what they really meant:
they can be the walk and we can be the pavement

Do the right thing, do the right thing
do it all the time, do it all the time
make yourself right, never mind them
don’t you know you’re not the only one suffering

So what you’re up against all the disingenuous
They wave you along and say there’s always room for us
But we know better than that to take’em serious.
Still don’t let’em make you bitter in the process

And when the light is up, this is how oughta be
We’ll make it alright, they’ll come around eventually
They say it’s nothing but, that ain’t the reality
They may take us on but they can never take us easy

Cuz they ain’t moving, they’re just moving around
So if you love yourself, you better get out, get out now

Play it again – you know you want to! :-)

 

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Website Frustration & the Good ol’ Days

The other day I received an email from my grandfather, basically venting, regarding the frustration he experienced while attempting to order a couple of bath mats online. I read through his email and started to chuckle, because we all have been there.

  • Links that don’t work
  • Not compatible with Internet Explorer
  • Flash that isn’t operating
  • Too much content the site can’t load
  • Scripting malfunctions
  • So many ads you can’t figure out what is real or scam

I received a pair of shoes that weren’t what I wanted because the ‘add to cart’ was on the right, below an advertisement and above two ‘others have bought these’ notices with their own cart buttons. By the time I finished reading the description of the shoes on the left and looked to the right to see add to cart, I was way past the button for the item I just read about and instead ordered what others have bought.

Then, the other day, I ordered a Halloween costume, added to cart, went to check out, typed my information, pressed submit but apparently missed the last step because four hours later I got a reminder email asking if I wanted to complete my order. Good thing they sent the reminder or I’d be waiting until Halloween for a costume that would never get here.

But grandpa’s problem was worse than that!

Not only was the cart called a bag – let’s really confuse the shopper, but when he clicked add to bag, nothing happened. Click it again, nothing.  Suspecting there is an issue – my 90 year old grandfather drives to the closest store to discover they are sold out, but he can order them online. By then, I personally would have had a customer service rep pull it up online for me, but grandpa went back home to retry it. A week later, waiting for them to fix their issues, and indeed they were going through a website redesign, he discovered at the top left corner in very small font, amongst tons of ads, sales ploys and deals, an obscure edit bag label. Lo and behold, 7 sets of bath mats had been added to it with no notification whatsoever. There was no checkout button, no view cart button, nothing until weeks later and a complete website redesign.

Another time, a website called it ‘Review Order’ which was also obscured at the top right corner amongst ads. Why not keep it simple. Stop renaming things to be different. Help the shopper by always calling it a cart and checkout system. Plus, when the older generation has their screen zoomed in for visibility of those microscopic fonts companies use, the order is hidden off the page where it has to be scrolled right to access and most of the time doesn’t even cross their mind to do that.

All of this made grandpa reflect on the good ol’ days.

Below is an excerpt of what he wrote:

“Most websites make it easy to go to Checkout and provide redundant ways to get there, but some do not take into account that a crucial button/window is not visible from the site of the selection. There should be a positive acknowledgment of action in the visible area near the point of selection as well as an indication of the next step. This problem may illustrate a general deterioration of service/convenience over the years. I fondly remember grandpa Doyle at the grocery store calling out items one by one, with the clerk racing to some part of the store, fetching the item from below the counter, or from a high shelf by ladder, bringing it back, and placing it on the counter in front of Grandpa. He much preferred that service to the cheaper prices at a nearby supermarket.”

Oh the good ol’ days…

 

thCAOU5Y0D

My grandfather is a genius – and I’m not exaggerating. For him to have these types of problems making a simple purchase at a mega-large chain-store website is ridiculous. I design websites for a living and would refuse to put my name on a website that’s ecommerce shopping cart was so hard to understand my customers couldn’t buy anything.

Personally, in my youth, if a website makes it hard for me to give them my money, I’ll take my business elsewhere. But when you spend so much time, shopping, narrowing your search, finding the exact item and color and size you want and it says in stock and you click add to (whatever you want to call it) and you can’t figure out how to check out – I agree with grandpa – it is a serious deterioration of service and convenience and it is due time we rethink the way we do things.

 

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You never know what’s in store – GRWC

What an interesting day!

It started out before sunrise Saturday. I was drinking my first cup of coffee when the windows illuminated a brilliant pinkish red color – Uh oh, I thought. Red skies in the morning, sailors warning. My mother’s voice echoed in my head. This was a bad omen. Is this going to be a bad day?

As we were hooking up the trailer to the car the wind began blowing and with it came some gnarly looking dark grey storm clouds along with the spitting of the beginning of the rains. Uh oh, is it going to rain today?

I was driving down 281 when the rains began; pouring down as hard as they could, windshield wipers on high, visibility somewhat limited. Fortunately, the road was a straight-away and I was able to see something blocking the road 2-tenths of a mile in my lane. I signal, wait for the passing car on the right, because who wants to be stuck behind a rainbow colored trailer, then merge right. It was a down sign in a construction area. Good thing I saw it with plenty of time to react.

Boy, I thought as I continued driving, this sure seems like a sign. Is this a message from God telling me to go back home? But I continued driving all the while worrying, wondering, fretting.

That’s when it all changed!

I drive up to the convention center. The unload area was covered. I didn’t have to unload in the pouring rain! There were volunteers there to help me. They wheeled my tubs to my table – INSIDE – I didn’t know I was going to be inside! What a wonderful surprise on a rainy day!

Then within ten minutes of setting up, I sold an entire set of books to one lady! It was a wonderful day! There was scrumptious pulled pork sandwiches for lunch, free drink tickets, volunteers with carts of coffee and later tea for the exhibitors, free. Then later, volunteers to watch your booth while you went to the bathroom (from drinking so much tea). persistence

Maybe God put all of those deterrents and obstacles and grey clouds in front of me test me; to make sure I REALLY wanted this! Maybe I showed Him that I AM willing to do what it takes to see this project through. To better myself. To promote my educational books. To follow my dreams.

The fact of the matter is; you never know what you are in store for – until you venture out and try it. It just goes to show, persistence does pay off and red skies in the morning might actually be a good thing.

Categories: Author, Enlightenment, Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stop Waiting for Life to Begin

It occurred to me the other day, that we are all waiting for something.

When we are younger we are waiting for the next day. We’re waiting for school to end, waiting for the week to end, we’re waiting for the year to end. Then we wait for the summer to end, wait until junior high, wait until high school. Then after that, just wait until we finish college, wait till we get that big job, wait until we find a husband, wait until our life starts.

All that time we’ve been waiting our life is already going on. We always wait for something to happen when in reality we need to stop waiting and start living. Our life is already going on and we need to live each day to the fullest. Because just wait until the day you don’t wake up…

Wait-for-Perfect-Moment-Life-Health-Insurance-Quotes-for-Kids

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Follow Me – Who am I?

follow-me-twitter

Every social media site has their ‘thing’.

Facebook is like, Twitter is tweet, LinkedIn is link, Pintrest is Pin, and a blog has follow. It wasn’t until Sunday at church that it occurred to me how conceited that is. Who am I to ask you to follow me?

Jesus said, “Come, Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men…” Matthew 4:19

follow me

Jesus promised everlasting life, THAT is TOTALLY worth following, but I can’t give you that. I have a blog. I write what’s on my mind; inspirational messages, crazy thoughts, spiritual beliefs, feelings, opinions, updates on current writing projects and just whatever I think you all would enjoy in hopes of sharing who I am with the world. And for this, I ask you to follow me.

CP54000133

Who am I to ask you to follow me?

I am a writer.
I am a woman.
I am a graphic designer.
I am a Christian.
I am a website designer.
I am a wife.
I am an educator.
I am a hard-worker.
I am a singer.
I am crazy, cooky me.

I am who God made. I am created in his own image (Genesis 1:27) and I am here to help share God’s word. I can’t guarantee it will always be God’s message (I am human afterall) but if you feel that maybe God might one day send you a message through me, then I ask you to follow me and I will do my best, at all times, to show you God’s messages in everything I do… with a little bit of self promotion thrown in for good measure.  :-)

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Purple Carrots – They DO exist!

Call me crazy… the other day at a tradeshow it was winding down to the end. There weren’t as many shoppers, and we were waiting for the set time to start packing up. I usually take this time to sit down and drink a V8 Fusion fruit drink, to give me a little extra pep during that whole tear-down, load-up process.

So I was sitting down, drinking, and decided to read the ingredients. Yes, I was that bored. Fruit juices, carrots, purple carrots, apples… whoa! What did that say? Purple carrots? I looked again. Yes, I read that right. One of the ingredients was purple carrots. I can’t believe V8 allowed a typo! So I did a search for purple carrots just to confirm my suspicions that they made a mistake and lo and behold I found information regarding purple carrots!

Nope – those aren’t turnips.

56f8d6efb2caa3afcb4e82996d3c5a0epurple-carrots-1-550x367

img_0181Purple carrots are real in fact what you are about to learn is some of the coolest stuff I’ve come across in a while.

  • ALL carrots used to be purple!!
  • The Dutch cultivated them to become orange – what were they thinking?
  • Some carrots are red, yellow, white and pink! (How cool is that???) Pink and purple carrots, I think my childhood dream of colors that should be mixed together has just come true!
  • Not only does it have vitamin A and beta carotene…
  • The purple color comes from anthocyanin pigments (an antioxidant compound)

It’s a Super Food!!

Purple_Carrots_Copyright_2011_Carrot_Juice

Studies have found that these blue and purple pigments can improve memory, enhance vision, protect against heart attacks, act as anti-inflammatories and even help control weight.

WHY CAN WE NOT FIND THESE IN THE GROCERY STORE?!?!?

Purple-carrotsWhat else don’t we know about?

Purple potatoes, purple bell peppers, purple string beans, purple tomatoes, purple corn, purple snow peas and purple cauliflower…

cauliflower_purple_cape

YES THOSE TOO EXIST!!!

Imagine if your mom would have said, eat your purple vegetables? No mushy green, squishy orange or boring white – purple is the color of candy, Barney and flowers.

Then lets go a crazy step further – it is actually possible to turn your skin a shade of orange by massively over consuming orange carrots – I can’t imagine a boy on the planet that wouldn’t want to eat his purple carrots to see if he turns purple!

All of that – at the end of a tradeshow… I love my life!

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Step up to the bat

Our pastor this Sunday was discussing “The Purpose Driven Life” where the author used the illustration of a baseball diamond as the progression of a Christian life.

1st Base: bring people to faith where they give their life to Christ.

2nd Base: We help them grow in Christ through Sunday School.

3rd Base: We help them understand how they can use their gifts to help in the world.

Home: Finally send them out into the world to work their mission.

Personally, I thought that was rather advanced; especially 1st base being, giving their life to Christ right up front without knowing anything. In fact, my first thought was, that seems like Pro-Ball instead of where I feel I am in; the Junior League.

Pro-Ball vs Junior League

Then she started discussing turning the diamond on its head, which did make more sense, show them the mission, have them use their gifts, learn more at Sunday School THEN give their life to Christ. I liked that better, but still came to one very generic conclusion, in either scenario…

you still have to step up to the bat.

Whether you jump in both feet first or dip a toe to test the waters, you have to at least give it a try. That’s where I go back to the Junior league. In the junior league you are playing. You are giving the whole game a chance. There are more opportunities to play, more time to get to know the game and build a like for it. THEN if you feel like advancing for the pros you take the Walk to Emmaus or extra classes and do the cannon ball.

I know the church is hoping you advance to the pros, but personally, I hope you at least try playing the game. You never know if you’ll like it unless you try it, and I must say,

that run to first base is exhilarating!

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Categories: Enlightenment, Inspiration | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Monopoly didn’t teach us right

I used to play Monopoly with a young friend of mine. He was actually very good. He would buy a property and immediately put a hotel on it that way he can get the largest amount of rent. I would buy a property and maybe put a house on it, that way I could get some rent but I was going out a whole bunch of money every single time I landed a new property. This made him for the most part win, because every time I landed on one of his properties I had to pay big!

However, a lot of times, towards the end of the game, he would be out of money and he would have to mortgage his property to pay my rents.

Monopoly_board_on_white_bg

The problem with this entire scenario is the fact that first you start the game with a ton of money. Basically you start out rich. You’re not in debt from school loans. You’re not scrimping to save for your first car. You are not just starting out having to work to earn your money.

Granted you make $200 when you pass go. I guess that’s like Friday pay day. But they didn’t take into account the modern enticements that are all around us. Like the desire for a new car piece or bling for your hat. Maybe some of the properties should be buy an iPhone or some new shoes.

In fact you should go around the game board at least once doing odd jobs or building up debt until you make your way to the pass go point and make your first $200. Start building up a savings before you buy your property and then you have to work hard and go around the block a couple more times whenever you want to upgrade, because not everybody is born rich in our real Monopoly world.

It just seems like it should be modified some for children in this day and age. Not just a new theme, a new perspective.

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How can we eradicate evil?

From the beginning of time, there has been evil.

What is evil?

The opposite of good, some would say.  But to eradicate anything not good would be to remove free will which is what evil is. Not that all free will can turn out bad, that is why God gave us free will. He wants us to decide for ourselves. Basically, free will is the ability to take a chosen course of action among various alternatives. If that chosen course of action is to do, say or act some way hurtful, that is their will. It is not God’s will. But sometimes that will can be irreprehensible, and in our culture can even be considered as evil…

In general context evil is the absence or opposite of good, a decision that is made. Which for the people who try to do good, we cannot understand the decisions of evil-doers. That is, until we are faced with a similar situation where we too must make a decision to help or to hurt. Our decisions are molded by our experiences and if our experiences are bad, then our decisions will be bad…

Our pastor asked us to pray for peace… to eradicate evil, but how may I ask, can we ever see evil eradicated when our own friends and family can do such hurtful things to us? How can we ever hope or pray for terrorism to end, wars to be over and peace to last if we can be evil to those in our own close lives who truly do not deserve it?

Praying for peace doesn’t seem to be working, in my humble opinion. It makes us feel better, but in thousands of years hasn’t solved the problem. Maybe our prayer should change? Like I pray for work instead of money to pay the bills, or you pray for God’s will be done, instead of MY will, maybe our prayer for peace should be something like, help others make good choices. Maybe if we pray for good, that will eradicate evil?

It’s just a thought. What are your thoughts?

free will

Categories: Enlightenment | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Life is like a….

What IS life like?

A box of chocolates? Sweet, yummy, melts in the sun?

A bag of chips? Salty and filling but leaves your hands dirty?

A camera? Capturing the good moments but getting out of focus during action shots?

A blanket? Keeping you warm on cold nights until your spouse rolls over and takes it with him?

A Bird? Flying free in the beautiful blue sky until he ‘hears the call of nature’?

 

thCAXGJ7T3To me life is like all of that (and so much more). You see, life has the good moments – the wonderful moments you want to last forever, the sweet moments that fill your soul, warm your heart and help you soar. But life also has the bad moments – the make you fat, feel dirty, chill you to the bone, blurry poop-head times that make you ask – WHY ME?

It’s because every moment, the good and the bad, the sweet and the sticky, the savory and the greasy, teaches us something. It helps us grow as humans. It helps us become who God wants us to become. It prepares us for the future and saves us from our past.

Life is like the most magical thing that can happen to us. Because it happens TO us.  Think about that one.

Categories: Enlightenment | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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