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[tweetmeme] This is a blog I wrote for Kristi Gustafson’s On The Edge Blog back in July when she was on vacation.

Blog Post by: Rose A. Winters

I don’t have children, so I consider my dog my child….

In 2007 my boyfriend Michael and I were at my realtor Terri and her husband Bob’s house and met their adorable little Chi-a-poo named Molly. We spent most of the evening playing with little Molly. Up until this point Michael always used the argument that little dogs weren’t manly and the long-haired ones should have a broom handle shoved up their butts and be used as mops. Just the idea I liked little dogs surprised many because I’m originally a Doberman gal…. By the end of the night Molly had Michael wrapped around her little paw.

A couple of months later when I was getting ready to close on my house Michael fessed up that he wanted to buy me a puppy as a surprise for my housewarming gift. I’m glad he told me because a pet is a life changing, long-term commitment. He told me he’d already been speaking to a breeder and there was a litter being born that week and we could pick her out soon. Since he’d already done so much work finding her I figured I’d at least check it out.

Isabella - 2 Weeks Old

It took me all of about 10 seconds to pick her out of the 5 in her litter and to know I’d love her forever! She looked like a tiny little guinea pig! To give you an idea of the demand – the pictures were posted online and in 8 minutes Isabella’s entire litter was spoken for. As the weeks passed until we could pick her up in Buffalo, KY, the breeder posted a new picture of her every week until she was 7 weeks old.

Isabella - The Day We Met

The first time I held Isabella it was love at first sight. We spent hours at the breeder’s house getting to know her and getting her to feel comfortable with us. We flew home with her and she became our daughter.

We feed her, dress her, cuddle with her, and give her the best care that we’re able to give. We chronicle her life like most parents chronicle their children’s lives. We measured her to track her height and weight. We wrote down the date when she lost her 1st tooth, and had her 1st haircut. We taught her all kinds of commands – sit, stay, down, paw, and roll over. She’s so well-behaved! She’s our little darling 🙂

Do you have a pet that you treat like a child?

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Click some of the links in the blog to see more pictures of Miss Isabella….
All Photos by Michael T. Henry except 2 week old picture courtesy of Sunset’s Toy Breed Puppies

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This was originally posted on my friend Lynn Hidy’s website Up Your TeleSales on May 31, 2010.

Who Will You Be When The Pilgrimage Is Over?

Rose Niekrewicz-Winters is a friend of mine, I met when we were both on a bus trip with a band in Ireland…. ‘nuf said. Instead of telling you, I’ve asked Rose to share her pilgrimage and thoughts about it:

It’s been quite a long pilgrimage.  I’ve traveled through the past year and a half searching for a job.  Not just any job, but “the” job.  I know, I know – in this economy many would say I’m a fool to NOT just take any job.  What those people don’t realize is that if I just take any old job and then if it doesn’t work out and they lay me off, it could jeopardize my future unemployment status.  The bottom line is that I’m picky.

Who

Some may say it’s all about who you know.  I’ve found that sometimes that just doesn’t matter.  I have over 600 friends on Facebook, over 200 members in the motorcycle club, I’m in, thousands of hits to my blog, piles of former clients….  The list goes on and on.  Nobody seems to know anyone who is hiring.  I keep my ear to the ground because all it takes is 1 “right person” to drop your name at the right time.

Who I will be at the end of the journey is hopefully someone gainfully employed and happy at my job.  Push that angle aside and I’ll also be a person who took the time to get to know hundreds of people in the process and did good things for others along the way.

What

What did I do to keep my sanity?  I helped others.  I spent time working on a charity poker run for a girl with optic nerve cancer.  I helped some friends whose house burned down rebuild their lives.  I volunteered to help do work to open up the Double H “Hole in the Woods” Ranch in Lake Luzerne, NY.  I helped out a friend who was in a motorcycle accident. I supported a friend whose daughter has leukemia and tried to help her spread the word about a fundraiser for her.  I tell friends that I may have an empty bank account and can’t financially contribute to everything I’d like, but I do have time and a bank full of good karma!

When

When did I find the time?  Being out of work many people assume you’ve got all the time in the world to run around and help them with their errands.  There is nothing further from the truth.  I look at my schedule lately and wonder “when will I find the time to work when I get that new job?”  When you get extra time in your life, life decides to throw things at you to fill the time!

Where

Where do you meet the people?  Anywhere and Everywhere!  I talk to people every chance I get.  I make friends at a local coffee shop, on vacation, at concerts, at networking events, online, through other friends….  I keep saying it only takes talking to the one right person to land that perfect job….

How

How I’ve dealt with being out of work so long is a common question.  The answer is by keeping a positive attitude.  I always keep in mind that nobody wants to hire a complainer who’s crying in their beer all the time.  So I’ve been careful not to be that person. At the end of the How Far Are You Willing to Travel article in the A Chip Off the Block newsletter some questions were asked.

How would you like it to be instead?

Obviously I’d like to be employed.  I’d love it to be with a solid company that’s willing to recognize and pay for a quality employee.  Those $10/hour job calls just frustrate me to the point of asking “Did you even read my resume??”

How open to new, sometimes crazy sounding ideas are you?

I started my job search very focused on a sales job.  Later I reflected on my career and realized I was selling myself short.  True I’ve held many sales positions as of late, but I also have done marketing, data processing, management, etc.  So pigeon holing myself was a horrible thing to do!  I later realized that opening myself up to other markets and other professions was a great idea and now I tell people that I’m keeping my options open and I’d love to hear their ideas, no matter how crazy they may sound.

Just last night a good friend told me that another mutual friend counts on me for my ideas.  Apparently I’m her “think tank” and I never knew it.  I’m analytical and try to think three steps ahead and my friend doesn’t normally think past the first step.  She let’s things unfold as they happen.  I’ve learned in life to think about the future because your actions today can make or break things.

How much effort will you put in?

I work hard so I can play hard.  Everyone likes to make money.  They’d be lying if they said otherwise.  I like to do a job in the most efficient way and get it out of the way.  I put in the effort to get a job done right the first time so it doesn’t have to be revised 4 times therefore wasting valuable “play time.”

How does this fit into your goals?

This all fits into my goals.  My goals are to work hard so I can afford to play hard.  I love to travel (in fact that’s how Lynn of Up Your Telesales and I met and became friends), ride motorcycles, attend concerts, etc.  All of that is tough to do when you’re unemployed.  So I’m hoping my positive attitude and outgoing personality I’m putting out there will pay off with the job of my dreams!

How will you keep going when it gets tough?

That’s a loaded question if I ever saw one!  Things have gotten tough.  Life is tough.  The question is will you choose to have a “Whoa is me” attitude or a positive attitude?  Attitude is half the battle!  Times get tough and somehow it motivates me to work harder and put in even more effort than I had prior.

In closing the How Far Are You Willing To Travel article said:  “It’s your pilgrimage so there are no right or wrong answers – plus if you’re happy with the path you’re on, continue!”

I may not always be happy with the path I’m on, but I’m always aware of the next crossroad and am very aware that my life can be very different based on the choices I make.  All events shape the outcome of future events.  Just like Marty and Doc discussed in Back to the Future It’s all about the “Space Time Continuum”. Make every moment count.

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[tweetmeme] I have friends that send me all kinds of messages like this.  This one has many good lessons to remember.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.
Mental Feng Shui

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

THREE. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

FOUR. When you say, ‘I love you,’ mean it.

FIVE. When you say, ‘I’m sorry,’ look the person in the eye.

SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.

EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.

NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.

TEN. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

ELEVEN. Don’t judge people by their relatives.

TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.

THIRTEEN! . . . When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, ‘Why do you want to know?’

FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

FIFTEEN. Say ‘bless you’ when you hear someone sneeze.

SIXTEEN. . When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.

EIGHTEEN. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

NINETEEN. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

TWENTY ONE. Spend some time alone.

A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart

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Image from: http://www.mosaikos.com/feng-shui/live-in-harmony-with-feng-shui.html

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[tweetmeme]
Someone emailed me this around the 4th of July and the story really touched my heart.  Please read it and remember the sacrifices the members of our military make for us every day.

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat.  It was going to be a long flight.  I’m glad I have a good book to read.  Perhaps I will get a short nap, I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me.  I decided to start a conversation.

“Where are you headed?” I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.
“Petawawa. We’ll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we’re being deployed to Afghanistan.”

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time…

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch.  “No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn’t be worth five bucks.  I’ll wait till we get to base.”

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch.  I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty  dollar bill.   “Take a lunch to all those soldiers.”  She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly.  Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me.  “My son was a soldier in  Iraq; it’s almost like you are doing it for him.”

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated.  She stopped at my seat and asked, “Which do you like best – beef or chicken?”
“Chicken,” I replied, wondering why she asked.  She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class.

“This is your thanks…”

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room.
A man stopped me.  “I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.”  He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand and said, “I want to shake your hand.”  Quickly unfastening my seat belt I stood and took the Captain’s hand.  With a booming voice he said, “I was a soldier and I was a military pilot.  Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.”   I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs.  A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine.  He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane.  Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word.  Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base.
I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars  “It will take you some time to reach the base…. It will be about time for a sandwich.
God Bless You.”

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.

As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return.  These soldiers were giving their all for our country….   I could only give them a couple of meals.    It seemed so little….

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America ‘ for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

Prayer:

Lord, hold the troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need.   Amen.

Photo by Michael T. Henry Photography

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My friend Laura posted something online about how she’s always had nightmares a few times a week about tornadoes.  She said there is never just one, but tornadoes popping up everywhere around the sky.

Recently at a yard sale (tag sale, garage sale, flea market – whatever you want to call it) I picked up a book called Dreams: More than 350 Symbols and Interpretations.  According to this book this is what the dream could mean:

Tornadoes –> See End of the World

The radical annihilation of the world is a theme that seems to recur in many of the world’s cultures, cults and religions.  Sometimes there is a subsequent reordering and renewal of the world that includes a particular group being placed in supremacy.  Other times, there is a mystical translations of chosen inhabitants into a structured paradise.  Another option is unrelenting chaos and loss of this world without recourse.

Sometimes, the premonition feeling that you get after these dreams leaves you feeling very eerie.  You may be unsure (or fairly sure) that what just happened in dreamland may be about to happen out in waking life.  The means may be different for any given dreamer depending on your worldview, but the feeling is roughly the same – that time seems short for this world.

There can be several different approaches to seeking meaning in this dream.  The origins of these approaches are in personal psychology, cultural tensions, and religious or spiritual revelation.

Feeling dramatically out of control in your personal life can trigger apocalypse dreams.  This may be caused by hormones in adolescence, the death of a loved one (especially parent), or divorce and other significant relationship losses.  The ending world is an escape mechanism to avoid dealing with a  world so dramatically changed by new circumstances.  This world-ending dream often features the dreamer alone amongst generally unrecognized figures.  This reveals that all people close to the dreamer are no longer around.

Cultural cues for world-ending dreams come out of a collective angst about the frailty of our planet or the human race.  Angst is concerned about what might not be, as in radical non-being of the self, planet, etc.  These dreams may be triggered in times of global hopelessness and unpredictability.  A millennial change generates this kind of dreaming for some people.  Damaging news about the earth, global warming, and cosmic collision potentials will do it for others.  Economic uncertainty will create angst for some people.  Whenever instability or insecurity become themes of cultural awareness, apocalyptic dreams increase.  Interpreting this type of dream asks, “How is the world ending and who is to blame?”  This dream may be calling for you to protect yourself against a risk that is beyond your comfort zone, become more involved in a particular cause, or to think again about the rationale of your fears.

Religious or spiritual revelation that heralds the end of the world is a powerful image.  Usually, the dreamer will see some significant icons of their faith initiating or withstanding the destruction.  Another scenario is that adherents to the mysticism are identified in a particular way and survive the destruction because of their association.  In these dreams, the world is often reordered.  Many times, these dreams will accompany a time in the dreamer’s life when he or she feels that the entire world is against them and only their association with something larger than themselves can provide a resolution to the struggles being faced.  (or, they may just be receiving an oracle about the conclusion of this world….)

So Laura, what do you think?  Any idea how the tornado dream pertains to your life?

Do any of the readers out there have dreams about tornadoes, natural disasters, or the end of the world?

Please comment and subscribe.


Photo from CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.

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To read about how this series started please read the 1st blog in this series.

#2 – Uncover The Joy of You

“You are the only one who can do exactly what God has planned for you.”

“Value what God has given you.  Creating home-cooked meals that are nutritious is a gift.  Balancing roles of teacher, worker, parent, grandparent, spouse, and friend is a gift.  Loving those around you is the ultimate gift.  You have talents and abilities that are uniquely yours.”

“Look at yourself in the mirror today without finding faults and flaws.  Recognize your uniqueness, and notice the difference when you smile.”

I hate when people tell me how I “should” act.  I hate the words “you should.”  Not to say the words have never passed my lips, but I’m now more aware when it happens.  I try my best to instead say things such as “Have you tried” or What about this idea” or “Have you thought of this?”  Nobody can live your life for you.  We all have choices in life and the outcome of our life can vary greatly based on the choices we make.

Lend A Helping Hand Picture from Rishi Menon http://www.flickr.com/photos/rxmflickr/4358918644/

I try to help people with the talents I have.  I’m hoping they find the joy of my talents helpful.  I have lots of friends who can’t cook (or can’t be bothered because they live alone and let’s face it, it’s not fun to cook for just one) so I try to cook for them.  Nothing says “I care” like a home-cooked meal.  I used to do this much more often when I had extra money around for food, lately though the disposable income is scarce….

I’m also an okay writer – so when a friend needed help writing their resume from scratch – I was able to help.

I try to be the best daughter, niece, sister, aunt, girlfriend, and friend that I can be.  I try to help people when I can because I’m a big believer in what goes around comes around.

A close friend who’s had a few major crisis’ in her life and I had a discussion about how you find out who your true friends that you can count on during major tragedies in your life.  She’s right!  Sometimes it’s as simple as being a friend to listen, other times it’s muscle needed to help with a big move….  I remember when I lived out-of-state who would take the time to meet me out for dinner when I was in town to visit and who couldn’t be bothered to drive across town to see me after I’d driven hours to get there.

I remember growing up that I was taught not to be mean and tease people.  If I didn’t like someone I tended to just keep to myself.  I didn’t want to play into the meanness, because gosh knows there was enough of that though-out the school years!  Kids can be cruel and I saw my fair share of it around me through the years.  I tried my best to be friends with the band geeks, nerds, artists, goth girls, jocks, cheerleaders, etc.  It really didn’t matter to me.  (Now I guess I’m getting back to what I talked about in the 1st blog in the series huh?)

What are the joys of you?
Do you use them to help people?

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