Wednesday, August 21, 2019


This was my first blog and I am so grateful you chose to follow me and read what I shared.

I am in the process of merging these posts into my current blog where I've been writing. I would love to have you continue with us along the journey.

Please find us at: 

1. Enter your email address in the "Follow by Email" box located in the top right corner.
2. You will receive an email notification immediately - click confirm and that's it!

Don't panic when you see the words about receiving an email daily - you will only get an email on days I have a new post.

I hope to see you at That Resonates.

In the meantime, this one might get really weird looking as I try to maneuver things and merge the two.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Lessons Learned

32 days ago an innocent post crossed my Facebook timeline...30 Day Blog Your Brand Challenge.

I have been at the fork in the road of closing my business or renewing the lease, trying to upgrade the website but running into software and host issues that I cannot resolve until September. I was trying to decide if these were signs against continuing on. It suddenly dawned on me that while Red Tennies is a business, I have two blogs and one is about my own creative writing thoughts so at the last minute I went for it.

Most of the other members will post these eloquent and useful blogs today sharing their wisdom in what they have learned. Well, here's my biggest personal takeaway...I'm not normal.

There it is, in black and white and on the internet to be seen forever. I admit it, I'm not normal. I'm beginning to be okay with that, however.

See, here are my wise aha moments:

1. 30 Days is an insanely long time if you are committed to writing a blog each day or you are waiting for a vacation.

2. I have a short attention span. Even writing, I lost myself at about 200 words but the goal was 300.

3. I have too much time on my hands - I now have about a dozen new blogs to follow regularly.

4. I don't have enough time on my hands - I need to go back and catch up on all of the ones I've bookmarked and post encouraging replies.

5. It does work to sit down and write when you think you have nothing to say.

6. If you are a writer, it is incredibly important to write. It doesn't matter what, it doesn't matter what format, but write!

7. If I ever unblock the friend who got me here (just kidding Kayla), I will plan ahead instead of living in the moment. Oh, and I'll move to the east coast for 30 days so I can write until midnight's deadline...9 pm is the beginning of the creative time for us west coasters.

8. I CAN do what I set my mind to do, I had only forgotten that I could.

9. Yes, I would do this again.

10. You should join me.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Inside or Outside the Box?

I am at my best when I am working from home, a coffee shop, a beachside table or any other form of telecommuting. It's not that I don't enjoy the physical location of my office and the people aren't any bother either. I am completely adequate and efficient in all of my tasks but my soul feels a tad empty when I am confined to normal things. Take me out of the office and you'll see me thrive - my mind is free and unburdened, my dog will likely be with me which does amazing things for the quality of your day. It takes a lot more to ruffle my feathers when I'm hanging out with the pup in a grand spot. We have a new deadline for a project? Not a problem if I'm offsite where I can take in the news, breathe deeply, get a puppy kiss and make the new task schedule to get it done. Give me that same situation at work and there's a bit of a sit and stare time necessary to shift gears because the innovative side gets trapped.

Perhaps that is the root below this firmly planted ability to thrive outside the office - innovators don't like routine and do not perform with passion if stifled. We need to feel and be independent, trusted and empowered. Most people I've worked with have done this but I still feel the diminished effects of a few that didn't lead that way.

Having a particular space you connect with is so important if you are wired this way. For those who are not craving this, it would be nearly torture to work outside of the office. It truly takes all kinds to keep businesses going, but an understanding of allowing your employees to work in their best situation can build a solid team of efficient, happy and thriving individuals.

Is the office your comfort zone or do you need to be released?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Anticipating Autumn

We have had a remarkably pleasant summer this year, and while I am by no means rushing ahead and wishing it away, I find myself yearning for the autumn season already. I have nobody to blame but myself for this. It began with cleaning out the kitchen cupboards for a yard sale and I discovered the eclectic collection I have of mugs. I am not a coffee or hot tea drinker and feel that a mug should only be used for hot beverages. This leaves only hot chocolate for me and I typically only sip on that about 6 times per the fall and maybe winter. So my mugs are organized and I am ready for fall.

We have also had some unseasonably cool evenings that leave you wanting more of those cool breezes drifting over you while you nestle down into a blanket to stay warm not quite ready to go inside. If you factor in the gas fireplace and my favorite shoe item of boots, fall is easily my favored season.

Some people use January 1st as a kind of reset but I am recharged by fall and I am ready for a recharge this year. The kids will be back in school, clearing the way for the rest of us to finally go to the beach or the zoo without the summer crowds. Last year we headed to the coast on a Tuesday in October and found it busier than any other time we've visited and everybody had the same shock and the same expectation. Crowds and all, it was a peaceful experience of the older generation.

What is your favorite season and why? Has it always been that way or did it change with your seasons of life or as you got older? If you have lived in a variety of climates, did that affect your favorite season?

Friday, August 5, 2016

On Target

I have heard it said when teaching somebody to ride a bicycle you should teach them to look where they want to go, yet so many warn people to not run into the tree, pole, bench, pothole, etc. Focusing on the obstacles and hazards draw you directly to them but if you set your sights on the target you will succeed.

The same can be said for target shooting on the range, whether with handgun, rifle or bow and arrow. How successful would a hunter be if they were busy focusing on the beautiful trees or the path through the woods? It is necessary to focus on the target if you want to meet your goal.

When you set goals for yourself or your business do you keep your eyes focused on the target goal or do you tend to glance sideways at the task list or the obstacles that make it more difficult? Have you noticed that it slows you down or derails you when you do that? Many people create a list of resolutions each January, only to lose complete sight of any target within days.

There are a number of ways to keep your focus and I encourage you to try several to see what works best for you and I'd love to hear your ideas. Some people may be so diligent and disciplined that they live and breathe their! For the rest of us, we can set micro-steps that are completely attainable and not overwhelming but consistent and the next thing you know you're at your target. What about the Post-It note approach where they are scattered on your mirror and office to remind you? Sometimes I will force myself to get up during commercials to take steps towards goals.

It doesn't have to be complicated, but it needs to be something you can achieve and it needs to be consistent. What do you have in your sights right now?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

This is one of my favorite pictures from my personal collection because I find such joy in the beauty of this without the frustration that I associate with dandelions in my yard. When they are growing in my yard, they only serve to remind me how much it's going to cost in weed killer and time to remove them or the frustration that my neighbor upwind of us won't kill their weeds.

Children have the ability to see these differently though. They have no comprehension of what a weed is. To them, they are a beautiful and lovely little tiny kid-sized yellow flower they pick and give to mom and dad or their friends. Then complete delight sets in when it turns to that magical puff to wish upon with eyes closed and head tilted upward as you inhale with everything in you before you release that slow deliberate exhale to send it scattering up into the wind. Oh, what a joy that was...when I was little.

Life is kind of like this at times. We may be surrounded by bad things or negative people, struggles and burdens. I dare say there is a beauty within each if we promise to look for it along the way and not focus only on the negative aspects. Perhaps a broken arm becomes an early discovery of something worse. It was terrible to break the arm but had that not happened the other illness would have become fatal due to lack of treatment. Instead, that broken arm saved a life. The good showed up through the bad and we should try to find that value. It may be more difficult when it involves toxic people, but I still think we can find at least one good thing in each person.

If we try really hard, maybe we can even find the joy from struggles and pretend it is the beauty of the dandelion puff...breathe in, breathe out slowly and giggle!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Time Out

If your schedule is in a high season like mine right now, I'm putting you in a necessary time out. That's right, I'll be right there with you. We are in the early phase of an exterior house painting project and there are about 6 electrical items sanding or heating paint at any given time beginning long before my usual waking hour. The house is covered in dust and the yard is dotted with scraped paint chips and used sanding pads. I'm cooking meals for the friends who have come to help out and the dog is not getting his all-day naps in. These are not complaints, they are celebrations, but they are time stealers.

This is on top of about 8 very significant life events and an overwhelming sense of responsibility to spend every waking moment working on this project. Fill in your own projects and burdens and I'm guessing most of you will be in the same position. You sacrifice all the fun things you want to do for the necessary ones. I say we put ourselves in time out...starting now! Well, at least starting soon.

We have several concerts in a variety of parks all summer and we have not made it to one due to these responsibilities. Tonight is responsibility time out! The Barn Door Slammers are playing tonight at a location near to home and we already have a great picnic of leftovers so we are ready to go. I want to stay home and work on the house, we're almost at a significant progress point and it would be so grand to finish that section up tonight.

However, we did promise ourselves we would not cancel this event so we're going. There is a balance we forget about, a need to renew ourselves and take moments to breathe and recover from the daily thinking and demands of us. Join me?

Check these guys out here: The Barn Door Slammers

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Road Trip

Hi, my name is Lois and I am an addict. I am addicted to road trips. Sure, you can fly to great destinations and see wonderful things and I am not opposed to that by any means. However, there is something about road travel that I connect with. You can start with a guideline for your journey but the options are almost limitless. If you see something of interest, you can don't have to wait for another trip. You are there...stop the car! You can set your own agenda and your own pace. The rhythm of the wheels and the beat of the music is your only guide to discovery.

The road trip is my excuse for the Costco bag of peanut M&Ms and fun drinks for the ice chest I wouldn't normally treat myself to. Sometimes I even throw in a magazine I wouldn't spend money or time on but would thoroughly enjoy. Grab the dog, camera, husband, music, snacks, ice chest, and suitcases and I am (Side note: not necessarily listed in the order of importance.)

The things we've seen tend to be the images and memories most etched into my mind. Sure, I experienced cruises, San Diego and Hawaii via airplane travel and there were wonderful things. But, the ones I recall in conversation came from road trips. My family took a 2-month road trip across the country the year I graduated from high school. We saw Daniel Webster's memorial, which let me tell you was a pretty exciting rock at the end of a horribly long and slow gravel road placed there just to tell us he once spoke to the Whigs there. Memorable Memorable event? Oh yeah...still talk and laugh about it 30 years later.

Here's a link to one of my favorite stops we stumbled onto in Dover, Ohio. Definitely take a look...this was amazing!

What is your essential item for a road trip? What's the best place you discovered that you would have missed by plane, train or direct freeway driving?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Procrastination Anyone?

This is a new thing to me and I still can't quite decide if I embrace it or if it sets me into a panic. I was always the planner, the one with a checklist and made steps towards the end goal and almost always completed the project or task ahead of schedule. This last year or two has brought the opposite behavior and internal conflict. While I have never been one to relax well, I have made great strides in allowing some downtime. The problem is that this creates less time to plan and work ahead and I often find myself nearing a deadline without any progress. This is difficult and I'm not having fun living under the mental burden of the invisible to-do list.

I don't know why procrastination is so rampant in our society. For me, I know these last years have added many more responsibilities and roles and my inner juggler is getting a little older and slower. My brain is weary and I put off the thinking tasks more these days. For some, it's pure laziness and a live in the moment mentality while others are so readily distracted and lose focus instantly.

Perhaps, like this photo, we only procrastinate the work we really aren't called to be doing. Or is that too idealistic and we all face tasks we don't want to do even in the job of our passion? Hmmmm....

Are you a planner or a procrastinator? Did it change throughout your life or were you always one or the other? If you are a planner, what are your tips for the others? If you are a procrastinator, I'd love to hear if you are content with that and why. Do you enjoy the frantic rush the last-minute deadline brings or are you simply one to not get around to it?

My 8th-grade math teacher had these great buttons printed with the word "tuit" printed on it and of course, yes, the button was round. The man was ahead of his time as this was a few decades ago...would probably have made a fortune now.

Talk to me folks...let me hear what side you're on and what your stories are.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Fitness Decisions

I have four brand new pairs of running shoes lined up along my dining table, three of which are waiting to be returned. About a year ago, I made the decision and I was ready to start regaining my physical strength and fitness after letting all things slide for almost 25 years. This apparently was the cue for all aches and pains that had been dormant to rise up again - the twisted hips, the almost plantar fasciitis heel pain, the lower back, etc.

I continued to live with the pain, too proud to limp in front of friends or not do all the activities I needed to do on a regular basis for work and home. September brings an annual event that I remember being in pain at last year, even losing a week of work afterward for recovery. That trigger, realizing that it's been a year or more has led me to take this next step. I simply MUST find a pair of shoes to wear that doesn't cause heel pain every single day. No pain, I can finally start to be mobile again - pain each day and it's all you can do to survive. It's time to thrive again.

I can go for 20 visits shopping and find nothing to work for me; we're looking for low budget, heel pain (need cushioning) and flatter than flat feet (need firm arches). You should try finding support and cushion at the same time! So, I skipped the affordable route and finally decided I was worth $150 and went to the pros. Now I have 4 perfect pairs of shoes here. One is super perfect and cute, but the most money while one is almost super perfect, one model year older, not as cute but $40 cheaper. Logic says to take that one, heart says to get the cool one.

Then there's the best value...2 pairs are about 75% off the ridiculous original price! I would never be able to buy this brand again so my brain says to get the best deal.

The irony is that this simple decision about a pair of shoes has held up progress for my decision to start taking care of my body by 2 weeks now! 

Who out there will join me in making the decision to start taking care of our own well-being so we can keep taking care of others?

Challenge on? I'm in...right after I decide which shoes to keep.