Finally, if there's something that you'd like to see on TheTinyJEWELBox, let me know!
Finally, if there's something that you'd like to see on TheTinyJEWELBox, let me know!
My driveway has a palm tree hanging over it. The tree has a huge trunk and I often see little lizards running around on it and those suckers are fast! Sometimes, I stop and watch them fight, but I am truly afraid of them. Actually, afraid to the nth power.
So yesterday, I had to run an errand with my son. We got in the car and, since it wasn't scorching hot, I skipped the normal air conditioning and rolled down my car window. About a half mile later, I was sitting at a light, waiting to make a left turn, and watching what looked like a heated argument between some senior citizens in a bank parking lot.
My son, using a "dont look now" voice, says, "ummm, Mom, ummm, there's a lizard on your windshield." So I SLOWLY looked over, and there's a huge lizard sitting on my driver's side windshield wiper. I nearly had a coronary.
So here I sit--lizard peering through the windshield right at me, window down, light about to change. For once, gratefully, I didn't disintegrate. And the only reason that I didn't was because I knew that if I took my eyes off of the lizard for even once second, he would scoot right into my car through the open window. And then I knew I would freak out.
I thought about turning the wipers on, but I figured it would either push the lizard toward the window (and then into the car) or it would squish the lizard and i would have a squished lizard on my windshield. Before I could decide what to do, it hopped over to the passenger side wiper and then to the edge of the hood. The light had changed, folks were blowing, and I was petrified. Since it was over on the passenger side, I did push the button to put my window up and felt a bit better because it couldn't gain entry, but I still didn't know what to do. So I just started driving. I could no longer see the lizard, but my son could see it's tail. As I made my left turn, he hopped off my car and I finally took a breath.
That really could have been disastrous. Suppose the lizard had been on the inside rather than the outside? And did it come from that tree? That tree really needs to come down. I wonder how much it would cost.
Just because you have a cell phone does not mean that should not observe common courtesy when it comes to others in public places.
There are some times and places where is is not cool for me to hear your cell phone ring. I do NOT want to hear your cell in a place or worship or in a movie theater. Phones should be silenced. And if you forget to silence it, as we all have done, and it rings, DO NOT answer it and hold a conversation. Excuse yourself and go to a more private area. Anything less than that, is a reflection of your home training, or lack thereof.
If you are sitting in a restaurant, I guess it's up to you whether you want to take the call or not. But still, remember the rule of polite society. Recently, while trying to enjoy my meal, I had the pleasure of hearing someone describe, in detail, a horrible rash in a very private area to a medical provider--YUCK!
I realize that we live in the age of technology and I love my Blackberry as much as the next person, but exercise civility!
So, I had to see a medical professional last week--one that I had never seen before. It was a bad experience. I saw it coming when we drove up. I didn't say a word to my husband, but I knew what was going to happen.
We walked in and I was immediately impressed with the office decor. It was very nice. There were 2 people behind the front desk. My husband went up and announced my arrival. Wait--let me also say that my husband is a first generation, American born Cuban. Though Spanish is his first language, he is truly bilingual. If you heard him speak Spanish, you wouldn't think he could speak English without an accent. If you heard him speak English, you would never think Spanish was his first language. He is absolutely fluent in both. But I digress...
The receptionist gave me the expected "first visit" forms to fill out. I did so and returned them to her. She checked and told me that I had missed a couple places where my signature was required. She told me all of this in English. Then she said that the doctor would see me. She said this in English, too.
We all went to the exam room. The doctor was a gorgeous Latina. The receptionist was there as well. The doctor asked if I spoke Spanish, I said no. She asked if I understood Spanish, I said no. She asked both questions in English. And that's where the story gets bizarre.
From that point, NOBODY in the room spoke English, including the husband. All communication was directed to him, in Spanish. After every volley of conversation, he would have to tell me what was going on. If I asked a question in English, they would turn to him and answer in Spanish. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. I looked at him and announced that I was ready to go.
How can you run a business and refuse to speak the language of your client/customer? Was I being unreasonable to expect to converse in English with folks that speak English and know that I don't speak Spanish? Was it cultural--did they only talk to my husband because he's the boss of me? And even if that is so, why did they not speak to him in English? Please help me with this one...
I've gone through the Twilight series, which I loved, except I had trouble with a few slow spots in books 2 and 4. I've done a couple from James Patterson, a couple from Stephen King, and discovered a few new authors as well.
I still can't take it out to read in public much. I went to Starbucks once, grabbed a tea and a scone and curled up in a stuffed chair. I pulled the Kindle out of my bag and prepared to read. I only had an hour to spare. But when folks realized what it was, they started asking questions--What is that? How does it work? Where did you get it? Can I see it? A crowd gathered. The hour passed and I hadn't read a page.
After having it a month, I can't think of a single thing that I would change about it, except maybe I would prefer it in pink. I did buy a pink leather cover for it though, that will have to do for the moment.
There's been a lot of buzz about it in this month, the biggest being the new Kindle application for the iphone. My husband downloaded the app, but hasn't read anything yet. I look forward to Amazon's daily unveiling of free books, quickly grabbing them up before the price changes to 5 or 10 bucks.
What have you heard about the Kindle? Do you want one? Why or why not? Has the buzz influenced you at all? How? What do you think about the concept of electronic readers?
Yesterday, after dinner and homework, I challenged my son to a couple games of bowling via wii. From the start, it was evident that I am a far superior wii bowler. But, I also noticed him getting more and more frustrated with his own performance. It seemed that his ball would go straight and just before hitting the target, take a curve and divert off into the gutter.
It reminded me of some of my own experiences, where I had a goal in my crosshairs and thought it was certain that I would obtain it, only to end up off to the side, not even coming close. In those instances, and even in my son's case, it wasn't the preparation that doomed me. It was the follow-through. I'm generally very diligent on the front end, thinking things through, weighing all options, pondering all possible outcomes, but not taking control once the project was launched.
My son lined up properly, his aim was accurate, but once the ball left his hand, there was no follow through. He just dropped his hands limply and hoped for the best. That was so familiar to me. We worked for a few minutes on his posture and also control, especially once he released the ball. It made a world of difference. He actually beat me a couple games afterwards. I think we both learned something...
I joined Facebook late last year and since then, I've connected with many, many old friends from the past. If not for Facebook, I'm not sure how I would have ever found these friends again. Back when I was in high school, there wasn't a computer in every home and the Internet wasn't a research tool. If someone moved or went away to college, or changed their phone number (there were no cells), you simply lost contact with them. And if not for a chance meeting again, like in Starbucks or on the subway, you may not have ever reached them again. So, I am grateful for Facebook for being a means of reconnection.
Some of the connections were huge parts of my life. It's been so exciting to catch up with them, find out where their paths have lead them, see photographs or their families, and share old stories. My experiences have not been superficial--like folks bragging on where they work or the nice home that they've acquired, but totally the opposite--sincere interest on what we've accomplished and how much we've grown.
In most cases, the friendship has picked up exactly where it left off. We haven't skipped a beat. The only difference is that now we need more time to catch up, since so much time has passed. I hope I never lose these connections again. Thanks Facebook!
I have always been sickened by the personal income tax system in this country, but in this day and age, it's almost too much to take. In a time when our Government says that they are focused on the Middle Class, I can't really figure out what the middle class is. In my mind, you are either rich or poor. And you know exactly where you fit in. The rich get richer, and the poor just stay poor. The Haves and the Have-nots.
So this is just my warning--the IRS does NOT play. PERIOD. They are immune to begging, pleading, or even presenting plain old logic. All they want, All they want to hear is WHEN will you have their money. As I read in the Op Ed pages this morning, "Why do you demand and insist that people pay their taxes rather than their mortgages?" Makes no sense to me..
Though I try to do it, clipping coupons regularly is just not something that I find time for. I do try to stock up on staples when on sale, and compare prices per unit rather than per package. But, the best cost cutting initiative for my family seems to be shopping alone. If I bring the kids or even the husband with me, I spend more and end up with more items than I have on my list, busting my budget.
I have simply got to get a handle on this. Please help me. What kinds of cost cutting grocery tips do you have that won't cost me an hour a week? How are you saving money?
Even if I had that kind of time, it would cost me a small fortune. Besides, I barely know most of the brides/grooms and I have two sitting on my desk waiting for someone to tell me who they are. I don't recognize the bride or groom names, the parent's names, or even the city where the nuptials are taking place. Who ARE these folks???
Then there's one where-Bless their hearts--they cancelled the wedding last June at the 11th hour, only to have a change of heart and are planning again for July. Yeah right! I'll rush right out and buy a plane ticket for that one!
Am i expected to send gifts to every wedding that I'm invited to? How does one financially manage this? Please help...
I've been thinking about it since yesterday. So, I've decided that, starting today, I'm pursuing any and all job opportunities within AIG. I don't care what the position is, I'm applying. I may end up being the new CEO/COO or I could just be the new cleaning lady (Nobody can vacuum like me). Makes me absolutely NO difference. In fact, I'll work free all year, just so I can get my bonus at the end!
I realize that I'm too late to get a bonus this year--but I plan to be first in line next year! So, if anyone has any contacts within AIG, tell them that Jewel is available and willing to relocate, if need be. I will be on Linkedin, twitter, facebook, and everything else all day today looking for a way in. I'm going to be rich!
This week is American Chocolate Week. And it just so happens that I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, "Exercise is a dirty word...Everytime I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate." I cracked up.
I do see their point though--there's always some obstacle between me and exercising. I may not be able to find the time, I may not have the right equipment, I may not have a partner, etc. But--I can ALWAYS find time for a Hershey's with Almonds.
When I was up North, I absolutely loved to go to Hershey, Pennsylvania where the air smells faintly of chocolate and the streetlights are shaped like Hershey's Kisses. I even stayed at the Hotel Hershey once and was treated to one of their famous chocolate spa treatments. Please know that you haven't lived until you've had a Chocolate Sugar Scrub.
But then, when I moved to South Florida, one of my first discoveries was the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop, down on South Beach. There are only a few around the country. I was in absolute heaven--anywhere with both chocolate AND ice cream is fine in my book. They give you a sample of chocolate when you enter the store and it's only uphill from there. I had the best white chocolate macadamia cookie there...
What about you? Are you a chocolate monster? What's your favorite? Do you have a great chocolate shop near you?
I remember, as a child, searching for hours for the elusive four leafed clover. While the four leaf is thought of as lucky, the shamrock is looked upon as a Christian symbol, designating the Holy Trinity. St Patrick used it to describe the Trinity, asking followers if it were 1 leaf or 3. When they answered that it was both one and three, it led right into his explanation of the Trinity.
Do you celebrate St Patrick's Day? If so, how? What does the day mean to you--is it just about wearing green and partying or does it hold some special significance?
Well, we have a winner for the $25 Zappos Gift Card Giveaway.
It is none other than a long time FOJ, Lil Ejypt! Congrats..
On another note, I was committed to writing a blog post everyday. And I have for nearly 3 months. However, yesterday morning, I got news of a death in the family and ended up on the phone for most of the day, and never really got to write the post. I'll make up for it though by having not 1 but TWO giveways in April...stay updated!!!
Here in South Florida, a lot of business is conducted during rounds of golf. The Good Ole Boy Network is alive and well. As a professional woman that doesn't golf, it's sometimes hard to compete with those relationships cemented on the greens.
A lot times, price and service doesn't even factor in. It's more like, "well, my wife's brother sells that, so I have to buy from him" or "my boss has part ownership of XYZ company, so we buy from them." Those kinds of parameters are hard to get around. In fact, it's best to walk away from them and move on to someone else.
Recently, I've been thinking of taking up golf, though walking/riding over a course of 18 holes in order to hit the little ball into the little hole holds absolutely no interest for me. But with the economy taking a dive and sales getting harder to come by, I may need to become the Ole Girl in the Ole Boys Network.
Now, as I settle in to middle age, I truly understand the value of home grown fruits and vegetables. I wish I had the time, patience, and inclination to plant produce. I have grown to LOVE salads. I have a lunch of salad more often than not. And with the price of fresh veggies skyrocketing, I could save a grip.
Now, I need to figure out if anything will even grow here in the land of brutal sun or if I'll have to make some provisions. And the next time Mom comes down to visit, she really needs to show me how to get started. I think I will definitely be more attentive this time.
That little adage never left me, but I must admit that it was long after high school before they took on any real significance. Over and over, I have found myself in situations where her words would resound loudly. "Never stand begging for that which you have the power to earn." And each time, I say to myself, "You're right, Mrs. Broadnax. I have fallen short again," and resolve to do better.
I have no idea of whatever happened to Mrs. Broadnax, or if she is even still alive. But wherever she is, I hope she knows that I heard her and I thank her...
Most people have the problem of not wanting the door to that first opportunity to close and doing whatever they can to keep it propped open. I have a different problem. Once Door #1 opens for me, rather than examining that opportunity, I'm always looking for additional options, hoping that Doors #2, 3, 4, and 28 will open. Sooner or later, Door #1 closes. Only then do I realize that it was the opportunity that I should have pursued.
They say that you will never find resolution for a problem unless you first recognize that there IS a problem. Here's to recognition!
I saw the father of one of the missing. He spoke so eloquently to reporters about his son and his resolve to find him. My heart broke for him and for all of the other family members. I can only hope that I could be so composed and courageous if I were in his place.
I've always told my children that if they were ever missing, that I would NEVER stop looking for them. I pray for comfort for these loved ones.
If you grew up in the hood, and Ebonics is your first language--it won't matter how fat your bank account is--you will still not be able to converse intelligently in civilized society. If you come from a family of mountain bred hillbillies--it won't matter which designer's dress you wear on the red carpet--your siblings will still be caught on camera showing off the latest possum catch.
My point is this--WHY are we surprised when celebrities make bad decisions and do things that don't make sense to us? Don't WE make bad decisions? Don't WE do things that are confusing to others? Why should they be any different? They have the same daily struggles that we do-in fact, many of them have money issues--albeit on a different scale--just like us common folk. Why are our expectations greater for those who have achieved fame?
In some work situations, it is nearly impossible to get tasks accomplished without everyone pulling his own weight. Most everyone is short staffed and overworked--we have to work together. If you are lucky enough to be surrounded with like minded colleagues, it can be a lot less stressful.
But more often than not, there's that rogue team mate who is only out for himself. They show up late. They leave early. They come to meetings unprepared. They sabotage the work of the rest of group. And the one that always gets my goat--when confronted, they pretend that they have no idea what you're talking about, or worse yet, they try to throw someone else under the bus. What is that about???
I think teams are better off without such members. They bring everybody down. I'd much rather undertake a challenge with fewer team members, as long as we are all in it together, wouldn't you?
My son is required to wear uniforms to school, but some of his peers have found a way to make even khaki shorts/pants and golf shirts look slovenly and unkempt. It's actually sad to see youngsters with so little regard for their appearance.
Last night, in a McDonald's parking lot, I noticed teens and young adults coming and going. It was offensive and appalling to see exposed hind parts. Ok, you're right--it WAS Saturday night, but, for most of them, I think this is their regular manner of dress. And when I saw middle aged men rocking the "belt under the buttocks" look, I actually got angry. Why? Why? Why?
And it wasn't just one segment of males--I saw Black, White, Hispanic, etc. It seemed to be generational (discounting the old dudes). Where do these guys work? What employer finds this acceptable? Was this how they showed up for the interview? Is this how they meet women? Go on dates? To nice restaurants and establishments? I just don't see how that could possibly go over well. Could Obama and Joe have sold the stimulus package to America with their back pockets hitting them somewhere around the calf area? I think NOT!
But again, every man everywhere can adopt this style, and there will be one home, down in suburbs of Miami, where the males will dress suitably and respectfully. I hope my son understands...