November 2009

Saturday evening, I was thrust into a significant, unexpected transition. This event tests the byline for this blog: changes, challenges – and it’s all good. How is it all good? I don’t know, however I believe deep in my gut that the good will be revealed.

My husband passed away suddenly, unexpectedly, yet seemingly peacefully on Saturday evening. I am in shock.

I am grateful for the time we were together. I learned many lessons from him. There will be more to share about those lessons and about this period of transition as I move forward.

May the memory of Herschel Avraham be for a blessing.


We all have routines: Get up, work, household responsibilities, eat, and go to bed. There’s probably not much joy in some of our schedules. What could we add to spice our lives up a bit? What healthy, joyful, and fun activities could we include?

I discussed this with a friend today; here are some options:

  • Center yourself. Develop your spiritual side through motivational reading or inspirational lectures.
  • Music. Play your favorite CDs while doing mundane tasks. Sing in the car or the shower! Listen to soothing music as you fall asleep.
  • Enjoyable activities. What gives you joy? A walk in the park? Watching the sunset? Bird watching? Seek out these activities once a week.
  • Weekend events. Meet up with friends or family (or both). Go out for coffee; take in a movie; visit a museum, or check out a local festival.
  • Celebrations. Create a beautiful environment with a fancy tablecloth (stunning heavy paper cloths work), simple yet elegant centerpieces (use gourds and cut branches or tapers), and wholesome food.

What joyful activities will you add to your routine?

My fellow blogger, Jane Levesque, posted a beautiful and poignant tribute to her dad here. This got me thinking about the real-time lessons we learn from the non-traditional teachers in our lives.

Our parents, grandparents, children, friends, mentors, _____ (you fill in the blank) are teachers. All we have to do is keep our eyes and ears open so that we can learn what they have to teach us. Hopefully we learn from their experiences and pass on that knowledge.

Jane’s dad said, “Don’t quit.” That simple lesson will keep me travelling through transitions.

Please feel free to share the lessons you’ve learned on your journey.

November 11, 2009 – Veteran’s Day in the U.S. What does that have to do with my volunteer activity that day? Service.

Cuyahoga Valley Career Center counsels their seniors about interviewing. Part of that process is an appearance at a mock interview panel. Panel members human resources people and industry experts. Yours truly served as the technical writer expert. 

My CVCC Panel

What a wonderful experience! I enjoyed myself, learned some things, and met great people.

Are you an industry expert? Volunteer your time to interview, mentor, or guide experts-in-training!

The Home Office Link (HOL in Beachwood, OH) does it again! Our meeting presenters always provide clear, useful information for the home office and small business.

Phil Setnik ( presented at our November monthly meeting in Beachwood, Ohio. Phil de-mystified technology, shared software website information, and provided understandable guidelines about storage. He shared specifics about the latest tools (from phones to netbooks), back-ups options, and firewalls.

My take-aways were:

  • Back up my data regularly.
  • Don’t store my backed up data in the same place as my computer; store the back up off site.
  • Test the backed up data to ensure I can access it.
  • Upgrade my technology!

What are your technology needs? Do you need wireless access? Is a Smartphone or iPhone sufficient for off-site information review? If you’re not sure, find yourself a computer geek who can speak your language!

As for me – I’m meeting with Phil next week! Thanks, Phil.

Why? It’s fun, keeps you busy, and you contribute to your community or favorite organization. And there are some side benefits: you can learn new skills, augment your current skill set, and meet new people. The best part – you get to choose the organization!

Recently, a community organizer requested volunteers. She needed folks who would make calls to raise funds for that organization. I automatically said, “Yes.”

Afterwards, I tried to figure out why I automatically stepped up to the plate. Bottom line – it’s in my blood! I come from a long line of volunteers – men and women on all sides of my family. There were/are organization presidents, treasurers, founding members of organizations, and chapter leaders. These people taught me how to say “yes” when asked to help an association or club.

I spent a fun afternoon with new people in a pleasant environment. Although I didn’t learn any new skills in this gig, I broke out of my comfort zone. I was  not comfortable calling folks and asking for money. However, there was a great need and I wanted to try and help.

Where do you volunteer? What volunteer opportunities do you enjoy?

Fall is living up to its name. It’s a blustery day and the leaves are falling like snow! For some of my neighbors, many of their leaves are already down, covering the lawns. The grass is barely visible – looks like multi-colored snow! Some of my industrious neighbors have piled up their leaves on the tree lawn, creating beautifully vibrant colored piles.

These piles are very inviting! Ready to jump into the piles? How about creating leafy snowmen?

leaf jumping

Happy Fall!

Next Page »