Sunday, November 29, 2009

Silent Sunday - We Decorated The Tree

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Live a Bigger Life

Go get a cup of coffee or tea. Sit down for 20 minutes and watch Jill Bolte Taylor speak at TED. By the end of it, you'll realize that you can live a bigger life.

Thanks for the read! Take a tour of the green home - see where you can make your home safer too.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cleaning by Leafblower

This week we are getting the Old Stone House ready for the Historical Tour of Homes.

That means cleaning it inside. Normally, a group of ten to twenty ladies from the Historical Society show up with buckets, rags, shop vacs and loads of energy. We usually clean it every spring when it's a little warmer. The bugs come in when it starts to get colder and die off in the winter. It's ready for a good cleaning by spring.

This year we had two days notice and three of us showed up. All with our heads covered, rags and buckets in hand. We also brought the new shop vac.

Jeff had a better idea. He proposed we use the Stihl leafblower and just blow out the bugs and dirt. NO NO NO!!!! We decided there were too many bugs! Instead, he used the industrial leaf blower (still a Stihl) to pick up the piles of bugs Keri and I swept. That worked very well.

Still, the Stihl wanted a better workout. Jeff was itching to try it out. And frankly, I wondered what would happen? There were still some bugs in the rugs. Dust everywhere (we re-pointed the exterior this fall and it created a ton of dust). What did we have to lose? Either way we had to clean it.

So we went ahead and did. (if you can't see the video below, try this link)

It worked!

Now - if you're in the area, buy a ticket for the Historical Tour and come see the fruits of our labor!

(This is not a sponsored post for Stihl. We used a Stihl leafblower. Did we wonder if they have a foundation that supports learning for children, or restoration of historical sites? You betcha.)

Thanks for the read! Take a tour of the green home - see where you can make your home safer too.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Make A Difference

The Old Stone House is one of the featured homes on the Historical Tour of Homes for the Hollydazzle Celebration. (read about it here) .

That means we need to decorate for Christmas. The Geneva United Methodist Church Sunday School has agreed, gladly, to make the decorations and hang them.

The little ones made green and red chain rings and it was serious business! A little bit of glue was eaten, a lot was put on the tables and some even made it onto the construction paper!

The older kids made apple chains. We brought out the old fashioned apple peelers and the Pampered Chef ones too. They peeled long strips of apple that are drying - when Christmas is over, they come off the tree and go outside into the big trees to feed the birds.

We're stringing cranberries and popcorn this week too. A couple of us will go out and chop down some scrub cedar trees, put them in a bucket of sand and add water. The Old Stone House will smell like cedar! After the holidays, we can saw them into cedar pieces and put those pieces around the house and in drawers to keep things fresh.

Next Sunday, November 29th, the entire Sunday School will take the 2 mile trip to the Old Stone House and decorate. The Hampton Chronicle photographer will meet us out there and take pictures - we're going to be in the paper

It's exciting here in Franklin County Iowa. The kids are having a great time decorating and learning a little history along the way. They are also seeing practical ways they can recycle. The adults are thrilled to see their children so happy. We're making a difference!

You can make a difference too. Chip In. Help us restore the Old Stone House and create a living history home - that all can use.

Thanks for the read! Take a tour of the green home - see where you can make your home safer too.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Life Gets in the Way

A tourist plane prepares for take-off from the...Image via Wikipedia

My company has a different promotion each month. It's a great way to motivate you to conduct business from home in a bigger way. Often the promotions are for those of us building a business, but also for the customer.

This month - I did not pursue the promotion. It was a month filled with parents with huge medical dilemmas, a farm sale, new clients at my other business and well, life.

What I did not do: Completely stop my business and allow life to make me nuts.

What I did do was: make sure my team had all the updates and supported them in pursuing the promotion, stayed involved with the team calls each week, kept my business partners informed of what was going on in my life. Because I've learned the basics and work my business around my life, I even enrolled a new team member this month!

I have no guilt over stepping back into a part time position this month. I've learned how to do the day to day right around my schedule. I made a decision based on the events occurring at the time. I stepped down my plan for this month. I was still accountable.

Learn the basics so they become rote
Have a plan and work the plan
Make a decision - step it up or step it down
Be accountable and keep your team accountable

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Farm Sale Today

Today my folks are selling 61 acres of the family farm. It's 31 tillable acres, 28 CRP acres and the rest is timber. If you look at this picture, the land is behind the tree line is being sold.

The folks will pay off some bills, including medical bills of dads, pay off a loan and put the rest into cd's that will generate some interest for them. It will make a big difference in their monthly income. Dad will still fall into the donut hole each year, but maybe they won't be broke by the 20th of each month.

It's being sold for all the right reasons.
There's still about 60 acres left. I live on this farm - and the picture is the view from my office window. Yet, I still mourn. This was where I lived the first 5 years of my life and then my grandparents lived here. I ran and played in the those fields. I have favorite trees in the timber. My grandpa and I would drive to the top of the field and sit on the truck and see for miles. He'd say "Deby, one day this will be yours."

Grandpa knew I'd go off into the big world and become a writer. He encouraged me to read and write all the time. He also knew I'd come home one day.

I'm not going to farm those acres. I am going to miss them.

My friend the preacher said I needed to mourn the loss. I think I am.

Friday, November 20, 2009

One Dollar.

I can show you how to convert your home to safer, non-toxic products. Affordably. $1 memberships until Monday.

What are you waiting on? Just give me a call 641-458-1114 or email

Take a tour of the green home - see where you can make your home safer too.

picture taken from here

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A print with Moses Humphrey and a woman called...Image via Wikipedia

I just want to run.

Pack a bag, get in the car and go.

That's my natural instinct when the going gets tough. I'm a bit overwhelmed you see. It happens. There's so much I want to do and on occasion I agree to do to much.

I'm not running. I'm digging in. I'm working the plan, making adjustments along the way, and reconsidering a few things. I'm talking to friends and associates.

More importantly, I'm talking to you. This is how we learn and grow.

Thanks for listening.

Thanks for the read! Take a tour of the green home - see where you can make your home safer too.
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Give a Gift - Chip In

The Historical Tour of Homes is happening the first weekend in December in Franklin County Iowa. (details to follow)

Can't come? We understand. You're busy. You live far away. You have other plans. You'd like to but just can't. We get it.

We also know something else. We know you have big hearts. We know you'd like to come. We know you don't know how to turn us down and you just won't show up.

Well, let us make your life just a little easier. And let us make you feel a lot better. Why not donate via the ChipIn widget below? For every $15 you donate, we will give a ticket to the Historical Tour of Homes to an ambulatory resident of one of our nursing homes. We'll also send you a charitable contribution receipt for your tax records.


Historical Tour of Homes will feature:

Blum/Boehmler House - designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Harriman Neilsen Historic Farm - lived in since 1918 by Danish sisters until their death.

Country Heritage Bed and Breakfast - a Sears Roebuck house converted to a B and B

Old Stone House - built in 1854 by a man for his wife, and still standing!

Townsend Winery - a new winery in an old barn.

Dates and Times:

December 5 1 pm to 4 pm

December 6 3 pm to 6 pm

You can drive yourself (maps are being made and will be posted) or meet at the park across from the post office. We have buses to take you!


$15 in advance, $20 the day of

Disclosure: I am a board member of the Franklin County Historical Society and the Old Stone House Association. We are not paid for the work we do. We gladly volunteer and take great pride in our historical sites. Money raised from the Historical Tour of Homes will be split 50/50 between the Old Stone House project and the Harriman Nielsen project.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What I Learned From Creative Memories

We got a free Storybook Creator plus 3.0 at (along with some great pizza for dinner). I played around and was easily able to make this picture! I hope I don't stay up all night playing with pics ............I have a presentation to give tomorrow!
We also learned that Creative Memories Memory Manager can organize your photos, and it acts much like Photoshop in the editing of them. It's $40 and available from any of your local Creative Memories representatives. If you don't know have one in your area, go to and at the top is a find a consultant tab.
Gotta run --- I have pictures to play with!
Thanks for the read! Take a tour of the green home - see where you can make your home safer too.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Presentation Highlights

Perry Iowa 20090607 BannerImage via Wikipedia

I'm presenting at (there are still some tickets left btw). Here's the highlights from that presentation.

Find a Passion - then share it
Write A Newspaper
Join the Chamber of Commerce
Get Involved with Tourism
Make Friends on Twitter
Go to Kansas and Work in a Salt Mine
Join the Historical Society
Rebuild a Stone House
Find the Questers
Write a Blog the Entire Time
Interact with the Attendees
Answer a lot of Questions
The End

You just might want to come - great presenters, free headshots, great food, fantastic hotel -- all for $75 for the conference and $99 for the hotel room. What else have you got to do this weekend?

Thanks for the read! Take a tour of the green home - see where you can make your home safer too.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

SOBCON08 Christine Kane with fansImage by ShashiBellamkonda via Flickr

I'm busy prepping for and today we have a guest blogger. I love Christine Kane and here's some great advice!

Let's face it. No matter how much progress we make, we're still going to have "bad days."

You know the ones. When the old critical voices are milling about drinking martinis and eating crab puffs in your head. You try to send them all away with your favorite powerful affirmation, but only a few of them even look up - and one of them turns away and lights a cigarette.

What do you do when no matter what you do, you just feel awful?

Very few success-gurus talk about the bad day, or even the process of following your dreams and the persistence it takes to shift old patterns.

Truth is, sometimes it helps to hear someone be honest about this stuff. Not so that you can indulge in self-pity about how hard you have it. But so that when the bad day strikes, you have some leverage.

So, how do you survive a bad day?

Here's a few things that might help…


1 - The voices do not tell the truth.

They're just your old voices coming up to feed. Do not feed them. This is what makes them stay. Even if you're already hooked in, the best way to begin the unhooking is to rest, or to be very kind to you.

2 - This is not who you are.

The voices like to tell you that this depressed person is who you really are and that the rest of the world doesn't have these same flaws. Not true. This is just a temporary set back. That's all.

3 - Mochaccinos don't take the voices away. It just makes them go faster.

Bad Days are not a call to rush out to Starbucks, hoping that if you move faster, it will all go away. If there's any action that needs to be taken now, it's probably a nap.

4 - You don't have to be productive today.

It's okay to put down your goals and to-dos for one day. You can return to them tomorrow. Today, make it your goal to just get through the day being kind to yourself. Think of it as a sick day. Maybe there's no PROOF – like a fever. But your insides are sick. Let them heal.

5 - Everything seems worse when you're tired or hungry.

Eat something yummy. Take a nap. Or go somewhere and sit quietly.


1 - Stop feeling bad about feeling bad.

If it helps, make today a container. Know that you're allowed to have this stuff and that nothing horrid is going to happen with this one day of getting thrown off.

2 - Make no decisions.

The late Richard Carlson, author and psychologist, gave this great advice: "Never make decisions when you're in a low mood." His belief was that low moods are a natural occurrence and that any low-mood decisions are typically not healthy. Put off all decisions when you're having a bad day.

3 - Don't read fashion magazines. Or the news.

4 - Take a 20 minute walk.

Bring a gentle affirmation along with you. On days like this you don't want to say, "I am master of the universe!!!" On days like this you want to say, "I am loved. I am safe."

5 - Don't try to fix yourself today.

No need to rush to the Self-Help section at Borders. Maybe steps you can take toward being healthier in the big picture, but not today. Today, let yourself stop.

6 - Lower your standards.

If you get out of bed, or eat a good healthy meal, be proud. Tomorrow you can have your old high standards back and be productive and evolved and all that. Not today.

7 - Say NO to anything if it's motivated by the word "should."

This is a good rule to follow on good days too!

8 - Ask yourself what you feel like doing.

Sometimes the answer to this can be surprising. Maybe you'll want to begin a fiction audiobook and clean your closet! Maybe you'll just want a nap.

9 - Don't do anything destructive.

Don't overdose on sugar or indulge in alcohol. Don't call anyone who drains you. It will not make this better.


Be very, very kind to yourself.

Be the way you would be with someone who is sad or hurting or scared. Because today, you are.


That the victory is not about not having bad days anymore. The victory is that you can get back up after having one.

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at

Thanks for the read! Take a tour of the green home - see where you can make your home safer too.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Names of Vietnam veterans at Vietnam Veterans ...Image via Wikipedia

The degree of passion for your business is the degree of success you'll have.

Find out why you want to work a second business. Money is not a good enough reason why. What will that money provide you?

The number of deer on the road is in direct proportion to the amount of fading sunlight. Drive carefully.

My mom gets smarter as I get older.

Jillian said last night"do it right now. Right in this moment, it's all you have. There is no later." Amen sister.

If you think you're broke, you'll always be broke. What you think about will come to you. Change your thinking, change your world.

We can't control what happens to us, we can control how we react to it.

When you complain, have you considered your part in the problem? Have you done everything you can to make a difference?

I feel like a kid again. I have friends I've never seen. Thanks twitter!

My town honors it's veterans with a program at the local high school. They want to put those kids in touch with those heroes. I am humbled.

If you don't know a veteran, you need to get out more. Today would be good. Visit any nursing home - spend an afternoon with someone who really made a difference.

Thanks for the read! Take a tour of the green home - see where you can make your home safer too.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Presentation or A Party?

It's Carnival in Brazil, it's Show time !Image by = xAv = () via Flickr

I'm four days away from speaking at the I Blog Conference.

I'll be talking about being a part of a community. I'll share about working with the Chamber, Tourism Board, Historical Society and the Questers. I'll put my presentation up on when I'm done.

All of that is great, but is that kind of "I talk you listen" presentation really representative of being a part of a community?

Not in my world.

I'll be talking for sure, but I'll be asking a lot of questions too. Which means I'll be listening. I'm looking at the websites of attendees now and thinking about how they belong to a community. I'm reviewing the speakers sites (and we've got some great speakers too!) and seeing the various ways they reach out to their communities.

In the end, it's all about how we share love. If you hold it close to your vest, like a good hand of cards, you'll only be surrounded by a little love. If you reach out to your community and spread the love - oh imagine the circle you've just built for yourself!

I'll be talking about community, creating ideas for others, and building a new community. That's the kind of presentation I want to hear!

There are still openings for attendees. Visit and/or email Jody Halsted at jody at iblogconference dot com.

Thanks for the read! Take a tour of the green home - see where you can make your home safer too.
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Monday, November 9, 2009

What if today was a conference?

What if you treated one day a week like a conference? Jon Swanson (he of and fame) gave me that idea.

At conferences, you go to break out sessions, you talk to people in the hallways, you get a keynote speaker over lunch, you go for drinks and/or dinner at night. Laptops are brought to take notes on, your camera to take pictures, your phone to take more pics and record things. You leave feeling energized, ready to tackle the world and with new friends.

Today I had three breakout sessions. I attended a email newsletter writing seminar first, then worked with a group of people to plan an annual dinner. In the afternoon, I taught a press release writing seminar. In the hallways I met an old friend and we practiced dancing to Michael Jackson songs (saw the movie this weekend). Dinner was just a cup of coffee with two friends where we planned an event to happen next year!

Did that all happen? Yes it did. I worked on email newsletters, planned an annual dinner, taught someone how to write press releases, did some dancing and planned an event for next year.

Was it a conference? I don't know, you tell me!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Work Together

I was a little ticked off.

I've been building my business in my local community for about three years now. I've gone to meetings, events, homes and set up my table. I've shared information, talked about products, took a lot of names and numbers.

I thought by now everyone would know who I am. Deb Brown, Melaleuca marketing executive.

Apparently not. There were three events in town this weekend, and I was invited to only one of them. I thought people knew who I am! I mean, I've been to other events with some of these people!

It's interesting working in a small community. We all think we know each other. Sometimes our businesses conflict. Most of the time the entrepreneurial small businesses compliment one another. Why don't we work together?

Then it dawned on me. I play a part in this too! Instead of bitching I can be making phone calls. This week I'm going to call all the small businesses I know of, introduce myself and see what we can do for each other.

Be a part of the solution, instead of a part of the problem.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Six Things to Fix the Problem

Let's just get to the crux of things. Don't you just hate it when customers/clients leave?

Has any of these things happened to you?

1. someone said they were really interested in joining your team and then disappeared

2. someone joined your team and said they were really ready to rock 'n roll - then disappeared

3. someone joined your team, rock n rolled for awhile - then disappeared

I think people want to do good. I think they like the idea of network marketing and making money. I think they have no idea how hard it really is. Well, not hard - but certainly work.

There are six things you can do to minimize the number of disappearers.

1. Strengthen your communications.

Learn to ask a lot of question and LISTEN to the answers. Do this when you first begin talking to the prospect. Find out why they want to work from home. Find out what their dreams for the future are. Find out what they do now. Find out why they want to leave that, if they do. Then when they become clients/customers - keep asking questions. Keep listening. Don't be afraid of the answers - they will let you know what they want.

2. What you do, your customer/client will do.

Are you working your business in a consistent fashion? Do you have a schedule? Are you available when you say you will be? Practice what you preach. Be your word.

3. Know when to let them go.

Not everyone is going to want to go in the direction you are going. If you are communicating well, you'll know when someone is not ready. Your business/product should be strong enough to stand on its own. You don't need to beg, or reason relentlessly with anyone.

4. Don't take it personally.

If you have done your job, talked and listened to your customer/client, been available when you've said you would be - then there is no reason to take someone leaving (or disappearing) personally.

5. Continue to work on your own self development.

The more you grow, the more your customer/client will grow. Read the leaders in your industry, go to all the conferences, network with those doing what it is you want to do. Grow.

6. Sometimes people just disappear.

It happens. If you've done the five steps above, the disappearances become less frequent. But sometimes, people just disappear.
photo courtesy of

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hollydazzle Historical Tour of Homes

Do you remember as a kid driving around and looking at homes? Back in the 60's my folks would pile us into the car and we'd go for a ride. We'd drive by homes and maybe we knew them - so mom would tell us the story of the family. Maybe we didn't know them, and we'd make up our own stories! Once and awhile we'd stop and visit. Usually though, we would just drive around looking.

What if you could get on a bus, go visit 5 historical homes, get a full tour of each home, ask all the questions you want, eat and drink and maybe even have a glass of wine when it's all over?

Now you can.

Welcome to the Hollydazzle Historical Tour of Homes. We will be touring the Blum/Boehmler House in Hampton, The Harriman Nielsen House on the West edge of Hampton, Country Heritage Bed and Breakfast five miles West of Hampton, The Old Stone House on the way to Geneva and ending at Townsend Winery in Hansell. You will learn the history of each home, be able to ask all the questions you want, enjoy a light repast at several homes and receive a wine tasting at the Winery.

December 5: one to four p.m. or December 6: three to six p.m.

meet the bus by the park across from the Post Office. Or you can drive yourself if you like.

everyone is invited! There is a charge of $15 in advance or $20 the day of. Tickets can be purchased at the speciality shops downtown, the banks, at Center 1 or simply call Deb at 641-458-1114 and she'll arrange one to be sent to you! There will be a widget very soon at

This is a fundraiser with proceeds to be divided between the Old Stone House and the Harriman Neilsen House - both properties of the Franklin County Historical Society.

Can't come? Why not give a loved one a ticket for an early Christmas gift? Or purchase a ticket and let's us share it with a resident of one of the nursing homes?

Please come - you're supporting the Franklin County Historical Society and you'll also have the opportunity to enjoy a few of the county's historical homes!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Why not just do it?

The day started out with Forces of Nature. Now it's Jerry Maguire. The sun is shining, the corn is drying out. We got an extra hour of sleep.

I have some choices to make.

Church? Easy enough, yes I'm going. Work this afternoon? Another yes. Calendar for the week for the paper, thank you letters for donations, another blog post.

I have a big project that I am having trouble facing. I find plenty of busy work to avoid it. I've been thinking - why do I do that?

1. It's a thinking project and requires correct timing for all the work. Trying to get it organized in my head.

2. It could affect my entire future. If it is amazing, it's a springboard to other great projects. It's got to be perfect.

3. Finally, what if it is not? Perfect. What if I'm a failure at it? Why not just be a failure now - and be able to blame extenuating circumstances?

So of course number 3 is the biggie. I can handle 1 and 2. How often do we NOT do something because we are afraid we might fail?

Today - I'll work on the project. With joy. If it's great - yahoo! If it's not - I know that I stepped out, did my best, put my heart and soul in it ... and I enjoyed the process.

Fear - you can leave the room now. I'm that good and fear does not need to be in the equation. So there.

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