Friday, July 31, 2009

How to Make Your Life A Drama Free Zone

One of the hardest things I ever had to admit was that I was a total drama queen. And one of the best things I ever did was to give up my crown and step down from that throne.

That's because drama - with all of its he-said-she-said, self-righteous anger, and done-me-wrong stories - is one big MAJOR distraction. It pulls our attention away from our dreams.

Many of us were taught that if we don't get hooked into drama, then we lack compassion. We're taught that emotion and drama are inseparable.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Emotion is the feeling, or energy, that moves through us. Drama is the thoughts and the hooks that create stories and reel other people into them. It steals our time.

Like the excess clutter that fills our closets and shelves, we can just simply let the drama go.

Becoming drama-free is more about creating space than anything else. Space for better thoughts. Space for clarity. Space for taking conscious action toward our dreams.

So, here's five ways to make your life a drama-free zone so that you, too, can have the perfect, abundant, spacious life you've always wanted.

1 - Bring awareness to your reactions.

Being a Drama-Queen requires one thing: Unconsciousness.

To shift your dramatic tendencies, start by becoming aware of your own reactions.

Though it can be tempting to point at all the drama-queens around you, start within you first. See clearly what hooks you, what compels you to gossip, what makes you judgmental of others.

Most of our unhappiness comes from one thing: our judgment.

So, where do you paint life situations with your self-righteousness or judgment? Where do you collapse because you judge yourself so harshly? Where do you want people to behave differently so that you can be happy or successful?

(And why not go ahead and just be happy and successful anyway?)

2 - Think R.O.I.

R.O.I. is "Return on Investment."

Every time you give your energy and your time to something, you are investing in it. You are, in essence, voting for it.

An entrepreneur thinks in terms of "returns" on investments. When you engage in gossip, whininess, self-righteousness, explaining yourself - you are literally getting no return on your investment. (Except fatigue!)

Your energy is your investment. So is your time. Ask yourself throughout the day, "What am I voting for here? What kind of return will I get on this activity?"

3 - Proactive communication

Melanie, a college professor, was expected to visit her family in Detroit every Christmas.

Melanie told me that she just wanted to take the holiday for self-care and reflection after a grueling semester. She didn't want to travel!

I encouraged proactive communication.

Rather than waiting for her usual sense of frustration to arrive in November, Melanie made calls in August to let her family know that she had other plans for the holidays.
She discovered that she was able to speak more clearly and compassionately because she chose to be proactive. She never once got dramatic!

Proactive communication means that you communicate when the emotional charge of the situation has passed, or has not yet arrived!

4 - Regular Exercise

There's a reason that everyone from doctors to trainers tell us to get our heart-rates up for at least 20-minutes a day. Exercise uplevels our mental health, our emotional health AND our physical health.

In other words, the more you increase your heart-rate, the more you decrease your drama!

5 - When Drama Strikes, Ask Three questions

Here are three powerful questions to ask yourself in the face of drama:
(1) What's my story here?

This is what you tell yourself in your head. "If I don't, then no one will." "I'm unworthy." "No one recognizes the good I do." "These people are idiots!" This is your "story." You probably know it well!

(2) Who would I be without this story?

Imagine that an angel surgeon comes into the room, and surgically removes that story from your head. You can't find it no matter how hard you try. Who would you be without that story? What does it feel like to move forward without it?

(3) How do I WANT to feel?

You always have a choice. But it's easier to MAKE the choice when you know your options!

So, when you remind yourself how you WANT to feel, you offer yourself a more empowered option than the drama. Even if you can't get there right away, make sure you know that this is where you can be if you choose it.

Guest Post by Christine Kane -- our thanks to her!

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

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Shadow Effect - DVD Review

I saw that Debbie Ford, Deepak Chopra, and Marianne Williamson were featured in this informational movie. That peeked my interest. I respect all of those people and value their opinions, even if I don't always agree with them.

I watched the trailer on youtube. (click here)

Okay, now I knew I had to see this movie. I followed Debbie Ford on twitter ( ) and watched to see what she was talking about. Debbie is full of joy -- and sometimes hot air. Her life is exactly how she has created it - and that works for me. I may not live as she does -- but I can take the lessons she teaches and apply them to my life. She tweeted:

It's the work of a spiritual warrior to tell yourself the truth and shine light on the darkness of your past. Where is your light shining?

What you can't be with, won't let you be...

If you're in worry,concern or hopelessness;the shadow of fear has taken over your consciousness.BUST yourself & choose the vibe of faith

Any good twitter'er will tell you to see who someone is following, then follow them. So I followed Deepak Chopra ( Here's a few of his tweets:

The mystery of love defies logic."The heart has reasons that reason does not know".

On a tombstone: I was where you are. You will be where I am

It is I who am the light. I am the ALL. Split a piece of wood,and I am there. Part the stone, and you will find Me Gospel of Thomas

Still, I wasn't totally compelled to spend hard earned money (note that phrase for later*) on a DVD about my shadow.

Then -- I received an email requesting that I review the DVD - and write about it. I quickly filled in the form and waited. Three days. It was in my mailbox. No kidding, three days.

There were two dvd's in the case - I chose to watch the shorter movie first. Frankly, that was the smart move.

So what is the shadow effect? A simple definition would be: your dark side that is controlling how you think. Huh? Let me explain a little more. We all have secrets. Things we are not very proud of and keep in the dark. They could be actions we committed, thoughts we think, even bad behavior. The premise is these secrets drive us and pop up when we least want them to. That is the shadow effect.

What you resist, persists. If you try to ignore it, it will find it's way to the surface. Sooner or later, you'll get to deal with it. Sometimes and often - more than once!

I slept on what I saw - and then took a Sunday afternoon and watched the second DVD. This movie was broken into sections with workshops in between. I'm still working on what I learned about myself. I believe this just might be an ongoing process. It's not easy facing your demons and bringing them out into the light. It is, however, life changing.

The biggest lesson I learned? The lesson of projection. What you are thinking about someone else (he's stupid, she's a bitch, I hate her) - is often really just what you are thinking about yourself. And it's tied into your shadow - and you are probably hiding from yourself. Deep - I know.

You can order the movie here . Or buy the online version here.

Featuring as guests in The Shadow Effect
Deepak Chopra

Marianne Williamson

James Van Praagh

*hard earned money -- that was a shadow effect for me. I had the thought of making money always tied into working hard for it. Like I didn't deserve it unless I worked really hard for it. So I could never spend money because I worked too hard to 'fritter' it away. I thought that I could not always work hard - one day I'd be old and unable to work hard. Then where would my money come from? Can you see how this would create a crazy shadow over my thinking and how I spent money?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jersey Shore

Avalon has many beaches on the New Jersey shore.Image via Wikipedia

I'm going to the Jersey Shore. My mind is only on seeing the ocean, dipping my feet in the water and taking a deep breath.

I've been working a long time without a break.

Here's a little advice:

take care of yourself first. Take the time you need to recharge.

If the only thing I can think of is going to the beach - how good am I at working for my clients?

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Advice to a Young Woman

Black EyeImage via Wikipedia

Dear Diary,

Week One: He's really cute. He's got that perfect hair and cute dimple. He holds my hand in public! He makes sure everyone knows we are together. He wants to hear all my conversations with my girlfriends. We do EVERYTHING together. How lucky am I?

Week Two: Maybe he's right, my girlfriend doesn't know everything. Why would she want me to not be with him all the time? Doesn't she know we are in love? He just wants to be with me. We don't need a lot of friends. We have each other.

Week Three: I didn't need to go to that birthday party for my cousin. He's right, making love was a whole lot more fun. My cousin will get over it.

Week Four: He had too much to drink last night. He's really sorry he got so mad. He didn't mean to slap me, he was just scared I'd leave him. He didn't mean to say those awful things. I'm not really fat, just could stand to lose a few pounds. He cried! He asked me to forgive him. He promised he'd never do that again. He promised.

Week Five: Do you think my butt looks fat? He didn't say so, he just asked were my pants getting tighter. He said he could help me choose the right clothes. He just wants me to look really good. He said I look better without makeup too. He's going to get me a new cell phone - he took my old one because he said a new one would be better. He said he'd do that today. He promised.

Week Six: My eye is black and blue and I can't go to work like this. He got so upset when I asked for my phone. I know he's not made of money, and he works so hard and wants to take care of me. I should have realized that. He didn't want to hit me, he just couldn't stand all the whining I was doing. I have to watch what I say, I don't want to upset him again. He didn't mean to hit me - it really was my fault. Why can't I be nicer to him?

Week Seven: I'm really tired. We stayed up for two days straight just talking and making love. We tried this drug he brought home. One of his coworkers gave it to him and said it was meth and would help us be a better couple and get things done. I know I know, but this is really good and I got so much done and we talked over all our dreams and plans. I won't do it again anytime soon. I'm really tired now. He finally went to sleep, so now I will.

Week Eight: He's drinking a lot. Says he needs to so he can sleep. We are smoking meth. It's pretty wonderful - my house is so clean! I don't work anymore. I got laid off when I had that black eye and they just told me not to come back. I was late a lot. I cook for him. He wants a hot meal when he comes home. I forgot the time on Tuesday cause I was cleaning so much - and I didn't have his dinner ready. What was I thinking? He twisted my arm hard so I'd see what it was I was forgetting. My shoulder still hurts, but I don't complain. He's trying so hard to take care of me. He's all I have. He loves me so much.

Week Nine: I'm in the hospital. I have fractured ribs, a broken arm and a concussion. I told the ER I fell down some stairs when I tripped over a stuffed animal. I didn't though. My house is too clean to have a stuffed animal just laying around. He pushed me down the stairs. I don't even know why. I must have done something wrong. I just don't know what. I hope he comes and visits soon. He'll tell me what I did and how not to do that again. He does love me you know.

Week Ten: There is no entry. She is dead. Her father found her in the house dead. They think she'd been up for several days and she had a head injury from being hit with a lamp. The boyfriend is gone and the police are still looking for him.

No one deserves to be abused. Recognize the signs. Know that your self-esteem is the first thing an abuser takes away from you. Get help. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009


Content In A Cottage calls it wordless Wednesday. Ahhh .. a few short words. Pics taken at the fair and around the farm (see the tall corn!).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


early Egyptian juggling art :en:fr:Image:Jongl...Image via Wikipedia

It's important to manage your time.

If you're like me, you are doing four things at once and trying to keep all the balls in the air.

I am not a good juggler. That's Lesson Number One. Know What You Are Good At.

I am good at talking to people, following a schedule, answering questions.

I am not good at follow through. I suck at doing repetitive work. I shine early in the day- I am stupid by the end of the day.

So for me to manage time effectively, I have to do these things.

1. make my phone calls in the morning, when I'm 'on'.

2. schedule my follow up appointments on my Google calendar. I look at it all the time, it gives me a reminder,and I do what it tells me to do.

3. Utilize the tools my company provides to me. I don't have to teach EVERYONE. I can direct everyone to the places that teaching is occurring. Then I can answer their questions. If they haven't done their work, why am I bothering to teach them?

4. Schedule creative activities into my day. It wakes me up, motivates me to talk to people, and creates new leads for me.

What time management skills work for you? Is there any software you use that helps? I know one woman who uses a paper calendar book and color codes it. What about you?

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dead Fish

I just read an article online at the Globe Gazette. It said cleaning products dumped into a creek in Cedar Rapids are killing the fish. It was the employees from the nearby Harding Middle School dumping the cleaning products into the creek. (here's the article)

Come on people -- why do we continue to use these hazardous products? If they are killing the fish, what is the everyday exposure to your children doing?

There IS a better way. Go to , take the toxic home tour - and shoot me an email or give me a call at 515-834-0155. Let's talk.

What about safer for your family, less expensive that store brands and delivered to your door is so hard to understand?
The picture is taken from the Daily Mail online in the UK. They have found in Great Britain that household cleaning supplies in the water are triggering the growth of drug resistant bugs. Have you taken the toxic home tour yet?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

County Fair Rules!

I spent the day at the fair. I walked around and took pictures. I volunteered for 3 hours at the Democratic booth (you don't live for 30 years in Chicago and leave as anything other than a Democrat). I had a light repast (hamburger, Doritos and a Pepsi - plus real homemade ice cream using Watkins Vanilla flavoring).

It was perfect weather - light sun, great breeze and about 78 degrees.

You can find all the pictures I've been taking at Here are just a few really great shots.

This couple rode the golf cart with me to the parking lot.
I asked them could I take their picture - this was the response I got.

Three old guys, a tractor and a bear. Now that's a county fair.

Ben goes to my church and he showed me the rabbits he had at the fair for 4-H. Between him and his sister Meghan, they had about 15 of them. I asked him what happens to the rabbits after the fair. He slowly answered
"Deb, some of them go home and some of them go into the frying pan."

I once had a boyfriend who told me he loved the way the shadows danced across my face. I thought he was full of it. Until I took this picture. The shadows on this little girls face just add to her angelic beauty.

This is my niece and her boyfriend and my 4 year old great nephew. Who really just wants to go on a ride. That's all. Just a ride.

Best t-shirt of the fair. Hands down.

Another loyal Obama supporter. Start those Democrats young I say.

This is Brook on the left - he's the Chamber Executive Director. The fella with him is the guy that made Brook's uncle's coffin. Yeah, there's a story coming.

And this is really what a country county fair is all about. Little boys.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Franklin County 150th Fair Parade

We live in Franklin County Iowa, population a little over 10,000 people. Most of them were at the 150th Celebration of the Fair Parade today. We had 169 different vehicles in the parade. That's huge! Deb took over 450 photos. Here's just a handful.

Past and future queens. Aren't they beautiful?

Anyone from the county can march in the parade. This young fella was a little shy, but he stepped up to the plate and had a great time.

This young lady and her friend's puppy was the happiest duo in the parade!

Everyone needs a top banana.

The Daughters of the American Revolution know how to have a good laugh.

Team work. He made that trailer run. That's dedication.

The local grocery store was giving away milk. Milk!

The folks over at the hospital came with a great showing for their county. Love the t-shirts!

Churches participate in the parade as well.
The lady on the end said it best "it's all about teamwork."

Nice, respectable young men.

You can see all the pictures from the Fair that Deb took by goingto the link in the upper right hand corner. She'll be adding pictures all week for you to look at.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wish List

I love to read. At any given time I have three books I'm reading. I thought I'd write today about my wish list. The books I want.

Network Your Way to Millions by Russ Paley Russ is a leader and maniac in our company. He reminds me of the Gary Vaynerchuk of Melaleuca. He just never stops. This is the guy to emulate.

'CoverCover via Amazon

The TimeTables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events by Bernard Grun Awww come on, tell me this doesn't interest you to? I mean, you can go back in time and have it all make sense.

'CoverCover via Amazon

Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World by Rita Goldman Gelman I am a traveler and like the idea of being a female nomad, living at large in the world.

The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci The man was a genius who didn't think he was. Maybe, just maybe, his notebook will give some insight into things I might be doing.

What's on your wish list?

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Morning Musing

I live in a county of 10,000 people. I like it here. I had lived in Chicago and enjoyed it there too. Home is still Geneva Iowa though. I have fun visiting Chicago and love the restaurants, and friends and museums and coffee everywhere. But there is something to be said for the quiet mornings, the knowing everyone in town, the beauty of the country - and being surrounded by family and friends who've known you all your life.

City Hall gets creative with flowers and pipes.

Neighbors and kids come out for a barbeque.

I can listen to the Municipal Band (and they're really good) with my friends in the outdoors. Walk around and visit and no one yells at you to sit down.

My mom is here.

View from deck to the South.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Worked In An Adult Bar - Lessons Learned

CashImage by Bashed via Flickr

I must have embarassed myself a lot as a kid, because I don't remember being so embarassed as an adult. That's not to say I don't remember doing stupid things. I do them on a pretty regular basis. My friend Clemmie would say "it's all a part of growing up kid." In the back of my head is the constant thought ' what am I supposed to learn from this?' I believe if you don't learn something, you'll repeat the error bigger and better until you do get the lesson! Better to be slapped upside the head than hit over the top of it with a 2 x 4.

I worked at an adult bar in college. Hold onto your hat - I wasn't topless! I was a waitress. I saw an ad in the paper for a waitress. At the time I was working at Dairy Queen and just could NOT get the damn soft serve ice cream to make a decent ice cream cone. I was a day away from being fired. So I went down the road (literally) and talked to the manager. This was in 1973 and he was a real sleezeball. But he said I'd get paid $5 an hour and TIPS. The idea of getting extra money for being nice appealed to me. My first introduction into the world of money for being nice! I started that night. My shift was 6 pm to 2 am.

Here's what I learned.
Adult bar means topless. Duh. . I mean you have to be old enough to drink and (hopefully) you are already an adult.

Most of the women dancing needed the money. For kids. For drugs. For a better lifestyle. To them, they were just doing a job. They liked the whole tips idea too.

Men that go to adult bars turn into pigs. They can be the nicest guy in the world in the daylight. Step into that dark, smoky bar with topless women and a switch goes off in their brains. Loud, rude comments. Misogynistic behavior. Married men? They leave their rings at the door (in their minds). You'd never know they had a woman at home. You'd think they had never seen a naked woman.

It's a tips based business. It's true, the harder you work - the more money you make. But there's a compromise. You gotta be willing to do and say things you would never do in the 'real world'. I had to flirt with the creeps. I had to be willing to put with a touch here or there. I had to ignore those guys when I saw them on the street

You need to know just what you are willing to do. I learned pretty quickly this was not the business for me. Yeah, the money was great. But I would wake up in the morning dreading my day - thinking all day about what I had to do that night. I made myself sick. I really hated that job.

It lasted about 2 months. Then I went and found a job as a lineman for the phone company. The first female in the state. But that's another story for another day!

I came to think about this post when I read Bubba's What I Learned From Group Writing Project over at It's not too late for you to post what you learned from an embarrassing mistake.
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Friday, July 10, 2009

Many Hands Make Light Work

At 3 pm today I went to Pleasant Hill over at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. We had to clean the buildings and move all the old machinery to Grandpa's Farm. There was a fear that not very many people would show up.

There were over 50 people there! At least 20 of them were under the age of 25. It was marvelous to watch them work and chip right in. A lot of "what can I do now?". Our volunteer base is usually older - over 60 years of age.

We tried something different. We wrote about it in the big newspaper and the little one. Wilda managed to get interviewed on TV in Mason City and she mentioned it. We shared it on twitter and facebook.

People showed up from all the towns in our county. They heard about it in the papers, on facebook, on tv - and they were excited to come! We learned -- just ask, and they will come.

Enjoy the video - I believe we were given Amazing Grace tonight.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Diane Birch - Must Have Music

Diane Birch looks about fifteen. She is in her twenties. She sings like she's in her fifties.

The music from her cd Bible Belt runs in the background at my home office. Just about every day. It's rock, gospel, blues, country - all rolled into the music that is Diane Birch. She's got a voice like those girls you hear in the subway stations in Chicago, or on the streets of New Orleans. Raw, rich and real.

Rise Up - lyrics from one verse

You gotta rise up little sister
Turn on the light
Wise up to the stories you’ve been told
Cuz love don’t come in black or white
Oh no no no

This is just a taste of lyrics that make sense in a nonsensical world.

When I listen to Diane Birch, I just want to get up and move. I want to reflect. I want to focus. I want to create. It's music that moves through you.

You can find lyrics, sounds, tour info, pictures, media stuff all at

Did I mention she also played at the 140 Conference in New York, sponsored by Jeff Pulver? Yeah, she's hip too.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Conversation With The Competition

Brad Hicks is the Publisher of the Hampton Chronicle, one of the papers falls under the Mid America Publishing banner I love small town living! I got the opportunity to interview Brad for our paper and am very happy to report he is a big supporter of Hampton! Enjoy the read.

Where are you from? I grew up in Jefferson, which is by Ames.

What brought you to Hampton? My wife is from Mason City and her dad got cancer. She wanted to be closer to her family so I started looking for newspaper jobs near Mason City. We've been here 17 years and raised our two boys here. Joshua will be 19 and is going off to college. A.J. Is 15 and in school here.

Why did you decide to follow journalism? I was a nosy, big mouthed kid and wanted to know everything first. Then I wanted to tell everyone what I knew! I've mostly grown out of that.
I went to college at Iowa State. Majored in journalism in 1984 and spent four years in Vinton as sports and news editor – a daily paper owned by Midamerica. I then went to Mount Pleasant for three years as the news editor. We spent one year in Faribault, MN (me as managing editor) and then I went hunting. Mid America was looking for me (they just didn't know it, but that's how it worked out).

Do you still write a lot? Very little, I wrote my column and occasionally the editorial for the Hampton paper. I don't miss the writing so much, but I do miss not having the background information I had when I was a reporter. For me its fun to write when I know things and can share them.

I am starting to notice your news stories a little more. Are you doing something different? The reality of small town newspapers is the content ebbs and flows with the writers. That's where the editing comes in – finding the right flow. We've always been a local newspaper. We have two full time news writers, one who does a little sports too and some sports stringers.

I've always tried to make sure that our newspaper compared to news of similar size town was a better editorial product. Most of comparable sizes are 12 or 14 pages. Ours is at least 16 pages, lots of news and we try and do stories.

How many papers does Mid America publish? There are 18 small town papers in our group. The circulation for all the papers is 18,000 – which is just a little more than the Globe Gazette. All the printing is done here. We've 37 full time employees and 46 part time employees. We are considered a mid sized publishing company.

I realize we think alike in a couple of ways. One of them is shopping local.
One of the things people don't realize is how much of an impact they can have on a local community if they shop local. You can get about 90% of what you need here. Need a tool? Why are you driving to Fleet and Farm, when we have Hanks Hardware or Pamida? Try to go to the big box stores and get personalized help. If they don't have a product – they don't tell you where you can buy it. They certainly don't call the other store to make sure they do have it! I think our local people who own businesses get it – they work very hard for your business.

I also think people underestimate the impact if they just get involved in things. A lot of people like to sit and complain about things. Its safe to say there's a lot of taking for granted of what we have – and there is a self esteem problem in Hampton. We tend to think what we have is not of interest to anyone. That is simply not true!

Brad took me on a tour of the company. They have 4 press units capable of producing 4 pages each, one color.
They are 35-40 years old. They have a 4 high – which is 4 presses stacked. They run their color out of those. 4 pages of full color. It was installed in 2005. 6 weeks ago they installed a brand new plate making machine. In the old days they used to cut out type, laid it on a page, took a pic, got a negative and used it to make an aluminum plate. The plate was hung on the press and printed.

Brad describes the process better than I can! Off set printing is easier to explain by saying that oil and water don't mix. So we mix them and the oil sticks to the paper, the water doesn't - and there you have it. Its just magic! Its the one thing in the newspaper business that I can't do – I can do everything else.

Now we lay out the image on the computer, electronically transmitted to the platemaker and the image of the page is generated to the plate and the plate is hung on the press – just like it has for centuries. Whats cool about our new machine is that it is green. There is no chemical
involvement in the exposure, no water use in the exposure process, no discharges and the plates are like photo paper so when you put it on the press the water runs over and it is all recycled.

We are the 2nd newspaper plant in Iowa to use this technology. There are probably less than 25 print facilities using this technology. Its brand new. Its still a work in progress.

What difference has this made for the reader? It requires less ink and people who pay close attention will probably notice there is a little better detail in photos and graphics.

Compared to where we were 7 years ago we are light years ahead incapacity and quality.

What about the rumors that the newspaper business is dead?
People are so quick to say the newspaper business is dying, but we have more people come in our door saying they want more printing than we ever have. Our circulation erosion is miniscule and the number one reason we lose subscribers is death. We are a different creature than the great big dailies. Our little papers we have are very close to the readers. Small town newspaper fill an important niche and they will be around as long as there is a business community around that uses them for advertising.

If you stop shopping local, the small town shops will close up – and your newspapers will disappear because of lack of advertising.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Surgery Done, Searching Beginning

Dad's foot surgery went very well. The $750 medicine worked, and he has not had any strokes. Bleeding was minimal. We are waiting on all of the local anesthetic to wear off to determine how his walking will be affected. The doctor says his foot should feel much better - the ingrown toenail was really bad and even with all the cutting, his foot will feel better. I watched the surgery, Mom sat in the corner and did NOT watch and Dad just laid on the table and held my hand.

That was the good news.

I've been on the phone all morning trying to borrow money from the banks where my folks have banked all their adult lives. I'm told they need collateral. What with the economy the way it is, the bank boards are requiring collateral on every loan -- even one as small as $2,000. All of their assets are tied up, and there is no collateral. Except for Dad's 1975 4020 tractor. We're hoping they will take that. I kinda doubt it though.

My brother and I will do what we have to. We were both laid off at the end of 2008 and have started our own businesses. It's a hustle out here! I can't stand the thought that I may have been able to do something to extend my dad's life a little longer. I do have calls into pharmaceutical companies, family members and am actively searching for available funds.

There is a widget on this blog in the upper right hand corner, if you feel so inclined to donate. It's certainly not required, and we greatly appreciate those that have. It brings me to tears to have to ask - and to accept it.

I'll post next week on what the pharmaceutical companies have told us. Thank you for all the prayers and good wishes for dad's surgery - they worked!

Left shoe print taken in Iceland on black sand by ezioman - found at It's kinda how we feel, on our left foot somewhere in Iceland