Archives for October 2007

Leadership Bryan County

Leadership Bryan County class #2 had it all over class #1. Don’t get me wrong – learning about my Meyers-Briggs was neat. Hanging out with the cool kids was even better. But nothing could beat spending the day out at Epworth by the Sea.
leadership-bryan-epworth2.jpg
Started easy enough. Weather was kinda crappy but I didn’t have to drive. Day started early, but there was breakfast when we got there. That’s always a good start.

The morning went well. Brain teasers, team building, lessons learned. Our facilitator was PHENOM!! Which turned out to be good for me because I would need somebody good at his job after lunch.

The afternoon…whew…climbing a rock wall and doing the zip line. Seems easy enough. Till you realize the rock wall is this far up.

And the zip line is up a 45 foot pole with a little platform that you have to jump off. Notice none of those factors bothered Shirley at all. I, on the other hand, kept my eyes closed.

It was a great time. I felt strong at the top of the wall, and fearless even with my eyes closed.

But they day was more that death defying tricks and trying to swing on a rope with out spilling water. We had the opportunity to learn yet more about each other and ourselves. Not mention the really cool porch.

porch.jpg

Fighting for Kisses

Big thanks to Andrea Hillis for emailing me this video. It is too funny! I don’t even have anything else to say about it!

[youtube LuSBCIV1zuQ Fighting For Kisses]

Turn Around Tuesday

“That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.” – Doris Lessing, 2007 Nobel Prize Winner

So, I didn’t know who Doris Lessing was until today. But, as soon as I read her quote, I had to look her up. Sounded very Rocky-esqe when he told his kid, “Let me tell you something you already know.”

Being told something you already know can be irritating. Ask my six year old. She’ll sigh real deep, lean her head back a bit, and say exasperatedly, “I knnnooowww.” Then she has to be reminded about her attitude and we move on.

Being told something you already know can also be energizing, comforting, and refreshing. It can increase your confidence through confirmation. It can remind you gently of important tidbits forgotten. It can renew your sense of direction with a fresh look at the map. Learning something you already know can be the highlight of your day.

Telling somebody what you already know they know can be the hardest job of all. Why? Because you already know how irritating that can be. But forgetfulness and complacency need reminding and redirecting. And it is up to us to provide it when needed and accept it when thoughtfully given. If we are friends, you would tell me if I had broccoli in my teeth. This is no different.

Don’t blow off an opportunity to learn something because you think it’s something you already know. Don’t pass up the opportunity to share because you think you have nothing new to add. Something may enter your brain in a new and exciting way. You may have an angle, an insight, a tone of voice that gives new meaning to an old topic.

One of the most special things about relationships is the sharing of information that inspires us to be better for ourselves and each other. What do you have to share today?

Taking a minute to put a call out to my Richmond Hill readers

I know that there are many of you that are faithful TAT readers and do not live anywhere near Richmond Hill. I am sorry, but I have to segregate us for just a second.

If you live, work, play, in Richmond Hill, I would like to profile you onbloogingrhsmall.jpg

We can talk about whatever you want to talk about (as long as we all remember this is a family friendly site). Promote a cause, a business, a person – name it, let’s do it!

If you flip through the site you’ll see articles on local politics, business, and people. Soon, you’ll see what it looks like when I scale a big ol’ rock wall! Hopefully, we will also see you!

Lani Gives You Stress Relief

This has been quite an interesting fall for many of us and even before my brother was killed, I was already stressed.   I’m not the only one.  Whether it’s the challenges in the real estate market, family drama (this applies to everyone!), being sick for a freakishly long time, dealing with stupid people in general and even just simple time management, fall is always stressful.

I have many friends that have expressed that they too have been stressed.  People meet me in person and I’m not a chipper chick per se, but people always think I have it soooo together.  And to be honest, I do- I’m rarely knocked down too far.  Want to know why? My faith.  Whether you share my beliefs or not, I’ll share with you what keeps ME strong, thankful and faithful.

*(FIRST) Jeremiah 29:11-14—“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe, plans to give you a future full of hope.  When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you.  When you look for me, you will find me.  Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the Lord.”

This verse was the foundation of the eulogy at my brother’s funeral.  I rarely experience anger (uh, irritation is totally different!), nor do I question God’s will for me- this is what makes people think I’m so held together.  Okay, let’s be honest- I’m not held together, I’m just given calm by the words in Jeremiah… think about it- He already has a plan for you and the plans are good!  Even if they don’t feel good right now, they ARE good, I promise!

*(SECOND) Luke 18:9-14—“Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.  “Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.  The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity — greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Being humble keeps you centered, no matter what your religion.  When you have treasure, NEVER forget those who don’t.  When you are in grace with God, NEVER forget those who aren’t.  Life is much easier for me since I let someone else drive (you know, the big guy in the sky).  I encourage you to find the center of your faith- Christians, Muslims, Hindus, EVERYONE! 

It is the key to the calm in my life, no matter how treacherous the storm!

Meet Van Hunter and Darryl Petermann

I had the great opportunity to have coffees last week with two Councilman candidates, Van Hunter (post 3) and Darryl Petermann (post 4).

Marilyn Hodges didn’t have time to talk to me (although she knocked on my door) and I didn’t hear from the others. This is not to take exception with their position, or to suggest how I myself will vote, but even Jack Kingston returns emails.

I’m not saying…I’m just saying…

At any rate, I had the best time talking with these guys. I appreciate their time and their respect for me as a voter and a resident.

Van Hunter

In 1985, Richmond Hill gained another resident. Van Hunter, father of 4, grandfather of 3 and an Army veteran, decided Richmond Hill was the place for him. 22 years later, he would tell you he made the right move.

He gets excited when you ask him about his family. Two children serving in the military, 2 still live here in the Hill, and he drops his grandson off at school. Sounds like he wouldn’t give that taxi driver job to anybody.

City Councilman is another job he wants. Pretty bad it seems – this is his third run at the seat.

Van believes there needs be to be changes on the council. With all the big growth happening in Richmond Hill, Van thinks it important to have a voice on the council that will disagree with what he feels is Mayor Davis’ manner of “stacking and pack” current development.

“Lessen the density, more active green space, and hold developers accountable.” These are the big issues according to Van. He thinks the putting the planned convention center in the park is a bad idea due to overcrowding and limited green space. Maybe a larger area down Hwy 17S would be a better location.

“There’s no effort to support small business.” Van thinks that there is so much emphasis placed on development that those who are already here get overlooked.

Van will tell you the council needs somebody on the council that will not be the Mayor’s “yes man.” He will tell you the council needs a consistency, a conscious, and a backbone. Van will tell you he is all those things.

Darryl Petermann

At a little eatery in Savannah, Darryl Petermann, retired detective, thought he was going to have to break up a fight. He had spent enough time in law enforcement to know to stay calm. He was not sure if the four men were truly angry or joking loudly. He would wait until the waitress came back. If she had to deal with any trouble, he would take care of that. Then he heard an odd noise and turned around to look again. The four men had joined hands around the table, bowed their heads, and had joined together to bless their food.

This moment stayed with Darryl as this Manhattan, New Yorker was making a decision to move with his beloved. Richmond Hill was that place. Darryl and his wife owned a small business in Pooler. They have been married 40 years and have worked together for 25 of those.

Recently retired, Darryl has turned his attention to running for City Council. Living here for 8 years, Darryl loves what he calls Richmond Hill’s “Small town charm.” Darryl believes the growth is poorly planned and headed in the wrong direction.

Darryl thinks that industrial development is the way to go. He believes it is the best use of land outside of the city limits, will provide great job opportunity, can attract civilian contractors for the military, and eliminates many of the issues he feels are problems with the current form of growth.

Want to read more? Darryl is the only candidate (as far as I know) with his own website. He built the site himself, writes, his own articles, and plans to keep it running if elected.

*The Bryan County News (Ross Blair) has an article previewing all the candidates. You can find that by clicking here.

Rapid Fire Learning | October 2007

Looking back on this month to get together 5 things that I have learned was enlightening and a bit painful. October was an incredibly stressful month. But I will not complain. I will learn (rapidly) and decrease my stress for November.

1. Mom is tougher than the postman – But do not underestimate the power of the illness or its lasting effect when it cycles through your home and sets up camp in your body. Sometimes bulldogging through it instead of taking the down time that you really need can actually be more time costly…which leads to #2

2. Priority is a must – Steve couldn’t have said it any better. Not properly employing this habit exponentially increases stress. This is a habit I need to make better use of…which leads right into #3

3. Schedules that are too fluid will leak – Do I love My Beautiful Chaos? You bet I do! But, out of control chaos lacks balance and anything out of balance tips over…which leads to #4 🙂

4. Clutter throws the best balance and spills all over the place. Clutter is loud, distracting, depressing, and counter productive. It is also infectious. Clutter in my house will move to my office, will grow in my schedule, will infect my brain, and fill up my heart. I need to clear it out…so, finally, #5

5. Separating the wheat from the chaff is easier said than done. I’ll discuss this further later (Read – as soon as I get my mind wrapped around what I mean). In the meantime, I’d love to hear what, if anything, that statement says to you.

The Candidates are answering – well, some of them…

You may recall we discussed the City Council spots coming up for a vote November 6th. This generated some questions and some searching emails to all involved, in so much as I could find them. You would think I would at least run into somebody at Kroger or something. After all, it is Richmond Hill.

First, I am proud to say I have been educated on what a “post” is. As I suspected, it is typically a district in a city. Where I got confused was, if that was the case, why do I get to vote in each? Well, Richmond Hill has “posts,” but, because of our size, they are not big enough to be exclusive. Therefore, while the posts may be numbered, they are essentially “at large.”

That created a new question. How does a candidate get placed in a post on ballot? Simple – they just choose the one they want to sign up for.

Now that’s out of the way, I am going to get to the individual candidates of which there are 6.

  • 2 I have interviewed and that information will be posted soon – I had a nice time talking over coffees with Van Hunter and Darryl Petermann
  • 1 declined due to time unavailability – I hope Marilyn Hodges will change her mind
  • 1 was supported by a resident, which has to be a good thing – I am looking forward to speaking with Kevin Artz directly
  • 2 have not responded – I will try again to contact the incumbents, Jimmy Hires and Billy Albritton. I am looking forward to speaking with them.

The Candidates are answering – well, some of them…

You may recall we discussed the City Council spots coming up for a vote November 6th. This generated some questions and some searching emails to all involved, in so much as I could find them. You would think I would at least run into somebody at Kroger or something. After all, it is Richmond Hill.

First, I am proud to say I have been educated on what a “post” is. As I suspected, it is typically a district in a city. Where I got confused was, if that was the case, why do I get to vote in each? Well, Richmond Hill has “posts,” but, because of our size, they are not big enough to be exclusive. Therefore, while the posts may be numbered, they are essentially “at large.”

That created a new question. How does a candidate get placed in a post on ballot? Simple – they just choose the one they want to sign up for.

Now that’s out of the way, I am going to get to the individual candidates of which there are 6.

  • 2 I have interviewed and that information will be posted soon – I had a nice time talking over coffees with Van Hunter and Darryl Petermann
  • 1 declined due to time unavailability – I hope Marilyn Hodges will change her mind
  • 1 was supported by a resident, which has to be a good thing – I am looking forward to speaking with Kevin Artz directly
  • 2 have not responded – I will try again to contact the incumbents, Jimmy Hires and Billy Albritton. I am looking forward to speaking with them.

Turn Around Tuesday

“It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”
– James Thurber (1894-1961), Humorist

One thing anybody who has known me for any length of time can tell you – I am fairly open with my short comings. Here’s the one I’ll share with you today.

I talk a lot – especially when I am nervous or around new people. Worse, I can get loud and silly. I will pause a moment while my friends that love me at least pretend to be shocked.

I don’t mind talking. I am usually comfortable doing it. I typically present myself well, and I learn a lot about what I think when I hear what it sounds like out loud.

But talking is not the best way to learn. You and I both know that it is listening. Not hearing, not head nodding – real deal listening. There are few things that offer a greater opportunity for true growth and learning than being engaged with another person.

I had the opportunity to discuss the importance of relationship building with a friend today over lunch. A great thing happened. I talked and I listened. And, while we have a great relationship, I think it grew. We both realized we were on the same page with each other and our clients. It’s all about the relationship. It’s all about being a good listener.

Today’s encouragement is for myself (and you too if you need it). I can listen more and talk less. I can ask real questions and listen for the real answers. I can hear more words than I speak. I will not shy away for the things that need improvement. I embrace the opportunity to be better today than I was yesterday.

The challenge for you is to help me and each other. What techniques do you use to ensure you are a great listener?

Is this not your area of weakness? How do you learn where your opportunity for improvement rests and how to be better today. Don’t let these situations irritate you – let them inspire you to stretch and strive for greatness!

National Make a Difference Day is Saturday!

In case you’ve missed some of the last couple of blog posts, let me take a minute and let you all in on my biggest passion – children. They are the best hope for anything and they only thing I am an advocate for. Therefore, it is my pleasure to let you all know about AMBUCS and a wonderful opportunity to participate in Make a Difference Day.

AMBUCS, among other things, provides specially made bikes for children with disabilities. This Make a Difference Day, Savannah AMBUCS will be sponsoring the Exceptional Bowling League that enables adults with a variety of disabilities to participate in bowling at the Victory Lanes from 10am -12 noon. The bowlers range in age from 16 to over 60.

Go check out the website or contact me for more information.

*Photo credit to Kansir

Out with Trans Fats – In with the Trashy

No big deal.  I know what’s in those paper bags I grab at the drive through are not the best choices of food for me or my kids.  I moderate it.  Happy meals are not staples – they are treats.  Doctor visits that result in shots, particularly great chore doing, wonderful school performance – these are all wonderful times to delight my kids with some golden arches.

When I take my kids to McDonald’s, I completely expect an unhealthy meal – I don’t care what kind of alternatives they offer. It’s not health food.

myscene.bmpWhat I don’t expect are half dressed grown woman dolls to be the toy.  Think I am exaggerating?  Judge for yourself.

If you think I would let my kids out of the house looking like that, or with people that looked like that – think again and make a doctor’s appointment because you are obviously ill.

And please don’t tell me about having to let my children grow up and become their own person.  These are Happy Meals.  The target audience is birth through elementary school.  And allowing my children to become their own person does not include condoning trashy clothes.

And lest you think I am overreacting – I am not alone.

Marcie Press thinks like me

…and Chrissy

…and Beverly

…and Jessica

Misogynist Happy Meals – does a great job of taking McD’s to task over the “global mom network.”

I am trying really hard to be rational.  But, I am raising 4 daughters in a society that has gone from being angry when women are objectified to one that has women objectifying themselves.  I mean, really, is this what we want for our children – boys or girls?

We become aghast at Brittney, Lindsay, Paris, and Nicole.  We wag our finger, shake our heads, and wonder how they could be so reckless.  We hear of the young teenage girls with babies, diseases, eating disorders and wonder where her parents are.  Girls gone wild, underage activity, birth control in middle school and we wonder what’s wrong with other people’s children.

We just don’t understand how it had come to all this.  Meanwhile, isn’t it so cute that our little angel knows all the words to Fergalicious, has “Cheer” written across her bottom, rolls her eyes at the grocery store clerk, and knows we are going to buy her all the Bratz dolls we forgot about last Christmas.

Really…