Category: This and That


As I prepared for this family holiday, I thought of other Thanksgivings.

I remembered my Mother bustling around in the kitchen, while I waited impatiently for the first forkful of turkey and stuffing doused in tasty gravy, with a dollop of cranberries on top. I’d help her put the steaming bowls of food on the table. We’d all sit down in our respective places, bow our heads and my Dad would give thanks for the food and the blessing of partaking of it. There would be a round of ‘Amen’ and Mom would give us the go ahead to start. That meant reaching for the nearest bowl, helping ourselves to a portion, and then passing it to the person on the right.

Then, I had my own house, and each year our Thanksgiving meal became a little more chaotic and a little less structured. The children wondered in and out, helping themselves to whatever took their fancy. The organization became more challenging as the number at table increased. And I had to be more resourceful as the budget decreased.

More recently, I’ve noticed the dishes becoming less traditional and more creative. There was still turkey with stuffing, but the stuffing has in raisins, apples, and celery, along with the chopped onions and giblets. The cranberries turned into a mold with raspberries and sour cream. I grew tired of the traditional green bean casserole and replaced it with broccoli or a vegie stir-fry. And instead of the pumpkin pie covered in whipping cream, I served peach kuchen or berries over meringue.

In the last mad scramble I’d usually end up spilling something all over the floor, drawing blood when one of my fingers got in the way of a sharp knife, or completely forgetting one of the menu items, only remembering it when clearing off the desert dishes.

This year was no exception. Both my pointing fingers are now swathed like mummies. I almost forgot the jello mold in the fridge. And the oven caught fire! Our roasted vegetables had to finish under the broiler.  The oven now has an inch-thick layer of crusty blackness to be cleaned off the bottom. Oh yes, and the turkey fell apart when I was taking it out of the roasting pan. It just broke right in half. I’d never had that happen before. There was no way it could be presented on the lovely white platter, so it was carved up in the kitchen. We still used the platter, but somehow it just didn’t look the same.

And our thanks came from around the table, instead of just at the head, as we each took a turn voicing what was on our heart.

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope this year added to each of your collections of fond memories. And if there are any you’d like to share, please do so by clicking on the ‘leave a comment’ at the top of this post.

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While working on the About page of my new company’s website I started thinking about the different ‘hats’ I’ve worn. How many different hats have you worn? Not just the hats related to your careers, or work, but those you’ve donned in your personal lives, as well. Thinking about it, I came up with 25-30 different hats I’ve worn. I realized the hats we wear in our working lives are generally our choices, while our personal hats we assume automatically. For example, our daughter, sister, wife, mother, auntie, and grandma hats we wear compulsorily, albeit gladly (generally). I’m using the feminine, but it is equally applicable to the masculine.

My most recent personal addition to my family of hats is the Grandma Hat. For me, this is a wide-brimmed sun-hat. It portrays relaxed, sunny days, walks in the park, swimming expeditions, playgrounds, and picnics. All things I’ve enjoyed with my grandchildren. Before this there was my Mom Hat. This one is a very versatile, but fully functional, beanie or scarf. It covered more than just a bad hair day. It could change shape and direction at a moment’s notice. Continue reading

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I will start by saying I had no idea what I was going to write about this week. Then… Bing! Bang! Boom! There were three words on my page. I listed them. I looked at them. I said them out loud. Then realized I could and would use all three.

Short, but to the point.

Censored copywriting inhibits creativity.  If I tell the truth, I’ll make a lot of people unhappy. I can’t shock my customers too much or they’ll take their business somewhere else. This article expands on censorship in social media.

Creativity in copywriting may be propelled by censorHow can I take ordinary words and catch your attention, while being morally and politically correct? Instead of, “I really like sitting on the beach and getting drunk”, how about, “Do you like pina colada and getting caught in the rain?”

Copywriting insists on creativity, but is usually censored.  It appears the words “endless pleasure sticks” has been censored out by the anime industry for being too suggestive. Now, I don’t know what you thought of when you read those words. I thought of a tuning fork.

It’s amazing to sit down to write with not a single idea in your head, and then read the results.

Can you share your censored (or uncensored), creative “copy” with us?  Or just let us know what you think.

Criticism

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about criticism and the effect it has on us. It has major impact on who we are and what we do, even if we are independent thinkers and doers. The words below were written by Seth Godin. Seth’s repertoire includes entrepreneur, writer, speaker, and agent for change. He has been called the father of permission-based marketing.

He says:

“One of the dumbest forms of criticism is to shout down an expert in one field who speaks up about something else. Continue reading

The Unexpected

A couple days ago I was upstairs in my writing zone, when Angie yelled at me. I detected a note of panic, but I was a little slow coming back down to earth.  I thought I heard her say, “Mommm, come quick! Crack is having babies.” It still wasn’t exactly registering. I thought I wasn’t hearing right. That can’t be right. Crack is a guy. But the third time she screeched, I went tearing downstairs to see what the fuss was about.

Crack is our cute, floppy-eared rabbit. And until today she was ‘Mr Crack’. The people we’d gotten her from told us she was a he. But ‘he’ has been looking rather mangy lately and I thought it strange for ‘him’ to be shedding as it’s starting to get cooler. That morning, ‘he’ had been scurrying around the yard gathering mouthfuls of grass and putting them in ‘his’ burrow.  ‘He’ has been busy digging a burrow in ‘his’ pen for a couple weeks. I hadn’t looked closely at it though, until today. I realized it was quite deep and there was fur around the edges of the opening. Why was he pulling out his fur?  The burrow was much bigger than I’d realized. I couldn’t see the end of it.

What had startled Angie and Lee was that she had bolted out of her little den and deposited a wiggling baby above ground. But sadly, mama died a few minutes later. We felt so helpless. She was obviously in pain, but there wasn’t even time to think of what to do, let alone do anything for her.  We rescued the very squirmy, very tiny baby and wrapped him in a clean rag. Lee investigated the burrow more closely and found another baby, even smaller than the first one, down inside it. While Angie searched online about how to take care of them, Lee went to the store for an eye-dropper.

The first 2 days we fed them about an eye-dropper of milk every 2 hours. Now, they’re drinking about 2 droppers every 3 hours. The smallest one is actually drinking the best. They were cleaned off and dry when we found them.

I’m just sad, and a little puzzled, about what happened to ‘Mrs Crack’. We’re going to miss her.

Baby bunnies Two Baby Bunnies

What Do I Do?

Recently, I was asked, “Kerry, what do you do every day?”

Fortunately, I had thought about this before and had my answer ready, because I often ask myself that same question. I’ve written in one of my previous posts about my belief to make every day productive so that I deserve my sleep and rest at night. Please understand this is my personal exercise, and not something I would push on anyone else. And I don’t address this every day, or night, either. For me it is just a pursuit worth achieving.

Anyway, back to that question. My answer depends on who is asking the question. Because I’m not going to tell a potential copywriting client that I’m learning how to play the didgeridoo, or that I’m on a 10-day detox. And when asked by an old acquaintance, I’m not going to give them my 30-second elevator pitch.

But I started thinking that maybe many of you wonder what I do every day. So if you were to ask, this would be my reply (or something similar).

I spend most days developing my right brain and trying to repress my left brain, as it has always dominated my life. I spend a lot of time on the computer, writing, researching, keeping in touch with others, and working on my website(s). I am writing Three Sisters Exclusive with Scrivener on my pc. I’m also writing copy for Tony’s website (www.CaribbeanSodaBlastingInc.com) and the content for WorkingConnectionsInc.com, which will soon be live. I am constantly researching the publishing and copywriting industries. I also collect information for www.OriginalCache.com, which has been on the back burner for a while.  Keeping in contact with my family is crucial to my well-being. If I don’t have contact with each one at least once a week, I go into withdrawal.  While my writing helps develop the right side of my brain, doing craft work nourishes it and keeps it strong. So I spend at least an hour every day working on needlework of some kind.

Just trying to make the most, with what I’ve been given. Right now, that is peace and quiet.

“Love of the Love”

More than counting words

Today, is the 10th of February. I should have an additional 10,000 words. But I don’t. I only have an additional 7,549 to be exact.

As each day has gone by and I haven’t achieved my goal I am more and more disappointed in myself. I feel like I’m letting down everyone supporting me and cheering me on. And that bothers me a lot. I’ve shared how bad it makes me feel with some around me, because that is one of the things I do.

I talk out my troubles. Whatever is bothering me gets aired and shaken in the wind aplenty.  My family will readily agree with this. This morning I called my sister and was sharing with her how stressed I was feeling, and mad at myself. She suggested that I write about it, and that idea lodged itself firmly in my cranium. I couldn’t wait to sit down at the keyboard and see what would come together. … Continue reading

To Each Their Own

This post isn’t anything to do with Three Sisters Exclusive. But I couldn’t help sharing these pictures. Last Saturday morning about 8 o’clock I was checking out the lawn sales in Alice Springs and saw this guy leading his camel through town. He would stop every few minutes and pull up choice bits of grass and feed his very arrogant beastie. I have to add that this camel was the best looking one I’ve seen since coming to the Alice.

Alice Springs CamelMan leading camel through Alice Springs

While sitting there trying to get a shot of these two nomadic partners, a road train roared by. These are the main movers of merchandise in central Australia, three 80 foot trailers, end to end. And I’ve seen four, but haven’t had my camera handy. It’s quite impressive watching them maneuver the roundabouts and corners. Just a perfect example of the surprising diversity to be found in this quite isolated desert town.

Road Train in central Australia

By the way – a great way to get to know a new community is to shop its garage sales, or lawn sales. You learn the names of the streets and the interaction with local folks is first-rate.

2012 – Newyearitis?

I call it Newyearitis. You may call it new-year resolution, or simply baloney. ‘Itis’ is a Greek suffix meaning ‘a burning sensation’, and every year, about this time, I succumb to it.  It will burn and itch and become super inflamed. It starts as an idea the first week of December. For a few days I toss it around in my head and then it lodges in a corner and starts to fester. I think if I ignore it, it will go away, but it gets bigger and bigger and starts to suck in other thoughts. To get it out of my head and get some relief, I write it down. But then it is visible and instead of throwing it away, I play around with it and change it up a bit. By the time January rolls in, I have plans written down, goals set, and I’m ready to jump into it; which is right about NOW.

It may be something minor such as reading a new book, or rearranging the furniture. Or it may make more of an impact such as moving to another country or starting a new business.

You know the traditional Newyearitis of starting a new diet or new exercise regime? That was the year I joined Weight Watchers. It lasted until March and I’m no longer missing the pounds I lost.

One year I set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, & Timely).  I wrote them all down. But the paper I wrote them on disappeared and only resurfaced 3 years later when I was moving house.

This year I’m doing it again. I can’t help myself.  A new year is a new beginning; a new chance; a fresh opportunity; and another new road leading to somewhere I’ve never been.

Cheers to 2012!

What Did I Learn In 2011

What did I learn in 2011?

I had to think about it a bit, but when it all started rolling in, I realized it was an AWESOME year.

  • I’ve learned first-hand about the desert’s beauty as well as its harshness. There are the cute little wallabies preyed on by the savage dingoes. Giant, age-old trees destroyed by fires that burn out of control. There are colorful, clear sunrises and mystic sunsets obliterated by swirling dust storms. Regardless of the unrelenting heat and arid soil there is foliage covered with brilliant red blossoms growing wild. Underlying it all is a feeling of timelessness, like it was this way thousands of years ago, and will be the same a thousand years hence.
  • I’ve learned more about the people in this town Alice Springs. And I’ve learned that ‘good-old-boy’ system thrives everywhere. Continue reading
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