Friday, May 20, 2011


I ran across an article today in my travels on the internet at work. For the record, I was looking for something work related, but you know how you click once or twice and then you are off track.  But once in awhile, you click on a gem… like today.  Here is the link to the article.  Oh, and I did forward to our management team so it became work related.

The article talks about Steve Jobs' advice to new Nike CEO, Mark Parker.  “Do you have any advice?”  Parker asked Jobs.  “Well, just one thing,” said Jobs. “Nike makes some of the best products in the world.  Products that you lust after.  But you also make a lot of crap.  Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.”  Parker said Jobs paused and Parker filled the quiet with a chuckle.  But Jobs didn’t laugh.  He was serious. “He was absolutely right,” said Parker.  “We had to edit."

Parker used the word ‘edit’ not in a design sense but in the context of making business decisions.  Editing also leads to great product designs and effective communications. According to Steve Jobs, “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on.  But that’s not what it means at all.  It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.  I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done.  Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.” {quoted directly from the article}.

Obviously that is amazing advice in the business world.  But I pondered all morning how that advice applies to life in general.  Do I edit my life so I can focus on quality?  Hmmm, no.  Would I have courage to edit so I could focus?  Maybe. 

This will be a topic I will continue to ponder.  And maybe blog about some more as I come to some conclusions.  Hmmm, editing...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ranch Quesadillas

Here is a quick and tasty dinner idea.  Lizard and I were watching food tv and Melissa d’Arabian’s Ten Dollar Dinners (Lizard loves to cook and this lady has great, easy ideas!).  A commercial of sorts came on with D’Arabian featuring Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing ideas.  Lizard and I saw this and both thought yum.  And we tried it a few days later and yum is right!

Ranch Quesadillas

Flour or corn tortillas
Grated cheese of choice
Ranch salad dressing
Cooked chicken, diced
Veggies diced/grated (spinach, zucchini, corn, carrots… whatever you have on hand)

Mix the ranch dressing with the grated cheese being careful not to add too much dressing.  Spread some of the cheese mixture on a tortilla.  Add chicken and veggies.  Top with another tortilla.  Brown in skillet, flipping once, until cheese is melted and veggies and chicken are heated through.  Remove from pan and cut into wedges.  Yum!

Friday, May 13, 2011

God's Hands

We are in a very rough stretch with Little Man.  Very rough.  We had a good stretch for awhile, but the last few months have been deteriorating and the last few weeks have been bad.  We are truly at a loss how to parent him through this.  Calls are being made and a plan of attack is underway.  We can not continue this way.  I can not.  He can not.  It is affecting him deeply - you can see it in his eyes.  It is impacting our family.  I am pissed, sad, exhausted, frustrated and feel guilty most of the time.   That is no way to live.  I can only imagine the emotions he is feeling.   

He and I said prayers last night and asked God to help him make good decisions.  We talked about when he gets mad at school or home to close his eyes and ask God to help him.  And this morning when I asked him what he could do when he gets mad, he said “pray to God.”  We said another prayer this morning while he was eating breakfast.  And guess what?  Little Man had a better morning today.  He only had a few minor blow ups and only punched Lizard a few times, but he was able to get himself under control.  And he did not argue about the toys I said he could not take to school.  He got himself in the car and was generally happy. 

For some reason we were downstairs early this morning so we had extra time.  I even commented to the girls – why are we all so early this morning?  On the way to drop Little Man off at school, my neighbor texted me saying she was going to request that Lizard and her daughter be placed together next year and asked if that was ok?  I texted her back and said I wanted to do the same thing.  Well guess what?  The form was due today and I had no idea… I knew it was coming up and had thought about requesting that the girls be together.  But not being in the school very much now that I am working more, I am out of the loop and miss stuff.  Her text came at just the right time.  Since we were early this morning, I had time to go to the school, find the form, get it turned in and still got to work on time. 

Ok, how can I not think God had His hands in the events of this morning?  We truly went to Him in prayer last night and He worked things out to take care of our kids today… Little Man with his issues (at least for this morning) and Lizard to help foster her friendship with our neighbor.  One that is very good for her. 

Now, some might say I am a Jesus freak, but I tell you… I can not miss that things go better when I pray.  I  found my wedding ring about 1 minute after I FINALLY said a prayer… when I finally prayed about all the mud slinging that recently occurred, I felt better.  Things happen and God is beside me when I pray.  Pretty hard for anyone to miss that today.  

The road with Little Man is going to be long, but at least for a little while today, I could see hope.   

Monday, May 9, 2011

The High Road

When someone you love is wrongly accused of something it is very difficult to take the high road.

Chief volunteers for a sports board here in town out of his love for the game.  Through a long chain of events, through decisions made by a board of six people (Chief was one of six board members and for the record, the initial decision was one he did not advocate for), some very nasty things were "said" by some parents.  Instead of questioning the decision that was made, which is perfectly reasonable, a few parents resorted to flinging mud.  They accused the board of having an agenda and working for 10 months to accomplish that agenda.  I honestly felt like I was back in high school.  And what made the whole situation so hurtful was that the parents that flung mud knew the members of the board personally.  Interestingly, what was "said" was through the safety and distance of email... not one person had the nuts to say their accusations in person.  Chief told me in the mist of the initial mud slinging that he knows what he did and why he did the things he did, so the nasty comments did not mean much to him.  Wow.  How is that for the high road?

Through it all, I have stayed on the high road... at least in the public eye.  But let me tell you, I have flung mud and wallowed on the low road behind closed doors.  It is too long a story to tell and really not worth the time or effort to retell.  As time has passed, I have learned it really does not matter.  I have learned that my issues are not with a lot of people, just a few so I can keep things in perspective.  And while I won't forget who threw the mud so quickly at my husband (and indirectly our family), I know God knows the situation, he knows the people involved and will judge all accordingly.

My first reaction was not to pray through this.  But over the last few weeks I have.  And, I have some peace over the situation.  I will continue to walk with my eyes on the high road and maybe a little wiser... I know I will eye-ball the low road though (who am I kidding).  But I will pray that God helps keep me off it.

I thought of this ..."When you sling mud at people, some will inevitably stick to you."  I know all this is more of a reflection on the other people, but… it still hurts.  And, another piece of advice... do not ever say anything in email that you are not willing to say to someone in person.