Top 50 Christmas Quotations

  1. "Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years … Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart. " – George Matthew Adams
  2. "The rooms were very still while the pages were softly turned and the winter sunshine crept in to touch the bright heads and serious faces with a Christmas greeting." – Louisa May Alcott
  3. "Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. – Bess Streeter Aldrich
  4. "The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect!" – Charles N. Barnard
  5. "Gifts of time and love are certainly the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas." – Peg Bracken
  6. "The earth has grown old with its burden of care But at Christmas it always is young, The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair And its soul full of music breaks the air, When the song of angels is sung." – Phillips Brooks
  7. "I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses. " – Taylor Caldwell
  8. "Remember, if Christmas is not found in your heart, you will not find it under a tree." – Charlotte Carpenter
  9. "Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." – Calvin Coolidge
  10. "Christmas, in its final essence, is for grown people who have forgotten what children know." Christmas is for whoever is old enough to have denied the unquenchable spirit of man. " – Margaret Cousins
  11. "Without we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska will not make it 'white'." – Bing Crosby
  12. "Whatever else be lost among the years, Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing: Whatever doubts assail us, or what what fears, Let us hold close one day, remembering its poignant meaning for the hearts of men. faith again. " – Grace Noll Crowell
  13. "It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one's fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit." – Isabel Currier
  14. "Something about an old-fashioned Christmas is hard to forget." – Hugh Downs
  15. "They err who thinks Santa Claus comes down through the chimney; he really enters through the heart." – Mrs. Paul M. Ell
  16. "Christmas, my child, is love in action." – Dale Evans
  17. "Do give books – religious or otherwise – for Christmas. They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal." – Lenore Hershey
  18. "My first copies of Treasure Island and Huckleberry Finn still have some blue-spruce needles scattered in the pages. They smell of Christmas still." – Charlton Heston
  19. "At Christmas, all roads lead home." – Marjorie Holmes
  20. "My idea of ​​Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. – Bob Hope
  21. "The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others' burdens, easing other's loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas." – WC Jones
  22. "A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; It makes no noise at all, but softly gives itself away; While quite lonely, it grows small." – Eva K. Logue
  23. "Were I a philosopher, I should write a philosophy of toys, showing that nothing else in life need to be taken seriously, and that Christmas Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which men become absolutely alive." – Robert Lynd
  24. "Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love." – Hamilton Wright Mabi
  25. "The merry family gatherings – The old, the very young; The strangely lovely way they harmonize in carols sung. For Christmas is tradition time – Traditions that recall the precious memories down the years, The sameness of them all." – Helen Lowrie Marshall
  26. "There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions." – Bill McKibben
  27. "I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month." – Harlan Miller
  28. "Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence." – Joan Mills
  29. "Christmas is, of course, the time to be home – in heart as well as body." – Garry Moore
  30. "What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. – Agnes M. Pharo
  31. "Mankind is a great, an immense family … This is proved by what we feel in our hearts at Christmas." – Pope John XXIII
  32. "One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Do not clean it up too quickly." – Andy Rooney
  33. "Christmas – that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intimate that it is like a fragrance. day of remembrance – a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved. " – Augusta E. Rundel
  34. "Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone." – Charles Schulz
  35. "As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas bought to be, Christmas is." – Eric Sevareid
  36. "Christmas is the day that holds time together." – Alexander Smith
  37. "Christmas renews our youth by stirring our wonder. The capacity for wonder has been called our most pregnant human faculty, for in it are born our art, our science, our religion." – Ralph Sockman
  38. "Christmas … is not an eternal event at all, but a piece of one's home that one carries in one's heart." – Freya Stark
  39. "Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends." – Margaret Thatcher
  40. "At Christmas play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year." – Thomas Tusser
  41. "What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? Claustrophobic." – Unknown
  42. "Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wrought in smiles." – Unknown
  43. "If there is no joyous way to give a festive gift, give love away." – Unknown
  44. "Until one dreams the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display – so much tinsel and decorations. Firelight's glow. It's the warmth that comes to the hearts of men when the Christmas spirit returns again. " – Unknown
  45. "Many banks have a new kind of Christmas club in operation. The new club helps you save money to pay for last year's gifts." – Unknown
  46. "Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world – stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death – and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love ? Then you can keep Christmas. " – Henry Van Dyke
  47. "Christmas is for children. But it is for grownups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts." – Lenora Matttingly Weber
  48. "Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance – each beautiful, unique and too soon gone." – Deborah Whipp
  49. "Somehow, not only for Christmas, But all the long year through, The joy that you give to others, Is the joy that comes back to you. your heart's possessing, Returns to you glad. " – John Greenleaf Whittier
  50. "Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall." – Larry Wilde

Baby Boomers, Is the Digital Era the Answer to Our Future?

I'm asking all baby boomers, because I know if you are anything like me you are looking for a retirement fund that will take you into your golden years comfortably. We can not count on a job or the government, but we can certainly count on ourselves.

I personally do not want to spend my retirement years with concerns about money. I want to put all that baloney behind me and enjoy the fruits of my labor. I'm sure you are the same. So I ask myself several questions to get to the root of exactly what I want and then how I can achieve just that?

What I do not want?
I do not want to worry about money
I do not want to rely on a job or the government
I do not want to live out my days sitting on the couch with a remote control because that's all I can afford to do.

What I do want?
I do want to be financially independent.
I do want to live from the income of my own personal resources.
I do want to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Now I know what I want and what I do not want. The question now is; How do I get what I want? How can I achieve financial freedom reliably quickly doing my own thing? Hmm, is not that food for thought? Guess what? I have the palatable answer.

I honestly think if you are a baby boomer like me, and would like another shot at educating yourself and doing something great with it, Internet marketing is the answer to our future. Here's why I say that. We are now older and a hell of a lot wiser. Some of us never took our education seriously when we were in our late teens. So what we could have been, we never accomplished.

As the old saying we are all too familiar with goes, "If I only knew then what I know now". Well now we know. We know to step up to the plate and take our lifetime experiences, mix them in with our hearts desire, together with our old dog for the long road approach and we are on our way to new beginnings.

This is the dawning of a new digital era. If you are prepared to learn and focus on an online business of your choice, you can be on your way to financial freedom in six months to a year. And you and I both know, that length of time for us is a drop in the ocean.

Position yourself in front of growing digital trend. Focus and harness the power of the web. This is the new "Gold Rush". As a baby boomer myself, I look at this trend as a golden opportunity to start an online business with the right head on my shoulders, to do it all over again the right way. To get a second shot at life.

The Pros And Cons Of Being A Nurse Anesthetist

A nurse anesthetist undergoes training in anesthesiology to be able to administrator anesthesia. In hospitals and surgery centers the nurse works under a certified anesthesiologist's supervision. Just like any other career path, this one does have its pros and cons. It would be a good idea to weigh them when deciding whether it is the right career path for you.

The pros

The pay is attractive. Nurse anesthetists are highly paid and it is actually the learning potential that attracts many to the professional field. You can be sure to enjoy decent living when working with this job profile.

It offers you the ability to assist those in need. Contrary to what many people think, the nurses are not only there to administrator anesthesia but also for pain management. They take care of patients before a surgery, during the surgery and after the surgical procedure. They therefore offer lots of help to the patients making them vital people in all types of surgeries. You will love the feeling of saving a life through a successful procedure you played a role in when you are a nurse anesthetist.

The job interviews professional respect. This is a title that demands professional respect, considering that you end up working with doctors, surgeons and other nurses who are on each other or successful care delivery to patients. You will get more responsibility and autonomy when you are a nurse anesthetist and surgeons and doctors will rely on your advice and expertise too.

You get the freedom to control patient care. This is a fast paced field and decisions are made based on experience and education. In most cases you will manage to make decisions without involving anyone else to safeguard patient health and safety.

The Cons

The position comes with great responsibility on your part. As a nurse anesthetist you must be ready to deal with difficult situations, some of which could have you sued by patients or their family members. It actually helps to be insured just to be on the safe side when situations arise.

You may end up working long hours. Surgical procedures can be quite long and as a nurse anesthetist you must be there through checking on your patient. Some can go longer than expected and after they are done you still have to take care of the patient through recovery. If you are a sole nurse anesthetist in a health facility, then you would have to be ready to attend to more than one surgery in a day sometimes.

It can get boring. This is because you do not play any active role during surgery procedures yet you need to be present to monitor patient response to the anesthesia. You may need to sit through boring long surgeries

The field is very competitive and you would have to impress your employer to get hired for the job. Nurse anesthetist programs are challenging to get into but many are struggling to earn the degree and you need to be well cut out to beat the competition.

Investment Tips for Retirees, Seniors, and Baby Boomers

How to invest at or near retirement is probably one of the most common questions I get. My answer: it depends. Typically investors begin to shift their retirement portfolio from growth to income as they get closer to retirement. Unfortunately, many have not calculated the necessary rate of return needed to pay for or supplement their desired life style, educated themselves on various investment approaches or truly comprehend their risk tolerance. Failing to address these and other issues will cause unnecessary stress and may lead lead to other poor decisions. Here are just a few tips to keep in mind when you are considering how to invest.

Find and work with an advisor you trust. This may sound self-serving, but what I have found is that good decision making is done in collaboration with others. They say, "Two heads are better than one." The key is to find that right advisor in a sea of ​​sharks that fits your needs in a cost affective manner. Look for the following:

• Understand the adviser's philosophical approach managing risk and return, and ask, in writing, to see his / her track record.

• Check credentials. Is the advisor a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Enrolled Agent (EA)? Better yet, is the adviser a fee-only financial planner who does not receive commitments?

• Ask the advisor for Part I and Part II of the Federal Securities Disclosure Form ADV. It contains information about the advisor's qualifications and disclosures any past legal or financial problems.

Know Your Comfort Level for Market Risk

All investments other than a bank account or other cash-equivalent investments will fluctuate in value, some more so than others. When devising an investment plan, honestly evaluate your comfort level with risk. If you will panic at sharp losses, then you probably should not buy more volatile types of investments, such as some stocks and bonds. The reason is simple: if you lose your nerve when markets take a big drop and potentially sell your investments, you'll probably do worse than if you had invested more conservatively in the first place.

Do not make hasty and uniform decisions that are made with emotion rather than rational thinking. The field of behavioral finance seeks to explain the set of psychological biases that affect people's investment decisions. If you can not bring yourself to sell a loser stock, or if you have picked investments because they felt "safe," there's a good chance you're managing your money with your heart and not your head. Since our biases are aggravated when our brains feel overly excited or afraid-like when the Dow drops 1,000 points-you may find yourself making investment moves that you've never considered before, or feeling particularly panicky about your money. I think Warren Buffett said it best: "For some reason, people take their cues from price action rather than values. else. The dumbest reason in the world to buy a stock is because it's going up. "

Diversify your investments and develop a plan that ebbs and flows with the market. By that I mean not strategies of market timing nor buy and hold but position yourself somewhere in the middle. Typically, the best long-term plan is to divide your money among several categories of well-researched and thought-out investments. I have found that ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) offer an excellent array of investment choices at very low costs. My experience has taught me:

1. Over time, some mutual funds may have a difficult time beating their benchmarks, so not justifying their management fees.

2. Some individual stocks and bonds may have too much risk.

3. Annuity fees and commissions may eat up any real returns.

Focus on asset allocation. Studies have shown that 91% of a portfolio's performance is determined by allocation of assets, not individual investments or market timing. Wikipedia

• Fixed income and equities. Typically, retirees change their asset allocation to include more fixed income securities than equities. This is a fairly well known strategy. However, what is usually not considered is the actual rate of return that is needed to produce an income stream to maintain your desired lifestyle. If evaluated properly, this consideration will have more influence over the mix of securities than asset allocation or risk tolerance.

• Fees add up. Investment fees come in many forms, including expenditure ratios on mutual funds, commissions for stock or ETF trades, and account management fees from advisors. Fees should be no more than 1.5% of your total portfolio.

How to invest is an art and no one person or company is correct all the time. I do know one thing for sure: the probability of enjoying a successful retirement is increased if you follow some basic rules and work with a trusted professional.

Top 10 Trends With Baby Boomers

On June 19th Santa Clara University hosted the annual Baby Boomer Venture Summit. This forum brings together a great group of industry leaders, thought-leaders and start-ups in the growing market segment of baby boomers. Let's see how my own memory is working … I'll bring you the 10 things that I remember from this great event.

1) According to Mary S. Furlong, Executive Producer of the summit, healthy living and aging is a $ 480 billion industry. And 80% of the purchase decisions in this industry are made by women-so you know who's the boss …

2) Paul Kleyman, editor of ASA's Aging Today, is frustrated about how little attention the mainstream media pays to baby boomers, being obsessed with mainly younger people. Let's keep in mind that the boomers are a 77 million population and the largest spenders in the consumer market.

3) Simplicity is Key. James Koch of Leavy School of Business says that the successful products for the 50+ consumers bring simplicity to the consumer's life. World Hearing Organization and Seronostics, the winners of the $ 10K business plan competition, both makes products that make the life of the consumer easier.

4) Today you are potentially exposed to 30 different media channels compared to just six 40 years ago. Think of what this imprints for your brain in terms of attention, concentration and multitasking-and why it is important to take steps to improve our brain health and fitness.

5) As much as one third of internet users watch TV while surfing the net. Research indicates that too much multitasking can actually be bad for you, harming your ability to concentrate and remember.

6) AARP, with its 38+ million members, is increasingly active in creating new markets that will benefit the growing baby boomer population. Its representative Emilio Pardo addressed the need for "navigator brands" to help people find what they need, cutting through the overwhelming amount of information available these days in the confusing health and retirement markets.

7) The most successful brands today, like Google and Facebook are "User Generated Brands": the consumers are taking control of content consumption and branding. We are in what senior analyst Safa Rashchty calls The User Revolution.

8) The web is now the principal media channel at work and second most important after television at home.

9) Video ads will be the driver of the next major growth in brand advertising. According to Piper Jaffray & Co, most companies should seriously consider adding YouTube to their media planning.

10) Surprisingly, close 50% of the consumers in the casual gaming market are women above 40 years of age – many of whom seek a source of stress relief and cognitive exercise. Ready for some "brain gym"? You can visit our website for more information on this brain fitness trend.

We hope this provides you with good context for your business ideas!

Copyright (c) 2007 SharpBrains

How To Keep The Momentum Going

January is the time of the year where resolutions are made and goals are set. We have our engines charged and are ready for take off or have already taken off getting a good head start towards our end goal. But how long do these drives last and where do we find the fuel to keep moving? In other words how do you get the momentum going? Well I suppose the answer is pretty obvious. Just do not stop. Keep moving, keep making progress. A little a day, a little at a time is better then taking a break (stopping) for longer periods (cause you're worn out / deleted / demotivated).

Tony Michael, Vice President of Sales at Success University illustrated this well in the December issue of Success University monthly newsletter. He gives the example of a person trying to lose weight and becoming healthy and fitter person through better diet practice and daily exercises. Let's say after 6 months this person has achieved his / her desired target weight then decided to take a break from this healthy living and eat whatever he / she wants while lazing around for 2 months. After that period, would he / she be able to return to his new healthy self? I do not think so. Same goes with whatever that we really desire to achieve in life. Once you start working toward the goal, do not stop until you reach the top (your destination). This is something I myself must bear in mind so this article comes as a reminder to myself.

Yes, we all know that sometimes the journey may be hard and we'll come across some roadblocks that may threaten to destroy our dreams. Roadblocks may appear in many forms: financial setbacks, a conflicting relationship, unusual circumstances etc. However, if you allow it all to keep you from reaching your goals, then you probably did not want or do not deserve whatever you want to achieve in the first place. This may be hard to swallow. But believe it.

Napoleon Hill in his most important book, Think and Grow Rich talks about how important it is to have DESIRE and FAITH. If you really want to have a better life, then have faith that with constant effort and hard work, you will get what you want.

Another way to keep the momentum going is to work with a group of people who are working on similar goals as you. You can cheer each other along, share knowledge, and plan ways or strategies to bring the whole team closer each other's goals. The author of a blog called IWillTeachYouToBeRich tells about how he accepted a challenge from his friends to put on more weight since he was thought to be skinny and all bones. He arrived at his goals by constantly making progress, tracking it and letting his friends know about it. There was no way he was going to back out of the challenge until he had acquired it. And he did it too! His friends can testify this! I bet he looks fantastic in his new built. So again, it's amazing what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.

So once again people, the message is, "keep moving forward until you have your dreams firmly in your grasps.

Baby Boomers – In Pursuit Of New Learning and Life Management

Whether you have a Ph.D. or a High School Diploma, it is never too late to invest in New Learning; something you do not know but wish you did or something that you should just know.

For many people, it is all very simple. You go to school between the ages of 5 and 18, maybe 21. After you've "grown up", it's off to work. The only new learning you'll need is for the rules of the company that you've settled into. If you're lucky, you might get some additional supervision or management training. Otherwise, it's about getting the paycheck, updating the resume incidentally and checking out the wanted pages for the next higher paying job. The concept of viewing your life as a path with miles; having a map based on good information to guide you down that path is foreign to many of us.

For some, their adult work life has been a collection of outstanding good luck (being in the right place at the right time) or making a new job where none existed. Their careers were not part of a master plan or that they really put a lot of thought into it; what many experts call "Career Management". That's fine when you're 25 or even 40. But when you're 58 and a Boomer, in career transition, whether voluntary or not, managing your career seems secondary to trying to manage your life before it falls apart. What took many a while to understand is that the two are not separate. It's not Career Management that's important; it's Life Management. Your career is as much a part of your life as is family, friends, hobbies and your dog named Waldo. They are all part of a puzzle puzzle called life that, more often than not, challenges us to no end. Trying to weave all this together is a constant trial and error exercise.

What supposedly eases the difficulty are the lessons and knowledge you've learned during your lifetime, informally and formally, through educational institutions, on the job and in life. If you were paying attention, you were managing your life in such a way that you were absorbing as much practical information and experience as any one human being could possibly take in; using what you could when needed and storing the rest for later.

This takes a commitment to look at your entire life management in a new way. It begins with a willingness to look at yourself differently. Your circumstances are not what they were 10 or 20 years ago. As a Boomer, you may have greater financial and family responsibilities. Your ego is bigger. Until now, you thought your non-management techniques seemed to have worked. But now you realize, they have not and you have no clue what to do next.

Some Boomers are lucky. The company they've parted with offers three months of outplacement that helps them frame a new life management vision. Then they throw them into new projects and experiences. Not all of them involve familiar knowledge. There's new things to learn. Technology. The new buzz words. The internet and search engines. A bit of advice, learn Google Alerts. Trust me; your mailbox will be full everyday with information to read. Then there's the websites with their email alerts and newsletters on every possible subject.

But it's not all online. Enroll in conferences, workshops and seminars. Visit the bookstore's magazine rack where, there too, you can find a magazine for every possible topic. School courses are next. Offline and Online, every major college in America has something for you.

Once you start digging, you'll find the information. The challenge is using it to your advantage. Sifting through the mountain of advice and leads can give you a headache. The filter comes from you. Set out some visions for yourself. Play around in your head with "what ifs" and "how about this?". Buy a grease board or large sheets of paper, put it on your den wall or in your bathroom and play around with diagramming your life, your goals and making-believe options. It may seem tough to do this mind gaming when you need to run out there and make some money, but what's one hour in your life? All this new learning fuels new life management techniques which lead to greater options and hopefully better life choices.

Remember to always think big picture also. This is not only about you. Make sure that everyone else in your life that is affected by what you do gets thrown up on that board. That includes your family, friends, former collections and yes, your dog, Waldo.

I'm Still Hot … It Just Comes in Flashes Now!

I know I'm in the struggle of my life right now. You see, my body has become the victim of a hostile takeover by an extremist group known as the fat cells. They think my stomach, hips, thighs and behind will be their final resting place but if I have the last say on this, there will be a resurrection.

If you're dealing with your own weight issues like I am, do what my personal trainer says: "Get up and get moving." "The theory is you must take your body out of its comfort zone by changing your workouts every few weeks and increasing your level of intensity. your routine by trying something else like the elliptical or a low / high impact aerobics class from time to time, she says you'll reach a plateau and will reap very little additional weight loss benefits.

Strength training is also a key component to slimming down while firming up. I used to believe lifting weights would make me look bulky like an Amazon woman. I know now that's a myth. Light weight lifting of ten pounds or less can do wonders for your flabby arms and perk up sagging breasts. It also helps build muscle and endurance so you can ever turn a twenty minute aerobic workout into an hour or more.

If you can not afford a gym membership, you can certainly find other ways to get your heart rate up and lose some pounds. Even though I've become a self-proclaimed gym rat, there are times when I do not feel like driving all the way across town so I do a little street walking in my community. OK, get your mind out of the gutter. I live in an area with no sidewalks.

Taking a stroll is a nice change of pace because it gives me an opportunity to breathe in some fresh air instead of that stale recycled health club air. I love to admire nature's beauty all around me and walking and talking with my Creator during those times. When I really want to feel the muscle burn I do the steps at Wallace Wade stadium on the Duke University campus. Going up and down and up and down equates to close to three thousand steps and it's one incredible rush! I also love walking and running on the rigorous cross-country trail that circles the Washington Duke Inn and golf course. I've even done some mall walking but that gets depressed when I look at all of those cute outfits I know I can not fit into.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you get a check up and clear your work out plan with your doctor first. I spent fifteen months in the gym, working out six days a week before I discovered why I was not losing any weight. I was diagnosed with a medical condition known as hypothyroid. As a result of the disease, my body was not producing any estrogen and my metabolism had completely shut down. I had no energy. It was a struggle sometimes just to get out of bed. My mind would say, "get up" but my body would say "why?"

One day while sitting in the Duke Clinic I realized one of the challenges of growing older is dealing with any number of health issues. I used to see a doctor once a year for the routine exam but since turning forty, those visits have tripled on a yearly basis. These days if I've got a pain, I've got to see a doctor. My insurance providers have paid out thousands of dollars on my behalf. But why should not they? I spent twenty years of my working life paying premiums just in case something happened. I paid and paid and paid and nothing ever happened. Now I'm just cashing in on the huge investment I made.

Over the last ten years, I've been treated for heart disease (congestive heart failure), hyperthyroid, hypothyroid, high blood pressure, fibroids and yeast infections. My gynecologist tells me I should have a mammogram every couple of years, get my eyes checked annually and get ready for menopause.

Ah yes, the "M" word. That's the life changing experience that turned my mother into a psychopath! It all started when I was about fifteen years old. I remember seeing her do and say things that did not seem quite normal. For example, in the dead of winter when Ohio's wind chill factor would be on the minus side, mama would complain about how hot she was while sitting in her favorite chair near an
opened window. Snow would be blowing in and resting on the window sill. My dad and I tried closing it a few times when she was not around but we got tired of getting fussed at so we learned to adapt. She also kept a wet wash cloth and a jar of ice water on hand to cool her down.

In addition to being hot a lot, her emotions also appeared to be out of control. Sometimes she'd get angry over little or nothing. Then there were those times when she would break down and cry for no reason. At first, I thought she was reacting to something she was watching on TV but I just could not see how Sanford and Son and The Mary Tyler Moore Show would provoke that kind of emotion. It would be many years later before I discovered my mother's bizarre behavior was really a real experience.

Lillian Mahone was having her own summer! I remember her telling one of her friends she was going through "the change" but I honestly do not believe she understood the amount of what was happening to her mentally and physically.

Back then, menopause was as taboo as mental illness. No one talked about it. There was a stigma attached to a woman going through the "change." In his book, Feminine Forever (published in 1966), Dr. Robert A. Wilson wrote, "many women endure the passing years with cow-like traffic and disinterest; and a disturbingly high number take refuge in alcohol, sleeping pills and sometimes even in suicide." He also wrote, "The tragedy of menopause often destroys her character as well as her health." It's that kind of so called expert opinion that probably forced many women to suffer in silence for fear of being ridiculed or labeled as crazy because of their hormonal imbalance.

Have the seven dwarfs of menopause come knocking at your door yet? If you're not sure, please allow me make the introductions. There's Sweaty, Bloated, Forgetful, Bitchy, Itchy, Sleepy and All Dried Up. They do not all show up at once but you can rest assured they will come in, sometimes unannounced and definitely uninvited, and yes, they will wear out their welcome!

These little menaces to society bring night sweats, headaches, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, urinary incontinence, yeast infections and vaginal dryness, anxiety, depression and emotional chaos into our lives.

According to my gynecologist, over time we may even start to lose our desire for sex. I do not know how you feel about that but I certainly hope it does not happen to me because I did hate to think I wasted the best years of my sex life on my ex!

I started having a glimpse of what's known as peri-menopause about ten months ago. First, there were the hot flashes and then my menstrual cycle became very sporadic. My gynecologist said once I go into full blown menopause, my cycle will stop completely, to which I say "Hallelujah"!

As far as the hot flashes go, they can be very annoying and inconvenient. The first one I clearly remember having was at work right around the same time I was trying to handle some breaking news at work. All of a sudden I felt this intense heat rush from the base of my neck up to the top of my head. It felt like I was on fire! It only measured about a minute but that was just long enough for me to consider murder if anyone had said something I did not like right at that moment.

You see, I've chosen NOT to suffer in silence which makes me eager to let my colleges and anyone else I come in contact with know when I'm having a "moment." This is their warning to steer clear until they've been given the "everything's OK" signal. When Sweaty comes in, it triggers a not so pleasant personality change. I became uncomfortable and irritated. That's when Bitchy takes over and she can hang around a long time if aggravated. Now there are some who might argue that Bitchy and I have been acquaints for quite some time. You know what I have to say to that?


My new best friend, not by choice mind you, is Bloated. He always looks to show up when I'm trying to find something cute and sexy to wear.

Then there's the invisible dwarf known as Arthur. He pops in from time to time to try to slow me down. He can be pretty feisty when he wants to be. He likes to hand wrestle and if I'm not careful he'll kick me in my knees. I've been able to stand my ground so far but he's pretty persistent. Good ol 'Arthur-itis just can not understand that I'd rather have someone else holding on to me!

While researching for more information of what to expect as I enter into menopause, I came across an interesting fact. Middle-aged men also go through their own form of "the change." It's referred to as andropause. Starting in their late forties, some of our male counterparts begin to experience symptoms such as erectile dysfunction, moodiness, heart palpitations and yes, some even complain of night sweats. That lean, mean macho machine you used to know starts turning into a couch potato with a gut the size of a watermelon.

Maybe that explains why some of them pump it up a little harder at the gym. Then they want to show off their new and improved bodies as they cruise around in their brand new chick magnet sports car. And let's not forget about the help they get from Hair Club for Men.

As for me, what you see is what you get!

I've started keeping a journal, which I strongly recommend for anyone going through their own season of change. On a daily basis you should keep track of everything you eat and drink and see how it correlates to weight gains and losses. I can tell you first hand, no matter how much you exercise, if you do not change your eating habits the only thing you're going to LOSE is PATIENCE.

Nutrition really is the key. I'm still learning how and when to eat. I've never been a breakfast person but these days I force myself to munch on something, even if it's nothing more than a banana and glass of soy milk. My trainer says you need food to jump start your metabolism first thing in the morning. That's especially important if your day starts with a workout like mine does.

I'm also learning how to prepare healthy meals I can enjoy through the day. Everything I used to fry, I now bake. Instead of saturating my seafood and vegetables with butter, I now use a freshly squeezed lemon or other non-fattening seasonings. I can also turn one regular meal into three or four smaller portions and I love experimenting with fruit smoothies.

The one mistake I believe many dieters make is they change what and how much they eat to lose the weight. Then when the weight loss goal is achieved, they resort back to their same old eating and drinking habits and wind up gaining back all they worked so hard to lose.

In addition to keeping up with your eating habits, you should also write down all of the activities you do that require movement for at least thirty minutes. Did you know house and yard work can be considered exercise? The more space you have to clean burns more calories and if you have to climb up and down stairs, that's an extra bonus. Mowing the lawn in the Spring and Summer and raking leaves in the Fall are sure fire ways to get your heart rate up.

Your journal can also help you monitor how often your hot flashes occur, how long they last, time of day / evening and what is happening right before the sunset. The majority of mine happens when I'm at work. Stress and a hot flash seem to go hand in hand in my life. I am finding out, however, just how important exercise is in helping me stay below the boiling point.

I'm also trying to monitor my mood swings. I find myself crying or flying off the handle for little or no reason. That's why I've made it a point to share my "issues" with people who are forced to be around me during those times so they're not taken off guard and do not take it personally.

One more thing my gynecologist says is my personal summer could last up to twenty years. So with that in mind, this Diva is taking the attitude she saw on a bumper sticker not long ago:

"I'm still Hot —- it just comes in Flashes now" (Can you dig it?)

Homebased Online Travel Agencies – The Hottest New Opportunity?

Because of the deregulation of the airlines and other factors, there have been over 200,000 brick and mortar travel agencies that have closed their doors over the past several years. Does that mean travel agencies are no longer needed or available to the public? Absolutely not.

Several companies, including Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz among others, saw this trend developing, so they developed online booking programs and entered the marketplace. Because the Internet was becoming so popular and accepted as a secure and reliable way of conducting business, their businesses have literally exploded.

But wait … several brilliant entrepreneurial visions also saw this online phenomena developing. Specifically, the online travel agency business model is especially interesting to the network marketing industry. Here are some of the reasons that they are expanding on the concept of online travel agencies:

– The travel industry is huge! Over $ 1.3 Trillion dollars are spent annually in the US on travel and over $ 7 Trillion is spent worldwide.

– The 'Baby Boomers' are now reaching retirement age and currently represent a large percentage of the travel dollar space. They have money and are ready to travel.

– The Internet has been validated by the masses as a trustworthy and important place to purchase goods and services. It is here to stay.

– As more and more people see that advantages of having their own personal homebased business, an online business like a travel agency really makes sense.

In the past, network marketers have had to learn expert selling and closing techniques to achieve good success with their products and services. Also, many of the products and services that they have historically been reliably high-priced compared to similar products purchased in regular stores. It takes people with perseverance and a strong will to really make it to the really high levels in network marketing.

However, using the business models and programs that have been developed for the travel industry, these same network marketers can promote their businesses and reach high levels of income from the comfort of their own homes much easier. The reasons include:

– The product (travel) is in huge demand and people are already in the habit of using online agencies for their travel purchases.

– The technology of the Internet is allowing individuals to compete with large companies. It's been proven that people would prefer to go to the website of one of their friends rather than the site of a large, nonpersonal company.

– Network marketers can earn commissions on their own personal travel, rental cars, concert tickets, golf trips, etc.

– The cost to get started is low and profits can be made almost immediately

– It's a great way to help other people and make a significant part-time or full-time income on the way.

– There are basically no sophisticated selling and closing skills that need to be developed.

So, with the familiarity of the brand names that are available and the simplicity of using the Internet to shop for travel goods and services, there is an exciting new and profitable opportunity for network marketers to capitalize on the travel industry.