Sunday, November 8, 2009

City Lights


I couldn't help grabbing the camera to capture this sunset from my condo balcony. I find myself appreciating nature more as well as more simple things like what Barbara D'Angelis'book "Real Moments" focuses on. Is it a real moment when you get an award at work or is it a real moment when you hug your child? Is it a real moment when you buy a new car or is it a real moment when you pet your dog? Goes to my favorite quote and my email signature, "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,...but by the moments that take our breath away". Now go create some real moments!

Glamour on the Road?

Life on the road is not all that glamourous as one would think. I just checked into Stone Mountain Inn in Georgia. Yes, lots of history but lots of mustiness in this 50 year old hotel that they consider refurbished. Oh yes and that room service that I love so much so I can chill in my room before the big speech in the morn', well sorry folks there is only the buffet that you have to go to for food. Still every day above ground is a good day so here's to your grits and biscuits smothered in gravy, yowsa...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

BFF

Now if you don't know that term, you have been hiding under a rock. A BFF is a best friend forever:-) Maybe it's because I am an only child that I have valued all my friendships so very much. Other than my son who walks on water, my friends have always been my family. They have been there with me in the proverbial sickness, health, good times and bad. I feel people who do not nurture their friendships miss out on a major source of joy in their lives. I recently read that "friendship is a kind of behavioral vaccine that can inoculate us against illness". There is growing scientific evidence that extensive social networks can make us susceptible to the ravages of old age and to many common illnesses. So get on out there and make some friends, reconnect with past ones and cherish your BFF.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Time management is a fallacy!

It's choice management. OK, so you know I love to quote myself and this is right out of my Whole Life Trilogy. Last time I checked we all had 24 hours so when you say "when I have more time..." or "when I make time...." it really is ludicrous. We makes choices on our time every day...you choose to get up an hour early and workout or you choose to sleep in. You choose to stay up an hour later and read a book or you choose to go straight to sleep. You choose to go to work on the weekend or you choose to stay home and play with your kids. We make choices everyday about how we spend our time, we don't manage it, we choose how we use it. Listen to the Cat's In The Cradle if you want a sobering reminder of what's important to balance your life.

Age is just a number!

I had the pleasure of speaking to one of the first CEO groups in WI, where it all started. The group has been together 36 years and average age in their 70 and 80's. Their fearless leader (and the owner of TEC-WI) is Harry Dennis (in the pink shirt which proves he's a very secure male:-) and one of the members, Jay Smith. Most are retired and instead of meeting monthly they now meet quarterly with spouses for a speaker and social event. I spoke to them with part 1 of my Whole Life Trilogy about a week after 9/11 and they came to Chicago this weekend and I presented part 2 and was invited to join them for dinner. They are absolutely delightful and full of joie de vivre!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Beloved Brat

I am still reeling from the loss of my beloved llasa apso dog, Brat after sharing 14 years of my life with him. Having to put him to sleep a few days ago has brought emotions out beyond description. Please forgive my lack of creativity and timeliness as I mourn this great loss.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Brat - August 20, 1995 - October 14, 2009

I lost a treasured friend today 


The little dog who used to lay 


His gentle head upon my knee 


And shared his silent thoughts with me. 



Although my eyes are filled with tears 


I thank him for the happy years.


http://www.petloss.com/

Monday, October 12, 2009

Networking and Social Media


The next MIKKI & FRIENDS TELESEMINAR is on
NETWORKING AND SOCIAL MEDIA
on October 23, 2009 at 12:00 Noon (CST)
Register with the button on the left.


Mikki Williams, CSP on Networking
Networking is the ultimate contact sport. It's the success skill for sales people, managers, top executives, and for anyone who wishes to get ahead personally and professionally. In this era of networking through social media it is important to be cognizant of human networking as well. To be successful you must understand the value proposition of both. Relearn some simple and creative techniques to make an impact and develop mutually beneficial relationships, then apply these critical skills for fun and profit!

and

Samantha Hoffman on Social Media
More and more large companies are using social media to stir up interest in their products or services, and it's working to their advantage. But for the small business it's essential. Learn about social media to decide what's right for you and your company. For the small business without a website a blog is a powerful tool to create an Internet presence and create interest. Use Twitter to promote a product or service. and to reach new customers. Log onto Facebook to connect with your customers or friends. For a small investment of your time social media can help you to reap big benefits in promoting your business.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Consciousness!! Are you conscious?

Spent the day yesterday with all the Chicago Chairs who facilitate Vistage groups as I do or as I commonly call it, I herd cats, aka I lead CEO think tanks. About 30 of us gathered to spend a day with uber-trainer James Newton of Newton Learning in San Diego. I have worked with James before so I knew the exciting day I was in for. We spent the day examining our consciousness, our barriers, our strengths and areas of improvement relative to that. It was enlightening as always and in the spirit of sharing I offer you mine to inspire you to examine yours.

My strength lies in my self awareness and authenticity. I am indeed a wysiwyg, what you see is what you get. I know who I am, comfortable with it and am always real. My challenge area is knowing that I set healthy boundaries for myself in all areas of my live, however, due to my love of spontaneity and some impulsivity, I sometimes compromise those boundaries. AND my barrier is self limiting beliefs and I identified one to the group. We all have them, have you ever confronted yours?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rituals?

Do you have any? In one of my favorite books, Happier, this is a question that the author poses. I truly believe as he does that rituals add to our happiness factor. So take a step back and a 360 view of your life and figure out if you have them, what are they, do they add to the quality of your life and how can you create new ones.

Zumba-licious!

I missed last Sunday, mea culpa! It's been a whirlwind. This weekend, my best friend, Sherry from Seattle came in for her repeat session of my Speakers School, two days of 8 hour training, from there we went straight to Lake Geneva, WI for me to give a speech, got up at 5am the next day to go to Sandwich, IL to become certified Zumba instructors (www.zumba.com) and right from there back to downtown Chicago to see Barishnikov dance. Whew! Do you forgive me now? Is there a moral to this story? When does society decide that age is the dictator of lifestyle, of energy, of trying new things, of taking risks, of continual learning. For this gal...never...how 'bout you?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Quotation 9 from Mikki Mouth


If you'd like a copy of my quotation book, Mikki Mouth, click here!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weather and Winnipeg

Yes, yes, the glorious weather we've had in Chicago all week, it was the summer we should have had. What has weather got to do with work life balance you might ask? It made me stop and smell the proverbial roses...time to truly enjoy nature as I sat in the park with my dog, Brat in his li'l red wagon (he can't walk anymore), read a book, watched kids at play, people walking their dogs, sunbathers, bikers, joggers, skaters and just was as the Buddhists say, "in the moment...fully present...fully alive." Try it, you might like it:-)

As for Winnipeg, I spoke to a group that came to Chicago this Friday and being with all these wonderful couples on their retreat only solidified the value of relationships, any kind of relationship and how important they are in balancing our lives. People need people...right, Barbra?

A Mother's Smile

If you are reading my blog tonight, then please do me a favor...

I nominated my one of my closest friends, Sherry LeBed Davis for this Amex Shine a Light competition. Unfortunately the voting ends tonight, we need 50 votes to put her into the judging for three finalists which starts tomorrow. PLEASE if you are reading this tonight, go to this link and vote for my friend, Sherry who I nominated, she has an amazing small business that could so use the prize money and marketing support. It should take you right to her page, if it doesn't for some reason, her company is Healthy-Steps and the article I wrote is A Mother's Smile.

Thanks so much for doing this for me (and Sherry) on such short notice.

http://shinealight.ivillage.com/sbo-profile/?ProfileID=1475

Here's the story just in case you miss tonight's deadline;

Sherry’s desire to bring a smile back to her Mother’s face spawned a program and business that now brings smiles to the faces of thousands of participants around the country. Sherry Lebed Davis defines the word inspiration. She “shines a light” on the lives of so many. A woman who decided to use the challenges life presented her with to help others rather than to be the victim, she is the epitome of what your contest represents and would use the grant and support to spread enormous hope and education to the masses. In 1980, Sherry Lebed Davis’ mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Although she was treated successfully, Sherry’s mother’s recovery hit some bad spots, both emotionally and physically. Sherry, a professional dancer, and her two brothers, both physicians, developed a therapeutic program for their mother based on movement and music. Sherry’s mother was soon smiling again and her physical recovery picked up. In 1996 Sherry developed Breast Cancer and utilized the program they had developed for her mother to aid in her own recovery. She began teaching this program, the Lebed Method, at the local hospitals in the Seattle area. This was the beginning of a small business, now known as Healthy-Steps, that conducts trainings for instructors across the country and internationally. The instructors, once trained, return to their communities and hold classes to aid in the recovery and improve the quality of life for thousands of individuals, from the elderly, to those living with Lymphedema and all types of cancer and now many other chronic illnesses. Sherry also developed a program for children, Creative Rhythms, to bring joy and movement to children undergoing various treatments. Besides conducting instructor trainings, Healthy-Steps also offers books and DVDs for sale to those who may not have access to a class, and Sherry makes presentations around the country. With three medical studies attesting to its’ efficacy, Healthy Steps is rapidly being integrated into the therapy options at many hospitals. Sherry wrote a book, Thriving After Breast Cancer, she was featured in People Magazine, appeared on the Today Show and has been the focus of media due to her amazing inspirational life story. From the desire to bring a smile back to the face of her mother, Sherry’s program now brings smiles, recovery, and improved quality of life to thousands. The Healthy-Steps therapeutic exercise program, based on medicine, movement, and music is helping to heal bodies, minds, and spirits.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Clipping Queen

The Clipping Queen | Mikki Williams Blah Blah Blog I clip and file...no, not nails...magazines. That doesn't make me a bad person just someone who early in life found a strange hobby that makes me exhale. Yes, I love to read magazines, all kinds, fashion, business, travel, cheesy:-) and I tear out articles of interest, words I like, cartoons, ideas, you name it, I tear it. I must admit it piles up faster than I can file but that's due to 9/11...huh?

You see I used to be able to carry scissors on the planes when I traveled and so the tear sheets were all neatly cut up and ready for filing when I got home, get the picture now? I digress. Then I file them in all kinds of categories from trips I want to take, clothes I want to buy, ideas for my speeches, I have a file for everything. Now you're thinking, what does this have to do with work life balance? This is just one of my many methods for relaxing. I guess the real question is, what are yours?

One Woman Stimulus Plan

I saw a sign in a shop today that read "Shop...Save Jobs". Being the July 4th birthday All American patriot that I am, I broke my recessionary rule and succumbed to some retail therapy. I gave in to the old adage, "I shop, therefore I am". But then...I said to myself, "self...you shouldn't be doing this" and isn't it amazing how we can rationalize anything? So where is the lesson here, I guess I'm still trying to figure that out and in the meantime, it's buy, buy, baby!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Don't ever compromise yourself. You're all you've got...Janis Joplin

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mental Health Week

How often do you take those? I define "mental health" week as time just for you to recalibrate, rejuvenate, rejoice, redo, reflect, or whatever "re" you want to do. We all need them, we all define them differently but it's definitely needed. In an era where time seems to be accelerating at a pace faster than we can keep up, it's important to slow down. I work with type A executives (OK, OK, you're thinking, hey look in the mirror, gal) but it does remind me to practice what I preach. So yes, I do work hard, travel is not always glamorous but I do enjoy my down time, whatever it looks like. For me, it's reading, cooking, dancing, exercising, lying in the sun, shopping, hanging with friends, learning something new. What's on your mental health calendar this week?

If the shoe fits...buy it in every color

OK, OK, I love shoes, does that make me a bad person? Some people love cars! Me? I'd rather wear it or eat it. Great shoes, good food and oh yes, fab' jewelry make this gal very happy. Why write this? I went to my first Flea Market today in FL, yes, I am a virgin FM gal. What a hoot? Did I write that? It was alot of fun, great bargains and I got to pull out my NY bargaining shtick. South FL is rather quiet at this time of year but I am loving the solitude and having a complete mental health week, oh yes, work too but in a relaxed way. Normally, Sunday night is riddled with anxiety for alot of people, moi aussi, at times but here in Paradise as the natives call it, it is much easier to exhale and joyfully anticipate Monday. So Carpe Monday all!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Bicycle Benefit

One of the points in my signature keynote is entitled The Bicycle Benefit because of what it implies. I believe that continuous learning is an integral part of a healthy work life balance. It rattles me when people say they don't have the time. In my humble opinion, there is no such thing as "time management," it is "choice management." You choose to sleep in or you choose to get up and work out. You choose to go to bed or you choose to stay up and read. You choose to go to work on the weekend or you choose to stay home and play with your kids. Last time I checked we all had the same 24 hours, so we choose how we spend it. That's not meant to be a statement of judgment but one of reality.

Auntie Mame said in the Broadway show, "Life is a banquet and most poor son of a guns are starving to death." When are you going to pull your seat up to the table? Balance is about mind as well as body, how many books have you read lately, how many DVDs have you watched, CDs listened to, seminars enrolled in, trips taken, hobbies pursued...?

The Bicycle Benefit: "Life is like a 10-speed bicycle and some of us have gears we've never used."

DElicious, DElectable, DElightful, DE-Tox

Well, when you eat all those delicious, delectable, delightful delicacies, it's time to consider a de-tox. It's very "in", haven't you heard? Decades ago, I used to go to the New Age Health Farm in upstate NY, not even sure it's still around. I would go to cleanse and detox mind and body. Then when I started my business, Six Degrees of Wellness, selling natural health products and studying to be a natural health practitioner, I used to detox on my own.

I take more supplements a day than most people take in a month, I believe in them passionately. So when my son, Jason and my good friend, Lisa both told me they were on a detox I got curious. I bought the books, Jason is on Clean by Dr Junger and Lisa is on the Martha Vineyard Detox. I am finishing the second one tonight then deciding which one to start this week. I remember how I felt. You feel lighter, more energetic, clearer skin and eyes, clears up symptoms of just about everything and overall is one of the healthiest things you can do for mind, body and spirit. So stay tuned for the "new me".

Friday, August 21, 2009

I Love My Audience!

Dana Borowka, Lighthouse Consulting Services, has seen me SIX times and is still getting something from my presentation! That's truly what it's all about for me. Thanks you, Dana, for the kind words.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

He Who Laughs...Lasts

I recently gave this program to a large retailer. We all know how hard the retail industry has been hit in this economic downturn, but the executive team had the vision to realize a program like this was timely and would help boost morale. The value of humor in the workplace is never more evident than when you suddenly realize you're not having fun, not laughing very often and not feeling energized enough to manage your business and personal life (if you still have one). What you need is a little stress management, a little humor perspective. What you need is some inspiration and self-development that can enhance productivity. I showed my audience that it's PWP (possible without pills)!
Positive thinking is to welcome each day with interest and curiosity, as a new adventure. It is seeing opportunity in every situation and identifying with others' positive characteristics to find them interesting. It is to be conscious of an expanding dimension of life, realizing that the greatest achievement of human spirit is to make the most of one's resources. Such thoughts, held in the mind, become attitudes. And attitudes infallibly shape one's life. So life itself really is - an attitude!
 Most of us suffer from childhood programming, negative thinking, common failure patterns that seem impossible to overcome. The good news is that you can break out of these molds to repeatedly create success by changing the way your mind is programmed. Through the use of humor, you can enhance relationships, relieve stress, deal with change and become more productive. I worked with my client to give them a perspective of opportunity rather than one of obstacles. Humor is the great diffuser, the great equalizer. The best way to gain control of your life is with “humor resources.” So come to your “senses of humor.”

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Positive Psychology aka Happiness

Read the book, "Happier" and you will be:-) Wherever you are in life, the author believes you could be "happier". He is a researcher at Harvard, who in the course of his research found an alarming statistic regarding how many Americans were on anti-depressants. He thought, "Why aren't we happier?" This led him to more research and finally to his best selling book. One of his questions that particularly resonated with me was around rituals in your life. His research proves that rituals add to your happiness quotient. I did some self exploration in regard to that and found that the ones I did have certainly did contribute to my overall happiness. What are the rituals in your life?

Experience Junkie

Yes, I am...and proud of it. Forget Bucket Lists, things to do before you die, too negative. I've always had an Experience List, things to do while fully alive! My list has experiences such as waltzing in Vienna, tango in Argentina, ride the Orient Express, have a Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby and many more that I have done and want to do. So, this week I did something that is not on my list but what the heck, I was in Vegas and my friend Sherry met me after a week of four speeches, she gave me my birthday present, Stripper 101 class. As they say, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas:-)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

To Be or Not to Be...

The challenge is that most of us are human "doings" instead of human "beings"...myself included. BUT, in this never ending quest for quality of life, I continually do things that will contribute to that state of "being." Yes, I do affirmations in the morning and prayer at night. I listen to music as much as possible, thank you Pandora:-) I walk and take in the beauty of nature. I make time for friends and fun. What do you do on a conscious level to achieve that balance for you?

Quotation 7 from Mikki Mouth

Sunday, August 9, 2009

City Chick/Country Gal?

I am a city chick! Every once in awhile that declaration gets challenged...but in a good way. Born and raised in NYC, did the family thing in chi chi Westport, CT, third quarter of life, back to being a city chick in the all time best city of Chicago, (I am THE poster child) and now acquired a second home in Naples, FL. What does all that mean? I could be corny and say, "home is where the heart is" but what I really mean in my continual quest for quality of life, there is beauty and joy everywhere.

I just spoke in Breckinridge, Colorado, 9000 ft up and yes, I was gasping for air, thankfully not during my speech. I was lightheaded, queasy and headachy for that first night but magically the drop dead views snapped me out of it. I spoke for an executive retreat (they were all going to climb to 14,000 feet the next day and celebrate the lives of two of their brethren who are facing terminal illnesses by photographing banners in their honor at the peak.) What a feat, what an honor, what an inspiration.

It only serves to reaffirm my belief and to quote myself (which we know I love to do)..there is inspiration all around us...in the people we meet, nature, music, we just have to stay aware... to smell those proverbial roses. Start sniffin'

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009

From Surfers to Divas

What a weekend! I was speaking in Huntington Beach, CA and who knew...it was the US Open in World Championship Surfing. At first when we checked into our hotel we couldn't understand why the shower was so long and the sink area so small. Duh! It had to fit the surfboards. It was a weekend display of boards, boobs (both types), tattoos, booze and boogeyin'.

If that wasn't enough, I came home to an invite from my friend to post celebrate my birthday at a Diva Brunch at a little place called The Spot in Chicago. Yes, complete with drag queens, lots of boas and sequins (my kinda place:-) and a cabaret show and waffles topped with a cotton candy wig topped with a rhinestone tiara.

Well, as I always say, it's about getting off your "Someday Isle" and creating experiences. Now go and make that list and start checking it off.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Topic - Only Wet Babies Like Change


"Change is inevitable, growth is optional." When there is change, when new information comes along and circumstances transform as they now do at lightning speed, it is no longer possible to apply yesterday's solutions to today's problems. It is critical to find new answers, solutions and ideas. Since the start of the millennium we have seen rapid shifts and transitions, and those who thrive - not just survive - are those who are fully equipped to manage these changes. This program is not designed to analyze where the sophisticated technology of the future will take us nor how we are governed, nor what is happening globally, nor the changes that are taking place in the American social structure. It is designed to study the dynamics of how we adapt to change and how we can leverage the challenges, means and methods to better our lives.
How do you deal with change? Are you frisky risky (I couldn't resistIndy500) or a risk runaway?? Do you embrace it, inspire it, run from it, freeze with inertia? In this program I use real life stories to explore the dynamics of change and how to make it a catalyst for life improvement.
Just for the sake of change make an effort to introduce yourself to three strangers this week. They could be in the supermarket line or at the airport, or change the route you take to work or try a new food. Just do it!!!
For more information visit us at
http://www.mikkiwilliams.com

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rules Schmules...

OK so I am not known for my conservative approach to dressing nor anything in design of any sort but...I don't understand when someone says, "oooo a red kitchen, I wish I could have a red kitchen..." or "wow, you look great in those big earrings, I wish I could wear big earrings..." Well, why not? Is it a self confidence issue, is it a flair you must possess, is it a mindset, is it a rule, is it a mantra, what the heck is it that keeps people wishing instead of doing?

Rules like... don't wear white after Labor Day, who created that and why? Don't pair plaid with stripes...now realllllllly!!! Yet most people would rather drink milk after the expiration date then try an outrageous act of design in their dress or in their home or office decor. So I leave you, dear readers, with MY mantra..."be outrageous, it's the only place that isn't crowded.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Friends, Fun and Frivolity!

Oops, I missed last week, so sorry,that's what happens when you are living life so fully that you lose a calendar day. Ah but this week was different. Spoke in Rochester, NY then flew to NYC, was picked up by my college roomie and another long time friend and off we drove to the Jersey Shore (Long Beach Island) to stay at the home of other college buddy. A four day female frolic (her husband left for the weekend, wouldn't you?) Four days of sun, chatter, laughter, ice cream, steamers, long walks...so good for the soul:-)

As a professional speaker specializing in life balance and quality of life issues, I try to practice what I preach. Yes, I work hard but I make room in my life for the important things as well...friends! Coaching so many executives, I find one of the most obvious missing items are scheduled time with friends, be it a fishing or golf trip or a gal pal weekend. As someone with a very small family, I have always valued friendships more than most. I believe you need to nurture them, just like a plant so they'll live, flourish and endure. We've already scheduled our next time together in Oct. how do you prioritize your friendships?

"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."
~ Walter Winchell

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The MP3 file from the Branding Teleseminar is Available Now

The teleseminar on Branding that I did with Mark Partridge was fabulous! If you were unable to attend it "live" on June 11, 2009 you can purchase the mp3 file now for the same price as the teleseminar. Just $29.00. Click here to BUY NOW.

A strong brand is essential in this economic climate. Your brand differentiates you from the competition and confirms your credibility. Learn how to create your brand and how to protect it in this engaging and informative TELESEMINAR on BRANDING

HOW TO BE YOU-NIQUE!
with Mikki Williams, CSP
and
PROTECTING YOUR B.R.A.N.D.
WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SHIRT
Mark V.B. Partridge


Quotation 2 from Mikki Mouth

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hot, Humid and Happy

Greetings from my new digs in southwest Florida. I have been here four times, once in Dec. to find it, once to close on it in Jan., once to turbo shop for a weekend, once to turbo decorate for another weekend and now to enjoy the fruits of that labor for an ENTIRE week. No, I am not lying in the sun at the beach, no, I am not drinking pina coladas by the pool. I am working in the air conditioned comfort of my beautiful new home that makes me oh so happy, shopping for the most mundane items like can opener, flashlight, glasses, dishes... I haven't shopped for a new home like this since my first one in my 20's where you need everything and everything is new. I'm liking it:-)

To say it's off season would be an understatement and between that and the economy, I feel like I am in a ghost town. I don't mind it, in fact I recommend everyone take a week by themselves to regroup, to clear your mind, body and soul, to take delight in the little things, to think of all you are grateful for, to catch up to yourself, to plan, set new goals, to eat healthy and exercise and walk and listen to music and read and...

And yes, I am doing all these things. Carpe joy!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Testimonial From my Speech to Marquette Group

Fabulous event last week for Marquette Group one of my favorite clients.

For more information go to
http://www.mikkiwilliams.com

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Travel Tsuris

Now if you have no idea what tsuris is, it's a Yiddish phrase for stress and hassle, both of which I experienced on Friday. If you live in Chicago or watch the weather channel elsewhere, you know we had horrendous storms rolling in and out all day. After a two month hiatus from travel, my first day back was the proverbial nightmare. Nine hours in the airport, delayed, canceled but wait...I learned a long time ago as a woman road warrior that you can't let that get to you or else you shouldn't travel.

I went to the airline club, took out my computer, my books and mags', got some healthy snacks, a cup of tea, settled into a comfy chair and worked in a relaxing manner and time flew even though I never did!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dog or Dogged?


I love my dog! Brat is a 13 year old Llasa Apso (that's Tibetan). My son Jason has a wry sense of humor so Brat wears a dog tag that says "Free Tibet." In February Brat was stumbling on occasion so I took him to my vet. He couldn't find the cause so he sent me to a neurologist...that's a whole other story. Let me just say I didn't do enough homework before entrusting my precious pooch to this guy and as a result of his "tactics" Brat became totally handicapped, losing all capabilities of ever walking normally again. Tenacity being my middle name I was "dogged" in finding all possible solutions. On to an orthopedic vet and finally a naturopathic vet and thousands of dollars later there was no answer. I bought a harness, vitamins, he had acupuncture, laser therapy and even considered a doggie wheelchair. Then the moment when well-intentioned friends suggested putting him down.

Herein lies the story. He is not in pain, never has been in pain but my own observations and all the vets' concurrence..he is simply physically challenged. He is happy, he is loving, he has adapted brilliantly to crawling, peeing and pooping and playing. I would no sooner "put down" a relative who became handicapped then I would this member of my family and so I too have adapted. Enjoy the photo of Brat in his little red wagon. I take him to the park, I sit and read for half hour (good for me) and he lies in his wagon basking in the accolades of all passersby who think he is so cute...he is!

There is no moral to this story but I think there is a life lesson for me and it reaffirms what I've always believed in...trust your heart and your instincts, love unconditionally, never give up until you've exhausted all your options, then listen to your heart and your instincts. Now go pet your dog!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

How to be YOU-nique!

Who knew when I created that program two decades ago that I was way ahead of myself. I was an accidental brand. I created my brand inadverdently and then one day, I realized what I had done. Now I am hired to speak about it, coach others on how to do it and this week doing a teleseminar on it. I believe everyone should have a personal brand no matter what business you are in. People buy people, people buy on emotion, people buy authenticity. Stop talking about what you do and start promoting who you are.Start using your name, not your company name, start using your persona, not your product. Don't be different, be unique. If every realtor is selling condo's, become the beachfront property specialist. If everyone is selling cookies, become a "Famous Amos" a personality. You all have a personality! Not everyone is an extrovert, that's no excuse. Just be who you are and exploit that uniqueness. As I love to quote myself, (lol) "Be outrageous, it's the only place that isn't crowded!".

Monday, June 1, 2009

Introducing The Reverend Mikki Williams!


How many times in your life to you get asked to marry a couple.? Anna called me up last week and said that they would like me to officiate at their wedding. They interviewed some ministers and felt that my credentials as a professional speaker, my personality and my friendship with them would make it more personal and so I was honored to be asked. Through my network of friends, Karen Kennedy to her friend, John Huston, attorney and part time Reverend, I found out I could become one fast and easy and so I did, (got the certificate to prove it:-)

The weekend had a 1920's/nautical theme. Friday started with an evening at Tommy Guns Garage, Chicago's only original speakeasy dinner theatre. Saturday afternoon was a private architectural cruise followed by lunch at Fulton's on the River. We were picked up Saturday night at The Drake Hotel where most of the out of towners stayed, in a gorgeous black 1920ish Rolls Royce or Bentley or something like that. We then boarded the Celebrity Yacht at Navy Pier for a nautical wedding and celebration. The deck was set with chairs for the 50+ guests, I stood under the altar schmoozing with the audience to stall for time till we were out towards Monroe Harbor. (I think it was the schmoozing part that got me the job;-) Then the ceremony, they wrote, I wrote, google wrote. Phil cried, his gorgeous teenage kids, Jack and Annie stood up for them. I made a funny..."when you're wrong, admit it, when you're right, shut up, you can either be right or you can be married!"

After the "I do's", we had hors d'oeuvres on deck then went downstairs for dinner, traditional cake cutting and music. At 11PM as we were headed back close enough to have the Sat. nite fireworks at Navy Pier as the backdrop, Phil and Anna did their first dance as man and wife and the setting was spectacular. The white Rolls awaited the departure.

Sunday was a trolley ride to all the significant places where Phil proposed, where they met, where they live and highlights of our fair city. The weekend celebration ended with a brunch at Gibsons. It was definitely one of the highlights of my life to be honored by marrying friends...and to be able to check it off my infamous "experience list".

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Little Black Dress!

OK, so I'm at this fantastic wedding last night at Carnivale Restaurant, which is THE most colorful place as you can imagine with that name. I look around at the 200 plus guests and every woman is in the "little black dress". What's up with that? There I am in my kelly green dress, shoes and earrings (yes, they all have to match, it's a religion:-) Is everyone just afraid of the boldness of color, am I out of style (but then again, I'm never in style) just prefer to do my own thing. It always makes me wonder when people say to me, "I wish I could have a red kitchen, I wish I could wear a green dress, I wish I could wear big earrings..." why don't they?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

So, I was debating on whether to get hair extensions or not. Now you might be wondering why me, of oh so much hair, would want more? Just because I love trying new and different things...a little fuller (scary,huh?), a little longer (more youthful?), a little overall overall (sexier?) Anyway, this is no cheap or easy process, so for now, we'll all have to contend with WYSIWYG...what you see is what you get!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

College Boys in Cabo...and me

I've been blessed by many unique experiences in my speaking career and this one rates at the top. I was giving a speech to a Vistage group in Chicago and a member, Greg Wittistock, owner of Aquascapes, invited me to speak at the American Leadership Academy in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Greg was a fraternity brother of Phi Kappa Psi and Jerry Nelson, the founder of Ticketmaster was also in that fraternity. Jerry believes that alot of his success in life was due to what he learned during his fraternity years, the life skills that they don't teach in the classroom.He built a magnificent compound on the beach in Cabo with a hotel for the boys and spectacular homes for the invited guest teachers. He invites 700 boys each year from colleges all over the country that belong to his fraternity to spend a week during spring breaks from February-April.

I had never spoken to college boys who would obviously be sleepy, hungover and not totally present in the morning when they were required to show up for classes or be sent home. This expense paid hotel and food requirement is attendance at all the classes offered. Classes such as "dress for success" (no, I didn't teach that one:-), "how to go on an interview" and my signature speech on quality of life, a Balancing Act: Walking the Tightrope of Life".

I bought a special "hip" outfit at Guess, I went to the music store (remember those?) grabbed a young looking sales clerk, dragged him to "his music" section and I stood there glazing at groups I never heard of. I told him to pick one, he did and I was armed and dangerous to face my toughest audience ever.

I had a glorious week in Cabo with the most unbelievable house on the beach, I had dinner every night with all the boys even ventured into Cabo one night to party with them. I was very fortunate to meet and hang out with someone who had been part of the experience before, Kurt Harrington who gave me the wildest midnite dune buggy ride on the beach and we have remained friends ever since. His company Something Fishy is in RI.

My speech was a hit and the boys responded better than expected. They started out as a challenge and wound up being one of the best audiences and the most rewarding that I ever had. Jerry Nelson is making a difference in all these boys lives and I had the privilege of being part of that difference. Isn't that what it's all about?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Too Many Cogs...

I've been in Florida at my "snowbird" home for the past week, enhancing their economy by turbo shopping to decorate my condo in one fell swoop (what is a "fell swoop" anyway?)As someone who speaks and trains on customer service, let me tell you that I got enough material to last a lifetime. I experienced customer service? YES, that was meant to be a ?...the good, the bad and the ugly. Too many "cogs"s in the company wheel, not enough empowerment..., Nordstorm, please train the world on how easy it is to please the customer. This is not brain surgery but when the salesgirl at Panera Bread (a place I really love... or loved) tells me after I ask for less ice in my iced tea, and she utters "but I have to use the scoop...) OMG, I know, I know, they want us to drink less tea but talk about a cog'. Or when calling to speak to an executive at Z Gallerie (another store I love..., or loved) and the phone attendant says, " My job is to direct you to customer service, the CEO doesn't speak to anyone" is the incredulous reply I received....OMG, another cog!! What ever happened to the "customer is always right and if the customer is wrong, go back and read rule #1 (thank you, Stew Leonard)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Elvis has left the building!

I just got back from THE wedding. Friends from Westport, CT who also own a home in Lake Las Vegas threw a wedding for their only daughter that was an event to be written about. Sadly, I had to miss the opening weekend festivities which included a Friday night party at their home complete with entertainment by the Rat Pack and an amazing display of ice carvings and unlimited food and drink. I arrived Sat due to my Speakers School. When I arrived there was a gift waiting for me in my room, consisting of chocolates, cookies, poker chips and more. The wedding was held at The Ritz Carlton in the garden, the setting was spectacular. It was too windy to go to the next part on the Ponteveccio Bridge so we proceeded to the grand ballroom which was magically lit.

There was a table of thongs (shoes not panties) for all the gals to switch from their heels to dance in. Pashmina shawls tied to our chairs were a take home gift. Elvis did indeed entertain along with more music and dancing. I saw about 25 women that I hadn't seen in over 10 years from my days with them in the Westport Young Women's League, that was a trip down memory lane. They all got up to do a line dance which I was dragged into as I had taught them or their children at my dance studio at some point. From there, we went to the after hours coffee hour with sliders and fries and more music.

If that was not enough, the next day we went to the Loews' Hotel for a stunning brunch on the patio right on the lake. To be said "a good time was had by all" is truly an understatement!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Travel-mania

Funny I wrote that and immediately thought of my first catering business called Gourmania. I digress! Tomorrow I leave for Atlanta to speak and I LOVE staying at the W hotel there, so eclectic, so fun, so me:-) Home for one day to do "stuff", c'mon you all have "stuff" then the whirlwind begins...Speakers School this Thurs and Friday and I always look forward to that. People from all over the country, some I know, many I don't, always an interesting mix, so always a joy. I keep seeing an increase in attendance as more and more people either enter the profession or realize it's the best way to promote a product or service.

I leave the next day for a wedding at The Ritz Carlton in Las Vegas, (details after the occasion) then straight to New York City, my ol' home and home of "the son" who happily I will get to see and hug after my two presentations. And then...off to my home in FL for another round of "extreme decorating" before closing up for the summer. Whew!

Home on May 4th for a month or so of deliberate "stay at home-ness" to write, to do projects, to relax, to eat and exercise really well, heck I might even sign up for a course that meets weekly, something I haven't been able to do in 22 years since I started on my "travel-mania" speaking career.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

To breathe or not to breathe...

I have been so remiss about my promise to write every Sunday but if ever there was an excuse, I have one. Three deaths in these three weeks...an 89 year old, a 49 year old and a 32 year old and thankfully only attended one of the funerals. Rather than go into a morose expose on death and dying, allow me to reconnect next Sunday in a more upbeat frame of mind. All these life exits have caused great reflection on life and it's meaning and have only reinforced my philosophies and all that I speak on, so to quote my favorite quote, my email signature...

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
...but by the moments that take our breath away".

Carpe Momentum!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Where is the white space?

The white space in my email box! Try as I do, I simply have not been able to conquer this. I have seven email boxes, my main one averages 300 in the inbox, it's been as high as 500 and I'm not talking spam, I'm talking "real" emails. I long to see the white space when there are so few that you can see bottom. I've gotten close, I've actually seen nirvana once or twice but it was too short lived to count. Yes, I have tried everyone's technique and still I have not mastered it. So if you have the solution, please share it.

I may need to go to EA email anonymous for help, can you save me?

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Road Warrior

Mea Culpa! I promised to be faithful and write every Sunday night, it is Sunday, isn't it? See, that's what happens when you travel alot, you lose track of days and times. I'm in beautiful warm Phoenix at the gorgeous Fairmont Princess, sorry for all you Noreasters and even my fellow Chicagoans but I am a happy camper. Just had dinner OUTSIDE with fellow speaker/master sommelier,Eddie Osterland. Spoke to Mechanical Contractors Assn. today and did two of my programs, packed the house, standing o's and just a great crowd of people from all over the US. Over 2000 attendees and a star studded line up (besides me, lol) from Newt Gingrich, Bob Costas, Rudy the football dude, Ed Begley, Jr, Tim Gunn (House of Style) you fashionista's and Billy Joel...and me:-)

Off to Orlando tomorrow to Power Equipment Suppliers, don't I do the glamour circuit, then to San Antonio to finish up the week. I miss my Brat who is still not doing too well and I fear the decision coming my way. I don't want to compromise the quality of his life and I am waiting till this weekend to be with him again to make what could be a very agonizing decision. Keep my little guy in your thoughts.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

When we make plans, God laughs!

In keeping with my promise to do this every Sunday night, here I am, ta da! It's been one of THE most challenging weeks of my life with not so great health news for me and my beloved llasa apso, Brat. I'm handling mine well but alas alack, pray for my little guy. I was so excited to come home after a rough week and just hold that little man in a furry body, dogs are indeed so comforting. My Bratty as he is often called as well as Bman, Bratman, Bratsky, Bratster, you get the picture is the most loving affectionate smartest dog ever. OK, OK, parents do brag, y'know!

His front legs gave out and he is unable to walk, so far we have been to his Vet, a neurologist, the emergency room and currently he is housed at an orthopedic veterinary surgeon's office..don't ask...more than my mortgage. I'm off again tomorrow to Vegas and my fabulous dog sitter, Gay will pick him up and take him with her. We hope the meds will take within 5-7 days and he will walk again. Pray for my Brat!

I love many poems by Edgar Guest and this is one of his on dogs;

"Tis pity not to have a dog, for at the
long day's end, The man or boy will
know the joy, Of welcome from a friend.
And whether he be rich or poor, Or much
of little bring, The dog will mark his
step and bark, As if he were a King.
Though gossips whisper now and then,
Of faults they plainly see, And some
may sneer, from year to year, My dog
stays true to me. He's glad to follow
where I go, And though I win or fail,
His love for me he'll let me see, By
wagging his tail. Now if I were to list
the friends Of mine in smiles and tears,
tho' through and through are staunch
and true, And constant down the years,
In spite of all my many faults,
Which critics catalog, Deserving blame,
I'd have to name My ever-faithful dog.
"Tis pity not to have a dog, Whatever be
his breed, for Dogs possess a faithfulness,
Which humans sadly need. And whether
skies be blue or gray, Good luck or ill
Attend, Man's toil by day, a dog will stay,
His ever-constant friend.......

--- Edgar A. Guest ---

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mexican Madness

I no sooner got back from Tahiti, Mayo Clinic, New Orleans, I was on a plane to Cancun, Mexico with my Vistage group and spouses…26 of us! We stayed at Paradisius Resort which was spectacular but the service was not. Who cares when you’re with 25 fun people who you adore. We all had a fabulous time,in the sun, drinking, at the beach, drinking, eating, drinking, meeting, drinking,,,yes, my gang they love their booze…and it was all inclusive☺ The resort must have lost money this weekend.

Most of us arrived Thursday, some earlier, some stayed longer. We hung out at the pool or beach by day, interspersed with spa visits, some snorkeling, reading, lots of cigar smoking, no not me. At night we had dinner in the various restaurants, L’Hermitage one night for French cuisine and Capri the other night for our Italian fix.

Held the regular meeting on Sat. morning with our guest speaker, Harvey Goldberg from DC, speaking on finding everyone’s trigger words and how to recover in business and relationships. Harvey partied with us all weekend and that was so much fun as we have been friends for years and he is also a Chair. The spouses left after the speaker at noon and then I conducted a short version of our regular meeting with just the CEO’s. Not only do I have THE best members but they have the most awesome spouses. And with no turnover in years, they all know each other quite well which makes it all the more fun.

I had a fantastic room overlooking the Caribbean with a Jacuzzi on my deck. That’s all you get on that one☺ I am on the plane headed home and home I will be for a whole week, hooray... to run my Key meeting and my Speakers School. See y' next Sunday, that's my new MO, each Sunday night so you'll know when to catch it and I'll know when to write it. Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Don't Pass the Mayo

The Mayo Clinic, that is... I had the extreme pleasure to experience this world class institution, the "mother ship" as they would call it, in Rochester, Minnesota this past week. Now one might think being the astute woman I pride myself being that given the Chicago winter, I might have chosen the one in AZ or FL. I wanted to experience "the best". Before you all panic, I went to have an executive physical, something I recommend everyone consider at some point in their life.

What an amazing place! From the magnificence of it's vastness, to the classical pianist in the lobby, accompanied by various singers who happen to stop in, to the first class medical practitioners, the innovative technology, and the people, who truly uphold the reputation of "Minnesota Nice".

It is so big, think, college or university and coincidentally, I got a schedule printout just like you would at school, telling me where to be and when. Despite the magnitude of the place, you couldn't get lost if you wanted to, there are enough signs and designated people every two feet. In today's vernacular, "they've got it down".

Doctors who actually take all the time in the world with you, doctors who literally explain every single thing to you, doctors so nice you want them all to be your friend, doctors so real, so attentive, so caring, doctors so smart you are in awe of their brilliance which truly shines through their simplest conversation.

I am a new and eternal fan and don't know how I will ever be satisfied with any less than what I experienced ever again.

Don't pass the Mayo!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Heidi Klum, Eat Your Heart Out!

Yes, I modeled! I went into the clothing store on board ship and the next thing you know I was a model in a fashion and jewelry show. No, they did not have to beg because I got to wear over 10k in jewels, now reallllllllly. I wore a full length bronze gown with a fabulous 13k topaz ring, a pearl cabochon ring, a necklace of topaz, rubies and diamonds with a bracelet to match. As the song goes...heaven, I'm in heaven.

They took lots of photos so check February ezine for proof I really did this. The entertainment on board has been spectacular and I'm not usually a fan. We saw a virtuoso organist, a harpist, two fantastic Broadway style productions and have met absolutely incredible people from all over the world. There are two specialty restaurants on board, Prego, the Italian one we did two nights ago and tonight we are off to Silk Road, a Nobu brand and anyone who knows sushi knows Nobu.

We have been at sea five days and we're ready to disembark tomorrow in Nuku Hiva in the Marquesa Islands, stay tuned.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chicago 10 Tahiti 80 Guess who's winning?

OK, I'm not there yet but we are heading towards the South Pacific. Oooooh that just feels good writing it. Stopped in Cabo San Lucas, now five days at sea en route to the Polynesian Islands, that sounds pretty damn good too. Not much to report and that's the good news, that means miss type A is now a type B heading to a C. We have been doing all that I wanted to do...nothing.

My speech was so well attended and now it's broadcast all day over the cruise TV so everyone has seen it and I've gotten some great feedback. Hoping that will spill over into friends inviting friends and having an even larger crowd tomorrow. It must be rumored as they have scheduled me for the nightclub not the movie theater, much bigger venue.

Everyone is delightful from the passengers to the crew. I was extremely flattered today when Senator and Former Presidential candidate George McGovern went out of his way to meet me after seeing me on TV. And yes, you can be sure I will have a picture before this cruise is over:-) Ate at the specialty restaurant tonight, Prego and it's one of THE best Italian restaurants I have ever been to. Listened to the jazz trio then to the piano bar then... early to bed, early to rise, makes this li'l speaker....happy.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hot Dogs and Tahiti

That's a heck of a combo but it started with the monthly hot dog night this week, Kathy, Deb and I hit #2 on our list. Well, we kinda had a detour, it was my turn to pick and pick I did. My favorite place, The Wiener's Circle...alas alack, it was closed, shut down by health dept, not for bad stuff but never the less, not set to reopen that night. A real dilemma! We were already salivating for our next dog but geographically challenged by the time and circumstances so we quickly opted for the closest which turned about to be American Dogs or something like that. I had the NY dog, of course. We were not impressed with the dogs or fries which is probably why I can't remember the exact name.

Anyway, now I am on the Crystal Serenity, the world's best cruise line, not 5 stars but 6 stars, will be on this for almost two weeks with a friend and it's like a floating Ritz Carlton. This is my second invite and it is just THE best, once you've done Crystal, it's difficult to imagine anything else. We left Los Angeles on Wed, sailed today and will stop in Cabo San Lucas tomorrow.

To say I am exhaling is a complete understatement. I love cruising, do at least one a year and have been for decades. I started as a dancer on cruise ships, then a fitness instructor and for the past 20 odd years, a guest lecturer in their enrichment programs. I have been on more cruise lines that I can even attempt to mention. It is a wonderful way to travel and I find it so relaxing and rejuvenating. The only challenge is you go on as a passenger and come home as cargo but I've learned not to hit the buffets. Come cruise with me till Feb, I'll keep you posted, stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bark for Barack

No, that is not a new Presidential slogan, it's the T-shirt my son Jason gave to my dog, Brat at holiday time. Well today, I am barking..., bragging, boo hooing, beaming and just plain bowled over. I was glued to the TV from 8am till bedtime, trying to pack for my cruise to Tahiti tomorrow and more excited about America today than Tahiti tomorrow. OK, OK, I was born on July 4th, I am the queen of patriotism but today, ah today, today belonged to us all, every color, creed, age, just everyone. I have never felt more optimistic, inspired, proud to be an American than I did today. It wasn't just the pomp and circumstance which was breathtaking in it's own right. It was the man himself that just makes me smile and cry at the same time. I am hopeful, I do believe we can and I do believe in Barack. Heck, I might even bark:-) Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Where is the "white space"

The white space in my email inbox? The white space on my calendar? Where is it? I have that disease that puts you in another state to suffer...you know the one, the overscheduling disease that puts you in the "state of overwhelm". I'm not complaining, I own it. I am rethinking it. Yes, I do speak on life balance and yes I do that as I write from my pleasure trip to Vegas, with two days home then a two week cruise to Tahiti, yes, I do have balance...I just don't have white space.

500 emails, now realllllllly! Do I just know too many people? Is my system wrong? Are their email consultants out there? Where are you? Help me find my "white space". My calendar, well that's another story, yes, lots of work but somewhere in my manic world is the compulsion to fill every hour with the plethora of friends I have collected all over the world. Oh, I'm free for two hours after I fly 6, before I get up and speak for 3, to squeeze in a meal with someone who wouldn't even know I was there if I didn't overtly tell them. Now what's wrong with that picture?

I need more "me" time, that's the bottom line. I need white space and I am determined to get it, it's a goal, it's a resolution, it's a promise to myself and gosh darn it (did I really write that?) it's a necessity. So as I look at the white space below me, I am inspired and so I leave you dear reader before I fill that as well. Stay tuned.

The Divine Miss M's

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that most people think I remind them of Bette Midler, whether looks, personality or general outrageousness, it's been that way as long as I can remember. On the plane to Vegas yesterday, three people stopped me to tell me I look like her, at the hotel, it never stops and so I have always used it as part of my opening shtick in my speeches. Well, the dream has come true!

In my ballsiest move EVER, I got the only photo of the evening...of me and Bette:-)

I am at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas as I write this and a guest of my dear friends from Westport, CT, Evi and Jay Allen. My best friends, Kathy and Tony flew in as well and my date was Dave Hanlon, former CEO of Caesar's, Trump, Rio, Resorts International and now an in demand casino consultant...Dave and I go waaaaaaaay back. Bette was honored last night as the 2009 Woman of the Year by the Nevada Ballet Theatre at the annual Black and White Ball. Yes, I "had" to buy a gown...and shoes...and jewelry...and I must admit it was very exciting to get that dressed up to attend a Ball, I don't go to many:-)

We had a long cocktail hour where they showed off the silent auction items and oh, the 7 week old King Charles Spaniel was beyond adorable and of course, so was the Cartier necklace, ahem. Restraint, yes, restraint!. Dinner and festivities in the main ballroom then Bette came after her show, accepted her award, gave her usual funny, diva type speech and I was so starstruck it's hard to believe. I knew this was it, my one opportunity and since when do I let opportunities go by?

It was all over, she was leaving the stage with her bodyguard or manager and the whole Ball committee. I gave Kathy my camera and said follow me. I walked up on stage like I belonged, past the gatekeeper, the committee was saying goodbye and dropping out one at a time till I caught her in a long dark hallway as she walked briskly ahead of me. I said "Bette", she turned and looked at me, I said, "could I have a picture with you?", she oh so sweetly, said "of course", turned, put her arm around me and I looked at her and said, "people say I look like you, do you think so", she said', "no, you're much prettier". Kathy took the photo on my new camera that never works, she was so nervous, we both knew it was my moment of a lifetime. It was so dark, she didn't think she got it as we fumbled to try again, her manager pulled her away. We did get it but dark so you know we'll be photo shopping the heck out of it.

It was one of my all time highlight moments. I have been a fan since she started in NY decades ago, I have been to every concert, even opening night in Vegas, I have every CD, I have always related to her persona, her flamboyance, her style, I used her song, The Wind Beneath My Wings as my acceptance speech when I was named Fitness Business Person of the Year in 1989 as I was known as the Bette Midler of Fitness.

I can't stop smiling...how divine!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bluebird, Hummingbird... SNOWBIRD!

So much has happened since I was last here but the biggie is that I am now a new homeowner in FL, right outside Naples in Bonita Springs. I now own what is called a coach house in a community that is oh so fabulous. BUT...I had the second panic attack of my life. I remember the first because I was in Paris, arrived at dusk, dashed out of my hotel to walk the Champs Elysees, got to the corner and panic set in...OMG, I'm a single gal, in a foreign country, I don't speak the language, I don't read maps, I ran back to my hotel room and cried and vowed not to leave the room for a week. As is my MO, I got up the next day with a vengeance and attacked the week and what a fabulous week it was.

So...here I am in Naples at the closing, it's getting dark out and now I have to drive a half hour (I haven't driven in 8 years) on a road that is not lit, in an area I don't know and realize I probably need distance glasses...panic starting to settle in. Then I get to my new development and get lost trying to find my condo till two great guys came to rescue the damsel in distress. Wait, there's more, now I am standing alone in my big empty home, having buyer's remorse and manifesting the biggest panic attack I can conjure up. I did a damn good job. Well, the next morning you know what I did, yes, voraciously. I went to Super Target and if you know me, that alone is worth documenting. Bought the staples, drove to Coconut Point, a great mall, then registered at my clubhouse, even went out to the bar, dinner and concert on the lawn, made new friends and started to exhale.

OK, so now...I'm a snowbird and loving it:-)