Posted in Leadership



There is lots of information out there on being a coach instead of a boss. However, there are times when you need to be the boss. When to be a coach and when to be a boss is thoughtfully covered in a November 15, 2016 article by Brenda Smyth, 4 Key Ingredients to Managing like a Coach. P please enjoy these quick notes from the article on supervision.

Good coaches are

  • Humble
  • Compassionate
  • Passionate about their subject
  • Clear when to communicate without talking too much
  • Successful;  employees trust the coach and know the coach has a plan
  • Enthusiastic; makes employees want to be part of ‘doing great things’
  • Empowering employees by building their confidence AND competence; they don’t check and monitor, but the concentrate on employees reaching a higher level of performance
  • Knowledgeable when to turn into good bosses

Good bosses use the directive style (telling people what to do) when dealing with

  • New or experienced employees
  • Tight deadlines
  • Crisis
  • Dealing with problem employees
  • Running a meeting

Good bosses want to be careful of over-managing because

  • Employees don’t learn to think for themselves
  • Employees become disengaged because they believe they are not being heard

Good bosses/coaches

  • Provide direction by clearly defining the goals
  • Improve performance by creating a learning environment where employees are supported to continuously improve
  • Open up possibilities to develop employees to solve problems and make decisions
  • Help remove obstacles by staying close to projects by asking questions and confronting people who become obstacles to their employees


Posted in Spiritual/Religious

Heavenly Thinking, Eternal Living


In my childhood, there were lots of conversations about heaven. There were discussions about heaven as a city with streets paved in gold. There were discussions about heaven as a country with trees, shrubs, waterfalls, fountains, and flowers. There were discussions about the location of the third heaven: above the atmospheric heaven (the sky), and above the celestial heaven (home of the sun, the moon, the stars, the planets, and the galaxies). There were discussions with some who believed that the more a person suffered in their earthly life, the more they would be rewarded in their eternal (heavenly) life. There was a song that stated I don’t need a mansion; I just need a little cabin in the corner of glory land, which inferred that there were different sized rewards in heaven thus creating competition between some of the church members. “I’ll be happy with just a cabin.” “Oh no, with all you do, you’ll surely get a mansion.” “Oh no, no, but you’ll surely get a mansion.” And so it went.

As an adult, I’ve had other discussions. One believes (as does the author cited below) that when you take your last earthly breath, you’ll also take your first eternal breath. This seems to go along with a Henry Van Dyke poem from years ago:

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”

Gone where?
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”
And that is dying…

Another discussion is we are already eternal beings. When the earthly body gives out, the spiritual being goes on. There is no delay, no waiting. There is a quote that states, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord,” which goes along with the quote when Jesus said to one of the thieves on the cross, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” There is also a quote that God lives within us and that we are the temple of God. So if God lives within us, aren’t we already present with Him?

And if we are already present with Him, aren’t we already eternal beings? And more importantly, if we are already eternal beings with God living in us, then aren’t our daily actions already our eternal actions? And if our daily actions are already eternal actions, how are we doing? How are our actions stacking up? Are they eternal worthy? Are they heaven worthy? If not, should they be?


Cite: A Better Country: Preparing for Heaven by Dan Schaefer


Posted in Blog, Self Improvement, Spiritual/Religious

Here I Am


Hope: Where do you go to find hope? Can you be hopeful and doubt? Can you be hopeful in times of change? How? Say, here I am. Here I am. I am here. While here, I will hope and will not doubt. Here I am. I am here and will stay despite the change. Here I am. It doesn’t matter what I’m going through, it matters what I’m becoming.

Strength: How strong are you feeling right now? How is your mental toughness? Your inner resolve? Your confidence? Your peace? Adversity happens to everyone. No one escapes it. Everyone gets weary and discouraged. Adversity is not to be avoided. It is to go through. How? Say, here I am. Here I am. When I’m weary and feel I cannot go another step, here I am. When I feel crushed by life, here I am. With all my inner strength, all my toughness, all my confidence, here I am.

Courage:  Courage is the quality of mind and spirit that enables a person to face danger, difficulty, and pain without fear. Courage is the motivation to do what needs to be done, whether it’s overcoming adversity or taking on a challenging task. Success is the outcome of courage. How? Say, here I am. Here I am. In the middle of financial crisis, in medical crisis, in relationship crisis, here I am. I may be troubled, but here I am. Here I am without fear. Here I am despite the pain.

Integrity: Integrity is the inner quality of your heart. Integrity shapes your character. Integrity is having your actions match up with your promises. A breach of integrity in one area of your life soon spills over into other areas of your life. Integrity is wholeness of spirit. Integrity is complete honesty, being honest in all the areas of your life. A person of integrity is an unbroken person. How to become this person? Say, here I am. Here I am. I am here. I am whole. I am honest in all my actions and words. I will not ‘fudge’. I will not give false witness, false impressions, or alternate facts. Here I am.

Perseverance:  Winston Churchill reminded us all in 1941 – Never Give In. Perseverance is enduring to overcome. Perseverance is continuing when you are weary, and when you cannot see the finish line. Perseverance is pushing toward the goal. Perseverance is endurance with confidence. Perseverance is believing what you are looking for to happen will happen. Perseverance is the heart of hope. How? Say, I will not complain or blame. Say, here I am. Here I am. I am here.

Cite: Hope: Comfort and Encouragement by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz


Posted in Self Improvement, Spiritual/Religious

Labels Are Lazy


We are a country divided. There is no doubt about it. However, we do not have to be a hateful country.

After the election, I tried to post issues, mostly about bills that were being submitted to the U. S. Congress. Silly me, I really thought my Facebook family and friends and I could have a discussion of issues. I knew that some of us disagreed about some of the issues, but I know these people personally. I know them to be intelligent people. Still, within two comments of any posting, the labels began. Once the labels were tossed down like gauntlets, there was no turning back to thoughtful discussions. I tried this for a couple of weeks and then I gave up. I accepted the loss, that people I thought of as friends and I could not have a civil conversation about the issues coming out of Washington, D.C. and around our country.

I am saddened by the labels because how can I understand people who think and vote differently from me if we cannot talk together about why I think the way I do and why others think the way they do? What is it that makes us throw labels around at people instead of saying…wait…why does this upset you? What other options do you see? Why do we so easily go to the basest of our natures instead of being the adults we are?

Throughout the decades it has been proven that labeling, also known as name calling, is no way to get along with others or to reach understanding. Ns, Js, Cs, Ms, Os,  Ps, … none of these labels got us closer to unifying ourselves and our country. When I use a label, I make you less than human. Thus, I can discount you and be above you. Why then, are intelligent people tossing out labels so easily again now? Why are we being lazy? Why are we allowing the rebel-rousers to poke at us and get reactions so easily?

We have fundamental differences in this country. And I believe we are at a true point to decide how our country will go. While it is true we are on different sides of the arguments, and our opinions are 180 degrees apart, we must decide how we go forward. Are we going to try to win at all costs, meaning that our friends, family members, and neighbors are losers? Are we going to take a flame thrower to everything, or are we going to put the labels aside and learn how to talk to each other?  The choice is yours. Choose wisely.

Posted in Self Improvement

100 Days…What Will You Do?


We are told that habits can be created in 21 days. In his book The Purpose Driven Life, Pastor Rick Warren states that even though it takes only 21 days to create a new habit, it takes another 21 days for the new habit to become ingrained in you. This is why there are so many 40-day events in the Holy Bible. U.S. presidents are measured by the amount of work they complete in their first 100 days in office that is called their honeymoon period. It is thought that by watching what they complete in the first 100 days, people will have a good indication of their character and integrity.

Since I challenged you to a 40-day journey in 2015, I want to challenge you to go on a 100-day journey with me this year. What do you want to conquer in the next 100 days? Lose 10 pounds? Exercise more? Try Meatless Mondays? Floss twice a day? Practice a new language? Be kinder to your neighbor? Learn a new dance?

What have you been wanting to do but have been putting off? Whatever it is, put aside the putting aside and commit, with me, to challenge yourself for the next 100 days. You can share your goal with me, or you can keep it secret. But whatever it is, we will start today. Are you with me?

If you are interested, here is a simple little chart that you can use to add a Y for yes or an N for no if you were successful in your goal each day. If you collect a few Ns along the way, don’t worry as change takes time. If you collect more Ns that Ys, you should ask yourself how important the goal is to you. If it is important, ask yourself what is stopping you from completing it each day. If it isn’t important, change to a goal that you can commit to and start again. Remember, it’s the journey, not the destination that is important. See you along the change path.

Date Day Goal
5-Feb 1
6-Feb 2
7-Feb 3
8-Feb 4
9-Feb 5
10-Feb 6
11-Feb 7
12-Feb 8
13-Feb 9
14-Feb 10
15-Feb 11
16-Feb 12
17-Feb 13
18-Feb 14
19-Feb 15
20-Feb 16
21-Feb 17
22-Feb 18
23-Feb 19
24-Feb 20
25-Feb 21
26-Feb 22
27-Feb 23
28-Feb 24
1-Mar 25
2-Mar 26
3-Mar 27
4-Mar 28
5-Mar 29
6-Mar 30
7-Mar 31
8-Mar 32
9-Mar 33
10-Mar 34
11-Mar 35
12-Mar 36
13-Mar 37
14-Mar 38
15-Mar 39
16-Mar 40
17-Mar 41
18-Mar 42
19-Mar 43
20-Mar 44
21-Mar 45
22-Mar 46
23-Mar 47
24-Mar 48
25-Mar 49
26-Mar 50
27-Mar 51
28-Mar 52
29-Mar 53
30-Mar 54
31-Mar 55
1-Apr 56
2-Apr 57
3-Apr 58
4-Apr 59
5-Apr 60
6-Apr 61
7-Apr 62
8-Apr 63
9-Apr 64
10-Apr 65
11-Apr 66
12-Apr 67
13-Apr 68
14-Apr 69
15-Apr 70
16-Apr 71
17-Apr 72
18-Apr 73
19-Apr 74
20-Apr 75
Apr-17 76
22-Apr 77
23-Apr 78
24-Apr 79
25-Apr 80
26-Apr 81
27-Apr 82
28-Apr 83
29-Apr 84
30-Apr 85
1-May 86
2-May 87
3-May 88
4-May 89
5-May 90
6-May 91
7-May 92
8-May 93
9-May 94
10-May 95
11-May 96
12-May 97
13-May 98
14-May 99
15-May 100
Posted in Cat Care, Writing

Cory’s Special Ornaments


Here is my Chicken Soup for the Soul submission….what do you think?

He sat alone in his cage. Another day. Another meal. How had he ended up in a small cage surrounded by loud, strange cats and nice but strange people called volunteers?

She sat alone 600 miles away, looking at her computer. Time to move again. She didn’t know much about Buffalo, New York, but she knew there would be snow, lots of it. After 7 years in Washington, D.C. without a pet, she longed for one. She missed cuddling with her previous cats – Samantha and Sassafras. Samantha passed while she was in Kentucky, and Sassafras passed in California. The DC job had too much travel to be fair to a pet, but the new position wouldn’t have as much travel, so it was time. She looked on the Buffalo Animal Shelter’s website to see who needed her.

Knowing the stories about how black cats were mistreated, she stated that she would be happy with a black, adult cat. There was one available said the kind lady volunteer. However, the kind lady told her about another cat that had been with the shelter for 6 months. He was getting anxious, and the volunteer was afraid that he would soon become unadoptable. Would she consider a gray tabby cat instead? So, on her first Friday in Buffalo, she drove to pick up the gray tabby cat.

The gray tabby cat, named Cory by the volunteers, was 16 pounds and didn’t like all the cats and noise around him. When the lady looked in on him, he turned his back on her. She said, “Dude, it’s you and me. I’m all you got, so you better learn to like me.” He looked back over his shoulder and stared at her. And that is how Cory the Cat adopted me.

I paid for him, drove him to my new loft, and unloaded him and all the cat supplies. He walked out of the carrier, sniffed around for a bit, and then settled down on my best couch, the one with the beautiful Italian linen. I looked at the two cat beds that I just purchased and questioned if they would ever be used. They wouldn’t. At bedtime, I told Cory T. Cat, “It’s time for bed.” He looked at me, got down off the couch, and walked to the bedroom. He jumped on the bed, where he slept that night and many more on my right shoulder, purring pleasantly in my ear.

His first weekend in the new loft was exciting. As I unloaded moving boxes, he played hide and seek with the mounds of wrapping paper, and jumped in and out of the boxes. He enjoyed living in the loft. The 12-foot windows gave him great ‘cat television’ as he watched the birds flying around him. The long hallway was his soccer field where he ran jingle balls up and down it. The living area with the couches, footstools, and tables served as a great obstacle course when he played with flying toys. In no time at all, he was down to 12 pounds, a weight he has kept since.

At Christmas, I put up a small tree on the breakfast table. Cory T. Cat immediately assumed the tree was for him so I chose wooden ornaments. Twelve of the ornaments I placed on the tree were Olive Wood ones that I picked up in Bethlehem many years before. Cory became obsessed with two of these – one showing the Baby Jesus, and one showing the Holy Family in the familiar crèche/manger scene. No matter how many times I put them on the tree, he would pull them off, roll over them, love them with his face, and then lay on them. He never bothered any other ornaments or the garland or lights, but he would not leave those two ornaments on the tree. So, I left them loose under the tree. Each evening, he would roll on them and then lay on them and sleep.

Our companionship grew. We played together, watched television together, watched the snow and sites from the window together, and got to know each other. He ‘helped’ me read my books, and ‘helped’ me type on my laptop. When the Buffalo winters were at their worst and all the birds were gone for the season, I would play YouTube videos of birds on my laptop for him. He would enjoy them while I read books, as we waited for spring.

Two years later I received word that I was moving again, this time to Honolulu. I was worried about the move for Cory T. Cat. He hated loud noises and being crated up in his carrier to go for his regular nail clippings. How would he survive a long plane trip? Also, there was a 4-month quarantine before he could join me. How would he do in foster care after having been abandoned once before? Would he think I was abandoning him?

I moved to Honolulu in November. Cory T. Cat joined me in February. After twelve hours in a crate, he walked out as if he hadn’t just flown all the way across the country and halfway across the Pacific Ocean. He wandered around and found the bed. I joined him there, and he quickly settled down on my right shoulder and started purring as if no time had passed at all.

The Honolulu condo is very different from the New York loft. Along with bedroom windows, complete with a cat tree to watch the birds and the neighbors, and kitchen windows complete with a counter for soaking up the sun and watching the children play in the pool below, there is a screened-in lanai. It looks over palm trees where doves and other birds sit and daily ‘talk’ with Cory T. Cat, who ‘talks’ back to them. Cory T. Cat is kept busy socializing with the birds, the children, and all the neighbors.

This Christmas I took out my decorations and sat up a small tree on the kitchen counter for Cory T. Cat. As I rediscovered my Olive Wood ornaments again, I wondered, would Cory T Cat remember them? As a test, I put them on the back of the tree, and then pushed the back of the tree against the window.

When Cory T. Cat got up from his nap, he walked over to the tree and sniffed it out. Almost immediately, he started head butting the tree away from the window until he could get behind the tree. Once there, he found his two favorite ornaments – Baby Jesus, and the Holy Family crèche/manger scene. He pulled them off the tree and nudged them around until they were at the front of the tree. Then he rolled over them again and again. Soon, he had settled down for a nap on them. Cory T. Cat may now be a Hawaiian cat, one that loves watching kids in the pool and talking with birds on his lanai, but, he has never forgotten his special ornaments on his tree that signaled his Christmas season.


Posted in Cats, Writing

A Cat Moment with Emily Dickinson


She Sights A Bird From Emily Dickinson


She sights a bird – she chuckles.

She flattens, then she crawls.

She runs without the look of feet.

Her eyes increase to balls.


Her jaws stir, twitching, hungry.

Her teeth can hardly stand.

She leaps, but Robin leaped the first

Ah pussy of the sand.


The hopes so juicy ripening

You almost bathed your tongue

When bliss disclosed a hundred toes

And fled with everyone.


Cite: The Sophisticated Cat by Joyce Carol Oates and Daniel Halpern

This week’s writing assignment for me will be writing an article about Cory T Cat to see if I can come up with anything for Chicken Soul.  Samantha Cat and Sassafras’ stories have been published, so I think I should try to publish a Cory T Cat story too. Any favorites that you have?