Life, friends and family are truly wonderful blessings – the true secret to happiness

It’s always ‘way smart

when one listens to their bodies…and takes it easy to the xtreme.

Okay, true, I did get my P90x workout in, but besides that, I gave myself permission to take a nap in the morning, nix going to the gym, and enjoy some nice calm work online.

But the thing that really made an impression on me today was at karate. I normally do not take beginners anymore, as I’m ‘way past that, but my daughter’s friend participated so I joined in again. And I was able to watch my kids practice, and then see my husband arrive with the other kids, and watch how content they were….and I realized that now, in my 40s, life is really darned good.

I think that the true secret to happiness is appreciating the good times, loving your family, laughing with your friends, realizing the bad times – they do indeed pass, and witnessing how your actions can give joy to the lives of those important to you.

Work – it’s transient.

Shallow friendships – they’re beyond transient.

Angsting over the small stuff – a waste of time beyond belief.

Teaching the above to your kids and letting them internalize what’s really important to them – now that’s an incredible gift to give.

So! If you have folks you love and people you cherish and family members who mean the world to you – take the time and let them know how special they are. I did today, and it really made their day. So often, we just don’t take the time to let people know their importance in our lives.

I am one lucky woman indeed, I am.

Time to call it a night,


ps – Valentine’s day is coming up!

Turn Opportunities for Great Frustration Into….

It never fails, you know.

Get a brilliant idea, implement it…and then realize, you forgot some of the Golden Rules of Website Design:

* Sites look different on different browsers

* Font sizes can be set by viewers

* Cascading menus can cascade off the screen if they’re deep enough

Ah well, these things happen. Today will be another 18 hour day, methinks.

But! The good news is that the new enhanced design is much easier to navigate…so in hindsight, it’s a good thing I ran into this opportunity to experience great frustration.

Every happens for a reason, you know. :)



ps – are you frustrated? If so, get these great frustration toys!

Embracing your dreams – teach this to your kids


My brilliant colleague

Maureen Sharib posted an utterly brilliant article over at In The Direction of My Dreams. To wit:

….. When I was a little girl I remember asking my mother what she’d like to have for Christmas. She’d always say some version of the following: “I just want you kids (all five) to be good!”

It wasn’t until I was a mother myself for awhile that I understood her words.

A couple years back I was walking through a popular local high-end mall before Christmas with my twenty-two year old and oldest daughter, Andrea. The stores were festooned with holiday paraphernalia and their windows and aisles stuffed with merchandise that seemed to flow out into the corridors. As we passed the Coach store I could see her eyes fall on an eye-popping $300 what couldn’t have been larger than 6 x 8 number that wasn’t much thicker than an inch …..MORE….

Wow, she hits the point HEAD ON:

  • I want to go in the direction of my dreams. I want to go unfettered; I want to be unimpeded in my pursuits. I want those around me to stop telling me why something won’t work and start telling me, “Okay let’s try.” I want support in my undertakings and encouragement; I want praise when I accomplish something. I want someone to dry my tears, to be patient with my ramblings, to reassure my doubt.

To go in the direction of my dreams.

What a brilliant idea…and yet, how many of us, especially those who have a couple of decades of life experience under our belts, allow ourselves to be frightened off from believing in future successes and challenges?

Who ARE we, indeed….to dare to buck the trends?

To step out of line?

To tell the world who is watching, to hell with you, I believe in myself! and I will SUCCEED no matter what!

Who are we….INDEED.

Everyone one of us has the spark of greatness within us. But all too often, we allow that to be dampened by doubts. Doubts from others, doubts from within…doubts that shatter our courage and cause us to shrink back into what the world expects.

To hell with that, says I! When you are seized with a new idea or new concept or something that is so out of this world, it’s never been done before…internalize the courage to be the first one to take a chance and DARE to succeed. Even if you don’t reach your goals, you’ll have the precious knowledge gained from the adventure…knowledge that will bolster your next attempt in the future.

I’ve been aware of this idea all thru my life, I will admit. I well-remember back when I was 25 – I was on a bus traveling towards a white water adventure run with my colleagues from AT&T. There were two gentlemen in their 40s sitting in back of me, and I heard one tell the other

“…yes, about 10 years ago, I had this great idea that I was sure would work….but my wife convinced me not to give up my current job. So I never really was able to get it off the ground. You know, I really regret that now….. “

I remember thinking, my gosh, how sad. When I’m in my 40s, I’ll never have to say that!

And you know what? I’m 43 now…and I don’t have to say that whatsoever. All of my dreams, I’ve tried – I’ve had utterly brilliant successes and humorously ridiculous failures but in every single case, I can say, I had the dream and I gave it my best.

Remember, Thomas Edison said (okay, he probably didn’t but it sure reads well!)

  • Thomas Edison had already tried over 8,00 experiments in to invent the electric light bulb, none of which worked.
  • Newspapers criticized him, cIaiming Edison a failure.
  • His response: “I have not at all failed. I’ve just eliminated 8,000 possibilities on the road to inventing a light bulb. When I’ve eliminated the ways that won’t work, I’ll find the way that will.”

So. What are YOUR dreams? And are you taking the steps to make them come alive?

If not, ’tis a pity….. because if you won’t, who will do it for you?

’tis to think.



ps – here are some great motivational goodies:

Dealing with cowardly lying children so they learn

You know, it never fails. Give yourself permission to actually take off time from work, give yourself permission to shut down and actually (gasp!) relax, and you immediately will have a crisis emerge with your small children that require your full attention and intervention.


So. Today, two of my single-digit kids decided to, ahem, conceive of creative uses for a broom. Now, this is not just any broom, mind you – it’s the Broom of Destiny, the Broom of Awesomeness, in other words, the only broom that really picks up parakeet feathers rather well and sweeps the floor adequately. End result – el broomo was snapped in two-o.


Okay, it’s just a broom – I have the wisdom to be calm and dignified about it. I gave a talk to them as to the utter unintelligence of that act, and sent them off to their room. But then I thought about it – one of my kids had earnestly told me, my brother was the one who broke it….but then he also admitted, he was doing the exact same thing as well.

In essence? He took the coward’s way out and tried putting 100% of the blame on his brother.

Ooooooo, not a good thing! If there’s one thing about which I’m completely irrational, it’s cowardice. It’s totally unacceptable in my family! And trying to shift blame to another person, simply to save one’s sorry hide, is the act of something rather pathetic.

So, I called back said kid and read him the riot act about such behaviors. I really harped on being strong and being brave and taking responsibility/ownership of one’s actions, even if those actions were wrong.


But I think I made my point. While it was tempting to simply cause as much angst responsible, I focused on getting the point across and discussing the issue with him. Thus, it’s a lesson learned…at the expense of my rest.

Ah well, the joys of being a parent. :)



ps – need help with raising kids? Check out these cool books:

I missed it soooo much! Karate sparring with gear

A quick post before I collapse in a heap

along with, hmmm, lessee…..8 hours of programming, 1 hour of P90x legs/back, and a 2.4 mile circle walk, I also did an hour of adult self-defense. And we sparred with gear!
Omigosh, I never realized how much I have missed sparring with gear. True, I do self-defense without gear (realism is a good thing!) but wow, with gear, head shots can be endured! I partnered up with a brilliant 3rd degree black belt who was extremely controlled and blindingly fast. My gosh, I’m so blindingly slow! It was like I was visiting another planet where everyone else had lighter gravity than me; my brain registered, hey! There’s this fist coming at me! but didn’t give my body the signal to move until I was hit.

’twas a glorious, wondrous class. I have to add sparring to my other lessons.

Nice nice nice, ’tis all I have to say, I’m still dizzy with how much I loved the activity. The last time I sparred with gear was, hmmm, 4 months ago? What a thrill to do it once again.



ps – some neat karate gear includes:

7 Steps to stop spam in wordpress blogs

Stopping spam in wordpress blogs – it really builds character. :)

Step by step, here is what you can do to help eliminate spam from your blog.

  • #1.) Make sure you have activated Akismet. It comes with your wordpress installation.
  • #2.) Install and Activate . It makes users fill in two words prior to submitting comments.
  • #3.) Install and Activate Douglas Karr’s Enhanced WordPress Contact Form with Spam Protection. It forces users to fill out a challenge question whenever using the contact form.
  • #4.) Install and Activate Simple Spam Filter. It will automatically reject comments that have 5+links, nothing but links, etc.
  • #5.) Create a Fake Comment Form. Only spambots see this.
  • #6.) Install Bad Behavior. Thanks to Jake McKee below who alerted me to this! Bad Behavior blocks actual vandalism to your site as well as blocks many e-mail address harvesters.
  • #7.) Use TimeStamps to Reduce Spam. This prevents rapid-fire posting. However, if the person mistypes the Captcha, she or he will have to wait the prescribed time. I changed mine to slightly less and edited the error message:
    • Error: you must wait at least 15 seconds before posting a comment or correcting a CAPTCHA error. Our apologies for the delay, this is how we help verify you are a real live wonderful human bean.

That’s a good list with which to start…I’ll post more later!

It’s later!  Check out this great posting, 46 tips for reducing WordPress Spam

Now, what if you’re not a techie and want to use all of the above? There are several great wordpress plugin how-to resources, including:

The main key here is you need to first save plugins on your local computer, and then upload them to the

  • /wp-content/plugins

of your server’s wordpress installation. This requires using an FTP program to transmit your files…but not to fear! There’s lots of free ones you can use like:

Spam can be quite a problem on WordPress blogs….but as you can see, there are always ways to combat it.



Keeping your eyes on the prize – setting and achieving goals

Picture the following –

  • You are put in charge of building a new resource/community site.
  • You have to set up and configure blogs, forums, and article submissions.
  • You have to build a several-thousand category resource area
  • You have to modify all the graphics
  • You have to raise 4 kids at the same time, keep your exercise/fitness to level, and take time out to be with your family for relaxation.

AND….you have to do all of the above….yourself.

It’s truly challenging.

What I’ve noticed that helps a heck of a lot is to compartmentalize your work load. For example, if I allowed myself to focus on the sum effort that’s required, I’d retreat to my bedroom and hide under my comforter!

Instead, every morning now, I tell myself, okay Barbara, here’s where you are…and here’s where the site needs to be. What can you work on today that makes it happen?

By following this methodology, I managed to free myself of any incoming panic…and allow myself to burst past any web-based development barriers I might have thought I possessed. My gosh, I’m astounded at what I’ve created so far.

Goal-achieving is not a race for sanity-loss! You know yourself best….whenever you feel overwhelmed with what’s required, take a step back and ask yourself, okay, what’s the best possible approach to tackle one teeny tiny aspect? And once that aspect is done, you can dive into the next, and the next, and …. you get the idea.

Here are some resources for achieving goals:



ps – some get personal success resources:

48 Ways of Wisdom


Today I came across the page

And wow, it’s really quite superb! Written by Rabbi Noah Weinberg, all 48 pages are definitely thought-provoking. They include:

  • Way #2 Listen Effectively
  • Way #3 Say It Out Loud
  • Way #4 Introduce Yourself to Yourself
  • Way #8 Constant Joy
  • Way #19 Wake Up and Live
  • Way #24 Search For Wisdom
  • Way #34 Use Your Inner Guide
  • Way #37 Never Be Bored
  • Way #38 Responsible Decisions
  • Way #45 Expand Your Ideas

Do check them out! You’ll be glad you did so.



ps – need more wisdom? Consider:

Turning negative energy into positive results – otherwise known as wisdom

A quick post before I give myself permission to collapse in a heap!

You know, I firmly believe, everything happens for a reason.

You cannot control how people react to you or your work…but you CAN choose to control how you react to said reactions. :) Either….

You can feel really mad/annoyed/misunderstood/etc.


You can say, to hell with that…I’m going to blast past my previous work boundaries and utterly master the current challenge, and if you value your health, you’ll get out of my way!

Politics! Argh. I hate them.

The ability not to communicate successfully – hate that too!

But! When it comes right down to it, if you give into the luxury of feeling unhappy, you’re:

  • Letting time pass by that could be spent far more productively
  • Giving control of your emotions to others
  • Being really darned not-smart!!

So! Upon dealing with some negative interactions online, I chose to sit and re-evaluate my current business dealings. I took a long, hard look at where my strengths lie, where my energies should be expended, and how I should attack the future.

The result? Well, you’re looking at one of them – I completely overhauled my blog and look and feel and layout. It’s far more user-friendly and searchable!

AND…I thoroughly took apart several sites online and taught myself the techniques that were being used. You know, it’s truly astonishing how I can pick up anything online if I put my mind to it…. anything I need to do, I can build and create. ’tis a good skill to have.

So I’m currently building another resource that is yet un-named…but it will incorporate everything I’ve learned since 1998 until 3 years in the future. And look out world then!

This really highlights to me the importance of taking ownership of your own emotions and actions. It’s so easy for our kids to say, oh, she made me mad so I didn’t finish my work, or she hurt my feelings so I stopped everything and cried for 2 hours! Poor me!
But you know something? Doing that…is delivering control to people who really aren’t worthy of your time or feelings. So why on earth would you shackle your own abilities this way?

Gosh, if I can teach this to my kids…I will be SuperMom.

I’ve been working non-stop now for several hours, and really have to call it a day. But tomorrow after the gym…I’ll be on fire yet again to make things happen and create miracles for my family. And to think…this energy originally came about with negative emotions….but I chose to re-direct it into something truly special for the future.

You can choose to do this too!

NEVER give others power over you. Never ever. Instead, rely upon your own inner-strength…and declare to the world, you will NOT stop me! I can accomplish anything I choose to do.

Got it? Good! :)

Night night all,


ps – some nifty wisdom goodies!

Live life without regrets – balance, dream interpretation and more


I had the weirdest dream last night – it mushed together the people I know now with the people I know from the past, threw in a bit of Cloverfield movie, and made me think I was 43 without having completed college, gotten married, nor had 4 kids (but still had all the wisdom I currently have in real life today).

Now, I always believe that dreams reveal a bit of your inner self if you’re open enough to listen. When I had awakened, I had such a feeling of loss – I had spent 43 years of my life yet not achieved any of my goals that I had deemed valuable (in my dream, that is).

Obviously in real life, this isn’t true whatsoever. So what does my inner self think I’m missing?

Doing a self-check of my situation, I have a great husband, family, friends, etc. I am protective to those who are good to me, I am the avenging angel to those who hurt people in my world, I teach people who are open, I let go of people who are closed.

I think my dream shows me that if you want something, you have to make it happen. You cannot go thru life hemming and hawing, and thinking someone/something else will do the hard work for you…nor can you throw 110% into something and believe the rest of your life will not suffer from neglect.

You cannot live your life for others, only for yourself. You must wholeheartedly believe in what you do…and then proactively choose to take ownership of any actions you might implement.

You cannot control how others react to your words, to your actions….but you can take ownership of your feelings and reasons. When misunderstandings happen, you must take ownership (if you value the person) of the mistake…and make it right.

What’s clearer than a silver bell to you might be incomprehensible to another person who lacks the experience your life has taught you. Be responsible; everyone failed mind reading 101, take the time to make things right.

If I can teach the above to my kids, I’ll be supermom!

Here are some resources for official dream interpretation:

And so starts the day,


PS – some more dream intrepretation resources