The Choice to Vote

Did you vote today? I try to vote every year; however, I chose this particular election not to vote and you would think I robbed a bank and killed ten people! It started when I got into work this morning and a coworker asked me if I voted. “No,” I said. “Are you gonna?” she says. “No,” I respond. “What??!!” she screamed at me. “Well don’t be complaining if you don’t like the way things are,” she continues. Please! Thirty minutes later another coworker walked down the aisle asking, “Who over here voted?” I kept my mouth shut because frankly, I did not want to get into a freaking debate at 10:00 in the morning,

So I didn’t vote; I’m not asking for forgiveness, I’m just saying I don’t like any of the candidates and both can screw up our government equally so why bother? I know, I know, it’s my duty as a citizen to vote and if I want change, then I have to vote, we as women have earned the right, blah, blah, blah. Frankly I have my own problems to deal with and it doesn’t really matter to me with this particular election who gets voted into office and breaks the promises they made that got them there in the first place. After the Virginia scandal of Bob McDonnell and his wife, I am a bit leery of trusting any type of government official with any part of decision-making in my State, let alone my own neighborhood.

Bring me a candidate who puts paying for the needs of our elderly ahead of paying for the next State dinner or that vacation to Hawaii; one that doesn’t forget the contribution our vets made and the debt they paid to our country so that we could be free. Bring me a candidate who is worried about their city and works to help the homeless and those on the verge of losing their home. I want a candidate who puts money into the city to create jobs and opportunities for those who have none; not one who takes money out and lays off thousands of people. Bring me a candidate who knows how to listen to and implement suggestions of his constituents; not one who plasters a fake smile and then does just the opposite of what was promised. I want a candidate who takes a cue from Mariska Hargitay and believes “NO MORE” and is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual abuse. And finally, bring me a candidate who worries about our youth and how they will survive their future – or if they will even have one. If the government spending continues to be out of control, affecting supplemental programs like disability and social security will these programs even be around if they are needed? If you can find a candidate who can successfully accomplish even one of these tasks, then we’ll talk. In the meantime, don’t give anyone grief for exercising their right NOT to vote – it is a choice – NOT a law.

Worry about the woman who threw her child off a bridge, or the teenager who was killed or maimed because he was texting and driving. Worry about the children who don’t have enough to eat or the elderly couple down the street who don’t have enough money left from their social security to pay for their medication. DON’T worry about the people around you who choose not to vote – it is their decision, not yours.


Today’s Poem

Every once in awhile, a little ditty will pop in my head.  This one appeared yesterday.  Enjoy!

Random Feelings

I woke up this morning and got out of bed
I am lucky
I enjoyed morning coffee with mom
I am grateful
I felt the love of my cats
I am blessed
I made it to work safely
I am thankful
Not a lot to do here
I am bored
The morning drags on
I am frustrated
My lunch falls on the floor
I am angry
The afternoon drags on
I am sleepy
I trip and fall on the way to my car
I am embarrassed
I sit in traffic on the way home
I am irritated
I arrive home safely
I am thankful
I have afternoon coffee with mom
I am grateful
My cats run to me as I climb the stairs
I am blessed
I do schoolwork while mom plays
I am content
I climb into bed at night
I am loved.


Patience??? Not!!!

Patience is not only a virtue; it is almost non-existent these days. People are in such a hurry to get where they are going, and gathering the information they need, they forget about how their actions may affect the people around them. I will say up front that I am not the most patient person. There was a time I would spend the money on a mani-pedi but now I just don’t have the patience to sit there anymore. Those rare times I have the extra time and money to spend on this luxury, I will indulge but the entire time I’m wishing they’d hurry up.

I can be impatient when I’m working too; even more so sometimes than anywhere else. I entered a new field about eight months ago and I’m still struggling to understand some things – that makes me VERY impatient because the last thing I want to do is look incompetent, which in and of itself is hilarious because impatience can lead to incompetence and vice versa. I don’t like being on edge about my work, I like to know why I am doing what I’m doing; which is perhaps why I started my own business of social media and administrative work because I enjoy it and I know what I’m doing. And my writing….still working on finishing my book and of course I am impatient about that. But I’m rambling here…

Despite my lack of patience, I periodically look for ways to improve this unfortunate flaw. I can’t say all of them work for me, but based on my research, these seem to be the top recommendations:

Deep, slow breaths: When you’re in the moment and can’t seem to get a grip, take five slow, deep breaths. While breathing, imagine yourself calming down until you feel in control.

Timetable: The best way to create a composed demeanor is to learn how to keep your emotions in check. Take note of the times of day you seem impatient, what is happening, and how the elevated mood could be avoided. Sometimes simply being aware of times that are challenging helps keep your emotions in check.

Practice active listening: Whether at the office or out with your besties, active listening encourages you to really listen and respond to what you hear, encouraging patience. Active listening engages the listener to re-state or rephrase the information heard back to the speaker. This creates greater understanding and reduces tensions, building a calm atmosphere for all participating in the conversation.

Talk yourself out of it: Why not?  I talk to myself about other things too!  When you’re itching to send that follow-up email even though you know it’s too early for a response, talk yourself out of it. Count to 10, tell yourself all the reasons why you should wait, have a quick discussion with yourself about the weather — anything that will keep you from being an eager beaver.

Stop being a perfectionist:  Whoa!  This one is tough for me!  We all want things to be perfect, but obsessing over the details can cause impatience when staying composed matters most. Use positive visualization to imagine that big presentation going perfectly or an important interview ending successfully, which encourages a resolved attitude even when things don’t go as planned.

Think big: Instead of focusing on your feelings, think of the bigger picture. If you can, remove yourself from the situation and take a few moments to think about all the elements that are causing you to feel impatient. Is this something that will matter in your life 10 years from now? Is it worth the time and energy you’re spending being impatient? Most often the answer is no. Instead of feeling frustrated, count all the things you are thankful for.

Be the bigger person: When your friend is running late, which in turn makes you late, be the bigger person and let it go. Instead of focusing on the issue, move forward with dignity and grace.

Write about it: Keep a journal documenting when you feel impatient. Write all about it, including as many details as you can, and how and when you calmed down. Once finished, read what you wrote. This will help you learn how to stay composed the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Be considerate: Make a point to be considerate of others. Practice patience while spending what seems like hours in the busy shopping line or while waiting for your late bus. Try de-stressing the situation by taking a few deep breaths or striking up friendly conversation with someone next to you. Before you know it, you’ll feel better, and maybe you’ll have helped someone else feel less stressed too.

Zone out: Yes, I do this from time to time.  There’s nothing wrong with taking a quick break when you just can’t seem to calm down. Listen to some tunes, go for a quick walk around the block, read a book, or check your favorite websites, which will clear your mind and refresh your patience level.

Believe it or not, I did have the patience to research; lol…but I have come to the realization that I will always be an impatient person; waiting to move on to the next adventure. So I’m done with this post and already thinking about the next one!

Peace out!




New me!!

Through the Whispering Pines

I have a new do and it’s at .

New look, new prices on my work and easy access to my column in Women Voices Magazine with a direct link to Through the Whispering Pines, my blog.

All my e readers and book orders are through pay pal and I fell safe with them. It’s a click away not four like before.

I am so very happy about this. Authors whether  published through an established press or with a big fat agent know they must do their part to become winners.

We come into the world full of wonderment. What we do with it is entirely up to us from the cradle to the grave. Make the most of it and when you meet a genius like Tina Smith grab hold with both hands. There will be more about her later as we develop more into the web- site…

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Looking for a Social Media or Administrative Expert?

Awesome company!!

Through the Whispering Pines

Good Evening, Readers!

In my previous post, I mentioned my new website and all the good things that have been going on since I hired Tina Smith at TMS Administrative Support. I want to take a moment and dedicate this post to her, as I truly could not have imagined the improvement in the marketing of my book and my name without her.

Tina’s experience is unmatched; her dedication is unsurpassed. When I started out, the people who were guiding me were more interested in their own agenda than what was best for me. Tina changed all that. She is focused on what is in my best interest and has shown me that she cares about  my future and that of my writing.  I am currently working on the sequel to my first novel, Buzzard’s Glory and because of Tina, I have been able to focus on that while she…

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How Do I Manage My Time with an Online Education?

How many times have you said, “There just aren’t enough hours in the day?”   And now you want to add the responsibility of obtaining a degree online to your already overwhelming life?  Are you nuts?  No, not really, because in fact it CAN be done with the right guidance, the right schedule and of course, the right attitude.  Today’s post in my series of Earning an Online Degree will focus on the logistics of a typical classroom week and how to make it through each class with minimal frustration and anxiety.  Don’t get me wrong, you’ll experience this from time to time, but my goal here is to share with you several tips I have learned over the years while earning my own online degrees.  Please note, each class and school is different and the tips presented here may need to be altered to fit your school’s specific time requirement.

As stated in my previous posts, the length of each class depends on the college you choose; however, for purposes of discussion, let us assume that the classes in your chosen course of study are five weeks in length.  Various colleges follow their own seven day schedule; i.e., not necessarily Sunday through Saturday, so for arguments’ sake, our “mock class” will adhere to the following schedule:

  • Tuesday = Day 1
  • Wednesday = Day 2
  • Thursday = Day 3
  • Friday = Day 4
  • Saturday = Day 5
  • Sunday = Day 6
  • Monday = Day 7

During the first week of class, you will be required to post an introduction on Day 1, which should  include a little bit about yourself, family, why you are pursuing your degree, etc.  Some professors will require the introduction be tailored to their specific class, but this will be outlined in the syllabus.

The remainder of the first week as well as the weeks to come should resemble the following schedule.  The time of day that you conduct each task is totally up to you, but some part of each day should be focused on your schoolwork.  There will be a major assignment due in the final week of class; therefore, it is important to begin working on your research during Week Two or Three.

  • Day 1 – Introduction due (first week only)/Review Assigned Readings/Work on Discussion Questions
  • Day 2 – Work on Discussion Questions
  • Day 3 – Discussion Questions due
  • Day 4 – Begin Research for weekly paper
  • Day 5 – Respond to classmates’ postings
  • Day 6 – Prepare weekly paper/ respond to classmates’ postings
  • Day 7 – Review and turn in weekly paper – RELAX and get ready for the coming week.

This may seem like a lot but once you get yourself set on a schedule, it will seem like second nature.  Your schedule is your own; therefore you must judge how much you can do and when.  It is a learning process  and circumstances may change from week to week; however, here are some things I found that have worked for me:

  •  If you have a full-time job, use your lunch hours to your advantage. Review assigned readings, work on discussion questions and conduct any research you may need  for questions or assignments.
  • Once your assignments are turned in for the current week, start to prepare for the coming week. Look at the questions and the assignment due and think about how to attack them.
  • Use a flash drive or online cloud for storage of all of your class materials including articles used for research and assignments. As you work towards your degree, you will refer to your previous coursework in each class.  Some of the research you have already conducted may be useful for a future paper.
  • Get as much done on the weekend as possible – I know, this is not very popular, as we have families and other responsibilities that demand our time but every little bit helps. For example, getting up early on either Saturday or Sunday morning to begin work on your assignment is a great way to have some quiet time to concentrate.   Your schedule is your own; therefore you must judge how much you can do and when.
  • Take at least one day and night off from schoolwork! Believe it or not, you can’t do it all, and giving yourself time to breathe and refocus is essential to succeeding.  You do not want to get burned out.
  • Take a break from classes if you need to. If you find yourself completely overwhelmed, talk to your advisor and ask for a week or two off before your next class starts.  They will understand and work to accommodate you any way they can.  However, if you are receiving financial aid, be aware that you are only allowed to be unenrolled from classes for a specific number of days; otherwise your financial aid will be off track and could cause potential financing problems in the future.   Make sure to verify specifics with your advisor at your chosen school before you decide to take a break.

With my Master’s Degree in Organizational Management completed on October 13th – 3.92 GPA!!  I will begin a new Master’s Degree in Education on the 28th of this month as I work to teach others in the online world at some point in the future.  Some of my friends think I’m crazy, my BFF told me I could make a living at being in college, and mom – bless her heart – told me I “didn’t need any more brains.”  But I enjoy the learning process and am grateful for all that I have been taught over the past years, not just scholastically but emotionally as well.    If you decide to further your education, I wish you much success and luck.

Follow my upcoming blog posts as I continue my journey with my upcoming Master’s Degree!  Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about the process or if I can be of any help to you!

Coming up next…Stinkerbell starts her Master’s in Education



Sentences that can change your life

1. Never compare your weaknesses to other people’s strengths.

2. Own your life, or someone will own it for you.

3. We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.

4. Climb mountains not so the world can see you but so you can see the world.

5. If you accept your limitation, you go beyond them.

6. Comfort is the enemy of achievement.

7. No matter anyone says to you, you don’t have to eat dinner with them, live with them or go to bed with them.

8. If you risk nothing, you risk everything.

9. Don’t give others the power to control your emotion. Those are only yours and it is only for you to manipulate.

10. Victory introduces you to the world, but defeat introduces the world to you.

11. If you don’t do stupid things while you are young, you will have nothing to smile about when you are old.

12. Don’t waste your time with explanation; people only hear what they want to hear.

13. Don’t rest after your first victory, because if you fail the second time, more lips will be waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.

14. Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves.

15. The person that you will spend most time with in your life is yourself, so better try to make yourself as interesting as possible.


Earning a College Degree in an Online World – Part II

So you’ve decided that the online degree route is the way to go. You’ve done your research – including reading my last blog post –  and want to start your journey to higher education. What comes next?

The first thing you want to do is decide which school has the online program that best fits in your schedule. Check out the following website to get some background information on the various schools that have online programs. This site offers reviews from students, information on graduate and retention rates of students and costs associated with a typical academic year. Don’t commit yourself to one school; contact as many as you’d like to get an idea of what a class is like; length, work involved, etc., so you will know if you can devote the time needed to complete your degree. You can tell a lot about the school when speaking with the enrollment advisor so use this initial conversation in making your decision; i.e., their tone of voice, how they answer your questions, knowledge, etc. In addition, many of the advisors are taking classes themselves so they can provide some valuable information. Take advantage of it! Some of the questions you may want to ask during your initial phone call – in no particular order – are:

1. What is the length of each class? The answer to this question really depends on the college and the degree you are pursuing. If you are earning a Bachelor’s degree, most universities offer classes that are five weeks in length; six weeks if earning a Master’s Degree. However, some colleges, like Kaplan University utilize a 10-week class for their Bachelor’s Degree and six weeks for a Master’s.

2. What are the attendance and participation requirements? Every online degree program has this requirement and this is perhaps one of the most important questions you will ask. As I said in my previous post, you will be given discussion questions each week (more detail on that later), and you will be required to respond to a specific number of your classmates each week. Again, the number of responses depends on the university and program. For example, University of Phoenix requires four responses to classmates on four different days; whereas others such as Ashford and Kaplan require only two responses, whether they occur on the same day or not.

3. What is a typical class week like? Again, a very important question as it is a good indicator of the time you will need to set aside each week. Based on my experience, an academic week consists of two-three discussion questions, usually due mid-week and a research paper and/or quiz that are due on the last day of the week. And don’t forget that participation requirement! You will also be spending time reviewing your classmates’ postings and responding to them.

4. Can I test-drive the online classroom? Some colleges will allow you to logon as a guest to get a feel for the online classroom and how to navigate from place to place within the online environment. If this is an option, definitely take advantage of it because it will give you insight as to which sites are user friendly and which required an engineering degree to navigate! (Believe me, some do!)

5. Is there a trial period for the degree program? Since online education has become more popular, many colleges are now offering an introductory period, anywhere from a few weeks to a month, depending on the university. During this time, you will take your classes as scheduled, but if at any time during the trial period you feel this venue is not right for you, you can withdraw from the school without owing anything. When I started in the online degree world 10 years ago, they didn’t have this option, but for those new to the college world, especially older students, it is an invaluable resource.

6. How involved can I be in the scheduling of my classes? Unfortunately, there are some academic advisors out there that schedule classes for you at random without consulting you. Ask questions, find out how many credits of history, math, social sciences, etc., are needed and look at the course catalog to see what classes will fit the requirements of you degree. You will have core classes which are not negotiable, but other classes as part of your degree program can be chosen. For example, if your degree requires an extra social science and you are interested in psychology or philosophy, find out if the school has a class that can count towards that credit. You are working hard for your degree; you want to be a part of the road you are taking to get there!

7. What is the tuition and fee structure? Each school has their own method for calculating tuition depending on the degree program; however, make sure you ask about their technology fee. Every online school has one ranging from $75.00 to $150.00; charged every semester or by class, depending on the school. Make sure to ask about the financial aid process as well as information about any grants or scholarships. Even if it’s only $100, trust me, every little bit helps!

The online process is much less complicated than it seems and if you’re like me and get antsy and frustrated in a traditional classroom, then this venue is for you.


Coming up next….How Do I Manage My Time??

Mary Maryquite contrary

What a beautiful story from fellow blogger and author, Arlene Switzer Flynn!

Through the Whispering Pines

How does your garden grow?

For my friend Mary today when my story is done you might say not so well does your garden grown. I beg to differ.

I just left the emergency room after receiving a call from the EMT’s in route with my friend Mary taking her to the emergency room. She is seventy years old and had taken an awful tumble in her tiny little apartment for the disabled.

Mary and I started out together over 45 years ago. We two were both behind the snow plows and skid loaders of your future. Yes, like our grandmothers before us we were plowing the road you skip upon in your high heels controlling the board rooms of today.

Mary became a computer programer unheard of in those years of yesterday. I started a business also unheard of for a woman. We were both so successful and never…

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50 Inspiring Motivational Quotes to Increase Your Confidence

Thank you @Jeff Haden for the awesome words of wisdom!

  1. “The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you.” William Jennings Bryan
  2. “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” Vincent Van Gogh
  3. “Always be yourself and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and try to duplicate it.” Bruce Lee
  4. “Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” Mark Victor Hansen
  5. “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” Eleanor Roosevelt
  6. “Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered–just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better.” Barrie Davenport
  7. “Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” e. cummings
  8. “Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” Golda Meir
  9. “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” Arthur Ashe
  10. “It is confidence in our bodies, minds and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures.” Oprah Winfrey
  11. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  12. “But failure has to be an option in art and in exploration–because it’s a leap of faith. And no important endeavor that required innovation was done without risk. You have to be willing to take those risks….” James Cameron
  13. “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” Elisabeth Kbler-Ross
  14. “Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.” Peter T. Mcintyre
  15. “Argue for your limitations and, sure enough, they’re yours.” Richard Bach
  16. “The courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable.” Paul Tillich
  17. “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”Thomas Alva Edison
  18. Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people. ” Andr Dubus
  19. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?” Marianne Williamson
  20. “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” Brene Brown
  21. “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”  Benjamin Spock
  22. “Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries. They just don’t let these feelings stop them.”  Harv Eker
  23. “You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can’thave it.”  Robert Anthony
  24. “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” Sir Edmund Hillary
  25. “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” Oscar Wilde
  26. “I had to grow to love my body. I did not have a good self-image at first. Finally it occurred to me, I’m either going to love me or hate me. And I chose to love myself. Then everything kind of sprung from there. Things that I thought weren’t attractive became sexy. Confidence makes you sexy.” Queen Latifah
  27. “You yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” Buddha
  28. “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” Dale Carnegie
  29. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” Helen Keller
  30. “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Thomas Jefferson
  31. “Confidence is a habit that can be developed by acting as if you already had the confidence you desire to have.” Brian Tracy
  32. “Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.” Peter T. Mcintyre
  33. “If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”  Harv Eker
  34. “Wouldn’t it be powerful if you fell in love with yourself so deeply that you would do just about anything if you knew it would make you happy? This is precisely how much life loves you and wants you to nurture yourself. The deeper you love yourself, the more the universe will affirm your worth. Then you can enjoy a lifelong love affair that brings you the richest fulfillment from inside out.” Alan Cohen
  35. “To anyone that ever told you you’re no good… They’re no better.” Hayley Williams
  36. “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin
  37. “You have no control over other people’s taste, so focus on staying true to your own.”Tim Gunn
  38. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt
  39. “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” M. Barrie
  40. “It’s a dead-end street if you sit around waiting for someone else to tell you you’re okay.” Michael Pitt
  41. “I think that the power is the principle. The principle of moving forward, as though you have the confidence to move forward, eventually gives you confidence when you look back and see what you’ve done.” Robert Downey, Jr.
  42. “If you’re presenting yourself with confidence, you can pull off pretty much anything.”Katy Perry
  43. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
  44. “I’ve finally stopped running away from myself. Who else is there better to be?” Goldie Hawn
  45. “Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” Rumi
  46. “When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn’t.” Jodi Picoult
  47. “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  48. “You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.” Wayne Dyer
  49. “Don’t waste your energy trying to change opinions… do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.” Tina Fey
  50. “Pride is holding your head up when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it.” Bryce Courtenay