Saturday, September 25, 2010

LifeLinks Jewelry - Focus on Your Values

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I love jewelry. In fact, I make metal jewelry and might get into beading one day. But about a year ago, I discovered something different, and I’m really into it. While in Charlevoix, Michigan, I visited “Elements,” a favorite store that carries beautiful artsy home accents and jewelry. That’s where I met Glenn Wachler, who, with his brother, Link, designed and created LifeLinks.

Glenn happened to be at the store explaining the meaning behind the jewelry, and I was intrigued. Each square link represents something to the owner - a value, passion, person, or pet, for example. And the intention is that as you look at the Links you’re wearing, you can’t help but think about your priorities. The bracelet actually helps you focus on what’s important to you.

The sterling LifeLinks cost $36, but they have gone on sale a couple of times this year, and, hopefully, will go on sale again in the future.. A smaller selection of LifeLinks is also available in pewter for $15. While the sterling mesh bracelet is $120, bracelets are also available in a variety of colors in stylish rubber for $12 - $15.

You can design your own bracelet with as many or few pieces as you like. If you go to the LifeLinks website, you’ll see all the Links, spacers, frames and photo frames that are available, as well as some sample designs. Check it out:

http://www.4lifelinks.com/

Initially, I bought the sterling silver mesh bracelet and one sterling LifeLink. I chose “Forgive” because that’s something I want to work on. Then I bought a few more, intending to add Links gradually. But when almost everything went on sale, I took that opportunity to add to my bracelet. Now I have several Links, including “Friends,” “Family,” “Love,” “Gratitude,” “Giving,” “Learn,” “Create” and “Patience.” (See photo.)

These days I’m rarely without my LifeLinks bracelet. Who knows – it just might help me be a better person!

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Universe Teaches a Lesson at Costco!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Just got back from what was to be a quick trip to Costco for gas. While in the gas line, I decided I’d run into the store and surprise my husband with a shrimp cocktail before dinner. Of course, I found other wonderful things, as usual. There was my third 3-pack of reading glasses (they’re in almost every room, in my purse, in my pottery and jewelry class tool boxes and in the car). Then there was the large hard-cover version of “The Runaway Bunny” for our granddaughter and a couple of audio books for all the time I spend driving.

And then, as I walked toward the check-outs at the front of the store, I passed the aisle that I’ve been avoiding for weeks now, the home of the Shearer potato chips. Now between the two of us, I’m not the chipaholic – my husband is. In fact, Shearer’s are the only chips I like. I crave pasta, chocolate and Diet Coke, not necessarily in that order. But I like a handful of chips once in a while. My husband, on the other hand, loves chips and has a much tougher time resisting them. But because we’re trying to eliminate unhealthy stuff from our diets, we decided the Shearers would no longer be welcome in our home. And I’ve successfully resisted that aisle on my last four Costco trips.

But today, I wanted to simply visit them. So imagine my shock and horror when I went down the Shearer aisle, and they weren’t there. I thought, “This is definitely a message from the Universe.” Devastated, I went to the self check-out and, after paying for everything, I asked an employee if they’d moved the Shearer chips. (Take that, Universe!) Well, she checked the system and told me they weren’t “carrying them right now,” and that she didn’t know when they’d be back. This was sounding more like a divorce than a separation, and I was getting worried.

So, as I walked toward the exit, I stopped at the desk to ask them why they’d stop carrying such a popular product. This time, when the woman checked the system, it showed that they had over 300 bags in stock and 400 on order. A quick call to someone in the stock area resulted in a promise to bring some chips to the floor. I was asked to have a seat, because “It’ll take a few minutes.” And that’s what I did, berating myself nonstop for actually planning to buy the chips, while feeling triumphant at the same time.

Well, I waited and waited. After about 20 minutes had passed, I checked and saw that the chips still weren’t out. So I asked another assistant how much longer it would take. She made a call and was told that they’d been “dropped and stocked.” So I went back there just as a guy was taking them off a pallet. Finally, I had the chips I never intended to buy! And the Universe had thought it was so clever – HA!

Flash forward about 20 minutes to when I got home. I opened one of the bags and took a few chips, as did my husband. We both kind of looked at each other and tried a few more. Then I asked, “Do these taste any different to you?” He agreed that they did. While they never tasted very salty, now they tasted like they needed salt. And the flavor just wasn’t as rich. In fact, after two or three chips, I didn’t want any more. And neither did the chip maniac.

How could this be?! What did the brain trusts at Shearer do? I noticed something on the bag that may or may not have been there before – I don’t remember. (I’m obviously grasping at straws.) It said “0 grams trans fat.” Maybe they eliminated trans fats and replaced them with other, more boring fats. I don’t know. What I do know is that we’re cured. We’re giving these away and won’t be tempted again. How ridiculous of me to think I could win that one! Hey, Universe, could you maybe do the same with my addiction to pasta?
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

I’m Finally Finished With Channel 7 WXYZ TV News!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010
Well, yesterday was the last straw. The idiots at Detroit’s WXYZ TV news went too far. WXYZ was the only station to cut off President Obama’s speech right at noon, so that its crappy news show could start on time. And what was more important than what the President had to say? Bulldozers. Yes, they showed bulldozers knocking down burned houses. And then, we got to hear the opinion of a woman who lives near the fires. The other two local stations, WDIV and WJBK, didn’t start their news shows until the President was wrapping up his speech. But WXYZ is obviously more important than the other stations.

All through the winter snow season, WXYZ’s viewers are treated to hours of watching reporters standing along freeways, either as it snows or as the snow plows get ready for the snow. Then they switch from one freeway camera to another, showing cars driving slowly through the snow. It’s absolutely maddening! They preempt “Good Morning, America”, based on a forecast, even before it snows. WTF?! This is Michigan - it snows here all the time. Get over yourselves, WXYZ! Nobody gives a damn about seeing your reporters standing around with snowflakes on their hats!

And then, while scrolling school closings across the bottom of the screen, they inexplicably put a thick border around a miniature news show, so that viewers can’t see anything on the news without a magnifying glass. And they do that for election coverage, too. Election returns scroll across the bottom of the screen, but the thick border surrounds and shrinks the actual news broadcast. Not that it’s worth seeing much of the time . . .

Another thing that drives me nuts is that everything is “BREAKING NEWS.” An accident on a freeway is suddenly “Breaking News.” And so is a forecasted thunderstorm or a burning building (no, not a skyscraper). I could live happily without ever knowing about half of what they call “Breaking News.”

Yet somehow these fools get awards for news – how is that possible? That, to me, is proof that people are getting dumber by the day. A population that would award WXYZ anything for its television news coverage is stupid enough to spawn, well, the Tea Party, for example. (Sorry - couldn't pass that one up.)

I’ve started watching WDIV or WJBK news, and you know what – they’re better than WXYZ. And I was a WXYZ news viewer for decades. But no more. I’ve had it! Check out WDIV and WJBK, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. BREAKING NEWS – WXYZ TV news sucks!!
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Oakland University Needs Me!

Friday, September 10, 2010
Very early this morning, I applied for three positions at Oakland University. I’ve been told that they get up to 1,000 applications per job posting. That tidbit of information was so discouraging that I almost decided to forget about ever working at O.U. But I keep trying. I just know that if I can get an interview, I’ll have a decent shot at being hired. Do you get the impression that I’d really like to work there? Allow me to explain.

My past work experience included a little of everything. I worked in retail at 16, banking at 18 and as a legal secretary at 19. Then, when I was 22 and had just over a year’s worth of college, I was hired by an auto company. Because I hadn’t yet completed a degree, I was lucky to get the job, even though I probably would have chosen a position in Human Resources or Procurement, rather than Treasury. As it turned out, though, I spent several years working with auto dealers and suppliers, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

As time passed, I earned both my undergrad in finance and an MBA from Wayne State University. (I will be forever grateful to the Company for my education.) I worked my way through at least nine different positions in my department and ended up spending my last years with the automaker in finance. I found the jobs in finance to be less enjoyable and fulfilling than those I held in Treasury. So I knew that my second career would not involve quarterly accounting closes!

I want something that will benefit from my experience and my strengths. I figure if the job uses what I have to offer, I’ll feel good about the contribution I make. And Oakland U. might just be the perfect place for me. It has the interpersonal contacts (students and staff) that I enjoy. All three of the jobs in which I’m interested involve writing, which I love. And it’s a dynamic environment in which I could build upon my education and computer skills.

But why would Oakland University want me? Because I’m conscientious and diligent, and I work my butt off. Also, I’m dedicated and take my work seriously. I learn quickly, enjoy solving problems and can work harmoniously with pretty much anyone. And if I got in at O.U., I might just be their happiest employee. Now that would be a real asset.

Come on, O.U., just give me an interview – that’s all I ask!
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Close Friends Are My Extended Family

Thursday, September 9, 2010
Last week, I spent a day in Ohio with friends that I call “the two Sues.” Sue #2 drove with me to the summer home of Sue #1, both of whom have been friends of mine for over 30 years. We worked in the same crazy department at an auto company, and we share a ton of memories, good and bad.

We went to a quaint little restaurant, Zinc, in Sandusky (http://www.zincbrasserie.net/ - if you’re ever in Sandusky, you simply must try this place). Our meals were excellent. I had a Cuban Panini, because I saw one on Oprah and have wanted to try it ever since. The Sues had fish tacos (still can’t get my mind around fish on a taco, but maybe I’ll try it one day.) Then we headed back to the house for a fantastic dessert and an opportunity to catch up on events in our kids’ lives (much more exciting than mine, at this point).

And it just happens that I’m seeing friends Thursday, Friday (twice) and Sunday. Plus, my husband and I will be attending a Ramadan feast on Saturday at the home of Indian friends. This is an unusually friend-filled week, and I love it.

For me, close friends are family. I can be completely open with them, without fear of being judged. If I ask for their honest opinions, that’s what I’ll get. And we can disagree on just about anything, without any negative aftertaste. And when I’m with them, I feel emotionally nourished and just plain high on life, a real endorphin hit.

Don’t get me wrong – family can be fantastic, too, and I love holidays and get-togethers. But sometimes the baggage outweighs the joy, if you know what I mean. And that just doesn’t happen with close friends. After all, we chose each other!

So here’s to my good friends, my extended family - you help me get over all the bumps in the dirt roads of life!
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