Posted in Business, SocialMedia

Younger Skin & Profits to Boot!

Lexus RX350
Lexus RX350 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post isn’t about me!  Its a story about continued and proven success in sales!  Its about my sister, Peggy Pearson!

Rodan & Fields Level 5 Skin Care & Dermatology Consultant
Rodan and Fields Level 5 Skin Care and Dermatology Consultant

Peggy has been working in sales for 33 years!  In every venture she’s quickly worked her way into the top tier of best selling consultants and sales reps.  She’s done it again…and this time she’s about to earn a Lexus RX350!  She has become a Skin Care and Dermatology Level 5 Executive Consultant with Rodan & Fields!  You can visit her site here:

This year, their company has come out with an amazing product called the Redefine Macro Exfoliator! This product is an amazing “in-home” microderm abrasion hand-held device that removes dead skin cells!  Two visits to your dermatologist and you’ve paid for the product!  It was so popular they quickly sold out…but not to worry, it will be in stock again in 13 days!  Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields have developed the patent pending technology that enables an incredible clinically proven visible improvement to the appearance of your skin after only one use!

Peggy has developed an amazing team of consultants, and is quickly rising in the ranks!  She’s involving social media as an aspect of her outreach to grow her team.  Follow her on Twitter @pjpearsn … she’s garnered a list of over 370 other consultants (R+F Consultants), as well as reached out in her local community to curate a list of Arkansas Social Savvy businesses and professionals!  You can take advantage of these resource by clicking on the hyper-linked lists in the previous sentences and subscribe.

If you’re looking to find a virtual mentor in the sales arena…Peggy is the one to watch!  If you have an entrepreneurial side to you and are looking to change a few things in your life–perhaps younger looking and healthier skin is your thing?  The profits aren’t too shabby either!


Posted in Education, Relationships

Smoking isn’t the Only Way to Get Lung Cancer

The EPA was directed to set standards for radi...
Image via Wikipedia

Here’s a quote from the Environmental Protection Agency:

Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to EPA estimates.  Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.  Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year.  About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked.  On January 13, 2005, Dr. Richard H. Carmona, the U.S. Surgeon General, issued a national health advisory on radon.”

If you have not had your home checked for radon gas, I urge you to do so!  Its a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas.  A reading above a four is dangerous to your health. Get a testing kit today if your home has not been tested.

Posted in Relationships, Writing

RIP Katie, Marmalade & Patches ~ Our Four-Legged Family Members

A tribute to our barn cats Patches & Marmalade, and our Border Collie, Katie.  Katie - Her loss has left a hole!Our Barn Cats Patches & Marmalade

My blog post is more a therapeutic exercise to help me cope with the loss than for anything else.  I will look back on 2011 as the year of subtraction in some respects.  I lost my grandmother, Patches & Marmalade, the farm, and now Katie.

Some people say “it happens in threes” and for us this was true.  Just two weeks ago, I had to put down our barn cats.  Their health condition was poor and rather than make either of them suffer through the winter we decided it best to not make them suffer.

Yesterday, while Robyn was out with Megan for her piano lesson, Madeleine discovered that something happened to Katie that made her right eye roll into the back of her head.  By the time she discovered it, there was a little drainage from the eye, and the whites were bloodshot.  Robyn made an appointment for 7:30 this morning at the vet clinic.  When I got home from work, Katie’s condition had improved a little but you could tell that something still wasn’t right.  Since we moved back into town, we’ve had to restrict her from doing any stairs because her hind legs would just collapse if she tried going down the stairs.  She was taking a supplement for a few months to help but there was little improvement in her condition/agility.

I stayed up until about 1:00am this morning thinking about her current health, the coming winter, icy steps and sidewalks outside, and realized that keeping her alive would be more for our benefit than hers.  Just two days ago, she got so excited to go out to wet that her hind legs gave out and she slumped to the floor.  Lately, she’s had quite a visible struggle to get up off the floor, and an ungraceful collapse to the floor when trying to lie down–always punctuated with  groaning/moaning sounds.  Our country vet told us the next step would be pain medications.  Rather than make her go through any more and risk a fractured or broken hip or leg with slippery sidewalks we decided it would be best to say goodbye.  She would have been 12 years old next month.

This morning when we got out of the van to go into the clinic, her hind legs gave out again.  While waiting for the vet to enter our exam room, I observed a poster and noted that Katie exhibited three of the 5 signs listed for “severe osteoarthritis.”  An assistant and the vet came into the room, and through a stream of tears, I signed the permission slip.  The vet  placed a blanket on the table, I picked Katie up and laid her down, then he began the procedure.  He told us that we’d made the right decision but he understood it was still difficult.  Robyn later stated that she really appreciates older Vets–they’re not as likely to recommend expensive, life extending procedures and medications that don’t actually add an animal’s quality of life.

Its amazing “how” these four-legged friends become family members…so much of our lives become integrated with our pet’s habits, personalities, presence.  You really don’t realize just how much they color and compliment our own routines and emotional existence, until they are gone.   I’ll list just a few of the most notable activities that occur that cause her memory to stir:

  • Morning and bedtime: Katie’s toe nails clicking on the floor and sometimes shrill barks when she needed to go outside to wet. Now there’s no animal that needs to go out–habit says call her with a short whistle repetition–even our parrot has the whistle down pat!
  • Any meal prep:  Always underfoot, patiently awaiting any scrap that might possibly fall to the floor
  • Arrival after a family outing:   She would always be near the door with her wagging tail and anxious eyes…the kids noted that there will be nobody to greet us when we come home!
  • When packing up for an outing or long trip:  Suit cases and bustling family members always elicited those perked ears and hopeful eyes that she too might be allowed to accompany us.
  • My arrival after work:  I’d take my shoes and socks off after a long day and she’d always come over and lick my feet 🙂  Now every time I take my shoes off, her absence will be a sharp reminder of her passing.
  • Serving Ice cream or Cereal:  She’s always quietly wait at your feet in hopes you’d allow her to lick the bowl

Those are just a few of the situations that incorporated her presence into our consciously engaged attention/awareness.  Now each of us is learning just how intertwined her existence was in all those aspects of living that were on unconscious autopilot–like moving the baby gate we had to install to keep Katie from using the stairs….every time we go up the stairs now there’s no gate to move.

Joshua, our son, doesn’t cope with grief the way the rest of us do…we’re all bawling our eyes out, hugging and comforting each other.  Josh will set about drawing pictures or creating a card of some sort, or he may retreat to his room to be alone while we dehydrate ourselves.  This morning we came home and gave the kids the news, discussed what happened and how it was affecting us.  Later, I went up to my bedroom to change clothes to go into work and noticed that Joshua had placed a stuffed animal dog upon my pillow.  His thoughtfulness and attempt at comforting me (because I had the closest bond to Katie) sucker punched me in the gut and I began to cry again.

She loved meeting new people and was always happy when all of her people were in one place.  I truly loved her and am conscious of a huge vacancy in my soul–a part of me that is missing.

Posted in Relationships

Thought Soup

Icon-type silhouette of an airplane. (Mainly t...
Image via Wikipedia

It’s been a whirlwind week!  Since Sunday I have flown to Washington D.C. on business, landed back in Omaha and within 30 minutes received a warning citation from the police for failure to signal and a malfunctioning tail light; purchased and installed a new built-in dishwasher; worked late (past supper time) two nights; and just this evening started to drive away from the gas pump to hear a noise and realize I hadn’t replaced the nozzle!  When you meet yourself coming and going you know its time to take a break!!  Slow down a little and breathe–smell the coffee and count your blessings!

The week hasn’t been all bad though.  I enjoyed the company of a traveling mate on the Washington D.C. to Atlanta leg of my trip who recommended the book “Shadows and Streetlights” and “Warriors Rage”  I’m greatly impressed at times by some traveling companions.  You never know what you’re going to learn if you take a chance and share yourself with others.  Many times you’ll find that people just want to be left alone.  But if you stop and think about it, most flights are three hours or less (especially if you have connecting flights)…what is it going to hurt you to reach out and shake a hand and introduce yourself?  After 9/11, I became aware that I was mentally on auto-pilot regarding my commuting behaviors.  Now, if alone, I listen to news, or books on CD…if surrounded by others, I at least try to get to know a person’s name and where they’re from.

On the Atlanta to Omaha leg of my journey, I met a wonderful Radiologist named Rick with a local practice in Omaha.  A great family man with three teenage children.  We talked about every topic possible in our two hour journey.  By opening up to others, you find out you are not alone…that like others, the parenting years are a flourish of activity and logistics.

I am three fourths of the way through Stephen King‘s “Dreamcatcher” and am just enthralled by how creatively vivid his mind is.  Each time I finish a reading session, it takes a while for me to accept reality.  His writing talent pulls you in, challenges you to figure out, question, and begin making assessments about where the story is taking you.  His character development acquaints you in such a tangible way that you feel you know these people.  Why is it that we don’t live life with the same anxious intrigue and anticipation the way we “exist” when reading a good book or watching a long-awaited movie?  Is it possible we allow ourselves too much “auto-pilot” mental time?  I think that as adults we lose our wonder and excitement about living because of what value we assign to the “stuff and work of life.”

When I stopped my vehicle this evening after hearing the nozzle yank out of my fuel tank and land on the ground, I put the car in park.  I was anxious that my carelessness wasn’t going to create a fire/explosion.  I picked up the nozzle, placed it back in the pump, screwed my gas cap back on and made a “phew” gesture with my hand at my forehead just in case I was being observed, and then got back in my car.  Thinking aloud I said, “Ed, it surely is time for a vacation!”  I need to refuel my emotional/mental stores and spend some much needed time with my family–turn off “auto-pilot” and be present in the now….appreciating and soaking up the living life has to offer.

If you are reading this post, I hope all is well in your world!  I am grateful for time…without it, we would never have the chance to recover from mistakes, heal our wounds, or achieve our dreams.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Posted in Education, Relationships

Don’t Wait For A Crisis

Nissan Paramedic.
Image via Wikipedia

There are simply some things in life you MUST plan for in advance in order to emotionally transition through the changes with as little stress as possible!  Putting off the inevitable only makes endurance more difficult and draws unprepared bystanders and loved ones into your crisis.

If you have teenagers or elderly parents and have been dealing with some of the medical, logistical, and financial consequences of existing you know what I’m talking about.  For the sake of those who are not yet in a state of crisis, lets review some decisions that we should all think about and prepare for LONG BEFORE the moment of need arises:

  • Financing for children’s college
    • Are you banking on scholarships, work-study, financing?
  • Family vacations (this is a necessity for sanity’s sake)
    • You must budget for get-aways so you don’t fall into credit card debt
  • Retirement lifestyle and location
    • Will you live a sedentary or active lifestyle when you retire? Where do you want to retire?
  • How to cope with loss
    • Loss doesn’t have to wait until you’re old…it happens at all ages–plan for all possible scenarios
  • Organ donation
    • Whatever your decision, discuss it with your family and document it in a living will
  • Medical decisions in emergency/life response situations
    • Who will be your advocate?  Do you want to be on life support or let nature take its course?
  • Long Term medical care arrangements
    • Especially important discussion if you have Alzheimer, Dementia, Heart or organ failure in your genes
  • Senior living/assisted living transition plans
    • If both husband/wife still alive and needing different levels of care will you be in the same facility?
  • Last Will and Testament
    • Make sure this document is prepared, notarized and the family is informed the document exists
  • End of life arrangements (burial place/cremation)
    • This decision is one you should make, discuss your desires with your spouse and document

Dealing with family communication complexities in a moment of medical or financial crisis can be just as tricky as negotiating a dispute between waring nations.   Don’t wait until your father or father in-law falls and breaks a bone to decide “how” and “who” will deal with the logistics of the situation and how to communicate what’s happening and what needs must be met to the remainder of the family.

If you use my list above and then ask questions about each major bullet.  For instance:  As you  watch the news and a story falls into the category “Medical decisions in emergency/life response situations”  ask yourself:  “How would I or my family deal with this exact scenario.  What consequences would I be forced to deal with?  Here are some factors that you must consider:

  • Will dealing with this crisis require time away from my job?
  • Will another person become completely dependent upon me for basic life skills (eating, hygiene, transportation, medicines, legal)
  • If I have my plans made out but am unable to execute them due to impairment (coma, paralysis, etc) who will administer my documented plan of action that I trust to follow it to the letter?
  • How will this impact your family financially ~ are you prepared to deal with it–what are your options?
  • Who will be the communicator in a crisis (spouse, co-worker, child, sibling, friend?)
  • Who will help you in your recovery?

One person cannot shoulder the burden alone for trying to understand how best to deal with such delicate situations.  You have even less creativity, imagination, and time to cope when a crisis hits.  Make sure you take some time to consider these thoughts and then ask yourself–“Am I prepared?”

Posted in Uncategorized

Why New Years Resolutions Rarely Work ~ How to Make Sure Yours Stick

Many people embark upon a new year with great intentions–vowing to themselves to be committed and change their lives.  Many invest in bicycles, running shoes, memberships, new computers, you name it!  The hope is that somehow, the acquisition will guarantee a change of habits, or a new “me!”

Well, if you haven’t yet embarked upon your resolution, there’s hope. You must be realistic and find what fits into how you already do life for the desired changes to become part of your daily life.  These three simple steps will ensure you develop good habits of personal investment:

Take inventory: What is your current schedule, commitments and available time?

Find What Works: Start with 10 minutes of writing/drawing/designing; 20 minutes (with a timer) of cleaning/reorganizing; 20 minutes of exercise (start with walking or something manageable)

Be Consistent: Find a regular (recurring) space in your schedule that you can afford to squeeze in those extra 20 or 30 minutes (you normally are procrastinating or lounging) and mark it as sacred personal investment time.  Using the same time slot every day is important to help you feel a commitment to yourself, and to begin to see progress.

Remember, life is short…you can buy the best diet program, fitness membership, new clothes and technology, but the only way to develop new skills and abilities to become a new you, is to take action.  The more complicated and expensive it is, the less likely it is that by Dec 31, 2011 you’ll still be doing what you set out to do Jan 1, 2011.   Do what you can, where you can.  Grandiose plans and intentions are often neglected and quickly fade away into memory–without the results.

Good luck to you!  Remember, if you need a little encouragement along the way, you can always tweet a shout out to me @justasked

Happy New Year!

Posted in Uncategorized

Christmas 2010 Poem & Thoughts

My Christmas poem:2010

Twinkling bright the little lights
Upon our Christmas tree
Trimmed and topped the boughs now frocked
with tinsel and treasures for all to see

While wrapping presents with my son today, I mentioned the non-stop rains in California and the loss of property, as well as people who lost their jobs this year, and the homeless across America.  He said, “I wish there was a way that everything could cost only a penny–no matter what it was, and that people could count on their homes staying in one place!” (seeing the houses collapse in mudslides)  It is important for us all to remember with gratitude, the blessings that we have been privileged to enjoy.

We spent the day baking and preparing to bring a meal down to my wife’s folks as they are housebound.  Chex Mix is baking in the oven; my wife and I still managed to get our workouts done on the treadmill.  We are bound and determined to enter the “senior” stage of life with as much get up and go as we can.  It’s tough staying committed to a workout schedule when you have teenage children.  But we won’t put upon them the burdens of full-time geriatric care that is required of many who choose the TV and sofa over the gym.  Life is hard enough, might as well enjoy every single moment given to us.  I encourage you all to at least get out and walk, weather and safety permitting!  Even walking can prolong your cognitive and physical strength.  Read this article if you don’t believe me.

In addition to doing better with health and lifestyle choices, I am committed to being as good a husband and father as I can be.  This means doing more reading (marriage, child-rearing, and financial planning books.)  I also will use my cooking/baking talents acquired growing up with 4 older sisters and working as a General’s Enlisted Aide for 3 1/2 years in the Air Force.  Men, if you need some help in the area of encouragement I’m not perfect but I try…respond or follow me on Twitter @justasked…I love people who engage, ask questions, provide answers, and generally those who share themselves with others.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!