Sunday, April 20, 2014
A person having authority can either be very good for others or can be many people’s worst nightmare if the person with authority allows their ego to carry them away and misuse it. Authority among other things is often very brief, especially when it is misused. People with authority who have not learned how to first of all have the authority over themselves, their words, actions, or their relationships leads to patterns that cause these people to eventually self-destruct and they can then blame no one but themselves. Authority on the other hand is good if the person in authority helps others, to grow, to be happy and to all work together for the best of what is good for the betterment of everyone.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
(Some time ago I joined www.booklookbloggers.com and this is the last book I read!)
I’VE NEVER BEEN TO VEGAS but My Luggage Has was a very intriguing title! Mandy Hale did a great job of giving us a glimpse of how life is for “20 something” single women and those in their early 30’s. She wrote that she had never lost sight of the fact that the journey is the destination….something that I believe all of us at any age need to remember. During times of introspection Mandy says that “[God] is the common thread that connects all the dots”…and she is absolutely correct. She also mentions that “…The really amazing, beautiful, and miraculous thing about walking with God, however, is that even when you stray, He manages to find you.” I think that is a good descriptor of her book in short. Mandy went through some pretty turbulent times and noted that “…Loneliness is where you find peace, reclaim your joy, and get to know the God who obviously loves you so much that He is going to great extremes to remove the distractions from your life so you can draw near to Him.”
I would especially recommend this easy-reading book to single gals in their 20’s who may be having a difficult time discerning God’s plan for their lives.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Posted by Carol at Friday, April 18, 2014
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
All people face limitations of some kind. But how do we define a limitation? Is it something that tells us we absolutely cannot do something and so should never try or is it something we define as a temporary obstacle that can be removed when we put our mind, body, emotions and spirit into looking for other methods to get around this obstacle. Some one will always step in and tell us we are stuck with this thing so we may as well get used to it. I don’t believe that. We need to always test any perceived limitations and keep testing them. Refuse to listen to the voices that keep saying can’t be done and let nothing every daunt your desire to keep trying.
Monday, April 14, 2014
There are five seasons in the mountains and you can read all about them in the latest blog at:http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/five-seasons-in-the-rockies-zbcz1404.aspx#axzz2ysCjLzSY
Our road used to be very usable but the grader came down our road when 14 inches of snow had melted on it and now it is in this condition. The grader scraped off the little road base we had and left us nothing but mud. Normal well maintained roads do not look like this but when you grade them flat, push the road base off the edge, and drive heavy equipment on the softened roads you end up with this.
When we asked to be put on the road base list we were told we were complaining about muddy roads in mud season. That only came after 5 requests that went totally ignored. We were complaining because our road had been destroyed and we were left with mud when we had a previously good road. Some people can't understand without getting out my paper and crayons.
It seems to me it should be a crime to take a perfectly good road and in one careless moment destroy it and then make excuses why it is like this but none attribute it to the actual cause, negligent operation of a piece of road equipment.
Our lives were meant to be free and unencumbered with heavy unnecessary loads for us to carry and cost us a great amount of time money and effort. It was meant for us to be able to live life and enjoy the gifts we bring to this earth and to enjoy our passions that help to enhance our lives, but somewhere people have forgotten that. Many now spend their lives in service of their passions having to pay and pay dearly in time, effort and money because their thinking has been that is how life should be and at times that is what they have been taught. Yet they still maintain they are free?
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Labels have the ability to limit our understanding of who people are. As soon as we are told the label that people fall under we automatically assume we know everything we need to know about them. We need to get beyond the labels and respond to the person if we are ever going to have relationships of value and worth. As well people need to put the labels aside in many cases and refuse to adapt their life to the label and all the wrappings that go with it so that we can get the opportunity to know the real person hiding behind the mask of a label. True friendships and relationships meet on common ground with just the desire of two or more people to be friends and not on the names and labels society would give them. They become, simply put, just good friends despite anything else.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Too many people forget to remember that in life there is constant reciprocity. For everything we receive there is a payback of some kind that must be made. Our methods of paying for these things vary from what is sometimes something that is very emotional and to sometimes what is quite literal. I often see people fight for things that are not worth the effort, time or money and then they let the beautiful moments slip away without a word or even a thought. The thought of failure haunts us and we groan because we cannot beat or shape life into something that had no life in the beginning. We are like the little bird that sees it’s reflection in the window pane and beats their wings against time and again because we try to be competitors and not realists.
Monday, April 7, 2014
Saturday, April 5, 2014
That one single event changed my life dramatically. I was working with a bunch of highly skilled professionals at OC. It was not dog eat dog like it had previously been but now a team working together in unison. When I was claim manager for Hartford in Gainesville, Fla., Hartford had a motto that “we pay what we owe and not a dime more nor less“. Ohio Casualty was actually doing this, without having it as a motto. Clearly it was the outstanding company Jim described to me. I was sent to Tallahassee and told to run the company there just like it were my own. I had total freedom as well as policy limit authority and the company prospered while I made many N. Florida friends in the process. I was back to doing what I truly loved and that was helping people and treating them just like I would want to be treated if the situation were reversed. It is said that God doesn’t close one door without opening another. That was sure the case as my life took a dramatic turn for the better. No stress like I had left behind. My previous home office supervisor with the company I was fired from fell over dead with a heart attack at his desk. Stress was the norm with that company but OC was more family oriented and laid back.
I came out of this situation a stronger person and Ohio Casualty is the company I ultimately retired from. It is now part of the Liberty Mutual Group of companies and I can say Liberty Mutual made a very good choice. I made good friends in Tallahassee and that is where I met and married Carol. Our friend base was considerable and many of those friends still keep in touch with us. Working for OC freed me up to participate more in our church and other activities. That one episode taught me to rely on the Lord and it set my life on a totally different direction and a much more positive one. It also enabled me to actually achieve my life long dream of retiring in the mountains. I was able to travel around the country in the course of my duties and focus on the more difficult claims. The changes that occurred from that request by several state legislators totally changed my life. Not for the recognition of drafting a new wage law but far different from what I could ever possibly imagined. I have kept that law drafting episode pretty much secret until recently. Several nights ago I dreamt of it in vivid detail and figured maybe I needed to write about it as it may help someone else going through a similar situation. If so whoever you are you may be in for one of the most enjoyable journeys you could imagine.
So the lesson learned is when life knocks you down just get back up and move forward. Take the hand of the Lord and if he turns you in a new direction don’t resist as He has things in store for you that you could never imagine. One single traumatic event put my life on a course that gained me more than I could ever have hoped or dreamed for. Prior to that event I had been very confident, driven and self absorbed. That one event totally changed everything for me and set me on a far better path that has left me some fond memories. When I look back on that time period I can see with clarity how my life took a 180 degree change for the good. Perhaps the case could be made to not work for an insecure boss but this boss due to his insecurity did me one huge favor.
There are many more lessons that could be stated here but these are the most important ones in my opinion. Never in my wildest dreams would could I have suspected where that invitation to meet with our legislators would take me. Strive hard to be the best you can and treat people along the way with respect because you never know when those people will re enter your life to help you out in the future. I’m pretty sure I know who recommended me and I will be forever grateful for their confidence and trust.
Friday, April 4, 2014
My boss didn’t say anything for a few days about the courier but finally he couldn't wait any longer. He had his own immediate problems inasmuch as he personally recommended our company buy a small company in Alabama. I had offered to check their claims because that can tell a lot about the stability of a company. He refused and when our home office staff suggested he let me review a sampling of their claims he said he had already checked a good sampling of their claims and they were good.. We bought the company and almost immediately problems were noted. Suddenly several boxes of claims were stacked in my office to review and report to the home office supervisor. I went through them and found what is referred to as stair stepping reserves. A highly dangerous practice which gave the company a completely false financial presentation. When I told our home office personnel what was going on my boss had problems of his own and was not happy with my report which he would rather I not make. When the proper reserves were established the company was a complete loser and Mr. boss was on the hook trying to explain how he could have missed this defect. Stair stepping is illegal in most states.
He then called me into his office and asked why a legislative courier would deliver something to me. I could have lied but that is not my nature so I told him the truth. I told him it was a new workers compensation law that I helped write as co-chair of a special secret legislative committee. He was livid, fired me since he did not feel he could trust me any longer since I had not told him. I didn’t tell him because I was told not to but didn’t trust him either. We kept our work secret even after we finished drafting the law and up until recently. Who would believe us anyway since we had no proof or our secret work? None of us were really looking for recognition anyway, we did the task asked of us and let it go. He did ask me to remain until I could train all the other employees on how to work with the law which I felt strangely obligated to do. He was the type manager who hired the best personnel available and then when they demonstrated their talent and skills he would feel threatened and find a reason to fire them. I was also tired of interviewing highly skilled employees for him and then in a couple years watching them go out the door. Now I was one of them going out the door too.
Now when I think back on it I sometimes wonder if it actually happened. 16 people working in secret for weeks and no record of what we did. Florida now does have a wage loss law that totally changed from the original law and is so different that the old law seems ancient. I can’t even guess how many have benefited from that new law. Every one seemed to like the law but the plaintiff lawyers who tried to make the law fail but the law was to solid and the gravy train slowly ground to a halt. They could still get a fee but the insurance companies had to fail to properly apply the law. What was even more ironic is that workers compensation was not one of my best areas of expertise. I was more than proficient in WC law but far from an expert. It did give me a chance to rise to a level that I had never known before. I spent a lot of time in research and was thankful to have several very professional lawyers on the committee to make sure we did drafting the law right. .
In part three I will tell of how this single occurrence changed my life for the better and the lessons I have learned.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
They had done some checking and those present were highly recommended by industrial judges and others in the field. They had been flooded from proposals from the AMA, bar assoc. and insurance industry that did not come close to what they actually wanted. They were inundated with bias proposals and wanted a law that was fair to injured employees, employers and the insurance industry. If we agreed to write this law for them we had to swear to total secrecy and not tell anyone even wives or highly trusted co-workers. They did not want us influenced by any outside source. They appointed myself and an attorney as co-chairmen of the committee and divided us equally. The task was to go through the law item by item and then the attorney and myself would sit down together and negotiate or agree on the final result. If we couldn't agree it went back to committee for a more favorable drafting.
I assigned each of those on my half the committee to take a section of the law and revise it to the wage loss concept. Since it was new I had to research the concept and educate my committee people. Once done we started on page one of the law and completely rewrote it one section at a time in secret. We started by changing the name of the law from Workman's Compensation Law which it had been from the 30's to Workers Compensation Law to be more inclusive. We cut out all the scheduled payments, changed the medical treatment provisions and cut out attorneys fees unless the insurance company failed to provide a service as prescribed by our new law. We changed the law to a broader based law that provided more uniform benefits to employees on every level. After weeks of hard work by our small group working in secret we hammered out a totally new law with broader benefits, more simple to follow, and what we were asked to do. I had the new law typed up and prepared by Elsie a female lawyer in Daytona Beach, then I personally hand carried it to my legislative contact Fran Carlton. We did not hear back and finally pretty much forgot about it. But that is not the end of the story - only the beginning of something that totally changed the direction of my life. More in part two and the lessons learned in Part three - the final chapter.
This is not a brag, but simply a time in my life that I have not spoken much about until now except for a handful of close friends. In our current culture and work environment the lessons learned may be of value to others and it is time to talk about it. I was a hands on supervisor and went to most all of the hearings and even appeals. Hence I knew several in the industry and they knew me from years of working together. That played a large role in ending up doing what I did. Florida needed a fair equitable law that would benefit millions of workers and we took on the task - just 16 of us in secret.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Today is the first day of spring and sure enough there were rainbows on the wall. I couldn't get a photo of them as the flash washed them out of the photo, but our little bauble sure is accurate and has been for many years now hanging where it is.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Monday, March 17, 2014
Sunday, March 16, 2014
In the past the operator when the roads became soft waited until night to work on them when they froze. 17 winters here and NO one has ever done damage to our roads like this. Have requested they be repaired but the association leadership hasn't replied. Pretty embarrassing to have to reply when this level of ignorance occurs.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
There are the form letters we all receive from different companies or entities who want to sell us something or get us to vote a certain way. For the most part they are just exploiting the art of letter writing making their letter fit all sizes and shapes. There is nothing personal about getting a letter like this.
But a person who sits down and writes to you personally and articulates their thoughts without the text jargon and tweet limitations and then puts your address on it, affixes a stamp and mails it to you is a special gift when you go to the mail box. That letter is also something that you can set aside and read over and over. I found this out when my good friend Tony passed away. His son wrote me and told me Tony had saved my letters about our lifestyle here in the mountains and when his children came to visit him he would pull one of my letters out to share with his kids. Hand written letters don't wear out.
So what is the three day rule mentioned in the title? Well, when I mustered out of the military after serving two hitches I went to work for Hartford Ins. Company. My first manager - Ed - in Ft. Myers, Fla. had a three day rule on letters. It impressed me as having much merit so I use it to this day. His rule applied to letters that the recipient might find fault with, not fully understand or could be offensive. It actually applies to any letter. Ed would set that letter aside for three days. On the third day he would re-read it and if he still thought it accurate and representative of his thoughts he would send it. If it wasn't exactly the way he wanted it he would re-do it and let it sit for another three days. If he decided it wasn't needed he would just throw it away. I have found that to be a good rule in this age of instant communications. When you send off an email or text it is instantly on its way and you can't get it back. If it is not fully representative or done in haste it is too late as its already gone. The old way of letter writing has its benefits and you could look over your thoughts and product and change it if necessary.
It is always a special treat to get a letter from an old friend and so if you haven't done so lately I suggest you sit down and pen your thoughts to someone you care about or love and set it aside and review it in a day or two and if it is an accurate reflection of your thoughts, address an envelope, stamp it and put it in the mail. The person at the other end will appreciate your taking time to connect with them and maybe an old system will be revised in the process. Maybe you will get a letter back and you will know the happiness of being a recipient of a letter. Maybe old fashioned letter writing is a way to let that special person know you are thinking about them and took time out of your hectic day to communicate with them. There are some things from the past that still have tremendous value and letter writing is one of them.
Monday, March 10, 2014
All of us at times have faced or will face hurt, feeling betrayed or dishonored from those we love and care about. The reason those we love have so much more power to hurt us and the reason it seems to hurt so much more coming from them is because we are open to them. When we trust in full confidence we are without the usual protection we keep around us for those we do not know or trust. But unlike some people who keep taking the hurt and excuse it by saying, "but this is my son, or daughter or some other relative doing this and I love them." Never accept words meant to hurt because they are the responsibility of the speaker not the hearer. When you are caught off guard, we need to hold our emotions in silence for a moment and be still so that our words are not words meant to hurt or cause damage either. Time will allow us to deal with things properly and to deal with them as they should be addressed and dealt with.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Sunday, March 2, 2014
We were told that thalidomide was safe but it turned out it was subsequently taken off the market because it was linked to birth defects. Babies were being born deformed and without arms and legs. Then we were told that DDT was safe and it was widely used and they even fogged neighborhoods with it where it would drift into your home and smelled everything up for days. It was later discovered that it was not as safe as indicated and in fact was depleting the bald eagle and peregrine falcon to near extinction.
Then they said that 2,4,D was safe and it was contained in almost every herbicide and was the major component in 'agent orange' which killed so many of our veterans with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after they survived the shooting war. Current studies have revealed that is has carcinogenic properties and has infiltrated our domestic water system. But they say it is within acceptable quantities - they say. Recent studies reveal it is linked to several forms of cancer and the EPA has now required it be re-registered. People still use it without paying a bit of attention to the directions in super fine print because they would rather kill weeds than protect themselves, other people, their children and animals.
They said smoking was safe but subsequent studies reveal that it too causes cancer.
We are being told that fracking is safe with virtually little risk by the same people who have been telling us other products and procedures are safe. They are dumping the chemicals from fracking in our oceans and say it is safe. People are still lighting their drinking water on fire but it is safe. Little is known about what will happen with those hundreds of toxic chemicals that are being pumped into the earth. Or the chemicals being leached or accidentally put in our rivers and streams.
We are being told that genetically modified organisms (GMO's) are safe. Yet they impregnate seeds with Round Up or 2,4.D, and what is know about that is that it has some carcinogenic properties. People ask to be informed on the package if the product has been modified. No they say, its safe so don't worry about it - trust us. Other civilized countries have outright banned GMO's from their country as being unsafe for its citizens. But we are being told it is safe and not to worry. That comes from the same people who told us other products are safe.
So choose wisely because it seems there is a pattern here of being told things are safe when in fact they are not. Maybe by the time we find out how safe they really are it will be to late. Choose wisely..
I personally believe in showing respect to everyone as a person, but people’s behaviors are another different matter. The truth is that certain people’s behavior affects us like a tight shoe that rubs our feet in the wrong places. We can try to ignore it until we are able to get to some place away where we can take the shoe off. But as long as we are wearing it the pain continues and eventually even becomes nearly impossible to bear. Hindsight is always 20\20 and we often realize how foolish we were not to handle the problem in a quicker manner. But we were often taught to deal with things like this by grinning and bearing it. To be kind and be nice. But when the shoe pinches and hurts and rubs us the wrong way our patience grows short. It would have been so much wiser to merely step out of the shoes and never wear them again. Some people are like that as well. Some people were never meant to be close friends or acquaintances and these people as well need to be laid aside and just stayed away from.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
I remember being told that some of our best characteristics should be to be honest, truthful, just and compassionate to and with other people. So I struggle a bit when I read or hear of how some people find it entertaining to watch someone bring someone down with a degree of innocence. I mean we are all free to pick and choose what we choose to watch and listen to but how many really admire or like to see such an act of treachery. What it must be like to get enjoyment out of manipulating and generally ruining another person’s life for pure enjoyment and entertainment really is beyond my thinking. So who do we trust or rely on? Well we can certainly start with ourselves. By weeding out our past negative emotions and desires where we were tempted to get even, we can become someone who can be trusted. It is a beginning and a responsibility.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Some times we just need to walk away for a minute and stop listening to the hard luck stories, because as concerned as we are, it is no good if it causes us to enter into a downward spiral in our thinking. Take a rest. Let it all go, because mind, body and spirit all need a quiet place to rejuvenate. If the spirit is in the right place the body can rest more deeply. Taking care of ourselves is a personal responsibility. No one can do it for you because no one else is going to do it for you, because no one can. If there is anything to dwell on that is happy, joyful or rejuvenating then think on these things. Give it the time it needs and see how it works.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
The east coast and mid-west have been getting all the snow and weather we usually receive. While I'm sure they would want to give it back we are sure enjoying the weather they usually have. Shirt sleeve weather, grilling outside and pleasant days and nights...Ahhh, right here in the mountains. It most likely won't last but while it does we are taking full advantage of this fine weather. Cutting down dead trees that are a potential wildfire hazard. Trimming limbs up 20' and tackling other outside tasks. We have gone two nights and most of the days without a fire in the wood stove. We have to keep reminding ourselves this is the middle of February and not June. Most years we are sledding down the driveway this time of year. If this keeps up we will have all our outside chores done before Spring.