Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here

Since last post, I’ve been as busy as H. E. DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS!  Let’s see…I planned and executed a golden anniversary party for my in-laws, celebrated father’s day with my dad, went on two interviews for a volunteer board position and, oh yeah, work a full-time job.

Is it Friday yet?  This weekend I’m skipping ahead to #7 in the Battle of the UNs, which involves yours truly and a shot of whisky.  Stay tuned…

In the meantime, enjoy this guest post by Andie, a regular reader and commenter and a cool chameleon herself.  Drum roll, please….

I am reading the book, God’s Power to Change Your Life, by Rick Warren. Tonight, I read the following paragraph.

Are you a thermostat or a thermometer?  You are one or the other.

A thermometer registers the temperature. It simply reflects its environment, whether it’s hot or cold.

A thermostat, on the other hand, controls the temperature. It influences its environment; it sets the standard.

Which are you-a thermometer or a thermostat?

I have been pondering this question and feel stuck in self-analysis like a person gets stuck in quicksand. 

Making changes in a person’s life isn’t as easy as turning up the heat or clicking on the AC.  I wish it was.  Don’t you? 

Beach ChairIce and Snow

People just don’t just magically change. We have to make the DECISION to change our lives.  For example, as I got older I gained a lot of weight.  I knew how to eat right and how to exercise property.  I just didn’t do it.  I was a thermometer on the beach of laziness.

Being Lazy

Recently, I started to lose a lot of weight.  Why?  Because I made the DECISION to do it and am following through with what it takes.  I feel more like a thermostat every day, setting a standard for myself and a temperature that feels just right.  I’m trying to do this with other aspects of my life as well.  I want to be better, to do better, to be kinder and gentler, and to be a better communicator regardless of my environment; to be more like a thermostat set on a comfortable 75.5 degrees.   

Which are you – a thermometer or a thermostat? Is it time to change the temperature? 

Get Ready for the A-Z Challenge

When was the last time that you thought about the alphabet?  The 26 letters that form the words that we write….   The building blocks of our ability to communicate and understand each other…

If you answered “it’s been a long time,” look down at your hands.  I’ll bet you are using the alphabet right now, without even thinking much about it.

hard working hands

Photo (c) Dreamstime/Lemonpink

Communicating without words and letters is hard.  I’m absolutely terrible at charades.  One time I was trying to act out Clint Eastwood and everyone thought that I was a horse with a hat.  

The alphabet was more fun when I was a toddler, had 6-sided letter blocks to play with, and The Alphabet Song to sing. 

Back then, because of the song, my sister thought that LMNOP was one letter, called the elemenopee.  Sing the song and you’ll understand.  They kind of all run together.  (Sorry sis, someone’s gotta embarrass you once in a while.)

dreamstimefree_807232 © Spirokwok

Photo (c) Dreamstime/Spirokwok

When I came upon The A-Z Blogging Challenge, I thought it would be a good diversion from my usual blogging topics and a great distraction from the events of last week

During the month of April, beginning on the fool’s day of April 1, I will be doing short posts every day, except Sundays, inspired by a letter of the alphabet.  There are about 800 other bloggers (so far) signed up to participate in this challenge.  My goal and personal self-challenge is to be unique and not duplicate titles or topics that another blogger uses.  That’s a tall order, particularly on the rarely-used-letter days. 

Almost everyone has a lucky number, but not a favorite letter.  If you had to pick your favorite letter of the alphabet, which letter would you choose? 

It’s Just a Faze – Part 1

This is Part One of a 2-part post.  Check back on Tuesday morning for Part Two.

part 1: the e-mail arrives

Halfway across the country, a man writes on a dusty keyboard.  He edits.  He contemplates his words.  Finally, he smiles, feeling satisfied. 

He moves his mouse and without hesitation clicks: Send.


Seconds later in the suburbs of Chicago, an e-mail shows up in Jennifer’s in-box.   She’s half-asleep on the couch and awakened by the Bing! of her Smartphone. 

The remote control is still her in her hand from the night before and the morning news is reporting about a shooting on the north side of town.  There was a similar report yesterday and another the day before that.  The crime report is becoming as regular as the weather.  So regular that she doesn’t even remember the name of the boy who was reported dead yesterday.

A gray cat with big, pointy ears paws at her side, also annoyed by the Bing! but hopeful it was enough to get Jen off the couch and closer to the Whisker Lickins bag for a morning snack.


Pushing the crocheted blanket aside and scooting the cat off her chest, she feels a hundred aches.  A pain in her shoulder, a cramp in her hip.  The dull reminder in her low back of a surgery years ago.  Sleeping on the couch was not a good idea.  “Darn old age!” she whispers to herself.  “Or, maybe it was the new workout I tried yesterday,” questioning the evilness of the Nike Training app downloaded to her Smartphone.

She looks its way and sees the flashing red light…a reminder of the Bing!


“Probably spam,” she thinks.  After all, who would send her a message this early in the morning unless it was Ada venting about her ex or another failed job interview.  She’s tiring of Ada’s e-mails but checks the message anyway.

Her first hunch was right.  Spam.  But, the subject line catches her eye faster than the del button.  “Focus on Stage, Not Age,” it reads. 

Jen pauses and looks down at herself, now talking out loud to no one.  “Last night was fun, but then I spent the night on the couch and woke up alone beside a pointy-eared cat!  And,  I’m definitely going to be paying the piper for last night.”

“It might sound like I’m either 20 or 70, but I’m neither.  I’m 40…right in the middle…and my life doesn’t fit the standard description of a typical middle-aged American woman who is waking up right now to make breakfast and rush her kids off to pony league games and cheerleading practice.  What stage could I possibly be in?”

She opens the message….

to be continued.

Staying on Track

I’m smack dab in the middle of a business trip.  The good = sunshine and palm trees.  The bad = I’m in an office building and can’t see either except during the five-mile hotel-to-work commute. 

Come Friday, the scale of happiness will tip in my favor because I’m headed out to Catalina Island to watch my friend run the Catalina Marathon.  Until then, it’s work, work, work and enjoyable after work dinners.  Last night, I went to Javier’s in the Irvine Spectrum.  The food was a-maaa-zing.

So many things in life seem to have good sides and bad sides.  Ups and downs.  Hills and valleys.  How many times have we heard…or said ourselves…“I just want to be happy!” 

That concept reminds me of something I read in an e-mail last week.  It was an excerpt from Business World in an article titled “Wisdom from the Warrens.” 

“Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life, first pointed out how life works.  He noted that life is not really a series of hills and valleys, ups and downs, or highs and lows,  as is often portrayed.  Instead, he explained, “Life is actually more like two rails of a railroad track, with one rail representing the bad things that happen in your life, and other rail representing the good things. We always have both at the same time- never just one or the other. Life is never all good or all bad. Both come at you simultaneously. No matter how good things are, there’s always something you need to be working on, and no matter how bad things are, there is always something good you can thank God for.””

 That is so true!!

 What is the best thing happening in your life right now?  Is your railroad car of happiness in the lead?

The Gold Seal

Whether you are tricking or treating this weekend, be safe and smart.  I wear a costume every year.  I think the wild side of my chameleon-like personality will be making an appearance this year.  Photos on Monday…

Today I ventured to the Hallmark store for Mission Impossible.  In other words, to find a few Halloween cards that had nice designs, appropriate wording, didn’t sing or play music, and cost less than a cheeseburger and fries.  As I said, was an impossible mission.

I managed to find a few cards that fit the bill.  To the checkout I went…prepared to be drilled with questions. 

Clerk:  Do you have a Hallmark Crown Rewards Card?

Me: No and no thanks.

Clerk:  Okay.  That will be $11.93.  Would you like Gold Seals for these?

Me:  Absolutely. 

Of course I want the gold seals.  They signify to my friends that I threw down full price instead of picking up two for a buck at the Dollar Tree.  In fact, the gold seals make me feel a little better about the over-spending.  It’s a stupid marketing gimmick to symbolize quality, but I get it.  I get it.  I get the gold seal thing.  The stickers.  The gold stickers.  But, wouldn’t it be totally cool and actually worth the $12 I just spent on three folded pieces of heavy-stock paper with not-so-funny sayings if this type of golden seal popped up from behind the counter…

Another Type of Gold Seal
Another Type of Gold Seal


There are a few quality people who I’d like to mark with a gold seal.  People with high integrity, honor, honesty, good judgment, charisma, and compassion.  Or, any combination of good-person qualities that underlie our exterior envelopes.  You are quality.  You deserve a seal. 

Do you know anyone that deserves a gold seal? 

The Question That Started It All

Who Am I?  That’s the one question that plagues most of us, all of our lives.

There are many things that can contribute to the answer.  Could it be your name, your appearance, or your job?  Is it what rung you hold on the social ladder or how large or small your bank account is?  What about your age, where you grew up, or maybe even your zodiac sign? When someone asks who you are, that’s the information you probably give.  Why? 

Okay, those are the things that most people expect to hear when they ask “the question” WHO ARE YOU?  or,  pose “the statement” TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF.  I can hear it now… “Hi, my name is Holly, I’m 28, was born in Ohio but moved to L.A. last year, I work at a dental office, have a cat named Hollywood, blah, blah, blah….”

Have we all be trained to put who we are into such a neat little who am I box?!?!   Think about it, how many people really, honestly know the REAL you? Do you even know the REAL you? 

The Chameleon’s Backbone is about discovering who we are, our true selves, what lies beneath it all, our cores.  Everything else around us can change – our looks, our environments, our social circumstances, and even important stuff like our family structure and health.  Like chameleons, we adapt, we adjust, we can even go with the flow.  But, our BACKBONES, that solid block of who am I will stay the same…always.  This site will document the journey of discovering my own BACKBONE and learning how flexible it is (or isn’t), where it is weak, strong, and even misaligned, and how it carries me through life.  Along the way you will learn how to understand and appreciate your own backbone, which is exceptional and unique.

And…in case you were wondering…yes, chameleons really do have backbones.

Welcome to The Chameleon’s Backbone.