Archive for July, 2016


By Vernalee
imageI recently came across an article that made me go, “um.” So many innovations have made a number of items of old obsolete.
Here are a number of those old versus new contemporary items that made me think about the past and how it use to be. Take a glimpse:
1. Walking someone to the airport gate. Not anymore. That’s a step of the past.
2. Pushing the rewind button to record. Now there’s Netflix’s.
3. Smoking in public places. That’s a no-no. You can’t light up anymore; not publicly that is.
4. Recording songs on a cassette tape. Do they still sell those apparatuses?
5. Paying with a personal check. Plastic is king and on line payments rule.
6. Using a physical map. Why figure it out when GPS can take even geographical challenged people like me worry free to our destinations?
7. Not keeping up with technology. Even Grandma texts/emails and surfs the internet. Almost everyone does.
8. Getting film developed. Taking photographs with your phone is so much easier and cheaper.
Let’s look at some other items that are gone or slowing fading in the sunset.
1. VCR’s and VHS.
2. Travel Agents.
3. Bookstores.
4. Watches.
5. Classifieds in the newspaper.
6. Dial up internet or wired connections.
7. Encyclopedias.
8. CD’s.
9. Land line phones.
10. Yellow Pages.
11. Address Books.
12. Handwritten letters.
13. Catalogs.
14. Fax Machines.
15. Email accounts that you have to pay for.
16. Public pay phones.
17. Record stores.
18. Long distance phone charges.
19. Movie rental stores.
20. Bills in the mail.
21. Paper may also be on its way out. OMG!
In our reach are iPods, iPads, Travelocity, Google, and other items whose buttons we can push and have the answers and results at our fingertips in seconds. My have times changed. If we are to stay current, we must change too! Click! click!
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By Vernalee
imageHow long is too long to return a call? I’m glad that you asked! How many times have you made a call and it went directly to voicemail? In fact, some voicemails are so craftily recorded that for a quick second, you think that you are actually speaking to the person until you hear, “leave a message.” Then, there are times that you are prepared to leave a message because the person so rarely answers that you are shocked out of your wits when he/she picks up. Telephone etiquette is a major issue for many, but no matter how thin you slice it, your telephone mannerism is a reflection of you and certainly your professionalism. Undoubtedly, you are actually busy, want the world to think that you are busy, nonchalant, have poor time management skills, or glimpse at the number/name on your caller I.D. and concluded that the caller can wait. Whatever the rationale, there is a reason why the call when into the voicemail system in the first place. Agreed? Accepted! Now here comes the pivotal question.
When do you return the call? What is an acceptable time frame? One hour? Two hours? 24 hours? Or does it depend upon who the caller was? Are you a flagrant violator and tempting your customers to take their business elsewhere? Granted, it is easier to take the call in real time whenever possible, or if your business presents ongoing/superfluous calls and is unmanageable, consideration may be given to hire an assistant or a professional answering service. Regardless, experts agree that the return call should occur as quickly as possible and on the day of the call preferably.
Once we leave the professional realm, what is the rule of thumb for personal calls? How long should a love one take to return a call? If it is your mate, be careful. Consider the consequences before you plow in. Waiting too long is insulting and a reflection of disrespect or an assessment of your value or worth. If you don’t believe me, take the same amount of excessive time to return their call as they did yours and see what happens. It never fails, when the shoe is on the other foot, invariably the world looks different. Excuse me, my phone is ringing! I’m not too busy to answer! Let me effectively manage my time by taking care of my business now rather than later. Why? Tomorrow is another day … filled with its own tasks and anxieties.
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By Vernalee
A few years back, Cleveland native Steve Harvey launched his book, “Act like a lady. Think like a man.” When the book hit the shelves, beauty and barber shop talk was overflowing. The book’s topics were the conversations of the day. Thrice divorced, Harvey cushioned his narrative on the fact that he was not an expert on marriage, but that he knew men. He presented his opinions on how men view relationships. Without a doubt, we women think differently than men. Consequently, our approaches are different. Remember, the facetious theory that – men are from Mars; women are from Venus. Go figure … and solve that equation!
Though the issues in the book are presented comically, relationships are a very serious subject. Harvey introduces several types of men including: the Mama’s Boy, the Player, the Non-Committed, the Dreamer, the Happily Married Guy and the Even Happier Divorced Guy. Ladies, I am sure that you have encountered one if not all of them. Some of you “lucky” ones have probably met a guy who exhibit traits of more than one of the types. Scary, right? As we know, Harvey’s book was later turned into a movie which for all intensive purposes had four storylines that revolved around couples who portrayed the following:
“The Mama’s Boy” vs. “The Single Mom”
“The Non-Committer” vs. “The Girl Who Wants the Ring”
“The Dreamer” vs. “The Woman Who Is Her Own Man”
“The Player” vs. “The 90 Day Rule Girl.”
Hilarious, the movie as the book will bring streams of laughter. You may laugh until you cry. Once the laughs are over, your mind regresses to realism and lands upon the great thought divide between the sexes. We ladies and our guys surely do see things differently. For certain, communications still remains the foundational key to great relationships. Sitting down, looking each other in the eyes, and truthfully talking things out are unbeatable. As old-fashioned as they may be, if these steps could be magically bottled, the mixture could be commercially offered as the formula that produces winning combinations. Open and honest communications – easy said; hard to do! However, if you are doing anything different, don’t be surprised when all goes south! Then, the jokes are off; the laughter subsides. Afterwards, no one will be laughing when your relationship goes up in smoke!
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By Vernalee
imageSometimes, it cannot always be business as usual. Change is necessary to foster progress. For many, change poses a reluctance. Why upset the apple cart? However, change is imperative in many situations, which brings me to one of my favorite management cliches: Thinking outside the box.
“Thinking outside the box is a metaphor that means to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective. It refers to novel or creative thinking. Originating in the 1970s and 1980s, this expression poses a challenge to solve the so-called “nine dots” puzzle, whose solution requires some lateral thinking. To think outside the box is to look further and to try not thinking of the obvious things, but to try thinking of the things beyond them.”
To do so may require a paradigm shift in our thought processes and our methodology to problem solving.
In that light, I share with you many wise sayings that will if no more encourage critical thinking. Here goes:
* When nothing goes right … Go left.
* “Instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box.” (Deepak Chopra)
* Thinking is not enough, you have to act.
* The 6 thinking hats are: Thinking About Thinking; Data/Info; Creative Thinking; Benefits/Value/Logic; Critical Thinking; Feelings/Intuition, Hunches, Emotions.
* “Being able to think outside the box presupposes you were able to think in it.” (Bob Lutz).
* To live a creative life, we must loose our fear of being wrong.
* “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” (Albert Einstein).
As for me, I must – Think out loud; I must as they say, “put on my thinking hat(s).” It is imperative that I move my agenda forward. I must get out the box and think out of the box … as needed. If I don’t do it for me, who will! To “Vernalize” this point, I share with you one of my personal mottos: “If it is to be, it is left up to me.”
Photo credit:; Source: Wikipedia


By Vernalee
A photograph of my Mother, Phoebe taken in the late 1950’s.
Phoebe's photo
A photograph of my Daughter, Phoebe taken in 2015.
Phoebe is the name belonging to two women that I love and respect unconditionally. My two Phoebe’s are my Mother and my Daughter. On different levels, both of these women bring me great pleasure, adoration, and admiration.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had two names under consideration; namely, Davida (the female derivative of her Dad’s name, David) and Phoebe. Long before the advent of ultra sound test that provided the identity of the sex of your unborn child, I only selected names for a girl. Clairvoyant I was not, but I am so glad that God blessed me with a daughter. Trust me, life has never been the same … in a loving way, of course!
Though I selected the name Phoebe to be that of my daughter, I borrowed it from my Mother, Phoebe whose Mother, Grandma Elnora selected it from the Bible. What a generational and spiritual legacy!
Let’s see what The Apostle Paul had to say about this woman named Phoebe.
Phoebe was a first-century Christian woman mentioned by the Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Romans, verses 16:1-2. A notable woman in the church of Cenchreae, she was trusted by Paul to deliver his letter to the Romans. In writing to the church that almost surely met in her home, Paul refers to her both as a deacon and as a helper or patron of many. This is the only place in the New Testament where a woman is specifically referred to with these two distinctions. Paul introduces Phoebe as his emissary to the church in Rome and, because they are not acquainted with her, Paul provides them with her credentials.
Phoebe’s exceptional character, noted by her status as a deacon and prostatis—one who should be esteemed highly “because of their work” may be the reason Paul sent her to Rome where she delivered the letter to Rome. By referring to Phoebe as a prostatis, Paul solicits the attention and respect of the leaders in Rome’s church, which also included other women, namely Prisca/(Priscilla, Mary, Junia, and Tryphena, Tryphosa, and Persis.”
The name Phoebe is memorialized in the Bible at Romans 16:1-2. It reads:
“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.”
A name that means “bright and shining,” Phoebe, both of them, have brighten up my life with a shining brilliance of golden, sparkly, and radiant love. Yes, I am blessed and honored to love two women, and be loved by them, who like the first century Phoebe embrace a strong love for God; two women who have brought me great love, happiness, and pleasure; two hard-working, gregarious, caring, and beautiful women who tremendously love their families.
As for me, I never reinvent the wheel when there has been proven success.
Admittedly, I am indeed a copy cat. I love Biblical names. Having two children whose names appear in the Bible is not by accident; it’s by design. Coming soon to a neighborhood blog near you, I will share with you another story. It’s about a Dude called David; King David and my first-born son, David. Stay tuned.
Happy Sunday! Blessings!
Photo credit: Family photo album; Source: Wikipedia


By Vernalee
How much are you worth? If you don’t know, find out fast! An advisor once told me, “A $10.00 an hour man will work for $50.00; but a $50.00 an hour man won’t work for $10.00.” When you know your worth, why settle for less?
There are a number of formulas that are predictive as they assign your skill set to a value. Unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, most people worked to achieve what they have; some are still working. If you are worth a million dollars, act like it; claim it! If you are worth less, no one can raise your value but you.
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By Vernalee
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
This George Bernard Shaw quote speaks of the illusion that communication has occurred, but in actuality, it has not. Both people think they understand what has been passed between them, but the ideas they have are not the same. What? Really! This is where the illusion of communication can be most damaging. Effective communications travels both ways. Though you heard the words, you may feel as if you need an interpreter. It’s almost as if the two of you are speaking different languages. Communications is critical to relationships of any types.
Place in your toolbox these words of wisdom:
* The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.
* The worst thing about being lied to is knowing that you weren’t worth the truth.
* Communications to a relationship is like oxygen to life. Without it, it can’t survive.
* Never make the one you love feel alone, especially when you are there.
* A lack of communication breeds assumptions of what the other is thinking or feeling, and assumptions are more often than not incorrect.
Speak, listen, and open your heart and mind to hear! Care enough to reach out and make sure that your message was clearly heard and understood. Don’t hide behind a shield, ignore the miscommunication mishaps, or think that you are “all that and a bag of chips.” Your concerns/problems may lie dormant but they won’t go away or evaporate into thin air. If you want to solve them and have a healthy relationship, you must talk about them. Imagine that! When you know that a problem exists, solve it. Reach out. Take the initiative … for a change. Let your actions show; actions do speak louder than words! Verbal words that flow from your tongue may be needed rather than transmitted words that flow from a technological device via a text message or an email. You can hide behind a computer or cell phone, but you can’t hide from the presence of yourself. Do know that your problems fueled by your non-communications will continue to grow, create barriers, eventually explode, or constructively coerce a person to withdraw and perhaps leave the fragments behind. When a communications emergency occurs, it forces the parties to act – one way or the other!
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By Vernalee
This quote singles out two specific situations and the accompanying emotions – patience and attitudes. In both states, your needs are the same; your desires and wants on your wish list will likely not change. Answer this. How patient have you been or can you be when you have nothing?
For those who have moved from nothing to everything or to substantial means, what and how is your attitude? Did it change? For some of those selected ones who have everything, many feel that they need nothing, and no one. When there is no need to be kind or helpful, will you be?
Be careful! Your holdings can be taken away in a jack flash minute. Humility and keeping your feet on solid ground may be two handy things to keep in storage! They will serve you well and they never go out of style!
Also keep in mind:
* Failure teaches you that you aren’t perfect.
* Never forget who was there for you when no one else was.
* Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to have a good attitude
while working.
* Expectations (from others) can hurt.
* When you come to a point where you have no need to impress anybody, your
freedom will begin.
* No one can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and
make a new ending.
* Your attitude determines your altitude.
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By Vernalee
“Until the lion learns how to write every story will glorify the hunter” is an
African Proverb which refers to the “unknown part of the struggle between the lion and the hunter because as we know a story is never complete until one hears from both sides. The one who does not have the voice is often the loser. It is in these circumstances when one voice dominates the other that this proverb is often heard.
The world only know about the truth written by the hunters since they are in authority. The hunter’s story may not be 100% accurate as people tend to slant their story from their point of view.” The lion has no voice. It is no secret that people tell their side of the story to favor them.
The moral of the story lends itself to who will you believe. Who is telling the truth when it’s one word against the other? Do people tend to believe the more influential person? Many do! Don’t sell the lesser person short. Prominence, power, and wealth are not synonyms for the word – truthful. It is not always how it looks! Looks are deceiving. You may be wise to hear both sides, weight the facts, gather the evidence, and reach a probable conclusion. My thoughts …
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By Vernalee
What impression are you making? What do people really think of you? Do they have the courage to tell you? When you walk into a room, what aura do you personify?
Let me share a basic fact. I have said it once: I’ll say it again! You cannot hide what’s inside. Your insides eventually flow out. No matter how slick you think you are, your insides is an outpouring that flows like lava from a volcano. You can’t stop it!
If you are sneaky, manipulative, gregarious, outgoing … it shows, so keep it real!
Stop thinking that people just see your physical presence. Stop being so naïve. Your emotional physique flows out loud and clear. Some, particularly those who know you can read you like a book even if you think that you are not readable.
Stop trying to be a cover up artist. Many things that you think that you are covering up are conspicuously obvious. In fact, you may illuminate more brilliantly what you think you are hiding. Now for those yellow bellies who don’t tell you the truth, please know that you are adding to their problem by concealing what your eyes see and furthering their deception. Admit to them what you see! You’ll find the right words, time, and place. As for the person who keeps playing games, stop it. Admit who you are! Work to improve yourself! Keep it real. Your supposedly transparency is only transparent to you! Everybody else sees right through you!
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