Why I Decided To Work From Home (Part 2) What Was Next?

Ok . So I had made the choice to stop working for someone else and work for myself. I knew with every fiber of my being that this was the right thing to do no matter how uncertain the future. I had discovered that  I loved to travel but now what? I knew the internet was a good place to start so I began to research some online travel websites.

There were a gazillion of them! It seemed everyone and his uncle had ventured into online travel. Even Donald Trump (Although I viewed this as a good thing) How was I going to compete with all these companies? They were just too big and powerful. I mean Barry Dillard paid $5.1BILLION to buy Expedia for heavens sake!

I was stumped! I began to think I had not thought this through. I started to have second thoughts. I even started “glancing” in the “classifieds”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!…………….. Now what?

To Be Continued.

Why I Decided To Work From Home (Part 1)

So I have been working from home for about 7 years and it was the best thing I ever did. I had spent many years working for other people, some great..some not. Either way…great or not,  THEY got to choose my worth..THEY got to choose my pay and if, and when I got a raise….THEY got to chose my vacation time. THEY got to choose who I worked with.  Does this seem right to you? After all I am the one doing the job. Not them…Shouldn’t I get to choose all that? After a while things began to really bother me. People screaming at me because I made a mistake. I MADE A MISTAKE!  I didn’t burn down your house or steal the company profits. I made a mistake. Do I really deserve to be humiliated in front of the people I work with? To be treated like a child or told how stupid I am? The answer was obvious. NO I DON’T!

So finally I decided to take that leap of faith and go it alone. It was really scary believe me. Once you get used to that weekly paycheck (no matter the amount) it is really scary when it is no longer there. So what was I going to do? I had been involved in a few part time companies over the years. I had sold a few products and made a bit of extra income. You know..one of those “things” The “P” word where you annoy all your friends and family until no one will return your calls. So I wasn’t sure that this was the way to go. Many companies promise the earth and the moon but often don’t deliver. Plus I really had no desire to be bulk buying and then trying to resell any more. I had to find what thrilled me. THAT was the secret. you have to do something that excites you or what’s the point?  It has to be more than just a paycheck.

So I sat down and though about what I had done in my life that thrilled me the most and other than becoming a wife and a mom, the answer was so obvious. I HAD TRAVELED  I had spent time in many parts of the UK, including Yorkshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire,  and London.  I had lived in Spain, Switzerland, Greece, and the USA. I had vacationed in many many other places around the world. And I had loved every minute of it. THIS is what I needed to do. THIS was my passion. but how?

I looked into becoming a travel agent and perhaps opening up a local store. Apart from the huge cost involved and the time it would take. It didn’t take a genius to know that many of  the brick and mortar Travel Agents were going out of business.  So I started to research. You know, do my due diligence . What I found out blew me away. …… 42 cents out of every dollar spent online was spent in travel Let me repeat that…42 cents out of every dollar spent online was spent on travel. That was HUGE!  I knew then where I needed to go. I really needed to be in the online travel business.  But how?……………………Visit my blog or click here to read part 2

Do you work from home, if so, what was it that helped make the decision to do that? Are you glad you did and would you ever go back to working for someone else?

My Top 10 Favorite Places To Visit (5 – 1)

The second part of my post about my top ten places to visit.

5.Crans Montana,  Switzerland

If you love paragliding, water skiing, hiking, golf, or snow skiing, then you must pay a visit to Crans Montana. Just the drive up the mountain side to get there will take your breath away. Have you ever looked DOWN on clouds from the window of your car? These twin towns have much to offer, including an impressive view of the chain of mountain peaks from the Matterhorn to Mont Blanc and a wide program of activities all year round. The modern side of Crans-Montana offers the most extensive alpine shopping for miles around. A wide range of accommodation is available. It is also a venue for major sporting events, and with a reputation as a golfing Mecca, Crans-Montana draws visitors from all over the world. It is a family-friendly resort, where you can enjoy five swimming lakes; walks through aromatic mountain forests along an extensive network of footpaths; and cosy fondue evenings in rustic inns. Because I love the snow and fondue! Crans Montana is number five

4.Santorini,  Greece

What can you say about a place that has beaches with black sand except “go see for yourself”  Santorini is essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion which explains the sand. It also has some of the bluest waters you will ever see. You can discover the famous submerged caldera, the volcano’s crater, which is situated today in the middle of a 32 square miles basin of water and you can admire some of the most beautiful traditional villages of the Cyclades. The lively colors of the white Cycladic houses and blue painted windows contrast stunningly against the black volcanic rocks rising from the sea. In the evening you can relax in a taverna perched on the cliff edge and enjoy a horiatiki (village salad) and a glass of retsina and the wonderful Greek hospitality. This alone is enough to make Santorini my number four

3. London,  England

The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Kew Gardens, Westminster Abby, Tower Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, West End, London Eye, St Pauls Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, British Museum, National Gallery, Wimbledon, Chinatown and the London Underground. What more is there to say? Number three.

2..Meteora, Greece

The word “Meteora” means suspended rocks, and in my humble opinion should be one of the seven wonders of the world. I will never forget turning the bend on the road and then seeing it before me. It took my breath away. Literally. The huge natural sandstone rock pillars towering into the heavens simply stunned me. Atop these giants are six monasteries, five of which are inhabited my hermit monks and the other by nuns. In the old days, they received their supplies by lowering a basket down and the people below would fill them up. They had no contact with the outside world.. These days some of the monasteries are open to the public, but you will not be allowed in wearing pants so make sure you take a skirt. If you plan to spend the night, you will find the hospitality of the locals wonderful. Rooms are inexpensive and food is always plentiful. Any place that can take my breath away deserves a place on my list so Meteora rates number two

1. Blackpool,  England

My favorite place on the planet! I know you Brits out there and now cringing and saying to yourself “what is she thinking?” Well what I am thinking is I had the some of the best years of my life there and every time I go home to the UK, Blackpool is ALWAYS on my “must visit” list. Forget Stratford- Upon -Avon, or Buckingham Palace, THIS is where I want to go. I have made memories that will last a lifetime here from being an unruly teenager looking for boys and the latest  ride at the Pleasure Beach, to watching the pure joy on the faces of my own kids as they rode a donkey along the shore.  It has everything, fish and chips, donkey rides, amusement arcades, pubs, trams than run the length of the town along the beach, a fantastic pleasure beach with all the great rides, including the original” roller coaster” after which all the others are named, three piers, wonderful illuminations in the winter boasting over a million light-bulbs, Blackpool rock, mini golf, a zoo, great entertainment from Britain’s finest comedians, ballroom dancing and of course, who can forget. Blackpool Tower! Blackpool will always be my number one place to visit.

Where do YOU want to go?>>>>>>>>>>  Start here

Teachers Deserve Our Respect!

When I was a kid I was really scared of all my teachers.  I would never in a million years have disrespected them or talked back. I would never have cursed at them, shouted at them, laughed at them (unless they were telling a joke) ignored them, rolled my eyes at them, tutted at them, snickered at them, or any of the other disrespectful things that kids today seem to have no problem doing to their teachers.  But one important thing to note is that while I was indeed scared of my teachers, this was not the reason I did not do any of those things. The reason was that I RESPECTED them! What has happened to that respect? Is it just that kids of today are “different”? Is it that the teachers are “different”? What has changed? Why can a parent now go to a principal and say’ Take my child out of Mr XXXXXs class..there is a clash of personality. WHAT IS THAT? A clash of personality?  Are you kidding me? This is your child’s teacher! not his buddy. How can a teacher be blamed for a child who..never brings a pencil to class, never does his homework, is sleeping in class, is not listening,  refuses to participate and then asks to be moved to another class because of a clash in personality?

Yes I understand that sometimes teachers and students don’t get along but do you think that is a new thing? Did all my teacher love me? I don’t think so. But this was my teacher and like him or not. I was there to learn from him. and even though I might not have “liked ” him,  I DID respect him, so I was not disrespectful, I listened and I learned

Is it because children today just have less respect for adults generally? If so, who or what is to blame for that? Sometimes when I overhear the TV when my daughter is watching, I cringe at the way adults  are portrayed and “stupid” while the cool kid mocks and insults him. I always try to use this as an opportunity to talk to my daughter about it and thankfully she is very respectful to her teacher (most of the time) Is it the the music they listen to? Alice Cooper sang about blowing up schools and Pink Floyd told us “We don’t need no education” but it did not make me not want to go to school or to be disrespectful . So what has changed?  Why do today’s kids have so little respect for their teachers.? Well here’s a thought…  Our Government puts more and more emphasis on test scores and less and less on teacher experience and what they actually bring to the classroom. Teachers are poorly paid and many have not had a pay raise in years, and more and more, teachers are expected to be the only disciplinarian in some of these kids lives,  Every day on the TV we see stories of more teacher being fired because their kids did not make gains on the tests… So my question is this….what is all of that teaching our children? How on earth can we expect our children to show their teachers respect when we as a society do not?

We need to get behind our teachers and not allow these children to have so much power. We need to let our Government know that while there are “bad” teachers out there who need to be weaned out and replaced, making teachers solely responsible for the childrens test results and basing their continued employment on these results is just unacceptable. Teachers need to be able to teach and not just “teach to the test” Until we allow our teachers to do this and to show them the respect they deserve, how can we expect anything different from our children? What is your opinion on this subject? if you believe teachers are getting a raw deal these days, then call your local representative and let them know you want teachers to be respected and allowed to teach. . Vote against any bill that makes teacher pay and job security solely based on test results.  It is time to give America’s teachers the respect they truly deserve for all their dedication and hard work.

The Mouse And The Milk

One day in the barn, some mice were running along a beam when it broke and all the mice fell into a churn of milk.

The mice began to swim around and around but after a while some of them  got tired and stopped swimming. "don't give up" squeaked one little mouse."keep swimming"  But the other mice didn't listen,  stopped swimming and drown in the milk

The commotion caught the attention of the other animals in the barn and they gathered around the top of the urn.

"You'll never make it, Give it up, it's impossible" they all yelled down at him. But the little mouse kept kicking his little arms and legs furiously. After a while the other animals got bored of watching and went about their usual day, sleeping, sitting around doing nothing and gossipping. They enjoyed telling each other how the little mouse would never make it.

Meanwhile the mouses little friend looked into the urn and saw his friend swimming around and around

"That's it, keep swimming, keep it up, you can do it, I believe in you"

Encouraged by his friends words, the little mouse began to kick even more, he kicked and swam, and kicked, and waved his arms and kicked some more.

Then an amazing thing happened. The little mouse swam and kicked and waved so hard, that he turned that milk into butter. Once the butter was thick enough the little mouse climbed up and out of the churn and walked away with his friend. Much to the surprise of the other animals.

The moral? Well I am sure you figured that out for yourself.

Many people will (and probably have) told you to "give up, it wont work, don't make waves,  go with the flow " etc.  But if you want to be successful, If you REALLY want what you say you want, then you need to be like the little mouse and never give up, no matter what the other animals in the barn tell you.

Has anyone ever told you to just give it up? What did you do? How did you react? Was it a friend? family member? And if so, what would you say to someone who might be dealing with this right now?

Do Kids Need Recess and Exercise?

 

If you have never heard the Cat Stevens song titled “Where do the children play” check it out on You tube. It’s a great song. However, that’s not what I am wondering. Perhaps I should have titled this “Why don’t the children play” Because that is really what I am wondering.

Children no longer go outside to play, Kids have “play dates” the parent gets to choose who little Blake gets to socialize with and make the appropriate arrangements, Gone are the days of hide and go seek, kick the can and tag with all the local kids. But kids can still sink a basketball or score a home run in front of the tv using the Wii remote, so I guess it’s OK!

Schools dropped “recess or as we used to call in in England “Playtime” My lunchtime lasted 90 minutes. Now they get 20 minutes at 10 30 am to eat a chicken nugget and fries lunch . I guess “the powers that be” must think that socializing, stretching the body, running, playing, laughing, talking, solving disputes with friends, kicking or catching a ball, or simply relaxing are just not that important.

Of course they still have PE in schools! Well what I mean to say is that they still have PE teachers who take the 50 or so kids they have in each class  into the gym to do jumping jacks and run on the spot.


So as the nation faces an overwhelming number of overweight children and children with diabetes, and even heart problems, And as we continue to invest millions into endless studies and “Think Tanks” on how to fix this ever growing problem, I have to wonder if perhaps this problem might be fixed by simply getting the kids playing outside again.

What do you think? Should the schools do more to help our children be more physically active? Should recess be reinstated? I think it should, If you agree then get involved. Call your congressman and or state representative, call the school board, GET ACTIVE! your kids will follow in your footsteps and get active too

Stop Cutting Arts From Our Schools!

So the “powers that be” have decided that the only REAL important thing that happens in a school today is how well the kids do on the FCAT (for you non Floridians that is the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test) I am sure there is a PCAT and a CCAT or similar in Pennsylvania and California

So in order for our kids to be ready for the all important FCAT, it seems everything else had to go. So now the local schools have dropped, art, music, languages, theater, band, and many other all important aspects of the overall education of our children.

So while the schools get money based on their FCAT scores, the kids no longer learn about art, music, and theater. I would like to say at least they are learning about writing, reading and mathematics, but that is not even true. The only thing these kid are learning these days is “How to pass the test! I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the phrase “teach to the test”

It is beyond my comprehension how a school that offers no music, no art, no theater, no chorus, and no languages can still be rated an “A” school. And as for the way they are treating the teachers in all of this nonsense…well that is a whole other topic

Studies show that involvement in the arts triggers the right side of the brain used in problem solving, visual-spatial abilities, self-criticism, developing social skills and how to learn from mistakes. And for many children, art classes allow them to express themselves & feel unique and appreciated which they may not get from regular math and science classes.

Art and music classes offer much more than the ability to paint a landscape or recognize a Mozart symphony. Learning experts insist that education in the arts ensures an enriched cultural appetite stronger analytical skills, higher achievement in other subjects and – down the road – greater success in the workplace.

And yes while reading and writing is very important and we need to continue to instill that in our kids, To quote Richard Dreyfuss from the movie Mr Holland’s Opus, “Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want, Sooner or later, these kids aren’t going to have anything to read or write about”