Colonel Sanders

CMy quest is to explore people who succeeded later in life.  C is for one of my oldest success stories Colonel Sanders. If you think of Colonel Sanders as a sweet and gentle old man, you might be surprised.


Interesting Facts:  

–    Born Harland Sanders in 1890, Harland lost his dad at six and his mom had to work several jobs.  He took on the care of his two younger siblings and the home until the age of 10 when he started working as a farmhand for $2 a month.  At 16, he forged his documents in order to enter the Army.  After a short 3 month stint in Cuba, he was honorably discharged.

–  As I found with Louisa May Alcott, Sanders had many jobs including fireman on the railroad(lost job after brawling with a colleague), insurance salesman(fired for insubordination), steamboat ferry operator, tire salesmen, gas station operator and my personal favorite, a country lawyer(lost job after a courtroom brawl with his own client).  At 40, he was broke and jobless when Shell Oil offered him a gig running a station in Kentucky.

–  Sanders had married in 1909 to Josephine King.  They had three kids together.  However, Sanders start up a long time affair with Claudia Price.  In 1947, he finally divorced Josephine and married Claudia in 1949.

–  In an effort to cook his chicken faster, Sanders found a pressure cooker at the hardware store and adapted it to cook his chicken.

–  Colonel is a recognition from the state of Kentucky bestowed to Kentucky’s “ambassadors of goodwill and fellowship” around the world for “outstanding service to the community, state, and nation.”  Colonel Sanders is in company with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Jim Beam, Betty White, and Winston Churchill as a Kentucky Colonel.


A rebuilt restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, modeled after the restaurant where Colonel Sanders developed Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Route to Success:

–  While running his gas station, Sanders found travelers were hungry.  He started serving them meals at his own table calling them “home meal replacements.”  Soon he was so popular he bought the motel across the street and opened a restaurant until it burned down.  He rebuilt but a year later the highway beside his restaurant became obsolete when a new interstate was built.  He sold his business barely breaking even.  Sanders took his show on the road.

–  At the age of 62, Sanders drove from town to town pleading diner owners to use his delicious chicken recipe and give him a nickel commission for each piece sold.  He was sleeping in his car and broke.

–  Do Drop Inn in Salt Lake City was the first to accept his offer and sealed it with a handshake.  Soon Sanders made over 200 deals in the US and Canada.  This is around the time he started dressing the part of Colonel.  In 1964, Sanders sold his company for $2 million but stayed on as the spokesman traveling the world until his death at 90 in 1980.


My Take Away:

I must admit I’m not a big KFC fan mostly because I don’t eat meat on the bone.  However, my daughter occasionally asks for their corn on the cob.  I do remember as a child my family bringing home the big bucket of chicken.  Us kids would fight over the drumstick.

As far as his success, it seems to me one of the main reasons people find success is because they have reached the point of do or die.  Many of them must have the deep-seated belief in themselves to keep going.  Now, I am starting to wonder what causes some people to push past all their obstacles to final reach success no matter how long it takes and those who give up at the first sign of a bump in the road?


Susan Boyle

BMy quest is to explore people who succeeded later in life.  B is for Susan Boyle. Susan shot into the spotlight in 2009 at 41 by auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent.

Interesting facts:

–  Susan’s middle name is Magdalane which happens to be the name I took as my Spanish name in High School Spanish class.  She is born on April 1st which is the same birthday as my Great Aunt Katherine. She attended Edinburgh Acting School.  I have a degree in Theatre Performance.  She is Catholic.  So am I.  She is from Scotland – one of my favorite places on earth.  It is like we are twins.

— She was raised to believe she was deprived of oxygen during a difficult birth resulting in a learning disability.  However, recently she was told she was misdiagnosed and instead has Aspergers Syndrome with an above average IQ.

–  She was a victim of bullying for years at school.


– She appeared on Britain’s Got Talent airing April 11, 2009.  She received a standing ovation and was an instant YouTube sensation.  She came in 2nd on the show but went on to produce several highly-acclaimed albums.

My Take Away:

How many talented and amazing people do we miss out on seeing reach their potential because they don’t look the look or they don’t fit in a normal mold?  Bless this woman for bravely putting herself and her tremendous talent out there for the world to enjoy.  It is never too late.  She believed in herself and dreamed the dream.  If only we could all be so brave.

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Louisa May Alcott

AFor the A to Z blogging challenge, I have chosen to highlight people who found success later in life because we can’t all be Justin Beiber.  My A is Louisa May Alcott who found her first taste of success at 31 but her biggest hit was Little Women when she was 36.


Interesting facts I found while studying Louisa May Alcott:

–  Her father was a part of the Transcendental Club with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau(two favorites of mine).  Alcott received lessons from them and Nathaniel Hawthorne and Margaret Fuller.

–  They lived mostly in poverty.  Alcott worked early as a teacher, seamstress, governess, domestic helper, and writer.  I found this interesting because I grew up in what would be considered poverty and I’ve had a gazillion jobs.

– At one point after being unable to find work, she considered suicide.  I know that level of desperation.  During this time she read Elizabeth Gaskell’s biography on Charlotte Bronte and found parallels to her own life.  I guess it is fitting I would look to find inspiration in others just like Alcott.

–  Alcott was an abolitionist and a feminist.  She and her family served as station masters on the Underground Railroad.

–  Alcott never married but did raise her sister’s daughter after her sister died.  I can think of multiple talented women who never married.  Perhaps men are a distraction from our writing.  This means I can blame my husband for my lack of literary work, right?

– Her last words were “Is it not meningitis?”  She is buried near Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau in Concord, Massachusetts.

Success Route:

–  In 1860, began writing for Atlantic Monthly.  During the Civil War from 1862-1863, she served as a nurse at the Union Hospital in D.C. for six weeks before contracting typhoid.  Her letters home during this time period were published as Hospital Sketches and brought her first recognition.

–  In the mid-1860s, Alcott wrote under a nom de plume, A. M. Barnard, several fiery novels and sensational stories.  Then several works for children including Little Women: or Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy(1868).


My Take Away:

It is easier to work on your novel if you have no money or a man to distract you.  I tease.  I want to know if she was writing during her 20’s or if she was mostly working. Either way it does show sometimes you need to take longer to produce your product the way you know it deserves to be produced.  For the record, my first Louisa May Alcott story I read was Under the Lilacs.  What was yours?  If you haven’t read her, which book would you like to read?

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I Ain’t Dead Yet!

I’m participating again in the A to Z Blogging challenge for like the 4th or 5th time.  I tend to do a broad theme but this year a theme jumped right out at me.

I Ain’t Dead Yet!

Lately I have been having a bad cause of Am-I-Too-Old-itis.  Who has time for that nonsense?   I started looking into people who completed their life goals later in life.   Admittedly part of me is sad several of them were in their 30’s but on lists for people who made it later in life.  From my side of the 40 fence, 30’s is still very young.  I’m taking a look at various people mostly authors, artists and actors but throwing in a few unexpected and possibly unheard of accomplished people.  I guess I’m supposed to be writing my blog for my readers but in this case I’m writing next month for me.  I’m reminding myself I’m not dead yet.  I still have plenty of time to write the novels rolling around in my head.  I have a chance to perform on Broadway.  I could walk away with the Oscar I’ve dreamed about since 5th grade when I watched the Oscars from my tiny farm house on the Kansas Prairie.  First I have to write 26 posts in April but afterwards the world is my oyster.  It’s not too late.  I need to pound this into my stubborn head.  How did other people get past their obstacles?  What drove them?  Why did they wait so long?  Did they suffer the same issues of procrastination and self-doubt I do?

There you have it.  My goal and theme for April.  I hope it is as enlightening as I hope to discover.  There tons of people joining in the challenge and it is a terrific way to find new blogs to enjoy.  I’ve included the schedule in case you want to pop in into your online calendar and set alarms.  I would hate for you to miss any of the fun.  A to Z Challenge [Letter Schedule] [2015]

I Am Obsessed With My Sugar Scrub and Flash Giveaway!

Just to be up front and clear.  I am a consultant for Simply Aroma but I’ve only made one sale in one year so I’m not pushy about it.  However, if you click through my links and shop it will benefit me.


I love essential oils.  I’ve become obsessed with experimenting and seeing which ones work best for my family and our different needs.  I started by trying various oils in my diffuser and then I began experimenting with recipes.  One thing led to another and soon I discovered a favorite product – Wild Orange Sugar Scrub.

I love butternut squash.  I swear this is related.  Just hang in there with me for a minute.  I love butternut squash but anyone who has ever cut up a raw butternut squash can tell you it is painful on your hands.  The butternut squash has a natural defense mechanism.  When a squash is cut it will ooze a little substance out which is used to protect the rest of the squash from going bad.  Ideally if the squash is fully aged it shouldn’t happen as much but it almost always happens to me.  As I’m cutting up the squash my hands become dry, sticky and look as if they have been dipped in acid and start to peel.  Normal soap and water does  NOT remove the substance from your hand.  Some might wander why in the heck would a person continue to eat butternut squash?  It is so yummy!  It has a rich nutty flavor and a hardy filling texture.  I use it to replace white potato in almost recipe I use.  Lentil soup – great addition.  Beef stew – awesome replacement for potato.  I wasn’t giving up my squash but I need a solution and I discovered one.

Last Fall I had to chop up several butternut squashes for my daughter’s Thanksgiving dinner at school.  So did one of my best friend’s for her son.  The night I was cutting it up we were texting back and forth about how our hands were dying a slow painful death.  I decided to mix up a quick sugar scrub with Wild Orange.

Wild Orange Sugar Scrub

Wild Orange Sugar Scrub

1 cup of sugar (I like

1/3 cup of coconut oil or sweet almond oil (I use coconut oil since I keep large tubs of it around.)

15-20 drops of Simply Aroma Wild Orange Essential Oil

Rub on your hands or body with light pressure letting the sugar do the scrubbing work.   Then rinse.  Store in a cool dark place.

I threw this recipe together and did two cleanings of my hands with it.  I was butternut squash defense free!!!  My poor friend was still suffering so I put half the recipe together in a jar and dropped it on her porch in the morning.  Soon she was suffering free as well.

If you would like to learn more from my friends we are having a Simply Pampered Facebook Party on Friday, March 27th at 9 pm EST.


Several of my fellow bloggers and essential oil fans have gotten together to share our favorite essential oil uses and to provide a Flash Giveaway!  You can win a 10mL of Peel, the Simply Aroma Citrus Blend, and a bottle of coconut oil.  Peel  includes Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Wild Orange, Bergamot, Tangerine, and Vanilla Bean.  I bet it would be an excellent substitute for Wild Orange in my sugar scrub.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you want to check out the other awesome posts with great essential oil tips click over to the Cluttered Genius.

Disclaimer: You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

I’m Raising a Houdini Threenager

IMG_2245This weekend we went on a road trip.  On our way home as I was driving through a construction zone I felt my daughter’s hand on my arm.

Me:  “Honey, how are you touching me?”  I honestly thought it might be one of her dolls she was poking me with but then my husband proceeded to freak out.

Freaked Out Hubby:  “OMG!!!  Pull over!!!  What are you doing out of your seat?  Get in your seat!”

Me:  “I can’t pull over it!  I’m in construction.”

Hubby unbuckles, turns to reach back and put her in her seat.  While he is trying to put her in the seat his leg slips and causes the car to slip into neutral.  I shout and quickly get us back in gear.  He gets her back in her seat and gets back in his seat buckled up.  We couldn’t figure out how she got out.  We knew I had put her in properly.  He said the seat was still buckled when he went to put her back and had to unbuckle everything.  We soon pulled over for gas and I went all Cagney and Lacey on her.

This is how she did it.  First she pushed her chest buckle down.


This gave her enough room to reach down to the mechanism that loosens the straps, pull it and loosen the straps with her body weight.


Next she reached her arms up and pulled herself right on out of the carseat and climbed down.


She tried to do it three more times before we finally made it home.  I’m never going to survive my Houdini Threenager.

IMG_2249I said, “That was kind of impressive.”

Still Freaked Out Hubby said, “And yet she can’t dress herself.  If it was a shirt, she would still be sitting there with one arm in and crying.”



Choosing Happiness in the Midst of Life’s Messiness

ChoosingHappiness-Shannon-KaiserHi Friends! I’m excited to be a Happiness Crusader and joining over 100 women in spreading the message of #ChoosingHappiness to women around the world. In today’s post, I share how I chose happiness in the midst of life’s messiness by answering a few questions from my inspiring friend best-selling Publisher Linda Joy. Today is the official release of her new book Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Choosing Happiness featuring the soul-inspiring stories of 27 amazing women who share their intimate stories of transformation. Choosing Happiness also includes Reflection Questions after each story which will empower you to integrate the vital lessons of each woman’s journey into your own life.

For a limited time you can get over 40 transformational gifts with your copy of Choosing Happiness. Grab your copy today>

Q: Was there a pivotal moment in your life when you realized that your happiness was an internal choice that could be made despite your outside circumstances?

About 12 years ago I got to spend some time with an old friend of mine I hadn’t seen much since college.  I noticed she was, for a lack of a better word, happy.  Content.  This sense of peace flowed from her.  I was mesmerized and knew it was exactly the feeling I wanted to feel.

12 years later and I’m still not there but when I got upset with my 3 year old daughter one day and she came over to me, patted my arm and said, “It’s ok, momma.  It’s ok.”  I realized she was right.  Stressing about the day to day minutiae was unnecessary.  All I want for my daughter is for her to be happy in life.  It is my job to demonstrate for her.  It is my job to work hard and find my happiness.

Q: How do you remind yourself that happiness is always within and catch your footing in those whirlwind moments of life that can throw us off balance?

I take a breath and hug my daughter.  Nothing is so important it trumps stepping back and connecting with the people we love.  By connecting with loved ones, I’m reminded of what is truly important.

Q: What is your personal definition of happiness today?


Q. Share three things that bring you happiness.


My daughter’s giggle.


Bonus answer:  Horrible jokes especially if they are puns.  I find them punny!

Thanks to my friend, Publisher Linda Joy, for these inspiring questions! I invite you to share how you choosing happiness moment in the comments below.
Be sure to check out Linda’s new book, Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Choosing Happiness and grab your copy today at to receive the bonus gift bundle worth thousands!

When It Rains It Pours

RainI wish I looked this cute when I was standing in the rain.  So many feelings and tears in the world.  I want to hide in my shell like a turtle.

I will be having a small surgery Saturday to remove an abnormal mole and the surrounding area off my face.  Eek!  I know. I’m completely freaked out about it and can’t seem to relax.  I’m ready for it to be over with.  Hopefully by this time next week I won’t be crying because my face is unrecognizable.

Grateful to Vote!

Day 4 of the Gratitude chain I’m doing on Facebook.  I decided to share here today.  I am grateful for the right to vote. June 4, 1920 was when the key vote happened. Interesting to see the way the vote went down. The Ayes included 36 (82%) Republicans and 20 (54%) Democrats. The Nays comprised 8 (18%) Republicans and 17 (46%) Democrats. I enjoyed looking over several of the photos from the suffrage movement. I want to celebrate by blowing a horn like Rose Sanderson in this photo from a suffragists demonstration in February 1913. I am concerned about the woman behind her who looks like she has pantyhose over her whole head. My mind is racing with all sorts of explainations and one includes the Doctor. 1280px-Rose-Sanderson-Votes-for-Women

I see there was something to be said about the starvation method of protesting.



It is hard to read the cartoon.   TITLE: The steadfast suffragette: there was method in her starvation

CAPTIONS: “Come now, lass! Eat a bit, eat a bit!”

“Oh, I say! Eat a bit, eat a bit, lass!”

“What? Not yet? Oh, come, lass! Eat a bit.”

“My word, lass! But this not eating is ‘orrible, you know!”

“One good pull, girls, and I’ll be with you.”

“Oh, I say, you know! That’s no way to act, you know! See what I’ve got for you!”

Basically the cartoon is saying suffragettes starved to be able to escape.


This one cracks me up “Take the beam out of your own eye!”  I’m going to start using that one.  The next time someone cuts me off in traffic I’ll yell, “Take the beam out of your own eye!”  It will be better than the occasional naughty word which slips out into my daughter’s ears.

unnamedEvery year my daughter goes with me to vote.  This year she said she had to potty as soon as we entered the building.  Afterwards, she declared to the entire room “I went potty!”  Everyone congratulates my daughter on something which happened behind closed doors.  Which made me think it was a lot like voting.  Everyone declares they have voted behind a curtain and are congratulated even though no one really wants to know what happened in the voting booth.


The New Switch Witch Tradition

IMG_3983I LOVE Halloween!  I really do!  But I have a child who is sensitive to dyes.  As in after her daddy let her have a few dye filled candies yesterday and I let her have the treats (orange cupcake, cheese balls) that her dance class provided, today she had a screaming meltdown which lasted over an hour.  The whole time in Michael’s, 30 minutes in the parking lot trying to calm her down enough to get her in the car seat, all the way home and 20 minutes at home.  I thought a guy in the parking lot was calling the cops on me because she was screaming so bad as I tried to put her in the car seat. It was awful.  So no more.  I can’t take it. Absolutely no red dye tomorrow.

What is a Halloween loving momma to do for her Halloween loving daughter?  Enter the new Switch Witch tradition.  I went to a couple of the dollar stores and got a cauldron and a handful of toys, hair bows and games.  Before bed I will have her place her trick or treat bag on the kitchen table in the witch’s cauldron.  In the morning all the candy (I’ll let her keep a few pieces of chocolate) will be replaced with the prizes.

I think it will be a fun way to keep the candy out of her hands.  There are several ways to take care of the candy.  Several dentist offices do have programs where you can exchange the candy for dental supplies and/or cash.  I’m sending mine to a friend who is currently deployed.

Full Disclosure:  I didn’t come up this idea on my own.  I read about it somewhere and thought it was a great idea.  A big thank you to the genius behind it.