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]

Overpack Much?

A to Z blogging challenge 2014

My husband texted that he wanted to leave on a quick trip the very next day.  Ugh!  I was so busy moving appointments, getting the Easter stuff for Baby Bug’s class early, attending a meeting and getting the car serviced I only had 45 minutes to pack so this happened….


Yea, I know.  In my defensive I have a whole system to packing and it requires me to take time to PLAN!   I could’ve sworn I wrote a whole post about my packing system but I can’t find it so maybe I will write it up for P tomorrow.  I would like to say I packed for all seasons since the weather has been so crazy lately and someone was very happy to discover I had packed him a jacket.

The Shape of a Mermaid

My daughter is obsessed with mermaids.  During morning cuddles Sunday I asked her what shape she wanted her pancakes.  Usually she says S but this past week she said, “Mermaid!”  Are you sure you don’t want a bunny?  I tried to persuade her.  Nope.  She wanted a mermaid.  You know this isn’t going to end well, right?  Luckily she loved her mermaid.  Personally I though the fix came out looking like an alien or a dude with dreadlocks like Jason Momoa on Stargate: Atlantis as Ronon Dex.


Losing Bits of Me

A to Z Blogging Challenge.

Losing.  Is it always a bad thing?  I don’t believe it is.

So far in two weeks of my new L.E.A.N. Mommy program I have lost 3.4 pounds.  Not to bad.

I tried to think of other things I like to lose.

I would love to lose:

–  My love handles.

–  Toxic relationships.

–  Bad habits like cussing at bad drivers.  The toddler is starting to mimic all I do and this is going to be bad.

–  The one sock so it can go to wherever its mate is and live happily ever after.

–  My distaste for cilantro and mushrooms since they are put in everything nowadays.

–  My attitude towards people who have an attitude towards me.  I’m like a mirror but need to be more like a ray of sunlight and burn their eyes with my love.

–  My gray hair.  It only comes in on top and sides.  Either go all gray or go away.

–  My debt.  I would feel ten times happier and lighter if I wasn’t in so much debt.

–  My inability to whistle.  Seriously.  How can a person not be able to whistle?  Am I a subpar human?

–  One or two of my extra chins.  A person really only needs one.

–  Little toy people. If I step on Cinderella or a goat one more time, I will throw them all away!  My daughter is obsessed with carrying around as many little animals and princesses as possible.  Drives me insane.

–  My watch.  I would love to live the carefree life where time is a non-issue.  Perhaps when I retire to an island.

What would you like to lose?


A to Z blogging challenge.

I was wondering where people got the idea of juggling.  Was some Egyptian sitting in line to talk to the King and King Tut said he was bored so the dude jumped up and started juggling some earthenware?  Turns out I wasn’t too far off.  The earliest know depiction of ball juggling is from the 15th Beni Hassan tomb of an unknown prince in Egypt(1994-1781 BCE).  I bet that guy was the  Egyptian Adam Sandler.

It shows up through the years in various countries:  China(swords and balls), Greece, Rome (glass balls – Ow!  That would be quite the learning curve), Ireland (apples), India(wooden rings), etc.

Cinquevalli trick. From ”The Playgoer” October 1901

A few facts I learned in my digging:

Tulchinne, the royal buffoon of king Conaire of Ireland, is described as juggling nine swords, nine silver shields, and nine balls of gold.  Now, I don’t want to call anyone a liar but I am Irish and I fully admit exaggeration is in our DNA.  Perhaps we got it from this buffoon.  I can’t imagine anyone being able to juggle all that with two hands.

Taillefer, the warrior-bard of William of Normandy, juggles before the enemy lines and makes the first kill at the Battle of Hastings.  How did that work?  Who wants to go first?  Ian?  William?  Why don’t we send out the clown first?  Yea!  Send Taillefer first.  He will do anything.  Tell him we double dog dare him.

In 1793, John Bill Ricketts present America’s first circus.  George Washington was in attendance and Ricketts introduced the idea of politic juggling to him.  Ok.  Ricketts just juggled but I bet the politicians were like “Hey, I just thought of what to call what we do in government.  We take citizen’s balls and juggle them.”  <- I made that part up, too.

Paul Cinquevalli (1859-1918) was the first juggling super-star.  He made his circus debut in 1885 in Covent Garden, London.  However, Enrico Rastelli was considered the greatest juggler to ever live.  He is recorded as juggling 10 balls (though never 9 for some reason – I could not find out why), 8 sticks (small clubs) and 8 plates.   Rastelli could juggle 6 plates, while spinning a hoop around one foot and skipping a rope which was spun by an assistant.  I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.  I feel so inferior.  Perhaps I misjudged poor Tulchinne and he could do all that juggling.


A to Z Blogging Challenge.

My friend’s rabbit just had babies.  I quickly wrote a comment to her post about their birth.

“My advice as a former child rabbit raiser.  Do not touch the babies unless the momma is super comfortable with you.  If the momma would allow you to hold/cuddle/pet her pre-babies, try to pet her first.  If she does not allow you to pet her, do not go near the babies.  If she lets you pet her, pet her for awhile to get plenty of her scent on your hands and then touch the baby.  Rabbits are super sensitive to smells on their babies and will think nothing of killing and eating them for something as simple as a different scent on them.  Experience talking.  I have seen things.  For me, Monty Python got the rabbit right.  Besides in a few weeks when they don’t look like hairless rats they are even cuter. ”


Afterwards, I chuckled and thought “Wow!  I know a ton about rabbit husbandry.”  My next thought was about the word husbandry.  Isn’t it a weird word?  I had never given it much thought and suddenly I had so many questions.

What does it mean?  According to

Husbandry [huhz-buh n-dree] Noun

1.  the cultivation and production of edible crops or of animals for food; agriculture; farming.

2. the science of raising crops or food animals.

3. careful or thrifty management; frugality, thrift, or conservation.

4.  the management of domestic affairs or of resources generally.

I had always believed it basically meant a midwife for animals.  Technically my thought appears to be a small part of the meaning of the word.  The addition of all the thrifty and management details is completely new to me.


The science dictionary says it is “The application of scientific principles to agriculture, especially to animal breeding.”  This tells me in practice the word is pretty much synonyms with midwifery only for animals.

Where does it come from? I love some etymology in the morning!  From

Husbandry c.1300, “management of a household;”

late 14c. as “farm management,” from husband (n.) in a now-obsolete sense of “peasant farmer” (early 13c.) + -ery.


Why husbandry when it is usually the wife who deals with birth stuff?  It appears the midwife is defined as the one dealing with the birth of children.  Husbandry started out meaning the men dealing with the birth of the animals on the farm.  I guess it makes sense since women dealt with what happens in the house and the men dealt with the crops and animals in the division of middle age labor.  Of course, that was when the men weren’t busy fighting Vikings while the women mucked stalls, milked goats, assisted in cow births while birthing a baby.


Gas Gift Card Giveaway for Sunoco

A to Z Blogging Challenge.sunoco

A while back I tried to go on a Mommy Day Out only to find myself with no wallet.  I was an hour from home with no money.  I scrounged up enough change to buy the Starbucks drink I had been craving and went to sit on the beach.  The blessing is I had enough gas but what if?  What if I didn’t have enough gas?  I would have had to beg strangers for cash or call a friend to make the long drive.  Neither option sounds appealing.  I decided right then I needed to put a secret stash in my car.  I needed to have an extra $20 and ideally a gas card.

Sunoco has generously provided me with a $25 gift card to give a lucky reader so you don’t end up in the same position as me!  I’ve never really thought about a gas card before but once I looked into it I was shocked I hadn’t.  Almost everyone needs gas at some point or another.  The beauty is it can also be used inside for coffee or road trip yummies.  I have heard some places do car repair and the card can be used towards repairs.  Who knew this world existed?


I have to admit Sunoco is not a gas station name I am familiar with.  So I used their Gas Station Locator page to find the nearest station to me.  There are 3 within 15 minutes of me.  I had no idea.  Yesterday I had to make a trip to a friend’s house and was passing by one and stopped for a quick visit.  Neat and clean.   I would return to this station in a heartbeat.

The gas gift cards can be purchased at the station, online or by phone at 1-866-569-2900.  Now is your chance to win your own!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I received nothing for this post.  I was given a $25 Gas Gift Card to give away but I did not receive anything for myself.  I like every now and then to give away something most people need.  Call it karma or paying it forward or Simply Fun!