Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Toast the New Year With Lemonade

I'm watching the CBS Evening News last night and on the segment "Spirit of America" they told the story of a group of advertising executives and writers who were laid off, got together and decided to make a movie about how the lay off turned their lives around.

It's called "Lemonade", as in, "Life hands you lemons, make lemonade." I've seen the trailer and as my gift to all of you I am posting it on both of my blogs.

It amazes me still that something so simple, can change your focus in an instant. I've been looking for something to give my ideas and my life some sort of direction, and this little segment did, and after watching this trailer, I ordered the DVD. I'm now inspired to live my life on my terms. If they could do it, I can do it. Bless your circumstances this year, and bless the ones to come. And make lots of lemonade.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Big Time. I'm on my way I'm making it.



Being a child of the 80's, I couldn't help myself when I was on YouTube.com and found the video for "Big Time" by Peter Gabriel. If there was ever a song that symbolized the whole pursuit of happiness through wealth in the 80's and 90's, this was it. I loved it. I still do which is why I'm sharing it with all of you today. If you've never seen it, you are in for a treat, and if you have and like it, you'll enjoy it even more. If you hate it, try again next time. I can't make everyone happy and it's not my job to do so. :)

So, have a great day, everyone. :)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

This Is A Test

Once a month we are all subjected to a loud, annoying noise coming from the television or the radio and we are told, "This is a Test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a Test."

If only we are warned about such things in real life. These days the imagined problems and the worries seem to be a lot worse in our minds than what is truly going on in the present moment.

I want to put a stop to that.

I'm not saying we go the other way down the river of Total Denial, but to imagine the situation you are in is worse than what it really is? Well, you have to ask yourself why on Earth you would make things even harder than they are?

It's human nature. We're all guilty of going to the negative end of the river, to swim upstream and make things harder on ourselves. I've been doing that for months, thinking the more I bitched and complained and worked at being a victim of circumstance, then God or the Universe would then feel sorry for me as much as I was feeling sorry for myself and "Poof" all would fall into place and the world would continue to turn. And then we would live happily ever after.

Bullshit.

The main reason I am not where I want to be is I haven't been DOING ANYTHING! My fears have manifested all sorts of horrible scenarios to the point that I've been paralyzed by that fear to take any kind of action whatsoever. Here's just a sample of what's been going through my head:

*I'm too old.
*There's too much competition for a job, for writing work, for money, for business, etc.
*I'm too fat.
*I don't have the education, the resources, etc.
*I don't have enough money
*I'm too tired.

And that's just in the first 5 minutes.

The last few weeks, with Christmas coming, and everyone around me in a bad spot financially, it's hard to be optimistic. I keep praying and believing things HAVE TO GET BETTER. But when it's your world that's crumbling, the last thing you feel like doing is putting on a "happy face."

I do it anyway.

I try to find something to laugh at once a day. I try to list the things I'm totally grateful for, my health, my family, my friends, the roof over my head, the electricity that runs my computer and my lights, and the groceries in the fridge. I do know, only too well, that things can be much worse in a short amount of time and to just stop whining and be grateful helps a lot.

But what works for me the most, is imagining how much better things will be once we're all past this. Visualization has been used by successful millionaires, athletes, and inventors to see the future, to feel the future, and to ask for nothing less than the very best, because they usually get it. No playing the "I really don't deserve it," card, but instead, "Of course I should have that, I Deserve It!" card. It's a lot more fun swimming downstream. And it's all imaginary. No harm, no foul.

After all, this is only a test.

The funny part of all of this, is I've been job hunting since I was laid off in June. I've gone on interviews, been told by several employers that I have what they are looking for, and then when I ask, "When do I go to work?" All of them have told me they will call. The phone's been ringing, but not from them calling me.

I was ready to give up the writing career, again, just get a job and do it as a hobby. Let it go, as painful it would have been. Now I get the feeling God or the Universe is telling me, "Not yet." Maybe that's why I can land a job, but they don't want me to actually work for them. It would be nice to get paid for it, though.

So, I'm going to take it as a message, loud and clear, don't give up the writing just yet. Things are going to work out better than fine after all.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving, Movies, and Family

I was so excited my son would be spending Thanksgiving with us. Then, the phone call.

Because his ship would be out to sea in a week, he wouldn't be coming home for Thanksgiving after all. Sad as I was, I realized that this is what it's like to be a Navy Mom. I was fortunate my son is still state side, and he would be coming home after Christmas for a nice visit.

Some of those who served our country and their families are grieving the loss of their loved ones who have given the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. My prayers and condolences and my heartfelt thanks go out for those who served so bravely and their families. And this includes those who were gunned down in Ft. Hood. Thank you, is not enough words, but it's the best I can give you all.

I was sad he wasn't home. It didn't feel the same without him, but we did have a visitor stay with us, Andy, QH's son, stayed with us, and it was nice to have one "kid" home for the holidays.

I decided to splurge, so I rented some movies. "Star Trek", which was awesome; "G.I.Joe" was pretty good; "Year One", with Jack Black and Michael Cera was hysterical; "Angels & Demons" which was good as movie, but it wasn't as good as the book; and finally, "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" was really cute.

On Sunday, I took the movies back and decided I wanted to rent some more. I rented two: "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" which got to be a bit much with the graphics, and a bit long in the movie pace as well; and "Up" a Pixar movie about an old man who floats away with his house using helium balloons.

"Up," if you haven't seen it yet, is sad to start, in fact, have the tissues close-by, because your going to cry. It's a lesson in how you live your life, and what you get out of it in this crazy journey. It relays the message the dreams you have when you are younger don't necessarily die as you get older, but they might change a bit into something you least expected. And love never dies. I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it, but I think it's a great movie to see, especially these days when we all think that we are beyond the age of having any kind of adventures, and our definition of "family" may not include those who are born into it.

I read something interesting today about age and whether you're too old to start over in your life, in your career, or in your business. In an e-book written by Bob Bly, the copywriting genius, he tells the story about the actor, Abe Vigoda.

Abe Vigoda, before he was a regular on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" was in a television show called "Barney Miller" and played a cop named Fish. But his career began in the movie, "The Godfather". Guess how old he was when he played in the "The Godfather"? He was 50 years old when he was in that movie, the movie that launched his acting career!

It's never too late. It's never too late to start over. It's never too late to tell someone you love them. It's never too late to be the success you were born to be. It's never too late to enjoy the moment you are in right now. It's never too late to be thankful for everything you have and everything you are receiving.

In counting my blessings this year, I am thankful for the lessons I've learned, especially the most painful ones. I appreciate them because I consider them growing pains. I've grown from last year (and not just horizontally). I'm not the person I was last year, and I'm glad about that.

I'm thankful for the family I have and the love and support they've given me this year. Especially, QH, who has taken on the role of breadwinner in this family since I lost my job in June. He's had a rough year this year, and I'm thankful he's been so patient and understanding with me, even when I wasn't patient or understanding with myself. I pray this next year brings his dreams and wishes and prayers to fruition. That would make me very happy, to see him get back all the good he's given, not just to me, but to everyone around him, and reap the rewards of being the wonderful man that he is. He deserves that and so much more. If they gave out medals for being him, he would get a whole box full of them. But a Harley will have to do. Or a 1969 Chevelle SS.

Thanks to all of you who read this little blog of mine. You are the reason I keep writing. I almost gave it up altogether, (AGAIN) and while I had such great ambition to win NaNoWriMo this year, life interrupted my intentions. Oh, well. I'm still writing, that's the main thing. And there is always something that brings me back to it. I get a call or an email or something from a reader who says they laughed when they read something I wrote, or it made them think differently, or it made them cry, or just that they felt SOMETHING from my writing. It's worth a million bucks to me and more.

So, thank you all for your prayers, your comments, your wishes and your opinions. I pray the next year brings you many blessings and adventures.

I have much more to do before this year closes, but one message I want to give is this:

Never give up. Never. Just keep going and listen to your gut, it will lead you to your dreams, even if it's not exactly the same dream you started with. The journey is worth it in the end, because once you end it, you can begin another adventure. And bring someone you love along for the ride. ;)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Best 38 Seconds You'll Spend Today



I saw this for the first time on the news last night on WCCO, channel 4.

When I found the video on YouTube, I was surprised it was originally posted in 2008.

It doesn't matter. Love doesn't know anything about time. Thank you Capt. Andrew Schmidt and Gracie, and his wife Jen for this wonderful example of what true love really is, and thanks especially for your service to our country.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm Alive!


"Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated," which is one of my favorite quotes by Mark Twain (if I'm wrong, I'm going to hear from all of you, right?).

For those of you who thought I checked out of the Universe this weekend, you are partially correct. I came home from my mother-in-law's house, feeling really tired, a little groggy and had a headache. Nothing really serious, right? Well, I took a shower, got out and had a case of the shakes I couldn't get rid of. Uh, Oh. The chills. I had a fever.

Thus began my journey into the darkness. I was feverish, my head felt like someone was trying to suck my brains out with a tiny straw, and I couldn't get warm enough, in spite of the piles of blankets and the flannel sheets I was under. I would lift my head and "BOOM" pain, then I would feel like I was going to vomit. Not good.

I did drink water, and I'm still trying to get rehydrated, but the only thing I could stomach all weekend was chicken noodle soup. When I was vertical and walking around, I felt like I was drunk, the floor was tilting and I didn't know if I was going to pass out or fall down. Back to bed I went.

Poor, QH. He was home, then went deer hunting, and spent the weekend peeking in on me to see if I was still breathing. I left him a note, "I'm not dead. Just sick. I feel like I got hit by a truck." He was so sweet, and I was glad I was in the spare room to keep him from getting this horrible virus.

And yes, the doctor confirmed yesterday, it was a virus, not the H1N1, but a sick and twisted version of it, and she also determined I had water in my ear and that my ears were very dirty (which explained the balance issues). I was also told I might have had a migraine headache, which I don't recall ever having one before, but they do run in my family. Oh, goody.

I awoke yesterday, still a little groggy, but I ate some eggs and felt a bit better when I started moving around. I checked my email, and then checked my temperature. It was 99.9 degrees, so it had gone down from the 102.3 reading I had on Saturday. I started drinking coffee, water, and then cleaned my house and opened up the windows to air the house out. I changed the sheets on the spare bed, and washed them and then took a nice long shower. I made an appointment to see the doctor, and I was glad to see the sun was shining.

What I got from this experience was I am so happy to be alive! Really. I see things much clearer, and everything is much more colorful and beautiful. I feel like I can conquer the world. I feel reborn. There's no other way to put it.

I also released a lot of the fear and the doubt I had, and reaffirmed my goals of being a writer and a public speaker. I have a message, and nobody else can give this message of mine, but me, in my way. I know a lot of people are out there saying similar things, but none of them know the things that I know, or feel the things that I feel, and can say things the way I can say them. I am moving forward, full speed ahead, with my dream and my career.

I know a lot of what brought this illness on is stress. I got way too stressed out about things, and instead of doing all I could to alleviate the stress, I instead did what most people do, I internalized it. I did this to myself, over time, and after what I felt this weekend, I don't ever want to go through that again. I did a lot of praying in the darkness. I prayed this would stop, I prayed if this was the end, please make it quick (yes, it was THAT bad), and then when I started feeling a little better, I was quick to pray,"Thank you for letting me live another day."

I'm alive. And I'm very grateful. Thank you for another beautiful day. Now, I'm off to conquer the world.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day and St. Jude




First off, thank you to all our veterans, men and women who have served and continue serving. Thanks to their families for sacrificing for our freedoms. It is a debt we cannot repay, but we are grateful. My grandfather, my father, my uncles on both sides of the family and my brother have all served this country, the greatest country on this Earth, and I am proud to be the mother of a son who is currently serving in the Navy. Honor the veterans, not just today, but every day.

The events at Ft. Hood last week are still shocking to me. I cannot imagine what the victims and their families are going through and I offer my prayers to all of them. When you think you're having a bad day, just wait, you'll hear or see someone who has it worse than you. We truly have nothing to complain about.

But I know there are times like these when you think things are hopeless and you can't make it through one more day like the day you just went through. Sometimes it gets worse, way worse, before it gets better. But there is something we all need to remember. It does get better. Maybe not as fast as we would like, but eventually, it does get better.

For those of you who don't know, I was raised in the Catholic faith, and while I am not a "practicing" Catholic, there is one remnant of my religious training I can't give up. His name is St. Jude.

St. Jude was a loyal follower of Jesus, and was martyred following a violent death. I was unaware the National Shrine of St. Jude is located in Chicago, Illinois, and when I saw the church it is located in, Our Lady of Guadalupe, I realized we had driven by there a few times when visiting my son after his graduation from RTC (boot camp), and when we visited over the Thanksgiving holiday last year.

Of course, most people relate St. Jude to the St. Jude Children's Hospital established by Danny Thomas as a fulfillment of a promise he made to St. Jude early in his career.

St. Jude is known as the patron saint of hopeless causes or when all hope is lost, or you have lost objects, it is St. Jude to pray to for assistance.

In the last few weeks, I have been praying to St. Jude a lot. I have lost some important things (yes, my mind is one of them), and felt at times things were as bad as they could be. In that time, I have also made some donations to St. Jude's National Shrine, as a way of saying thanks. Publication is also part of fulfilling your promise to St. Jude. Which is why, I am right now, right here, saying, "Thank you, St. Jude."

Now, for those who are thinking I'm bragging or showing off or just being blasphemous, this is not what this is. Some things have resolved themselves, some are still waiting for resolutions, but overall, I feel much better I have given them to St. Jude and God to help me. Sometimes, it's the best and the only thing you can do.

I believe for those, especially now, it's nice to find hope where you can, and if by sharing my story, you can help find peace, then I've done my job as a writer and a human on this planet.

Sometimes when things get so bad, surrender is your only way to survive. Surrending to a Power Greater Than Ourselves, is the way to go. He knows what is going to happen in my life, good, bad, or ugly, and it's not a sin to ask for help.

Surrender for survival is not showing weakness, it's giving you the chance to survive to fight another day. If you are in a fight you can't win, to continue to fight without retreat, is suicide. Pure and simple. It also depends upon the circumstances.

In my age of 40 years, I've learned to thank my circumstances. Good, very good. Bad, well, there's something I'm supposed to learn, and as painful as it is going through it, I know, I'll survive. I hope.

How can I not, when you have a saint on your side?

Thank you, St. Jude. Thank you.

Prayer to St. Jude

"O most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, people honor and invoke you universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, for I am so helpless and alone. Please help to bring me visible and speedy assistance. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly (state your request) and that I may praise God with you always."

"I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you by publishing this request. Amen."


Saturday, November 07, 2009

This Anticipation Is Fabulous





I have no idea what it means when you have all 3 recurring dreams in the same night. No, don't worry, they were all great dreams, all positive and fun and full of light and color. If you know a dream analyst, please let me know what it means. You can email me at crawfordwriting@yahoo.com and let me know.

The first dream was the standard "Tornado Coming" kind of dream. The sky is getting dark and foreboding. The wind is calm and in some edges of my view, there are trees bending over in the wind or being carried away. The tornado siren is blowing. We need to be in the house.

The house is a few yards away. I'm trying to find the kids, which is my brother when he was little, my son when he was little and my grandbaby girl and my nephew. Most of the time I have a hard time finding the kids, and then I have a hard time convincing them that the large funnel cloud coming will hurt them.

But we have to look for the favorite toy or blankie before we can get them into the safety of the house. Usually, the sky is black. If I see more than one funnel cloud touch down to the ground, lightening, wind, rain, and flaming meteors, the end of the world is coming, and I'm scared to breathe.
Not good.

But this time, the sun was shining. The birds were singing and the butterflies were flying around, the kids were playing happily and the siren blares off. I'm looking all around this very colorful, bright landscape and see a semi-dark cloud, and a "dust devil" with some paper and debris coming for us. I grab the kids, and put my back to the dust devil, watching the debris go right by us, the sun shining and this feeling of, "Well, that wasn't so bad."

The second dream morphed from that into the "Let's find the hidden suitcase full of money dream." Usually, this involves me and my Dad looking in an abandoned, run down building full of junk and soaking wet with water running some where, either as a river through the building or running down the walls. There is a lot of old junk we have to sort through, but I usually find the suitcase and Dad just laughs and says, "I knew you'd find it, you always do." This time, my dear hubby, QH, was there with me and his father, George, who passed away in January, was there. It didn't register George was there, and that he's dead, instead, it was as natural as him still being alive and well.

George was directing QH to find his suitcase. I became competitive and wanted to find mine before he found his, but he beat me to it. I could hear George laughing (how I miss that), and say, "You'd better hurry! She's gonna beat you!" and then see QH find his much larger suitcase full of money. Mine is full of money, too, but I have a feeling there's a third one someplace...

The final dream is in Alaska. We've never been, and here we are fishing for hallibut. The sun is rising in all sorts of wonderful colors. The mountains and the water reflect all the colors, and the boat we are on is awash in vibrant color and joyful feelings. It's like the feeling you get when you go to bed Christmas Eve and feel like tomorrow is going to be the best day ever.

The anticipation is fabulous!

"We" includes the following family members: QH, myself, my Dad, his two brothers, the captain of the fishing guide service and his first mate. QH is telling me over and over, "I'm not going home. I'm not going home." His brother Virgil is laughing, his brother Neal is in the cabin talking to the captain, drinking a beer. My Dad is just smiling and laughing and can't wait to get his line in the water. Out of nowhere, my son, Alex appears and he and my Dad begin to have a conversation. In the meantime, QH is still saying, "I'm not going home."

I'm just soaking all the ambience in and trying to take pictures. Then the fishing starts and it's phenomenal. I wake up.

This is the strange part, I still have that Christmas-morning-is-on-the-way- feeling. I've been buzzing all day, and feel better than I have in months. I feel like a switch has been turned on, or the gate has been finally opened. I have no idea what changed in such a short time.

All I know is, I don't want this feeling to stop.

(To Be Continued...)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween 2009


I know my post yesterday was a bit heavy. So, we're heading into the light for today's post, I promise. :)

Thanks to all of you who expressed concern and well wishes in the comments and also in personal emails to me. Things have turned for the better, and I feel I am on the right path. A few things have fallen magically into place, so I'm still optimistic all will end well.

Today is Halloween.
It is also the end of my writing contest and the end of the Think Pink Book Challenge. I sold one book, and no, it wasn't to myself or anyone else I know. With a dollar from each entry in the writing contest, and the book I sold, and what I'm chipping in, I will be sending a check to Susan G. Komen Foundation for $20.

Thanks to all who participated. I truly appreciate it.

November 1st kicks off National Novel Writing Month. I am participating this year, again, with a goal to have my book finished within a week. I did a bit of "training" this year, trying to make my "quota" of 2,000 words-a-day, and for the most part, I've met or exceeded that goal, and in one weekend I wrote over 10,000 words. It's a doable goal, and I will keep you all posted with my progress. If you are participating, and need a "buddy", write or email me.

The contest winners will be announced on November 15, 2009, so good luck to those who entered. I'm excited to see who wins.

My son is also coming home for Thanksgiving, so I will be counting the days (25) until he's here.

That's all for now.

I hope you all have a very safe and Happy Halloween!




Walking the Talk: Challenging Days for Miss Positive Princess


I'm one of those "glass-is-half-full" kind of people.

You all know that. I look for the silver lining in the storm clouds. When I dream of tornadoes, I know a major change in my life is coming. If I'm afraid when I see them, I know the change will painful. If I'm filled with a sense of awe and wonderment, then I know things will change, but it will bring the sunshine behind it. (I look for the sunshine. If it's not there, only darkness, it's not a good sign).

I also have money dreams. Money in suitcases, lots of it. Neatly wrapped in silver money clips. In a rundown, dilapitated building, with a lot of paper and trash all around. Usually, my Dad is there, laughing and saying, "I KNEW you would find it. Dang, Sis! You found it!" and I wake up before I know how much is in the suitcases. (Only once did I get a whisper of an amount--$13 million).

Always looking for the good. The positive. I could never understand why people commit suicide. Life may get bad, but it always gets better. Always. Right?

This year has been challenging.

One thing after another, after another and finally, after another. It started in January with George passing away from a heart attack. Then I lost my job in June. Then financial stuff happening and happening again in July. Then in August, my aunt Colleen passed away suddenly with a heart attack. Then the last couple of months with the recurring financial stuff and me misplacing the receipts. Then things kept feeding upon each other. One crazy mixed up thing after another. Nothing but doors slamming. Nothing but tension and stress and crying and strife. It came to a head.

Miss Positive Princess was losing it. I got a call from my son that sent me into a crying mode for two days. He was coming home for Thanksgiving from the Navy. A happy thing.

And possibly for good in a couple of months after that. Budget cuts were ushering him faster into the Reserves. He would be home, but with this economy, and everything else, I was worried. I just lost it. I cried for two days.

Then this week, things went from bad to worse. The weather was not cooperating either. It was cold and dark and rainy and windy. Depressing is a nice way to describe it. It doesn't do well for your mood when the weather is that way.

It was so bad, I passed by a cemetary and thought, "They're lucky. It's over for them." I had this thought, just for a second. But it scared me and jolted me to realize, I needed to go home. I felt like crap. I called my doctor.
As you know, I have been trying to get my writing career going since I was laid off, trying to find a job, and I've been doing the "shotgun" approach to marketing: throw as much up there as you can and sell, sell, sell.

My results: I'm not selling anything. I'm too desperate and people can smell it as sure as they can smell a skunk. Not appealing at all. Even if I was Frank Kern, I couldn't sell a glass of water to someone in the desert.

I've been up late, really late, like 4:00 in the morning lately. Writing, typing, searching. I didn't have a lot of sleep the night before, the night before that, or the night before that.

I have become nearly obsessed with money: hanging onto money, finding ways to make more money, selling stuff to get more money, money, money, money. Panic, panic, panic. Well, no wonder I can't get any money in my life, I'm a huge, negative turn-off!
Lack, desperation, stress, and me with my fist closed not allowing me to receive anything or giving anything to anyone else. It's mine, mine, mine, like Daffy Duck in the oyster clinging to the giant pearl.

And then, there's the clutter. I went into this mode of, "put it away, I'll deal with it later." I have stuff stacked and stored and I'm sorting through it, but I am not finding what I need. I misplaced important paperwork, and I can't find it.
I think God is teaching me a lesson, and it hurts. I've turned things upside down, inside out. I still have a lot more to go through, but one thing I have learned, I have a problem with hanging onto stuff. The stuff I don't need or use, I hang on for 20 years. Everything else, put it in a pile or a bag and go through it later. No more. I'm purging this week.

What's the point of this story? Why am I telling you all this? Do I want you to feel sorry for me and send me money? (At this point, I won't turn you down!) Or manipulate you into buying my stuff? (If I was Frank Kern, we wouldn't even have this post, because you would have already bought it!).

I'm telling you because I have been in the dark place. I had the thought about "dead people are lucky" and I decided that I needed to go home. I came home, took a long, hot shower and went to bed.

At 7:00 pm.

And slept for 15 hours.

QH checked on me a few times to make sure I was still breathing. I was.
I got up this morning and I felt a bit groggy, but I took a shower, got dressed up, put on eye makeup and went job hunting. I had planned to do that. It felt good to do something proactive.

As I drove around, I listened to a CD "Money and the Law of Attraction" by Jerry & Esther Hicks and Abraham. I felt things lighten and then I saw the most magnificent site. Two trumpeter swans swimming in a pond. The picture you see above. I felt better. I felt like things were going to be ok. I went home. Hopeful. Grateful. Lighter.

I've been praying to St. Jude. For those who don't know who St. Jude is, you may be familiar with St. Jude's Children's Hospital. It was started by Danny Thomas as a promise he fulfilled to St. Jude, the Patron Saint of Hopeless Cases or Hopeless Causes. There is a prayer those in the Catholic faith pray when things look lost with no hope.

I was there. I've been saying it for a few days. I have a promise to fulfill for St. Jude. I won't tell you what it is, it's personal. I will publish it when the time is right. And I will let you know where you can find it.

And I don't know whether it was the sleep, or the CD, or St. Jude, or the swans, or a combination, but I felt better today than I have felt in months.

Not to say, everything is coming up roses. The problems are still there, and they still have to be dealt with, but I know we can deal with them. We have a Force Greater Than Ourselves on our side. A Creator, who formed all we see, feel, hear, taste and smell.

Everything will work out. Not the way I would like, or want, but the way it was meant to work out. And in His Time, not mine. But that doesn't mean I sit down and give up. I still have a job to do. I still have articles and speeches and teleseminars and classes to write, speak, give and teach. And that suitcase of money still has to make an appearance. After the "good tornado" passes, and the sunshine, of course. :)

But I can't control everything. And I can't push people to buy, no matter how much I need the money. So, it's back to the marketing board. I still have a lot to learn and that's a good thing. I have to clear the path for my prosperity, literally. Then it will appear. And let go the outcome. It's not in my hands. It's in His Hands.

In the meantime, look for the swans. And get a good night's sleep.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Teleseminar Postponed to Thursday 11/05/09

The teleseminar entitled, "Forget the Recession" is postponed to next Thursday, November 5, 2009.

Times: 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

Cost: $11 per person, which includes free MP3 recording of call on CD or digital download.

And other fabulous gifts.

Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Forget the Recession

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of this whole recession.

Didn’t they say it was over?

Oh, it’s almost over?

What?!

What does that mean?

We’re not as broke today as we were yesterday? Guess what? We’re still broke!

How broke?

1. We’re so broke, Bill Gates had to switch to dial up.

2. We’re too broke to pay attention.

3. We’re too broke to have health insurance and those that do will die of H1N1 because there isn’t enough vaccine. Who knows, if enough of us with no insurance can stay healthy, we will have health insurance.

4. We’re so broke we’re looking to buy that “Box” from the movie trailer to get the million dollars. The moral dilemma is someone has to die. Maybe we will get lucky and it will be Osama Bin Laden. Or Bernie Madoff. Or the CEO of AIG.

5. We’re so broke we’d sleep with Robert Redford for a million dollars. And that goes for the ladies, too.

6. We’re so broke we have carpal tunnel from hanging on to our money so tightly.

7. We’re so broke we have arthritis from pinching so many pennies.

8. We’re so broke we could cry.

Please, don’t cry.

Instead, remember, laughter is free, and so is thought.

It’s time to Rock this Recovery.

Join me for my teleseminar “Forget the Recession” on Thursday, October 29, 2009.

Times are 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm Central Standard time.

Registration fee is $11.00, because I’m easy, not cheap. (See #5).

What you’ll get out of it:

*You’ll laugh a lot,

*You’ll learn a few things about money and thought and how to put the two together positively, and,

*You’ll leave feeling a little better than you did before you arrived.

If not, I’ll refund your money, no questions asked. Every penny.

To register, go to http://www.crawfordwriting.com/ and click on “Teleseminar Info”

The times and date don’t work for you? No problem. Register anyway. The call is being recorded. You’ll get an MP3 of the call on a CD or as a digital download. Same price. Same guarantee. No shipping and handling charges.


Search those couch cushions and sign up now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dear God, I Need Cash

I found this little prayer on Beliefnet.com. I think we all can benefit from this one.

Dear God, I Need Cash
For this I pray:

Not asking for a million bucks
Or money showing up in trucks
Just need some cash to pay my bills
And financial flow to cure my ills
Not seeking huge amounts
Just enough to make it count
To take care of a basic human need
And take care of those mouths to feed
I know that times are rough
But I want to stand tough
I just need some cash to keep on going
So please God, keep the money flowing.

Amen.

- Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway

Have a fabulous week, everyone.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Favorite Fall Movie-Seabiscuit


Nothing says fall to me like the movie "Seabiscuit". There are a few scenes that take place in the fall on the east coast, where Red takes Seabiscuit out for a nice, long run, so he can "learn to be a horse again." The scenery as Toby Maguire, who played Red Pollard in the movie, is absolutely breathtaking. I cry every time I watch it.

But it's more than that scene. The story of Charles Howard, Red Pollard, Tom the Trainer, and Seabiscuit is a wonderful story of overcoming hardship, sticking together and proving "Anything is possible." Taking place during the Great Depression, it is a story that will uplift your heart and soul.

The little horse that could. The little horse who made everyone believe anything is possible and made everyone around him better.

I pulled this movie out of the cabinet and watched it today.

I needed something to lift my spirits. I've been a little down lately, thinking all the hard work I've been doing is pointless. I keep waiting for results, keep obsessing about the results, and not really enjoying the process like I used to, and I think it's why the results I'm getting are not what I want. So, I need to step back, stop, breathe. But most of all, I need to let go. I can't control the weather, or the future, or the Universe. It's not my job. I need to get out of the way and just let it happen the way it's going to happen. Go with the flow. And keep taking positive action towards my goals. And just believe I deserve the results I want. It's going to happen, it's just inevitable.

And I need to remember, if a little horse 15 hands high, could take on a horse 18 hands high named War Admiral and win, I think I can be a little more patient for the results I want. And like Seabiscuit, I could win the race of the century.

"It's not in his feet, George. It's in his heart," said Red to his friend, George Wolf, who rode Seabiscuit in the Race of the Century. "He'll fight for it."

Sometimes we all need to remember "how to be a horse again."

Thanks, Seabiscuit. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sometimes You Just Have To Look The Other Way

Have you had a problem where it consumed every waking moment of your life? It was the first thing you think of when you got up in the morning, and the last thought before your shut your eyes (if you could) at night? Sleep was fleeting at best and your dreams would often reflect the problem in lots of bizarre ways and you would awake feeling like there was no escape for the problem.

For most everyone, the last couple of years that problem has been MONEY. It's been the headline story, the footnote, the ratings story to every newscast with lots of gloom and doom and the world is coming to end mentality. It's been fueled and fired by those who are making money and the media they control to get everyone scared and have them panic and make major mistakes with their retirement accounts, their stock portfolios and then they swoop in like vultures and clean up the dead. Not a very happy scene, to say the least, but for more than a few million Americans, it's become reality.

So, how do you go from the disaster the economy is/was, to being prosperous and abundant with money coming "quickly, easily, and frequently?" It's a hard thing to do, especially in this "information age" we all seem to be a part of, but it's also quite simple.

Look the other way.

Now, I can already hear some of you out there, "Oh, just IGNORE what's going on? Pretend it isn't happening?" Yes, and no.

Yes. Turn your attention away from all the "Bad, evil, horrible things" going on in our financial economy. Be informed. Be involved, to a point, but don't become OBSESSED. This is a very fine line, because if you are one of those unfortunate many, you've lost everything: your home, your job, your car, your dignity, your self-respect, your faith in God (or any other Higher Power), and you feel that you will never, ever, not in a million years be back where you were and you are consumed by fear, worry, and stress.
And not just for you, but for your kids, and your grandkids.

Let's face it. If you are anyone here on this planet who knows how to use a computer or cell phone or still have a television, the news channels just keep repeating over and over and over again the negative, horrible and gory news about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the H1N1 flu epidemic that will kill us all unless we get vaccinated (or if you watch the other channels, the vaccine will kill you, so you are screwed either way), the Health Care Reform Bill that will take all your rights away as an American Citizen by forcing you to get coverage (or accept government run coverage), and my personal favorite, how President Obama is doing in office so far (and did he truly deserve the Nobel Peace Prize).

Unless something dramatic happens, it's the same crap 24/7/365. The only thing you change with the channels is who is delivering the news.

On a rare occasion, you will find a heart-warming, uplifting story, the kind that makes you cry and feel at the end like human beings are the most magnificent creatures on the planet and can do magical things, like help one another without expectation, or be kind or loving without limits. But they are few and far between.

That's why the little baby dressed in just a diaper dancing to Beyonce's "All The Single Ladies" song is so popular. Or the guys who make those amazing shots with a basketball into a basketball hoop in all sorts of strange locations where you say after watching it, "How'd they do that?"

Your brain needs a break. Find your joy, your bliss, and shut the machines off for a while. You don't have to be "plugged in" all the time. Learn to live and be comfortable in the stillness.

One of the most peaceful times I ever experience if I'm not meditating, is when it snows. Late at night, in the dark, the snow falling gently from the sky, if you are someplace out away from town or the city, if you listen closely you can actually hear the snowflakes hit the ground. Your own breath is even too loud.

It's a time to be. Just be. And I love it when I can experience these things because I feel ever closer to God, the Universe, my Higher Power. And I am calm. Serene. In this crazy, mixed up world, I can actually experience this and be grateful. It's natural Prozac without all the side effects and it's also freeeee.

So, give your mind a break once in a while. Meditate, read, go fishing, walking, running, spend quality time with yourself, your loved ones, and let go some of the control. We humans like to control the results, impatient with time and the process of growing things. We want it all in a nanosecond. Sometimes, it's hard to wait for results, but we have to keep our faith in the process, otherwise we will drive ourselves and everyone else crazy.

If you can't think of a solution in your waking hours, then write down what your problem is and what question you want answered. Then say, "Thank you for my answer." Go to bed and sleep on it.

You will be astounded with the results.
*********************************************************
To help you become more abundant and more prosperous, grab my "Prosperity Kit" on my website: http://www.crawfordwriting.com/Prosperity-Kit.html


It's only $17 for a digital download or on CD.

No shipping or handling costs.

And one dollar ($1) from each purchase is donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation during the month of October.

To order online, go here: http://www.crawfordwriting.com/Prosperity-Kit.html.

To order by mail, send check or money order to:


Crawford Writing & Marketing
Prosperity Kit
P.O. Box 76
Zimmerman, MN 55398

And have fun with this! Joy is everything. :)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Happy Birthday To QH, Love of My Life!

Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear QH, love of my life, Happy Birthday to you.

For those who are interested, today is also John Lennon's birthday.

Today Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize. Why? Who knows.

Today I won at the casino. Did you read my previous post? If not, check it out.

And today was a fabulous birthday for my honey. All day long. :)

Ask. Believe. Let Go. Receive. :)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

I won at the casino! I won at the casino! LOA Rocks!

For those of you who have been studying the LOA (Law of Attraction), part of making your manifestations or dreams come true involves "pretending" that you have received what you ask for. It works like this:

1. You ask for something you really want. You have to feel fabulous when you think of this something. The top things asked for are: money, homes, cars, jobs, and someone to love. So, think of what you want. Then ask for it. Ask God, the Universe, your Higher Power, and then move to step 2.

2. Believe you deserve to have it. Yes, I believe you should have it, so you should believe you should have it. You are the child of a King, start acting like it. I don't mean be a jerk and act like everyone should wait on you hand and foot, but just know that good things are coming your way.

2.a. There is a little codicle to this step. You have to let it go. Believe God or the Universe is going to deliver it and let go THE HOW of when it will show up. Everyone has a hard time with this, so this will take some practice. I know, it's hard for me.

We humans want to control how things come into our lives, we want to control those "X" factors that we really have no business controlling. Remember, God is a Creator, and sometimes, creation takes time. There is no failure, just a delay in results, as Helene Hadsell says. She should know. She's won every contest she's ever entered for the past 50 years, including a new home. How? She let go, and let God. Get out of His way so He can do His job.

3. Be ready to receive. If you don't believe you should receive it, you will experience a delay in results. If you have any little inkling of doubt or worry or fear, or have any negative thoughts as to how it's going to arrive, then you will experience a delay in results. Fear, doubt, worry, and negativity, act as roadblocks and will re-route your dreams.

You also have to be ready. Prepare your life for your dreams. If you want more money, make a list of how much and what you will do with it when it gets here. Don't spend it for real until it arrives. Spend it in your head, and then "pretend" you have another installment coming from your own spiritual escrow.

Yes, you have an account that holds all that you desire. The problem is, you are the only one with the "access code". If you are not in alignment with the vibrations of the Universe, then you will be denied access to your account. Think of your thoughts as spiritual "PIN" numbers. :)

If you spend a little time on this each day, you will be amazed at what you can manifest into your life. Make your manifestations good things. If you want to manifest something for someone else, that's ok too, but the results will vary. If it is something they truly desire, your energy with their energy will make it appear faster. But it isn't something they truly want, then you may be disappointed that they aren't excited about their manifestation.You will see faster results with your own desires.

The main key to all of this is gratitude. Be grateful first for what you have. Notice the contrast of what you don't have, but first and foremost, you must be grateful for what you have. If you aren't sure what to be grateful for, start with a list: health, family, friends, job, money coming into your life, money going out of your life (it means money is flowing naturally in and out of your life), your home, your life, the sunrise and sunset, your car, and anything else you love.

But what about those who are struggling or living in poverty? What about those people who have lost their homes and jobs and are going through a really hard time? Be grateful for your circumstances. You have a lot of things to be grateful for, including the struggle. Why? It will make you stronger, it will bring you to what is most important. Remember, "this too shall pass", and it will leave your life faster when you start to feel better.

Feeling better starts in your head. Start with some small thing that makes you smile, or laugh. Look at something beautiful. Remember a time when things were better, then feel how that was. The feeling will bring it faster.

And always, write down what you want. It's like placing your order with the Universe.

And we are going to the casino tomorrow.

Did I tell you, I won at the casino?

Be a part of the Prosperity Experiment. Kits will be available soon. Go to http://www.crawfordwriting.com/ and click on "Prosperity Experiment".

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Don't Stop Believing-EVER.

For those of you who think that there's no hope in the world, just take a look at the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Twins. Both had tough games in the last two days. Both won, in spite of the odds against them.

Why do people give up so easily? Most of the successful people in this world, the entrepeneurs, the businessmen and businesswomen, the movers and shakers, are the ones who stick it out to the end. They are the ones that try, just one more time, even if they have everything to lose. Why?

Giving up is easy. Sometimes it's encouraged. Heaven forbid someone take the "Road Not Taken" as Robert Frost wrote of, and go through the hard and tangled brush, the difficulty, the obstacles, even those we erect ourselves. It's easier to take the smoother path.

But what fun is that?

Being a writer in a world that doesn't exactly encourage pursuing that career path is hard, difficult, and if you aren't selling books or articles or anything you produce from your craft, can lead you to financial poverty.

But what about the poverty of your soul?

I don't want everyone who has the desire to be a writer, or artist, or entrepeneur to just quit their job and go do it without some serious thought and planning and discussion with their family. But I don't want to see people living like a zombie, stuck in a job that just barely takes care of the necessities and nothing else. There's more to life than just paying the bills.

In the last few entries, and in the last few weeks, I have been promoting my ebooks and the fundraiser I'm participating in this month. It's not about the money and at the same time, it's all about the money.

Money is a tool. It's a way to measure success or failure, and it brings a lot of good things along with it when it arrives: food, shelter, electricity, phone service, Internet connection service, gas for the car, and a nice donation to a great organization.

I'm a writer by choice, and at the same time, I have no choice.

Writing to me is like breathing. I can't stop writing, and I can't stop breathing. Being able to write something other people will enjoy, or be helped by, or be informed by or even laugh when they feel like crying is the reason I write. And getting paid to do that is even better. It's the dream of all of us to live our lives doing what we love, and get paid to do it.

I was told by several people that they wouldn't buy my book, "The Golden Rules of Making Money (And How To Use Them)" and that's ok. It's not for everyone, just like romance novels aren't my thing either. If you wait for everyone to be happy with what you do, you will never do anything.

And if you decide that you will do what you love no matter what, and find a way to get a paid for it, just know that the path is not going to be easy, but when you come out on the other side, the view from here is spectacular.

And it's actually a lot of fun getting here, too.

But if you give up, the trip is over. Just don't stop believing and keep on going, you never know if you'll make it if you just quit.

Ask the Vikings and the Twins.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Think Pink Book Challenge

The 1,000 Book Challenge for
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Hi, Everyone,

As you know I was issued a challenge a few weeks ago.

To sell 1,000 books by Halloween (October 31, 2009).

I've decided to take $1 (one dollar) from each book sold and donate it to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in honor of my mother and her two sisters.

All three were diagnosed, underwent surgical intervention and chemotherapy and radaition for the two sisters.
Here's their story: A Tale of Three Sisters

In return for helping me reach my goal, I have some great bonuses for you.
First, you will receive the first two chapters of my book "Permission Granted".

Second, you will receive a free pass to my upcoming teleseminar, a $25 value.

Third, the price of the book "The Golden Rules of Making Money (And How To Use Them)" will stay at $19 until Halloween.

Fourth, my gratitude in helping an organization that helps thousands of women survive this disease and helps their families cope with the trauma of surgery and treatment, with courage, humor and community. Each customer will receive a personal thank you from me.

As of now, there are 2.5 million breast cancer survivors. But many more can be saved if the disease is detected early. Please do your breast self-exams at least once a month and get a mammogram every year.

In this economy, there are women who are not getting the tests they need to get an early diagnosis and early treatment. There are ways to get a free or low cost mammogram and cervical cancer screening, just go to http://www.mnsage.com/ and see if you qualify.

For more information, go to my Resources page at http://www.crawfordwriting.com/ and click on "Think Pink Links."

I can't wait to exceed this challenge.

Thank you in advance for all your help,

Laura

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The 1,000 Book Challenge

I’ve been issued a challenge.

Sell 1,000 books by Halloween, October 31, 2009.

Will you please help me?

Not only will you get “The Golden Rules of Making Money (And How To Use Them)” the resource guide I wrote, but you will also get “The Art of Money Getting” by P.T. Barnum and the first two chapters of my upcoming book, “Permission Granted: Allow Yourself To Live the Life You Are Born To Live” all for only $19.

Just click here to order it now.

This is available as a download or on a CD. If you order the CD, the shipping is FREE, and the price is the same.

In addition, for the first 11 customers (11 is my lucky number), I am offering freeee passes to my teleseminar. It’s a $25 value.

The details on the teleseminar will be announced on Friday, September 25, 2009, so stay tuned.

I know it seems impossible, but I’m confident with your help, I cannot only meet this challenge, I will exceed it.

I will keep you all posted with my progress.

Thank you so much in advance for all your help!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Can't Believe I Just Did That!

We came home from Duluth on Saturday about noon. I am now going to be canning and juicing and making jelly for the next week. Our storeroom smells like an apple orchard, which is fine by me. Soon I will have all those little jars full of apple butter, pink crab apple jelly, tomatoes, and salsa. Winter is coming and this year I want to have a good stash put away. You never know how good or bad the winters can be up here and if you listen to the Farmer's Almanac, it's supposed to be colder than usual this coming winter.

But I'm sure you're curious about the title of this post, aren't you?

Well, here's the story.

We went up to Schroeder, Minnesota and stayed at Superior Ridge Resort for two nights, Wednesday and Thursday. The weather was pretty good, unusually humid for the North Shore, but most of that was because of the rain that fell in the evening and overnight hours of our stay there. The days were fair to partly cloudy and warm. I spent time with QH driving his Mom, and me up and down the North Shore, sightseeing, and we stopped at Leif Erickson Park to see the rose garden and then ventured up to Enger Tower to see the gardens there and sit up by the gazebo and take pictures. It was up there on Thursday, QH's Mom decided we should stay another night and booked a room for us at Black Bear Casino Hotel in Carleton.

We arrived there in the afternoon on Friday, September 11. I did remember that it was 9/11 but I was not going to sit and remember all the horrible things that happened 8 years ago. Instead, I was thankful and grateful and told God I was very happy and content to be spending this beautiful day with my "hubby" and his Mom, that this was a blessing and that I was grateful for all the blessings I have received and all the blessings I was about to receive.

We checked in and our room was #4011. I mention this because it was 9/11, and I turned 40 on June 11. Ok, kind of strange, but whatever. We hauled all our stuff up to the room and then took some time to relax a bit before going to dinner at the buffet. I was reading an old Reader's Digest and reading the jokes while QH took a nap and his Mom watched NCIS on the USA channel.

We finally decided to go to dinner and made our way to the casino. We got some "free" stuff so we went and signed up for the Players Club (it was free), and we got our little "perks" coupons. Part of it was we got $2 off the buffet, a coupon for $5 free playing money, and if you buy $5 of pulltabs you get another pulltab free.

We went first and got our free money. Then we went to the pulltabs and didn't win anything. Then we went to the slot machines.

I sat down in front of some silly, cartoonish Beaver game. I put my $5 of free money into the feeder. I hit the "Max Bet" button and it rolled a few times. I won $1.50 and I cashed out. I then put another $5 in and won $23. I cashed that out and put the ticket back in. I hit "Max Bet" and won $177. Cool!

I then reached in and took out a $20 bill I won playing scratchers. I fed it into the machine. At this point, QH is looking at me and asking, "What are you doing?" I hit the "Max Bet" button and a few rolls later it starts going berserk! I started to hear that little voice in my head that says, "Cash out! Cash Out!"

I did and when I looked at the ticket, I had to look again. I had QH read it and he looked at me and said, "I can't believe you just did that!"

I said, "I can't believe I just did that either!" I looked at the front of the machine. The serial number ended in...1111.

Total, I won about $1,200.00!

Then we went to dinner, I bought of course, and I bought breakfast the next morning. But the thing of it was this: I had NO EXPECTATION OF WINNING!

I was also not in a desperation position, meaning, I was not in there going, "I shouldn't be spending this money because it's the last money I have and if I don't win, it will be bad." No, not at all.

I went in there in a fabulous mood, with no expectation of winning and when I found that silly looking machine, I didn't see any of the other machines around it. What does that mean? For that split second, I went by my gut instinct and sat at the machine that "felt right" to me, and I saw only that machine, not any of the others around it. Why? They didn't interest me and were not in my awareness at that time.

Is this the secret to winning at the casino? Will I get rich going up and playing $20 or $25 or whatever playing slot machines? Probably not.

Will it work for anyone else? Maybe.

I do have one thing to add to this story that will sound a little "woo-woo" to you all.

I did write down in my journal the night before that we would win money playing the slots at the casino. I was wanting QH and his Mom to win, more than me, but because this has already happened in my existence, it was not something I thought was impossible. It was possible for me to win, just as much as it was possible for them to win.

I don't want all of you running out to play scratchers or lottery tickets or running up to the casino to gamble. Here's the lesson in all of this:

You have to know when to quit and walk away.

Me and QH's Mom went down the next morning after breakfast to that same machine and I put in $10. We played that and got it up to over $40. I should have cashed out.

I let it ride.

I lost it all.

I then put in $10 more but this was more like, "I have to win that money back," and I lost that faster than the first $10. I was getting scared. Fear was in my awareness, I could feel it. The difference between then and the night before was as simple as night and day. My inner voice gave me the guidance I needed: "Leave now."

I quit. We left and came home.

So just as easily as it can manifest, the money can disappear as well. Especially if you are in a desperation mindset, (I have to win. I can't lose that money. I'll be broke if I can't win it back).


Don't go there. You'll be attracting tons of what you don't want. Not only that, you will get yourself into a hole you can't get out of without help.

I saw people going up to the cashier desk cashing their whole paychecks and I didn't get a "this is for us to have a good time" kind of vibe. I got fear and desperation and sadness.

Some people go there to have fun. Some go there thinking they are going to break the house and instead, they are the ones who end up broken. It's very seductive, but when you know and feel it's not a good thing, then get up and leave.

I'm glad I did or I could have lost all I won.

Ok, enough. I'm stepping off my soapbox. :)

Have a great day, and think great thoughts! They have power unlimited!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Get Back Up!

I found this on Tony Robbins site this morning. Have the tissues handy, it's the best 5 minutes I spent today so far.




Now go out and do great things! :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm Channeling Martha Stewart Again

On Friday, I made 2 loaves of Amish Friendship Bread from a starter given to me by QH's sister. I have 4 starters in gallon size zip bags fermenting on top of my cupboard. I plan to give some of the starters away, and keep a few to make more bread. I hope to send some to my handsome son who is in the Navy and stationed in Virginia who is also homesick.

Yesterday, I stood in the kitchen running vegetables through my food processor and hunting for my jar rings and jar lids I haven't laid my eyes on for over 2 years now. I did zero (0) canning last year and I am paying the price for it this year. No salsa, no canned tomatoes, no jelly or apple butter in the store room. Not good. I have to replenish my stash so we can eat well this winter. I took the Romas and Jalepenos from my garden, mixed them with red onion, green peppers, garlic, and some seasonings and ended up with 9 quarts and a pint of homemade salsa. Next on the list is canned tomatoes and anything else I think we can use and eat this winter.

Today, QH and I spent the afternoon picking crabapples from the tree out in front of his folks place. The apples nearest to the ground were ruby red and ready and we picked almost two 5 gallon buckets full. Those will be just the beginning. The tree is loaded this year to the point the branches are hanging low to the ground. Those highest up will be ready this week, so we will be pickin' and a grinnin' next weekend.

The juice from those apples make the prettiest jelly. It has a nice pinkish-amber hue to it and it tastes like honey. We are looking for blackberry juice to mix with it. His Mom mixed them half-and-half one year and the jelly that resulted was heavenly. We plan to make a few different flavors, and of course, we are trying the slow cooker apple butter recipe.

Martha Stewart is channeling through me again. There was a change in the weather. It cooled down and I feel that little tickle I get when fall is close to coming. I've seen some changing of the leaves (most of it is due to lack of rain this year), but I've seen it and it's usually that sign that brings my favorite season into my experience.

Geese are gathering, the flowers are starting to fade, and I can actually smell, yes, smell, the season coming (or are those cheese curds from the Minnesota State Fair?). No matter. It's the time to prepare and lay in stocks of food and fuel and other provisions for the coming winter. I'm going to enjoy the season as much as I can, and if you see me smiling, know it's because I feel such a sense of accomplishment.

Nothing makes you feel more accomplished than a storeroom full of canned goods you made yourself. It's also a sign that we are not as bad off as we think. If you have a stash, then you have a sense of security, and in these economic times, I'll take any sense of security I can!

It does involve work. Standing in a hot, steamy kitchen with pots boiling and peelings clogging my sink is not exactly fun, but when you see what you get as a result of that hard work, it's completely worth it. Not only that, there is not doubt about what is in those jars. You put the ingredients in and mix them up and seal them up, so if the jar doesn't seal, you don't eat it. No national recalls, and the ingredients are for the most part, organic.

And for that most of all, it's completely worth all the peeling, sweating, boiling, steaming and cooking. When you hear that "pop" when your jars seal, it brings a sense of pride to my heart. I feel it totally validates what I do. And it tastes like summer in the coldest part of winter.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Choices Meant For Kings Is Released

My dear friend and fellow writer, Sandy Lender, has announced that the second book in the Choices Trilogy is officially released. If you haven't read "Choices Meant for Gods" yet, run, don't walk and get a copy fast and read it even faster. The second book picks up where the last one left off and you don't want to skip a beat with this one.

So please, go to http://www.archebooks.com/ and get your copy today. You can get the e-book for $3.99 and if you go now to her publisher's website, you will get a 25% discount on the hardcover book.

It's a page turner and I don't usually read fantasy fiction, but this world she created just sucks you right in and once you start reading, you can't put it down.

So, give yourself a little escape today. Go to http://www.archebooks.com/ and buy "Choices Meant for Kings" right now!

Thanks and happy reading!

Laura :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lessons From Aunt Keener


Here are some of the things I learned from my Aunt Keener:

1. Family is number one. Especially, your kids.
2. Good coffee is simple: good coffee, and good water. Don't settle for anything less.
3. Surround yourself with lots of green and growing things. (The picture above is from her garden.) And watch the birds.
4. When you get the blues, do the "Happy Dance".
5. The Sesame Street song, "My name is Fred. They call me Fred. When I get up I put a hat upon my head. My name is Fred."
6. Tomato macaroni and fried potatoes is a meal fit for a king.
7. One man's trash is another man's treasure at the dump grounds.
8. Give lots of hugs.
9. Go to the doctor, even if you don't want to know what's really wrong with you.
10. Tell everyone you love them.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Aunt Keener

Her given name was Colleen, but to all of us, she was Aunt Keener. I don't quite remember which child gave her that name, but it stuck.

She passed away this weekend from a sudden heart attack. I couldn't believe the news, and I know when I walk into her house, I will be trying to hear her voice. I still have a hard time with that since QH's father, George, passed away in January.

My heart goes out to her children, Rick, Jim, and Casey, and her grandchildren, and her husband, Al. There will be a lot of tears and a lot of hugs in the next few days. The funeral is in Garrison, North Dakota. It's going to be a long trip, but I wish we were getting together for a more happy occasion.

I'm mostly worried about my Dad. Both of his sisters are gone now. He's the oldest of five, and it's got to be hard on him.

In the meantime, I hope you all have a great day, and hug those you love, and tell them you love them. You just never know.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Websites Are Up


Yes, the websites are up, finally!

You can check them out here:

http://www.crawfordwriting.com/ the website for Crawford Writing & Marketing,

http://www.lauramcrawford.com/ my personal website,

http://www.recessionrescuesite.com/ for Recession Rescue, my project to help you save money, save time, and save your sanity in this economic chaos.

And...

http://www.legalizedextortionsite.com/ for Legalized Extortion, my project to expose how the government extorts money from the people they are supposed to serve by changing the laws to suit them, not us.

The picture at the top is a beautiful butterfly that visited me yesterday. My garden is growing by leaps and bounds and soon canning season will begin. I wanted to get things up and running so I can concentrate on that when the time comes and let everything else kind of run on autopilot.

Now, to get the books done, and get some things up to make some money from this. One step at a time. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's Finally Coming Together

A few weeks ago, I was really wishy-washy.

On the one hand, I was wanting to find a job, any job, just so I could get the worry out of QH's face and out of my head. I've been used to working more than one job for so long, it was disconcerting to be sitting at home and writing (which is something I said I really wanted--more time to write), and not having a paycheck or two coming in from somewhere. And not driving to work is something odd for me, and I still look at the clock at 2pm and think I have to get to work.

On the other hand, I'm writing my tail off, accomplishing what I really want to do and trying to figure out what I can sell to keep this momentum going so I don't have a J-O-B in the way of my creative rush. I know now why Pat O'Bryan sought a "Portable Empire" and never went back to being broke and working at a JOB that robs your spirit and sucks the soul right out of you.

It's finally coming together.
I get it now.
And I'm willing to defend it at every turn.

I don't want to go back to a J-O-B, but if I have to, I will. I just don't want to, and I don't want to give up the progress I've made on my little projects that are finally coming to fruition.

Ask and ye shall receive. I was hoping an answer would present itself, and God answered.

This last week, there was a teleseminar on public speaking, that was free, and I signed up and listened in and took pages of notes. The gentleman on the call was James Malinchak, and he is a paid public speaker. (Go to SpeakingForMoney.com.) He has an impressive track record and I learned a ton on the free call. But of course, he was also promoting his home study speaking course, at the tune of about $2,000. Not in the budget right now, so it's on my wish list. :)

To make a long story short, the Internet is my library. I used it to find relevant articles, some written by Mr. Malinchak on ezinearticles.com and others along the way. As one bread crumb led to another, I also found a great book by Valerie Young "How to Work When, Where and How You Want" which is available on her website ChangingCourse.com. It's a freebie and has a ton of great information. It got my juices flowing and answered some long sought after questions. I highly recommend it. Especially if you are unemployed or may become unemployed or are dreaming of having the life and work you really want. It's simply fabulous.

In the end, I decided that a speaking career would be the perfect fit for me. I am going to my first Toastmasters meeting on Thursday in Elk River. I have the information I need for the National Speakers Association. I have speeches upon speeches written for various topics that I can turn into an ebook, then a CD or DVD and then sell online on my websites (which are going up this week). Since I plan on being a successful published author, that will require me to speak in front of people and promote my book with readings and speeches. I might as well get great at it, and I might as well get paid for it!

I have no fear of public speaking. I feel more comfortable on a stage speaking to people than I sometimes do talking to someone on the phone, or in person. (That all depends on who I'm speaking to, of course.) But my mind has been on super overdrive, and the topic list and the speech drafts are growing by the minute.

The faucet is on and running and I can't shut it off. I'm loving it!!

If I can find a way to get paid for all of this, I won't have to work at a
J-O-B ever again. I can get off the unemployment and be in control of my life again.

I guess that's what's bugged me most about this situation. I've had to depend on the government for my income and I don't like it. It's necessary right now, and I am grateful, don't get me wrong, but when you a have to live like this, it's like you lose a part of your soul. You have to play by their rules. I don't like that because I like making my own damn rules.

So, don't be surprised if you see on this blog a notice or a WHOOOHOOO that I am now speaking for a living and having a blast doing it. I would love to teach people how to do it later on, and I will be out there teaching and motivating and inspiring and I will be free again.

Oh, and the minimum pay for a professional speaker, who isn't famous, doesn't have a particular platform, or much experience is ...

$2,500 per speech. MINIMUM!!

I think I would like to work 4 days a week, and have 2 speeches a day. I think I could live with that. It's doable. :)

I could have someone hire me, or I can set up my own workshops, seminars, etc. I could set up teleseminars and webinars online, so I could do this, get paid, and not even have to leave the house!

Now to find the gigs close to home. That's going to be FUN! I have goosebumps, I can hardly wait to get started!

I hope you all have a great week and find the WHOOHOO in your day!

P.S. The book I've been working on is in the final stages of editing. As soon as I have a release date, you will all be the first to know!!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Contest & Fundraiser End Today

Today is the end of the 1st Annual Summer Writing Contest and the fundraiser for Operation Minnesota Nice. If you want further details, go to my business blog at www.crawfordwritingservices.blogspot.com and check it out.


In the coming weeks I will be launching my first ebook, so "stay tuned."

Until then, have a safe and happy 4th of July celebration!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Catching Up

Hi, Everyone!

This is a catching up post. I'm still unemployed, still looking for a job, and still getting my ducks in a row to get some writing business going. It's hard to schedule your life when you don't work at a JOB for 8 hours each day, 40 hours per week. I always wished I had more time to devote to my writing business and now that I have it, I seem to be sort of lost when I do my usual schedule, meaning I get everything done by 2 pm and wonder what to do with the rest of my time.

I am confident that I will figure it out. Then about the time I get my schedule the way I want, I'll get a JOB and then I will be back to rescheduling my schedule. LOL!

The weekend was great, really hot and humid, but great. We went to the Back to the 50's car show at the State Fairgrounds in St. Paul. Over 12,000 classic cars from 1964 and older, and the weather was warm and sticky. I waited in line to get a new bag (for FREE) from the Ladies Showcase building and met a lovely lady and her daughter who were standing in line behind me from Watertown, South Dakota. We got to chatting and the forty-five minutes we were in line seemed to fly right by. I never know who I'm going to meet at these things and I truly enjoyed talking to them. I hope their journey home was a safe one.

In the meantime, there is only one week left for the writing contest and the fundraiser. So, if any of you are interested, please go to my business blog, www.crawfordwritingservices.blogspot.com and enter or buy a Thank You Card. To those who have already visited and entered or purchased a card, my sincere thanks. I have learned so much from doing these events this last month, and have a few ideas in the works for the next few months, so stay tuned!

Have a great week!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Reflections: I'm 40, What Happens Next?

Yes, this is my official birthday, June 11, 1969. Now that I'm "old," or what my perception of "old" was about 20 years ago, I'm both grateful and scared.

Grateful that I've made it this far, first of all, and that I've met the people in my life right now, the friends I miss and haven't seen in a long time, and family I have with Alex, my son, and QH, the love of my life. I realize that I would not be the person I am or be at this point in my life if it were not for all the people who helped me get here one way or another. I regret not one second of any of it, the good, the bad or the ugly. I've learned lessons that have helped me keep going, and the most important lesson I've learned is that life isn't much worth living if you don't love someone or the people in your life or they don't love you back. You need to give to receive and you need to receive to give. It's a wonderful cycle to be in and I'm blessed beyond belief with that circle in my life.

The scared part is the whole part about me living my dream of being a writer. I know I can do it, I just have the nagging voice in my head telling me that I'm never going to make it. While that voice is growing quieter by the day, the volume got cranked the day I lost my job. I'm worried that I won't be able to make it as a writer and I will have to go back to just having a job that pays the bills. I'm 40. I'm getting too old for that stuff. I want to get my portable empire, as Pat O'Bryan calls it, and I need it yesterday. I don't think my soul will take to just going through the motions for a paycheck anymore. So, I need to get over the fear, roll up my damn sleeves and get to work. John Carlton calls it "Gun to your head marketing." I call it, "Kick ass and take names marketing."

So, my goals for the coming year are to be financially free, have money for retirement, and be in a position next year to update you all and say, "I don't have to worry about money anymore! Whoohoo!!"

But I'll see you guys tomorrow. This is going to be fun!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Another Reason I Love That Man


If you have been tuning into the strange drama I call my life, you know this last week has been a roller coaster ride to say the least.


Saturday, I was reminded once again, why I love QH so much.


He threw me an early surprise 40th Birthday Party, complete with friends, drinks and a delicious birthday cake pictured above.


Ladies, if you don't have a man as sweet as mine, go find yourself one, or quite complaining about the one you have and start appreciating them.
You want them to be better, start treating them better. And by the way, MEN ARE NOT MIND READERS!! You want someone to read your mind, see a psychic!


Treat people the way THEY would like to be treated and see what happens!


In the meantime, I'm working and writing to get a job or line up a few writing gigs to keep the bills paid, and hopefully, get that man a Harley.
He deserves that and so much more.


You can help by entering my writing contest at http://www.crawfordwritingservices.blogspot.com/ and in return you have a shot at the $500 Grand Prize, in CASH!!


Now, I'm getting my butt back to work!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Bizarre Update to the Prosperity Experiment

Ok. I have to warn you, this is going freak you out a little bit.

I started this experiment on Tuesday, June 2, 2009. I have a few million dollar bills left, and I hope to get a few more. So, if you sent me a SASE, you will get one as soon as I can get them to you.

Or, if you want to get your own, check out eBay and the category, "Everything Else" and type in million dollar bills. There are a lot of them on there. Pick which ones you like. They are also under the "novelties" tag.

So, I started this on Tuesday. Wednesday was pretty much a typical day, but most of the people at work I gave them to were pretty friendly to everyone. I saw a lot of smiles. It was great, a true "I-feel-like-Oprah-giving-the-cars-to-the-audience" great.

Thursday, I came to work, and the vibe was charged up, but not in a good way. Uh, oh. I went to the clean room where I work, and my supervisor says, "Um, we need to go to a meeting." Meeting? I felt it, but didn't say it. Ok. So, we go to the conference room and well, in short, I lost my job. I was shocked. I also learned that I wasn't the only one, but what could I do? I had two choices. Be angry and negative, or take the high road, chalk it up to just a part of being in business. I think you could guess which path I took.

So, I was full of mixed emotions, and yet, in a way, I felt the doors of opportunity open. Kind of like graduation day, when you work your butt off to get that important piece of paper that tells the world you actually achieved something. I felt like that in a way when I left with my "walking papers."

When QH, the love of my life came home, it was not a "glass-is-half-full" kind of conversation. He's seriously worried, and for me to say that I'm running around cheering, well, I'm a little scared too. But, I am also a firm believer that things will work out they will work out. I have to have faith that God will show me the path and tell me which way to go to help me through this, not just for myself but for the love of my life, too. I let it go. All the worry and the fear and the uncertainty and the anxiety. I let it go. Asked God, please help me with this one, ok?

This morning I took my MIL to file some paperwork in Brainerd (yes, fans of the movie "Fargo", THAT Brainerd!). We were on our way home when we stopped for lunch at the Grand Casino in Mille Lacs. We went to the Grand Buffet, had lunch and then thought, "Let's play a little while we are here." So, we set out to find some machines that might pay out. First, I wanted to get some one dollar bills so I could play, since I only had a ten dollar bill, a five dollar bill and a ten dollar bill that my MIL gave me that morning.

So, we stepped up to the cashier counter and there was a nice man by the name of Thomas who reminded me a little of George Carlin, the comedian. He made change for me and I set out for a machine. I found the Sizzlin' 7's machine and played 3 dollars and felt that it wasn't quite the one I was looking for. Somewhere I lost my MIL and thought, well, I'll find her later or she'll find me.

Then I saw a section called "Fall Fantasy" and over by that wall, I saw a fishing game machine and sat down and thought, "I still have that ten dollars she gave me this morning, I'll play that and then we'll go home."

I slid the ten dollar bill into the feeder, and I chose to play all the lines possible and bet 2 on everything. I hit the button. Nothing. I hit it again. Nothing. I hit it the third time...the lights start flashing, the wins are climbing and climbing and climbing. It won't stop! What did I do? I thought I broke the dang thing! Oh, no. I then saw the red button that said, "Cash Out" and pushed it, thinking I'd have that and play a couple more dollars. Thinking I at least won back my ten dollars.

That ten dollar bill I used, that my MIL gave me, I borrowed to her last week when she was out of cash and Walmart was so busy and chaotic that it was going to be a hassle getting to the ATM machine. She said she would pay me back and she did that morning. It was the money I gave that came back to me that brought about the next events.

Hold on to your hats, kids. I won over 400 dollars!! $400 DOLLARS!! I looked around and I can't see anyone around me, but I knew that if I didn't cash out, I would just blow it in the machines. I nearly ran to the cashier counter. There was Thomas, putting the largest amount of cash in stacks I've ever seen in my entire life in the drawers. He asked if I could wait while he put the money away, and I said, "Sure." I was thinking, "Gee, a couple of stacks of that money would probably eliminate all our problems. I smiled, thinking what it would be like, holding it for a few seconds and feeling it in my heart a little bit.

"How may I help you?" asked Thomas with a smile. I pushed the ticket to him, he looked at it, scanned the bar code to verify it and looked at it again, and said, "Didn't I just give you ten ones?" I smiled and said, "Yes, sir, you did!" and he looks at me, grins and says, "What did you do?!"

"I won! I've never ever won in my LIFE!" and he smiles and asked me how I would like it paid out. I told him, took my winnings, thanked him and then left to find my MIL.

I found her, she was on a progressive machine that was not doing anything for her. I told her what happened, my hands were still shaking and she laughed and said, "Well, let's get out of here then." And we left.

I called QH as soon as we got out to the car and he thought I was full of it. "Right! You can't win money like that on those kind of machines." I said, "Here. Ask your mother!" and I put the phone to her ear and she said, "She cheated!"

Of course, he was still doubtful until I got home and he saw the money in my hands.

It doesn't take all the worry away for him, he's been disappointed too many times before. You can't expect one event to convert a cynic overnight. And this is great, but it doesn't solve my unemployment problems or the long term effects that might entail. I acknowledge that and release it.

For me, it was relief, and a sign I'm on the right path. It restored my faith and eliminated any doubt I had if this experiment in prosperity would work or not.

I'm so excited about tomorrow, who knows what will happen!! I'll keep you posted!

Thank you,thank you,thank you, thank you,thank you!!!

I hope you all have many blessings come your way!!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The $50 Million Dollar Prosperity Experiment

What would you do with a million dollars?

Have you ever thought about it?

Have you ever thought how it would feel to just hold it in your hands, and feel that relief hit you that you don't have to worry about money ever again, the freedom you would gain?

In this time of economic bailouts for large corporations and the roller coaster ride of the stock market, and the constant bad news you hear every night on the television or read online or in the newspaper, I decided it was time for a change.

I call it my $50 Million Dollar Prosperity Experiment.

It all started when I was surfing eBay one night and found an auction that was offering fifty (50), one million dollar bills. They are FAKE, of course, but I was inspired to bid on them and I WON!!

I received them yesterday, and I sat there holding them, thinking, "I'm holding $50 million dollars!" and my heart started to beat a little faster. Then I got a brilliant idea.

Here's how this is going to work:

If you received a million dollar bill from me, you have the next thirty (30) days to follow these steps:

1. Everyday, for the next 30 days, hold that million dollar bill in your hands and look at it. Imagine it's real.

2. Be grateful for having a million dollars and all the other blessings in your life. Don't just say you are grateful. FEEL IT!

3. Think of all things you could do with a million dollars: pay off your house, pay off all your bills, go on vacation, help out your family, buy that plasma television you've always wanted, buy that brand new car, and anything else you would ever want. The sky's the limit, because you are doing this in your mind, so there is no end to what you can buy or imagine for yourself with this million dollars! You could even get another million dollars if you want! There are NO LIMITS!

4. Here's the important thing: Keep track of anything happening unexpectedly during the next 30 days and write it down and report back to me. You can remain anonymous, but I'm putting a book together and you could be a part of it! The kinds of events I'm looking for are POSITIVE: you came into money unexpectedly (the REAL stuff), you got a new job, things seem to be going better for you, you won the lottery, it doesn't matter what it is, how big or how small, but if you notice a significant change or even just a small event that makes you go, "Hmmm," I would appreciate you reporting back to me.

5. It's important that you do this when you are feeling good, happy, or upbeat. If you have any negative or cynical thoughts at all, you may be setting yourself up for the opposite effect. Nothing goes right for you, bad things start to happen, money doesn't seem toflow to you but away from you, etc. It's also important that you count your blessings that money can't buy: your health, your family, your job, your home, your ability to provide for yourself or your family, your community. You need to feel GRATEFUL, really FEEL IT, whethere you have money or not.

The reason I am doing this experiement is more than just for the purposes of writing a book. I have been interested in the subject of manifesting your own prosperity for a few years now, and this idea came to me so suddenly and gave me goosebumps that I knew that this is what I needed to do. I also want to shift the current energy around me and around those who are my friends and family and help them find the power within themselves to make their lives better.

So, are you ready to give it a try? Are you willing to see if it will work or not? If you need any help, please don't hesitate to contact me or if you have questions about this, please let me know.

This should be fun and you should have fun while doing it! After all, if it ain't fun, don't do it!

I should also point out that I cannot guarantee any results for anyone, since results may vary depending on how consistent you are in following the steps. I do not promise fame, fortune, or any other results from you participating in this experiment.

If you are concerned aobut this being some kind of witchcraft, or spell, or that it may go against any Christian religion, just know that in the Bible it says, "So as you sow, so shall you reap," and that applies to your thoughts as well. Most of the successful atheletes and actors and celebrities you know and hear about use some type of visiualization (which this is what this is), to attain their success.

They thought it first, felt the feeling of success and then it happened!

And, I just don't want to do this all by myself! :)

Good luck and let me know your results before July 2, 2009.