…mirror mirror on the wall…

Reality shows, like biographies, fascinate me. They provide insight into real lives, real people. Fiction doesn’t captivate me the way non-fiction does.

English: J.K. Rowling reads from Harry Potter ...

I like to know what makes people, flesh-and-blood human beings like me, tick. Just as I don’t always know why I do what I do, it comforts me to know that I’m not the only one floundering around for answers.

Of course I can more readily identify with some reality show characters, and definitely not with others…like New Jersey housewife, Teresa Giudice. OMG! That woman needs to be locked up in a room with mirrored walls. She needs to take a long, hard look at herself. Maybe then she’ll find release from her permanent state of denial.

I’m more interested in author J.K. Rowlings than in her blockbuster series of books about HARRY POTTER. I can’t get past the fact that she was living in poverty while writing her mega-hit. God bless her!…is all I can say. God bless her! She deserves the life she now enjoys.

HGTV is one of my go-to channels, just as the FOOD Network is my daughter’s, and the HISTORY Channel is my husband’s. However, we have no problem sitting down to watch one another’s favorites. No problem at all. Thank goodness!

One reality show I happened upon while surfing the channels one day was home remodeling as a form of therapy. The designer/host is Jeff Lewis. He’s not my favorite TV personality because he’s pretty arrogant and condescending toward others. Unfortunately his attitude seems to be a huge defense mechanism. He looks as though he needs someone to give him a great big bear hug, and never, never let go. That’s how emotionally needy he seems to me. Although I’m certain he would never admit it.

How is it possible then that Jeff can dole out personal advice which gets homeowners out of the rut they’re in, so they can move on with their lives? I’m always amazed that his abrasive, “in-your-face,” hold nothing back, confrontational manner gets the right results…and the long-hoped for happy ending. EXCEPT. I repeat…EXCEPT that Jeff’s designs are always spot on.

It’s very likely that the new environment Jeff creates for his clients enables them to look at life with fresh eyes.

A recent example of Jeff’s success was with a couple who were most certainly headed to divorce court because of cats. Yes! Cats! Seven cats to be exact.

Our daughter's inherited my love of cats. Here she's with Sunkist who has since gone to join her sister Fudgie in heaven. We still think of them.

Our daughter’s inherited my love of cats. Here she’s with Sunkist who has since gone to join her sister Fudgie in heaven. We still think of them.

Now I love cats.  Always have. My husband, on the other hand, never grew up with pets. Probably because there were 12 children in his family…more than enough mouths to feed without adding a few furry ones to the mix. Four decades later, and more than a dozen cats adopted into our household during that time, our marriage has never come close to imploding because of our feline children. In fact, my husband now calls our dog…our daughter, our 2 cats…our boys, and our daughter’s cat,…our grandkitty. Actually, he calls them MY daughter, MY sons, and MY grandkitty. In turn, I call them HIS. Whatever! They’re ours.

...our grandkitty...

…our grandkitty…

Anyway, getting back to the reality show…

The reason the homeowners have 7 cats is that the wife has made it her mission in life to rescue abandoned cats. Those for whom she wasn’t able to find homes ended up in hers. According to her husband, his wife’s compassion for the poor animals was what he found attractive. That is until the cats took over their house, including the master bedroom…and the family’s life. The clincher for interior designer Jeff in his determination to right the wrong he saw in this situation, was that the couple’s infant son was allergic to the cats. Viewers witnessed the child’s breathing from an oxygen tank after an episodic reaction.

With the help of a rep from the local Humane Society and Jeff’s makeover in the garage where the cats would languish in the luxury of a space that was all their own, the wife was able to let go of her obsession and refocus her attention upon her human family.

Throughout the show I could see how, over time, a person’s obsession with something, could totally overtake his life…to the exclusion of everything and everyone. An intervention seems necessary to pull that person back from the brink of falling off the cliff, mentally and physically. What form that intervention takes needs to be confrontational AND rewarding. The person needs to be able to give up something to get something he wants even more.

Jeff was able to get his client to give up 3 of her cats, house the remainder in a comfortable environment for them and the family, and help her return to putting her son’s health, and her husband and 2 daughters…first.

…who said change was easy?…but it can be sooo worth it!

………hugmamma.

...time has its moments...cherish each and every one...

…time has its moments…cherish each and every one…

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for always being there…

…A GREAT BIG THANK YOU!!! Yes, yes…I mean you!

Whether or not I’m all present and accounted for, you seem always to be there…hovering…waiting…poised to pounce…when finally my fingers hit the keyboard once again, and my postings fly fast and furious.

I’m only one of millions of bloggers who thrive on having our voices echo throughout cyberspace. Without visitors like you, storytellers like me would cease to exist.

So please…take a bow…pat yourselves on the back…lift a glass of vintage bubbly, or chug-a-lug that amber draft…admire your magnificent reflection in the bathroom mirror…nibble on that sinful, chocolate-covered strawberry, or savor the delicate flavor of Russian caviar. Whatever makes you happiest…please…indulge.

It’s my turn to…honor you…for your…

…staying power…god bless!!!…

………hugmamma

English: Convenience food Why bend the neck to...

the art of complaining…

Blogger friend Marcia Clarke posted the following on her blog…Marcia Clarke-La Chica Writes at http://www.chicawrites.com 

Having worked at TWA for several years, and in retailing and health insurance before that, I’ve become a stickler for great customer service. I’ve handled more complaints than I can recall AND done my fair share of complaining too. Never have I encountered the use of, or thought to use, reverse psychology, i.e….lavishing compliments that literally drip with sarcasm.

English: Don Mueang Airport domestic terminal,...

I tip my hat to writer Arthur Hicks…complainer par excellence!!! And to Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic fame, for bringing this to our attention. And, of course, to Marcia for having re-blogged it.

Having once received what many regard as the world’s best complaint letter, I was tickled to see another brilliant note to a different airline.I phoned the customer who wrote the above note to apologise and thank him for his letter after he experienced a less than perfect culinary experience on board one of our planes. It is important to take customer feedback on board in order to improve – and also to be able to laugh at yourself.

With that in mind, here is an open letter to Caribbean airline LIAT, written by Arthur Hicks, who also happens to be a great tennis pro.

Dear LIAT, 

May I say how considerate it is of you to enable your passengers such an in-depth and thorough tour of the Caribbean. 

Most other airlines I have travelled on would simply wish to take me from point A to B in rather a hurry. I was intrigued that we were allowed to stop at not a lowly one or two but a magnificent six airports yesterday. And who wants to fly on the same airplane the entire time? We got to change and refuel every step of the way!

I particularly enjoyed sampling the security scanners at each and every airport. I find it preposterous that people imagine them all to be the same. And as for being patted down by a variety of islanders, well, I feel as if I’ve been hugged by most of the Caribbean already.

I also found it unique that this was all done on “island time,” because I do like to have time to absorb the atmosphere of the various departure lounges. As for our arrival, well, who wants to have to take a ferry at the end of all that flying anyway? I’m glad the boat was long gone by the time we arrived into Tortola last night — and that all those noisy bars and restaurants were closed.

So thank you, LIAT. I now truly understand why you are “The Caribbean Airline.”

P.S. Keep the bag. I never liked it anyway.

As a colleague said: “I guess this is why LIAT is reputed to stand for Languishing In Airport Terminals!”

But seriously, making customer service key to your company will keep your employees motivated and your customers happy. This in turn ensures enduring loyalty, business success and a better experience for everyone.

By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group

…some folks get it…so many more don’t…

………hugmamma.

Virgin Millionaire Richard Branson doing a qui...

karma…

“HATE HAS CONSEQUENCES.”

Something I heard on a news show today. Not a surprising statement about the topic of discussion…Rush Limbaugh…conservative radio personality.

Rush Limbaugh Cartoon by Ian D. Marsden of mar...

 

My aversion to the man is akin to my total disgust for bed bugs. He and they…one and the same…as far as I’m concerned.

Seems Limbaugh is losing significant financial support. Advertisers have bowed to the wishes of women and young folk who oppose Limbaugh’s attack against those with whom they identify. Remember college student Sandra Fluke who spoke out in support of contraceptive coverage by health insurers?

On February 29, 2012, Rush Limbaugh labeled Sandra Fluke a “slut” and “prostitute” based on her speech before House Democrats. Fluke appeared to support mandating health insurers to cover contraceptive costs. Limbaugh stated:[30][31]

“[Fluke] essentially says that she must be paid to have sex—what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”

Political figures, including President Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner, voiced disapproval of Limbaugh’s comments.[32] On March 3, Limbaugh apologized to Fluke for his comments, saying his “insulting word choices” were meant to be “humorous”, and that he never believed her to be a “slut” or a prostitute.[33][34] Fluke rejected the apology as dubious and inadequate.[35]

Karma may be a long time coming, but when it arrives…

 …how sweet it is…

ACLU/SC 19th Annual Law Luncheon

………hugmamma.

…a new day…

(The following post was written earlier…)

My daughter’s middle name…Kehaulani  is Hawaiian for “morning dew.” Like drops of water clinging softly to a flower…my days begin with thoughts of my beloved daughter. 

Dew Drops

Today was no different, except for the fact that it was unlike any other…for both the Royal Family…and our family.

Delicate tutus will no longer grace my daughter’s lithe body. With pointe shoes in hand she is exiting stage right…a ballerina, and re-entering stage left…a contemporary dancer

While ballet companies are updating their repertoire to include non-classical pieces, they continue to make the bulk of their earnings from the likes of Romeo and Juliette, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Cinderella.

What ballerina doesn’t dream of dancing the lead in these epic tales of romance and drama? But as we all know the fairy tale ending is that only one lucky princess gets the prince. The company’s remaining women dance supporting roles.

While never the leading lady, my daughter has done her share of awesome dancing. She was especially honored to dance wonderful parts in pieces by guesting choreographers who hand-picked their dancers from among the company members. It became increasingly apparent to her, and others, that she was a natural in contemporary dance

Dancer Abby Silva Gavezzoli leads a master cla...

I had the rare opportunity to watch my daughter in dance classes while visiting NYC recently. She spent 6 weeks taking master classes at STEPS ON BROADWAY this summer.

Master classes are not for the novice…or the faint of heart or mind. They are normally taught by dance notables. As an added bonus, my daughter’s instructors were directors of small and large contemporary dance companies. She experienced their high expectations first hand, while sizing up the competition. 

Naturally I’m prejudiced, but my daughter was among the handful of dancers who stood out in each class.

Cheshire Cat

Among my daughter’s fans were a couple of moms who also observed classes in which their daughters were dancing. One remarked to the other “That girl in the purple tank top is an amazing dancer.” To which her companion replied “I know. I’ve been watching her all week.” Smiling like the Cheshire cat in “Alice in Wonderland,” I didn’t let on that it was my daughter about whom they were speaking.

The Russian woman who taught the daily ballet class my daughter took, praised and complimented her. The instructor loved having such a beautiful dancer in her class. Instructors in other classes made similar observations. Four were company directors who asked my daughter to keep in touch, a couple even asking that she send her resume and invited her to take class with their companies.

The future looks bright and promising.

My daughter is finalizing a Fall gig with a choreographer she greatly admires. In August she will audition to dance in a Broadway remake of “An American in Paris,” set to run during 2014-2015. And then, of course, she will be pursuing a dialogue with those artistic directors who thought she might be a good addition to their companies.

At 27 with 11 years of professional ballet experience to her credit, my daughter is confidently heading toward a new horizon in her career as a dancer. 

I wish Catherine and William and their royal son…all the love with which my husband, daughter and me have been blest.

babies are like dew drops…welcomimg the dawn of a bright, new day…

A drop of dew cupped in the leaf of the common...

………hugmamma.