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Mirrored Wallpaper, Madness and You

Remember the popular wallpaper from back in the 70’s or maybe early 80’s that had the reflective mirror-like backing with some gaudy design overlaid on top of the mirror effect?  Yes, by the early to mid-1980’s many people wanted that stuff gone and chose to update their décor.  I hung (and stripped) a lot of wallpaper in a lot of houses back then, having homeowners much happier when the “mirror effect” went away.

Fast forward to today.  A few weeks ago I moved.  A new beginning of sorts since I moved to a different suburb after living in Eden Prairie, raising my family, doing my businesses and volunteering there for almost 24 years.  I’m in a home older than I’ve been accustomed to and guess what adorns my foyer?  Yup…wallpaper from hell.

When one of my nephews, then one of my son’s friends, who helped with my move saw the walls in my entryway for the first time, they marveled, “Wow!  This is SO cool!  I wish I had this in MY place!”  Keep in mind, these guys are 19-23 years old and have never seen the mirrored wallpaper phenomenon since most of it was (thankfully) gone prior to their births.

What does that have to do with you?  Let me explain. 

Note:  For those of you outside the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, you can continue to read for an idea or two, yet the promotion might not be something you can take advantage of for logistical reasons....just sayin'.

As I was stripping wallpaper from what was the pretty Pepto-Bismol Pink bathroom this weekend (my adventure isn’t limited to the foyer walls), I had the best idea.

It occurred to me that there are 2 things that happen in early March that can help me expedite this house project dilemma.  Not high school sports tournaments.  Not Spring Breaks.  It’s that time of the year for both March Madness Sales and The Minneapolis Home and Garden Show. 

When I worked in someone else’s office years ago, I used to take a vacation day every year to go to the Mpls Convention Center on a weekday before the big weekend rush to visit the home improvement vendors and smell the flowers and dirt they brought in for displays.  A date I couldn’t deny myself when there were typically snowbanks everywhere on the way to all those blooms just waiting to show off downtown.  Loved it!  I like upgrading houses and I enjoy gardening, which is a bonus, since the place I moved to a couple of weeks ago has given me more than ample “opportunities” to do both.  Translate:  LOTS of work to do.  In EVERY room (literally).   Before gardening season starts.

As a gardener and artist, it’s one thing to be curious with anticipation and another thing to expect a major project.  I don’t know what’s under the 4’ of snow in my new backyard other than some evidence of a wire fence in the shape of a square doing its best to peek out for air.  “Grandma”, the lovely 90-year old lady that lived here for the past 35 years, promised there is a garden back there and listed a few surprises I may find if – I mean when – the snow melts.

Yesterday, as my best buddy, DIF, and I tackled layers of glue on the walls in anticipation of Spackle, Sandpaper and Blue Tape to do their duties next before the main event (paint!), the genius idea came to me:

Have a March “Stop-The-Madness” Sale!

I’m admittedly a bit creeped out about doing a sale this extreme, yet I really need to fund this house overhaul project this month – before I have my own madness AND before the fence in the backyard is uncovered.  If you feel inspired to get some clarity about your own “madness” (you know I’m not alone when it comes to that) and are willing to come into my “construction site” for the Deal of the Year, here are some things to consider if this Stop-The-Madness promotion is for you or someone you love and/or respect:

March indicates the end of the first quarter. 

  • Are you on track with your goals and aspirations for 2011?
  • Have you been one of the many to abandon the gym for the year (be honest) because your New Year’s Resolution was just SO long ago and that commitment has come and gone as quickly as a satellite in orbit?  You know what your "gym" is that you blew off already, so just fill that in the blank.
  • Do you have a nagging sense that you are “up to something”… and are having a heck of a time defining what “it” is – or what action you might take to execute “it”? 

I can inspire some insight.

FROM NOW THROUGH MARCH 10Almost all of my services* are ½ priceGulp.

  • 1-Hour Ideation/Effectiveness  Strategy sessions:  $75 (reg. $150)
  • 1-hour hand analysis reading:  $60 (reg. $120)
  • ½ hour hand analysis reading:  $35 (reg. $70)
  • $300 off 6-month Executive Coaching Program

This sale applies only to services purchased and started on or before 3/10/11.   Note that although I've recorded the readings I've done for the last 15+ years that I've been reading hands, at this madness price, they won’t be recorded unless you bring something along to record for yourself.  However, if we do any Ideation work in person, you can take my notes with you.  

*This promo does not apply to gift certificates, corporate events or appointments scheduled beyond 3/10/11.  It also does not include copywriting services provided by WordQueens, although you may want to check out that fun site if you need some irreverent, effective content writing for your marketing materials, website, etc.  www.wordqueens.com

Now it’s up to you.  Call or email me to see whatever time you and I can match our calendars and I’m yours!  Since we both have several things already on our agendas for the next week and a half, it would be important set this up sooner than later, because on March 11, my madness is technically over.  Ok, as soon as the paper is gone, it’s officially over.

Thank you for your contribution to yourself, your well-being, your success and the ripple effect you cause when you contribute to your inspired self when you get a handle on your own madness this March! 

Oh, and HUGE GRATITUDE for beautifying our world (no more mirrored paper!) by supporting my project.  You’ll have to stop by for tea in the summer once the surprise in the back yard unfolds. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

BE the Inspiration YOU are!





They sell cookbooks at the bookstore?

Yesterday I met Dorothy.  I needed a change of venue so I decided to get out of the office, skip the coffee shop scene, and go to the local mall’s food court to catch up on some paperwork.  The mall in my town has a gigantic fireplace in the middle of the food court, so I was instantly drawn to the glow and the heat as I left my car in the falling snow outside.  A chair as big as Papa Bear’s welcomed me to warm my bones while I settled into my reading. 

After a bit, a lovely, tender lady in a very fashionable hat, rolled a Sears shopping cart carrying only her purse over to the hearth and sat down right in front of me.  What a sophisticated hat on this petite, sparkling-eyed gem!  It wasn’t 30 seconds before she started,  “This is my home away from home.  I live 9/10ths miles from where I work at the high school in the lunch room and I really think the school should have underground parking because there is a lot of snow to clean off when I get out of work. I have the best job and make more money than ever in my life – 14 dollars minus a nickel per hour and I work 4 and ¼ hours except on Wednesdays when I work 4 and ¾ hours.” 

Her name is Dorothy.  I’m guessing at not even 5’ tall and 85 years old, the 40+ inches of snow so far this year is probably more of an inconvenience than a deterrent for sweet, feisty Dorothy.

For the ease of reading this, I added a few periods to avoid the world’s longest run-on sentence.  Dorothy doesn’t speak with punctuation.  When I asked about her hat, her response was something like,   

“Before the war (WWII) I used to be a Dayton’s girl and worked downtown, so I love hats.  Then my husband was in the marines and now I am widowed and I have 6 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.  I like to come here because they have some underground parking.  At the bookstore I was watching a book with pictures of all the cities in the country for when it would go on sale.  It went on sale, then on sale again so I could buy it.  I’m watching another picture book now and have to wait until that goes on sale a couple more times so I can maybe get that one someday.  The fire is nice here.  I come here a lot.  I like to spend time at the bookstore.”

We had further discussion about how bookstores were fascinating and a place we’ve both spent lots of curious hours.  I confessed that it’s also the place that I uncovered one of my most ridiculous moments of ignorance (of the many that I’ve uncovered).  I told Dorothy that many years ago, I dated a gourmet cook.  Early in our relationship, he would call me around 4:30 in the afternoon and ask what I was making for dinner.  My reply, “Dinner? It’s 4:30 in the afternoon!  Why would I think about dinner now? I’m still working.  I’ll think about making dinner when it’s time to make dinner...it’ll likely be something from a can, jar, box... or frozen.”  Unlike so many people who consider food an “experience”, to me food is fuel.  My experience of a meal comes mostly from the people I'm with and sometimes the aesthetics.  He would host dinner parties and I would help him with kitchen prep wondering why anyone would be intrigued with the process of all that.  Making it look pretty was appealing to me; the cooking....not so much.  He eventually got to the point of answering the phone when I'd call with "Hey! Can, jar, box or frozen!  How are you today?"  Eventually he informed me that he didn't care for how easily that comment flowed across my lips.  Which brings me to the embarrassing, yet meaningful point to this story.

One day this man informed me that he needed to go to the bookstore to get a cookbook.  I was confused.  So confused that I must have looked at him like puppies do when they cock their heads and ears perk up when they hear the word “treat” or “ride”.  Did I hear him correctly?  “You want to go to the bookstore to get a cookbook?!  They sell cookbooks at a bookstore?”  He was horrified at my ignorance.  He knew how I loved to read and learn and we’ve even spent a fair amount of time there together.  “Where do you think you would buy a cookbook?” he said.  Who knows?  In my entire life, it has never occurred to me to buy a cookbook, except now that I think about it, I got one for a microwave a hundred years ago so I could didn’t make my broccoli mushy in a pot anymore.  Aren’t cookbooks kind of like pens with logos...they just show up?  Maybe from bridal showers or from aunts or church fundraisers...right?

Off we went to the bookstore and what did I see for the first time?  Barnes & Noble had TWO full isles of cookbooks!  Who knew?  Plus another full rack of diet books!  Wow.  Hmmm.  And I went to college.  Genius.

That got me thinking about what else I am blinded to when it’s simply not on my radar screen.  I remember when I was house hunting, I noticed virtually every real estate sign in a front yard.  For the years I wasn’t looking for a house, I hardly ever saw one.  I presume all the For Sale signs didn’t magically disappear, they simply were no longer in my conscious awareness.  They had no need to be “drawn” from the background to the foreground for me anymore.   

It’s common to get in sort of a hypnotic state and miss much of our surroundings.  Did you ever drive home from work and remember getting in the car when you started, then parking at home, only to wonder how "autopilot" somehow mysteriously got you from Point A to Point B with no recall of the trip?  If it was a new route or you were lost, how different would your awareness become?

At some level, all of us go through life like this.  Backgrounds of beauty are simply white noise unless we pay attention.  Signs or signals of love, invitations, sunsets, appreciation, connectedness are always available.  What about the shifting to your "online" life....where so much learning is being gleaned from something with a screen?  Is that going to supersede gardening, or hiking or white water rafting or holding hands?  Would you call yourself diverted, focused, oblivious, engaged?

Or would your eyes sparkle when relating to relationships, like Dorothy? 

As I was winding up my visit with her, my daughter who is now away at college, called and I asked her if she remembered sweet Dorothy from when she was in high school.  “The lunch lady!  She’s the sweetest, kindest lady with a face I’ll never forget and has the coolest jewelry.”  Dorothy smiled.  Of course she has the coolest jewelry...she reminded me she was a "Dayton’s girl" before “The War”.

Be the inspiration YOU are!