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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Women Brokers.... enough said


I work in a business where the majority of the upper management are men.... and that's okay.... Actually, I prefer it that way... Why? Because men do not tend to be sooooo petty... They are black and white.... If they are happy. they tell you... If they are not happy... they tell you.. and I respect that completely..... I do not have the time nor the patience to play the "Let's figure out what emotion this lady is having today!!"

I have recently acquired a new client.... The loan officer is a sweet lady and I do enjoy her... She has a heart of gold - is a hard worker - is giving her 100% best.... a little emotional and that's okay... I truly believe if her skin were a little thicker she would be much happier.... Honestly, it is hard at times to be truly nice in the mortgage business.... without being stepped on.... I have learned - that in order to survive and thrive in this industry (24 years experience here talking) you have to have a thick skin... not take things personally.... be a bulldog..... and not cower in a corner.... You need to be heard and sometimes your voice has got to be on the loud screechy side..

I'm getting off track here.... so I have this new client - right away she gave me a large volume of loans..... loans that have been sorta kinda processed... loans that need to close yesterday... loans that took me till the early morning hours of the night (several nights) to get straight.... I worked harder on these loans than loans I get from scratch... I have to tell you - I pulled off some major miracles... I funded the un fundable.. I was getting calls from the listing and selling agents - thanking me for a job well done... I was making everyone money.... everyone was happy... except....

My new client has a woman "broker" - Lord, save me from women brokers... especially the kind who have no idea how the mortgage side of real estate works.... the kind that isn't happy unless she's finding some sort of way to tear a person down because it makes her feel better.... In the past couple of days - I have been copied in on a couple of emails from this "broker" and the lady has really got to get her head out of her behind... One email was advising the loan officer to advise me to read conditions before they are sent to the lender - because she (the broker) misread a form.... I was right.... she was wrong.... and I copied her in the email sent from the lender thanking me for getting everything there correctly and promptly..... hmmm - Of course, the copy to me - I wasn't suppose to see.... There were several other little jabs that were not needed.... nor were they correct... the "broker" was making assumptions possibly based on past experience.... who knows??? I believe it was the 'broker' playing the "I'm a woman, hear me roar" game... The "I have to say something - so I appear smart" game... This "broker" sent the messages to my sweet loan officer never imagining that the loan officer would forward to me... What is with people who play these superior games? There are so many other ways to effectively manage people.... more respectful ways.... more mature ways....

So this is my rant blog today... You know this is not my typical style.... I truly do try to write about positive things... But please forgive me.... Blogging at times can be such a freeing release... The stress that I have been feeling from this "Broker" has been bubbling over and this is my way of getting it out constructively - rather than scream and rant and pull hair..(hers not mine).... Now the question I need to answer is this....... Is working with the "broker" worth it? That is the question that I need to think and pray on..... I enjoy the loan officer - she is a treat.... What do you think?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The New School Year..

First Day of School....


I am happy to report that I have two incredibly beautiful, talented, and smart daughters... many times I take it for granted how blessed we all are.. Blessed that they have their health... their God given talents and their love for life and their huge loving hearts...

With the new school year - we have had to face a couple of unexpected challenges.. Every year of my kids' academic lives they have both achieved "A" averages... My eldest had to work harder for her grades - but she is blessed with the love of reading and a steel trap for a brain... she does not forget anything - unless - it's something she wants to forget.. like chores.. Somehow, she is forgetting to study.... and has received her first F!!!! Talk about knocking me over with a feather... Since then she has received an "A" on her last history test and that has raised her grade to a whopping D plus.... Lessons are being learned by her and by me..... learning to be a better organizer... has become a top priority... I do have to say though... that all of her other classes she is getting A's.......

My youngest - hates hates hates to read but can retain everything that she learns is class... and her mind is a human calculator... the kid has got math.. The problem is now that she is in the 6th grade - she has to study independently.... and find the answers herself.. There lies the problem.... and with that problem or better word... challenge came her very first ever... D.. At first I was livid... she is too smart to get a D... what the heck is going on???? But after thinking it through - I am thinking it just might be a blessing in disguise..... because now - she realizes how important good grades are..... since she has received her D - she has earned three "A" papers but they have only risen the grade to B status.... which I am happy to report is driving her nuts and her beautiful competitive nature will have none of that...

I am thinking although they were off to a rocky start - lessons are being learned.... education and knowledge is being better appreciated.... and everything will be good... I recently received these pictures and wanted to share...

Their cousin's wedding.... Aren't they lovely???


Monday, September 21, 2009

Look No Further Than Your Own Closet..


So my 8th grader wanted to get a bag to hold her gym clothes in... no problem right? Oh geez - over 10 stores later - nothing would fit her exact needs/wants.. So we come home and there's a bag she found hanging in her closet.. it was exactly what she wanted......

It's funny how what we are looking for is just hanging around in our closet to be found...

My Deep Thought For The Day...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cliff's Story


When I wrote about the adoption of my daughters - many people had their opinion.... Many were nice and some not so nice..... regardless of how nice or not so nice the comments were - it opened my eyes to the many challenges that all parties in the adoption process go through... I am not saying I am an expert - far from it - I am saying that I now have a more compassionate heart and I am not as ignorant as I once was.....

My husband and I met our friends Cliff and Karen on a cruise ship in 1992 - Dusty and I were celebrating our three (3) year anniversary and Cliff and Karen were celebrating Cliff being cancer free for one year... It's funny to me how we met on the first night of our seven (7) day cruise to the Mexican Rivera.... When we got on the ship - I wanted to cry.... We were on a very old ship that set sail from San Diego, Ca - the ship was very small - no wonder we got such a great deal... as we were looking for our cabin - we had to weave in and out of all the walkers, wheelchairs, and very slow walking individuals.... I think the closest person to our own age was 70.... So on that first night after dinner - we went outside on deck so I could smoke a cigarette (I quit 4 years ago) - and across the deck - we saw a couple with Brown Hair.... and the wife was smoking.... we worked our ways towards each other - they spotted us too.... Seventeen (17) years later - Cliff and Karen are still our best friends....

Cliff shared his story with us many years ago - the story of his adoption that happened over 50 years ago.... It amazes me how different the process is today...

Ever since Cliff could remember he knew he was adopted.... he believed that he was special because he was chosen.. He said that his parents told him that other parents got stuck with what they got when they gave birth and they felt sorry for those people... Cliff believed it and it made him feel good.... Over 50 years later - he likes that memory..... In the days of his adoption - his adoptive parents did not meet with the birth parents.... they did not get a medical history..... they basically got a phone call one day that told them they had a baby boy.... and a few years later a baby girl... His parents went to the orphanage and picked up their new children.... In those days - adoptive parents were not put under a microscope as much as they are today... In Cliff's case - he was raised by middle class parents who loved him and his sister..... As Cliff grew up into early adulthood - he did not really think much about being adopted - it really did not matter to him.... but it did matter to his sister - she was angry towards her unknown birth parents... she felt abandoned.... and it upset her life for many many years.....

Cliff and Karen tried for many years to have children - they went through it all - after more tests than they could count - they decided to adopt... When they started the process - Cliff become curious about where he came from.... He needed to know.....

Cliff knew what county he was born in - he was able to get his birth certificate but before they handed it to him they whited out the birth parents' names.... crazy - (my kids have two birth certificates - the original and the one showing as our child - we got them in the mail automatically) Cliff was able to scratch off the white out and see the name - he knew she was from the mid west - he found a phone number that fit her and called..... a lady answered - he said my name is Cliff and I have reason to believe you are my birth mother.... silence.... and then the lady says through tears in her voice - I have been looking forward to this day.... now I got to break the news to my husband and kids... (they did not know about Cliff)..

Cliff met his birth mom and his 3 siblings - funny thing he discovered is that his brother - had almost the exact same personality - both Cliff and he were handy with their hands and both love love love to talk.. His birth mom told him that she had gone to LA on summer break - went to a party - drank too much - had sex with a cute man (her first time) - came home - and learned that she was pregnant... When she was starting to show - she came back to CA and stayed with relatives and then an unwed mother home - and never did she the baby she gave birth too... She gave Cliff the name of his birth father - Cliff found him too - but the birth father refused to acknowledge Cliff and hung up..... Cliff was hurt but was okay with it too.....

Cliff's adoptive parents have both passed away but he is close to his birth mother and his brothers and sister... his children know her as grandma.... Cliff had asked his sister if she too wanted to meet her birth parents.... and she does not.....


Friday, September 18, 2009

Human Trafficking Is All Around Us


Last year I had the opportunity to learn about Human Trafficking.... Real life human trafficking that is happening in my own country... my own state.... and sadly in my own county.... This is a real crime - that many people don't know about.... I volunteer my time to help get the word out by working a booth at the county fair.... prayer walking in known areas of human trafficking - can you believe Huntington Beach Pier - is a known target area for human traffickers...

Two years ago in a nail salon down the street from my home - a human trafficking ring was broken up.... the workers turned out to be slaves brought here from Vietnam... They lived.... they worked.. they slept... and they were beaten in this salon... Walking into the nail salon - the untrained eye would never see - that the workers would look to only one leader - one person that they show fear too.... You would not realize that the main reason they did not talk with you wasn't because of language barriers - it was because they were not allowed to converse with the clients...

In a private gated community in a wealthy area in Orange County California - there lived a young Egyptian girl of eight (8)... She was sold to a wealthy couple.. This wealthy couple took this child home with them.... This child became their house slave. A neighbor noticed something not right.... why was the child not going to school with the other children in the household.... the neighbor called the police and now the couple is in jail.... This young girl was rescued at the age of 13.... Recently, she told her story - today she is 19 years old. click here to read her story.

Recently - I received an email from a friend who is also active in human trafficking.. What she came across is so offensive to me.... There is a t-shirt for sale at The Onion Store that says this:
"My Friend went to Thailand and All I Got was this lousy kidnapped prostitute." This is no joke. It is hard for me to believe that there are people out there that find any humor in this shirt...

Knowing what I know about the millions of women and children who are trafficked every day... that are abused - mentally and sexually... who are afflicted with diseases beyond their control and when they are no longer an asset to the abusers... they are murdered.... thrown away like trash... I find the shirt more offensive than I can describe... My friend called the company to verify that this shirt truly exists.... and it does.. ( I have the link in this post for you to see for yourself...) my friend asked to speak with a manager and was denied but she was told that many people have already called to complain.... If you feel as strongly as I do - give them a call at 800-280-1791 and voice your objection to this truly heinous shirt...

Monday, September 14, 2009

No Respect At the Video Music Awards


I had recently posted about the difference between my music and my daughter's music..... I made light of it. I lived through the 80's - and the music of that day is still music I like to listen too.. I get very happy (giddy really) when I turn the radio on and it's "Flashback 80's weekend".. I have flashbacks of my big high hair - my big earrings - multi- colored bracelets. I was a fashion diva - okay, maybe in my mind but I thought I was "totally cool". I have great memories of going to dances and listening to music from the Stray Cats... Michael Jackson (who could forget dancing to Thriller when it first came out. I know I was a dancing zombie many a time...). When Madonna first came out with her "Like a Virgin" album - we were all ready to wear the black bras - with see through net shirts... That was racy in my day... at least in my world..

I know there were singers and bands that sang about bad things... there were bad boys (and bad girl) personalities.... but that was music - I chose not to listen too. It was music that I never knew the words too. I want to say that people were more respectful in my day.... even more so in my parents' day.. In today's society in many ways respect is a thing of the past...

Last night I did not watch the VMA's - I don't really care for today's music and I don't know the singers/bands.... My kids do - a song could just start on the radio and they will call out the song and the artist... Last night - Dusty was enjoy his manly man time - watching football - eating ribs - and playing ping-pong with his "men friends". The kids were taking advantage of the last of the warm summer nights by playing paddle ball - and chasing each other down the neighborhood... I was folding clothes and enjoying the peace and quiet....

Before I went to bed last night I watched a little of the news.... What I saw floored me - At the Video Music Awards - Kanye West a well known "bad boy" rapper jumps on stage - takes the microphone out of Taylor Swift's hands as she is accepting her VMA award for Best Female Video. Kanye tells her that she should not have won the award and that Beyonce should have won... The outburst shocked everyone and he was booed off stage....

Today I started to think more about the music my kid is listening too. She has told me she loved rap and I do remember her mentioning Kanye West and to be honest I am guilty of listening with only half a ear to the names of the singers she listens too.... I am thinking I need to be more diligent in knowing my kids' preferences and why... I don't know if I would censor her music - I doubt I would ... but I can let her know my thoughts and we will have an opportunity to talk about her likes and dislikes... what a great way to spend time with my teen... A great opportunity to talk about values.....
<a href="http://www.mtv.com/ontv/vma/2009/" target="_blank">Kanye West Storms The VMA Stage</a>





Sunday, September 13, 2009

Running On Empty


Being a mom is tough.... Being a wife and mother is tougher.... Being a wife, mother, and business owner is the toughest... at least for me.... I have so many balls flying in the air that I don't have time to pick up a ball or two that has dropped.... I am thankful that my girls are old enough to clean up after themselves.... old enough to help with the household chores..... and wise enough not to complain when I am having a stressed out day....

This has been one of those weeks... Going 50 miles an hour and starting to run on empty... School has started which means much earlier mornings.... take the kids to school at 7:45 am.... think about hitting the gym as I pass it by... maybe tomorrow? Put a roast in the crock pot - clean the kitchen... Start my day job by 9:00 am - If I start work earlier which is usually the case.. the roast gets forgotten, the dishes remain in the sink... The beds stay unmade... the house remains a mess from the morning rush madness.....

Today at Sunday school I was thinking about all the things I am doing... all the things I have to do.. and I was in the biggest feel sorry for me mood... Then I looked at my friend Linda.. She is in the mortgage industry as well..... She had to stop working and go on workman's compensation because of severe carpal tunnel and other joint pains.... Now she is suppose to go back to work and her previous job can no longer hire her - she can't find a job... she is still in pain... and the money has stopped coming in.. Her husband just lost his job too... So here I have two people.. two very sweet people... who have nothing coming in.... and I am sure they are looking at me complaining and wishing they could trade places with me... It is sometimes hard to see the blessings surrounding you until you see the hardships of others.... I will not complain again..... My life is truly full....

Church service came after Sunday school and I am pretty sure that God was not done convicting me..... He just wanted me to be sure I was getting it.... I was listening.... I was paying attention... One of the first things that was said..... "My daddy always told me that if you think you got it tough... I can guarantee that someone has got it tougher..." seriously.... now I am thinking okay, Father - I hear you.....

Then the next thing I hear is, "Seize your moments...." That really finalized it for me... Here I was making plans for what "I" need to do... What "I" want to do... My thoughts were all about me on a Sunday morning... I glanced over at my two beautiful girls and realized that I was not seizing the moments when I could spend time with them... I was not seizing the hugs that are given so freely by Kara... and I was not seizing the moments when my teenager daughter wants to talk about something.... I was not taking in those blessings when I could... I was too busy thinking about me.. and I was too busy running on empty when God kept giving me chances to be fulfilled...

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Music Generation Gap In My House!!


There is a huge generation gap in my house!!! Today, Dusty and Nikki were cleaning out the garage.... Nikki asked Dusty if they could listen to her kind of music... Dusty thinking that he was still hip.... still into the scene... said "Absolutely".. I think he secretly wanted to show his eldest that he still knew his music... that he was a cool dude.. a cool with-it dad....

So they are cleaning the garage and I walk out to change the clothes from the washer to the dryer and I heard the most hideous music... screeching really... My comment wasn't the best thing I have ever said.. "This music makes me want to throw something through the wall - it's awful.... it's irritating the H E double hockey sticks out of me" Yep, I said the H E double hockey sticks word..... If you read my blog- you would know that I am working on my F bombs and other various letter bombs - so H E double hockey sticks is pretty good for me.. any hoo... Dusty pipes in and says that "I Agree! - this is awful"

I remember the day when my parents would say my music was awful... that it was screeching and what the heck was I listening too - how could I understand the words..
I guess the title of my blog is true once again... I've HAVE
Become My Mother.....

Her Music..... this is what I walked in today..


My Music.... this what my parents walked in to twenty-six (26) years ago..


Who's music do you think is better?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sisters Of Mine

I ran across this picture/etching the other day in one of my memory boxes.. Hard to believe that not too long ago - my babies were babies..

One of the things I tell my girls is that a friend can last a short time or a life time - you just don't know but.... a sister is for a lifetime and if you are really lucky - she'll be your best friend.... So stop the fighting right now!!!!!

I have two (2) sisters - both of my sisters are older than me (eight and nine years) - growing up I think we all believed a friendship would be nearly impossible... I was the bratty little sister and well - they were grown up and out of the house before I finished elementary school... We basically grew up in different generations.... and in a way different parents too. My mom was sixteen (16) and then seventeen (17) when my sisters were born.. .. She was still a kid herself and now a mom - I think she and my dad had a very hard time raising two babies... I know my sisters had a much harder time in their youth than I did... by the time I was born - my mom was 25 and more mature as a parent... I don't think my sisters meant to resent me - when I was a kid - for the much easier way of life I was enjoying... but they did.... I knew they loved me.... but in a way I think they didn't like me much.... either.... I know it must have been hard on them to watch me get spoiled when they practically had nothing growing up.... of course I did not experience their lack of wants... so as a kid it was hard for me to understand...

When I became an adult .... a mom - I started developing relationships with my sisters... At first it was tough because of old resentments.... We were the text book definition of a dysfunctional family of an alcoholic parent (my dad). We grew up not really trusting or liking each other - things were said that should not have been.... assumptions were made that were false.. and many other complications... But we worked our way through the pain... through the resentments.. past and present...... We were sisters and we believed that bond alone is a good starting point for a friendship..

Today - one of my sisters - I am very close too.. She lives locally and we have the opportunity to spend a lot time together... We are together for every holiday and special occasion... I have always been involved in her daughters' lives as she is involved in my girls' lives... Our common goals, beliefs, and feelings are very much on the same page...... We have been through some very difficult times together and how we handled it made us stronger....

My other sister moved across the United States thirteen (13) years ago - shortly after my oldest daughter was born... I think in the past 13 years - we have seen each other less than a dozen times... Maintaining a close relationship via phone is difficult.... we tried for many years - but the distance and lack of seeing each other made our relationship hard to keep on track... Life is busy with kids and work... Maintaining any relationship is hard... it's not to say I don't love my sister - I love her very much... but unfortunately - I just don't know her anymore.. Distance is tough.... I would love it if she moved back... I would love to know my niece (her daughter).... I would love to spend Christmas together....

I will continue to tell my girls to be kind to each other.. to love one another... to try to keep resentment away... to try to keep assumptions from happening... to lift each other up... to have each others back... Because a sister is for a lifetime and if you are really lucky... she'll be your best friend.....

Love you Debbie and Tammy - God bless you both... sisters of mine..

Me, Tammy, and Debbie

Friday, September 4, 2009

Patagonia Now At Zappos.com


I was first introduced to Zappos.com years ago by a friend that did all her online shoe shopping there.... What I liked about Zappos.com is the great selection of shoes from all the top brand names... I love love shoes.
Patagonia has partnered with zappos and now the selection is even greater.

I bought these slip on shoes a couple of weeks ago and it is now my favorite shoe - it's soft and really comfortable.. The removable footbed is lined with pigskin leather and it molds to the natural curve of my foot... - Walking around in Disneyland with these shoes has been great!

Patagonia uses the strongest and most durable materials - their products are made to last... When Patagonia first started they were more geared towards climbers and surfers who wanted their shoes to last - they later developed into more than just durable but pretty shoes too! Red I like red shoes - my husband likes to laugh at me and my red shoes.... but my friends always say - "Kelly - I love your Dorthy red shoes..." They make me happy.

If you need hiking shoes - check out Patagonia. This particular shoe is a winner - with a great price and a 5 star rating.

In addition to a great products - shoes and clothing, Patagonia is in the help to fight against environmental death of our planet. The use organic cotton and most of their polyester is recycled - they also give 1% of their sales, $25 million to date to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups in the US, Europe, and Japan...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gearing Up For School


One of the happiest times of the year is the beginning of the new school year - mostly for me I must admit - but the kids are ready to go back... even though they deny it they are excited - Why else would they try 1000 different ways to dress up their uniforms... their hair.... makeup..... Nikki loves to decorate her locker - she already has everything ready to go.... Her new book-bag is packed with everything she will need for the entire year... One brag moment - this summer - The principal invited Nikki to be a part of the high school Spanish class - this is a big to-do. Because she is an "A" student - she had the opportunity to take this class (by invitation only) - she could have taken three (3) other easy electives and got out of school early but she chose to do this advance class and get out of school later than her peers... Personally - I think she's a nut.... but boy am I proud of my smart girl....

Kara is so ready to start school - she also has her backpack packed and ready to go - she has already figured out her entire wardrobe for the following week - kind of cracks me up because she wears a uniform - the difference is in the tank top she will wear under the shirt - which uniform skirt or shirt and the shoes...... the converse... the uggs... the ballet slippers... or the tennis shoes... - I wish I had her shoe collection... Hard to believe my baby is in her last year of elementary school.. sigh

Tomorrow - we are going down to get the complete work up - the hair - the nails and the eyebrows for Nikki - after all she is a teenager - her Italian blood wants one continuous brow - but we got it down to two.... Kara has decided she wants her nails to be blue....okay - and Nikki wants black.. okey dokey...

Everyday - I am amazed how fast my girls are growing up - This will be the last year of junior high for Nikki and the last year of elementary for Kara. Every year on the first day of school - I always try to convince myself that I won't well up with tears - and I blow it each time.... Could you please pass me a tissue.....? My babies have become young ladies.... double sigh..

We will soon be back to the school and sports grind - The time for sleeping into noon is over for my sleepy girls - rise and shine will now be at 6:30 AM or sooner... Did I just say this is the happiest time of the year? Am I nuts? What was I thinking cuz that means I have to get up too!

I love this commercial - It's the most wonderful time of the year - the kids expressions - make me laugh

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