Rule #20. Don’t Surprise

Rule #16 explained don’t surprise….It’s my best example of what not to do and why.

I just really want to share a few GOOD surprises I’ve received in 2013.

Surprise #1

Met my first whistle blower!  It was exciting for me to be in the aura of such bravery.  Sometime, when it’s possible, will tell you more, but for now, all I can say is that I love knowing her. Thanks, Lori Capps for introducing us!

Nothing is more dangerous than the TRUTH.


Surprise #2

On the “Country Faith” CD, brain-child of Deborah Evans-Price, I was introduced to artist Jimmy Wayne.  I love, love, love his song, “SHINE”.   It reminds me of dear friend, Debra Brawner – Debra uses the word SHINE regularly — for years I’ve  watched her give others the opportunity to SHINE, me included.  SHINE is Debra’s mantra, and yes, it’s part of why I love his song, AND now, Jimmy Wayne’s music.

 “Country Faith” was my tipping point. 

Remember: It only takes one person to help another SHINE. Who can you help to SHINE today?  tomorrow?  next week?  What will be your tipping point?

Debra Brawner, left with Betty White and ‘friends’ from the Columbus Zoo!Debra and Betty White

Music artist, Jimmy Wayne, sings “SHINE” on the “Country Faith” CD.

Jimmy Wayne

“The Tipping Point”

Tipping Point book

Malcolm Gladwell, author, “The Tipping Point”

Malcolm Gladwell


I don’t miss one. single. episode. of Dr. Phil.  Even watch the reruns on OWN.  This is the first time I can remember being this interested in any television show. I have learned SO MUCH.  His words of wisdom have helped me deal with familial problems since my Mother’s death in 2012.  I understand so much more through his shows about siblings, wills and caregivers.  I am at peace because I know others’  actions have nothing to do with me.  His words, via the shows have given me a peace that only comes with ME doing the gritty work.  I’m on the other side of my hurt now, and joyous with my life.   Surprised at myself, that I’ve actually been able to forgive those who’ve hurt me — and my late Mother — so much.  Blessed.

BUT if I could talk to him, I would ask him to QUIT SAYING  “This is not my first rodeo” over and over and over.  WE KNOW.  WE KNOW.

Dr. Phil

A Night of Honor

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Rule #19. Be free, yet careful with apologies and asking for forgiveness.

Hee Haw logo

When the television show HEE HAW was in full swing I was lucky enough to be involved.  The only person who can make me laugh more than being on set during a HEE HAW shoot is Mark Lowry, so you can only imagine how much fun we had ‘working’…

Mark Lowry on Broadway

Mark Lowry on Broadway, great show at NYC’s Beacon Theatre.

My favorite place to ‘hang out’ was always the make-up room.  It was there I met K.T. Oslin; Johnny and June Carter Cash, so many others.  Needing glasses during this time,  too scared to wear contacts,  I went without both.  Vain much?

Hee Haw Honeys

HEE HAW’s Pickin’ and a Grinnin’

KT Oslin

K.T. Oslin is AMAZING


Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash & George Lindsey

Marie Osmond was there one day with her soon-to-be husband, Brian Blosil.  Passing the make-up-room on my way to one of the dressing rooms, thought the person I was meeting was in the make-up chair.  Standing in the doorway, she was maybe five feet from me.  Looking directly at her — I waved — letting her know I was in the house.  She did not acknowledge my wave. So I waved again, assuming she had not seen me. Staring, probably trying to think – who is that person waving at me?  Maybe she’s having a blank stare, I thought to myself, so I waved a third time.   Still not responding, I waved a fourth time, squinting to see better.  Finally realizing she was not who I was there for, instead, it was Marie Osmond in that make-up chair!

Marie Osmond

Marie Osmond

Realizing my mistake, I said  “Oh, sorry, I thought you were someone else”. (Dumb in and of itself!)

Was I really sorry? NO, since I went directly into the HEE HAW girls’ dressing room laughing ALOT, telling the story.  Then, we all laughed (& laughed) even more.

No, I wasn’t really sorry.

Why did I say “Oh sorry”?  It’s natural when we strive to be kind, to say sorry.  Too casually sometimes.

There’s a saying “If you don’t like someone you will get mad at the way they hold their fork; but if you like them, they can turn a bowl of spaghetti on top of your head and you won’t care.”

dog and spaghetti

As an over thinker, if I need to say I’m sorry, will analyze the situation to death.  How else can it be prevented a second time? I always want to understand why something happened and the reason. It takes time, though.

A couple of years ago, needing to apologize to someone, spent several days analyzing what happened before putting it in writing. My apology was not accepted, rather, was told they didn’t feel sincerity. Really? Really.

A face-to-face was refused, so, I apologized in writing again …. and then again ….yet they came back with the need for another apology, didn’t feel what I said was sufficient.  At that point, seeking counsel, told to drop it because nothing would appease someone who really didn’t want to resolve the issue.  So, I let go.

Guess they didn’t like the way I held my fork.

holding a fork

We do not have control over another accepting our apology.  We ONLY have control over what we say, and if it’s authentic.  We must be at peace with our words, because that’s all we have.    An authentic apology is all that matters, NOT the way we hold our fork.

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Rule #18. Say Thank you (again, not to be confused with writing thank you notes!)

Today I learned a dear friend was ‘stabbed in the back’ by someone she thought was a friend. If we’ve lived at all, we’ve had unfortunate experiences, some with friends. A friend stabbing us in the back always hurts more, don’t you think?

Why are we still shocked when something like this happens? Those who are trustworthy trust easier, we want to trust others and believe what is good. Doesn’t always happen the way we wish, and I don’t know about you, but hope I never lose the ability to trust. Trust is a significant component to anything we do, it’s about our character.

Actress Betty White is one of the most trusted celebrities today. I have been fortunate to work with her — Betty and Jack Hanna are great friends — and I can tell you she is exactly what you see — Absolutely lovely and kind. It’s wonderful to me she is so beloved. She makes it easy to say THANK YOU and everyone wants to work with her because she is honorable, she knows what THANK YOU really means.  It’s our behavior to and about one another.


Several years ago, another friend asked me to befriend her older sister. The sister had just gotten out of a really terrible (third) marriage and I was told she had no friends. I introduced her to a few close friends and it all seemed terrific for awhile UNTIL she decided the friends I introduced her to should be better friends with her, I was unnecessary. “Why are you friends with her?”  she asked our mutual friend.

Needless to say, trust erodes quickly when something like this happens. So that’s why she had no friends! She wasn’t thankful for the opportunity to treasure those friendships dear to me, much less to me for bringing her into my circle.

Everyone loses when this happens.

No matter how close we may be to someone, sometimes we have no idea of the demons they fight daily. Demons like jealously, envy or greed. Maybe it’s more, maybe it’s just fear, not feeling good enough or the polar opposite – arrogance – even  worse, both. Whatever it is, we can’t even pretend to know what happens to some when things don’t go exactly their way, I just know it’s usually not pretty.

Consequences for our behavior are real and discernment should go hand-in-hand with trust. We must be smart about who we let in, and then trust our instincts.

There is no better thank you than honoring ‘the one who brung you’….and yes, I said BRUNG….Thank you.
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