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An interesting conversation took place between my brother and I this week.  It was regarding Cancer Research.  I had a widget that I installed on my site asking people  to “stand up to cancer”, and having 2 members in my family die of cancer, and a third battling it as we speak, I was ready willing and able to attach any and all links toward Research of this horrible disease to help eradicate it if at all possible.

As a certified Grief Counselor, I have worked with several groups who were either dealing with cancer themselves, or dealing with the loss of someone they loved due to Cancer.  There are so many things to deal with – even beyond the most horrible of which is the cancer itself, that many of us do not even think about beyond the loss.

My brother and sister-in-law lost a daughter to brain cancer.  She was only in her 30’s and left behind a husband and three small children at the time, all trying to cope with the horrible loss, which of course all family members felt for our beloved  Maureen.  For Maureen’s inspirational story, please go to  and see how the family dealt with their grief and turned a horrible tragedy into a memorial that transcends their completed grief process, into positive motivation in helping others who suffer the demons of cancer.

My brother pointed out to me that while Research was so very important, even just as important, there are so many families dealing with high financial costs due to members having cancer and how difficult it was trying to cope with the high cost of medical bills.  To that end, I went to HIS website and read the stories of so many who are suffering, so many success stories of those fighting cancer, and noted the help that this organization, Mission4Maureen has contributed to so many families.  Whether it was a light bill, food, medical equipment or gas for the car – this team has done so much for families in honor of their beloved Maureen, that you could not help but want to contribute to the cause.

This weekend, you will hear about the “Have a chance Walk” which is a walk for cancer patients.

Every year, the team for Maureen, walks or contributes, inspiring the “hope” that ignites the fuel to support their cause.  Grants have been awarded, monies contributed, prayers and well-wishes have abound as a result of their efforts.

This year’s Have A Chance Walk is counting on a huge team turnout as “Hope Steps Forward” on October 17th!

For team members arriving from out of state, Rooms are available close to Battery Park at the Holiday Inn Express at 126 Water Street, New York City, NY 10005,( Hotel Front Desk: 212-747-9222.

Also, please R.S.V.P. on the Events Page at so we have an idea as to how many will be joining us. I will be updating as we get closer to the event. Even if you can’t join us, don’t forget to register as a team fundraiser to add to our team total! (

If you don’t live in New York, or can’t attend the walk, you CAN donate to this great cause.  Just follow the link above and help out those families who have such a big burden, that even your small donation can be appreciated by the help it provides.  Thanks for your support.

Networking! The Art of Selling Yourself

This week was very busy! I did some serious networking for not only my own business, but for our new local member site, The Georgia VA Connection.(GVAC) (Click on my picture and it will take you to that site)  I am the founder and President of this new member site, and I have a fantastic board of additional founders making up a great team of Virtual Assistants located in Georgia, but we do work for clients outside the state too.  The Georgia VA Connection is a site originating from the International Virtual Assistant Association and the goal for all of us, of course, is to solicit new business for ourselves and collectively work on marketing a connection between GVAC and businesses in Georgia.

Given that background, this week was the first meet & greet of our new member site in Georgia, and we were very pleased how well it turned out!  More importantly, the ladies and gentlemen all networked together and exchanged laughs and thoughts.

That evening brought a couple of us to yet another networking event for the National Association of Women Business Owners, where there were over 60 exhibitors all networking and doing their thing all over the place. A bounty of business cards were exchanged, and I had an increase of over 50 emails since that event…and a couple of phone calls!

It brought home to me again, that networking is an art form.  One Coach was giving away a free drawing for hypnotherapy that would assist me in my business. I won…but –unfortunately, so did all my associates…a ½ talk session (sales session!) to see what type of therapy would benefit us the BEST, either on a personal basis or for our businesses. Unfortunately, I confused hypo with hydro and thought I was going to get a water massage! I was very excited.  Only took a minute and a booked appointment to finally see that this gal was cleverly getting people to her office by giving them nothing more than a free ½ sales pitch in her office!

That my friends, is art form to the highest degree…it almost worked too…but in the end, I did cancel that appointment seeing no need at all to take a swim suit!

Mary Beth

Classic Phones, Newspapers and Books!

As a business person, no one knows better the importance of progress, updating, renewing, make-overs, or options to keep up with the trends of today. While the “reality shows” taunt us with fancy games, relationships, or talent, some of the best viewing comes from TV land, like “I Love Lucy” or “Andy Griffith.” There still is a demographic audience for black and white television…both for young and old.

While technology fascinates me, I heard someone say the other day that this generation is not just the “Y” generation, it is the “YI” generation because of the iPods, iPads, the Internet, iPhones, or whatever gimmick, tool or gadget you want to put “I” in front of.

The thing is, high-tech is fantastic, but you have heard the cliché – “don’t throw out the baby with the bath water”. This simply means of course, that just because something new and “cool” is invented, doesn’t always mean we have to toss out a perfectly good “old”.

Let’s take the newspaper, for instance. Readership has obviously declined for the newsprint world, yet, there are those who desperately want to hang onto that paper that arrives every morning.  They read it while eating breakfast and drinking their morning coffee, or bluntly, is even used as the bathroom companion for some.

The newspaper prepares us for our day of high-tech work, via the internet, iPad, iPhone, iPod, or Iconic clicks with the mouse. Evening arrives, and the long commute on the train provides you time to read the paper; or you come home, sit down with a glass of soda, wine or beer, and read the sports page, the local news of the day, or even the comics…just to unwind from the high-tech brain-drenched day of “I’s”. People often say TV is not good with overexposure, …well, seems like too much “I” stuff could be a health hazard as well. Don’t you love it when you are talking to someone and they are checking their iPhone for messages…rude?  I am not by any means knocking the fantastic wireless world we are all loving the convenience of.  I am merely saying, what is the harm in both…certainly the newspaper world can learn to survive financially using other avenues for revenue.

Picture this…you get up in the morning and read the cereal box instead of the paper. Then, you ride the commuter train and thus, begins your high-tech day right away, reading small print without the pictures, not hearing the crisp rustle of the newspaper, and probably working instead of doing some good old fashioned reading of daily events. You are so engrossed in the iPad that you miss the little article, which mentioned your old dear friend’s name that was listed in the obit section of the newspaper. Do you use your iPad to check the obits?

As a former newspaper editor and writer, I cannot even begin to justify the thinking that the newspaper industry has to suffer due to new technology. Kids can no longer cut out the articles for a school project from the newspaper if they are using an “I” gadget instead. Sure, they could print out the article, but the fact that the newspaper would not be scotched taped to the page, just takes something away from it.

The two years of working for a newspaper had an imprint on me. I have a huge bound book of my published articles – showing those fragile yellowing pages with my name on it” so my grandkids can take it to school someday and say,” this was from the olden days when the newspaper was more important than high-tech gadgets…can you believe that?”

There IS a place for both…long live the newspaper industry and may the high-tech of tomorrow never forget the classics of yesterday or today.

Oldie But Goodie!

What a Great Way To Start My Day!

It’s time for a good laugh! A belly shaking, rolling on the floor laugh…AND an English lesson to boot! My love affair with words was nourished by an email that was sent to me by a friend. It challenges the English language while giving a good laugh and marvels the astonishment about how things get to be what they are – and why. Curious? Read on.

Subject: I love English

I love English
Can you read these right the first time?

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum

9) When shot at – the dove, dove  into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language

Lovers of the English language might enjoy this too . . .

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is ‘UP.’

It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.

When it doesn’t rain for awhile, things dry UP.

Fess UP… you like this!

One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so………… Time to shut UP…..!

Oh…one more thing:

What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night? U-P

Are you laughing hard enough yet?!