WHAT’S WRONG WITH HAVING A SOB STORY?

In general, nothing!
To me a sob story becomes a bummer if you use it to play with people’s emotions!
A tear jerker is the lowest form of emotional blackmail! Especially if you use it to sell your book!
My solution?
You want to sell? Let them sob!
Tell your sobbi sob tale as a matter of fact story!- If, 10 years later you still need to tell the same story, doesn’t that mean you are still not over it?
You clever sober you: you use the audience to feel sorry for you, the audience becomes your substitute for therapy, your shrink!
And, it sells your book!
Why is that?
Why do we feel compelled to weep with the sobber rather than celebrate with the doer?
Just asking?

A FUTURE ENTREPRENEUR?

I often wonder, which genes did our boys get from me, which ones did they get from their father?
Without any reservation, hesitation or false modesty I raise my hand to Good LOOKS AND CHARM. Let me keep my belief that throwing tantrums, being moody, smart and entrepreneurial comes from their father’s side.

This last characteristic makes me so proud that I needed post about it!
Today was the annual Entrepreneurial Show at our Elementary School.
The students had to design, research, develop, create and sell a product of their choice!

The business plan, all thoroughly thought through!

The Business plan


Our son, without leaving his minecraft screen, or taking a break from youtube, hit the nail right on its head.
This 10 year old encompasses the Zeitgeist of his generation. Guess what he made?
What is every 10 year old boy crazy about at this moment?
Right, MINECRAFT!
GENIUS in the making

Here he is, THE GENIUS…

In the early hours of the evening he cut, painted and glued 30 of these characters (don’t ask me their names though-).
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This young boy gave us seasoned sales folks a lesson.
He showed us what sales manuals, marketing strategy courses or business courses don’t teach.
His lesson to us: SELL WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO BUY!
It is that simple – really!
This morning, within one hour, he was sold out!
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FRED & GINGER at STARBUCKS

untitledFred and GingerfredandgingergI never had so many magic moments with complete strangers as I have here in Canada.

Moments initiated by random, funny, friendly comments. Most of the time these sound bites lead to more ‘serious’, still non – committal chit – chat with no hidden agenda. My encounters with strangers ranges from an encouraging “Want a ride?” (while I am running up the hill) to long drawn conversations; like the one I had the other day with a photographer in Fort Langley. The latest one in my collection of wonderful moments happened at Starbucks today!

The gentleman in front of me, a casually dressed, handsome, mid 50’s guy placed his order. I didn’t hear what he ordered exactly but I remember his answer when Starbucks girl asked him: “What is your name again?” Instead of the common Peter, Michael or Dylan response, he told her “Fred Astaire.” Ha,ha, I thought that was funny. What was even funnier, Starbucks girl (in her late teens) wrote the name on his cup!

Hearing the dancers name brought flashbacks of happy childhood memories: Saturday afternoons spent in front of the tv, watching dance classics like “Shall we Dance”; Fred Astaire tap dancing across the silver screen with partner Ginger Rogers.
Right there and then, in the queue of Starbucks, I did a little dance routine, spread my arms out wide and yelled “And I am Ginger!”

Fred in front of me turned around, laughing. Ghee, he was happy to see his old dance partner again. Nevertheless, he needed to get it off his chest:”I remember you much taller.” Which I retaliated with “Yes, with my dance heels on. Today I am with the bike, I am wearing Converse.”

Dominic was laughing and so were all the other mid 40’s present in the line up. The Starbucks employees still didn’t get it! Sadly, they never heard about the most famous dance duo in movie history(or is that team Travolta/ Newton-John?). It all depends on how old you are.

The cashier got so confused that he handed Fred’s change into my outstretched hand. He figured (rightly) Fred and Ginger belong together.

The moral of the story? If you are a middle – aged man (or woman) stay away from the young ones! They wouldn’t even know the songs you whistle to – or you movies you used to watch. And how much fun can that be?

See ya ‘tomorrow. We are off to the Rhodeo in Cloverdale.

YES to a SECOND TERM?

Yesterday, citizens of BC went to the polls. Today, we hear the province wants the same old, same old.

In a few weeks, our household has to vote if we want to grant our Korean exchange student Joey a second term in our home!

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Last year in September we said yes without hesitation. We had the wonderful opportunity to offer a young boy a home away from home. All it took was a firm handshake plus the promise to offer board and three square meals a day. Back then it was the beginning of a new adventure.  Soon we need to decide if we want the same old without him, or the same old with him.

Cooking or doing the laundry for a sixth family member doesn’t bother me – what bothers me is his mess! His room is a minefield of scattered dirty, clean, wet, dry clothes. Wrappings of candy bars, Korean noodle packs, books, writing utensils, cologne etc I am sure you get the picture!

Our boys have already said Yes to a second term. Joey has successfully slurped and gamed himself into the hearts of this adopted brothers. Dominic and I are more fussy.  We will only offer him a second term if he promisses to

– put his dirty towels (plus clothes) into his laundry basket – and doesn’t leave them on the bathroom floor  (maid service please!)  One day we actually run out of fresh ones, they were scattered around his wc- he uses a fresh one every day!

– he agrees to hand in all his hand-held electronic devises after 10 pm. That will be a tough one, he is on them all night!

– he throws away his earphones. He loves the buzz in his ears all day long; you can’t talk to that kid – you need to yell!  He can’t hear you! (or doesn’t want to hear you) .

– obeys  my ‘get outside rule. This is another tough one! Joey loves our men den, his computer and the spacious indoors!  Guess for how long he can sit in front of the computer for? Guess again! NINE (!!!) hours! Even for a hard-wired  Korean computer geek I think this is a bit much

– he stops taking 30 minute long midnight showers!

What I don’t care about is how he spends his parents money: He only buys the best of the best. For him that is everything with the name NIKE on it!  I send my boys to the SALE aisle, Joey hits straight to New Releases!

See ya tomorrow for day 9 of my 22 day challenge!

Am I happy about a second term?

Am I happy about a second term?

 

SELF IMPOSED WRITERS CHALLENGE

Just for the heck of it! For the next 22 days I will force myself to blast out daily tidbits, updates, comments, opinionated jibber jabber or whatever you want to call it from the top of our hill here in the Greater Vancouver area on the West Coast of Canada.

My coaching buddy Gail reminded me of the 21 day rule to establish a new routine: In order to create a new habit in our life we have to do this one thing for at least 21 days in a row. If you miss one day, you have to start all over again! For good measure I added one extra day – to make sure I really got it!

I love writing! Unfortunately, I am not regular enough – if you know what I mean. This personal challenge will force me to get the creative juices flowing day in and day out.  Nothing like a good challenge.to prove a scientific(?) point!

This challenge doesn’t serve anybody but myself and may turn into torture for my highly apprecited, much loved followers to find yet another extraordinary post in their inbox! Oh well, just ignore me if you want. I will be back the next day anyway, and the next and next…

What standard of entertainment can you expect during the next 22 days?

It can be anything,; anything from the sophisticated wit coming out of a kids’ mouth:

Pull your mouth apart and say "puck"    C. Waschko

Pull your mouth apart and say “puck” C. Waschko

to a classy game of chess! Let me surprise you!

The boys are on it!      C.Waschko

The boys are on it! C.Waschko

My only rules are: Anything goes, no repetition and I HAVE to post EVERY day!

For the good of my family I should have signed up for the “A different meal per day challenge. How to create nutritious, delicious meals for feed and fill up three growing teenagers, a half teen, a husband and his wife!”

This is way too scary! Chances are, I might skip a day cooking due to writing and have to start all over again- with all new recipes. Ghee, what a great provider I am – I never said I am a great cook!  By all means, if you feel sorry or are worried about the well being of my family, please share your quick and easy recipes with me!

So, that’s it for now! It is still a gorgeous day out here – I am about to start the BBQ to feed the hungry ones! See ya’ tomorrow!

 

 

DATING ADVICE to our 10 YEAR OLD SON

Did you ever ask your mom for advice in the dating department?  I never did! When I was 12 I thought my mother was ancient and knew nothing! I wonder how our boys perceive us.

Surprise, surprise – I was flattered when our nearly 11-year old sunshine asked me in a roundabout way on how to date a girl!  At least that’s what I believe was the question…

Here is what I told him:”Most of us girls don’t want a guy who is constantly away, working to earn a lot of money. We don’t want to get expensive presents, we rather have random hugs, kisses, a flower here and there, a few sweeties and attention. Instead of a big, fat diamond ring we want to go dancing instead.”

He gave me this wonderful, confused look, head tilted to the side, eyebrows raised. Yes I know, I just gave our 10 year old son full blown marital advice!  It’s official, I am my mothers daughter, I didnt get it, missed the point completely.

Cruz is still at the beginning phase of the game. He hasn’t even talked to his girl yet and time is running out for him:two more months and the big summer break is upon us! All he wants to know is how to talk to the most popular girl in his class – alone!  (He surely knows how to make his young life more challenging!)

cruz ascartoon

If I wanted to save my credibility as advisor, I had to come up with something better, fast. My next practical advice was: “Why don’t you invite her to our house, you guys can hang out here and play some mindcraft.”

I was still missing the point and Cruz rendered me useless. He did the next best thing, he asked his dad for tips and tricks.

Here is what Dominic came up with: “Make a plan, be on it, be patient and remember, whatever happens, happens.”

What kind of advice is that? Our son needs a blueprint for success, not some kind of philosophical, universal, fits-all approach.

The sad truth is, we failed our son on his quest to touch base with Mrs. Popular. We should stay out of it and let the boy come up with his own plan of action. And he did: Cruz and his friend Conner googled How to get a girl-friend. Based on the youtube advice they decided the buddy – , or better, wing-man -system.would work best. The finer details of when or how still needs to be decided on,- but at least they have a plan. Good luck boys!

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LEFT IN THE DARK – during power failure

Living on top of a hill has its advantages; we can’t get flooded, in case of an earthquake nothing can crumble on top of us and – if so inclined – you can use the terrain to get,-and stay in shape. (It took me five months of solid commitment to run or cycle up our incline. Now I can do it with a smile on my face).

The downside of living high? Our Municipality decided we don’t need streetlights or road markings. If you translate this into day to day living it means you will find yourself in a ditch if you get side tracked by deer, coyote or be(e)ar.

Furthermore, our power supplier wanted to save a few bucks and put our power lines above, instead of into the ground. Up here, this causes a problem during stormy weather.

Photo by C. Waschko

Can you see the lines? Photo by C. Waschko

We had one of these days yesterday: At 5.15pm some of the tree branches hit  a power line and just like this, time stood still!

Our boys were in shock when all of a sudden their juice was cut off during their mind craft game. When they realized it wasn’t their mother and one of her tricks to get them outside, they came up with their own, fun alternatives:

C.Waschko

Hockey fun during black-out!
C.Waschko

photo C.Waschko

Mindcraft guys C.Waschko

We had no idea when the power would be back on. Faced with either a one or 10 hour black-out, I wrecked my brain what to do with our half cooked dinner in the oven.

C.Waschko

C.Waschko

The boys refused to eat raw chicken and planned our meal instead:”Let’s have take-away.”

The plan itself was a good one until I wanted to hop into the car: my four wheeler was parked inside our garage. Obviously, our switch didn’t work. Could I have opened it manually? I don’t know. We have something dangling from the garage ceiling, but I ain’t pulling this one!

We had to wait for Dominic and his car. When I told my ever so clever husband about my cooking dilema, he only looked at me with raised eyebrows: “Why can’t you cook dinner? We have a gas stove!” I told you, he is a clever one. Instead of Dominos Pizza it was pan fried chicken with macaroni for us.

Good Gracious me! By force of habit I filled up our garborator with our left overs, like I always do. Again, Dominic watched me: “What did you do this for?. How will you turn it on?” Yukkies, don’t you just hate a smart ass? But again, he was right!

Luckily, I stopped myself in time before I loaded up our dishwasher with dirty, greasy plates- Who needs a machine if you can do it yourself?

The German housewife C.Waschko

The German housewife
C.Waschko

“Quickly boys, finish your homework before it gets too dark. Grab your candles on the way up.”  Last night, we could have been Mormones for all I know.

Candles for us!  C.Waschko

Candles for us! C.Waschko

Instead of our usual evening noises (freezer, TV, music, fridge) we heard laughter and animated chatter. Honestly, I forgot how much our Korean son can talk. I wonder what he will tell me when he discovers I used his chopsticks to light the candles….

All in all, the evening progressed smoothly. The only downside of not being powered up? I missed special agent Jack Bauer. Yes, believe it or not, after months of watching “24” we are still on it.

Instead of dwelling on our missed evening entertainment I checked on the state of our ice cream in the freezer!  Why let a good thing melt away if I can eat it instead?  Sadly, vanilla ice cream is no real substitute for a man (aka, Jack Bauer) but for today it had to do the trick.

With my wonderful banana split in my bowl I starred into our pitch black, quiet neighbourhood – Oh Jack, I miss you so – and scooped myself a second helping!

10.05pm: When was the last time I went to bed this early? I have no idea when the power came back on; It was on when we woke up. But there is one thing I know for sure: magic happened during the black out:

Dominic decided to visit the Fountain of Youth during the night. In the morning he metamorphosed into a cute, soft skinned, blond haired, 10 year old school boy!

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