Tag Archives: Life lessons

Everything I needed to know about life I learned from a Jigsaw puzzle

By Jacquie Sewell (with apologies to Robert Fulghum)

1. Don’t force a fit–if something is meant to be, it will come together naturally.
2. When things aren’t going so well, take a break. Everything will look different when you return.
3. Be sure to look at the big picture. Getting hung up on the little pieces only leads to frustration.
4. Perseverance pays off. Every important puzzle went together bit by bit, piece by piece.
5. When one spot stops working, move to another. But be sure to come back later (see #4).
6. The creator of the puzzle gave you the picture as a guidebook. Refer to the Creator’s guidebook often.
7. Variety is the spice of life. It’s the different colors and patterns that make the puzzle interesting.
8. Working together with friends and family makes any task fun.
9. Establish the border first. Boundaries give a sense of security and order.
10. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations. Some matches are surprising.
11. Take time often to celebrate your successes (even little ones).
12. Anything worth doing takes time and effort. A great puzzle can’t be rushed.
13. When you finally reach the last piece, don’t be sad. Rejoice in the masterpiece you’ve made and enjoy a well-deserved rest.

Copyright 2001 Jacquie Sewell ( jjsewell416@yahoo.com ). Permission is granted to send this to others, but not for commercial purposes.

I don’t know about you, but I love me a jigsaw puzzle! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able put together a puzzle in a while, but the lessons stand. Do you like jigsaw puzzles?

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Courtney a.k.a. Mz Pink

I don’t know how I found and started following @diamondgirlzmc but I saw her tweet, “Launched DiamondGirlzMC.com one year ago Nov 2011 and we’re over 93,000 visits! http://instagr.am/p/SrNJLhESmH/ “ and I retweeted with my congratulations. Then the lightbulb went off … here’s another lady rider to profile, I just need to ask!

I am pleased as punch to introduce to you Courtney a.k.a. Mz Pink co-founder and President of Diamond Girlz MC – an all female motorcycle club out of Boston, MA.

Courtney and PINK!

Courtney and PINK!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 9 years

How did you learn to ride? I always LOVED motorcycles but only knew one rider … my Brother who lived two states away.  One day I just bought a bike, called my brother and asked him to come down one weekend and teach me.  He did and after 4 hours or so in a parking lot I was ready to hit the streets and never looked back!!  It was not long until I started meeting many biker friends in the streets.  After that it is history!!!

What was your first motorcycle? Kawasaki Ninja 250- Yellow

How many have you owned? I am currently on my 4th. I spent one summer on the 250 and then thought of it as a scooter — LOL – and upgraded to a GSXR 600 which I customized all white and pink. Don’t get me wrong, the 250 was a GREAT bike to learn on but I was soon ready for more power! After the GSXR I got a R6 which I customized Pink and now I have had my 2003 Kawasaki 636 for the past 4 summers; this is my baby and she is ALL custom- Pink of course with Diamonds on her. She has won many, many shows and I love her!!

Winning with PINK!

Winning with PINK!

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? It looked fun and had a sense of freedom!!

Tell us about your riding. I love riding. I ride practically every single day in the summer. Unfortunately I live in Boston so we really only have 7 – 8 months of good riding weather. I seek great pleasure in riding and love being in an all female motorcycle club because we have a sisterhood and a very tight bond that no one can break. We travel and make a lot of weekend trip plans over the summer. We go on many trips together and have a blast.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? That you only live once and why live it “wanting” to do something … live it “doing it”.  I tell every female that who wants to ride:  You can do ANYTHING you want and put your mind to!!

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle?  The longest I have ever rode was to NJ (3 times over the years) and to NY several times which NJ trip was about 260 miles one way … put it this way … I ride 🙂 I bought my bike 4 years ago with 4,200 miles on it and today I have 36,071 miles on my baby!!

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I am the Co-Founder and President of Diamond Girlz MC an all female motorcycle club out of Boston MA that was established in Feb 2008. We started with 8 females and today we have 11 fully patched members and 1 prospect (of course members have come and gone) the 3 “original members” from day 1 who are still by my side are my 2 loyal sisters Teez my VP and Jewels my SGT at Arms – Thank you ladies!!!

Diamond Girlz MC, Boston

Diamond Girlz MC, Boston

We have come a long way in 5 years and I am very proud of what we have accomplished! We do a lot of community service and have a very strong bond with one another. We also just put out our first ever 2013 Diamond Girl calendar which you can see on our website. Also all the details for our 5th year anniversary event the weekend of Feb 8th and 9th 2013 is all on our website, Please check us out DiamondGirlzMC.com Before Diamond Girlz then I was a member of a co-ed club Bikerz Finest in Boston. I saw a “vision” for an all female club in Boston and saw through it!!!

Diamond Girlz MC

Diamond Girlz MC

Do you have a favorite riding story? Every 3rd Sunday of the month is Diamond Girl day- we meet up around 11AM plan a day trip and ride and hang out for the whole day. Diamond Girl days are ALWAYS my favorite!!!!

Dressed to ride

Dressed to ride

Seasonal Fashion Help

I don’t know about you, but I find adding a scarf an easy way to update or dress-up an outfit. I found this video from Eileen Fisher demonstrating a nice variety of ways to tie a scarf. What do you like to do to accent an outfit?

Friday Fun and Shoes!

Me too.

Hope you enjoyed that, it made me laugh.

I realized today that I haven’t posted anything about “heels” a.k.a. shoes since the blog challenge blogger Princess Scooterpie issued: Post a picture of your favorite non-motorcycle/scooter shoes & one of your motorcycle/scooter boots/shoes. And then I stumbled on Chooze.com!

Chooze Shoes is a company who uses their profits to help lift families permanently from poverty. Check out their mission statement here. The prices seem reasonable. There are toddler, children, and women shoes.

Here’s what makes Chooze shoes unique [taken from their web site}

  • Our shoes are different. Always.
  • The right and left shoe are matched but never the same
  • 100% cotton fabric
  • 100% vegan materials
  • Anti-microbial memory foam insole

Here are a few of the shoes they offer!

Spin in 2Inspire Fabrics

Spin in Energize Fabrics

And my personal favorite!

Laugh in Glory Fabrics

Let me know if you get a pair! Check Chooze.com out!

P.S. This is NOT a sponsored post.

Minnesota Blogger Conference, Part 2

Sunday I blogged about the first session that I attended at the Minnesota Blogger Conference. Today I’m going to share another session I attended, Content is a Banquet: Is Your Audience Being Served? presented by David Hedrick Skarjune.

The session started with the speaker pulling up a slide that read, “Content is _______.” Many spoke out answering, “King!” Skarjune respectfully disagreed. He believes content is the “coin of the realm.” Then went on to say content is an orgy. [Can’t wait to see the spam I get for having that word in a post.]

Why? Because of the multiplying channels, consumers are maturing, interactive and mobile platforms are experiencing explosive growth, and people’s expectations are rising. We have become “Content Consumers.” We push content to get attention.

Here’s his recipe ingredients for content: strategy, create great content, SEO, practice content marketing, use social media, engage community, and funnel-measure-repeat. He expounded a bit more and gave some statistics. This is where my note taking dropped off, as well as my attention.

Skarjune ended the session with another list. It was the Buddhist Metta Practice as a guide to who we blog for. The analogy he used wasn’t gelling for me. I didn’t really get the point, but then again I’m not blogging for money.

The slides from his presentation and the other sessions can be found here.

Minnesota Blogger Conference 2012, part 1

This past Saturday I attended the third annual Minnesota Blogger Conference for free! Okay, the tickets were free because of the wonderful event sponsors (listed below). The conference offered a variety of breakout sessions, the keynote speaker was a former local newscaster, Rick Kupchella, and the conference closed with a podcasting panel. Did I mention we were also served a complimentary breakfast and a baked potato buffet for lunch?

I met a few other bloggers but no other motorcyclists – female or male. There were quite a few serious bloggers working the room and networking. Not me. I sat with a friend who writes a corporate blog and has a personal blog as well. I spent the day enjoying the time with my friend and learning some things along the way.

I’m technologically illiterate and a novice blogger so I really didn’t know which sessions to attend. I followed my friend into the “Blogging to be Found and Hired” session. It was presented by a knowledgeable woman, Sara Kerr, but not what I was expecting. I should have read the description because I’m not in the job market right now (I really enjoy the team I work with and the company). To sum it up in a few sentences: You are a brand. Build it. Protect it.

For those of you job hunting, Sara recommended checking out your e-reputation by Googling your name, looking over your personal web site(s), and finding yourself socially online. How would a potential employer react to what was found? Is it a positive online presence? Good personal branding? Or do you have some work to do to reverse a negative image?

She also recommended not revealing too much personal information online by using email not a phone number for contact purposes. Also, let your family and friends know what not to post about you. Do you want personal pictures tagged with you or your children? Even if things are taken down, once they’ve been posted it is really never gone! Check your privacy settings so you can control what is public.

Sara also addressed what blogging can do for the job seeker. It can establish your expertise. Demonstrate your writing skills. Affirm your knowledge of social media. Connect you to influencers. Validate your knowledge of current trends and news. Position you as a source of information. Distinguish you from other job seekers.

This is just a brief overview from my notes of what Sara shared during her session. Again, I’m not in the job market, but I wanted to share what I heard with those that may currently be looking or just beginning the search. This week I will be blogging about the other sessions I attended.

Sara Kerr can be found on Twitter @Sara_G_N_Kerr and writes a blog Sara-Kerr.com.

Please give these generous sponsor’s some love!

AllinaHealth  Pioneer Press TwinCities.com  National Camera Exchange  Strother Communications Group  Mall of America   Plum District  Sleep Number  Padilla Speer Beardsley  Glimpses of Soul Photography  ArtHouse  Muddy Paws Cheesecake

Here is a summary of the second session I attened.

Two Little Girls Explain The Worst Haircut Ever

It is less than three minutes long and very funny!

Two Little Girls Explain The Worst Haircut Ever.

Have a fabulous weekend friends!

Blog Challenge: 5 Pretty Awesome Posts You Might’ve Missed

Today’s blog post challenge is courtesy FuzzyGalore.com. Last week she threw out a brilliant idea to bloggers to go back and highlight some older content. I was quick to say yes, but as you can see, slow to get a post up! Here’s what I’ve dug up!

How It All Started …  was my first post.

Don’t judge me, just laugh!  was my confession as a newbie.

Hold please is a pitch for my favorite chick flick.

What does a women rider look like? Like this …  is the all-time highest hit post (over 2,130).

And finally, Live a Legacy my favorite.

Thank you Rachael for the challenge! I also have a Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Rachael on this lovely gal!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Tyler

I “met” Tyler when she stopped by the blog and left a comment. I am so glad she took me up on the invitation to share her story here. Tyler is from Santa Clara, CA and has an incredible come-back story that changed her life forever. I cannot begin to express my appreciation to her for sharing some of the lessons she’s learned. Tyler, you rock!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Four years as pillion, 12 years as pilot.

In June 2009, on a long distance trip to Wyoming, I was involved in a near fatal motorcycle accident. In Carey, Idaho, I made one of those split second decisions that didn’t seem like a big deal at the time but it was and it changed my life forever. I thought the driver of the semi had seen me as I pulled up alongside of him. He didn’t see me and started his left hand turn, knocking me and the bike to the ground and ran over me.

Yup, I got run over by a semi. I was wearing full gear but when you’re run over by 150,000 pounds of load, I don’t think it would have mattered if my gear was made of titanium! I had a crushed pelvis, internal injuries, and severe degloving injuries on my legs but no spinal or head trauma or broken limbs. They didn’t think I’d make it through the night, but I did. They weren’t sure they would be able to save my legs, but they did. No one thought I’d be able to walk again, but by the grace of God and a whole lot of earth angels, I am. I was in the hospital for four months, endured many grafting surgeries, a month in rehab, and then back home after about six months. I never thought I would ride again.

Fast forward a few months later and I’m missing riding … being with my friends, experiencing the world, meeting new people, finding new places … but I didn’t feel like I could take the risk of two-wheels again given the extent of the damage to my legs. I didn’t use up one of my nine lives with my experience … I used up about 8-1/2!

So I did some research and settled on a 2009 CanAm Spyder (3-wheels). It’s very different from riding two-wheels but affords more stability and I still have the wind in my face, the throttle in my hand, and 1000 cc’s between my legs!

Tyler on a photo shoot in Boise, ID for St. Alphonsus Hospital – she was featured in a Healing Story commercial!

How did you learn to ride? I got into motorcycling through a gent I was dating. When he planned to move out of state, I signed up for the MSF course on the guise of understanding the workings of the bike so I could be a better passenger. But I ended up loving piloting my own and it seemed easier to get my own bike than find a new boyfriend to ride with!

What was your first motorcycle? Suzuki GZ250

How many have you owned? Six street bikes – GZ250, Honda Shadow, Triumph Trophy, SV650, FZ1, CanAm Spyder;  one dirt bike – CRF230

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? The first time I got on the back of a bike, I was 22 and dating a guy with a bike. We hopped on (no gear laws at that time so jeans and tennis shoes only *shudder* to head for the beach. Unfortunately, we low-sided on some gravel but fortunately sustained minor injuries … the moto gods were looking out for us. After that, I was never comfortable on a bike so chose not to ride at all.

Fast forward 20 years later … I don’t know what changed but all of a sudden I got “IT”… the “IT” that is so difficult to describe to folks who don’t ride. When you ride a motorcycle, you are a part of the world rather than just plowing through it … the sights, the smells, the ocean, the redwoods, the sun, the rain, the perfect apex through a turn. And I love finding those gems along the way – the quaint towns or unusual sights off the beaten path that you miss when driving a car. There is an article written by Dave Karlotski called “Season of the Bike” that does a pretty good job at putting it all into words. If anyone asks me, I just tell them to look that up!

Tell us about your riding. Occasionally, I will commute but not often … it’s crazy around the Bay Area during rush hour! Mostly I ride for pleasure/vacation. I also lead what we call “newbie” rides for newer riders to help them meet other riders, gain confidence and skill, and show them some of my favorite local backroads!

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle?  Definitely take the MSF to find out if riding is for you before investing thousands of dollars in a bike and gear. Do what is best for you and listen to your inner voice – buy whatever bike you feel most comfortable on not what someone else tells you that you should ride. Include the best gear you can into your bike budget. ATGATT!! [All The Gear All The Time] Most importantly, always, ALWAYS be true to yourself when riding. Go with your own pace and don’t get pressured into “keeping up” or doing something you’re not comfortable with. Listen to that little voice and go with what you feel is right for you.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? In October 2011, I did about 3500 miles on a Southwest Adventure visiting Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Monument Valley, and the Grand Canyon. In March 2012, I did a 2700-mile trip to Baja, MX. This summer will be to Canada!

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I participate in several online forums, am active in my local riding community with newbie rides, etc., and am also the President of Dangerous Curves, a local women’s riding group … although we do let the men come with us … as long as they behave!

I also started a women’s touring company several years ago, NorthStar Moto Tours. I was just getting things going when my accident happened but am hoping to see if I can get things going again in 2013. Had to focus on healing myself first!

Do you have a favorite riding story? Only one? Every ride has a story that goes along with it!

What do you do when you’re not riding? I love photography which I combine with my moto trips. I’m the office manager for a commercial litigation firm, mom to a fabulous 20-year old daughter, and also have a musical theatre background both choreographing and performing in musicals.

Tyler and some of her fabulous photography

What would you have done?

Earlier this week at work I was looking up from my computer and out the window. {You know the drill don’t stare at your screen too long its not healthy.} Thankfully my cube is flanked on one side with windows, glorious windows, even though the view is of the building next door.

My eyes happen to see what looks like a young lady sitting up against the building with her face buried in her hands. As I watched for a moment I notice her whole body seemed to be shaking as if crying. Then she looked up and I saw her face, red and blotchy. Another coworker joined me assessing the situation and indeed this young lady was sobbing.

What do you do? My coworker looked at me and asked if I were going out there – she knows me all to well. Yes. I was going to see if she were alright. I grabbed a box of tissues and headed out the door. My mind was racing with thoughts of how was I going to approach her or what if she freaks out! At some point walking over there it didn’t matter any more. This girl was clearly distressed.

I was about ten feet away when she looked up. I spoke up and said something like, “You looked like you may need more Kleenix. Can I help in any way?” Instantly she started bawling again. Oh my, now what do I do?! I leaned over and handed her the box of tissues. She stood up and looked at me with the saddest face I’ve seen in a long time. Then she blurted out that a friend had committed suicide right before summer break from college. All I could do is reach for her and give her a big hug. Chris {not her real name} put her arms around me and burst out in tears once again.

I’ll stop the story here not because I don’t want to tell you the rest, but because I want to ask you to open you eyes, ears, and heart to those around you. This young lady recently came home from college, started a summer job, and was hurting. Look around. Who needs a kind word or an ear to listen? It doesn’t take much to make a difference in the lives around us.

I’ll leave you with this video by Point of Grace.

P.S. My new friend just stopped by with a doughnut as a thank you for reaching out to her. The best thing for me was seeing her smiling and happy!