coloring pages

This blog, coloring pages, is like a sketchbook. Actually it may feel more like a repository with my photographs and scans of my drawings and scribbles on scrap pieces of papers, as I chronicle the little moments in life. It’s also like a laboratory where I can experiment and brainstorm when I am faced with challenges (opportunities) as an interim CEO for several nonprofits or for businesses. In fact this blog is not limited to just being a sketchbook or a laboratory. It’s a place where nearly anything creative can go in it and you get direct access to the risks, lessons — and the first inklings or several stages of an idea as it spouts (or dies).

The Day the Crayons Quit


This book is one of my favorite books for kids, and I especially love it. The author, Drew Daywalt, came up with this clever idea where this poor kid, Duncan, finds only letters inside his crayon box, all saying the same thing: “We quit.” I have to tell you that when I hear my youngest child laugh I feel this deep sense of pure delight in hearing her joy. Especially when I get to the page about this one poor crayon who is too embarrassed to leave the crayon box because someone had peeled off her paper and she was naked.

So this book, a gift from her grandparents, will “have your child laughing and playing with their crayons in a whole new way.” It will, for sure, get you looking at ordinary objects in a whole new way. What could we do with q-tips, marshmallows or paint brushes, for instance? Maybe you’ll come up with another equally clever idea for a book. I sure wish I had come up with the idea!




Ask Samantha: How to pick a locked door knob

How to Pick A Locked Door Knob

My youngest child, Samantha, has a little bit of Fancy Nancy, Eloise, Ramona and Calvin in her. She is wickedly bright, funny and very mischievous. She used a hairpin the other day to unlock her sister’s door. Honestly it seems like nothing can stand in her way. Not even a locked door. I don’t know whether she’s being cute or crazy right now but her antics are driving her sister up the wall. A burr in her saddle but a delight in our lives.

doing right by people


My mischievous 6-year-old hit someone with an ice ball this afternoon. “I hitted (hit) him with an ice ball, Momma. I hidden (hid) it behind my back and he didn’t know I had it,” she said. “This is what you have to do. It’s already made for you. Do you want to see where I got it? I can show you. I see some ice on this street.”

So I’m thinking about this, and I tell her: “I just thought of something: This is the wrong sort of snowball. It hurts. The right sort is somewhere else. Soft and white. We just have to look.”

“Where? “she asks.

I hadn’t thought about this, as there is no more snow.

“Next time it snows.”

She’s that sort of child. This beautiful, smart and rambunctious child burning over with creativity. She’s part Fancy Nancy and part Ramona.

But she’s got to do right by people. So I put a hand over my mouth, and whispered: “Will you very sweetly apologize?”

nostalgic, for rolodexes


I was using matches to light the luminaries one day during the holidays when a neighbor suggested I use his car’s cigarette lighter, as he figured I’d light more candles in less time than with matches. He ran around to the back of his house to get the lighter so I didn’t see the make or model of his car but I figured it was an older model. The standard DC connectors have replaced most of the lighter receptacles these days. Now back in those days (did I really just say that?) you could use the lighter receptacle to power an electrically heated cigarette lighter.

Then today I had another “then-and-now” conversation with one of my clients during a focus group session. She asked her administrative assistant who is also a college student if she ever heard of Pollyanna. She didn’t. She also had never heard of a Rolodex.  But I have heard of Pollyanna, and even used a Rolodex in college.

Now I’m not that old; yet I’m not that young. Sure am feeling nostalgic for these things.


if you’re the boss: negotiate before not with the contract

CoffeeSometime today I have to work on and send a draft of a contract to a new client. The thing is, the first draft almost always gets rejected. It’s a waste of time if you ask me. But you’re not asking.

At any rate, when the first draft gets rejected, you know then it’ll take several days to get it approved. In the meantime anything can happen. My client might not need my services anymore, or I might change my mind.

So it seems to me the negotiating should come before the contract not with it. That and I think we could save time if we tell each other we’re going to mess up and fail, and we’re going to blame each other for our failures. I’m okay with that. Are you okay with that? About all I have to say today. A rather useless post if you ask me. But you’re not asking. Guess  I’m just stalling and don’t want to write this contract.  I’ll just blame my client for failing to write a contract.

coworking: better than working at home or a coffee shop

inBusinessCoworking_withTag_webIt’s fun to boast about something you’ve done but it is more fun to put the spotlight on other people, I think. I wrote this article, which is  in this month’s issue of Southern Neighbor and it’s about my client and iBC.

iBC is an idea my client has been considering for some time now and it is a service she herself wants to use. I think it’s worth repeating the last part of sentence. It is a service she herself wants to use.

This is key to starting a business. That and the drive, motivation and the $$.  Create something you want to use. Something that will solve your problem. Then see if you can expose a huge market of people who need the same thing. So that’s where we are at with iBC.

my aurora borealis


It’ll take you a minute to find me in this picture. I didn’t realize I’d be in it but if you look closely you’ll see my reflection in the upper right hand corner. Do you see my head and eyes? Lovely pool, at the Chattanoogan Hotel. Just enough rays from the sun through the windows and light from within the pool to draw you into a flickering version of the aurora  borealis. Quite beautiful. So happy new year! I’ve resolved to post more pictures, illustrations and/or stories to this blog. What are you doing?


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