The Stained-Glass Ceiling

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Stained Glass by ThatWouldBeSeven

Who leads the services at your house of worship?  Are there women clergy in your religion?  Here’s a book to peruse if the topic interests you –  Clergy Women:  an Uphill Calling by Barbara Brown Zikmund.  Some faiths have excluded women from this role altogether;  others are more welcoming.  How about your faith?  Are women represented in the hierarchy?

Uniquely New Jersey Phrases

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Not f’nuttin.  This is stated like it’s some profound utterance no one else had ever considered, as in, “have you thought of this point?”

That’ll happen. Cynical sarcasm is our specialty here in New Jersey.  Patent pending.

How’s yourself. H’what?  Someone says, “How are you?” and you answer, “Fine.  How’s yourself?”  What’s with adding an extra syllable to make yourself appear smarter, but doing the opposite?

Youse guys. Down South, the equivalent would be “y’all.”  This is more south Jersey.

And whatnot.  Somehow, we think this pointless addendum actually elaborates on a point.

I got nothin. This is a catch-all, for times when we can’t think of anything interesting to say, or what we have left after we’ve paid our taxes in the great Garden State.

Hasta La-Later! I just made this one up now, but am hoping it’ll catch on as a Uniquely Joisey Phraze.  Peace out, youse guys!

Sweet Treats

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One of the things we forget to do in the course of each day is to schedule time for ourselves.  It’s how we re-group, refresh, re-energize.  Contrary to the diet-obsessed culture at large, I actually believe it’s therapeutic to give yourself exactly what your little heart desires every so often.

What’s your go-to sweet-tooth indulgence?  If you’ve had a really rough day or just suddenly feel compelled to give yourself a sweet-treat, what do you go for?  Mine is a cinnamon scone with glaze.  I like the picture above that seems to be of a nutty, candy-laden sticky bun.  I think I’d have mine with hazelnut coffee, though, not tea.  Other ideas?

Auditioning Churches

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As one of those pesky SBNR people – you know, “Spiritual But Not Religious” – I’ve been very active in my faith life… blogging about prayer and positivity with Sue Bradford Edwards, Lori Strawn, Karen Laven and Abi Wurdeman at praypower4today; writing prayers for Prayables.com and worldprayers.org.  But one thing has been conspicuously absent in my spiritual practice, and that is a church home to call my own.

I’ve “auditioned” a few local churches, and the one that seems to be the best fit for the “part,” if you will, is the Unitarian Universalist church.  This liberal, social-activism-centered faith seems to welcome all with open arms and to jibe with my beliefs.  Anyone else have a suggestion for an open-minded, non-dogmatic church that affords women positions of note in both clergy and laity?

Writers: Do You Use a Submission Tracking Program?

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Any writers out there want to share with the rest of the class?  What do you use to track submissions?  I’ve been using Writer’s Market for some time now, and every so often, they decide to re-vamp.  When they do this, the writers are left scratching their heads, trying to figure out:  how do I add a new manuscript?  Add a new market?  How do I export the information so I can view it all at once? I’m starting to think a simple spreadsheet of your own creation might work just as well.

The other thing you can’t do with a lot of submission trackers out there now is store the actual manuscript along with the market and query information.  There’s got to be a program with which you can keep all of the related information in one place.

Anyone have a good submission tracker they’d like to recommend?

Don’t Self-Depreciate

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Watched a clip on the TUT site – Wise Guru Mike Dooley’s forum to spread positivity and inner change – and he was being interviewed by a student at the University of Southern California.

As the interview went on, the student asked how to turn off “self-depreciating” thoughts.  At first, the writer in me was annoyed.  She’s a student and she meant to say “self-deprecating.”  But then I thought…. maybe she’s right.  Knocking ourselves down does tend to “depreciate” our innate value.  I think she’s coined a new phrase that I may co-opt in the future.

Mike’s story of the first “Note from the Universe,” written years ago – that’s a daily affirmation Mike sends out to remind us to access our higher selves – really resonated with me.  It read, “Excuse me, this is the universe.  Just want to let you know I’m recording your every thought, word and deed and, in the immediate future, I’m going to play it all back to you in some manifestation.”

Such a great reminder of the importance of ensuring that our inner narrative is on a positive tone.

PrayPower

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praypower4today

Thoughts on a positive, prayerful life in today’s world.

Check out praypower4today.  This is a blog about prayer and positivity that I write with my dear friends Sue Bradford Edwards and Lori Strawn. All about keepin the faith in a hectic world. Check it out.

Coleman’s Tech Tip – Backing Up Files

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I asked my Techie Guy son, Coleman, what the options are in terms of backing up important files on the computer.  He started talking like a meteorologist, throwing around terms like “cloud storage.”  This is apparently, a way of saving files via the internet.

He suggested a program called DropBox, an online storage program that provides 2 GB of storage for free.  If all you want to back up is, say Word files, this should be enough for a fair amount.  For other things you might want to save, such as photos, videos and music downloads, it might not provide enough space.  You do have the option of subscribing, which gives you 50 GB for $10/month, 100 GB for $20/month.

We’ll explore other options for online storage if you guys are interested.  Comment and let us know.

Coleman’s Tech Tip

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Every so often, I’m going to post technology-related tips from my son, Coleman.  He’s our family help desk, and is really into anything to do with computers.  Here’s his suggestion for today.

Instead of spending big bucks on anti-virus software, I suggest using Avast free anti-virus or Microsoft Security Essentials.

Avast and MSE were proven and tested as well, if not better, than MacAfee. 

You could use the money you save and put it toward a better computer.