It has been a rough Spring for the Tillner girls … or rather, the Tillner girls mother.  You see, I fell on February 23, and broke my ankle. Yes, I broke my ankle.  Four weeks in a hard cast, three weeks in a boot … joy, joy.  Now, let me tell you who felt the brunt of this injury.  Lane, my 21-year-old daughter who is a junior at Millsaps, that’s who.  She has taken care of her mother … driving me everywhere, cooking, cleaning, plus going to school and still having a life!

It has been very hard for me to have to rely on her so much when she should be enjoying all that goes with being a junior in college.  But what a trooper she has been, and she’s gotten the opportunity to laugh at her mama a bit as I have maneuvered around with a beautiful purple cast! Gotta find the humor, right?

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Three Big Reasons Why Small Gifts Make a Difference

If you have never made a gift to the Kappa Kappa Foundation because you think your small gift may not matter, then this information is for you! Why should you give? Here are three simple reasons for you to consider after you’ve watched this video:

1.  Small donations add up!
It is not uncommon to hear “my small gift surely can’t make a difference.” If everyone who thought this had donated whatever small gift amount they were thinking of, it would probably add up to a sizable sum! If you are worried that a small donation won’t help as much as you’d like, will sending no donation help more? Continue Reading “Three Big Reasons Why Small Gifts Make a Difference”

A Kappa Mother’s role: to encourage, to inspire, to process

Thoughts of a mother about her daughter going to college

Hope smiles on the threshold of the year to come, whispering that it will be happier –Tennyson

I realize it is now March and we are two months into 2018, but this post is more of a reflection of one’s past year and how it impacts one’s future so the Tennyson quote seems right on. I was sitting in a yoga class toward the conclusion of last year and I had an epiphany of sorts. My instructor was asking us to set our intention for the particular hour together and shared her own insight about the “No’s” in her life; those desires that she had that did not come to fruition and also the boundaries that she personally had to set with certain relationships that were seemingly unhealthy.

She shared with us how she had come to discover that when there is a “No” in one’s life, the law of balance ensures that a “Yes” will follow. All we have to do is be open to it. Perhaps this means that setting a boundary (a “No”) in a relationship allows for the relationship to change for the better or become less important, and not getting the job offer after several interviews means that there is a different opportunity that is a better fit for us in relation to where we are in our lives.  It seems simple … out of a “No” comes a “Yes”.

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Scents And Nonsense – Wine Tasting

It may seem snotty, but that winespeak has some use

Mnay years ago, sitting in for the first time with a group of practiced wine tasters, I was astonished to hear them describing fine wines as smelling like wet dog, nail-polish remover and sweaty socks. My writer’s mind immediately snapped to attention. I can do this, too, I thought. “Well, I get old running shoe,” I blurted, “with a bit of raw baloney and whiteout fluid!”

That’s when I discovered there were actually rules to this game. Nail-polish remover is a recognized wine term; baloney is not.

A tasting note from a label for a 2011 Special Reserve reads, “Complex floral and cocoa aroma. Vibrant acidity mingles with lavender and spice flavors, finishing on a note of currant and blackberry.”

Such exuberant prose is the bricks and mortar of most wine writing. Apart from scores given by the big wine publications, and medals won in various competitions, the consumer has no wine metrics to use when trying to find a decent bottle of something new and different. In theory, tasting notes are supposed to fill that gap.

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Over 35 and having a baby

The feminist movement has done monumentally positive things for women…I don’t dispute that. But what it hasn’t done is educate women enough on what they should be ready to sacrifice if they put their careers ahead of having children.’

OH NO, what did I say? Did I just criticize the women’s movement? Or was I criticizing career women? Either way, I’m ready for their wrath.

Because I’m both a feminist and a career woman and I’m angry that women are not given all the information they need to make one of the most important (if not the most) decisions of their lives. To have a baby.

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Peter Drucker opened up our minds

Just as the microprocessor opened up the possibilities of our machines, Peter Drucker opened up our minds. Drucker was the preeminent business philosopher of the 20th century, creating the concept of management as a practical discipline. His intellectual rigor and prescience separate him from the pack of futurists.

His great strength is an extraordinary ability to interpret the present, to read the lines in the sand that get to the heart of the matter. In more than 30 books, he has written lucidly on many of the crucial business trends of the past 50 years, identifying the “knowledge society” as the cornerstone of the modern business.

I remember meeting him at his 90; he lived in a leafy Los Angeles suburb. He moved there in 1971, expecting to stay for three months. “That’s one reason I don’t teach long-term planning,” he said. Drucker swam daily, exhibited obvious pride in the blooming violet flowers of a jacaranda tree, speaks lovingly of his grandchildren. He was spry, able to hobble along on a cane as fast as many people can walk and can put down a cooling, double espresso in a single gulp.

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Sorority Sisters are Friends Forever

When the phone rang late on a Sunday morning, my husband and I executed the drill perfectly. He picked up the phone, checked the caller ID, and then read the number to me, all of which took just enough time for the call to go to voicemail. We’ve recently discovered that phone solicitors now have real-people phone numbers, and we’re not currently in the market for windows or a timeshare.

After a few minutes, I completed the next step of the phone call ritual. Picking up the receiver, I heard the stutter dial tone which told me that whoever had called just a few minutes before had left a message. I punched in the number, fully expecting to hear a sales pitch for something. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the voice of one of my pledge sisters from the Epsilon class of 1997.

“Hello, I’m calling for Beth. This is Valerie, and I’m calling to find out if you live here, and I think you must.”  My fingers couldn’t dial her number fast enough, and I was so excited, it took three attempts for me to finally call her back. Continue Reading “Sorority Sisters are Friends Forever”

Tips to get adequate sleep and perform at peak efficiency

Yes, quite a few of us are internet entrepreneurs, so how much sleep do you get? With all the rigors and distractions of everyday life (i.e. kids, a regular job, appointments, etc.) working on your growing internet empire is becoming increasingly difficult.  You have to maintain your family life and keep the significant other happy.  The kids demand attention and the occasional diaper change (if they’re little).

The great internet entrepreneurs are able to maintain both the everyday life events and the internet lifestyle by getting by on the least amount of sleep as they can and great organizational skills.  I know of some entrepreneurs who go to bed at around 2-3am and have to be up for the regular 9 to 5 by 6 am.

While this may be the normal to some, to others, it’s incomprehensible.  “3 HOURS OF SLEEP?? I wouldn’t be able to function!” And they’re probably right.

I’ve read percentages as high as 50% of Americans are chronically deprived of sleep.  And I can imagine that as an entrepreneur, that percentage is much higher. I personally have been able to get by with a minimum of 3 hours of sleep.  But, I can only do that for a maximum of 2-3 days at a time before I pass out for the following 10 hours.

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A Kappa on Jeopardy!

As a trivia junkie and all-around nerd, I’ve dreamed of being on Jeopardy! for as long as I can remember. When I moved to Los Angeles in 2011, I started actively trying to get on the show—something I might not have done if I’d known how tough the odds were.

Out of the 100,000+ people who take the online test each year, Jeopardy! invites only a few thousand people for in-person auditions – and of those, only about 400-500 appear on the actual show.

I heard those numbers on the day I went into a tape. As the contestant coordinator put it, finally we could all say we were part of the “1 percent.” Continue Reading “A Kappa on Jeopardy!”

I’m Like Madonna

It’s hard not to write about politics these days. It’s everywhere you look! But I’m going to fight the urge tonight.

Instead, I’ll ask you something I’ve been meaning to ask for days but I keep forgetting. How do you like my new look?

You didn’t even mention it. I thought for sure someone would say something about the change!

I’m like Madonna. Every once in a while I get this urge to completely reinvent myself (of course my changes are nothing compare to the dramatics of the Material Girl but they’re just as cathartic!).

I LOVE change. I always have. I’ve never been afraid to move or leave a comfortable situation. I’m always excited about the prospect of the next new thing. It must have something to do with moving around and traveling a lot when I was young. I see change as an opportunity for new adventures.

So, tell me, what do you think of the flowers?

Terrible Terrible Thoughts

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