Chinese New Year Greetings


It’s the year of the fire rooster according to the Chinese reckoning. That’s a promise of surprises (yeah! travel bans!), bold moves (three huge protest rallies in 30 days!)and outbreaks of radical ideas from unexpected places and people. This is the year the board gets knocked off the table, not just cleared; this is the year the game changes and the rules shift; this is the year social tectonic plates collide. Who can guess what forms the quakes and tsunamis will take or where they will hit? It might be the year that a new business finally gets off the ground or a new career begins. Early retirement begins for me this year. Work will take a”twist”, as paid employment will be a lesser part of the lifestyle combination instead of the main event. As more “boomers” are choosing this option, it becomes a subject worthy of investigation. Whatever this year of the fire fowl will bring (will that wall really go up?) may it bring blessing in surprising ways all through.

Happy Lunar New Year,



Happy Labor Day, from Victoree

Rosie The Riviter Honor Labor poster

Rosie says…

It’s the last party of the summer. It’s the holiday before we hang up our bathing suits and face the fact that last fall’s clothes don’t fit. After the heartburn from the hot dogs is long gone, we launch into the matter of school–beginning with, “what is school for?”

trinity-knot-clipart-1Whether we in this society state it clearly enough, consider that an active, successful producer in the workforce is the end product of schooling. We go to school to go to work and expect to work darned hard, too. Here’s a twist on that from the founder of Mindvalley,  Vishen Lakhiani. Over the years, industry has uncoupled itself from any responsibility for training and the task floated to education to basically prepare new entrants to the workforce. So, education and industry work hand in hand (or they used to). Instead, Industry and Education became like long-married people who grow apart over the years. This is why companies grumble when they discover they have acquired new hires who do not “come up to spec”. They feel somehow that they have been “cheated” and the schools have “failed” because the product they were promised never shows up. The relationship of school and industry is essentially a provider-consumer relationship. Then, we as a society hope that the schools we release our precious youth to, these educational expert partners we support with our taxes will somehow accomplish this:

  •  turn out good, patriotic citizens
  • caring, concerned parents
  • generally moral people

Yes, I said, “turn out”, because, let me repeat, the unspoken social contract school has with industry is that school will do the workforce preparation and industry will provide the employment. Religious institutions have the job of providing the moral piece. However, something has happened to “the triple knot” of home, school and business.

Whether you will be returning to school, college or work, remember on Labor Day (before the heartburn after that hamburger) that an honest day’s labor is an honorable thing to be celebrated. Work is not a curse. It is a blessing.

Happy Labor Day, from Victoree




Merry Christmas from Victoree

View of the winter bridge

View of the winter bridge

A season of rest at last!

All the planning, decorating, baking, stamp-licking, gift hunting and general flying anxiety is done!

Let it go, my brothers and sisters. Give yourself permission to let it go.

Be satisfied within your soul that you did a great job. Repeat after me: It’s beautiful! Congratulate yourself even if the cake fell and the roast burned to a smoking crisp.

Everything that did not get done by now, will not get done and it’s OK. Really. Hit the pause button on the job search.

It is time to relax, enjoy and celebrate. Here come the parties, the cookies, the wonderful flavors and the extra calories. Join the dance, if only for a brief while (be careful, if you’re carb sensitive like yours truly. Watch the meter! Eat mindfully).

Embrace the season. The old year is leaving the building.

Have a very Merry Christmas and may prosperity catch up with you and give you a big kiss in the new year.

-Victoree –

(Victoree is celebrating Christmas this week. She’ll be back by Hogmanay)


Welcoming Yuletide

Winter Crossing

Winter Crossing

We welcome Yuletide.

The solstice of winter  arrives at the end of the week and we move toward putting the cap on all the preparations for the coming holiday celebrations. 2013 is hurrying to an end. For those of us who are now searching for work,  all those holiday gatherings of family and friends are prime opportunities to sow seeds of networking expecting the effort to put out their first results like Snowdrop flowers early in the new year.

It is easy to think of winter as a “downer” time; a depressive time; an inactive time; a time when even as the earth is quilted with snow, our minds “snow down” too. Not really.   Yes, the last harvest is all stored and we need a date with a hot tub of Epsom salts. Yes, the fields are clear and the tools put to rest, but now the real work of winter comes.

Winter is the time of clarifying intention.  Winter in the soul or in a career strips all the fixtures the soul uses to hide and real purpose (or lack of it) is bare like trees standing in their naked honestly without the leaves and vines of other seasons.Winter is a time to rest and reflect, not to merely  doze by the fire. If a job search or a new state of life is in sight, winter is a time tailor made for taking counsel with the inner being about direction and purpose. Attending events meant to arouse creativity, investigate new possibilities, restore the mind, and care for the body is a good idea. Winter is also the time of dreaming, visualizing and planning. It is time to envision and set expectations for next year’s planting, summer, and harvest. Have a soulful Yuletide.


The Blessings of St. Patrick’s Day To You, From Victoree

Now, where did he go?

Now, where did he go?

In the middle of Lent there is this one day some of us give ourselves a breather from our promise…Okay, back to the sacrifice at midnight, eh?  Even though it’s all about the green beer for some and a mighty humbug for others,  just for today we join our neighbors who are descended from the Emerald Isle in a celebration of Celtic heritage.

knotwork shamrockEvery immigrant group who comes to these shores adds their own special grace notes to Lady Liberty’s old song or a brand new twist on the familiar melody. The Puritans may have taught us religion, but the Irish taught us faith and with a sweetness that charms the bells into ringing. Is it not faith that calls into being whatever we seek in career or anything else in life? Once we have created it in our minds and spoken it with our lips, it is well on its way to snatching itself a body and hurrying to us.

May it be so with your victory wherever in life you need it most. May it rub the sleep out of its eyes, get dressed in the clothes of intentions, break through the ether and answer, “present” when you call.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day


Thanks to all who served and Everything Else!

President Woodrow Wilson, the man with whom th...

President Woodrow Wilson, the man with whom the phrase is often associated (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the 11th Day of the 11th month, in 1918, an “armistice” or, “temporary hold on hostilities” between The Allies and Germany went into effect. They were hopeful. They called the conflict, “the war to end all wars“. History calls it WWI. To honor all our military, “Armistice Day” was renamed “Veterans Day”. The war was really over at the signing of the peace, the Treaty of Versailles in June, but the  November date is more romantic. Our president then, Woodrow Wilson, said-

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

I am no fan of this president or the America he presided over because of certain social situations existing then. My grandfather and his friends fought in a land far away for his country, a nation who denied he was human. Phantasms of those times still rankle even in this day, the recent presidential elections prove. We all know that Great War was not the last war America fought, and unfortunately, there will be many more before the end of days. Gram had a war in her generation; Mom had one in hers; I had one in mine; my daughter is living in the days of a war just barely ended.

What war will my granddaughter’s eyes be red with tears about in the future? Yet, before we become maudlin and melancholy, I will put these thoughts aside because this week the nation will pause to thank all the brave men and women in all branches of our armed forces who fought to keep us free, even though many will come home and fight again to remind us on the home shores to have common sense when deciding to send our youth to war.


How Not To Be A Holiday Networking Mine

English: .

English: . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of course, at any party there are the occasional social “mines” to look out for and  holiday networking parties are no different. As I pick my way to a position close to the door (hey, I have to bolt now and then to give myself processing space at parties), I hope the people I am temporarily taking my leave of are not heaving a sigh of relief because they are seeing the back of a bore. You know the kind:

  • monopolizing the conversation with tales about me, myself and you guessed it, me.
  • whining and complaining about how hard life is,how bad my last boss was and the illnesses that resulted
  • Backing people into corners with not so subtle pleas to them to find me a job where they work
  • Collecting  business cards  being satisfied that I “did my networking”
  • Not talking to a certain person because of a pre-decision that they have nothing to offer
  • Giving myself excuses for not talking to people
  • Hiding behind the food and drinks

Having several people floating around a networking party of the type just describes makes the affair like a minefield in the battle with unemployment. The object is not to be the holiday networking party mine or become a casualty of one during the evening.

Happy July 4th From Victoree

Rosie posing before the USA flag

Yes, we will!

Between sips of  cola and ginger beer (among my family, it’s not an event without traditionally brewed ginger beer, sorrel and mauby) and brilliant firework displays there is always the touch of sadness. We are made painfully aware today of the unfulfilled parts of the  “America promise”. Thousands of us are still unemployed. Others of us are still suffering from the storm-induced power outages…which is why this week’s Victoree is so late.  Even now, electricity threatens to spasm into darkness, silence and heat at any time so I write between blackouts. Nothing shocks the senses of  the information society into reality like suddenly being without communication.

Chances are there is very little job hunting going on other than “picnic networking” today. Just as is any other holiday, it is a good day indeed to make a few new friends and be a human networking hub site walking around with a plate of ribs and cole slaw.

However the national birthday passes, have a happy one. Here’s a little reminder of our  freedoms as citizens of this great land. It includes the one that allows citizen journalists like yours truly to “call ’em as we see ’em”.

“…THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution…”  (read the entire text here)

May we always handle our freedom with responsibility and respect. Happy 4th.