Shannon Ingram's Place

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Location: So CA

Musings of a woman who left her corporate career to become a caregiver for elderly parents, wrote a book and found her way back to corporate - with love, instead of fear, leading the way.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Thanksgiving at the Ranch

I drove my parents to the Garner Ranch for Thanksgiving. It's been a family tradition for over 30 years, but last year we spent the holiday at my home instead, because my dad was recovering from a stroke and complications of diabetes. He's so much better this year that we decided to spend the day at the mountain ranch where my sister, Meg, lives with her husband, daughter, horses, cattle, chickens, geese and a unique assortment of dogs and barn cats. Meg and I agreed that our folks were not up to spending the night at the ranch. There are too many dangers for people who have serious balance issues and failing eyesight. It's no place for a walker because the ground around the houses is not level and it's hard to navigate. We decided that I could drive them up to the ranch early in the morning, which would allow them to enjoy a ranch breakfast, then have dinner in the late afternoon. My family and I were going on to Palm Desert for the weekend, so Meg said she would drive my parents back home to Irvine. It worked out beautifully, in spite of a few little issues with timing. We didn't eat until 6 p.m., which meant that everyone departed the ranch around 8:30. Thankfully, Meg and her family made the round-trip to Irvine in just four hours. The folks were delighted to be with children, grandchildren and great-grandson (age 1). A freelance writer for the Idyllwild Town Crier, Marcia Gawecki, joined us for breakfast. She had just completed a wonderful article about the Garner Ranch. Check it out at (you may have to search for "Jack Garner Reminisces"). It will probably be up for a week. It's interesting reading and made me think I should write a book about the ranch. Someday.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Lower the Bar

My friend and teacher, Tricia Kelly, a certified facilitator trainer, conducts a wonderful dream workshop that I attend every week. Tricia always says something brilliant and/or funny that I have to write down. Today she suggested that we lower the bar of our expectations for ourselves when the situation warrants it. In other words, sometimes we benefit from being a little less driven, a tad slower and a bit more introspective. Another pearl we discussed is that the thing that triggers you in another's behavior or actions is what you need to own in yourself. For instance, if you think someone is horribly catty, then you might want to check out cattiness in yourself and how you might be projecting. If you then "lower the bar" for yourself, you can say, "I am catty sometimes too, but I try not to be." One of Tricia's best lines today was, "The trouble with the unconscious is that we are unconscious of it." On that note, I will lower my own bar, leave the pitiful mess on my desk, crawl in bed and watch "The Amazing Race."

Monday, November 07, 2005

Birth of a Blog

Greetings and welcome to my blog. I am happy to have a place to share all the new stuff I am learning thanks to the publication of my new book, The Heart Way - A Journey From Corporate to Care, and the related activities, conversations and assorted other fun and games.
Things are cooking here at Orren Stewart Press, with lots of interest in The Heart Way. I still have a lot of marketing and promotion to do before the official publication of the book in February '06. This past week I had the pleasure of attending the Saturday session of Mark Victor Hansen's "Mega Speaking Empire" conference and enjoyed meeting and talking to one of my heroes, Dan Poynter, author of The Self Publishing Manual. Dan offered to review my book and give me some additional marketing suggestions, so I will be following up on that in the next couple of weeks. I also spent a delightful Friday afternoon with Karen Twichell, author of A Caregiver's Journey - Finding Your Way, and we discussed some exciting possibilities for working together in the future. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, books are selling prior to publication and we are getting great feedback. Thanks to all of you who have purchased them so far, and please feel free to give me your personal feedback via this blog or email.