Leadership Quotes

I’ve spoken of my love of quotes before.  I’m blessed to be surrounded by some women who share my fondness for a well-turned phrase.  Since I’m in a mood – read: unable to compose a  coherent post – I thought I’d share a few of the surprises from the JLC board and leadership retreats.  I offered up a few “transition and change” quotes one of my favorite conference facilitators had put together in a presentation, and challenged the women to bring their own quotes too.   Some were quite new to me, and others were old friends whose broad shoulders have steadied me – or urged me to do better – before.

“It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Gotta’ love Dumbledore.   Talk about wisdom personified!

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.                                    —Rosalynn Carter

I used that quote on the hang tags on the gifts I gave to last year’s board.  They are indeed great leaders, and the JLC moved forward leaps and bounds because of their courage and vision.

The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.                       ― Ronald Reagan

That’s a personal favorite, albeit new to me.  I’m impressed that it comes from a man, since generally, women have a more collaborative style of leadership than men do.

Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.                                                                   — General George Patton

Not long ago at all, I don’t know that I would have “owned” that one, but over the past couple of years, I’ve come to embrace my administrative talents, my own leadership style and just who I am.  I’m generally content to follow someone else… but if you’re an inept leader…  the odds are good that if I cannot help you become a more effective leader, I’m going to just take over.  

When I was younger, I cut straight to the take over phase, but I’d like to think now that I’m able to try to guide and mentor before I can’t stand it anymore.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face….You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”                                                                                                                ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Of course, no quotes list would be complete without that original Junior Leaguer, perhaps the first Leaguer in the White House…  I do adore Mrs. Roosevelt.

518Df9uT76L__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Did you know Jeanne Cooper was a Junior Leaguer?  Basically Blogless Susan teased me with that nugget, so her memoir awaits…  I might start it this evening. 

Do you like biographies? 

What might you do that you think you cannot?

(And who would have thought that I’d tag a post with both JLC and Harry Potter?!)

S-heroes

Alison’s post and an intense walk in the woods with my huntresses had my mind racing.  On our walk-hike, I was pondering what my fur-girls’ totems might be.  After a funny group name from Thursday night’s leadership training, I’ve taken to calling Sissy “Honey Badger” because unless you’ve been under a rock you’ve heard recently that honey badger just don’t care.   Indeed, Sis is fearless and has no known predators.  Hem.  While I think Sis is much sweeter and softer, that’s the whole point of a strong totem, right?

From Barbie Collector

Gretchen is a little trickier.  She needs a super-strong totem, and definitely something deep within her sustained her during her 19 hours of being separated from us, including a stormy night in the woods (so we have to assume), but I can’t see her embracing a Mama Grizzly or anything of the sort.  No, Gg and I decided her totem is a bobcat, after I insisted that the new Princess Catherine Barbie could NOT be a totem.  Hem.  She is almost cat-like in some of her mannerisms, and the diminutive wild feline is no weakling.   It is also a local species, although that’s true for virtually all of North America.  I’m quite sure Sis doesn’t care that her totem isn’t American, not because she isn’t patriotic, but because…  Honey badger and Sissy just don’t care.

Because Gretchen kept reminding me she’s a full-blooded Crup so she doesn’t need a totem, my mind also went to things Harry Potter.   While I love my pink OBX ballcap, it’s no Sorting Hat.  Still, it doesn’t take magic to realize that while Sis is smart, loyal and sometimes pretty darned cunning, her dominant trait is bravery, so Gryffindor she is.  This time, Gretchen was even easier.  I briefly considered Ravenclaw for her, but her loyalty is what defines her, and Jack Russells as a breed are known for their sense of justice, so Hufflepuff she is, without a doubt.   Ironically, Hufflepuff’s animal symbol is a badger, but don’t tell Gretchen.  Ravenclaw’s is an eagle, and Gg hates birds of prey, since a massive hawk used to do fly-overs every single morning when she was a wee baby.

But back to the title of this post.  While I was having some silly fun, I also stopped to reflect upon the women I admire.  There are historical figures to be sure…  Gretchen also asked if Margaret Thatcher could be her totem and THAT gave me pause, but the trees said no, totems are animal, not human.  However, these days, my s-heroes are the women around me blazing trails and making the world a better place.  I have a friend who is a professor in the Engineering department, and another whom retired a couple of years ago from building one local non-profit into a super-star and just a few weeks ago became the new executive director of yet another.  They lead by example, and that – above all things – speaks to me right now.

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Gretchen and our own sorting hat? 10-10

That’s not to say that I don’t have a serious collection of Eleanor Roosevelt’s quotes, or that I’d turn down a chance to have tea with Madeleine Albright or Condoleezza Rice.  I could go on all day linking to powerful women in business, art, science, etc. but I really want to know who your s-heroes are and even what House you think you’d be in at Hogwarts.  Me?  I go back and forth between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor, but I could make an argument for most any of the houses… yes, even Slytherin, because I favor traditionalism, resourcefulness and evidently, I have plenty of leadership qualities…  If I had to choose today, Slytherin just might win because I’m gearing up for St. Paddy’s Day and feelin’ green!

Wrapped up in the Outer Banks

Look!   Another finished object report!  I actually finished this about a month ago, but evidently, it takes me a while to block and get more photos.

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Blocked... loooong and lean

Outer Banks Aragante

Pattern:  Aragante, my first short-row, side to side shawl.  I can honestly say I’d knit this one again.  It was a pleasant, quick knit, and I’m delighted with the results.  Is it a scarf or a shawlette?  Dunno, but I like it.

photo

Unblocked

Yarn:  Pout.  No, the yarn’s not called Pout, but that’s what I do every time I think about Springvalley aka: Alabama Fiber Dreams not really existing anymore.  Jessi has a great eye for color and really chose good bases for her yarns.  She dyed this Outer Banks light fingering with me – and our vacation spot – in mind, and I couldn’t love it more.

Needles:  US #7 Addi Clicks circs.  I love my Addi Clicks.  I have found some sizes have smoother joins than others, but…

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Lace edge

Verdict:  I’ll get a lot of use out of this one.  It’s long enough to be a scarf, definitely hugs my shoulders without need of a shawl pin, and did I mention the colors are fabulous?

How ’bout that weekend?  I’m looking forward to some time with a friend or two, and I’m trying to figure out how to get to see the last Harry Potter movie.  The Knight probably won’t want to go, and honestly, I do enjoy watching them with Gretchen, who definitely is at least part Crup and really is cute with all the head tilting, attentive watching/listening! 

 

More to Crow About

November 2010 010As if TWO cowls, designed and knitted with me in mind weren’t enough, gMarie‘s package also included two more books in the Tea Shop cozy series we’re both enjoying, and another of her fine dumplin bags.

Don’t you love the chicken wire on the flip side?!   (See it in the long handle?)  I’m crazy about these bags.   You can find yours in her Etsy shop.  Her stock’s a little low right now, but she’s working on the next round!  It’s hard to launch a new shop and your designing career all at the same time, especially when there’s an annoying pay-the-mortgage job that sucks away her valuable, creative, crafting time!

November 2010 007I’m not the only one who likes these bags.  Granted, my inspectors are always on the job, but they’re especially fond of the scents they know from their fans  spoilers  friends who send goodies regularly.   I’m sure they DO smell the west coast hounds, but that just adds to the charm, right?

Now, don’t bother reading ahead if you haven’t read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, or if you don’t give a hoot about things Potterish.   Spoilers abound, so reader beware!

Courtesy of Amazon

This was my second reading, and I’ve never been happier to have re-read a book.  I’d promised a few folks I’d re-read it someday, because as I’ve mentioned more than once, I HATED it the first time.  I believe the words I used back then were something like “It ruined the whole series for me.” 

This time, I was prepared for all the deaths, including those of some of my favorite characters.  I still think JKR didn’t need to kill off both Lupin and Tonks, but I’ve read her defense, and war is awful like that.  It also sets little Teddy up to have his own series one day, with similarities drawn between him and his godfather, the great Harry Potter.   (I’m no longer participating in Harry Potter discussion forums, but I doubt that’s an original notion… it’s just too obvious, especially since Harry himself draws the comparison between himself as Teddy’s godfather and Sirius as his.)

Maybe it was time and distance, or maybe it was simply a matter of knowing what to expect, but this time, I enjoyed every single page of this massive book.  I’m glad she made Dumbledore “human” so to speak.  I loved seeing Molly Weasley, the warrior queen in the final battle.   I’m still no fan of Snape, but we all understand him a lot better at then end of this book.  Like most of the characters, his entire being is a sum of the choices he made, and that’s a theme I really appreciate.  We all have choices, and what we do with them defines us and our lives.

Despite adoring that Harry and Ginny named their second son Albus Severus Potter, I could have done without that epilogue, “19 Years Later.”  I would rather have seen what Narcissa Black Malfoy and Draco did after the battle.  I wanted to see them make GOOD choices.  I would have rather seen “Cissy” leave Lucius and Malfoy Manor to move in with Draco and whomever he married, or maybe she could have bought a place on the same street as her OTHER sister, Andromeda and helped raise her orphaned great-nephew.  (Why yes, I do realize I just basically said I wanted Cissy to pull up stake and buy an unassuming house in a Muggle community!)

Did Bellatrix kill her own niece (Tonks) and that niece’s husband (Lupin)?  I’d like to know, and I wouldn’t doubt it for a minute.  I don’t think Narcissa or Draco had that blood lust in them.  I wanted to see one or both of them redeemed.  Sure, sure, you can argue that without Narcissa’s Harry-faced lie, Voldemort might have won and the book would have had a rotten, no-good, awful ending, but I wanted more.  That was still a whispered secret, and while I’m sure any surviving Death Eaters suspect Narcissa betrayed their cause, I wanted MORE. 

How ’bout you?  Share your thoughts on the series and the end with me.  Are you going to the movie this weekend?  I probably won’t.  I stand a chance of dragging the Knight along if I don’t ask him to go on an opening weekend.

Re-reading Comprehension

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I *am* much further along now!

 

Since I’m knitting one repeat a night on what should have been a quick little project I started in April, and then investing any remaining knitting time on my October (hem) cardigan, I don’t have much to show. 

Might I distract you with a book discussion?  More specifically, a re-reading discusion?

Let’s start with the basics.  Do you re-read books, ever?

If so, what makes you reach for the book again? 

For me, I generally re-read my favorites, just because like an old friend, sometimes life compells you to reach out for something familiar and comfortable.  However, there are noteworthy exceptions. 

  1. The Bible.  I don’t wear my faith on my sleeve or my blog, but there you have it.  Right now, my favorite part is Ecclesiastes.  I read what I feel drawn to, pure and simple.
  2. Cookbooks.  Yeah, I READ cookbooks.  I won’t explain or defend too much here, because I know I’m in good company.  But when I re-read, I’m generally searching for a hint or tip that I KNOW I saw somewhere…
  3. Harry Potter.  If you’re not a fan at all, I hope you’ll stick with this post anyway.  You see, I’ve re-read most of the series more than 3 times, because JKR did a wonderful job of hiding hints, using colors as symbols, and most especially, there are obscure references to mythology and folk lore on nearly every page of some books.

So, now you know where we’re headed, but let’s back up a bit first.  I was introduced to Harry Potter by the preacher’s daughter, when I was teaching her 6th grade Sunday School class.  (No pressure there, none at all!)  Fast-forward several weeks, and my stepmom sent the first three books to my stepson for Christmas.  I wasn’t sure they were on his reading level, so I did the responsible thing and picked up HP & The Philosopher’s Stone, better known as … & The Sorcerer’s Stone here in the States, but humor the old Philosophy major, will you?

As I recall, within two days, I’d read the first three books and joined the rest of JKR’s fans, tapping my fingers and toes, waiting on the July release of the next book in the series.  While Goblet of Fire is far darker than the first three and has turned off a reader or two, I believe it is also the best book of the series, but I might be biased; I’ve read it at least four times.

Why?  Well, because the first time I read her books, I’m all about plot.  I just want to know who dies, who lives, and what that snake Snape does to poor Harry and his friends.  (No spoilers here, and I don’t hate Snape, for the record.) 

Then, I give myself time to remove my emotional reactions, and I re-read for details.   After that, I took a notion at some point in the series and re-read, noting when, where, whom the color green was mentioned and other such trivial things that I thought mattered at that moment.

Courtesy of Amazon

I’m on that second re-read of the last book, Deathly Hallows now.  (Do visit Wiki and check out the different cover art for the different countries.  I love it!)

Why yes, it’s taken more than three years for me to diffuse enough to re-read, but between time and the very angry, rapid first reading I did in July, 2007, I’m finding that I barely retained the basic plot elements.   And you know what?  So far, I’m not hating the book at all.   Seems it’s much more productive to read with a nearly open mind…  I’m even finding some great symbols and myth references, which I claimed were grossly absent from the book.  Hem.

…and if you made it through this whole post, you get an A for today.   I’d love to know more about your re-reading habits.

Disreputable Dog

Big girl fairytales don’t necessarily begin with “Once upon a time…” or “In a land far away…”  The second book in the Abhorsen trilogy is much darker, but still a quick, compelling read.  I read it in less than 24 hours.  I just couldn’t put it down. 

Y’all know I don’t usually review each book in a series, but this group is special.  Lirael is just as fascinating as Sabriel, although at the start of the book, the title character hardly seems to fit the strong heroine part.  Bear with her; she’s in her early teens when we first meet her, and fond as I’ve become of her (keep in mind I’m already deep into #3 as I write), she’s still not my favorite character.

Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!!  The character links below might contain spoilers, so if you want to read the books and TRULY be surprised, don’t click over.

Look closely at the cover art.  See the dark, furry character in the bottom left corner?  That’s Lirael’s companion, The Disreptuable Dog.  Just as I knew Gretchen – and Mugsy before her – was just the sort of Jack Russell that made J.K. Rowling invent crups, you only have to see/hear the dog’s name to know that Sissy could indeed be heir to the Disreputable Dog line.

Neither Sissy nor DD is TRULY disreputable, but they’re both full of themselves, affectionate, loyal and capable of pulling off stunts you wouldn’t think a normal dog could do. 

For the cat lovers out there, I’ve been remiss in not mentioning Mogget, a beautiful, RUDE, white cat whose magical side is revealed fairly early in Sabriel.  He’s not entirely trustworthy, he demands a lot from the human-ish characters…  he really is very much like a cat.  I happen to adore the character, but then, I like terriers and hounds because they aren’t exactly compliant, obedient canines.

I think I have a new, favorite series.  I loved Harry Potter dearly until the last book broke that spell, and while I’ve enjoyed a few series since then, nothing else has captured me like this trilogy about the Old Kingdom.  It is a little predictable in the grand scheme of the plot, but the fine details that make the tale so much fun to read are filled with twists, turns and real drama.   Did I mention STRONG female characters?  I’m still waiting to see if Princess Ellimere turns out to be as strong as she thinks she is…

Word of warning…  If you do read this series, make sure you have book #3  –Abhorsen – on hand before you finish #2 – Lirael.  To say there’s a cliff hanger is a serious understatement.  Good thing my Nook store is open 24/7, and I’d already been warned.  I had #3 downloaded, read to open as soon as I finished #2, which allowed me enough time to finish two chapters before my meeting last night.

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Dis - what?! Read on! I like the idea of being an heiress...

My weekend plans?  Well, as soon as I get home, I’m going to do what I’ve done the last two afternoons.  The fur-girls and I are going to pile up and finish the book.  This time, we’ll finish the series, and that will be bittersweet.   I hate to see a good series end, but at least this time, I’m pretty sure the ending won’t find me throwing the book across the room. 

(I keep saying I’m going to re-read Deathly Hallows before the first segment of the movie comes out on the 19th, so I guess I’d better go find that flying book and re-read, huh?)

I also REALLY want to knit the Out of Yarn ball (see a post here), so that’s what I’ll be doing after I finish reading.  

If you’re even remotely local, don’t forget the Lawre’s Laine trunk show at Dog House Yarns & More tomorrow, 11-6.

What are you up to this weekend?

Soul Socks

Don’t look now, but I’ve finally finished a pair of adult socks this year.   This whole post will make more sense if you’re a Harry Potter fan, but in case you’re not, a horcrux is a bit of dark magic, with a piece of the dark wizard’s soul inside. 

Project:  Horcrux from London   Must be magic, because it restored not only my sock mojo but my general knitting mojo as well!

Pattern: Horcrux Socks, by Susan Lawrence  I really like her designs.  These socks were just right for me…  even if I do prefer toe-up sock knitting.  If I make them again, I might try to transpose them to toe-up.  Love the 3×2 ribbing, and the bit of lace – the horcrux connection, to resemble the scar on Harry Potter’s head – on the leg was perfect.  It wasn’t too challenging, but it broke up the sock a bit to keep it from being too boring. 

Yarn:  Regia Galaxy, from the awesome Monica.  That’s part of why I chose this pattern for this yarn; Monica picked it up in London a couple of years ago, and some of Harry Potter happens in London.  I look for these to become a favorite in my sock stable.  Jeans are a staple in my winter wardrobe, and I love the splashes of pink, aqua and pale yellow.  The good news is I have about 90% of one ball left, so I might need to start two at a time toe-up…  I should have enough for some anklets.

Needles:  US #2 Addi Turbo circ.  A bit too large, actually, but I couldn’t find my #1, so what’s a girl to do?  (These were cast on pre-Clicks.   If I haven’t waxed poetic about the Clicks, I’ve done you a disservice.  LOVE that set so much that I’ll have to add the Lace tips too, just because…)

Verdict:  I could totally knit this pattern again, but there are so many sock patterns out there.  If ever I run out and need to start knitting them a second time, I’ll start with this pattern.

The weekend was a nice one.  Saturday, we headed to the farm for a family reunion.  The fur-girls love their new cousin Chance, but you’ll have to wait to meet him later in the week.  The calming collar definitely earned its keep, but it does cost more than I thought at $8.99.  Still, we purchased two more Saturday night.  Yesterday, we celebrated Fathers Day with Dae and Uncle Timmy, the uncle next door to the inlaws.   The Knight’s cousin like a brother to us both grilled perfect steaks, and CLAB’s sweet bride shared her wine with me, so what’s not to love, even if it was 100 degrees outside?! 

On my (first) wedding day, 1993

Please don’t take my silence on Fathers Day as a slight.  I was blessed with the most awesome father in the world, but his death still finds me raw and emotional a few times each year.   The fur-girls wanted to post to their Dadaw on Sunday, but I just wasn’t up to it.   It’s not fair to the great fathers still in my life, but he and Pop left big holes in my life.  (And yes, we glossed over the second anniversary of Pop’s death last week too.  More rawness.)

How was your weekend?