Day 1 Where In The World Is Carra Riley?

It’s 4 a.m. in the morning….. la..la…la.. Elton John sings on in my mind.  My husband Tom and I are in the airport in Charlotte, North Carolina in Charlotte Douglas International Airport .

Carra writing first blog post for SAS

The reality of the journey of a lifetime became crystal clear as we took off from Phoenix, Arizona just after midnight, January 9, 2011. We are on our way to Nassau, Bahamas to embark on the MV Explorer with the Spring 2011 Semester At Sea voyage. As we taxied down the runway and the lift of the engines took us high above the desert development in the dark of the night, the vision of our world and our expectations of this life changing adventure began to form in my thoughts.

I could see the engineered design of the city planning with the sparkling red and white lights outlining the checker board  streets of the Scottsdale,  Avondale, Tempe and surrounding Phoenix areas.  I wanted to keep that vision in my mind as we begin to connect with cities around the world.  How different it will be flying into other parts of the world and seeing how the cities and villages come together.

As we rose higher in altitude we emerged into the cloud cover and a gentle fog enveloped the plane.  Was this like my consciousness becoming distorted and waiting for the light to shine through and melt the fog?  I was thinking that was the message I was receiving.  Taking off from my concept of civilization going out into the big wide world and learning from other cultures about life and the importance of all the details we experience in our daily lives.

It was easy to drift off into my thoughts at 1 a.m. just thinking about the messages I would receive if my thoughts were open to learning.  I thought about the day, how things evolved and what I would share.  Back to the beginning ….  deciding to take the trip is where I needed  to start as the sense of relief in all of the preparation was now feeling good.  The preparation has been a marathon since mid September when we decided to implement the plan to take a voyage around the world.  Right here I want to take the time to thank my friend and editor, Karen Connell who introduced us to the Semester At Sea program in 1979 when I met her.  In September Karen sent me an e-mail with the information on this voyage with the 2 for 1 value price which is what pushed us over the edge to undertake this trip on such short notice.  Thank you Karen we know this will be a life changing undertaking!  Our connection and the preparation is another great post in itself and will leave that till later.

The emotional changes I have gone through during the preparation to take off have been varied.   Anxiety, fear, excitement are all things out in the “Cosmic Cow Pie”  I have felt because of the unknown. An adventure of this magnitude is way out of the “comfort zone”  but at the same time exhilarating.   The food, water, culture, weather, confinement  all add to the unknown expectations of the experience.  We are expecting only good and know that we will learn every step of the way.  We shared our thoughts below on the what we THINK we will experience and it will be fun to see what we have to say at the end of the journey.

Fun facts in how to “Managing The Mess” and applying the 10 second rule have already been implemented on our adventure and I will expound on those later.  The time is ticking by and we need to catch the plane to Nassau.  I have uploaded the photos of today to the flickr account and today’s  video so “Cosmic Cow Pie…Connecting The Dots Around The World” is on track and we are so appreciative that you are following along with us!

Remember to register to Play the game:  Where in the world is Carra Riley? in the forum area.  The game to win a trip to one of the Seven Wonders of the World starts January 12, 2011 so get ready to play and share with your comments!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Cosmic Cow Pie!

Cosmic Christmas Centerpiece

Looking for some fun this week? Create a festive Christmas centerpiece!

Go out in the forest and gather some greens and pine cones.. zip over to the Dollar store for some ornaments and sizzle then create a masterpiece in a very short time..Don’t have a forest…. try a Christmas tree lot and ask for some broken branches!

Look through your extra Christmas items and start thinking out of the box… what can you decorate the greenery with? Find some old ornaments and attach them with twister ties.

It all starts with some branches in a large vase.. Don’t have a large vase? Try Ross Dress for Less, The Dollar Store or Kohl’s. A small waste basket would also work.. a paint can can be decorated.. be creative, it’s fun and you can SAVE $$$

I hope you enjoyed this Cow Tip and want to you know this coming year I will be creating Cow Tips with ideas for business and technology! I am having some fun now to get going but you just never know what you will learn in the Cosmic Cow Pie. Sign up for the weekly video Cow Tips and have some fun, you too can be a Cowtipper!

Be a Cow Tipper.. sign up for the video Cow Tip Newsletter!

Connecting The Dots In Step Families

Connecting The Dots In Step Families

Are You  A Step Monster?

Yes, I am!  Or I should say: I have been a Step-Mother for 35 years in August.

Many times the Step-Mother in a family is considered to be a MONSTER just like the character in Cinderella. I don’t think I was a monster and only the kids can tell now! We had a lot of fun but that was because I came from a divorced family and knew what I didn’t want to experience again.

Family relationships are a factor in all major decisions. The differences can become daunting if there are issues going on within the family unit.

Eleanor Spackman Alden from Denver, Colorado has written a life changing book for step family members to help adjust to new family dynamics in her  book, “StepWisdom.”

Meet Eleanor Spackman Alden, LIVE in Williams, Arizona on Tuesday, August 3rd at noon PDT. Come be part of the audience or join us on www.CarraRileyLive.com and ask step family questions.

Eleanor Spackman Alden, LCSW, BCD is a psychotherapist in private practice and has worked with StepFamilies for over 40 years. She taught graduate school at Naropa University for over a decade, and prior to that taught physicians in a Family Medicine Residency program. She became increasingly concerned at the negative perspective of so many people that stepfamilies were second best or worse, and a sign of a declining culture. This viewpoint did not fit her knowledge of cultures in history, nor her experience as a therapist, teacher, or friend to so many who came from stepfamilies. StepWisdom grew out of the frustration with the present day “myth” about stepfamilies, and from growing up as a stepchild herself.

Contact Eleanor:

My Amazon and Barnes and Noble review on the book:

Perfect “Steps” To Creative Relationships After Divorce

“I am a ‘step’ individual in every category, step daughter, step mother, step grandmother, step sister, step aunt etal. I was excited to read “StepWisdom” to see what I could learn to improve those relationships.

My expectations were exceeded and I can’t wait to share this book with others. Eleanor Spackman Alden has provided an easy to understand handbook for all types of relationships. She takes case studies of dysfunctional marriages and destructive divorces to illustrate certain rapport issues. Eleanor uses examples from the Bible, Greek mythology and Dr. Jung, a Swiss Psychiatrist to graphically depict specific behavior tenancies. She uses humor to lighten the load of uncomfortable situations and demonstrates how to correct the situation.

This book is a must read for any person wanting to nurture and progress to create loving and supportive family relationships in all circumstances. Reading this book can help avoid unpleasant interaction mistakes”

Please join us LIVE in Williams, Arizona on Tuesday, August 3rd at noon PDT on www.CarraRileyLive.com

If you have any quesitons for Eleanor you can leave them in the comments below or join us in the chat room on the show.

2010 Half Way Point! Do You Need a Plan B?

2010 Half Way Point! Do You Need a Plan B?

Have you created some plans, set some objectives or identified goals for 2010 and are you on track?

The mid point of the year just past and it IS time to look at your strategy to assess how it is working.

Looking at the 2010 plan:

  1. What is working?  Keep doing that!
  2. Do the financial outcomes need to be adjusted?
  3. What needs to be changed in the strategy to accomplish your objectives or goals?
  4. What is not working?  Stop doing it and take it off the list!
  5. Do you know what really makes you tick?  Is that your passion?
  6. Are you living your passion?
  7. How can you live your passion?
  8. Is Plan A really working?
  9. Could Plan B possibly be a much better alternative?

NOW is the perfect time to start to get a jump on 2011 and practice if you didn’t have a plan.

Nothing gets better without practice.

Start with your specific values, then create a plan to get you where you want to go.

Value concepts to consider incorporating in the new direction:

  • Family
  • Health
  • Financial
  • Spiritual
  • Education
  • Retirement

If your family is important to you do you have all the school games or activities in your calendar, Birthdays, Anniversaries, vacation?  If family is your priority then make them first on the list of things to do.  Make these days or times NON NEGOTIABLE Items.

Is Health important to you? Does exercise fit into your game plan to achieve better movement or weight?  Put it on the calendar and stick to the plan.

It is your life so take control and have your activities reflect what is important to you.

Do you need to prospect to find more buyers? What is your plan?

Here  is a “Cow Tip” from Carra: Last week I walked down Rt. 66 with a flyer on my new listing describing a great financing opportunity with Bond Money in Arizona where a buyer can get in with as little as $1,000 down.

I have two buyer prospects from doing the basics. Eyeball to eyeball seeing the people! What did they like?  The fact the home had the special financing, a huge detached garage along with the fact I was out on the street selling real estate.

STOP now. Write in a specific time to assess what you need to do today. this week, this month and the rest of the year.

You are in charge of you and your time! Don’t ever be fooled into thinking you can’t say “NO, not now, it works better for me at this time.” Think about how you wait for an attorney, a doctor or an accountant.  Busy people have time schedules and they stick to them working clients in in the slots they have available.

Get a partner to be accountable to!

If you create the plan you need to WORK the plan and make sure you stay on track!

Celebrate planned direction!