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 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

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.

We Could All Use a Little Humor with Our Motivation!

We Could All Use a Little Humor with Our Motivation!

Every now and then, we all have one of “those days.” It’s “those days” that make us all appreciate a little humor. Sometimes you just need a good laugh!

My next guest on Blogtalkradio is author Sally Franz. Sally is a former stand up comedian, humor writer, corporate trainer, and motivational speaker.

Please join us for this exciting and fun-filled show on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 9:00am PST. You can call in and listen or ask questions to (347) 994-1903 or join us online and participate in the chat room.

Ms. Franz was born Sally Martha Blue in Philadelphia. Pa. in 1951 and raised in Ho-ho-kus, New Jersey. With that beginning is it any wonder Ms. Franz went into stand-up comedy and humor writing? Along with jesting and nesting (she has two daughters and two grandchildren) Ms. Franz received a degree in Gerontology and Human Resources. She worked for The City of New York, Pacific Dunlop, Save-the-Children, and UNICEF. After which she started her own corporate speaking and training company: Geronto Communications. Her clients have included: McCann Erickson Worldwide, The National Episcopal Church, Intel, SONY, Yahoo!, Texaco-Chevron. As a national speaker Ms. Franz has also appeared on The Today Show (3 times) with Al Roker and Willard Scott, LifeTime Cable, CNBC, The Maury Povitch Show as well as hosting several local TV series and a radio show.

Sally has written several books including:

  • “Monster Lies…A Woman’s Guide to Controlling Her Destiny”

Her two most recent books are the humor/inspiration/motivational: “Scrambled Leggs…A Snarky Tale of Hospital Hooey”, and “Scrambled Life?…3 Secrets to Getting Your Life back.”

This is my review on her book at Amzaon:

5.0 out of 5 stars Humor Heals!, March 20, 2010
By Carra Riley (Williams, Arizona, USA) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Scrambled Leggs: A Snarky Tale of Hospital Hooey (Paperback)

Scrambled Leggs is a delightful read with wonderful lessons. Sally Franz shows us the way to rise above the physical picture and look for good through humor. She describes misdiagnosis and many fiascoes she had to endure with her horrendous ski accident experience. She has us laughing through the hallways. This book creates great giggle power and makes you laugh out loud. Sally shares how the “real you” is never touched by anything on the material level. She was paralyzed at a ski resort on a Holiday week-end and now walks, proving that even the most difficult situation can be overcome with the right consciousness. Her gift to the reader is something to be cherished.

After reading this book you will feel like you have been friends with Sally for years! I can say with authority “read it” you will be glad you did.

You can get in touch with Sally and learn more by visiting her website, E-mail her at, or call her at (252) 343-9183. You can also follow her on twitter @Sallyfranz, friend her on facebook, or fan her on facebook.

Set your reminder for the show, and come have some fun with us on May 25th at 9:00am PST. Call in with questions or to listen (347) 994-1903, or listen online and join the chat room. Hope to see you there!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day With The Spirit Of Aloha!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day With The Spirit Of Aloha!

As the luck of the Irish has it, I found a video I did last year when I first starting a video blog.  Thought I would bring it out and share as it answers a lot of questions about St. Patrick’s Day.

With all the snow in Williams, AZ I certainly have fond memories of Maui doing Maui Morning Moments as I finished writing “Cosmic Cow Pie…Connecting The Dots.”

Some St. Patrick’s Day Dots

The video might connect some “dots” about St. Patrick’s day.

1.  Why did St. Patrick’s Day get started?

2.  What does green have to do with it?

3.  Why did the Irish come to NYC in 1870?

4.  How many people participate in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in NYC?

5  Are the Irish really lucky?


There you go… a little history with the spirit of aloha!

Have a safe and fun St. Patrick’s Day!

Get lucky and come register to find out about SMS tm.

Friday Funnies! 1 hour Stress Relief

It’s Friday and time for some fun! 

One great benefit to being a blogger is all the great content you come across in engaging with new friends.

 This week I had the pleasure of talking with Marcia Fine, Author of Stressed in Scottsdale.  The main character in her book, Jean Rubin, has a blog about Stress.

I laugh out loud when reading her descriptions of Stress so I am going to share some of the comments which inspired this post.

  • Yo, Yenta! Says:
    October 28th, 2009 at 1:51 pm I practice a little known method of Jewish Zen Buddhist self-forgiveness, which consists of saying “So you forgot to pick up the dry cleaning/groceries for dinner/children – but NO ONE DIED” three times, then making yourself a cocktail and taking a bath.
    My own mother taught this to me and it works EVERY TIME.
  • Yo, Yenta! Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 9:03 pm My husband gives me stress! But then he massages my feet so I guess it all balances out…
  • Angela Damien Says:
    November 2nd, 2009 at 2:01 pm Yo Yenta,
    Foot massages are GREAT!
    Loved your idea about the bath the other day… I am taking one in a few minutes to relieve stress in the middle of the day… mixed some aloe juice, minerals, flax seed and even lighting some incense… great idea, thanks for sharing!

    How to Relieve Stress in one hour in the middle of the day!
    There is no reason if you work from home or have a flexible schedule that you cannot take a 1 hour break in the middle of the day to relieve stress…

    Process the stress relief break this way!  You may get up at 5:00 a.m. to start your day and you probably work till 10 or 11 p.m. while taking time out to eat a little something.  Did you know that in a “real” job you are supposed to get a lunch break and a 15 minute break in the morning and the afternoon… if you do the math, that up it is 1.5 hours for you to regenerate and rest, during an 8 hour work day!

    I learned you can multitask spa treatments at Mario Badesuc in New York City.  I went in thinking a NYC spa would be relaxing… well, if you are in a hurry they get a lot done in a short period of time but one should be in the right mind set… which is how much can I do in an hour instead of thinking a spa treatment had to be an all day, slow event. I had a facial, pedicure and manicure all at once.  Three specialists working on me at one time… I have now taken that lesson from New York City and applied it to the 1 hour stress relief idea! 
     Jetted tuB
  •   1.  Start filling your your bathtub!
    Be sure sure to check it if you start
    Tub overflowing causes more stress!

    Insense burner
      2.  Light an incense burner or a fragrant oil diffuser.

    Select an aroma you like to create an aroma therapy treatment while you relax.

    The fragrance fills the room and you will start feeling that relaxing sensation right away.

     3. Add the essential spa ingredients to the water.

    This list came from a book “You Are What You Eat.”Bath Ingredients
    The book explains, feeding your skin is important.

    You will feel a tingling sensation with the wonderful elements.

    Flax Oil, Aloe Vera Juice Concentrate, Ionic Mineral Silica, Multiple Minerals along with Frankincense & Myrrh pure essential oils.

    The author suggested this bath treat after a day of detoxing your system…

    I say, why not anytime?

    Facial products   4. Take out your favorite facial products.

    Give yourself a thorough cleansing then
    apply a facial mask to set while you take
    your 20 minute spa bath. 

    Start working
    on your face while the tub is filling.

    5.  Commence the hair conditioning process.Hair products

    The tub should be filled so wash your hair first
    or wash it in the shower prior to starting your

    When to wash the hair is definitely a personal
    choice in this hour.

    Then apply the conditioner
    to process as you enjoy relaxing jetted
    tub spa time  15 or 20 minutes

    Your facial products will be working at the same
    time as your hair is being conditioned and you
    are relaxing in the tub.

    Salt scrub

    6. Exit tub and apply body salt scrub.

    Your skin should feel great with the minerals
    it was exposed to. 

    Now to top off your spa treat
    apply some salts all overyour body  to remove
    dead skin prior to entering the shower.
    shower heads
    7.  Enter the body car wash (shower) to rinse everything off.

    Your face should feel great after the facial application.

    Your hair should be nourished with the treatment.

    Your skin should shimmer with all those minerals and body scrub.

    Apply your favorite skin lotion.

    Finish your facial process.

    Dry your hair.

    You are good to go!

    You should feel relaxed and de-stressed in only 1 hour

    Not so hard… just plan your time and make a date with yourself to relax and enjoy an hour for YOU in the middle of the day.,.. who says you have to take a shower at 7:00 a.m. when you work from home?

    DISCLAIMER… I am NOT endorsing any products.. those shown above are simply examples.  Use your own products and equipment… IT would cause total STRESS to get an 11k fine for sharing my stress relief tip!   THIS IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT OF ANY PRODUCT.

    Hope you are having FUN on Friday! 

    Carra Signature Large