27. April 2011 · Comments Off on Playing Hurt · Categories: Self Improvement · Tags: , ,

When we got the call at 2 AM last Saturday, I hopped
out of bed with the thought that anyone faced with a
ring in the middle of the night would have: “Who in
the world would be calling us at this hour?”

I looked at caller ID and, not recognizing the
number—and seeing that it was not Nick, our son away
at college some thirteen hours from home—I yawned and
crawled back into bed, pulling the down covers way up
over my head.

Forgetting all about that middle-of-the-night-call, I
moved through Sunday morning as always: early morning
tennis, cherub choir rehearsal, church. I felt
particularly moved to go up to the altar that morning
to lift up little Katie, our 3-year-old friend who has
been in our hearts for the past couple of years. We
met in the same clinic where our son was treated for
leukemia. She was having a tough time and had been in
our family’s near-constant thoughts and prayers.
Barely leaving the altar, my daughter ran up and
grabbed me, forcing her cell phone into my jaw: “Mom.
It’s Daddy. He said it’s urgent.”

Heart pounding, I heard the news we had dreaded: Katie
had passed away last night. It was her mother who had
called us at 2 AM.

Last week was Super Bowl Sunday and it was my turn to
write my annual “Playing Hurt” newsletter. But I
couldn’t move. Couldn’t talk. Couldn’t think.
Certainly couldn’t write. I was playing hurt. And was
immobilized. Right in the middle of the field.

Monday took me to New York City to meet with the mom
and dad. I told them I’d like to be with them. Help
them do errands in preparation for the next couple of
days ahead. Visitation. Cremation. Could I be their
hands and feet? Walking eighteen blocks in the blazing
cold of the northeast last week, arm in arm the three
of us as we walked down First Avenue in search of the
florist who had come highly recommended, we began the
painful process of selecting the flowers for Katie’s
casket.

Sometimes when we play hurt we understand what’s going
on. We accept the hurt as part of the natural state of
affairs. A grandparent dies and we are sad, certainly.
But we look at his or her long life and we accept the
end. Sometimes accidents happen and we agonize over
the injuries sustained by a loved one. Yet we
understand that healing will eventually occur and that
bones will eventually mend.

And then sometimes we endure things that never make
sense to us. Will never. Crib death. Death of a
toddler. Childhood cancer.

Playing hurt this year finds many of us in the Katie
Camp mourning her passing, something which none of us
could have ever imagined as possible. The spunkiest,
brightest, funniest, cutest kid one could envision had
left us. We had all sensed that she would fight the
leukemia and go on to live a very long and happy life.
She brought each and every one who had ever come into
contact with her unspeakable joy! She locked eyes with
mine two years ago and crawled into my heart, only to
stay there forever. The sadness I feel over her
leaving us is, frankly, nearly unbearable.

I am trying to stay focused on Katie’s spirit, and my
faith leads me to believe that she is in a better
state. Watching us from above, I know that she has
joined the heavenly realm and that she is dancing with
the angels. Staying focused on eternity is the only
way that I am able to get through the motions of these
days.

Most of us are carrying around a burden or two every
day. Illness. Separation. Prodigal children.
Brokenness. It is not the playing hurt that separates
you from me. We are all playing hurt. Daily, to one
degree or another. Playing joyfully while playing hurt
is the most difficult thing in the world to do. It is
our ability to play hurt with some level of abiding
joy that marks us as victorious in this daily thing
called life. Being able to infuse joy into the
patterns of living—while playing hurt—is one of our
greatest earthly challenges.

I pray that you are well. And that if are hurt—like I
am right now—that you shall try to find joy in the
morning. As shall I.
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24. April 2011 · Comments Off on Nagymama’s Hungarian Chicken Soup for Your Family’s Soul · Categories: Food And Drink · Tags: , ,

OK. I promised you my Hungarian chicken soup recipe. Being that we are suffering from an arctic blast, with wind chills in the negative 15 to 25 degrees, it seems that a wonderful pot of simmering chicken soup is the perfect anecdote for the bone-chilling days we’re experiencing in many parts of the country. Here is the way I remember Nagymama, my Hungarian grandmother, making it. I’ve carried on her tradition by making it this way for my own family as well:

• Fill up your stock pot about two-thirds of the way with water. No need to measure; just fill it so that there’s enough room to add all of the following ingredients. (two-thirds should be just about perfect.)

• Rinse your chicken with cold water and add it to the pot. Use either a whole cut-up chicken with the insides removed or three to four split breasts, with skin. Season the pot with ground kosher salt and pepper. Partially cover the pot and bring to a boil.

• When it boils, remove the lid, reduce the temperature to a roaring simmer, and once you get the boiling under control, partially cover again. Cook at this temperature for around 30-45 minutes, until the chicken is tender when poked with a fork.

• Turn off heat and remove the scum from the top of the pot. Then remove all chicken from pot. De-skin, de-bone, cut into bite-size pieces and put it back into the pot. Add peeled carrots (the authentic Hungarian way is to add them whole, not cut up), diced celery (again, add whole stalks if you want to be authentic) and quartered peeled medium size onions. Check your seasonings, now adding genuine, sweet Hungarian paprika (I also add a healthy does of thyme, although Nagymama never did!) Simmer on low heat for at least a couple of hours, until the flavors have a chance to mingle. (You can also let it simmer all night long on the lowest possible heat, removing it from the stove first thing in the morning.)

• Right before you’re ready to serve it, add thin egg noodles right to the pot, turning up the heat so that they cook through (about eight minutes.) Enjoy!

Nagymama always served this with homemade bread and pure butter. A European pastry was also served, as was a good cup of after-dinner coffee or tea.

Fewer aromas fill up your home better. Fewer memories of your children’s home could be stronger than the ones this will create. Try to keep a pot of this going for the rest of the winter. I am trying to do the same……

15. April 2011 · Comments Off on Change Management – Coping With Change · Categories: Management · Tags: , ,

Change Management is one of the most common reasons why organisations from the Private or Public Sectors approach Impact Executives for Interim Managers, who are skilled at handling the most complex of change management programmes, sometimes across different geographies.

Change can occur for lots of different reasons, from the challenges of growth that an organisation is facing, changing global markets, changes in strategy, technological change, competitive processes including M&A, customer pressures or shifting markets.

Research shows that organisations are undergoing major change on average every 3 years, whilst smaller changes are occurring almost continually, and there are certainly no signs in the current economic climate that this will alter. Whilst each change is unique, Interim Managers can introduce different models; the two frequently adopted are either Lewin and Beer or Shaw’s model.

But at the end of the day an Interim Manager has seen it all before and can draw on their immense experience, bringing with them sound programme and project management experience. They will understand how to pre-empt stakeholder concerns and possess the leadership skills to effectively communicate, facilitate and coach those resistant to change. Hand-holding those who require it to cope with change, together with all the issues surrounding re-alignment, performance management and motivation. Above all, they will remember that everyone reacts differently to change and has differing fundamental needs that have to be met. Change often involves a loss and people go through a ‘loss curve’ where expectations need to be managed realistically and fears need to be addressed.

Change management will often involve Interim managers playing a leading role in introducing new structures and systems. Above all a seasoned Interim Manager will deliver a Change Programme on time and on budget.

Impact Executives

Change Management

01. April 2011 · Comments Off on Car Rust Treatment – How to Get Rid of Rust · Categories: Automotive · Tags: , ,

Rust is like a disease of metal. When it attacks the metal becomes fragile and weak. A wrong notion about rust prevails among the mass. People often complain about rusting of metal, however, rusting takes place only on iron. Other metals may corrode, but do not rust.

It is a chemical reaction; iron gets oxidized to form a series of hydrated iron oxides. The reaction takes place in presence of water or moisture and oxygen.

Since automobile parts are mainly made of iron, they are very much susceptible to rust. Rusting car not only looks bad, but involves high risk of accidents as well.

Car Rust Treatment

Modern cars are generally equipped with better rust guard. But a lot of people buy pre-owned cars which were manufactured few years back. And there may be many old yet exotic cars in your possession. You need to take care of all the cars and keep them from rusting. Never be content with rust proof treatments that come with modern cars; make sure you apply your own car rust treatment to make your car rust free.

Organic rust remover and rust products help car owners remove rust from car. But how rusting begins?

How rusting begins?

A small hole or minor scratches on the body of the car can instantiate rusting. When the surface coating or the rust proof emulsion peels off, moisture, water and oxygen come into contact with the metal and rusting begins.

Since rust is bulky and porous in nature, it allows more amount of oxygen and moisture to penetrate inside. If the problem is not addressed timely, the entire metal body becomes rusty very soon.

Initially the small scratches may seem innocent; however, a small amount of rust spreads below the corrosion-proof emulsion. As it spreads and increases in volume, it pushes the coating off and exposes the metal to elements.

Stainless steel is often said to be a good alternative and used in mechanical and automotive parts manufacturing. Steel has the same strength as iron and is rust-proof. However, its anti-rust nature holds true as long the rust-proof coating is there. If a small amount of coating strips off somehow, rust kicks in.

How to handle small scratches on cars to prevent rust:

Treat the broken off part immediately. Apply any protective coating if you are unable to take the car to the mechanic. Before coating, dab rust removers on the surface as you never know whether rusting has already begun or not.

To touch up, look for the paints that match the paint code of your vehicle. Alternatively you can buy scratch repair kits that are helpful to repair minor to deep scratches. If you cannot find any solution, just apply a bit of nail polish over the bare metal; it will work for the time being.

You can also paste a film tape to ensure the bare metal cannot come into contact with water, moisture and oxygen. However, you need to repair the scratches and dents as soon as possible because the film tape is not a very powerful remedy.

To fight rust, you need to concentrate on how to keep your car in showroom condition. Hence, good maintenance is the key to keep your car from rust. Scratches, dents and damages often take place due to careless parking, so be careful while parking.

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