Diva Remembering: Thanksgivings Past…

Thanksgivings Past; New Jersey

The first the first time I met my little mother-in-law was thanksgiving in my 20’s. We arrived late from Kentucky after a 13 hour drive. She open the door and looked at me and said to her son…”She’s beautiful and look she’s wearing shoes!!!” LOL, I didn’t think we would ever get along, but she ended up being one of my dearest friends her whole life. She was a phi beta kappa and very progressive for a woman who was in her mid seventies when I met her.

However, the dear woman couldn’t cook. My first Thanksgiving at her home consisted of what I called Beef Jerky Turkey, Birdseye baby onions from a bag, pees and carrots from a bag, and stove top stuffing that only had water added. I was in tears. No memories about the dinner only the good company.

The next year I begged her to let me give her a treat, and let me fix Thanksgiving Southern style. I took her shopping and bought the ingredients. The cart was full, she said it looked like I had bought enough to feed a battalion. She almost had a stroke when I told her I cooked the turkey tented all night to keep it moist.

I made home made dressing, green bean casserole, homemade garlic mash potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, pecan pies and pound cake with caramel sauce. My father-in-law was in heaven. At the end of the meal he said to her he felt it was only fair that I be allowed to cook a Southern Thanksgiving Dinner whenever I visited on the holiday so I could be at home. He looked at me and winked with a big smile on his face. And so that tradition began….A Southern Thanksgiving in New Jersey.


Diva Ranting: The Land of the Invisible…

The Land of the Invisible… Really?

When I was a young person struggling in the world of fashion design, I use to visit the hippie head shops of Atlanta to get my designs on display and do window display for what we called the “head shops and boutiques”. I met some of the most fascinating older women. Beautiful silver haired divas with flowing garments and lilting voices. They were so strong and confident. I use to think…”I want to be an old hippie like them.” They offered so much wisdom on my quests at that time.

We all need to find mentors who are leaps and bounds ahead of us in the wisdom department. They are all around, but often missed because we so often do not recognize antiques as treasures. Life is much less domineering if we don’t have to find our path alone. If we are making our own maps through the Universe, it can be both a rocky and exciting trip, but help is better.

Older women get more confident but often become invisible at age 40 in our Western culture. So many of us see it as a relief, actually. No more pressure to look like something we are not. We become non-existent and in that is some form of freedom. However, I’ve always said I’d like to be a grandmother like Tina Turner in the song “Proud Mary” ….”I never do anything nice and easy!” The Proud Mary keeps on turning…” I welcomed my wrinkles as a badge of courage and fortitude. I honor aging gracefully and invisibility is not always a bad thing. You get to see more when you are invisible. Don’t get me wrong. The old hippie in me can still take over a room and have a party or anarchy going in ten minutes, if I choose.

However, with age should come wisdom and I honor my life’s journey and where it has brought me. I have forty-two years of corporate savvy under my belt and fourteen years of fashion design and retailing. Years of free coaching skills to offer and only the most astute students and young entrepreneurs ask for my help. I have one former student that wants me to open his law office when he graduates from Law School and run his campaign for governor when I’m eighty. I asked him if he realized how mean I’d likely be by then. He said… “I know that’s why I need you.” I will not go gently into obscurity. I plan to dance like no one is watching until I cannot dance anymore.

I say all that to tell you this. I can think of a number of other wise women who are also carrying on, on their own ground. I, you, we need to find them, and feel inspired by them. It is the wisdom of the grandmothers in our society that made our cultures strong and upstanding; as much as any warrior or leader. Homo-Sapient evolved to have older formidable women. Ever ask why we have women who survive long after their fertile years? An experienced kick-ass, older woman can improve the genetic odds for her kinship by quite a margin. We will not be invisible.

Let’s find the grandmothers and divas who spark our society behind the scenes. Let’s use their wisdom to our advantage. We, the grandmothers, do not give a rat’s ass about social convention. We live on our own terms and are willing to share with others our wisdom of the ages. Think us invisible at your own peril.                  Namaste, The Queen Cronista.

Diva Musing: A Whole New Gratitude….

A whole new gratitude….

Recently I was literally on death’s door. All of my medical practitioners show jaw dropping shock when they see me. On Friday August 3, 2018 I was literally a dead woman walking. I was air lifted to ICU in Tennessee and here, a week and a half later, I write to you with a new gratitude and love not before known. From the first second I got a look on my doctors face in the ER, I knew that it was bad, I decided to make it a new adventure. The knowing I might blink and be in Foreverland in the next second… made me the only one in the ER room at total peace. I also had my hilarious baby brother, Bill, there cracking jokes and reminding me the devil has a restraining order on me in hell. I laughed so hard my monitors kept showing red flashing tachycardia noises.

My wonderful life flight paramedics were hilarious and readily agreed they were taking me to area 51 to have the two aliens in my chest extracted by  governments agencies to study. Two days in ICU, two days for observation and I’m back better than ever. Went to the office to work the same day. But I do have some Cronista advice for each of you in crisis situations.

Fill your heart with joy; always, let there be joy in each moment. Feel the joy when you are up, and feel the joy when you are down; feel the joy when the going is calm and when the times are challenging. The universe is always there bringing you that peace, if you but seek it. When you have spit in death’s eye, by the grace of the source power as I have, you feel a whole new gratitude and attitude.

Continue to be the joyful source of the uplifting, light spirit that you are… and never ever give up. Honest, sincere, joy is contagious and a light to our souls. If I keep surviving… more to come. If I blink and am gone….I’ll see you in Foreverland, my juicy diva lights! Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Ranting: Taking It Too Far…..

Taking it too far…Monochromatic Beware

As if it isn’t bad enough we have “Fake News”, “Fake History Books”, “Fake Gender”, “Fake Life” we now have to use our discernment on everything. Only a true Diva would realize and understand, this as, I’m sure you already do. However, I’m going to rant anyway.

So, I’m looking for early Christmas presents and birthday presents to work on my holiday budget. I’m online and I see an educationally augmented “reality” based globe for boys and girls. A learning gift for kids that has no borders or names on the globe… Seriously, enough of this shit! NOW, we have to contend with “Fake Geography”. What about the child’s culture? They deserve to be able to find their homeland on a map or globe. They deserve to know the rich culture of their homeland and the struggles their forefathers most assuredly paid to get them to where they are today. Why are we “faking” everything? This is NOT freaking Hollyweird, people! This is NOT some bad sci-fi movie. This is NOT some game you can play with the Universe… to take away all the richness it has given to our heritage; good, bad, or indifferent.

The Universe will most assuredly see that the Karma cops nail the offenders; whoever, and wherever they are. The one world order folks beware. The threads that make up the tapestry of my world, the yellow, black and white, are as special and different as day and night. Their light will continue to shine. Their light will not be quenched by those demanding a dull, monochromatic, monogender, mono-creative, mono-lack of splendor world. Go back to the dark cave from which you came. The brilliance of the light beings of the Universe will continue to shine as they were created. The disruptor will pay for their lack of appreciation and vision to see the Universe as it was created; with a specific plan for each of us, that no person can put asunder.

You lackluster, monochromatic, dweebs beware….The Karma Cops will find you and the Universe will take its revenge. I will watch with satisfaction the Horror Movie you are creating for yourselves.
Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Musing: Diapers in the Board Room..

I’ve been posting a lot on funny stories from my corporate life….at least funny to me! This one almost got me caught!  I use to work as a home office executive for a fortune 100 company. One year the advertising agency we paid millions came up with another “corporate puke phrase” we had to preach and support.   Let’s call our company ABC.  The term was ” ABC stops leakage in 93″! That was the year many fortune 500 companies were using the same mantra, go figure.  

So in my most respectively irreverent way I played a trick at the annual board of directors meeting.  I got giant plastic eggs, filled them with chocolate candy, put them in preemie disposable diapers, and placed the label on each butt of each diaper  that read    ” ABC stops leakage in 93″!  I then placed one at each seat in the board room before the meeting began.  I figured I’d catch hell, because I knew everyone would guess what crazy person had the nerve to do that.

I was surprised to find they were a hit, and one was sent to the head of our 200 subsidiaries, one of the most politically important executives in the country at the time. I never wanted my name in front of his face, Whoops, too late. Thankfully, he liked it a lot and I got a great bonus at the end of the year. Come to find out he liked mavericks who weren’t afraid to speak up or poke a little fun in an attempt to get results.  

My point, again, find creative ways to get a point across, without having to show everyone you have balls bigger than church bells.  Laughter trumps balls every time. Again use discernment, know your audience and above all be your wonderful self.

Diva Rambling: The Corporate Easter Egg Hunt…

The Corporate Easter Egg Hunt

Many years ago I was running the largest training department in the country. The management couldn’t understand why everyone loved to spend a week at the home-office training department, in the winter, in New York.
We trained all 5000 employees in America and many from our global offices around the world.
It was my belief that if we wanted people to buy into the training we had to make it fun. I always tried to do that. Learning experiences included role play, dungeon and dragon tasks, scavenger hunts and many other creative experiential learning tools.

We also like to make it fun for the people stuck at home office year round. One spring I bought 50 dozen plastic Easter eggs. The staff and I would sit and fill them with candy and treats during our lunch hours for about two months. In many of the eggs we placed prize tickets telling the finder that they could come to the training center and claim a prize. We had the prizes numbered so when they came they received a gift.

At that time I reported to the company CEO. He came in the morning we hid the eggs and called me to his office. He said I drove into my executive parking space this morning and observed half of the people at home-office out pecking in the lawn like chickens. I even saw a couple fighting for the plastic eggs they picked up. My first thought was it could only be the Queen Of The Cosmos that orchestrated this party. Did I get that right? “Yes, Sir, I replied “. He then stated that I got away with more in corporate America than he’d ever seen anyone get away with. But, he liked it and told me to keep up the good work.

Again, my point is, if you get the urge to do something that’s a specialty of yours; do it. You must have respectful irreverence at all times. You must know your audience and have good instincts. You must especially know your boss. Take a chance! Make peoples days a little brighter. Sometimes the payback is more wonderful than you can imagine.

More about pampers in the board room later… Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Musing: Say What’s On Your Mind…

Say What’s On Your Mind By The Queen of the Cosmos..

For the last 25 years I have been coaching corporate executives and helping them troubleshoot problem departments. Back in the day I worked for the fortune 500 companies. My job interviews were easy because executives that I knew went to new companies and tried to bring me with them. I, however, did not escape the human resource task of interviewing with several people. What I found was that it was always important to say what was on my mind. That way if they hired me I knew they were people I could work for. If I fed them the usual corporate “puke phrases” then I knew that neither of us had an understanding of the other.

Some of them would ask odd questions. For example …what do you feel is your greatest achievement. I would always answer, my children. I’ve raised two good citizens. I have a killer in a comic. Then I’d watch their faces. My daughter is a famous TV show host and my son has served his country in the military for 20 years.
Another question that was sometime asked was…” what is most important to you”. My response to that was always my integrity. And I would tell them if you asked me to do anything that is against my personal integrity I would have to quit. So just don’t hire me in the first place. I would end that by saying that my father is the most respectable man I’ve ever known. I would never do anything to tarnish my upbringing and disappoint him.
Once I was asked…”what I pretend.” I laughed and said not a lot. …one thing I do not have to pretend is that I am Queen. That always got an eyebrow raised.

My interviews with presidents and CEO’s of these companies usually lasted an hour or two. I would find out later that they always told human resources that they hired me within the first three minutes but just stayed and wanted to have fun with my craziness.
I was told by at least three bosses that they didn’t hire me just because of my experience, they hired me because of my crazy sense of humor. They told me they hired me as entertainment!
I went to an executive dinner once and had to get up and give a speech. My boss got up after me and said he didn’t feel it was fair that he should have to get up and speak. He said it was like coming on after the most popular show on television. Which, at that time, I think, was “FRIENDS”.

Another time I had to speak before a large group of trial lawyers and presiding judges in Southern California. The keynote speaker, a prominent judge, had to get up after me. He told the audience it wasn’t fair that he had to speak after me because his speech was going to be so boring and no one would listen after my performance.  My point is not to toot my own horn, but to encourage you to always be yourself. I’m crazy and unpredictable. However, I am extremely professional and outspoken. People can take me or leave me that includes corporations. My teams have always delivered results as number one in the company and always got the largest bonuses and raises. You can be crazy, be yourself, and still be the professional you want to be. Don’t short change yourself ever.

I’ll tell you about my corporate Easter Egg hunt later!