Archive for the ‘Phyllis Kennemer, Writer’ Category

Working with a Life Coach

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Change is a constant in life. Some changes occur through conscious choice; others offer unexpected challenges. How you deal with change determines, to a large extent, the amount of happiness you experience. Sometimes it is helpful to have a guide on the side, providing help with the myriad of choices and decisions that need to be made. When the reasons for making specific decisions are traced back, a fundamental discovery emerges. Almost all decisions come from a place of fear or a place of love deep within the person. A coach can help you make more love-based decisions; conscious decisions that move you toward your personal vision of the life you want to live.

Life coaches can help with facing changes in life; such as

  • A big events: graduations, weddings, retirements
  • An illness of yourself or a loved one
  • The death of a loved one
  • Beginning a relationship
  • Ending a relationship
  • An empty nest
  • A change of location or a move
  • A change of career or job
  • Any type of loss
  • A “decade birthday” -  30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, etc.

Other reasons for meeting with a life coach include: support in decision making;

a desire to make a change in your body size (either lose or gain weight); or a sense of restlessness; a sense of malaise.

Additional information about life coaching may be found at

Book Friends

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

I have enjoyed spending time with two new literary friends this summer. I met both of them in books written by Alexander McCall Smith, a Scottish author. He creates comfortable women characters with charm, poise, and pizzazz.

Precious Ramotswe is the proprietor of The No. 1 Detective Agency inBotswana,Africa. This traditionally built woman is not called upon to find murderers, although she does sometimes identify thieves. Her main occupation is directed toward helping people solve everyday problems in life with compassion and confidentiality. Throughout the thirteen books published in the series so far, Mma Ramotswe marries Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, owner of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, and some books later, her assistant Grace Makutsi marries Phuti Radiphuti, manager and heir of Double Comfort Furniture Store. Other delightful characters, all with distinctive personality quirks, also appear throughout the series.

Isabel Dalhousie is a philosopher in Edinburgh, Scotland. A wealthy woman in her early forties, she is the editor of The Review of Applied Ethics and feels a strong moral obligation to help others. Some think that she is a bit too nosy, but she is attentive to small details and a good sleuth. She lives intensely and passionately as her thoughts reveal her rich internal life. In the succession of the eight books in the series, she gives birth to a son. She and the father, a younger man, contemplate the appropriate time and place for a wedding ceremony through the next several books.

As I have been reading books in these two series, I have enjoyed visiting with the characters and I look forward to their continuing adventures.

Where am I?

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

            When I flipped the page in my “Funny Signs” calendar to June, I was greeted with a photograph of an authentic highway sign (white letters on a green background) next to a mismatched grouping of six rural mailboxes. A dirt road with a few trees appeared in the background. The sign says, “NOWHERE/TOWN LIMITS.” Interesting, I thought. Welcome to Nowhere.

            A few days later the calendar picture captured my grandson’s attention. “Does that sign say No Where or does it say Now Here?” he asked. Surprised, I responded, “Well, I guess it could be either one.”

            Throughout the following week, I thought about the implications of Richard’s question. We really do get to choose how we interpret anything we encounter if life. We can choose to say, “I have arrived No Where,” or we can proclaim, “I am Now Here!”

            My choice is clear. I am now here. I am now participating in life. Life is good here – wherever I am.

Memories Are Personal

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Memory is strange. Thinking logically, it would seem that people sharing the same life experiences would share the same memories, but that is rarely the case. I remember chuckling to myself as a teenager whenever my grandmother and her sister, Aunt Jeanie, would have conversations about their childhood inOhio. They both had crystal clear recollections of their home and neighborhood – and these memories were totally different. They talked about the corner grocery store, but they each placed it on a different corner. When they discussed their older brother, Uncle Bill, as child, he came across as two people or one with a split-personality.

That suppressed laughter came back to haunt me a few years ago in discussions about my childhood with the brother and sister closest in age to me. After awhile I began to wonder if we had lived in the same house during those early years – and whether we had actually grown up with the same parents!

These thoughts came to mind today when I attended a session at the library. Charlotte Hinger(, author of numerous books and articles, talked about the unreliability of family stories. A native ofKansas, she was involved in writing a book of family histories for the county she lived in. She discovered that no family has one history. Each family member has a personal history – and as I had discovered for myself – these histories seldom agree.

Charlottealso talked about family stories that have been passed on through generations that have been proved to be factually false, but the tales continue to be passed on. Amazingly, these fabricated family legends are most treasured.

Sometimes families keep secrets through tacit agreements for many years. Then when the people involved get into their 70s and 80s, they begin to talk. Such was the case inCharlotte’s family. One day a cousin approached her with a question for her then elderly mother. WouldCharlotteplease ask her if Aunt Margaret really did kill Aunt Mattie? ThusCharlottewas thrust into research into her own family history.

Consider your childhood memories. Are these recollections shared with anyone else or are they unique for you?

Living in the Land of Love

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

When I moved toLoveland,Colorado, about 15 years ago, I did not give much thought to the name of the city. It was the location near my brothers and the home on the lake that appealed to me.

I read about the Valentine remailing program in the newspaper during my first year here. What a great idea! I bought Valentines for my grandchildren, my brothers, my sister, my aunts, my uncles, my nieces, my nephews, and a good number of friends. I deposited them in one of the red mailboxes at the post office and enjoyed hearing from people who had received them. I have continued to do this every year since.

This year has a new twist, however. This time I purchased the “official” Valentines distributed by the Chamber of Commerce. A bit of ego is involved here. My name is printed on the back of the card informing the world that I wrote the winning cachet that appears on every envelope. I learned at the press conference that about 160,000 Valentines are remailed here each year. They have gone to all 50 states and to 110 countries. Wow! What a privilege to have a part in this enterprise! What a joy!

The Valentine remailing program began in 1946, so it has been going on for 65 years. In 1962, the city began the selection of a Miss Loveland Valentine. This young woman must be a senior in one of theLovelandhigh schools, have good grades, poise, and speaking abilities. She receives scholarship grants for college and represents the community for a year spreading the word about the delights of ourSweetheartCity.

During the month of February, the Thompson Valley Rotary Club places red, wooden hearts on lampposts along our two major highways. Citizens may compose words of affection, devotion, and admiration in 25 letters or fewer and have these messages seen by thousands of people as they drive through town. Proceeds from this project help children locally and abroad.

This year we have lights of red and white strung across our main downtown street. Hearts, roses, and cupids abound at business locations and around some private residences. We are fortunate to live in theLandofLove.

Prayer of Serenity

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Although the Prayer of Serenity is often associated with 12-Step Programs for addictions, it has practical applications for everyone.  These lines are familiar to most of us.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

That last line is the kicker. I know that I often think that I should be able to change things that annoy me. Upon deeper reflection, I realize that I what I lack is the wisdom to know the difference. Some things are not mine to change.

Then I came across a version of the prayer that applies directly to me.

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change,

Courage to change the one I can change,

And the wisdom to know that it’s me.

Yes. The only person I have control over is me and that means that I, alone, am responsible for my responses and reactions to others. That is all that I can change.

I’m working on it.

Celebrate the Light

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

In honor of Winter Solstice, I invite you to



















Passionate Authors

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

On October 8th, I had the pleasure of attending the AAUW Conversation with Authors event. ThreeColorado authors, Sandi Ault, John Shors, and Helen Thorpe each spoke for about 45 minutes and then answered some audience questions.

            Sandi Ault has written a series of “Wild” mysteries, Wild Penance, Wild Sorrow, Wild Inferno, and Wild Indigo. Her character,Jamaica, is a protection agent with the Bureau of Land Management, working in the Southwest nearTaosMountain. She interacts with Indians in the Tonoah Pueblo and has a wolf for a pet.

            Ault talked about her love of the Indians. She has been adopted into a tribe, but knows little of their language. Words are sacred and shared very sparingly. They refuse to let anyone write anything down. Ault also has a wolf as a pet. If a male wolf is orphaned, no pack will accept him. Her love for wolves shone through as she talked about her devotion to these animals.

            John Shors, a former English teacher and newspaper reporter, has traveled widely in Asiaand other parts of the world avoiding the cities and tourist attractions to spend time with native peoples. His books, Beneath a Marble Sky, Beside a Burning Sea, and Dragon House, feature exotic events in remote cultures. His goal in writing is for readers to feel like they have visited the places of the settings.

            Helen Thorpe, a journalist and wife of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, has written a book, Just Like Us, about four Mexican teenagers attending a high school inDenver and beginning college. One girl was born in theU.S., one is here legally with a green card, and two were brought here as young children by their parents. This factual book describes the challenges they have faced and continue to deal with. Thorpe emphasized that the book is not intended as an editorial. Her mission is to deepen readers’ understanding of the complexity of the issue.

            These three authors all spoke from their hearts about issues of vital concern to them. I was reminded, once again, of the power of the word. Writing does touch the core of the being of both the writer and the reader.


Wrong Number Brightens My Day

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Last week I needed to renew a prescription, so I punched in the numbers for what I thought was the Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy. A male voice came on asking, “What can I do for you?”


Thinking I had reached a recording, I said in a hesitant voice, “Refill a prescription?”


The male voice chuckled, “I can’t do that. In fact, it would probably be illegal.”


Seems I had misdialed and reached a call service for a plumbing company inOhio. The gentleman asked me where I was calling from. “Loveland,Colorado.”  Another chuckle. “Well, I could arrange for a plumbing house call for you, but the travel expenses might be prohibitive.”


We both shared a hearty laugh. A lovely way to begin my day!

Nameless, Faceless Society

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

I miss being a person with my own individual characteristics and idiosyncrasies. I know that I’m sounding like the old lady I am, but I reminisce about going into the bank and visiting with the teller when I cashed a check. Now the tellers can’t be bothered with cashing checks. It’s “use the ATM” to get your cash. I liked to go to the gas station and not only have someone pour the gas but, also, wash the windows and check the tires and talk to me about my car. Now I must get out and pour my own gas and wash my own windshield. I used to go to a corner grocery store and visit with the clerk, who was also a friend from school. Now, it’s rare to have the same checkout person twice in a row – and, of course, you’re encouraged to do self-check out if you are only buying a few items. The personal contact is gone. The sense of the individual is no more.


This anonymity has recently manifested in my life in even more ominous ways. When I moved into a large apartment building (200 units) about four years ago, I knew that it was owned by a large corporation and managed by another big business enterprise, but I still felt like the local people listened to me when I had suggestions or complaints. The building was sold on December 1st of last year and a new management company was hired. Now, everything is decided on the corporate level. The employees at the building level have no authority. The response to every concern is, “It can’t be changed. It is the established policy.”


So preference for parking is given to nonexistent possible patrons of the few businesses occupying the ground floor of the building. Residents are not allowed to park in the rows of spaces near the doors and elevators for easy access to their apartments. Nameless, faceless people inTexaslook at the listed number of spaces and the number of residents and decide that there is no problem. They do not look at the parking area.  Never mind that there are huge cement pillars to hold the building up and that many of the parking spaces are difficult, if not impossible, for me to park in. I am just a nameless, faceless person carrying heavy bags of groceries struggling across all the empty spaces reserved for others to park in. The local manager says “I will pass your concern on to the corporation.” Nothing changes.