Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You!


Wayne Dyer


Maybe its the fact that he was the father of EIGHT.

Maybe it was because his gentle voice exuded love and compassion.

Maybe because it sounded like a nonjudgmental Dad or a kindly Grandfather full of wisdom.

I always enjoyed listening to Wayne, though by no means was I a follower.  I would catch snippets here and there, memes on Facebook or something on Pinterest.  They usually inspired me.

Whatever the reason, I was sad to hear of his passing this past weekend.  However, he was a true example to Don’t Die with Your Music Still in You.

Here’s a couple more videos.

Growing Up with Wayne Dyer as My Dad by Serena, speaking about the authenticity of her father.  And then there is The Shift Movie….Wayne had hoped to live to see 3 million viewers… over a million ((Everette and I were 2 of them!) viewed it before his death and now it is available so that other millions can see it for FREE.



Meeting Someone You Met Online: Risking Her Own Capture and Murder


Have you met somebody in real life that you first connected with online?

Back when the internet was new to all of us and we were wading around in its depths trying to figure out safety parameters, it was advised to never meet up with somebody you had only met online.

Yes, undoubtedly there are horrific events that have taken place after somebody met an online acquaintance in real life.

I know people are still very apprehensive, and there are certainly reasons for concern.  However, I personally believe in expecting things to work out rather than living life in fear of all that can go wrong.  There are tips to take to make meeting an online contact in real life safer.

Personally our family has now met a handful of other traveling families in person because we or they have discovered the other one online and we chose to make our paths cross.  All of them were safe and fun encounters, and some of them have remained friends.

Two of our daughters have met up with people they met online by various means.  The younger of the two met other teens in a closed online writing group, and our family stopped in to meet her on our travels thru Colorado way back in 2012.  In 2013 she caught a ride with the same girl to attend a writing camp with others from the writing group online.

The elder of our girls has befriended a few guys online thru playing games and after extended times of being friends she has actually met several of them in real life.

And then there’s online dating sites.  I personally know several people who not only used the services, but married somebody they discovered via the online dating site.

It’s a new day!

Back in June Everette and I spent Father’s Day in a whirlwind weekend away at a conference with SFM (love that community!!) We ended up with a sucky 10 hour layover at DFW airport.  Fortunately for us my online friend Cindy was willing to risk her own capture and murder by suggesting that she pick Everette and I up and take us for a break for a few hours.

She was given warnings on her end that we might not be trustworthy, that ‘Karen Johnson’ could easily be an alias.  Cindy’s biggest concern was that we would kidnap her and force her to Mexico to be with alllllll our kids!

No, Cindy didn’t seem concerned at all.

Doesn’t mean she didn’t take any type of precaution.  And so should you (and me!)  If you are meeting someone you met online there are a few things to consider.  Note: these will vary depending on if your ‘meeting’ is for a transaction, or you’ve established more of a personal relationship online.

  • Always meet in a public place.
  • Let your friends and family know what’s up.  Share what information you have about the person you are meeting along with your scheduled meeting place and time.  They can even be discretely present 🙂  like sitting at another table nearby in a cafe or restaurant.
  • If you’re making a transaction such as selling/buying off of Craigslist, then having a friend go with you is appropriate. Maybe not so much if its an actual date 🙂 But consider this:  instead of your first meet-up being officially a date, why not arrange for the potential to meet up with you and some friends instead?  Then if you all get along and its mutual, go alone for a date.
  • Have your cell phone charged and easily accessible.  Set up your phone with an app like Moby that allows you to purposely share your location with your trusted friends/family.  The app isn’t as safe as taking somebody with you, but not all situations suit a third-wheel.
  • There’s no reason to reveal too much information about yourself online.  However, at the same time its good if you can gather as much information about the other person as they are willing to share.
  • I always snoop FB profiles and other social media to see what type of person they AND their friends are.  If their friends seem unsavory then I am less likely to pursue any friendship.
  • Its also highly recommended that you speak with the person on the phone before ever agreeing to meeting them.  Even for those of us telephobians you can easily discover whether the supposedly 20-something chick is a forty-something dick.  And for those who can read vibrations better, it can be a telltale to stay away.  Or not.  Skype is another option.
  • Never get into a vehicle with someone you don’t know to be trustworthy.  That’s an obvious.

So, Cindy and I arranged on short notice for her to pick us up from DFW airport and take us out for lunch.  We had never talked on the phone, not over Skype either, but we were involved in a few of the same business opportunities, had had many online chats over a couple of seasons and felt very comfortable about the arrangement.  I also had Everette along for the ride.  Yes, we went in her vehicle to some unknown destination….a whole lot of Don’ts.

And I lived to tell about it.

Now, I don’t mean to be smug.  It could have all turned out bad.  But here’s how it turned out….





Cindy took us to Grapevine, a western looking town of course because this is Texas!  We sampled a kazillion flavored balsamic vinegars and olive oils (like in Tubac, AZ) as appetizers before she treated us to lunch at a cute place filled with Eiffel Towers that served up yummy food.  You can tell we were under tons of stress meeting up!!!! Fear written all over our faces.


So Cindy….it was great meeting up with you.  Thanks for the ‘date’ and all the laughs.  Thanks for being a real friend in spite of it starting online. Your daughter is always saying how wonderful of a person you are, and I see it for myself now.  I’m glad we met up for real.



Smitten by a Tree

G & Tree watermarked

Beside our gorgeous Gaelyn stands a new friend who slid right into our family and left a permanent mark.

That beautiful woman is Tree.  That’s what her friends call her, and so we do.

Tree is a teacher by profession, so on her summer break this year she came to spend 6 weeks at the Hotel with her relatives.  But us Johnson’s got the best deal of all, I think.

As a talented teacher she connects with kids, and she has seemingly abundant energy and a burning desire to do activities with kids.  We supplied the kids and she did the activities.

What I love about Tree is she is intentional to connect with each of us.  Her and I had several impromptu chats that touched both our hearts, me thinks, and connected us.  We could have shared for hours upon hours…I think we’ll just have to book a weekend to chat!!

So while Tree was here, she totally unschooled our kids 🙂

  • taught the kids how to play Ultimate Frisbee,
  • did the Ice Block Slide,
  • marathoned thru Jane Austen movies
  • introduced us to Murder Mysteries, two completely different ones.
  • helped Gaelyn start a baking-cookies business,
  • took kids shopping at 2nd-hand stores,
  • did nighttime swims (or in the rain, and with a baby rattlesnake)
  • taught the kids to dance and choreograph
  • shared Pazookie with us multiple times
  • taught Gaelyn to play guitar
  • shared sunrises while she serenaded with her guitar

Last week we had a Farewell Party for her down at the terraza, led by her “Uncle Tommy” who manages Hotel Perico.  He asked each of us to share what we loved most (or will miss the most) of his niece.  And it was quite obvious that in those 6 weeks she was here, she touched many of our lives.

Everyone had kind words to express towards Tree.

Everyone had kind words to express towards Tree.

Her laughter, her sincerity, her exuberance in life.  All so admirable.  I know she will be sorely missed by all my kids.

I, of course, came to tears as I thanked her for her input into our children’s lives.  She says we touched her life….but I think we received the greatest gift of her touching us.

Tree, it was such an honor to not only meet you this summer, but to have intersected here at this moment in all of our lives.  Its not happenstance, it was meant to be.

We Love You.

Tree left us individual notes...her kindness is boundless.  What a kind soul.

Tree left us individual notes…her kindness is boundless. What a kind soul.

Shake Rattle n Roll

This is one of my favorite things the kids have done this year.  I could watch this over and over and over again.  And just one more time because it makes me happy 🙂

When we came to Hotel Perico virtually nobody in our family knew how to dance….because Everette and I were both raised with the belief that dancing (and the environment in which it took place) was sinful.  We’ve not passed that belief on to our children. However, because Everette and I don’t know how to dance (well, we did take some ballroom dance lessons back in 2007 but we suck, big time!!) we haven’t actively sought to change the absence of it.

Thankfully we’ve had some Leonard-Ladies full of spunk who’ve taken it upon themselves to give some instruction to our stiff offspring.  Tina started over (US) Thanksgiving last year and the young ones in particular were willing to get on the dance floor and wiggle their booties.  Then her cousin was here for the summer and she taught the kids some moves.

I think you’ll be surprised by who the dancers were, and the moves that they choreographed.  Enjoy it Here.



Travel to Community: Momentum Day with SFM

We aren’t created to be independent.  Or so I personally believe.

As humans we are better suited for inter-dependence, and I, as a mom of many look forward to seeing how that plays out in our lives as our kids grow and develop their adult life, with or without partners and children.

We are part of traveling family communities online thanks to FB!  Today’s technology changes so much, bringing those from afar into our living rooms and lives.  I appreciate that, to connect with people who have also left the rat race for a simpler life with their kids in tow.

Establishing one’s business online leads you into a whole ‘nother community of people to connect with, to learn and earn with.

Not all communities have equal value, nor of the same calibre.  One needs to pick and choose.

I’ve been poking around a few communities over the past year, looking for one that we felt we could work with.  Something with a strong leadership, that attracted people with integrity.

A few months back I stumbled into The SFM community and decided that it seemed a good fit for us.  We delved deeper and deeper and found we liked it the more we dug.

So, we decided we might as well jump right in and go meet them in person!   And that’s exactly what we did this past Father’s Day weekend. With NO KIDS!!

Our Travels

Everette and I flew to Newark (that always sounds funny to me, like somebody with an accent pronouncing New York!) late Friday night.  This was most certainly not a romantic and relaxing weekend away, although it was peppered with some enjoyable down time.  But for the most part time was tight, the mind was in perpetual motion and activity and….we’ve got some sleeping to catch up on!

Richard Branson

Travel from Guadalajara to Newark was the perfect time for my beloved activity of reading. I was really looking forward to that uninterrupted time.

I was able to read all of Kisses from Katie, about a young girl from Tennesee giving her life, basically, to the people of Uganda, and particularly to the children, including the 14 children this 20-something woman has fostered and eventually adopted.  As a single parent.  It’s unashamedly written from a Christian perspective, but I was moved by her simple love for a people and acceptance of a life so different from the comfortable one she could have had back in the USA.  She chose to identify with that community of people and give her all.

Everette brought along Richard Branson’s Screw It, Let’s Do It and got that finished, too, so he’s passed it on to me.  Branson is a fascinating person but I have yet to read any of his books.  This will be my first one.


We arrived in Newark after 11pm, so after getting our rental SUV it was already late. Figuring out how to get that none-key starter going, that was a hurdle we hadn’t expected.  I should have been recording those puzzling moments when two 50+ year old adults are befuddled by the simple act of trying to get a vehicle started.  I mean, how hard can it be?  I know the confusion started the moment we discovered there was no place to put the key….and that actually we weren’t even in the possession of a key.  Well, not like keys used to be.  Obviously for some of us….its harder than we imagined!  Good thing we could read when the dash told us to step on the brake.

Our Hotel

One doesn’t know what to expect when you book everything online.  So I admit, I was disappointed on my first approach to our hotel suite in Tinton Falls.  I had stayed in the car while Everette signed us in at the front desk, and I guess there hadn’t been anything to put him off.  But our suite was at the back of the hotel, a different section thru a whole other entrance.  Paint peeling, rips in old indoor/outdoor carpet, glass windows looking gross.  At least the interior garden looked decent.Comfort-Inn-New-Jersey-Laptop_Lifestyle

I was relieved when we opened the door to 311.  Not shabby at all.  I could relax now, our money wasn’t all spent on a dump!

So, we crawled into bed about 1am, with those crisp white sheets I want to have an affair with.  That is the luxury I dream about when I’m going away to stay in a hotel.  Big king-size bed with a down quilt, and an abundance of pillows to fall into.  Ahhh, simplicity I love.

Our New Community

Connection with the SFM community started at 8:15am in Red Bank at the Oyster Point Hotel.  With a beautiful display of breakfast treats of fresh fruits, chocolate chip muffins, pastries and organic yogurts, I wished I hadn’t eaten the continental breakfast back at our hotel.  I had thought this was just going to be coffee and tea, but instead this was the first indication that SFM does things differently; with class.


We were all welcomed by Stuart Ross and Jay Kubassek themselves, both down to Earth men with delightful and entertaining personalities.  They spoke casually and very interactively with theSix-Figure-Mentors-SFM-Momentum-Day rest of us present.  They had material they wanted to go over, but they certainly provided an environment for others to share experiences & teaching tips.  Right away you could tell this was community, everybody helping and learning together.

The People

We met plenty of interesting people who originated from all around the world (Nigeria, New Zealand, Thailand, Israel & Sweden, that I can recall) but that mostly hail now from the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.  Great variety.


Jan (pic to the right) is living in Monterrey, Mexico…practically our neighbor!  And Swedish, to boot!!  (Everette’s ancestors are from Sweden).  Now maybe we have somebody to visit on our next border run?

Wesley has been focusing as a full-time college student and is now ready to take his SFM business to a new height.

Ilan and his brother Guy are the men behind SatoriPrime and do a lot of the marketing training for SFM.  I listen to them every week so it was nice to meet at least one of them in person.  We had a pleasant visit with him and his wife in the evening, and he’s on top of his game for sure.  I had hardly said a sentence regarding our dreams and he was checking me on my mindset!  Our words are powerful, and he called me on it…in a pleasant enough but firm manner.  Thanks, Ilan.


After an incredible buffet lunch with a view over the water & a chance to connect with more people, we finished the formal training shortly after 4pm and moved casually down to the hotel’s bar where there was a private room for the SFMers with appetizers, cash bar, and draws/prizes.  Jay attempted to launch his career as a comedian, and because of or in spite of Jay there were lots of laughs!  This provided more opportunity to connect & brainstorm with people and even meet some of the spouses that came to socialize but weren’t at the days’ meetings.


I appreciated those that shared nuggets with us.  I don’t know all of Everette’s conversations, but I know I appreciated what Oliver from Montreal shared with me, and Tal from Toronto.

I connected with Audrey (in the lower right pic) who came from OK with her homeschooled son, Jacob, who chose to come to Momentum Day as his Graduation event!!  Smart guy, building a business he can design and control rather than spending money for some letters after his name and then go looking for a J.O.B. so he can be bossed around.  This is a career-changer.

It can be difficult to set aside time/money to invest in your own self-development (a biggie within the SFM community) and go to seminars, workshops, conventions.  As a mom of many I have always found it difficult to leave my kids for a weekend, even when I knew I would have a fantastic time away.  I admit its much nicer now that our youngest is 8yo (well, officially at the end of this week) and we have not only responsible teens here to manage the place, but the community here at the hotel.  We know our kids will be helped if there was an emergency.

This was a stretch for Everette and I to attend this SFM Momentum Day in New Jersey; it was expensive (quick travel can be), time consuming, tiring, and ….worth it!

Next Momentum is in London, then Australia.  I want to go meet more of the community, network with others, glean from their knowledge and experience.  There’s so much value in SFM…like a University education.  I think Jacob made an excellent choice.