Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Wedding

There is a wedding on the horizon. It's making me dizzy! Sometimes I just have to stop and write down things. If only I can just write fast enough to get it all down on "paper."

The Groom
It's my son. My son is getting married...my little boy, my little blue-eyed baby. Goodness, but wasn't he a pretty child? In my mind he looked like an angel.

Through many tears, many of my own tantrums to insist on him becoming a man, many a spanking, many a grounding, many a girl I did not like but grinned like I did, through many a threat to "go right to school with you and sit in class until you pay attention and get your grades up" my son has emerged a man among men.

Oh, I know he's only 25, but I have faith. He's got a wonderful future.

You have got to have faith in your kids. You gotta know that the end is going to be great for them, no matter how trying the middle is.

You give them a vision of how great they can be, you give them a vision of something besides your own jaded views and you send them into life. You peep in on them while they sleep and then you close the door to their room. The next day with a feverish prayer to The Almighty you let them out of your sight the next morning. You do it again each day until you have learned what faith is all about...you trust your most precious thing to God's care. You let them go each day and into the the next several thousand days with only your faith to make you sane sometimes...life with a son is often frightening that they might not come home...but between my prayers and his grandma's direct line to God, he somehow made it past childhood to his engagement day and into the race for the biggest day of his life...his wedding.

The Bride
He's found a lovely young woman who looks at him like she loves him, like she believes in him more than I do. (I should add my belief in him is bigger than the universe. )

She gazes at him like she's the most fortunate woman in the world to be with him and she gives him reason to return that same gaze; that perfect gaze of true love. It's so fascinating to behold this moment in your child's life.

She gazes in a knowing womanly way and she does it in a wide-eyed girlish way. That's really good stuff. Seeing him mirror it perfectly is better.

I am so glad my boy is marrying a woman-girl with a beautiful figure, full of grace and graciousness, astute, aware, focused, and oh yes...did I mention the smile that rivals all the Mona Lisa smiles in the world? Girl, I am mighty happy with you!

His Parents
Well, there's me, and you all know about me if you are reading this. Then, there's his daddy.To you, my old friend, I want to say thank you.

We have become comfortable in our relationship, I love your wife like a family member. The boy blessed us all personally--not with his mere existence and the joy he brought us all, but he blessed us with a chance to build our characters. To learn to love one another because he needed us to.

Oh, we had our high old moments -- tense ones, but we made it. We are so much better because we knew this kid and he drew us together.

I think we actually all love one another as a result of it. We put the greater good ahead of ourselves. What is better to achieve than that in life?

We have learned to be more than concerned with only our own little small selfish worlds and we learned to be joyous in a bigger effort. M. you did good, I did good, and that daddy of his did a bang up job, too. In spite of all our own personal demons and failures, we triumphed in something far bigger than ourselves.

But, before I ramble off, let me say, dear father of the groom, that you gave me a dream. It was you who gave me the most important dream of my life...to see my boy walk across the platform of the best school in the USA (Texas A&M University). Without that vision, I might not have been able to do my part to make the boy's life get to the point it has.

You did your half, my friend, but because of your hard and fast vision, I did mine. I did not go to college...my mother and daddy did not go to college. Our boy was the first in my line to do so. You not only made his life possible, you gave me the vision to help him have a very keen, clear goal to realize. Gig 'em Aggies. God bless you for all you have given him in that way.

And, to my dear late G., it is too bad you could not stay here with us and share in this joy with us. I am still mad at you sometimes for leaving, but my dear husband, you did add to his life and you were a good role model he listened to when his dad's voice, my voice, and his step-mother's voice sounded like white static to him.

Yes, he did listen to you, and he still thinks of you. He said he is so sorry you will not be here, but I wanted to pause and thank you for your brief time with us and for what you contributed to the man he is now.

Her Parents
Don't know you all that well just yet; but, this thing I know: A special young woman is in my son's life. She knows what she wants and she's got direction. I know she'll perfect my son's compass with that true north level-headed sense of direction you instilled in her. My son has always had a good head on his shoulders. He knew the right woman immediately. Thank you for making his life complete with this fine girl you raised.

My Son's Brothers
You are so much a part of us, me and the groom...you also have made him and me better people for being gilded threads woven into us. Our family has made a peculiar little pattern in the fabric that is our history and life. But, oh you are so special to us. You are my sons because you were my step-sons...then legally, after you dad and I divorced you were no longer my step sons. That's when you became as good as blood to me. Our love kept us joined.

My head is full of stories about you. I will write about you on another summer night soon...on another night I am counting my blessings and hugging myself because life is so sweet these days.

To My Readers - The Notaries who tune in here to find out what I am up to...
Lordy, I don't know if you are a readership of one, or none, or a thousand! But, friendly readers, if you muddled through this far...stay tuned...there's more of this to come. Lots of thoughts to think out loud for you. Nothing too personal, nothing too negative...just a mother's pensive moments of good fortune based on the miracles of life and the never-ending hope which comes from having a son who has met and exceeded all of her expectations.

Thank you notaries, you are my muse...you are the ones who made me bold enough to write things I would let others read.

Goodnight, sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Texas Notary Statutes - ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND PROOFS OF WRITTEN INSTRUMENTS

CIVIL PRACTICE & REMEDIES CODE

TITLE 6. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 121. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND PROOFS OF WRITTEN INSTRUMENTS


§ 121.001. OFFICERS WHO MAY TAKE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS OR
PROOFS. (a) An acknowledgment or proof of a written instrument may
be taken in this state by:
(1) a clerk of a district court;
(2) a judge or clerk of a county court;
(3) a notary[0] public;
(4) a county tax assessor-collector or an employee of
the county tax assessor-collector if the instrument is required or
authorized to be filed in the office of the county tax
assessor-collector; or
(5) an employee of a personal bond office if the
acknowledgment or proof of a written instrument is required or
authorized by Article 17.04, Code of Criminal Procedure.
(b) An acknowledgment or proof of a written instrument may
be taken outside this state, but inside the United States or its
territories, by:
(1) a clerk of a court of record having a seal;
(2) a commissioner of deeds appointed under the laws
of this state; or
(3) a notary[0] public.
(c) An acknowledgment or proof of a written instrument may
be taken outside the United States or its territories by:
(1) a minister, commissioner, or charge d'affaires of
the United States who is a resident of and is accredited in the
country where the acknowledgment or proof is taken;
(2) a consul-general, consul, vice-consul, commercial
agent, vice-commercial agent, deputy consul, or consular agent of
the United States who is a resident of the country where the
acknowledgment or proof is taken; or
(3) a notary[0] public or any other official authorized
to administer oaths in the jurisdiction where the acknowledgment or
proof is taken.
(d) A commissioned officer of the United States Armed Forces
or of a United States Armed Forces Auxiliary may take an
acknowledgment or proof of a written instrument of a member of the
armed forces, a member of an armed forces auxiliary, or a member's
spouse. If an acknowledgment or a proof is taken under this
subsection, it is presumed, absent pleading and proof to the
contrary, that the commissioned officer who signed was a
commissioned officer on the date that the officer signed, and that
the acknowledging person was a member of the authorized group of
military personnel or spouses. The failure of the commissioned
officer to attach an official seal to the certificate of
acknowledgment or proof of an instrument does not invalidate the
acknowledgment or proof.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended
by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 891, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts
1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, § 18, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2001,
77th Leg., ch. 986, § 2, eff. June 15, 2001.


§ 121.002. CORPORATE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. (a) An employee of
a corporation is not disqualified because of his employment from
taking an acknowledgment or proof of a written instrument in which
the corporation has an interest.
(b) An officer who is a shareholder in a corporation is not
disqualified from taking an acknowledgment or proof of an
instrument in which the corporation has an interest unless:
(1) the corporation has 1,000 or fewer shareholders;
and
(2) the officer owns more than one-tenth of one
percent of the issued and outstanding stock.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.


§ 121.003. AUTHORITY OF OFFICERS. In a proceeding to
prove a written instrument, an officer authorized by this chapter
to take an acknowledgment or a proof of a written instrument is also
authorized to:
(1) administer oaths;
(2) employ and swear interpreters; and
(3) issue subpoenas.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.


§ 121.004. METHOD OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT. (a) To acknowledge
a written instrument for recording, the grantor or person who
executed the instrument must appear before an officer and must
state that he executed the instrument for the purposes and
consideration expressed in it.
(b) The officer shall:
(1) make a certificate of the acknowledgment;
(2) sign the certificate; and
(3) seal the certificate with the seal of office.
(c) The failure of a notary[0] public to attach an official
seal to a certificate of an acknowledgement or proof of a written
instrument made outside this state but inside the United States or
its territories renders the acknowledgement or proof invalid only
if the jurisdiction in which the certificate is made requires the
notary[0] public to attach the seal.
(d) The application of an embossed seal is not required on
an electronically transmitted certificate of an acknowledgement.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended
by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 603, § 1, eff. June 14, 1995; Acts
2001, 77th Leg., ch. 95, § 1, eff. May 11, 2001.


§ 121.005. PROOF OF IDENTITY OF ACKNOWLEDGING
PERSON. (a) An officer may not take the acknowledgment of a
written instrument unless the officer knows or has satisfactory
evidence that the acknowledging person is the person who executed
the instrument and is described in it. An officer may accept, as
satisfactory evidence of the identity of an acknowledging person,
only:
(1) the oath of a credible witness personally known to
the officer; or
(2) a current identification card or other document
issued by the federal government or any state government that
contains the photograph and signature of the acknowledging person.
(b) Except in a short form certificate of acknowledgment
authorized by Section 121.008, the officer must note in the
certificate of acknowledgment that:
(1) he personally knows the acknowledging person; or
(2) evidence of a witness or an identification card or
other document was used to identify the acknowledging person.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended
by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 90, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.


§ 121.006. ALTERATION OF AUTHORIZED FORMS;
DEFINITION. (a) An acknowledgment form provided by this chapter
may be altered as circumstances require. The authorization of a
form does not prevent the use of other forms. The marital status or
other status of the acknowledging person may be shown after the
person's name.
(b) In an acknowledgment form "acknowledged" means:
(1) in the case of a natural person, that the person
personally appeared before the officer taking the acknowledgment
and acknowledged executing the instrument for the purposes and
consideration expressed in it;
(2) in the case of a person as principal by an
attorney-in-fact for the principal, that the attorney-in-fact
personally appeared before the officer taking the acknowledgment
and that the attorney-in-fact acknowledged executing the
instrument as the act of the principal for the purposes and
consideration expressed in it;
(3) in the case of a partnership by a partner or
partners acting for the partnership, that the partner or partners
personally appeared before the officer taking the acknowledgment
and acknowledged executing the instrument as the act of the
partnership for the purposes and consideration expressed in it;
(4) in the case of a corporation by a corporate officer
or agent, that the corporate officer or agent personally appeared
before the officer taking the acknowledgment and that the corporate
officer or agent acknowledged executing the instrument in the
capacity stated, as the act of the corporation, for the purposes and
consideration expressed in it; and
(5) in the case of a person acknowledging as a public
officer, trustee, executor or administrator of an estate, guardian,
or other representative, that the person personally appeared before
the officer taking the acknowledgment and acknowledged executing
the instrument by proper authority in the capacity stated and for
the purposes and consideration expressed in it.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.


§ 121.007. FORM FOR ORDINARY CERTIFICATE OF
ACKNOWLEDGMENT. The form of an ordinary certificate of
acknowledgment must be substantially as follows:
"The State of ____________,
"County of ____________,
"Before me ____________ (here insert the name and character
of the officer) on this day personally appeared ________________,
known to me (or proved to me on the oath of ________________ or
through __________________ (description of identity card or other
document)) to be the person whose name is subscribed to the
foregoing instrument and acknowledged to me that he executed the
same for the purposes and consideration therein expressed.
(Seal) "Given under my hand and seal of office this ________
day of ____________, A.D., ________."

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended
by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 90, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.


§ 121.008. SHORT FORMS FOR CERTIFICATES OF
ACKNOWLEDGMENT. (a) The forms for certificates of acknowledgment
provided by this section may be used as alternatives to other
authorized forms. They may be referred to as "statutory forms of
acknowledgment."
(b) Short forms for certificates of acknowledgment include:
(1) For a natural person acting in his own right:
State of Texas
County of ____________
This instrument was acknowledged before me on (date) by
(name or names of person or persons acknowledging).
(Signature of office)
(Title of officer)
My commission expires: ________
(2) For a natural person as principal acting by
attorney-in-fact:
State of Texas
County of ____________
This instrument was acknowledged before me on (date) by
(name of attorney-in-fact) as attorney-in-fact on behalf of (name
of principal).
(Signature of office)
(Title of officer)
My commission expires: ________
(3) For a partnership acting by one or more partners:
State of Texas
County of ____________
This instrument was acknowledged before me on (date) by
(name of acknowledging partner or partners), partner(s) on behalf
of (name of partnership), a partnership.
(Signature of office)
(Title of officer)
My commission expires: ________
(4) For a corporation:
State of Texas
County of ____________
This instrument was acknowledged before me on (date) by
(name of officer), (title of officer) of (name of corporation
acknowledging) a (state of incorporation) corporation, on behalf of
said corporation.
(Signature of office)
(Title of officer)
My commission expires: ________
(5) For a public officer, trustee, executor,
administrator, guardian, or other representative:
State of Texas
County of ____________
This instrument was acknowledged before me on (date) by
(name of representative) as (title of representative) of (name of
entity or person represented).
(Signature of office)
(Title of officer)
My commission expires: ________

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.


§ 121.009. PROOF OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT BY WITNESS. (a) To
prove a written instrument for recording, at least one of the
witnesses who signed the instrument must personally appear before
an officer who is authorized by this chapter to take
acknowledgments or proofs and must swear:
(1) either that he saw the grantor or person who
executed the instrument sign it or that that person acknowledged in
the presence of the witness that he executed the instrument for the
purposes and consideration expressed in it; and
(2) that he signed the instrument at the request of the
grantor or person who executed the instrument.
(b) The officer must make a certificate of the testimony of
the witness and must sign and officially seal the certificate.
(c) The officer may take the testimony of a witness only if
the officer personally knows or has satisfactory evidence on the
oath of a credible witness that the individual testifying is the
person who signed the instrument as a witness. If evidence is used
to identify the witness who signed the instrument, the officer must
note the use of the evidence in the certificate of acknowledgment.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.


§ 121.010. FORM OF CERTIFICATE FOR PROOF BY
WITNESS. When the execution of a written instrument is proved by a
witness, the certificate of the officer must be substantially as
follows:
"The State of ____________,
"County of ____________.
"Before me, ________ (here insert the name and character of
the officer), on this day personally appeared ____________, known
to me (or proved to me on the oath of ____________), to be the person
whose name is subscribed as a witness to the foregoing instrument of
writing, and after being duly sworn by me stated on oath that he saw
____________, the grantor or person who executed the foregoing
instrument, subscribe the same (or that the grantor or person who
executed such instrument of writing acknowledged in his presence
that he had executed the same for the purposes and consideration
therein expressed), and that he had signed the same as a witness at
the request of the grantor (or person who executed the same.)
(Seal) "Given under my hand and seal of office this ______
day of ____________, A.D., ____________."

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.


§ 121.011. PROOF OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT BY HANDWRITING. (a)
The execution of an instrument may be established for recording by
proof of the handwriting of persons who signed the instrument only
if:
(1) the grantor of the instrument and all of the
witnesses are dead;
(2) the grantor and all of the witnesses are not
residents of this state;
(3) the residences of the grantor and the witnesses
are unknown to the person seeking to prove the instrument and cannot
be ascertained;
(4) the witnesses have become legally incompetent to
testify; or
(5) the grantor of the instrument refuses to
acknowledge the execution of the instrument and all of the
witnesses are dead, not residents of this state, or legally
incompetent or their places of residence are unknown.
(b) If the grantor or person who executed the instrument
signed his name to the instrument, its execution must be proved by
evidence of the handwriting of that person and at least one witness
who signed the instrument. If the grantor or person who executed
the instrument signed the instrument by making his mark, its
execution must be proved by the handwriting of at least two of the
witnesses who signed the instrument.
(c) Evidence taken for proof of handwriting must give the
residence of the testifying witness. A testifying witness must
have known the person whose handwriting is being proved and must be
well acquainted with the handwriting in question and recognize it
as genuine.
(d) Evidence offered for proof of handwriting must be given
in writing by the deposition or affidavit of two or more
disinterested persons. The evidence must satisfactorily prove to
the officer each of the requirements provided by this section. The
officer taking the proof must certify the witnesses' testimony.
The officer must sign, officially seal, and attach this certificate
to the instrument with the depositions or affidavits of the
witnesses.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.


§ 121.012. RECORD OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT. (a) An officer
authorized by law to take an acknowledgment or proof of a written
instrument required or permitted by law to be recorded must enter in
a well-bound book and officially sign a short statement of each
acknowledgment or proof. The statement must contain the date that
the acknowledgment or proof was taken, the date of the instrument,
and the names of the grantor and grantee of the instrument.
(b) If the execution of the instrument is acknowledged by
the grantor of the instrument, the statement must also contain:
(1) the grantor's known or alleged residence;
(2) whether the grantor is personally known to the
officer; and
(3) if the grantor is unknown to the officer, the name
and residence of the person who introduced the grantor to the
officer, if any.
(c) If the execution of the instrument is proved by a
witness who signed the instrument, the statement must also contain:
(1) the name of the witness;
(2) the known or alleged residence of the witness;
(3) whether the witness is personally known to the
officer; and
(4) if the witness is unknown to the officer, the name
and known or alleged residence of the person who introduced the
witness to the officer, if any.
(d) If land is charged or conveyed by the instrument, the
statement must also contain:
(1) the name of the original grantee; and
(2) the name of the county in which the land is
located.
(e) The statements of acknowledgment recorded by the
officer are original public records, open for public inspection and
examination at all reasonable times. The officer must deliver the
book to his successor in office.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.


§ 121.013. SUBPOENA OF WITNESS; ATTACHMENT. (a) On the
sworn application of a person interested in the proof of an
instrument required or permitted by law to be recorded, stating
that a witness to the instrument refuses to appear and testify
regarding the execution of the instrument and that the instrument
cannot be proven without the evidence of the witness, an officer
authorized to take proofs of instruments shall issue a subpoena
requiring the witness to appear before the officer and testify
about the execution of the instrument.
(b) If the witness fails to obey the subpoena, the officer
has the same powers to enforce the attendance and compel the answers
of the witness as does a district judge. Attachment may not be
issued, however, unless the witness receives or is tendered the
same compensation that is made to witnesses in other cases. An
officer may not require the witness to leave his county of
residence, but if the witness is temporarily present in the county
where the execution of the instrument is sought to be proven for
registration, he may be required to appear.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.


§ 121.014. ACTION FOR DAMAGES. A person injured by the
failure, refusal, or neglect of an officer to comply with a
provision of this chapter has a cause of action against the officer
to recover damages resulting from the failure, refusal, or neglect
of the officer.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 959, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.


§ 121.015. PRIVATE SEAL OR SCROLL NOT REQUIRED. A
private seal or scroll may not be required on a written instrument
other than an instrument made by a corporation.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.



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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Got something you want to tell or sell???

If you have a crafty item, or a notary service, or any kind of marketable thing you can sell let me know. I am working on a webpage to list products by other notaries.

With a little drop off of business, we need to find other ways to keep our self-employment income coming!

Write me...agent@texnotary.com.

Also, if you just want to do an ad in my newsletter, let me know.

(I do reserve the right to refuse ads or items for sale.)

Thanks, BrendaTx

The Mind is...

There used to be a commercial that said “the mind is a terrible thing to waste.” My late husband and his punny (Punny, not funny, with pun intended.) friends used to shorten that and say, “the mind is a terrible thing!”

How correct and true that statement can be. If the owner of the mind does not control the mind's musings, the mind can be prohibitive to personal success. On the other hand, if controlled and guided properly the mind is a fertile place for success to take root, produce and thrive.

Surprisingly enough, the direction of one's mind is a choice that is made within the mind. Once the choice is made, the mind must be continually checked and encouraged to continue on the path of the choice.

The mind truly is a terrible thing if you do not take full control of it and direct it in the right direction which is the best for you and what you desire from life. Without encouragement to seek the right thoughts, the mind is detrimental to personal hope, personal happiness and personal success. When one is separated from hope, happiness, and success, it is natural to allow the mind to find ways to ensure that others are not able to be happy, hopeful or successful.

When you host a toxic mind, bet on it: You will become a toxic person. The purpose of this article is to help myself avoid that and to help others to avoid spreading the poison of negative mind activities.

I guess I was nearly thirty years old before I realized that I had the ability to take control of my mind and to direct it toward what I wanted to spend my time considering.

Unfortunately, my early years...my formative years...were not spent developing positive ideas, goals and dreams for myself. I learned a more negative way of seeing life at first. That's not to say I blame my parents for anything, as they were not privy to the positive way of looking at things when they were children so they only passed on what they knew. With so much negative in life, it is easy to flow down the dark course of negativity and to avoid swimming upstream toward enlightenment, better goals, ideals and hope.

My parents were not readers, either, so they did not know that a huge world existed outside of our little spot on the earth. They did not comprehend that what they had learned was not the end all way of things and that outside their small place of life there was possibility, hope and that things could be different, exciting and full of paths that could be beneficial to them if they were to consider them.

They were afraid to deviate from what they knew and they kept their children on the same path with them as much as possible. But, having the love of reading that I did gave me a route to the outside...a route to a better way of looking at life than I was taught.

And, a voracious reader I was. I read books every day which gave me ideas that perhaps life was not exactly contained by the view of my parents. Later, after I was grown and a mother, at some point I ran upon a book by Napoleon Hill called “Think and Grow Rich.” I read “Think and Grow Rich,” and realized that the mind was a tool that could be developed into a success seeking device, and that it was not required to allow the mind's ramblings to be in charge. About that same time, I began to seriously read the Bible and to realize that life as we know it is often limited by human perceptions and what we “see” when the truth is that with a little faith in something greater than ourselves we are able to develop the hope of things we desire but which we can only glimpse in thought. Thoughts that come from where? From the mind.

The negative mind is unable to generate the kind of thoughts that will bring fruit to positive results. A negative mind left unto itself will not produce the next breakthrough in science, it will not produce leadership that will be good for humankind. A negative mind produces losers. We can and shall see that one can change the course of what we think. Else, we are caught in the snare of negative outcomes and the rotting fruit of the darker side of things.

Before discovering the realization that I could choose the path my mind would seek, my mind was, in many ways, a terrible thing for me to have guiding me. This is the not the place for me to explore the dark side of negativity or why it was my natural course. This is the time to celebrate that fact that we do not have to accept this course. We shall explore how we can develop a better means for the mind to serve.

First we must identify where our destiny will be. What path will we push our mind to think upon? Where will we meander in thought as we relax? Where will we run and power walk our thoughts so that we will arrive at the destiny we want for ourselves?

Secondly, once the mind has its arrival place fixed, in order to expand its sense of travel along good paths, we need to introduce the paths to it. What the mind does not know it cannot utilize. So, the next stop is to develop fuel for successful thinking. Listen to things of “good report” is the advice of the Bible. Read books which are positive. Watch television programming which encourages possibility thinking. Negative thinking is easy. Thinking positive thoughts is not. Pile good stuff into your mind so that there is little room for the negative.

Thirdly, just like the body needs good exercise so does the mind. Read books which enlighten and exercise the mind into becoming more supple and graceful at stretching outside of our comfort zone. Consider taking classes in religion or philosophy. These thinking-related subjects can be helpful to stretch the mind's capability to think.

Fourth, develop an outlet for the product of your mind so that you can monitor what your progress. One way I pay homage to the better way of service of my mind is to write the good and positive things that come to me. The more I cultivate this activity, the more positive information my mind receives and the more ideas, ways to make money, better goals, and so forth come to me. That is what I am doing right now with this article. While you letting your mind have an outlet for the results and ideas it develops you can do two things...One, you reinforce the positive in your mind. Two, you share the good and positive thinking with others and that can only enhance the possibilities in the loops through life that you affect and impact.

Fifth, develop a way to share the best of your mind. If you write, then write. If you can encourage others by talking to others in encouraging ways, do this. If you blog, write a blog. If you can serve with talents such as cooking, building or through some types of enjoyable art that you do, then do so. Whatever you can do, do it so that you sprinkle around the positive results of who and what you are.

No matter how long a mind has been diverted from the negative way of seeing life, it is so easy to go back to negative pathways. “Woe is me.” thinking is an enemy which must be identified and we must flee from it by counter-acting the woe-thoughts with “Wow is me!” thinking.
The mind is a terrible thing to waste! Do not waste it and do not let it become a terrible thing...don't let your mind be a “stinker.” Take control of your thoughts and direct yourself to a more positive path.

List of California Escrow Mortgage and Title Businesses

List of California Escrow Mortgage and Title Businesses
To order click this link: PRICE: $15.95 - 5000+ Records

All have company name, address, city state and zip. Many have telephone numbers. Suitably delimited for ease in mail merge. Price is $15.95 and subject to change to $19.95 after introductory period. Compare to other sites which sell similar business leads list for 20 times that amount. If you would like to see a sample of the finished product, you may download a short list here. Once I have received your payment for this product, I will email the list to you.
If you purchase this list, you agree and understand: This list was compiled using internet sources and has not been tested for accuracy or completeness. My lists may or may not be seeded to keep folks "honest." That means there may be a few records which are bogus and will help me track if the list is being resold or given away by those who purchase it. Please do not abuse this resource. The price is set very low so that it is affordable to the those in our industry.
Watch this page for additional information products.
Provided by default in MS-Excel format (*.xls). If you need this in a comma-separated *.csv, or text *.txt format, note it with your payment or send an email to agent@texnotary.com .
Good luck in your notary signing agent business!
Brenda Stone :: TexNotary.com

How to Ask for Help Getting Started

how to ask for help getting started...

Asking for help is an artform. If you ask the right way, you get answers. If you do not, you might get a grouch answering your email.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I get many calls and a great deal of email from people who ask me about getting started as a notary signing agent. The problem is that the email will state something like this:

Hi Brenda, I want to know how to start a business like yours. Can you tell me how to get started? TIA, Ned Notary

That's a really tall order. This type of request tells me that the writer is looking for a free one-stop place to get all the answers. I used to try to answer this letter each time. I was excited, I guess, that I had put together a plan that gave me a good start in the business and my ego was glad enough to share it.

I welcome most queries if they are short questions that I can give an answer to without writing out a large letter. Here are some ideas on how to get help:

Before you make a contact, do lots of reading and research

One time I received a call from a woman who was determined for us to stay on the phone for over an hour. She was excited and wanted to know everything in one day. I kept referring her to the links here in my blogs but she wanted to talk. I am not that good at talking on the phone when I am in my office. I am usually marketing or writing. I like to get the name and number and call them back when I am on the road.


Before you can ask questions, you have to know what the questions are. There is not a place free resource to make one stop and gain all the answers. You have to do a lot of research. If you were to do searches on Google.com, Yahoo.com, and MSN.com you would find an abundance of information.

At each of the above websites, I have inserted a hyperlink which will lead you to the search engine's return on the search: “how to get started as a notary signing agent”.

Other places to search:
Clusty.com
Altavista.com
Dogpile.com (Has more unique hits as of this writing.)

Okay, now that you have done your research...

Here are the keys to getting help.

Recognize that the experienced notary is busy most of the time. If they are not closing, they are marketing. It will be appreciated if you have two or three very focused and pointed questions.

If you have lots of questions, you should ask for a good time to get with them so that you will not feel slighted if they cannot talk for very long.

Never call the last week of the month. Never. You might encounter a curt notary.

Do not ask right off the bat "who are your good title companies and other clients? Where do you get your work? Who pays the most? " Those questions will turn off your would-be mentors.

Ask this type of question: What do you recommend, Solution A or Solution B?
That shows you have done a lot of your research and ground work.

Identify yourself FULLY.

Do not assume that having a certification from any establishment will garner you the respect that maybe it should with experienced notaries. Right or wrong, many of us think that the NNA certification is hardly worth giving second glance at. If you are in California, consider www.notaryclasses.com over the classes for the NNA. Most in the industry realize that the NNA test is open book and you can take it twenty times until you score high enough to pass.

Be very clear that experienced notaries network on the boards and via email all the time so don't knock one to the other.
Once, I was contacted by a person considering the career of professional notary. She was in Texas and she wrote me. She asked the blanket question "Please tell me everything..." I gave her quite a bit of information and links to look at. Then, she wrote my friend in Florida and said "I have contacted notaries in Texas but got very little help." Without realizing that the notary had already picked my brain, my Florida friend forwarded me the email and told the inquiring notary that she would probably get assistance best from me since we were both in Texas. I received the forwarded email telling me that I had not done anything for the woman. You can imagine how eager I was to help more after that.

Be prepared to pay for one on one training if you need a great deal. Because I get so many inquiries, I try to limit my help to calls in length of about ten minutes these days. After that, I feel it would be fair to pay me $35 per hour for one on one tutoring. The way I see this is that my resourcefulness is what has helped me be successful. The resources I have built and compiled have been a long time coming and I will gladly share ideas and where to get more information with you, but if you want the "intense" version, I must charge for the time involved.

================= TUTORING=======================

Currently, I will walk through a reverse mortgage with NSAs for an hour if you need to be tutored on those. My price is one NSA for $35 or two NSA's $55 one hour. I conference call on my phone. I also have a quick start guide for NSAs which I will provide you. I am in the process of writing up my notes on what loan signers need to know to be comfortable signing a reverse mortgage. Other tutoring options for one are here.

========================================

Just put yourself in the place of the person you need to get information from and be considerate of what they may think and feel about your call. If you do that, you'll soon be on your way to having a friend for life. Notaries really are good people.

========================================

The following is a good common sense guide to get you thinking about what you need to know. When you know what you do not know and the right questions to ask you will be prepared to make contacts so that you can get good and useful replies.
========================================
are you prepared to contact established notaries for assistance?
for better results, have this information available
before approaching someone for assistance



PLANNING FOR FOR A SIGNING AGENT BUSINESS


Do you have a business plan? Will you be making one? People who are serious about starting a business have some kind of plan sketched out.


Do you have an amount in mind for how much you want to make as a signing agent? Do you want full-time income...part-time income...whatever you can get??

(TIP: If you do not know where you are going with a business, you are sure never to arrive!)
--Before making the call, seek info on a business plan...Find help on making a business plan at http://www.sba.gov/.

BUSINESS AND NOTARY QUESTIONS

Have you ever run a small business? If not, do some study on small business management so that you can ask develop and ask good questions about the notary business.


Do you have your notary commission? Before you make contact, you need to know about what it takes to get a commission in your state. If you are already a notary, be clear on your notary rules before making the contact.


If so, how long have you been a notary? If you have been a notary ahwile, this will be easier for you, however, the notary part is only one piece of the puzzle. It's the base...do study and know your notary rules, who to contact for help and be clear on what the correct acknowledgment and jurat verbiage is for your state.


Do you already carry errors and omissions insurance? Check out notaryrotary.com for this type of insurance. You need it if you are a notary professional.


Do you know all your notary rules? Yes? No? This is a big deal to experienced notary signers. Be sure it is a big deal to you before you consider a career as a professional notary.

Professional notaries must know their rules. If you do not know them, be sure to have a self-study program in place. (Find help on notary rules through your Secretary of State's office (or the office your state has for this type of assistance to notaries. Look at this link on my website to locate your office if you need help. http://www.texnotary.com/tooltime/sos.htm )

EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION

Do you have a background in law office, mortgage, real estate, or title work?
Do you have a paralegal degree?
If you have any of the above, this will be easier for you, I think. My background was the real estate, mortgage, title.


What is your background in notary work (if you have your commission)?
If you have already been handling loan documents you don't need to be tutored through the educational process...you just need to know how to market yourself.

Places you can get more information, buy books and take classes:
http://texnotarynewsletter.blogspot.com (My newsletter)
http://www.50statenotary.com/ (Book and other resources)
http://www.amrsigners.com/ (Book)
http://www.signingregistry.info/ (Book)
http://www.notaryclasses.com/ (California/classes and newsletter)
http://www.wildsignings.com/ (Book)

READ FORUMS


What forums are you reading? Here are the most popular public forums:

http://www.notaryrotary.com/

http://www.gomobilenotary.com/

http://www.notarydepot.com/

VIABILITY OF A SIGNING BUSINESS FOR YOU
No one except you can decide if there will be enough work to support you plust the others already in your area working as a notary signer.

Do you know what your competition will be like in your area?

Check to see how many notaries are already doing this kind of work in your area here:
http://www.123notary.com/
http://www.notaryrotary.com/
http://www.notaryfind.com/
http://www.notarydepot.com/

Have you checked to see how many mortgages are being done on a monthly or weekly basis? (If you know how many signing agents there are in your area, and then you go to your local county property records and look at the deeds of trust and home equity loans which have been signed each week in the recent months, you can figure out if there is a place for you to fit in. If you live in Florida or California, the odds are that there are plenty of loans being done. Still, you need to remember that you are in competition with other notaries. This makes a difference.


DO check to see what your competition will look like if you start a business—any kind of business.)

A couple more tips...

Before you contact someone for assistance, be prepared to tell them your name, phone number, location by zip code (maybe even your address) and other pertinent information to assure them you are not just another loan signer looking to snoop into their own business practices.

Be aware that if you contact a nearby neighbor you probably will be met with snappish answers. You would be that person's competition. Our business is very competitive.

FINALLY: There is no need to reinvent the wheel so I will not put all the information here again that you will find at this resource. BEFORE you make contact to ask for help Go to www.notaryrotary.com. Click on the orange search button. Search for message #33325. Read the entire thread.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

1985: Technology and Mullet Cuts

The First of the Story
- - or - -
1985 - The Year I Made Peace With Technology (and Saw My First Mullet Cut)

========================================
SUMMARY: This is a meandering reflection on
  1. Building a Website 'cos the Internet is Staying
  2. Texas Fickle Fashion - Parallel Universe to Loan Star Beer?
  3. Lone Star Beer v. Slammers
  4. Gosh, I guess it was "Motherhood" that Made Me Fit for Society
  5. Mullet Cuts

By '85 nobody was buying pairs of hunting dogs and naming them "Bud and Sissy" any more -- not even in Pasadena, Texas!

Read the tale here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Signing at a 50th year class reunion - Reflections on the year

Dropping in at a 50 year class reunion was a really memorable signing this past year. A man from California here to sign his rev mort while on vacation at his 50th class reunion.

I am going to deviate from my usual policy of not using skin color to describe people. In this case it does matter that the bwr was black because there would be no story if it were not so.
The signing was on Friday around 5 pm. The party was on Saturday. I turned down a rutted up dirt trail into a thicket that so dense it turned day into night, nearly.

I was supposed to meet with Mr. H at his sister's house. I am kind of uneasy about this because there is scary stuff along the way...junk...tires...and then I see this huge cattle guard and a gate that announces the name of a industrial vendor firm in the area. There is a paved drive into a "compound" for lack of a better word.

I don't know which shocked me more...the compound or Mr. H. He had rolled into town from LA just a few minutes before I got there. He came in a very, very nice brand new Cadillac. At 69 he is a very tall, handsome man and more sophisticated that your usual 69 year old Texan of any color...he's lived in California and done well for himself. He's also widowed.
Now, about the compound. In Texas, black people know ways to make barbeque and the trimmings taste better than it seems possible. Now I know why. They have these secret places where they go and cloister themselves, and they do all these old fashioned family things and they hand down traditions. This place was unbelievable. There were a few of the family homes scattered around beyond the gate. This was a paradise. Who knew it even existed out there at the end of that sad little road? There was a generous dance pavillion with sound system... a row of barbeque pits to die for and a huge swimming pool for the kiddos to stay cool in. There were a couple of large ice machines to make ice for ancient old ice house type bins where the drinks were overflowing. It was mid July and boy, did those iced down drinks look good. Drinks cooled by ice in a cooler in the hottest part of the summer are better than refrigerated drinks for some reason.

We signed all but one document on Friday night. The LO forgot to send the wire instructions sheet. I had to go back the next day during the party (with pay). And, there was a major party going on.

When I pulled up, Mr. H, standing in a circle of very nicely dressed 1955 beauties, waved to me like he was so glad I was there. (It was the beer smiling, more than Mr. H.) He broke loose of those woman and came out to where I was like he was about 36 years old...moving very fast. Talk about some smiles turning to mean faces on the ladies! Seeing someone like me drawing out Mr. H was the last thing they planned on during their Southern Flirt Fest with local boy who is now a very comfortable (and youthful) widower. And, obviously his family was not doing too shabbily either.

Mr. H was loving it and his sister was laughing at all of it from her corner of the party. It was so obvious how upset it made them. He signed his paper and then he said let's just walk out here a ways. So we did. We had a laugh over the situation, and he told me that he had really enjoyed playing that little trick on those women, and he had needed to get out of the little knot he was tangled up in. It was so good to see him having such a good time. By the time I got into my car, I knew I had to get gone. Those 1955 babes were not even the least bit pretty at that point. Mean. Mean faces.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Dust Off is apparently bad, bad stuff.

This was posted on NotaryRotary.com

OT.... Warning to parents and grandparents of teenagers...
Posted by Brasring_Ca on 11/6/05 5:47pm
Msg #74720 from logged in user

I realize that this board is for notary related but I am a notary and a member here who almost lost my 15 year old daughter last Thursday night to a product that we all probably have used or have heard of before. I want you all to be aware that teenagers and young children are huffing (breathing in through their mouths) the product called DUST OFF and products similar, it is used to clean computer keyboards. This product is deadly! It has already taken the lives of several teens and it almost got mine. The product freezes the brain, stops the lungs from getting oxygen and STOPS THE HEART! It is very dangerous and easy to obtain. Anyone can purchase it from many local retail stores. Please be aware of this and talk to your children and grandchildren because awareness is the key. Please be sure to keep this product out of the reach of any children who may enter your home if you use this product. You might be saving a life!My daughter was admitted to Saddleback Hospital Emergency Room in Orange County, Ca last Thursday night and stayed for 17 hours. They tested blood for cardiac enzymes several times and had to run multiple EKG's. She is medically cleared and going to be okay but mentally, she is in a psychiatric facility in Alhambra for the next 5 days, for further treatment and assessment. Thank you,Jenifer Smith

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Dark Tale About My Mother, Me, and a Fax Machine

After bravely patting it's LED....then, running my fingers over that familiar tiny little spot on its glass, I smiled and reflected on when I got a stubborn speck of White Out on it that time...then, I hugged my old friend one last time and I gently loaded up my workhorse HP OfficeJet 85 into the car for a trip to my mother's house in Brazoria County.

I really hated to part with it, but I felt that it was time for me to clear some space around here. In my sordid little laser printer-PCL-toner-eDoc-bloated business, the ink jets are the first to go.

If the truth be told, a lot of my generosity toward Mother in this situation actually had to do with the persuasive evidence that the only space available to put another piece of technology is next to the shower. I am running out of room...but perhaps we can avoid telling the truth. I could live with a modified version for the purposes of this tale...a version which casts me in a magnanimous light would be better.

Let me meander ever so slightly to explain....I have all this techie gear that excuses me from keeping house or decorating properly. What a demanding lot these machines are.

And, there ain't nothing pretty about my place. I am hard core geek-first generation...my CPU never has all it's screws in place because I just might want to peak under those putty colored skirts to see if things are running right. If you know me, you know that I profess to keep all these little electronic time-wasters around because they are requirements to run this massive notary loan closing business of mine. Just between us, I have all these props just to keep my sweet little mother calm enough to play dominoes while I pretend this is a real job, but that's another tale for another day. Geek, refocus thyself!

Sigh, I have refocused and I shall continue on with my tale about Mother's new found method of reminding me, "I am in my second childhood and I am making the most of it, Kid!" (Note: This is a direct quote that scares me to death because she means it.)

So...back to the tale. With only the best of intentions toward Mother, (aside from the clutter problem which is "all about me.") I decided to share my cheerful color printer, which is also a copier and a fax machine. As the old saying goes, "no good deed goes unpunished." (Be real, Brenda...No foister of obsolete electronic clutter goes unpunished either.)

The only reason I am writing this right now, rather than taking my nightly turn in the figurative discipline helmet from hell (aka receiving a fax from Mother) is because the printer is out of ink and I have deceptively convinced Mother that means it will not work as a fax machine until I replace it. (Self, another truism to note-- People who lie to their mothers do not go unpunished.)

~~If I can only stop talking to myself, now, I'd like to get on with this. It's really starting to bog down.~~

What I wanted Mother to get out of the printer was its copying capabilities. I hoped that she could stop feeling as if it were a RED ALERT when she needed a copy of something. No need to ring up her accountant, the mighty man and solver of problems with paper, to wit, Mr. James Clem of Gratzer, Clem and Company. No, I wanted to save me and Jim Clem a little bit of stress

I hoped (secondary to clearing out clutter) that by giving my mom a tool to use to keep her off the streets desperately trying to score a copy of an obituary I'd save her from something painfully reminiscent of the "dope fiends" in the cult classic, Reefer Madness.

I am a good daughter and I was trying to help her out by giving her the printer to use for her occasional copying needs. (Brenda, Wow, that sounds good so let's go with it!) Capriciously, I also off-handedly told her she could use it for the occasional faxing.

And, oh where was my brain?

It was truly love and concern for my mother that prompted me to take her my HP OfficeJet 85. (Continuing to go with my modified version.)

I pulled this fine trick on myself for the right reasons (Liar!)...I thought this would be a real help to her.

I just had no idea how much she would find it helpful--but me? Not so much!

Let me reiterate, "For me - not so much! Not so helpful for me at all."

I am so very pleased with my incredibly brilliant decision to put a weapon of mass distraction into my mother's hands. (Someone? A towel for the sarcasm. It's dripping here.)

I should have known this was going to become a very involved situation. I should not have warped passed my mother's anti-technology personality and pretended that she would decide to LEARN to use the fax machine. This was the vortex of my poor choice-making. I knew that Mother mentally rejects the concepts illuminating inventions and circumstances that did not exist in 1959 or previous thereto.

Mother does not even attempt to grasp concepts existing in regard to the wonders of fax machines, much less the internet. It's my fault. I admit it. I knew my mother before I took her a piece of equipment--AND, I knew that the word "equipment" in and of itself shatters her attention span into split levels which only finite math can comprehensively define.

My mother is my best friend, but we are as different as night and day. My mother is very smart and she's really a refreshingly enjoyable person, as well as a hipster with blue hair. She's open minded about things that some people long ago shut down and refused to consider. And, yes, she's "cool", if you will...we have laughed together until we've wet our pants, split our sides, tears ran down our faces.

Hanging out with her is like hanging out with a kid. Everything is exciting to her...she loves to go, learn and have fun. However, present her with an object of modern technology and it's written all over her face: IF IT comes with an electrical cord and buttons and knobs--ZERO tolerance. She wants to go have fun...no time for this technical crap!

My mother is a silly-heart, a old fashioned gal of solid character, she's a fun-lover-- she sings along with songs playing on Muzac in the grocery store or the doctor's office for Pete's sake! And, true to her southern upbringing, she still does her best to pretend she believes that men are smarter and more adept and capable than she. (Machines and yucky stuff like equipment are not her thing. That's what men are supposed to know about.)

The signs of what would ultimately come as a result of this electronic gift were there long before I took her this printer/copier/fax machine. It's not her personality to deal with machines...and so actually what I did was give her a machine that I would have to talk her through every time she used it to fax me things I did not want to see.

Well...let's take for instance, the newspaper. Mother loves to peruse the local newspaper and clip articles obscurely related to something she thinks is very important for me to know.

She used to drop these packets of Very Important Information into the mail to me, BUT ONLY AFTER reading them to me on the phone. (No matter that I could read them on the newspaper's website as she was reading them to me. She still read them aloud and then she mailed them to me.)

What I have always really been thrilled MOST to receive are the obituaries of people I have never heard of. I cannot tell you how I treasure those. I say I do not know the freshly dead person and Mother refuses to accept it -- she goes into who this person is, who they worked with at Dow Chemical and whether or not my Aunt Louise knew them. If it is a female, she might tell me if they came to her baby shower.

Oh...but if there is a smidgeon of "dirt" on them, she'll tell me that my Grandma would say "he was a little light in his loafers." or some other questionable rumor about the deceased. (Mother never tells the bad on the dead, but according to Mother, Grandma would certainly remember to mention it if she were still alive.)

Rather than argue that "I don't know the dead man, damn it." I finally, learned to just say "I hate to hear that Mr. .... died!"

Now days the Obituary Reports from Mother mean so much more to me (BECAUSE THEY INTERRUPT MY FAVORITE TV SHOWS.) Yes, this is my non-life now that my mother has a fax machine AND a friendly guy hanging around to operate it. Guess what! Now Mother faxes obits and articles of trivia to me--on a fax machine I put into her hot little hands, and to a toll free number that I pay for.

Now, that would be totally okay except for the Pre-fax call.


THE PRE-FAX CALL

The Pre-fax Call is the real motivation for all these words crawling around on this paper...blog...email...whatever you have been kind enough to continue reading to this point.

My mother only faxes items to me AFTER calling me to go over the details with me--again, no matter that I tell her I can surf right over and read them in real-time along with her.

Then, she says, "Okay, I want to fax it to you--do you have your fax machine on???"

Let me pause here to let you in on a little known secret.

Apparently, faxing makes the recipient (me) hard of hearing because my mother gets louder and louder as we try to get our nightly faxing done. Apparently it affects anyone the fax machine owner has in close proximity, as well. Yes indeedy! Her friend (Warren) can be in the same room about two feet away and Mother gets increasingly serious (aka LOUD) about being heard by both me, and by Warren.

During the Pre-fax Call I hear: "WARREN... DO YOU HAVE THE FAX MACHINE ON? DO YOU KNOW WHAT BUTTON TO PUSH? IS IT PLUGGED IN?

NO, NO, NO...THAT'S THE WRONG PLACE TO PLUG THE PHONE INTO...I think...well??? Well what??? I thought you had it plugged IN WRONG AND NOW WHAT DO WE DO...BRENDA? BRENDA? ARE YOU THERE...(miffed) WELL, I guess she hung up!"

But I have not hung up!...I am just trying to blot out that old familiar face of mocking stupidity ... I brought this on myself. I am the one who gave my mom the fax machine so I could clear out some clutter. And, I was not even drinking when I told her I have a toll free fax number. I opened my mouth and it just tumbled out like I had good sense.

Goodness...once she discovered I had a toll free fax number all control over life as I knew it was lost .

Yeah...one day I had a life and the next day it was KATY BAR THE FREAKING DOOR - MAMA'S A-FIXIN' TO FAX YOU LITTLE SISTER. AND, OFTEN.

I am sorry. Yet again, I digress from describing the Important Pre-Fax Call and getting to the end of this dark tale.

Sometimes I am being quiet on the other end because I am being grateful. Mom assumes we have been disconnected when she does not hear me butting in while she is talking ... like she and her (hard of hearing) friends do... like she and her sisters do to each other... like my grandmother and her sisters did when they were in a conversation.

During this Pre-fax interlude of Mom TALKING REALLY LOUD TO WARREN WHO IS ONLY ONE OR TWO FEET AWAY FROM HER, I am saying prayers of thanks for the little volume button on my telephone.

This even more so since I have seen Mom talking into her cell phone. I am very grateful to still be without a hearing aid.

That gal is a two-fisted cell phone talker; her technique makes all conversations with her a high decibel proposition. See...she has an ear-splitting method of delivery that assures no rebellious word can slip off to parts unknown...no word goes unheard on her watch...not while travelling through her cell phone. No Sirree!

It is a double-hand method -- she holds the phone with one hand, then she assures there is no way someone will miss her remarks by a method I have never seen before, until I saw Mom do it.

It is amazing. As if she had an identical phone back in 1959, she deftly positions her hand around her mouth AND the phone's mouthpiece the entire time she talks LOUDLY into the cell phone...see, she says it MAKES THEM ABLE TO HEAR HER BETTER.

God Bless her! No wonder she worries about me talking to her on my cell phone in the car.

But, let's get back to the nightly Fax-o-Rama...one technique, I have learned to utilize for myself at the critical Pre-fax Call stage, is that it is best to just remain silent while my mother asks questions, answers them, and directs Warren on how to fax the document to me...even though she does not know how to use the fax machine without Warren, of course.

I try to have an out of body experience ... relax my neck muscles and meditate on words like "abundance, patience, I have an abundance of patience...pink patience...baby blue clouds of patience, BUT NOT BLOODY BLACK HYPER-FREAKING-MURDEROUS RAGE-FiLLED IMPATIENCE because I am a very patient person, DAMN IT."

There is no getting a word in edgewise so I just wait and I meditate...I am just glad to still have hearing -- whew, especially now that I have witnessed my mother's perfected double-fisted cell phone technique. I realize that there is no way she'll hear me say anything until she stops talking REALLY LOUD and capturing the words in her palm and through some mysterious power in her hand, the hand acts as an uzi to DRIVE HER WORDS THE HELL INTO THE cell phone AND MY EAR ... while it is so LOUD on her end hearing herself talking that OF COURSE SHE CANNOT HEAR ME.

Well...you might wonder ... have I told her that she did not have to call me first? Yes. I did.

I used to tell her, "No, Mother. I don't even have a fax machine. It comes through the internet. You do not even have to call me first. Just send it."

Then, we always discuss how I can NOT have a fax machine and receive a fax from her. AND IT IS A LOUD DISCUSSION BECAUSE SHE'S DOING THAT HAND-UZI THING.

I know now not to argue technology with my mother. No way. From this day forward, I swear I will turn down the volume on the phone and just tell her "Wait....Okay, I just fired up the fax machine! Wait...almost time! OKAY MOM... Let her rip!!"

Thank God that she's still there to fax me, but, I have to laugh. This fax machine thing is, no doubt, one of the finest tricks I have ever played on myself.