Sept. 9, 2019



"The tragedy of life is not so much what men suffer, but rather what they miss."
~ Thomas Carlyle
When setting goals and planning our future, we sometimes fail to look far enough ahead. Consider the following story:
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, "Only a little while." The American then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?" The Mexican said, "With this I have more than enough to support my family's needs." The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
The fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, then stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life."
The banker scoffed, "I'm a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. You would eventually open your own cannery and control the product, processing and distribution. You could leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles, and eventually New York where you will run your ever-expanding enterprise."
The fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?" To which the American replied, "15 to 20 years." "But what then?" asked the fisherman. The banker laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions."
"Millions? And then what?" The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos." (!!!)
So . . . what are you working for? The IPO or the good life? Stop working toward "someday," and appreciate your success on this day. Take time to enjoy the siesta!

Aug. 26, 2019



"Time is clay. Make something."
~ Unknown

To paraphrase a favorite tune, "If I could save time in a bottle..." I could have saved literally millions of minutes so far. Of course most of us think in terms of a 24-hour clock that gives us another chance to save each time we wake up. We think of time beginning anew with the start of each day. Not so. Time is actually a continuum, a straight line.
If you were born in 1952, you could have saved 27,856,800 minutes by now. Born in 1968? You'd have a bottle full of 19,447,200 minutes. No matter when you were born, it's easy to calculate just how many minutes you could have saved by now. The real question, of course, is how many minutes are left. Bet you didn't want to hear that.
Not to worry. It's what you do with what you've got that counts. So why not begin looking at time as clay - as something you roll in your hands and form into anything you like. Remember making little cars, or a house, or a little clay doll when you were little? Back then, no one told you what to make - you just let your imagination guide you.
As you got older, you were told what you could do, when you could do it, and how much time you had to get it done. You quit playing with the clay, and didn't have the time to let your imagination guide you. More than likely you fell into a routine (a.k.a. a rut), one possibly designed by someone else's imagination.
Why not take some of the time you have to rediscover the joy your own imagination can bring? Think back to those wonderful days of clay - and make something!

Aug. 18, 2019



“The children are watching us.”
~ Italian film title (Vittorio De Sica, director)
Turns out the children are listening, too.
The question is, what are they learning and what are we teaching?
No matter whom we interact with, we should all take some time to reflect upon how our practices are matching up to our ethics and beliefs. We all have the potential to produce a profound effect on the people in our lives, both directly and indirectly. How we choose to act in our encounters helps define who we are: are we good stewards, good managers, good parents?
Consider the language we use when we deal with other people. Those who value power over action will use the language of judgment and superiority: “That idea is doomed..." or "You will never succeed..." or "That project is a waste of time.” Such language only serves to predict its own end and unfortunately, that end is often failure.
Now consider language that recognizes individuality while setting us up as collaborators: “I understand what you want..." or "I can only imagine how hard this is for you..." or "I'd like to help.” As we acknowledge the needs and feelings of others, we have better opportunities to show the same respect we’d expect in return. The encounter becomes a win-win situation.
As we interact with others, a good yardstick by which to measure our actions is to imagine how children would perceive them. Do we play by the rules? Are we being fair? Do we share? Are we doing unto others as we would have done to ourselves? During your next meeting, imagine a seven year old is watching the proceedings. Would you conduct yourself any differently?
Before children start to learn the later lessons of failure and success associated with competition, they first learn to “play well with others.” The politics of the playground still hold some powerful lessons for us, too!

Aug. 13, 2019




© Phoenix Business Journal. Used with permission. 

After eight months of lower activity, homebuilders have seen a rebound around the Phoenix region with a major uptick in sales — especially in the West Valley.

From mid-May through mid-June, new home sales shot up 16% year over year, said Jim Belfiore, founder of Phoenixbased Belfiore Real Estate Consulting and author of KnowledgeBase Current & Future Market Insights reports. That’s typically a time of year when demand softens.

New home sales also jumped by 16% through mid-June from a month earlier. By contrast, two months ago, from midMarch to mid-April, sales were down 18% for metro Phoenix homebuilders, Belfiore said, continuing a streak that had been in effect since last fall.

“Now the latest 30 days, they are up 16% 

year over year,” he said. “It just skyrocketed. Not only have they increased year over year but we have hit a peak we haven’t hit since mid-2007.”

Andy Warren, president of Scottsdalebased Maracay Homes, said the late blooming spring market may be a result of consumer confidence bouncing back. “My guess is once consumers realized that ‘Oh maybe it is a good time to buy 

despite what I see on the nightly news of what’s happening in Seattle,’ they have come around,” Warren said. “I think it’s a combination of just good market fundamentals and probably some pent-up demand.”

As an indicator of that demand, Maracay unveiled its Avance 400home gated community in South Mountain on May 11, when 3,000 

people showed up for the grand opening weekend, Warren said.

“We have sold 65 houses within the last four to five weeks,” Warren said. Home prices start in the mid $300,000s.

Belfiore’s report also noted that the West Valley had nine of the top 10 selling new home communities from mid-May to mid-June.

Jordan Rose, attorney and founder of Rose Law Group in Scottsdale, said she was elated to hear the turnaround in new home sales. Her practice focuses on business consulting, land use and government relations.

“After living through the Great Recession you sort of temper your enthusiasm for big fast numbers, but here since the real homebuyer demand is racing past our supply, I feel pretty good exhaling a little shout of joy,” Rose said.

Aug. 9, 2019



"I always wanted to be somebody. Now I realize I should have been more specific."
~ Lily Tomlin (from her "One Woman Show")
Whether you're 23, 43 or 73, ask yourself this wonderfully refreshing question: "What do I want to be when I grow up?" Regardless of our age, it's so easy to lose sight of the specific "somebody" we always wanted to be. What's more, the "somebody" we had in mind in our 20's may be someone different in our 50's.
Worse yet, maybe we grew up to be the "somebody" someone else had in mind - like our mother or father. The influence of those around us often prevents us from even asking the question "What do I want to be . . . ?" We try so hard to be their somebody that we don't allow ourselves to grow up at all.
So . . . going back to the matter of age, it doesn't matter WHEN we decide who we want to be so much as that we DO decide. It is at that moment that a catharsis takes place, and we rid ourselves of everyone else's determination of our identity. We are free . . . free to become the person of our dreams.
Is it easy to develop and maintain our new identity? No. Our day-to-day activities will still attempt to distract us from our new persona. Nevertheless, as artist D. Morgan points out in one of her paintings, "The impossible dream - isn't!" Take a quiet moment today, just for yourself, and ask, "Am I the somebody I wanted to be?" 🤔❤

Aug. 2, 2019



"The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best."
~ Epictetus
Have you ever aspired to be deeply depressed? On your list of major life's achievements, have you included becoming an itinerant ne'er-do-well? Does your daily task list include hanging out at the local pub, gossiping over the back fence with nosy neighbors, or spending time with a loser who does nothing but grouse about how the world has dealt him a lousy hand?
Did that first paragraph seem to pull you down? Did you say, "Ridiculous! Who would want to do those things?" If so, congratulations, you've already received this week's message.
Now, let's give this message a lift. Have you ever met someone with a bright inspiring spirit about them, and thought to yourself, "Wow, I'd like to know them better!" Have you noticed that when you attend a community education course, you leave with many fresh new ideas and a powerful boost in your attitude?
A well-known quote says, "You are what you think about all day long." If you hang out with the losers, your thoughts are likely to be dark and depressing. Spend time with those who possess magic in their attitude and enthusiastic vitality in their work ethic, and your thoughts are likely to soar.
Take a close look at your list of goals for this year. Have you included the addition of positive new personal relationships in your work and play environment? Remember that "to have a friend, you must first be a friend." Consider expanding your sphere of contacts to include those who would inspire you to greatness!

July 26, 2019



"I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can't be done."
~ Henry Ford

If you've ever had a dream - you've also had critics. It seems they show up right on cue every time that special new dream begins to form. Critics come in the form of family members, employers, friends, and associates.
Interestingly, the only opinion worth listening to is your own. The opinions of others simply reflect their own limitations - and have nothing to do with the achievement of your dreams. Just imagine how shallow the world would be today if the following individuals had listened to their critics:
Arnold Schwarzenegger's family said, "How long will you go on training all day in a gymnasium and living in a dream world?"
Mary Kay Ash's attorney advised two weeks before her first store opening, "Liquidate the business right now and recoup whatever cash you can. If you don't, you'll end up penniless."
His teachers to Ray Charles: "You can't play the piano, and God knows you can't sing. You'd better learn how to weave chairs so you can support yourself."
What Diana Ross heard her teacher say when auditioning for a high school play: "You have a nice voice, but it's nothing special."
Have a dream? Live it, pursue it, and achieve it - with a passion! ❤

July 21, 2019



"It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves."
~ Katherine Mansfield

Feel like you're losing touch with your children 🤔? Wish you understood your spouse better 🤔? Want to enjoy closer family ties without the background noise of X-Box games or loud music 🎵? Does everyone seem to scatter the moment their last bite of food is swallowed? Introduce them to "the family game!" 🎉
It's a fun way to bring your family together at the dinner table and keep them there - without complaints. Furthermore, you'll soon have them willingly sharing their dreams, disappointments, likes & dislikes, interests, successes, and innermost thoughts. Finally, you will have created a new family tradition your children will delight in passing on to their own families. 😁👍
Introduce your version of the family game at the end of a dinnertime meal when everyone is present. Don't make a big production of it, just ask everyone to remain at the table. Tell them you've heard of a fun game and would like to play it with them. Explain that each person at the table gets one turn (and only ☝ one turn). You begin by asking a question that everyone, including yourself, has to answer. For instance, your question might be, "What's the most embarrassing moment you've ever had?" Go around the table and let each family member contribute.
Once everyone answers, let the person at your left ask the next question. It might be, "What's the worst birthday present you've ever received?" or maybe, "If you could go back in the past and live in a different time, when would it be and why?" You'll be amazed at the sharing your family will suddenly experience.
Once the "family game" becomes a regular part of meals, add this twist: Before being seated, tell family members that they may sit in any seat at the table except their normal seat. The catch is that they must also "act" like the person normally seated in the chair they choose. This can produce hilarious results. 😂😂
If your family seems fragmented and scattered, play "the family game." It's a natural for bringing joy, depth, communication and understanding back to your loved ones! ❤❤😊

July 18, 2019

Ranking Arizona: Top 10 master-planned communities in 2019

Ranking Arizona:

Top 10 master-planned communities in 2019

Here are the Top 10 master-planned communities in Arizona, based on public voting for the 2019 edition of Ranking Arizona, the state’s biggest and most comprehensive business opinion poll. Ranking Arizona is based purely on opinion and ranks companies based on how voters answer this simple question: with whom would you recommend doing business?

Here are the Top 10 master-planned communities in Arizona, as featured in the 2019 edition of Ranking Arizona:

2,501 homes or more

1. Vistancia

Background: Set amongst a stunning backdrop of mountain ranges with views of the natural Sonoran Desert, Vistancia in Northwest Peoria offers some of the best in new home options and community living. With excelling schools, parks and trails, recreation centers, golf courses and resident amenities, Vistancia offers something for every member of the family. Vistancia’s 7,100-acre master plan offers three lifestyle communities — The Village offers family-friendly neighborhoods with two K-8 elementary schools and planned activities and recreation centers, Blackstone is a luxury golf course community featuring the private Blackstone Country Club golf course, and Trilogy is an active adult community.

2. Morrison Ranch

3. Estrella by Newland Communities

4. Power Ranch

5. Grayhawk

6. Las Sendas

7. DC Ranch

8. Verrado by DMB Associates

9. Johnson Ranch

10. Desert Ridge

2,500 homes or fewer

1. Ironwood Crossing

Background: Ironwood Crossing is a premier East Valley community built by Fulton Homes and managed by CCMC. Lush landscape creates the perfect backdrop to bring a sense of community alive. Whether a new family or newly retired, Ironwood Crossing has something to offer everyone. Ironwood Crossing is perfect for young families, with great neighborhoods featuring 20 parks, one for about 100 families, all done in a master-planned setting. The neighborhood parks feature basketball courts, ramadas, barbeques, and tot lots with shade structures. There is also an aquatic center with a splash pad for small children, separated from a 7,000-square-foot pool. A second pool opened in the northern part of the community in order to serve the high demand for swimming. In addition to Legacy Charter School, Ironwood Crossing is part of the new J.O. Combs Unified School District offering students preschool through 12th grade excellent educational opportunities.

2. Eastmark

3. Terravita

4. Mountain Bridge

5. Fireside at Norterra

6. Fulton Ranch

7. Adora Trails

8. Spectrum at Val Vista

9. Desert Mountain

10. Robson Resort Communities – SaddleBrooke Ranch

July 11, 2019

The Pleasures of Tolerance


"Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation or creed."
 ~ Bertrand Russell (1872-1949)

We probably all know someone who fits the description quoted above 🙄 – people who aren’t happy unless they’re unhappy 🙁 about someone or something. They are the perpetual complainers, always blaming what’s happening around them on others or others’ belief systems. They tend to look outside themselves for explanations of why things are the way they are.
Have you ever noticed that things always happen TO them, but they never actually cause things to happen themselves? You might describe them best as “reactionaries,” because all they ever do is “react” (negatively) 😡 to what other people think, do, or believe. They try to make themselves look better by making others look worse! 👎
What type of person would you rather be 🤔? One who expertly criticizes everything, or one who finds a way to tolerate the thoughts, actions, and beliefs of those around you? The former will cause stress resulting in headaches 🤯, ulcers, and the disdain of those with whom you work and play. The latter will produce a feeling of happiness and compassion 😁, while passing along your positive 👍 outlook to others around you who will respect and admire your policy of tolerance.

In our current global 🌎 climate, it’s easy to be suspicious and critical of other cultures and religions. However, for the very reasons we might be led to hate, it is all the more important to display love ❤, tolerance, and an attempt at understanding. Do your best to find the best in others, and your efforts will come back to you in kind. It’s the ethics of reciprocity. Remember the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” As corny as it may sound, it still rings true today. So set your example - don’t be “REactive”, be “PROactive”! ❤💪👍😊