PetWill Radio

Friday, December 11, 2009

'Tis the Season

Seems like I've been pretty quiet lately on the posting front. Just busy, I guess. Debbie Roser and I just put the a-okay on our book proof and it's FINALLY DONE! We placed our first orders yesterday and hopefully they will arrive early next week. So, there's still time to get a copy of "Thank Everybody for Everything - Grow Your Life and Business with Gratitude" in time for Christmas. The companion "Gratitude Expressions - a five-year journal" should follow shortly as it was completed yesterday but not yet proofed. Needless to say, we are grateful for all of the people who have contributed to the success of these projects! Both should be available on Amazon in a couple of weeks.

The card sending business has been booming as well. My office sent about 3,000 holiday cards and I sent another 125+. What a pleasure it was this year - none of that sticking, stuffing, stamping and licking! Just the fun of creating a great card and then pushing the magic SendOutCards button knowing they would soon be on their way to the post office. I'm never going back to traditional card sending. And for all my November and December birthdays - I didn't even have to fight the lines at the malls - just a great card and a gift without ever leaving my house.

Competitive horse back riding has been slow since early November when we completed the Boggy Creek 27. That was actually a great ride - great location, good friends, good weather. The right combination for a fantastic time. Last week's ride was under the threat of rain and I decided since I've already reached my 500 mile goal that I'd sit that one out. Glad I did because the weather was really yukky. Had a great day of staying in, watching movies and being lazy. My next ride should be at the end of the month.

Everyday is a great day! New opportunities, new friends, and good cheer. I wish each and every one of you the happiest of holiday seasons! I'm looking forward to 2010 and all that it will bring.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Problem: Holiday card and gift season! Solution: SendOutCards!

The holiday card and gift season is almost here! Hard to believe but there are less than 21 days to Halloween, 49 days to Thanksgiving, 64 days to Hanukkah and 76 days until Christmas. It can make your head spin.

The solution to your holiday card and gift sending dilemma is simple—SendOutCards. With SendOutCards you can mail a holiday greeting to your entire mailing list in just a few minutes of your time. Want to send a great picture card of you and your family? No problem. SendOutCards lets you create Picture Plus cards for a fraction of the cost of store bought cards!
And these aren’t e-cards, these are high quality printed cards, that are stuffed and stamped at the SendOutCards facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, and mailed direct to the recipient’s home.

You can even include great gifts, including food items like brownies or cookies, or even gift cards. There are also gift items for women, men and children—the selection is great. There’s no last minute shopping, no crowds, no waiting in line. You can handle all of your holiday needs right from the privacy of your own home, from your computer.

SendOutCards is about to become a household name. If you aren’t familiar with SendOutCards and you haven’t experienced the simplicity and fun of sending a personalized card from the SendOutCards system, then I invite you to contact me, right away, and I’ll be happy to share.

You can call me at 407 221-3614 or email me at Send a free card on me by visiting Have fun, send a card today!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How Big is Your Dream?

How Big is Your Dream?

I’m building a Dream Team—Interested?

Last week I attended the SendOutCards conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. This came on the heels of attending the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys Collegium in San Antonio, Texas and the General Practice Solo and Small Firm Section Executive Council meeting for the Florida Bar in Tampa, Florida. Needless to say, I’ll be happy to be home. Nonetheless, the week was inspiring in so many ways.

SendOutCards has to be one of the finest multi-level marketing organizations in existence today. I have never met so many genuinely nice, positive and motivated people. Everyone has a smile and a ‘how can I help you” attitude. For me, there could be nothing better as I strive to live in a world of gratitude and abundance.

Kody Bateman (a/k/a Kody B when he’s rapping) is the founder and CEO of SendOutCards. He has set the bar high but has dedicated his life to creating a company whose mission and purpose are to create personal connections and help people act on their promptings. The theme of this year’s conference was United We Send. An unbelievable 2,500 people were in attendance for three days of non-stop, heart-pounding action. Guest speakers included Stedman Graham (probably best known as “Oprah’s man”), Les Brown (a fantastic motivational speaker) and T. Harv Ecker (author of The Millionaire Mind). There was something for everyone.

My Card Divas partner, Teresa Morgan and I qualified for the VIP Challenge last quarter so we received some extra special treatment. There were special tee-shirts, an exquisite dinner at La Caille, reserved seating and a chance to walk across the big stage and high-five both Kody Bateman and Les Brown. A major part of the convention was to recognize the achievements of individuals who are the stars and rising stars of the SendOutCards organization. We were proud to be included.

One highlight of the trip was the opportunity to visit the SendOutCards headquarters and see where and how the cards are printed, stamped, stuffed, mailed and paired up with gifts. What an amazing group of people to make all that happen. All card and gift orders are accumulated until midnight. Then the presses begin to roll. Each card is individually reviewed for accuracy. Everything is sent out that day for immediate delivery. It was awesome!

Conventions are also opportunities to make big company announcements and this was no exception. Kody announced a new target market for SendOutCards—women and the home party market. Women account for 80% of all cards and gifts that are purchased. Until now, it appeared that SendOutCards was primarily focused on small business owners and professionals and that hasn’t changed. Today, through a new product offering, SendOutCards has removed all barriers to potential users and distributors and has announced the SOC Box. The SOC Box is an affordable opportunity to join the SendOutCards movement. For $49, the SOC Box grants the user a limited SendOutCards license and includes ten (10) free greeting cards (including the fabulous Picture Plus option) with postage. In addition, for a small additional fee ($25), SOC Box purchasers can become Retail Affiliates and earn an income stream by introducing others to the SOC Box. With the holidays right around the corner and card sending season upon us, SOC Box is the answer.

SendOutCards will also, once again, be featured in the October/November 2009 edition of Success From Home magazine. This issue will highlight the SOC Box and will invite the masses to join the crusade at SendOutCards. Also featured in the magazine are SendOutCards super stars and their success stories. Super model Kathy Ireland is also featured and tells readers how much she loves SendOutCards.

Stedman Graham had some words of wisdom to share with the convention attendees. He says:
We are all created equal—we all get 24 hours in a day. What do you do with yours?
You have to change your thoughts, to change your talk, to change your walk.
You are not your circumstances, you are your possibilities.
You are your environment, the people you surround yourself with, what you read and what you watch on TV. Choose wisely.

He reminded me of something I heard Charlie “Tremendous” Jones say once, “Five years from now you’ll be the same person you are today except for the books you read and the people you meet.” I took that to heart and I read something positive everyday and try to meet as many interesting people as possible. SendOutCards radiates that same philosophy.

Les Brown taught us that education and circumstances don’t have to define the man (or woman). What you believe, you can achieve. You can have anything you focus on. I believe that with all my heart. Even Matthew 7:7 tells us, “Ask and you shall receive.”

T. Harv Eker taught us that everything is a duality. What you think on the inside, will appear on the outside, in your physical world. He said your emotional, mental and spiritual focus will ultimately manifest itself in your material world—what you surround yourself with. If you think small, you’ll live small. If you think big, you can and will live large.

He said each of us is born with a money blueprint. We probably got it from our parents—in other words, what they taught us about money. If we were taught that money is hard to come by, it will be. If we were taught that money is easy to obtain, it will be.

Your thoughts plus your feelings plus your action equals RESULTS! And the thoughts we think start in our money blueprint programming. The good new is this program can be changed! But first, you have to change your thoughts.

Victims are easy to identify—they’ll generally be doing one of three (3) things: 1. Blaming someone else for their circumstances (“it’s my parents fault”), 2. Justifying their circumstances (“money’s not that important, anyway”), or 3. Complaining about something.

Harv says that complaining is the worst thing you can do for your health or your wealth. What you focus on expands. When you complain you become a “crap magnet.” He challenged us with an assignment—no complaining for at least seven (7) days. That’s both on the inside and on the outside. Now, when I catch myself starting to complain, I try to start the sentence with, “I wish…” rather than, “I hate,” or “I can’t stand it when.” Can you give up complaining for seven (7) days? I dare you to try!

He told us the secret to success is to BE A SUCCESS! I love this—because you create your own reality. Perception is reality, so be careful what you think about. Think positive, live positive. Think negative, live (and die) negative. It goes both ways. You change your life when you change your mind!

Harv also said, “If you can win at anything, you can win at everything.” However, there is a corollary, “If you can lose at anything, you can also lose at everything!” How do you lose? You quit. You adopt a philosophy that the grass is greener somewhere else and you consistently pursue the wrong things. Harv says, “Grass is grass! It’s not greener somewhere else.” He also said a very profound thing, “If you can’t make it at SendOutCards, you can’t make it anywhere.” Nowhere is there a greater opportunity for success!

I believe what he said is true. If you combine mission with purpose, you get success. Rich, happy and successful people make a fortune while fulfilling their mission in life. The purpose and mission of SendOutCards is to help people act on their promptings—to create heartfelt connections with other people. What better mission or purpose is there? I can’t think of one. Wouldn’t the whole world be a better place if we were all connected? What better way to be connected than to receive a heartfelt card and/or a gift from someone who cares? You don’t have to spend a fortune or take a lot of time—but the difference you make can ultimately change the world. Your world, and someone else’s.

So, I’m building a Dream Team. I’m attracting people that are happy, positive, loving and want to make a difference in the world. It will also help if you wouldn’t mind making a lot of money along the way and achieving success like you never before believed possible. Believe. Don’t think, just do. Join me, I’m waiting for you.

407 221-3614

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Horses All Around Us

I was travelling recently to the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys semi-annual Collegium in San Antonio, Texas. Like most busy people who don’t have enough time to catch up on their reading (even the required stuff), I brought a stack of periodicals with me. Among these was the August/September 2009 copy of In and Around Horse Country. If you know me, you know horses are my passion. This particular publication focuses on the comings and goings of horse people in Virginia horse country. Virginia is big horse country and I love reading about the varied way horse people spend their time, whether it’s fox hunting (as long as they don’t get any foxes) or polo or endurance riding.

In this particular issue I came across two interesting articles. One featured John Walsh from America’s Most Wanted. I never knew John Walsh and his wife, Reve were horse enthusiasts. They are in a big way. She likes fox hunting and John is an avid polo player with more than 20 “ponies” in his string.

The other article was about a new book and movie called The Horse Boy. The book is written by Rupert Isaacson, father of Rowan, a young boy with autism. Rupert had always been a horse enthusiast but when his son was diagnosed with autism he believed he may have to give up horses forever. Then he made an amazing discovery. One day while walking in the woods with his son, they come across a pasture of horses and Rowan had an amazing and life-changing encounter with a mare named Betsy. The horse/boy connection led the family to a pilgrimage to Mongolia! They planned to trek across the country on horseback. They had several encounters with various shaman and upon their return home Rowan was changed forever, for the better. The family now operates a therapeutic riding program in Central Texas. For more information see and

The horse/autism connection is not a new discovery but for this family contained a miracle. Horses are one of the most amazing animals alive. I’m always awed by their willingness and ability to interact with man in a predator/prey relationship. My Mustangs, Reno and Tahoe, were born wild but have adapted to life as barn yard pets. Horses have an innate ability to know what we are thinking and to reflect our emotions back to us—that’s one of the things that make them so incredible.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Art of Appreciation Marketing

I'm really excited about upcoming events for SendOutCards. As a reminder, Tuesday September 15, 2009, is my regular "Cookies and Cards" event at my office beginning at 6 p.m. Everyone is invited to come learn and share about the best appreciation marketing tool in the Universe!

Next Month's Cookies and Cards will be slightly modified - Adam Packard, one of our upline distributors and a super star in SendOutCards will be in Orlando, Florida for a special event. Don Paradis, another senior manager in Orlando and I will be hosting this awesome event. This is for everyone interested in building their business (any business) through great relationships - also known as appreciation marketing. The event will be held on Wednesday October 7, 2009, in Baldwin Park, beginning at 6 p.m. I'll have more details, like directions later.

In two weeks, Teresa Morgan, Debbie Roser and I (a few of the Card Divas) will be in Salt Lake City, Utah for the annual SendOutCards Convention. Teresa and I are really excited as we promoted to Senior Manager and will be recognized for that and we also qualified for the VIP challenge and will receive all of the benefits of that accomplishment.

If you are brand new to SendOutCards, contact me directly at 407 977-8080 and I'll be happy to give you my personal website so you can send a free card on me or watch the "opportunity video." The response I get from my clients when they receive one of my cards is amazing! Join me for more fun with SendOutCards!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Beach House - New Smryna Beach, Florida

I just spent the afternoon at New Smyrna Beach - it's a great little town. Nice park at the north end that allows dogs. Great seafood restaurant - JB's fish camp at the south end in Bethune Beach. I'm kicking myself for not buying a little bungalow there 20 years ago when they were dirt cheap. Today, lots of great buying opportunities exist. Here's a link to one I found that could be a great investment property and a place to visit on the weekends. I would love to find a couple of seriously interested people who would like to go halves or quarters on this. It's a 2/1 about 2 blocks from the beach. It has hard wood floors, a fireplace and one car garage. The yard is currently waaaay overgrown so it doesn't show well but I looked in the windows and it looks very cute. Here's the link if you want to check it out! .

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gay Marriage - Rethinking Estate Planning Stereotypes

Today, Vermont became the 5th state in the Nation to recognize gay marriage. Vermont joins four other states, Massachussets, Iowa, Connecticut and New Hampshire. Federal law, however, only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman. As a result, estate planning strategies involving federal gift and estate tax must be carefully considered.

In most states, where gay marriage is not recognized, couples have no protection under state laws like their married counterparts. In fact, one estimate says there are more than a 1,000 rights that are gained when a couple legally marries. This was one of the reasons I finally married my husband, Joe, after 14 years of co-habitation. It no longer made sense to lose the protections for married couples provided by law.

An estate plan is essential for all couples, married or unmarried, same sex or opposite sex. You can't rely on promises, understandings or even the law to provide the protection you may want and need. And planning like your a single person just doesn't fit the bill. There are too many possible pitfalls. You can read more about the pros and cons of planning for unmarried couples in my book Loving Without a License - An Estate Planning Survival Guide for Unmarried Couples and Same Sex Partners co-written with my friend and colleague Candace Pollock, an attorney in Cleveland, Ohio.

One strategy we recommend in Loving Without a License includes a Life Alliance Agreement (tm) to outline the rights and responsiblities of partners during the course of their relationship. Most states don't have a legal system to address the concerns of partners when a relationship ends and the Life Alliance Agreement can create a legally binding contract to benefit the parties.

Both my law firm, The Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan, LLC and Candace's law firm, Hahn & Pollock, LLC are available for group presentations or one on one consultations.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Horses in Need

I spent the day looking at horses with my friend, Lisa. She has a been a riding partner of mine for more than 15 years. Her trusty mount, Shalizar - a full Arab, is now in his 20's and although he still has plenty of pep, isn't always reliably sound. So, we are seeking another horse to ride/train/compete.

It's unbelievable what's available in the form of horseflesh right now. Clearly there are more horses than there are homes. There are daily stories of people simply abandoning their horses or turning them loose to fend for themselves.

Just this week a friend, Diane Delano who runs Wild Horse Rescue in Mims, Florida sent out a plea for help. She has more horses than she has funds to care for them. Not enough people are supporting not for profit rescues and too many people expect that someone else wants to take on their responsibility for a pet/animal when they no longer have the time/resources, etc. to properly care for the pet. Diane does an awesome job - she's got 28 horses available - not all Mustangs either. Personally, I am a huge Mustang fan - I have two - but they require a certain dedication that most people don't have.

Earlier today, Lisa and I travelled to Ocala, Florida - true horse country - to look at a little 1/2 Arab/1/2 Andalusian mare. What a beautiful sweet horse - with push button manners. Unbelievable that this little beauty would end up in rescue. She can be found at Starting Over Ranch run by Melissa, a young woman who is clearly dedicated to finding the right home for the animals she serves.

Horses, dogs and cats everywhere need help today. If you can help, please send your donations to these groups. I also support several other rescue organizations that are also more than deserving - please visit Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue, Days End Farm and Angels Have Whiskers

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Attention Dog Lovers

Anyone who knows me, knows I love dogs. I just watched this youtube video. It's worth the five minutes - I dare you not to cry. There is no dog anywhere that deserves to be treated this way. Dogs give love unconditionally. They live in the present - asking nothing in return but to be loved and properly cared for. Is that too much to ask?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Special Needs Planning

On Friday August 14, 2009, The Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan hosted their first annual Special Needs Conference. We had a great first year turn out! The speakers were great, Attorney Rick Culbertson who spoke on the topics of SSI and SSDI; Nick Barton with AGED who spoke on pooled trusts, Amy Cameron O'Rourke from the Cameron Group who talked about the benefits of a professional care manager and Theresa Barton, a professional guardian with Guardian Care Management & Beneftis Services, Inc. who told us about the role of the professional guardian.

We had lots of great vendors as well. The interaction between all of the participants is what makes an event like this really special. You learn more from talking directly to folks than from simply listening to a presentation. Special thanks to Jean and David Stedman and the University Presbyterian Church for their efforts and the meeting location. We will hope to do this again next year.

Our next special needs planning workshop will be held at the Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan, Oviedo, Florida in December. Visit our website for more information.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pet Trusts

Attention all pet lovers,

Below you'll see some breaking news regarding Leona Helmsley's estate including a pet trust leaving money for the benefit of her dog, Trouble, as well as a charitable trust leaving money for the benefit of organizations to benefit dogs. The New York courts have gone against Ms. Helmsley's wishes regarding trust distributions to her dog and to her favorite cause - dogs.

As most of you know, pets are my passion and planning for your pets and pet trusts is one of my favorite subjects. My book, All My Children Wear Fur Coats - How to Leave a Legacy for Your Pet addresses just this subject. I encourage all of my clients who love their pets to make sure they include their pets as part of their planning - from making sure they are mentioned in the will, to a full-blown pet trust for their lifetime care.

If this case can be won, it will be a victory for animals everywhere. The courts should not have the latitude to change the intent of the Trustmaker (in this case Leona). As long as a person is of sound mind at the creation of their will or trust, their desires should be adhered to. It shouldn't and doesn't matter what her named successors want - it is not their money. Leona has a right to name whomever and whatever she wants to benefit for her lifetime of labor. I'm in favor of leaving it to the dogs!



HSUS, ASPCA, and Maddie's Fund Charge That Helmsley Trustees Are Misdirecting Funds Despite Clear Direction from Late Heiress to Help Dogs
NEW YORK (Aug. 11, 2009) -- Three of the country's most prominent animal welfare organizations -- in what they are terming the most significant financial litigation in animal welfare history -- have filed suit in New York's Surrogate Court to intervene in the matter of Leona Helmsley's $5 billion estate.

The groups are seeking to force the Helmsley Trustees to follow Mrs. Helmsley's expressed intent to help dogs. According to the groups, less than $100,000 of the initial $136 million Helmsley grants have gone to dog welfare.

"Mrs. Helmsley's Trust Agreement was clear: Help dogs. And the Trustees have not done this, and instead pursued their own agendas with Mrs. Helmsley's money," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. "Every person with a will or estate, and every charity that relies on bequest income, should be profoundly concerned about this misdirection of funds."

The three organizations believe that State Attorneys General have a responsibility to protect the wishes of any heir or heiress, and also to protect the entire charitable sector from the whims of trustees who wish to ignore detailed and unambiguous estate planning instructions. In this case, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo failed in his charge to protect these interests.

"Literally hundreds of millions of dollars that have been willed by people nationally, who cared about dogs, have not gone to provide for dogs as was intended," said Rich Avanzino, president of Maddie's Fund. "The ignoring of donor intent in this country has become an unspoken national shame.

With $5 billion at stake this is a game changer. We want to work with the Helmsley trustees to arrive at a figure that is consistent with Mrs. Helmsley's intentions and would change injustices in dog care and welfare overnight.

For instance, even a small fraction of this money makes it possible to virtually empty all animal shelters in America of dogs without homes."

"There has been a sea change in recent years in how we treat animals and the Helmsley trustees don't understand that change," said Ed Sayres, president and CEO of the ASPCA. "Mrs. Helmsley understood the importance of animal welfare and was determined to help. She had a vision for her worldly estate to make our society a better place for dogs and animals, and consequently, people. We want that noble cause to go forward. Dogs give us so much in our lives, and the least we can do is make sure they are not harmed, exploited, or neglected, and the Helmsley estate allows us to do so. It is not an overstatement to say that the fate of dogs in this country could very well rest on the decision of this lawsuit."

The trustees went to court last fall to invalidate Mrs. Helmsley's express wishes, asking the Court to declare that they "are not bound by the expression of Decedent's wishes...."

The Trustees disregarded Mrs. Helmsley's wishes and obtained court sanction for doing so. The process deprived the parties most affected by their decision -- dog welfare charities -- of any fair opportunity to have a say on the issue. Neither the Trustees nor the Attorney General contacted any of these three nonprofit organizations, which are widely recognized as the leading advocates for dog welfare in the country if not the world -- or any other organization that might speak up on behalf of the charitable community that Mrs. Helmsley had a right to expect would receive "special emphasis" in the Trustees' grant-making.

After a judicial ruling without hearing from the only charitable category of recipients specifically listed in Mrs. Helmsley's mission statement, the trustees distributed the initial round of grants from Mrs. Helmsley's trust, blatantly disregarding Mrs. Helmsley's express wishes. The trustees allocated less than .1 percent to dog welfare charities.

"These three leading organizations tried to reach an amicable solution with the trustees; unfortunately, the trustees were unwilling to discuss this with us. Now these organizations are forced to resort to litigation to correct this abuse," Pacelle said.

They have filed a motion to intervene and vacate the initial order.

# # #
Jim Yeager
breakwhitelight public relations

Heather Sullivan, HSUS

Andy Izquierdo

Maddie's Fund
Lynn Spivak
510-337-8979, cell: 707-304-4146,

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization -- backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- On the Web at

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation's leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501 [c] [3] not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit

Maddie's Fund,® The Pet Rescue Foundation, ( is a family foundation funded by Workday and PeopleSoft Founder Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl. Maddie's Fund is helping to create a no-kill nation where all healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats are guaranteed a loving home. The foundation is named after the family's beloved Miniature Schnauzer who passed away in 1997.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thank Everybody for Everything

Thank Everybody for Everything - Grow Your Life and Business with Gratitude, that's the name of my newest book, co-authored with Debbie Roser. Debbie is an attorney colleague as well as a colleague in SendOutCards. We are getting to close to finalizing the book and going to print for a release date in September 2009. Look for us on Amazon and other online book sites. The book will also have a companion journal, Gratitude Expressions, a five-year journal to record daily blessings and appreciations.

The purpose of the book is to share with friends, family and colleagues the importance of gratitude and appreciation in our daily lives. You can improve the quality of your life and your business with sincere appreciation and gratitude. One way we are doing that in our law practice is to get into the habit of sending a heartfelt card anytime we make a new acquaintance, receive a referral, hear about an illness, death or sadness in someone's life. Likewise we want to celebrate the good things that happen in people's lives - graduations, business promotions, new homes, etc.

We look forward to sharing with you. Thank you in advance for your support.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Endurance Horseback Riding

Among other things, I love to ride my horse. A few years ago, my friend Gayle King introduced me to the world of endurance riding - or more specifically - limited distance endurance riding. Real endurance riders think nothing of riding their horse for 50 or 100 miles. Limited distance riders stick to the 25 and 30 mile varieties. So, technically, I am a limited distance rider, which is a good thing because I'm not sure whether I (or my horse) could do the longer distances. Anyway, this year we'll get our 500 mile pin. Organizations I belong to include the American Endurance Ride Conference ( and Southeast Distance Riders Association (SEDRA -

Today, my friend Lisa Senecal and I got in a good ten mile ride - awfully hot in Florida this time of year though. We rode at the Orlando Wetlands Park ( which is one of the nicest places around to ride. The trails are high and sandy or grassy. The bugs are limited. The wildlife can be amazing. We usually see 20 or more gators - not today - too hot. Instead, we saw a variety of birds, mostly buzzards. My friends and I have come to believe that the areas buzzards all make Orlando Wetlands Park their home base and fly out on missions from there. I've never seen so many buzzards just simply hanging out - in groups, alone, sitting on the bridge, hanging out in the trees. So, if you want to see buzzards, check them out. Usually though we see deer, racoons, an occasional otter (actually caught a glimpse of one today) and a few weeks ago I actually saw a bobcat - very cool. Mostly though, we see a lot of birds.

We created a club last year - very exclusive. You can only belong if you've fallen off your horse because it was spooked by an alligator. Gayle was the first to be inaugerated and then Lisa Dietrich and I followed simultaneously - no lie, we both fell off as a result of the same gator. She was sure I was going to get a good laugh when she fell off only to look up and see that I had fallen too. Fortunately, the horses didn't leave us. We scared a hiker pretty good though as he believed we had been attacked by the gator. No worries though, everyone was fine.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Special People, Special Planning

Today I attended an event hosted by Bright Feats ( , a local organization created by two moms that publishes a resource directory in Central Florida for special needs and children. I was there on behalf of my law firm, The Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan, LLC ( and to promote my book on special needs planning, Special People, Special Planning - Creating a Safe Legal Haven for Families with Special Needs ( They partnered with another local organization Nathaniel's Hope ( who offers a Buddy Break program providing respite care for special needs kids so parents can get a much needed break.

Special Needs kids and families have become a big part of my life over the past 8 or so years. My friend, Candace Pollock and I determined there wasn't much available for the general public to read about special needs planning and all the mystery surrounding special needs trusts. We also each had family members with special needs and we were practicing in the estate planning area so it seemed a perfect fit. Special People, Special Planning became a reality and we've never looked back.

I love working with special needs families. It is one of the few areas of the law where the results are really immediate and you know you've done something to be proud of. I'm pleased to be able to help families create plans for their kids that will endure for years after the parents have gone to make sure their kids are provided for. So important.

Next Friday, August 14, 2009, The Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan ( will host our 2009 Special Needs Conference at University Presbyterian Church in Orlando, Florida. We are looking forward to a great day of speakers who will address the topics of special needs trusts, trust administration, professional care management, guardianship and pooled trusts. We will also have a number of exhibitors who can share what they can do for special needs families. The cost is $20 to cover lunch and materials. Reservations are required. Hope to see you there - call our office 407 977-8080 for a reservation.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Interesting Books

I just finished reading The Shack by William P. Young. I think this book could possibly be one of the best books ever written. It certainly has the ability to change the way you view the Universe and God - at least it did for me. I was late to work this morning so I could finish reading it. It's the perfect combination of joy, laughter, wonder and tears.

I just ordered a copy to send to my mother for her 75th birthday which she is celebrating this weekend. It's one I know she will enjoy.

I would recommend this book to anyone. It was recommended to me by my friend, Joe Allen (not my husband Joe Allen) after his wife, Beth, died. It was one of her favorite books. She was a nurse practitioner who worked in an oncology practice. Thanks Joe.

After writing this I finished the acknowledgements portion of the books and they referred to what they call, "The Missy Project." The author has asked if someone enjoyed the book to share it with others - fortunately, I have with you. But, I want to give you a site you can visit for more information - the I'm hoping they make this into a movie!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Social Media

I'm fascinated with social media. Notwithstanding, I've got to say I'm totally confused. I want to be functional with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogspot and Avvo. That's my goal. But, unless you live with a teenager or have a close connection with a young person, finding information to actually make these tools work is mind boggling. I finally got my marketing assistant, Kendra, to spend some time with me this afternoon to review my sites and help me get going. I left Wordpress as my blogging spot because, frankly, I just couldn't figure it out.

I've tried to find some online tutorials and everything just tell you what the sites are, how they can potentially be used, but not how to make them work to your advantage. Kendra and I have decided we are going to work on a tutorial to teach people the top ten things they need to know about each site.

Hope you are having a great day! I'll tweet you soon.