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HelpBookMe Invents Bumper Days to Facilitate Covid Cleaning

By William May
Published: 04/01/20 Topics: Comments: 0

In response to the Covid-19 virus, Vortex Organization's Redstone Software engineers have designed and installed a new system in their HelpBookMe property management software. It adds unoccupied dates between bookings to allow separation for guests and additional housekeeping time. These are called :"Bumper" days.

Vortex is a network of inn, resort and vacation rental management companies who share methods, staff, marketing and technology to provide sophisticated services to lodging owners and want maximum income with minimum fuss. Operators of this website are members of the group.

Trina Flanagan, a partner in the firm, said, "We have always employed strict hospitality grade cleaning and sanitizing standards used to clean the inns, resorts and vacation rental homes that its member management companies serve.:

With the arrival of covid-19, Vortex managers began allowing homes to site vacant at least one day after prior guests depart and before housekeepers or new guests access the home.

But with the advent of online travel agents like AirBnB, VRBO, Booking.com and others, lodging reservations are procured from many sources and automatically downloaded into the Vortex HelpBookMe Software

Penny Taylor, a partner administering reservations at all geographic locations, add, "Although not practical in all locations, the Bumper system, allows bumper dates to be added automatically in all geographic areas and in all properties where that policy is desirable."

Even with the lessening of travel restrictions, the new software capabilities increases safety while making the bumper method to be more selectively implemented.

"Our engineering team researched, coded, tested and implemented the system in record time" noted Ozair Khalid who oversees reservations software. "Neither the corporate management companies or major software providers have rolled out a similar tool. Too bad for their manager customers."

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Vortex Managers is a network of trained vacation rental management companies and provides its clients with the resources of giant lodging corporations without the cost or delay. HelpBookMe is a proprietary lodging management software system perfected with thousands of hours by expert engineers. For more information on Vortex, call or Email: Info@VortexManagers.com, or Website: www.VortexManagers.com

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Author: William May – Manager, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0747 – 04/01/20

Good Morning World! Get Some Fresh Air.

By Ron Lee
Published: 03/22/20 Topics: Goldener Inns, Guest Ranch, Inns, Ranching Comments: 1

The sunrises here never disappointed me. Certainly some are more spectacular than others.

This morning as I contemplate all that is happening in the world, I am greeted with a lovely sunrise. It's a brisk 17 degrees this morning, but stepping out on the porch I hear the black birds have arrived.

The eagle is calling his or her mate. Lots of different little song birds that I cannot identify are singing their "good morning" songs as well. It reminds me that the world keeps going no matter what our current state of affairs looks like.

Friends, this too shall pass. I am personally looking forward to some self distancing today by brushing my horse and cows...one of my favorite things to do in the spring.

Go out and get some fresh air and enjoy the day.

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Author: Ron Lee, Diamond Belle Ranch
Blog #: 0733 – 03/22/20

767 Acres wilderness guest ranch, surrounded by thousands of acres of forest service, with 44 acre private fly fishing Walker Lake. Majestic Wauconda lodge sleeps up to 23 over night guests, and up to 250 daily visitors for private weddings and groups. Nearby by but far from Spokane, Wenatchee and Seattle Tacoma. – DiamondBelleRanch.com

Canadian Geese Have Moved in.

By Ron Lee
Published: 03/04/20 Topics: Comments: 0

There could be no more Christmassy place in the entire world than at the Diamond Belle Ranch. The sky is black as night, no pollution, no jetliners overhead, not a breath of wind.

Each and every star stabs its light through the black blanket of night. The waning moon is but a very slight sliver of light. But along with the stars the aspens and pines are illuminated as if from a back light.

We sit on the porch. It is frigid but we are warm in the glow of the universe. Very little discussion. A great deal of wry smiling and even a few giggles.

To extend our stay out of doors hot chocolate was brewed before, spiked with a bit of coffee to stave off the drowsy as we linger in the Adirondack chairs, head tilted back wondering at the unfathomable majestic of the world above.

But the ranch itself is majesty. All year round of course, but during winter its enveloping reach can not be ignored. No neighbor lights. We have doused ours too.

Under the frozen lake, surely the fish are straining to see through the ice and up to the stars. They do sleep, but not tonight for tonight is Christmas an we can only hope the world is wrapped in the peace we enjoy here.

It is like this every year. Our custom. The privilege.

Read more

Author: Ron Lee, Diamond Belle Ranch
Blog #: 0726 – 03/04/20

767 Acres wilderness guest ranch, surrounded by thousands of acres of forest service, with 44 acre private fly fishing Walker Lake. Majestic Wauconda lodge sleeps up to 23 over night guests, and up to 250 daily visitors for private weddings and groups. Nearby by but far from Spokane, Wenatchee and Seattle Tacoma. – DiamondBelleRanch.com

Goat Patrol Gotta Love 'Em

By Ron Lee
Published: 02/22/20 Topics: Agriculture, Weather Comments: 0

Goat Patrol

Although it is still frigid at our 4,200 elevation, today February 19th was bright and sunny. Seems like the green things will be greening up soon. Maybe its time to call the Goat Patrol to visit our Diamond Belle Guest Ranch.

Wayne and Jenny Knoz have a unique workforce. They bring out friendly employee goats to your farm, field, pasture, lawn, hillside or mountain to mow down whatever you want removed in an environmentally friendly manner..

Natural weed control, brush trimming, grass mowing, fuel suppression, pasture maintenance and yes they fertilize while they work.

Plus I must admit they are charming and friendly. Maybe more so than most human co-workers.

So if you has a weed that has gone to seed, this is something you need. Goat PatrolGoat Patrol 509-954-7682.

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Author: Ron Lee, Diamond Belle Ranch
Blog #: 0719 – 02/22/20

767 Acres wilderness guest ranch, surrounded by thousands of acres of forest service, with 44 acre private fly fishing Walker Lake. Majestic Wauconda lodge sleeps up to 23 over night guests, and up to 250 daily visitors for private weddings and groups. Nearby by but far from Spokane, Wenatchee and Seattle Tacoma. – DiamondBelleRanch.com

Mysterious Diamond Belle Ranch Larch Trees

By Ron Lee
Published: 01/15/20 Topics: Comments: 0

Growing up on the coast of Washington State meant everyone lived near the forest were the lumber industry was king. Almost everyone in the town worked in the "woods" or were dependent on it. But apparently my education about trees was lacking.

Before America had middle schools, in most school districts there were Junior High Schools. Grade school was grades kindergarten through sixth grade. Junior high was seventh through ninth and high school was just three years Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors.

My father ran a truck shop where loggers bought vehicles and had them maintained. All through high school I drove a delivery truck up and into the gargantuan Olympic Peninsula often leaving at 2:30pm and returning home at midnight. I have seen my shares of trees.

In Junior High everyone had to take a class all about trees, including memorizing their Latin names, what they looked like and how to differentiate between them. During the Holidays we collected tree boughs, made wreaths and sold them for pocket money. I knew my trees.

Fir trees were the preferred species for lumber. Spruce and Hemlock also contributed. Due to its weather resistant properties, Cedar was preferred for roofing shingles and shakes. Alder was considered junk wood, and ground into pulp to make paper. We had very few pines.

As a treat, graduating Junior High ninth graders were taken on field trip deep into the mountains to help plant seedlings. Naturally the organizers gave us the steepest hillsides to climb hand over foot, digging a hole with a quick whack of a "Rindt Hoe" (a shovel like an ax.)

,

My classmates were so exhausted, everyone slept in the bus on the way home and we all conspired to never to become loggers.

Late last Autumn, I was invited to the Diamond Belle Guest Ranch in the Okanogan High Lands of Central Washington. Driving up from the valley below, on a meandering dirt road we seemed to be stepping back in time. But I was disappointed to see that a few of the evergreen trees had yellow needles and were dying off.

"What a shame to see those trees dying." I said. Having read about a certain Beetle that was killing off pine trees across upper North America I presumed that to be the case on the ranch.

As we settled into comfortable couches in front of the Wauconda Lodge towering fireplace, I asked the Caretakers Trisha and Steve how long the trees had been dying off. They looked at each other and then at me and said, "Dying? What do you mean?"

As I explained my observation of the trees, and boasted of my evergreen credentials, they began to smirk ever so politely.

"Well you see those are Larch trees and they do that every year. But will return to green in the spring."

"So they are not dying?"

"No, that is their cycle. They are Larch Trees. "

I was stymied, paused a bit, and then decided to fess up. I told them of my "extensive" knowledge of trees and how, apparently, I knew nothing about Larches, probably because they do not grow at the Coast..

Of course, I was greatly relieved to find that the trees were healthy, as was everything else about the Diamond Belle. Nothing in that landscape has changed there in thousands of years.

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Author: Ron Lee, Diamond Belle Ranch
Blog #: 0725 – 01/15/20

767 Acres wilderness guest ranch, surrounded by thousands of acres of forest service, with 44 acre private fly fishing Walker Lake. Majestic Wauconda lodge sleeps up to 23 over night guests, and up to 250 daily visitors for private weddings and groups. Nearby by but far from Spokane, Wenatchee and Seattle Tacoma. – DiamondBelleRanch.com

Be Nice to People on Your Way Up

By Wm. May
Published: 01/09/20 Topics: Advertising, Business, Communications, Reputation Comments: 0

My father and Maya Angelou didn't know each other but they thought very much alike. It took a very large business client to make me put the dots together and realize a fundamental rule. Read more

Christmas Eve Peace at Diamond Belle Ranch

By Ron Lee
Published: 12/24/19 Topics: Family, Holidays Comments: 0

There could be no more Christmassy place in the entire world than at the Diamond Belle Ranch. The sky is black as night, no pollution, no jetliners overhead, not a breath of wind.

Each and every star stabs through the black blanket of night. The waning moon is but a very slight sliver of light. But along with the stars the aspens and pines are illuminated as if from a back light.

We sit on the porch. It is frigid but we are warm in the glow of the universe. Very little discussion. A great deal of wry smiling and even a few giggles.

To extend our stay out of doors hot chocolate was brewed before, spiked with a bit of coffee to stave off the drowsy as we linger in the Adirondack chairs, head tilted back wondering at the unfathomable majesty of the world above.

But the ranch itself is majestic. All year round of course, but during winter its enveloping reach can not be ignored. No neighbor lights. We have doused ours too.

Under the frozen lake, surely the fish are straining to see through the ice and up to the stars. They do sleep, but not tonight for tonight is Christmas an we can only hope the world is wrapped in the peace we enjoy here.

It is like this every year. Our custom. The privilege.

The night will not last forever. Soon we must go inside. To sleep. To dream of sugar plum fairies dancing..

Read more

Author: Ron Lee, Diamond Belle Ranch
Blog #: 0723 – 12/24/19

767 Acres wilderness guest ranch, surrounded by thousands of acres of forest service, with 44 acre private fly fishing Walker Lake. Majestic Wauconda lodge sleeps up to 23 over night guests, and up to 250 daily visitors for private weddings and groups. Nearby by but far from Spokane, Wenatchee and Seattle Tacoma. – DiamondBelleRanch.com

Dark Skies at Diamond Belle Guest Ranch

By Ron Lee
Published: 11/15/19 Topics: Gratitude, Guest Ranch, Ranching, Wildlife Comments: 0

Dark Skies at Diamond Belle Guest Ranch

Because Diamond Belle Guest Ranch is so high in the Okanogan Highlands, because our 700 acres are surrounded by National Forest and mountains, and because neighbors are so far away you might be presuming that nights are pitch black dark here.

But you would be wrong.

Here, with the absence of man made ambient light, not even with the most unintentional, when dusk falls the skies explode awake, the stars jab the sky and put on a show that humans have been marveling at since they first looked up.

The International Dark Sky Places (IDSP) Program was founded in 2001 to encourage communities, parks and protected areas around the world to preserve and protect dark sites through responsible lighting policies and public education.

The idea is to turn off lights, redirect downward those which must stay on, and send no light skyward because it destroys the view of the cosmos and is, after all, a great waste of energy.

When the lights go out, the Diamond Bell returns to a time where thing slowed down, where our senses woke up, and where our minds can soar to the sky, to the solar system and to the universe beyond.

It can open the mind, excite creativity, and produce emotions of health, happiness and safety.

There are over 130 destinations in the world that have pledged to eliminate light pollution and return the heavens to their dark but stunning origin.

Although Diamond Belle Ranch is not yet an official member of Dark Sky initiative, we support the goals of the group and have taken definitive steps to douse our lights, lessen our reliance on electrical usage and yet provide the comforts that guests prefer.

Best of all, Dark Skies ensure that our guests arrive at a place perhaps like no other they have ever been. A place of peace and quiet blanketed with the stars, the moon and a joy they may never have experienced and may find no where else.

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Author: Ron Lee, Diamond Belle Ranch
Blog #: 0724 – 11/15/19

767 Acres wilderness guest ranch, surrounded by thousands of acres of forest service, with 44 acre private fly fishing Walker Lake. Majestic Wauconda lodge sleeps up to 23 over night guests, and up to 250 daily visitors for private weddings and groups. Nearby by but far from Spokane, Wenatchee and Seattle Tacoma. – DiamondBelleRanch.com

YourShare Launches Program for Timeshare Resort Vacation Rental Mastery

By Kate Quinn
Published: 10/29/19 Topics: Comments: 0

Vortex Managers, has announced the formation of a new program for struggling timeshare resorts that helps them rent out unused weeks. The "Yourshare" program helps resorts get their fair share of the fast growing vacation rental market.

It combines savvy vacation rental executives, along with revolutionary software that solves the puzzle of how to promote timeshare units into the vacation rental website channels as well as hotel channels. Plus it provides local and regional advertising that no other management firm provides, all without upfront costs or ongoing fees to the resort.

Every timeshare magazine, website and conference includes extensive discussion and diagnosis of why timeshare resorts are struggling.

After the rapid development of resorts starting four decades ago, the properties now suffer what the industry summarizes as "Aging Properties and Aging Owners" notes William May, the YourShare leader who heads up the program..

Owners who purchases shares long ago have grown older, often on fixed incomes, they travel less and may even be unable to travel to the property they once adored. All the while older properties require escalating maintenance and operating costs, far greater than inflation. With no way to offset their costs, owners are giving away shares but even that often proves impossible. So they are stuck.

In resorts, many unit sit vacant many nights of the year. Some resorts have tried to dent the vacation rental industry and some large timeshare management firms profess to be in the rental business.

"Unfortunately, most resorts don't know how to do it and the timeshare managers have not invested as heavily as they should to master rentals, " Says Penny Taylor, of Yourshare. "They were caught napping while vacation rentals stole their consumers."

"By charging large monthly flat fees to resorts, timeshare managers lack the motivation to do every possible thing they can to secure rentals." observers May, "They have sat on their hands while the vacation rental industry has taken away their visitors.".

Some management firms own all or parts of timeshare exchanges so taking rentals is not in their best interest. When they do attempt to compete in vacation rentals they often advertise only to the hotel channels, while ignoring the vacation rental market which is growing much faster.

On the other hand Vortex, which operates the Goldener Inns and Sunspot Vacation Rentals networks grew up in a very different world. "In Vacation Rentals, managers work on a commission only basis, so we only make money when the owner clients do." says Penny Taylor, "We have to perform and get results for owners or else. That means we can never rest. "

There are timeshare advertising websites but they seldom produce much income for several reason. First they can not compete with the giants and never create sufficient visibility. They ignore regional and even local marketing because its expensive. And they brand themselves as timeshares which is not attractive to many guests in the vacation rental market.

Instead, the Yourshare program partners with all the giant websites to make properties ubiquitous to consumers. The resort handles the property like always, and Yourshare does the advertising, reservations and guest coordination.

The program creates regional and even local central reservation websites, and even new websites for resorts, so they can be personal and local as well as global. They are not promoted as timeshares but as :"vacation rentals" which is of course accurate.

"Dovetailing timeshares into the vacation rental system, proved more complicated than would be imagined," said "Salman Arshad, chief web software architect at Vortex managers on the YourShare project. At a vacation rental every date is available unless the owner blocks it off, but in timeshares no dates are available unless an owner opens the dates. They are backward.

"We operate in numerous markets with free-standing homes, or condos inside buildings and even other specialty lodging places including guest ranches." added Arshad. "So operating a system that handles both methods proved complicated, but we solved the riddle."

Vortex employs its own inhouse software staff, and re-engineered its HelpBookme.com systems to allow timeshare condos to be easily marketed into both the vacation rental channels as well as hotel channels. "We are the only people who have it" notes Taylor, "We put every home on AirBnB, VRBO, and hundreds of other websites."

Yourshare launched quietly in 2018 as an Owner Direct website, contracting directly with share owners and selling their dates to the public. "Frankly, the consumers see no difference. If marketed properly, to them a timeshare is just another nice vacation home," notes Taylor. "In fact, timeshare resorts are usually well kept up, in good locations, pleasant staff and with plenty of amenities."

The timeshare industry's big mistake is that they ignored vacation rentals, and its too late for most to catchup unless they have help from seasoned vacation rental pros.

The Yourshare concept came about over some time. "At first we offered our services directly to the resort, but they never responded, and all while the "Aging properties and aging owners" problem was biting them.

Within a year we were procuring more nightly rentals than the onsite manager, and producing more income to owners. "We approached another resort, again without response, so we launched there too as Owner Direct."

"Recently a competing resort in that community called and said, 'Hey we would like to get some of that money' so now we are working directly with them and with good results." said May. Their onsite management team were well seasoned and anxious to have a plug and play system like Yourshare.

Yourshare re-built that resort's website, advertised them on hundreds of website and even created Dynamic Range Photos, 3D tours, floor plans, printed materials and other tools that have proven to be so effective in the vacation rental lodging business. It was done in very quickly.

After perfecting the entire Yourshare process, the company is now expanding geographically and has launched its services nationwide. "We like to work for resorts who recognize they need help, but we are also happy to work directly with owners if asked. So if the resort board doesn't ask us, we go in and help owners anyway."

"Best of all," said Taylor, "Vacation Renting brings in more visitors to each Resort and every one of those visitors are potential timeshare buyers." In the long run, that could be the biggest benefits to legacy resorts.

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YourShare.biz is operated by Vortex Managers headquartered in Seattle, WA. Along with its affiliate Sunspot Vacation Rentals and Goldener Inns networks, YourShare offers vacation rental booking, advertising, marketing and reservations to timeshare resorts looking to increase their income without upfront costs or ongoing fees. For more information, call YourShare at 818-922-8292. See owner details at www.YourShare.biz and other resorts at RentYourShare.biz.

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Author: Kate Quinn, YourShare
Blog #: 0713 – 10/29/19

Sneaky Band Instructor Steals the Show

By Wm. May
Published: 10/14/19 Topics: Aberdeen Washington, Education, Music, People, Self Improvement Comments: 0

Every now and then you get to revisit the past and mine included music. Although that life is far behind, I hope the lessens I learned are not forgotten. And there is a long play music album that proves it. Read more

We Can Do Anything Better Than Them

By William Victor May
Published: 04/10/19 Topics: Goldener Inns, Sunspots Vacation Rentals, Vortex VIP Comments: 0

In the 1950’s movie musical, “Annie Get Your Gun”, based on the real life sharp shooter Annie Oakley, the heroine out-shoots and out-sings her braggart male opponent proclaiming, “Any-thing you can do, I can do better.”

And she does.

The Vacation Rental industry is now plagued with boastful out of town vacation rental management firms all proclaiming themselves superior to everyone else.

They Sing Out of Key

Judging by their hundreds, even thousands, of negative guest and owner online reviews, it is just not true.

They think that computers can do the work of professionals. That their advertising reaches more customers.

That the beginners they hire will care for your property. That some secret algorithm produces more income.

And that high-rise honchos can manage your home from thousands of miles away. But they can not.

Song Sung Better

As members of the Vortex Vacation Rental network, we can sing “anything corporate big wigs do, we can do better.”

Better world class websites technology. Better housekeepers and pickier maintenance pros. Deeper science to maximum rates and occupancy. Attentive guest services 24-7-365.

Plus, we have something they can never match. We know our local market inside out, take better care of guests and respond faster to property owner needs.

Call us today to get better everything for your vacation rental.

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Author: William Victor May – Administrator, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0824 – 04/10/19

VortexManagers.com

AtTheBlue.com at Blue Heron Resort

By Libby Rogers
Published: 04/22/18 Topics: Hood Canal, Timeshares, Vacation, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

Yourshare.biz which offers resort and owner direct vacation rental bookings for timeshare properties announced today that it has opened a new website for the Blue Heron Condos on Washington State's pristine Hood Canal. Read more

Sponsor: YourShare.biz – Yourshare.biz makes it easy for guests to find quality timeshare vacation rentals, for owners to rent out unused weeks, and for resorts to generate income and attract buyers for their available weeks. Everyone wins with these well maintained properties in attractive locations. – http://YourShare.biz

Indentured Servitude Comes to Vacation Rentals

By William May
Published: 12/01/17 Topics: Employment, Housekeeping, Vacation Rental Management Comments: 0

Was Susie really just a disgruntled employee? Not really. For years she drank the "upward mobility" poison that corporate workers have been swallowing for years. That working long and hard will benefit them in the long run. Did it? Read more

When Cheap is Ohhhhh So Good! (And warm!)

By Jerry German
Published: 10/01/17 Topics: Comments: 1

From the earliest days of my childhood, I have never been a winter person. Yeah, winter is beautiful and there are some fun things to do, but I hate cold, love hot. And I love to swim. And I like beaches Read more Read 1 comment

Sponsor: Caribe Suites – Comfy crafty caribbean condos just off the beach at Puerto Morelos Mexico, South of Cancun, but with all the village peace and quiet. Book online today and we promise Mexican hospitality at its best. A member of Goldener Inns & Resorts. – CaribeSuites.com

Vacation Rental Picante Sauce

By Wm. May
Published: 09/01/17 Topics: Lodging Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

What do Picante Sauce and Vacation Rentals have in common? Well they gotta be fresh and tended to. Can managers from hundreds and thousands of miles away provide adequate service to discerning property owners. Not hardly. Read more

Wonderful Puerto Morelos on the Yucatan

By Ron Lee
Published: 09/01/17 Topics: Inns, Mexico, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

Although still a fishing village, the government declared the reef area and mangroves an ecological preserve with the intent to locals to keep development to a minimum. But comfort and fun are at a maximum. Read more

Sponsor: Caribe Suites – Nearby but far from Cancun Mexico, in the sleepy fishing village of Puerto Morelos sit family run, family fun condos just a block from the beach. Great rates. Great Stays. – CaribeSuites.com

Everybody's Beach

By Jerry German
Published: 06/01/17 Topics: Mexico, Puerto Morelos, Mexico Comments: 0

There are a lot of beautiful things about the beach here on the Riviera Maya, but you can't see all of them by looking at the beach. What you can't see is a beautiful law that says that the beach belongs to everybody. Read more

Hire a Crack Head to Clean your Home

By William May
Published: 03/01/17 Topics: Housekeeping, Vacation Rentals Comments: 0

Not all job applicants will be dedicated to our industry. Many applicants just want a quick buck to pay for their habits. That is more common than you might imagine. And home owner will never know until the druggie goes missing along with assets from their home. Read more

Sponsor: VRAI – Banding together, Managers and Owners work together to better the industry. Better homes, hospitality clean, happy guests and a rightful place in neighborhood.

How to Become a Professional Lodging Photographer

By Ron Lee
Published: 02/21/17 Topics: AirBnB, Lodging Management, Marketing, Photography Comments: 0

There have always been a greatly many people who love the idea of being an artist, a photographer. It sounds like such a great job. Now you too can do so without any training, knowledge or skill. Here is how. Read more

Sponsor: Signatours Photo Team – It is not enough to have a camera and cards that say you are photographer. Today's technology demands study, practice and perfection along with an artists eye. Every Signatour photographer has all of those along with a support and professional staff to ensure the highest quality HDR photos. – Signatours.com

Wisdom from Catherine the Great

By Wm. May
Published: 01/09/17 Topics: Education, Gratitude, People, Self Improvement Comments: 1

She had an undeniable presence, a commanding personality, an elegance with words. She had worked in difficult situations and been a force for good. Then she schooled me in how to be and how to try. Read more Read 1 comment

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