Sunday, December 11, 2011

Best idea this month

I was just thinking the other day how nice it would be to get a living Christmas tree this year, but I don't have a way to get it home or in the house. And heard a radio ad for ''. Brilliant! I ordered the type and size of tree I wanted from their site, it was delivered on Dec 2nd. I slid it into the house - it's in a big pot with a saucer underneath. They will come and pick it up after January 1.

They're in the Santa Cruz mountains and deliver quite a way up and down the peninsula.

I am so happy that this popped into my life just as I realized I wanted it. I'm having lots of "flow" moments like that these days, and appreciating every one of them.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tie Dye!

Lovely hot day yesterday, tie-dying at Carols. Pics too big to mail, so here they are.

Courtney tending her 'vat dye' - beautiful colors, hope she takes pics

Ya really want to wear gloves

Our hostess and son, going for a snack

Sara preparing to paint a tie

Karen's skirt - great sage and avocado green (the colors don't look as nice in the pic as they did live)

So many colors! It was a wealth of choices

The halter top that I did - the 'crunch' method

Spiral dress - the back

Spiral dress - the front

Friday, December 24, 2010

Letting Go

It's been a very busy and very interesting fall, this 2010. I was in the vicinity of something that sounds like urban legend but was true. Anish, a coworker who manages our east coast channel partners, dropped out of communication. It took a couple days for his closest cowrker at HQ to start asking around, as he is quite good at returning calls and emails, even with a very heavy travel schedule. She raised the alarm after 3 days, notified our HR director, who called out to the east coast and his emergency contacts, then the police. Who found him, quite dead, in his apartment. Sudden, unexpected, natural causes. He was 39. Wow. I was getting to know him, he was a great guy with a fun, dry sense of humor and was super at his job. In addition to the shock, a few of us geared up and took over his planned events. That is what had me in the northeast in early November. So, weird, part of life, and another reminder that life is not to be taken for granted.

I have been letting go of a lot of old patterns of thought that are no longer serving me. And things, too. The biggest being my car. I loved my car, but it was starting to need a lot of maintenance. I'd had it for 15 years; shipped it as a gift to my brother in Rochester when I moved out of the country. When I moved to Rochester a couple years later he gave it back to me. I went through a lot of changes with that car and while we were both in Rochester, derived comfort from it's familarity as a lot was changing in my life. When I finally moved back to California, I brought it too. But, this fall, I really struggled with deciding what to do with it - spend the money on maintenance on a 15 year old car, or get a new one? I talked it out with a couple of friends, the pros and cons of getting rid of it, and thinking about getting rid of it really upset me. I finally realized it was the only tangible, day to day evidence of my life before all the changes started. I was hanging on way past reasonableness. And, it helped me out, generous to the end, by failing to start one day. Got that fixed, and 8 weeks later it did it again. That did it, I couldn't count on it being reliable anymore. Time to get a new car.

During all this was the big fall travels, and my thoughts processing slowly. Maybe due to tirednes of the travel, or this time of year, but the car died again on Nov 22nd. Oh yeah, there was also surgery on the 19th that month - mouth work - that may have contributed to my general fuzziness (ya think?) I was loaned a vehicle - didn't even think clearly enough to ask but sent an email saying my car had died, I needed to rent a car so couldn't join my friend for breakfast, and she replied, "Ya want to borrow my truck?" My brain was flooded with the thought - that's exactly what I want! Yay! (and thank you, again, Renee!)

A week later, I bought my current car. I'd driven a bunch of cars during all my work travels, and even had test-driven some of the gorgeous Nissan Zs. Love how they drive, but they are too small to be my only car. I had driven a Mazda 3 in Phoenix, really liked it. Did a little research, including talking with Kimberly who has a Madza 3 also. As she says, "I have zoom zoom and I'm not afraid to use it!" So here are pics of Ruby:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Catching my breath

Oh my, the past couple of months have been so full of travel I have not done much else. It started with an event in Toronto in September, with our biggest sales partner, to meet and recruit new resellers. I took a couple of days of personal time and took Amtrak from Toronto to Rochester, to visit. That was a first for me. The train ride was great. The food was unbelieveably bad! Like sandwich machine food. Yeech! There were several Australians on the train too, and none of us could concieve that this was all there was to eat.

Had a great visit with family in Rochester. Had gotten back to CA, and was just getting back to west coast time zone, when I was asked by the east coast sales rep to cover an event for him - in Rochester! What a great perk!! So I got to go visit in October, too.

And I have been on the road every week since. 2 weeks ago, Phoenix. Last week, flew to Newark, NJ; drove down to Eatontown, then to Shelton, CT; then back to Newark. This week, Minneapolis. Week after, back to Phoenix. Then I plan to stay close to home for a while. (Do I hear God laughing??!?)

Work is crazy busy, and getting busier. I keep hoping this is the lead-up to a quantum leap, where we organize at a higher energy level and can take a breather for a while.

Fun side project has come to fruition: I am one of the authors of the Scrappy Women's Guide to Business: Living Proof that Bending the Rules Isn't Breaking the Law

My friend Kimberly concieved of this book a couple years back. I wrote a chapter; as did 10 other women. She edited, and we got it published a couple months ago. It is so cool to see it in physical form. And it's selling on Amazon! Whoo Hoo! It's packed with great advice and wisdom from 11 Scrappy Women on our paths into, out of, and through the business world. Check it out!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Beautiful summer day Home West

This weather is spectacular. Warm days, cool nights. Yesterday evening I went to a concert in Redwood City, at Courthouse Square. I grabbed my camp chair and a bottle of wine, took Caltrain therre and met up with Kimberly and her crew. The band was great and the lead singer gave a performance to rival Tina Turner. If you get a chance to see Cafe R&B, jump at it!

The previous evening, I went downtown Mountain View to enjoy the street party there. 4 Thursdays in the summer they block off Castro St, host a couple of bands, a couple of vendors and an assortment of classic cars & hot rods. The band there, Finding Stella, was rockin - lead singer did justice to both Janice Joplin and AC/DC - and their original songs were great too.

So good to hear live music again, especially outdoors.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cramming, part 2

Sunday of the trip, we woke and started cleaning house. Brother John and his wife Amy, her dad Keith and his wife Pat were due in. It was a beautiful day, not too humid, so we planned to be out on the deck for most of the visit.

Beth had invited me to go to a show with her that day too, so I helpd clean, then scooted off with her in the early afternoon. We saw "Girls Night Out", a musical that's making the community theater rounds. It was fun, I can recommend it. probably better to do an evening show with a drink to encourage you to sing along with 'we are family' and the other songs they showcased. (What is it about Rochester and that song? I seem to catch a performance of it every summer that I'm there.)

Got back just in time to sit down to an early dinner with the guests, then we hung out in the backyard. Amy headed back with Keith and Pat, and the rest of us went inside to watch some of John's recent TV appearences. Dad enjoyed seeing them. Greg then took Dad home, and we ended up out in the kayaks. Fun, full day!

Got up early the next morning to make a donut run. Donuts Delight is back in business, y'all!! Corner of Culver and Empire. That had been our Sunday breakfast for years - making a donut run after church. A couple years ago, the Malleys closed it down after trying to find a buyer. They finally sold it to Salvatore's Pizza, and now it's a combined pizza place and donut shop. John wanted to make the run, so I got him and Gavin up at 7 and off we went. Took the lake route there, I forget that John doesn't have such recent time in Rochester as I do. When we're all together, it seems to me like we all live there. But he was noticing recent changes. Saw more on the way back as we drove past Kodak Park, where some of the buldings John worked in for a couple summers are now gone. (Dynamited and removed to cut the property taxes!)

The donuts were as we had remembered. I tried to have only one, but had half of another. And then, yep, this is why I don't have donuts and coffee for breakfast anymore - the sugar rush followed by the crash. Ecch. Felt awful all morning! But boy, they tasted good.

Ran around the rest of Monday getting things in the mail, then zoomed over to my house to meet Andrea's brother and a friend of his - they were taking her old butcher block table and 8 chairs, then her brother returned for my couch, coffee table and dining room table - they'll serve as furniture for his daughters as they outgrow their little things. It was good to have that stuff go - but there was still the Salvation Army pile. Now what? Well, the neighbors across the street came to chat. It transpered that their neighbor's church has a rummage sale in Sept. Arrangements were made, and on Tuesday, Lutherans came with a van and took the rest of the stuff with profuse thanks on both sides. A miracle! Now the house is almost ready for the renter to move in.

Tuesday, I also visited with Dad again. Finished up the game of Risk that Gavin & Andrea and I had been playing for a day. Then headed for the airport.

Fast, fast trip. I thought I'd feel more regret at giving up the house. I really had thought, on moving there in Jan 07, that I'd make a life there. So that part didn't work. But I didn't feel too upset, I wish I could have made the improvements I had planned. And wish it had sold outright. But I'm OK with things as they are there.

Here, in California, that's another matter. I want to feel like I'm making progress with my life and I don't. This will need some thinking and reframing and goal-setting to conquer, I believe. Meanwhile, here are some more pics:

Set for a Party

Dad and Amy

John and Gavin playing ladder golf

Dessert on the deck - John & Amy, Dad and Keith

Me, John & Gavin setting out for an evening paddle

Amos boys watching John on TV

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In which we cram way too much into 5 days, part 1

Arrived in Rochester Thursday evening, picked up the rental car and headed towards summer vacation :-). Got to Greg's in time to have a bit of dinner and make plans for the next day. Sitting around their kitchen table, getting organized, catching up on the past couple months with them, it was like slipping into my real life. Yet weird, as I was there to finish emptying out my house and making final arrangements with the renter.

Friday the 9th, dragged myself out of sleep at 8:40 or so - 5:40 body clock. At 9, called the local pool place - I had arranged for them to come out and open the pool. "Oh", she says, "They left 5 minutes ago". Awk! Threw clothes on and scrambled. Got to the house 30 minutes before they did, caught up on email, looked at the items remaining in the house. Once the repair guys got there, I zoomed up the way to a local diner, got breakfast, made a run to Wegmans for breakfast for me for the next few days. Back as the pool guys were stopping. Turns out the pool wall was damaged by ice last winter. Have to get a specialist out to repair it. Meanwhile, the tenant wants to get into the house on the 15th. Yikes!

Around 1:30 or so, Nancy showed up! Yay! She took a break from parent duties and drove up to visit. We went out for lunch, and it started pouring. And the temp dropped 15 degrees, thankfully.

Took Nancy to Andrea's to see the pond view. We hung out for an hour or so, talking about elder care and all the things we're dealing with - clearing stuff out of houses, staying on top of meds, helping them adjust to a lower level of capability. This is a difficult phase - and a lot of the people I know are going through it in some form. Plus a bunch of us are wondering what to do, really, with our lives. I feel like I've been in transition for years. I can't see to what I'm moving, but I'm determined to stay in the process and not give up. I'm getting almost comfortable with this uncomfortable feeling. :-)

Saturday morning was processing the stuff that was still in the house, getting things out to the garage for the Salvation Army pickup that was supposed to happen that day. (They never did.) The realtor came over, so did the tenant/buyer. We went through the final things to be fixed, evolved a plan and I showed the tenant through the place, how to work things, some of the quirks. I'm sure I'll need to tell her more, too.

Here's a few pics from those days:

The house, emptying out

Gorgeous sunset on the pond, after the rains on Friday

Beautiful weekend after the rains passed through.