Sunday, December 31, 2006

Farewell 2006

"The present was an egg laid by the past that had the future inside its shell."


Zora Neale Hurston

Looking Forward




Continuing with the theme of the last post - when you are ready: the top of the small bookcase in my office, began with a couple of pictures and grew over the last two years into a shrine of sorts to Tom. Angels, crytals, rocks, shells, pictures, quotes, sweet grass wreath, and candles, candles, candles.

This place became a focal point of Tom's spirit for me. Tonight, I carefully packed away all the angels and polished the top of the bookcase.

I love the remaining picture. He is standing in our kitchen one night after work, which was our special time to share a cocktail, talk about our day and reconnect.

I found that picture in a pile of snapshots, after he died. Our brother Steve scanned it and sent it to me named, "Thomas the Great." My sister, Photogirl, used photoshop to clean it up and make it 8 by 10. When I look at that big smile, those beautiful hands - it is just Tom to the core.

A month ago, I would not have thought of dismantling "Tom's spot." Tonight I was ready. What is readiness? I do not know. It is not a certain number of steps on the widda road. I remember in the first year I asked, "how long will it take?" Today, I have no idea what "it" means because I will never be "over" the death of my husband. I am a different woman than the one who held Tom as he made his final journey.

I am ready now. At the end of last year I said, "I am moving to a new seat in the auditorium." Tonight I say, "I am moving to a new auditorium." We create our world with our thoughts - we are connected each of us - and tonight, I am looking forward.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Reflections



This year is drawing to a close. This past month has been one of searching and inner turmoil. I moved on - giving away the rest of Tom's clothing. Letting myself wander and wonder. Not sleeping and just letting it be - up until 3 am, sleep until 9 am. Me, the woman who is up by 5 am and never uses an alarm. I have just let it be. The transition is playing itself out.

In the early days, widows who had walked the road before me, repeatedly said, "when you're ready." Today, I understand so much better what, "when you're ready" means.

Making meaning of this experience has always been important to me. It was one of the reasons I began this blog, never dreaming that the blog would bring an entire new world to me.

Making meaning. I have not posted in the past few days as I have been doing just that - making meaning of the experience. I will be here over the New Year holiday and have things to post as the year winds downs.

For tonight - the transition is leading me to a new place. I remember when all I wanted was a little postage stamp of reality upon which to place my feet - just to keep from losing my sanity. I stand with my feet planted in the here and now and my heart is full of warm memories of unconditional love. More to come.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

So Blessed


I am so grateful for the support and love that surrounds me today and everyday. The comments left on my last post just filled my soul. I sat here in a pool of sunlight and cried - tears of gratitude and love in return. I hope that each of you has a wonderful day and many blessings of this season. Thank you for being in my life.

Friday, December 22, 2006

To and Fro

Pushing myself towards the future - being pulled into the past. Such a crazy time. I miss Tom - I am in transition - such a crazy time. This time of year is so difficult. I am home in solitude. Push/Pull.

Tom was not Jewish. We did not put up a tree but we did celebrate both holidays. In other words, there is a Christmas tradition around here. Push/Pull.

I am cleaning files and organizing the office in preparation of the New Year. Yesterday afternoon I found our financial plan that was created in 2001; the plan we were working from when Tom died. Our financial planner created a new plan for me in 2005. Push/Pull.

If Tom showed up on the doorstep tonight, he would not recognize this remodeled house. Yet, the furniture is the same. Push/Pull.

I know that Tom is dead. He is not coming back. It may sound strange for me to write that after two years. Things come in layers in this grief journey. I have had to learn things over and over; it is a matter of degrees. I know he is dead. His spirit rests within me - he is not coming back. I am alive. This is a new and major part of this transition. I am alive.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Winter Solstice


Today is the first real snow in St. Paul. Yep, we have had some tiny flakes floating in the sky, which looked like real snow. Nope. Today, the shortest day of the year, a little freezing rain and then, real snow on the ground in my backyard.

I woke up this morning with the beginnings of a cold. I have spent the day moving slowly, drinking tea, napping and working on cleaning the files in my home office. If I felt better, I would bundle up and light my outdoor fireplace to mark the winter solstice. Shortly I will light the Hanukkah candles and then light many, many candles throughout the house to banish the dark and mark the longest night of the year. Be warm my friends.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Happy Hanukkah

Tonight I had a lovely party with many friends. I cooked for two days and this evening made a zillion latkes. It was nice to light the candles - laugh and play with people I love. To all of you - may you be warm in the light of those you love.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Come as you are Party




Pentha extended an invitation to a "Come as you are Blog Party - so I took her up on the offer. The challenge is as follows: Take a photo of yourself RIGHT NOW and write a description of the photo . . . why you look the way you do in the photo, what you’re doing, whom you’re with, etc. No apologizing for the way you look because after all, it’s a “come as you are” event.

I do not have anyone to snap my picture, nor do I know how to use the time delay on my camera - so I just took the photo sitting on the stool at my center island. I just came back from Home Depot, where I bought a new faucet for the kitchen sink in one of the duplex units and furnace filters. I am alone and I did not go brush my hair or anything before I took the picture.

It is a beautiful day here - 40 degrees and sunny - not a drop of snow in sight. Gee Toto, are we still in Minnesota???? I am about to go use the elliptical trainer and then watch "An Inconvenient Truth" on DVD. A very quiet and enjoyable Sunday.

So, my dear friends, take up the challenge and come as you are.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Just a little fun on a SNOWY (finally) day

What kind of Tarot Card am I????


You are The Empress


Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.


The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.


The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I am a work in progress


One of the things I do for a living is to provide facilitative leadership for organizations in transition. For the past two years, around the anniversary of Tom's death, I have taken time to reflect upon and facilitate my own change.

During my solitary retreat the week leading up to Tom's angel day, I facilitated my goal setting for the next year. It took most of the week to create these strategic directions at the left. The little piece of paper in the lower right hand corner says, "Live in the Moment." I did not rewrite the flip chart - what you see is the final product of the week of remembering, crying, reflection, and looking forward.

Last year my goals were so much more about basic survival (that flip chart page still hangs on the back of the door) - those goals were things like: drink water, walk, read, write, sleep, eat nutritious food, quit smoking (woo hoo - I did!) get enough sleep ------ very simple survival actions.

The year ahead is still full of memories and tears - but the pain is mitigated by time and gratitude. It will never be over - but my life goes on for now. Next steps, to write a little plan for my strategic directions. Life moves on - death is final - live today - live in the moment, it is the only one we have for sure.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Home from the City by the Bay




Now that my mother can no longer drive, I take an airporter bus from the San Francisco Airport to Yountville. In earlier times, my folks had two places one on the Penninsula and the wine country house - they split their time between the two. That meant, when I came home, I was able to spend time in the City. San Francisco is a beautiful city - here are pictures I snapped from the bus on the way across the Bay Bridge.

MMMMMMM it is really nice to be home - got home late last night after a delayed flight. So delicious to burrow down in my own bed. I slept until 11 this morning. OMG, how lazy. I awoke to a foggy, rainy day - still warm but the cold is on the way. Snow is forecasted tomorrow. Happy girl, home and warm with soup stock simmering on the stove. Sounds like potato leek soup is on the menu for tomorrow.

Monday, November 27, 2006

On My Way Home

Preparing to leave Yountville today and fly home to St. Paul. It has been an interesting time here with my mother. Aging is difficult - seeing one's parent in the throes of denial about aging is really difficult. More about this when I am home.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I am thankful for

So I just visited one of my sisters in spirit - the most wonderful Pentha - her blog message today - what is the one thing you are thankful for -- Pentha, I am thankful for you. The other - I am thankful for life. Love and hugs to all - now keep it going.

Stag's Leap


Incredible clouds yesterday - imprinting shadows on the hills. Here is Stag's Leap - autumn in the wine country.

What a delight to be in this beautiful place.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Autumn in the Wine Country


One of the most wonderful things about coming home -- I took these pictures around the corner from the house. Stag's Leap in the mist - vineyards decked out in the Autumn colors.

We ate Dungeness Crab for supper & whole wheat sour dough bread with excellent extra virgin olive oil - lemons picked right off the tree in the side yard. Steely cold Chardonnay - heaven right here on earth.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

California

I have traveled home to Yountville - I will be here until November 27th. Beautiful Autumn in the wine country. Pictures are forthcoming.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Tree #5



Here are the bare bones of this incredible tree. Autumn sun. Winter can wait for now.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Great American Smoke Out 2006

Enough said.....................I am so happy to report and feel healthy on this day.

206 days, 21 hours, 35 minutes and 9 seconds smoke free.

3103 cigarettes not smoked.
$698.62 and 23 days, 16 hours of your life saved.

Your quit date: 4/23/2006 9:35:00 PM

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Attitude of Gratitude




I have been solitary this past four days. Yesterday, I read the journal I kept every day for the first six months after Tom died. It is scary, the pain leaps from the page and sears the skin off my face. It is only the second time I have read it - the first being last year on November 14th.

So much pain, so much loss and then so much gratitude. Gratitude for having Tom. Gratitude for unconditional love. Gratitude for memories to last my lifetime. Gratitude for children and grandchildren. Gratitude for friends. Gratitude for the angels that cared for Tom and I during those dark days and nights from November 11 through the 14th. The nurses of Woodwinds ICU are an amazing group of women. I will never forget their kindness, their care and their love.

Tom died with dignity and respect. In the last 24 hours of his life, it was less a medical intervention than a solemn farewell - hours sitting in the dark holding his hand. Hours spent lying in bed talking with him in the middle of the night. Friends and family coming to spend time with him. The music he loved, softly playing on CD.

And always - the nurses, there to provide the steady, loving presence to the very end. I am grateful today for each of them. I am grateful today for the angels in my life who continue to hold me as I build a new life, including so many of my blog sisters. I am grateful that I know love in so many forms. In the end of the day, love is all that matters.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Forever in My Heart

Thomas William Murray

April 23, 1935 - November 14, 2004


Our Strength and Our Guide



Notes from the Other Side

I divested myself of despair
and fear when I came here.

Now there is no more catching
one's own eye in the mirror,

there are no bad books, no plastic,
no insurance premiums, and of course

no illness. Contrition
does not exist, nor gnashing

of teeth. No one howls as the first
clod of earth hits the casket.

The poor we no longer have with us.
Our calm hearts strike only the hour,

and God, as promised, proves
to be mercy clothed in light.

Jane Kenyon

Monday, November 13, 2006

Seasons Change - Love is Constant













My dear friend and neighbor, V and I, put the front "garden" to bed. That's right, the incredible container garden that lives in the front of our unit - is safely stored away in our garages to sleep until the spring - when life is called forth anew.

I cooked dinner for my women friends on Saturday night and now am just spending my quiet reflective time as I mark this anniversary and the change of seasons. I am here lost in memories - pain and joy in equal measure. Hope and love are the opportunities at the heart of loss. Namaste.

Making Meaning

It is the middle of night and I have been reading and walking around the house; thinking of the events of two years ago. November 11, 12, 13, 14, 2004. Last year, I was just too numb. I cannot remember what I did except to cook dinner for the 15 angels in my life. Those friends who held me together during year one. The rest of those days, as I look back, are just a blur.

Today is the two year mark of the day I had to make the decision to remove the life supports - the toughest decision I have ever had to make.

Here it is dark outside at nearly 4 am - I can't help but remember holding the warm hand of my husband - unable to comprehend what lay ahead. I am home for the next two days - just to reflect, to make meaning, to look ahead - to honor, to grieve and to cherish the love between us.

Death ends a life not a relationship.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Chicago, Chicago

Yes - I am here for the last time to complete the leadership transition for our client. I am so glad to pass the baton to the next leader. This has been an incredible experience - one that will take a great deal of time to reflect on the lessons learned.

I do like Chicago - I want to come back and be a regular visitor -- go to the theater, eat in the great restaurants and see my friends.

I will be home on Thursday - be well.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Clock Moves Forward


Slowly now towards November 14th and the second anniversary of Tom's death. November is here and I can touch back to life as I knew it; to life as we were living it.

The second year is crazed. You are "better" because life moves on and you move too. You are raw and open to the pain - not like the first year. That first year when you cry without warning a million times a day.

The second year, when your tears fill your silent time, soak your pillow at night - hovering in the background as you rebuild life one step at a time. The time moves slowly forward and you learn to laugh again and feel the joy of life - and yet it is always there, floating just beyond your eyesight - that utter sadness and loss.

Last night I wept long into the night; something I have not done for so long. I miss my life and am totally confused because what is my life? Is it this new life I am forging and then - what of the life I loved, the dreams we shared, the warmth of your body in bed at night, the strength of your laugher echoing from the other room, the dancing in the kitchen, the apple fritters, hugs from behind while washing dishes. Growing old together is not to be. Oh weeping shadows on the wall - guide me as I reflect and continue to make meaning of this transformative journey.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Almost Done

I have been home since last Thursday and just working to transition this transition to a new Interim Director. Blessings abound. The new director starts on Monday and he is fabulous. I will be leaving for Chicago on Sunday afternoon for the last trip on this transition.

This project has been all consuming. I believe that their new person, Dr. K is the right leader for the time. He is ready to take them on the next steps of this journey. I think he is the leader for the long haul. What does success look like in doing this messy and crazy work? In a year, the organization stands on the hill in the sunshine - Mission Matters.

Some of the tough stuff is - I am approaching the second anniversary of Tom's spirit passing. I am meeting my obligations. I have moments that tear at my heart. I suppose being busy is what it is - I did give myself much time to grieve in the first year. Grieving now so different, not gone that's for sure.

I have reflections on the closure of the second year - but not now. Reflections in a day or two. Now I have to go and visit all my darling blog buddies. My heart to yours - across the miles.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Tree Through the Seasons #3 and #4




These pictures were taken three weeks apart. The first and third photos were taken this morning. Autumn is waning - it is clear, sunny and cold in my backyard today. The perfect day to rake leaves and breathe the unmistakable end of season air.

I got home late Thursday night and am leaving today at 3:30 pm for Phoenix. I will be there until Thursday afternoon. This project is about done. I am ready to stop the travel and the stress. It has been an incredible project - one that continues to require the gamut of our professional skills and consistent leadership.

I am looking forward to getting my life back - doing my art again, my blog, and my journals. One wonderful thing. Through all this stress, I am still a nonsmoker - tomorrow will be six months since I quit and I just don't think about smoking anymore. Hooray for me and my good health.

Thank you my blog buddies for hanging in with me through this busy period of my life. You are all the best!!


Thursday, October 12, 2006

My Beating Heart

Saturday is twenty-three months since Tom died. My heart beats so ferociously at times. The sadness sneaks up on me without warning. I made my dinner tonight and when I put the food on the plate all I could think was how much he would have liked to eat that dinner. I went to the store after work tonight and on the way home just burst into tears, Crying in the car = the widda way of life. I miss my husband. I am vulnerable tonight. Just longing for his smile, his arms, his kisses, his laughter from the other room. Oh my sweet darling. Forever in my heart.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

SNOW AND MORE


That's right - our first snow today. Not much but enough that it was a little white-out for about 5 minutes. That is one of the interesting things about living in Minnesota - in this northern latitude, there is a diversity of weather. It changes so fast.

I was taking JSB home from the office. Windshield wipers shushing real snow off the window - incredibly windy with swirling icy snow and two blocks later, the sun was shining and the only traces of snow were rimes of ice on the edges of the grass.

The conference was amazing. The courage of groups of people to work together, to make really tough decisions, to respect one another's opinions, even when they disagree - an honor to be a part of supporting that delicate work. They did it - a new transformative vision.

I am on my way to Chicago on Sunday until Thursday - hard stuff ahead but the assignment will be over the end of the month. It appears that the organization will have a new lease on the future and a fighting chance to prosper - their mission so important.

This has been a very difficult assignment. It has called forth the highest aspiration and expertise of Dendros - it has touched me deeply and been exhausting. One thing is true, I am certainly moving to a new place on the widda road - I could not have done this a few months ago.

A lovely postscript, the hotel in which the retreat was held is nearby the cemetary. At the end of the three days, every though we were exhausted, JSB and I took the flower centerpiece to Tom's grave before we came home. Lovely autumn Mums. A fitting end to the weekend.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Gifts

Today, I received a collage from a friend - the subject is the tree from my last post: "the sentinel in my backyard." I was really touched and have tried to upload it here many times but keep getting an error message so I cannot share it with you. I am blessed, gifts from friends, gifts from the Universe.

This weekend is the huge meeting of the board of our client for which we have been working since August. It will be a difficult meeting; it will be a transformational meeting. Hold my partner, JSB and I in your hearts this weekend. Hold the board in your thoughts as well - the future of their organization is on the line. They have the courage to lead. Namaste.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Tree through the Seasons #2


These photos were taken this past weekend - the massive sentinel in my backyard. Seasons change rapidly in Minnesota. Today it is 50 degrees - yesterday it was 70. Tomorrow - who knows?

Just before the riot of tumbling leaves and endless raking - soft sunshine, crisp breeze, blue sky, puffy clouds - just teetering on the edge of summer with the promise of the winter to come. Northern life - four seasons to treasure.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Get a Life

Whew - I have created only 6 or 7 blog posts for this entire month. I miss it and I miss my time to roam, visit and write in this familiar blogosphere. Not enough reflection time for me and my spirit. A reminder to myself: my blog, my life, my priorities - they are in my hands.

The current work project is enormous. It ends October 30th. Looking forward to the end of the project - there is still a very difficult path to walk with the board and with the staff - they are creating a new and exciting future - hard times yet to come before the leaking ocean liner of an organization begins to steer a new course.

Autumn is hovering just at the edge of our vision - tree pictures this weekend.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Happy New Year

To my friends and family - L' Shana Tova. May this year be sweet, may your travels be safe and may you be surrounded by love.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sweaters

Ahhhhh, today was the first day to put on a sweater, jeans, socks and little black boots. What a delicious feeling that is - the first tang of the change of season. A little rain, a little wind and scrunching your toes, nice and warm, in socks and comfy boots.

Winter is around the corner and one of these days we will be complaining about the cold but for now, one of the blessings of living in four seasons is celebrating the small rituals of their comings and goings.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Trees - Mark the Seasons as They Pass












Right out my back door and overshadowing the yard and patio is the most amazing 100 year old Cottonwood tree. This huge tree has three trunks - it is an awesome sight. We have an Arborist that takes care of the tree - every three to four years he comes out to trim, cable and just pouring love into that tree.

A tree of this size means that an Autumn pastime at my house is raking leaves. I thought it would be fun to document the passing of the next few seasons using the tree as the subject. Here is the first in a series. Lots of autumn foliage to come. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Visitation



Circle
(Our Song)

Today - IPod with our music - face down on the grass - no tears left - driving home - spent - filled with gratitude for having you - I know we thought we would have more time - no guarantees - my love flies across space and time.

Happy Anniversary Tom.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Summer's End



Here are the front and back gardens. I have posted many pictures of the backyard and flower gardens but never the front.

This is the view looking out from my front door. My wonderful friend and neighbor V and I love to do this container gardening. We winter over most of these plants in our garages and pull them out ready to renew themselves in spring's light.

You can see that things are in their deep green - just before red and gold transformation. The trees are still green but not for long. This is the most wonderful time in Minnesota - one of the reasons we all live here. Autumn - crisp, first sweater days, trees dressed in every color, homemade soup, and lovely walks in the woods.

Saturday is my wedding anniversary and so have been fighting tears at regular intervals. I miss my darling so - nearly 22 months and still I cry, "why?" And still I weep.

Warm and snug in my bed at night I hold your 3 tee shirts that have not been laundered in all this time. They live under your pillow still. I hug them and inhale - your smell, our smell.

Our life together torn asunder and my life renewing itself - fueled by our unconditional love - the lasting memories of you, of Fall, of wedding vows, of Mendocino, of sleeping under the stars in the enchanted cottage, of pledging ourselves - till death do us part.

Only our bodies part - the spirits joined - live forever.

Monday, September 04, 2006

HOME

YES - I am and after two nights' sleep of 12 and 10 hours respectively - I am feeling human. Today, I had a luxurious 90 minute massage - Deb brought the massage table to me this morning. I swept the deck after a wild rain storm and took the day off from work. Now it's time to sit down with a good book and relax.

I snapped some garden pictures yesterday - the plants and flowers headed towards Autumn - but for some reason Blogger will not let me upload them - so after four hours of trying - I am logging in to say - I am home for the next two weeks and happy to be here.

Wicked was wonderful - the cast, the costumes, the sets, the lighting, music, song and story. I loved it. Defying Gravity - such a wonderful song - I purchased it at ITunes and have been listening to it today. My massage music - Gregorian chants.

Happy Labor Day. The end of summer - September, one of the best months in Minnesota. Autumn is just around the corner. Pictures to follow.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mid Week Theater Night

Busy, busy week and now I am on my to the theater.

I have wanted to see Wicked and tonight is the night. A board member of my current client has been in Chicago for a few days. As she departed today, she gifted me with this ticket. This is the first time I will have attended a theater performance since Tom died and I am excited to go, even if it is without him. Oh life - it does move forward.

I return to Minnesota on Saturday and I will catch up with my blog buddies and seriously update this blog - I miss my time writing, reading and sharing with all of you. If I have time I will give you a quick update on my evening tonight or early in the morning. Later.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Saturday

It is the weekend. I am leaving for a week in Chicago on Sunday afternoon but for now, I am home. I'm scheduled for a massage at 9:30 am and then errands -- time for pots of Chrysanthemums outdoors.

My neighbor V and I have an incredible container garden in our common walkway outside. We winter over lots of pots in our garages and fill in the edges with tons of changing color throughout the growing season. Time for mums and pansy pots. We both love gardening. It is fun to collaborate on such a rewarding project.

I am practicing good boundaries today - very little work and lots of relaxation and fun. For some reason, I awoke at 3:00 am and have been cleaning, doing my expenses, sheesh, it's 4:30 -- think I'll go back to bed and read/nap/meditate for awhile. Happy Saturday.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Coming up for AIR

Whew - it has been a very long time since I have worked this many hours for so long a stretch. It is absolutely insane. One thing is really clear - even though I have been missing Tom a great deal this week - I have healed and grown in the last 21 months.

This particular client I am working with is in a huge crisis, with money, with programs, with morale, with just about everything. This situation is not about bad people, it is about organizational life cycle. However, it is really stressful. Folks know there will be lay-offs after the assessment - folks know that the cash position of the organization is poor - it is so hard for people to work in an environment of uncertainty and change. It requires leading from the heart and making decisions from your head. I can handle the ups and downs - I can remain enthusiastic and give others hope because I see the potential and opportunities that reside along with the chaos. That's what being a strength-based capacity building consultant is all about.

Even a couple of months ago I couldn't have handled the stress and crisis and kept walking through - so here I am healing, moving forward, and being able to do something again that I am good at and that I love so much. Assisting others to breathe new life into mission and organizational life. I am blessed.

And the day came
when the risk it took to remain tight
inside the bud
was more painful
than the risk it took to blossom.

Anaïs Nin

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Spikes to the Heart


So nice to be home - very comforting. I went to the Farmers' Market and the Coop yesterday - saw my beautiful next door neighbor walking down the street in Cathedral Hill and we had lunch together. I made fresh tomatoes and corn for dinner tonight - the perfect August meal.

Today feels like summer - yesterday was the first hint of Autumn. Autumn, for most of my life my favorite season. August, the month I met Tom.

I have been struck in my heart again - I miss my guy. It is different, it does not last as long when it happens ----but it is no less aching, no less painful, no less craving - his touch, his laugh, his hand to hold, his hugs and kisses - our life together that is lost. Oh weeping shadows on the wall. My longing knows no end.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Summer



I am home - hooray! It has been so fabulous to sleep in my own bed, wander outside to water flowers in the yard and curl up in my nest - good for my soul and sanity.

Here are newest pictures of O and E - they are all spending the summer at the Jersey shore as Dad is opening two humungous new restaurants on the Board Walk at Atlantic City.

I will be home until Sunday, August 26th and then back on the road for a week. Still busy with the client's work but at least I am busy in my own backyard. Looking forward to catching up with all my blogger friends. Happy Friday.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

On my way home

Here I am in the Midway Airport in Chicago waiting for my flight. I am on my way home and am sooooo happy. I have only been home 36 hours in the last 2 weeks. I arrive home about 8 tonight. Hooray. I will be back online and posting and visiting with all of you soon. Hope you have all been well while I have been traveling. Take care.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Busy in Chicago

I have been in Chicago for two days and it feels like a week. It has been a very interesting and productive time with my client. One of the board members made arrangements for me to stay tonight through Tuesday at a really upscale Gold Coast Hotel - I just got in and after 14 hours of work today - I feel like a queen - big comfy bed, large windows overlooking the city - wow.

I flew out of Minneapolis/St. Paul airport on Thursday morning and it was crazy. I arrived at the aiport at 5:45 am -- not knowing something weird had happened in the world. It was a madhouse - people were standing in multiple lines, all a mile long. By now you know, no liquids, gels, deoderant, lipstick and many other substances and products were allowed to be carried on the planes.

It was the first day of the security measures and big plastic tubs sat everywhere filled with a diverse array of things. We unwitting travelers had to divest ourselves of all suspicious cargo. Contact lens solution, lip gloss, toothpaste, mouthwash, make-up, lipstick and a myriad of other products, piled up, all waiting to be bagged for the trash.

I arrived at my departure gate at 8:15 am. I am grateful, my flight had been delayed - thus I did not get stuck waiting on standby for another flight.

It is interesting how people behave when things get out of whack like that - most people made the best of it - just trying to hang it and be patient and courteous - after all, we were all in it together. Others, were rude to the airline employees - pushy - impatient. I wanted to say, "Take a deep breath, news flash --- we all might miss our flights." Oh well.

I go home Tuesday night and suppose I should give myself lots of time and bring a book to read in line. It will be so good to go home - I miss my nest.

I am here and I am safe - I am tired and have a very nice dinner waiting on a tray for me - talk to you soon.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Still on the Planet

Wow - it has been a very long time since I have gone nearly a week without blogging. I am still in Phoenix - very busy. I actually enjoy being of service to an organization in crisis. (Not that I enjoy they are in crisis) Helping to bring some stability and focus for the staff is an honor - it clears the way for them to be able to generate solutions to their problems. I have been working incredibly long hours - this is always the case in a new assessment and transition client.

I leave Phoenix tonight and arrive in Minnesota about 10:30 pm and leave again for Chicago at 7:30 am on Thursday. I will be in Chicago for 6 days. While I am home, I will give an update of my travels.

I can feel how much I have changed during my grief journey as I embark on this transition work. More later.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

So Much Going On

My life is really moving along ------- wow. Our consulting group just signed a new national client and I am going to take the lead and become their interim CEO for a couple of months. That means I will be doing a fair amount of travel. I have not done an interim gig since Tom died. Six weeks before he passed, I finished doing 3 interim/transition gigs over a two year period and was taking a little break from that type of client work.

During my hard bereavement and the acute phases of my grief journey, no one called upon us to do a transition - and now, just when I have moved to a new phase of the journey - we get the call.

So, I will be moving fast --- I leave for Phoenix tomorrow until next Tuesday night - am home one day and leave for Chicago on Thursday morning. The digital camera is going with me and pictures will be forthcoming.

The Universe does take care of us. No matter what I thought in the recent past, I was not ready for the stress and busyness of an interim gig until now. How has the Universe taken care of you recently ----- I really am interested to hear.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Happy Birthday Son




Today is my eldest son's Birthday - the first picture is he and his wife M on their honeymoon twelve years ago - the second was taken last year in NYC with his son E.

I was only 18 years old when B was born and we literally grew up together. I am justifiably proud of the husband, father, son and human being he has become.

It is astounding when our children become the age we were when we felt that dawning of, "oh my gosh, I'm in my 40's - how did that happen?" B is an amazing man - he works hard in the hospitality industry as an executive traveling between three major east coast cities; he is a loving family man, a thoughtful husband and to cap it off is smart, caring and funny.

I awoke this morning and thought about this day 42 years ago - B was born at 12:31 am, it was a Thursday - I was a child myself - but we did it. A couple of years ago, he and I were talking about his childhood and my journey to maturity and a professional career and B said, "well Mom, all I can say is every year it got better."

When B was a little guy, he used to love running around with a towel for a superhero cape - he named himself "Superdog" and for the longest time that was the only name to which he would answer, until it stuck. For quite sometime, B was Superdog to everyone and as the years progressed, became simply "SD." So today, with love, with gratitude and with deep respect, I say, "Happy Birthday Superdog." I love you today and forever.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Quick Update

Wow - what a busy week - my real job is unusually action packed these days. Busy is a good thing when you are a consultant and small business owner but it really interferes with blogging and other pursuits. :)

Just wanted to say that today is my 94th day as a nonsmoker. I am happy and sailing right along. One of the "rewards" that I set up when I began the nonsmoking trip was to buy an ipod as soon as I had saved enough money from not buying nasty icky sticks. I bought my IPod a week and a half ago!!

So empowering to set goals and meet them --- life's challenges make us strong. What goals have you set for yourself recently - I would love to hear.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Summer in St Paul








After a couple of weeks of very high humidity and soaring temperatures, I awoke early to a day that defines why we live in Minnesota. Puffy clouds, blue sky, sunny and no humidity. As soon as I had my coffee I got my body outside.

On my way out the door, I grabbed my camera. The first stop, the Farmer's Market. Here is summer in St. Paul - the market and the Mississippi River. These are the days to remember when we have snow up to our bumms and icicles hanging off the roof halfway to the ground.

In keeping with the beautiful fresh vegetables, I came home and made a lovely batch of Ratatatouille - tiny baby eggplants, little organic zuchinis, fresh red onions, garlic, red peppers, capers, tomatoes, olives, balsamic vinegar and my own fresh basil. Yum -- that and a Caprese Salad is summer dinner at my house in St. Paul tonight.