Friday, April 30, 2010

Wish You Were Here

Standing on my back porch this morning with misty rain hanging in the trees, coffee in hand and the incredible perfume of lilacs scenting the air.   Both last night and this morning all I could do was stand outside and breathe in their heady aroma.  There is lots more fragrance to come as they are just beginning to bloom. 

My major pursuit this week has been fundraising for my client - writing and getting out funding proposals.  I completed all that was priority on my list this morning and here it is -- Friday!!  I am so happy.  I accomplished so much this week and am anticipating the weekend ahead.  

My new bed arrived and I am in heaven - I got a wonderful night's sleep last night.  I have not been sleeping well - the old mattress must have contributed to my restlessness.  Good sleep, good health. 

Happy, Happy Friday -

Monday, April 26, 2010


The past few days have been glorious.  I have done absolutely NOTHING and LOVED it.  I worked in the yard, I organized some closets, I had a five hour spa day (heavenly), I watched movies, made amazing polenta, walked in the rain, and enjoyed myself immensely. 

I do feel refreshed and relaxed.  I am preparing for an important annual meeting of our town home association (I am the board president) which is being held tonight.  It seems we will have a good turn-out, which hasn't been the case in the last few couple of years.  We are a small association, only 16 units and I have worked diligently the last year to build community and encourage more communication among neighbors.  We have an important vote tonight to create a capital reserve fund for future improvements.  I have my fingers crossed.

One thing is clear, I need to take more of these breaks - it's just healthy.  One of my 2010 intentions is to practice "self-compassion" taking time is an important piece of taking care of me.  I feel very blessed and filled with gratitude for my life, my friends, my family and all that I have been given.  Namaste.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Birthday

Today is the anniversary of Tom's birth.  Tomorrow I will go to put flowers at his grave-site at Fort Snelling to commemorate his birth.  It is interesting.  Every year, until now I have been quite sad on Tom's birth day and today I am here, just here.  I am grateful and always be grateful that he was on this earth.  I will miss him until the day I die.  He was my husband and my mate.   He is gone.

I am standing solidly on my feet - I am here on the planet - I am ready for new adventures. 

Happy Birthday Tom - RIP - I know you would be so proud of me today if you could see the life I have forged from loss.  Namaste.

I'm Ready.....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rest and Relaxation

I am in the midst of taking a few days off - it has been a long, long time since I have taken time just for me.  My time off started yesterday and I will go back to work next Tuesday - not a long time but enough.  I rarely take a work break without going to my mother's or going on some other family related trip.  That is not bad, I am blessed to have family that love me and I am blessed to still have my mom on the planet.   However, time just for me - that is a luxury.  I know that sounds weird when I live by myself and do have solitary time but time without responsibilities and strategies and finance and leadership and busyness that has been in short supply.  My current contract is over the end of June and then I will take a much longer break but for now - I treasure this time.

Yesterday I hung out, ran errands, purchased a  new mattress for my bed - more on THAT later and went to bed early.  Lately, I have been feeling like I "hit the wall" and no matter how much sleep I get I am still tired before the end of the day.  No wonder!   I have spent the last nearly 14 months working in organizations in crisis whose missions are to work with families in crisis.  As I have said, "this is my shelter period."  That in itself can be draining and while leadership transitions are rewarding they are always challenging.   

So, here I am recharging my batteries.  Today, I cleaned and organized some closets that have been bugging me; I filled two large bags with donation items; I worked on my outdoor garden project and pulled weeds in the flower beds and now I am getting ready to go to New Beginnings for a four-hour Spa experience.

I have been outside taking Spring photos and will post pics and other things later.  Rest and relaxation - walking, journaling, gardening, organizing, napping, reflecting and just having a darn good time.   I think there is an art project embedded in here somewhere too.   More to come.........................

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Yes, we moved our office this week to this beautiful Cass Gilbert building downtown St. Paul a few yards from Mears Park in Lowertown.

The photo is the front entry of the Gilbert Building, my office is the far left corner window on the fourth floor.  It is so wonderful to be in this building to have windows and a private office.  We loved our former office - we were in that building for seven years - now we are moving not just to new physical space but to a new developmental stage of our business and our partnership.

I expect to meet new people  and I am ready.  I am joining the YMCA, which is a half block a way and on the skyway - it is newly remodeled and has a pool and lots of cool classes.   The park is steps away from the front door for a quick walk or a picnic lunch.  There are lots of downtown restaurants, places to walk, and a larger, more lively neighborhood.  I am ready for new friendships, new experiences and yes, some male companionship.  It will all unfold as it is supposed to.

This is a photo of Mears Park - lovely isn't it?  It has a stream running through it and there is lots of music and art and other fun things happening in this little urban park.  Our move is a transformation of light and space.  Our former office did not have windows to the outside - it was in another old historic building with a "mall" type feel with windows out into only the interior hallway.  Now natural light floods the space - my business partner's office is next door to mine (the next big window to the right.)  The front of the office is also all glass and the center conference room is glass on both ends.  It has a full kitchen with a neat breakfast bar and even a dishwasher.  I will take photos to post soon.

J and I both feel the new space is going to bring new edges, new people, new energy, new business and new beginnings to us personally and professionally.  Here's to new things in the air.

I am taking some time off work too!!  Next week - Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Monday with the weekend in between.  I don't know what I am going to do but one thing I am NOT going to do is work!  I need some downtime.  I need some time to walk, to write, to reflect, to do a spa day, to do whatever I want.

Happy Sunday - it is a beautiful day in my backyard.  More to come................

Monday, April 12, 2010

Time for Outdoor Living

I spent most of the weekend working in the yard.  Things are greening up quite nicely - the chives are up, the daffodils are blooming and the outdoor furniture is out from under their winter covers.

It is time to begin thinking about grilled asparagus, outdoor dining and just plain enjoying the being outside again.

I am doing something new with the outdoor dining area - more to come as the project moves forward.  Gotta love these four seasons.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My Tattoo Experience

Many who know me well are aware that I have been talking about getting a tattoo for 4-plus years.  Intuitively I knew that it would become apparent when the time was right.  The tattoo was to be symbolic of Tom's spirit and my transformed life.  That's right - no tattoo until I was in my new life.

When I first contemplated the tattoo I thought it would be on my back, then I thought of it as being on my left shoulder.  As it became increasingly clear that tattoo-time was arriving - I knew deep in my bones that I needed to have it somewhere on my body where I could see it.  The tattoo is for me, not for anyone else.  That is when I settled on my left wrist.

When Deb and I arrived at Acme Tattoo on Friday evening I was excited and could feel the adrenalin pumping.  Acme is a well-respected establishment and has a reputation for quality work.  I didn't make an appointment, even though I knew for two weeks that April 9th was T-Day.  I felt that when I walked in the right person would be there.   I was correct.  Beth was the right person to do this tattoo for me.  My friend Deb, who has tattoos herself, was my encouraging companion - she was right by my side.

In the past five years, the dragonfly has become an important symbol to me.  In the beginning of my grief journey I was sent the legend of the dragonfly and it made a big impression on me.  Here is the story:

There once were a bunch of grubs who lived in the bottom of an old pond.  Every once in awhile one of their number would climb up a stem and leave the pond - never to be seen again.  The grubs agreed that the next one of their members that left in that manner would come back and tell the group what happened to them.  One day, one of the grubs had an overwhelming urge to climb up a stem and go to the surface.  Once out of the water the grub found that he had been transformed into a beautiful dragonfly.  He flew over the pond again and again - he could see his friends in the water below but to no avail - they could not see the dragonfly.  Remember, just because people take the trip we call death doesn't mean they are gone forever.

Those we lose live in our hearts forever.

For the past three years I have worn a tiny gold and silver dragonfly pendant around my neck.  In the these years, the dragonfly has come to have deep meaning for me - especially renewal, hope, and the power of change.

So I did it!!  Here is to my new life rushing up to meet me.  Here is the visible symbol of the journey no one wants to take and most important here is to my life - bursting open before me.  Here's to the future, with all my heart and with deepest gratitude.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Here it Is!!!

I have a post to go with this photo. However, Blogger has other ideas this morning and I have to go to workout.  I will post more about this experience later today. 

Friday, April 09, 2010

Today is the Day

That's right blog buddies - tonight I am getting my tattoo.  I am excited and scared - and excited.  More to come....................

Friday, April 02, 2010

A sure sign of Spring

That's right one of the ways to know it is Spring and Summer at my house is that my bedroom changes from the deep burgundies, purple, and golds of the winter bed dressings to these light and airy cream and gold quilts and shams.

Today I worked in my home office and found some time to do a bit of spring cleaning in my room.

One nice thing about being back in my right (or left) or leftover mind is that I am actually remembering to do things on a timely basis. And so today when I changed the bed,  I realized the Cream and Gold Set was in a dry cleaner bag all done up and hanging in the downstairs closet.  Oh happy day.

Today it rained and rained - and we need it so badly.  April showers and all that jazz and my beautiful ready for summer bed.

I am on my way out to dinner with a girlfriend I have not seen for awhile.  A wonderful weekend is ahead.  Enjoy your Friday evening.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


Our weather is so amazing in Minnesota right now.  This is the first March in over 100 years with NO snow - that's right, no snow.  March is generally our second snowiest month - what a joy.

The loss of my friend Amy has really given me pause.  Back to the old question - what would you do if you knew you were going to die in 10 months?

There is part of me that says, "exactly what I am doing!"  There is another part that honestly doesn't know.  I am grateful that many years ago I had the courage to give up my "paycheck job."  I do love my work, my business partner, our networks and all we have built together.

For example, several years ago we put together our vision of what we intended to accomplish.  We did it in the form of a Mind Map, which is a graphic, intuitive way of planning, visioning, tasking, thinking, etc.  Today, we realized that in 7 years we have achieved most of our dreams and intentions.  Today, we agreed it is time to do a new Mind Map - a new vision.  Reaching for the future to make a difference in our world - that is a blessing.

Then I can't help but think about not working so hard and spending more time on a different kind of creative pursuit - write a book for instance.  Or, how about just waking up in the morning and not think about anything other than reading a book, taking a walk, going to the library, traveling to reconnect with friends, breaking out my art materials, volunteering as much as I want - going to the gym during the day.

I am not someone that has dreamed of "retiring" - once I took the leap from the paycheck to the entrepreneurial side of things I never looked back.  And one nice thing about our business - we are constantly looking to be relevant to community needs and are flexible never static.

On a happy note, I have been able to work in the yard the last couple of nights - raking and cleaning and looking forward to planting those pansies this weekend.  I broke out all the deck furniture and have a plan in mind to change the backyard for the outdoor dining table and chairs.  As those of us who have suffered great loss know, life goes on - life goes on.

Om Shanti.