The Kindness of Strangers

The Kindness of Strangers

This month, I met my nephew, his best friend, and my two cousins in San Diego for the California King Tides. While the term “King Tide” isn’t a scientific term, it’s used to describe very high tides caused when there is an alignment of the gravitational pull between the sun, moon, and Earth. It’s a rare […]

How to Welcome a Grandson

After forty weeks of anticipation, it was time to greet my first grandchild. The focus had been on the health and care of my daughter-in-law as she grew this tiny human. Months spent ensuring they had everything they needed to support the newest member of our family. A staggering accumulation that had me wondering, how […]

Memories of Mushy Meals

My childhood memories of meals are mushy. Like most of the food my mother served us each night. No one would accuse her of being a good cook. No one would accuse her of wanting to be a good cook. She did her best, but food wasn’t her thing. Like most stay-at-home mothers in the […]

Reasons for Seasons

I’m sitting here watching the last baseball game of the Giants’ season. My eyes are filled with tears as I watch Brandon Crawford, their all-star shortstop of thirteen years, say farewell to the fans. It’s still unknown what he will do in the offseason, but this is his last game as a Giant. His children […]

Curating a New Perspective

A recent art exhibit helped me curate a new persepctive on the world and inspried me to let go of my perfectionist inner critic.

Bountiful BeNeLux

My first post-pandemic trip with my cousin was a two-week trip to the BeNeLux region (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg). We chose late April so we could see the tulip blooms and we were not disappointed! For those of you that want to explore this region of Europe, here are a few of my highlights. Tulips, […]

Life-Quakes & the Little Red Chicken

It’s been seven years since I started this blog. At the time, I had no idea where it would lead. I just knew I’d started a transition in my life and felt compelled to share it with my family and friends. It’s been a journey to discover my voice, getting comfortable with using the pronoun […]

Wows, Vows & Kapows

Origins of a Word Nerd I had a high school English teacher that was young, cute and desperate to do well in what I’m pretty sure was her first class as a fully-fledged teacher. She really wanted to engage us – a bunch of hormone-filled fifteen-year-olds who would rather sit on the grass and play […]

Mama’s Lost Her Zen

It’s Mother’s Day weekend and I have to be honest; Mama’s lost her Zen. Compounding Events Events during the Trump years brought me to edges of despair and depths of depression that were near crippling. But I had my coaching program, my writing cohort and my new practice of chanting with my mala beads. I […]

Love Flows Both Ways

This week marks my two-year anniversary of adopting Oliver, my Covid kitty. He spent the first days of our new life together cowering behind the shower curtain while I sat in the bathtub, reading my book, talking to him and feeding him special treats. It was a victory when he finally emerged. We’ve been inseparable […]

Following Giuseppe

My cousin Lisa and I were at the tail end of a two-week trip to Italy. It was our first trip to Europe and we’d learned a lot – both about Italy as well as ourselves. We learned the Romans did everything on a gigantic scale and Italians valued family, food, and wine not necessarily […]

Highlight Reels

Last month, I talked about following your energy bread crumbs as a way to become aware of people, places, and activities that replenish your energy, give you joy and bring out your best. This month, I’d like to connect the dots between those energy bread crumbs and how they can lead to creating your personal […]

Energy Breadcrumbs

The holidays are over. Covid continues to loom. Life is still wonky. And I’m in hibernation mode. I rebel against societal pressure to create resolutions based on the turning of a page on a calendar, but I do want to reflect on how I want to spend my time this year. I call this process […]

Magic Water

“Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’ ‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.’ —Lewis Carroll The holidays are full of […]

My Year Without an Oven

My oven broke right before Thanksgiving last year. It was so old the repairman couldn’t fix it, which didn’t really bother me. I wasn’t hosting a big dinner. Our family couldn’t gather due to the pandemic. There wasn’t a vaccine yet. I was hunkered down and hoping to survive the winter. So, living without an […]

Be Afraid. Do It Anyway.

October is a month dedicated to scary things – horror movies, haunted houses, Halloween costumes – all with the intent to scare the bejeezus out of me. It’s not something I look forward to, yet the concept of fear, and how to deal with it, has been rattling around in my brain. Fear keeps us […]

It’s a Sign: What the L?

It’s been six years since I booked a one-way ticket to Barcelona with the intent to cleanse my mental palate and restore my creative juices after decades of working in the corporate world. In doing so, I vowed to trust the process. I didn’t know what that process might be but I trusted enough to […]

What Theater Taught Me

This summer marks the forty-year anniversary of my Master’s thesis production of LuAnn Hampton Laverty Oberlander by Preston Jones at San Jose State University. I had to do the math several times and yep, it’s been forty years. Then I had a conversation with myself to see if I was brave enough to admit that […]

The View from the Inside

It’s that time of year when Facebook pops up and shows me images of past memories. Pre-pandemic, July was usually my travel month with my cousin – Berlin, Montreal, Chicago, Spain, Italy, Nashville and many others – all reminders of how much I love traveling (and how much I miss her). Pre-pandemic, travel was a […]

First Friends

It’s been five years since I lost my friend Patti to a rare form of cancer. She was only sixty at the time and her sheer will and determination to fight for her life provided a model for me when I was diagnosed eighteen months later with breast cancer. Over the years, I’ve reflected on […]

IPL-ing My Life

My first job after graduate school was working for a local discount book chain started by a wealthy couple who wanted to give Crown Books a run for their money. The husband was originally from France and despite his tenure at the World Bank, he was the worst person I’ve ever seen when it came […]

Who Holds the Pen?

I recently had the opportunity to work with an experienced editor to polish a piece for publication in her digital magazine, Spirited Voices. When the time arrived for our session, I heard my usual inner critics shouting at me to be fearful of negative feedback, insisting that I wasn’t good enough and to beware that […]

What Day is It???

March is weird this year. Okay, not as weird as last year, but weird nonetheless. First of all, where the heck did February go? I woke up last week and realized baseball spring training was in full swing. I should be commiserating about the lack of powerhouse trades in the offseason, watching for hot new […]

In Search of the Perfect Gelato

For the past year, I’ve gotten up each morning and looked at my suitcase. She sits expectantly on my luggage rack reminding me 2020 was to be my Year of Travel and Adventure. We’ve mourned that loss together. Her mere presence brings back memories of people, experiences, laughter, discovery and pure delight. In those moments, […]

Lessons From a Never-ending Year

I started this blog before the events of January 6th. Usually on January 6th, I remember it’s the twelfth day of Christmas, the day the Magi finally arrived to give Jesus his presents. I’ve used them as my excuse when I forget birthdays; hey, if Jesus was okay with getting late presents, then it should […]

All in One

I was raised Catholic, dutifully going through first communion and whatever the thing is at twelve or thirteen . . . I think it’s confirmation. I remember having to choose a saint’s name to add to mine, so I chose the longest one, Catherine, in order to have the longest overall name in the class. […]

The Zoom Lens

“I’m struggling with what to blog about in November,” I confessed to my Canadian cousin. She immediately burst out laughing. No more needed to be said, really. She knew the result of the election would colour everything I had to say. She suggested writing about something random. “Like peonies?” I thought, “Or turtles?” From there I […]

It’s a Sign: Yard Commentary in the Time of Covid

As part of my occasional series about signs (first, second and third), I offer my most recent musings on the importance of signs in the time of Covid, wildfires, political chaos and whatever else the frigging Universe decides to throw at us . . .  I live in a small town outside of San Francisco. […]

The 4 T’s of Transitions

Five years ago, I started this blog as a simple way to let my family and friends know where I was in the world. Its purpose morphed over time, gradually allowing me to find and own my voice.  Now, I have a website that showcases my new “portfolio career” – a combination of consulting, coaching, […]

What’s in Your Mary Poppins Bag?

One of the most common questions I get since leaving the corporate world is “How did you decide what to do next?” My urge is to say “I have no idea.” But the truth is I had a semi-organized plan called Operation  Snagglepuss that included doing inventory of my Mary Poppins bag. Let me explain […]