Travel

Lovin’ feelin’ loved

Posted by on Jul 2, 2011 in Authenticity, Books, Celebration, Connections, Gifts, Love, Travel, Wholehearted | 0 comments

My dear friend Antonette called me the glue that stuck everyone together last week in Maryland when we met to celebrate the lovely Lee's birthday, earlier in the week, and mine which would be in a few days. I kinda like being thought of as gooey-pasty-sticky-stuff between friends; as odd as that might sound.  The gift of the gathering was plenty of gift for me but the way that my friends celebrated me with representations of their love with things that I adore: books, journal, notepads, movie gift certificates (and later a book gift certificate from a friend not at this special dinner)? Oh, they may as well have given me the moon! Is it possible to be overwhelmed (in a good way) by gottenness? Is that even a word (Dawn)?  The women (and men, Dom!) that were present at this celebration and in my life today celebrated the real me—my authentic loving unique self, and I was swept away. This buyount cloud carried me through my b'day when the next outpouring of love, shared on my Facebook wall, engulfed me…being loved and celebrated out loud is a big deal. And I want each of you to know I recognize that and love you immensely for loving me the way you do. And in the over-Karaoked-lyrics of REO Speedwagon: "I'm gonna keep on lovin' you cuz it's the only thing I wanna do…" All my love my friends, ~your gooey-pasty-sticky-laura-laura....

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…plus its purple!

Posted by on Apr 19, 2011 in Travel, Virtual Assistance, Web/Tech | 2 comments

I’ve yearned for a laptop computer for the past year but realized it wasn’t a smart purchase as I wasn’t traveling or even working locally away from my office. I've scheduled a May vacation to Canada for moi and a June business trip to Maryland. I realize I now have a viable need and sorely missed having a laptop on our recent road-trip. I’ve been browsing on and off in Best Buy and Staples along with reading online reviews and simply surfing to see what’s new. I’m fairly techy but I don’t need a supercomputer though from my research I can see that one day I will be ready to be a Mac user—for now they were out of my budget and not a smart fit for my current needs of Outlook and Groove. I asked my peers, my daughter’s friends, the geek squad employees, and my computer gal; what’s the best PC to buy? The answers were all over the board. I decided to identify what I would use it for, what my price range was, and what features were a must have. Once I had my list I compared apples to apples (ha!) and oranges to oranges. The different brands offered similar everything and eventually they all blurred together. Nothing was speaking to me. In my previous life I was a shopaholoic—I shopped to find happiness and purpose in my life. In my present life I’ve swung so far in the opposite direction I’ve banned shopping at Walmart! This is a conscious purchase not an impulse buy. I thought a little about what 'PC' meant and accepted that my computer would simply be foreign made; there was no way around that within my budget. But ‘personal computer’ resonated with me; it definitely is a personal choice. I thought about the electronics we’ve purchased and owned over the last decade. We bought our first 8mm video camera in the late nineties when our family dog was diagnosed with terminal kidney failure. We treasure those films today. I purchased my first laptop in 2002 as an events coordinator for a local bookstore and thought I was a techy queen! When they were hot and new Jeff found a five pixel digital camera that he fell for and had to have. Just before I graduated from AssistU in 2005 Jeff surprised me with a top of the line desktop and monitor for my biz. Since then we’ve added another digital camera, a DVD player, and a 42’’ television to our menagerie and here’s the commonality: they are all Sony products. (Thanks for this insight Antonette!) When you invest in a product and are satisfied or blown away—you stick with it. Brand loyalty. I wasn’t consciously aware of it but I trust Sony and have been pleased with their products. I didn’t need to look to others or experts to find my answer—I only had to look inside and listen to my wise self. She knew all along. My new laptop is a Vaio EB series, which received excellent reviews except for battery life. I upgraded to an i5 processor, 500gb HD, 4gb RAM which should whiz right along on the net and run the minimal software I plan to add. My new baby will arrive at the end of the month and I’ll share my experience and feedback then. And to reflect my personal choice and personality: of course it’s...

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The City

Posted by on Apr 4, 2011 in Creativity, Food and Drink, Inspiration, Science, Travel | 0 comments

One of the highlights of our road trip was an event Antonette planned (Thanks A!) for us to attend with her nieces, my awesome pen pals! We took the metro train into Washington DC and met her mom (who used to work with me as well and is a dear friend) and went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. It was a Saturday so the trains and city were bustling and for this little country hayseed there were oodles of people. I gaggled like a tourist—people watching is one of my favorite activities! The diversity, energy, laughter, and camaraderie abounded and simply being in our capitol is energizing and inspiring. Of course we had to see the Hope Diamond first, it’s a must stop and has recently been reworked into a new setting ( A & I agreed we kinda preferred the old one, more simple) it’s alotta bling and the history is fascinating.  Next stop the Butterfly Exhibit where taller niece, Moni, and I went in to see them up close and personal. It was hot inside their habitat and though none of them ever landed on us they were gorgeous to watch flutter by, and I got a few good pix. Moni was excellent at identifying them via the picture charts, she’s a budding scientist. Antonette had visited the museum the previous week with one of her nieces and her mom and they were so wowed they wanted to bring us back to see the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef exhibit. The entire coral reef is made up of crocheted pieces of yarn. Yup, you read that right, it’s a giant wooly mammoth of a display to replicate an underwater reef. Okay so it doesn’t sound breathtaking, it sounds kinda out there, but wait till you see photos and watch this video on the inspiration for the reef: This project is about science, creativity, collaboration, conservation, education it covers every aspect to engage and empower people! And take a look at these colorful pix that Jeff shot:       Then peek at the online photos to see if you’re moved to visit the exhibit in person or find out how you can contribute a piece of your crocheting to a satellite reef! (I don’t crochet but I was inspired to take up knitting again in Maine with my friend Jaime and her daughter Kim. I’m still fumble fingered and lack confidence in my ability but I’m knit-pearling-away and enjoy the Zen of the moment. I find it meditative almost—yet my hands are busy and focused—it helps keep me in the now.) We worked up an appetite at the museum and were ready for lunch at the city's famous Ben's Chili Bowl! We didn't get relief from standing right away as the line outside snaked inside and wrapped up and down the narrow restaraunt. The atmosphere was lively and jumping and guess who met us there? My dear friend and past client Honoré! Thanks for joining us Honoré for a most memorable lunch in THE city! Here's pix she took of me, A, and Jeff waiting in...

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love in action

Posted by on Mar 28, 2011 in Authenticity, Caretaking, Challenges, Connections, Healing, Inspiration, Love, Spirituality, Travel, Wholehearted | 3 comments

My client’s daughter has leukemia. She’s only twenty-two. Let me say that again: she’s only twenty-two and has leukemia. I could get caught up in the downward spiral of ‘why do bad things happen to good people?’ because this family, the Days, are good people. But I don’t need to. The miracles of love in action that have been manifested by her family, friends, healers, caretakers, and complete strangers are awe inspiring. Sharon’s living in an empty home that a friend arranged for her near Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. When Marina’s not in the hospital they live with friends nearby in Greenwich, CT and they can borrow a car but really wanted to have their own economical little red Prius handy. Marina posted her ‘outrageous loving wish’ on her Facebook LoveFest page: for someone to drive her mom’s car up to visit her! I read it and instantly thought I’d love to do that!  The synchronicities of actualizing the trip are amazing themselves and will be a whole ‘nother post. My dear hubby came with—yay! Double yay as he did all the rainy driving on the interstates! I connected with Sharon and Marina’s friends in Atlanta which was deliciously motivating (more on that in another post, too!) We took our time and visited friends in Maryland (Hotel Artiz actually!) for a few days, met up with two of my clients, and found some long lost family in Annapolis—Jeff hadn’t seen his estranged uncle in over forty years! We arrived in Boston a week after leaving Atlanta and delivered the little red Prius (beep, beep!) safe and sound. Here are my awareness’s from this journey: I really needed to get out and see the big ole world in action. People are OUT there living their busy lives and loving and ranting and moving forward all the time. I’d forgotten. My life as a caretaker and while traversing the grieving process had shrunk to a pinpoint of visibility.  My eyes were opened and I ‘got’ that the world is ready for me to jump back in when I am—this realization smacked me on the forehead: I am ready. I’ve only met my client Sharon once a few years ago and so of course I was looking forward to hugging her in person and connecting with her and her husband Mike. But for me meeting Marina was the pièce de ré·sis·tance (Marina’s learning to speak French) and I was honored to be welcomed into her sacred space at the hospital and peek at who she is, how deeply she is loved and loves in return, her zest for life and laughter. By inviting and creating a community of family and friends around her to be an intimate and intricate part of her healing she has become, and inspired others to become, love in action and it is truly a beautiful thing to witness and participate in. Here’s where you come in Dear Reader. Marina’s dear friend Beth Clay wrote this letter to their friends at Up With People to ask that they write and stay in touch with Marina. They’ve both given permission for her LoveFest Community members to share the letter and request with their communities and share the love. I could not have written a better entreaty on Marina’s behalf so here’s Beth’s moving message which I hope you won’t be able to resist and join the love in action movement (Please send your support and best wishes to Marina knowing that she will be so deluged with love and busy healing that she won’t be able acknowledge...

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…Laughs on the road…

Posted by on Mar 25, 2011 in Games, Travel, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

Our road trip from Atlanta to Maine was mostly driven in rain and even some snow. I drove twice in Maryland and Virginia for an hour each time while it was sunny. We entertained ourselves with long conversations; I can’t read in a moving car. And we kept an eye out for creative vanity plates that made us laugh or tilt our heads in perplexity.  Thanks Dawn for sharing this entertaining game! Porsche: SO LONG Camry:  I SAV GAS Mustang GT: JO RUFF Element: TURT1L And the winner on another Element:  N R LMNT And the billboards abound on the interstates and our favorite was: an ad for Belmont Abbey College near Charlotte, NC:    "got monks?"    ...

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