It appears that I have fallen in love with the mandolin. This was no overnight love affair, however. It kind of sneaked up on me.
As a longtime fan of the music of Antonio Vivaldi, I had heard my share of mandolins and associated the instrument with music from the past.
That all began to change when I attended a performance of Prairie Home Companion and heard the amazing Peter Ostroushko play. Nevertheless, I wasn’t ready to commit.
Then it happened. Several weeks ago, while listening to the weekly broadcast of PHC, Ostroushko performed the most glorious piece, something he’d written to […] Continue Reading…
The small tree in my front yard looked pathetic. I suspected it might be dying.
So imagine my surprise on a spring morning, when I looked out the window and saw it had burst into bloom overnight. Tiny pink blossoms covered the recently barren branches.
I wonder what else I’ve condemned to a premature death, I mused.
Ever since I read Paul Hawken’s marvelous Growing a Business, I have looked for metaphors in the plant world to help me solve problems and find better ways of growing my business.
Even though I never lived on a farm, I grew up surrounded by small […] Continue Reading…
Note: I drove to Ventura again today and got thinking about this story of the Pumpkin Farmer from two years ago. Decided it was worth a revisit.
Yesterday I drove to Ventura where my sister Margaret lives. I’d been assigned the task of finding a vacation rental apartment in Paris for our sibling outing next spring and didn’t know where to begin. Margaret agreed to coach me since she’d already tracked down our Amsterdam accommodations.
In the springtime, this drive reminds me of Ireland because the craggy hills are so lush and green. Right now they’re festooned in shades of beige […] Continue Reading…
Every few months, I get the alumni magazine from my college. I usually glance through the class notes to see if there’s anyone I remember who has gotten mentioned.
Most of the entries are a bit, well, dull, saying things like, “Now retired after 30 years teaching in the same school” or “Just retired from 40 years at the bank.”
Apparently, my fellow college students were big on staying put in one place.
One time, however, an entry caught my eye. It read, “Retired after thirty-five years as a social worker and probation officer. He now spends his time as a traveler […] Continue Reading…
My friend Chris and I loved an old cartoon in which Ziggy declared, “My idea of prosperity is a checking account with commas.”
We promptly adopted that as our prosperity symbol.
Feeling prosperous is a highly individual thing and each of us has a different notion of what constitutes prosperity.
For many people, alas, prosperity means having more than whatever they currently have.
I think it’s much healthier to find small reminders that we are creating abundance in our own lives. Here are a few of my personal favorites.
* You use up your deposit slips faster than you use your check blanks. (This […] Continue Reading…
Back in 2002, I was having a milestone birthday and thought a celebration was in order. I invited my friends and family to join me in Las Vegas, a place I had avoided for many years.
When I called my travel agent to make arrangements, she laughed and said, “Oh, Barbara, I can’t see you in Las Vegas.”
“That’s the point,” I told her.
As you probably know, that was the beginning of a surprising love affair that led me to moving to that unlikely place. That wasn’t all that happened as a result of that party.
My younger siblings decided to mark […] Continue Reading…
Many people thought my Aunt Agnes was a professional malcontent. I thought she was an adventurer.
When I was growing up, I watched her reinvent herself every few years. She was trained as a teacher, but I don’t remember her working at that. Nevertheless, she always seemed to be instructing me and my siblings about right and wrong.
Besides being the family morality enforcer, she spent several years running a college bookstore where she became friends with both students and professors. She also took advantage of the academic surroundings and studied Spanish and other subjects that caught her fancy.
After she left […] Continue Reading…
We’re on birth alert around here right now. No, I am not expecting another grandchild. The arriving baby belongs to my doula daughter’s client.
I had never heard of birthing doulas until a few years ago when a student in one of my Sacramento seminars told me that she was one.
According to Wikipedia, this is an ancient profession that originated in Greece. A doula is a nonmedical person who assists before, during and after childbirth. The continuous support during labor is associated with improved maternal and fetal health.
How Jennie became a doula still intrigues me.
One morning about seven years ago, she […] Continue Reading…