Forcing yourself out of your comfort zone can bring about personal growth and build confidence.
It can be scary. You may become hesitant and cautious.
There’s a point in the process when there’s no turning back.
The last few steps are the hardest. That’s what separates the winners from the losers. Continue reading
A church in Moreton-in-Marsh.
Roaming through the village.
I would have loved to peek inside.
Happy Hump Day!
Click on photos to enlarge
Last summer was WILD! After my double mastectomy, I had restrictions and limitations. My doctors expedited the process so my husband Danny and I could fly to Barcelona, Spain. We picked up our daughter Courtney from her Study Abroad program and drove to France.
While in Paris, we took a bike tour through the heart of the city. Courtney had traveled there with her friends a few weekends earlier and found the tour to be the highlight of her visit.
The fact that I took these photographs outside the Louvre weeks after major surgery reflects the power each body has to heal itself. They also remind me of the courage and strength of my daughter.
While studying in Spain, Courtney contracted tonsillitis. That weekend, the rest of the students in her apartment traveled to the South of France. She stayed home with a high fever, a painful sore throat and wasn’t able to keep any food down. Of course, I was freaking out from thousands of miles away. She dressed and hailed a taxi to the nearest doctor’s office. Without speaking Catalon, the doctor examined her and wrote a prescription. She found a pharmacy, taxied back home and took care of herself. Continue reading
Impulse and risky choices have taken me on all kinds of adventures. This story epitomizes who I am.
After graduating from college, I struggled to find illustration jobs. Every month or two, I drew promotional advertisements for an upscale women’s clothing store where I worked selling clothes. The intermittent opportunities paid a meager wage. I made more money selling clothes than drawing them.
Then, I had a brilliant idea. Madison, Wisconsin is only a few hours away from Chicago, so I took the Van Galder Bus to the Merchandise Mart. I hoped to find a few businesses willing to pay me to draw their clothing and accessories.
With an art portfolio held tight in my hand, I knocked on doors all day, but only found one interested company. I showed the owner my drawings and paintings. She picked a purse from a pile on a table and said, “Draw this one.” She handed me a #2 pencil, a piece of typing paper and escorted me to her desk. She and her staff watched as I drew. Perspiration dripped from every pore on my body. Somehow, I managed to finish. She smiled and paid me $10.00. It covered less than half of my bus fare.
I took the elevator down to the lobby and stepped into the chilly spring air. After reorienting myself, I made my way to the bus stop. I thought about my career choice and if it would be worth it to travel to Chicago again.
While I stood shivering on the curb with my back against the Lake Michigan wind, someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and a thirty-something, unshaven man in a light jacket and jeans asked, “Are you waiting for the bus back to Madison?” Continue reading
Last week, my breast reconstruction doctor joined my radiologist in giving me the thumb’s up. I had been told I had no restrictions over the phone, but this appointment made it official. I won’t see either of them until next summer. Yeah baby. It’s all good! I just have to take a Tamoxifen pill every day. I felt like celebrating so my husband Danny and I headed up to the mountains.
We left at 5:00 on Valentine’s Day and sailed up I-70. After Idaho Springs, we came to a halt and our progress could be measured in inches. I could have sworn I saw an elderly lady with a walker pass our car. Our two hour trip soon stretched to three. We worried that our 9:00 dinner reservation would be cancelled. Wet snowflakes flew and collected on the road. We suspected an accident had caused the jam. I used two of the hours stuck in traffic to hash out a screenplay I am working on. I figured out three plot lines, worked on casting it, finally decided on Robert Downey Jr., and we still crawled up the mountain highway.
Image from Google+
At 8:30, I started cussing like the truck drivers crawling alongside us. We’d never make our dinner reservation. Approaching a curve in the road, we could see what happened. Idiots with front-wheel drive had spun out in the left lane tying up traffic for miles and miles! They had to be towed. I’ll never understand why Colorado stopped requiring chains for everyone without all-wheel drive. Once we got past the goofballs without chains or a clue, we drove through the Eisenhower Tunnel and flew down the mountain to Breckenridge. Continue reading
After exploring Breckenridge’s breathtaking Ice Castle, I searched for the artist behind this magical place. I contacted Brent Christensen, the founder of Ice Castles, who also built them in New Hampshire and Utah this winter.
Take it away Brent!
“I’m the artist and designer of the layout at each of our three locations, but I rely heavily on our many well-trained, hard working, dedicated employees. Each of our sites took about 4 weeks of working 12-16 (hour) days. Our Breck site has about 10 full and part-time employees, New Hampshire about 15 and Midway (Utah), about 20.”
Fire and ice. Continue reading
While growing up in Wisconsin, I had many opportunities to carve snow caves out of the snowy embankment at the entrance to our driveway. In leaner years, my sister and I built roofless forts to protect us from snowball missiles. Many years later, I watched James Bond’s Die Another Day and fell in love with the Ice Palace.
So when I drove back from skiing and glimpsed unusual lighting on some enormous walls of ice and snow, I had to check it out. Someone built an ice castle in Breckenridge! I had to go.
Each handmade icicle was combined with many others to build extraordinary archways, towers and meandering walls. Continue reading
While on a bike tour, we wound through the streets of Paris to the Louvre. The City of Lights compelled us to stop and absorb the magic of the moment. The discord of modern and traditional architecture momentarily blended with the timelessness of dance.
Where would you like to travel in 2014?
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If you haven’t stopped by my blog party, it’ s not too late to Use Me and Abuse Me!
Lower Mohawk Lake at the foot of Quandary Peak.
A peek at a peak. Continue reading
While walking along La Rambla, my husband Danny and I continued our first day’s adventure in Barcelona. We peeked down the narrow walkways and alleys.
Our daughter Courtney had warned us about pickpockets earlier that night at dinner. I held my bag close to my body. My husband Danny kept our euros in a money belt. I never feared for my safety anywhere in Barcelona, but pickpocketing was rampant. Courtney told us not to help anyone from the ground since they create scenes to distract you while fishing for valuables in your bag. Many locals wore backpacks in front of them. One of her friends found a little girl’s hand in his front pocket. He swatted her away. Her father just demurely said, “Sorry.” Other times they would approach with clipboards asking random questions. As the unsuspecting target signed their name, they would rifle through their bag underneath. If a victim sat at a table with their small purse atop, they would set the board on the bag and snatch both before they knew they’d been hit. She said to hold our bags when in the subway since they use the crowds to hide their prowling. Continue reading