Sunday, November 1, 2009

Crossing Paths With Maria Shriver

Okay, well, not exactly “crossing paths.” But she was in the building. I saw her myself on the life-size TV screen and I have to say, her hair was spectacular. But even if I hadn’t seen her famous visage, I would have known she was there because this was Maria’s fourth annual Women’s Conference in Long Beach. Fourteen thousand women, over 1200 vendors and speakers so famous only their first names were needed below their larger-than-life headshots. Warren. Madeline. Caroline. Martha (Beck, not Stewart), Kate, Ashton et al. And, of course, Arnold.

Actually I did cross paths with Arnold. Well, if I’d had a path, he would have crossed it. I was standing stock still behind 3L Publishing’s book table—just close enough to see a blue-suit river of testosterone going by with Arnold’s head bobbing in the midst like a beaming buoy. Close, but no Irish Crème cigarillo.

I admire people not because they’re famous, but because they use their status to make a positive impact on the world. People like Maria Shiver, whose path I would enjoy literally crossing one day and perhaps even stopping for a chat.

But the most important path I crossed this week wasn’t someone famous. It was my own. Two days after the grueling trade show workout (I’m sure I burned calories just from lifting my smile so much), I traveled to the Radisson Hotel in Dublin to speak to a lively and lovely group of women led by Sahar Kordahi. It’s called “The Bright Side of Life,” and there I intersected with my own shadowy self. She’s the part of me that has spent a lifetime (albeit intermittently) of speaking in public and successfully making an ordeal out of it each and every time. Here’s the synopsis: neurosis, nerves and notes followed by relief and critical rumination. Last year, I decided that I would either stop speaking in public or find a way to do it with terrorizing myself and those I love.

I’ve had some modest successes this year, but Dublin was the test: a new 45-minute talk on a topic that is as close to my heart as a topic can get without causing arrhythmia. “Beyond Change: Radical Trust in Your Own Transformation.” Obviously, I was my own poster child. In the name of peace, I prepared for the talk differently (mostly lying in bed then making notes on a huge tableau on the wall); letting go of memorizing or using notes; adopting a new pace of speaking; and staying in my body and breathing whenever anticipation turned to fear. And the Universe, in a show of support, sent me a new method of remembering the flow of a talk.

It worked! I did something I’ve done all my life differently. I think that’s just what transformation is. And I also think we’ve all bought the bit that transformation is just for houses, hairstyles and bodies. But no. It’s for us. It’s our life-size experience of radical change!

What are you ready to do differently? What are you ready to transform?

Keeping it Grand,

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Where Is Grandma Today? Gettin' a Bra Job!

Hello Friends and Fans!

Did you think by the title that this would be some embarrassing fitting room scenario where Grandma just had to blog the fact that she finally found her true size?

Nothing that private. This is Grandma out in the middle of a networking event, slopped silly with bras because they were there...and so was she! Thus answering the ever-present question of ... "Where Is Grandma Today?"

The more accurate answer would be "at an eWomen event at the Sterling Hotel in downtown Sacramento." But what fun is that? Better to dive into two bins of bras, load up on 'em and smile while others stare and snicker. Now that's blogworthy.

And so is the cause behind the bras. It's called, "Bravo" -- Sacramento eWomen's contribution to a program called "Bosom Buddy Bra Recycling" that supplies gently used bras to women in shelters. Locally, the St Francis Women's Shelter and Mary's House will benefit. Turns out lots of clothes are donated, but no upper undies.

If you live in the Sacramento area you can drop off your bras at The Sterling Hotel at 1300 "H" Street or the White Orchid salon at 2118 "P" Street during the month of October. And if you don't have any, you can knock on your neighbor's door and ask if they want to donate their used bras. It's sure to be voted the neighborhood's most original conversation starter.

Keepin' it Grand,


Monday, October 12, 2009

Where Is Grandma Today? Up on the Roof Top!

Dear Family, Friends and Fans--

This is why blogs require photos!

If I just blogged away about how I went up on my friend's roof to paint,
no one who knows me would believe me. Especially my children.
For some reason, I've become physically bolder as I've grown older.
First it was snorkeling.
Then ziplining in the Hawaiian forest.
Even (finally) working out regularly.
Now rooftop activity.
Don't confirmed "indoor girls" become more so?
Is nothing predictable in this world?
It's not that I can explain it so much as I can surmise:
With the arrival of the 60's, (mine) I prefer to shock myself .
I prefer to keep my adult children off-kilter.                                   
I prefer to be "up on the rooftop" instead of just humming a few bars.

Some may say, "Oh, my! She'll do anything for a blog!" But it's not true. I'll do what I please to feel more alive than in any previous decade. Usually that's sitting inside writing my heart out. But today, it was
proclaiming my love of life from the rooftop.

Keeping it Grand,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Where Is Grandma Today? Getting a Reverse Makeover!

Friends, Family and Followers--

Ready for my Reverse-Makeover? Part of the psychology behind any makeover is the classic "Before Picture" which offers you a person not only compromised by a lack of attractiveness, but who is clearly unhappy about it. She looks anywhere  from bored with herself and her untoward state (at best) or disgustedly resigned (at worst). No, you wouldn't want to have dinner with "Ms. Before" even if she was buying.

But "Ms. After" has not only been re-coiffed and re-dressed, but has undergone attittude shock therapy. She's ever so pleased with her rampant progress, not to mention her cool new clothes. She's gone from "not" to "hot" and she knows it. You want to have dinner with her even if you're buying!

I thought it was time for some reverse psychology.


Ms.Before -- Roots et. al                                             

Ms. After -- Sans roots and charm


I rest my case!
Keeping it grand,

Where Is Grandma Today? Visiting the Tooth Fairy!

Hello Friends, Family and Followers--

Remember the Dark Ages of dentistry? Hot smoking drills? Spitting, gritting and leftover grit? And the seriously scary dentist? But look at me now! I've lived long enough for life to transform the dentist into the Tooth Fairy. She doesn't leave fifty cents under my pillow, of course, but she's just as magical. Meet Dr. Gabrielle (See? Angelic!) Rasi who makes my once-feared visit to the dentist frequently cross the border from pleasant to pleasurable.

Dr. Gabby is the friendly girl-next-door, but with state-of-the-art digital equipment, heated, vibrating chairs, an affable staff and most of all, a big heart. When I self-published my first edition of "Who Are You Calling Grandma?" and sent out postcard announcements, she responded with undentistly enthusiam and bought five copies for her relatives. So I thought it only right to take her the complementary new edition created by 3L Publishing. Time for "Where Is Grandma Today?" photo op!

Hey, I got another bonus on this visit! Ginger, the hygenist (whose name fleetingly reminded me of Gingivitis until her congeniality put a cap on the association) looked into my mouth and said, "You have quite an investment here!" Wasn't that nice of her? I didn't even know I had any investments, much less where to find them!

A Grand Nod to All Who Make Our Lives Easier,


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where Is Grandma Today? Sending Her Books Away!

Hello Friends, Family and Followers,

Do you know how long it's been since a cute guy carried my books for me? You might be guessing Grade School? Jr. High? Well, until yesterday you would have been right ... But not today!

Today Aaron showed up at my door for the express purpose of carrying my books for me ... all 672 of them! Ten boxes are going off to our national distributor, Book Masters, and two boxes to Long Beach, California for The Women's Conference hosted by Maria Shiver.

I hasten to add (but obviously not too quickly) that Aaron was accompanied by his wife, Malia--the new executive assistant for 3L Publishing. Such service!

And for the record, I do remember the last guy who carried my books for me. His name was Johnny Propst and he followed me home from Jr. High one day, asking to carry my books. So about halfway home, I thought it was the least I could do. We went steady for a few days until the novelty wore off. Let's hope this book-carrying event has a brighter future!~

To All Things Grand,


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Where Is Grandma Today? On the Ladder!

Dear Friends, Family and Followers--

Oh, how I wish it was a ladder to the heavens -- you know, one of those star-sprinkley Flavia moments where your dreams are right at your disembodied fingertips. But, alas, my ladder stopped just short of the roof. And I was hot, sweaty, and wielding either a putty knife or a paint brush. In a canvas hat. All day.

Yet my little introverted self ,who would rather be inside writing on her little introverted laptop, was not without inspiration! And here it is: I love rain! I crave rain! I adore it! But not when I know that it's seeping into the walls of my lovely no-longer-mobile home. And so, in order to enjoy the coming rain like a glass of mellow cabernet, I had to face the ladder.

Accompanied by my friends, Sandi and Johnnie, and armed with caulk guns, paint, putty, a drill and the neighbor's hammer--out we went to nail, screw, putty, paint and pound this grand old dame of a home back into her winter coat.

Despite the fact that we didn't get done (though Johnnie worked in the dark after his Panda dinner); despite the fact that the project flattened all of us into a senseless stupor; and despite the fact that we shorted out six living room outlets and a lamp with a single nail, it was a rewarding day. We laughed, worked, and played together, creating the kind of camaradie that unsavory projects do when done well by people who love each other.

And ... the next morning, it rained.
I sat alone on my screened-in porch with my coffee and my smile.
I have to was heavenly!

Keepin' it Grand,