A woman named Volley

Blonde, quiet, German and kind. Volley was my childhood best-friend’s mom. Her house was always the safe, quiet place to be. Sandra, blonde like her mom, was my tried and true best friend. We stayed in touch as I visited my hometown through middle school. I have a fun photo of us at my mom’s house in Washington, wearing terrycloth “rompers”, all the rage of the early 1980’s. Just on the verge of becoming women.

Is it funny my most vivid memory of being at her house is when my hair caught on fire at their house and Sandra put it out? That smell is unforgettable, the other piece I realize now is how unfazed Volley was, perhaps reality was different, but I remember it well.

She was a great friend to my mom, helping her through my parents divorce, being a safe haven and one who understood and supported her decision to leave. My mother’s decision to leave her hometown, as I look back now, was incredibly brave and hard. She left many things she loved behind, but left some unhealthy stuff behind as well. I am so thankful for her bravery. I know my whole life is different and better because of her brave choice.

I think of my Mom often now, she died 10 years ago this fall, just after my youngest’s first birthday. I wonder where Volley is and know she would be sad to know my Mom is gone. I would love to say thank you to her to all she gave my mom and my family. Wherever you are Volley, thank you for the laughter, the safety and the support you gave us when I was too young to realize how much it meant- your visits, your cards, your kindness and friendship, all meant more than you will ever know.

 

For the darker days and deeper moments when we feel alone.

Remember we all live on this beautiful rock together.

Seeing, feeling and knowing together.

Finding ways to shine light into one another’s souls gives us purpose, shows us meaning.
And reminds us kind, loving words, can write a message so beautiful, brave and true, they are unforgettable.
They become written in the stone of our being, they inspire us to
be strong when we feel weak, and remind us that gift
is available to us all,
if we dare.
Dare to speak the words of love and kindness that linger,
on the edge or our lips,
and too often remain unsaid.

Communication Errors

Uniforms, Tax Returns and Storytelling

After reading Peggy Noonan’s “A Remedial Communications Class” (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444873204577537352872463474.html)

I was struck with the following thought- FINALLY- someone is articulating what has been going through my mind regarding the media lately.

Here are the points she made which truly resonated with me:

  • Having our Olympic team’s uniforms made in China was only half the problem- the other half was they looked like high fashion runway rejects in the end.
  • Mitt Romney should have been more proactive in handling his tax returns since 2007 when he was being looked at as a Presidential running mate so now he would have no qualms about turning them over.
  • President Obama needs to think before he speaks- here are two quotes from her article which make the point best:

” Feel guilty because your hard-working neighbors built that road.” How about nobody feel guilty?”

” The mistake of my first couple of years was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right,m but you know

the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism.”

She continues with “I am certain the president has no idea how patronizing he sounds. His job is to tell us a story?”

Finally she mentions the narrative which seems to be happening in this country and I loved this:

“The narrative on the president right now is: He’s not a bad guy, but it hasn’t worked.”

Thanks for a great article Ms. Noonan!

Darkness

So I have gone dark for the past 8 weeks because my training was totally derailed. Turns out my support network was out of the loop for all of May and June and couldn’t come with me to the Tough Mudder race- which made it come off my agenda!

I have started back running/walking and am matching a friend’s goal this summer of 300 miles between June 1 and Sept. 1- to be prepped for a half-marathon in September in the Skagit Valley.

Should be great incentive for training this summer!

 

Tim Ferris and Chad Mureta Contest Entry

Save My Rainy Day App Idea

My app idea comes from many days with my kids where we were at the park and it started to rain- and we needed something to do, close by- right away. There still is no app available to do this. Here is my idea:

Save My Rainy Day

The initial search screen would allow you to enter your zip code or location and choose from a drop down menu of:
Play Inside
Play Outside
Watch Something
Make Something
Relax
Eat

You can then enter how many people you have:
2

Choose a Budget
Free
$10-$30
$30-$50
$50-$200

Enter ages of participants
Kids under 10
Kids older than 10
Adults

The result would be a list of the top 5 activities happening closest to you, soonest.

Ideally it would produce, as an example from a local park near me,

A library story time
A kid friendly restaurant with a kids eat free lunch special
A gymnastics establishment with an open gym time in 1 hour
A family friendly coffee shop
A movie theater option

The closest apps I can find to this all offer a calendaring function- so are not what I am seeking. I don’t want to put it on my calendar, I need it solved NOW.
The closest thing available online to this app is the Yelp site- but it does not offer the time or location option on your phone that I can find.

Also, Yelp is limited in its offerings for kids and families. This app would ideally sync (in my local area) with www.SeattlesChild.com and www.parentmap.com to provide family friendly activity ideas in real time.

This app is one which could help a family stranded at a soccer tournament for a weekend in need of something to do for 2 hours between games, it can help parents with kids on vacation stuck inside because of rain, it can help parents of teens who are bored find something to do, NOW.

I have been working on this app idea for some time and am still looking for a good one to use as start material, however, I read your contest and thought it was a good time to chime in and see what happens.

I will be researching this app with your guide from this email, but would love the opportunity to see it become reality. I believe it will help many parents and kids have happier days and connect them with great activities just around the corner they might be missing!

Tried to load a sketch of my app, but it wouldn’t go in this screen. Please go to my blog to see the image at:

I love my Dentist

OK, seriously I love going to my dentist, I was actually excited to go get a cavity fixed on Thursday. You are probably thinking I’m nuts so here is a bit of my story.

When I was little I was convinced my dentist was a vampire. I am sure the black hair, fair skin and pointy chin helped too, but my experiences there were many. Now from an adult perspective he was a great dentist, consistent, did good work, was kind and had a great staff that gave out cool little prizes etc. However I spent my fair share of time in his chair getting cavities filled and dreaded going to get my teeth cleaned, because it invariably led to another round there getting a filling. As I have come to learn your teeth are great or not due to your genetics. Not that this should be such a shocker, but my husband has perfect teeth- no cavities, ever, color me jealous.

So back to my dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Files in Redmond by the way, he is awesome! I was in and out of his office in 45 minutes last Thursday. His staff welcomes me and they are wonderful people, just like him. Now, why am I writing this except to praise my awesome dentist? I am writing to share a bit of what my children have shared- the last time I took one to Dr. Files and not the other, the one who didn’t go was JEALOUS! Jealous because of missing out on the experience of receiving respect and appreciation! There is no fear, no apprehension, no distrust and yes they have both had more than just a cleaning from him. Dr. makes you feel comfortable, relaxed and truly cared for. He truly cares about his patients and it shows in all he does.

OK, just checked in with my son and I asked him how he would describe Dr. Files and he said FUN! Love it!

I am so happy to have a dentist, which is starting my children’s lives off without dentist/vampire nightmares! Thank you Dr. Files because when I tell my kids they have an appointment with you they usually cheer!

http://www.drfiles.com/dentists/cosmetic-dentist-redmond-wa-files/