Saturday, September 17, 2011

2011 3/4 of the way done!

It's been a while since I've posted.
I returned from my Italian Adventure in October and spent last winter catching up with friends and family. Having spent two years so focused on school had left little time for the other important areas of my life.
Loved coming home to having Heather's family living here. Even if we were a bit crowded in the house for a couple of months, it was really great having the kids here.

I spent my vacation this year in Hawaii on Kaui. I'd never been to that island and loved the peaceful serenity of it. Both of my sisters couldn't make it as we had planned, so I ventured into the unknown on my own (I should get some kind of cool adventure nickname- Indiana Grandma~~ no, not that, but something cool). I loved the people the water and even the roosters roaming freely about the island.

I was also accepted to Pepperdine University in California. I will be receiving my Master's in Organizational Development from one of the schools that pioneered the field. Classes have started and I am really looking forward to the learning. There are three international practicums where we will be able to apply what we are learning. Costa Rica, China and France; can't wait to explore some more of this glorious world and the people in it.
Well, those are the highlights. I'll get back in the swing of posting again. Cheers and have an amazing day!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Victoria's Villa

The name that my co-workers have renamed Villa Basso to...Victoria's Villa.
I love coming home to this place of peace and quiet each night. It sits on a hillside overlooking olive groves and the Adriatic Sea. The town on the hill above is Mt. St. Angelo and is a beautiful little traditional Italian town. Families and friends stroll through the pedestrian streets, arm in arm and just visit and enjoy the evening before heading off to their evening meal. I love the atmosphere and sense of community and family that I experience,,,even as an outsider, I feel welcome and a part of it. I will miss this Villa and the small town that I have come to love.

Bman is now a married man!!

I can't believe he's married! Seems like just yesterday I was driving him to school and yelling at him to pick up his room.
It was a great family day. Heather and the kids were able to attend and Heather made sure that it was a great day for them by helping with many of the details.
Kelly and Brandon are made for each other and I believe will have a very happy marriage. I am so thankful that they have found each other.
I did not cry until we did the mother/son dance and he played "Wind beneath my wings." and told me I was his hero....I couldn't quite finish the dance.
I love you Bman!! Congratulations!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mission Accomplished!

Well, I did it!! Graduated from College with my Bachelors!

Lots of evenings and weekends away from family, friends and my neglected yard in order for me to reach my goal, but I did it.

I could not have done it without the on-going support of several people.

Christi and Brenda who paved the way before me….the hours of conversation that Christi and I had about street smarts vs. book smarts and the differences and similarities.

My sister Kelly who supported me when I called to say I just couldn’t get together, or that I needed peace and quiet. She often called to check and see if I had done my homework.

I have to say I did not enjoy sitting at home most weekends, while family and friends enjoyed each other…but the work was so worth it in the end.

I don’t know how to thank Heather…my sounding board, my conscious and my constant encourager. I would call when I thought I had reached my limit and she would listen to me and then help support me in getting re-focused…thank you so much for being my cheerleader!

It was a tough journey, with 12-18 credits per term average...usually closer to 18...But it was worth every step of the way...

What's Next? - Probably an MBA with a focus on Organizational Development....maybe starting as soon as January...but at a little more reasonable pace. Feels so good have achieved another lifetime goal.

More to follow over the next few days on my life in Italy!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

International Lunch...

It is just after 2 pm on a Saturday in Foggia, Italy. I have been doing a little homework, surfing the net, and resting most of the day. I just came back from the commerciale (grocery store). I was hungry for lunch and decided to make it with what I had.
A large Italian roll (I ate about 1/2 of it), sliced open and spread with our US Philly Cream Cheese, then a slice of freshly made chicken lunch meat. I had a side dish of fresh Gigante Green Olives dripping in olive oil and light spices. Washed it all down with a Corona. ... yep, the best of 3 countries, right there in front of me!

Eating in Italy is different from what I am used to. Breakfast is mainly fresh meats, cheeses and bread, with a various assortment of cakes and pastries. You can find fruit on a side table, but it's not one of the main selections. I asked every 2 or 3 days for some scrambled eggs and if I'm lucky they have cooked them thoroughly with no runny parts. Breakfast at the hotel is ok, but I am really glad I brought my instant organic oatmeal, and found some local fresh almonds to sprinkle on top.
I am also grateful for the coffee pot I purchased and have in my room. Enjoying the smell of fresh brewed Starbucks in my room in the morning is like a slice of home for me. (no, I can't buy Starbucks here, but a friend brought some back on his last trip to the US...YEAH for friends!)
The restaurants do not open until 7:30 or 8 pm for dinner. I kind of like that, except that I need to get up early in the morning. Nonetheless it is great to see families showing up to begin dinner about 9:30 or so when I am ready to leave for a good nights rest.
It's interesting too, that all dishes are served in succession. Antipasta (appetizers), then typcially a first and then second course (one is always some sort of pasta), then dessert. At the slow lunches it can be up to 5 or 6 courses. (Takes 3 hours as you can imagine)....The good thing for me is that it is an al carte approach and I don't have to order more than I want to eat. In the US we are used to the meat, starch and veggie all coming on the same plate...not necessarily the way it happens here. Sometimes there are meat and potatoes on the same plate, but I haven't seen pasta on the same plate with meat.
I am learning to pace myself or I would have gained a bit of weight by now. Fortunately my clothes are starting to get a little baggy...not much, but a little.....That is encouragement enough for me to continue to be aware of what I consume.
I love the fresh olives of every sort and am excited to bring some facoccia/pizza flour home for my friend Christi to try. I hear the flour makes all the difference. I will never be able to eat US pizza without wishing for an Ortalano Pizza from my favorite local restaurant.
Ciao' , time for homework...can't drop the ball after this long....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

It's May already

I committed to updating my 2010 goals in January and haven't even posted anything since then. I'm in a unique place in my life. I have always had goals and achieved them as soon as I committed to them.
The latest of which is to live and work in a foreign country.
Italy was my first choice and that is what I have been afforded the opportunity to do, live and work in Italy for 6 months. I'm here in near Foggia, Italy until the end of September.

School update - I am just starting week 7 of my final 10 week term before graduation on June 19th. I cannot believe it is soooo close! Super excited to have a bit of a life and be able to explore Italy.

What's next? Not really sure....I've looked at graduate school, but it doesn't feel like the right time.
Go back into management (ok, besides this senior manager job I'm doing on a temp basis in Italy)...not sure it's the right time for that either.

For now I am going to focus on finishing up school, doing a great job while I'm here in Italy and let my next dream, vision and goals come to me as God deems it is time for me to hear them.

I'll begin to post some of my Italian observations, learnings and adventures as they happen; Look for Roma weekend, the ladies on the side of the country road, wines, driving Italian style, and dining experiences.
Ciao for now!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 comes to a slow and peaceful end

It's been a busy and rewarding year. As always about this time of year, I reflect on the past year and what's ahead of me, usually setting my new year's goals by my birthday on the 20th.
So, how did I do in 2009 against the goals I established?? Let's see........

* Practice BALANCE - Didn't really do all that well with this one, but tried really hard.
* Master Financial Abundance Principles - ok, about a 50% on this one, at least I'm no worse off !
* Keep Drinking my 'Wake Up Water" - Yep, most days!! yeah!
* Live every day to the fullest - YEAH! - Without a doubt !
* Move More, Get to the Gym - Didn't event get close here. (I think a total of 20 times)
* Get my children's book published - Did get some more info and worked on it a bit.
* Relax on a sunny warm beach for a week - Nope, but snuck in an extra day in Clearwater Beach, Florida. (happened have a great view! - the Ironman competition was in town that weekend--big sigh!)
XX Complete more than 1/2 of my Bachelor's Degree credits - Oh yeah! And beyond! only 24 credits to go (ok, now you know where my time was spent this year.)
So, out of all of these, I really focused on the degree and by not ensuring balance I over achieved in the school department and only 'kinda' reached some other ones.
When it comes to establishing my 2010 Goals I am going to keep that in mind and be a little more realistic with what I can achieve.
No, I will not be compromising on what I want ! However, as a grandmother and someone who will be turning 48 this year, I have realized how important it is to live a healthy & happy life. Health will be a core part of my focus for the year, physical, mental and spiritual.
Thanks to you my family and friends who have supported my crazy year of people living with me, business travel and mostly the time I've dedicated to school rather than time with you. I love you and am looking forward to taking a year off before grad school. Check back in a couple weeks as the magic Birthday week arrives and I finalize my 2010 goals.