Friday, June 24, 2011

Thank You, Everyone ...

With my birthday week coming to a close, I'm at a complete loss in choosing whom to thank, so I'll thank everyone. I'm blessed to have such a nice collection of friends and family who shower me with love on a regular basis. From thoughtful gifts given to me in person and in the mail, to a job where I feel respected and valued, and a neighborhood that is rich with intelligent and caring neighbors, I couldn't feel more gratitude for the people around me and the way they manage to make my life ... perfect.

Thank you!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Happy first day of Summer all!

Yesterday was a day to celebrate. It is the day, and I won't tell you how many years ago, that my youngest sister made an appearance into our lives. God knew what he was doing.

(She is the one in the front, smiling in her pretty dress. Aren't all my sisters sweet?)

Rita has more talent than allot of people have in their whole body. If you were to look through her pretty green eyes for just one day, your life would be changed forever. You would see things and question things that you never had before. You would see beauty where as before you only saw a rusty building, a pile of brush needing burning or you would simply see what the world offers you in the form of beauty.

As far as what kind of sister she is, she laughs uproariously with me at a joke we only get, it is fun to verbally spar with her which only once again ends up in laughter. We are both not stubborn so our relationship is easy ;) Rita is giving, kind and always ready to be a shoulder when you need one. If I never had her in my life, I know I would always have felt that I was missing an important part of myself. She is simply my sister in every way that is. I love you Rita.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


This week, and it is fortuitous, I would like to thank my Mom. Today is her birthday and I am so happy to have her in my life!

My Mom is the kind of person that everyone just loves due to the fact that she is so giving and sweet. She would do without to make her children happy which frustrates me to no end. She is the one that needs spoiling and to be inundated with gifts and love.
Time is precious for me that I get to spend with her and I thank God every day that she is my Mom and I know my four sisters do also.
God gave her many gifts and one of the stronger ones, besides her big heart, was her ability to just look at a plant and it grows. She plants flowers and a very large garden every year in order to share with us and others. She also complains that WE give HER too much! Imagine!

So thank you Mom from my heart to yours. Others could only dream of having a Mom like you :)
Love always
Dziane (said with a French accent)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dear Jane ...

Dear Jane,

How many times have we said to each other, "I wish we lived closer together."?  I've enjoyed watching our friendship blossom and grow over the years, from brief emails, to long discussions about photography, all things French, and any blog titled with numbers. Your thoughts on art, films, fashion, and life, really, always get me excited about something new. I've often been touched by your kindness and generosity. And today is no exception.

On receipt of your latest gift, I find myself reflecting on how perfectly you know the right thing at the right time. Thank you for this wonderful graduation and early birthday gift. A Collection a Day is perfection. Thank you!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hello All,

I have been woefully absent these past couple weeks and I sincerely apologise to you all for it. It feels like life gets so busy and time just whips by and when you pick your head up, you find yourself in another month. Phew!

This week ( I am sorry I am a day late) I wish to thank my employers. They quite often go above an beyond what any other employer I have ever known has ever done. We sincerely feel like it is a family working together here with a few spats now and then to make it interesting :) I know that they sincerely care and want us to be as successful as they are and give us a say as to how to make it happen.

So, after 12 years here at Noyle W Johnson, I thank you Tim, Peter and David and hope to be a part of it all for a while to come.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dear Leann ...

Dear Leann,

You would think that twenty years would soften the edges of our friendship, but it seems it only gets sharper and richer with time. I think we must have recognized each other as worthy friends when we first met. (Who else would befriend someone wearing purple tights and walking her cat on a leash?) Our conversations over the years have been a source of constant challenge, passion, and humor. You insist on seeing me in the best possible light, though I think, while you know my flaws better than anyone, you tend to graciously turn a blind eye. Every time we see each other, you give me new ideas, new inspirations and creative endeavors, and new ways of looking at this strange and wonderful world we live in.

It's a wonder to look back at the events in our lives in which we've supported each other through some of life's real challenges. I have collected enough of your kind words which I've 'put in my back pocket' for when I most need them to last another two lifetimes.

For you, I am eternally grateful. Thank you, my dear, dear friend.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

My daffodils brilliant and abundant this year, and I am grateful. I planted them many years ago and for awhile they returned each spring. They have been a bit sparse in the past few years. They never seemed to spread and multiple/naturalize as I expected.
This year they are so vibrant and they seem to have multiplied some. There is even one lone daffodil trimuphantly blooming at the edge of the road, really in gravel not even dirt.
So they have been hiding out under the ground, perhaps gathering strength and waiting for conditions to be right in order to bloom again. I'm so happy they are here.
Here's hoping things are blooming in your part of the world!

Monday, May 2, 2011


One week ago today, my son, William and I were on our way to visit the college on the top of his list on the north shore of Lake Tahoe in Nevada. It means 3 planes to go from northern Vermont to northern Nevada. Well, it happened that the second layover was involved with what was to develop into a stream of tornados. After 4 hours wait on the tarmac, we figured we’d be camping out in the airport till we got a flight. Long story short- we were offered a flight to LA that evening, with a morning flight to Reno. It didn’t take long to accept the offer, as my sister lives in LA, yes…

Well, one call to my sister, Renzy, Loranne to other than family, and she was picking us up . Renzy already had a room for us, but Indian first, and then a ride to walk the beach a bit. Then time to retire to the room, she’d already been there to make sure all was in place.

It was so refreshing being with Renzy for some face to face real time. This one thing has always been true of her, she is always ready to drop everything, and give you her full attention even when her life is already over booked.

Sometimes when things don’t go as planned, there is a nice surprise.

Thank you Renzy, you’re the best.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thank You Mindy & Stephanie ...

Dear Mindy & Stephanie,

John and I wish we'd discovered you sooner. That we live only blocks apart, it's a wonder we didn't. With your excellent taste in food and wine, your Happy Hours are the toast of the neighborhood!

Mindy, thank you for reigniting John's (and mine, by proxy) interest in birding. Discovering the wealth of migratory birds in our own backyard ravine has been, and continues to be, one of those little pleasures that makes weekends a thing even more anticipated. Your acceptance and enthusiasm of whatever we find is inspiring.

Stephanie, thank you for challenging me in my endless pursuit of art. Your encouragement and inquisitiveness push me to realize my creative goals, even if I sometimes don't entirely know what they are. And upon learning that I'd given up chocolate for Lent, your gift of hand-made truffles at the end went far in recompense for the sacrifice.

Thank you both for your warmth, generosity, and friendship!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A pleasant friendship

I’ve just had the pleasure of spending the weekend with a dear friend. Miriam Tatum, the mother of my daughter Elizabeth’s boyfriend. It’s beginning to feel inadequate to refer to Steven as such, as they have been a couple for 7 years. Miriam invited Grace and me to come along to visit them at Bard College, over the weekend.

Miriam and I rarely have time to engage in more than a quick chat, as we both have busy lives. It was such a pleasure to have that extended time for pointless meandering conversation.

Miriam’s persona is an elegant balance of patience and curiosity. Much of our time was spent exploring the favorite’s of Elizabeth & Steven, the Tivoli Bakery for breakfast, Mexican for dinner, Brahms concert at Fisher Hall on Sat. evening, and sit in, and try to join in, with their shape note choral group on Sunday morning.

I consider myself very fortunate to call Miriam friend.

Just Kevin

Hello and Happy Easter coming up :)

This week I want to thank a friend I have know for about four years now. I met Kevin at a bike rally through a mutual acquaintance those four years ago. When you meet him, you notice that he is very Native American, is a biker and is who he is without apologies about it. I like that in a person. The more you know him, the deeper he gets and he, if he likes you, will open up and share his spiritual thoughts with you of which he has many. The outside really does not match the inside. He really is the soft, gentle giant on his own spiritual path trying his very best to do the right and moral thing in life and leave the bad behind. He knows how to perform Reiki (energy healing), communes with nature because it speaks to him, and loves a good fire with friends around it celebrating life with him.

He loves a good joke, that would be the rascal in him and is a fantastic home decorator. I talk to him at least once a week and he and my husband discuss philosophies of life several times a week. He simply is a good, steady, no theatrics, loving friend whom I am grateful to have in my life. He has taught me many things in his matter of fact way that I never would have learned if not for him. He is loved!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dear David ...

Dear David,

Can it really have been seventeen years ago that we were having lunch at Insomnia every day when we both worked downtown? Is it possible that we survived on 16 oz. cups of coffee for lunch every day?

I like to think that if we had been told that seventeen years later, we would still be friends, neither of us would have behaved any differently. You still would have shared your finely crafted poems with me, and I still would have given you delicate drawings of dead birds, which is why, I suppose, we are still dear friends.

I rarely see you anymore, certainly not hanging out at the same cafĂ© every day, but when we do see each other we always laugh together as if it's been mere days. When we find a rare moment to meet, I am always touched by your thoughtful gifts and gestures of kindness. You always manage to give me something that I'm never sure how I lived without in the first place. Samples from Penhaligon's of London, one of the world's oldest perfumers; a different scent to delight my senses every day of the week! And Dave Hickey's The Invisible Dragon, Essays on Beauty. You've always known how to renew my passion for art, and provoke me to find new ways of defining beauty.

Thank you for these lovely gifts, but thank you more for your rich and lively friendship.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Have you ever met someone that the more you know them the more you respect, like and wish there were many more of them in this world? Well Barbara Wilkins is such a person. I had the good luck to have met Barbara when My Husband Louis and I were shopping for our first Harley 10 years ago. Her Husband and her started Wilkin’s Harley Davidson in South Barre, VT in 1946 and built it into a thriving business. I am very sure that Harry’s (her husband) personality is what made that business soar like it did but Barb’s kept people coming back to buy more along with clothing and gear. Barb looks like a very classy lady with white hair in her seventies. She has a charming smile that comes with a built in twinkle to her eyes and a warm heart that makes you feel treasured by her no matter where you may run into her. So, thank you Barb for being the sweetest and classiest lady ever and for your constant loving hugs and kind words to Louis and I. We sincerely love you dearly and are very proud and lucky to have made your acquaintance in life. Please don’t ever change.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My little Gracie

This week I want to express my gratitude to my little girl, Grace. The youngest of 3 at 10 years old, she has always lived in a world quite a bit older than her. Her siblings are 18 and 20. The thing is, she is one of those that is born mature, “old soul”. She is and always has been one to be open to others feelings. Always ready to convey her care and love often with written word. It would be impossible for me to count the love notes and drawings I have received from her, thousands I’m sure.

Grace is also a very talented singer. On one occasion, she decided to sing a song as a parting gift to a young student intern teacher. She sang, “The Circle Game, a Joni Mitchell song”, plus added her own verse for Michelle. Well, any adult in the room had tears in their eyes.

Well, as you can see, I’m pretty proud of her, and thank her for being so generous with her gifts.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hello All,

My apologies for not having posted last night. I was actually talking on the phone (for hours) with the one I wish to thank this week. That person is my BFINS which stands for Best Friend I Never See. Her name is Daphne Eve Villanueva Veeder mostly known as Bo. Bo was one of my very first real friends when I moved from Kentucky to Virginia years ago. We supported each other through trials and tribulations, got into trouble together, spent wonderful hours talking and eating together and simply enjoyed each other as naturally as if we were born sisters and even worked together at one point. Sisters we are and always will be even though we couldn't look any different from each other if we tried. Her family always welcomed me with open arms and as ever, always tried to feed me. Her Mom reminded me of mine.

Bo and I can go months without talking, but when we do get around to it, it is like we never stopped. For this and numerous more reasons, I am so grateful to have the pleasure of Bo in my life. She will always hold a special place in my heart and nobody better mess with her! We always use to say and mean that.

Why the dream catcher earrings? Bo has ALWAYS loved the fact that people thought she was Native American when she is in fact full blooded Philippino or pillowpeeno as she jokingly calls it. Not that she puts down her colorful heritage though. She also loves her turquoise and silver and is always looking for the next great piece.

I love you BFINS!


Friday, April 1, 2011

To My Husband ...

Dear John,

My maker of adventures, my musician, my biggest fan, and my best friend. There are few people in the world that I could spend several days with alone, on the road, and never get tired of our conversations, and our silences. Your passion for history, and your curiosity for nature and art are an inspiration to me. "I don't know everything,"  you often remind me. Yes, but you know so very much.

When my camera broke during our recent vacation, you didn't hesitate to help me to start looking for a place that could sell me a new one. You understood it was that important to me, and that's the kind of guy that you are.

As you approach a landmark birthday, I am reminded of a quote from Proust; "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."

As I type this, you are out with your friend Chris, a secret mission called Operation Shiny Object, while I wait for all of the guests for your surprise birthday party.
Happy birthday, sweet husband. And thank you.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Joyful Tuesday everyone :)

These weeks seem to be flying by like they had four wings aren't they? Whatever you may be doing please think and pray for Spring :)

This week I wish to thank a woman that I have known since I moved to Barre. The moment I met her, I knew she was my kind of person and that it was always a delight to be around her. She works at my optometrist office where I first met her and also happens to be my workout partner at the gym we both go to.

Maxine, yes, I have two friends named Maxine, is an absolute delight to be around. She smiles, is not afraid to have fun, and all around is willing to try anything. Here is a woman who brings sunshine into your life and you are always happy to have spent time with her. Shoot, she even bakes deserts like a dream and is not averse to a margarita. With all those wonderful attributes, you would love her as a friend also. She is a definite plus in my life and I am so very thankful to her for spending precious time with me. Thank you Maxine! Jillian Jr (that is what she calls me at the gym) will see you on Wednesday.

Love Diane

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sixty Minutes....

This week the appreciation goes out to Sandy. A woman I met in the last hour of a job I was working in Vegas this past June. She was a Security Guard for one of our rooms at the Encore Hotel. We connected right away. Laughing and chatting like we knew each other forever. We ended up exchanging e-mail addresses and became Facebook friends. We write each other periodically and check-in. We had a few exchanges this week. In response to a li'l heartbreak that I've recently experienced she had the perfect things to say and just when I needed to hear it. An Angel on earth, I'd say! It's amazing how a one-hour encounter can change your life. Totally grateful our paths crossed and we continue to keep in touch. A simple sentence and/or kind word can really spark a change in attitude. Thank-You Sandy for being such a great and wonderful spirit on this journey we call life!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Good day all :)

Today I wish to thank a woman who I met through the insurance association I belong to and am a secretary of. She moved to Vermont from Pennsylvania over a year ago and is a delightful person to be around. Pat Murray is tirelessly always willing to help others, is always providing a kind word or smile, is very supportive of others and has a great sense of humor. Pat is currently teaching an insurance class that I signed up for and she is making the dry subject of insurance into a very interesting subject. She has a casual style about the way she teaches that makes you listen and want to learn. Believe me, she is very qualified to be the head of the class also with the long list of designations after her name that are as long as my forearm.

Anyone would be happy to call Pat friend and I proudly do so. Thank you for giving of yourself like you do Pat!

Friday, March 18, 2011

To Jim & Sue ...

I had a special occasion today, in which my husband, as well as my father- and mother-in-law took time out of their busy schedules in celebrating.

Dear Jim & Sue,

Your presence today meant the world to me. It is rare that I get to finish something and stop to enjoy its completion with friends and family, both categories that you fit into. Treating us to lunch, and a lovely gift to boot; you are generous beyond words.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thanks for the space

Tonight I am feeling such a great sense of gratitude towards my husband. I find myself at a time in my life where I am needing to stop, breathe, reflect and reassess. What has the first half of my life meant? What do I want to do in the next half? Many days I am filled with mixed emotions about most anything. I often contradict myself and am flip-flopping with my feelings. In the midst of this swirling vortex, my husband stands and gives me space to figure it out. To feel what I feel, to do what I need. I appreciate this space to feel and grow and just be. It's what I need right now and it's wonderful to be supported.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Salute You

I know this may be a controversial subject but today is my day and I am very thankful for these people. This week my thanks goes out to all branches of our military. I live in a country that everyone outside of it is sometimes literally dying to get into it and live here. I have the right to burn our flag without being handcuffed and driven to jail, not that I would EVER do so. I have the right to protest our very government without getting shot. Just recently, the right to protest at a serviceman/woman’s funeral was granted and as much as I hate the very thought of someone doing so to the inner core of me, it is part of our freedoms. I am free to marry and have as many children as I wish or not marry and have no children. It is not mandatory that I wear a veil but am able to if I so wish. I am able to worship whatever religeon I wish to. I as a female vote here! I also have the right to express myself on our thankful blog living here in this country. The freedoms we all have here in this beautiful country are all owed to someone fighting for them in the first place. I know it is an overused phrase but freedom is truly not free. I can’t say that enough. Someone had to and still does fight for it with their very presence, their training, their words and even their very lives.

So, in whatever branch you may be in, wherever you may be serving, whatever rank you may be, please know that your sacrifices are not forgotten and that I am thanking you to the very bottom of my heart. I will always stand quietly with my hand on my heart for our pledge of allegiance, smile proudly and sing along (correctly) during the Star Spangled Banner and always take off my hat in respect if I happen to be wearing one for both. I salute you!

Feeling supported and welcome

(for Monday 3/14/11)

This week I feel the need to express my gratitude to the Etsy community. You see, I've been active in trading old stuff for over 20 years. And for the past 11, much of it on ebay. It's been very useful to be able to work from home, and be available for my growing family, but, I never really liked the repetitive factory warehouse feel with ebay.
So, I've recently been transitioning over to the more creative format that is Etsy. Well, the difference is astounding. I've been invited to join teams and circles. Sellers gladly promote each other, and spread the word on each other's behalf, and share tips freely.
Well, I look forward to rather than dread the time in front of the screen now.
I say thank you to all those inspiring and generous new friends.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The circle effect....

Below is a response I received from one of my many notes of appreciation. If we continue to give thanks, appreciate and recognize each other in a most sincere and gracious way-what a wonderful world this would be. The love and joy just continues to swirl and makes for a delightful atmosphere. Here-Here to Gratitude...May it forever flow!

Hiya Jenny....Just opened your sweet....thoughtful....caring card and read your
note. You have no idea how serendipitous that moment was for me. I had just
walked in the door after a very difficult day and then I saw your return address
on the envelope sitting atop a stack of bills and junk. I took a deep breath of
calm and happiness as I opened it. Amazing....Just what I needed to
read....just when I needed to read it.

You are a wonder my dear. I too am sooooooooo looking forward to my next trip
to N.Y.....and the opportunity to see your sweet face.

Thank you so much Jenny....for your loving support and friendship. I am truly

Happy thoughts.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dear Makia ...

Dear Makia,

Today I got the most wonderful surprise from you; a card (a cat with reading glasses -- too sweet!) with a special treat inside for me. But this is the kind of extraordinary thing you have always done. A willing model when I needed to complete a portrait photography project, and always a good friend. You are a truly generous and kind person. I admire the way you give of yourself both on the job and during your free time, cooking and volunteering for the homeless shelter. You brighten every room you walk into with your ready smile and your kind, listening eyes. Your life is an example to me of grace under pressure and how to bring meaning and joy to every situation.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Tuesday everyone!!! Hope all is well and for those of you, who have snow, hope you are shoveled out nicely.

I wanted this week’s thank you to go to our friends Patty and Yvan Cote. My husband Louis has been friends with them since high school and friends with me since I met Louis. We have gotten together on and off throughout the years on a very occasional basis due to their lives being filled with teenagers , work and life in general and ours being filled with our life’s busy time. Until last year in September, I really didn’t know either of them really well. Last year they invited us to go on vacation together down to Myrtle Beach SC and we had a fantastic time and since then, we have gotten together once a month to simply enjoy each other’s company. Patty made a resolution that she was going to try to be part of friend’s lives and be more social this year since her children have left the nest. What a great idea that is! I thank them for their considerable friendship and it feels good to have a couple that we love to “hang” with and enjoy wonderful moments with. Never under estimate the gift of friends :) They are part of the blessings in your life that you shouldn’t take for granted.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A good old fashioned snow storm

Today's thank you goes to Mother Nature.... The snow started to fall around noon yesterday, and is just now, 9 pm, letting up. It came down, and blew around in a beautiful dramatic dance. Up here on our back road hill, it accumulated to just over 3 feet. School was canceled, so warm cookies and hot chocolate were on the menu after going outside. Grace & I walked on our quiet unplowed road, even making snow angels here and there.
I realize these times can be a challenge for many, but I truly feel to be snowed in is a treat.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day 66...

May everyone get some kicks on day 66! Okay, isn't this year whizzing by?

Would like to take this opportunity to share an observation. Being acknowledged in the simplest way can truly lift ones spirit. There is an adorable chunky homeless man that lives around the corner. He is always quick with a smile and a "how you doing"? Passing him last night we shared a mutual "Hi, How are you?" and he told me to "Have a good night." These exchanges always melt my heart a little each time. He is one of the most sincere random strangers I've ever come across. There is a light in him that is quite engaging. Not sure how he feels about our encounters but I personally love them! A reminder to NOT miss the beauty around any given corner.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Raisin Pie

My thanks this week goes out to my sister Marie, or Mwee as I fondly call her. Today just so happens to be her birthday and am I grateful she was born!
There are soooo many reasons that I have to thank Marie. One of those many has to do with raisin pie. What in tarnation does raisin pie have to do with Marie you ask? Well,a few years ago, we were up in Newport Vt attending one of my Mom's dinners that she so graciously puts on for us for birthdays and holidays and Marie and I found out that we were the only two in the family that did not particularly like raisin pie (sorry Mom) and in our usual fun way we started calling it Distraction Pie without telling anyone why. By now everyone knows but the reason was that the raisin pie would distract the others so that we could get dibs on the better pies Mom made :) You see Marie is a very willing and fun partner-in-crime and the value of that is not to be under appreciated.
Marie gently listens when you need to kvetch, she reikis us when we dearly need healing, finds things when they are lost, and her sense of humor makes you hold your side and blow whatever liquid we may be drinking out our nose when she "gets going". I could never picture her anything but my sister and friend and know that all of us sisters were meant to be together. We are a very special puzzle and Marie is a very important piece. Thank you for choosing to be my sister Marie and as we go through life, I promise to always be there for you. Thank you and I love you so much! Happy Birthday you young thing!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Generous with herself

Statement of fact; My sister, Diane has the biggest heart of anyone I know. It’s true.

She has a keenly sensitive empathy to those who are fortunate enough to be in her close circle.

Example; This past weekend, she and her charming husband Louis showed up at our door with armfuls of splendid food and wine. The makings for a gourmet dinner of pasta alfredo and treats on the side.

Diane proceeded to assemble and cook this fabulous meal for us, insisting on taking care of everything herself. Well, a wonderful meal it was. And… after the clean-up, she reveals the spa treatments she brought along.

We spent the next hour or so scrubbing, cleansing, and moisturizing…

Diane and Louis spent the night with us, and we shared a wonderful hearty breakfast.

Diane, thank you for taking your weekend to pamper me. You have a way of knowing when I need it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


My apologies to all for not posting my once-a-week musings on Saturdays these last few weeks... but given my recent health issues, it was not an oversight as much as a necessity to disconnect from the matrix, so to speak. Over the years of my life I've had questionable health, getting whatever bug that went around, and watching it manifest into something far worse than anyone else had with the same virus. My doctors' thoughts on the matter over the years have always been that being a sickly child, and watching it continue into adulthood was not necessarily a fault of my own, just a poor immune system, and far too many antibiotics prescribed over the years. My course of action has now begun to "rest and wait it out" through what can sometimes be weeks of recuperating. This time was no different. I'm finally on the mend, and with it I have come up with my honest to goodness, best subject ever for me to be grateful for. My health. I am grateful for all the people over the years that have helped me through each passing flu or bout with bronchitis. My husband, Jim, who checks on my regularly, my sisters and parents, the doctors that prescribed peace and solitude as much as cough medicine, and holistic healers that have suggested I boost my immune system through numerous regimens. I don't feel like I'm a sickly person, rather quite healthy, to be honest. And in that belief, I am grateful for what I consider to be a rather healthy state for the most part. There is no life threatening disease or chronic pain I live with. I eat well, sleep fairly well and get plenty of walks in now that I'm in a wonderfully warm climate again. I'm so lucky to count one of the many blessings in my life to be that I'm healthy. And for that I'm grateful in so many ways as I know others that are not as lucky as I. I hope everyone reading this can say the same!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dear Laura ...

Dear Laura,

Several weeks ago, you gave me a book. A lovely book, for which I would like to thank you, yes. But this note is for something more. It is for the way you bring kindness and energy to everyone around you, including me.

I thank you for the way, when you talk with someone, you are completely present. I remember the first time we had lunch together two years ago; a bit of a manic hour of topics ranging from tolerance, to cultural differences, to quiet, private moments of epiphany. We often try to schedule time together -- I remember the time we had a lunch date which I forgot, and though you made your way to our appointed spot, you immediately forgave me and let go of the whole mishap. I learned that your capacity for forgiveness was as great as your capacity to embrace people's virtues, even celebrate their quirks.

I applaud the way you go through life hungry and thirsty for ways you can shape conversations and inspire others. I applaud you for the spirit and tenacity you bring to every situation.

To quote the book you gave me; May God bless you with the foolishness to think that you can make a difference in the world, so that you will do the things which others tell you cannot be done. You have great days still ahead of you. May there be many of them.

Thank you, Laura, for being such an amazing friend.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dear Sandy,

I met my dear friend Sandy not long after I – a victim of trailing spouse syndrome – moved (kicking and screaming) from Chicago to Rochester, New York. An acquaintance told me that Sandy – who was a PR person I had spoken with on the phone in my job as a magazine editor, but never met – lived in the same town as I did. I don’t remember who called whom, but we met for lunch and the deal was sealed. Almost 20 years later, and we are still fast friends – and we are two of the funniest people we know . . .

What in God’s name would I have done had I not met you when I moved to Fairport? Let’s see. I would not have applied to Hooter’s for a waitressing job as a joke. I would not have consulted as many psychics, if any. I would not have gone to an “adult” store to buy party favors for Aphrodite (aka me) to take to a theme party. I would not have had as many impromptu salad bar lunches at Wendy’s – certainly not one in which I (and you) used a bit of inappropriate language and were asked to cool it by a young mother. I would never have known someone who could do a cartwheel on a curb and a perfect dismount ("10" from the Russian judge). I would not have joined (even though I am married) to help evaluate your dating prospects. I would not have gone on your roots tour in and around Rome New York, nor would you have gone on mine in Lake Forest. I would not have watched Jessie and Alex grow up. I would not have worked for five+ years on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project with you. I would not have had anyone to tell my weird family stories to – or anyone’s weird stories to listen to. I would not know how to email or text. I would not believe in myself as much as I do now. I would not have laughed until I couldn’t breathe.

Thank you for being such a loyal and caring friend, even when I fall into my black holes. I never wanted to move to Rochester, but you made it worth every minute -- and when it was time to leave my heart broke a little. Love, Jane

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Hello there! Once again, Tuesday flew past with a whooshing sound. My days are now officially straight :)

This week I wish to thank a woman who I met only once over twelve years ago. I wish to thank her for being in my life because I truly feel she is supposed to be there.

Before we met, I was told that she was a force to be reckoned with(not in a mean or a bad way) and that I would probably feel a bit overwhelmed by her presence and to expect that. For many reasons (which won't be all revealed here) I was very nervous when that day came. I was expecting this being of perfectness that I would never measure up to.

Her name is Max, short for Maxine, and the day we met, what I expected never came to pass. Instead, we shook hands and instantly clicked. Before the short visit was through, we ended up on the deck in rocking chairs talking for over an hour and sipping on wine discussing everything under the sun like we had known each other for years. She gave me her address and phone number the day she left and wanted to keep in touch. To this day, we email at least once a week and write at least twice a year. As each year goes by, the attachment made on that sunny day in Virginia all those years ago never faded. She feels like a sister to me even though I think she thinks of it more as mother daughterish due to her age but to me she is definitely sisterish. Max is kind, has a sense of humor, her moral compass is straight and true and she is a good friend. I love her and am thankful to have her in my life.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thanks O' Plenty....

I do believe 365 Days of Gratitude is working small miracles in my life. It's Day 52 in case anyone was wondering. '-) One daily handwritten note a day sprinkled with appreciation to those along the way; truly does put a skip in ones step. Focusing on the things that are working and being more present to the gifts life brings creates an equilibrium. So, when things happen that I'm not so grateful for it's easier to accept it, deal with it and move on. It's turning into a good habit. Thanks to ALL you ladies involved in this project. You are an inspiration!! Committing to you has helped me be true to myself. Being accountable each week to blog and sending out a note each day has kept me on track. Left to my own devices who knows what would ensue?!? Thank You...Thank You...Thank You...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Natalie Merchant - Kind and Generous

Hi Friends,
I haven't written a single thank you note this week, because that's the kind of week it's been. In and out of Chicago, running around, putting out small fires. You know the drill. But the spirit is still with me, and I want to send a special thank you to my sisters and my 365Gratitude friends. As my sister Loranne said, generosity is the sister of gratitude, and these gals have it in spades. The way we keep up with each other in little ways throughout our days, and those little gestures that mean so much.

To quote Natalie:
You've been so kind and generous, I don't know how you keep on giving
For your kindness I'm in debt to you
and I never could have come this far without you
For everything you've done, you know I'm bound,
I'm bound to thank you for it ...


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Deep gratitude about a "little thing".

I am in AZ with my daughter and family. Jess, my daughter, just delivered her third baby, a girl on Sunday the 13th. She now has three girls.

I am swept away as I look at this delightful four day old. I am equally delighted by her older sisters and the fun time we are having. Most of all I am filled with gratitude for my daughter. We have an exceptionally wonderful relationship. It is a joy to be here.

Well, I gotta get back to the fun!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Let me begin by apologising profusely for my very late "Tuesday" blog. I have seriously gotten my days mixed up lately :)

The person I wish to thank this week is my wonderful and sweet husband Louis. After having grown up with my sisters and I am still doing so, it wasn't long before I realized that very few people "get you" like your sisters. Louis started out as just my friend who lived across the street from the apartment that my sister Ren and I were living in. We slowly became acquainted and started spending more and more time together. We had dinner all together allot which would lead to watching movies and him falling asleep with my bird Sunshine on his shoulder asleep with him. Any time he made dinner for us, he would make sure that there were mushrooms in the mix because he knew that I loved them and unbeknownst to me he hated them and never told me. To this day, he will make sure I get my mushroom fix even though he no longer will suffer through eating them. Needless to say, we became husband and wife and he "gets me".

He will cross a street without a word with me to be on the same side as a person walking their cute dog just so that I could pet it and is always watching out for animals to point out to me while we are driving. He freely uses my made up words for him and Sunshine without shyness around others and will even explain what I mean to our friends. He will hold my hand every time we walk somewhere because he knows how much I love doing so. Has watched every kind of movie there is with me even though he would not have chosen it. Has bought me copious socks in every color just so I have a choice (socks are my thing). He knows when I am feeling ultra sensitive without me telling him and will hug me to make it better, has taught me to stand up for myself and speak my mind, let me paint our house yellow even though he had misgivings about the color and generally has made sure that I was truly happy and if not, tried to fix it for me. He is my hero, my friend, my partner in crime and my love. Not to be morbid, but we have a recurring argument about who will be "going" first and I pray that we go together a very very long time from now.

I love you My Uis!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day

There are days, like today, when I want and plan to be cheerful, upbeat and romantic, but just don’t feel it. I’m still recovering from a physical run down crash of sorts from last week, (long story).

Anyway, after spending the morning with me in this gray mood, Paul went off on errands. Three hours later, he walks in the door with an armful of my favorite flowers, stocks and delphiniums, and makings for homemade pizza for dinner. He then cleaned up the kitchen and proceeded to make the pizzas.

So, I am now sharing this story full of yummy pizza, with a heady bouquet of flowers near me.

Paul, you know how to do Valentine ’s Day for me, you always have. Thank you.

Up close and personal....

While working on this crazy corporate gig this week (which they usually are) had a couple of challenging personalities to deal with. Getting caught up at times in the drama that ensued. I soon realized I had a choice. My attention and focus went to the people that were not swirling in the mayhem. Expressing my gratitude every chance I would get to the angels surrounding me. Which were many. We managed to be productive, have a good time and really appreciate our time together. A blessing indeed. Even random smiles and hello's shared with the hotel staff were a pick me up. Kindness is contagious. It's a good place to be...even if it takes a little attitude adjustment on occasion. Cheers to all my Angels this week. Much appreciation!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dear Denny & Carmen, Curt & Jan,

Many years ago, I took a job working for a company called The Success Group. Little did I know at the time that my seven-year stint with them would have such a profound impact on me for the rest of my life.

Dear Denny & Carmen, Curt & Jan,

I was something of a stray puppy when you took me in so many years ago (I dare not articulate the actual number of years). Working for you has perhaps been the only time that being an artist was looked upon as a bonus, rather than a detriment, in the business world. I still cherish memories of being asked to design and paint a mural in Curt's office when we moved to Marconi Boulevard. (I quickly learned that no matter how big and colorful I made the mural, his personality would inevitably be bigger and more colorful.) It is with humility that I also remember the support and encouragement I received from you all to pursue my art, which I did and continue to do. And I count myself fortunate to have worked in what I still consider one of the most beautiful and art-filled offices ever.

Not only did you provide me numerous professional growth opportunities, but taught me some truly meaningful life lessons as well. You taught me that relationships are not merely something; relationships are everything. Both personally and professionally. You showed me the meaning of integrity daily. You gave me many reasons to be proud that I worked with such a caring and energetic group of people, and your gestures of love and generosity are simply too numerous to recount here.

You were my second family for those seven years, and for that I am deeply grateful.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dear Aunt Kate,

My father’s older sister, Kathryn, was, in the parlance of the day, a spinster. She was a nurse by profession and was for a time the head nurse at a large Catholic hospital in Milwaukee.

We knew how to have a good time, didn’t we? I remember our yearly trips to Clark’s Camp in Vermillion Bay, Ontario. We always stayed in that little cabin right on the lake, lounged around all day reading drugstore novels and playing canasta, and walked up to the main lodge for our meals. Your friends who lived across the lake had a yellow seaplane that used to land right on the shore outside our front door.

When it was time to back to Chicago, we used to take the long way, driving on blue highways and stopping in little towns along the way. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was receiving some excellent training on canvassing “junque” shops for treasures and bargaining. By the time we got back to Chicago, there was barely room in the Rambler for the two of us!

And I will never forget that it was you who came to stay with me for a week after I had my son, Richard. His father and I were college students at the time, and you taught us how to care for a new baby. Later, when Richard decided to wail like a siren through his christening, it was Great Aunt Kate who soothed him to sleep.

I could go on and on with so many more memories. I feel I never thanked you properly for everything you did for me and encouraged me to do. I hope you recognized the sheer delight and love in my face at the time.

I recently reconnected with my cousin Bobby. We talked about you a lot. You’d be happy to know that both of us remember the little poem you used to recite to us when needed:

A gum-chewing girl/boy

And a cud-chewing cow

There is a difference

I will allow:

The intelligent look

On the face of the cow.

Love, Jane

Belated Sunday Post...

Completely crazed on a job in Chicago at the moment. My apologies for the very late post. Still remaining on track with sending gratitude across the country. Trying to find time to send them this week is another story.

I hand delivered to one of my friends at our 6:00am call yesterday morning. It put a smile to her face and got myself a hug as a result. Great way to start the day. Must get back to work. More to follow this Sunday.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My thank you this week goes to someone I have known my entire life, and I mean that literally. It goes to my sister Carol who is my first sister. Yesterday was her birthday and I am eternally grateful for each year that passes with her in it :)
As kids, being the pesky little sister that I was, I followed her everywhere. She held my hand crossing busy roads many times, took many walks through our woods together, finding a secret cabin once, climbed many trees and even went apple picking together where one time we ended up being chased by a ground hog (she yelled run when I wanted to pet it). We enjoyed many adventures together which I remember very fondly and with a little bit of a sigh for I would love to do it over. I would have and still would walk over glowing coals with her if she asked me to.

Throughout the many years since our childhood she has been my fierce protector, my cheerleader, my friend, my playmate, my guide and my sister. She has picked me up more times than I can count whenever I fell, both literally, which was quite often, and figuratively when my sensitive side took over.
I couldn’t imagine my life without her in it and look forward to making even more memories as we get older and better :) She is the best big sister anyone could have ever wanted and I am grateful! Thank you Carol!
My big sister: Always there to whisper “I’m here” when I was little and even now.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sometimes in giving, we receive more than we give.

Monday afternoons are my regular volunteer time in my daughter’s 4th grade class. I started this practice of spending some time each week in my children’s elementary classrooms 16 years ago when my oldest was in kindergarten. So, I’ve been a fixture of sorts in this same school for quite some time.

Each time I enter those doors I am met with a sense of welcome. As I walk down the halls, I’m greeted from inside a room, or someone comes out for a conversation. Many of the teachers and staff there now were there 16 years ago, so questions are often asked of my older 2. As time goes by, I am impressed by how their enthusiasm and commitment to each child has persisted and even grown. In those hours spent in the classroom, I have witnessed consistent patience, encouragement, and clever direction over and over again.

In the time spent within these walls, I know that I have learned so much, about children, education, and community. For this I am so very grateful, for in giving a little time, I have received so much more.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Common Theme

This week's theme is obviously our girlfriends... and I am a happy, grateful contributor to that theme. Today, I thank Colleen Stanton, a dear friend, and follower of this blog.

I met Colleen a long time ago, sitting next to me at a film company I worked at for a brief time. But in that first day, all those years ago, I found a friend of like mind, and similar sense of humor about the trials and tribulations of working in a dysfunctional office. It didn't take long before we found much in common with our interests outside of work. We quickly found ourselves spending time outside of the office with the few hours we had off exploring those. It was with Colleen that I began my obsession with beads. It was with Colleen that I explored finer crafts and allowed myself to be creative outside of the film business. And it is still Colleen still inspiring me to take up anything creative today - millinery is now her passion - as is textiles. Of like mind, again, I find!

And when I returned to Los Angeles, it was Colleen that was the first to invite me to a party to get reintroduced to mutual friends. Today I spent a few hours with her, and like old times, we talked about issues that we're facing today in our lives. Although the issues are much different from our 20 something selves of yesterday, and somehow more complicated, we still found a way to support each other, and give one another encouragement and hope for the future, free of these troubles. She's a life-long friend that I am so grateful I have found again - not that I ever lost her! To you, Colleen, as I stated earlier, I love you. You enrich my life in so many ways! And from the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dear Jane and Michelle ...

Today, I sent two thank you notes. The notes are similar, and therefore, I am paraphrasing ...

Dear Jane and Michelle,

Thank you for encouraging and supporting me in stepping out of my comfort zone in seeking professional growth oportunities. Your kind and generous letters gave me courage to consider possibilities that I hadn't considered before. I am fortunate to even know two such sophisticated, intellegent and lively women, let alone to have worked with them. In an uncertain world, it's great to know that you both have my back.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Posse

It's the eve of my 56th birthday and there is so much to be grateful for. Mine is a rich and abundant life, filled with family and friends and endless opportunities. And in my life there is Annemarie and Joanne, my friends for over forty years.
My husband calls them my posse. They drove over 350 miles last week to see me. And they only were able to stay 24 hours. Yes, they are there for me,they have my back. We are there for each other. These women have circled up and ridden miles for me. They have been there for me in times of tragedy and times of joy. They have traveled great distances, prepared feasts for my wedding, sat by my side, and they know all sorts of sorted details about me --- and still like me.
Annemarie and Joanne are each in they own way, strong, compassionate, funny, incredible women. They are true gifts in my life.
We'll be friends forever -- pinky swear!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hello there!

Hope all is well with everyone :) If you are in the blizzard zone this week (Not you Ren or Marie) please be careful driving. Although, you two be careful driving anyway.

The person I wish to thank this week I haven't known for a very long time but have enjoyed every moment that I have spent with her. You see, I have been spoiled all my life with the four sisters that God gifted me with and they have always been my best friends so being friends with me has always been very difficult to be since I have a bad tendency to measure everyone against my sisters. Unfare to say the least. So, along came Gina. We met in a round about way through our spouses and every encounter with her since, I feel closer and closer to her. She accepts me just as I am and likes me anyway. She even gently chides me to be nicer to myself which is so sweet of her. I love her spunk, her funny way of being such a Red Sox fan, her love of her kids, her thoughts on nature, her passion for reading and how she also loves to watch movies. We can go a few weeks without communicating and easily slip into our friendship when we do so next. I asked myself what my sisters would think of her and I picture her fitting right in which is a rarity. I figured out that besides being her own very unique self that she also has a little bit of each of my sisters in her also. I have found a gem of a friend and I am sooo very thankful for her. She is my sister at heart :)

Monday, January 31, 2011

The single lasting comment

This week’s thank you note goes to someone whose name I don’t even know, never did. This is an illustration of how our slightest gestures or comments can have a long lasting impact.

It was a sunny Saturday, Paul & I had traveled to his younger brother’s football game. It was the Shrine Game when John was a high school senior. It was half time, so we went to get a snack. Well there was a hotdog vendor doling out hotdogs to the people in line. Paul & I must have been conversing pretty exuberantly, and I was laughing quite a bit. When we got to the head of the line to order and receive our hotdogs, that man looked Paul in the eye and told him that he better keep me around because of that great giggle. Well, my sweet husband to be at the time took notice of that comment, and he to this day reminds me of it on a pretty regular basis, which of course makes me giggle.

So remember, when you are going about your day, and feel an impulse to say something nice to someone, go ahead, that comment may just have a ripple effect that endures.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kudos to Dad....

Well, I have managed to keep up with a note a day even if I have to play catch up. Double and triple down have been the theme this week. After posting this...Saturday & Sunday person of thanks will be etched out and ready to send tomorrow.

Sent a note to both my mom and dad separately this week. Realizing that they are individuals and have given similar and at times separate kinds of support. Having a daughter that dreams and desires things they can't understand or relate to was not easy at times. For the purpose of this post I will focus on my dad and his subtle and quiet enthusiasm in spite of his thoughts of my choices. Being an independent free thinking and spirited girl truly gave my dad a run for his money. He has always been supportive of my acting career yet he was convinced I should have 'something to fall back on'. We've had countless conversations through out the years. Usually, when I get frustrated and am questioning my choices. He'll throw that doozy in there. What is so great about him is that he does feel strongly about me finding something stable or marrying a man with money perhaps-or marrying a man period(Hey, I wouldn't mind that either-LOL). I digress. When I received my acceptance letter to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts he sat next to me with just as much anticipation and nerves while I opened it. When the result was 'You are accepted' he beamed and gave me the biggest hug. He was so happy I was happy. At the end of the year there are a set of exam plays. He flew down and surprised me to attend the plays. He raved about one of my performances and couldn't picture anyone else in the role. Nothing like a father's love, huh? He doesn't understand how I can take all that rejection and continue to forge ahead. It perplexes him yet he still loves and supports me. He does think I'm crazy-too. Which makes me smile. Again...unconditional love prevails along with differences. Cheers to having your opinion and allowing me to be who I am. Appreciate all the years of love, contention and humor. Thanks Dad!! ;-)

Supportive Words, and Kindred Spirits

This year, I returned to motion picture production after several years absent from the film industry. While shooting the film "I Am Number Four" in Pittsburgh, I had the pleasure of meeting a lovely women named Gae through my boss and dear friend, David. From the moment I met Gae, I have much to be grateful to her for. While getting to know her over long dinners, and drives back and forth to the airport, I've had the pleasure to speak to her on many of life's issues, and found her on a similar journey to mine, a kindred spirit, making me feel less alone at times when I needed that most. While she did not work on the film, rather, was a visitor, her presence and positive energy was felt accutely. Over the year, she has engaged me in many thought provoking, interesting conversations about life, love, work and spiritual journeys. And through those multitude of conversations, she's provided kind, supportive words, constant praise and lent a thoughtful ear on every subject of depth that has occupied my thoughts during this difficult year, helping me find my way once again. She's been kind enough to lavish on me her patience, and ultimate faith in a positive future, whatever that may be. She's been my biggest fan, and for that, and so much more, I am indebted to her. A kind note to her via email and a quick word of thanks over dinner this week just isn't enough. I hope one day I'll be able to thank her properly in return through support of the same kind she's so generously has offered me.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thank you, 102310 Group ...

Today I'm unable to send an actual thank you note, but perhaps you'll understand why. Late last year, seeing that I had so many friends who enjoyed photography, I wanted to create a platform for everyone to share their work and get feedback from others. I started the 102310 Group on Facebook (inspired by the 1010 Project) in hopes of finding ten photographers who would share with each other ten shots from a single day, but I thought it would be a struggle to find enough people who would be interested. My friends, and their friends, responded with more enthusiasm than I had imagined possible, and days later, we had 32 photographers eager to share their ten shots with each other and give each other creative feedback. Looking through the shots posted in the group's page, I still feel inspiration and admiration for the skill, vision, and perspective of these people. Some of these friends I know very personally, and others I've not actually met, but count them as friends nonetheless.

While it's a new year, I hope to enjoy many more challenging and interesting photography projects with these friends scattered across the country, and I want to thank them all for a really wonderful collaboration.

Thank you!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

For this week's Thank You, I've decided to thank Mother Earth.

Without her where would we be? She gives us life. She now supports almost 7 billion people with food, water and the air we breath even though we treat her with disrespect and disregard. She offers us beautiful vistas, lakes and rivers to enjoy, mountains to climb and oceans to swim in.

Every time I drive up to Sedona, I am still in awe of the amazing "red rocks". I am so lucky to live/have lived in two very beautiful, yet very different states. Vermont, with it's vibrant fall foliage, rolling green hills and abundant lakes and rivers is such a contrast to Arizona's high desert country and Grand Canyon where the mighty Colorado River has carved it's way through, making it what it is today. I love them both. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had to see different parts of this world, of this country. It is truly amazing.

She is only on loan to us all, what will be left for our children or our grandchildren? I'm doing my part, will you do yours?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dear Anne

When we first met at that Women’s Roundtable event in Chicago, who knew that more than 20 years later, we would still be trying to figure out what we want to be when we grow up? There is one thing, however, that I do know for certain: Without you, I don’t think I would have made it through some of the most challenging times in my life. You have always been there for me – to listen, ask the right questions and ultimately bring me around to believing that, no matter what, I was going to be OK.

There are so many things I admire about you – your creativity, your spirituality, your personal style, your love for your family, your sense of adventure. Thank you for sharing all these treasures with me.

And thank you for sharing the most valuable treasures of all – Zoe and Mia. Since I don’t have any “ grands” of my own,I’ve had such a great time with them. Remember the evening I made a dress out of Kleenex for Zoe’s naked Barbie? She thought I was some kind of rock star, and that felt great.

I know our friendship will endure for the rest of our days – and then some.



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Tuesday everyone :)

I wanted to start this weeks thank you by making sure that everyone know that my choice of who I thank is not chosen by their importance level in my life nor how much I need to thank them. I am especially thankful to my wonderful family. You see, there is a method to my madness as to who I choose and they all deserve my sincere and heartfelt thanks. :) I want my thank yous to be perfect for the person I am thanking and until those words come to me, I refuse to write other lesser thank yous. I hope that makes sense?

So, that being said, this week I would like to thank a woman named Laura Felsted. Laura has been in my life for about 8 years now. I became acquainted with her at a time in my life that I sorely needed her help and she listened, really listened, to me and proceeded to provide me with the guidance I needed. You see, Laura is my General Practitioner. That is her job you say, but know this, I have had such bad luck with Doctors before her that she is a true answer to my prayer. Allot of doctors will prescribe to you and that is that but she knows that a person knows their body better than any doctor ever could and she will listen first and then suggest alternative ways to naturally resolve what you are medically experiencing (my preferred way) before she would get out her script pad. She bravely waded through the murky waters of my family's genetics and ways that my body reacts to certain things (always not the norm) and did so with determination and good humor to find a right solution. She has always made me feel comfortable, made me laugh, and shared her personal life with me to allow me more insight into what she is about. She found her calling in life and I am extremely grateful for that and for her. So, thank you Dr. Laura.