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A final column bids a fond farewell

I’m not thinking of this as goodbye, just as a change of venue. Still, it’s a strange feeling to be writing my final column for the Chanhassen Villager. This weekend is when my husband and I pack up for good and leave for our new home in Georgia. I plan to continue writing even after we move, I’m just not sure what that’s going to look or feel like in the days and weeks to come. It’s been exactly 16 years since my first Villager [...]

Make your plans, and celebrate your life

In addition to all the holiday plans and preparations everyone is busy with at this time of year, many people take some time to look back at what they’ve accomplished and experienced in the past year, and to look forward as they plan for the future and all that they’d like to accomplish and experience in the coming year. I’ve never been able to sit down and plan out my short-term and long-term goals in terms of six-month, one-year, and five-year projections.  Whenever I’m asked [...]

A political speech doesn’t have to be negative

One of the things I love about my Toastmasters club is how much I learn from the other members. During their speeches, I often find out more about subjects that are among my own interests and areas of expertise, because I am able to see another side of them, or a different perspective. I also learn more about occupations, hobbies, and beliefs that are totally different from mine. Another thing I love about our club – and the Toastmasters organization in general – is that [...]

By |November 4th, 2016|Columns, Quotes and Sayings, Toastmasters, Values|0 Comments

What makes you happy?

“Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer, but wish we didn’t.” I don’t remember where I first read that quote, but it makes me smile whenever I think of it. I’m guessing it was meant as a light-hearted observation, but there’s probably more truth to it than we realize. What brought it to mind just recently is a book I am reading, entitled Resisting Happiness, by Matthew Kelly. Not that I consider myself unhappy, or that I believe I’m resisting [...]

By |October 14th, 2016|Accountability, Columns, Faith, Quotes and Sayings, Success|0 Comments

An unusual weekend was a weekend well-spent

I spent last weekend in Glenwood, MN, with a fascinating group of people: the Ugandan Ambassador to the United Nations, my Uganda-born friends Tabitha and Magala, local dignitaries and business leaders, and our security detail. I’ve never been part of any group or activity requiring a security detail, and I was a bit intimidated at first. But it quickly became both comforting and reassuring to know they were there as we went about our business. Not that there was anything dangerous or covert about that [...]

A summer challenge brings everyone home

We did it! We walked around the world in 80 days. For those who may not have read my earlier columns on the subject, a group of women who exercise at the Chanhassen Curves were on a quest to take enough steps, collectively, to literally walk around the world during the 80 days of this summer promotion. A map on the wall charted our progress, and each day or week the members taking part would report the numbers recorded on their Fitbits, pedometers, or whatever [...]

Still on track for “Around the World in 80 Days”

We’re halfway there and still going strong. In June, I set off – along with a number of other women who work out at Curves – to walk around the world in 80 days of summer. The owner of our Curves facility figured out how many steps it would take to do this, and set that as our collective goal. She put a world map up on the wall, and charts our progress with little colored strips of paper, and notes that list the total [...]

You win or you learn

Some of my favorite quotes and sayings have come from signs I pass along the road, especially in front of churches, banks, and real estate offices. I always smile when I think about one I saw a few years ago. It said something like, “If God is your co-pilot, maybe you ought to trade places.” I saw a new one a few weeks ago, and it struck me as both clever and profound. It’s becoming even more so the more I think about it. It [...]

By |July 15th, 2016|Columns, Quotes and Sayings, Success, Toastmasters, Values|0 Comments

Signs of a miracle are everywhere

I don’t know how anyone can look at a newborn baby and not believe in miracles. I remember that being one of my first thoughts as I was holding my son shortly after he was born. This was more than thirty years ago, but I can still recall the sense of awe and reverence I felt as I gazed at the gentle rhythm of his breathing, at his tiny, fragile fingers, and at  his small but perfectly-formed features. How could all of this not be [...]

By |January 29th, 2016|Coaching, Columns, Faith, Family, Quotes and Sayings, Travel|0 Comments

The gifts we receive are the gifts we’re called to give

There’s a saying that goes, “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God.” Another one, closely related, says, “God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.” Both of these sayings were on my mind last weekend while I was attending a “Called & Gifted” Workshop that was held Friday and Saturday at my church. If the name sounds vaguely familiar to you, it may be because I attended – and wrote about – a Called [...]