Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Create special holiday mementos....

As you gather with family and friends this holiday, why not take a few minutes to interview everyone present? Ask your mother and father to tell the story of how they met. Does your sibling have a favorite holiday memory? Perhaps Uncle Harry would like to share the story of how he and your mom celebrated Christmas when they were children? We always think there will be time to record these memories but life passes quickly and very often the moment is lost. Just about every cell phone has a few minutes of video recording available so you don't even have to purchase a fancy new camera.

This Thanksgiving I decided to make a cookie that I remembered from my childhood. My Aunt Marie made it every year. You could not resist it. One year I gained five pounds in a week! There was just one problem: I not only didn't have her recipe, I had no idea what these cookies were called. My friends at Facebook came to my rescue. After some trial and error, I figured out that these are 'Snowball Cookies.' I made a few batches and happily delivered them to friends. I wish I could ask Aunt Marie what her secret ingredient or technique was because mine were not nearly as good as hers. Unfortunately Aunt Marie is alive but in late stages of Alzheimer's. If only I had thought to interview her her a few years ago!

May you be blessed with a month of rich experiences!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Thanksgiving, here we come!

'When I wrote "One Year to an Organized Life" I called Thanksgiving, the 'Mother of all Dinner Parties!' It is, isn't it? If you can host this holiday, every other gathering is a piece of cake. It isn't just the enormity of the dinner (and all those expectations about the food), it's the large number of family members, including those we're sure must have been adopted because we have nothing in common with them! In the book, Chapter 11 / November has detailed instructions including information from my favorite caterer, Tanya Russell founder of In Good Taste here in Los Angeles. Today I'd like to chat about something that's a key ingredient albeit not found in the grocery store: your budget!

We become so caught up in the emotions of the holiday, we forget how much it can cost. The December holidays frequently find us counting our pennies with lists and careful planning but Thanksgiving? Not so much! Remember to take into account the price of the food, any decorations you plan to purchase and of course the beverages to be served. It's cheaper to feed 5 than 25 so make up your guest list and check it twice to see who has been naughty (and can be eliminated this year) and who has been nice (and deserves a repeat invite). And don't hesitate to involve your guests: ask them to contribute a dish...or bring a bottle of wine or... I am the 'Dessert Queen' in my circle of friends. Why? Because I live near an extraordinary French bakery and I let their chef do all the work.

Take a few minutes to make two lists: one is of things/elements you remember from past happy celebrations and the other is--you guessed it--some things you'd dearly like to avoid. This holiday is about companionship, great food and gratitude. Enjoy it...every minute of it.


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June 2009, in China

June 2009, in China
At the Summer Palace outside Beijing

About Me

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I will always be grateful I grew up in Brooklyn, New York.  It was a rich atmosphere that introduced me to different races, creeds and professions.  It seemed that anything was possible if you were willing to work hard to achieve your goals.

I'm a yogi which means that my spiritual path is that of yoga principles that have been handed down for over 5000 years. Yoga is an ancient philosophy based on the Gita, the sutras of Patanjali and yes, the Bible. The postures are a key element as is meditation. We honor all paths.

I got my first dog when I was 6 years old after a full year of begging.  She was a collie and her name was Queenie.  As an adult I've had 2 golden retrievers.  A female named Miss Katie who came into my life when she was 3 months old and an ancient male golden who came to me when he was 15.  I'd like to have a Great Dane next but we'll see what the universe has in store.

I've been organizing clients for over 24 years and writing about it for over ten.