Thursday, July 30, 2009

Walking on my heels.

My ambition to walk exceeds my ability to do so.

One week after surgery I thought I might still be hobbling, but free of pain for sure.

Bottoms of my feet are healing very well, but the area around the right bunion was very large and deep so that's where most of my uncomfortableness comes. The only tip I got this evening from my doctor was to invest in gauze that has vaseline embedded in it.

I have to laugh, though, when I think of Sting's song "Walking in Your Footsteps." I have indeed reverted to walking on my heels.

Next step: to graduate from surgical sandals to flip flops.

Monday, July 27, 2009

"Necessity is the mother of invention." -- Wm Blake

Every day is better and brighter. I am sitting in my office, showered and dressed, working away for a couple of hours. It feels good to be here. Checking email from the couch is not at all the same thing.

I often wonder how folks who do not have a Leroy get by. That would be especially the question over the past four days. He has cooked for me, helped me up and down the stairs, in and out of bed, in and out of the shower, then dressed my feet afterward. You could say that this is what a husband does, but I doubt many husbands have the empathy and the grace of Leroy.

Best of all, he's supporting my own sense of how fast I can recover. He dropped me here in the office with icebags and a fan a little before his noon meeting. He'll be back to pick me up after his dental appointment. That will be entirely enough for today.

I do understand that staying off my feet as much as possible is the best way to promote fast healing. I'll be glad to do that, as long as I can stay a bit longer in the office each day this week.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Post op hop...

I had the surgery on both feet on Thursday after work. I spent that evening and most of the following day sedated upstairs, trying to stay completely off them. Leroy ingeniously pulled up the carpet in the long hall upstairs so that we could roll me from reading room to bathroom in the chair, and in and out of the shower as well. Last night I slept without pain meds. I can feel that I am getting better each day, though there is quite a bit of pain if I cut off the medication completely.

After today's shower, I moved down to the living room. My afternoon was brightened enormously with a visit from Jenny and Ginny, who had been attending a 3 Day Walk crew meeting at REI. The time flew by.

I'm being serenaded to sleep tonight by the band playing for the summer block party. With the medication, it's pretty surreal. They just finished "Runaway."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

ASA Launch Photo Essay

As I mentioned yesterday, the launch party was a grand event. All design and details were handled by Lauren.

She persuaded photographer Weston Jandacka to come and shoot the first two hours of the party. These are all his photos.

Lauren and Leroy guarding a tray of chocolate dipped strawberries and Trader Joe's cashews.

ASA logo designer Jesse Brown looking over the website in a moment of quiet...

Mike Crandall and myself....

Another of Lauren's table arrangements...

Mike, Annie and Shelby Edwards.

From the left: Bruno Langevin, Bo Hok Cline, Julie Hillers, Annie and Karen Pierce, right foreground. Al Wilson is in the background.

Shelby Edwards and Fred Pursell.

Greg Harp greets former colleague, Kris Jorgensen.

The First and Union web team....Sherry Stripling, Rick New, and Molly Martin.

Annie and visual artist/architect Bo Hok Cline.

There are always folks in the courtyard, near the food and drink.

Left to right: Molly Martin, Eric Holdeman, Al Wilson, Annie.

Greg Harp, Kris Jorgensen, Steve Hankel, who drove up from Portland.

Susan Hildebrand Stringer.

Al Wilson and Greg Harp.

Jan Reynolds.

Me and my former boss, Deb Horvath, who is always there to support me.

Here are the co-conspirators looking a little punchy: Annie and Lauren, who has made this launch and my summer a truly memorable experience.

Last but by no means least. Tracey Graham. one of my former team, now leading the Washington state financial coalition. She presented me with a three legged frog who has coins in his mouth for good fortune. When we are in the office, the frog looks out the door. When we leave, we face the frog into the office, so as to maintain our good fortune.

It is a pleasure to have friends and colleagues such as those pictured above, especially when you have known many of them through various cycles of their lives.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

ASA goes live.

European flower arrangement from Shelby.

Beautiful flowers from First and Union, our website folks.

An orchid from Pia and Ben.

Roses arranged in one of my own vases by Lauren.

Yesterday was a pretty momentous day. My new company opened its doors for business with the launch of our new website, created in six weeks. We had about 35 people here for a celebration last night. I am bowled over by the response from across the country, and even from a couple of other countries.

Lauren figured out a way to use the outdoor courtyard for food and drink and little tables as well. I'll post some photos when they arrive from Weston. The ones above are quick shots I made this morning after with my iPhone.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Back in the gym!

My YMCA membership went live this morning, so I worked out for 50 minutes. I am extremely impressed with the facility, and grateful to previous trainers for having taught me so much. I spent time upstairs on a bicycle, then the treadmill, then the rowing machine -- and then went downstairs to a superbly equipped weight room that also has Nautilus machines. I finished up with some mat stretching work, then hit the locker room.

My plan is to work myself in the gym until I have the surgery on Thursday afternoon, then give myself a long weekend off and see how the feet are. I start working with a new trainer at the Y on Tuesday morning following surgery, and will do that two mornings a week from then on. James pointed out that, once my feet are better, I will be able to walk to and from my office to the Y as a way to ease back into walking. I guess that will depend upon how fast I get really busy at work. The easiest way for me to be sure I work out is to do it in the morning, before I go near the office, so that it truly gets done.

I may not be able to raise my arms tomorrow, but at least I'm back on the path to fitness.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose..."

"...a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye." -- Mary Shelley

It's been a great couple of days as we move steadily forward toward the Monday launch of I'm surrounded in this effort by wise women, Lauren and Molly in particular, with the content and intention of the site being refined almost daily. I'm very gratified by all the emails I have received, including one this afternoon from my second cousin James Hayes, the Irish sculptor, offering to help test the site over the weekend.

All signs are auspicious for the niche that I'll operate from. Whether you look at the increased emphasis on flu preparation from the government, or today's stories about large banks who operate under close regulatory oversight, it looks like the world will welcome our efforts. The company offers me a forum from which to push for reform and for better risk controls, to influence some of the outcomes at the national and global levels. What more tranquility could anyone be looking for?

In for a penny, in for a pound.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"All things bright and beautiful."

All donations I've received will stay with the Komen Foundation.

I'll still attend fundraising events for Kindred Spirits and other team events, including the picnic the night before the walk. I'll stay in the hotel with the team, and bus over with them for the first day. I'll be there to see them off and cheer them in. That's the best possible set of resolutions that I could have found.

I'll send a note to all my donors once I've had the surgery next week. Right now, all attention is on launch minus six days for ASA's website and the kickoff event next Monday evening. It will be great to see so many former colleagues and thank my supporters on this venture. I'm a lucky woman all the way around.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The next step.

I have been looking around for classes or a gym for some time. I want back the upper body muscles I had until April from my work with a trainer downtown. At the recommendation of my son James, I checked out the University YMCA. Amazing number of classes, a weight room and a machines room to boot. So I've joined, effective the 18th, when they open back up after doing their summer cleanup of the facility.

This means that, no matter how difficult it is to walk for awhile after the surgery, I will still be able to use the weights and a floor mat for stretching and pilates work. The facility is so close to office or home that I'll be able to choose from morning or evening classes.

I was surprised to find that the Y even has personal trainers. I'll start with my own routine and then try a few classes, and then once I'm feeling a lot better, I'll probably try to get with a trainer.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A date with destiny.


Little did I know how appropriate the title of this post would be when I wrote the earlier entry you see beneath this one. I did see the doctor, and he has scheduled me for sugery on the 23rd. The surgery will remove enough tissue on both left and right foot so as to put me out of commission for up to 5 weeks, maybe more given that he's going to be cutting from the outside near the right bunion. I never hit my stride this year on training for a variety of reasons. I know just how problematic the feet are, and I'm resigned to giving up the idea of walking this year.

Though I will not be walking in 2009 , I will be at opening and closing ceremonies to support the team. For those of you who donated to my walk, please know that the nearly $4,500 I've raised will still support the dream we all have -- that of a world without cancer.


I see a podiatrist this evening, to see if he can figure a way to carve upon my feet from the outside. All podiatrists would like to do surgery on them, but I am looking for something simpler and more elegant that would allow me to really train for this year's walk.

Earlier this year, I'd gone to a narrower Brooks walking shoe because they changed the old model and the folks at Super Jock & Jill thought the new model in a narrower width gave me better traction. But I probably should have stuck with the width that served me so well in last year's walk. Last Friday, we figured out that the large ugly odd callus above and behind the right foot bunion is a result of shoes that abraded that part of my foot. And I also have a good sized growth on my left foot as well. So now I am back in the right width shoes. I am hoping that, between the new shoes and what Dr. Berg can do this evening, I will be back in training soon, at the number of miles where I should be by now. Only about nine weeks until the walk itself!

On the fundraising side, I'm only a little short of $5,000 -- so I'm halfway to my goal.

Go Annie!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love." - Rumi

I am charmed by those who believe I am on the road to building a very large company with my new business. Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm building a truly modern mobile business. In fact, I've designed most elements of the new venture around exactly what I love to do.

I've been a kind of leader/manager for so long that sorting through all of the things I know how to do to get to the ones that truly interest me has taken awhile. Though this blog won't show up on my new website, I will have a voice as often as I wish right on the new front page. In a section called "In the news," I'll identify and comment on important articles I think folks will want to read. And I'll be able to write as many research notes and papers as I wish -- though I do believe we'll see papers from others as well.

It's only 12 days now until the formal launch of the company and the website. We are putting the finishing touches on our materials even as we talk strategic alliances with others in the field of risk consulting. One thing is clear: I love what I am doing.

I've also chosen to stay on the board of the Seattle Public Library Foundation. I care deeply about libraries, the most democratic of our institutions, and its mission. Today's energetic discussions during the board meeting reminded me to keep one foot planted in business and one in culture. It makes for a more interesting life.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

7am on Independence Day

I thought it best to work early in the morning, before it got so hot as yesterday. Breakfast and two newspapers later, I was pulling out my tools.

Will this hydrangea make it? I potted it into the ground after it spent a couple of weeks in the house last winter.

Only a gardner could see that I actually spent around 90 minutes clearing this long rockery outside the back garden. And it could still use more work, including some new perrenials.

I have done not very much at all yet inside the fence, and yet look how beautiful it looks!

And more of what I still have to clean up a bit. But I am contented at what I got done yesterday and today, and if it cools off more later, I'll be back out there until the light is gone and the fireworks begin.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Walking to work

These three photos were all shot yesterday morning, while I walked to work. Above, a shot of the building where my office is from across the street.

I walk along the edge of Ravenna Park to get to work.

And as I come out of my back garden gate in the morning, here is what I see. Fortunately, you are looking here at Diane & Roy's beautifully maintained yard, not my own. I do hope to spend tomorrow in the garden....setting your own hours is one of the benefits of owning your own business!