Wednesday, December 1, 2010


WE are getting it together on the ground level.

And, WE are heading for "awe." The formula almost always remains the same – find the elegant solution by –

1. Thinking outside the box;

2. Looking for win-win solutions;

3. Keep on keeping on, talking and listening;

4. Reminding yourself that you live in a world of abundance, not scarcity.

A most unexpected – and – appreciated consultation with a visiting “expert brought the magic of living in this attitude sphere home to me yesterday out here at our remodeling-in-progress retreat center in the mountains. We are not as far ahead on our projects as we would like to be. With this needed and that needed, etc. etc., it can get a bit overwhelming at times.

Now -- with the weather growing chillier day-by-day, I’ve been more than a bit concerned at times about my house-part of our retreat center. Given the sky high chimney repair estimate offered to get our wood burning stoves safely functioning, I have been doing my best lately to surrender to the notion that I might be living one step above camping out this winter; a tiny spec just above survival.

But -- just in the nick of time, “knight in shining armor,” Sue’s husband, Paul, a former plumber, arrived on the scene. With a gift of generously donating his time and talents to providing us with a detailed assessment of what needs to be done to winterize the dwelling that houses both me and our main meeting room out here.

Paul came bearing gifts of much needed advice on this, that and the other thing (i.e. particularly about plumbing and how to keep our water pipes warm and from bursting with our stoves (our main source of heat) not usable right now). For the far-reaches of my still recovering Jewish American Princess turned mountain woman mind, the whole of what he was suggesting was, indeed, quite daunting though his wisdom was scrumptious.

Yet, simply having Paul’s presence out here was a victory all by itself. Having spousal support for what one does is almost always a good thing don’tcha think? Particularly having man-type guidance for a remodeling project that some days relies soley on Sue’s hard work, commitment and knowledge and our shared “girly” tool box. At times, I am barely any help at all. However, I do own up to being able to make a hardy contribution with the chain saw when I’ve got a working stove that can burn the products of my labors.

Paul’s visit was truly a victory for our mission on so many levels. Most of all (not to minimize the expertise) his presence in being with us.

Thank you, Paul!

Thank you so much for your TIME and your TALENT. (And, couldn’t I please just make you a bowl of my grandmother’s special chicken soup recipe to show my appreciation – as well as my regrets for borrowing your wife at times you would really prefer her to be using her time otherwise.)

Another victory for my challenged, I can-barely-change-a-light bulb mind was the extensive blueprint Sue and I hammered out, co-creatively, on how best for us to proceed with our remodeling over the coming, possibly harsh months ahead.

The result of all this bounty -- I was delightfully surprised, after yesterday’s challenging, mind-stretching endeavors, I woke up happy and empowered; my house was bathed in toasty, warmth that yesterday I would not have known how to create on the limited resources with which we are presently operating.

Thanks to Paul’s guidance to make a few immediate changes and Sue’s hard work, generosity, wisdom and committment to furthering this project, we had – hopefully -- found some immediate, not- going-to-kill-us-with-the-electric-company "elegant solutions."

Still in all I would welcome a cozy, fireside chat out here as soon as possible.

From Anastasia
In the mountains where it is getting chillier and chillier

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