Love & Money

Truckee, California 2009

My husband was the most generous person I have ever met. When we first began dating, I asked him to join some friends for my birthday. My girlfriends made the reservation in the city, and we all showed up with our dates. 

When the bill came, my friends pulled out their wallets, but my husband insisted on picking up the tab. The bill was $1,200.00, he did this sort of thing all the time. 

After we got married, a check could not hit the table without him picking it up. But, on the reverse side money rolled in from all directions and soon, as a couple, we had more money than we knew what to do with.

I began to expect this, and understood how money flowed both in and out of our hands. One day, after Paris was born, we went to the jewelry store, I had Paris in my arms. My husband bought me a 5 carat princess cut diamond in a hand carved diamond platinum band. 

He would buy cases of good wine to share with friends, and when we bought our Tahoe house we loaded it up with the neighborhood, friends, and tons of kids. 

When the bottom fell out of the stock market and commercial construction imploded, we spent more time at home, ordered pizza on Friday nights, and had BBQ’s and camp outs in our backyard.

When we first moved to Moraga, I would be approached in the grocery store, by older women, collectively, they would tell me to enjoy every moment. I would think to myself, “they must have amnesia.”  I was so exhausted by my newborn and two year old, it was hard to enjoy anything. 

However, I heard this so often that I believed it had merit, and I made a conscious decision to savor sitting in the stuffed cow and pig chairs with my toddlers watching Disney Princess movies, among the other activities of a busy mother. 

The only thing that ever really mattered was that we had each other. And now we don’t.  We only have our memories, and that ring now sits in the bank. 

Love and blessings to all. 

Kids, Church & Grounding

My little Siena is mostly an angel, but sometimes she is not. And on these rare occasions, I have to decide how to punish her.

As an easy going, and live-and-let-live type of person, this is the most difficult aspect of parenting for me. 

Mostly, I turn a blind eye to Siena’s antics, as they are relatively harmless, compared to her sister, who at the same age, attracted car accidents, like bees to honey. 

However, on a recent occasion, Siena crossed the line, and it was time to send a message, and teach her a lesson. So, I grounded her for one month. But, I gave her the option of going to church with me every Sunday for the entire summer instead.  I sold her on this by telling her that it was only 12 hours, compared to 30 entire days, and being a bit of a math wiz, she agreed.

Because she has integrity, she hasn’t missed a Sunday yet, and it’s been four weeks. 

This past Sunday, there was an elderly gentleman behind us, and during the Lords Prayer, Siena and I reached out, and held his hands between us. His skin was as thin as paper, but I could feel his spirt through his hand, and the even and measured tone of his voice as he recited the prayer in a clear strong voice.

It moved me literally to tears. 

Love and blessings. 

Happiness & Inner Strength 

Europe, Summer 1984

I’m starting to feel happy again, not just sometimes, but all the time.

Even though, I’ve had some major obstacles, throughout my life, I am very much an optimistic person with a calm and level spirt.

My internal strength makes me more of a warrior, rather than, a survivor.

And I’ve never minded doing things on my own. Being self sufficient and independent are qualities that I’ve worked hard to instill in my own daughters.  And anyone who knows my children would agree, I’ve been successful.

When I was twenty, I went to the University of London, and in the summer between semesters, I traveled alone, it didn’t start out that way, but early in the trip, my travel companion, proved so unpleasant, I left her in the post office in Rosa Spain, and took the next train to Vienna, Austria, by myself.

Luckily, I wasn’t alone very long, and I went on to meet many kind, easy going, and fascinating people, who I remain friends with to this very day.  Including, my friend Lisa pictured above.

As my broken heart heals, and I see my daughters thriving, I feel saddened for my husband who is missing so much.

And I am nervous and afraid, in the same way I was when I walked out of that post office in Spain, and stood on the platform waiting alone for my train.

Like then, I am alone, not knowing what the future holds. But, as the past informs the future, I know it will be good.

Love and blessings to all.

Yacht Racing, Camadores & Hawaii 

Since, or even for a while before, my husband died, my life has had a magical quality. 

I started praying a lot then, and asking for help and guidance, as I made my way through the transition from, “stay-at-home” mom and part time work, to finding what would be my life purpose professionally, of course, at first I didn’t think of it this way. 

Honestly, I just wanted a job. But the universe had other plans, I found jobs, but they were crazy interesting like working for a rare art dealer, or an online designer furniture company, or teaching at UC Berkeley. I was seeing people chasing and unapologetically living their dreams and doing what they loved.

Then, I started sailing. And I met amazing people, who would only do what they loved. Anything less, wasn’t even an option. The idea of working a job you hated was an obsurdity. 

I would watch and listen for what each new experience had to teach me. And my life and my path would magically unfold. People and opportunities would present themselves and I would take them. 

Yesterday, I was on the Committee Boat, for the Yacht Racing Association. There were three past Commadores on the boat, and they had all raced to Hawaii multiple times.  One of them, nine times. They said, the first four days were hell, then the rest of the trip was heaven.

I thought, well, this is interesting…

I almost did the race to Hawaii last year, but it didn’t work out, and thankfully, or I would have been on a sailboat, in the middle of the Pacific, when my husband died.    

Now, there’s Pacific Cup 2018.  A nice even numbered year for an adventure.

Love and blessings to all. 

Skin In The Game

Skin In The Game

Paris in the Ocean SF Signature Jacket

It’s been a very long and busy week, but the good news is, Ocean SF, finally recieved the angel funding needed to order our beautiful New Zealand wool.  Our production was funded earlier in the year, but we were left to cover the material costs ourselves.  I already had as much skin in the game, as I could reasonably stand, and still be able to sleep at night, so finding another investor, for this large expense was crucial.  Plus, it’s also been nice to add some new players to the game.

Luckily, most of you will never know how hard it is to buy wool fleece from New Zealand.  First of all, they sell to Patagonia and don’t talk to small designers, or better put, they talk to us, but to everything we ask, they say, “No.”  But their wool is the softest in the world, and it is spun with the most technologically advanced equipment made, making it both very light and very warm, and we love it.

At first, we thought it would be easy to find a comparable fabric, and we scoured the world and all of our friends helped us, from Asia to Chille, for six months.  I admit I found one that was close, but it was Italian Cashmere and it sold for $375 a yard.  Like many attractive things, it was gorgeous, but impractical, our Merino is more durable and can be washed, both necessary attributes for outdoor adventure.  And after watching my business partner wear his jacket everyday since early December, I can attest to the fact that it really is durable as well as beautiful.

Starting a clothing company is like a giant game of Twister.  And I have so many people to thank that I will have to put that in another post.

I’ve been reluctant to talk too much about Ocean SF until I felt comfortable with delivery of the product.  Which I finally do.  

It’s been a long road, and not an easy one, I might add, but everything else in my life felt that way too.  However, Ocean SF has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done professionally, except for teaching at UC Berkeley.

Our T-shirts are for sale now, and pre-orders are being taken for our jackets for delivery in the Fall, because it takes that long to make the fabric.

Check it out, oceansf.co and especially the 12 Attributes of our jacket, and let me know what you think.

Love and blessings to all.

 

 

Love, Trust & Sailboat Racing

Berkeley Marina

I am learning to listen to my feelings, so I can stay open, and be guided by my heart. 

This is a practice, and I’ve been working on it for a very long time.

Now, when I am feeling fearful, I can look beyond my fears, and see that they are mostly unfounded. 

Obviously, I’m the sole parent, and I am responsible for my two precious daughters, but as I near the first year anniversary of my husband’s death, I am feeling more optimistic, grounded and trusting.

Being a sailor, and an entrepreneur, and a person in the world in general, is not without risks. 

But, regardless of my fear, I can only sit on the sidelines for so long.  Because of that, and many other factors, I am finally stepping onto my first sailboat since my husband died last July.

It’s astonishing to me, that I gave up something I loved so dearly for so long, but I did. 

On Saturday, you will find me, again on the race Committee Boat, in the San Francisco Bay.

And my heart, not as broken as it once was, is truly becoming the guidance system of my life.

Love and Blessings.

Bright Are The Stars

Santa Cruz, California

My husband died on a random, Tuesday. He was 54 years old. He went to work one morning, and we never saw him again. 

After he died, a neighbor started walking by our house, and he would whistle a Beatles song. 

I’m an early riser, and am awake typically by 5:30 a.m., so I would be awake to hear him, as he walked beneath my window, whistling on those early August mornings. 

Conversely, if you’re an early riser, you are often to bed early, but with teenagers this is often not the case, so I would rest and read for a little while before dinner, and would hear this man whistling outside my window again, as he walked by in the evening. 

It’s a synchronizity, of course.  I’m still not sure who the man was, but he did this off and on for several weeks that summer, then he stopped. 

He would walk under my window, and this is the song he whistled:

I LOVE HER by The Beatles

I give her all my love

That’s all I do

And if you saw my love

You’d love her too

I love her
A love like ours

Could never die

As long as I

Have you near me

Bright are the stars that shine

Dark is the sky

I know this love of mine

Will never die

And I love her
Bright are the stars that shine

Dark is the sky

I know this love of mine

Will never die

And I love her, ooh

Songwriters: John Lennon / John Winston Lennon / Paul Mccartney / Paul James Mccartney

And I Love Her lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Tratore