Thanks for popping in. I appreciate your curiosity!
This is where you can hear my tales (and travails!) of being an author, artist, advocate, educator, and small-town girl turned explorer.
But hey, I´m curious, too. I´d love to learn more about YOU.
Would you be kind enough to send me a quick email? I´d love to hear your ideas or questions about starting your digital course.
I look forward to your message!
Transitions? I´ve had a few. Okay, a lot.
I was adopted when I was two days old by a couple who had been on a waiting list for years...and were expecting their first child! My brother was born a month and two days after me. Three years later, they had another baby boy.
But when I was five, my parents divorced. My father had told my mother that he was ¨homosexual¨(she had to look it up in the dictionary) and in love with another man (with whom he lived for the next 45 years.)
My mother drove her three preschoolers (with the mumps!) to Oregon to live with her parents in their tiny two-bedroom house. When I was 10, she married to a man who was divorced with four children.
Cue the Brady Bunch intro with the big house! Oh wait, it was nothing like that.
Money was tight, and we lived in a garage that we built as a family.
It was on a gravel road three miles from a small town, surrounded by forests, fields and orchards.
I spent summers working in the fields and falls working in the orchards.
At 17, I met my birth mother for the first time - and then her entire family.
(A couple of years later, I met my birth father and half-brother.)
I saved my money, was the valedictorian of my class of 36, got scholarships, and headed off to college.
During my senior year, I spent nine months living and traveling in nine Asian countries.
Me with the new friends I met while trekking in Nepal, 1982.
When I returned, freshly graduated (I had my ceremony in Sigmund Freud´s house in Vienna), it was the middle of a recession. It took months to get a job.
The first one I got: teaching English in rural Japan.
And that´s where I met my husband, a fellow teacher who grew up just ten miles from me.
Just a couple of newlyweds at the Nebuta Festival in Aomori, Japan, 1985.
Random: At the festival, I was handed a carton of apple juice. I took a sip and said, Oishii! (delicious). Someone filmed it. It ran as a commercial in Japan for years.
We got married the day after my husband graduated (early) from college, and had four daughters within the next six years. After spending five years in Japan, we moved to a small college town in Oregon. My husband started an import/export business. I taught part time at the ESL institute at the local university until my youngest was born.
When she started preschool, I opened a vintage/second hand clothing store in the same Main Street building where my husband had his company.
Those were fun seat-of-our-pants years, with four young children, three businesses (including a skateboard/snowboard shop), and a long list of community activities of our own design, from building a skateboard park to creating the Ten Twenty Market, a Saturday market for those ages 10 to 20 to sell their wares and services. I was honored as Hometown Hero by the city and as Best New Business by the Chamber of Commerce.
Bleached-hair me at Retro Active Clothing Company in 1996.
Then, we decided to take a three-month trip with our four daughters to Nepal and India, where my husband had spent a year as a Rotary Youth Exchange student when he was 16.
It was a life-changing adventure for our family.
We went back home, put our beloved house on the market, and moved to Missoula, Montana.
But that only lasted a year. We returned to Oregon.
Three of our daughters went on their own Rotary Youth Exchange years abroad.
And then, we made a huge change: we sold everything and moved to MEXICO!
We had four teenage daughters to usher through high school and into college.
We had no Spanish skills and no connections.
A year later, we moved to Argentina.
Our daughters were well on their way to graduating from a U.S. or Canadian university before the age of 20, with no debt. People asked how they did it.
I wrote a query letter, and got a book deal.
My book, THE NEW GLOBAL STUDENT, was published by Crown (Random House) in 2009.
"Funny innovative, and meaningful...a how-to guide with heart."
The Boston Globe
"Tremendous insight...Essential reading for families yearning to step off the treadmill and plunge into the world."
Daniel H. Pink, New York TImes' bestselling author of DRIVE and A WHOLE NEW MIND
As new empty nesters, my husband and I bought a farmhouse in rural Uruguay and spent a hilarious year trying to refurbish it. But we missed being around kids.
So, we decided to return to Asia to teach young children again. We got jobs teaching at a private kindergarten in Beijing, China. After a year, I was promoted to vice principal. And then, I served as the governess for the family of Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, in Hangzhou.
Me teaching the Lucky Baby program I developed based on the latest research in infant language acquisition, Beijing, 2011.
Longing for sunny skies, bright colors, and warm winters, we left China after four years and moved to Mexico, where we immersed ourselves in creating art daily.
Ready for some fresh mountain air after the heat of the Yucatan, we then moved to San Cristobal de Las Casas, elevation 7000+ feet. Next, we moved back to Buenos Aires, where our youngest daughter was living. We fell in love with it all over again.
Buenos Aires is our base.
We live a couple of blocks from our youngest daughter and her 3-year-old son. The four of us head north every year to gather with the rest of our family, (including five grandchildren under 5) who live in Amsterdam, Dubai, and Sacramento.
We are a close-knit but scattered crew. (Our daily WhatsApp chats are absolutely on fire.)
When the pandemic hit, we were stuck in Buenos Aires during one of the longest and strictest lockdowns in the world. I used it to start a new project: Switch Strategies for Change.
That´s when I started helping women over 50 create digital courses - though that was not my initial plan. (I roll with things!)
I also got into creating digital art. (Did I mention we spent the months-long lockdown in a studio apartment?)
I learned about web 3, blockchain, and NFTs. I turned my art into NFTs and sold them, with most of the proceeds going to organizations working effectively on climate change solutions.
I became a vocal advocate for sustainable blockchain practices and ethical AI guidelines, participating in (virtual) panel discussions and writing articles for environmental trade journals.
My art was sold to collectors around the world, and shown in exhibits in the UK, Spain, France, and Italy.
My digital art piece, Bridal, shown at Poble Espanyol in Barcelona, Spain, 2022.
I am deeply grateful to be living my dream life. It´s not for everyone, but it´s perfect for ME.
What does YOUR dream life look like?
I´m asking because that´s kind of my thing.
I love helping women like you imagine what you want and then make it happen.
I believe you are here for a reason.
(And not just because it´s the bottom of the page!)
If you´re interested in learning more about what creating a digital course can do for you and how to design your own course concept, I invite you to consider joining the waitlist for my course, Vague to Visionary.
There will be a limited introductory launch in January 2024.
I miss you already!
I´d love to stay connected.
Maybe follow me on my brand new Instagram account?
I´ll be posting there almost every day. (I know...but it´s fun!)