In my early days I had plenty of energy & spunk!
I worked hard in several industries through my career. Physically and mentally, I've always felt the call to rise high to every challenge.
I have run several businesses as an independent contractor, or a sole proprietor. I've worked for others as an employee, and as an executive.
I've lived and worked a long time...
and I love variety, learning, and solving problems!
Some of my past business has been large-scale floral design, floral wholesale supply, and the exciting challenge of being a specialty floral interior designer and installer.
Another business venture: I contracted with the Forest Service to clear undesired species out of the alpine forests on Mt. Adams in Washington State, working in the snow and on through the summers.
I camped, trekked, and hauled through the beautiful Mt. Lassen area of Northern California, when I contracted to supply pine cones to seed companies and wreath makers.
After my daughter reached school age I had to settle down and work in one place!
I decided to settle on the nursery and landscape industry and started working as a greenhouse grower- right across the street from my daughter's bus stop.
Pretty soon I was designing landscapes for homeowners, and running a landscape pruning business on my days off.
Then I branched out into installing specialty gardens and planters for homes and businesses, was hired by a destination nursery as a display design specialist. I became a WA State Certified Nursery Professional, then moved into managing a Japanese Nursery and learning about Japanese landscape and bonsai from a Master.
I taught horticulture workshops and held clinics at Recreation Centers, Libraries, Community Colleges, and nurseries.
I enjoyed speaking and presenting, and I wanted to make sure my audience enjoyed it too! So I joined Toastmasters to hone my speaking skills and presentation effectiveness.
The work joyfully sustained me. I loved my days spent outdoors, the fresh air and exercise keeping me fit and strong. And my mind challenged with plants and problems, teaching, and making creative solutions.
I was elected to the board of the WA State Nursery & Landscape Association, and President of the largest chapter, where my problem analysis and presentation skills became very critical.
Money and success came and went, sometimes easy, sometimes struggling...but I didn't worry about it, with my life and livelihood flowing to me and through me.
Then everything went bad.
Well. My health suddenly crumbled.
I was tired all the time. I kept losing weight. My brain was foggy, and my whole body hurt. My sleep was almost never, and when I did sleep my dreams were strange and disturbing.
No one had answers for me, not doctors or specialists or naturopaths. I spent a year resting and recovering as much as I could.
I finally got to the point where I could walk around the block. My savings were running out, and I was desperate to go back to work.
I knew I had to make a change to something less physical, so I took a job in a bookstore, while I studied for the Real Estate License exam.
The challenge of Real Estate!
It was a very different beast from my previous industries...from digging in the dirt and identifying pest and mildew problems, to learning about the transfer and finance of millions of dollars in a single transaction.
I started small, very small. I almost gave up, but the people around me believed in me and supported me. Brokers, teachers, associates held out their hands to help me, and I gratefully accepted every gift of time and knowledge.
Finally I began to achieve great goals...
...as long as I kept longer & longer hours,and worked harder and harder.
Each day I got up early, first one in the office, to start the phone calls, the tasks, the meetings, the networking, the showings.
Many times I'd be on the icy road before 6am
to let an inspector or appraiser into a home,
and end my day with a 9pm meeting for clients who had to list their home for sale.
Then I'd drive home, watching the full Winter moon sail through the frosty branches of the bare trees.
I started a network with a handful of the most sincere agents, newbies like me, who were dedicated to the highest values of agency and client representation.
We pooled our strengths and resources. We took the latest courses on law, finance, and marketing, and we shared our learning. We helped each other create the best reports, take the best photos, do the best staging.
We called ourselves "Great Agents" and had dreams of becoming leaders in our local market.
Then my health crumbled...again. Even worse.
My father grew ill and developed dementia, and needed more & more attention.
I kept working, and also made time to be with Dad as much as possible.
Don't get me wrong;
I also loved my work and my clients,
and some days the hours happily flew past!
But I got caught in the cycle of working harder and longer, pushing through the fatigue and the pain...
and finally I fell apart.
Every day became pain, pain, fear, and loss.
I couldn't find answers to my health problems.
I was afraid that I was dying slowly, my life energy draining away.
Again, I was too tired and too ill to work.
Then my father passed away, bless his soul.
Bless your heart, Dad!
I moved from my home on the mainland
Hawai'i Island is the Orchid Island