Day 365. December 31, 2013-Wow what a year

So today is a day to reflect.  That is my task today.

What a year.  I started this year without a job, a messy house, unfinished house projects and no clue how the year would play out.  What started out as a resolution to organize my house turned into taking action in creating a crazy future for myself.

This year I gained more than I lost which means I have a surplus.  That is a good thing.  If I can end each year like this then its all good.  So here is a list of some of the things that I gained:

  1. More family time
  2. 2 nephew in laws (Josh and Payten)
  3. A futre niece in law (Amanda)
  4. New friends
  5. Found some old ones that I had lost contact with
  6. Great trips including one to St. Jude Children’s Hospital
  7. A blog of my own
  8. A will to write
  9. Better writing skills
  10. New marketing skills
  11. Crazy courage
  12. New company
  13. New appointment to the Environmental Review and Preservation Board
  14. An organized office
  15. More medals
  16. Another half ironman finish
  17. 4th Place overall for fundraising for Nautica Corporate Challange
  18. 15 pounds (LOL but true)

I know there are others including physical things but these seem most important.

What I learned by looking back at this year is that my resolution  to get one major thing accomplished each day, look at what took me so long to get to it and blog about it was a really good resolution.   I am proud of myself for sticking to it.  It certainly wasn’t easy at times and I did want to give up on more than one occasion but I just kept going.  Some of the tasks just needed time others needed guts.  I definitely had the time but at times I had to muster up the guts. These were the hard ones but in the end were the ones that helped me create my company and gave me the courage to commit to a full ironman.  Here is to 2014.

Day 353-363. December 19-29, 2013- Christmas and Steve’s birthday

So the last 11 days were about the holidays and Steve’s 50th birthday party.  There were parties, shopping sprees, ordering on line and everything in between.  I am not really going to talk about what was accomplished because this is the sort of thing that happens every year.  It is nothing special.

What I will write about is the events spent with family and friends.  First was my cousin Martha’s Christmas eve party.  I cooked lasagna and we had an incredible time.  That night we invited ourselves to Kiki’s house for Christmas.  As usual the food was good, the company was good and the coffee was good.  This year though was different because Kirstie got enagaged earlier in the morning.  Kirstie is Kiki’s daughter and it it is so much fun seeing the next generation growing up.  It was  a great day.

The next day my niece Lena showed up with her fiancé (which I later found out is really her husband) and his mom Anita. I had to dash off to a meeting but we met for dinner later.  After that we moved on to party planning mode.  Steve’s 50th birthday party was approaching and lots of work to get it all done.  The next few days was all about that.

We also went to dinner at my Mom’s favorite spanish place and ended up planning Len and Payton’s wedding.  They had gotten married in a civil service so Lena could get health insurance but they are very excited about the real wedding which will happen in September in Charlotte.

The day of the party was crazy.  We were all wondering when and if  the it was going to rain.  In the end it rained but just for a short while.  Which made for a very nice party once we got everything set up.



Here is everyone digging in to the incredible dinner.



Here is the table which was so much fun to set up.  Everyone loved it including my mom who ad come over earlier to criticize.  She loved it.

What I learned these past days.  Christmas is consuming.  I hate that.  i tried to not have it be that way but no chance.  What I hate the most is that I have 3 days left in my 365 days of to do’s and I wasted 10 days because of Christmas.  It did not help that I was working on the party for Steve.  I have 3 days to fining my list.  Oh boy  have stuff to do.

Day 352-353. December 17-18. 2013. Home made Christmas Santa present and text for webpage

So today was going to be the Curtis + Rogers Christmas lunch which is when we exchange secret santa presents.  Over the years we went from one present for the secret santa to two presents.  One for secret santa and one for the chines exchange.  In addition, one has to be hand made.  The hand made gifts have gotten better over the years but still can be a pain to do because of time.  This year I was on schedule to get it all done on time when I got the call yesterday that lunch was changed to Friday.  I was really bummed because I am super excited about my gift giving this year but ok.  Anyway I ended up with an extra 2 days to get it done.  So of course I didn’t finish it.  LOL.  it will be done by Friday.

Today was all about getting the text done for the webpage.  This has been a task.  I have been working for other people for all of my career and I haven’t had to update my portfolio in 25 years.  So I am starting from scratch.  Today I finished the main text and thought I should send this to my high school english teacher for advice on the writing.  But then I thought really I should send it to Denis, my college adviser that I have kept in contact with since I graduated in 1986.  I love Denis.  He has guided me all of these years and I trust his advice when it comes to my career. I admire him for allowing me to be who I am but also got me to be the best of me that I could be. (I would like to mention that he was not the only one that did that in my life.  I had high school teachers who saw my creative side and really allowed me to be that way. I thank them for getting me out of High school so that I could meet Denis.)

What I learned today is that when it comes to my career I have always looked to Denis for advice. Today was no different.  I met him when I was 16 years old and because of him my life changed.  He was the person who interviewed me to get into the School of Design.  I hated him when left my interview.  I thought that I was never going to get in.  But I got accepted and I was ecstatic.  I later found out that he accepted me into the School of Design with raving remarks although he still thought I was a high risk student he thought I should be given a chance. That chance that he gave me was amazing.  They only accepted 100 students a year into the School of Design.  His acceptance of me proved to be the right decision later in my college days and we became good friends despite our first and second and maybe third encounter.  I will always be grateful for his out of the box way of thinking which lead to my being accepted to college and then later in the courses I took with him.  What he taught me is invaluable and really after 27 years his lessons still stand out in front.

Day 348-351. December 13-16, 2013. Not sure the time has gone by so fast

The last few days I haven’t accomplished anything major.  I am just tackling small tasks that just need to get done.  I am still writing for my webpage, I am still going to my job sites, I am buying stuff for Christmas, I am doing stuff for Steve’s 50th Birthday Party (I sent out the invitation which actually was a big task), I got all my stuff for office Christmas lunch (we need to take 2 presents one hand made and one bought.  One is for secret santa and the other is for the chinese exchange), I took my new bike for a spin, started my herb garden and a whole bunch of other things.

What I am learning is that I have tackled so many major projects this year that really all I have left to do this year is a lot of minor tasks.  These minor tasks all have resulted from the major accomplishments form this year.  14 more days to get it all done.  Feeling  so good.

Day 345-347. December 10-12, 2013-Scattered but productive

The last few days I have been all over but things are happening.  I have been writing like crazy for the webpage.  This is hard work.  I get inspired at the weirdest times so it messes with my schedule.  Really it is ok.  In between I have done other just as important things like visit Moore Park which is just about finished.  This project is a design build project and it started out really slow but it is going super fast at the end.  Here are a few pictures.


Besides work I have been cooking as well.  Trying to use up food in the fridge.  I made the best broccoli soup and really the best shepard’s pie I have even made.  I made it with sweet mashed potato with a touch of cinnamon.  Best part is I have a bunch frozen in the freezer t be consumed later.

But the best thing I did and it is not productive at all is pick up my new bike.  I ordered this thing 6 weeks ago and I have been waiting.  This machine is going to help me finish an ironman. It is so nice.


So this week I have learned that I am so grateful to be busy again.  I love the end of a project when everything is going so fast and you have to move quick to make a change because it will make the outcome so much better.  Today I saw such an opportunity I had to run to make it happen.  I was able to make the change.  Can’t wait until tomorrow to see how the job is progressing.

I  also learned that damn I can make some good stuff with leftover food.  I used to do that in college but stopped since I didn’t have to.  Big mistake.  My best meals are created out of looking at what I have and creating.

18 days and counting.  The stuff that will get done in the next 18 days will blow your mind.  I am my best in these sort of situations.  Gotta love crunch time.

Day 341-344. December 6-9, 2013-Moving right along

So my last post was a difficult one and a little delayed because I wanted to get the opinion of a few people.  I got very different responses and in the end I posted it after some editing.  I do think I was honest and kept my integrity of the situation without actually naming the people  who decided they were not going to pay me back (although I wanted to at first thought).  In the end I came to the conclusion that naming them was not going to move me forward in my new endeavor.  My new endeavor will end up taking me to places that in the end all this will be such a minor thing that I will wonder why I ever even thought twice about it.  Today it is a big deal and I am mad and I want the universe to know the entire truth but tomorrow  really I won’t care and seriously these folks have already taken up too much of my time.  They know who they are and what they did.  They will have to live with it long after I will.

So after that post I moved into action.  I have since accomplished so much.  The biggest thing is that I met with my friend who is helping out with the website.  We figured out the layout and made a list of what I need to write.  I have a lot of work to do now.  I have also updated my Linked account.  This was huge for me as i thought who was gonna care but I have gotten positive responses which was so unexpected.  This is exciting and scary at the same time.

On a personal level I have gotten new house insurance and basically saved about half of what I was paying.  This has been on my list for 12 months at least.  I could have saved over $2,000.00 this year had I done something about it 12 months ago.  My friend Rick Leal is also working on my car and professional insurance.  He is awesome.

This past weekend I also ran a half marathon in West Palm Beach.  I drove up on saturday for a Sunday race.  That is basically all I got done for 2 days.  It was a great day for a race and I had a good time but really it was waste of valuable time.

Today I had to take Steve for a colonoscopy.  Enough said.

What I have learned the last few days is that:

▪   As much as I want to talk shit about someone who messed with me I just can’t

▪   I get so excited about the little things that I am able to accomplish

▪   I am so glad to have a friend taking over my insurance, he is saving me so much money

▪   Out of town races make for a very unproductive 2 days

Really I am so happy I only have 21 one more days of my 365 days of to do’s (not because I haven’t enjoyed it but because I can to wait to see where I end up because of it)

Day 339-340. December 4-5, 2013-Lots done but messed up on dates again

So Today which is day 340 I got so much done.  It was all about getting rid of paper.  I think I took out 4 bags of it to recycling.  In the process I caught up on paying bills and just organizing stuff like taxes.  Mostly I was paying medical ones that come at me all the time and I usually put them aside since they are usually Steve’s and are not on autopay.  Bad habit since I always forget and they pile up.  But whatever its all done now.

I also found other correspondence which I guess I should have read when it came in but I did not mostly because I hate mail.  One of  letters was from an attorney that confirmed that the folks I invested in would not be paying back their loan.  As they put it “I understand that this was a significant investment for you, but unfortunately, the Promissory Note was between you and the folks you invested in.  They in turn, have ceased doing business and the company dissolved.”  Pretty much means ha too bad.  Really, I am not a huge corporation, I am an individual who decided to help another individual who was in need.  And yes it was a large investment.

Really my post today was not about that but it was part of my day so might as well talk about it.  Really what my day was about is getting organized and getting rid of paper.  And that i did and am so happy about it.

Another letter I found was a survey about a proposed dog park in South Miami.  I read through it and found the commissioner who sent it.  I have been wanting to do a community garden/project and get more involved in my small city so I sent an email saying that I would offer my services pro bono to design the park.  He responded that another Landscape Architect had also volunteered and gave me his contact info.  I reached out to him and in the end we are going to collaborate on the park.  Great right?

What i learned is that doesn’t matter how hard I try I get the damn days all wrong.  Really no big deal right.

I learned that I am a person that avoids mail.  Damn shit comes in and I put it in a pile and forget about it.  Really bad habit.  Do not try this at home.

I also learned that I have been trying to keep peace and that has caused me to not be honest.  I have been leaving out information, making me not 100% honest.  The last few days that has haunted me.  This is my blog and I should write what I want.  I have always been honest and as the year is coming to an end I want to do that.  So it is what it is.

Day 337-338. December 2-3, 2013-Mostly concentrated on me

So yesterday I was determined to get back at my training with Andy.  Now that I have the board meetings on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month I needed to change my workout schedule.  After weeks of back and forth I can not change the workout schedule so what we decided is that on the board meeting days I will do a 30 minute session and the rush like a crazy woman to get to my meeting by 8:30am.  I tried it out this week because we only had one item to review.  I got there just in time so I think it will work.

I then met with a friend who I am hiring to help with some of my tasks that need to get done before the end of the year.  This will truly help me get the last few things done to be super organized.  Each day in the last weeks I have made huge progress.  

I then went to open a new bank account just for my business stuff.  The accounting was starting to become a mess and I needed to separate it.  I had asked my accountant for some suggestions and he turned me on to Mercantil Bank.  OMG what a great experience. It is a small bacnk and the branch has 5 employees.  I met them all and the branch manager was great and offered so many suggestions on how to keep costs down.  I have already told Steve we should move our personal account to there.  So that happens next week when he gets home.

In the middle of all this I remembered I had to pick my Mom up at the airport.  Now I booked the ticket and stupid me decided to get her back during heavy school traffic.  I must remember that i am usually the one that takes her and picks her up from the airport.  Need to make that note to self.  After we got to her house she was so happy to see the new couch at her house so thank you so much Marta.  Then we ended up going for dinner.  Seriously love hanging out with my Mom.  The stuff that she says are hilarious.

I then relaxed and ended up sending an email to someone and their response was so great that it brought me to tears.  What a great way to end the day.

Today was crazy.  Went to one of my job sites.  This park is coming together so fast and it is looking fantastic.  I can not wait till it is all finished.  This project was so painful during the design phase but going so smoothly during the construction phase.  So glad to be working with such a great contractor (Pirtle Construction, they are the best). Here are some photos.


Close up of some of the paving. Can’t really see the color because of the sun.


After the site visit I went straight  to see Ruben Serrano  to see what can be done about my neck and knee pains. He did a very thorough examination which tested different muscles and it kind of freaked me out because I seemed weak.  He assured me that all would be ok.  So apparently I need to loosen up my calves ( I always loved the fact that my calves were so strong). So he explained all sorts of things but here is my english version. My calves are on fire and because of that all my other muscles required to run have gone to sleep so they are weak causing havoc on my body). For my neck I need to work on posture (that was pretty much a given). I noticed the difference after he proceeded to loosen up my calves. Then he got me to sit in right posture. That actually hurts so I have some work to do. So he gave me some homework. Basically 1 stretch per calf and then 3 exercises to do twice a day for a total of about 12 minutes. Amazing stuff and I am so glad to find out its a stuff I can easily repair. Thanks for the hook up Karen M Redmond.

I was so hungry by the time I left but ended up having to pick up my fruit box that Endlessly Organic offered me.  I then rushed home had lunch and headed to the office to do a few things.  I did not realize but it was 4pm by the time I got to the office.  Wow the day went by so fast.

After the office I came home ordered business cards, paid some bills, took Mo for a walk and blogged.  What a day.

So what I learned is:

  • I have so missed my workout sessions with Andy.
  • Strong claves are not always good.
  • I love watching my projects come alive.  The reason I love construction administration so much.
  • I truly love hanging with my mom (well this more of an affirmation).
  • I can be brought to tears with once sentence when it comes from the right person.
  • I love being busy.
  • I am loving December.

Day 334-336. November 30-December 2, 2013-Moving right along

So I realized today that the days weren’t adding up.  Somewhere along the line I missed some days or mixed them up so that is the reason for the jump in days since my last post.  Anyway today is really day 336 which means only 29 days left in my 365 days of to dos.

Since Thanksgiving is now over it was time to decorate for Christmas.  Easy right?  Well not at my house.  I had to move furniture around and needed to find a way to get a couch to my mother’s house since it was taking up too much space at my house.  So I put out a message on Facebook and my cousin offered to help.  

Once the furniture was moved it was time to hit the shed to pull out the decorations.  I started with the tree.  OMG it was horrible.  The thing was full of roaches.  Freaked me out.  So I left it on the back porch over night so the roached would leave.  The next day I took out a few containers to start decorating and really all I ended up with is lights and the big santa and my village houses.  That is all that is getting set up until Steve gets home because I am not going back in the shed.

So that was the decorating portion (which I haven’t finished but it is a good start).  I then sat down and started writing.  I am updating some stuff and last week I lost the file and basically had to start over.  I wrote like a crazy person and on Saturday was up until 4am working.  I got so much done it was great.  Funny part was that I ended up finding the original file after I was finished.  So yesterday I combined the work from both to get a really good write up.

Sunday was spent cleaning and then off to Sunday Funday with my friend Sue.  She is not drinking this week because she has a full marathon on Sunday so we decided to leave our bubble since she was driving.  It was nice getting out of the neighborhood. Plus the Dolphins won.

Today was all about getting back to my online course.  I pretty much spend the entire day doing that until my cousin was headed over to help me move the couch.  I decided I would take my dog out for a quick walk.  I grabbed my phone and headed out.  As soon as I slammed the door I thought oh crap I don’t have keys.  Thank God I had my phone.  I called Marta to tell what happened and we decided that we would go to my Mom’s and get my key.  As soon as I hung up I was like well how will I get in her house.  My keys are inside.  I then started calling people.  I have keys at several friend’s houses.  Of course no one was home and they were not 100% sure they had keys anymore.  In the end my friend Cindy got home the fastest and she did have the key so were able to get the couch moved.  My other friend Aida also confirmed that she had a key so at least I know who has keys.

What I learned the last three days is:

  • having to write things a second time usually ends up better
  • I need a new shed
  • I have great family and friends
  • my house looks so much better without that couch
  • I love my on line course and so glad I finally got back to it
  • 29 days is not a lot of time to get everything done