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An extraordinary day…

I had the distinct honor and privilege to be in a small group discussion with an AMAZING Organizer yesterday in San Francisco. My expectation was that I would be in a small auditorium to hear someone famous speak, and then I would try to make contact with some potential clients after the presentation. I also had a report to deliver to the TIDES Foundation account executive I will be working with on behalf of my employer. As often happens in my life, that’s not exactly how things went. Instead, on a rainy day in my beloved City by the Bay, I was ushered into an inner sanctum around a conference table and INVITED to talk about my work. I did not hesitate. I presented my colleagues’ work and talked about the need to amplify the message of social justice and human rights, and the speaker asked me what I needed next. I spoke clearly about our need to connect with other funders to take our project nationally, and after the presentation, several founders of MAJOR institutions I would never be able to meet under any other circumstances came forward with their cards and gave me specific contacts for my colleagues to call, and ideas for me to pursue going forward. It did not really hit me until later, after the long drive back to Sacramento in Friday afternoon traffic, and the follow up work at my desk, what had just happened. My boss called from the airport, to check on how it had gone, he felt badly that he had sent me out into this environment without any support, he was sorry he hadn’t gone with me…. I proudly told him exactly what had happened and who I had met and the contacts I brought back and he said, “WOW! That was unexpected. I have to get on a plane now, but congratulations and thanks so much for being willing to do that!”

I felt momentarily proud, and then I started to shake with exhaustion and anxiety. Had I talked too much? Would they actually respond to my emails or were they just being polite to the country bumpkin from Sacramento…. We shall see what the future brings, but I’d like to share this with you… CLICK on the Trailer tab to see a bit of what I had the extraordinary pleasure of experiencing.

Years ago I took my children to see Mother Teresa in a huge auditorium in Charlotte, NC. It was a powerful message, very inspiring on the big screen hundreds of feet above our heads, but as we walked back to the car, she was also walking back to HER vehicle and reached for my hand and said “Bless You!” and I felt the same power when Heather Booth shook my hand yesterday and told me to “DOUBLE DOWN on that really important work!” Wishing you peace and love As always, xox Greta

I’m in the Library! (shhhh)

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My first book, “Remembering the Way,” is featured in the Fair Oaks Public Library. What a thrill to get the text from a friend, and then see it for myself in the wild!

I donated two copies of my second book, “Staying Afloat,” this morning to the Sacramento Public Library system, and as soon as they are processed downtown, they will be available for checkout.

The PROOF copies of “If Only” are scheduled to arrive today. They’ll be gone over with a fine toothed comb, and then I’ll be able to post news of Pre-Order status on Amazon.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful start to the New Year.

Goal!

When I went to the doctor a year and a half ago, complaining of ankle pain, I told her that my goal was to get back to my hiking group…and thirty five miles a week of walking/hiking.

That started an adventure in which I was diagnosed with bilateral Achilles tendinoses, Breast Cancer, subsequently had a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, and wore immobilization boots for the better part of a year. Now I’m a proud member of the Survivorship Club.

On Tuesday I reached my goal, and let me tell you, I was more than a little teary when I pulled in to the parking lot at the Trailhead.

I hiked the easy three mile path, chatting with the other members and catching up with what had been going on in their lives.

It was as if I hadn’t missed a beat.

I’m deeply grateful for this group and their gracious welcome back to the fold.

ONWARD!

 

 

UPDATE!

The book is LIVE on Amazon…

Friday the thirteenths have always been lucky for me, and now this one is EXTRA special!

Thank you in advance for your support.

Have a wonderful weekend!

xox

 

My latest book

This time last year, I was scheduling surgery after a breast cancer diagnosis. My last blog post on this site was just before I went into surgery.

My latest book, “Staying Afloat” was in the second draft stage when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I guess it might have been easier to stop writing and focus on the business at hand, but that isn’t what I chose to do. I didn’t miss a day of writing or revising or editing except for the morning after surgery when I was in the hospital without my laptop or notebooks. I will say that I think the book is better for the experience. It is a book about survival, and I thought I knew a little bit about that when I first drafted it, but boy howdy did my perspective change with my diagnosis.

I’ve gone through my “uncorrected PROOF” copy with a fine-toothed comb, a highlighter and a stack of flag shaped post it notes, and the book is ALMOST ready to be published.

It is a substantially different book than when I began my quest to write a book about sailing. I had been bitten by the idea when I went with a group of neuroscientists to a Marina in Redwood City in 2013. The team was studying the feasibility of adaptive rowing with additional electrical stimulation to the muscles to simulate the input of the now paralyzed spinal nerves. Early on in the project I thought, “oh goodness, electricity plus water and paralyzed patients, what could POSSIBLY go wrong?” and rolled my eyes. But there I was, standing by the side of the water, caught up in the small but enthusiastic crowd of cheering supporters.

Part of my job that day was to listen to the athletes after their races describing what they felt they needed to go faster or be more stable, or have better input from the muscles that no longer provided that feedback. I was absolutely amazed and inspired by their feedback. They talked about having a freedom out on the water that was denied to them on land, and how they looked forward to the training sessions and of course the actual regattas.

After the recent furor on line about people saying that Stephen Hawking had been “freed” from his wheelchair and his horrible life to dance among the stars, I thought back to what these athletes had said to me. It wasn’t that they felt trapped by their wheelchairs or other mobility devices, it was that people assumed they were incapable, or invisible. On the water, in a boat that looked like all the other boats in the Marina, they were on a relatively level playing field, and people were CHEERING for them.

“My mother worries about me capsizing the boat and drowning out there”, one of the athletes told me, “but I worry far more about falling down the stairs in my chair trying to get in to an inaccessible building and having people just walk by and not bother to help me. Out there on the water, I know someone will take my distress seriously if I tip over.”

It was a perspective I felt humbled by, and privileged to be presented with, and it made all of the difference when I was going through my own surgery and treatments.

The other point that the athletes made to our Spinal Cord Injury group was that WALKING again wasn’t really all that high on their list of things to accomplish. They were far more concerned with being independent in daily living issues like being able to go to the bathroom by themselves or transfer from bed to chair without needing assistance.

I hope I have captured some of their spirit in this book, and that it might inspire someone to see being “out on the water” in a different way.

Although I have not been able to set up a Pre-Order on Amazon, if you would like to purchase an autographed copy, directly from me, the button below should be enabled.

Thank you in advance, from the bottom of my heart, for your support. It means the world to me.

Autographed book

Personalized inscription in my latest book, "Staying Afloat." Cost covers shipping and handling to most US addresses. Leave a comment with the exact wording you would like. Email me for International Shipping charges.

$17.00

This entry was posted on April 13, 2018. 2 Comments

Me Made May

Me_made_MayI’ve been posting on Instagram (@gretalynknits) about #slowfashion and #yearofmaking, but I haven’t gotten involved in the #memademay posts other than to follow along with the amazing makers who are brave enough to post pictures of themselves in their self made wardrobes.

I’ve been wearing the FindYourFade shawl nonstop since I finished it, and am so happy with it! There are yarns from Lake Tahoe, North Carolina, Washington State, and California in the mix, and I feel comforted and loved by this shawl, in both the knitting and wearing of it.

My Me Made May projects will take on an entirely new focus after tomorrow. I’m going in for breast cancer surgery which will alter my body shape substantially. I feel fine, and had absolutely no symptoms, so I expect to be home Friday evening and plan on a speedy recovery. I am fully confident in my surgical team and have a good support network. I plan to craft my post surgery wardrobe with comfort and convenience in mind, given the absolute lack of ready to wear options.

Thank you for your continued friendship and support during my surgery and recovery. I have no idea what I will need in the coming months, but as most of you know, I am reluctant to ask for help. To that end, I intend to get better at resting and self-care, and whatever else is deemed necessary for a full recovery to an active lifestyle.

All blessings to you and yours, as always,

xox

Greta

Dress No. 2

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I am thrilled to report that Dress No. 2 is finished, has been worn with leggings and is now in the wash. I’m already dreaming of the yarn I’ll spin in this year’s Tour de Fleece for an accompanying cardigan. Sonya is my style heroine and a genius pattern drafter. I made NO changes to the actual pattern pieces, although I did cut out FOUR pockets and created a double pocket situation since I always have things in my pockets (like rocks and phones and paintbrushes) that really shouldn’t coexist in the same space…

The radish seedlings are up and the beets have been planted and I am SO ready for Spring!

Blessings to you and yours,

As always

xox