Saturday, November 20, 2010

Managing technology

There are many parts to manage when considering a big adventure. One, which is my current challenge, is managing the mere technology of it all. If I want to keep in touch with you while I am ON my big adventure, I must learn HOW.

When I did my previous ride, I had a small "net book," a small computer which connected to the internet and enabled me to write my blog each day. I could upload photos, write, send. I could access my e-mail, and that was about all I needed to be able to do.

Since I did that ride, I have added a couple of new parts to my life, including being a person who travels and speaks about things, including honeybees. It is much easier to talk about something like honeybees if I can show photographs.

My little net book was not strong enough to handle a powerpoint presentation.
I decided I NEEDED to be able to do a power point presentation.
I decided I needed something more advanced.

Also, when traveling, the mere idea of lugging a 10 pound piece of machinery has become an absolute chore. Amazing to think that my first "portable" computer fit into a carrying case the size of a quarter of a Smart Car! But anyway, now I don't WANT to carry around anything big.

I now, as a result of all this, own an iPAD.

But then I needed to get a special connector to connect the iPAD to a projector. I needed a little connector to take my photographs off my camera and onto my iPAD. And, today, I decided that I needed a keyboard.

I am almost up to a new small suitcase for all the connectors and bits of paraphernalia that I am amassing.

BUT - it all seems to be working.

So, in short, it may seem that the most important thing about a big bike adventure is the bike and the body. But, as you see here, those are not the only concerns.

Glad to know it all works.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:weaverville, nc

Friday, November 19, 2010

Getting ready for the next ride

I have the reason: a ride for Henry, a fundraiser for Be The Match, the group which helps make bone marrow donation matches. This group helped Henry and so I am going to try to help them.

The ride happens in the summer of 2011.
For now, I am trying out sending a blog on my new iPad.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Biltmore Ave,Asheville,United States

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My TED talk

September 22, 2010

It has been a long time since I've written. A lot has transpired since the ride finished but not all has been worth recording here. And, truth be told, I got caught up in the day to dayness of it all and did not feel motivated to write. Did not, mostly, think about recording thoughts here.

But I seem to be coming out of that foggy place and have some new clearer thoughts and am, with this note, starting back up in this recording of thoughts in this place.

For starters, I thought I'd give a link to my newly posted TED talk. TED stands for Technology. Entertainment. Design. TED talks are short talks about "ideas worth spreading." I've been keeping bees, um, trying to keep bees, for the past three years. This year I have undertaken beekeeping with renewed intention, and this is the genesis of my TED talk. If you'd like to watch it, go to You Tube and type in Laurey Masterton and you'll get to it. Or, if you like, try pasting this into the place you paste things to get to see them.

or this one might work:

On another note, quite pertinent here, I have decided to do another bike ride. This one will be across half of the Northern part of the United States. It is a 6 week ride, from Fargo, North Dakota to Bar Harbor, Maine. It will happen next summer. At the moment, having no extra money, the challenge is how to come up with the 6,000.00 I need to register for the ride. But I'm sure I'll figure that out.

This ride's focus is the Bone Marrow Registry. While I was on the Southern Tier ride last year, I found out that Henry, the son of two of my key employees, had a serious immune deficiency disorder. When I came home, they told me that the only hope for him was to get him a bone marrow transplant. They were gone from work for the next ten months. Henry had a cord blood bone marrow transplant (from blood saved from the umbilical cord of some child) which did not work to fix his immune disorder. But then, in March of 2010, he got a second transplant from a live (anonymous) donor and it worked. Henry child is home, gaining strength and health. He's not well enough to be back in school yet, but he is much better than he was and is going to live.

So - my ride is for him and for others who need a bone marrow transplant.

Back in the saddle I go.
Hop on if you like.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New year. New thoughts.

I'm just back from a week in Mexico. In the airport in Houston, retrieving the week's messages, I read that my home had been broken into. On the plane we were told not to use our cell phones in customs but everyone else was and the line was hugely long and I thought, well, what the hell, I'm just reading my e-mail so what's the big deal? But then, to be standing there surrounded by total strangers, and read that my home had been broken into but that everything was okay, that my pets were not harmed, that the repairs had been made, reports given to the was a lot to read quietly, surrounded by strangers.

This is the hardest time of year for me. Even though this past year was slower than other years, it was still busy in December and the dramatic falloff into January was abrupt. I did have the ability to go to Mexico for a vacation and so there was that week to pour myself into. And while in Mexico I did take a surfing lesson and did, on the third day of trying, manage to stand up, unassisted, on a surf board on a real wave. Big accomplishment.

But lurking in the distance were those questions: "It's January. It's the slow time of year. Last year was tough. What are you going to do to make this one work out better than last?" I mean, this happens EVERY year, this racing and then standing still. Over and over again. And finally it gets to be April 15 and things pick up again and then it's okay until January the following year. Every year I get consumed with worry. How can I make this year different?

In the break in last week, my television was stolen. My ex-partner had bought it, a big television that was much more than I would have bought. Big. But I liked it. And a sting of pearls, the only really valuable jewelry I owned, was taken too. From my underwear drawer! Imagine. I only wore these pearls on special occasions, but I don't like that someone came into my house and went all the way into my closet, into my underwear drawer and took them. Today I decided to go buy another tv. I often come home and sit with my dog and cat, winding down with them tucked in next to me, allowing the day to dissolve, slough off. Lots of people say they hate tv but I like this ritual with my pets. And there is plenty of time spent reading and cooking and visiting with them in other ways too.

I don't have much of a ritual with the pearls, but I miss them anyway.

So I got the new tv today and brought it home and then could not figure out how to make it work. I fussed for a while and then called Monroe, my friend, and simply asked him to come and help me.

My sisters talk about asking for help. They practice doing that. Asking. We are not that great at it, my sisters and I. But they say that help is often right there if you just look - and then ask.

So I did.

Monroe came. Set it all up. Got me coached in how to use the various controllers. And then left.

Today I got an invitation to be filmed for a video about being an ovarian cancer survivor. And I got an invitation to make 15 glass vases for a big event in the spring. Cokie Roberts is going to be the keynote speaker at the event. I've given glass for the past two years and it's exciting to think that my hobby will get to make this sort of appearance at an event with her as the bigwig. My glass - in front of all those people! And I also found out that I might get to do some cooking for the Honey Board at a conference in Las Vegas where I'm speaking (about writing a blog and trying to help grow a business in offbeat ways - like riding a bicycle across the country...)

I wonder about how I will get through until April this year. Monroe and I talked about it a little bit. He had a profound little quip (that I can't exactly remember) but it was something like, "I don't know how I will get there, but I will. And if it doesn't work, I'll just do something else." That's nice to remind myself too. I often forget. Often.

"We will get there, heaven knows how we will get there, we know we will." Words from a song. Words to remember.

I've also decided to sign up for another ride. Sent my money in on December 31st, thereby qualifying for a $700.00 discount. It's not until 2011 and it's a ride from South Dakota to Maine. I have no idea how I will manage to do it, to find time to train, to get the money, the time off, to have the staff in place to work it out. And I don't know if I'll do it as a fundraiser or not. But today I told the ovarian cancer people that I would do their video and that I am doing another ride. And I do, of course, know that I can raise money and take time off and do what it takes to get ready for something like this. And I know how much it means to me (and, to others) and so I'm going to do another one. I find that putting something GOOD in front of me helps me be strong in the face of things that might be not so good.

Help is everywhere and if this, whatever THIS is in any given moment, doesn't work, it is not the end of my life. It is not the end of the world. Maybe this is what the lesson of the day is. Maybe.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Where does the time go?

It is late November. Nearly December. SO far from the ride. SO far from anything resembling the training regimen I was undergoing at this time last year. Gosh, at this time last year I was writing donation inquiries, going to spin classes, wondering who was going to take care of my dog and my house, and worrying about the tanking economy.


Now I'm done with the ride. Things are going on at work which are making it essential that I be there quite a bit at the moment. I am not in biking shape right now. I would have a hard time doing that ride if I had to go today. But, on the other hand, I'm really in the thick of my work and that feels good, right, better than tolerable. And that, to be sure, is a fine place to be.

Today I spent time on the phone with someone I do not know, trying to help her find some support for her newly diagnosed cancer. Yesterday I was in the hospital, visiting my little four year old friend, who is dealing with cancer. Another friend has cancer. Another one too. And another.

I'm trying to stay above it, above the fear, above the feeling that it is closing in on me. I'm trying to believe that I can be a supporter and not have it land on me, infuse itself in me. I do believe it. Mostly.

I think about the meaning of the ride for me. I have met many people who have told me that my ride was meaningful for them. I follow a couple of folks whose epic journeys speak to me so I can understand that mine might too. And at the same time, I wonder if it's done. People ask me what is next. I keep saying that work is the important thing for me right now, but their questions make me wonder if I am going to do another big project like the bike ride and if so, what it will be. And when it will be. And if I SHOULD be driving myself toward something.

But right now does not seem like the time. I got a hint the other day that there might be more to this ride for me. I sense it. Feel it hovering even though I don't know what exact form it will take.

Anyway - this is all popping in and out of my waking and sleeping thoughts. And, as usual, I wonder if it matters that I tell you. But just in case it does - here you go.

Happy Thanksgiving.
I hope to say more soon.

With love and in deep appreciation.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hi hi hi.

Long time with no posting. Sorry. I've been in my kitchen, at parties, at home 9a little bit) and not doing much that has anything to do with my bike except passing it as i stumble to the washing machine or dryer.

Actually, things have been fun, full and interesting. My life right now continues to be good. My sister talks about The Flywheel Effect which is all about things taking a long time to get started but then, once the momentum takes over, there is less effort and more movement, seemingly all on its own. Of course it is NO all one its own, it still takes effort, but it might appear that things are happening with less effort. Sort of like the "Overnight sensation" who has actually been studying and practicing and trying for a long time. We are not experiencing a "sensation" but I do feel a noticeable uptick in energy in my business and it does feel like less effort is required to keep it at this new, higher level.

I traveled to New York a couple of weeks ago and spoke at The Culinary institute of America. I did not attend culinary school so it felt particularly fun to be a guest speaker. An affirmation, of sorts, that the paths I took to get here are valid after all. (I know this, of course.) I shared the bill with three other women chefs who are successful restaurateurs. All of us spoke with deep conviction about our work and I felt especially good, hearing them, about this work that I get to do. Finally, after all these years, I feel proud and good. This is new, very new for me and I like it.

On my way back to North Carolina I had two short but lovely visits. First I was able to spend one hour with a close college friend who is now a successful orchestra conductor. Conductors travel all over the place, guest conducting here and there. he was at the Manhattan School of Music and I had a great time sitting and listening to a run through of that night's concert. We've known each other since college and there is nothing like deep, old friendships to fill me.

And then I had the great good fortune to have a brief rendezvous with Roz Savage, a British woman who just finished rowing from Hawaii to Tuvalu, a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I followed her blog, wrote to her often, and filled myself with HER story. Our paths connected on my way home and we had a terrific conversation, one hour long, about rowing and life and biking and work and trying to live a good life. She is certainly one of my inspirations and I left, filled with warmth at having had that time with her.

Now I'm back to cooking and imagining things. Right now seems to be the time to put things in order. I'm painting my shop, having trees trimmed at home, replacing broken equipment in my kitchen, making things nice. I'm not sure why but it seems to be the right thing to do.

Sorry for the long pauses in my notes. This, truthfully, is the first time I've had time to sit and reflect in quite some time.

I'll write again before long.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Where've I been?

Oh me, oh my. Time seems to have flown, or crept along (depending on one's perspective) and I look and see that it has been a month since I last wrote. REALLY?

Let's see:
I fired my chef - caught him doing things that are against the rules of my business. The unfortunate thing is that I was not prepared for that to happen and had NO back up plan. I even thought, when I was firing him, "How do you think you're going to make it through THIS one?" But MY integrity was on the line and he was out, which left, um, ME to be "in." Yipes!

I have not cooked, really cooked, in a long time. Sure, I go to parties and arrange food, but starting from scratch, as it were, is not something that I'm in training for. Of course I have not forgotten what to do - just got way out of practice. But food needed to be made and everyone else's days off loomed and so, I dusted off my chef pants and got to it.

The reality of this new schedule was that I got up really early, cooked until the kitchen seemed under some sort of control, and then went into my office to start THAT work. Nothing really got dropped. A LOT got added.

A few days after the chef was booted, I found a new fellow who is terrific and who has joined us. I stayed in the kitchen, however, because he was so new to us that I don't think he'd even eaten our food before coming in. But he's catching on quickly. One of my other cooks went away for two weeks and I filled in for her.

And then two of my managers, who are married, have just left for about 4 months - off to take care of their little boy who has a serious medical condition. More juggling. Someone moved up to cover one of them, someone else moved up to cover for the other one. Others moved to take over for the people who moved to cover the missing managers. It has felt like one of those little puzzles where you shift one tile which makes a space for another to move, which makes a space for ANOTHER to move. Hopefully, at some point, you have a tidy, orderly picture.

We haven't felt very tidy or orderly - but we're getting there.

In the meantime, I've started a cooking class series, have continued to do one day of early cooking, have filled in for the delivery guy (who is leaving shortly - he has been replaced (yay!) and have covered for another delivery person who got hurt recently.

It's been kind of crazy.

Fun things have included getting ordained by the Universal Life Ministry and conducting my very first wedding (!) and also winning third place in the WORLD Gee-Haw-Whimmy-Diddle contest.

Oh - and we won Best Caterer in Asheville.
And last night there was a bear in my yard.
And a flock of chickens.
And, just down the road, a flock of huge wild Turkeys.

Now I can see why I have not written very regularly, can you?

I'll try to be better.
I have not been on my bike hardly at all, though I AM going to go to The Culinary Institute of America next week to talk about the ride. On we go.

Good night for now.