I am now officially in a new territory – a place filled to the brim with Red Sox and Yankees fans. For real. Rabid fans who aren’t nearly as boastful as in years’ past and just full of explanations as to why their teams aren’t doing so hot this year. Yada, yada, yada. Blah, blah, blah.
Well, there’s a new gal in town and she bleeds orange. And, this season is one worth hooting and hollering about… IF you are an Orioles fan. Heck, much of the team has been hurt and missing games throughout the season and Crush Davis is doing the exact opposite from his massive homerun hitting streak last year. But, these guys are good. They play well together, they work hard and they don’t give up. I like our guys. In all likelihood, unless something really crazy happens like them losing just about every game remaining this season, they will be the AL East Champions. We’ll worry about those pesky West Coast Angels down the road.
When we moved up here, I was prepared to be (most likely) the only bird girl in town. But… if you keep your eyes and ears open, it’s just like spotting that rare bird in the branches of a tree on an early morning birding expedition. Those birds are out there.
Here are a few that I have found:
Long Distance Spotting
Even before we moved to Woodstock, VT, I started following on Facebook and Twitter, various businesses and people who live/work in the area just to get a “feel” of the place and everything going on. One of those Facebook pages I followed was the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce, and, I would often “like” things on their page or make comments. Shoot, I had even sent away for my “Newcomer’s Package” from them.
Well, it just so happened, that on Opening Day in April, the Boston Red Sox played the Orioles at Camden Yards. I posted a photo about this event on Facebook (no one knew at the time how much the Red Sox would suck this year) and the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce reposted it on their page. Surprised? Why, yes! So, I ran over to their page and told them I knew I would probably be the only Orioles fan in Woodstock, but I was looking forward to recruiting some more. Ha, ha.
From out or nowhere, a guy posted that, he, too, was an Orioles fan. He always had been and always would be. Just so happens he owns one of my now favorite restaurants in town. Not only is he smart, he’s a great chef, and maybe, my best friend here.
I’m was at the weekly Market on the Green checking out all the fresh veggies and meats from local farms and spotted an alpaca booth. Well, anyone who knows me knows that after baby goats, alpacas are the bomb.
I made a beeline to the booth and started talking to this lovely couple who own the Vermont Alpaca Company where they breed alpacas and harvest their wool. We started chatting and they asked me where I had moved from. The minute I said “Baltimore”, the man told me had been an Orioles fan for fifty plus years – and he was raised in upper New York state. When I asked him how that happened, he told me that when he was a kid, he was playing ball on a lot with a bunch of other kids who all said they were Red Sox or Yankee fans. Not being one to just fit in with the crowd, he wanted to be somebody else’s fan. So, he ran into his home, flipped the newspaper open to the sports section, and the first article he saw was about the Baltimore Orioles. He ran back outside and told everyone that he was a proud Baltimore Orioles fan. And, he still is.
He has the MLB app that lets him watch all the games and he sees just about all of them. I hope his wife is a fan, too.
A couple of Friday night’s ago, a local farm that supplies many of the markets and restaurants around with organic meats, hosted a Friday night barbeque, music, and hayride event in the fields of their incredibly beautiful farm. Believe me when I say, it was like something you’d see in the movies. Rolling pastures, mountains, wildflowers, kids playing in the fields, horses grazing in a pasture nearby, a great country music band, and happy, happy people eating, sipping wine and beer and having a fabulous time.
And, then I spotted him. An older, distinguished looking man headed back to his seat with a full plate… wearing an Orioles cap! For real. Bob told me to settle down but there was no stopping me. “Hey, you… Orioles fan,” I squealed, which can be quite dangerous in Red Sox territory, especially because they are sooo sensitive about this season. He came over to where we were sitting and I have to tell you, he could be my new best friend.
Get this… he lives IN Boston, but became a big fan of the Orioles the first time he went to a game at Camden Yards in the late 90’s. He goes whenever he can and that’s made easier since his son is a doc at Johns Hopkins. This man knows Orioles baseball and since he lives in Woodstock all summer and fall, we will definitely be carrying the orange banner here during playoffs, and dare… I …. say… the World Series?????
Needless to say, I am a happy woman. I love my new home and the people I am meeting. I really love the fact that I have some other birders living around me. As I tune into the games on my MLB app and twitter or text message game commentary to my two main Orioles buddies back in Baltimore, I am feeling content. Real content.
Come October, watch out.
Any other Boys of Summer fans out there?
Meet Nancy Ferrari
Nancy Ferrari shares her messages of inspiration and positivity as the host of her radio show, The Nancy Ferrari Show, on W4CY Radio within Talk 4 Media Network and iHeartRadio. Nancy is a speaker, author of Discover the Essence of You, and contributing writer for numerous online publications, including as a featured writer for Applaud Women Magazine. Nancy is a co-author within the best-selling books, Selling With Synchronicity, Contagious Optimism and She Shines: A Celebration of Women.
As founder of Nancy Ferrari Media & Mentoring, Nancy’s vision is to help women connect with their core essence and discover their true calling. Nancy serves on the Board for The Little Light Project and is a charter member of Lessons From Network, as a Life Transition Expert. Nancy’s message is to embrace the gift within and let it shine!
People would be surprised to know that: I was crowned Miss North Hollywood in 1972 when I was only 17 years old. This was only my second pageant that my modeling agency entered me in and felt it would be a good opportunity to express myself as a person and not just another pretty face. I was told that it was my speech about my heritage that captivated the judges!
The WTL 5:
What is the conversation that changed your life?
The conversation that changed my life was the opportunity to chat with Jean Houston. I had the pleasure of interviewing her two years ago on my radio show and then met her in person thereafter at the Women’s Journey Conference. Ms. Houston is wise beyond measure and it was when she asked me questions with our chat that prompted me to deep thought. She shared that we all have a story within us, such as she wrote within her book, A Mythic Life: Learning to Live Our Greater Story, and prompted me to recall why I loved “Sleeping Beauty” when I was a child. The analogy to my adult life was astounding. In essence, Ms. Houston shared that we all live a mythic life and to stay awake to all the possibilities within our lifetime!
What are you most conscious of today?
As I observe life and shifts therein, I find myself conscious of values and how they appear to have lost their significance. As a mother of three children, and now a “Nana” to my two young grandchildren, my observation is that digital devices are being utilized as a substitute for the one-to-one connection between a parent and child. I also feel strongly that it is not a teacher’s job to parent a child. Their job is to teach and encourage children to be their best in life.
What part of you have you yet to give a voice to?
As I speak daily through any one of my media outlets, radio shows, speaking to groups of people or writing, I feel I have yet to give voice to our young women and how the value of “respect” is needed. Once again, value for life and respect for each other has taken on a new form and if I can make a difference in even one person’s life as I educate and inform how damaging bullying is, then that is my legacy.
What’s the conversation that women need to be having collectively?
A conversation I feel that women need to be having is about connecting in collaboration and not competition. Whether it be a group of career women, a group of mothers, women in transition as children leave the nest and beyond, much can be accomplished when we support one another and implement trust within our relationships. Together, we can achieve a ripple effect which carries forth from connections with each other – which truly is needed in this massive global shift.
What needs to be said bigger, louder, stronger?
Honoring ourselves, loving ourselves and freely expressing ourselves needs to be shouted from within and radiated outward. For all that our trailblazers and pioneers who paved the path for us have done, the question remains, why have we gone silent? Far too often, I hear women share their shame, fear of judgment, fear of retribution and being ostracized which saddens me beyond measure. I encourage women to love and honor themselves and acknowledge that they are unique gifts to the world.
Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your powerful voice
with WomanTalk Live.
Whenever I think about things happening in the future, I often think it feels like it’s a long time away – especially if it’s something I’m looking forward to and excited about, much like anticipating the Christmas holidays when I was a child. Come December 1st, I thought they’d never get there, but they always did.
Almost exactly one year ago, it was a done deal. We’d gotten back from our vacation in Vermont with an extra souvenir – a permanent new home. And, the focus became getting our home in Maryland decluttered, staged and ready to be put on the market. Oh, and sold.
Knowing that we wouldn’t close on the Vermont home until September 1, 2015 – well, it seemed like plenty of time to get everything done that needed to be done. In addition, it seemed like an agonizingly long time to wait to get into our dream home in our new dream town.
However, in what seemed in many respects, like a blink of the eye, everything happened and came together like a puzzle. We got to Vermont and had a fabulous summer in a rental cottage in town – and, as of this week, we are official homeowning, drivers license bearing, car and voter registered Vermonters.
Shortly after closing, I stopped by the new home to make sure the keys were in good order before I ran off to make copies. It was about 10:30 am and the sun was still coming through the many windows on the backside of the house filling the rooms with sunshine. I opened the French doors to the deck and a few windows and felt a cool breeze flow through the home. I walked into what I call my dream kitchen and imagined what it would be like to cook my first meal there. I walked throughout the entire home into each room to get a sense of them and visualize how they may look a year from now.
I came back downstairs and sat in the middle of the great room floor feeling the sunshine and the breeze and looking out over a rolling back yard and Mt. Peg across the way… and, I started weeping. Happy tears and a full heart, and so worth the wait.
Bob did the very same ceremony later that afternoon on his own to soak it all in on his terms, and then we did it together – to welcome our new home into our lives.
And, starting the very next day after closing, the frenzy started with the scheduling of the workers coming in – gardeners, yard people, landscape designer, tree expert, hardwood floor installers, house cleaners, electricians, new handy man, furnace/ac/air filtration serviced, cable/internet/phones installed, stuff hauled away, upcoming delivery of our Baltimore furniture, working with a decorator on furnishings, and having the entire interior painted. Whoa… lots to do and lots to keep us busy over the next several months.
Even after one day of it all, I am bone tired, excited, and still pinching myself. I am so looking forward to having friends and family come to visit. That will be happening in the blink of an eye, too, thank goodness.
I’m fitting into my new town. I am home. It’s a wonderful feeling.
Last week, we had a few of “those” days in Baltimore – we almost tipped 100 degrees in the dog days of summer after one of the mildest summers in my life! 7 a.m. was hot. 11 a.m. was on fire and so was I. Some of the simplest things in my handbag have become my new friend or you can say even my new lover… like my hair clip!
I have shoulder length layered hair with a mixture of high and low lights. I have always loved my hair… for many women, you understand me, right? In my 30’s and 40’s, I had strangers compliment me on my hair, cut, style, color… a bit has changed since the BIG 50!
Over the past year I have noticed that my hair is dry and not as easy to blow-dry. Then there is the grey strand that really appeared overnight and not just at the root! I am talking an entire 8-10 inches of a full grey strand. Hello! What the heck? Well today, I was coiffed in a chic pants outfit with leopard heels and then… it. hit. me. Starting with my face, back of neck and then the hair – hot flash on top of heat and humidity in Baltimore… what’s a woman to do???
Gotta love my new lover, a tortoise french clip that I can just twist, clip and go! I started laughing in my car as I was driving to an event to speak on a panel about women starting businesses, having courage, patience, passion and persistence to stay on course no matter the uphill battle. Oh how the universe is talking to me about the changes that are starting to surface in my own body and life with menopause at fabulous 50… the uphill battle, right?
I started thinking back to when I was eighteen and seeing my mother with the back of her short hair always wet! Fans always seemed to be blowing in the bedroom, kitchen, and living room. Now I am really laughing because I had no idea what was really happening… I just wanted to escape then and perhaps, now too.
This brings me to the articles I have been writing about this passage in our lives, deep thought-provoking conversations I’ve had with other women, and how embracing this stage in our life cycle seems to be one of the best approaches. I am not saying tough up and just endure. I am loving learning about new studies, treatments and healthy eating and exercise that can eliminate some symptoms. And, I also know the more we honor our bodies with new alternative therapies, the better we may be able to weather the storm.
Luckily I found Andrew M. London, M.D., a leading gynecologist, partnered with Leonard R. Derogatis, Ph.D. and created The Maryland Center for Sexual Health (MCSH) in Lutherville, Maryland. Dr. Derogatis has been an attending psychologist with the Johns Hopkins Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit for over 35 years and was its director for a number of years. Dr. London, The Associate Director of the MCSH, also trained at Johns Hopkins and was Chief Resident in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hopkins. Both clinicians have extensive experience and interest in understanding and treating sexual problems. Research and technology has yielded many new advances in the treatment for hot flashes. I found a pharmaceutical company who announced in September, 2013 a pivotal phase three trial of a bio-identical natural progesterone treatment. I have educated myself on the pros and cons of Bioidentical Progesterone vs. Non Bioidentical Progestin. Benefits of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy (“HT”) are reporting less signs of the risks associated with breast cancer, more favorable on lipid profiles (cholesterol), improved carbohydrate metabolism (glucose/insulin) and improved sleep efficiency and mood. I see light at the end of the tunnel!
MCHS is participating in this phase three trial. Currently, recruiting women, between the ages of 40 and 65, are experiencing discomfort from the first signs of sweating to persistent sweating and/or months or years of experiencing hot flashes. Substantial financial compensation is awarded for your time to participate. The rewards just might out weigh the financial return! To learn more and stay up to date on topics, trends and additional studies Click Here.
MCSH conducts an extensive range of therapeutic clinical drug trials, evaluating the therapeutic efficacy of new drugs for the treatment of numerous sexual problems with women in various stages of menopause in Baltimore.
As I laugh again to myself, I think of my mother in 1982. She did not have access to the vast resources and alternative therapies and treatments I have today. Many strides in research have changed the playing field for women’s sexual health and no doubt, there will be more to come. Anyone who knows me will tell you, I have never liked a “bad hair day” but today, at 50, letting my hair grow a bit longer to be in love with my tortoise french hairclip is not so bad!
Ever since December 2013 when we announced to the world we were uprooting our lives in Baltimore and re-planting them in Woodstock, Vermont, I’ve heard from hundreds of people via conversations, email, blog posting comments, and social media. I’ve gotten everything from High-Fives and Way-To-Gos to “Have you lost your mind? You’re moving where???” But, the two biggest questions I continue to get from people from all over are “How did you decide where you wanted to settle?” and “How did you get the momentum and courage to just do it?”
First of all, I had no idea how many people have serious dreams and plans to live elsewhere – and they are in all stages with this from it being just a dream to having a plan to make the move in a year or even five years or more. They’ve always wanted to live near the water, on a beach, in the mountains, in a small town, in a big city, in a RV traveling the country, in warm weather, in ski country, where they can fly-fish whenever they want, where they can golf every day, where they start their dream of making fig jam and selling it at the local farmer’s markets – there is always something tied to the place they want to move that makes them want to move there.
For others, they haven’t determined where the where is… they just know that they are ready to pull up roots and start anew in a different locale. They aren’t in a rush. Nothing is making them move like a job or elderly parents or children and grandchildren. They are just ready for change and ready to explore other parts of them that are waiting to come to the surface.
The latter is exactly where Bob and I found ourselves. We weren’t being chased out of town and we didn’t have to leave for any particular reason. However, we weren’t “from” Baltimore, had no family ties there, and our answers to the frequently asked, “Where did you go to high school?” made no difference at all since I grew up in Virginia and Bob in New York Bob could do his work from anywhere and I had to make the decision to stop the radio show and as difficult as that was, I know me and I knew that something else would fill that void and give me the opportunity to explore other interests and possibilities. We were as free as birds.
But, it wasn’t that simple. We had to explore and really do some homework before we made the decision. So, for the past five years or so, we had seriously been looking and considering. What part of the country? What about living in a foreign country? What kind of weather? What size city or town? Besides having “mountains” or “beaches” of “desert”, were there other things that would be important for us to have around? And, the answer was, “Absolutely.”
Here was our list of most wanted things:
- to love the “energy” of wherever we moved – to feel something special about the place. I call it the “pinch me” factor. I am still pinching myself and imagine I will be for a long time.
- to be able to afford to live wherever we chose – to find out about housing costs, all forms of taxes, utilities and any other expenses of living in the chosen place. Also ,to consider that if we could not afford to live exactly where we wanted, but we could afford to live ten miles away – would that be okay or real deal breaker?
- to examine the demographics of the town we were considering and the areas close by. Would there be enough diversity for us and would we have access to diverse people?
- to have good medical health care options and a major medical center close by.
- to have a major college or university close by – feeling that the youth of the students keeps things lively and the institution itself would offer endless opportunities for learning and entertainment.
- to have access to cultural classes, programs and events.
- to have the perfect place for road biking and access to a top notch fitness facility.
- to be able to take advantage of other outside interests the area has to offer – golf, winter sports, fishing , hiking, sailing, kayaking, etc. – being able to participate in things we knew we loved and also, to be able to explore other new activities.
- to be aware of the ease or challenges of living in the chosen spot – how easy are daily errands, where would we go shopping, where would we have our car serviced, etc.
- to live in a walkable place – we loved the idea of walking to get a cup of coffee or visiting the local bookstore.
- to be aware of traffic – what are daily traffic patterns like or what happens when tourist season hits full force?
- to be comfortable with the number of and types of restaurant choices in the chosen area – it had to be way more than fast food chains for us and we had to have access to good ethnic food and places that serve healthy local foods.
- to be in awe of the aesthetics of the area – to not only LOVE our surroundings but LOVE the home we chose.
So, those were the main things for us and it took us five years to say, “BINGO!” We traveled north, west, southwest and south. We did what I called “field trips” and stayed in places (not hotels, but apartments or houses we rented) and got a feel for really living in the place. This activity made a huge difference for us because we really loved all of the places we visited – they were lovely. However, when it came down to what were the “must haves” on our list and would we really be happy living in a certain location, the decisions became easier to make. We were quickly able to rule out certain locations until we knew we had our place.
Even though our decision may have seemed to others as if it was made quickly and emotionally, it really wasn’t. Much thought and study had gone into it. It just so happens that by the time we made it and were sure about it and all of the pieces came together in a perfect way… we were wild with excitement. And, we still are.
No regrets at this point, and I’m actually looking forward to our first Vermont winter so we can do Part II of our homework, which asks the question, “Where is our winter breaking point and when will we feel the need to escape to Key West for a while or to Sarasota for Orioles spring training?” When we figure the answer out, we’ll be ready to act on that the following year.
Oh, yes… there is one regret. We really miss our Baltimore friends. We miss our Friday night standing dinners with people we love and the ability to get together for a catch-up coffee or glass of wine when we want, or to pull together a Girls Night Out dinner with some fabulous females. Thank goodness for phones, emails and social media – the connections are still there and still feel close. Heck, I even have a Orioles game buddy and we text each other commentary through many of the games. Better even yet, I am so looking forward to many of those friends making the #VTRoadTrip2015. There are lots of things I want to share with them.
Several years ago, I heard through a spiritual teacher that many people would be getting a call to relocate to a place that makes their soul sing and that we would know it if we were getting the call. I believe that and know many people who explain that very feeling. I finally got the call and even though it took us a while to act, we did and are so very glad we did.
If you’re getting the call, don’t just dismiss it. It could be your soul calling and even though it may seem like a farfetched dream, it may not be. Start thinking about what you want, what fills your heart and put some intentions our there. Heck, you may even find that exactly where you are right now is what you want and where you want to be. Just pay attention.
And, of course, I love stories and would love to hear about what “moved” you or convinced you to stay where you are – and how that decision was made.
Ain’t life grand?