It’s a Sign: Yard Commentary in the Time of Covid

As part of my occasional series about signs (first, second and third), I offer my most recent musings on the importance of signs in the time of Covid, wildfires, political chaos and whatever else the frigging Universe decides to throw at us . . .  I live in a small town outside of San Francisco. […]

The 4 T’s of Transitions

Five years ago, I started this blog as a simple way to let my family and friends know where I was in the world. Its purpose morphed over time, gradually allowing me to find and own my voice.  Now, I have a website that showcases my new “portfolio career” – a combination of consulting, coaching, […]

What’s in Your Mary Poppins Bag?

One of the most common questions I get since leaving the corporate world is “How did you decide what to do next?” My urge is to say “I have no idea.” But the truth is I had a semi-organized plan called Operation  Snagglepuss that included doing inventory of my Mary Poppins bag. Let me explain […]

Societal Debridement: Healing from the Inside Out

The events of the past three months have left me at a loss for words. It’s been difficult to write, feeling like everything I came up with was just trite or unimportant or not impactful enough. I know I’m not alone. Most of my writer friends feel the same way as we cast about for […]

Journeys of Choice

It’s been five years since I left the corporate world and entered my self-prescribed 3rd Act. At the time, I thought I’d planned my journey quite well, yet looking back, it has been five years of unexpected twists and turns, accomplishments and loss, growth and setbacks. My battle with breast cancer and the death of […]

The Luddite vs. The Algorithm

In this modern-day version of David versus Goliath, I’m the underdog fighting in the digital arena against the Giant World of Algorithms.

Wanted: Role Models

I was recently asked by a group of women who my role models were growing up. Given our current political environment, it seemed to carry more weight than usual as we seem to be losing our moral compass. And it should have been an easy question to answer. Yes? Actually, no. You know how there’s […]

The Sound of Musical Silliness

As part of my 3rd Act journey, I’ve created an “ideal schedule” for each day of the week. It’s color-coded a light green so my actual appointments and activities can sit on top. Not every minute is accounted for, but the blocks of time serve as a reminder for me to consciously choose how I […]

A Tattoo of My Own Choosing

In early 2018, I went through weeks of radiation to treat breast cancer. Little did I know it would require the placement of three very tiny tattoos for the technicians to “line me up” correctly. They are permanent marks and private reminders of a time when cancer lurked in my body, hidden and deadly. They […]

Nashville Notes

For the latest adventures of Lisa and Korie, we decided to visit Nashville. Well, I’m here to tell you, Music City lives up to its name, y’all! We spent three and half days, mid-week in July and loved every minute of it, despite the heat and humidity. Here are some highlights: Broadway District This is […]

43 Minutes and 28 Seconds

That was how long our conversation lasted during what I now know was to be our last Father’s Day together. It was late afternoon and I was in my new office space downstairs, trying to stay cool during a rare heat wave. I was expecting the standard call; lamenting over the latest political gaffe, ruing […]

All’s Well That Ends in Ashland

A few months ago, I decided I needed a self-imposed writing retreat to help me restore my creative juices, stimulate ideas and concentrate on my projects. So, here I am in Ashland, Oregon for a week of writing, theater-going, nature hiking and basking in the warm sun. For those of you that haven’t been to […]

Ode to a Whiteboard

I’m sitting in my home office next to my lovely electric fireplace in a big comfy chair, listening to the gentle rain that we so desperately need, and staring at my white board. I confess I’ve missed this apparatus more than any other office accouterment since I left the Corporate World. You’re thinking, “Really? Not […]

The Return of the Scavenger Hunt

One of my favorite memories as a kid was the scavenger hunt. I think it was invented by parents who just wanted their kids out of the house for a few hours during a birthday party and, boy howdy, did it work! Armed with a random list of oddities, we formed teams and ran around […]

The Fringe – Edinburgh Style

It’s time to start planning summer vacations and I’m going to highlight one of my favorite experiences on the planet; the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Edinburgh is a small, tightly packed city that oozes with literary inspiration and deep historical references. The rainy, cold winter weather makes it very easy to hole up inside […]

Crushing on Life

It’s a couple of weeks since Valentine’s Day, however I’m of the belief that any time I can ruminate about love, it’s a good day. So, here’s my latest love confession. I have a crush. I know! At my age? A crush? Seriously? But a crush it is and I’m just going to have to […]

New Year, New Perspective

I believe changing perspective, every once in a while, is like a good slap upside the head – quite necessary and oddly reassuring. So, on Day One of 2019, I set out to find my New Year perspective. A year ago, I was nursing wounds from breast cancer surgery. A year ago, I was happy […]

Lessons in Shopping

I know shopping online is all the rage these days. I get it. It’s convenient, easy and can be transacted while in bunny slippers and a robe. But sometimes, just sometimes, it’s worthwhile getting dressed and going to a store. My store of choice? CVS Pharmacy. For those of you unfamiliar with this store, it’s […]

It’s a Sign: Looking for Local Loos

Note: While I started this blog as a light-hearted reflection on signs, the definition of gender has once again risen to a political debate. So, in addition to the silliness, I offer this as a way of reminding us that all people are beautiful spirits meant to be cherished, regardless of gender identity.    In […]

When I Just Need the Pieces to Fit

I have a table designed specifically for jigsaw puzzling. I won it years ago, quite by happenstance, at a silent auction benefiting autism. My intent was to simply start the bidding, but low and behold, I ended up being the only bidder and thus, the proud new owner of said table. Thank you, once again, […]

Hitting a Grand Slam with My Dad

My dad didn’t go to church. He drove us every Sunday, dropped us off and faithfully picked us up. But he never attended. He opted to put his faith in the Golden Rule. It was as simple and profound as he was. When I got older however, I realized he was religious about one thing; […]

Only in Canada!

Last summer I had the opportunity to attend a family wedding in the Toronto area. It was a godsend in many ways as I was still reeling from the U.S. election, (actually I’m still reeling, but that’s another blog) and I needed a new perspective. Canada is the perfect place to regain your world view […]

The Importance of (Nick)names

I grew up spelling my name. Every first day of school, I would sit in class with my heart beating out of my chest and my stomach twisting, waiting for the teacher to get to the “P” portion of the roll call, dreading the inevitable calling out of my name. “Karen Pelka?” “Here, but it’s […]

It’s a Sign: 50 Years Later

In the continuing and occasional series around my fixation with signs, this one highlights the Summer of Love exhibit in San Francisco last year. Wandering through the museum, I experienced an intoxicating blast from the past, counterbalanced by a sobering reflection on the lack of societal change in the past 50 years. If you are […]

Sisterhood of the Traveling Orange Towel

In August of 2007, I traveled to Italy with my two cousins, Lisa and Kim, and my “adopted” sister, Sharon. It was my first time traveling to Europe and looking back, this was the first, irrevocable step to unleashing my gypsy spirit. It was also the trip that started our tradition of the traveling orange […]

Not Quite the Tattoo I Had in Mind

I’ve always wanted a tattoo. It’s been on my bucket list for years. And I knew there needed to be a good story behind it. That’s the most powerful kind of tattoo; a talisman of love lost, love found, of struggle or redemption. I just hadn’t found my story until I heard the words, “You […]

My Magical Story-Telling Christmas Tree

I have a magical Christmas tree. It may look like your typical store-bought, artificial tree with pre-lit lights, but that just means you aren’t looking hard enough. Look deeper, closer and begin to listen, for it has many stories to tell. More than 30 years ago, I started collecting Christmas ornaments from places I traveled. […]

Bumps, Humps & Lumps: My Road to Slowing the F*&# Down

I was a timid driver at 16. I remember driving into the neighborhood strip mall and not being able to get the car over the speed bump in the parking lot. I rolled up to the top and then, embarrassingly, rolled backward, requiring that I give it more gas to heave awkwardly and noisily over […]

Just Say “Yes”

It often takes more courage to contemplate a “yes,” than live with an automatic “no.” What can you say yes to today? How often in your life do you say no instead of yes? Is it your default response, with yes only coming after prodding, cajoling, greater thought or just plain shaming? In a time […]

Election Aftermath

It’s been 72 hours since Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States and I’m still a goopy mess. My stomach hurts, my heart feels like a lead weight has been tied to it, my brain just can’t seem to wrap itself around the idea that my country believes in this man […]