That may seem like a tall order, but when we associate with others on this same path, it’s suddenly doable.
Since early childhood I’ve had a passion for encouraging people to make choices that lead to their happiness. As a kid it got me in trouble for doling out unwelcomed counseling. I watched so many friends and classmates walk right into trouble because they ignored red flags or tried to follow someone else’s lead instead of their own.
I have loved school for as far back as I can remember. I loved the smell of the books, the vibrant colors of the crayons lined up in the little black box we were each assigned, the smooth finish of my desk with a black inkwell in the upper right corner, and especially I loved my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Bordeaux. In my mind she was the smartest person in the world, and I counted on her to teach me all the things I needed to know to become “educated.” I also thought she was the most beautiful person in world, resembling popular actress of the day, Loretta Young, and dressing as elegantly.
Because I loved school so much it’s not surprising that I became a teacher, first in junior high English, then university teacher training, and finally teaching critical thinking in community college.
I always had a creative and entrepreneurial side, perhaps because I grew up watching my mother run her home-based beauty shop. Around age 10, I began selling handmade potholders to the patrons of the beauty shop while they sat under the dryer or waited their turns. From then on I was hooked on earning money from my creative endeavors.
Throughout my life I’ve mixed my academic career with creative pursuits. While teaching junior high through university levels I was always drawn to have a side business that involved using my right brain. Consequently, I’ve sold jewelry, owned a gift basket business, and run an after-school tutoring program. As a wife and mom of four I wove creative activities throughout our lives.
In addition to the typical tasks of motherhood, I also wrote lyrics to Bach’s Minuets to make it easier for my budding violinists to learn their pieces, wrote articles for education and consumer publications, and completed my Ph.D. at the University of Southern California with a new baby in the mix. See what I mean. I couldn’t choose, so I did what I loved.
When I retired from full-time teaching I had plans to travel and write my life story. About the time I was giving the book some thought I discovered blogging. I attended the first Blog World Conference in 2007 in Las Vegas, NV, thanks to my friend Shirley Frazier who was a speaker. When I returned home I was set on starting a blog. After all, I had plenty of experiences and stories to share. Besides, I couldn’t resist having my own platform from which I could pontificate, commiserate, and rant.
As it turns out, my blog hasn’t been as fiery or volcanic after all. Instead, you’ll discover a variety of ideas, tips and sometimes strategies for creating the life you want. Some are based on lessons I’ve learned in my own experiences, and others from research, the news or experiences of others. In any case, my goal is the same: to encourage you to open your mind to the possibility that you can have a happier and more fulfilling life.
If you’re willing you can visualize, focus and eventually do the things that lead to what you want. Now I’m a widow. My four kids are bright and happy adults, and one of them gave me three great grandkids who are adults now as well. I don’t have all the answers, but I am willing to be your companion as we both explore what works for us as we claim our power and embrace happiness. Be sure to connect with me on social media Follow Flora Brown
Some facts about me:
I live in
Southern CA in a lovely home in a quiet neighborhood. I’m near major freeways for a quick escape but far enough from them to feel like I’m in a little town. Before I retired I remodeled the kitchen, family room and put in tile floors. I had grown weary of vacuuming. With my next wave of riches I will replace windows, patio doors and repaint the exterior. Working on a house never seems to end.
Amazing places I’ve visited
China–The Great Wall, terra cotta soldiers in Xi’an, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square
Italy–Rome, Florence, Pisa, Tuscany, Venice, Ostuni
El Salvador–visited childhood friend
Europe–London, Paris, Barcelona,Valencia, Cordoba
Washington D.C.–First Inauguration of President Obama 2009
Iceland–Blue Lagoon, Gulfoss, the Golden Circle, Reykjavik, Selfoss, Westman Islands
New Zealand–Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Dunedin, Christchurch
Australia–Melbourne (got acquainted with fellow author), Cairns, Sydney, Milford Sound and saw “The King and I” at the Sydney Opera House
Alaska–Anchorage (visited my niece, spoke to a speakers’ association)
My ideal lifestyle
is to live for extended stays in various places where I can explore, meet the natives and write—Ecaudor, Tuscany, Martha’s Vineyard, South Africa, Paris—then return home to retreat and regroup.
Fun times I’ve had
After giving my kids themed birthday parties, I decided to start doing the same for myself on occasion. Here are some of them
45th birthday—Ladies only party with a stripper, numerologist, and Pin the Condom on the Penis game.
50th birthday—Western-themed party at Embassy Suites Hotel in Anaheim, Ca. I was dressed as Mae West, my son as the Sheriff and my youngest daughter as Pocahantas. All attendees were duded up too. We had a slide show of my life, square dancing, BBQ finger food. Guests each designed a muslin fabric square to be assembled as a quilt.
55th birthday—Weekend exploring Long Beach. We stayed at the Sheraton Hotel and explored the Latin American Museum, downtown Long Beach, went to see one-woman show honoring Dinah Washington, strolled at Shoreline Village and ate at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles.
63rd birthday—Fiesta at home with catered food, guests dressed in Mexican attire, margarita fountain, updated slide show. In between these, I went with friends to movies, lunch at a tea salon or a quiet lunch.
Casablanca,, Sherlock Holmes (especially TV versions with Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett,) the Bourne Trilogy, The Shooter, U.S. Marshals, White Collar, MidsomerMurders, Murdoch Mysteries (notice a theme?)
Authors I love to read
John Grisham, Alexander McCall Smith, Ariel Gore, Anne LaMott, Julia Cameron, Martha Beck and a flock of fellow authors I’ve met along the way.
- Would love to have an immaculate home, but would rather spend time on the Internet and travelling
- Love cats, but don’t want to take care of pets anymore.
- Love dressing up, but prefer wearing themed pajamas
- Admire many souvenirs when travelling, but prefer a souvenir apron for myself
- Love giving dinner parties, but hate cleaning up afterwards
- Believe in God, but don’t like religions
- Love Braunschweiger, but hate liver