Success from the Heart – The Heart of the Mendocino Coast, Part 1

I’ve visited the Mendocino coast nearly every year; as far back as I can remember.  My dad was passionate about the Northern California

Village of Mendocino, CA

Village of Mendocino, CA

coast and the rugged shores of Mendocino.  We headed there on summer road trips, to brave the bracing winds and stinging-cold water and watch my mom comb the beaches for shells and pretty pieces of glass.   In my early adolescence I became fascinated with the bohemian lifestyle of the village of Mendocino: a grocery store in an old church, charming bookstores in funky water towers, and colorful people and their artwork all over town.

This year I traveled to the Mendocino coast again as I planned and assisted the Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce with a press trip for travel writers.  I was meeting and working and getting to know a few people who live and work in Mendocino and Fort Bragg.   As I listened to them I somehow began to sense what it feels like to live there.  I could feel how different and unique it is to dwell on this coastal edge; edging up against the rocky beaches, cold and windy days, forest roads and rural living.

It’s not completely easy to live on the Mendocino coast.  The town of Fort Bragg, the village of Mendocino and a few small hamlets along Hwy 1 are on their own for providing all of the modern conveniences that we, in the 21st century, take for granted.  Cell phone service is limited, having just landed in Mendocino about two years ago; still, most likely, you have to duck around a corner, or go outside on your porch to pick up a signal.   There are not a lot of choices for employment; working and making a living takes creativity and diligence. Keep reading


I may see a Tarantula and I have to get shots.

In the past I’ve talked about being in my prime; that at 55, I am in my own personal Prime Time. Prime Time is for all of us between the age of 50 and 70 (and beyond! who knows?). We’ve got so many strange and wonderful experiences behind us and we have EARNED our wisdom. (see my post from January) So, with all those happy and motivational thoughts, the next thing I came upon is CHANGE. Ohhh; with all this knowledge and ability to choose wisely, now I realize that many decisions will require a change in myself. You see, I am accutely aware of what and how I did things before…how I handled relationships, obligations, commitments, goals, obstacles and on and on. About 35 years, a entire lifetime, of gettin’ it all together. Now, in my prime I know that to move forward I may…most likely…certainly will, have to change: me. I have been embarking on new work/career/income/creative projects for about two years now; navigating the prime of my life. Today I can tell you that when you make changes, big changes, changes to your environment, body, home, relationships, hair, shoes (whatever!) you will be immediately presented with the big, fat fears that have kept you from even considering these wonderful adventures in the first place! In 2006 I had the amazing opportunity to travel to East Africa. It would be in the category of “humanitarian” trip, visiting projects for clean water, schools, and micro-business being developed in Kenya and Tanzania. And it would include 3-4 days of awesome safari. I jumped at the chance! I was elevated, like feet barely touching the ground at the prospect of me going to Africa! Yes! Yes! Yes!…what? inoculations? how many? five?! shots? needles? oh. And my phantom phobia of big, hairy spiders!! jungle! banana trees! wide-open landscapes! they are everywhere! I just know it! Continue reading

Success from the Heart – Debby Wheeler

I am creating a series of stories that present women who are engaged in business that is truly a work of love; their success comes from their hearts. In Success from the Heart these women are focused on what they love and believe in. Their work comes from serving others and their products/services are intended to benefit others in a joyful, nurturing and inspiring way. With success from the heart, anything else would be unnecessary. I ask a few questions of these women to inquire into what brings them to success from the heart.

Debby Wheeler, Wheeler Pet Sitting

I met Debby just about 2 months ago at a Chamber of Commerce networking luncheon. My first impression was how nicely dressed she was; I admired her shawl of golden and green colors and noticed it matched the green of her eyes. I figured she was about my age, and she is, 55 years old; about to turn 56 in August…just like me!
Amidst the lively conversation around the table I caught some info about how she had held an executive position in a large corporation for many years. She was able to retire and from there she started her business, Wheeler Pet Sitting in the Napa Valley. She and her husband have opened their home to bring in dogs while owners are out of town or on a daily basis while they are at work. The Wheelers have three dogs of their own and have had as many as twelve dogs at home at one time! Twelve dogs! As she described her business and principles of dog-sitting she mentioned a photo she has of her husband and four dogs strewn over their bed. When Debby takes care of other people’s dogs, she insists that the dogs stay in the house with them. At Wheeler Pet Sitting there are no cages or kennels. This is a “home away from home” for dogs. Continue reading