I retired in 2015 as the Wild Ones first Executive Director in order to start my third life adventure, and I am looking forward to sharing it with you through this blog. My first life adventure gave me a strong background in construction and real estate, but as a long time gardening enthusiast, my second adventure has been the most satisfying.
As I begin my third life adventure as a retired person and a blogger, my husband John and I will continue to manage a restored prairie and a restored woodland as part of our home. We feel privileged to have mature Bur Oaks and Shagbark Hickories as part of our landscaping.
Interrupted in the third life adventure, on 11/28/2019 I had a stroke. I have had a significant recovery, but I have a little more to do regarding to impairment of the Aphasia and Apraxia. I can understand everything, but it is difficult to talk, because I cannot put the right words together to be understood. (American Stroke Association)
Aphasia – Aphasia is impairment in the ability to use or comprehend words. It may cause difficulty:
• Understanding words.
• Finding the word to express a thought.
• Understanding grammatical sentences.
• Reading or writing words or sentences.
Apraxia – Apraxia of speech (verbal apraxia) is difficulty initiating and executing voluntary movement patterns necessary to produce speech when there is no paralysis or weakness of speech muscles. It may cause difficulty:
• Producing the desired speech sound.
• Using the correct rhythm and rate of speaking.
As part of our family heritage, my brothers and I also own an 80-acre White Cedar swamp in Wisconsin we use for hunting. During this third life adventure, I hope to spend more time in this little spot of heaven.
My love of nature comes from a long line of ancestors. Soon the hunting property will be in its fourth generation of ownership.
Organizations I Cherish
Here are some of the organizations I belong to, and I highly recommend your participation in these and similar organizations.
Wild Ones Natural Landscapers Ltd.
Wild Ones Fox Valley Area Chapter
Citizens Natural Resources Association
Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame
Invasive Plant Association of Wisconsin
Outagamie Conservation Club’s Hunter Safety Education Program
Wisconsin Natural Heritage Site Program
In 1996 my husband and I started a construction management company called Accent on Construction Inc during which time I took on the responsibility for Wild Ones membership as Executive Secretary. In July 1998, Wild Ones asked me to take on the role of Executive Director. The following year we changed the name of the company to Accent on Natural Landscaping. I brought to the newly named company the expertise needed for managing not-for-profit organizations and natural landscaping projects. My credentials include:
- Degree from the University of Wisconsin ‑ Green Bay in Organizational Management.
- Background and work experience in residential and commercial real estate and construction and native plants and natural landscaping.
- Management and administrative services for not-for-profit environmental organizations including grant writing and fundraising
- PowerPoint shows and informal presentations on various aspects of native landscaping
- Producing, writing and narrating books, pamphlets, brochures, videos and a variety of marketing materials
My proudest achievement while Executive Director of Wild Ones is developing their first permanent headquarters called Wild Ones Institute of Learning and Development (WILD Center). It is a 16 acre site — mortgage-free — with all three main ecoregions: upland, forest and wetland. And Lorrie Otto agreed that it was the prefect showcase for the Wild Ones mission.
I retired from Wild Ones in September 2015. It’s taken a while to get the long hours of work and the tight scheduling of my time out of my system, but I am happy to report as of December 31, 2017, I closed my company for good. I plan to continue writing this blog as a reflection of my past experience and my future learning adventures, and perhaps do a speaking engagement from time to time. And who knows — maybe someday I actually will write that book I’ve been talking about for so many years!
Besides being very concerned about our environment, I am also very concerned about equal rights for all. Both causes sometimes force me to get on my peach crate to share my thoughts. And my love of railroad!