About Laura

laura headshot

This is me on the day of my daughter’s wedding. I’m standing in Hudson Gardens in Littleton. When I’m standing in my own garden I’m sweaty and my hair is frizzy and wild. In other words, I don’t normally look this good. It’s amazing what a makeup artist and photographer can do.

Who am I?  I’ve been asking that question all my life.  It’s a question about calling, about identity.  And I fear giving you my “resume” because this is NOT about who I am.  But, I do believe that WHAT I “do” reflects a bit of WHO I am so here goes:

  •  I am not a master gardener.  I am a normal ordinary gardener who doesn’t know what she’s doing.  Do I have gardening advice to share?  Most certainly.  I have learned a thing or two in the 30 years I’ve been gardening.
  • I am a caregiver to my mother with Alzheimer’s.  It is hard and it is sacred.
  • I have the deep privilege of working full time as an affiliated faculty member at Denver Seminary.  I teach graduate students how to discern, direct and manage their own learning experiences with the use of mentoring and personalized learning plans. It is a very rewarding job.  I get paid to learn from my students.  Honestly, they teach me far more than I teach them.  I should pay them tuition.  Don’t tell them that though.
  • I do consider myself a writer, although I am unpublished.  I’m pretty sure one day I will publish a book that chronicles my entire  journey with my mother and the disease of Alzheimer’s.  I have started out by posting some of what I’ve already written right here on this site.  My mother will also contribute. Why here?  Because the theme of this site is about finding, cultivating and sustaining hope.  I’ve done that a lot of that in the garden.  And in Alzheimer’s,  Hope has waned many times, but I’m learning SLOWLY how to find it, nurture and sustain it.
  • I invite all gardeners, chefs and caregivers to this place so we might share and learn.  I hope we will work to respect each other’s worldview as we give our perspectives.  Thus, I invite respectful dialogue that disagrees with anything I say.  I like to learn and want to allow my assumptions to be tested.
  • I have gardening photos hanging in my campus office.  I use many gardening metaphors when I teach.   I imagine my students roll their eyes to the back of their heads when I do talk about gardening.  And you know what?  I’m 52.  I don’t care.
  • Although some of this has had to go to the back burner due to the care of my mother, I also consult in the field of leadership and talent development.  Currently my team members and I are building a new firm called Taproot Innovation.
  • I’ve worked in other organizations with students and leaders.  One place I loved was the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, where I served as the Manager of Leadership Development.  I met the greatest people who love taking care of the earth and everything in it.  I also learned a lot about cattle.  And while I do frequent Chick-fil-A,  I’ve ALWAYS loved and preferred beef as my protein source.
  • I have helped raise two people and they are now both married and blessing the socks off each other and off me and my husband (of 31 years).
  • I would also like to learn to raise chickens.  I’m quite certain my son-in-law will read this and roll his eyes.
  • Did I mention a husband?  He’s a spectacular guy named Dale.  And yes, he is my personal chef and many of his recipes will be featured here on this website.   He is a leader in the non-profit world here in Colorado.  He is probably one of the best leaders I’ve ever known.  Read A Failure of Nerve by Friedman and Leadership On The Line by Heifetz.   These books describe why he leads the way he does.  It is quite remarkable.  People who choose to learn from him are fortunate.  And he loves to learn as well.  Can you tell I am his fan?
  • I have a dog named Hazel The Beastly Beast Beagle.  I have stories, lots and lots of stories about her.  She’s become quite famous on Facebook.  I send pictures of her via text message to my adult children so that they will want to come to my house and visit.  Yes, they love her that much.
  • I hate yard work.  What?!  An author of a gardening website hates yardwork?  Yes, I do.  Yard work is different than gardening.
  • Besides gardening, I love to lake kayak, hike, walk, make jewelry, bake (not cook, bake) and read.  I wish I could travel more.
  • If I were just a tad smarter I might have gone to seminary for an MA in Theology.  Instead I jokingly tell others that I settled and went to seminary for an MA in Leadership.  As such, I think I can safely label myself as a theologically trained leader as I serve others as mother, wife, gardener, mentoring director and business owner.  And, I am also a theologically trained Alzheimer’s caregiver.  I work out my calling in all these roles and places. Calling does not equal any one particular job or task.

Regarding the tech side of this website, I did this by myself without a web designer. I also don’t have an editor for this site. So there may be some programming quirks and typos.  If you find either, tell me!  I’m sorry that I will make web designers and professional writers cringe.  If I waited to make this perfect, I’d never write here and my writing here is one way I want to practice generosity and be an advocate for those inflicted by the horrors of Alzheimers.  I’ll save “perfect” for my first published book (if that’s possible).

This is a self hosted site using WordPress and the Get Noticed Theme.  I’ve followed Michael Hyatt’s advice in setting up this site (by reading his blog and his book Platform.  My header and logo was designed by Jake Gonsalves who is a budding graphic designer. Unless otherwise noted, all images were taken by me with point and shoot camera or my cell phone.  Maybe one day I’ll get a fancy camera.  I apologize to all professional photographers.

That’s all.  Want to know more?  Ask me in the comments below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.