Healthy Kitchens Healthy Lives

A Brief History and Excited about 2013!

Up until now and welcome 2013!

“Rock bottom became a solid foundation upon which I built my life.”

J.K. Rowling’s

Someone recently accused me of being impractical. The comment was fairly spat at me, so naturally I was puzzled and hurt, but the more I thought about it, the more I was able to put this comment into perspective.

After my marriage ended and I was left with very little to rebuild my life, I did what anyone else would have done in that circumstance; I founded a non-profit and traveled the country interviewing kids. I suppose this wasn’t the most practical thing I have ever done. I spent what little I had on this journey, so when I returned home and all the data I collected was being analyzed by Sonoma State, I cobbled together what I could in the way of funds to survive while the non-profit, DirectionFive Health (D5), was progressing. I lived in my little RV in some friend’s field, but when I couldn’t make the RV payments anymore, other dear friends John and Nancy in southern Oregon offered me their guesthouse so I could write the health programs for DirectionFive. They housed me and fed me (and my doggie pal Wilma) and D5 progressed. My sister Margaret-also in Oregon- offered me some work that helped during this time, so I could keep my phone on and some other basic bills paid.

After I moved home to California at the beginning of last year, my friend Nancy offered me her guest bedroom, while I continued to focus on D5. Was this practical to continue to focus on D5, as I wasn’t being paid for my efforts? Not by a long shot. Strike two. If people didn’t think I was crazy yet, they did now. Still, I had family and many friends who cheered me on. They didn’t understand, but they knew this was something I had to do. Therein lies the issue.

I was being driven by something else that I still can’t explain. Being practical didn’t enter the equation. Unless you have been pulled towards something, you might not understand this. Yes, I was officially homeless or would have been without family and friends. Although I didn’t like this, naturally, I kept the path I was traveling. If there is something in your gut that you feel like you have to do,  you do it, and continue to do it until it becomes real and succeeds. As someone said, don’t die with your music still inside you. Remember that some might not be able to watch; perhaps they care so much for you and your journey might be too difficult for them to witness. Perhaps they are simple jealous of your passion and somehow belittling you might make them feel better about their own life choices. Be understanding in both cases. You never know what people are faced with in their lives.

Fast-forward a year and a half: I have a sweet little place to live in a wonderful old neighborhood. The nutrition and culinary education that I love to teach, is what pays my bills, yet D5 has my full attention and I am proud to say that everything I dreamed would happen is happening. This is thanks to my own perseverance and the support of family and friends-including all of the wonderful people who saw the worth of D5 and worked tirelessly with me to get this little start-up non-profit off the ground.

This brings us to the end of 2012. For many of us, life changed dramatically these past few years, but if you have shelter of some kind, and can get a drink of water whenever you like, you are one of the lucky ones. I have always remembered this and being able to put everything in perspective has kept me going. I’m sure you will agree.

I will tell you something that I feel deep in my gut and when I get these feelings, I listen. 2013 is going to be an incredible year, I am sure- absolutely sure. Families, and the local and global communities have suffered these past years, but everything is shifting. Everything will be better….

Follow your path and look forward to an awesome 2013! I am!

“Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein


View all posts by


You must be logged in to post a comment.

2 Responses

  1. Natasha says

    You are an inspiration Patty. I too feel the same as you. May 2013 be full of endless possibilities. I am done writing Colors of Food Culinary Arts Program. I ready to market it next month and travel to get it implemented wherever I can. I will have a website up in the next couple of months as well. It’s nice to see how you and I can make a difference in others lives. I have been working on my project for over 11 years, I am blessed I continue to see this through. Happy Holidays to you.

    • Patty James says

      You are very sweet Natasha-thank you so much! Happy holidays to you as well!