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November 2023

The month of October flew by! I was blessed with having a long, wonderful lunch with my dear friend Michael. In our conversation, we were talking about things that make us go hmmm. We want to stay curious and keep and open mind but also we want to make a note of that thing that made us think, “that felt odd”, or “was I reading that right?”. Michael says he mentally checks that as “Noted” and I laughed and asked if he knew the name of this blog was Noticing!

So here I go—my November issue of Noticing!

In October, two brave Windermere owners gave my amazing, colleague, Shawna Ader the green light to put on a two day symposium at Suncadia that was by agents, for agents. It was nothing short of spectacular. If you know me, you know I hate crowds, hate hugging and hate anything not worthy of taking away from my private time. But when someone you respect puts their neck on the line, you show up 110%.

This event, called E3, delivered beyond everyone’s wildest expectations. I bravely put my hand up to be the Closing Speaker for the first full day. I never understood what was meant by “knees knocking” until I started to speak. It was as if my knees were disconnected from my body and they kept knocking. What the heck. Obviously I was nervous. Twenty five minutes is a long time to talk non stop. I am a much better listener than a talker, so it was a Bucket List Challenge Item for me. I am grateful to have it crossed off the list.

I spoke about my 2023 Word, GRACE & Leadership. Do you all have a word of the year? I always have a word. In any case, I spoke about the responsibility we all have as Realtors, or not, to show up for our relationships, families, communities, practices, offices and whatever company you choose to hang your hat at. I am always perplexed by people who show up in a half assed way expecting an amazing 100% effort result. Life just doesn’t work that way. You reap what you sow. This applies to everyone.

I broke my favorite word Grace into the following words:






There was a lot for my fellow brokers to think about. I was afraid I would put them to sleep after all the dynamic personalities who graced the stage before me and it being the end of the day, but they graciously clapped. Perhaps so cocktail hour could commence.

I was glad I did it, as some of the things I spoke about I feel are missing from my industry’s daily vernacular. Words like honor, responsibility, standards of excellence and raising each other up & holding one another accountable. I am fiercely devoted to that mind set and those words have been sorely missing from the industry, especially since the Tech Bros have tried to take over our industry. I think it takes a renewed commitment from each of us, lest those qualities go the way of the rotary dial phone.

Energy & Business Planning Workshop, 2nd Day Added!

My friend and colleague, Nicole Mangina tapped me to cohost an Energy and Business Planning Workshop. Somehow all 65 spots sold out before we could even market the class. We have added a second day, Dec 12th, and that link is here.

Leaning into November

Leaning into November

November is a month that is going to feel deep into my favorite season of fall. The Japanese maple in the front yard is one, big, wind storm away from shedding all the leaves. There's something so wonderful about the dying back of the garden this time of year. It feels very wabi sabi and I appreciate fall far more than the vibrancy of spring or summer. As the garden readies itself for hibernation through winter, there is great hope and a belief in the resurgence that will come in spring. Oh and let’s not dismiss the cashmere and cords that come out of storage. I treat myself to a pair of cashmere socks every year.

November is when I try to clear my calendar of all superfluous activities and concentrate on those who are top priority to me. I have an honest accounting of how things went this year and how best to plan for next year and the challenges it brings. I have always had personal and business goals (since Middle School). A check list has always worked wonders for me. It helps me attend to my intentions with laser focus. What I focus on, always expands.

Thanksgiving Planning & Production!

As an only child I never grew up with large family dinners. Thanksgiving is such a production and since my dad passed so many years ago, it has kind of lost it’s luster for me & makes me very melancholy and sad. But I do rally because my daughter loves it so much. Along the way, I have learned a trick or two to make sure it is not such a fire drill at the end to get everything on the table at the right temp.

And the next day I use Regency Sock Soups to make the stock. If you ask me, the pumpkin pie for breakfast, the turkey sandwich the next day and turkey soup aromas are all the best part of the whole dang thing. Not to mention the house to myself all day long. If you have more or better tricks to share please do. I am all for upping my game every year.

Diane's Thanksgiving Prep Tips…

-I make the cranberry sauce a few days before or buy pre made. Easy.

-I set the table the day before and have all the serving pieces ready to roll with sticky notes on what goes where. That way if anyone wants to help, you can hand them the mixed nuts and cranberry sauce and they can find what serving piece they are intended for.

-I order my centerpiece from Casablanca Floral way ahead.

-I keep appetizers that day very simple. I love to pull out my girolle for the Tete De Moine and have mixed nuts. Full stop. If you get full on appetizers and don’t eat my dinner, I will give you full on dagger/death eyes. (That is a step up from my Arched Brow, which that alone has been known to make people shake).

-I like a salad that cuts through all the heaviness of the meal. Usually butter lettuce, sliced fennel and citrus supremes with a champagne vinaigrette and some toasted nuts for crunch. K.I.S.S. I supreme the citrus and slice the fennel earlier in the day and wash the butter lettuce in the morning.

-The stuffing is the most time consuming part of thanksgiving. I always do a pork sausage/dried cranberry and roasted chestnut stuffing. The game changer for me was to finally go to IKEA and get a huge silver prep bowl. If your bowl is too small to mix efficiently it involves a ton of cursing. The new bowl makes me nearly saint like. Not.

-I make the gravy before the guests arrive and put it in a huge Stanley thermos. A few hard shakes at the end before it hits the gravy boat.

I used to stress out about the gravy for years, till I finally discovered the gravy from Williams Sonoma where you just add milk and heat and it's hella good. Thank you very much! It’s like a huge weight was lifted.

-I'm including this new trick of pre-making the mashed potatoes. But my daughter makes the mashed potatoes and delivers them in a crock pot with lots of butter to keep them moist.

-My British friend, Louise taught me at Book Club decades back that the ice cream should be pre-scooped and put in muffin cups to be put back in the freezer till needed. The cake and pies can be pre-cut using wax paper as you slice the knife down. It’s just the four of us, so why bother, but some day I dream of a brood of people at Thanksgiving. (Insert the tune of Dreamer, nothing but a Dreamer).

-I love Pie Bird Bake Shop and was heart broken when I had to stop my monthly pie deliveries to my door when I got my diabetes diagnosis but you cannot have Thanksgiving without Pecan and Pumpkin pies. Her pies are otherworldly and her Chicken Pot Pies are what I long for on winter evenings.

- We usually have green beans with Thanksgiving. I tried a few years to have it at room temp with a vinaigrette to get away from the last minute, one more thing on the stove. But it was met with pursed lips. SO, I am back to having them blanched and ready to reheat in a pan on the stove and topped with gremolata. They best eat every last damned green bean.

-The tradition is, the family goes skiing the day after so I can have the house to myself and they come home to turkey soup. As long as I am chopping veggies for the salad & stuffing, I also get all the veggies for the stock and the soup ready at one time. I put a few carrots, celery, onion, garlic and aromatics in one Soup Sock and the carcass in another. It is super easy to start the stock first thing in the morning that way. The house smells amazing.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving! Send me your tips! Xoxo

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