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Strait.

After sitting in the town of Blues, I had to come out some time right? I am not one to sit in the tub for too long. The water gets cold and sooner or later you have to pull the plug and listen to the water drain. That’s what I decided I would do. I would just will myself out of the funk. That seems simple enough right? If I could sit and be in it; couldn’t I just get out of it?

Turns out that’s a no. Turns out when I try that I eat my feelings. All of my feelings. ‘Tis the season for treats. So one…dozen..cookie won’t hurt right? Not to mention every article telling you how to not gain the holiday weight (prepare food, plan for the parties, and don’t drink your calories) or how to get over the blues (get a light, go out side, keep exercising…) and so the self pity party just moves into great and now you’re fat too.

Feel me?

The self talk can be simply amazing. Don’t believe half the shit you tell yourself; especially when you are in the town of Blue.

I did the only thing that I know how to do when I am in a funk. I sat on the sofa and watched TV and I drank wine. And when all the sweets I had been eating finally gave me a stomach ache; I got off my ass.

The one thing I didn’t stop during my funk is my work out. God I know. Here I am talking about working out….again. But listen to me for a second because this is my tale; I kept working out. I just switched it around. I went back to one of my favorites.  I know that when I am in a difficult mental place the last thing I need is something new taxing my brain.

Even on days I don’t want too. Even on days I want to sleep. And especially on days where I want to eat all of my feelings; I work out. I do it because even if I cry through it, I got it done.  Trust me there have been days where I have cried through it.

Where was I ? I swear I am going some where with this. Oh yeah, the shit you tell yourself. So I have to arm myself with all the good thoughts so that I don’t just decide to move into Blue-Ville.  This isn’t fun. It’s some times feels over whelming to get out of it.

I am looking at the end of era. I am looking into the future and remember every thing that tried to knock me down but failed. I also remind myself I have ideas, thoughts and plans to start, to keep going, and to finish.

I remember the person I want to be. Not the person I was. I remember that  I am looking forward to becoming her and loving her. So I sit myself down and I say to myself; and I know it’s myself because I am usually naked in front of the mirror having this talk (sorry mom). I flex for a minute because I am easily distracted and because I need my triceps to pop a little more and  I realize my legs are still amazing; and then  I look up and I remember. I remember who I am and I start my pep talk. I tell her I have enough of this bullshit of pointing out every flaw and this mental pity party I was allowed to have is over. I have one life. One. Life is a very fragile, precious thing and I intend on going through it as I always have: with a loud laugh, a drink in my hand, a pair of boots, and an awesome resting bitch face with a who the fuck do you think you are attitude.

I wish I could tell you I snapped my fingers and it was that easy.  Every day I get up and do the same thing I always do. Tell my dogs to go back to bed.  And then I grab my clothes, brush my teeth and get on with my routine.  Because the only way out of the Blues is to keep driving and walk away from that plate of cookies.

I have also learned that I need to reach out to the people in my life. The thoughts on a loop get stuck and I feel no one wants to hear from me. Only when I am happy? That’s dumb. My life isn’t a Facebook post.

My advice for you is to pack a  notebook at all times and  when you need  some perspective; write it out and not just the bad stuff either. Write to yourself like you would your best friend. You’d hug her and tell her that she is a bad ass bitch.  Celebrate your wins. Daily.

My last piece of advice as you wave good bye to the town of Blues is to listen to  some George Strait. He always has good advice.

 

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Blue.

I have a confession to make. I have the Holiday Blues.

BAD.

It started the first week of December. I woke up in a horrible funk. I couldn’t figure out why.

About two hours later I figured it out.

The first week of December is not a happy one for me. I had two people close to me, my grandpa and my father in law,  pass away during the time frame. This year it hit me hard.

When my granpa passed away my mom called to tell me and I took the blanket his sister had gave me for high school graduation and I wrapped myself in it. To this day, that is my go to blanket for days I don’t feel good. It’s comfort.

I pride myself on being able to shake it off. To get on with the matter of living, but this time it hasn’t been easy to shake. I still wake up and go work out, and that is my sanctuary. My balance is a little off and things tend to be a little tougher. My concentration is scattered. So I went back to Iron this week. The lifting of the weight and the breathing in and out during each rep tends to be very cathartic for me. Everything slows down because I need to focus. Focus on the feeling. Focus on growth that comes from pain.

When that alarm goes off and every one of my animals know it’s go time; I don’t want to get up. I want to just stay in bed. I don’t because Grace, the lab, sits right next to me breathing in my face. It’s time to pee and eat. Jax the 2 lb ankle biter comes out from under the covers where he hibernates and starts to boss. Lastly, Angus, our black cat, wakes from slumber and goes the middle of the bed and meows. So there is no snooze button, which is probably the best thing for me. It’s routine.

I am trying. I am trying to love on myself a little more. I am trying to give myself grace. I am trying to answer when asked what’s wrong even thought I really can’t tell you what it is because I don’t even know. It’s just blue.

It’s not all blue. I play Christmas music each morning.

“Alexa play holiday music.”

“Okay here’s a station you will like . shuffling songs from holiday music on amazon”

Boom! Instant spirit lifter. For extra points, I play strictly Disney. You can’t be sad and listen to Mickey Mouse Sing.

I plug in the lights on the tree and make my coffee.

After all I’m only human getting the human experience. Sometimes that includes the blue period.

This too will pass. I embrace winter and December. Mostly because it’s the shortest part of winter. Mostly because I know everything that gets covered in snow comes out shined and new.

And not so blue.

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Cheer.

Welcome to Hell month.

I mean Merry Christmas.

Remember Christ in Christmas. Not Happy Holidays. Sigh.

I am sitting here sipping my Peppermint Mocha and wondering if I can just go ahead and skip right into 2020 blowing a horn and wearing a top hat.

Christmas always seems like rush hour to me. Have you ever just sat in traffic looking at red break lights and watching for the merging (no blinker, no warning)? Miles of red lights and miles to go. Everyone just hoping the idiot in front of them just finds the gas pedal and takes their foot off the brake (Come on! Move! Idiot!).

Okay so everyone finally merges and gets in their lane and then it’s a race. A race to find the best gift. Better than last year’s gift.  It’s exhausting and the next thing you know, you have missed your exit and have to go miles out of your way to get back.

That’s how Christmas feels to me. One big line of brake lights followed by endless merging.

However, I do like to play music when I am stuck in the Christmas jam. I tend to play a couple of Christmas albums every year. As soon as December 1st comes around, I start playing Sammy Kershaw Christmas Time’s a Comin’ and I move onto George Strait. Finally,  I tie it up with a bow with Harry Connick jr.

I am not completely heartless.

I just feel the weight of people pleasing closing in on me at this time of the year. I am hands down the worst gift giver. Just tell me exactly what you want because the overwhelming panic I get trying to find the perfect gift leaves me paralyzed. So you end up with nothing. My daughter caught onto this game at a very early age. Santa was her ticket in. She learned to make her list and check it twice.

When she was very little she would become very fixed on one gift. She very rarely varied once she decided. Like the year she wanted a Furbie.

IMG_0748

She gets very specific with her gifts, and now she sends them to her dad and I in a note document on her phone.  How times have changed! She adds and deletes to it. It automatically upgrades on our ends. Simple.

She may not always clean her room, but her ability to get us her list is always on point.

Christmas is always hard for me because she goes to see her dad. Every Christmas. It’s our deal. It doesn’t make me sad like it did the first year. The first year of tough. Mentally exhausting and I made it through. We made it through.  Now she looks forward to the flights because she goes by herself and sleeps the whole way, and complains her flight attendant that is making sure she gets from Gate A to Gate B doesn’t stop for coffee. So we move Christmas around to fit us. To be honest, we move it around to fit my shopping schedule.

So I get it when people are alone on this holiday. I also understand the love to be around everyone and do all the things. It’s important to make my own traditions around this year. I tend to be a bit more introverted and I tend to sit more quietly in my space, and sometimes that’s not what is needed or what I need.

I still like to drive around and look at everyone’s decorations.

When she was five years old we drove around with our hot cocoa through the neighborhood in Willow Glen because they do an amazing job of getting in the spirit. The giant sleigh and reindeer were always a hit. However not as big as hit as me swearing and saying the guy in front of me was driving like “a D-bag.” A little voice in the back seat asking me what that meant wasn’t my finest Merry Moment.

Now I watch all the Christmas movies (Die Hard, Christmas Vacation, Christmas Story, Charlie Brown and the Grinch) and I also love all the Hallmark Movies. Because what is better than to realize this season comes at us fast every year and we don’t always handle it in the very best way we could.

I know I need to do a self check when I start to feel anxious and ask myself what can make this better. It usually means to slow down and not hit add to cart. I would like to say I send out cards but that’s not who I am. I do text loved ones Merry Christmas(because my phone isn’t used for talking to live people) and I do like to sit quietly in the moment because my brain needs extra time before the rush of festivities.

The days are long but the time is short. For now I will ask for tea and make us sit through yet another Netflix Christmas Love story.

I love a happy ending. Don’t you?

 

 

 

 

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Forty-Six.

Forty-six.

Full moon.

My back hurts and I have some sort of weird bruising on my leg.

Where are my crystals? I should probably charge them. And I keep forgetting to manifest my destiny at 11:11.

This is 46.

I have always been upfront about my age. It’s a privilege to age. So I don’t take it for granted.

I think of my birthday as my January 1. I set my intentions and I start to build on it. Last year I made the promise to myself to start this little blog, I needed an outlet and I needed to write.  I get that little panic attack, breathe into a paper bag feeling when I realize how much time has passed and how much time I have left on this Earth.

Where’s my heating pad? Maybe some CBD oil? Okay that’s better. I should probably take some ibuprofen. I’m already sore tomorrow.

This is 46.

I’m a little more comfortable now so let’s talk about this aging thing.

It’s odd how coffee is now medicinal. Seriously. It’s turned into a whole routine that is no longer sugar and creamer.

Seriously.

I work out every damn day now. Mostly so I can button my jeans. I have read about gut health, poop school and I have learned what make my body happy. Doesn’t mean I don’t OD on candy or lick the bottom of the chocolate cake pan; just means I know that my body will make me pay for it.

The body’s a temple, that’s what we’re told
I’ve treated this one like an old honky-tonk
Greasy cheeseburgers and cheap cigarettes
One day they’ll get me if they ain’t got me yet
‘Cause I’ve been living in fast forward
A hillbilly rock star out of control
I’ve been living in fast forward
Now I need to rewind real slow ~Kenny Chesney 
 

I also believe in good lighting and even better moisturizer. Look bitch, I know you still have that good skin and you don’t wash your face; but when you wake up in your thirties looking like day of the dead….you’ll be looking for a reverse aging too. Yes I’m rolling my eyes. Because the number 11 in between my eyebrows just appeared one day. Also wax your eye brows. Just do it.  Chin hairs too. Don’t look so appalled, everyone has them. Just drink your damn water. No really it’s water. That’s the secret.

My contact lenses are now saved for special occasions. I am tired of squinting through life and my eyes are dry. It’s a thing. But then my glasses get heavy and irritating, so I will just walk around blind until the eye strain is too much.

This is 46.

I suffer from FOMO. I want to be invited, I just don’t want to go. Not any more. I want to hear all about your burdens and joys,  but I also desperately want you to stop whining. 

I have grown so much  in the last five years that I’m amazed. I have grown so much in the last 10 years. I am now stronger emotionally as well as physically. I know how to stop negative self talk before it gets out of control. I have so many tools like good books and better friends to help through those moments of doubt.

I’m also not as brave as I want to be. Yet. I know I hold myself back. The people pleaser in me still shows up and cares too much; and that’s a work in progress. I am much better than I use to be. I am still learning to protect my boundaries and to say no without the fear of hurting someone’s feelings. It’s a work in progress.

Getting to this age is weird. I still think I’m 17 and yet I know so much more. I still want to do all the things.  I can see my past and realize how much it taught me. I speak the truth more. I can read people better ; I realize not everyone is meant to stay in my life and not everyone gets that second (or third) chance any more.

I don’t know how I feel about being 46. I know I am happy to see it. I’m happy to have the challenge in front of me, but I’m a little sad too. I haven’t been able to figure out why. Maybe it’s just the full moon and it will pass. Or maybe it’s I have too many expectations for me and I need to calm the hell down. Either way, this is 46. I will embrace it and not waste the time.

I will grow a little more and embrace me a little more. The good and the not so good. This year I will learn to let go just a little more.

I will also nap more.

This is 46.

Time to spread my wings. But first I will eat cake.

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Cake.

I love cake. Don’t you?

This is my favorite cake. It’s not unique. It’s delicious. The richness of the chocolate just melts into your mouth. I have been having this cake as my birthday cake as long as I can remember.

To kick off the celebration of the birth of this legend on November 12 in a truly me style, I encourage you all to eat cake.

Change the B to F on your Bucket List.

German Chocolate Cake.

https://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/german-chocolate-cake/

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the Coconut Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

For the Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 375°F. Grease two 8 or 9-inch round baking pans. I like to cut a round piece of wax or parchment paper for the bottom of the pan also, to make sure the cake comes out easily.

For the Cake:

  • Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla and mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Stir in boiling water (batter will be very thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake for 25 – 35 minutes (depending on your cake pan size. The 9” pan takes less time to bake) or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or with few crumbs. Cool 5 minutes in the pan and then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

For the coconut frosting:

  • In a medium saucepan add brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, egg yolks, and evaporated milk. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat. Stir constantly for several minutes until the mixture begins to thicken. 
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, nuts and coconut. Allow to cool completely before layering it on the cake.

For the Chocolate Frosting:

  • Melt butter. Stir in cocoa powder. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed to thin the frosting, or a little extra powder, until you reach your desired consistency. Stir in vanilla.

Cake Assembly:

  • Place one of the cake rounds on your serving stand or plate. 
  • Smooth a thin layer of chocolate frosting over the cake layer, and then spoon half of the coconut frosting on top, spreading it into a smooth layer. Leave about 1/2 inch between the filling and edge of cake. 
  • Stack the second cake round on top. Smooth chocolate frosting over the entire cake.
  • Spoon remaining coconut frosting on top of the cake. 

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Haunt.

Happy Halloween.

I am coming to you live from my living room sofa where I am currently waiting for the lower left side of my face to start to tingle. I was in the dentist chair for over an hour. It wasn’t horrible, but I can think of other things I would like to do for an hour. Read, day dream, look at clouds, pounder where in my journey did things go left. Think about how I shouldn’t put things off and floss more.

I had a reading done once. I was in the middle of a shit storm and a friend recommended that now would be a good time to burn some sage and get a reading. So I called the woman she recommended and drove to her lovely craftsman style house in the middle of Palo Alto CA. I sat on a firm sofa and tried not to cry. I failed. I was super stressed out and the antidepressants I had been put on hadn’t quite kicked in yet. There I sat on a sofa while a white dog sat next to me. He nudged me every so often and the nice but firm woman said he was very empathic to those in need. She also asked me a couple of questions, told me to pick out five cards and began telling me about my life; past, present and future. I still have it recorded. I listened to it recently. It was hard for me to recognize me in that recording because I sounded like a wounded bird. I very much was at the time. It was a time of change she said. She asked me I had lost a baby and I said yes, she said that child is with you every day. I have other guardians too. Which made me laugh because I can get into some shenanigans; but also made me realize that they are also the reason I have gotten out of some shenanigans. The reader went through the cards and asked me some very point blank questions. She wasn’t judging me. She wasn’t giving me advice. She was just telling me what she saw, what the cards said, and what whatever spirit that had come through to her was telling her. Simple right? And very profound. I learned so much that day. The biggest thing was that I am guided and protected; I just needed to learn to trust myself and ask for help. And to stop putting up with stupid shit.
Which is what I did.

Not a believer? That’s okay. I complete understand your skepticism. I also had my palm read at a street fair once. My personal life was such a disaster she couldn’t get into it. She just left it that I was dealing with some unresolved bullshit from my past life and until I stopped repeating the pattern; well I was f*cked. I wonder what my palms say now. I hope I have resolved some of it because I can’t imagine coming back and going ,”Well shit. This feels familiar.”

I also took my Rottweiler along to a Pet Psychic once. Yes, I am that dog mom. Free ice cream for her and I were involved. Rion was my girl. My father in law had gotten for me and she had come to me at 4 months old with every dog problem you don’t want a Rottweiler to have. She hated to be petted, she was food aggressive, and she was stubborn. A list a mile long. I got a book on Rottie’s and I learned everything I could about the breed. By a year old, she was a different, well behaved, and a cuddle bug who loved humans. So we went for a walk and ended up at the ice cream shop. The pet psychic told me things about her that I knew only could come from her. One was that she didn’t like being laughed at when she stumbled. woah. She was a known klutz. I was known to laugh at her. I apologized and stopped after that day.

I believe in spirits. I believe in guides. I believe in a higher being, light, guide, spirit, God; whatever word you chose to put in.

The house I lived in Oklahoma had a spirit living in it. Why do I know? After everything I have shared with you, you still doubt me? Fine. So I spent most of my time there alone with my daughter who was under the age of two. Just her and I hanging out. Except one day, someone else made their presence known. I love original Sun Chips. One night, I had gotten some out of the pantry and after putting them in a bowl; I left the bag on the counter. Now the kitchen in this house was rectangle in shape and had lots of counter space. I placed them at the far end next to the sink with the bag rolled down so they wouldn’t get stale. Why am I telling you this? Because I sat down to watch my show in the other room, I heard the distinct sound of a bag of chips being held(the crinkle sound) and opened. I got up and flipped on the lights to the kitchen and there sat my bag of chips. Opened and tipped over. All the way opened. As if someone was putting their hands inside to get a snack. I was sure it was a mouse. I didn’t jump right to living with a ghost. I rolled up the chip bag and put them in the pantry. This happened each time I got those chips. One time when my ex was there; he saw it happen in front of him and went into denial. He told me to put them away and it was nothing. After that incident is when I began talking to whomever was living with me. The spirit was friendly. My cat never growled. My dogs didn’t bark into an empty room. Those are the tells right? I mean not that I have ever knowingly lived with a spirit up until that day, but that’s what Ghost Hunters usually point out. Each time I had chips I left the bag open and told them to help herself/himself. I would also warn them I was putting the bag away in case they wanted more. We had a pretty good arrangement. They ate my chips and didn’t watch me shower. One night they did venture into my daughter’s room after she was asleep and woke up her toys. You know, the talking creepy ones? The ones I made sure to turn off because I didn’t want them waking up and scaring the crap out of me. Well, one little puppy began to go through the program and skipping parts where I know you had to push the paw or his chest. I went into the room and rage whispered that if they woke my baby girl I was going to be super pissed. I turned off the puppy and told her or them to get out of the room. It was quiet for the rest of the night.

All sound crazy? It probably does. I am just sharing my experiences with you on this day of ghosts and goblins. I have my bestie give me an Angel Card reading from time to time and I still meditate on my Angel and Spirit guides.

Go burn some sage tonight, charge your crystals under a full moon, and leave some Sun Chips out for some hungry spirit. Don’t forget to floss.

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Insecure.

in·se·cure
adjective
adjective: insecure
not firmly fixed; liable to give way or break.
“an insecure footbridge”
  • able to be broken into or illicitly accessed.
    “an insecure computer system
  • (of a job or position) from which removal or expulsion is always possible.
    (of a person) not confident or assured; uncertain and anxious.
    “a rather gauche, insecure young man”
    Similar:
    unconfident
    lacking confidence
    lacking self-confidence

Being insecure can cause you to do some dumb shit. No really. Have you ever really doubted yourself? To the point where it was debilitating? You couldn’t make a decision or if you did it you second guessed yourself the whole time. Being insecure messes with your head. And if you listen close enough, you’ll realize it really isn’t you talking. It’s your ego. The one voice telling you that you aren’t good enough.

Let’s talk about how that makes you feel. In your body. How do you start to feel when you are running yourself down? When you are doubting who you are because of a bad day, a decision or someone else’s opinion; you start to ache right? Like everything starts to hurt, you want to go to bed and you start to shut down.

I am going to rewind the tape in a minute, but first I am going to tell you about me.

If you have been playing along at home, you will have been putting together that I have not always been my confident loud mouth self. I have been made fun of for a number of reasons..my laugh, my dating or lack there of, my smile, the way I wore my hair, the way I wore my jeans….I mean there is a list. Is it my list? No most of it comes from outside sources. And even if some of those voices got to me, they didn’t get to me for long.

I do know being insecure caused me to make some poor decisions in my life. I would let someone else’s voice spend too much time in my head and I began to doubt myself. I began to doubt who I was or what I wanted. I like to say that it happened. I let it. I learned from it and it won’t happen again. And it hasn’t. I do have some “situational reactions.”  I do have breaking points. I am human. Especially if I feel I am not being heard;  the  feeling helpless or hopeless isn’t one of them. The ego voice isn’t so loud any more. I am able to shut it down because I earned and I learned.

I become more frustrated at someone stuck in their own insecurities. I  can be too judgmental, mostly because I have done so much damn work to get better that I can’t understand why they aren’t trying to do the same! I have had to realize that I am not perfect. I just have become more confident. I am not here to force people to heal their broken parts; I am just here to guide. I check myself daily and sometimes I find I am too critical of me.

I am secure in who I am. I am secure in most of my decisions because I have learned to listen to myself.  Really listen. Not listen to the insecure ego; but to the one sounding the most confident.

How did I get here? A walk in the woods. I had to walk through some darkness with a flashlight to look for clues. I had to find guides. I read a lot of personal development books. I read at least one a month. I listen to experts. I listen to podcasts. I listen to me.

Being insecure stems from fear. The unknown. The unsure. The best way I know how to get past all of it is to talk about it and most importantly; go through it. Learn from it. Grow from it.

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Fourteen.

Today I am the mom of a fourteen year old.

She was born on time. Almost. It’s only time she has ever been on time. She was also the most amazingly easy baby. She was. I’m not just saying that because she’s mine. She set her own bed time, woke up twice to eat and really didn’t get upset by much.

Besides Grover. That puppet always appeared at meal time and always messed with her.

We taught her baby sign language. She caught on and was so happy to communicate. She signed things like milk, fish, more, please and thank you. We figure she learned easily over 100 signs. Or more. She went from signing to speaking sentences by age 2. And she really hasn’t stopped chattering.

My Bell, as I call her, is also a big Disney fan. When she turned three, we packed up and made the trek and she was hooked. She wore her Cinderella dress only in Disneyland and never when we went to California Adventure. Her love affair with Disney has only continued. Right now she is complaining about Netflix taking off Hercules.

I think that’s where she also got her love to draw. Because she has been drawing since she could hold a crayon and I had never watched a child at such a young age just sit and draw. Or want too.

So she today sits with and carries drawing pads after drawing pads. Big and small. Colored pencils, pens, and markers also go with her. It’s what she does when she’s bored or when she finds something interesting that she would like to create in her world.

In her next move to continue down the artist path; she went from having long thick hair down the middle of her back to short pixie hair. I figure it’s only hair, so do with it what you want. For a girl who never wants attention directly placed on her ; short hair makes her stand out. Especially at an age where every girl has long hair.

So today we celebrate the stubborn but polite girl I love with my whole heart.

She is smart, creative, caring, funny, and beautiful. I could go on about her. She is my favorite subject. I will just end it with 14 things about her.

And tonight we will eat chocolate.

14. She has brown eyes and some of her closest friends she has had since she was 4.

13. She wears glasses. Refuses to try contacts. “Poking” her eye makes her anxiety ramp up.

12. She loves cats.

11. Her favorite snack is ice cream.

10. She loves super buttery popcorn.

9. She is a Tim Burton fan.

8. We recently dyed her hair blue. I was traumatized by it all…blue was every where.

7. She wants a Bearded Dragon and to name it Newt.

6. Chocolate Milk is her drink of choice.

5. She was born at 8 lbs 15 oz.

4. She has a goofy, sarcastic sense of humor.

3. She loves practical jokes.

2. She loves rock music.

1. She’s equal parts California hippie and a Montana wild flower.

Happy Birthday Bug. Thank you for being you. Tonight we eat cake.

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Vibes.

My ex mother in law and I never really got along. I always said if she was who she was when she was being social, she would be a hell of a person. That wasn’t the case. She often came off bitter and unkind to me and made doing any sort of gathering uncomfortable at best. I was later told how much she loved me and she regretted any unkind treatment I may have received by her. To be clear, I hold no ill will towards her. I was going through some shit with her son and she was also in the middle of her own life issues, and believe it or not, I think that’s where she started to understand me more and I her.

When someone is unhappy though, whew, they try to drag everyone along with them. They can’t help but spread their little black cloud.

Get along while we can
Always give love the upper hand
Paint a wall, learn to dance
Call your mom, buy a boat
Drink a beer, sing a song
Make a friend, can’t we all get along

I am not saying I have always been a peach, but I have tried to be the juiciest. My moods become dark and I try my hardest not to lash out at every one in my path, I don’t always succeed. I am a November born baby so my moods and emotions roll off of me in waves. I get quiet. I get sulky. I also get pissed. I am the emotional one. That statement alone use to make me pout. Stomp my foot. Now. Now I understand. I am wonderfully made. I know when I need a nap or food. I now when I need a time out. And the best thing about me? You will never have to guess how I feel. I am still learning to use my words, but generally you will know.

Then there are some people who have been through so much in life and smile so bright you have to wear shades around them. They make life better just by knowing them.

One such example is someone I will forever be one my favorite people and a person who turned out to be more of a big sister in my life. We had the chance through her dad getting sick with cancer to get to know each other. By that I mean, we lived in a one bedroom shack that I was living in at the time. We had no choice but to move in their dad and take care of him. He wasn’t doing so well on his own. Pain has a way of clouding judgement.

He was sick with cancer and could no longer be trusted to self medicate the pain away. This was a stressful situation at best. After watching my mom go through it with her mom, I know this was not going to be an easy task for any one of us. Gratefully, there were five maybe six of us watching out for him at any given time. Did I mention my shack was maybe 1000 square feet? Did I mention we had two HUGE dogs. And a cat. So if you are keeping track at home: 2 dogs, 1 cat, 5 people.  Now not every one stayed there all at once all the time, but it was a good rotation. His daughter came to stay because she can’t help herself in her need to take care of everyone. So there we were. Two people thrown together in a tragedy and a love story. Because the love in that house for those few months was big. It was in the air and you could almost reach out and touch it. Lots of late nights. Lots of denying he was eventually going to pass from this Earthly plane. She and I hid in the garage from people, we fed my homeless people that we knew by name, and we drank wine.

That whole entire time I can’t recall us ever getting in a disagreement or fighting. And that can explain my fierce sisterhood with her. She is good down to her toes. She smothers you with love and will try to think of anything you might want or need before it even pops into your head. She does is it all with a smile and good spirit even after going through some life events that would stop you in your tracks.

I want you to stop and think about your life for a minute. We obsess with ourselves so this should be easy.  How are you carrying what life has thrown at you? Because we all have our shit. Every. One. Of. Us.  So are you carrying around and throwing your excuse of  “I can’t” because of something that happened to you in your past? Because you decided? You decided not to better yourself. You decided to not grow or be a light because you’d rather sit in the dark and cast blame?

Come on. That’s lame! That’s not living a life! That’s sitting in shit because it’s comfortable and easy. Who the hell wants to put in work to be a better person? ME! Geezus. All you HAVE to do is wake up every single day with a grateful heart. That’s it. Just be grateful.  To me it’s ridiculous to be pissed off all day long at some perceived grievance in your head, either talk about it and work it out or STFU about it. No. Just STFU. Every one is tired of hearing about it.

Everyone is certainly tired of walking around egg shells wondering what small thing will make you not talk to them this week.

Get over it. All of it. Get on with living your best life. Not the life you think someone owes you.

I’m gettin’ them good vibes
I’m livin’ this good life
I’m breathin’ on God’s time
And I ain’t gonna waste one breath
I’m soakin’ it all up
I got me a full cup
And there ain’t nothin’ gonna spill it
Nothin’ gonna kill it
Wavin’ them worries goodbye
I’m feelin’ them good vibes
I ain’t tryna hear the negative
I’m just tryna change the narrative
It’s simply imperative
That we all have a damn good time

 

 

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Fall.

Do you smell it in the air? Pumpkin spice everything, leggings, tall boots and sweatshirts. It’s my favorite time of the year.  It’s the time of the year where we ship calves and get ready for next year. Horses start to grow in their Winter coats, and Nuisance goes from Grey to Black over night.

*Blueberry and Nuisance*

Mostly I love this time of year because two of my favorite people were born. Me and my kid.  True story.

I love the change in the weather from that hot breeze to that slight chill, but the sun still feels so good on your skin.  I also think it doesn’t stay long enough. I think Winter gets in such a hurry, it  doesn’t leave space for Fall.

How many times in my life am I in a hurry? A lot. I am always rushing onto the next thing before really enjoying the present. I drink my latte too fast, I grab for the doughnut I see first instead of looking at them all, and I tend to skip pages in a book to see what happens next. The need to know gets to me.

The rush of oncoming winter of my life always pushes me forward. I didn’t grasp what I needed or wanted out of life. I had a far away dream that I would simply write and drink coffee from fancy cups in an amazing location. Life unfolded and instead of having goals and direction; I had put on goggles and headed for the diamond slope before the last leaf on the tree had a chance to fall.

Learning to live on the East Coast ( eating delicious burgers at little pubs, smoking too many cigarettes, meeting so many friends and missing the last train out of the city), to moving to the West Coast ( no more black, no cigarettes, no trains, and lots trips to the ocean) ; all taught me that Summer has so much expectation that Fall doesn’t.

Fall is the middle sister. The one everyone forgets about but remembers fondly. She reminds us to slow down a bit and that every thing doesn’t need to be rushed; but savored.

So even if Winter is being a bit pushy remember that Fall still begs to be noticed. Tall boots and flannels, apple cider, pumpkin spice, and nights spent wrapped in blankets telling stories around a fire are here to remind us that change is a good thing.