Targeted randomness

It’s weird.  Yesterday I turned 51 years old. That’s not the weird part though. What I find weird is that complete strangers, people who I have never met, and only know through the virtual world, take time out of their day to send me good wishes. They don’t even know me. Not really. They know what my dogs look like, they know what I had for dinner the other night, they know my husband works overseas, currently in Saudi Arabia. But those are all cosmetic details. Less than 10 percent of my Facebook friends know my daughter’s name. Less than 1 percent of them know how I met my husband, where I was born, what my favorite color is or how many times I’ve been married. Yet a large percentage of them wanted me to have a Happy Birthday, and that means something to me. It only takes a minute to type a short message, but it takes even less to scroll past the notice that it was my birthday.

So this is my first ever blog post. I love reading blogs, but I’m really bad at following many of them consistently. My favorite blog is at He retired from corporate America a few years ago to climb the worlds highest mountains in order to raise money and bring awareness to Alzheimer’s disease. He lost his mother to this horrible affliction, and it literally changed his life. Even when he is part of the Himalayan climbing season, he provides spectacular coverage of life in the mountains with descriptions and pictures so vivid that it seems like I’ve actually been there.  I, too, am obsessed with the Himalayas, and can answer almost any question posed to me in casual conversation. Another favorite is ‘Baby Sideburns’. A mother of two children who posts hilarious anecdotes about the things kids do and the way she and her husband handle it. She pulls no punches and I can only imagine how her kids are going to react when they are old enough to read her stories. I love food blogs and travel blogs, and of course I’m all about dogs, and more specifically service dogs. But I’ll get into that in a later post.

For now, I’m just dipping my toes in to check the temp. My brain never stops, and I really needed an outlet for my thoughts, ideas and some silly stories that even the best fiction writer could not make up.  Eventually I’ll figure out how to add photos (hopefully!).  There will even be guest bloggers!  My next post will be about an upcoming project. I’ll just say that it’s going to be the accomplishment of my number one ‘bucket list’ item, and I’m going to need the help of every one of you. Stay tuned!



365 Days A Year

Jewel (1 of 1)

I wonder what they thought when they saw me…the families at the movie theater this afternoon, and later at the Waffle House. I wonder what they thought when they saw me…the lonely looking, middle aged woman with no family or friends around her. I wonder what they thought.

The truth is, I hope they didn’t see me at all.  I hope they were so wrapped up in their own lives that they didn’t notice anything outside of their own joyful holiday traditions.  I hope they were making some beautiful memories that they’ll remember forever.

Because the bigger truth is, I wasn’t lonely at all. For me, this is just another Thursday.  In my family, we have to grab togetherness when we can.  It’s usually twice a year, for about 3 weeks when my husband is home on vacation.  It’s been that way for 8 years, and we have gotten accustomed to it being that way.  I’m not lonely or sad on holidays, there is a Thursday every week.  If it weren’t for the holiday commercials, I wouldn’t know the difference between this, or any other Thursday.  We make the most of our time together, and look forward to the time when we’ll be together again. I choose to spend most holidays alone because my husband spends his without his family.

Someone once posed a question on facebook-Who do atheists give thanks to?  It seemed a ridiculous question to me then, and it still does today. Let me break it down for you, in case you, too, were wondering.  I am thankful TO my close circle of girlfriends…for always listening to me when they ask for advice (even though they rarely take it lol), and for inspiring me to always try to be more openly compassionate when it is my nature to keep it private.  They never hold it against me that I’m completely secular, even though they do not agree with me. They are not only proud to be Christians, they are the rare Christians that I am proud to be close to.

I am thankful TO my family.  I am thankful that I have a healthy, beautiful daughter and for that I take all the credit.  I am thankful to my husband’s ex wife, for allowing me to love his daughter and be a part of her life.  Some of us are not close geographically, and some of us don’t talk very often. But they are the foundation of who I am, and I wouldn’t change one single thing about any of them.  Plus, they rarely come to visit, so there is that to be thankful for also LOL.

And every day, no matter where he is in the world, I am thankful to my husband.  He chooses to work on the other side of the planet because when it comes to me or his girls, he cannot say no…to pretty much anything.  It’s the only way he can give us the things he thinks we want, and that is very important to him.  When we are done with college and the girls are settled in their lives, he will come home, and we will start learning to live together again.  Strangely, we have become even closer in the 8 years since he’s been gone, than we ever were when he was here.  We are thankful to each other for that.

I am thankful to my husband for one more thing.  He allowed me to change my life, without knowing he was partially responsible for it.  You see, if we didn’t spend our holidays apart, I wouldn’t have done what I did. I wouldn’t have gone where I went.  Our family get-together is always on Christmas Eve, so early one Christmas morning, in 2012, I got on a plane and flew to Boston.  I rented a car and drove to snowy northern Massachusetts and literally came back a different person (one with a cast on her leg).  This was his Christmas gift to me (not the cast part). He thought it was just a trip…as it turned out, he was setting the GPS for my destiny.  I’ve always wanted to ‘pay it forward’ somehow. But because I am an intensely private person, I just didn’t know how I wanted to accomplish that.  And then one week in Ipswich, Massachusetts, at Service Dog Project, I found it.  I am thankful to my friends there, who started out as acquaintances, but who draw me back every year. I went for the dogs…I go back for the people.  They showed me how I wanted to pay it forward. They showed me how one person could help change someone’s life, and that’s how one person can change the world.

So I wonder what they thought when they saw me, all the people I saw today.  They may have seen a person who was alone, but they also saw one who is never lonely-because I carry my gratitude to each one of you with me 365 days a year.   And you are the reason I pay it forward.

I cannot do all the good that the world needs, but the world needs all the good I can do.



It’s a hard knock life…

Royal Skippy

Hi! I’m Skippy! I’m a 10 year old Jack Russell Terrier. My Mom says I’m a JackassRussellTerrorist.  I’m not sure what that means but it must be something good because she REALLY loves me!  And I love her right back!  I am always kissing her and leaving her presents!!  Just last week I left the nicest package for her.  I took 4 of my best poops and wrapped them up in pretty blankets so she would find them when she got home from work.  How awesome is this?!?!

A present

She seemed very excited about it.  There was lots of yelling and throwing of things.  We were both barking 🙂  I have a sister (blech) who thinks she is the greatest thing since sliced bacon.  But she’s not.  She goes to some place called ‘doggy daycare’ and comes back smelling like about 65 different dogs.  I would love to go with her but it must be some kind of punishment place because Mom says I can’t go there because I’m her little a$$hole!  She doesn’t call Baylee an a$$hole, just me, so I must be the good dog! This is my first blog post, and Mom says if I’m a good boy, I’ll get to do some more later.  She must go to doggy daycare too, because every other Saturday she comes home smelling like other dogs as well.  She says they are ‘service dogs in training’….whatever that is.  Apparently when they grow up they get to CHOOSE their human and help them live more normal lives like my humans!  She takes care of the babies in the nursery and helps the bigger puppies learn things like picking up keys, and turning lights off and on. YAWN……I am NEVER going to be a service dog.  All that stuff sounds like it’s just going to interfere with my butt sniffing and security dog services (nap taking).  I will write more later, if Mom will ever get off the computer again.  Until then….I’m your friend Skippy!

Big boy teeth

I have a secret….

I am lazy as hell.  Don’t get me wrong. Don’t confuse lazy with inactive.  I’m also active as hell.  I work every day (ish), I have a second volunteer job where I work with service dogs.  I care for 2 dogs of my own, I travel and handle most things at my house since my husband is overseas.  Oh I’m plenty active. That’s the problem. By the time I get home from work and finish taking care of all the things that need to be taken care of, I’m too tired to take care of myself.  I wish I took as good care of myself as I do my dogs.  Millions of people, like myself, put more effort into finding a reason NOT to work out than the effort it would take to just do the damn thing! GUILTY!! I hate doing cardio. I would seriously rather have an enema than do any cardio work.  I love lifting weights.  Or, I should say, I love the pain that lifting weights gets me the next day.  I seriously got addicted to that for about 2 years.  I quit lifting 2 years ago when I developed a slight rotator tear. Now its big, so my upper body workouts will be limited in some areas.   And I’ve gotten lazier and lazier. But that stopped last week. So did eating anything that was easy and microwaveable.  I firmly believe that if your food comes through your car window in a bag you should NOT put it in your mouth. But I did.  I will again.  I’m not even sorry.  But for now, I’m on a mission.  Here’s where you come in, so pay attention.

In my last post I mentioned my number one ‘bucket list’ item. I also mentioned The Himalayas.  Home of the 14 highest mountains in the world.  Including the highest…Mount Everest. Big E.  The top of the world.  Calm down….I don’t want to climb the damn thing.  Are you crazy?  People get killed there!  I just want to see it!  And not on t.v. or in pictures.  I already own every documentary and movie ever made about Mt. Everest, and most made about the other 13 highest peaks.  The way I want to see it is in person, up close, from the ground up.  But to do that, its a 9 day hike.  That’s right, I said HIKE. Uphill…both ways!  There are no roads.  Just trails and bridges through an area known as the Khumbu Valley all the way to Everest Base Camp, at an altitude of 17,500 feet. Yikes!  This has been the top ticket item on my bucket list for almost 10 years. I was going to do it for my 50th birthday, but was just too lazy to get fit.  I won’t have many more opportunities.  If I don’t get fit now, I’m just going to get lazier.  Here’s where you come in.  I need to be accountable to someone.  Accountable about what I eat, how I work out, my good days and my lazy days.  Ask me on Facebook, make me say it out loud.  Be patient about my workout posts, my food pics, ideas for fundraising, my progress and my setbacks.  There will be lots of every one of those things.  But I’m on a mission.  I’m giving myself a little over 2 years to get fit. Fall of 2017 I am going to Nepal.  There, I said it.  I’M GOING TO NEPAL!!!!everest

Ha! What do you know….I figured out how to add a pic 🙂