Wednesday, January 1, 2020

It's time.....



This holiday season had me in a funk.
I wasn't festive, and try as I might, I just could not get into the holiday spirit.
Instead this year, I felt a deep yearning to just simplify.
I really felt wrapped up in the commercialization of it all, therefore I really just wanted Christmas to go away.
This year, I wanted New Years.
I want the fresh start, the possibility of 366 (Leap year!) days before me.

2018 nearly broke me.
2019 allowed me to breathe, but I still felt somewhat lost from 2018.
2020, I'm looking forward to purging and decluttering my body, mind, and finding my rhythm again.

I'm not proclaiming just one resolution this year.
I'm going bigger!
I'm going whole lifestyle change.

Here's to finishing my book, packing my lunch, discontinuing my nail biting habit, not spending money in the gift shop at work, writing everyday, purging my house, setting and sticking with a schedule, loving more, judging less, saying yes, reading more, going to church on Sundays, getting up earlier, going to bed earlier, making a budget and sticking to it, eating better, exercising more, and cussing less.

My plan is to reclaim me in 2020.....
It's time!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Saying Goodbye...



Rascal (Roo) was The Nurse's dog before we met, and he came to her as a puppy 12 years ago. Best we can tell, he is a labrador retriever-husky mix, with his jovial personality, the shedding of hair like glitter at a drag show, and his boisterous bark that regularly reverberates the walls of our house. 

We have been suspecting the day to say goodbye would be coming for quite some time now, as Roo has been fading recently. Not wanting to eat, sleeping more, and due to a 4/5 heart murmur, he is now having difficulty breathing. 

Every good life deserves a fair death, and where the loss of this guy is going to leave a hole the size of Montana in our hearts, we know the fair thing to do is to say goodbye. 

Say a prayer, light a candle for our family today as we say goodbye to the happiest dog on the planet.

We'll see you at the bridge, Roo where you'll be waiting for us with a wagging tail and exuberant barking...


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Quieting My Mind


To say I have been struggling lately would be an understatement. I just feel disconnected and spiritually unfulfilled. I have enough spiritual awareness to know that is a dangerous place for a person like me to be. My mind is my greatest muse. Fed she is lovely and tame, but not fed properly, she is like a misguided missile, darting back and forth with no method to her madness, and with no clear place to land, she has the potential to leave serious damage in her aftermath.

I'm not sure what is internally upsetting me so much except to say, I have been under a lot of personal and professional pressure as of late, and in the quest to hold all my shit together, I have realized I am doing a really bad job of being true to who I am and I'm not listening to what my body says I need to be doing. I've been living like a 9-year old kid left home alone: my boundaries are absent, I eat whatever I want, go to bed late, and spend money like it's my job.

I have reached a breaking point several times recently, and that's when it became clear, I need to quiet my mind and to just be still in order for the answers to show themselves to me. So, I have come to the mountains to reflect, to disconnect, to write and to feed my muse. I needed to remove myself from the noise, the chatter and the drama of everyday life. My phone and I needed a separation, and Facebook and I needed a break like two lovers on a 2 week cross country road trip in a Chevy Chevette in the 1980's. (Google search that car if I am showing my age by using that as a reference....)

So far, I have lived without my phone for three days. I have been writing, reading, and have not gotten out of my pajamas, except to get in and out of the hot tub. My mind is a little more clear, and I feel a little less maniacal since there are no imbecilic people on the mountain with me. I hope that I can come off this mountain with a renewed mind, and an clear understanding of what my next move should be....

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Prayers for Piper, Please!



If you cracked open my chest, there on my heart, you would find the face of this little dog. 
Piper came to us from the animal shelter as a cruelty case. She had been starved and neglected to the point they thought she had dwarfism. Really what she had was bone deficiencies, from ongoing neglect, causing her legs to bow outward making her look like an old cowboy who'd been riding horses for 50 years. 

For some time I have noticed Piper limping on and off, therefore she has been through a gamut of acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, joint supplements, and pain medication, however she is never really 100% and none of those things change the structure of her legs, which appears to be the root of the problem. Many months ago, I joked with The Nurse stating I was saving for Piper's ACL repair. Little did I know, it wouldn't be a joke because she would tear both ACL's at the same time.

This little dog has the tenacity of a tiger and a heart bigger than her melon-style head, and she has etched a solid place in our lives, all of our lives. Human and canine.... Piper was wrestling with her doggie-brother about a week ago, ran to jump on the couch, and missed the landing.

After x-rays and additional medication it has become clear that Piper needs surgery to repair the damage that life and humans have done to her legs. Tomorrow The Nurse and I will drive Piper to a respected orthopedic surgeon to have surgery on her legs. I don't know exactly what method of surgery he will choose, however given her breed and x-ray images, my guess is she will have the more complex of the 3 options. After the surgery, she will be on complete crate rest for 3 months, and we will have to strictly leash walk her. Unfortunately, because they can only do one leg at a time, she will have to have a second surgery a short time after healing from the first one.

If you wouldn't mind sending Piper some thoughts and prayers for her adventure tomorrow, we would greatly appreciate it. She's kind of a big deal.... 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Thank you Matthew....



21 years ago, I was ready to come out as being gay.  Up until this time, I had only told 2 other people I trusted about this, and was finally going to just come out of the closet.  

However, on this day 21 years ago, and innocent young man was discovered in the middle of a desolate part of Wyoming, beaten so badly, that he succumbed to his injuries just 6 days later.  His only crime? He was gay.

I remember the news that night stating his entire face was covered in blood, except for the places his tears left trails when they leaked down his cheeks. This was the first time I'd even heard about hate crimes, and the crime against Matthew Shepard would be enough to scare me into pretending to be straight for another 6 years.

I never met Matthew, however what he did in death for the equality of the LGBTQ community, will never be forgotten. Tonight I will light a candle and remember the brave young man whose life and courage in death set so many of us free....

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Operation Cowboy Kindness - Mission #1 SUCCESS



Folks, I have an idea.....

Since Woody has been hanging around our house, I've had a lot of folks email me and say how refreshing it has been to share his story, and how much they have enjoyed being part of the journey.  

Folks have mentioned how the love following along, and how he has brought so much joy to their lives.  (Please remember we live in an area that was hit by massive tornadoes several months ago, and a mass shooter killed 9 people and injured several dozen just 3 weeks ago.)  But, even if they aren't local, I think people just really excited to see something positive.

Yesterday morning, I was on Facebook, and there in our local Facebook parent group was a mother who was reaching out to the community asking for us to keep a look out for her 10 year old son's beloved bicycle that had been stolen. If you know me, you know I love. love. love to give to people, so I instantly knew I wanted to do something for this young man. 

I went out to the store, and I bought that little boy a new bicycle, only I didn't do it alone.  There in the checkout line at Walmart was a kind woman who also donated to the cause.  

And that is how Operation Cowboy Kindness was born in my mind.  

What if the love, kindness and goodwill of Woody's story didn't have to end?
What if we shared Woody's mission and watched it unfold here?

I have an idea for Mission 2, and would love for a little help.  
Is there anyone else who would like to join me?

If so, click the link below....


Saturday, August 24, 2019

A Lost Cowboy




Wednesday was like any other day for us. The Nurse and I were to leave for dog training and alas we were running late because of me. If you know us, you know I'm perpetually late for everything I do.  If you know The Nurse, you know she's on time for everything we do. So, once The Nurse wrangled me, the dog, herself, and all of our essentials into the car, we think we're on our way.  But as we're driving along, I looked to the left, and there lying in the middle of the road, on the yellow line, was a Woody doll.

I'm not sure why I stopped, other than the fact that Woody made eye contact with me, and when he did it was straight up 1995 again, and all I could remember was being Woody's "favorite deputy" many years ago. When that cowboy looked up at me, I immediately knew I had to turn around to "rescue" him.  Now, at this point, I still hadn't told The Nurse why we were turning around, just that there was something I needed to "save" in the middle of the road.  (She's used to this because I'm constantly breaking for animals, so she was probably relieved it was just a plastic doll....) After scooping him up from certain death via a minivan, The Nurse and I had a good laugh about him and continued on.

After class that night, I thought I would create a simple Facebook post about the doll, just in an attempt to locate's his owner.  In my mind, there was a small child out there who was (and still is) missing his best-friend, and I thought social media would be the best place to find this person.  I had no idea so many people would be touched by Woody and his plea to get home, but if you've seen us this week, you know the post went viral.  As of this moment, our Woody story has been picked up by 3 news channels (Ohio, Texas and Georgia), our local radio station (K99.1 FM), and has been viewed over 286,000 times.

Perhaps it was the simplicity and nostalgia of the post.
Perhaps is was the fact there are a lot of evils in the world right now.
Perhaps it's just that it's nice to see the underdog come out on top.

I don't know.

But, I can say is I'm grateful to all of you who've found us, who have showered us with love this week, and who have shared Woody's post in order to help bring him home.  He isn't there yet, but if you have seen him on Facebook, you can tell he's certainly trying!  :)