Monday, January 29, 2018


I know I said I was going to not write, but I have to get this story out of my head. - It might not look pretty, but it was AMAZING.

I was in Seattle for a week. There for work. BUT, a very, very good friend of mine now lives there.

We have been friends since he was 15 and I was 19. He and his brother are, well, my brothers. Not by blood, but you don't get to choose your relatives. You do get to choose family though.

His first wife was murdered 11 years ago. I've written about her many times. Wrote about the tragedy. Wrote about the wife he married 5 years ago.

He has a little boy now. He and his little boy spent the weekend with me at my hotel. It rained the whole week I was there.

We had so much fun. We did tourist stuff. We swam in the hotel pool. We hung out. We hadn't seen each other in about 3 years.

His first wife's name was Vanessa. Ness.

So of course, I had dreams with her in it. You can't help it. (Or now that I'm sleeping again, I'm dreaming again).

Sunday night, I fly back to Denver. I fall asleep on the plane.

In my dream, I tell Ness to go find Hil. (Hil was the teenage friend who died summer of 2016.) Ness was active and adventurous. And, while in real life, she died at 29. So in my dream, I realized that she was 29. Hil was 18 - they could be friends. They would be good adventurous friends.

They are on the top of a mountain. About to ski off - I tell them to go have fun.

And the plane landed in Denver and I woke up.

Knowing Ness and Hil are off playing. My heart so full...........

Friday, December 22, 2017


Obviously writing is something that is not aligned with me being without my kids. Without Hawaii.

  • I've had 3 hockey players living in my house this fall. 2 are from Russia the other is from the USA (Minnesota). It's been very interesting. A good thing, yet I'm running the dorm I always new I would run one day.
  • D is in Conn playing hockey. Talking about school next fall or Sweden for a bit or staying in NYC to model (I wish we we all had that self confidence).
  • N is in Oregon going to school - pledged a fraternity. Girlfriend here in Colorado going to Boulder.
  • L is in Mass going to school - Class President and an activist on campus. Island girl gone mainland. 
  • Me - planning a public wedding ceremony (the date, place & time are correct - more details to follow) June to the "crush of my life" on my island. Still raising CCI dogs to help those with their independence. Planning travel. Still trying new things. I completed my TENTH half marathon last fall - 10 in 10 years. 2 full marathons in the last 10 years too. Someone told me there is a "7 continent" tour you can do...... Or maybe, there might be new adventures to be had.
I do miss writing. Just not here and now.

I can't promise this is the end of these stories.  

I can promise, there will always be many more adventures in store........

The DNL spreading their wings.

Love Always,

DNL + (Me)

(Don't worry, this isn't "Your typical Hollywood Ending"  - this is your island style, DNL, commercial break....)

See ya in the future.....

Thursday, December 21, 2017

BackUp Failed

Technology is not one of my strong suites.

I pretend I'm adept and keeping up with the times. But I'm also the person who has a cracked phone screen 80% of the time.

I can't:

  • get my old music on my new phone.
  • upgrade my home computer without losing what is currently on my computer.
  • find where my files are on "the cloud"
  • figure out where the heck the "cloud" is.
  • back up everything on my phone.
There is a bunch of stuff I do know about technology. I also try and learn as much everyday about what is coming next. I don't have to learn how to do it. I don't even have to use it. But I do think it's important to learn what is going on outside the bubble of my world.

Recently, I bought a Sudko puzzle book. There are days when I think my brain is used for nothing more than rote memorization of the things I've already done. By engaging our brains, we keep them active.

The phone that I own is now considered "older" - it's almost 3 years old. 

Daily I receive a message stating "Your backup has failed".
My inital instict is to want to scream at my phone: I KNOW it's failed - I can't figure out how to change the memory settings, not pay anything and keep all my pictures and videos on running on this device I carry around in my hand.

We are a society of wanting MORE. Faster. Cheaper. Better.

But what you realize is that while you are out there searching for Faster. Cheaper. Better., what you have works really well.

Some systems don't need a back up. Some clouds have nothing to do with the weather. Others do. I live in Denver, we don't have clouds here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Longest Night Ever

Today was the day.

Ambrose/Brodie - our service dog - he's been in team training since February. This is the day they officially make the "pre-match".

We get the call in the morning. Luckily, they go in alphabetical order. I get the first call.


Other regions make the call at the end of today. Our region, makes the calls first thing in the morning.

I get it.

As a recruiter, I make all calls first thing in the morning. Even though I know the people would rather hear the night before if they got/didn't get the job. It's easier to deliver bad news (in my opinion) first thing in the morning.

Ambrosia/Rosie - she was the one we were supposed to get. The one they shipped to the wrong  other person. She belongs to another region. She met her match. She is a "successor dog" - Amby goes to someone whom previously had a service dog. She will be living in Missouri. That's all I know for now.

If Brodie didn't meet his match today.......he comes home. He met his match from the very beginning. Although, if I were a betting woman, I would be he's not coming to this home.

If he has made his match though? There is NOTHING I have done in my life that will make me more proud. And this is from a very proud mama.

Longest night ever.....

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Universe Answers

Dropping my youngest son off at college was a very bittersweet moment:

  • SO proud of his accomplishments
  • Proud of his "moving to the next stage of his life"
  • Selfishly sad that this time in MY life was now over
SO proud. So sad all at the very same moment. 

Not that I wanted him NOT to go, but really? I'm not old enough for this chapter in my life to evolve.

Mixed feelings. 

After 2016, I wasn't quite sure how to prepare for this moment.

We fly to Portland two days before he is supposed to check into his dorm two hours away. We stay in Portland for the night.

Nothing eventful. Nice evening. We were tired and had a early evening.

The next morning, we went to Target, & Bed, Bath & Beyond. We needed to go to Costco to pick up a dorm fridge. 

Me: Find a Costco on the way to school.

Him: Okay, there is one headed South (on our way).

We head that way

Him: Let's see if we can find the NIKE headquarters.

Me: Okay, we have plenty of time and nothing else to do.

Him: We will go to Costco then find the headquarters.

Needless to say, we drove by the headquarters ON THE WAY to Costco as the map had randomly sent us that route. 

After going to Costco, we drove around the NIKE campus.

We then get back on the road.

Check-in isn't until the next day. We stay at a little hotel and can walk to dinner.

At dinner, there were many families there with their freshman's the night before check-in. A couple and their blonde hair/blue-eyed son were waiting across from us.

Me: I can't look at the mom, I'm going to cry.

We had a nice dinner.

The next morning, I woke him up earlier than he wanted, but I had a 2:00 flight out of Portland and it was a two hour drive away. 

Long story - I was nervous. I was trying not to make him nervous. He was nervous. So were all the other kids at the restaurant last night. 

But the universe told me it was going to be okay.

  1. His dorm has the same name as my grandfather (middle name)
  2. We were unpacking his room and this family opened the door to floor he is on - it was the family from the night before!! Me: that's the family. Him: I can't believe you recognized them
  3. As the family down the hall is walking back down the mom looks at me and says "You are the lady at the restaurant last night" :-) (See, us moms pay attention to these things!)
  4. The boy down the hall (same family), introduces himself to N and says "My name is Cole". My heart stopped as Cole was one of the boys we lost last summer.
  5. N says his name. Cole's mom gasps. "Cole's brother goes to SDSU and the very first person he met was N." 
  6. Hey Cole is your roommate here yet? No, he's coming from Hawaii.
At this point, I was able to breathe. Knowing there were plenty of signs from the Universe telling me my boy was going to be okay.

P.S. Arriving home, looking at the receipts from the trip. Costco receipts? We were in "Aloha, Oregon"

Aloha to life. Mahalo to the Universe for telling me, we will all be okay......

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Trying Again

I looked at the last post I wrote - it was over TWO months ago.

In the last six years, the longest time I went without writing would be a couple of weeks. The posts after the gaps might not be life changing, but were there. Words. Words out loud - instead of loud in the head.

The occurrence didn't even pop up on my radar screen. There was no:

  • I need to write
  • Write this down
  • There are thoughts here. Thoughts the world needs to see.
Survival mode.

That's what I'm calling it.

Trying to protect myself. Yet, prepare myself. All at once.


That's the real feeling.

  • Both boys leaving at once.
  • Living on my own.
  • Scared that something might happen to one of them.
I don't do well with transitions - the movement from there to here. I would much rather BE THERE. After here. Not the journey of getting there.

But in my heart I know:

  • We are all supposed to leave - find our next great spot. Change is a good thing - even if we fight it.
  • There is nothing wrong with living alone - unless of course, it makes you feel isolated - then other people need to help you - not tell you what you are feeling is wrong.
  • Something could happen to anyone one of us. Any given day. I can't control the safety of my children. Or my relatives. Or my family. 
Being scared of the future is not a way we should live. There is a great big world out there. Beautiful wonderful people to meet. See. Enjoy.

I think it's time, to try this again..........

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A different set of problems

We turned in our Service Dog in Training in February. We had him for 18 months, then he has spent the last six months in "Advanced Training" - or "Olympic Training" as I like to call it.

Training. Working hard. Learning skills and tasks to help someone who can't do the things he has been training in helping them to do.

The last two weeks, he spends "rotating" to different people who might need his help.

He didn't find his match this time.

Meaning, he will stay at 'Olympic Training' for one more 'semester'  - another three months.

OR at anytime, he can come back here.

He might not have it in him.

Either way he wins.

He goes on to be a service dog. OR he comes home, he turns into a "dog"

He's no longer allowed in restaurants, on airplanes, etc.

HOWEVER, he is allowed:

  • on  the bed
  • out of his kennel
  • to dog parks
  • to become a hunting dog
  • to become a snuggling dog
  • to do things that well, dogs get to do.
Which brings us to......

  • He now knows how to open doors, 
  • Turn on light switches
  • Open drawers
  • Fetch your slippers and beer......
Former puppy raisers whom have told me they had their "service dog in training returned" - well, you come home (they no longer have to stay in the kennel if you don't want them too) - and all the lights are on.


The door from the family room to the garage is open. The lid to the dog food container is open and empty.

They know how to do all these things.

If he doesn't make this program, he will be a really good "therapy" dog to someone. Don't we all need a different 'set' of problems?