Thursday, December 31, 2015


At the start of 2015, I opened a brand new spiral notebook.


College Lined


On the top of the first page in PENCIL, I wrote
Upgrading. 2015

(If I don't type straight into the computer, I write in pencil. I don't like pens. I'm not sure if it's my commitment issues or if it's a sensory thing. I don't like mechanical pencils. I like good old fashioned Number 2 pencils. I still own an electric pencil sharpener.)

Then underneath the title, I wrote down everything I was going to accomplish this year:

  • Pay off last years taxes
  • Pay this years taxes in advance
  • Put money away for retirement
  • Put money away for boys college
  • Put some money away for 2016 - as it's going to take a couple of years of savings for 2016
  • Take a trip
  • Paint office
Really, that was it. I wanted to upgrade my life. It was going to be all about work. Getting ahead instead of just maintaining.

Looking back, the real theme was Upgrading. 

AND - I did it.

I checked off the list.
I lived in Hawaii for 5 weeks, by myself. (Trying to transition into my next stage of life)
I had things fixed around the house. A new roof. Some repairs. I would say an upgraded stereo system, but I didn't have one before - now I have a super one.
Ghetto cable was replaced by Internet TV (and it's actually cheaper than the old)

As always, I think of New Years Eve as a wrap up of the previous year. Not a start. 

Tomorrow is the start.

My list has been checked off.

I'm working on next years goals. I have some good ideas. I think we are going to repeat around here. Repeats are sometimes the best shows to watch. This one is going to involve some planes and trains and bikes and automobiles and running shoes and goggles and Olympic stadiums. And maybe, just maybe, some skis.........

Happy New Year

PS - the office never got painted. I think I'm okay with that. Maybe next year......


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Hold Outs

Being fairly self sufficient has it's advantages.

I'm single. I support myself. I travel. I can fix certain things. Think: replace a light switch in the house. Change the light bulbs. Own an electric screwdriver. Snow shovel. Lawn mower.

The list could go on and on.

If I want something, I save my money and I go buy it. I don't get money from anyone else. I'm not very materialistic, but I do like nice things.

There are two things though, I just won't do.

a) Change a flat tire on my bike (or car for that matter)

b) Buy myself a pair of diamond earrings.

Yes, I know. I should learn how to change a flat tire on my bike. I carry an extra one with me. I just can't bring myself to learn how to change it. Yes, I know, I could it.


Can't there be something where I get to be the "Damsel in Distress"? Just one thing? Okay, make it two.

Because as much as I could just go buy a pair of diamond earrings. I'm not doing that either. Someone, one day, will give them to me.

I'm holding out.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Death of the Snow Day

Snow Day!

No matter where you grew up in the United States, everyone always wanted a snow day. You know, a day of school that was cancelled due to the amount of snow/ice/sleet that would let you get out of the house.

The only people I know whom have never experienced a snow day are people from Southern California. Although, I would have to guess the kids in Hawaii haven't experienced a snow day either.

Snow days were the great days of school and work being cancelled. You would stay in your jammies all day. Or maybe bundle up at some point in the day, to go sledding. Bake cookies. Watch movies all day

As you got older, you would meet your friends to sled. Snowball fights. Earn some cash by offering to shovel walks/driveways for neighbors.

With the boys growing up in Denver, we've had a few snow days. Once even, the three days before Christmas Break started - having the break last three weeks.

Denver Public Schools don't close the schools very often. In fact, the last snow day I remember was at least three years ago. We live in the city. Over half the kids in the district are on free or reduced lunches. A snow day on a Monday or Friday? It better be a blizzard like we have never seen before.

With the boys older - they are used to driving on the snow now. Even though school is cancelled, some how, you are still able to get to the rec center to play basketball with friends. Or drive to meet others on the sledding hill. (At least that is what they tell me they are doing). Either way. They aren't home for a snow day.

Also, I work from home. At last - something negative about working from home and being able to work from any home.

It's just another day. A little colder. A little prettier.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

And We Got Ambrose

Ok, we can all admit it, "Ambrose" wasn't the best of names. Well, in my opinion.

Our vet says to us on the first visit, "I had an Uncle Ambrose".

What does one say to that statement? "Man, it must have sucked to be your Uncle?" :-) "That's interesting". "Will you let him know we have a dog named after him?"

We all like different names.

The puppies being delivered to the Denver region - have names like: Chardonnay. Fargo. Diana. Tulip.

Really, and we got Ambrose?

We call him Brodie.

After the surfer in PointBreak. People also say, did you say "Bode" - after the skier in the Olympics from Colorado.

We have our surfer and our skier.

He's a good dog. A really good dog.

Yes, I know you are thinking "we all think our kids are good." This is a good one.

He has his problems. No doubt.

After a weekend away, he started peeing on the floor again. (Yes, I mean again, as after the first week - he stopped)

He know his commands. All the commands he should know by 6 months old. He's not even 4 months old yet.

Don't I now sound like that mother with a preschooler whom reads on a 6th grade level?

During the day, he stays under my chair. (He doesn't even know the command "UNDER" yet.) When he's tired at night he goes and gets in his kennel.

We weren't expecting a boy. Okay, really, well, we always knew we'd get a boy. And we got the puppy with aspirations to go do great things.

Keep it up Ambrose, You were born to do great things.

Friday, December 11, 2015

I took my sons to London

A year and a half ago, we went to London. The trip that started this blog.

We had a great time. The boys LOVED London. They "liked" Paris, but they LOVED London. From the fish & chips to the "city" to the people to being served a "pint" at the pub.

Since that point, my oldest son has called me "Mum".

Of course, their "Uncles" (Rich & Ed) are originally from England. They are Manchester fans.

When Rich & Ed moved to America - they "Americanized" immediately. Except for the accents (neither one of them still have one), you would have NEVER known they weren't American. Your classic, stereo-typical suburban boys.

You would think I took them to London for a year. (my sons).

They now use words (in addition to "Mum") like: "boot" and "flat" and "lift".  "trunk of the car", "apartment" and "elevator".

How long were we there?

Granted, I know and have friends from all over the world. These words are used interchangeably. I tried to explain to the boys, "We speak American".

How great it is, that they ignore me. How great it is they want to learn more about the world.


I love the fact that you are all open to other cultures, lives, traditions.

HOWEVER, you were only in London for FOUR DAYS.

I don't care what you call things. I love the fact you want to assimilate into any culture. Just don't ever forget, you will always be an American. God Believing. Peace Loving. Gun Toting. American.

If you believe you have a different God than me, that's okay too. I just hope (and pray) your God and my God want the same things. Peace. Acceptance.

No matter where your journeys take you in life.

Know that you have roots.

Love always,


PS. Our favorite 'football' team is on at 16:00. Be sure and get your stuff from the boot. I'm selling the house and buying a flat. Come collect your stuff. Cheers Namaste. Or whatever that means to you

Connecting to the next stage of life. One day at a time. Or maybe one something at a time...

Thursday, December 10, 2015


I'm a really good connector.

The type of person whom stays in touch - even just briefly.

Of course today, there are many tools at our disposal to connect one person to another. From social, to work, to the neighborhood. (FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, NextDoor). I'm sure there are a million other places too.

Oh yeah, the coffee shop around the corner.

Someone I met, needs to be introduced to someone you know - you introduce them. The rest is up to them.

It's sorta like matchmaking - just not from the romantic side of things.

Today, I received an e-mail from a woman, connecting me to a man whom is looking for a job.

I met this woman at least 10 years ago at apres-ski in Vail. We connected on LinkedIn and have stayed in touch professionally off/on for the last 10 years.

She said she thought she would be out in March and wanted to know if I still skied.

I explained that my sons were in hockey, and that interfered with ski season. I didn't even go into the fact, that I spent my summers in Hawaii now. Something in the budget had to give.

She replies, "Hockey is a great sport." "I went to Miami of Ohio, in fact, I'm good friends with the President of the University. If either of your sons would be interested in playing hockey there, let me know. I'm happy to connect and do what I can to help."

There is a woman in the neighborhood whom also works at home. She's been coming over here to work - as to prevent us from both going stir crazy during the winter.

I received the above e-mail this afternoon. I looked up and said, "God Bless America" oh and Vail, too.

She says, "and the reason for this afternoon blessing?" I tell the story.

Nolan's #1 choice to go play hockey and go to college? Miami of Ohio.

She said, "that's not Vail"

"That's you. Being you. At your best"

Thursday, December 3, 2015


We have to do something.

Something about the "mass shootings/killings".

Something. Anything.

Gun control is not the blanket answer. Do I believe everyone should have the right to buy an Automatic Assault Rifle?

Yes. Absolutely.

Do we really need to sell them? Why does someone need to own one?

There are many other things people can acquire/steal/buy that can blow up the world.

I don't know the answer.

I don't know what the world is going to do to stop the massive violence we are having in the world.

I do know.

Something has got to change.

The "world" tells us, "be the change you want to see in the world."

Change something today.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

One of us

Today, I stopped over at my friends house. My friend whom I personally give full credit to getting me involved in CCI

Brodie and Scooter were able to play. GM and I had a glass of wine. Her husband, came in. Left again to go for a run.

It was play date. A play date for everyone.

This weekend the boys are each going on different hockey game schedule to Salt Lake City. I also booked a ticked to go. (The boys are each riding on their respective team buses. Me? I'm flying)

My great incredible friends live there. These are the friends that you don't talk to for months. Or even years.

You just call and say, "Hey, I'm going to be in town."

Next thing you know, you have 10 people going to a hockey game. You have people saying "Where are you staying?" "There is always room for you.".

And then there is one. The one whom calls her brother-in-law crying. "She's trying to ruin our life." (I guess I'm trying to ruin their life because I want to see my friends?)

The one whom got rid of any extra bed in the house so no one can stay over.

The one whom told me: "I can't handle this right now (I guess that was anyone staying over)." THEN says, "I hope you find happiness in your life."

Huh? I give up. I tried.

Down to my core, I can't be rude. I can't call her on this again. (I seriously think there are many problems).

Her husband's mother and I were sitting up late one night last summer in California. We were talking about life and where we are now. Talking about her sons. Their wives. Her life. My life.

We got to the one wife. We are really not the type to gossip. It wasn't anything in particular. I just clearly remember her saying: "She's just not one us us."

GM asked me if I had met on of the other puppy raisers in particular. I replied that I had not. After telling me a little bit more of us, she says, "She's one of us." You would like her.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What do you think?

I get annoyed with people who can't commit.

Can't commit to one thing or the other.

Where do you want to go to dinner? I don't know? Where do you want to go.

I want to go to the Sushi Den.

That's not where I want to go.


Life is short. Life is simple. Life can be complicated. BUT, if you are going to ask me, "WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR DINNER?"

Then, I tell you what I want for dinner.

PLEASE, do not ask me any more questions. Someone else, PLEASE, make a decision.

I will be happy with HOWEVER you make dinner. The other alternative is, well, I'll make dinner myself.

Tonight, I get a text:

"What do you think?"

My first thought? What do I think of WHAT?"

But to respond to Peter Pan with that answer would give him hope. Would give me hope. Would give us all hope.

I should just respond: Of what?


Wait on that answer.

"What do I think?"

I finally respond:  "We should bomb the shit out of Syria. What do you think?"


Then there is nothing but silence.

We bombed the answer to this question years ago.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


I guess it is in my blood.

I recruit.

No matter what I'm doing to make money, I recruit people.

I recruit people to:

  • run marathons
  • turn their lives inside out 
  • take chances
  • try
  • travel
  • try something new.
There are other people like me in this world too. We are the "pied pipers". Come. Follow us. It will be fun.

The woman whom got me involved with CCI (the puppy organization) was a recruiter in a different lifetime too. She recruited nurses and doctors. (I also found out recently she had been a camp counselor in a previous life - I knew we were really living our lives in parallel universes).

She "recruited" me into this organization. We know each other from working out at the same club.

Brodie has been with us a month today.

Another lady from the club (whom I actually also know from Hawaii) texted me today. She and her husband signed up for a puppy today.

My neighbors down the street just called the organization about doing this to have their son make this decision for his senior project next year.

Two other families on the hockey team are seriously considering signing up. 

Hope CCI knew what they were doing when they signed us up.

Recruiting for good causes every day......

Saturday, October 31, 2015


Seasonal Affective Disorder - basically, you get sad at the same time every year. (Click on the link for the real definition)

This term bothers me.

First of all:  Affective - I think they just wanted to come up with an acronym that worked.

Why would it be Affective? It's A MADE UP WORD!

Of course, it is a made up word. Made up by people whom need to tell us something is wrong with us.

Nolan is taking a Psychology class. He was reviewing different disorders: alcoholism, addiction, depression, SAD, etc

We were reviewing them for his test.

We got to SAD and he said: you have SAD.

I replied, "what makes you think that."

"You get sad during the winter."

"Explain", I say.

"You aren't the mom you usually are."

"Do you think this from your whole life, or did it start after Hawaii?"

"Oh, it was definitely Hawaii." "You love your life here, but you can tell, you love it there."

"Still?", I reply

He just smiles at me. Tilts his head and nods.

Hmm, I think. I thought I was better at hiding things.....

Friday, October 30, 2015

Set your eyes on a goal

On Tuesday, I was invited to a luncheon.

Lunch with a bunch of people I would have not normally had lunch with. It was a "Women's Event".

Where did all these women come from? was all I could think. Society women. Women from family money. Women from a nice background. Women with husbands whom did really well or came from some good money.

No - I'm not being "stereotypical". I did not know ONE person there at another table. I've lived in Denver for close to 20 years. I should have known ONE person there.

This was not a business event.

This was a "luncheon" to raise money for underprivileged children to attend private schools k - 12. An opportunity for them to at least level the playing field. They organization does not give full scholarships. The family must meet in the middle.

The average income for the scholarship recipient's family is $35,000 - for a family of 4.

A scholarship recipient spoke. She spoke how her mom had the drive to do better and make her kids do better.

I could relate.

At one point in my life I would have qualified for that scholarship.

There are SO many opportunities out there in life. People don't know they are there.

A couple of years ago, I was carpooling to a wedding. One of the women in my car went on and on about how the girls don't know there are resources at their finger tips.

I corrected her - no one knows. My sons have NO idea how to make this college thing happen. It's something that is just "going to happen".

But, nothing is ever going to change if you don't have the "fire in your belly" to keep you going.

Missy Franklin (4 gold medal winner) spoke at the luncheon.

What I came away with from the lunch with Missy:
  • She could have cared less if she was the best. 
  • She loves/loved to swim
  • She made the point of telling us how much fun she always had
  • She told us about the opportunities that believing had taught her
Her parents couldn't afford her private school education. Her Aunt paid for it. She found her faith in high school (who the hell can say that?)

Her goal?

Can I do what I love and make things better for other people? 

I remember a girl I knew who loved to swim. She didn't know it came with swimming and the chance to shine.  And I miss a little girl whom should be swimming with you, next year Missy. 

Her dreams weren't that big. Mine weren't either.

We are here for you. No matter the goal.

We all need heroes. Hometown heroes will always be the best. 

Thanks for being our hero. 

See you in Rio. #Gomissygo #misssyfranklin

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The single best decision

We all make decisions on a day to day basis.

Every day. Every moment. Every second of our lives.

Even without realizing we make decisions. Turn left. Turn right. Send an e-mail. Don't send an e-mail. Return a phone call. Stop by for a visit. Don't return a call. Say "thank you" to a random stranger. Pay life forward. Or don't acknowledge anything at all.

Each of our actions, cause another action. Or reaction. Or causes a moment to stop.

I will take full blame/credit on deciding we needed to have a CCI puppy in our lives. Of course, I blame this on my good friend I met at the club whom had raised two.

She caught me in a moment of weakness.

For some reason, at that moment, this sounded like a good idea.

Let's train a puppy until it's a dog, then let it become a service dog.

You are hearing this from a woman whom has a cat. Whom gave her two dogs away when life became too much. I used to love dogs. Now I look at them - not longingly, more like "Oh, you are a lot of work"

This puppy though. This mission we are on. This has been the single most best decision I've made for my sons and I in a LONG time. (In fact, I would rate this up there with the decision to move to Hawaii for the summer).

I have the boys back that were trying to earn their wings. And they should, they should go on with their lives. They should test their boundaries. They should go on.

But before they go - they need to learn:

  • Make sure you let the dog out
  • Has the dog been fed?
  • Has the dog spent anytime training today?
  • Did he go to the bathroom?
  • Did you pick up the poop?
  • Can you imagine if you had a baby right now? This is SO much easier than a baby.
  • The dog provided you a look no woman will ever give you (other than the dog and your mom?) PS the dog is boy!
  • Are you willing to give something so much love and training and willing to receive NOTHING in return?
  • did you have a puppy in your childhood?
  • Were you loved?
If you can answer all these questions, then, well, you have learned. Lived. Flown.

You may go now.

They come home after school to see the puppy. The friends are all hanging at the house once again.They are still complaining they don't want to walk/pick up poop/etc again (i.e. meaning ever).

The single best decision we've made in a while.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Really in charge

Please let me know when you are tired of hearing puppy stories! :-)

We have a cat. He's around 13 years old. He's an indoor cat. He weighs probably 15 pounds. He's great. The new puppy is smaller than him.

Cats are easy. In fact, they usually like you better if you ignore them.

I do understand how people "don't get cats". They can be quite odd. In fact, other people's cats seem quite odd to me.

As a pet though, they are easy. You can leave them for a couple of days with food and water. They don't require being let outside or for a walk.

Brodie (the puppy) arrived here last Wednesday. Since that time, Ozzie (the cat) has been hiding in my bedroom.

Ozzie's food had to be moved to my bathroom. Ozzie has been under the bed. He's slowly come out. He has slowly grown tired of the bedroom.

The last couple of days, Ozzie and Brodie have sniffed noses. Then Ozzie runs off to his sanctuary.

Then today happened. I guess Ozzie had enough.

Ozzie was in the kitchen when Nolan brought Brodie upstairs. Brodie ate breakfast, went outside and then was ready to play.

The boys were getting ready for school.

Brodie had followed Ozzie down the hall. The next thing we hear:

"Yelp, Yelp, Yelp" followed by Brodie running down the hall. Through the living room and into his kennel in the family room.

Ozzie poked his head around the corner of the hall.

We told Ozzie "Good job buddy". It was about time you quit hiding in the bedroom. (Ozzie has no front claws). (The only thing we can figure out that happened is that Ozzie hissed and made a swatting motion).

Brodie spent the day hanging out in his kennel - with the door open.

Ozzie laid on the floor in the dining room all day.

It rained all day. It was cloudy. I didn't get out of my sweats.

No one went for a walk.

We know who is really in charge around here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Back to the Future Day

In 1985, a movie came out called Back to the Future. They went back 30 years, to 1955. In the sequel, they went forward 30 years.

Forward 30 years from 1985.

The day they went "forward to" was October 21, 2015. Today.

I remember seeing the first movie in the theater. I liked the movie then. I was 16 the summer it came out.

About 8 years ago, the kids and I were at Disneyland in Southern California. We rode the "Back to the Future ride". Our friends from Southern California were at the park with us. We all rode the ride together.

I remember talking about how old the kids would be on the "future date" - how they would all be driving. One would be done with high school. My two almost done with high school.

Around here, we've all seen all THREE movies hundreds of times. They really are good classic movies.

30 years ago seems like yesterday.

My oldest has had this day marked in his calendar for months. He had a reminder set on his phone. A reminder that "this was the day Doc, Marty and Jennifer" (characters from the movies) arrive.

Of course, everyone is talking about today being the day.

Somehow, I think he really thought for some reason - they (being the characters) were really somehow going to appear.

We talked about the fact that "Springfield" was the town. That the crew was PROBABLY NOT going to appear at Denver East High School.

But, the truth is, his "hope" has made me smile for a least a month.

Many times in life, we think we are all grown up. We quit believing in make believe.

Then there are moments, moments like this. Moments that are simple. Simply not real, but give us hope that make believe still lives in our minds and hearts.

Don't ever lose that. Anyone. Especially, you my boys.

See you in the future kid.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

It will be so hard

In the past 4 days, I've heard at least 50 times, "It's going to be so hard to give the puppy away."

Yes, it will be hard. But let me tell you why it will be a good thing.

This is no ordinary puppy. And we will not be "giving away our dog."

This puppy was born to do this job. His parents were bred to have him and his litter mates. They were chosen to be born to serve.

In orientation, they told us to "Start with the end in mind."

We have been picked (or offered) the opportunity to train Brodie.

We get to teach him 31 commands and show him how to go help others.

We get to send him to advanced training so he can learn even more.

THEN, we get to fly to San Diego (hopefully if all goes well) in about two years.

We get to present him to a person who needs him. A person who cannot complete their day to day tasks without him.

We are not giving our dog away. Brodie is going to help someone.

Then, it will be hard to come home. But just like children, they go do something bigger and better.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Best Laid Plans


Something I like to do. Something I'm good at.

Planning is actually an art.

If you plan too much - you almost become controlling. Things - anything - needs to go a certain way.

It's great - almost expected - for things to go as planned. Down to the last detail.

I believe earlier this summer I wrote: I'm done planning. I'm letting it all go.

Only, it's not in me to let it go. I like to have a plan.

I also realize, I just like an idea of what is going to happen. Not every little detail needs to be made. That's where we disappoint ourselves.

We don't realize all the "perfection" already in the making - we look at the one imperfection.

In June, we signed up Nolan to be a CCI puppy raiser. We went through the whole process. We got our call. Ambrosia was headed our way.

Ambrosia is a black lab/retriever mix. Female. Born on 8/22/15.

I had requested a blonde male.

As we know though, life doesn't always give us want we want.

"Rosie" was set to arrive today. We were ready. Had all her supplies. Her name tag. Everything.

Only, I get a call this morning. A frantic person calling from the executive offices of CCI. There had been a mix up.

My heart sank.

What was I to tell Nolan?

The handlers put the female black puppy in the other shipping crate and the male in ours. Was a male okay?

I laughed. I told her I had wanted a boy all along.

What's his name? Ambrose. - Ambrosia's brother.

That's a horrible name. I thought this immediately. The boys both said the same thing.

I told her it was fine. We are happy with any baby. It's funny though how your head totally spins in a different direction. We got something we were expecting. Something we were expecting taken away.

She called the other people after us to make sure it was okay with them. I did tell her, will you please connect us to the puppy raisers of Ambrosia, as now we need to know the other side of the story.

We picked up Ambrose - "Brodie" at 1:30 this afternoon.

Everything is going to be alright. As we know, sometimes life works out even better than planned.....

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Once upon a time,

There was girl whom fell in love with the "start-up" dream. Not to mention she usually fell in love with the "start up guy".

You know:

The guys that had all that potential.
The guys with the ideas.
The the dreams.
The places they want to be.

Same for a start-up company. The start-up guy.


We know. Life is not a start-up.

It's a "start-now" situation.

We all fall in love with the dream.

Several years ago, I was one of those girls. The girl in love with the dream.

Only, I was loving working for a start up.

Long story short:

I bought in

I believed in the start up.

I got screwed.

I didn't get any money.

Two weeks ago, the personal assissant to the man with all the money sent me an e-mail.

Information needed was sent.


I received an invitation to attend a luncheon with an Olympic Swimmer. I'm going. At the end of the month.

I can't wait to "run into her in Rio"

Karma is a bitch

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

We Bought A Zoo Too

I'm a sucker for those heartfelt movies. The sleeper hits. The ones that make you cry - a happy cry.

A sucker for the movies that are a little sappy. Those that touch your heart in funny little ways you can't explain to people.

For whatever reason, the movie, "WE BOUGHT A ZOO" continues to stalk my life. Or randomly appears in tiny little places to let you know you are on the right track. Or continues to let me know life is filled with magical surprises.

There is a Duncan in the movie. There is a Lily in the movie. There is also a Rosie.

On October 14, 2015 at approximately 1:05pm, Ambrosia II comes to live at our house for a year (or so).

We are going to call her "Rosie"

There are very strict instructions on how we raise and train "Rosie".

The eldest son is refusing to participate in this "concentration camp of a society". He is thinking we can't possibly have any compassion. (This from a kid whom thinks his mom doesn't know anything).

I always knew these last few years were going to be challenging.

I think we are buying a zoo.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

When you meet good people

Sometimes, you can see a person in the middle of a crowd. They don't even have to look directly at you. There is aura about them.

You can tell. From across the room - this is person I need to know.

Or I person I need to steer clear. All from a look across the room.

My senior year in college I dated a guy 11 years older than me. He had come back to school to finish his degree. We met on Valentine's Day. I graduated in August.

The first time I went over to his house, I met one of his roommates. He lived with two girls - sisters. Identical twin sisters from outside of the Dallas area. Their birthday turned out to be the day before mine.

My bff tells the story: She came home and said "well, he's a good guy, but I really like his roommates."

The rest is history.

One of the roommates was a bridesmaid in my wedding.

We've never lost touch with each other.  Yes, time passes before we connect, but there has never been a "loss".

They are part of the weave who makes the fabric of me.

Something I don't think I even realized until this past weekend.

Girls weekend. A reunion. In theory, it was a reunion with an old boyfriends former roommate. We meant to stalk him. Find him on Facebook. Send him a picture of all of us.

We never got around to it. Actually, after the first discussion, I'm not quite sure we mentioned him.

As that is not what really mattered.

The people in the room mattered.

When you meet good people, hang on to them.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Rosie Project

Last spring, or maybe some spring before, I read a quirky little book titled "The Rosie Project". If I remember correctly, the premise is quirky professor whom has not dated much. Very neurotic. OCD. Not sure how he met "Rosie", but he embarks on a quest to date her. The antithesis of himself.

It's a British book. I believe even a movie is coming (already came) out?

What I remember:

  • quirky
  • OCD
  • a woman that met none of the "requirements" for the professor
  • a professor whom was a bit odd
Which brings me to today.

We got our phone call. Yes, the "I SAID I WOULD NEVER DO THIS" phone call.

I had requested, ideally, a golden retriever and/or golden lab and/or retriever/lab mix and/or first available MALE. (IN THAT ORDER).

You guessed it.

Your puppy, Ambrosia II will arrive on October 14, 2015.  The pup will be shipped directly to the Denver Airport on that day and you will be responsible for picking her upI will send you her flight information one week prior to her arrival.

Ambrosia II is a black lab/retriever FEMALE. 

We have our orientation some time during the next two weeks. My friend whom said we could use her kennel (as she is the one whom some how got me involved in this) is in Spain for 3 weeks. Luckily, the pup Ambrosia II comes in a crate that will work until my friend returns.

The CCI puppy lady and I were on the phone. We were going through the details. She did say:

When a puppy has a II or III or on and on, the FIRST one must have been a good one.

We looked up the name AMBROSIA - it's Greek. The food or drink of Greek Gods. Ambrosia was typically reserved for divine beings.

We know she was picked for us. She was supposed to be going to another family and the other raisers had to change their dates.

The puppy lady also said:

When the name is rather long, they usually end up getting a nickname.

We looked up some nicknames:

  • Amber
  • Amy
  • Asia
  • Bro (after all she is coming from California)
  • Bria
  • Rosia
  • Rosie
  • Si (see or sigh)
As of right now, we are going with "Rosie". The Rosie Project. Only, we are thinking WE are Rosie's Project.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Writers are Crazy

Think of:

  • Hemingway  (actually if you are female, read The Paris Wife - you can see her side)
  • Hunter S Thompson
  • J.D. Salinger
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Jenny Lawson
When you read their works, my first thought is "these people are messed up".

Then, I started to write......

And, I joined their club.

(And yes, Jenny, when you read this-we can include you with the rest of the list).

I'm an extrovert, whom is also an introvert. I like people. I like to be around people. I also love my alone time. The time, all by myself.

I write. 

Tonight, after having dinner with a friend, I had 14 million 3 hundred and 66 thousand ideas for my articles.

By the time I got home, I don't even think I had one.

If I was one of the people listed above - I would have pulled over to the side of the road and made notes.

This is half the article of what would be half way decent. Of course, if I had pulled to the side of the road.

Thank goodness for editors.

Thank goodness for the people whom keep us on our path.

Thank goodness for the people whom understand at the depths of the ocean, we are totally worth the crazy......

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Career Woman

The business trip was fine.

I went shopping with my Granny and bought new clothes.

I flew to a city where I had never been.

I rented a car. I drove to an office with directions from our modern technology.

I checked into a hotel. I had dinner by myself.

I met an old friend - whom I had never "met" before.

I was bored out of my mind.

The office was fine. The people were fine. Everything was FINE.

What I realized though. I don't miss the career  corporate woman I used to be. Don't miss her ONE LITTLE BIT.

I don't miss:

  •  the corporate dinners. 
  • The fake friendships (Not all corporate friendships are fake, but most of them are temporary). 
  • Being in a strange city and it doesn't really matter. You are at an airport, a hotel and an office.
  • Needing to "judge" my life by my career.
I am very thankful for my career. Thankful I chose a path that allowed me flexibility. Freedom. And knowledge to know my life is not defined by "what I do".  

Oops, my life IS defined by "what I do" - only it doesn't involve the hours I spend earning a living......

P.S - The Career/Corporate woman doesn't know how to write

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A business trip

From 1993 - 2001, I traveled for business a lot.

Well, my definition of a lot.

I got to visit many cities. For many clients. For many reasons.

On someone's dime.

Once again, I GOT TO TRAVEL.

I didn't HAVE to travel.

For me, it was an escape. Looking back, of course, it was something out of the routine. Out of the day to day.

Cleveland. Minn/St Paul. San Antonio. I know exciting cities. But then, Los Angeles. Phoenix. San Francisco. Chicago.

Places I got to go.

It's been 14 years since 9/11.

I was "stuck" in Laguna Beach California.

A place that changed my life. For no other reason than on September 12 2001 I woke up at the beach knowing I had the strength to carry me on to the next chapter in my life.

I arrived back to Denver on September 14, 2001. A Friday night.

An escort from the airport walked me to my car.

Which brings us to Monday. This coming Monday.

Monday, September 14, 2015

I leave on my first business trip since that day. (Yes, I've gone to see clients. Yes, I've traveled.). This is: the company books everything. This is the same place - yet further along.

I guess, I'm picking up where I left off.

Hell of a mid-crisis business trip,  if you ask me......

Monday, September 7, 2015

If you have to brag about it,

I've been trying new places. New restaurants. New "coffee shops". New places to meet.

We are all creatures of habit. It's easy that way.

You go to the same places. The wait staff knows you. You run into regular people you see and like. You know what to expect.

With that, come predictability.

Every once in a while, I pretend to try and mix things up.

Try a new place - on the opposite end of town. Do something out of the "ordinary" routine.

Only after doing this for about 3 weeks now. I had a realization.

This sucks.

The new places suck.

Maybe new places in my same neighborhood would be good, but I've been trying to go to "similar places" in a different neighborhood.

Dallas vs Houston

Aspen vs Vail

Honolulu vs Kona

The Tech Center vs Cherry Creek

What I've discovered about the "same places" in a different neighborhood is that it's the people are different.

Really they should be the same. Both are from the same socioeconomic status. They should be similar? Right?

To me, the cities on the left have "new money" the other "old money."

Not once, in a bazillion years has anyone I've ever met while out in Cherry Creek asked me what I do for a living. Yes, it comes up at some point. But you can have drinks, sometimes even dinner and all you have discussed is current events and what you like to do.

The tech center, it's usually the second question asked. "What do you do?"


I swim. I paddle. I like to eat good food and I pretend to run. "Oh, you mean, How do I make a living?"


I've tried going to different places.

Places you think you might mean some like minded people. People whom don't want to tell you about how much money they have in the bank or what kind of car they drive.

If you have to brag about it, you probably don't really have it......

Thursday, September 3, 2015

It's OUR fault

My oldest child has been a bit lax in this whole "looking at colleges" process.

School is hard for him, but he tries. He challenging classes and he gets extra help. He has good grades - just not EXTRAORDINARY grades. The ACT/SAT, he just did "okay".

We have all known this his entire educational career.

He had ALL summer to register for the ACT again in September. The deadline was August 8th.

Guess what - he registered on August 7th. The only reason he is taking it again is because we filed a petition to get extra time on the tests.

I asked him all summer to register so I could mail in the requests - with all the doctors/teachers letters - to get extra time.

Not only did he not do it until the last minute, he had his step-mother help him. (A request I had denied him, because "I'm old enough to make my own decisions.")

Now that the test is in a week. We receive a letter TODAY stating the request has been denied. And if he would like to appeal, please allow 3 -4 weeks.

I told you so would not have been a good thing to say in this argument.

I asked him to reflect about the situation. I asked him what he was going to do now.

The reply, "WE really messed up."

"No", I replied, "This one is all yours."

He tried to tell me how we are now behind in applying for colleges and he doesn't know what WE are going to do.

Somehow, it's suddenly a WE.....

Friday, August 28, 2015

Twenty three days

This time it took 23 days.

23 days before I didn't want to get out of bed.

I've bought a car. The boys have started school. Hockey practices have begun (I'm not sure those really stopped, but I don't have to drive to them anymore and these are new teams).

AND, I'm BORED out of my freaking mind.

I've done dinners. Mani/Pedi's. Happy Hours. Bike rides. I have stuff planned for the next month on Wed/Thur nights. I'm going to Bronco games. I've booked a trip to Atlanta in a month.

AND, I'm BORED out of my freaking mind.

When I first arrived home years ago from Hawaii, I would lay (or is it lie in bed) in bed and be sad. This would be day two or so.

I've learned to put it off.

I've learned I to appreciate my life in Colorado.

This time, it took me twenty three days to wonder why the hell I'm here. Why I'm not in Hawaii.

Making progress

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A priest, Leasa and Mike walk into a bar

It's the little things.

In life.

In thought.

In general.

It's the little things that always make the difference. We don't always pay attention to the little things. They slip by us. While we are chasing the "big" things.

The trick in life: pay attention to the little things you don't know are happening.

Years ago (in my adult life), I continual ran into the former head coach of the Denver Broncos. I swear, he must have thought I was stalking him. (Now looking back, maybe he was stalking ME??) 
I would run into him on the running trail. The 7-11. Elway's steakhouse. 

We would run into each other all the time. It was weird. And actually, until I just wrote this, I thought it was nothing but coincidence 

Tonight, I went out and had dinner by myself. I look over to the table next to me. It's Mike Shanahan (former Broncos coach, former DC coach - I think he was at George Bush's daughters wedding), whatever.

With a priest. (If Mom Frusco was there, she would have titled him "Father What a Waste"). He was SOOOOO very handsome.

I went to leave. I went to have my picture taken with them. I went to do a lot of things in life. But sometimes, you have to keep going.

I stopped at the table to say hi. 

I couldn't ask for the picture.

The picture of Father "What A Waste", me and Mike.

We all knew we had our moment.

The story is really good.

Bless you too, Father What A Waste.....

Sunday, August 23, 2015


I knew these years were "transitional". Knew, this period of revolving my life around my kids was slowly changing.

I knew when they got their drivers licenses my life was going to change. (When was I going to actually read my books if I didn't have to sit and wait in a parking lot for a practice to end?)

When was I supposed to get my errands done if I didn't plan to do it while they were at practice?

I knew changes were coming.

I knew I was about to transition to the next stage of all of our lives.

It's true what "they say" - this time does go fast. Not while you are in it. Not day to day. But at the end of the day, it's hard to believe I have kids entering their senior and junior years in high school.

Bazillions of other parents have made this transition to the next stage of their lives. It's not just the kids, it's us parents too.

Easy transition preparing us for the next one.

Now that I'm here, I have to figure some things out.

I can sit and read a book if I want.

The laundry will still be there.

There is time for a class. I'm thinking a Spanish class. I'm thinking about what is next.....

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Like versus Love

What is the difference between liking something and LOVING something. Someone. Something.....

We all LIKE things.

I like you. You like me. I like LOTS of things.

Ferris Wheels (Although I hated those as a child)
My new to me car
Being able to work from home
My toenails painted "sea blue"

There are lots of things I think.

What do I love?

A good song
My breath being taken away
My sons
My family
A morning on the ocean

The lists aren't in a particular order.

We like LOTS of things.

Tell me the last thing that took your breath away.......

No, this isn't Hollywood

Only, I'm not settling for chips. Nor salsa. Nor cake.

There is like and there is love.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mr. Big

There was a television series out a while ago. Actually, it was over 15 years ago now. Called "Sex in the City."

It was about four single women in their late twenties/early thirties and their dating lives in New York City.

When the show was on the air:
  1. It was only on HBO. 
  2. We did not have HBO.
  3. I didn't get the show.
  4. I was married.
  5. I had two young kids.
I caught up with the series after I got divorced. It made a little  lot more sense. 

The show did a good job of making each girl just enough relate-able to you. You could understand their point of view, even though they were all very different.

One of the characters - the writer whom was the "voice" of the show had an on again off again boyfriend with a guy they referred to as Mr. Big. Later he just became "Big". As in, "I'm having dinner with Big tonight."

The series ran for years. We didn't learn "Bigs" name until the series finale.

That's okay. We didn't need to know his name. (If you name the puppy, then you must take it home).

We knew the drama. The heartache. The fact he was successful, then married, then not married and forever in love with our writer.

So today, I'm at the DMV registering my new car. I'm thinking what a grown up thing to do.

I leave. I'm in the car. 

My phone beeps.

I don't look at texts in the car, but I do when I stop at lights. 

Holy cow,  "I'm near Cherry Creek today, can you do lunch?"

This is my Mr. Big. I had not heard from him in a while - I think it's been a couple of years. I've reached out to him for work stuff, but we really haven't kept in touch.

No. It's not Pan. It's not Peter Pan either.

It's the grown up man whom I know and love.

He's has a high ranking position with a Fortune 1000 company. He's married. He has three kids. We met in Vail over 10 years ago. He moved away from Denver over 8 years ago. For some reason, we've never lost touch. 

Timing is always everything in life. Meaning both today and in our lives. 

I had no appointments scheduled until 2pm. Yes, I can meet you for lunch. 

In my grown up car. With my grown up clothes. I went to lunch with my grown-up friend. 

We spoke of our lives. Our kids. My dating life or my not dating life. Work and business and things we still enjoy 

He had a plane to catch. Another meeting to attend.

Making my day knowing my Mr. Big had missed me too.

(The best quote of the day when we were talking about my dating life - "So, besides "Denver's Most Eligible Bachelor", whom are we going to date.") - I'll let you know soon.....

Sunday, August 16, 2015

My turn

For me, cars are "an ends to a mean"

Meaning, the sole reason I have a car, is so I can get things done without completing relying on my body or public transportation to help get me there.

I'm a not a "car" person.

Yes, I like to "like" what I'm driving. Meaning, I don't want to drive something unreliable. Or ugly. Or that doesn't work correctly. Or uncomfortable.

But other than that, I don't really care.

If you don't get the irony in this situation, you just don't get me.

I've had the same car for 9 years now. It's 11 years old. It's good. It's reliable. It smells like a hockey bag. It's dirty. It has dings on it. It has 125,000 miles on it. (which actually isn't many).  It's been great.

In the last year and a half, I've been to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) 5 or 6 times. A used car for the boys, temporary plates, permanent plates. two permits, two drivers license. (Thank goodness when mine expired, they allowed me to do this online).

Many had asked if Nolan was getting his own car. I decided the value of my car was just a little above his brothers. So yes, he was getting his own car.

Only it's my old car.

It's my turn.

The boys can have those cars. I'll start looking for one for me.

Where do I start? I haven't had to do this in a very long time. Where do I always start?



I pretended to start looking in June. Upon my first search, I found the car I wanted.

We went back and forth. I tried to get him lower, as there we a couple things needing fixed and I was going to be gone for the summer.

Finally, I told him I was gone until August. Let me know in August if it is still available.

I received a text a few weeks ago asking if I was still interested. I said yes, but I needed to get back. Needed to get it checked out and we'd go from there.

We did all that last week.

I picked up my convertible today. It's a "retractable roof" - meaning it's a hard-top when then top isn't down.

It's sweet. It's white. (Because, I didn't know cars came in any other color).

The boys have been told they can borrow it for special occasions. (The first day of school, is not a special occasion. The last day, might be).

It only has 25,000 miles on it. It's my turn.

More irony: I own three cars now. I work at home.

Friday, August 14, 2015

My leg

Get into the ocean.

It's cleansing. It's the only place to be.

Only, on you last day, you climb into the boat and the woman in front you of you says,

You have a staph infection on your leg.

What are you talking about?

There are a couple of spider bites that have become infected on my leg. There are no venomous spiders on the island. 

Long story short:

I have a staph infection going up and down up leg. I've been on antibiotics since I got home from the island.

I've gained 15 pounds. As I am sure, these antibiotics are doing what they are supposed to be doing.

My legs.

They look great.

My legs are healed.

Only one little spot, that still looks a cigarette  burn.

Much like the rest of my life, I'm almost there.

I'm taking my left leg with me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

No babies, No puppies, No kittens

There aren't many "rules" in our house.

Many "guidelines". This is because when the children were young - there were rules. Hard. Fast. Strict. Rules to obey.

I hate using this phrase, but someone once told me, a "well trained puppy gets more freedom later on - you know you can trust them.".

I'm not comparing children to puppies or vice versa. Basically, it means, do your job right the first time, then they get freedoms.

We all need structure. We all need limits. Even if we can't admit it. We all like to know there are boundaries in life.

The only consistent rule around here has been:

 "No babies. No puppies. No kittens."

I figure it's a pretty simple rule.

Our cat is almost either 11 or 12, depending on whom is telling the story. He was a shelter kitty - he was around 1 and a half. We then argue if we've been in the house 11 or 10 years, or sometimes 12. We got him in February. We think his birthday is August ish. So really, I think he's turning 13. Regardless, he wasn't a kitten.

No babies has been a no brainer. This rule applied to mom. The rule applies to the boys too. No babies around here - let's keep it that way.

Which brings us to a puppy.

Nolan has been asking for a puppy for at least 5 years. I just explain the "Cardinal Rules" around here. One of them being:

"No babies. No puppies. No kittens."

This is also non-negotiable. You have a dog at your dads house.

EXCEPT..... I had a moment of weakness. A moment where I think we can compromise.

A friend from the club raises CCI puppies. (Canine Companions for Independence). My friend whom inspires me on a daily basis. She bikes, she swims, she has other recreational activities too, and she has a CCI dog - she's turning in her second. She gets a third around January.

I was having a meltdown at the club one day. She suggested I go look at doing this.

SO - well, yes....

We had an interview. We had a home visit. There are very strict rules.

We don't get to name it. We go the airport and pick up our puppy - either on a Wednesday or a Friday, after we get "the call"

We go to training twice a month. We train this puppy for 12 - 18 months, then it goes to advance training for 6 months. Then we go to a ceremony in San Diego and present our dog to a person whom needs this companion - wheelchair bound, veteran, or need for assistance or a companion. 

There are very strict rules. Nolan can take the puppy to school. He can put this on his college application as volunteer work. So can I.

This dog needs to go with us as many places as possible. This puppy can stay with another CCI family while we go out of town for the weekend. The week. The month......

NO - is the answer to your question. I'm not getting attached. YES, it will be hard to say good-bye. It will be hard to send them on their journey to go help the person they are supposed to help.

I'll send care packages. I'll send Christmas Cards. But I know I will have my done my job.

We are on the "list". Waiting for our call. Breaking rule #1 around here.

(PS - If he/she doesn't "pass" advanced training, we have "first right of refusal" to keep the dog. If we choose not to, we can name a family whom can adopt the dog for $500. But I'm not worried, only 40% actually pass, but I'm a bit of an over-achiever. My  Nolan's CCI companion, is going to be the valedictorian.)  

Monday, August 10, 2015

My shoes

Once this summer - about two weeks in - I had opened the extra closet. I spotted a suitcase and a pair of wedge shoes.

I distinctly remember thinking - "Wow. They leave an extra suitcase here." Then I smile. Realizing they are my suitcase and shoes.

The night I left, I put the shoes on. Packed my clothes in the suitcase. Threw away my old running shoes, my worn out flip flops too

Basically, I had the shoes on my feet and the clothes in my bag.

Liberating, yet knowing I didn't need to bring anything back.

I get to the airport. I check my bag and as I walk to security, my ankle turns. My shoe breaks.

You know, those grown up shoes. WC doesn't know how to walk in them.

We couldn't finish our island visit in grown-up shoes.

The shoes break. My bag is checked.

I'm barefooted.

I climb the open-aired stairs to my first class seat. Barefooted.

Just like our Wild Child would have wanted.

(OK - when I made it past security, there was the whole ONE store at the Kona airport. No slippas (Flip flops))

I got on the plane. Washed my feet and put on a pair of socks. (as they are needed for over night flights) When I got to LA, the bookstore there sold flip flops.

I traveled 7000 miles round trip and came home with only a pair of flip flops to remind us WC is happily living on the island without shoes......

The teenage years

The children I gave birth to, have turned into teenagers.

They are ornery, good looking, smelly, charming, angry, happy, and I'm sure I'm missing a few of the personalities emerging on a daily (hourly) basis.

Wait, they told me those were all the signs of menopause? You mean we are all going to go through this at the same time around here? Oh Hell No!

I figure, I've been pretty lucky. Numerous friends have complained about their teenagers for years. Including all of the above symptoms.

Maybe it's because I have boys. And my daughter, well, she's not here day to day.

(On a side not about the daughter - she told me her dad asked something about me. She replied, "I think if you want the answer to that question, you should ask her yourself." As the Island Mama, I loved this response. As the mother of teenagers, "OH FOR GOD SAKE!".  Love the attitude - yah, no.

I feel lucky. I'm at the end of the teenage years, and it's just now ___________.   (I tried to think of a word, but there isn't one. Tiring, Languorous, Exhausting, ????? that fits.

Other friends have been dealing with this for years.

I had one son whom didn't come to Hawaii this summer. It was his choice.

Although, two nights ago, we were watching a Hawaiian movie and he says, "I really missed out this summer by not going. I'll go next summer, if you go."

I didn't smile. The only comment I made was "I can't believe you just told me that."

The next day, I did tell him, "It takes a big person to say they made a mistake."

He replies, "I didn't make a mistake. I would now just make different choices,"

"I'm still proud of you. It's not easy to admit you wanted to do something else."

And this too, shall pass........

Saturday, August 8, 2015

At once

By far, this has been the easiest transition I've ever had back home.

Not that it's been a piece of cake, but a better transition from the islands back to Denver than ever before.

Yes, I miss my carefree days.

Yes, I miss paddling every morning.

I miss my sunsets. I miss the water. I miss my new friends - and my friends I've known for years.

I missed my friends in Denver too.

I missed my kids.

I missed the day to day interactions.

Denver is an incredible place.

This time, I realized, I don't have to choose. In fact, in a few years, I will GET to choose what I'm doing with some time in my life.

I've thought it was a "trap" - sometimes, I felt stuck. Even though my life is wonderful on both sides of the world. It was like I had to choose.

One or the other. Hawaii or Denver. Kids or no kids. Career or no career.

Really, I can have it all.

We just have to remember - everyone has been saying this for years.

WE (a collective society) want it ALL. Not only do we want it ALL, we want it ALL RIGHT NOW.

Life doesn't work that way. Or at least for me. Or at least for the majority of the people we all know.

You can have it all.

You JUST CAN'T have it all at once.

I can't live in Denver and Hawaii and have the lifestyle I want and be the mom that I want to be.

HOWEVER, I can be in Hawaii part of the time. I do get to go. I get a break. I get my freedom with my career, but not up the corporate ladder. My "time" with daily interaction with my boys is winding to a close. They get to go live their lives. I would miss all that if I wasn't in Denver.

I can have it all.

I do have it all.

Just not all at once.

(Someone please remind me I was okay with all this in the middle of February!)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

One last time

When you pack, the first time you go through the house, you put everything out that you must take.

Then you start putting things in a pile you can give away.

The battle then becomes, what do I really want? Want to I want to give away?

When you are packing to go pack from a trip, pretty much the same thing happens.

THEN, there is the final walk through. The "what drawer did I forget to check". "What closet did I not open."

One last time. Double check.

You never know what you might have almost missed. If you didn't check. One last time.

I'm packed.

My suitcases are over-flowing. Which is really funny, as I don't think I wore any clothes this trip.

In fact, there was a whole drawer with clothes never worn this trip.

I threw away my paddling clothes. An old pair of running shoes.

Then one last walk through.

In the closet sat a pair of shoes. A pair I nearly left behind.

Shoes that didn't even enter my level of conscience.

The pair of wedges.

Those heels, I thought belonged to someone else.

I actually smiled when seeing them there. Like they belonged to someone else.

I slipped them on. My flips flops are at the door.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Summer Camp

At the start of summer, I went to summer camp.

No. I did not send my kids to summer camp. They wanted to stay home. Hang with their friends.

I told them to then, well, stay. But, I'm going.

A fine line.

Letting go. Hanging on. All at once.

Letting the kids have their freedom to live their lives. Stay with their dad. Hang with friends. See their grandparents. After all, they have spent their entire life hanging out with me.

Let them go.

They didn't want to go to camp. With or without me.

Part of me says, "They are more like their dad - not as adventurous as I am" But, that's not the truth. They are learning to be their own person.  Maybe they don't want to go to camp.

But, I'm going.

So, I went.

For five weeks.

Nolan came out for a week. Lily came out for a bit too - as she really is part of the family. As we always knew she would forever be.

The summer has been great. Every summer has been different. All with a bit of summer magic.

Once, about 3 weeks ago, I opened the other side of the closet. There was a blue suitcase and a pair of wedge platform shoes. "Hmm", I remember thinking. "I can't believe these people leave a suitcase here."

It only took me a couple of seconds. Then I smiled. I realized, that was my suitcase. Those were also my shoes.

That stuff seemed so out of place.

There was a party Saturday night for the residents of my condo complex. Tonight, after paddling this morning. Working. Spending some time at the beach. I took my bike to the property managers house. (I guess, technically, he would be the camp counselor).

Some others were sitting around. We all had a beer. He will take care of my bike. We talked about the summer. We didn't sing any camp songs. But it wouldn't have surprised me if we had.

The property manager gave me his card. He and his girlfriend leave next week for a month back on the mainland.

I told him, "When you are ready to move on, let me know. I want your job. "

I told the story of the original swap and how we ended up here. He gave me his card. "E-mail me when you get back. Let's figure out when we can do a swap. We'd love to come to Denver."

Now, I'm supposed to be packing. I'm supposed to be saying good-bye to my summer camp boyfriend. Taking the red-eye plane back to a wonderful place with wonderful people.

I've always had a thing for summer camp.

Friday, July 31, 2015


Food taste different on the island.

I've had a bag of tortilla chips on my counter for a month now. Nothing about them has even seemed appealing.

Normally, on the mainland, I can't keep tortilla chips in the house. I will sit down with salsa and eat the entire bag of chips.

I LOVE chips.

A lady at canoe club and I were talking about the difference. She said it's true for her too. A couple of others piped in. All coming to the same conclusion.

We aren't sure what it is. In other hot humid areas, I would still eat chips. I've been to Myrtle Beach. The Gulf of Mexico.

Out here, food really tastes different. Romaine lettuce has a bit more crunch. I can't even begin to describe my raw fish eating habit every afternoon.

We aren't sure why.

I did break down today - with only 3 days left and bought salsa. I ate some chips with my fresh made guacamole. The guac was great. The chips only tasted "okay". And now, I actually feel a little sick to my stomach.

I've had red meat once. A hamburger that was fresh, grass-fed organic beef from Parker Ranch. It's probably the best hamburger I've ever had.

Other than that, the thought of a steak, turns my stomach. (I LOVE Steak!)

The funny thing though is - I've barely cooked.

I wonder what will happen when I get back to Denver.

I'm sure food will change once again..

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Having kids around changes everything.

Lily arrived last week. Her cousin the next day. The day after that, Nolan arrived. Duncan didn't want to come out here this summer.

Truth be told, I wasn't sure how much the kids were actually going to see each other. They all knew it might not happen.

But faith is stronger than hope.

Nolan and I were at the little beach in town. He's in the water. And looks over - the two girls are in the water splashing around.

You could hear the squeals. I'm sure you could hear the giggles on the other side of the island.

He did later say, when he noticed them, he was trying to think of a line to say when he approached:

Are you here often?
Funny running into you.
What are YOU doing here?

Of course, you think of these things later. He finally just swam up and said "hey".  You could then really hear the squeals on the other side of the island.

I happen to catch the moment - it truly was beautiful. As next thing I know, I have two teenage girls waving to me. Then running to give me wet hugs.

My island time then turns into, well, still my time, but more as a visitor and doing things rather than doing nothing.

I didn't realize how much "nothing" I had been doing lately.

We had a great week. The girls went to the North end of the island today. Nolan left on his flight back to Denver.

We were talking about how "this is the end". The end of childhood life on the island.

Nolan tells me, "You don't know that".

But, I do. As there are many things for the kids to go and do and see in their lives. This visit to Narnia time is over.

I think they know it too. When we drove by the old house, up the back road, Nolan told me it wasn't really weird to see the house.

He was thinking of all the memories driving to and from the house. The sitting in the back of the truck. The silly stories on the way there. The friendships. The chickens and tons of other stories from their time in Kona.

So tonight, I dropped him at the airport. Kicking him out of "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" story. Back into his other story. Back into his life.

He said, "As much as I'm ready to be home, I am sad to leave".

I told him, "That's when you are supposed to leave. When you aren't quite ready."

I was worried I would be wanting to leave with him. I was sad to see him go. Happy he has the memories and moments of his childhood.

Stepping out of The Wardrobe, back into the other life.

My time in Narnia isn't over. Staying was the absolute best decision I've made in a while.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Parallel Universe

Believe it or not, I was just thinking of the things I like about Denver.

Things I like about my grown-up life.

I love my house. My friends. My community. The dryness of the Colorado air.

There are good things there.

Then, I went to the grocery store this morning. You have to just love beach towns. You can buy anything from fishing wire to birthday cakes to salad stuff to well, clothes.

I ran into a lady from canoe club. The lady whom lives up the street from our old summer house. The one whom invited me to canoe club in the first place. I always buy coffee from her for my clients. Her cousin was the one whom always went with us paddling a couple of summers ago.

We stopped to talk for a minute. I then walk off.

As I am walking away, I hear my name called. I turned back around.

She just wanted to let me know what a joy it has been having me around. And thanked me.

I was determined not to cry in the middle of the grocery store. I was determined that I really do miss my other life.

But my parallel universe doesn't leave me crying in the middle of the store.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


We make decisions everyday.

All of us. Every single moment.

What I don't understand is how did society program us to think that when we make a decision, we can never change our mind. This is it. Forever.

Is it marriage?

Is it that society has told us when we get married, this is FOREVER. Therefore, any other decision we make, well, must hold that much power and weight.

Is it from the previous generation? Take a job. Work there for forty years. Retire.

Maybe we have too many choices these days. Maybe we don't take things seriously enough.


We also over-think things.

Nolan and I went para sailing yesterday. He had never been.

We ended up being the only people on the boat. With a crew of two.

Then another guy jumped on board - he runs captain on the other boat. The "captain" of our boat introduces himself as "Scramble".

Neither Nolan nor myself even blinked. Nor did we ask why his name was Scramble. We both just said, "Nice to meet you." Dani was the girl on the boat helping us get into our gear. We were supposed to be in the air for 16 minutes total. We were in the air for about 30.

They "raised" us and "lowered" us several times. The last time, letting our feet touch the water before "popping" us back up.

When you live out here, you get discounts on tourist stuff. You also do tourist stuff only once or twice per trip - unless, of course, it's your first summer and you didn't know it was going to be a new way of life....... I digress.

Scramble came over from Maui for the summer. Originally, he had grown up in Washington and had been in Maui about 10 years. Or maybe it was 15. Maybe it was 20.

The numbers didn't really seem to matter.

He was trying to decide if he should stay. The guy whom runs the company wants him to stay. He told us, "I have to make a big decision."

"No, you don't", I replied.

"What do you mean?"

"So, stay.", I said. "We seem to think when we finally do make a decision - that's it. That's forever. We can never change our mind."

"So, stay" or "Don't stay". You don't have to do this for the rest of your life. Our life is full of choices.

If you make a wrong one - at some point, say "I'm now making a new decision."

Then do.

Or even if it's not the wrong decision. It's okay, to then say, "Now, I'm making a new decision."

Then do.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Tourist Town

Everyone should live in a tourist town - at least once.

I know this is a generalization, and some people would really hate it, but it gives you an interesting perspective of the world.

  • Visitors act "entitled" - granted this town relies on tourism dollars. There is just no need to remind the locals of this. Act as you would at home.
  • You get to meet people from all over the world. 
    • I've meet a couple whom lives in Singapore - she is Brazilian, he is German
    • An English woman whom was also vacationing alone (I'm not the only one whom travels alone!)
    • Tons of Californians
    • A couple from Fiji
  • Live like a local  - see what the locals are doing and join them. You might learn a new hobby.
  • The other day a group of locals were walking with paddles, away from an evening paddle group. They had a smile from ear to ear. I know that feeling. When you see it, ask if you can join next time. (although, this would have me paddling twice a day!) 
  • Offer to take visitors pictures. Someone always gets left out of the picture. Usually it's the mom. They get a picture with their whole group. And you, the picture taker might actually make some new friends.
Try it once.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

No Camping

On the Northeast side of The Big Island Hawaii - there is a place called Waipio (pronounced Y P O) Valley.

According to local legend, years ago (and I don't know if this means 50 or 100 or more - but it's been a while), this was a town. There is still a town there up on top of the hill. The Valley no longer exists. It does, but it's off the grid.

As in no cell service. As in no electricity. There are solar panels on houses that are still there.

According to the legend, this town was wiped out when an Tsunami hit. They had no notice.

No one knew what hit them.

Poof. The town was gone.

To get there now, you must take a 4 wheel drive vehicle up and down a 25% grade for about 2 miles to get to the bottom/top.

There is a certain section off the beach considered "sacred burial ground". It's beautiful. The leaves and plants grow in abundance. The other half is beach. Trails. Waterfalls.

A majestic piece of paradise. Of the world.

There are signs all over saying "No Camping"  (Although on a hike this morning, there were signs saying you could camp, but must register - not at the same area, but on the trail). Confused me, but carried on.

My local gypsy friend had told me he had done this once before.

I couldn't believe what he said. "What? You camped in Waipio Valley?"

"Yes", he replied.

"Okay, we are going to have to do that. It's on my bucket list".

I don't think I even know what else is on my bucket list. I do know, for at least 3 years, I've wanted to camp under the "No Camping sign".

He owns a Jeep.

We took the top on the way over.

We brought food in. We made a campfire at sunset. We slept in the Jeep. Took two hikes this morning.

We were back to this side of the island this island this afternoon.

Oh, yes, there was a sunrise. It was spectacular.

We weren't the only ones there.

I'm not sure I really slept. It was drizzling rain and I've never slept in a car.

Maybe I did fall asleep. But if you don't sleep, you aren't really camping? Right?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Plane Tickets

Shopping for airfare happens to be a hobby of mine.

Where can I go?

How much is that in relation to an airplane ticket?

What is the better deal? Do we have to stop?

When I booked our tickets out here, I booked Nolan's with frequent flier miles. That way, if he changes his mind, he can stay longer. Or guess, he could also go home earlier.

My ticket?

I booked a one way ticket out here.

It doesn't mean anything other than I thought this would be the most economical way to get here.

Of course, I'm not sure when I'm going back. Or where I'm going back from.

Do I stay here a couple of extra nights? Do I fly over to Oahu to see Todd, Morgan and my baby? Do I leave when I have to leave the condo.

I wasn't sure.

I'm still not.

I've remembered twice to check airfares back to Denver. Although, the site always times out before I get finished booking the flight.

Something distracts me.

I'll probably end up paying more than I thought.

It will work out though.

It always does. There are planes headed to here and from here every single day.....


Dear CW/HM,

Mahalo for today!

It was awesome.

Whom ever introduced you to canoe club, well, Mahalo.

The joy of my morning.

Someone had apple bananas there for us from their tree. We paddled out further than any other group. The couple I met at the bar the other night, they showed up to paddle with the other group. They are about your age.

You could see the look in their eyes at the end of paddle. They wanted to do it again.

Thanks for working all afternoon. Thanks for the massage later.

I came to the hale from paddling ready to tell you, I was never going back. We could pretend to talk about this at the end of summer, but I'm staying.

When I was walking back to the condo this morning, one of your old friends wanted to know if we wanted to paddle out one night this weekend and swim with the Manta Ray's. Still unsure of what night, still trying to get it together.

Of course, I said "Absolutely".

Then I remembered you had packed glow necklaces and glow in the dark bracelets in case an opportunity like this presented itself.

Then I knew, you were going on this night paddle/swim too. We were going together.

After the massage, we were walking to town. We ran into friends from canoe club. The local came to meet us too.

Then the best thing ever happened.

We had someone drive us by our old house.

The one we swapped.

The one with the breeze a bit cooler then here in town.

(I know, I know - I wanted to live in town this summer. And it's been great)

There was something magical about being a bit "away" from it all.

A hale and an escape from the real world.

A bit of both worlds.

Not that I would ever tell you this in the real world, but maybe one day, I'll tell you, I loved those summers.

Mahalo for bringing   getting us here.

But, please, let me take it from here.

Love you always,


PS.  Even if you don't let me take it from here - afterall, I do have a certain life style. We are going to figure this out.

And I'll always remember what you told me

The only regrets in life are the ones you didn't do.

I promise.

I got this.......

Monday, July 13, 2015

More Letters

Dear Wild Child,

At the end of the summer, we can talk about you staying.

We all know how much you love it here. Don't we all. We understand you love it more than all of us put together.

If we are going to talk about you staying, we need to come to another understanding.

You must still go to bed before 9pm during the week.

If you have a Mai Tai during the week - you can only have two. TOTAL PER WEEK (not per sitting!)  Some of us still have to work in the morning.

You can still have every afternoon all to yourself. All to swimming, biking or hell, you can sleep all afternoon if you want. Just be reminded, no matter how much you sleep  - or DRINK for that matter - during the day. You still have to go to bed at 9pm during the week. AND - you still have to get up at 4am with me.

The weekends, they belong to you. Completely.

That's all I ask.


Career Woman/Hockey Mom

PS. Tame down the flirting - while it's fun, and you should enjoy, don't break any hearts. Heart aches hurt.

PPS Don't ever stop being you. We will get through this.


Dear Career Woman/Hockey Mom,

Mahalo for making me endure those months of work you did in order to enjoy this freedom.

Again, mahalo for getting up at 3:45 to work every morning during the week while we are out in paradise.

I honestly do appreciate everything you do.


I am sorry, I'm not going back with you.

I'm staying here.

I paddle 4 - 6 days per week.

I walk every place I go. Unless I ride my bike or take the trolley. I haven't driven a car in almost two weeks.

And you dear mom, complain in the afternoon when you get on the bike. When I take over, I don't mind at all.

We haven't had red meat since we got here. In fact, I'm not sure we've even had chicken. You set some out to thaw on Friday or wait, was that Thursday? It's still in the fridge. I'm thinking I need throw it away. The only meal I seem to make is well - wait, you make breakfast.....

The neighbor said I could borrow his car if I need it to go to the store.

The property manager's girlfriend brings me lycee's and avocado's from her trees.

I met a local.

He owns a jeep.

Today, he picked me up.

We went to church - the one on the ocean in town, the one we've been talking about going to for years now.

Then we packed food and drinks.

We went to eat at Bite Me at the Marina.

We then spent the day at my favorite beach ever.

I'm exhausted in the best possible way.

When you get up in the morning to work, I will appreciate it.

I will continue to appreciate all you do for us.

HOWEVER, I'm telling you now:

I'm not going back to the mainland with you.

I'm staying here.

Love Always,

Your Wild, Wild Child

Saturday, July 11, 2015


What started out a couple of years ago as "something new to try", has become a full blown addiction.

The recreational paddle club in Keauhou area of Kona, paddles every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning. There is a group that goes out at 6:30am and another group at 8am.

I go with the 6:30am group. (It's warmer at the 8am group).

There is also a recreational group, really it's the same group of people, whom go out on Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 6:30am. This group goes a little further and a little faster.

Two summers ago, I went every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Bringing along at least one teenager - sometimes up to four teenagers.

Now I go everyday. (except Sunday)

For the upcoming week, I forgot to block out my calendar for Monday and Wednesday - and I was scheduled calls. UGH!

When we went out Wednesday, there were three canoes. 6 people per canoe. I'm the youngest person there in the M,W,F group. It was the hardest work out I've ever done. My lateral muscles tremored all day long.

Everyone was asking the next day if we were exhausted. I was higher than a kite - I haven't had an adrenal rush like that in years. We had paddle for 30 minutes straight (meaning no breaks), stopped and swam for about 10 minutes, the paddle back in for 30 minutes. It was absolutely incredible.

On Thursday, when we went out, this group now seems easy. I'm thinking in a few weeks, I should be really toned. There were dolphins all around us.

I jumped into the water. It was incredible. Then immediately realizing, I'm not at Disneyland - or Sea World - I'm in the freaking ocean. These things are NOT domesticated, I should probably get out the water.

We still watched them play.

On Friday, we paddle to a place called "Parrots Cove" - as we come in, about 50 parrots flew out over us. There was a momma goat and three kids on the side of the cliff. The momma couldn't get them back up. They were crying.

Eventually we left, assuming the momma eventually got her babies up the side of the rocks.

When I paddled in Oahu, it just wasn't the same. It was in the city.

Here, it's a completely different experience. Everyday, I don't want it to end.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” - Benjamin Franklin

For the majority of my adult life, I would have agreed with the above statement. I would still agree some things need to be planned to a certain degree.

  • Planning so some money is in savings for an emergency
  • Planning so some money is set aside for something you don't need - just something you want
  • A plan to finish college
  • Wait, make that a plan to start college.......

Back to the basics - plan the big things, forget about the details.

I only had some basics planned for this trip to the islands. I had a ticket out here. I had a place to stay. 

I found a lady on Craigslist whom would sell me her bike.

I planned on renting a car once Nolan got here.

I knew I wanted to paddle - and planned on doing that three days a week.

The bike I bought - doesn't have a front brake. (didn't plan on that)

I'm paddling 5 days this week, as there is a group also on Monday, Wednesday, Friday at the same time - only no break with this group.

The property manager has a van she is going to "rent me" for $75 when Nolan is here. There is no air-conditioning.

The Denver girl, whom lives very proper a "normal life" is not sure of these different ideas. Unsure of the change and unsure of what life is like not planned.

"It will all work out" - said the Wild Child proudly. "You will be fine." (Besides, look at your thighs - you've been working out).

"Leave the planning to me"