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.