Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Past the Halfway Mark: A February Life List

Looking Out My Window It's dark and cold. The numbers this week are discouraging at 39, 39, 42, 32, and 48. I know spring is right around the corner. Winter tends to take me right to the edge of the abyss but I'm hanging in.
My Favorite Moments Last Week There are too many to recount but what comes to mind is standing on the walking trail with the hubs while his daughter snapped a photo. He is happiest when he is in the trees and it shows on his face in the photo. Personally, I hate the dampness of Portland and I'm always cold when we visit in the winter time. We saw our grandson play basketball and his sister perform with her dance team at half time.
What's Right in the World We crammed a lot of visiting in last weekend and what's right in my world is we didn't watch one minute of news. I feel like if we continue to focus on the negatives we won't see all the good stuff. And, there is way more good stuff than not. Fact.
What I'm Resisting Since I came off my month long FB deactivation, I've pretty much kept my phone logged off. I do go on first thing in the morning and take a peek at FB world but not finding much to hold my interest. I do love this new (previously owned) phone I bought for its great camera. I've become an Instagram junkie.
What I'm Thinking I do not want to go to work today. I have enjoyed 4 days off and packed a lot of fun things into it and the thought of going back to work today is just not giving me the warm fuzzies. I will have to work on my attitude before I get there. It's always hard after a holiday weekend. We did hire a new person to replace me and she'll start on March 5. I'm happy we found a good fit.
"You're not the boss of me!"
(He eventually went into
a down position. Patience is key.)
What's On My Camera I took some dog pics yesterday when we got back from Portland. I have taken this dog's photos before (for fun) but now he is going into the rescue program to find a home that is a better fit for him. He's a lot of dog and needs to be with someone who can manage him. I really enjoyed the session as my good friend, T, came with me. It's always nice to have an extra person (besides the releasing owner) to handle the dog so I can try to get a decent picture. T is a dog lover like me so that made it extra fun.
What the Future Holds My stepdaughter is booking a beach house for a weekend in April. We've discovered that is the way to go when there are a few people in a party going to the beach. I love having something to look forward to. I'll be house/dog sitting for a friend the weekend after that. I always enjoy doing that ... it is some alone time that I don't get very often but I appreciate it when I do. Spring flowers are coming. And, only 15 months of Mondays until retirement.
If This Is My Last Day, Here is My Final Thought I really hope things in the world get better and not worse. I refuse to be part of the problem. There is more good in the world than not. Be kind to everyone you meet, no matter what.
love, susan

Monday, February 12, 2018

Love Will Find a Way: A February Life List


Weather Here This Week The temps are down a bit as we have an arctic blast coming through. Numbers this week are 42, 47, 51, 45, and 53, which doesn't seem awful but the wind has put a bite in it. It makes my case for moving to Arizona. That's all.
My Favorite Moment(s) From Last Week It may have been when the clock turned 5:00pm on Friday. Easing into my new job while still doing the old job. It really sucked my energy last week. My second favorite moment was yesterday when I met up with my friend to watch her hand off her foster dog to a nice couple. She hadn't seen her foster dog in 3 weeks (long story) and when he saw her, that dog melted into her. There's no love like that of a canine. Long story short, he is ready to move on to a permanent placement and I was so happy to be witness to the event. Training dogs makes them more adoptable and my friend did a fantastic job with him.

Cece and Addison

What's Right in the World
  • So far, the plumbing job my electrician hubby did is holding. He gets extra points for this!
  • There are technically only 2 more weeks of potential winter.
  • The tulips are comin' up.
What I'm Resisting I am resisting the urge to future trip. There are all kinds of things in the works and my old self likes to skip ahead. Retirement is surely on my mind a lot these days but I have a lot to do between now and then. Resisting thinking too much about Arizona. It won't be a done deal until we buy a place so that whole idea could go away in an instance. I'm excited about the position I am going into and the new things I'm learning. Hang on or let go ... those are my choices today. Sometimes it's hard to know which way to go.
What's On My Camera Attended a birthday party for a really special one year old on Saturday. Gave hubby a haircut. Evidence of spring. And, dogs.
"Andy" a new rescue
Jack Russell/Blue Heeler
Spring is kicking winter to the curb
What the Future Holds I'm taking some puppy pics on my lunch hour this week. We're heading to the west side on Friday afternoon for a long weekend. Hubby is celebrating 30 years of sobriety with great friends over there. Love me a road trip!
Hubby got a haircut Saturday
If This Is My Last Day on Earth, Here is My Final Thought Last night on our way into town, a song came on the radio called Love Will Find a Way by Pablo Cruise. It was released 40 years ago. My best friend, Lisa, loved that song. I am grateful that part of my brain still works. I zoomed back to that time and place like it was yesterday. I'm 40 years older but I'm still that 18 year old sometimes. My final thought is that it has been a great life! I hope today is not my last one. I want this life.
love, susan

Monday, February 5, 2018

Get Your Pit On: A February Life List

Weather This Week Holy cow, the numbers are: 60, 55, 58, 63 and 52.  I hate to say it out loud but I think we've dodged winter this year. Geez luweeeze.
My Favorite Moment from Last Week I was out at a dog boarding kennel, standing with a young girl about age 13 while waiting for a woman to take her dog out of the car to meet and greet another dog (Corgi/Pit mix) she was potentially going to foster. I was there to photograph the foster dog. She kindly told us to put our dog treats away and that we might want to stand back because she didn't know how the meet was going to go down. The experienced 13 year old grabbed my arm and said, "we should stand waaaaaay back". She was right! The dogs got into a little scrap. I turned away ... I cannot stomach dog fights at all. They broke it up quickly and no blood was shed.
What's Right in the World It's now light when I leave work at 5. I have survived another dark winter. One more and I'm out of here. Serious about that.

Seriously. Does this look like a pit bull? Corgi, yes.
What I'm Resisting Negativity.

They tell me the tell-tale sign of
a pitbull is the smile. But look at
those beautiful teeth!
What I'm Thinking I have a doctor's appointment this week. I've been having some trouble with my hip aching at night. I want to be in denial about this whole aging thing. Old people have hip problems. I am not old. 
What's On My Camera I had two dog shoots last week. Thank goodness for that because this time of year can be really boring as far as pictures go. Or ... maybe ... I'm boring.
What the Future Holds I started my new position Friday afternoon. I'll be easing my way into it as we still have a couple of interviews to replace my current position. My new job is going to require a lot of reading. I think I'm going to learn a lot of new things while reviewing documents for public records release. Some of those things will be gory. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't shy away from gore. I look it straight in the face and do a lot of wondering about humanity.

Not much color this time of year
but glad there is no snow.
If This Was My Last Day on Earth, Here is My Final Thought Son, I enjoyed talking with you on the phone last night. The fact that you were making chicken soup for your lunch and my sweet daughter-in-law's lunch this week really warmed my heart. That you add noodles to hers was the sweetest thing I heard all week.
love, susan

Friday, February 2, 2018

Cave-Man Moves

You never know what it is that's going to put the hook in you.
I had coffee with a couple of friends this week and one of them said, "aren't you glad you're not single?"  Yeah, I'm glad about that. I see friends and family struggling with this whole modern dating scene and I simply don't understand it all.
One of the frequent comments I hear from serial daters is 'there was just no connection'. Whatever that means (rolling my eyes here). I'm left wondering how people can "make a connection" when they've only spent 60 minutes over a cup of coffee, or a burger, or drinks. Seems like an expectation that is doomed to fail every single time. But, that's just me. I was never a dater. I'm pretty sure I'd suck at it.
Last night, my hubby made a trip to the store in the cold, pouring rain to fetch some half & half for me. I had used the last of it and I knew I'd be unhappy if I didn't have it for this morning's cup. I am pretty low maintenance in the happy department. He was rewarded with a full body hug and kisses on his neck for bringing back the kill. Think caveman.
I woke up this morning and while pouring the creamer in my cup I was thinking back to the very moment this man put the lasting hook in me. Very early (maybe day 3) in our relationship we took off from his home in Longview, Washington on a camping trip that lasted what seemed like two weeks. If you want to get to know someone really well, I highly recommend a road trip complete with camping gear. We traveled to eastern Oregon and Washington in September. Beautiful trip.
One morning, we woke up in either Lewiston, Idaho or Clarkston, Washington. They are on the border and I can never remember which one it was. Doesn't matter. We woke up. In a cheap motel. After a beautiful night. This is a PG rated blog so you can let your imagination run wild here but I never kiss and tell, okay? He got dressed and walked across the street to the gas station and returned with a steaming-hot cup of coffee with cream and sugar. It was the kindest thing anyone had done for me in a very long time. I cried. He had no idea what he had just done.
You see. It's the thoughtful things people do for us that matter. It isn't the way they look, or the shape of their teeth, or the color of their eyes. It's those kind gestures. More than just opening a door or paying for dinner. It is knowing those little things about us that stick and stay.  How can you know those things in 60 minutes?
So, I say to all you daters out there ... give love a chance. At least give it a second chance. You may be overlooking the very thing you are seeking if you don't give more to it than a few minutes and a glance.
It's February and besides all the summer months, this is my favorite month. I love everything hearts and Valentine cards and all the mushy things that go along with it. I love love. I am not a hopeless romantic but I love seeing my friends at work receive flowers from their loved ones. But that half & half was better than any card he could ever give me and he knows it.
When and how did they put the hook in you? Do you ever give them a second look? Are you a serial dater?  Tell me!
love, susan

Monday, January 29, 2018

January 2018: That's a Wrap!

Weather This Week The numbers this week are 57, 53, 51, 48 and 56. FIFTY SEVEN DEGREES in January?!
My Favorite Moment Last Week Saturday night I went down to our local club to play bingo. My good friend brought her 8 year old who loves to play bingo. I gave him one of my cards that was for the last 3 games and he got a bingo! He was so excited he was shaking. He put his whopping $3.50 winnings in his pocket but the smiles he gave to me. Precious moment I'll treasure forever.
What's Right in the World Hubby and I took a spur of the moment road trip to Spokane on Saturday. It was drizzling rain when we left but found the sun hanging out up there. I  filled two bags full of Trader Joe's groceries and we found a new favorite Thai restaurant right across the street from Trader Joe's. And, we saw a rainbow.
What I'm Resisting I'm resisting beating myself up over an off-handed comment I made recently that hurt someone. I will make amends for it today and move forward. Rather than spend my time rehashing it over and over, I want to tuck it under my belt as a learned experience and try not to do it again. Still, if I could take it back, I would. In a book I'm reading this morning, the author poses the question ... Have you ever had a thought you didn't fully believe once you examined it further?
What I'm Thinking I can spend one more winter here but that's it. It has been on my mind a lot lately that I do not want to stay in darkness any longer than I have to. Now is the time to get serious about what our next move will be and gravitate to it.
What's On My Camera I got meet a new intake to the rescue yesterday. "Sissie" is one smart, beautiful border collie/husky mix. She's only 1 1/2 years old but her releasing owner has done a great job training her and she'll be super easy to place. I learned a lot from her yesterday in the patience department.
Things I Learn From Dog Shoots

Be patient.
Bring top-notch treats.
Let them show you who they are.
Stay true to your style.
Keep shooting even after you think you're done. My best shots are often near the end of the shoot.

What the Future Holds Two dog shoots at lunch time this week. Interviews at work being set up for person replacing my position.
If This Was My Last Day, Here is My Final Thought Mistakes happen. People fail. Make amends and then do better. Do my best today but if I fail, recognize it, repair the damage, and try to do better tomorrow.
love, susan

Monday, January 22, 2018

Hello Monday: A Life List

Sunny Weather today along with 51 degrees. The rest of this week is going to be rainy and in the 40's. No complaints here. Only 5 weeks until March. I believe I'll survive.
My Favorite Moments from Last Week(end) 5:00 o'clock on Friday is hard to beat! I really enjoyed the weekend. I got a lot of errands done and squeezed some fun in between. I watched the entire Season 4 of Grace and Frankie. This season is apropos to what I'm thinking and feeling right now. The older I get, the more I think about my mortality. Like. A lot. My dog, Remi, sat on my lap through all the episodes and she stayed there while I watched a movie starring John Travolta called Life on the Line on Amazon Prime. Great movie. I may re-watch it with the hubs. He'll love it. The most favorite moment was last night when he said he has put all his tools away and cleaned up the area where he was working on the plumbing. I am assuming the project is complete but I haven't seen the water go on in the kitchen yet.
What's Right in the World Everything is as it should be. Even when we think it is not. I have friends and family having some struggles right now and in the past this has been very uncomfortable for me. I always wanted to fix things for other people. I've come to a place in my life where I realize that struggle is necessary for change. I have my own struggles and I work on them daily. For me, the goal is to not hurt other people just because I'm struggling. And, to not try to "fix" other people or give advise.
What I'm Resisting I struggled with my eating plan over the weekend. I've hit a wall of some sort and my thoughts have gone astray. I'm resisting the sabotaging voice in my mind. I'm thankful I am back to work today. My work schedule helps keep me accountable.
What I'm Thinking Since I've been off FB for 22 days, I've done a lot of writing in my journal. I've been out with my camera a couple of times. I've written several emails and hand-written letters. I'm not super anxious to go back on social media but I have decided to not put the app back on my phone. It's a terrible daily distraction I want to live without.
What My Future Holds Today I'm packing a fabulous lunch and I think I'll take it outside and get sunshine in my life. I've got a rescue dog shoot set for Wednesday on my lunch hour. We've discovered a great way to get winter photos during the day ... they just bring the animal to me at my work place where we have a nice lawn.
If This is My Last Day, Here is My Final Thought Please remember to feed my dogs twice a day. And, please put gravy on Missy's food ... she deserves to have it the way she wants it. It's all she has now.
love, susan

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sunday Squirrel Brain

Sunday morning.  Grace and Frankie binge day. I'm 5 episodes into Season 4. I love that each episode is only thirty minutes. Perfect for a chilly winter weekend. This season is particularly poignant for me. The ladies are facing mortality in each episode.
I caught this morning's sunrise out of the corner of my eye, ran outdoors and shot this image. There is frost on the car windows and rain in the forecast (read: snow?). If I time everything right today, I can cram a whole lot of life in before I give my soul to company store tomorrow. Have you ever heard this  song with that great line? Seriously great lyrics!
"Sixteen Tons" - Merle Travis, 1946 (country)
Some people say a man is made outta mud
A poor man's made outta muscle and blood
Muscle and blood and skin and bones
A mind that's a-weak and a back that's strong

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine
I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal
And the straw boss said "Well, a-bless my soul"

I was born one mornin', it was drizzlin' rain
Fightin' and trouble are my middle name
I was raised in the canebrake by an ol' mama lion
Cain't no-a high-toned woman make me walk the line

If you see me comin', better step aside
A lotta men didn't, a lotta men died
One fist of iron, the other of steel
If the right one don't a-get you
Then the left one will

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Today is our 14th anniversary. I've come to the conclusion this relationship is a great example of serendipity. This photo is the only one I have of that day on the banks of the mighty Colorado river in Laughlin, Nevada when we said I do. I've told our story in past posts. We were there for a gathering of a couple hundred like-minded people. A couple of days/weeks (my memory fails me) before our trip to Laughlin he said, hey, while we're up there in Nevada do you want to get married? It really did surprise me when he asked. I was just short of 2 years coming off the worst year of my life and trying to find my place in the world again. He had history, too. I believe in my heart of hearts this is why we work.
This post is not about the gushy part of us. I'll save that for the book. We traveled a lot in our first 7 years living in Arizona. Since moving to eastern Washington, we traveled as much as possible and now have almost run out of new places to visit on day trips. We still take a lot of Sunday drives in the car and those times are when we talk the most. We're nine years older since moving here and physical limitations (and 3 dogs) have slowed our roll a bit. Change is inevitable.
What hasn't changed for me is that deep sense of commitment I feel for him and this marriage. Nobody tells you that things are going to get harder as you get older. I'm here to tell you they do. Our bodies change. Our minds change. You wake up one day and there are wrinkles and sore knees that weren't there the day before. Some of your parts don't work. You can't remember shit. You have heard every story that the other person has told .... fifteen hundred times. But you still listen like it's the first time you've ever heard it. You hang on to your sense of humor because some days that's all you have left intact.
There are days I am not a peach to live with. I still maintain the secret to marriage/relationships (ours anyway) is to not be crazy on the same day. We both have days where the world gets sideways for us. If you ask me, I'll tell you the key to a successful relationship is riding the wave until it passes. Having experienced it (craziness) many times, we know it always passes. We can laugh about it later. This marriage is not my first rodeo but it certainly has been my best!
It is serendipity that brought us together and I believe it is "the want" to find serendipity in everything we do that will keep us together.
Have you experienced serendipity? Do you have any secrets for long-lasting relationships?  Do tell!
love, susan

Monday, January 15, 2018

Of Mice and Men: A Life List

Looking Out My Window Today is going to be a gray one but the numbers this week are balmy at 42, 49, 43, 49, and 45. I don't mind being indoors working when it is bleak outdoors.

My Favorite Moment(s) Last Week Oh, well, we discovered we have a mice infestation in the kitchen at work. A live mouse was seen first thing Friday morning. My favorite moment was hearing a co-worker scream when I showed her the mouse poo on the open shelf. Unfortunately, the maintenance crew had to come into our office, in masks, and vacuum/clean the entire space. It is actually embarrassing to our entire staff. Or, at least it should be. That kitchen is filthy dirty. My second favorite moment was seeing an old German Shepherd smile while taking photos yesterday for her adoption profile.

What's Right in the World Three day weekends.
What I'm Resisting We've got plumbing problems again (still). I am resisting the urge to lose my cool over it. He'll get it handled, I'm sure. He doesn't get too shook up by these things but the thought of having to wash my dishes in the bathroom sink for longer than a couple of days gives me a little heartburn so I want it fixed sooner rather than later. I'm steering clear of the plumbing project and letting him do the worry about it. When I was married to my first husband, he did all the worrying and always wondered by I didn't worry. Why should both of us worry? I said to him. That never went over well. (laughing out loud!) In the meantime, it's a great excuse to use up the paper plates that have been collecting dust.
What I'm Thinking I've had a really good weekend. I haven't watched the news and quite frankly I wish journalists would band together and not speak 45's name for a whole day ... a week would be even better. You know, that might cure it.

What's On My Camera  
I love this book my step-daughter
gave me for Christmas.

Do you journal?

This old girl still has some life left in her. Can't wait to see
how beautiful she is after a nice grooming.

She has some sad eyes but did perk up when I showed
her the freeze dried liver treats. She's got an ear infection
going on. See that bent over left ear? Needs attention.

I like to pretend I'm a car photographer!

What's the Future Hold? It's our 15th 14th wedding anniversary this week. I would have him take me to our favorite taco truck for dinner but Tony is in Mexico until March. Tony's sister is running the food truck and it is just not the same. Maybe we'll have pho instead. Otherwise there is nothing on my calendar yet.
If Today Was My Last Day on Earth, Here is My Final Thought I had the best weekend ever. I love you. I think of you often.
love, susan

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday Drive

I drove out to Yakima today with a friend

from the dog rescue. It was an hour drive

and only took 20 minutes to get photos.

We took a detour on the way home to stop

at an old house on a country road where

she went to pre-school. She was really grateful

that I didn't mind the detour but what

she doesn't know about me is that I live

for these experiences.

It was a beautiful day for a drive!

Clementine goes country!

I learned about pollination fruit today.

I can't explain it because I'm not sure I

fully understand it but some fruit is left

on the tree at the end of the season for

pollinating. Who knew?  I thought I

was just taking a photo

of a rotten apple.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Get This Dog!

Yesterday I spent half of my lunch hour photographing this young dog who is looking for his forever people. There should be a dating site for dogs. If I was single (as in dogless), I'd wanna take this dog on a walking date. It would only take one date and I'd be his. He's everything a girl could want in a dog. Strikingly handsome, over-the-top smart, strong and sturdy, beautiful teeth, attentive. This boy looks at you when you're talking. What girl doesn't love that, I ask you.
I have quite a few friends and family who are single girls. If I thought for a minute they'd listen to me, I'd tell them GET A DOG!
💚 susan

Past the Halfway Mark: A February Life List

Looking Out My Window It's dark and cold. The numbers this week are discouraging at 39, 39, 42, 32, and 48. I know spring is right aro...