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

Monday, January 8, 2018

Winter Thoughts: A Life List

Weather This Week The temps this week are going tropical: 38, 44, 46, 53, and 51. This time last year, we were buried in snow. This is much better.
My Favorite Moment Last Week I had far too many favorite moments last week to pick just one. We traveled to Portland for a late Christmas visit. If I had to choose my favorite moment, it was hugging our oldest grandson who dropped by in the evening to say hello. He has moved out on his own and we have kept him in our thoughts as life was a bit stressful for him for awhile. His girlfriend has a big dog and it turns out that dog is truly the love of his life. If you've ever doubted the super power of having an animal, let me tell you that they can be the magic key to happiness for many people. Our grandson was smiling and genuinely happy to see us but his face lit up when he talked about "Eddy" the German Shepherd. The other great moments were all the laughs we had with the rest of the family.
What's (NOT) Right in the World As politics sink deeper and deeper into the muddy swamp, moving to another country is sounding better by the minute. My hubs would love to move out of here and I could definitely get on board with that when I am no longer working. A family member has a friend who is living in Ecuador and I'm hoping to hook up with her via email and find out about the ex pat community there, just for grins and giggles. I've never completely ruled out living in another country and it is likely a dream of his that will not come true but I've also still got a ton of wanderlust in my veins, so who knows? I'm about as disgusted as anyone else about our current political affairs.
What I'm Resisting I start my new position in a couple of weeks and I am keeping fear at arm's length. I've always been ruled by fear but I don't let it show often. Every day I get up and journal, that's how I keep the resistance to fear at bay. I've worked very hard over the last almost two decades to not live in fear. I refuse to backslide now.
What I'm Thinking My stepdaughter is living in a house that is kind of falling down around her heels. Something is always in need of repair. Last night she texted that the garbage disposal died and stenchy water had backed up into her dishwasher. My hubs  (her dad) thinks she and I both overreact to such dilemmas so I had to educate him a bit on what it's like to be a mother, worker, house person who is in charge of every single aspect of running said household 24/7. Yes, it is traumatic when the thought of not being able to wash the dishes for god-knows-how-long is hanging over your head. We have the same thing going on here at our 74 year old house. I'm always waiting for the next thing to break down. I'm sick of it. And, I'm sick of being patronized for it. We women folk just want shit to work. We don't think it's too much to ask. That's all. Rant over.
Quote I Want to Share
“There is an ancient conversation going on
between mosses and rocks,
poetry to be sure." 
~ Robin Wall Kimmerer~
What's On My Camera We chased the sun on Saturday all the way through The Dalles to Portland. It's amazing how quickly blue skies can change one's mood. We were much happier for it. I love the moss colors on the west side. Driving home yesterday made me realize why the hubby likes loves it over in the Portland area so much. Even on gray days, the green trees are enough color to keep a person sane throughout the winter. So, if we don't move out of the country, maybe Portland. (laughing hysterically as I write this) I'm not a future tripper and I am not a naysayer. It could happen.
What the Future Holds I'm meeting a dog on my lunch hour today to shoot some pics for his rescue site profile. His name is Hank. I've never met him before but I'm certain he'll be the best part of my day. I don't have any other plans on my calendar right now but that doesn't mean I'm not thinking of things to do. The grandkids got their grandpa a new vegetarian cookbook that I'm going to dive into this week.
If This Happens to Be My Last Day on Earth, Here is My Final Thought I hope I did my best. And, oh, I love you!
love, susan

Friday, January 5, 2018

Go Get It!

This has been an interesting week. If dancing on New Year's eve for 3 hours straight wasn't enough, I went to work on Tuesday and landed a new position. I'll start the first of February. I've been doing the same job for 5 years and have enjoyed almost every single day of it. When a new position was created, I looked at it and decided it is something I'd be very interested in doing so I put my name in the hat. I'll admit it causes a slight amount of fear to give up the familiar. I truly love serving the public and in my new job it will be behind the scenes, not out front. If there is one thing I've learned in my long working life, if I'm not happy where I am, I can always move. This knowledge has served me well for a long time.
I also talked on the phone with a friend who is vacationing in Italy right now. She will have been there 28 days by the time she returns. I had no idea I'd be able to talk to her without her racking up a huge phone bill but technology has never been my strong suit. Yesterday she had rented a car and drove out to the country to stay at an old castle. The images she sent make me want to go. Her son is stationed there for another 4 years so perhaps she'll let me tag along next time she goes.
A guy came into our office on Wednesday asking if his son would be brought over from the jail to drug court. I did a little inquiring and got the answer he was looking for. As he was leaving he said, "Thank you, this is the second time I've been to this office and you were really helpful the last time and I really appreciate it." These are moments I live for. I hope my new co-worker and the person replacing me will carry those customer service skills forward. It's an internal job, the love of people.
For the second time this week, I'm going to lunch with a friend. I'm taking the afternoon off to get some errands done since we'll be away for the weekend. For a week that started out with nothing on my calendar, it has been eventful. Seems like I'm always cramming a lot into a short amount of time but that's my life and I wouldn't trade it for anyone else's. Would you?
How was your week? Did you have some extraordinary moments? Tell me!
love, susan

Monday, January 1, 2018

Day 1 of 2018: A Life List

What's In The Forecast The numbers this week are 30, 33, 33, 36, and 43 with a hint of sunshine on some days.

My Favorite Moment Last Week Last night we attended a big dance at the church where we have a couple dances every year. My friend's 3 year old came in the door and while my friend was paying admission her daughter went about checking out the crowd of people to see if she knew anyone. The moment she turned and saw my face was my absolute favorite moment of evening. Her smile and giggling delight was irresistible. She is a really special little human, that one. The other favorite moments were watching all my friends' children dancing the night away. We are so lucky to have such great friends who are more like family.

What's Right in the World I enjoyed my three day weekend more than I've enjoyed them in the past. I've been catching up on reading fellow blogger's posts and taking time to comment.
What I'm Resisting As you may or may not know, RESIST is the word I chose for my theme this year. Right now, I am resisting chasing someone down to fit an event into my schedule. This will be the year I let some things go ... guilt free.

What I'm Thinking A woman in a fellowship I belong to died suddenly over the weekend. I didn't know her well but her life crossed paths with mine nine years ago when we first moved here. I was celebrating 7 years of sobriety and didn't know a soul here. She came up to me after a birthday night meeting and gave me her 7 year coin. It was one of the kindest moments I'd had since moving here and it meant more to me than I could ever express. I ran into her once in awhile and she never remembered giving that coin to me. I suspect she did nice things for people all the time. What I'm thinking is that little kindnesses like that matter. I need to do more kind acts.
A Quote I Want to Share
Love your family. Spend time, be kind, and serve one another. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised and today is short.  ~ unknown~
What the Future Holds Back to the salt mine tomorrow. I'm now ready to make some solid plans for our trip to Fairbanks in July. Gonna nail down some plane tickets and rent some real estate before this month is over. I'll feel better knowing I've got it taken care of. Heading to the west side next weekend for a little post Christmas celebrating since we didn't make it over due to weather.
If This Was My Last Day on Earth, Here is My Final Thought If I die in my sleep tonight, I would not want  you to cry for me. I wouldn't want you to spend more than a moment grieving. I would want you to celebrate and carry love forward. Death has been on my mind a lot lately. I suppose it is because we lost a couple of family members last year and the anniversary of those deaths are upon us. My other final thought would be ... please take good care of my dogs. Don't let them go to the pound.
love, susan



You Made My Day, Dude!

A couple weeks ago while I was driving back to Portland after spending the night on the Oregon coast, we came up on some road construction ...