Happy First Day of My Favorite Month!

It is November and boy, has this year gone fast. There were days when I thought felt like I was in limbo and could not see the forest through the trees, but here we are, beginning the eleventh month of 2018. This is my absolute favorite month, and I am so looking forward to the holiday’s this year, for the first time in many, many years. I already know that this news of me embracing the holiday’s might come as a shock to many, and even a disappointment to a few. I admit, I made a great grinch and I wore that hat with obnoxious pride. I cannot deny it though, I no longer have a sense of hatred for the holiday’s. #newbeginnings

So, back to November and how it is my favorite month of the year, and it has been since I was a child. It is the changing of the seasons, the days getting shorter, the temperatures colder, and the leaves changing color, the smells of cinnamon and pine cones in most homes.. it is just a good, warm feeling. But, more than that, this is the month of my favorite day of the year! This suprasses any other celebration, birthday or holiday. It is Thanksgiving and before I get lost in my excitement, let me just say that I really hate that it is not a worldwide holiday. It is a family day. Whether that be with blood relatives, or friends that you have picked up along the way and consider them to be family. This is a day when everyone slows down and enjoys reconnecting with those that are dear. It is the one day that no one cares about what car is driven, the sum of your bank account, the stress of schoolwork or responsibilities of adulthood. It is a day that should be cherished and appreciated. 

So, if you are in the states and you have never thought of Thanksgiving to be all that special, you have three weeks to make a change. If you normally gather with your family, but it is not a happy time, or even a joyous occasion, then make other plans. You know, “friendsgiving” is a thing, and there is nothing wrong with doing something on this one day that is for you. It is a day that you should take to be around those you care about, and that make you feel good about yourself… and, if you don’t want to do that, there are other options. Yes, there are! No family. No friends. No problem! There are so many charitable organizations that do a lot for shut-ins and those that have had a tragic year. I am not talking about soup kitchens, but most communities (if not all) have a program to help those in need. The people that had a lot of loss in 2018, or the elderly that live alone, with no family left or anyone to check on them. Some towns even have a Thanksgiving dinner that they offer to the community and only ask for donations in return. You could help serve food, or clean up, or meet someone new that you never would have any other way. 

Before I close, let me share a little bit of my childhood… kind of. 

Thanksgiving was always a day that was happy in my house. I had a very loving home, but we had a lot of loss. People. Not possessions. 

Mom and Granny would spend all day in the kitchen, after a week of planning. This was a good, heartfelt tradition passed on, and maintained, no matter how sad they were. That changed when I was around 12, but only because they had friends who adored my parents and had a much larger family and it was a bigger gathering. So, we started making a drive north of Austin, which was an hour outside of town back then. They would turn the garage into a game area for the dads and kids, while the rest would help in the kitchen where needed. When I was about 16 Dad and I decided to help my godparents at the community center. They owned the only restaurant in town and decided to start offering free meals. It did not matter how rich, or how poor, everyone was welcomed. They also had a team of people who offered to deliver meals to shut-ins and those who had no way of making it to the community center. It was fulfilling and I have great memories of the town coming together on one day to be happy, and reconnect. 

If you are still reading, thank you. I do hope that you will find a way to enjoy this day, and make a change if needed.. 

Weekend in PHX

Weekend in PHX

Our weekend in Phoenix was short, but packed with fun, mixed in with training. It was Rob’s birthday, which we spent at the ballpark watching the Braves, but we also made time to learn how to edit a video. Rob took the time to set it up prior to our arrival and it was a quick, but very informative couple of days. It is always great to see Rob and Dawn. They are good people who are generous with their time and knowledge, and always fun energy to be around. So, thank you both, for sharing your weekend with us, but especially a birthday. I hope to be able to expand on my video editing skills once I get a hang of what I am doing with the simple steps required.

Friday we did some day drinking and I am pretty sure that I was drunk and hung over all at the same time.

Saturday was the day that we went to the Braves game. I love ballparks. And, I ate a hot dog.

Sunday Dawn cooked breakfast for us and ChiDiablo. Have you ever had bacon cooked in the oven? If the answer is no, you need to stop what you are doing and throw a package in the oven right now. And, she made biscuits and gravy, which is my favorite. The gravy was perfect and the biscuits were fluffy. So delicious!

Love you both. #family

I Tell You Mine, You Tell Me Yours

My weekend was busy, but amazing! I started my day going to a soccer game; we won. Then I stopped by to see MtnMan and he surprised me with lunch, which is always nice; I had tater tots. From there I went to the grocery store; the young man knew how to bag groceries, so no complaints there. I made it home and got started on the dresser project, but only had 2.5 hours to devote because I wanted to go fishing; we caught two bass. Priorities. Sunday I was on cam, earlier than usual so we skipped the diner.

So, about this dresser project. I have been applying paint to the cabinet for a few days now. After watching a video from a paint manufacturer on how to properly paint furniture, I have decided to take my time and basically dry brush each layer on. It looks good, but not as great as I was hoping. So, I will lightly sand the top and apply another coat; hopefully that will give me a smooth shiny surface I want. I have not even started on the drawers, feet or the mirror. Let me ask, what the fuck was I thinking? I really need to give MtnMan his garage back. Now, with that said, he has not said a word about it, and has no problem parking outside, but it is something that I should not have taken on. I mean, I have never fucking refurbished furniture before, and I am still questioning those who enjoy such tasks. lol.

Another “project” that has the other half of the garage taken up is drying out some family photos that I was able to salvage from Texas. Oy. My parents wedding album was completely soaked, but thankfully it was in a beautiful album that protected the pictures. However, I had to pull them out and lay them about to get the dampness out of them. Along with that, I have family obits, baby pictures and a box of random pictures going back generations… most were damp. I also have 100 year old newspaper articles from WWI and WWII and a few other notable events. Those were saved. All of which was in a gorgeous cedar chest, which protected everything enclosed for 50+ years… until the items were pulled out and left in the rain. But, that is neither here, nor there. It is what it is, and other than proving that I did the smart thing by walking away from such negative hate, I have what is most important.  My happiness and a future that is mine. So, there is that. lol. 

I almost forgot to mention, I have Mom’s wedding gown that she made. It is beautiful and showing the age of time, but other than a few stains, I am going to try to get it professionally cleaned, if I can find someone that is willing to take the chance. I say that because it is 63 years old and it was handmade. It is in very delicate condition. 

Now it is your turn. Tell me what has been going on in your world… 

Positive Vibes

There is so much negativity in the world, especially on social media, and it is easy to get sucked into it, or turn it off. Either way it still spreads the bad energy. For me, I tend to disconnect all together, but then I find myself staying off of Twitter, which is how I stay connected with you guys, so it can be a double-edged-sword. 

For this post, I would love for you to share something positive. It can be regarding something that just happened this week, or years ago. That is up to you, and you can share more than one story, or be as vague as you would like. But, it requires good vibes. 

I will go first-

For my birthday I had an overwhelming show of support and love. I have a very small group of close friends who have become my family, and each one of them showed love in their own ways. Bo, of Jo and Bo, called me to wish me a a happy birthday, and since we share the same day, it was a special phone call. Dawn and Rob sent a package with wind chimes which warmed my heart because this replaced a special set they gave me a couple years ago in honor of the famous cat, Nelson. It is not the same, but just as special because it is the thought that was put into it that made me smile. And, now each time I see them, I will smile and think of them. And, then there are those of you that took the time to find me online to send virtual birthday wishes and good vibes that reaffirmed that I am exactly where I need to be. Thank you. 

A Family Bond

It is well known that I want an elephant. They truly should be admired, loved and worshipped. Here is something that one of my Ele sites posted this morning and it is worth a share:

They say that nothing is more important to an elephant than family.

Elephants are well-known for their complex, multi-layered social networks led by an older female. Known as the matriarch, these wise female elephants carry with them a lifetime of inherited wisdom that helps the whole herd survive; where to find water, where to find food, when to avoid danger.

While studies of African elephants show the clear dominance of the matriarch in a herd, for Asian elephants the hierarchy appears to be a little more relaxed. Scientists suggest that this may be because Asian elephants live in more ecologically robust environments, where food and water is generally available and predators are few. Yet the importance of inherited wisdom remains critical for herd survival.

In elephant families:
• Females are in charge: most herds are made up of a matriarch, her sisters, daughters and calves. Family units range in size from 3 to 25 but they sometimes come together in much larger gatherings around watering holes and food sources.
• There are babysitters: the females help look after each other’s calves. It helps young females learn how to look after the young. The chances of survival greatly increase for a calf when females are around and willing to take care of it.
• There is a strong bond: elephants develop strong bonds between friends and family members. They mourn the death of loved ones and have been known to return to areas where family members have died.
• Calves are protected: when the herd is on the move the calves will sometimes hold their mother’s tails with their trunks, while other females surround them to protect them from danger.
• Males tend to be nomadic: adult male elephants live a largely solitary life. When they reach puberty (12-15 years old) the males become more independent and often join more loosely knit ‘bachelor’ herds. They will mate with a female but leave the mother and her herd to raise the calf. 
• Sometimes the family separates: this can be influenced by availability of food and water, how well the herd gets on, or the death of a matriarch. This means that different herds living over vast terrain can be related and are known to keep in touch through rumbling calls.

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In the past year I have learned that family does not always consist of those we are born into, but those we meet and love along the way. Family are those that check on you when the fun has run out and life has set in. Family is what you make it along the path you have chosen, and those that deserve your love and respect in return are who your family will be. Cherish those closest to you and no matter the distance, they will always be there when you need them the most.