Friday, March 28, 2014

The Beginning

The next steps in the journey can be found here......... Should Have learned This

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Parting Gifts

Tomorrow, "our house" in Hawaii is officially sold.  I mean, it wasn't really "our house", but for 17 actual weeks of our life plus 3 years of thinking it was our house.  It has been our Hawaii house.

The couple has decided it's time to come to the mainland.  Even though, they have lived there for 40 years.  It was time for something new.  It was time for a new adventure.

For now, they are headed here.  To Denver.  To "their Denver house".

They are here, while we are gone.  One final swap.  Only we aren't headed to Hawaii, we are headed on our next adventure.  Keeping them as part of us, yet starting something new.

We spoke on the phone today, I was explaining how the heater worked.  As their house has no heat and they haven't stayed in their Denver house during the winter.  I explained, I keep the heat on low, but I sleep with the bedroom window open.  Feel free to adjust the heat.

"Of course, it could be 70 during the day - or Denver could get 4 feet of snow." She replies, "We are hoping for 70".  "Are you sure you guys know what you are doing coming back to have winter again?", I say.  She says,  "I know, I know, we have said that.".   We discuss the keys - where to leave them,  the return home and how we will handle the final car exchange.

They are going to head East on the day I return.  Not quite sure to an exact location yet, but a new direction. They will leave my car at the airport, texting me the location, locking the other keys in the car.  I will take my extra key.

Tonight as we finished cleaning and packing I put the keys in our usual place.  Locking the car in the garage.  But something was missing.

I just can't let you leave and go to your next journey without a parting gift.

What do you get someone whom helped changed the parameters of your life?  How do you say "Mahalo" (thank you in Hawaiian) to a family whom helped not only shape but grow yours?  How do you say good-bye?

A picture frame?  A candle?  A new key ring for the new keys in their life?

Nah, I did find something for the gift bag. I went and bought them both winter knit hats and two hand held ice scrapers for the car. The attached card:

"May you enjoy the next adventure of your life."
 Love Always,

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


It's time to clean again.

As in CLEAN the house.  I'm not talking laundry, dishes, vacuuming.  You know the usual stuff.  For some, the daily stuff, or the weekly or the monthly.  Or in case of some people - the usual stuff before company comes over.

I mean CLEAN the house.  Dust the blinds.  Wash the window curtains. Move the furniture out of the way and clean the baseboards behind it.

We usually do this once a year.  I know the theory is better if you clean as you go.  That rule is applied USUALLY to dishes, projects and some landscaping activities.  For some reason, I don't have the "man I really need to clean the baseboard genes".  THANK GOODNESS.

However, when you start swapping your house.  When you start living in other peoples homes.  When you start letting people live in your home.  Well, you become aware, they might not be as "not CLEAN as you".  After all, you do want to make a good impression.

Or maybe, you want new friends and old friends and family to enjoy your house through perfect eyes.

Once you get cleaning, it's not hard.  In fact, it's easy to get a bet obsessive in thinking.  "This is NOT clean enough".

We clean before adventures around here.  Well, CLEAN before big adventures.  It's that time again.  We are cleaning.  Cleaning out the dust from the past.  The cobwebs and fur balls.  It's time for a clean slate.  Or at least a clean house.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Coupons used to embarrass me as a child.  We didn't have any money and I thought by using coupons - people could tell we were poor.

But I was a child, and as children we don't understand saving money is saving money.  Especially, if you don't have any money to save.  Fundamentally it doesn't make sense.  How can I save money if I have NO money?

Then as a young adult - I began to understand sales and coupons.  Always buy something on sale.  There is nothing you HAVE to have today.  It will be on sale in a week.  I can save department store/specialty store coupons.  If I buy something online, I get to check out - then I open a new browser and go to Google.  Then you search "website I'm on coupons".  9 times out of 10 you can find a discount code.  Sometimes you have to scroll down a page or two - and try a couple of different codes.  But, I can always find an airlines code for some group (I got a 10% discount on our fares to Europe).  Meaning I saved us a couple hundred dollars - enough to pay for the hotel in London - which I found a 5% discount code - which pays for our train ride to Paris.......

So, I get the couponing thing.

What I can't do?  Is the grocery store coupon thing.

I've tried.

And tried.

And every once in a while, I remember a coupon in the bottom of my purse of something I'm buying, and can pull it out at the last second at the cash register.  I saved fifty cents.

The truth is, I'm not good with paper.  The computer has really helped me.  My organizational skills are not the best when it comes to paper.  Don't ask me to file for you.  You won't find the plumber filed under "B" for "Bill's Plumbing" - you also won't find it under "Household Repairs" you will find it in the P section for "Plumber".

Every once in a while, I try again.  I buy a Sunday paper - I look on the internet - I PRINT something out.  Then I have a big old pile of nothing in my purse.

Before recruiting went electronic, I filed resumes the same way.  Not by the persons names, but by the job they could do (hint hint  Plumber). ;-)

Google mail now allows you to search by keywords - it will pull up all e-mails with the keyword "plumber" in your mailbox.

One day, they will allow us to "file" all our coupons this way.  Until then, I can't coupon for food.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Series Finale Coming Soon

All good things must come to an end.

Things ebb and flow in life.  They don't keep going - unless you are in a stagnant pond.  Then there is no fresh water.  There is only moldy stuff growing there.  Unless it's from above. When the fresh water happens and comes, it will be good.

This trilogy is coming to an end.  I tend to do things in threes.  3 times in Myrtle Beach.  3 times in Port Aransas.  3 times in Kona.

I had to go to Kona to "get" my third child.  3 years is where I stay my best in one place. Or in series of threes.

So, this blog has taught me SOoooooo much about me.  I've also learned about you - my readers, my loyal companions too afraid to tell me whom you are, but like to have been a part of my journey.  But usually, I hang on to things too long.

This adventure is winding to a close.  A record must finally end.  A television series must wind to a close. Yes, we miss the characters.  We miss they are part of our lives.

BUT, you know that series on TV or book?  When they do a "spin-off".  "All in the Family" I still think has the number one number of spin-offs of all time!.  "Cheers" spun off "Fraiser."  I could go on and on.  We could look up shows from shows.

Of course, my favorite spin-offs was one of the secret "spin-offs" - no one really knew that Seinfeld was a spin off from "Mad About You".  Please forgive me if I get this all wrong - but the guy across the hall from "Kramer" moved out and "Jerry" moved in.

Then there is the book that tells you "this is a part of the DNL series".  Some of the same characters, but new stories.  A new plot.

So we are spinning off this blog, and more will be explained here in the next week.  But this adventure, is coming to an end.

Heads up.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A sick day

I can't remember the last time I had a fever.

I do remember having food poisoning a few years ago - that was dreadful.  It was a full twenty four hours before I even felt half way human.

I want a day, where I don't do anything.  I don't work.  I don't go the the gym.  I just am on the couch pretending to sleep.  Watching movies and bad television.

You know, those things you do when you are sick.  But really, I want to go play more than I want to watch tv all day.

But, today, I think I'm calling in sick.

Friday, March 21, 2014

I thought we were friends

Yesterday, I received a message from a guy I've worked with off/on for years.  The message states "Hey L, it's your friend Rob, call me.".  

I called him back today, stating:  "So, what's up with the "Your friend Rob"?  He replies, " Well, that is what you said in your message."  Hmmm.  "What are you talking about?".

You left me a message yesterday (we are doing some work together) and you said, "Hey, it's your friend L, call me. "


I don't normally mention "we are friends".  If I know you through work, I say, It' L, I'm the recruiter whom we have been e-mailing/phone tagging/texting/etc..".  This was just funny as I know him through work and we have known each other for over 10 years.  The only thing I could think of would be that I was in recruiter mode wanting to stay in that mode.

Too funny.

Although, the funeral I recently attended - my friend Leo calls to tell me about the death.  I never realized when he leaves me a message this is the message:  "Hey, it's your good buddy Leo" then it goes on with the message.  Like he needs to tell me he is my buddy.

A few years ago, Lily's dad was in Denver - on one of his three trips in 9 months to Denver - he was helping me repair things around the house.  We were talking about the kids.  On what they were really thinking when saw each other for the first time.  My thought  "What the hell is my mom doing now?"  My thought?  "Here are some new friends."  Lily's dad replied, "Friends you are going to have for the rest of your life."

I remember thinking, he really means that.  Not in a romantic sense.  He wasn't saying we would be together forever.  He was saying "THOSE PEOPLE" are friends you will have for the rest of your life.

I understand people change.  When I say, I hope we are friends for the rest of my life, I mean it.

The thing that makes me the saddest about my relationship with Lily's dad ending.  It's not the actually "see you next month" or "let's talk about football" or "how are you doing?"  It's the you told me we would be friends. It's the "I have friends from 30 years.".  I understand we don't need to talk with each other - you can stay with the woman whom doesn't want to be around your daughter and has made you stray from your core being.  You can stay there.  If the two of you are happy, I'm happy for you.

I miss the guy whom was in good shape.  Put his daughter and mother first.  A good role model for my sons. I miss him.  What I really miss is that I'm now short a friend.  When I say, "I hope we are friends for the rest of our life, well, I mean it."

Now we are just "those people" - and as your daughter will tell you, "Those people are my family".  We might not be family, but I thought we were friends.....

Monday, March 17, 2014

To tell you the truth

Watching television drives me crazy.  I do like to sit and be a vegetable for bit, on occasion.  Yes, I do get caught up in watching a series.  Sometimes.  But overall, I could do without my TV.

Last summer, and in fact for the last three summers, I didn't turn on the TV at all.  Not even a movie.

We still have cable, but I keep saying we are just going to switch over to internet TV.  The only problem with that is sports.  Or the lack of being able to watch sports live.  Truthfully, around here, it's a big deal, but not a HUGE deal.

To tell you the truth, I wish someone would just come over and fix it for me.  Bring the box I need/don't need.  Take away the cable box and make it all work.  I'm sure there is someone I could call for this, but right now it's just easier to keep the cable.

I don't like running.  It is truly dreadful I've decided.  Yes, the amount of calories you burn versus the time is incredible.  The best thing you can do to burn the most calories in the least amount of time.  It's hard.  For me, it's not only the physical part of running that's hard.  I have to get where my brain is in charge of my body.  Where I'm in a zone so far a way in my head that my body is just doing.  The brain has shut off that receptor that allows any thought to come from the body.  Mind over matter.

Yes, I like how I feel after I run.  I love the way my arms look - nice and toned.  Still working on the toning of the legs. I like accomplishments.  I will have liked running a marathon.  Once it's over.

I'm super excited about heading to Europe next Friday.  I can't wait for stories - lifetime memories - from this trip.  But to tell the truth, I'm not a good tourist.

I like becoming a local.  I like being a "part" of the locals.  And that is why I must run.   To be a part of something local - not just a tourist.  The day before the marathon there is a 5k.  It is not timed.  And from what I can tell (after all, I'm reading a french website), when you register, they give everyone a t-shirt with the country they are from on front of it.  The kids are running that race.

I'd like to say, that will be one of my most favorite moments.  But, there is no way to plan your favorite moments.  They usually happen when you least expect it.

So with this trip - I'm entering it with no expectations. Only general plans.  Some fun ideas.  Because, to tell you the truth, 4 years ago I went on a trip.  Not expecting anything but a fun summer.  I never had any thought I would still miss it so much.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Little Things

Planning the upcoming trip to Europe - I think I'm more excited than the kids.  Although, points and moments come up and then I know they are excited too.

Tonight at dinner, our conversation:

In the midst of course of our "Good Thing, Bad Thing, Funny Thing of the day".  The topics we discuss at dinner.

We were discussing two years ago when we went to San Diego for a hockey tournament.  On the way down, I was with my friend whom lives in LA.  We are talking about the movie "We Bought A Zoo"  - we talked about how it was set in Southern California.  Half way there, we figure out we need to find the zoo.  Only we discover the zoo is in England.

Tonight, for some reason, the subject of this zoo comes up.  (Nolan wants credit for this).  In the middle of dinner, we pull out the tablet and have to find the zoo.  We are going to be in England.  Let's go to the zoo!!!

How exciting is this???

Turns out the zoo is four hours from London.  Not in the direction of the train to Paris.  Not in anyway a place we could make "en route" to where we are headed.

Or maybe, that is part of life.  Our life.  We take those moments and we go.  There is no saying we HAVE to stay in London.  I don't need to drag my kids through a museum.  What are they really going to remember?  My mom wanted us to do these traditional things - or we got on a train, and went FOUR hours out of the way to find a ZOO based upon a movie we watched?

"You know, the zoo is probably lame?"

"Yes, we all agree, the zoo is going to be lame."  But, someone took a risk.  And risked it all.  And some crazy Americans, knew it wasn't really about the zoo.  It was about something so much more.  Or just a little thing.

In the movie, there was a Duncan.  There was a Lily.  We think they might have been missing a Nolan.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

What Are YOU doing here?

Two years ago my sons and I were in Moab with our friends.

This is of course before MY friends, became, well, THEIR friends.  We were at the campfire.  It was cold.  The fire was lit.  It was the desert.  Friends all together.

I'm standing there talking to Rich.  One of the brothers.  Talking about life.  Talking about everything.  

Duncan walks up.

Seriously, my first thought: "Who the hell are you.  And how did you get here?"  You transported yourself.  You see.  At that moment.  I was 20.  Rich was your age.  I truly believed to the core of my existence, well, I was 23.  

Then you walked up.

I was time traveling.

I wouldn't go back, if I couldn't have you.  But, whoooooo, that was weird....

Saturday, March 8, 2014


I have several trips booked this spring.  In fact, the month of April, I'm pretty much not in Denver.  And, I can't wait.

I'm on a trip with my kids.  I'm on a trip - with just me.  Then, I'm on a holiday with my Granny. Some friends too.  I have some friends whom live in the same town we are visiting.

An e-mail is sent to a family friend.  A friend I've known my whole life.  A friend where the word forever, means forever.

I sent her an e-mail about a month ago, letting her know what we were doing - looking for suggestions, ideas and what to do.  She's not on Facebook.  I KNOW for a fact, we haven't spoken in at least 15 years.  We've had some communication, but a conversation?  No.  We e-mailed.  Today, she called.  We talked for about 30 minutes.

Her words:  "what do you need me to do, to make this weekend great for you."  I'm here.  Just let me know. I will play tour guide.  I will get your grandmother to the finish line.  Here are some ideas.  We can do this.  We can do that.  I will take take you here.  I will take you there.  Whatever you need.  I'm here for you. Maybe I'll run the race - only then, I can't help you, so I won't run, I'll help you."  Me:  Its okay - you run, if you want, Granny will be fine"  Her:  "Really, it's okay, I'll help you."

Her sons are grown.  One is in the military.  One is finishing his senior year in college.

Oh, wait, when I hang up the phone.  TWO of the parents of the friends of the boys went to elementary/middle school with went to high school with you.  I need to tell you so much more.  Yes, now I realize you don't really listen.

But that's okay - sometimes we don't need people to listen.  We need people to take charge.

We discussed the fact that hockey season is now over.  I told her my mantra: every hockey game, each weekend - it doesn't matter if it's the first or the last.  I say, "I'm going to miss this".  She replies, "No, you won't".  "God prepares you for the next stage in life".

I've known you.  Yet, not known you my entire life.  Yet, you know me too.......

 Thank you. Oh my God, I'm SO much like you.......

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Colony

Every spring, we get ants in our house.  Every fall, spiders.  Only the spiders usually aren't too bad. Someone once told me "white spiders" are good luck.  I can't kill those - I have to pick them up and carry them outside.  The others one, the fuzzy ones??? They get killed.  YUCK!

Anyway - the little "ant hotels" work really well.

Only, tonight I arrive home and there are ants all over the kitchen.  They have even been in my bathroom this year.  What the heck?  Go away!

It's been warm/cold/warm/cold - I guess the ants are confused too.  It's WINTER still - not SPRING.

But they don't know this.

Then I went to write this as my status update on Facebook:

"Do you ever wonder when you see bugs/insects in your house if there really isn't a secret hiding place of their whole colony hiding in the crawl space?"

Only, then I thought, everyone really would think I'm crazier than I really am.  (Self admit I can be pretty out there)

Like something that shows up in a horror movie - this entire ANTS movie - only it's real.  It's also in my basement.

Every once in a while, I shine my flashlight into the crawl space just to make sure I don't have an ant colony down there.  A few years ago when my dad moved into his house in North Carolina he had an "attic" with bats in it.  I remember him showing it to the boys.  Once his wife found out - the exterminator came out to get rid of the bats.  I completely understand.

But so far, no colonies  - they just appear from no place.  I found a good safe "pet friendly" spray.  Only it smells like menthol.  My house smells likes a place for old people.  AND the ants are still here.

There is a colony around here.  Tomorrow, I'm going to get them.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I'm going to bed

For the record, this was probably one of the most successful February's on record, for me.  I've mentioned before I don't like February.  This February, I did okay.

It was almost like it was the rest of my life - it flowed.  There were highs.  There were lows.  But there were no "stay down in the lows for a few weeks".  It worked for me.  I even noticed towards the end of the month, the days were getting a little brighter at night.  It was around 6:15 the other night and the sky still held some of the reflection of the sun.

But really, I had a great February.  I booked tickets for me and my kids to go to Europe.  I closed a couple of deals.  I increased my running.  I owned the month.  One day at a time - just like I said I would.

Then, if you follow astrology, "Mercury Retrograde" ended.  If you follow astrology, "Mercury Retrograde" is a time of disorder - things break, nothing goes right, you can't get it going.  During this time, you are supposed to finish old business - not start anything new - wrap up old things. But for me, it seemed to go better.  ***Disclaimer here, I know enough about astrology to write that sentence, maybe another sentence or two.  But, that's it.  Much like the rest of my personality - a little bit of everything, a lot of nothing"..........

Then February ends, we come out of retrograde, and spring is within sight........

  • A phone call arrives on February 28 letting me know a friend had passed.  I got to start March by attending a funeral.  He smoked, he drank, he didn't eat well - we all knew it was a matter of time - it still didn't make it any easier.  He was only 55.  He always made me laugh. It was a beautiful service.
  • A candidate backs out of a position they were going to start - AFTER they had passed the background check, drug test and told the company they would accept.  Yes - this happens to me at least twice a year.  (I got this one out of the way). (which means I don't get the rest of my money)
  • For some reason, I now get to go on holiday with my ex-boyfriends ex-wife.  
  • The guy whom fired me last summer?  His daughter asked my oldest son if he would take her to her prom.  It's next weekend.  Of course he's going.  He is my son.  And I told him - please tell the sweet girl that whatever expenses you incur, her dad needs to pay for.  Duncan won't.  But, I will.  I did text his wife so I could make sure the flowers match her dress.......(Guys take note - you want me on your team, you don't want me on the team against you).  And the way my life works, Duncan and this girl will start to date.
  • I ran 7 miles yesterday.  I went to run 7 miles today.  First though, I wanted to go to yoga - to stretch and breathe.  I was running late and got to class about 5 minutes late.  Or so I thought.  I was actually about 35 minutes late.  I then walked 4 miles
  • The sucker punch of them all?  The Hawaii house has a contract on it.
Yes, these are all "first world problems" - I have my health, my kids health and a roof over my head - (and I think I may even finally have health insurance again).

But, for now, I'm going to bed.