Saturday, October 20, 2012

I write better in Hawaii

My mom didn't believe me.

Neither did anyone else.

"I love what you write."   I've been hearing it more.  This blog started two summers ago as a journal for the next "adventure" of my life.  That's all.  Just stories of our House Swap.  Then I discovered there was a write living inside of me.  She needed to come out.  Then I come home to the mainland.

Then my mom agrees.  Granted,  no loves you more than your mom.  Some point in time, she agrees, you do write better in Kona.  My cousin writes me: " When are you going back to Hawaii? I miss your blogs".  A local friend I didn't know read my blogs:  "You need to go to Kona, your musings from Kona are great"

Are they great because I'm at my happiest there?  or are they great, because YOU can live there with me.  I'm just writing well enough for you to imagine it there not here.  YOU get to escape with me. 

Happiness moment:

On the beach this summer.

Me:  Reading a book I bought at the recycling center in Holuloaloa.  $ . 50 a book.

It was a book signed by the author.  It was simple.  It was beautiful.  It was a beach book, I paid fifty cents for, signed by the author and I was sitting on the beach reading it.  It was a perfect moment in time.

I just finished the book while sitting at the beach.  It was  happy book.   A lady on the beach walks by:

LOB:  You represent what it means to read a book on the beach

Me:  Really?

LOB:  You should see your face.  You are smiling from ear to ear.

Me:  I got this book at the recycling center for $.50.  It's a signed book.  It was a simply happy book

LOB:  Thank you for letting me share your joy. 

Me:  Mahalo

We should all be so lucky. 

Yes, I had just read the book.  Yes, I was smiling.  What I was really smiling about???  (Yes the book did make me smile).  The last page.  You know, the page they tell you about the author.

The author:

She left her corporate job and lives on the Big Island.   She writes books.  She lived happily ever after...

I'm still smiling..

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A different perspective

       This post is being written by a different person, my moms youngest and favorite child, Nolan. My mom is, well, a nut.
        For example, she does hula hooping I mean come on; one of my friends saw her on the news for hula hooping and all I could do was shake my head. He doesn't understand, I have to live with  - she's always like this.  She even goes to classes for it and actually thinks its exercise. She also carried one to the beach every day, and expected people to join her.
        Next, her friends are crazy too, one of them walks around with a clown nose on, and has a dog named Walter. That's not normal. Her friend even brought me a clown nose thinking I would join their little clan. One New Years Eve, two of her friends were over and started "partying a little to hard".  One of them found a sushi making kit with a Japanese bandanna in it and he ran around the house screaming SUSHI!!!
         Then every time something about Hawaii comes up she completely loses it. She starts crying and wishes she was there. When the Kona Iron Man was on she had it streaming for over 8 straight hours, COME ON.  Also, all she can talk about is moving there when we are in college.
        Another story:  my mom is the biggest dork ever. One time when we drove our car on a ferrie in Texas to take us to the other side, she and my crazy Aunt Carolyn were talking about how this was so much fun as a kid, so she got out and started taking pictures, but the ride was only about 2 minutes long.  Also, if I go somewhere without her she talks for 1 million hours about how much she's going to miss me.
          My chance at a normal childhood has completely gone out the door.  I am not saying that is a bad thing necessarily, but with Moab, and Salt Lake City I've just stopped trying.  While all this stuff  might be true,  I wouldn't have her any other way.       Well, maybe just a little different.
Thanks for everything mom.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I have a piece of paper dated October 2009  - Goal  $1056.

It's in a Folder that says 2010 on the label.

Then it reads as follows:

  • Wyoming             $50
  • Tylenol                 $180
  • Lotion                   $75
  • Baking                  $75
  • Wine                     $100
  • Tylenol II              $90
  • YP Study               $200
  • Radio Station        $50
  • Dating                    $85
  • USAA                    $150                          Subtotal  $1055
  • Software                $250                           Total  $1305

Lipstick Communications    $1500                     Final Total  $2805

In September 2009, I received an e-mail about a marathon in Greece.  I've mentioned completing the marathon.  Here is where it all really began.

A dear friend of mine wanted to go to Greece.   We were setting goals together.  I was doing research for her.  I found the marathon in Greece.  Let's go do a marathon.  She replies "I want to go to Greece.  I hate running".  For me though, the idea took over.....

It was the Twenty Fifth hundred anniversary of the original running from Marathon to Athens.  If I ever was going to do one, this had to be the one.

Gypsy girl - says "I'm going"  - Career Woman/Hockey Mom - says "How are you going to do this??"  The practical one of the two of us.  Not only "HOW (by running) but HOW (by how am I going to pay for this??)

The running part:  Run 1 minute, walk 1 minute;  Week 2  run 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes, the suddenly it was run a mile, walk a minute.  Then somehow, it all came together.  I was focused.

Which brings us to:  "How am I going to pay for this?"  I make decent money.  Not over the top.  Comfortable, yet I still feel like I'm always going to run out of money.  I do budget, and I had year to come up with this money.

The Goal was born   $1056 - 5 nights in Athens, transfers, dinner before the race, reception 2 days before the race, extra night.

The of course, let's add a few nights - let's go to Santorini.  Spend a couple of nights there. Airfare to get there $1200.

(By the way, I went with a group - a travel company whom takes people to run marathons).  More on my recruiting abilities for them later......

My total is now close to $2500.  New goal.  How am I going to raise my money? 

As I mentioned, I recruit.  I'm a good recruiter.  I could have easily said "make an extra placement over your goals for recruiting - and it more than covers it".  That would be SOOOOOO boring.  Recruiting pays for the real world.

A friend of mine whom lives down the street e-mails one day - she leads/creates market research for different companies.  "Would you come to a focus group for 2 hours on Wednesday, the compensation is $50 - and we will provide lunch".  Sure, no problem.  It will get me out of the house.

Then, I was in a coffee shop - "Tylenol study" - need research participants - cash compensation $180 on the bulletin board.  Take a slip.  What, am I in college??? 

Wait, I just spent basically 4 hours of my time, in two different activities and earned $230.  Huh.  What if I started a list, and tried to see how many studies I can participate in during the next year -  use this to pay for my trip???  An the idea was born.

It was no longer about the money - it was a goal to help me reach my other goal. 

The really funny thing is - USAA is my insurance company - I was 151 dollars short of my goal and it was August.  They called me and asked me - RANDOMLY and asked if I would participate in study reviewing them as a company, they would pay me $150.  Really??? 

Two months out.  I was  ONE DOLLAR short of my goal. 

One more surfaced - from some place in this universe.  THEN, the woman down the street.  The one whom asked me to participate in the first study?  She called.  Can you help me out - I have this research project, but I don't want you to participate.  I know you are a recruiter - can you help me recruit participants.  It will take x amount of time at x per hour- can you get done before your trip?  Yes.  Yes I can. 

$1500 later.  I not only surpassed my first goal.  I paid for my whole trip. 

Most market research companies probably don't want to know I was this active in their marketing research, but I was FOCUSED. 

PS - I had a GREAT time in Greece......

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

When you are doing your job right

I received the following e-mail from my oldest son today:

To:  Mom

From:  Duncan

Re:  hawaii

you will love this video, try not to cry

Not sure where he found it.  Or how he found it.  BUT, he also knows that I heard that song for the first time upon returning from Hawaii in August.  He knows it's my favorite song.  A Colorado band.

Not sure if the e-mail or the video made my eyes water more.

Gotta love that boy.....

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Random Strangers

Random Strangers have shaped my entire adult life.  They probably shaped parts of my earlier life, but I love when moments happen and someone leaves a mark.  They never know it.  You can never tell them.  You remember them forever.


Today was a picture perfect Colorado day.  Not a cloud in the sky.  55 degrees.  Crisp.  Leaves changing. 

I've been seeing this guy - and this was his suggestion of the day:  "Let's take a drive.  Go the changing of the trees and pack a lunch.  We'll be back in time to watch the Broncos game."  (Oh, we didn't make it back it time for the game - it was just too beautiful outside to worry about going home).

Sounds like a delightful day.

We head out.  Let's go to Estes Park.  Beautiful drive - beautiful town 2 hours and a lifetime a way.  We live in an incredible place.  There is a guard at the Stanley Hotel (you know, the one from The Shining).  I say, "tell him we are here for the wedding".  He does.  I can't look, I'm trying not to laugh.

We sit on some side steps of the Stanley Hotel and have lunch.  We have wine, wraps, fruit, nuts. A relaxing perfect afternoon.

(Looking at the pictures, we were on the first steps to your left).  Yes, I took this picture - turns out my camera has a panoramic button!!!

(Our view from the steps)

A lady walks out of the hotel and notices us on the steps.  "Look, they are having a picnic.  Aw...."

Me:  "You can join us, if you want".

Him:  "We have plenty of wine".

Her:  "Aw..... They are having a picnic.  Aw......".

No, she didn't come over.  She did make me smile.  Thank you random lady for making us smile.  I hope you are still smiling too....

Then we are in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Some roads were closed and some park rangers were out at different spots.  Not sure how, but we got on the subject of "Yogi Bear and his buddy BooBoo".  We are at this dead end, in the middle of a forest, and there is a park ranger.

Him:  "Excuse me, we are looking for Yogi Bear and BooBoo"

Park Ranger:  Pause.  Smile  "Haven't seen them in a while, but I know they are here"......

Still no bear sightings.  Lots of Elk.  Lots of tourist.  A few deer and a few rams.  Still no bear. 

Lots of random strangers making each other smile.....

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"I wouldn't wish a 13 year old girl

upon anyone.  Speaking from someone whom WAS a 13 year old girl".

I've said those words, over and over and over again.

Stereotypical 13 year old girl:  hormonal, moody, hates you, angry with the world, beautiful - insecure. Wait, doesn't that really describe the whole world??

First 13 year old girl:

TIFFANY  I was 18.  She was 13.  Divorced father, little brother, dad's girlfriend is pregnant, Mom left them.  How the hell did I fall into this??

She needed me as much as I needed her.  I was a freshman in college.  I was there to baby-sit the little brother and help out around the house.  Cook dinner.  She did not want to like me.  She cried when I left.  She didn't recognize me when I showed up at her wedding 15 years later.  When she did, we both cried.  Sometimes you can leave the people you love - you know they will pick you up later.


My second 13 year old girl.  I've loved Erin since she was one.  How could I not love the 13 year old version of her too?  I didn't have to live with either one of these girls.  But, that's what Auntie's are for.

I took her to her first R rated movie.  I let her have her first drink of alcohol and stay up past midnight.  She had some obstacles in her life, and she didn't want me there - thinking she would disappoint me, only she should know, I would be there.  It wasn't me she wasn't letting down.  It was herself and her expectations she had, not me.  I will always love her.  No matter what.


Then God gave me boys.  THANK YOU.  For my wonderful incredible boys.  Because, after all, "I wouldn't wish a 13 year old girl upon anyone".  I was given the children I needed.

THEN I was told, ONE MORE:

You aren't done yet.  Here is another 13 year-old girl.  Beautiful, insecure, hormonal, love-struck, boy-crazy, 13 year old girl. She needs you - just as much as you need her.

I've said for years, "I wouldn't wish a 13 year old girl on anyone".

I've changed my mind.  You could only be so lucky to share this part of their life with them.. I have loved them all.  I have been very lucky.   Yes, I'm the lucky one.  The one whom warned everyone about the teenage girl. Teenagers?  YES.  In fact, give me a room full of them.  I can handle it.  All of them.  Every single one. 

They don't need me in their lives.  They want me there.  I want to be there.

Now, babies on the other hand, I'm not really good with them........

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


My life has been filled with a series of  "foreshadowing".  I would even go so far as to say, all of our lives are filled with events that will predict future events in our lives - only we don't always listen.

FIRST:  My first concert I remember.  John Denver.  Okay, truly, I think it was Donny and Marie Osmond, but I went with my mom. (really, I can't tell someone my first concert memory was Donnie & Marie!)  My Aunt took me to see John Denver.  She let me sit on her lap and drive down the freeway on the way home.  I couldn't have been more than 8.  John Denver, freedom and getting to do something that was fun with someone whom loved you.

Ok, if I look back - I might have been 10.  John Denver spoke about their being no snow in the mountains that year.  His daughters were complaining.  I remember it clear as the sky today.

A cousin of mine moved to Denver.  Denver?  Where is that?  

I was in maybe 9th or 10th grade and I was making some brownies.  I think it was the first time I had ever made something from a box - not scratch.  On the side of the box with the instructions:  "If you live above 3500 feet, add less flour and more water (their directions were a bit more specific)".  My first thought:  "Who the hell would live on the 36th floor of a building???" (each floor represents 1000 feet above sea level")

In 10th grade, there was a girl whom moved to my high school from Boulder, CO.  The only thing I knew about Boulder?  Wasn't Mork from Mork and Mindy living in Boulder?  Wasn't it cold there??? (and I still smile when I think that)

THEN, the biggest foreshadowing event of them all.  Landon.  Landon moved to Denver.  My mom babysit Landon and I was in love with Landon from my very first thought in life.  Of course, Landon was 8 years older than me.  He grew up and got married and moved to Denver.  Of course he did.  Where else would he move????

It's no surprise to me that I ended up in Denver.  One night sitting at Landon's kitchen table we laughed on the fact that we both ended up in Denver.  Can you believe we both live in Denver??

Landon replies:  Would we have ended up anywhere else???

He's back in Texas now.  He spent his 20 years here.  So have I.