Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Looking for a dog

My grandfather passed away yesterday.  He was 86 years old.  In a way, I guess I thought he was immortal.  I mean, I'm 43.  People all the time would say "YOUR" grandparents?  My kids have lots of grandparents.  Me, "Yes, they are MY Grandparents"

Not sure I'm ready for this.  We leave for Texas tomorrow.  He wouldn't like all this fuss.  My Granny, she will like all this fuss.

So, the boys and I leave to go to a place I've always gone.  My whole life. 

I call my Granny this morning to see how she is doing.  The first thing she says to me "When you are here, I want you to help me find a dog".  Okay, Granny, whatever you want.  I understand why.  She's been married for 65 years.  She's never had to live alone.

I don't think a dog is good idea.  At least not right now, but I'm here to help.  It's gotta be a special dog.  While contemplating this all day, while pretending to work, booking airfares, laughing and crying with the memories of my Papo, I've been thinking about how to accomplish this.  How else?  A list.  Then craigslist. 

Here's my ad:

Older woman seeking a companion:

Must be housebroken and not too much drool.
Must be very special.   For a special lady.  My grandfather recently passed away and my grandmother would like a companion.
Prefer mature. Young and needy will just not work. 
Not too big (less than 40 pounds)
Not too small (don't want her to trip over him/her)
Mixed breeds are okay 
Recent heartbreaks are okay too.  Maybe your person died.  Or moved.  No judgement here.
No diggers.  No escape artists.  No biting.  No chewers.  Loyal.
Must like Judge Judy.  Must be willing to sit on the back porch and have coffee every evening - and early mornings in the summer before it's too hot.
Not too fussy about your meals - although I have a feeling you will eat simple foods over bagged food.
Must be a great listener - Granny loves to tell stories.
You might have to play dress up on occasion.
Willing to tell Granny you like her paintings - or how she could make them better.  She really will value your opinion.
Understand that nap times are valuable.
So is dancing in the living room
She gives great foot rubs - her great-grandsons say they are the best.
Must REALLY miss her when she goes on her social outings (not to worry, she doesn't stay out late). However, you must be content staying home.
She does like to shop, so you might become a little spoiled with new things.  Only don't get too stingy, she still has us kids/grand kids/great-grand kids to spoil.
If we could teach you to play domino's, that would be a bonus.  Or at least just not chew on the domino's.
Send us a picture - although we love all shapes and colors.
Willing to wait for the right one. 
Have your human, tell us why you are ready to love our Granny as much as she will always love our Papo.

In exchange, you will also get all of the above.

We might not find one this weekend, but the right one will find us.  I do hope people will understand I want to find my Granny a dog.....

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Facing West

"Don't buy a house facing West."

My great Uncle told my cousin - when she moved to Denver, "Whatever you do, don't live in a place facing West".

She bought that condo.  Facing West.  I never saw that condo.  All I remember is that she said she couldn't help it.  She had to face West.  The view was too perfect.

I've owned three houses.  Four.  If you count the one house I bought twice.  They have all been within walking distance to a hospital.  All, yes, you guessed it facing West.  All of them.  "Whatever you do, don't buy a place facing West".  Ah.... 

Facing the sunset. Our place in Hawaii doesn't face West.  Although, if I could design a lanai, with a sunset view, this would be the one.  The house doesn't face West.  The people do.

I don't know why I remember her telling me he said that.  It just stuck out in my mind.  It really would be better if someone just told me to go do something.  Instead, they tell me not to do something, then I go do it.  If God had just told Adam, "Whatever you do, listen to the snake."  The rest of us wouldn't have wanted to prove you wrong.....

So, it's January.  It's 60 degrees.  I'm sitting on my front porch.  Facing West.  Every time we drive back from Salt Lake City - we are driving East.  We are much happier driving West.  I don't like the sunset in my rear view mirror.  I like facing it.  I like chasing sunsets.......I get why you had to buy the place facing West.  Sunsets are spectacular!

Maybe, just one more?  Sunset that is?? ;-)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Charlotte Bacon

Charlotte Bacon is our guardian angel.

I've been trying to see why she touched our lives.  I might not ever know.  I might not know for years.  All I do know, is that this angel was sent to us.

The Charlotte Bacon I'm writing about left this world in December.  She was a part of a national tragedy.  Due to circumstances in my past, I don't read the stories about mass shootings.  We've been there already.  Way too close to home.   Someone, some place reminded me I can't let these moments pass in vain.

What I know about "our" Charlotte Bacon.  She loved animals.  She got to wear her pink boots and dress to school on the day she died.  She wanted to be a veterinarian.  (The fact is not lost on me that I graduated from Texas A&M University - home of one of the best vet schools in the nation).

From what I now know, a friend of the family has started an organization honoring Charlotte.  The organization is called Newtown Kindness .  They are encouraging children to practice random acts of kindness.  They have print off's you can encourage children to offer random acts of kindness.

Until about two hours ago, I didn't know of this organization.  I just Googled Charlotte's name, to see if I could learn more about her.

They have now posted my original post on their website.

Please help me, help my angel's family, continue to pass on goodwill in her name.  I didn't start this act of kindness, I just hope to pass it on.  It's not coincidence that I received a random act of kindness and this family has created a kindness page to carry it forward.

As I sent the e-mail to the organization, telling them my story, it wasn't me who started it.  It was someone else whom touched me.  I don't need the recognition.  My person didn't either.  My angel doesn't either.  Isn't that the best part of the whole story?  No one is here for glory.  Just, please, carry on......

Oh, and on another note.  After I received my random act of kindness, of course, I did Google the name.  There is also an author named Charlotte Bacon - she used to live in New England, and was a teacher.  Maybe my Charlotte was telling me I needed to go write......

PSS.  When I write the word "kindness" I keep leaving out the "n" - when I type it, it is "kidness"  Maybe we should all practice "random acts of kidness"

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Under different circumstances

Ever met someone you don't like?

You "get off on the wrong foot" with this person.  You just don't click.  You were in a bad mood that day.  Maybe they were in a bad mood that day.  Whatever the reason, you just don't like each other.

We don't have to like everyone.  We should all just be nice to everyone.

I really do like people.  All people.  All shapes and sizes:  young and old  (although my patience with the extremities of those age groups, well, could be better).  Sometimes, though, it's okay if you don't get along with someone.  You don't need to be friends.  Just be nice.  Understand we all different interests.


We might actually have the same interests.  We might love the same kids.  Love the same man.  Have the same passions. We don't "click", but I bet we have a lot in common.  Jealously is a powerful controller of attitude.

What if we had the chance to meet that person again?   When things were different?  We are more mature.   The geek gets the jock.  The person is whom was married when you met them, is now single?  You get a do-over?  Can you really start over? Try again? 

One of my closest friends, we didn't like each other when we met.  We met in college.  We only met once.  It was a disaster.  Honestly, I can say that is not usually the case with the people I meet.  We did run into each other a few months later.  It didn't go any better.

The memory of our meeting had long faded.  In fact, probably would have never thought about the meeting again. Except I have a scar on my chin from the night we had met in college.

Back story:  The story isn't really exciting, the scar makes it sound exciting.  Basically, I was in the car with four girls, and when I went to get out of the back seat of her car, my foot caught on the drivers side seat belt (back when they weren't attached to the wall) and my chin ate it into the pavement.  Ouch.  There were no stitches.  I couldn't have even told you her name. 

Nine or so years after that first meeting:

I'm at the Denver International Airport with my then 4 month old son to pick up Carolyn.  I know most people don't like babies around (think fussy), so I looked around.  I found a woman with an infant.  I sat next to her.  She was waiting for her parents to arrive on the same plane. 

Yes, the same woman I had gone to college with.  Living in Denver. The one whom I didn't like.  She didn't like me either. Only, it took us about 6 months to realize we had met.  Then not only had we met each other, we had to remember we didn't like each other.  Ha.

Duncan was 4 months old.  Mason (her son) was 6 months old.  The boys are 15 now.  She moved back to Houston several years ago.  We talk every day.  I can't imagine my life without her.

We met under different circumstances.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Airline fares are actually more fickle than me.

I'm an airfare junkie.  Where can I go?  How cheaply can I get there?  Can I get there cheaper?  Seriously.  Is there an addiction group out there for airfare junkies?  I seriously check airfares on a daily basis.

Only lately, I haven't checked them at all.  Money has been tight.  I need to ignore my addiction.  I can still belong to the club.  Still drink wine.  Just not allowed to look at airfare sights. Who knew?  Who knew that THIS would be my addiction.

Is it sorta gambling?  Risk taking?  Without having to actually take a risk?  Goes to me having commitment issues.  I'm not spending any money.  It's not illegal.  In fact, it's not even immoral.  It's just a habit.

Every morning, I check fares.  It does play to my favor.  I went to Dallas in October - $109 round-trip.  Seriously.

Airfares to Kona?  Today, they went up.  The first time we went - I paid $600 for me.  $450 for the boys.  I thought that was an AWESOME deal.

Today? $900.  Last summer?  $1200.  I used miles last summer.  Next summer?  $900.  Our flight home last summer was empty.  Economics.  I guess once you make the bottom line, it actually costs you more to take more people.

My thoughts:  The first summer:  Everything was supposed to happen.  And, it did.  So much went into getting us all to the same place at the same time.  I SO believe this.  It was SO darn cheap (relatively)

As the boys said to me "Mom, you do realize this story has nothing to do with anything but us meeting Lily, don't you?  That's what this story is really about".  (meaning the boys and Lily. Not me)

Okay, if you say so.  Now, we have to play the airfare games.  One airfare at a time.  Getting us to the place we need to be.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I have an accountability partner.

We are both self-employed.  Originally, we met once a week.  There is a spreadsheet with what we need to accomplish by our next meeting.  For over 3 years, we met once a week.  Yes, we would cancel.  Yes, we postpone.  Then of course, I went to Hawaii for a month. 

How hard is being accountable?  Actually, harder than you would think.

It does not matter to anyone if I close a deal or not.  It only really matter because I have to pay my bills.  Believe it or not, that's just not enough motivation.  It is work.  It is a job.  I have to do it.

Our spreadsheet has personal goals and work goals.  We review what we did.  What we are going to do before the next  meeting.  You are allowed to move something to the following week.  Or even set the goal stating something will be accomplished in a month.  Only you can only move it once.  If you want to move it again, there is a reason you aren't doing it.  What can we change about it?

I make lists for myself all the time.  They don't always get done.  It doesn't matter.  When I have someone to report back to, I get it done.  Or we figure out why we don't get it done.

Upon returning from Hawaii this year, we never started back up.  We both took breaks.  We've both just been working.  Surviving not thriving.  Our meetings help us thrive.

Plus, I miss Michele.  We were both much more productive when we meet.

We meet again starting this Wednesday.  The first time we met to start our "Accountability Meetings",  well, the goal was to to get there.  Step One.

This time we know we can get there.  We have to come with a starting point for 2013.  Our goals for the year.  It's up to each of us to help the other achieve those goals. 

I better get busy - I don't have my list ready.  Hard to accomplish something if you don't know what it is.

PS.  - I read a blog and I love what she wrote about 2012+1......  the year of The Library  Although, I'll spend it in the library in Kona.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Warning: Changes ahead

Going to generalize here for a second:  no one likes unexpected changes.  It turns us upside down.  Everyone.  You included.  Yes, we can think something is great, if I change.  Just you, please don't change, it turns the rest of us upside down.

Now, I don't really expect us all to live worrying about others lives.  Just expect if someone else changes, you have no control of it.  Damn it.

Okay, so I'm going to change the format of this blog.  There will be search capability.  There will be tags (which means I might show up in search engines). Also, there will be some advertising.

I'm going to tackle this writing thing.  I'm ready.  I can't wait.  It's scary.  I'm scared.  I'm not ready for comments.  Praise?  Yes.  The critics?  I'm going to try......

Help me through this next phase.  Just hang on.  As usual, it's going to be worth the ride.  It always is......