Eat Less Pie…No Matter How Shitty Life Gets!

It’s official, 2018 has been one of the most challenging years of my life.

There are people in the world who inspire us to do better and be better. Two of those people are Jeanette Jenkins and Octavia Spencer. Apparently chemo treatment number 3 is not working for my husband and we will start a 4th type of chemo next week.

Update: Chemo #4 has failed and now we are waiting to see what happens next. No matter how hard we get hit, we keep getting up! #ArmyStrong #teamoctaviaspencer


What’s Your Sound?

Have you ever noticed how a specific sound can transport you to a certain place and time?  I’m not talking about a song on the radio, made up of words and a story.  I mean a real sound like a lawnmower or a drill?

My sound is a dishwasher.  No, I don’t mean some pimply faced teenager screaming to the chef in the back of a Denny’s.  Instead it’s the low deep hum and the slight sound of  water gradually filling the inside of my Whirlpool.

It takes me back to my grandmother’s kitchen. After finishing dinner, a few of us would be packaging up food and I would be loading the dishwasher.  It may sound dumb, but there was a sense of pride in cleaning up the dishes.  For starters we were lucky enough to have food on the table and even luckier to have a dishwasher.

The sound of the dishwasher meant the day was done. I just wish I enjoyed unloading and putting the dishes away. Oh well… for now I will just focus on the sound! 🙂

As I was looking for a picture to go with this post, I ended up finding a 70 MINUTE recording of a dishwasher. Hey — I can’t make this stuff up. 😉 Enjoy!


4 Reasons Why Every Day Should Be A Birthday!

HappyBirthdayA friend of mine came over for dinner and when she walked in the front door she looked up toward the ceiling with a questionable look on her face. I didn’t notice right away until I turned around and saw her standing there looking at the “Happy Birthday” banner hanging on the wall. She cautiously asked, “Isn’t your birthday in July?” With a smile I said, “Yes, it is.” She then asked, “When is Gary’s birthday?” Knowing where this was headed, I started to laugh and replied, “Oh his is in August.” She slowly lowered the bags of food onto the kitchen counter and grabbed a bottle of wine. With a slight WTF look on her face she poured me a glass and asked, “So why are there Happy Birthday banners still hanging all over your house in December!?”

As we started dinner I explained, “Well, my birthday is July 31st and my husband’s is August 11th. So when we decorate for my birthday, we have always left them up for his as well. This year is the first time that we just never got around to taking them down. There is something wonderful about waking up each morning, shuffling into the kitchen half awake and being greeted with a “Happy Birthday” message to start our day. It is a constant reminder that while we are all born on one specific day at a certain time, each day is truly something that should be celebrated.”

We clanked our wine glasses and enjoyed a wonderful dinner. Later that night as I was cleaning up the dishes, I couldn’t help but think of the reasons why we should all make each day a birthday.

1. Life is Short – Celebrate Long and Often!

Let’s face it, the older we get the faster life passes us by. Who says you can only celebrate once per year? Give gifts to people for no other reason than to celebrate who they are and what they mean to you. I will frequently send birthday cards at the wrong time of the year with a note that says, “I know that you weren’t born today, but I am grateful for you EVERYDAY.” You would be amazed how that simple message can positively change a person’s day.

2. Enjoy The Best First

Instead of saving the best for last, enjoy the best first! My husband and I will eat out often. It’s our thing. We love going to restaurants and enjoying good food. Often times when we go to a fancy restaurant the waiter will ask for the occasion we are celebrating. The truth is, the occasion is just being alive! Some people may think it’s funny, but for a man who recently recovered from a brain tumor, the truth is, we have so much to celebrate. Let’s face it, we all have struggles that we have overcome. So enjoy your favorite things as often as possible. YOU deserve to be celebrated, not just once a year but every day!

3. Celebrating Little Moments Become Big Memories

When you take a small piece of sand and place it under a microscope, that little spec looks enormous. The same goes with moments in our life. Something simple if looked at differently, can be amazing. Last night while my husband and I were out to dinner, our waitress was extremely friendly and attentive. She looked a lot like Celine Dion, however, it was obvious she had extremely bad acne that she had tried to cover with makeup. When she came to the table with our food, she asked if we needed anything else? I asked her, “Has anyone ever told you that you look like Celine Dion?” Her hand went over her mouth and her eyes filled up with tears. She smiled so big and shook her head no. You could see she was afraid to feel beautiful, yet accepted the compliment with a huge smile. When she left the table Gary said, “Did she start to cry because she thinks Celine Dion looks like a horse?” I said, “No, you jackass, she is a very pretty girl and deserves to hear it! Hell, we all deserve to hear more positive things about ourselves.” (Sorry Celine, you don’t look like a horse.)

4. Make Life An Experience Not An Expiration

For many years I would give gifts to people that didn’t require much thought or action on my part. As I have gotten older I have become more aware of the feeling I get when I give a gift that takes some thought and consideration. The smile on someone’s face when their lifetime dream is being fulfilled is something that no gift card could ever provide. Make your life an experience. If you have a dream of driving a Ferrari, or flying in a Stearman Bi-Plane, go for it! There are several companies that provide the opportunity to fulfill your dreams, no matter how big or small. Live big…you deserve it. We all deserve it.

Sometimes You Feel Like A Whale…

Today was just another one of those days where we just wanted to enjoy the beauty that life has to offer. My husband and I decided to take our boat “Trudy” out into the Pacific Ocean and see what beauty we could find. Well, were we in for a wonderful surprise. The dolphins were the first to greet us and as we headed several miles off shore we found more dolphins and seals. As we returned home we could see something in the distance that looked a lot like water shooting up. Sure enough, this beautiful whale was in the channel at Seal Beach leading into Los Alamitos Bay. In the words of Jimmy Buffet and Alan Jackson, this whale was “keeping it between the navigational beacons.”


Holiday Embarassment, Are You Guilty?

EmbarrassmentI don’t know if I’m more sensitive as I’ve gotten older or if I just don’t have the ability to ignore certain things anymore. Either way, for some reason it seems like people are eagerly taking advantage of social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc., to post pictures of all of their gifts they received this holiday season.

I’ve seen several big screen televisions, laptops, jewelry, clothing and much more. So much more that I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t want to see it. I don’t care. I don’t care about your 70inch television or new laptop. Heck, I don’t even care about the enormous ham dinner you made for your family of twenty.

Maybe it’s just me and maybe this is something that I should just embrace. But I can’t.        I can’t do it because as much as I want to share my life with people, I understand that there are people who are on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram who have been out of work. People who can’t afford one gift, let alone the fifty gifts that people choose to post online.

It’s not just about the gifts either. There are people on my social media pages who are unable to share the love and laughter with family and friends because they are either in another state or are simply no longer on this earth.

That is probably the toughest part…when you’re all alone with your memories and you realize that no matter how many presents are under the tree, they could never bring back the people that you love and miss the most.

Holidays are hard enough for some people, they don’t need a constant reminder every time they log online. Friends don’t let friends become Gift Gloaters!

The Best Birthday Gift Ever!

This morning I woke up at 4:30am and I couldn’t help but think of the many birthdays I’ve had in the past. I quietly rolled over and thanked God, the universe and all that surrounds me for the gift of yet another day.

It’s funny, when you’re younger you focus on the “cool” gifts such as Barbie, Cabbage Patch Kids etc., but as you get older, the gifts start to come in different forms. I certainly Curadon’t need a birthday gift on this one day when I receive so many gifts throughout the year. The gift of seeing the smiles on the faces of the kids at Cura Orphanage, or seeing Sam and Emely’s progress as they make their wedding plans. The gift of cheering on my friends who are in the process of adopting a foster child, or celebrating the upcoming birth of my sweet friends babies. The gift of celebrating life that is brought into this world and even though it’s difficult, the gift of sharing the heartache when we lose those closest to us.

Over the past 35 years I have grown a lot. I have made many mistakes, which have turned into blessings. I have found love and I have lost love. I have acquired family and I have lost family. I have taken risks and I have failed several times over. Yet, through it all, I have continued to discover who I am and what fuels my soul.

Each and every one of you fuel my soul with love, laughter and  bless me with birthday gifts not just on this one day, but throughout the entire year. You make my life so much better just by being in it.

With all my love today, tomorrow and for the rest of my life.