Day 0 – The Dash

Today she woke with the intent to invest in her Dash….

IMG_20140927_071149016_HDRThere is a poem that recounts how life is lived, about the dates between the date of your birth and the date of your death. (Read it here)  I was reminded of that last night.  Today is fresh and new, today is the my birthday, a reminder that all is available to me. My goal is to remain focused, to live my life so that the impact is what I want it to be when I am reduced to just a dash.  Happy day everyone!


Day 0 – It’s My Birthday!!!

imagesI’ve always been of the belief that you shouldn’t set people up to fail…I want my husband and friends to know when my birthday is, no subtly, no game playing.  It’s MY BIRTHDAY, let me shout it from the rooftop.  Today, I am 50, half a century, five decades, 18,263 days….I have a girlfriend who told me once that our lives are too important to celebrate on just a single day.  But today is the day, the one I have been working toward all year, the culmination of my year of blogging.

365 days ago, I started, with a list of goals I wanted to complete, did I make them all?  No, but I put a serious dent in them.  I love setting goals, they help me to always keep striving for new things.  Years ago, when I was part of the Jaycees, we had a saying that “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”  The same is true for all of us.  Each of us needs to challenge ourselves daily, set goals, live life….be the person YOU want to be, Create the Life that YOU Imagine.  It’s time to set up your year, your life, don’t wait, don’t just go through the motions, find your passion, set your date to begin and start.  I mean really start living.

My 50th year was awesome, I watched 8 classic movies I had never seen before; I read 53 books; I went to 36 new places; I tried 33 new things.  I love my life, I’m excited to start this new decade with all the great people that are in it.  Tomorrow I get to start all over again, I get to set new goals, I get to try new things, I get to set the standards for the next 365 days, I can’t wait for my life to start…or, rather continue, it’s awesome!


    • Goal:  Watch 50 classic movies – completed 8
      • Shane
      • Sunset Boulevard
    • Forrest Gump
    • Amadeus
    • The Manchurian Candidate
    • The Philadelphia Story
    • Yankee Doodle Dandy
    • A Place in the Sun
  • Goal:  Read 50 books – completed 53
    • Heroes of Olympus – Son of Neptune – Rick Riordan
    • Raising Jake – Charlie Carillo
    • The Rosetti Letter – Christi Phillips
    • A Fistful of Collars – Spencer Quinn
    • Plum Wine – Angela Davis-Gardner
    • The Shoe Queen – Anna Davis
    • Little Bee – Chris Cleave
    • Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet – Jamie Ford
    • The Big Nap – Ayelet Waldman
    • Wicked Business – Janet Evanovich
    • The Last Dragonslayer – Jasper Fforde
    • The Woman who Died A lot – Jasper Fforde
    • Death Gets a Timeout – Ayelet Waldman
    • Track of the Cat – Nevada Barr
    • Blind Descent – Nevada Barr
    • The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag – Alan Bradley
    • Zero Day – David Baldacci
    • A Red Herring Without Mustard – Alan Bradley
    • The Last Runaway – Tracy Chevalier
    • Men and Dogs – Katie Crouch
    • Dreamfever – Karen Marie Moning
    • Viola in the Spotlight – Adriana Trigiani
    • Dreams of Joy – Lisa See
    • I am Half-Sick of Shadows – Alan Bradley
    • Speaking from Among the Bones – Alan Bradley
    • The Noticer – Andy Andrews
    • Artifacts of Death – Rich Curtin
    • The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Steven Chbosky
    • The Widow of the South – Robert Hicks
    • The Scent of Rain and Lightening – Nancy Pickard
    • Big Fish – Daniel Wallace
    • February’s Files – Rich Curtin
    • The Brightest Star in the Sky – Marian Keyes
    • The Kitchen House – Kathleen Grissom
    • Italian for Beginners – Kristen Harmel
    • Backseat saints – Joshilyn Jackson
    • The Art Forger – BA Shapiro
    • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – JK Rowling
    • Garden Spells – Sarah Addison Allen
    • Affairs of Steak – Julie Hyzy
    • The Map of True places – Brunonia Barry
    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – JK Rowling
    • Life Studies – Susan Vreeland
    • The Confession – John Grisham
    • Wrapped in Rain – Charles Martin
    • The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival – Ken Wheaton
    • Montana 1948 – Larry Watson
    • The Little Giant of AberdeenCounty – Tiffany Baker
    • $1000 and a Good Idea – Sam Wyly
    • Full of Grace – Dorothea Benton Frank
    • Cash Out – Greg Bardsley
    • If You Lived Here I’d Know Your Name – Heather Lende
    • March – Geraldine Brooks
  • Goal:  Write 50*7 blogs – completed 165
  • Goal:  Visit 50 new places – completed 34
    • The Big Texan
    • The Sandia Tramway
    • Bryce Canyon
    • Zions National Park
    • Scorpion Bay
    • Lethbridge, Canada
    • Carnival Splendor Mexican Riviera Cruise
    • Cabo San Lucas
    • Puerto Vallarta
    • Tucson Jewelry Show
    • Guadalupe Mountain National Park
    • Big Room at Carlsbad Caverns
    • Birmingham
    • Sloss Furnaces
    • Civil Rights Museum
    • Civil War battleground
    • National Cemetery
    • Capitol Reef National Park
    • The Missions of San Antonio
    • Great Sand Dunes National Park
    • George Rogers Clark Memorial
    • Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
    • Notre Dame University
    • Indianapolis Motor Speedway
    • Rubicon Springs
    • Dayton Courthouse – Scopes Trial
    • The First National Military Park – Chickamauga and Chattanooga
    • Fort Donelson
    • Mammoth Caves
    • International Motorsports Hall of Fame
    • Sea Life Center
    • Homer, AK
    • Kenai Fjords National Park
    • Whittier, AK
    • US Olympic Training Center
    • Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame
  • Goal:  Try 50 new things – completed 33
    • Dremel
    • Wheeling from behind the wheel
    • Junior Ranger
    • Melting Crayon Art
    • Civil War Re-enactment
    • Stung by Stingray
    • Spent a whole day in bed
    • Curling Match
    • Get Married again
    • Played on a Game Show (on the cruise)
    • Acupuncture
    • Take a bus in Mexico
    • Thriller Dance
    • Letter punching
    • Lit Chinese Lantern
    • TIG welding
    • Senior Ranger
    • Walk the Race Course
    • Monster Party
    • Wheeling in Moab
    • Broke on the trail
    • Tour a micro-brew
    • Fly in an experimental plane
    • Opened new food truck
    • Junior Civil War Historian
    • Halibut fishing
    • Skipping Rocks
    • Darts
    • Sisterhood badge
    • Zumba
    • Color Run
    • Disc Golf
    • Eyebrow Threading

I can’t wait to see what happens next, what’s on your list???

Day 182 – Only Six More Months

Quotes-page-0In just six months I turn the big 5-0.  Yep, time for my 50th birthday, another milestone among many.  I’ve been working hard to prep for that half century mark.  I have taken on more challenges, pushed myself farther, tried new things; but I’ve also been working on letting go of some things.

I have almost 50 years of thoughts and ideas ingrained that are not as healthy as I’d like them to be.  I’ve grown up believing that some people will always support you; that’s not true – instead I believe that you choose your supporters and hold on to them.  I’ve grown up believing that there are limitations to your happiness; that’s not true – instead I believe you choose your happy place, how to be happy.  I’ve grown up believing that there are certain acceptable rules of society, certain ways to live, certain ways to do just about everything; that’s not true either – instead I believe you choose how to live, to your limits, to your expectations.  I’ve grown up believing that there is an inherent good in people and the media and government will share that with you – I’m to the point where I still believe in the good in people, but I will find it myself.

I have chosen a lifestyle, a rambling, wandering, appreciate what you see when you see it lifestyle, and I love it.  In doing that I’ve left behind a lot, things I thought I would miss, but I don’t.  I thought I would carry forward the friendships I had in the same way I had them, you can’t – truly you are out of sight, out of mind.  Instead I’ve made new friends, people not as tied down to the local society.  I thought I would miss having a paycheck, I don’t – instead I have found a way to survive on my intuition and hardwork.  I thought I would miss having “stuff”; I don’t – it is actually very freeing – of time and money – to not have to shop for things.

Probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that life can be lived on my different fronts – you don’t have to choose, but when you do, choose wisely.  Create the life that YOU imagine, even if no one else can see the vision.

At the beginning of this 50th year I set some goals, some I am meeting, some not so much.  That’s okay, it’s my life, I can change the goals as I see fit.  I have 8 new old movies watched; I have 19 new books read; I have 12 new places visited; I have 20 new things tried; if I wasn’t trying to meet some goals …would I have come this far?

With only six months left, I asked some friends on Facebook if I should have a “Birthday Project”  Something that I do for others – I’ve read of people collecting diapers for donations, or shoes – any ideas of what I could do to help others and to celebrate the conclusion of my 50th year?

Day 365 – Create the Life You Imagine

When I woke this morning, I pictured in my mind how this next, great year would look.  I focused on my goals like any good visualization, I just forgot to look at the details, the how to get from here to there stuff, the stuff that fills each of our days.  Today was supposed to be an easy day – after all, it’s my Birthday – a celebration of a life still being lived or…a long day doing trivial travel things that take forever, apparently I have to hold off on the celebrating part.

Basic packing ensued in the morning, followed by a trip to DFW for a flight to LAX.  DFW is a big place and they appear to have decided not to use the same terminology or plans as every other major airport in the US.  Instead of long-term parking, they use “remote parking”; the airport isn’t built in a circle, you know, that works everywhere but in Texas, no it is built in a straight line, so if you enter in the North and drive straight through to the South, they get to pick up their dollar for driving on their road.  I’ve flown through DFW before, but never had to fly from there.  When we got to the pay station after having driven by all the terminals and found ourselves leaving again, Big asked the guy about long-term parking – he stared at him and said, “no, we don’t have long-term parking, you can park anywhere.”  We thought that was odd, until he went on to explain that parking at the terminals is fine, it cost $19/day, or we could use remote parking for $8/day.  I think I would call the remote parking long-term, but that’s just me.  Heaven forbid we should Mess with Texas – they’re going to do it their own way, that’s for sure.

After the standard long line in security which we all passed with flying colors – it feels like such an accomplishment, doesn’t it, when you get through the checkpoint without any problems, like getting a gold star on your homework.  Anyway, we flew Virgin this time, first time, I guess that made us Virgin virgins, and while the flight was delayed significantly, it was pretty cool.  They are certainly tech savvy on their airline.  Everything was available on your individual tv screen and your little remote.  Josh and I even chatted seat-to-seat.

Two guys sat behind us who obviously had a long history, they had been in each others wedding party, so they talked non-stop, and it was entertaining as hell.  They covered the basics first, family, mutual friends, jobs, then one started talking about some of the other things he does.  Guy 1 told Guy 2 that he had tickets to NASCAR at the Texas Motor Speedway, Guy 2 was beside himself – “You like NASCAR?” He couldn’t believe it, WHY would anyone go to that.  Then as the conversation continued and Guy 2 mentioned getting some hunting gear at Cabela’s, Guy 1 said, and I quote “What’s Cabela’s?”  I almost couldn’t stay in my seat anymore – What’s Cabela’s?  Really – what rock has he been under.  I personally have made the trek to the mother store in Sidney, Nebraska numerous times, of course it helps that they have awesome wild game food and a free RV dump and water on-site.  You know how it is, my needs are different than most.  Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed Guy 1 and Guy 2 for all three hours of the flight.

Our next adventure after landing late was the rental car, I couldn’t remember where I had made our reservation, so we hopped the Avis bus and dove through the crowd of people to get to the front of the line and drive our shiny silver bus to one of my favorite hotels.  Josh kept everyone entertained and distracted while Big ran off the bus.  I just wasn’t ready for anymore delays tonight.  A quick stop at Inn-n-Out at two minutes to midnight completed a very long Birthday day.  I never managed to Create the Life I Imagined today, so I’ve opted for a re-do, a mulligan – so today is my Birthday too.  As a bright spot, Facebook has made birthdays very enjoyable.  How cool is it that no one has to actually remember your birthday anymore because Facebook will remind them.  I love that.  Oh and happy birthday to the other members of the 10-4 birthday club, Jon, Sheryl, Claudia and Chad – all of which I spoke to in one form or another yesterday.

Avis at midnight

I love when they fight over me….

My birthday is tomorrow…number 49 – not really a milestone, but an important day to me.  I have a girlfriend who says “My life is way too important to only be celebrated on a single day!”  I love that, so I’m starting early.  Monday, my sister called to wish me a Happy Birthday.  Tuesday, my oldest and bestest friend wished me a happy bday – and today it started on Facebook.  My fiance wanted to be first, so he posted on FB, then two others followed with second and third – then the avalanche began.  I love that, because the argument started shortly thereafter.  My sister claimed to be first – my fiance responded with “If it doesn’t happen on Facebook, it never happened.”  Isn’t that a commentary on how our life has become.

So for the record, the timing is such that Tracie wins, Rusty is second, Rich is third…BUT – my birthday isn’t until tomorrow, so the first AFTER midnight will be the official winner!!!