In Review

I think that title might describe my life…in review.  I am always looking in the rear view mirror to see if I’m measuring up to some ideal I have about who I am.  I spend a lot of time reviewing my actions, my travels, my words.  Those are but a memory, I should probably be focused on the future.  But it’s hard to leave behind the past…in so many ways.

I feel compelled to take a look at 2015 to see how it stacked up.  In the travel department, it was awesome.  We did our usual traipsing around the US throughout the year – from California to Florida to Maine, and a ton of states in between.  We ventured up to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick after a rousing 4th of July spent in Boston.  We saw our Nation’s Capital in the spring, we hit Disney World in January, and Australia in October.  I love the travel, it is one of my greatest joys, to experience other cultures and ways of life.

Our family is good, everyone seems to be making their way in the world without too much interference from us.  The grandchildren are awesome and growing like weeds, the boys think Grandpa is awesome, the girls are still deciding, but seem to be coming around.

We had a tragedy strike our business early in the season, and although we recovered to be able to continue, it still weighs heavy on our thoughts. Safety continues to be our primary concern.

Our friends were, once again, awesome, throughout the year.  So many that reached out to us on so many occasions to make us welcome in their worlds.  We are so fortunate.  The people we meet and spend time with provide context to all the travel, they are the reason we enjoy our time on the road so much.

Each year I work towards something new and different, I set aside things that aren’t working as I want to so that I can re-work them until they make sense.  Two years ago, I launched All Terrain Hero – the concept made sense to me, we already had a race track, why wouldn’t we put runners on the same course and give it double duty (on different days, of course).  Things I hadn’t considered were – how remote our tracks are; how exhausted my team is after a real race day; that I don’t know how to break in to the running community.  Some locations did ok, some not so much.  So, while we will continue to support The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation through other fundraising, I’m going to shelve All Terrain Hero for a bit.

This year, my launch is something online that I’ve been doing for a long time, but had been doing individually instead of to the masses.  I launched a new website on the 1st and will be sharing more of that as we move along.  If you want a sneak peek (it’s anything but perfect right now) – go ahead and take a look at It will improve with age, but the concepts are all there.

Thank you for a great and powerful year, it truly was awesome, 2016 is going to be even more so, more good things are coming our way.  We truly are living in a time of blessed abundance.

And now I'll doJoin me won’t you?


Stardate 1 – a return to cyberspace

life is a storyIt’s weird that I’ve been missing from my own blog.  But for those of you still reading, thanks for not pointing that out.  The year has been an odd one for us.  Busy, but not satisfying in the way it has been before.  That has kept me from writing.  I have always wanted to be a positive voice, but that got hard over the last few months, so rather than weigh anyone down, I got quiet.  It’s time to break the silence and get out in front of the world again.

So let’s begin.  I love my life, I love the people in my life.  They are kind, thoughtful and appreciative of our life’s work.  Or at least my perception is they are, and that’s all that matters.  I have some incredible friends, folks who go out of their way for me and my husband.  We have people who tell us they love us, and we aren’t even related!  Truly, I love my life…I just have to stay out of my own way to appreciate it.

Today is a good day to begin to talk about what is going on in our world.  Lots of new and exciting ideas that we are hoping to expand on, the more we do, the more we impact the lives of others.

Our biggest impact comes with our day job, or I guess it could be a day/night job, well, maybe more like 24/7/365.  There isn’t a minute that we aren’t working on our motorsports events.  We are event promoters, every weekend we are somewhere in the country putting on a 4×4 event (well, maybe every weekend is an exaggeration, but it feels like it).  The people we impact most are the competitors, our goal is to provide them with an event to attend where they can stretch their capabilities and grow with their teams and competitors.  There is not a decision made that their needs aren’t the primary consideration.  Of course there are other people we have to keep happy too, but they take second fiddle to the competitors.

Next on our list of things that make an impact is our health.  We made a conscious decision to get healthy last November, and it has been amazing the number of people paying attention.  My husband is a big man, at one time a few years ago over 400 pounds.  Last fall he was tired of feeling poorly, so we changed our diet.  We didn’t go on a diet, we just changed what we eat, no portion control, just good food.  After all, it starts with food.  That’s the name of the book we read and decided to follow.  No plans, no supplements, no artificial foods to eat, just real food.  Today, I am happy to report, I have lost 27 pounds to Rich’s 85.  Both of us feel good, which is what is most important.  We have found though, that since we live our lives out loud, people pay attention.  They notice, they listen when we say we’ve changed our eating habits and look at the impact!  That is exciting for us.

In January, I attended a program called “Move People to Action”, it was a game changer for me.  A way for me to see how we could make an impact on the world.  Since then, I have been refining my message and figuring out how to share it with the world.  We are going to start today and continue daily on one or another social media platform.  My goal is publishing, and I will be doing that in several forms.  On my blog here I will talk about our life in general and how we view it, on my blog “Trippin’ the Americas” we will focus on the full time travel that we do, there will be a Kindle released book shortly – two are in production today, one on Main Street businesses, and one on Living Life Unscripted.  In addition, we are working on a winter expedition, you can find that on Facebook called Exploration Unknown.  We will also continue to promote the #livewithit campaign regarding helmets and harnesses  in offroad recreation.  I know there is more, and I will take time to share it all with you over the coming months.  Thanks for still being there, just knowing makes the rest much easier.



Day -136 – It’s a good day

bouncehouseYou know how there are some days that are just good, I mean, nothing special, but you feel loved and appreciated, making it a good day.  Today was one of those.  I spent the last 24 hours in bed with a stomach flu, so maybe part of my optimistic attitude came from being able to get out of bed for more than a few minutes at a time. I’m ok with that.

First thing, I called my grandson to wish him a happy 5th birthday, Jacob is an old soul, very smart, very articulate.  When I said to him, “wow, Jacob, you’re five now!”  His response was, “yay, I’m getting pretty old now.”  It was priceless, thanks for my first laugh of the day, buddy, I love you.

We are out at a remote campsite near Congress, Arizona.  It is peaceful and quiet all the time, the most noise we get is the train cruising by and the coyotes yipping.  I love it out here.  The scenery is awesome too!  Add to that the number of friends we have in Arizona and we are truly and abundantly blessed.  We ran in to Phoenix today intending to pick up our mail and drop off some posters for our upcoming event.

First stop was a 4 year olds birthday party, who knew?  By the time we got there, the kid stuff was done and the adults were enjoying a rum punch.  But in the yard, was a pink and purple Hello Kitty bounce house.  Now, being honest here, I’ve never been in a bounce house.  This one looked like a castle and I kept thinking, I wanna go!  But I was a little fearful, I’m not a kid, nor am I shaped like one.  It wasn’t until I saw a couple other adults climb in there and noticed the bounce house didn’t seem any worse for wear after they had bounced.  So I waited until all the kids were out and snuck on in…quietly, I didn’t want a production made.  And I bounced.  First on my knees, then I stood up and bounced to the ceiling, it was awesome!  It’s a motion that we don’t get to do as adults, it was great, after awhile I was a little nauseous, but it was worth it.  So liberating!  We said our goodbyes and thank yous and headed home, at least that was the plan.

At the gas station I popped up Facebook and saw that we had other friends just two miles away settling in for some music at a local bar, what a great way to finish off a Sunday.  We stopped in to The Monastery in Mesa, it is so cool.  I’m not sure it would work any where else, but on a mid February evening in Mesa with the temperatures nice and mild, it was awesome. Sand volleyball courts, ping pong, badminton, an open air stage and a bar that serves food.  Just doesn’t get much better than that when you add in good people.

Thanks to all we saw today, you made my day!

Day -54 – Thankfulness

thankfulMy life is so full of good things, I can barely contain my joy sometimes.  My blessings are numerous…I have good health, a great man, incredible children, fabulous friends, an abundance of everything.  Truly Life, liberty and happiness are mine.

Each Thanksgiving I look around and Thank God for everything in my life.  I am a bit of a Pollyanna, maybe I’ve mentioned that before; I just don’t see any point in dwelling on the negatives – at least in my writing.  I have bad days like the rest of you, but there is something about grabbing my keyboard that makes me think positive thoughts.

For years, I have sent a half dozen emails on Thanksgiving morning, they begin with “I am thankful for you…” and then I say why.  This is something I send to my children and my husband, and generally one or two others who really have an impact on my life at the moment.  Folks that I just can’t seem to get by without.  Right now that would require a couple of dozen emails, so I’m going to post it here.  If it applies to you, you will recognize yourself, even if we’ve never met…

“I am thankful for you.  On this Thanksgiving, I look at all the things that matter to me and realize that you are one of them.  I am proud of your   resourcefulness, your talent, your willingness to share with others.  I am proud of your infectious smile and your laughter and the way you bring out the best in me.  I am proud of your willingness to work hard, no matter what the task, day in and day out.

Thank you for being someone who matters, for taking the time to look out for others, for listening to my silly ideas and for appreciating me.  It is because of  you that I am who I am and I couldn’t be prouder at this moment to call you my friend.  Thanks for being you.”

Do you know someone you should send this note to?

Day 257 – People do the nicest things

crushIt’s Sunday, we are hunting for a place to watch the NFC championship game in Temecula.  Everything suggested to us is a chain, and I’m just not in to chains.  Driving around, we notice a brewery in old town.  The Crush and Brew, now that’s a clever little place.  They have a wine side and a beer side and only serve cold foods, it sounds interesting and for a Sunday at noon, it’s perfect for us.  We opt for the beer side, there is a TV and Jenn is our server.  Over 22 beers on tap, some as high as 12%.  Rich is an IPA drinker, so he chooses a sample platter of those, I go for a wheat beer, like usual.

At halftime, we are lamenting the slow start of the forty-niner’s, but have placed our order for the Big Block, it’s a cutting board full of meats and cheese, bread and various condiments.  Perfect for two.  The meal and the beer combined with a winning football game transform a mundane Sunday afternoon in to a great day.  But that’s not all.

During the first quarter, we met Carol and Ernie and their daughter and son-in-law.  They are out touring the area, from Riverside, they like to spend their weekends looking for breweries and good food.  Temecula was their stop today with the help of Yelp.  I overheard a conversation about brew festivals coming up and asked them what they found.  This translated in to thirty minutes of animated conversation with some terrific people.  On top of that, they paid for our first round before they moved on to their next stop and came by for hugs to thank us for the conversation.  Wow, some people are just so nice.  So raise your glasses everyone to Carol and Ernie and all the kind people out in the world like them.  Perfect strangers can become perfect friends.