Saturday, January 31, 2009

Facing Facebook

I know I've mentioned Facebook recently. It's been a blast connecting with old dear friends from my past. I've so enjoyed catching up with the girls and been amazed at how much we have in common. One, except for the fact she married and had kids - something I forgot to do - has led a shockingly parallel life to my own. But then, I always had great girlfriends.

No, it's the boys that have fascinated me. First of all there were so few who were truly kind in high school. It's been such a trip catching up on where life has taken us all.

There's Tommy, he of of the mesmerizing blue eyes and dimples bigger than the Grand Canyon. I've known him since we were seven. Tommy had such a quiet intelligence. He wasn't the smartest boy in class. No we had Matt, Andrew and Stephen who always rubbed their smarts in our faces. Tommy's brain power was simply cool and all of us were aware of it; never questioned it.

In tenth grade it was put to the test. We were in chemistry with the greasy haired teacher who had dandruff the size of snowflakes whose name I forget but whose catch phrase is forever burned into my brain, "It's not that I don't trust you. It's just that I don't."

Mr. Greasy Hair had filled his chalkboard with chemical equations for an upcoming semester test. He told us to start writing. We did - except for Tommy. Tommy had a photographic memory; he never took notes. He didn't need notes on paper. He simply "saw" them when he needed them. He quietly tried to explain this to Mr. Greasy Hair. It turned into a shouting match and Tommy was sent down to see the principal.

Within minutes, the principal was in our room, reading the black board with great care. He stepped outside and grabbed Tommy sending him back to his chair. As he left, he said to the teacher, "Mr. [Tommy] does NOT ever need to take notes."

Tommy was an angry young man who would just as soon flatten some punk rather than take any guff. But, when our HI-Y youth group would visit our Bridge School for mentally challenged kids every month, Tommy had such a gentle way with those kids. It's that Tommy I see when I imagine him with his own kids.

And then there's Bill. Another boy with magical eyes, Bill was the class clown. He was a year older and I only met him in Jr. High. One day, when I was in tenth grade, Bill was wandering the halls at recess with every book he had. He had no locker...or his locker mate had kicked him out. As I opened my locker, he took over the top shelf and demanded my locker combination.

As I had a secret crush on him, I gave them up without a fuss.

Bill always made me laugh. He, too, was a smart boy - I recently learned his i.q. is off the charts. But my favorite memory is of him always being the first to arrive at high school. He would get there early to make us park on our old unmarked lot in a more interesting fashion. I always obliged.

Whether Bill ever knew of my crush is questionable... probably so. I'm pretty transparent. While he never indulged me, he was always sweet; never rude like so many boys I knew in high school.

I can still hear his laughter and can imagine his home today with all his kids must be filled to the brim with it.

The other boy I've enjoyed catching up with is the young man I secretly named "The Best Boyfriend In The World!" From junior high through college, whatever little twit I befriended would always show up with her boyfriend, Scott. I didn't even realize that Scott and I were in the same university until some girl (can't remember her name) started chatting about her new boyfriend. "Scott this and Scott that and surly you must know him - he's from McComb." That Scott?? Yep, him again.

I rode on the back of his motorcycle with my friend / his girlfriend between us in Junior High. In high school, he started dating one of my church friends and I always hoped they would end up together...but she too was not the one for him. None of his girlfriends ever deserved him in my book.

But it was because of her I got to know him really well. He was truly the best boyfriend in the world. Once, she and I were in her front yard choreographing her flag corps routine with all her private school girls. Scott showed up with sno cones for all of us and then left us to our work.

He frequently would take would take his girlfriend's friends out on their dates, often with his friend Carey in tow. One such date, he and Carey decided us three girls really needed to know how to drive a stick shift. He took us out to old airport road....nice and straight with zero traffic.

His girlfriend and our other chum each took a turn in the front seat of his VW Rabbit. Each of the girls learned pretty fast. And then it was my turn. Of the three of us, I was the only one that had access to a stick mother's car. So I really did need to know how to drive one.

Scott patiently showed me all the gears only every time I shifted into second, it died. That is, when it didn't die on take off. We lurched and jumped and bucked down that old road, gears grinding for close to an hour. When I finally made it into second, Carey and the girls in the backseat stood up and gave me a standing ovation! I got so excited, I never made it to third.

It's a wonder the Rabbit lived.

If Scott is half as patient with his kids when they learn to drive, they'll be just fine. And yes, he did finally find a good girl for him. They've been married over twenty years.

It's terrific reading about their careers and career changes into more suitable professions. It's great to hear what they still dream of doing. Looking at their photos of them as men with wives and children and jobs, I don't see the men. No, I still see the boys with quick smiles and funny jokes and dancing eyes and dimples for days. I see the boys that filled me with wonder and made it OK to dream.

OMG!!!!! If I still see them as the boys they were in high school, does that mean they don't see me as the woman who went to Hollywood and made movies and worked on huge ad campaigns and owns her own business???

Do they still see me as that quirky, pimple faced, freckled red head with hair going in 87 directions who always wore hand-me-downs from her grown up sister because her mom would never buy her the "cool" jeans and covered up her vast insecurity with cockiness????? Do they???

Oh God, tell me there's a CANCEL MEMBERSHIP button somewhere!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Is for...

If you are looking for my One World One Heart post, it's here and my other blog OWOH contest is here.

I got this challenge from Alison. The challenge is to list ten of your favorite things that begin with a certain letter that is assigned you by the blogger. I was assigned the letter A.

Oh boy, here goes:

1) America - Land that I love. With all our problems, it is still a beautiful and amazing place to live. Not a week goes by that I don't think about my dumb luck at being born here.

2) Art / Artist - I have a deep appreciation for all creative endeavors: The vision, the planning the execution. All are fascinating.

3) Azul - Spanish for Blue. I only lived in Argentina for four months and spoke three words of Spanish before that. But there are still certain words that make more sense to my brain in Spanish. This is one of them...not just any blue. It's that really brilliant sky blue when there are no clouds and smog.

4) Aglio y Olio - Spanish for garlic and oil and my favorite pasta topping. Another Spanish phrase forever burned into my brain, this one from a young waiter named Aldo (Another "A" - the best waiter in the world!) at a restaurant named Broccolinos. I would go in on a cold and winter night, too exhausted to have one more conversation. Aldo would just bring me a plate of my favorite pasta. I would leave so happy, I could almost cry.

5) Argentina - While I'm stuck on Spanish, let's add in the only other country I've lived in for any significant length of time. I was lucky enough to see quite a bit of it... Breathtaking rivers, pristine beaches, rustic cowboy country, mountain deserts that reminded me of California, quaint wine country and the most amazing waterfall: Iguazu. Alas, I'm still hoping to get back and see Tierra del Fuego and those penguins!

6) Acorns - I'm often dumbstruck that huge trees can grow out of something as plain and simple as an acorn! When I'm out walking and find particularly interesting ones, I sometimes put them in my pockets. My mom still gets a kick out of this habit!

7) Aunt - Ahh... the next best thing to mom. I had two aunts on either side of my family that adored me. My mother's sister-in-law (Ann - another A!) would make me my favorite childhood meal every time I flew into Baton Rouge: Homemade biscuits and tomato gravy. When she died, I told her son that I wanted to "inherit" her biscuit recipe. But, she never wrote it down!

My father's only sister was, in many ways, my emotional mother. She's the one I would run to when I needed to talk. She never interfered, judged or criticized; she never tried to fix my problem. She listened, she hugged, she laughed, she cried and sometimes, if asked, would give advice. I've written about Sister / Sissy here before and how I know she visited me after her death. Just the other day, I was thinking about how miraculous that was...that she loved me enough to linger a little longer here.

7) Animals - I do love all animals, but I have a very weak spot for dogs.

8) Abnormal - I love this word - maybe because I've always thought of myself as abnormal. But the other reason is, I can't hear it without hearing that line in Young Frankenstein.... Abby Normal.

"Which brain did you take?"

"Abby's brain."

"Abby WHO?"

"Abby Normal."

It just makes me smile.

9) Apologize - I can't say I like it but I always do it, so I must like it! Even when I do nothing to apologize for! And I've been doing that since I could talk! Annoying! I do think a thoughtful apology can go a long way in mending relationships.

10) Ambrosia - Who doesn't love ambrosia???

And, since I cheated a little with Spanish words... I'll add a bit more:

11) Ahhhh - The sound I make when I finally call it a night and curl up on the sofa with Mabel Lou.

12) Advertising - I made a lot of money making commercials and I'm one of the weirdos who tape the big football game to see the commercials! I adore cleverly crafted 30 second films.

On the other hand, how about a few "A" things I hate:

1) Advertising - I LOVE my dvr so I can fast forward through most of those dreadful commercials.

2) Accounting - I HATE this part of running a business.

3) Abdomen - I dislike this part of my body the most. If I could cut it off, I wouldn't miss it!

4) Aches - the worst part of getting old.

5) Addictions - Even though I've had family members deal with these, I still don't get it.

6) Adolescence - Wouldn't do it again if you paid me.

7) Adolescent boys - I despised the times my Godsons went through the "I'm right and you're old and stupid" phase. So glad both are older now!

8) Ants - If you live in California, no matter how clean or dirty your kitchen, you will get ants! They make my flesh crawl!

9) Apathy - How uninteresting is that??? Care about something, dammit! It makes you passionate!

10) A$$holes - Self explanatory


Well Inspired One, did I do a good job???

One World, One Heart

{Edited 1:296 pm PST: Don't forget! There are two here and one on the bead blog!}


I am participating in the One World, One Heart giveaway on BOTH my blogs. First, about One World, One Heart, created by artist Lisa Swifka

The common denominator in blogging is that we all have stories to tell...We can be inspired or inspire others by finding a blog and taking the time to read/see someones story. Often times a spark happens....this palpable spark of recognition through kindred understanding and shared passions in life. It is in those times when we take a moment to comment and comment again.......when those comments are reciprocated a discovery is made that we share commonolaties which connect us sight unseen. Sometimes we may live on separate continents or at either end of the same country or even discover you hail from the same general area. By paying attention, by connecting with others, we are creating a circle of amazing individuals who can literally enhance our lives and we can enhance theirs.

In the first 2 years of hosting OWOH I came away with an amazing sense of how genuinely good people are and how open their hearts are. I've read blogs where since they participated as a fairly new blogger made connections that swaps began, shared stories and so on built to a genuine friendship. That makes my heart sing as that is precisely the goal here.

The giveaway portion is like hosting an open if we were all living in this gigantic neighborhood where once a year we visit homes to meet, reacquaint and get to know one another. At each home there are samplings of goodies that you have a chance to take home like a door prize. You leave your name and at some point each home choses a winner or winners......and now you not only have met a new "neighbor" and you've seen where they have something that someone lovingly chose to give..... AND visa versa.

What you'll win: One of my lampworked off mandrel hearts (photo of both sides of the bead below) AND a slider chain in your choice of silver or gold tone (available in 18 and 24 inch lengths)

This heart reflects my recent obsession with pink and chocolate and is one of my favorites. All my beads are kiln annealed for strength and durability.

To win: Simply leave a comment. If you are not a blogger, please leave an email so that I may get in touch with you if you win. Drawing Feb 12.
And... in the spirit of One World, One Heart, I have a a give away on my other blog too! You may enter both contests!

And don't forget to check out the One World, One Heart blog for lists of over 600 participating blogs! You may find a new blogger to connect with!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thrift Store Find

My hiking buddy called needing an outing today. She, like me and so many others, is a little down over the lack of work situation.

We had lunch one of the three sit - down restaurants in town and headed to our local thrift store, Sun Thrift. We each budgeted $10 for the outing and each stayed on budget. She found a cool garden decorating book and several book shelf organizers. I got a man's fleece shirt (1.99!), a cool soap dish that will "go" with my bead display items (1.49), a shot glass for an ongoing glass stringer organizing project (.49), 2 ramekins perfect for olive oil and herbs - my favorite appetizer (1.49 each).

But the thing I got a huge kick out of was a book (which I didn't buy) . I've always loved old books, especially the ones with notes written in them. I think they are a glimpse into someone else's inner thoughts.

Years ago, before Burbank became the trendy hangout it is now, there was an used cookbook store on the main drag. I adored that store and taught myself how to cook with books from there. I belonged to a cooking group then and planned many of our gatherings with finds from that store.

But my favorite cookbook, River Road Recipes, was my best find there. It was one I had failed to buy when I was living in the south and in the late eighties, I had a hard time finding one out here. Until I saw it in the used cookbook shop. The best part of this find, the reason I treasure that copy so, is the handwriting in the margin.

Whoever cooked from and loved this book before me has my exact taste in food. Her notes make every dish perfect! They are often simple pieces of advice: "double the recipe, add more garlic, needs 1t. more pepper." I feel like this woman made me a better cook and I adore every bit of advice added to an already favorite book.

Which brings me back to my book find today. It was one of those little photo books with sweet sayings inside. I picked it up because it had a sad little girl with an even sadder looking dog on the cover. The caption beside it in the book was, "If a mistake was made, neither one of us did it."

What caught my eye was a photo of a little boy in school, sobbing his heart out. The saying was something to the tune of "Mommy will make it better." But the handwriting at the bottom got my attention: "Honey, do you remember your first day at Franklin St. School? It looked a lot like this!"

Inside the back cover was a very loving note to "Larry." It was clear the note was from his mother and that she loved her son very much. I flipped to the front, looking for a date. I was thinking this heirloom must have been given away in mistake or that maybe the son had died after treasuring this book for years.

In the front, I found out that it was given to Larry in honor of his name day. For those of you Americans who don't have scads of European friends, Name Days a celebrated far more often and with more importance than one's birthday. This fact is one of the few things that drives me insane about my BFF. Every birthday party my godson has had, I threw it. She just doesn't see the importance of having one! I can understand...everyone knows your name. They look at the calendar and know it's your day. Over there, only close friends and family would mention your birthday.

And sure enough there was a date to commemorate Larry's name day: 4/20/08.

Glad he was sentimental enough to keep that gift from his mother for such a long time!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bittids - Inauguration Related

It certainly has been an exciting day for our country and, it would seem, the world at large. We have so many hopes for this president and I do pray for better days for all of us.

No Prayer for Me
Speaking of praying, I was quite upset at the choice of Rick Warren to say the invocation and was rather shocked to see yet another controversial minister associated with Barack Obama. For those of you that don't follow California politics, Rick Warren was one of the minsters behind Prop 8, making it illegal for gays to marry. Another minister that espouses hate and bigotry... I'm think the administration needs a "Minister Choosing Committee" for all public functions.

I turned the t.v. off and had the BFF phone when Warren was done.

How Do They Move that Fast?
I have been obsessed in recent weeks with how someone moves and starts such a huge demanding job. Moving is one of the most stressful things I've ever done and it took me a year to unpack after moving here! Not only that... there's the whole issue of what to take and what to leave behind.

When you know you are only going to live in a place for as little as four years, you probably leave quite a few things behind. But most presidents seem to get in for a second term. Eight years... that's almost a decade. I would want every creature comfort or hobby item or book I own with me.

Luckily, Good Morning America ran a video over the weekend about how the White House staff moves one president in and one out. It was fascinating, especially considering they do it in five hours!!!! Almost 100 people move the Bush family out, repaint and then completely unpack the Obamas! They even put favorite stuffed animals out for the girls, a favorite book on the nightstand of the president... they have extensive notes about how the Obamas live and like their belongings. And I'm still amazed that all this gets done in five hours!

How Will He Sleep?
I can never get to sleep my first night in a strange place. I know many others suffer from this although I don't know if President Obama does. But, think about it. There are performers that cannot "come down" after being in front of an audience. Obama spoke before millions... add in the t.v. audience and the number shoots way higher. He was in a parade. He even worked a bit. He and his family moved today after moving twice in the past month. And tomorrow, he starts one of the hardest jobs in the world at a most difficult period. How the hell is that man going to sleep at all???

Change Indeed???
Right after the Inaugural Address, I got three orders. I haven't had three orders on one day in months! And they were decent... not the petty five dollars here and ten there that have been trickling in! This is my best financial day in months!

Excited, I called the BFF. They got orders today too. And, she's always checking the dollar to the Euro because her mom lives part of the year in Hungary. She reports the dollar is much stronger!
Now, that's some good change!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Polly Holly Molly

I've been having fun catching up with old classmates on Facebook (Janet, this is YOUR fault!). It's nice to see that we've all grown up...and that I'm not the only one who has grown...out.

While chatting with an old chum named Polly, I remembered a fateful church bus trip to the ice skating rink in Baton Rouge, an hour and a half from our home in McComb, MS. We were probably 13 or so. That was the first part of the problem.

I happened to share a seat with Polly and a girl named Molly sat behind us. As our caretakers always did, they wrote all of our names down in order we were sitting so that roll would have read, "Polly, Holly, Molly." That was the second part of the problem.

As 13 year old girls are apt to be moody and temperamental, I was on the outs with my group that night (which is why I was probably sitting between Polly and Molly). My inner circle of friends weren't speaking to me. I was always a bit of a loner anyway and wasn't going to let it bother me. When we got to Baton Rouge and paid our way into the ice rink, I made my way to a pay phone and called my second cousin, Tara, who lived near the rink. Her dad dropped her off and we had a brilliant time - the third part of the problem.

I was so busy having a great time with Tara, I failed to notice the bus load of people I came with gathering up and leaving! I do remember suddenly looking around and saying to Tara, "I don't know anyone here but you!"

We went to the counter and found out the bus had left 30 minutes earlier. It didn't really phase me. I knew Tara's dad, my oldest cousin and one of my mom's favorite nephews would gladly take me home. We phoned him and made a plan.

Being the responsible and thoughtful man he was (Roland died when I was teenager), he left a very detailed message at the skating rink about who I was with, where I was sleeping and how I would be getting home. He took us to his mom's (my mother's sister) for a late supper. Tara made me a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich and it was so good. We called my mom and all of us had a great laugh.

Just as we were settling in for the night - it was well after 10 - the church called. They had finally figured out I was missing!

Back to the skating rink we went. The bus pulled up; I said goodnight to my cousins and got a lot of razzing from my fellow teens on that bus.

It turned out that, in the loud ruckus after skating, the chaperon was practically yelling the roll call. She said "POLLY?"

Polly shouted, "HERE!"


Polly said, "I SAID HERE!!"


They had moved on to a McDonald's and the group was a tad more sedate when they took roll call again.

From then on, I was never allowed to sit near Polly or Molly on the bus and the church had a rule: absolute silence on the bus during roll call!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

There Oughta Be a Law!

It should be illegal for my computer to restart itself of it's own volition. I lose unsaved docs and open web pages ALL THE TIME.


Are you listening MicroCrap???


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Wish Everyone Could...

...know what it feels like to curl up on a boulder near a babbling brook on a blazing hot Wednesday in January and lie there, arms and legs akimbo, soaking up the sunshine, watching your dog play at 10:30 in the morning.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Blowing on My Last Nerve

The wind has been relentless for two days straight. It normally lets up just before sundown, but not yesterday. I bundled up my head berka style to keep the wind out of my ears and added sunglasses to keep the sand out of my eyes before my hike. Of course, the Santa Ana's bring heat so the rest of my hiking outfit consisted of summer-weight pj pants and and a tank. Just as we arrived, we ran into our Rhodie pack. Hiking Buddy had on a similar outfit with bandannas for face protection along with huge Jackie O sunglasses so dark she could barely see out of them in the late afternoon light.

It was rough going and the dogs seemed a bit intimidated by the huge gusts. By the end of it, my lips were parched and I felt like I could sand wood with my palms.

Once sundown came, the wind intensified and made for a frightful night. I hardly slept and neither did Mabel. You could hear sand / pebbles / leaves hitting the window above the bed. And the back porch awning made horrible noises all night long.

I always find the Santa Ana's so unnerving. Carmon wrote once that her horses become frightened and head up the mountain in high wind because they are not certain if that predator they smell is miles away or a few feet from them. I sometimes feel the same way... confused but certain danger is imminent.

I feel crazy, off-balance, edgy and unsure. And after five days and one relentless night, I'm exhausted.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Scared Puppy; Confused Canine

Wind gusts reaching 70 mph this afternoon had me cowering in the house like a scared puppy. It was so violent, all kinds of stuff blew across the yard and patio. But when my back porch awning started vibrating in the wind, I got in bed and put my head under the covers.

I ended up sleeping the afternoon away making the most productive activities yoga and a hike. We're in for another day of it tomorrow.

Since I gave up having Mabel sleep in her own bed within a month of her arrival, she has naughty habit of "digging" my hands out from under the covers - usually at 2 a.m. - when she "needs" a pet. Even though I grouse a bit, once I'm awake, I'm AWAKE. So we have a good tussle and go back to sleep.

Imagine my surprise when I felt her paw my foot this morning around 3. I woke a little, thought I was dreaming and started drifting off again. And there it was again. I flexed my feet and she patted them again. I turned on the t.v. and stretched my hand toward her. I wish you could have seen how confused she was! She kept looking back and forth from my hand to my feet! Finally, she crawled up to the top of the bed for a pet...but I swear, she was embarrassed!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Note to Goliath: David Is Kickin' Butt and Taking Names

The news yesterday of Home Depot taking down their Home Depot Sunland Tujunga Website had us scratching our heads. They are still deep into their lawsuit, suing Los Angeles because our elected representatives uh... actually represented us in our battle against them placing a store in our sleepy little enclave. They were still battling having to do a full environmental report and failing to use the part of their address that points out their proximity to an elementary school on their paperwork.

But late last night, the local heroes that run our No 2 Home Depot campaign, got the word. Home Crapot is giving up. They had been scheduled to open a few years ago, mere months after leasing the property for forty years - the last large parcel of property in our town, trapped between three mountain ranges and a freeway. And, now they won't.

There were other reasons we didn't hang up the welcome sign for Home Crapot:
*The property is surrounded on three sides by residential homes.
*We have a Home Crapot, just six minutes away. And five more in connecting towns.
*We have several local Mom and Pop hardware stores as well as a Do It Center and OSH up the mountain.
*And the one that got so much ridicule: we don't have a place to buy socks and underwear since Kmart left. That requires a ten minute drive to Burbank or twenty to Glendale or Pasadena.

It's been a long, hard fight. We knew we were the little guy but we didn't care. We've written letters to every politician and committee. I personally even wrote to the shareholders of Home Depot, wondering how they sleep at night.

They have called us racist. They bussed in paid supporters... apparently unable to rally real ones.
They spent millions on lawyers, websites, advisers and orange t-shirts for those would be supporters.

We had bake sales and yard sales to raise money for our fight. And then we donated more. And in the end, the little guy won!

I am so proud of US, Sunland - Tujunga! I'm so grateful for our fearless leaders, Joe Barrett and Abby Diamond! Joe keeps our No 2 Home Depot updated so often that when you Google "Home Depot," WE come up! They have done a great job of getting the word out and rallying the troops. And the people of this tiny town have been awesome! There are some very passionate letter-writers around here!

But our work is not done. Now, we must attract a store - preferably one that sells socks and underwear - and make them realize S-T is a great place to do business.

All the "Davids" around these parts will be walking a little taller and prouder today!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Yes, I'm Aware I'm Quirky

I was discussing my "job gettin' outfit" with Kat today and was suddenly panicking over shoes. With my foot issues, there's only so many brands I can wear and about the only dress shoe I can stay in all day is made by Dansko.

They have online stores and their shoe beds are the same from shoe to shoe with only about three beds in their line, so I pretty much know how they fit and can make a decision without trying them on. But... I have an interview this Friday.

I find a pair I like and go to buy them with Kat on the phone. Just as I'm about to put the pair in my cart, I freak.

CH: Oh Crap! Why does this company have to name their shoes after women?

Kat: (Laughter...she already knows where this is going...)

CH: If I've had a bad experience with a woman with the same name... I can't buy the shoes!

Kat: OK, what's the name?

CH: Neve

Kat: We don't know anyone named Neve.

CH: Neve Campbell

Kat: Why is that name familiar?

CH: That god awful actress from "Party of Five."

Kat: But we don't know her... it's o.k. buy your shoes.

CH: But she squints when she says her lines.

Kat: And that affects your nice pair of shoes how?

CH: Oh, it will jinx my interview... I'll squint my way through it, I'm sure.

Kat: I love you're quirks but don't you think....

CH: NO! They will jinx me!

So, I'm digging through my closet in hopes of finding a dress shoe in time to hem my pants for my interview. Some days, it's hard being a quirky girl.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year; New Trails

This past year, with my business crumbling around me, I realized I had to seek a new path for my life.
An old bridge on my new favorite hiking trail.

And I know, at times, it's going to feel like I'm hanging off the edge of a cliff, staring into a deep ravine, with no clear cut trail.
Mabel & Twinkie nearly gave me a heart attack, hanging off the edge of the cliff!

Which is the time I will rely on those who love me to help make the tough decisions and guide me along...and maybe even share the trail for a while...
Girlfriends, on the trail.

I know some things will frighten me at first, but I will use my humor to relax me... ...Like this gigantic German Shepherd who, on second
glance wasn't as scary. She's wearing PINK and she
really looks like she was cross bred with a jackrabbit!

And, if the world feels like it's crashing down on me, a good long hike with my best girl will always put things back in perspective.
Mabel enjoying the stream.

And with a lot of ingenuity and a little luck, my life will seem peaceful again.
May we all find better trails in 2009!

Happy New Year!!!