Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Toby the Wonder Dog

Toby...has left this world to join Bill..he wandered off to pass on his own..and I feel such a loss that makes my heart ache and tears flow. I feel lost when I get up to go fill his bowl and brush him...the back patio/yard looks empty..with each neighbors dogs bark I listen to hear his..old and grumpy but there...and it is silent.

Toby became a member of our family in 1997..hand picked carefully from a large cardboard box placed carefully in front of Safeway in Burns, OR and being given away by 3 young boys...Really Mister you need a puppy..your kids would have so much fun. Please give a puppy a home...So while Bill sent me in for food, a bowl and a collar and leash..he carefully held and watched each pup...and the little boy pup who wanted to be held but still showed he was a brute..caught our hearts..and now he was a member of a family with its own 3 young boys..."Boys need a dog...our family needs a dog" Bill told me.."No convincing needed" I said

He would spend weekends fishing, hunting, climbing and running thru the woods. He loved to go shooting and rock hunting. One of the best thundereggs we found was dug up by Toby and proudly given to me as i told him Thank you...he was a "go" dog..

He loved us all so and guarded me with the love and trust Bill gave him to take care of me when I was home alone or sick and in bed...he never left my side..yet Bill was his true master and the one who made Toby bark with excitement and dance around until each night Bill would go out and talk to him and rub his head.

Toby spent many hours sitting with the boys listening to their joys and sorrows, being dressed in Nicks clothes, learning new tricks and occasionally he would wander to the grade school to wait by Cory's classroom door..he just wanted to be apart of whatever we were doing.

When Bill passed away we arrived home from the hospital to hear Toby crying the most heart wrenching noise..crying for his master who had left us..just as we were all crying tears of loss he was also feeling our pain. He adjusted to the move but missed his large yard, raccoon hunting and chasing apples the boys threw for him. Cory took Toby to college with him and we still took him camping and for walks...but we all felt so lost without Bill and adjusting was hard...Toby always greeted us with wagging tail and big grins even when he was getting to old to go for walks or jump up ad down..he was still with us..a part of our family..

I lost so much March 3rd, 2007 but I had by kids and Toby..regardless of what we lost or the changes we had to make I still had the "boys" and I felt I had such a large part of Bill in Toby..he protected us, let us know when something wasn't right and made me feel safe...

The last few months have been tough to see Toby lose more strength and his bark not as sharp as it once was...his muzzle becoming almost white and while brushing him he would sigh so deep I knew our time was ending...I just didn't realize the huge impact it would have on me..I kept telling him to hang on..Mom just didn't know if she had the strength to watch him go or carry him into the vet..I didn't want this day to ever come to be..but I didn't want him to suffer and so holding his now old and weary face as I brushed him I told him it was ok..I would be ok and I loved him dearly he was one of my "kids" and just to go peacefully..with all my love in his soul and heart...later that day he walked into the woods behind our house and found his was to Bill and to peace and rest...

but my soul and heart ache..the pain is great and I realized that this was the first pet in my adult life that had passed away and the first pet I had to console my children over for the loss they felt...Toby was almost 8 weeks shy of being 14 yrs old..he by far past the 10-12 yrs life expectancy but what I would give for 14 more years of Toby...Run lil black guy with 4 legs and a and love free...for now I hurt and cry but forever I will love you and be thankful for all you gave to us

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is December 24th.

Christmas in most homes begins on the evening of December 24th, where excited young children are encouraged to go to bed early so as not to miss out on gifts from Santa Claus.

Christmas Eve in the United States is a combination of a lot of traditions. Some families open presents Christmas Eve night, many go to church, or have different dinners, like ham, goose, etc.

Traditions in other parts of the world include;

The idea that animals have the power of speech at midnight on Christmas Eve. This superstition exists in various parts of Europe, and no one can hear the beasts talk with impunity.

There is also a French belief that on Christmas Eve, while the genealogy of Christ is being chanted at the Midnight Mass, hidden treasures are revealed.

In Russia all sorts of buried treasures are supposed to be revealed on the evenings between Christmas and the Epiphany, and on the eves of these festivals the heavens are opened, and the waters of springs and rivers turn into wine.

For our Christmas eve..I am working part of the day...first time in many many years..yet here I am...

But when I get home the ham will have been cooked and glazed (I put it in when I left and Nick is "tending" to it while I work) the danishes sit all pretty and colorful, fruit is ready and sliced and juice is chillin in the fridge..We do breakfast for our big meal and then have ham and goodies to "snack on" later..we watch movies, play video games..and often spend the day in jammies..relaxing and enjoying peaceful and serene..

And always Christmas Eve renews my soul and calms my reminds me of all that is good and all that is right..the reason I have a strong faith and believe that baby borne to Mary and Joseph will be a great leader and will hear my cries and pleads and smile at my joy and laughter..he holds my hand and renews my day with a sunrines...He is good...

Peace and Blessings to All...


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday 2010

Somehow this year just slipped by...2010 was a blur and a year of changes..Nick was the last to graduate from high school and began college in September 2010. Cory came home in June to spend the month with us and we celebrated Nicks graduation, Nick turning 18 and Cory turning 21 with family and friends at a great celebration. Then we went to the coast for a wonderful week with my Mom to relax and spend time laughing and playing. Cory then flew back to Taiwan and went back to teaching a new class of kindergarten kiddos..He loves teaching and I am sure he is very patient and funny!
Nick began at Southwestern Community College in the Fire Science/EMT Program! He was accepted with a small group of kids and moved into his own aprtment with his best friend Keaton. They have been learning all about cooking, cleaning ...OH and learning how to use the washer/dryer at the laundromat (I wish I would have been a bug on the wall for that!)

finished out wrestling with a severe injury of a torn back muscle and lower joint was so tough to watch him continue in a sport that he already took chances at. There were meets I was buried in Jana's coat or holding on to another mom pleading he not get hurt..he had a winning and amazing season and was ranked in the top 7 for his weight class for the State of Oregon, until the end of January..then we took the new outlook of finishing what you start and supporting your team..He finished 6th for NWOC District and was so dissapointed..but he will heal and he will walk, run, play and snowboard...I am OK with that ending :o)

I went to VEGAS in Spetember for 6 days and nights and was amazed at the lights, the sights and the shows! We went to Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera and The Blue Man Group, went to the M&M Store, The Rainforest Cafe and so many other sights including a beautiful dinner in the Eifel Tower. What made it special was that I went with my best friend from high school and my kids godmom Becky! We had found each other on Facebook in July and it was like we had never lost age technology is amazing! I also had my 25th Class reunion and saw so many wonderful people and remember how special friends are even over time!

It was a rough year for our family and friends though and to them we wish the best of peace and love with lots of memories of laughter...Sabrina I know Alfie will forever be apart of your heart and life..Sam, Brad and Maddie we thank you for allowing us to love and laugh with Colton and know we think of you daily and love you guys to pieces...Becky I loved your Dad and I know your heart breaks without him with you but he is there {{Bobbie}} and my precious Andi..I donot know my precious girl if you will ever know how deep your Aunt loves heart is so broken for you but I know you are surrounded by love and support...

Sometimes I dont understand the reason but try to realize there is a bigger plan and we as humans are powerless in so many ways...but the strength I do have is my love and caring for my family and friends. Never take for granted those relationships.. as many of us have felt and witnessed there is no guarantee of every day is a to cherish, love, share and make take the time to make the call, write the letter, or drive to visit, see or spend time with those in your life...I can give testimony on this importance...I do not believe there is ever enough love or time...So my word for 2011 is CHERISH

I cherish you all and cherish my time I have and will spend with my family and friends...let the little things go and remember the bigger picture..

Happy Happy Holidays..I cherish YOU


Monday, November 29, 2010

The Non Turkey Day

We made it thru Thanksgiving...we had the first one at home..just Nick and I and Rachelle stopped over. We made all the family favorites and Nick made his dad pineapple/brown sugar glazed ham..I had a huge feeling that Bill watched over as his kiddo glazed the ham every 20 min..carefully covering it and watching over as it was so delish..he made his Dad proud..but I realized after Nick had gone to bed and the dishwasher was humming..we made it..I made was a reflection of so many shared Turkey Days..minus the Turkey as we really didnt like insert HAM!And I am ok..we are ok..minus a huge part of our lives but we are making it...slowly

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bigfoot Moods

Bigfoot Moods: "Enter The Bigfoot Moods Sweepstakes for your chance to win a Bigfoot the Monster toy."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cherish Friends

The other day one of my classmates and Facebook peeps posted about cherishing friends..and I thought about Saturday night and how I was so happy to see so many faces laughing and talking..sharing old times and new adventures..I came home and with in 2 days had more friends to chat with that hadn't been to the reunion..both very special friends I shared a lot of High School time with..and I started remembering..and smiled

Last night while driving and talking with Nick he began to share memories and thoughts on his buddy Colton, who just passed away. I felt a deep sorrow for him as this was a friend he shared so much with and they were so much alike..colorful, funny, adventurous, took life as a dare, great with the girls :o), and so many people love and respect them..they were so much alike. Colton was like his little brother, friend and apart of him. Colton used to tell me "I am him and He is me" referring to how they both were passionate about wrestling, being dedicated and striving to win..they understood the pain of loss, the glory of winning and the dedication to be the best they could in all they do. They had a bond more than friends but like brothers..Nick looked at Colton as Nicks big brother had looked at Nick. Colton one weekend was very ill with the flu, yet went to a wrestling tournament...Nick had a serious back injury and could not wrestle (this was a tourn. that Nick reined as Champion at) Colton said to Nick "I am winning this for you"..and continued to wresle all day for Nick even though he had the flu..they had a bond and spent the day curled up on bleachers in between the matches, Nick encouraging and coaching Colton while Colton laid next to Nick...sick and injured but still there together with their team.

A bond I could reflect to friends I had in high school..the giddiness of reconnecting and catching Cherishing Friends ^5

Sunday, July 25, 2010

High School 25th Reunion

25 years...WOW
I had my 25th class reunion..I was so glad to be part of the 3 man planning crew and so glad to see all of the faces I hadn't seen for so many years. It was great to see the kids running and playing..many of them the same age we were in elemenary school..It was great to see the classmates I had gone thru 12 years of school with and all of the classmates I graduated with...a 30 year is definately planned to then a bunch of us will be grandparents...YIKES!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Friday...

I found myself dancing in the car on my drive into work..and smiling..feeling alive...without it being scary..without thinking I HATE FRIDAYS..but feeling

I am still dragging with this cold/bug and coughing has made for sore ribs!

It truley is one day at a time...step by step....

It is Friday and I am ok :o)

Monday, April 5, 2010

A plate of Fresh Veggies

Ordinarily I would have taken a picture...but imagine the colors of carrots, snow peas and broccoli...bright and bold and so delish! That was lunch..along with a Boca burger (I heart them!) I have very little appetite but felt I need to feed the body to fight the why not be healthy and yummy! I am determined to walk at least 30 min tonight..just to feel energy and not just wish for it..this cold is really hanging on and I am getting FRUSTRATED!

Easter consisted of Chinese Food, a stop at the pharmacy for more Nyquil and back to bed! Nick was a trooper and was so understanding and decided no chocolate bunny needed..he would make brownies! So he did!

I just am so ready to feel better so I can get on with working out and feeling the "spring" back in my step..not the stuffy nose and froggy voice!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter what??? ohh Bunny and Eggs

Somehow as the years have past I no longer can remember where the plastic bright colored eggs are or if I have any spare easter grass..and where oh where are those ginormous easter baskets that once made the kiddos eyes HUGE with delight with the thought that the Easter Bunny would magically fill them with sweets and chocolates along with a game, toy, book or other treasures...

Now with the last one 17 almost 18 he askes.."Can we go to the mall and just get something cool? I really dont like chocolate bunnies but a Cinnabon Roll would be delish!"
Hmm so long gone are the days of dye stained hands and funky looking deviled eggs from the hence dyed eggs that were discovered in the morning during the egg hunt and turned into yummy appetizers of deviled eggs!
Easter dinner that used to seat 12 or more family members will now be a few close friends with teens huddled around the tv watching a movie while we chat.
No early morning wake ups... no hiding eggs in the pouring rain and freezing kids hurrying inside to check their eggs and devour the goodies...Ahhh the Easter Bunny has found a new home...but (whispering) I never liked to dye eggs or gut a pumpkin :o)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Tastes and Adventures

Ok after years of shuddering at even the thought of Sushi...I ventured out to try it this past summer..and ate and ate and ate sushi! Ohhh dear I love sushi! We tried 5-6 places around town and found so many different types!

Again a new adventure..a new flavor...a new wasnt so scary..but delish!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


There is only one way to describe how I felt when I woke up today..bobblehead! My head felt 5xs as big as my body..I hate colds..ughhhh

I again went into work late after a Theraflu treatment a few extra hours of ZZZZZ and a hot shower...I still feel like a bobblehead but more awake!

I was reading my favorite foodie blog and realized..I havent menu planned in sooo long...wait 3 years at least. Life seemed to stop 3 years ago...

So I picked up my pen and paper and began mapping out my shopping list and 10 days of more thing started again..just different as it is meals for 2 or 3...but another step!

Yea Spring!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hmmm insightful people surround me!

"A change..I can sense a change about you..opening the door...stepping into the sunlight...You go girl...step out.."

Thanks Chelle

"It is good to see you smile..really smile.."

My Boss

"You are ready...Go slow...I love you"

I love you too Mom

You will be are strong and a what you are meant to


Thank you Stephanie..thanks for showing us all beauty

So with some of the strongest support I have and some of the most wonderful people I know..I have am ready


I have a sore throat...I woke up feeling like a Mac truck had hit me..low grade fever, sore throat and pounding headache...but alas I drug myself out of bed at 7 am...I HAD to get the roast in before collapsing back into my blankets

Drank some water..took Tylenol
Made Theraflu in a mug
peeled potatoes
started the CrockPot (that my son lovingly bought with his own money for me at Christmas!)
Put the roast in..added carrots and sliced potatoes
Spices ands garlic
Add a little broth...

Oh and take the above pictured pup out to potty, fed and watered..

Back to bed..
call boss..reminded of teleconference at the office at 1..will I make it in??


Up at 10:30am..better..not great..showered..more the office

Did anyone get the license plate of that truck that hit me?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sight..with no eyes

I am watching Extreme a 19 yr old with so much insight. Yet this is something I try to teach my kids on a daily basis...The boy said..I am blind with no eyes yet see better than most. I do not judge on color, looks or the outside like most sighted people. I see the inside which is who the person really is..

This year on Nicks wrestling team there were a few kids with physical and mental disabilities..he was always supportive and yet as protetive as he was of the kids he also treated them as any other wrestler.. I always said..walk in their them for a day..

Ok this show can really get me thinking!

Off to workout...besides cleaning the kitchen!

This is inspiration..this is courage...this is my support in looking deep inside finding the real you and what is truly important and good..what you have to offer and to give to others and what family and true courage is....Steph has been thru so much and is still one of the most beautiful people I know. Her pain, her strength and her undying love for her family is amazing. I feel blessed beyond words

Last night we had group dinner at my house..single parents and all the kids sharing whatever is in the fridge! A great group of neighbors and always interesting conversation! John and Chelle both said.."when you are ready to date you will have them lined up around the block" (HA thinking a few more months at the gym..maybe.) The ideal that what is inside a person is so powerful..intelligence, emotion, mental strength and well-being and spirituality can make a person remind me of so many day at a time...John says.."I could talk to you for listen, truly listen and have had what so many of us look for." That what friends are for I said in response!

I miss Bill dearly but he taught me so much and gave to me in so many ways. I am strong & I have been loved with all of his heart and soul. I know what I want I know I am a good person and friend, I dont dwell on what could be but instead what will be and how to get there, I know I am a fantastic Mom and work hard to always let my kids know their importance in my life and remind them to be true to themselves and love who they are.

When talking last night they said.."But you know that absolute love, the true heart and soul and being in love with your best friend"....I do and it truly was a gift. I know what a healthy relationship is and how to have one. I have strong morals and values and a deep spiritual strength. God is good and has gotten me thru so much... I do not preach my beliefs rather I live them, I do not force them on others but hope to be a support and mentor. We all have "issues" and "baggage" as Chelle stated.. I like to look at it as having a past and life experiences. You grow when you learn from them and do not re-do the mistakes but rather change for the better so not to repeat.

So now on to the gym tonight and to finish my cottage cheese and broccoli!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Being adorable..with brains!!

Last night we went out dancing..I dont drink but I love to dance! Being with my friends in a small salon dancing and knowing 1/2 the people that walk in the door is fun, no drinks needed except for ice water with a straw.. please!
SO we danced and danced..3 hours worth! (legs are feeling it today with topping it off with a 2 mile walk before dancing and then a workout on Sunday!)
This weekend one of our friends brought along a buddy (male) and he was amazed at how short I am and how amazing I was! LOL not sure how to take that but he was a nice guy, he was there to meet people and boy did he LOL. The comment.."Your eyes smile and you love to laugh"..made me feel alive..just to be able to show signs that I feel alive...
I struggle with the physical apperance of losing weight and not feeling thin..but that is all in time..and it is all a physical exsistence..because what doesnt change is I love to smile, laugh, be with friends, dance, wear cute clothes, get a pedicure and feel the last comment was "freakin cute"!
I have brains, strong common sense, intelligence, passion and secure in who I am and what I have accomplished...and am continuing to accomplish...I dont need fixing...I need to live and enjoy life..thru the highs and lows..

Friday, March 26, 2010

Me...still me

Somedays I feel do I reconnect, how do I laugh and smile when so much has changed, how do I find me again....because I feel "me" is lost in so many of the changes and the re-defining of my life. I am still me in that I love my friends, my family and my children. I love to spend time with people, watch tv curled up on the couch, take the dogs for walks, watch my kids play sports, sew and quilt, cook and venture out and find the new and undiscovered...sometimes it is hard to do those things alone.
Not that I need someone to complete me or to be with me but there is something to be said about companionship and someone to talk and share with...actually alot to be said!

But for now I am working on me...the workout room, taking those walks and counting those points...finding me after 3 years of chocolate comfort (ok not that bad!) and finding soliace in food and my couch...because actually that wasn't me...but it helped me keep moving just not forward...

So "forward" is the 2010 keyword...keep moving forward but never leaving behind anything...just learning its place in the "forward"

Thursday, March 25, 2010


For the past 11 years I have drove the same way...everyday..twice a day to work and home..home has changed, life has has remained the same. SO the drive thru the backroads and farm country has been peaceful, the same and unchanged ...comforting.

Starting last week they starting tearing the road up to bring in new water lines...panic set in..I dont want to drive a different ways...I wanted to yell..I HAVE HAD ENOUGH CHANGES..THIS IS MY ROAD...MY WAY...oh please let me thru...please dont make me drive a different way.

Alas this morning...Road is Closed No thru Traffic

I called my boss...I don't want to drive the detour...I want to go home (tears streaming down my face and hands shaking) Please can I work from home for the next 15 not make me drive a different route...He said..Steph get out your Thomas Guide..It is ok..we will get you thru this and you can make this slowly while remembering to breathe and listening to directions, I drove into the office.

I survived, saw new scenery, discovered new roads but the most important...I made it..I made the change...I still will drive from home to work and back ..I am still ok and it really wasn't as scary as I feared. Anxiety calmed, day started and I am ok...I really am Ok..a bit shaken and frazzled..but I am ok

I can do this..I will be ok...breathe & listen...keep walking...I will be ok

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Comic Strip

And then there was this comic strip today...

One says...Val I am guessing you cant commit to Phil because you lost Tom..but Honey.. Tom Died years ago

Val says- I know that... I remember EXACTLY when he died

The other says - It is time to forget when he died and remember when he LIVED..and move on...

I cried and cried this morning...then cut it out and have read it so many times...Somedays it is hard to remember the living we have shared over the sorrow I have felt