• Random and Odd

    ONE MONTH!

    Today marks the one month until I am in Ireland countdown!
    In my memories the other day I found the photo from when we decided to travel to Northern Ireland. We began this journey a year ago.
    Ma came into my office yesterday and we were just buzzing with excitement that in a blink of an eye we will be getting on that plane. Ma has never travelled abroad and the giddiness and joy when she got her passport was something I will never forget. For two weeks I get to experience a place I have already been, but now that I know the history…it will be with new eyes and I will be able to pay my respects. My request for this trip was two days in The Burren and Mick made sure I got that. I love county Claire and when I get my ancestry done, I am guessing that is where we came from. It just feels like home. With Ma I will get to see things I haven’t got to see yet. AMOR FATI!

    I started a wall on Pintrest for the Ireland 2019 that I have been working on by days and places. It’s coming along slowly because I know jack shit about Northern Ireland. The last trip I was co-pilot and I learned all the freeways and major highways. This trip I get to sit in the back with Ma and just write, take photos and space out on the view. It’s been making getting all the stuff together a little slow. I better hurry up…i only have THIRTY DAYS LEFT!

  • Random and Odd

    #coloradowomensretreat

    On our way to Denver yesterday I was struck by a comment made when I expressed an upcoming flying anxiety.
    “The obstacle is the way…” and he smiled and gave a chuckle as he led me through a breathing exercise.

    When I got to the airport, my anxiety had lessened and I knew my strength was now centered. I walked through the book store as I waited for my plane and I found shoved on the bottom shelf a book with the same title of the comment that was made. Flipping through the book, I decided it was probably one I was going to have to read.
    I picked up a note pad as well because whenever I am reading something that I know I am going to learn something from, I write notes down like a mad woman.

    The flight was only two hours, but in those two hours I filled up a notebook of quotes and things I need to set my intentions to when I start meditation in the morning.
    I’m at a jumping off point and I know that at these places in life is where I gain the most strength and knowledge.

    Rejoicing in the obstacles for I am given the gift of learning something new and it teaching me something very important I will get to use later in my life.

    Life…it’s pretty fucking good!

  • Random and Odd

    Ready to Fly!

    Fifty Eight days from now I will be boarding a plane to go to Ireland for the second time.
    Everything I need is ready to go. This time around I know what to pack and what to leave at home. This time around I know what can go and what can stay at home.
    My last trip I packed way too much. This time I know that in Ireland you don’t need half the clothes you pack, just pack clothes you can layer.
    My co-traveler packed all he needed in his backpack and I thought he was crazy, but come to find out he did just fine for 2 weeks. I bought a small on board suitcase and found a great backpack that will fit everything else for the long flight.  
    This trip is so different than the last trip.  This time we spend the majority of the time in Ulster.
    I had a million questions for Mick about what we should call things. Is it Derry or Londonderry? He said, “GOOD QUESTION! You call it DERRY!”  I had a feeling he would say that and the more research I did on Ulster, I am baffled by why the Home Rule wasn’t in their favor. I guess they probably ask the same thing about the US and the Civil War.  

    Things in my life are calm.  I really like calm. My anxiety has been almost non existent in the last few months. Home life is 100% and work life is 100%.   It’s been nice to spend time with my love and get into a really awesome place together.
    I’ve been having amazing conversations with my amazing friend, Liz.  I’m pretty sure there isn’t anything we haven’t touched on. From children to java coding and our solar system. It’s nice to have a detailed, intelligent conversation where you can laugh, learn and inspire each other.  It’s nice to talk and know the person is listening to understand and not to just respond. Positive talk.

    The weather has been nuts lately and Shea sends me daily photos on what lift she is on that day. I can’t express how much those mean to me.  The photos all look the same; snow, hills, snow covered trees and a ski lift. It’s the thought that she knows that I worry about her and she wants to share what she thinks is beautiful.  

    I can’t wait for winter to end and she can come home and we can hang out in the sun.

    Life. It’s good.

  • Random and Odd

    Much needed change.

    I’ve been wanting to completely change Random and Odd for years and I just wasn’t in the place to do it. This last week I had some time set aside to do just that, fix this damn page! I decided to do away mostly with the whole “Random and Odd” if you know me, you know that is the name of my page and if you don’t know who I am…why are you here again?

    15 years ago when I started Random and Odd it was for my mom and sister to keep up on what was going on. It worked well and then all the sudden I had different people coming here and it was quite the place to be back in early 2000. I’ve posted well over 2,000 posts with over 31k comments. That was during prime time. Now it’s very few people come and I am actually really happy about that because I was able to drop the adverts and write about what I want to write about. In order to revamp the site, I decided to lock up some old stuff and focus on the direction I want this website to go in. I want to make this more of a travel log of my adventures, my travels and my life. I’m focusing more on photography again and less cell phone captures. This upcoming trip to Ireland will be a good kick off.
    Now to get the mobile app to not be an asshole and I will be happy.
    I’ve closed comments because I am sick of spam comments. I’m tired of having to go through and manually delete 100 plus computer generated bullshit. If you want to talk, just text me or head on over to Instagram or Facebook!
    I’m FINALLY getting excited about writing again. Now to just pick something and go with it! :)

  • Random and Odd

    Rainy Mornings

    “It’s Only Wednesday.” -Me…every Wednesday.

    Laying in bed and looking out the slider to the backyard and watching the pool and hot tub fill with water and a small stream of rain water as it makes it’s way to the gutter and all I can think is— it’s BEAUTIFUL. It’s strange that when you are happy, truly happy you can find beauty in the mundane. I imagine our family in this very backyard this upcoming summer, swimming, watching movies and spending time with friends. The backyard has brought me happiness from the moment we found this place. I remember sitting on the back step one night looking over the blank backyard. Just a pool and hot tub was all of it. I thought, “I wonder what this will look like once we get everything settled.”
    Last summer I was floating in the pool, cleaning the tiles and I looked around and I thought, “This is what it looks like.”
    There was no place I would have rather have been at that moment.

    Yesterday I finally got the last bit of the itinerary of our Ulster trip in April.
    The last time I was in Ireland and we had 2 days in Dublin (one day to shake jet lag) and I was underwhelmed. It felt like I was walking around San Francisco. This trip lands on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday (Easter Rising) and I have planned my whole second day in Dublin traveling around to the key places that in 1916 were a part of that rising. I’m bummed that I had no idea how important Dublin is to Ireland the role that it played in their freedom my first trip.
    This trip I will be honoring that day and that beautiful city that once was in rubbles. I’m creating a map that highlights the key places and putting on my walking shoes. The last time I walked that city, I did 10 miles in one day and I didn’t even have a plan of where I was going. This might exceed that a bit. ;)


    Now it’s time to get ready to go into work. The amount of rain coming down, I better throw on a life vest!

  • Random and Odd

    Rainy Saturday

    Ended up January strong by finishing up my accounting reports so I don’t have to scramble at the end of the quarter to make sure I have everything. It’s my least favorite part of my job. It’s actually the second. The least favorite is telling customers their car needs a new engine.

    Friday nights are my favorite because Jon and I get to hang out and talk, but this Friday night he was tired and fell asleep. I got to watch more old shows on WW2 and zone out. My phone rang and it was my daughter, Shea. She is in Tahoe working at a ski resort and almost every day she sends me a picture of her “office”. She said, “Hi mom, just driving home from work and thought I would call and talk…” and we did for a solid hour. We talked about traveling, some of our favorite books, the places we both want to see, boys, silly stuff we use to do. Those calls and conversations are always positive, inspiring and very much cherished.
    We hung up the phone and as if they had had coordinated it, Alyx calls me. “Hi Mom!! Whatcha doing?? I’m driving home from work and I miss you and thought I would call!” I laughed and shared with her that I had just had the same conversation with Shea. We then talked for a half hour and I got off the phone feeling I couldn’t be any more filled up with gratitude and love.
    I love that my kids call me, send me photos and come over and hang out.
    Now it’s Saturday morning. Jon is in the kitchen singing George Michael’s Faith at full volume with Alexa while making me coffee. Things just don’t get better than spending time with people you love who are also happy and positive.
    It’s raining and very windy outside so I am spending the day inside to work on my Cricut projects and writing some more…as soon as Jon’s done singing ;)

  • Random and Odd

    8 miles on my 8th hikaversary!

    Spent a beautiful Sunday with my hiking group! Such inspirational women!

    I found out that each one also wants to walk the Camino de Santiago and Patrice is in the planning process for 2021. Kathy and I have put our hands in to join her.

    Found out some FANTASTIC news on Friday and I know that this year is going to be amazing!

    An inspiring year for sure!!

    Can’t stop. Won’t stop.

  • Random and Odd

    Leave It

    My best friend trained her dog to not touch something by telling her to “LEAVE IT!”.
    This dog was obsessed with toy squeakers and my BFF could leave a squeaker sitting in the middle of the floor and as long as she told her dog to “Leave It” that dog wouldn’t even look at it.
    Recently neighbor got two dogs and keeps them in the backyard. This made my dog lose his mind. He wants to play, but it comes across as just a bunch of barking and running back and forth along the fence line.  
    I started training him inside with the ‘Leave It” method.  Toys, treats or anything I knew he would go after. This old guy was a fast learner, but needed to be reminded a lot.  
    After a few months of training I decided to try him outside. As soon as I open that back door he would fly past the pool and go straight for the fence line and bark regardless if the neighbor dog was back there.  It took a lot of training, but as soon as he would make a run for it, I would tell him to Leave It. He looked at me like I was just mean for not allowing him that one thing loved so much. It was for his own good and my sanity.  Instead of laying in the sun, playing ball, going to the bathroom he would just obsessively bark at the fence.
    He still will investigate the fence and sometimes give a few barks, but for the most part he is doing much better…until last week.

    I was sitting in the backyard and I could hear the neighbor dog eating what sounded like the siding off the house.  My dog jumped up and ran for the fence. I was not in the mood to listen to him bark and I yelled, “LEEEEEAAAVVVEEEEE IT!” and he stopped in his tracks and turned around.  It was that easy. To avoid barking, jumping, obsessive behavior all I had to do was remind him to just leave it alone.
    I’ve been using that same method in my life.
    Recently I have been handed a lot of information about me that was coming from someone I trusted, loved and was certain wouldn’t pull her same drama again.  The things that were said were useless to anyone that knows me. They know my faults, they know my character, most of all they know my heart. They all just laughed it off.  Now, the things that were being said about me weren’t hurtful or even entirely inaccurate, just dressed up to make me look like I was evil. I’m a hell of alot of things, but evil isn’t one of them.

    It was easy to laugh with everyone about the stories they were told. It was even easier to get that sigh of relief because I don’t give a fuck.  All I had to do was just Leave It.
    I don’t have to listen to this person barking, obsessive drama over something that person created herself and that endless feeling of stress.  Next time something arises at work, in my personal life or just in a market that I normally would stand up and get angry about the injustice of…I can just say, “Leave It”.

    See, you can train this old dog new tricks.

  • Random and Odd

    2019 brings Joy

    Trouble sitting all cute and shit.

    What a bad ass year 2018 was! It was hard in some ways and was gentle in many others. We lost Jon’s dad and took in his dog, Patches (middle). We call this her retirement home, but she shows no signs of her age when she is keeping up with Duke and Oakley.


    This isn’t meant as a year in review, but more as a jumping off point to more.
    I’ve had some amazing food in the last few months. The best part is that I have been the one creating the dishes! Alyx and I talked about doing our once a month dish together. I think she’s going to get my sister on board.
    I made lasagna soup (sounds NOT good in any way) and it was so fucking good. It was one of those sneaky good dishes. It took maybe 30 minutes from start to finish to create. In the middle of eating it I had to call my sister (the greatest cook EVAAAA) and tell her how good it was and I was super proud of myself and in awe that I made something taste so good. We ended up on the phone for an hour and we were laughing together so hard we couldn’t speak and almost peed ourselves. My siblings are truly the best out there.
    This last year cleared out some of the rubbish and allowed me to cultivate better relationships and rekindle one that is bringing me such joy.
    This last month has been just a filling up my buckets with happiness, joy, blessings, positivity, creativeness, love and truth. I’ve been able to have meaningful conversations that leave me feeling … joyful. I think that might be my word for the year. I am joyful of all that I get to experience. I am joyful knowing that even though people speak such wicked evil things against me and others, I am unaffected. I am not marinating in anger and bitterness. I am not surprised. I choose to take the wonderful memories and keep those for myself and move on with only light and love. It’s been fantastic because now I get all the best that is left behind.

    This right here. THIS. RIGHT. HERE.

    I found this on Facebook at the beginning of the year and it hit me right in the perfect place. I’m planting positivity, building up of loved ones, listening, joy, happiness…i’m going to have a 2019 garden of goodness.
    Every morning on the way to work I am so happy because I get to spend the day at the best job with the most wonderfully supportive and loving people. Even when I am having a rough day and grumbly, I don’t want to bring that negativity with me because that’s not what I want to share with them. I think about my 2019 garden and what I need to plant to make sure my days aren’t rough. It’s been perfect for me and I don’t think I have felt this good in many years. I guess that’s why I am writing, because I want to keep this train of joy going this year. I’m happy and that’s such an amazing feeling that I want to share it. Here, I have got extra, you can have some of mine!

    So I updated my WP and it seems like they finally figured out how to make uploading easier and hopefully I am able to keep on sharing on a normal rate, instead of only once every few months.


  • Random and Odd

    Whoa, it’s been awhile.

    This might be the longest I have gone without posting.  I still write, it’s just saved on the cloud until I finish it.

    Let’s play the fun game of catch up.
    I’m still at the shop and things are better than ever.  We have made so many changes there in the last year.  Installed my flooring and new lighting in my office.  Changed a few things around management wise and got a new office chair.  Shut up, it’s a great new chair.
    The girls are doing great. I went up to see Alyx and had a great time.  Shea has been coming over a ton and we have been hanging out. My heart is so happy.  Kara is doing great making people beautiful.
    My love life is still wonderful.  We got a house and a new dog.  We have great adventures in our travel trailer and are planning the future ones.  I’m excited for our 3rd Christmas in the house.

    So that is just the Campbell Soup version.

    The Fab 4 decided to plan a trip to Ireland again. I’m so excited to be going back again. This time Dale’s mom is going.  I called dibs on rooming with her.  After two weeks with Dale last year, I know better.  The Irish put something in their beer, whiskey and pot roast that makes his gas clear a whole floor.  Luckily for me, I grew up sharing a room with 3 older brothers so I can handle farting on a toxic level.  This tested my limits though.
    Our Fab 4 trip has turned into Fab 6 (working on a new name) as our travel agent and his girlfriend are going and Dale’s original best friend is coming along.  The warning of the atomic Irish gas was given and since the two lived together for a spell, i’m sure she is ready.
    People keep asking why I would go to a place that I had already gone to and why not somewhere new?   Because I loved Ireland and two weeks didn’t allow me to see nearly enough.

    I’ve been drug back into professional photography.  It was an accident. I said I would do one families photos and all my old clients found out and now I am booked again for the season.  One of these days I will learn.  This weekend I have two more shoots, but Shea said she wanted to go with me and it will be fun to get in a few more hours with her before she moves.

    Well, it’s off to work I go.  Yesterday we took in a car that had a spark plug where the drain plug was suppose to be.  What adventure in car repair will I get to see today!?