• 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!?

  • Random and Odd

    damn it!


    Day 1: went for a 3.1 mile trot with my running group for our 5th annual New Year’s Mimosa Run.  I got home and fell asleep because I was feeling ‘off ‘.  Woke up and realized I had the stomach flu.
    Day 2: in bed all day because spent all day yesterday dealing with stomach pain galore and dealing with a lesser pain ( 7 out of 10 ).

    Not the way I planned on starting the new year, but after this pain goes away, I can get myself ready for a whole new year.  I am aiming for ’12 kind of happiness and contentment. This will require a huge amount of commitment and determination.
    No matter what, I’ll be alright.

    A bucket list for 2018?
    Travel…don’t care how I do it…more travel and lots more just for fun photos.  I decided that I am not going to be a working photographer any longer.  I lost the love of photography a few times since I started taking money for my photography.  No more. Only for fun now.
    Health…it’s important and mine right now (level 6) it’s the forefront of my mind.  No insurance and way to get it=must get healthy
    Travel. I think I mentioned this, but it’s important to not lose the momentum of travel.  Ireland was too beautiful to never see again.
    Love…I need to love, to give and receive on equal levels.

  • Random and Odd

    I hate this time of the year

    Yes, it has Christmas and New Year’s…but doesn’t have long days.

    Today the sun sets while I am shutting down the shop. It usually hits me around now when everything slows down….I’m sad.

    It’s seasonal sadness because I am not getting enough sun….and exercise. I need to spend my weekend out on the trails and in the mountains, but I’m feeling a lot of conflict in that lately. Ugh…oh well. Either it will work itself out or I will just die of heart desease. Either way, I won’t be alive to worry about it.

    Now I’m off to work. Oh yay.

  • Random and Odd

    A whole new life

    What an incredible last month we have been having.

    Thanksgiving was spent in our new home surrounded by our family.

    In a very unlike Kristine move, we went to pick out our Christmas tree in Apple Hill the next day. It’s a beautiful silver tip that is swimming in the most beautiful bulb lights and ornaments from my family and his. I promised Alyx that I would wait until she gets home before I put up our 10 family ornaments. Jon said there isn’t enough room on the tree for one more, but I think I can find a few spots!
    This last weekend we road tripped up to Oregon to be there for Marina and Jasper’s gender reveal. It’s a boy!! (i already knew!) but right before they went to find out what the gender was, he went down on one knee and proposed.  Damn near cried my heart out. Tabitha and I held it together until Jeremiah told us that Jasper had asked him if he could marry his sister the night before. Ah, crying again thinking about how incredibly sweet that was for him to include her brothers.  
    I got to spend the night at Alyx and Aaron’s place in Oregon. It’s so awesome and I am really proud of them for all that they have done, but I miss my angel so much.

    The drive home was so beautiful. Jon and I kept saying how much we want to move up there. I suggested we take Jesse to the college so he can see how awesome it is. Maybe take him to a Ducks game!! It would be my luck all the kids move back to California by the time we sell the house and move up there!

  • Random and Odd

    When I started planning my trip to Ireland and told my agent that I had two weeks.  He lost his smile, “No, that’s not enough time!”
    at that point I thought he was crazy. Two weeks was plenty of time to be able to see all the cool things I wanted to visit.
    Now that I am back and reviewing all my notes, I know he was right. It wasn’t enough time. Not even close.

    When I started planning my trip I was single. I honestly didn’t believe that I would have anyone in my life when I finally got my stamp in my passport.  Again, I was wrong.  I also didn’t realize the sheer volume of missing him I would do this entire trip.  As busy as I was the whole time, my mind always wandered to his smiling face and wondering what time it was at home.

    I am working on a book that pays homage to the book that set my path in a certain direction at a very young age.  My Auntie Jessie gave me a book that I picked up at her house and was enthralled with the photos and the words and how they danced together and gave me a feeling that I too could express myself through some sort of medium. My path was writing and photography, just like the book.  I found the book again when I was moving into my new home.  No one believes me when I tell them that I wanted to be a photographer and writer because of this beat up book I shlepped around with me since I was 8 years old.   I wanted to be a lot of things because of the limited books I had growing up.  In my home we had this giant atlas book that I would get lost in and ask too many questions about all the places in it, questions my parents couldn’t answer, “Mom what does Peru smell like?”  My two other books were Barbar the Elephant and his journey around the world in a hot air balloon and Sleeping Beauty.
    Talk about the weird shaping of my life through books.  I can’t imagine what kind of person I would be if I had more books at my disposal. Regardless I am a traveling elephant with a princess complex.

    In addition to the Kismet book for myself, I want to document my trip to Ireland for others to read. It’s not easy to write when I am at home and counting down the minutes I have to climb into the car and drive to work.

    It’s half seven, so it’s that time to get moving.