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Saturday, July 14, 2018

The new plaza in Caldwell

Today is the big celebration of Caldwell's new plaza for their downtown, the music stage is outside right next to the new Flying M coffeehouse. I took my Mom through there on Thursday as everyone was setting up for today, the kids ran through the fountains surrounded by picnic tables and umbrellas. My Mom and I even sat awhile watching the Indian Creek flow down through the park. It's so nice that Caldwell Idaho is improving and focusing on their local community.

Since Boise has grown crowded, I find myself loving Caldwell a bit more these days with my mom while we just take it easy there.
It's closer to her home on the farm and I live in Meridian now so it's half way to any where in the Treasure Valley.
I was thinking as we enjoyed our lunch at The Bird Stop, her sister's restaurant, that we have come full circle to spending more time now in Caldwell then any other town. It takes forever to drive across Nampa Idaho so if we are not in a hurry we shop over there but as I enjoy seeing Caldwell celebrate new life, I look forward to doing more things there with my mom then before!
It's fun to see what they can do! I like that small town feeling where ever I go actually. 

Congratulations Caldwell for today you have created a fun new space in your town!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Our play days

Last month we visited my cousin Henry in his new town of Ellensburge Washington, I loved being able to talk in person, to hang out and enjoy his new life! I got to see a new place, eat wonderful foods and have many good talks!

While Henry and I were catching up on our lives, he said he sure misses back when we were kids, I miss that too.......

Yet I am grateful to be free from that religious dogma,  sharp judgement and very strict rules that made my childhood feel like a prison.
 Our times together as cousins, our big adventures and everyone around having big family dinners made our past such a cherished time, it's why we are friends now as adulthood brings us into prime time.
We don't scribe to the same structure of the past but we remember our good laughs and our good memories. As cousins we didn't abide by the adults, we found our ways around them to really simply enjoy ourselves as kids. Our play days, our years of sharing the same big crazy family gave us the strength for today, we can make the future far better with the deep wisdom we were taught and from what we lived through.

I was truly grateful for our weekend together, over the last decade he came to visit many times, and I always stopped to see him on my way up north. When I look back over all our memories I am so happy we were always friends!

I am excited to see what await us as we adapt to the future, and I hope to road trip over to see him again for it's such a lovely town full of new possibilities and new adventures!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Happily Ever After

In honor of our 15th wedding anniversary I think my list of 15 things that we often discuss or focus on might help out any relationship out there too!
1. Talk often
2. Just Listen
3. Never Lie
4. Adapt
5. Negotiate
6. Respect each other
7. Have Fun
8. Laugh Often
9. Have Teamwork
10. Have Adventures!
11. Sit and relax
12. Cook together
13. Eat together
14. Encourage Each other
15. Strive for the best for Each other 
.......and live happily ever after......

Monday, July 2, 2018

Old Movie Stars Dance to Uptown Funk

This song has inspired me for years, I like how they did this video for it made me laugh and bust a move again! 
I sometimes forget who I use to be so music is my way of coming back to myself, of dealing with any current stresses and of being reflective through songs, through life I find my way back again.....

Music is my survival choice and dancing is my pure delight! 
Hello to July, hello to summer for I hope to dance more in your sunshine!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Goodbye to June

Not a day goes by that I don't cry, but I do notice how I laugh, how I get focused on new ideas and new things to do. How I admire and delight in those around me when we come together. But I sure do like my own space, my own time to be sad or to feel my whole life live on within me.

My 30's sure where very tough hard years, I was so happy on the day I turned 30. 
Of course I had no idea the traumas that would haunt me in the next 10 years............
Yet among all of it where the laughter, the love and the good times still, I see my 40's in a much different way now in the happiness of being older I see a deeper respect for the next 10 years ahead.

I will not waste my time among the bullshit, and I will always LOVE fully my whole life time no matter what that looks like in the end because Sadness has taught me what's it all worth to me now.

This June has been so beautiful, so reflective and full of family connections. I am in awe of how fast it went by in my tears, in my reminiscing of loosing my best friend and in celebrating my brother's birthday.  June is always going to be so bittersweet, so perfect is the weather to help me live again.

Not a day goes by that I don't long to have every month be June!

I notice how I live, how I think and feel all the time, yet in June I have arrived. I am just present in the moments outside and under the stars, I feel closer to happiness I think.....maybe my joy comes from my grief, for I deeply loved that Gemini sky!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Our Cousins

When my husband's Grandma turned 80 years old, we all came together in a hotel in Salt Lake Utah for a family reunion in honor of her. She had 7 children, my mother-in-law Jo Anne was raised Mormon. So we instantly had a lot in common from a religious big family up bringing. On that weekend as Tony and I settled into our hotel room I handed him a room key saying "Here, you should have your own in case later on tonight you stay out late with your cousins." He looked at me in disbelief "Why in the hell would I do that?" I looked back at him in equal surprise explaining "Because you guys might want to sit in the bar of the hotel catching up all night long." He burst out laughing "This isn't YOUR family, I am not close to any of my cousins like that." I had to stop and think of how lucky I am to have so many good friends among my own cousins. It left me in pure awe!

While we were growing up we played together, we stayed in touch as much as possible and we loved everyone in our big family that in any crisis or trauma we came running to each other's side.

I am in awe of how truly blessed, how truly important my cousins have always been in my life!
For when our parents came together in huge yelling arguments, in holding grudges and disagreements in always judging each other we kids would slip away from the dramas and just be happy together just as we are!
We were just the little kids, who believed that;
You can be gay, you can have many sexual partners, you can be poor or rich, you can get married or never get married, you can have lots of kids or no kids at all.
You can vote however you feel, you can pray as much as you want. You can cuss as much as you want. You can tell a long winded story, You can tell a quick joke. You can take lots of pictures or just keep giving out many many hugs. You can be as real or as fake as you want to be. FOR we are family, we are the cousins who changed the setup through the years so that unconditional love wins out over everything else!

We are the cousins who grew up among the crazy crowded family tree! 
We know that there are other branches growing out there that we have never met. 
We understand that even our superheroes in our childhood made mistakes, they were not so perfect the more we learned about them. 
Yet we are the new leaders in the definition of what it means to have a good family from all the history behind us.

I have found myself as an adult standing beside one of my cousins with one of our aunts or uncles speaking down to them and I step in saying nicely and clearly "Don't be disrespectful, we are equals now." Of course this often brings a look of pure shock or surprise because the once only adults now share that spot of authority with their own kids, with us the cousins.
I understand how hard it is to remember we all grow up in the end, but it's my passion to bring about the best behavior towards each other with my deep love for my family!
I often check myself saying "My baby brothers." as I did for years now they are young men. I can't keep thinking that they are babies, that will not be nice for them.
I truly want to be respectful towards them as equals, to be a good friend and never abandon them in any situation.

Having my cousins in my life taught me the power of unconditional love. When I was disowned by my parents, and my Grandma Eva didn't like me at all, it was my cousins who came to my rescuing support and we were able to discuss those family issues for clarity and for love! How honored I am to have them in my life!

As I am growing older now I think that maybe every family wants to be close, loving and kind, but it's within the kids who can actually create it from the start with out all that  emotional baggage yet from the past. For each new generation can tell a better story about their lives and their families. 
Like a fresh start, we kids would escape into the woods, we would find honey suckle, and wild flowers while simply loving to just be with each other! In nature, in play, in new adventures we were a group of kids walking side by side in real delight of grateful peacefulness!


My husband said to me once  "It captivates me just how much you love your cousins." I replied "They were my very first friends in this world, I couldn't imagine my life without them!"

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Care Away Street

                      When I was born unto my young parents who were striving for perfection, they had strong religious rules. Therefore I failed them often by the time I was 5 years, I almost just gave up on trying to please them. Then I found ways to be around people who actually liked me, my extended family. This is why I am very passionate about kids having multiple people in their lives while growing up because It really does take a village to raise a kid, it helps the kid learn how to be around difficult people, to not be stuck on just what their parents think but to learn from so many other views point in life! Looking back I understand much better just how my childhood was made far better for all the people in it!

My father's family was loud, chaotic and passionate in being alive while coming together.
My mother's family was quiet, organized and grounded in being alive while coming together. 
and I observed them all............
         Whenever we visited up north, in the small town of St. Maries Idaho where most of my father's family lived. We would all come together in the big house of Papa Rudy and Grandma Eva. For we grand kids would play "Store." or "Restaurant." With fake paper money or poker chips we would come together in our own little world away from all the noisy adults. 
We loved our puppet shows, nature walks and just hanging out in Papa's shop with those piles of sawdust. That smell of pine trees and clover can still take me back to being 5 years old again. 
Every Sunday that Nazarene church on the hill against the morning sun light greeted us all dressed up and ready for a big social day! I loved it of course, I was born desperate for socializing and desperate for friends! (Being home schooled fed that desire all through my life ironically) 
Church was one of the best places to meet new people, to sing songs all together and to teach myself how to meditate, to calm my soul in prayers. I was completely against going to hell of course, so it made me a very zealous christian that by the age of 10, if you didn't know the Lord then I would gladly tell ya all about him! I was so sure of what I had been taught, so clear on keeping my thoughts good for if God already knows my true nature then I better be the best that I can be! For I understood at a very young age that we can't hide anything from him!

My Grandparents church was basically the same small town coming together for worship, crowded and full of activities I was in awe and in pure delight of it all. I looked forward to going there every time we came to visit, During the service as the adults all held open their bibles the pastor would dismiss the kids, I was so happy to leave the long winded sermon to find a chair in the basement looking out at all the bright colors of the stage set. It was a magical scene! The doors opened and closed on to main street where the windows popped out with hand puppets, to the familiar style of the famous TV show "Sesame street." I truly loved it there! 
This was Care Away Street! The music was fun, the bible verses were inspiring and most importantly for me it was watching my Aunt Vee jump out in her excitement to share with us a great story from the bible! 
Oh how I felt like she was on Broadway! 
I would lean into the other kids so excited to say loudly "Hey, guess what!?! That's my Aunt! I know her!" I would try to stand up so that my Aunt Veta would see me in the crowd, especailly that very first time I saw her on Care Away Street I went crazy! "Aunt Vee, Aunt Vee it's me! It's me! I see you! hey guys, I know her!"  
It took her daughters who sat behind me in their older grade classes to calm me down. I was in pure awe of it all!
Aunt Veta was staying in character of course while chuckling to herself as I just couldn't believe my eyes, for she was truly famous to me!
When I look back at all the good times while growing up, it was how Care Away gave me such wonder in the world of acting, in the world of imagination! 
I could recite any bible verse and sing any song at the top of my lungs because I had an Aunt out there on stage, who I wanted to be with singing and dancing along side all those puppets!
I loved those Sundays in St. Maries, where everyone came over to Grandma and Papa's house for lunch after church. 
Where I would sing the new song I had just learned in Care Away Street, where my Aunt Veta would call me by my nick name "Little Dee." and I felt so special, so loved and so happy that she was a wonderful part of my family! Because her honesty, her strength, her story telling ways live on in me always! 

I sat on Aunt Veta's lap at the long stretched out picnic table on the patio of my Grandparents home. That afternoon sun was shinning on the lilac bushes while we were all under the shade, simply enjoying that fun family Sunday, Aunt Vee asked me "What do you like about Care Away Street?" I replied back quickly "The candy store window, I just wish it was real though." She burst out laughing and I knew that she didn't mind my honest self.        She liked me just as I was, just as I am.