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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Big City Coffee

There is a coffee shop almost everyone in the family agrees is such a great place to meet up. With steamed fluffy eggs and huge pastries stacked up on these big platters. Big City Coffee is such a popular place that most weekends there is a long crowded line. In fact I have never been there when no one is around. My first impression was that it's a crazy crowded place but after learning certain times of the day are better to visit there then others. I soon fell in love with those hot steamed eggs and fresh slices of avocado. I usually meet up with my sister-in-law Stephanie in the mid morning times. We can visit over our coffee or teas all afternoon. One time it was a cold winter's day we watched a snow storm come in as we sat there watching through the windows. It was simply cozy just sitting there in our big sweaters watching the cold wind blow snow everywhere. I also think going out for breakfast there in the summer mornings when the garage door is up can be so wonderful, so refreshing! It really is a fun place full of recycled furniture and odd shape tables to meet up for coffee and conversation. I will always treasure the times we've had hanging out there:-)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sushi Time

We have been eating enough sushi over the last 3 years to justify our own fishing boat! Well maybe not that much...still quite a bit! I truly love sushi! I crave the spicy tuna in a roll wrapped with avocado called "The Manhattan Roll" at our nearby restaurant Fujiyama ,  located here in Boise Idaho across the street from the mall. The location isn't attractive at first glance but once inside the amazing presentation of the foods speaks for it self! Now a big family favorite of ours is called "The Snowball". I mean we all can talk about this amazing dish with excitement and then the craving begins!  The snowball is a mixture of spicy raw fish, jalapenos, tiny fish eggs and green onions with chopped cilantro. There could be so much more inside then I actually know for each bite is simply WONDERFUL! Surrounded by a thin layer of avocado, this tangy spice round ball has a yummy sauce over it too! One ball doesn't feed four people who love it, (as we learned this the hard way.) Sometimes my husband will just get his own snowball because he was thinking about it all day. For my 32nd birthday this year, we went there to celebrate and enjoy the best tasting sushi in the whole treasure valley. I was also treated to green tea ice cream which is another of my most favorite ice cream and fried banana wedges were a perfect end to such a beautiful dinner at Fujiyama. In the past we ate there 3 or 4 times a week:-} Soon we decided to try and make sushi at home. I did however learn but it wasn't nearly as artful as the restaurant! Whenever we find friends who love sushi just as much as we do, we are always happy to take them here full of unexpected delights and yummy great quality fish. I think this will be my number one restaurant choice! I will have to make sure we eat here when we come back to visit after we move away, I think even the pickled ginger taste sweeter in the restaurant among the sparkling colors and tasty wonders:-D

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Papa Joes

I have a favorite place in Boise that I love to go to read, to write or just relax. It's a place I like meeting up with friends or playing a game of chess with the Hubby on a date night. Papa Joe's is a local restaurant not far from Ann Morrison park, located just below the hillside from the historical train depot on Capital boulevard. I love that I can get a cup of coffee from the cute cozy coffee bar and then walk out to the wide open park surrounded by the downtown atmosphere. The restaurant has yummy pasta or sandwiches along with seating by a warm fireplace or outside on the cool patio. Now I have loved this place for years, when my dog was a puppy he sat under our table as we cooled down with a pitcher of beer on a warm summer evening. Supporting a local place and feeling like part of the community makes hanging out here so enjoyable! I would proudly rate this place as my favorite over all, for the wonderful setup inside of comfortably seats, nooks and corners to visit peacefully in. I will miss this place when we move, yet I am so happy to have found this little treasured place!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Words of the song, "Talk" by Coldplay

Oh brother I can't, I can't get through
I've been trying hard to reach you, cause I don't know what to do
Oh brother I can't believe it's true
I'm so scared about the future and I wanna talk to you
Oh I wanna talk to you
You can take a picture of something you see
In the future where will I be?
You can climb a ladder up to the sun
Or write a song nobody has sung
Or do something that's never been done

Are you lost or incomplete?

Do you feel like a puzzle, you can't find your missing piece?
Tell me how do you feel?
Well I feel like they're talking in a language I don't speak
And they're talking it to me

So you take a picture of something you see

In the future where will I be?
You can climb a ladder up to the sun
Or a write a song nobody has sung
Or do something that's never been done
Do something that's never been done

So you don't know were you're going, and you wanna talk

And you feel like you're going where you've been before
You tell anyone who'll listen but you feel ignored
Nothing's really making any sense at all
Let's talk, let's ta-a-alk
Let's talk, let's ta-a-alk

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Moving On...

Dana handed me a cigarette while my hands were still a bit shaky, "So let me get this straight, YOU were thrown out of the house today because you had a fight with Dad and now you are disowned?" She lit hers first as she spoke. I loved that calming smell of smoke as we sat on the steps of her deck out in the wide open country side. I had desperately needed a hug from her, and she was more then willing to give me one. At first she listened to my situation and my recount of that big fight. Dana yelled out "I'm going right up there to give them a piece of my mind, of all the CRAZY things to do! especially to YOU!?! It's not like you ever gave them much of a fight before?!?" I chuckled as I sat there smoking watching my sister move around. I didn't react as quickly, I just sat there thinking to myself about what all this means for my life. Dana sighed "Well I'll be damn! I thought YOU were always going to be the perfect follower to our parents, because you did what was right or you were to friggin' scared to stand up for yourself EVER!" I nodded sitting next to my sister talking about our family drama helped me relax again, there is a comfort in knowing you both can relate in some way to what was happening. Although SHE was forbidden to even pop over for a visit and I saw how badly she was treated by far worse then ever I was. Dana said thoughtfully "Sooooo IF I had done EVERYTHING they asked of me growing up, then I would STILL be sitting here smoking all rejected!?! Shhhhhit! I am so glad I got out of there when I did then!" I laughed now as I realized that it was all truly ironic. I was so grateful to have that break with my sister, It was true, I had done everything my parents wanted until I stopped going to church. It had been like jumping through hoops for a stage dog to win some kind of favor.....and sadly despite all that I had done for what I had hoped was right, STILL it blew up in my face! I ended up not having parents in my life just like my sister. AND she understood at that moment she hadn't made the wrong choice running away from home, I admired her courage and her own freedom to be real. Sitting next to her on that afternoon as I leaned my head against her shoulder while we finished our cigarettes. Dana smiled back at me saying "I bet it sure feels good to be free!" I chuckled and nodded in agreement. It was time that I was moving on.....

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chucky Cheese

Whenever there was a birthday in our family, there was a certain place we went to celebrate. Called....Chucky Cheeses! The Boise Idaho location had a tube set strong enough for parents to join their kids up and down the slide. We discovered this when I was first 15 years old and we took Daren there for his first birthday then after that we always went for everyone's birthday! I loved that place because it had fun music, it also had games and it allowed me to join my baby brothers down the slides and crawling through those rainbow tubes. My brother Derek loved token hunting for more video games to play, Mom loved the bottomless cups of cherry cokes and the baby brothers loved jumping into a sea of rubber balls. During these times Dad would sit visiting with Mom at the table while I ran around with my little brothers climbing up into the tubes and waving out down at them. It was a really fun place with horrid gross pizza but we didn't care to eat as much as just to play. My most favorite part about hanging out at Chucky Cheese was the movable mechanical robots on stage that played music every so often when the curtain moved back. THIS WAS MY FAVORITE THING there to watch and dance along side with. Maybe because I was a teenager and knew what I loved in life completely without doubt. Maybe because I was so sheltered that I didn't worried over if it was lame or not. I knew I was never going to be a "COOL" person so I embraced my own ability to love dancing! When the disco lights sparkled and the song "Turn the beat around" came on the stage I stopped whatever I was doing to run out onto the open floor space in front of everyone and danced! I danced until I was sweaty, until I was out of breath and laughing so hard, I would always swing my little brothers up into the air as well. They joined me dancing just as hard and most importantly just as happily! It came a tradition that every time the stage lite up my little brothers would shout out "It's ON!" I would run with them to the dance space and rock it out! Even after I had my boyfriend tagging along to these family birthday parties at Chucky Cheese, he said it was awesome to see me not care how I looked in front of people or that I was now in my early 20s but STILL joined my baby brothers out on the dance floor. I also included random kids that wanted to dance with us as the music played and the stage was sparkling. It was fun to see at times a big group of kids dancing and laughing, because THAT was why I loved going to Chucky Cheese....It was a place to just be a kid!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Lighthouse

When my brothers were really young they LOVED light houses, they also liked running on the coast line with me along side the bouncy waves of the ocean. When it came to family vacation usually our father was no where to be seen because he had to work. Now our mother loved taking road trips, also getting to the Oregon coast was her favorite place. Shortly after my sister left home, Mom got restless again and needed to get out of town.  It was fun to be on a road trip with my four brothers and my mom. (The 4th brother Davey, wasn't quite born YET. But He did ride along in our pregnant mother) In this picture I am sharing it's the view at the top of a light house. Derek is holding Dougie and I am holding Daren. At the ocean we spent all day running along with our pants rolled up chasing the salty waves. The boys made a big sand castle and I decorated it with sea weed things. We all enjoyed the relaxing time and talked about our new baby brother who would be arriving in 4 more months. Mom would have swore it was a girl named Darcy but I liked Davey far better! The weather was mostly rainy for most of this trip, so we spent a whole day in the OMSI center watching Laser shows and doing all the hands on science things. Climbing the lighthouse took a long time in the crazy high winds, but the view was so amazing! 
On our way home we stopped at Multnomah Falls.
 It's one of my most favorite places to stretch my legs and run up the trail to the bridge in front of the beautiful water fall! This family trip was just for fun and also for the fact our family was in a transition with the older kids leaving home and a new baby still on the way! There something nice about getting away to relax and know you can come back to face anything life throws at you again!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Brothers

I was 20 years old when my third baby brother was born. Davey came along just as I was trying to decide if I should keep on living there or move out. It was even more awkward for me to carry baby Davey around public without everyone thinking that I was his mother. Unlike the other 2 baby brothers I was younger so they didn't always think I was the mother. Now it happened every time I carried Davey and I was actually old enough to be his mother! It usually freaked out most people (even some of my closest friends) that I had an infant baby in my arms when I walked around. Most all of my time, my focus was now on my job or my church activities. I found myself much busier, gone from home all the time. In fact everything was different in our family when Davey came along. I knew deep down that I couldn't stay home to watch him reach 18 years old, before I started living my own life. The other brother I grew up with, Derek, soon took over watching out for our little guys. It was really hard on me to know we had this newborn baby in the family but I wasn't around that much anymore. Perhaps Davey was sent to be a pleasant distraction to our parents over the fact time had shifted, everything changed for them. I did get use to everyone thinking Davey was my very own baby and when I overheard someone say "She is way to young to already have a baby!" I would nod fully in agreement along with a confident smile because I wanted to reply back. "BELIEVE ME, I know I am way to young to be a mother!"  Instead I wondered how strange it was to have 2 full decades between me and my last brother. I am closer in age to some of my aunts then my own siblings! It doesn't matter where I go or who I talk to now days, for when they learn I am 20 years older then my little brother they are shocked! And I often joke around that I am not trying to hide anything he really is my actual brother from the same set of parents. I truly love all four of my brothers, yet it does feel so different to not actually be growing up along side the youngest one. I often thought Davey has it better being born last in line, when our parents are now older and wiser, then I realized he doesn't have all the same memories that I have gathered being the first in line. Maybe he will have a much better life with more opportunities. For there are really great perks to being the baby of the family, He would wink back at ya because he is clever enough to know and agree!

Derek, Dana and I were laughing at one of our parent's BBQ summer evenings just a few years ago, Daren, Dougie and Davey sat listening to us carefully. We shared our funny stories then laughed together. Suddenly Davey stood up with his hands on his hips stating "WHERE WAS I?!?!?" We all stop to stared at him, for this was a young very smart 8 year old boy, then we all burst out laughing again as Derek shook his head at our littlest brother "You weren't born yet, sorry little man." Davey sighed helplessly "WHY does all the good stuff happen before I was even born?!?" I smiled thoughtfully looking at him knowing how he must feel so left out sometimes, because the whole world had changed on the day he was born.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Doug Bug

I was 16 years old when my second baby brother was born. Douglas slipped right into this world quickly and quietly then he grew up as the middle child often just observing everyone else around him. He never really hurried to talk since his older brother Daren did that for him. I was truly happy on the day Dougie was born, I took care of Daren almost completely while we adjusted to the newborn thing again in our family. Doug wasn't a fussy baby, he smiled easily as he was always held by someone. One afternoon shortly after he arrived into this world I overheard him crying angrily from his crib while I knew our mother was soaking in the tub so I left the house only to arrive back an hour later to find him STILL crying! Then I sensed something was wrong. My first thought was to chew my mother out for ignoring him so long! Dougie was just a few days old and needed to eat that is why he had been crying for so long. I picked him up and calmed him down, I called out to the closed bathroom door for our mother. I laid the baby back down in his crib, quickly hurrying into my parent's bathroom only to find my mother passed out on the floor. She came to as I bent down to help her up again. She acted like it was no big deal as she said she had an hormonal imbalance then passed out. I didn't know what the hell that even meant, though I remembered that  sudden fear of seeing my mother laying on the floor! It all had made me realize that if anything ever happened to her these boys would need me to raise them. It was a changing moment in my life, as I helped my mom to bed and I watched over her carefully wondering if I was actually ready for this unknown adulthood my self. I guess some 16 year old girls get to go to parties or out to movies, instead I heated bottles, changed diapers, read stories and watched cartoons. I was completely consumed in the world of babies. I hardly even looked at my school work, since there was a household to run. Looking back I am grateful for spending my time in that way because I was able to mature, I was able to see how important the job of parenting is. Dougie has such love and kindness towards everyone that I knew he was a true gift to have in our lives! He also loved jumping off the couch with me on to the living room floor at the end of watching an episode of "Little House on the Prairie". One summer afternoon we had a big bubble bath outside in the kiddie pool. Dougie was giggling the whole time he really thought that was awesome! When it was time to wash my car I would get Daren and Dougie to smear mud all over it, to make it look even more dirty then we would have a fun mud fight! Having 2 baby brothers in my teen years allowed me to be creative in activities and all kinds of games. When both boys slept over in my bedroom at night we would pile all the stuffed animals together then run and jump into them, and usually after those boys ran out all their energy they would fall asleep in a playing position while I sat writing in my journals into the early hours of morning. They were so cute as they slept, I would watch over them wondering what kind of life will they grow up to have? I also prayed for them and knew that I was so lucky to share these moments, these memories with them. 

"Hey There Doug Bug, its super early whatcha doing up?" I asked as I moved around the kitchen reaching for a bowl of cereal, I was surprised to see my 4 year old brother awake. He shrugged while yawning then climbing up on a tool next to me as I fixed him a bowl of cereal too. We ate our breakfast in peaceful quietness, unlike our brother Daren who would have been chatting on about something, Dougie never really talked that much. I smiled as we sat together for he was so adorable with his bed head sticking up blond hair and dangling little legs off his stool. We ended up meeting every morning after that for breakfast. He always woke up quietly, sat next to me and ate his cereal then he went back to bed after giving me a soft gentle hug as I strolled off to work. Sometimes he would grin as I left jokingly saying "Sugar, Sugar." I would reply "Ah Honey, Honey." Because that was one of the songs I sang to him all the time, Then we both would giggle!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Dude

I was 14 years old, when my first baby brother Daren was born and it was such an amazing day in my life! Daren's nickname was "Dude", I loved calling out at a fast food joint to get Daren's attention saying "Hey Dude, It's time to go." His little chubby toddler legs would kick out down the slide as he calls back "Kayyy, I'm comin'.." Then people around would chuckle and smile because he was truly adorable. And the fact that He knew he was THE DUDE. When Daren was just a baby I carried around my own pacifier so that when he fused and our mother wasn't around to feed him I could slip him that pacifier to keep him calmed down. I had to be sneaky because our mother said she hated pacifiers and threw them all away. She explained that is was Lying to the baby giving them a fake nipple. Of course I totally disagreed, I consider a pacifier like a pause button to keep the baby from crying instantly. So often when baby Daren was screaming his head off because he was hungry I would hunt our mother down impatiently telling her to stop whatever she was doing to feed him. She often chuckled at me and shook her head saying that babies don't always get what they want that is how they get spoiled. So from my early teenager years I had lesson after lesson on what it means to be a parent and how important it is to be a Good parent. My parents gave me so much information that I was able to know very clearly what NOT to do more often then anything. I am actually very relieved to not be a parent now in my life, yet I feel I already am in my heart when I think of the days with the Dude. After his diaper was changed or he got a bath I would say "High Five! You are good to go!" he would jump up slapping my hands then sticking up his thumbs saying "Duuuuuude!" I would brake out into a little dance with him jumping around me laughing. What I wanted the most my little brother was that he could have a better quality of life. That he could be whatever he wanted to be as long as he was happy! So when I made him giggle or laugh I felt like everything in this crazy world was going to be already after all. I even hoped he had much nicer parents then I did when I was his age. I wanted to believe everything beautiful and wonderful would fill his life forever! With his soft blond hair and big blue eyes, he would look up at me as I would make a funny face then he would copy me and we would laugh! Among the toy box of beanie babies and coloring books, he and I would hang out on the floor coloring and talking for hours. We went everywhere together, I knew those days would fly by and one day he would be all grown up. It was fun to create big bubble baths for him and read to him before bed, but whenever he was going to get spanked by anyone in the house his little legs went into a full on run to find me. He KNEW that I would save him from such a punishment! I was very much like a mama bear, but I was also happy to just be his fun silly sister. It is really hard on a family to bring babies into them after they have been established awhile. Most people don't talk about just how hard it really is, In my childhood society it was very common to have many kids in a family or be old parents still giving birth. I don't completely understand it and maybe that is something I could learn more about. If my brother Daren hadn't been born I wouldn't have been "saved" from such a life. I know how it feels to be a mother without all the physical pain. But I was really lucky to have my baby brother teach me most importantly about compassion and the unnecessary guidelines in discipline. He was that rare joy in my life that both grounded me and gave me hope for our future. I love my Dude brother! I know he will have a good life!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Words of the song, "Fix You" by Coldplay

When you try your best, but you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

When high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I . . .

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face
And I . . .

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's Independence Day

Well she seemed alright by dawns early light though
she looked a little worried and weak.....

I sat at the kitchen table facing my mother with my 3 little brothers sitting on my lap. I was 24 years old on that cold February Sunday afternoon. My father and my other brother Derek were watching TV and eating lunch. I was always trying to come visit my family on my days off from work. My personal agenda on this day was to be as open and direct with my parents in my honesty. I wasn't getting a straight answer out of them over the plans of my wedding. I felt nervous trying to be boldly honest, so I rambled on and on about my life, my job and my wedding plans. I hugged and laughed with my little brothers Daren was now 10 years old as he leaned into my chest sitting there listening as our mother and I tried to talk. Mom was mumbling again something she always did when she had something to say but didn't want any conflict to follow. I listened carefully wondering if this was the best time to ask more from her. She continued "You will have to attend church again if you want to find someone who will marry you." She rolled her eyes (another thing she always did). I watched on because ever since she founded out that I wasn't going to church anymore she had changed, she withdrew from me like she didn't trust me and what I had first thought was a strong friendship with her ended up being ruined because of that simple fact I didn't believe the same way she did anymore. I knew we weren't ever going to be a perfect family but I at least thought I did my very best to be my real self with them. I wanted to honor them and keep the peace as much as possible. It had been 2 years since I quit the whole church scene. Now Mother sat acting frustrated but not explaining why across the kitchen table from me. All 3 brothers sat on my lap as I giggled saying soon they will be to big to do this again. Mom snorted annoyingly at me as I also casually explained what my wedding was going to be like. Mom's eyes were huge as she responded in shock "WINE! You are going to have wine or beer at your reception?!?" I nodded back feeling myself melting into a child again. Mom frowned "Well I guess if THAT is more important to you then having your own family there..." I shot her a glare, the flash of fire in my eyes caused her to freeze staring back at me in alarm. I stated clearly "Can't you just be there for ME? Am I NOT worth it for you to come and celebrate with me on this important day in my life?"  Mom suddenly burst out into tears and deep sobbing, I glanced down at my brothers in my lap with a worried look. "Come on Mom, don't cry! Just answer me this one question, PLEASE." I asked sadly as I heard the chair snap back from the living room,  
my father was on the move. 
Usually he would have sat in front of the TV never getting up to say "HI" or even "BYE". He usually found his own chair the only place in house where he belonged. Now that he had overheard his wife sobbing he was coming to her rescue. He must of been listening to me ramble on about my new life, Maybe he thought I was completely self-focused and hurtful. When he yelled out at me it was like a bear roaring out "HOW DARE YOU MAKE YOUR MOTHER CRY!" I felt my brothers hands all tighten to me in sudden fear. I commented back "Calm down." He grew louder and more angry at my boldness to TELL HIM WHAT TO DO. My brother Daren wrapped his arms around my neck yelling out over and over again, "Don't HURT her!" I felt tears hit my eyes as I wanted to protect him from being so frighten. My Mother was pulling and dragging my brothers out of my arms as my father threw a chair across the room, he was coming for me with all of his anger. It was going to be a full on battle by the warning smoke steaming from his ears and the screaming panic from those little boys. My Mother was acting like I was evil as she pulled and tugged my crying brothers out of my lap. Perhaps THAT hurt me the most, For it was a desperate helpless feeling when my baby brothers were grabbed out of my arms. "Please stop this!"  I cried as I knew it was scaring the little kids more then me. "I won't hurt them!" Daren hung on the longest and he screamed the loudest, I realized in all this chaos our Mother was hysterical and our Father was yelling while throwing things around, I knew what I had to say and I look him in the eye with all my bravery and love. My hands held his face as I whispered softly "It's okay Dude, it's okay." Daren was now sobbing and choking me while our mom pulled on him to get away from me. I will NEVER forget the look in those young eyes of pure pain as I spoke to him. I also said "THEY can NOT hurt me. You need to let go...You need to be brave now Dude." He nodded for he heard me in the craziness, but he was still crying so hard as both my parents yanked him out of my arms at this moment. I was relieved to see our brother Derek take Daren into his arms, That little boy was never going to forget this day just like myself. THEN I felt it, I felt a bolt of lightening hit me, it went straight through my  heart, My hands stop shaking, my tears stop falling and my mind snapped back to where I stood facing my angry father. For I understood now all to clearly that MY DAY had FINALLY came.....

Some folks whispered, some folks talked
but everyone looked the other way 

when time ran out there was no one about on Independence day....

He came at me now with everyone now out of the way, I slid to the side of the kitchen table at first because I had been startled, then I was alarmed by the red faced father I had chasing me down. I thought at first it was all ridiculous, we could discuss this without screaming at each other. But the sadness that swallowed me when my brothers were ripped out of my arms like I was Satan himself made me more then just angry too. I came alive in a way I had NEVER been before, my psychologist said I had an Adrenalin rush like a Mama bear whose babies needed her. I had been holding back this kind of anger towards my parents for years because of my baby brothers. Then as they  sat in my lap, I kept myself calm and caring for them. Then once I was all alone I was ready to do battle with my enraged father. Suddenly when I tripped into the empty chair behind me I  scrambled for support to stay upright. My father loomed over me like a giant screaming at me and I thought of my finance Tony who had said to me once when I was screaming at him like this, he said calmly "You don't have to yell I am right in front of you." When I said this to my father he became even more crazy, flying his arms out and his voice booming out "YOU ARE A SPOILED BRAT! How DARE you tell ME not to YELL! I AM YOUR FATHER!" I snapped like a twig or maybe more like a fire cracker because I yelled back and waved my arms in the very same way he had and I challenged him for the first time in ALL my 24 years. I took him on only after I realized I had NOTHING left to loose. He was not slowing down from his screaming and red face anger. He made himself look big and puffy like he could scare me back into position. That lightening inside of me was now shinning out and then I screamed back. The fact I had a better set of lungs then my father surprised him as the whole house shook, my strong lungs never had gone THIS high in volume before and I can still recall my father's face with that surprised look as I screamed right back at him, Then I flew off at him with my own anger and bitter words. 
THE battle of our life time had just begun.......
Let freedom ring
Let white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today is a day of reckoning

I stood up facing him and I wasn't afraid anymore. I was NEVER going to be afraid of my father ever again from this moment forth he was just an angry old man. He had lost that hold of fear he wanted over me. And that kind of freedom is priceless. I moved forward with every breath I took spitting out how I thought he was a spoiled brat too and that he was a horrible father working all the time, never being home and when he was home he did whatever he wanted for himself, he also acted like he had never wanted children to begin with! He was stunned by my hurtfulness and that I didn't hold ANYTHING back! I knew what I wanted to say. (Parents don't realize that by keeping their kids in control like they are slaves, eventually it will send a revolution straight towards them.) I challenged him about why he never even spoke to me directly, He always avoided eye contact or conversation with me. Only if I brought my boyfriend along would my father start talking again. I told him that just because Women would never be equal to him, he can't get away with treating his daughters like shit for it. I called him out on ALL of his behavior, knowing there was so much I didn't understand about who he was. Now it was a 2 way fight, he had plenty to yell right back at me, I had moved out in my own apartment against his will and I was not attending church anymore. Our shouting, our screaming filled the whole house on that gray rainy day, I was just warming up I felt such strength come over me, I wasn't giving in, I wasn't backing down. I was telling my father to his face everything I had ever wanted to say! He wasn't backing down either. Then finally he said something that made me pause, he shouted out "You think THAT is LOVE out there?" He pointed out through the kitchen window in the direction of Tony's house, sun light broke through the clouds as he was pointing in the same direction. I smiled at the magical scene as I peacefully noticed this among our fight, Dad continued "Because I can tell YOU!  IT'S NOT!!! the only true love you have is your family!" I felt my anger step aside for a small moment, because I realized that my own father has never been loved, not in that unconditional way he deserves. I felt sudden sympathy for this crazy selfish man in front of me. He pointed out the window again still shouting in my face. "You are to stupid to know what true love is!" I sprung to life never had been more clear in all of my mind about what was the right thing to do here.

Now I ain't saying its right or its wrong but maybe its the only way

I stood so tall and so boldly looking my father directly in his flaming eyes something that also surprised him greatly. I moved forward at him because I knew I wasn't stupid anymore, he use to tell me I was so stupid all the time growing up and now he  couldn't say that to me anymore. He lost all his power and manipulation that day, I ended it. 

I laughed proudly at him like he was being funny, like this whole fight was a "staged" drama scene. I said as I giggled "IF THIS family is what TRUE love is then I DO NOT want any of it! You have GOT to be joking me! This is all messed up in your thinking! YOU say we are there for each other and actually we are most defiantly NOT! You can't even get off the chair to say hello to me when I come to visit much less now not coming to my wedding!" My anger returned heated up and burning insults at my father again I could spit them out back in his face and waving my arms. The sun light was calling my name as my father realized I was a lost cause for him, he pushed me back from his face by my honest heated words and our tumble ended up with him chasing me out of the house as he screamed "YOU ARE NO LONGER MY DAUGHTER! THIS IS NOT YOUR FAMILY." I mocked back "IS THAT COMING FROM OUR FAMILY OF TRUE LOVE SPEAKING FROM YOUR HEART!"?!?!?"
(If he had caught me he would have killed me) He screamed "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE! YOU ARE NEVER WELCOMED BACK!" 
I shouted over my shoulder as I moved out "Why the HELL would I ever want to returned? It is CRAZY here! I AM the ONE who is NEVER speaking to YOU again!" It hurt to be so angry, I had been "spitting nails" of everything I disliked about my father. I knew I said horrible things at my father in this restless anger, It was only 8 years ago when this big hurtful fight took place. I still wish I could of handled it all better now looking back. Because most importantly I am not that angry person anymore. Also I have noticed my father has changed too.

Let the weak be strong   Let the right be wrong
 Roll the stone away let the guilty pay
It's independence day

When I was done crying so hard and so long in my car pulled off to the side of the country road, I felt my fresh new battle wounds, my new emotional pain. I took a deep long breath, then drove my car straight towards that beaming shinning sun light the same light my father had just pointed to earlier, it broke through the sky on such a dark sad day, it gave me such comfort in my new hope for my life. I had never felt so strong, so happy, so sad and so brave all at once! I was finally heading towards my REAL home with a fresh new smile of such amazing freedom, I was also heading towards my very own TRUE LOVE. I was embracing these new possibilities with my Unconditional loving man and my brand new life!

Talk about your evolution........ It's independence day!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Mouse wanted a BLUE M&M

It was on a cool summer night in the cabin of ALL girls, I was excited to have a variety of finger nail polish, make up colors and hair products all piled up on the floor. The girls and I sat in a circle with candy bars and sodas. Every so often laughter filled the cabin and bubbled out the open windows. Leah walked in with Aubrey carrying pillows and a tape player. "Shhhhh you girls are getting loud!" Leah warned. I helped unload her those things "Do you need any more help?" I asked as the girls all laughed again. Aubrey shook her head "You guys are going to get us in trouble for all this noise!" We were having our slumber party in the farthest cabin back into the deepest part of the woods. "If anyone is getting in trouble for noise it will be ME!" I stated confidently. I was the oldest of all the girls, I wore my favorite all black t-shirt and faded jeans with my hair pulled up directly on the top of my head. I had begun painting my toe nails on the cold cement floor of the cabin. The circle of girls were talking, laughing and sharing hair brushes and doing make up. "Can someone do my eyes?" I asked as my toe polish dried. I liked feeling pretty while drinking down a Pepsi then burping really loudly, then I would chuckle! It was fun to pass around a bag of M&Ms among the girls. Suddenly Sari screamed out "A MOUSE!" and it looked like a bomb went off in the group of girls as we all screamed loudly flying off to the safety of our bunk beds. We hung there with our make up bags and half eaten candy bars trying to figure out what to do next. We slowly tried to gather things from the pile WITHOUT touching the actual floor. The mouse ran right into the center of all our stuff to grab a BLUE M&M then ran back into hiding. We decided we didn't need to sleep there again the next night and left the light on through out that rest of the night in case the mouse would return. Out of all the colors of the M&Ms it was really funny to see the mouse pick a blue one!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Search Party

It was on a warm August day when the warning ran through out the camp that a toddler was missing. In a place full of kids and parents church camp was a week long vacation of shared activities. So when this toddler went missing everyone sprung to life in the search for her! There was a fast moving creek along side of camp. Also there was a big mountain side behind the buildings and cabins. When I shot out to look for this missing little girl I was surprised by the sudden thunder storm that fell like a heavy wet blanket. Allen Bonnell, (he was the elderly man I cleaned house for weekly) gave me a wool sweater while I was out searching in the crazy storm. I was fascinated by this 100% wool sweater, it was amazing to see the rain drops bounce off of me like I was a trampoline! This sweater was like a magical cloak I stayed dry and warm as the heavy rain came down. I trucked along by myself up the muddy hillside then out to the wide open valley by the deep parts of the creek. Then when the camp bell rang out, I was excited to know if they had found the toddler. I can still remember how thrilling it was to see everyone come from all over the valley and the mountain side by the ringing of the bell. For that little girl had been found! It was such a happy ending to have the toddler returned to her parents. And I ended up wearing that awesome sweater everyday during the rest of church camp thinking that if I were a sheep, I wouldn't be giving up my magical wool during the rainy season!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

When Lightning Strikes

I was riding a bike up the path to the highway from our church camp on a very hot August afternoon, Those church camp days were always full of fun adventures! So as I skidded to a stop on the bike by the highway, I heard what sounded like a gun shot over my head, I scrambled down to the gravelly dirt road on my knees startled. I was looking up across the highway in wonder. The Lightning had hit the top of an evergreen tree growing along the mountain side. From behind me I heard some yelling of warnings from the parents telling their kids to move off the road and get back from the highway, where we were all hanging out. I got back up on my bike watching the top of that hit tree sizzle and smoke. "WOW! THAT WAS AWESOME!" I exclaimed as I turned my bike around just then I heard a weird sound, like someone running towards me, yet there wasn't anyone there! I stood watching again in awe as a wall of rain was moving towards me instead, how odd to be standing under the hot blazing summer sun on one side of the sky, then see the other side all dark with an approaching storm. That wall of rain was moving in slow motion and it sounded like little feet running straight to me. I jumped back on my bike and rode fast with the mist of rain behind me. "I am being chased by the rain! How crazy is this?!" I thought to myself as I skidded the bike right into the dinning hall and stood under the awning of the building as the wall of rain crashed all around me. I was breathing hard from escaping the rain storm, I smiled proudly for I was in awe again that I was completely dry! How odd it was to see nature working all it's wonders. And I stood enjoying the down pour, waiting for those special rainbows to follow...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Family Camp

I woke up after 4 maybe 5 hours of sleep. I sprung from the bunk bed under my warm sleeping bag to the chilly cabin floor. It was the week of Family Church camp and I didn't need ANY sleep because I was so excited! I stopped to make sure my baby brothers were all covered up as I walked by my sleeping mother who had been up as late as I had been the night before. She liked reading the night away. She also liked to listened when I shared about the activities of the whole camp. I knew where my sister and brother were so she enjoyed being updated, then she went back to her reading happily. Mom never had rules for us kids once we arrived at camp. She didn't tell us when to shower or when to go to bed. She didn't make us sit with her during chapel, this made it possible for us to be with our friends and also approach her easily. If she said "Watch your brothers I am taking a shower." I never thought it was bossy or rude. NOT like when our father said it. Luckily Dad never came to church camp, only the few times he did pop in for a night or so...HE was like a roaring bear full of rules. We kids feared him greatly and hide when his rattling pick up pulled into camp by surprise. That first free morning of church camp is the BEST feeling because I knew I had 6 full days of fun and friends ahead of me! I was up on that gray cold August morning early. I had slept in my clothes (One of the things I loved about camping) My jeans and flannel shirt were wrinkled with my long blond hair sticking out everywhere, my mother had permed it so it was truly wild until I showered. In the Dinning Hall the smell of bacon cooked with the crackling pop of the wood stove, "You are up early!" The ladies from the kitchen waved at me as I was the very first person up to pour a half cup of coffee then 5 scoops of hot chocolate mix after I stirred it all together I added fresh milk so I could drink it by the heat of the burning stove. I liked being by myself at this time in the morning with the pink glow on the Forrest trees. Everyone would have told you that I was a "People person" but deep down I loved the time alone with nature the most. After my coffee crazy drink I would walk to the highway from camp drinking in all the fresh air and morning sounds. The creek ran right past me as I walked along waking up and thinking to myself "I do not want to rush through this week!" I loved camp more then any time in the whole summer! I liked having my beloved friend Tiffany offer to braid my hair, I loved singing songs and acting out skits. I pressed  fresh picked flowers through out the pages of my bible so I could remember camp all year long. The soccer games, the fire pit and volleyball court held so many friends to lean on or laugh with. I was very particular about my shower time, it was way to cold in the morning to shower and usually it was way to crowded with families lining up to use those showers. I would wait till almost lunch time or even later afternoon to shower when it was also warm outside to dry my long wet hair better. I also sang in the shower all the time so the less crowd the better. Once I was singing away when I was joined by other friends in the showers then we all four sang together as we shampooed. It's one of those memories I truly loved about camp. By the evening after dinner and chapel time I would find a place to capture the sunset with a friend then spend the night away playing card games in the dinning room. I always read to my little brothers before they went to bed, then as the shooting stars took place all of us teens would lay on our backs in the soccer field counting them! Tiffany would walk arm in arm with me saying "I don't think there is anyone who loves Church camp as much as YOU!" I titled my head against hers giggling because after she went to bed I took off up the mountain side to sit on a big rock facing the wide open starry night saying out loud that I refuse to go to sleep and loose a second more of this camp! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The RV Ride

My beloved friend Rebekah and her sister Leah had joined me in traveling up to Church camp in the RV. The 3 of us girls were so excited to start our fun full week up in camp. I had cleaned and packed the RV owned by the elderly couple Allen and Helen.They asked us girls to travel up the mountain with them. It was a 3 hour drive up to Warm Lake in those beautiful Idaho mountains. Leah was a quiet person who didn't just shout out what she thought like I did. Rebekah was my really smart friend who loved her books and sat reading on the couch as I jumped on her excitedly "WE ARE ON OUR WAY NOW!" She just shook her head at me with a smile. I also made sure Helen was buckled in the pick up then we were off. We stopped for gas that took some time as Allen asked us if we wanted any snack foods, he was always that thoughtful. He loved laughing along with us girls and we had to talk loud enough for him to hear. The time to get on the highway was about 2 hours after our church service was over, Most families were heading up there that Sunday afternoon too. We drove about an hour when Allen pulled over for a picnic time. The 3 of us girls were laughing hysterically at how it felt like we would never make it to camp as slow as this couple moved. It was good for us young girls to take it slow and easy as we ate sandwiches. This road trip was the first time I ever saw Leah get frustrated as she said "WE are STOPPING AGAIN?" I burst out laughing at how even after our picnic time we WERE stopping again. Helen needed to use the restroom so we all stretched out feeling like we had been on an 8 hour drive. We did make it to camp that Sunday evening our 3 hour trip ended up being 6 hours. That time in the camper with the girls was so much fun as we talked about the funny things old people do and how funny it was that we were NOT going to be the first ones there after all. I loved that first breath of forest air! Those memories of family church camp are my most favorite of my childhood. I loved seeing people all around to visit with or to play games, to be apart of a community and to have my friends so close by! It would make me think that the whole world was a such beautiful place to live and share it with those you love!

Monday, March 14, 2011

My first blog Award!

I have never won anything before! I have such a wonderful friend who is a writer at the blog Literary Legs. Lovely Laura awarded me with "The Incredibly sweet blog award" and I thought HOW INCREDIBLY SWEET:-D
Since I started blogging last August my whole life has changed, I have changed. I am proud of this blog no matter what, I am learning from the depths of my soul what it means to tell my side of my own personal story and boldly share my own cherished memories because everything that has happened to me has brought me here to this moment, to this day. And maybe I can help better this world for all I have learned......

In receiving this delightful reward I must share five random facts about myself.

1. I LOVE cooking stir fry because it can be as colorful as the rainbows with every kind of vegetable saute in olive oil over steamed rice. It's an endless dish of possibilities! I never make it the same way twice and that helps improve my cooking creativity.

2. I enjoy wear scarfs all the time, I think they are comfortable and colorful. I like how they add to the warmth you need on those cold winter days. I also like how they look when you dress up a bit more then usual. Ever since I learned to knit several years ago I am proud of all my scarfs and can't seem to wear them enough!

3. I happily listen every morning to Dick Gordon from THE STORY. I love such radio programs that tell a story and share in other people's lives, These type of radio programs help me relate to a different perspective. Some mornings will have me laughing out loud or crying softly. I feel myself balancing out my own emotions to think of my own story too. When people open up to share their life and their stories I melt like butter inside listening and delighting in knowing them better and deeper then before! I know it's impossible to know or hear every story out there but I am going to give it my very best to try and capture it all!

 4. My favorite place in my home is the dinning room that spills out from my tiny kitchen. I love that area in this one bedroom Condo in Boise Idaho. I write or draw at the kitchen table with my fat fluffy cat laying on my arm or I sit in the living room facing my favorite area of my home. When you live in a small place like this floor space is a treasure to have!

 5. I have a list of things I love doing, but when I walk I enter a whole other world that is hard to describe. It is amazingly beautiful to walk! To slowly move along the earth or discover what is located just around the corner. We easily miss out on so many details when we drive, ride or run. Walking is just a simple way to get around and yet it's like entering an entirely different place on earth! I hope nature will always be here for us to walk in the heart of everything!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Kittens

I was 14 years old walking through my mother's kitchen looking for a glass of water. In one arm I carried 2 kittens with me as I overheard mom talking to her old high school friend. The ladies were chatting away when mom saw my kittens saying "NO CATS in the house, remember?" I smiled in reply "They aren't in the house, they are ON me." My mom's friend lived on a horse farm so as she took a kitten she exclaimed "Wow! I have never seen a kitten THIS calm...Usually they freak out being this far from their mother?" I listened to her wondering what could be wrong with my kittens? Just as She asked "What is wrong with them? This one doesn't have it's claws out either?" I looked in alarm back at the kitten that she was now holding, WAS something wrong with my new littler of 3 week old kittens?! My mom just chuckled explaining "Any kitten born under Debby's care is the most loving cats you will ever find!" I sighed with relief that my kittens were okay after all. I also felt proud that my mother had said that about me. The ladies talked about cats as I listened to how different my litter was from the cats they grew up with. I had heard all the horrid stories of cats birthing out kittens then eating them Or a tom cat killing the whole litter! But as I listened to those ladies I realized how differently I raised my own kittens from most other farms. I even kept a cat "family tree" recorded in my note book. When a mama cat went into labor I took her to my made up corner of old blankets and towels for her to have the privacy through out the day in our storage room while I stayed there beside her watching and praying over her. Then I would read or draw while each kitten was born, I petted the mother cat gently all along and talked to her softly as she went through all that pain. Each baby kitten was gently moved after they were cleaned up to nurse I used my fingers to move under them so they were guided to the food source, I made sure they stayed safely tucked in the dark corner during the first couple of weeks. Then every day I talked those newborn kittens, I carefully pet them, made sure they were all eating and sharing. As they began to roamed I carried them with me everywhere in my arms or on my shoulders. In the summer evenings we all went on a walk, the four kittens and me. I watched over them as they came when I called to them, we walked out into the fruit trees for new adventures for them to see. I loved how fast they came to me when I gave out my alarming cry, I talked with them along side their mama cat. but when I carried all of them in my arms they would simply fall asleep. They were definitely different kittens then most farms, I adore my kittens and taught them how to be so trusting with humans. I often took an afternoon nap on the floor of the storage room where my four kittens would crawl right over or into me and I would smile at those tiny paws and soft noses against my cheeks. I would lay there thinking about the nice thing my mother said about me, That Kittens raised by me where the most loving kittens you could find. And I loved them all! 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Our Newspaper Route

It was just a few months after we were married that my husband Tony decided we could get a newspaper route to work together making a little more money. I thought that since we had just bought a new car it would be able to keep up with the miles of the route. Now Tony worked a swing shift as a Travel agent getting off work around 1am and I drove the half hour freeway drive to pick him up. As Tony explained how the newspaper route will work both Dad and I looked at each other with worries over our evening beers. Dad said "Now what? you want to take on a paper route? If you start delivering newspapers at 2am then when will you get any sleep?!" I nodded my agreement with Dad's concerns, but I also saw Tony's point of view in having a bonus job we could do together. Tony excitedly explained "We are getting a great route that pays the most out in Kuna." Dad snorted shaking his head as I said "We would be together in our car not alone that late at night." I had so many doubts that I decided to make up my mind and just do this. Tony looked at his father as he asked "What do you think?" Dad thoughtfully sighed his reply "I think it sounds shitty, but if you guys know what you are doing then go for it. Just make sure you DO get some sleep." I had no idea how hard THAT was going to be!

Day 5 of newspaper route, 120 hours into this CRAZY job I sat repeating over and over again "I will not lose my temper, I will not lose my temper, I will not lose my temper, I will not lose my temper.." to myself as I held a stack of newspapers in my lap. The delivery of our papers ran 2 hours late this night and now we were cutting our own deadline short. We hadn't got this crazy wilderness route down yet to not waste any time reading the map with a flash light. "Damn it Tony! You missed the turn over there!" I snapped as I remembered this road from the last long stressful passed four nights. "No that was the wrong way remember last night we got so lost!" He said back while still driving the wrong way. I snapped again as the morning sun was raising changing the dark sky to a light gray. "Noooooo we got lost last night because YOU DID THIS SAME THING! BLAAAAAAAAA!" (So much for NOT losing my temper) Tony reminded me "YOU said that tonight you were not going to YELL at me!" I waved a heavy newspaper in his face "THAT was before YOU got us lost! and I want to go home!!!" Tony and I rotated drivers over the next following nights but no matter what or who was driving for EACH and EVERY night we had a big stressful fight. Once when I was so upset as the passenger I just got out of the car. "OKAY OKAY I am sorry for yelling at you, BUT PLEASE GET BACK INTO THE CAR!" Tony called out after me as I walked away from him. I had no idea where I was in the darkness on that country side of those big dairy farms. With the lack of sleep and that feeling of dread having to delivery newspapers at 3 or 4am everyday was NOT what I wanted my life to be. Both Tony and I would start out talking about how much we loved each other, how happy we were to be in this job together then 6 hours later we were screaming and shouting at each other. It was the most crazy job I have ever had, that endless pile of newspapers and the frustration in not knowing where they all go. Tony rolled his eyes at me with a sigh "Why do YOU always have to pee at the very same time EVERY night?! I don't want you going out there in the darkness there are no lights to see what is around." I moaned "It's not like I have a choice!" We would have to pull over out in the cold weather miles away from any restroom. That first night when we delivered papers to a scary looking home down a really bad gravel road only to have the biggest monstrous dog slam up against the driver side window. It was At this very scary moment that Tony and I screamed at the top of our lungs! That was why when we finally watched the movie "Cujo" with the dog slamming against the car window, Tony said "Hey isn't that dog from our old newspaper route?"  Needless to say that section of our paper route was always so scary even though we learned not to drive along so slowly and even though we watched for the crazy dog, he still was able to make us lock our car doors as he chase us along. 
When Tony finally did the cost of gas, wear and tear on our car which defiantly took a beating scrapping sides of mail boxes or getting stuck in drain ditch. He realized we were making only $5 an hour. Those long stressful hours were any time from 1am to 10am when we would crash into our apartment dragging our feet and falling asleep completely dressed. Each morning we made up from our fight the night before but it wasn't getting any better after just a couple of weeks. When I realized we made only five dollars an hour Together, I was so deflated.
"Debby slow down you just passed the drop off!" Tony snapped as he had me back up so he could throw the newspaper into the drive way. I corrected him "You forgot to bag it! What if it rains!?" Tony rubbed his forehead like he could scream as he lifted his chin pointing ahead "Just go! I am DONE I am completely DONE with this job!" I chuckled as I replied "Well it sure isn't worth getting a DIVORCE over!" I felt so relieved that Tony made up his mind right then and there that we were done. I was so happy the very next night actually sleeping in our bed instead of driving all over the country side with the stressful weight of newspapers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Macks; The Stalker

The sun was beaming down that hot August day, I was sweating away in my t-shirt and jean shorts as I was helping an elderly lady load up her car with boxes of the early harvest of peaches that we had just got into the shop. Working at Macks fruit stand gave me these daily workouts with whatever I had to carry or lift. At that moment in the blazing sun heat I wasn't paying attention as an older man stood by my side. He was a Hispanic man holding a single red rose as he blocked my path between the pallets of peaches displayed in fruit baskets. I wiped my sweaty forehead pushing up my eye glasses just then as he stood there I was suddenly noticing this guy was talking to me. "Wait. What did he just say?" I asked myself looking at the man with that rose in his hand. He handed it to me but I backed up as I realized he was so intense. He had been there earlier that morning and now that he was back made me worry as to why he was handing me a rose. He said again loudly "Will you marry me?" I let out a half laugh and step back from him again. He was moving in on me so strongly and pushing that rose in my face. "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!"  my head screamed with alarm. At first I thought he was joking but the look on his face said it wasn't a joke. "Holy crap!"  was my last thought as I scrambled away from him shaking my head "NO" I even jumped over a whole pallet of peaches because he had me blocked, I said clearly at him "NO! Oh No no no no sorry I am NOT getting married ....EVER." I was looking around for the owner Larry or anyone who was working with me. The guy came at me with that red rose still flying towards my sweaty face, He said "YOU not marry? That is crazy, you should marry me! Will you marry me?" I finally found my feet again moving around backwards starring at this guy uncomfortably. I said straight forward again keeping my eye contact with him so he knew I was not in doubt of my answer. "NOPE, SORRY, I'M NEVER MARRYING." He kept at it and it was hard to not panic as I felt all alone until I made it back into the shop flagging down the owner's wife Debbie. She had been talking to my co-worker Tony as I alarmingly asked her to help me loose this stalker guy who was asking me to marry him over and over again! Debbie moved forward on the crazy guy without hestination. Tony turned to me asking if I knew this guy and I burst out laughing shaking my head "I have NEVER seen him until today and now I can't go back out there until he is gone!" Debbie was great in knowing what to do! She immediately started shaking her hands at this man with that rose still in his hand. Debbie got him to leave with whatever she said. Though over the next few months when he came into the store I had to hide, I loved how Debbie would come running in warning me he was here again and I would spring into hiding. That stalker guy was unlike any I had ever seen before, if he caught me by surprise instead of saying "Hello, how are you?" like normal people he would instead blur out "Please Marry me!" and I would stay close to the phone if I was running the store all alone when he came in again, I learned to say angrily "NO! NO! NO!" holding my ground and glaring him down. The fact he kept coming back just bewildered me! When my new friend/co-worker Tony said to me that I shouldn't put up with that kind of harassment. I asked him how could I deal with it? He said with a confident smile "You need to know how NOT to be so nice with such creeps." I realized next time when faced with this stalker I never once cracked a smile nor did I even answer his questions. It actually worked at how he got the cold shoulder not just my frustrated words, he simply stopped carrying around that rose. And what amazed me the most was that I learned how I had the power to protect myself. Of course it took some practice in the mirror to make my scary bitch face:-D

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Drivers Ed.

I was Seventeen years old when I got my driver's license. I was completely terrified! I knew it was time for me to learn how but I wasn't in a hurry. I took my very first drive with Allen Bonnell my dear old friend who I cleaned house for every week. He was calm and taught me how to feel where those 4 wheels were. I remember how I was shaking so much that I couldn't even breath, he was told me that I was in control more then I realized. When my actual Drivers ED class time came I realized also that it was the first time in my life I had ever sat in a school classroom! I was thinking about how clumsy and stupid I was among a group of younger teens in class. That when driving I would cause an accident in no time! I had heard the stories of that crazy place called "PUBLIC SCHOOL" Now I was actually THERE learning how to drive. My sister Dana drove with no fear, she took behind the wheel like just another tractor ride on the farm. My problem driving was that I said "I'M SORRY, so sorry I'm sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, ooops! sorry." I said "I am sorry" about a hundred times just in my first setting until the driving instructor shouted "STOP saying you are sorry! just DO IT RIGHT!" I would then burst into tears and my other home schooled friend Leah would pat me on the shoulder as I tried to stop crying. The 3 of us girls, Dana, Leah and I were sharing the car time of  learning how to drive. It was good to have each other there to know we weren't alone. I also never had taken a test before, so the written exam was surprisingly so stressful for me because I never knew that kind of pressure, that kind of fear in failing in a time limit.
"YOU DRIVE LIKE AN OLD LADY!" Dana exclaimed at me as I waited a bit longer at the stop sign trying to breath, trying to not cry as I was being forced to drive. Our mother sat in the passenger side "She NEEDS to learn how to drive more." Mom said back at Dana as they were both watching me slowly brake up to stop sign. "Good grief! it's a 20 minuet drive! This is turning into an hour!" I giggled with nerviness as my sister sat in the back seat impatiently. I usually sat back there very relieved to NOT be driving as Dana usually took over the wheel confidently. Now Mom made us change places so she could watch me drive. I was still panicked that my hands were still shaking, I knew how easily an accident could happen and if it was because of my own stupidity that someone actually die then I knew I couldn't live with myself. I thought IF something like that happened I know I would NEVER drive again without hesitation. My mind was racing with all the "What IF...?" as I drove down that wide open country road. I asked not taking my huge frighten eyes from the approaching road "Can Dana drive back?" my voice was pleading as Mom shook her head "Nope, YOU need to drive Debby! You can't hide in the back forever." Dana mumbled "Why would you want to?" I felt myself moving forward on the road, taking everything in around me as I pushed more onto the gas. I sensed in myself this desire to not be afraid anymore, I needed to know how to face this uncertainty that comes from driving. This deep fear that I am not good enough to be trusted behind the wheel. I took a deep strong breath as I felt that engine rolling on while I began to realized that I called the shots. This car couldn't do anything without my say so. 
I was learning of a thing called Bravery.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Therapy Dogs

A year ago my miniature Schnauzer Oscar and I took a training class every Wednesday night for almost 3 months. We became Therapy dog volunteers visiting the Caldwell Hospital along side our new friends and my second Mother-in-law Teresa who had been in the program for a couple of years.When she talked about how they meet up with patients and the hospital staff I admired her thoughtful stories. I was inspired that such good people like Teresa can do this with their dogs. When Teresa married Dad his oldest miniature Schnauzer named Newton took to her with such loving devotion! So they visit the hospital with Oscar and I now at least a couple of times a month. I always have such a fun time doing this, I learn something new each visit. I even notice in my own dog a change of calmness and he loves that people are there to pet him:-) I also love how calm Newton is as an older dog, he has an understanding of the word "Sharing" (unlike Oscar who thinks he is the only dog in the room at times.) Teresa and I have always been friends since she joined the family, yet in doing this volunteering together I think we have learned so much more about each other and I really look up to her!
I also love her calming nature in all our noisy family events.
During our class time last year there was an old golden lab so sweet and smart. Her name was Hannah, I would go down to my knees in petting and hugging her, Hannah would leaned into my legs when standing in line and I LOVED IT because she felt just like my own memories of my childhood dog Savannah. Last month Hannah died, she was an old dog when joining our training class and it was amazing to see how she touched everyone's life just being there so beautiful and so loving. Since my own dog was a bit edgy during those first few classes I found our peaceful spot between 2 older labs to help calm him down. It worked instantly! as Oscar seemed to like and trust those older dogs one being Hannah, the other a bear of a dog named Jack. I watched how centered around by older, wiser dogs that my dog Oscar picked up their behavior quickly. I have at least 11 more years with Oscar in my life and every year after that will be a bonus joy, in every death of our pets there is hurt and it can't be describe what an amazing impact those four legged friends give to us in our daily lives. Some people are afraid of feeling that kind of lost, that kind of pain. I have been trying understand them in this fear. I can see why such fear over the clear cut facts that every dog comes to an end would keep some people from ever opening up their home to a dog. I think to myself though that I would regret it more NOT having my dog stories, my laughter and tears fill up my life with that cozy dog smell and all those true friendships. I am not afraid of such pain of lost, of those final goodbyes. I can see clearly the deepest pain would be TO NOT HAVE LOVED or BE LOVED in our short life time. In this month's Newsletter our wonderful Therapy Dog friend Kathi Lee shared a poem that triggered my emotions on this subject, I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did!

                 (written by Kathi Lee 1993)

I often wonder why this and that
and when and where and mouse and cat.
But the question that I ponder most
is why we live long and dogs don't.

Perhaps in this great Universe
where perfection is what we seek,
A dog gains it in one day
but it takes man many a week.

Seven times as patient
seven times as kind
seven times as gentle
in dog years this we find.

To loose a dog is painful
and never will you replace
the way he played and frolicked
and licked you on your face.

But just maybe, when our great maker
was laying out the plan
He sent dogs down to teach us
to be a better man.

So He made dogs lives much shorter
so many teachers we could share
and our lives would be so much better
    ....because a dog was there.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Open Road

It was calling my name the open road, the highway, the freeway, the country side and that beautiful sky! The wind was moving, the world was beautiful! And I had to answer the call for adventure, I had to just take a brake from everything and be with myself, be with my own thoughts inspired by the fall season and gorgeous colors out there! Now before I just jumped into my car. Before I just took off on the highway, I had everything serviced and tires rotated so my vehicle could step up to the challenge, I always took special care of my car. I knew it was by far most important thing I owned. That little white four door geo metro became my trusted ride. With light gray interior the car was spotless, smelling like vanilla (Though I would not allow an air freshener to be seen from any window:-]) My car and I were like a hand and glove, I knew if my car wasn't in shape then I couldn't take any of my road trips. My roommates loved my car because there was room for us all to ride around together. When the day came I felt it in the air, I wasn't actually sure when but I knew I was going the first chance I got.....I was answering the call of the open road!
It was 6am as the sun was braking through the sky, I could not deny my need to find that open road! With my back pack, my pillow and blanket laying in the backseat I drove on. I stopped at my favorite coffee stop for my breakfast and a hot creamy mocha. It was such a crisp clear fall Friday morning as I drove out of town! I loved being 22 years old, I loved living in my own place and having my own choices to make. Do I go or do I stay?  I smiled happily to myself, for I knew the answer was.....I GO!!!
Driving from Caldwell Idaho to Salem Oregon wasn't a new trail, I had averaged out 3 trips a year to see my best friend Joanie since she started attending college there. Though this particular road trip wasn't planned, I also went all by myself. I called my boyfriend from the highway on my cell phone, He had still been sleeping but now he was going to worry over me traveling like that. I realized as soon as I would make it there I had to call him back so he didn't worry all night. I loved that first cell phone of mine just like I loved my very own first car. It gave me such freedom! "Good Morning Babe! Guess where I am?" His voice sounded hoarse as he replied "Where?" I chuckled "I am passing through Baker city right now." He exclaimed "YOU ARE WHAT?!" I described the landscaping and my cell phone cut out. I called him back as soon as I could, My sweet boyfriend didn't want me to travel all alone, but I got out early so I had all that day light on my side. I wasn't stupid, as a young woman I knew not to stop off at a rest area or go off on some alley street. Instead every gas station I stopped at I kept to the place and visited with people working there. I realized when I passed through The Dallas that I should of gotten a map. But I found my way via my memory and the help of a cherry coke. My boyfriend was so surprised I was gone and called me through out my driving day, I was having a great time in that fall sun light and I took in all the changing wonderful colors. I found that I also talked to myself out loud when I am all alone too. If I found a radio station to sing to I did that for awhile also. There is something just FUN about singing to the top of your lungs with no one around to judge you if you messed up or sound bad:-)
It was just as I left Pendleton that my father called me, How odd it was for he NEVER called me! He started off  "Did I wake you?" I shook my head at his sarcastic voice, "Nope." I replied then waited. He said "How is the job hunting going?" I replied "I got a job at a gift shop I start next week." He sounded surprise "Wow that was fast I was thinking you would just be sleeping in until your money ran out." I chuckled at how my father viewed me still in bed when he called  "Nope I got a job, and now I am half way to Portland." my father exclaimed "You are WHAT?" I liked not telling anyone I was going on that road trip, until I was already gone! It was funny how surprised everyone was when I told them. I loved road trips and I talked about them all the time! But this time it was extra special for me and my own time. I drove along happily knowing it was just a weekend trip to see my best friend but it was also something deeper for me, I was moving forward in my new life and on that beautiful open road!