Monday, December 30, 2013

My First Memory.

My beautiful Ladybug from my dear friend Alex.
My very first memory of my father is at our home in South Africa. I am standing amongst the flowers in front of our house and on the Fennel plant there is this tiny red and black bug. My father reaches out for it and it climbs on his finger and he shows me the bug and says "This is a Ladybird" and he gently transfers the Ladybird to my finger.

I am quite the Ladybird (Ladybug to Americans) collector. My husband has spoiled me the most by creating a vast collection over the years. Whenever I see a Ladybird I always think of my Father. As many of you know that follow my blog, this is a horrible time of the year for me and I spend the December days with the what ifs flowing through my head. 31st December will be 12 years since my Father was murdered. I wonder if the people who chose to take his life ever think of him on this day?

My father wasn't perfect by any means, but he was that person you wanted on your team. He was the first to volunteer to help and never complained when people took advantage of him, I bitched, but he would just smile and remind us all what the purpose was.

My very first car my father bought me was a Volkswagon Citi Golf. The original colors were Red, Yellow and Blue. I got the very first pink one. I loved that car until I got a phone call from my father one morning saying "So you were at the Hard Rock Cafe until 2am yesterday." Everyone knew who the car belonged to and reports were fed back to my parents on my whereabouts. My father was smart.

I loved this car. 
Being Portuguese we are all about entertaining and when we were in high school we had the best sleepovers with the most amazing food. My father would always provide prawns from Mozambique or the largest Crayfish (Lobsters to Americans) and would stay to help us cook them and we would feast as if it was our last day.

My Father and I cooking at one of our many sleepovers.
To say my father is missed is an understatement. Whenever I see a penny on the ground I will always pick it up because I believe that it is my father saying hullo. It is those little things that get me through some days.

My biggest regret is 12 years ago on Christmas I wanted to call my father and my ex-husband refused to let me call saying I could call on New Years. Costs to call South Africa back then were high. I didn't argue and New Years Eve my father was kidnapped. I have an immense amount of guilt that I didn't stand up to my ex-husband and tell him that I was going to call.  The lesson I learned is to never let a day go by without telling those close to you how much they mean to you.

While my heart aches at no longer being able to hear my father's voice, hear his laugh or see his beautiful hands, my heart rejoices that for 35 years I was lucky to have this amazing man in my life and who I had the privilege of calling Daddy.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ten lessons I learned from a 14 year old boy.


Dates don't matter. You can celebrate any holiday any time.

Having a pink mohawk can brighten a challenging day.

When things get overwhelming find some Lego and build to your hearts content.

There are truly amazing, caring people out there.

Every day is a gift to be unwrapped with excitement and wonder.

Everyone faces challenges, it is how you choose to deal with them is what makes you soar.

Family is everything.

The love of your family pet is magical and makes those grey skies become clear and blue.

You're never too old to wear a bear costume.

Never stop smiling.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wonder Woman.

My cousin QUALIFIED for this. 
I think I should dedicate my blog for the next while to people who inspire me and lift me up. Today I am dedicating this blog post to my amazing cousin, Gorgeous.

When Gorgeous was born she stole a piece of my heart. Her huge big blue eyes, perfect features and just all around adorable. Gorgeous always aimed to please and to be the best at whatever she did. Recently I found a letter that she had written to me while I was in hotel training school and I really should scan it and share with you all. It personifies her perfection and love.

I moved to the States the same time my cousins did and for many years lost contact, but through social media we have once again found each other and I am in awe of my cousin.

She is a Mom to the most adorable little munchkins. They are so polite, kind, loving and very rarely do I witness any sass. The only time I do see Adorabalicious ping off the wall is when Grandpa has snuck him a candy.

Gorgeous is a pharmacist so she is wicked smaht (pronounced in a Bostonian accent) and having a pharmacist in the family when you're feeling crappy and don't know what to take is a major bonus.

In between being a Mom, wife, daughter, cousin and pharmacist, Gorgeous also has time to run friggin marathons. She is up at the break of dawn running while most of us are still drooling in our pillows. She qualified again for the Boston Marathon next year. Someone asked her, upon hearing she runs the Boston, what charity she runs for. I bitched slapped them on her behalf.

My cousin is one of my biggest cheerleaders and supporters. She encourages me daily, motivates me, sends me texts that make me smile and loves to give hugs. She is helping me train for my very first 5K. It will be a while, but I will get there because of her amazing support.

I count Gorgeous amongst my greatest blessings and this past year could not have made the steps I have without her love and support. She makes me feel I can climb the highest mountain (but not without a lot of bitching), conquer my demons and soar to great heights.

Now if only I could get her to wear the required Nubian cheerleading outfit would she be 100% perfect.

My Gorgeous Cousin

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Blogging Blessings.

Blogging Besties

In 2010 I started following a blogger Mrs. Small Soldiers aka Brooke. We would read each others blogs and comment and a friendship was soon in the making. Brooke was originally from Oregon so we had lots to talk about and her husband was deployed and with my ex Navy husband I fully understood that time apart and angst.

In 2012 Brooke and her two small soldiers make the trek back to Oregon to begin a new chapter in their storybook and it was our opportunity to finally meet. The husband was away either counting woodpeckers, snails or whales, I forget, so it was a great time to have a girls sleepover. Brooke brought wine. I fell in love.

Brooke is one of those girlfriends you know will always be at your side no matter the storm. Brooke is one of my blessings that I give thanks for daily. I recently saw this friendship quote on Pinterest and it reminded me of Brooke.


Who knew that when I started blogging years ago I would come across another amazing woman to add to my circle of cheerleaders. Sometimes you never know where that curve in the road is going to take you and who you will end up meeting.

Blessed. Loved. Grateful.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Practicing the Kind Heart.

My beautiful Orchid gift from Mel - Ms Rainbow and Glitter

I recently read an article "Practicing the Good Heart"  and after reading it I thought I should share with my blog readers. The word compassion is mentioned many times. I have never been able to watch those reality TV cop shows as to me, those criminals, that is a person whose life went horribly wrong. Maybe they were wired wrong from birth, maybe their upbringing was not ideal, I don't know, but my compassion for them as a human being is deep and their suffering is not one I think we should get any joy of watching. Please don't get me wrong, I currently can't find the compassion for the people who kidnapped my father and murdered him, that would take a whole lot of meditation, prayer and wine, vodka and lots of Godiva chocolate to find the compassion and that is why I hand that bag of dog poop over to the dear Lord. He's got that one.

If my friends and family were asked to describe me in one word, I would hope that it would be, KIND. My friend in Oregon, Ms. Berta, told me when we first became friends she didn't know how to handle my kindness because with so many people she knew they always expected something in return. She learned that with me it was and is a part of who I am and that she has learned to just accept and appreciate and enjoy. That is all I want, just say thank you, give me hug, make me a cup of tea and spread some sunshine.

I have always tried to see the good in others and sometimes to my own detriment. There have been many times when I have helped friends/family/neighbors/charities the list is endless, that there is bound to be that ONE person that I am going to piss off. Not by anything I have said, but completely based on what I have done. I have learned that by me being kind and helping is going to put someones nose out of joint because after hearing how much help I have been, the focus that once they had has now been taken off them and that little jealousy worm inches its way into their soul.

Recently on Social Media I saw this happen with people I thought were friends. I was taken aback by the abruptness and harshness of words and all because I had been kind. Until last night I would constantly beat myself up over this. I could not wrap my head around as to why can't people just be happy that a friend/family/organization is getting help. Then the light bulb went on. It's not me. It's them, that tiny group of people who will look at others and say "Why them and not me?" instead of "I am so happy for them."

I have no control over people's insecurities. I have no control over how miserable people are within themselves. What I do have control over is that I won't allow those people to dictate to me on whether I should continue to be kind. Being kind and compassionate opens up a level of vulnerability that hurts. It is that wound that never heals. Just when you think you can barely see the scar you knick it again and it is exposed and raw. It is those days that I question whether being me is worth all this scar tissue.

I think living the life of a monk would be great. Living as a recluse where all you have is yourself and your thoughts. No one to invade your space, to hurt you with anger and jealousy. I could take a vow of silence, I do it every night when I am sleeping so no problem there.

When the days become tough and the outside world has slithered its way inside my head and all I want to do is escape retreat to the hills, I find myself walking up the driveway of my cousin's home and I look up and see Adorabalicious running towards me , arms out stretched yelling "Prima, Prima*" and it is then that I say to myself, "Bring it on bitches, I got this".

*Prima is the Portuguese word for cousin.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Begin by opening your eyes.

My cousin's friend, Mel, posted a video on her blog last week. It was titled 'Gratitude'. I met Mel the first time I visited New England and I swear if you cut open a vein she would bleed glitter and rainbows. Mel has to be one of the most positive people I have ever met and she really is just wow factor and when she smiles you can't help but smile right along with her no matter what your mood is. Mel has a wonderful blog My Melmoirs go read it and you'll see, this woman is all glitter and rainbows.

This video is pretty powerful and the most powerful line to me was "Begin by opening your eyes because you have eyes to open." I hope you get something out of this video today.

May the storm inside you subside so you can see the beauty before you. May your blessings today be abundant. Begin by opening your eyes.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Canning Cousins.

My cousin has the most incredible kitchen, you can't help but want to bake, cook or create some wonderful dish and pretend you're Nigella Lawson.  This summer my cousin's garden had an over abundance of peppers so I suggested we can them. We had a great morning and can't believe that we only got four jars from all 5 lbs of peppers.  I think we should go into business.

See what I mean by the incredible kitchen!

5 lbs of amazing peppers
Firing up the grill.
Perfectly blackened and ready to be skinned. 
Packed and ready to be preserved.
Canned and ready for salad, pizza or just eaten straight out of the jar.
As I was going through all the pictures I realized that I didn't have a picture of the Canning Cousins! Well next time we decide to can something else I will make sure that a picture is taken of us both with wine glasses in hand.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Unexpected Text.

Oregon Coast

This morning after an intense yoga meditation session I received a text message from a very, dear friend. I don't hear from this person very often. He truly is one of the most genuine people I know so when I received the following text I burst into tears.

You have been an enrichment in my life Nubian, my friend and sister. 

There is no gift or bouquet of flowers that could ever compare to the power of a kind word. It costs nothing and the value is immeasurable. It is a text, along with a few others, that is now locked on my phone that I will read when the world around me seems a little darker. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

New England Afternoon Walk.

I have always found Fall to be so incredibly beautiful and mystical. Fall has a peace about it, a sense of calm where everything just seems to wind down, where the earth and all of us get a chance to catch up, regroup, refocus and replenish. Every state I have lived in offers an equally impressive Fall show and New England hasn't disappointed. Last weekend I bundled myself up and went on a 5 mile walk and took a few pictures along the way. 

Every home I see I would love to buy.

Reminds me of Oregon

I want this mail box.

Attempting to be artistic.

Another home I could see myself living in.

Moxie and Tequila would love running around this yard.

Pumpkin and Apple stand

Even outside the smell of the apples was intense.

I love this time of year. 

Poor pumpkin

Local apples and very, very good.

They make an amazing Apple, Walnut, Caramel Pie

Metal work in the front of a home

Sticker on the metal work. Love it.

A glimpse down the driveway of my East Coast happy place.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

I am Aquarius.

Me with grapes my father grew and in the background my dad's orchids.

I have always had a great fondness for orchids especially the Cymbidium variety. My father grew them and truly had a green thumb. I have tried to grow them, but always manage to either end up over watering them, under watering them or just giving them way too much love.

Today I came across an article about people born under the star sign Aquarius. My birthday is the 21st January so I am just on the cusp. My older sister has always referred to me as the big drip, yes she thinks she is so witty.

"The Orchid is the flower associated with Aquarius. It signifies the sense of responsibility and love wrapped in Aquarius people. The Orchid is a simple, yet attractive flower. It is considered to be the perfect flower to describe the personality of Aquarius. Aquarians have a different vision to look at things. Aquarians are romantic, faithful and loyal to people who matter to them. Aquarians grab the attention of others with their charm and inventive ways." 

I do love the Orchid description part of my star sign, it makes me feel so much closer to my father. As far as being faithful and loyal I think we all are that, but I am realizing that in my case I am faithful and loyal to a fault. I have a very hard time distinguishing the difference between a person wanting to truly be within my inner circle to that of the person wanting to be a part of the circle until they have what they need and then happily move on to the next phase of their life.

For the past 23 years I have been so busy making sure that everyone else is watered, fed and loved that I have neglected my own inner orchid and now in my 47th year I find myself not the bearer of water, but the puddle.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Let's send Deryn smiles from across the world.

Deryn Blackwell

I am asking all my blog friends a huge favor. My last blog post was about a young boy Deryn who lives in England and who is currently battling the most rare form of cancer. If you missed it you can read it by clicking on this link.

Deryn is not doing well. If this round of chemo does not work his chances on seeing Christmas are incredibly slim.

As you all know in my previous blog post I wrote about how Deryn is always smiling, well now it is our turn to return the favor. I am asking that you all post a picture of yourself, or friends, or a picture of wherever you are and post on Twitter with the hashtag #smileforDeryn - Don't forget to also post where you are from. Let us get more people involved by retweeting this blog post.

Together we can get this trending around the world.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Who Would You Prefer Follow You?

The Amazing Blackwell Family.
Photograph courtesy of Callie Blackwell.

I have noticed on Twitter that there have been quite a few requests from people I follow to certain celebrities. They range from "My life would be complete if you said hi" to "Everything I strive to be is because of you." and various other random drivel. I am often left shaking my head wondering as to whom to feel more pity for. When did celebrities become gods? Did I miss the memo?

Growing up my favorite band was KISS. I liked their music. I never did think I would ever go to a concert or meet them as I lived in South Africa and there was no hope of that happening as I grew up during the apartheid era and sanctions was alive and well. When I look at people today and their obsession with celebrities I really don't get it. What have they offered to society? What difference have they made? What huge hurdles have they overcome?

This is where Deryn Blackwell enters the picture. Over a year ago on Twitter I started following Simon Blackwell because he is a baker and he makes pork pies and I love pork pies. We started tweeting back and forth and then I discovered he was a contestant on the Great British Bake Off. I then became twitter friends with his wife Callie and the rest is history.

One day as I was reading through Callie's tweets I read that her son Deryn had been diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Sarcoma and Leukaemia. I cannot imagine what this family is going through. I cannot even begin, as a mother, to wrap my head around what Callie is going through and yet every day the dynamic, incredible, inspiring Blackwells keep going. 

Deryn is 1 in 7 billion. He is the first. I have followed Deryn's treatment daily on Twitter and this young lad amazes me. In videos his Mom posts of him he is always upbeat and always smiling. 

Deryn inspires me. Deryn makes me take a deep breath every day and take in the beauty of all around me. Deryn has taught me to truly appreciate those in my life. Deryn gives me hope when I see so many people on Twitter surround him and his family with love and support.

Now I ask you all, who would you beg have follow you? Some inconsequential celebrity whose sex tape was 'accidentally' leaked to the internet or Deryn, the amazing, inspiring, always smiling teenager from England?

Follow Deryn on Twitter @_DoEveRYthiNg
Follow Deryn on Facebook DoEverYthiNg Foundation

Monday, September 30, 2013

Dear College Football Player

Dear College Football Player:

I have seen your tweets about game day, practices and God. You post a lot about God and trusting He knows what is best for you. I am guessing you are facing some challenges right now, but my guessing is purely based on your tweets.

You have a lot of followers on Twitter and you don't follow that many people so the curious person that I am I clicked on the tab to see who you follow, because you do know that we can do that right? We can see everything you post, who you follow and who follows you.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that you follow the following:

So here's the thing, and I am totally going out on a limb here, I'm pretty sure God isn't too thrilled with this. Maybe I need to send you the WWJD bracelet? Maybe you need a lesson in social media that to follow accounts such as the booty bunch above, have a private one. That way the world and your mother doesn't have to see inside your perverted mind.

Maybe the challenges you face is because God isn't too happy with you right now and is probably waiting for you to get your head out of your ass, or in this case, somebody else's.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The message was loud and clear.

9/11/2013 - Update. I was contacted by Jamie from Red Robin in Layton and she was extremely apologetic. All I asked from her was to train her staff in the correct response to any question they do not know the answer to. A simple "I don't know the answer, but let me find someone who does." would have sufficed. I have also received some comments as to why I did not ask for the manager at the time. I had just driven from Oregon to Utah, I was tired, hungry and wanted to eat and check into our hotel. There were tables around us that witnessed the ordeal and I did not wish to create a scene and I have found that through social media you get a better response, whether the service was bad or good and yes, if you go through my Twitter feed you will see that I am quick to give great recommendations and reviews as well.

The offending beer.

This past week T. and I drove to Utah for a wedding. When we arrived we met our friends at the local Red Robin in Layton. There were 10 of us. After the waitress and manager scrutinized T's ID we ordered a beer. Whenever we travel we like to try the local microbrews and we picked two and ordered. I sent a picture text of the beer to Bear (he stayed in Oregon) and labeled it "Porter".  Bear promptly sent a text back asking from what brewery, I was more focused on the beer and forgot which brewery it was from, you know me... never one to focus.

There was a waiter behind me and this is what progressed:

Me:  Excuse me, I ordered a Porter would you perhaps know which brewery this is from?

Waiter: I don't drink alcohol and I know nothing or want to know about the beer you are drinking.

He started to walk away and my friend asked him if he could find out.  He turned, looked at her and responded "Nope" and walked off.

I was mortified and my friend exclaimed "He wanted to make damn sure that you know that he doesn't drink."

I was so embarrassed, this waiter made me feel as though I was some alcoholic heathen and that he was better than me. His tone was incredibly condescending.

I took my rant to Twitter and one of my followers posted "You're in Mormon Land" to which I responded "I don't care what land I am in. If it is against your belief to drink alcohol, then hospitality isn't for you."

This is what angers me the most about the whole ordeal. I lived in Utah for 16 years and for the majority of those years I worked in the hotel industry. I went to many meeting planner conventions in other states trying to get business to Utah and the number one question asked was "They don't serve alcohol there." Governor Huntsman, the Salt Lake CVB and all in the industry did an incredibly job in changing the perception and that yes, you can get a drink in Utah.

I know that I am better than some idiots out there, but when I was in the industry I served them. I smiled and waved while secretly stabbing them with a sharp pencil in my mind. It is an industry I chose and loved. To see someone like this waiter with his condescending holier than thou attitude makes me want to go Ninja Bitch on his ass and then give him a cookie.

Friday, August 30, 2013

When Your Resume Doesn't Match your Skills.

When applying for a job, make sure that your resume does reflect what your skills are. During the hotel rebranding we hired a maintenance person based on his resume and said skills.

The first week that he was there I saw him in the hotel bar having a beer, during lunch. So after he was done with his lunch I approached him and asked him about it.  The conversation went as follows:

Me:  I need to get your keys and you are to please clock out for the rest of the day.

Clueless: I didn't know I couldn't have a beer during my lunch break.

Me: What job have you ever worked at that they allowed you to drink while working, even if it was your lunch break? 

Clueless:  Why do I have to leave?

Me:  If anything happens to you while you are on the job, we are liable. Please give me your keys and clock out. You can come back to work tomorrow.

Clueless:  Can I make up my hours?

Me: *crickets*

When Clueless came back to work I asked him to please fix a gate that was off its hinges.

Yup, all safe and secure.

The next task was to replace the door locks on the housekeeping supply door as the key to the old lock was missing.


Clueless was by far the most challenging person I have ever had to work with. He had an answer for everything and would refer to me as "Lady" and not in a nice way. I once asked him to fix something and he gave me the complete run down of what he was going to do that I put my hand in the air and said "I asked you for the time, not how to make a watch."

The straw that broke the camels back was when I asked him to please repair the wallpaper in a guest room. The seams were lifting and I needed him to glue them down. After 2 hours he came downstairs and told me that the room would have to stay off market for two days for the glue to dry and that he would need to remove the plank he had secured. I didn't think anything of it and went to check the room and yeah...

Please note that the 2x4 is secured into the wall, through the
wallpaper with screws. Large screws. Loved the caution tape

It was then decided that it was time for him to go. Work was not being completed, he had an answer for everything and his resume was not adding up to his actual work skills.

As I gave him his final paycheck and asked him to sign a form he stood in the lobby and started yelling at me in Spanish. I do not speak the language, but it was very clear that what he was saying was not very nice.  I went into Ninja Bitch mode and asked him to leave the premises before I called the police.

As he is leaving and continuing to yell, he stops and looks at me and says "Can I still put you down as a reference?"


Monday, August 26, 2013

Worth Posting.

Quite a few people on Twitter have been posting the following article written by Gerald Rogers. Huffington Post then picked up on it.  I thought I would share with my blog buddies as it really is great advice, not only for our spouses/partners, but for all that are precious in our life.

Grab yourself a cup of tea and sit in a comfy chair. This is great reading. I would love to hear your thoughts on the article.


Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had...

1) Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.

2) PROTECT YOUR OWN HEART. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.

3) FALL IN LOVE OVER and OVER and OVER again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.

4) ALWAYS SEE THE BEST in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.

5) IT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO CHANGE OR FIX HER… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.

6) TAKE FULL ACCOUNTABILITY for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.

7) NEVER BLAME your wife If YOU get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.

Allow your woman to JUST BE. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.

9) BE SILLY… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.

10) FILL HER SOUL EVERYDAY… learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen.

11) BE PRESENT. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.

12) BE WILLING TO TAKE HER SEXUALLY, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.

13) DON’T BE AN IDIOT…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.

14) GIVE HER SPACE… The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing…. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.)

15) BE VULNERABLE… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.

16) BE FULLY TRANSPARENT. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don't know i she will like what she finds... Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.

17) NEVER STOP GROWING TOGETHER… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.

18) DON’T WORRY ABOUT MONEY. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.

19) FORGIVE IMMEDIATELY and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.

20) ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.

In the end MARRIAGE isn’t about Happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come.

Marriage is life, and it will bring ups and downs. Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experience will bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time.

These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessons I learned too late.

But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward. Truth is, I LOVED being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time.

If you are reading this and find wisdom in my pain, share it those those young husbands whose hearts are still full of hope, and with those couples you may know who may have forgotten how to love. One of those men may be like I was, and in these hard earned lessons perhaps something will awaken in him and he will learn to be the man his lady has been waiting for.

The woman that told him 'I do', and trusted her life with him, has been waiting for this man to step up.

If you are reading this and your marriage isn’t what you want it to be, take 100% responsibility for YOUR PART in marriage, regardless of where your spouse is at, and commit to applying these lessons while there is time.

MEN- THIS IS YOUR CHARGE : Commit to being an EPIC LOVER. There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves that from you.

Be the type of husband your wife can’t help but brag about.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

One of Three Scenarios.

The Benz
Today I went to Offut Air Force Base to do some on base tax free shopping. The last time I was on an Air Force Base is when Bear was still on active duty. So it has been a few years.

My dear friend Ryan has given me the Benz to drive and the Princess ain't complaining. Ry's license place says WRKDHRD and I can attest to that fact. Yes he has an incredible home and cars, but he worked damn hard and is totally deserving of it all.

As I pulled into a parking space I noticed an Air Force Pilot looking at the car. When I got out and started walking to the Exchange the Air Force Pilot fell into step with me and the following conversation took place:

AFP: I must ask you about your license place "Worked Hard" what do you do?

Me: Oh no this car belongs to a good friend who is VP of Operations for a group of hotels, I am borrowing his car as I help him with the rebranding of a hotel.

AFP: That is a great license plate, may I ask where this hotel is?

Me: It is in Lincoln.

AFP: Do you live in Omaha?

Me: No I live in Oregon.

AFP: So what is your affiliation to the Air Force?

Me: My husband is retired Air Force

AFP: Oh, you're married?

Me: Yes I am.

AFP: Oh well, great car.

So here are the three scenarios:

1.  I've still got it.

2.  Air Force Pilots are still players.

3.  It was the Benz.

I think Ry would choose option #3.

I, however, am going with option #1. Yep, still got it.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

No Regrets.

Uncle M. ~ Dad ~ Uncle L.
My mother called me before I came out to Nebraska to let me know that my dear Uncle L was in the hospital. I called the hospital and after being hung up on five times, I finally got to speak to him. He sounded very weak, but was happy to hear from me.  My Uncle passed away this past week. My last words to my Uncle and his to me were "I love you".

After my father's death I made a promise to myself that I would always tell everyone in my life how much they mean to me and I end the conversation or departure with I love you. Christmas 2001 I was married to the ex and I had asked him if I could call my father on Christmas day. The call would be international. At that time we did not have Skype and calls internationally were very expensive. My ex responded no and that I could wait until New Years Day. New Years Eve 2001 my father was kidnapped and murdered. I never got to tell him that I loved him. Whenever I think back on that day the regret sometimes overwhelms me and the guilt in not standing my ground is yet again a sucker punch to the gut. Yes I know that my father knew I loved him, but I didn't get to say it one last time. My cousins all got to say goodbye to my Uncle and they were with him when he passed. We didn't get the opportunity.

No one likes to think about death and that there is always tomorrow, but what if there wasn't and those closest to you were no longer here?  Did they know how much they meant to you?

Would you have any regrets?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Corn Country.

Source Link
A few months ago my friend R, who is Vice President of Operations for a Hotel Management company, called me and told me about a hotel they were going to take over. The hotel was going into foreclosure status and the bank had asked their company to rebrand and get it back in shape. R asked me if I would be interested in helping. I thought it would be fun, an adventure and exciting. Well I wasn't far off.

R emailed me pictures of the hotel and I immediately responded that I thought I had a couple of root canals scheduled over that time period. The pictures were overwhelming. I arrived in Omaha the 4th July and was at work on the 5th. The first week was insane. We have dealt with an alcoholic who walked sideways and fell all over the place. A guest missing presumed dead. A sleep walking tweaker who was found in another guest bedroom. A husband who punched his wife in the face. A staff member who walked out on her shift as she didn't approve of the schedule I had written up and my personal favorite the maintenance person who had a couple of beers with his lunch as he didn't know he couldn't drink while on the job. After working a 12 hour shift I turned to R and said "Okay, where are the cameras because this isn't real, it can't be real."

I have had many WTF moments and there have been days were I wanted to just give up, but R has kept me laughing and giving me the Benz to drive has been a definite plus. We are now staffed and I think we have a great team in place. Everyday is like Christmas as we receive more packages from corporate to bring the hotel back up to brand standard. When the housekeepers received new vacuums I thought they were going to cry. At the end of every work day I look back at the lobby and I can see what we have accomplished.

We have a long way to go, but seeing things progress helps me deal a little bit better with crab walking drunks.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Would It One Day Matter?

I don't like a lot of things I would actually say my hate for certain things is on an even keel with things I love. This blog post is about one of the things I hate is uncaring, unfeeling people.

Living in a college town has been very challenging for me, I should write a book on my adventures. We live in a very nice part of town and we don't have many students in our area. The students that do live here I think are more in the graduate school level, so we are not witness to many parties or late night shenanigans.

At the end of the school year our dumpster becomes a treasure trove. I am literally left speechless as to what is thrown away. Many of the items I take to the Vina Moses Center and many other items we keep. T has scored brand new clothes, an office chair, Oakley sunglasses, Pioneer sound system, coffee table, DVD's, books and I recently scored an awesome Dyson vacuum cleaner. I have the entire family involved now in dumpster hunting.

Yesterday I found this recipe binder in the dumpster. It looked new as the plastic wrapping was semi attached.  When I opened the binder my heart sank. One of the college girls who moved out threw this away. This binder of recipes was lovingly put together for her by her grandmother. Every recipe had a story. This must have taken a lot of time and effort to put together. It was a gift to her in 2010 and one that was never used.

I don't follow this person on Twitter, but I know who she is. I was thinking of keeping the binder and one day if she ever posts that her grandmother has passed away I would send her the binder. Would she  even care?

A few weeks ago I spent time with my cousins on the East Coast. I picked my Aunts brains for all her recipes and wrote them down and they are now in a database of family recipes. Over the years I have collected everything that my Mother bakes and creates as I want those to be passed down to future generations.

I am sad that this girl didn't care enough to save this binder and that she couldn't see all the time and effort that was put into making this for her. Judging by the letter in the front of the binder her grandmother was very involved in her life.

When I see things like this I have the itch on the bottom of my feet to go into Ninja Bitch mode. I hope that one day she will realize what she threw away. I guess until then the only person important to her is the one she sees in the mirror.

How very sad.