24 years ago, on a morning just like this one, as the first fingers of sunlight streaked across the desert sky I was cuddled up next to my boyfriend in my bikini, his old Cutlass roaring down the highway towards a day of sun and fun at the lake.

Nothing better to do with the day than to find somewhere to get tangled up together.

As I drive in to work today I think about how different life is for the two of us now, and remember so fondly how wonderfully naive and easy life once was.

Life has definitely had its ups and downs, and I’m so glad that the sweet, silly and immature boy I once dated has turned into the strong,  responsible and hard working man I married 22 years ago, but sometimes when the memories of yesteryear tickle your brain it is a bit bittersweet.

 

adulting

I don’t want to ADULT today!

Please don’t make me!  Yes, I know I have been at my desk for HOURS already, and have been diligently mining data as my profession dictates- but it doesn’t mean I have to like it!

I mean it is summertime out there!  Do you know how much harder it makes it to be a good girl and go to work every day when all you can think about is SUMMER ACTIVITIES?

Boating, swimming, basking…leaving this hot hell-hole of a place and hitting the beach.  OK, MOSTLY just hitting the beach.

I need to plop my ass in the sand and make roots. At least for the rest of the summer.  Why can’t I have been smart enough to figure out how to make that happen?  Is there a job for quality control of the beach scene?

That should be a thing.  Jolene, Beach Quality Control Coordinator. Has a nice ring, don’t you think?

Blonde roots run deep

You ever just have one of those moments (or days, weeks, years) that you seriously worry about yourself? A moment that you even shock yourself over your own idiocy?  Well, I had one of those the other day at the gym. (Sadly, these moments are fairly commonplace)

Much like blogging, running and I have not been spending much quality time together.  Between work, the Beach Body thing and school I have been a tad overwhelmed.  That and it is 1000°F outside in Phoenix during the summer.

With it being hot as hell in July I opted for a run on the treadmill at the gym in the air conditioning.  I may have been a tad dehydrated from drinking a couple of Blue Hawaiians the night before (Don’t judge me! They are delicious) so the 5 miles I put on the old “dread”mill were brutal.

Trying to maintain an upright position while walking out of the gym, post-run I see my adorable little bright blue Focus start to back up out of the parking spot where I left it.

focusUnderstandably this freaks me the FUCK out, and I start to run at the car, waving my arms and yelling “STOP!”.  As I run at the car, an older man looks at me in his rear view and punches it, speeding out of the parking lot (I am sure I looked VERY scary and psycho).

While I chase after him a few more steps, I run right by the Jeep that I drove to the gym. NOT THE CAR.  WOOPS.

Thankfully I haven’t seen that driver or the car there since. Not my proudest moment, but still rather funny.

 

 

Forgive me Fitness, for I have sinned…again

Run collage 7.11.2015

Forgive me fitness, for I have sinned. I have blasphemously let my hard-earned running callouses heal.  I know, I know! Absolute travesty of epic proportions!

I have not been making enough time for running lately, and it is a crying shame, because I love it. I love being outside, seeing the world unfiltered, feeling the sun on my face, the breeze in my hair- and the sweat dripping off my nose (and well, everywhere else).

Some sort of miracle happens when I am able to get out there and hit the pavement.  All of my worries just fall by the wayside- or just don’t seem to have the mammoth proportions they did prior to the run.  It keeps me in balance.

I have to be more time conscious.  Between work, parenting, working  out, school- the cycle has not given me much free time.

I am so glad that I set my alarm clock this morning and made it happen.  A good run makes for a better me.

choose wisely

Just because she makes me laugh and I love this gif.

Google search made me sad today. That is a whole lotta burpees.

burpees choose wisely

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This harrowing video about domestic violence is going viral because it looks familiar for too many

This was a hard one to listen to…but hopefully will give others the courage to walk away from unhealthy relationships.

It definitely made me reflect on just how lucky I am. Made me sad for her, as it will be hard to rebuild and trust again, but I think she is strong enough to do so.

Quartz

Emma Murphy is a 26-year-old mother of two from Dublin, and a manager at nutritional supplement company Forever Living Products. On Facebook, she often publicly shares recipes and tips, as well as pictures of her young children. But the video she posted on July 6 was on a considerably darker subject. Speaking directly into the camera, with a dark eye and distress in her voice while her toddler son plays in the background, she talks about the domestic violence she says she suffered at the hands of her partner, the father of her children.

In the share text introducing the video post, she writes:

I thought long and hard before posting this video, this is very difficult for me but I have to do what is RIGHT, if you or anyone you know has it is in a similar situation please share this video to inspire other women around the…

View original post 206 more words

Miss me?

It’s been a little while between posts, and I am sorry for that.  Between the loss of my pooch, work, workouts and school I have just been a tad overwhelmed.

Up until about a week ago I was considering shutting down the blog, as I have not had much time to devote to “quality” posts, and didn’t feel like much of what I had to say was resonating with too many people anyway.

Then I realized I was riding the pity pony too hard, and it was time to get over myself, throttle back and get a grip. (How is that for too many colloquialisms in one fell swoop?)

So I am unable to post daily. So what?  I didn’t get into blogging to win a popularity contest (Good thing, or I would have lost my ass a long time ago). I got into it as a way to express myself and to log my life story. For me. That way when I go batshit crazy and can’t remember anyone or anything, someone can pull up a piece of my life and read it to me. Remind me of who I’ve loved, where I have been, what amused me and who I was.  Hopefully that is far, far in the future.  Or, at some point my kids or grandkids (again, far, far in the future) will have an online journal of sorts where they can connect with their insane, but insanely lovable Grandmother.

Side note- this is NOT me…just the epitome of nutso.

Let’s face it- my life isn’t crazy eventful right now anyway. Just a lot of work being put in, in the hopes that I can stockpile enough vacation time and cash TO make it eventful.

Are you sensing a theme here yet?

Losing a friend to the Rainbow Bridge

“I need you to come home.  Somethings wrong with Jake.” He said and then his voice cracked. As I was about to ask him what was going on, Jake started to yelp loudly.  Then silence.  I could tell Jimmy was crying. I have no idea what he said after that- whether I couldn’t understand him through the fog of fear in my mind, or if he was just so upset that he was unintelligible.

I drove like a bat out of hell from work to get home and still didn’t make it in time to say goodbye to my boy.  Thank God Jimmy was home with him when he passed. A companion as smart and loyal as Jake deserves to be wrapped in love and not to be alone on his last day. He died suddenly and with his favorite human in attendance.

We just had no clue that he was sick.

Just a few days before this he was catapulting into the pool, skipping himself across the surface to fetch the tennis ball.  The weekend before that was spent running non-stop while camping, chasing his new girl friend, a 1.5 year old Pit-Sharpei mix named Shea.

He had zero health issues. By all accounts a healthy, and wonderfully energetic adult dog.

I have tried unsuccessfully for the past month to post this, but keep putting it off. Perhaps to buy some time, making his death “less real”. By not writing it down, it didn’t really happen and when I go home today he will greet me at the door with his signature “sonic bark” coupled with insane body wriggles while bouncing around and wagging his baton of a tail like a metronome.

Or,  when he slyly goes into”stealth” mode in order to sneak up and mark his territory via the gift of snail-like-drool-slime all over my work clothes as soon as I walk in the door.

We may have named him Jake, but he could have just as easily been named “Ninja”, “Slimer” or “Jester”.

Every time I get started writing, the water works start pouring and I have to stop. Today was no exception. Going through pictures of him with the kids has torn my heart anew.  Leafing through these tangible memories of happy times, early times. Times when the kids were small and so was he.

I am so glad that we were able to take him camping and swimming one last time.

I can’t believe that he will never get that gorgeous powder face on his black fur.  He was only ten years old.

He never even had a chance to go gray.

If you have never been owned by a GSP then you have no idea the level of mischief they can get into.  Jake’s trademark mischief move was after he either dumpster dived, or counter surfed that any remnants of his misdeeds would be hidden in the pool.  To his credit, unless we checked the pool before leaving for work in the morning- he got away with it for long stretches of time.

Not only did he have his own couch, chair and could sleep with either kid in either of their beds- sometimes he just had to sleep in the laundry basket. The much, much smaller than he is-laundry basket.

Jim 1226

Cuddling on the couch with my daughter (not HIS couch, but ours. The one he is not supposed to be on. As you can see he was very concerned with rules).
Jim 2606

This is his couch. (Can you tell?)

Jake's Couch

In the ten short years we had Jake, he entrenched himself in our hearts and enmeshed himself in every facet of our daily lives.

He was our best friend when we needed one, and the absolute embodiment of unconditional love.

So many of our best memories were spent in the pool together. Jake was the proverbial “water dog”.

 

Jake 2014 010 Jake 2014 011 Jake 2014 012 Jake 2014 013 Jake 2014 014 jake 2014 022 Jake 2014 023

Yes, he is standing in the pool while our other dog swims around him. This was one of his favorite shared activities with my husband.

Jake 2014 025 Jake 2014 026 Jake Swimming 2014 009

This was the face he would make when he didn’t want to do something. Like go outside when it was too hot- unless we were going swimming too. If we weren’t swimming, then he wasn’t either (and you couldn’t “make” him). 
JakeShaming

He will always be my sweet boy.  Man, I am going to miss that dog.

Swimming Can Cun 2014 032

**Please forgive me if there are any glaring grammatical issues- was hard enough to get to this point without worrying about grammar nazis.
The song that inspired his name. Corny, but true.

Finally Friday!

Is it just me, or do the dog days of summer really drag out when you are locked inside and unable to enjoy the beauty and bounty that is OUTSIDE?

One of those days

I seem to have had a string of endless days this week, and am beyond thankful that the work week is about over.

Time to Go forth and be awesome…Because Neil Patrick Harris says so, and because, let’s face it- I will anyway.

Go Forth

And with that we begin the FRIDAY GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH that is so much fun for me.

Wow.  This is about a flashback meme if ever there was one:

The thought of this makes me want to go to Disneyland even more (Come on, you know it would be irresistible!):

Love Google searches- what people tag as awesome can be …well…different…(No, I am not getting anything productive done today. AT ALL.)

Too soon?

Creepy but kinda awesome

I have got to get away from the interwebs for awhile

…and Finally- Happy Friday Y’all!

 

Scaredy Cat

I never run at night.

Why, you ask?

Because I have an extremely overactive imagination, that is why.

I think it all stems from a childhood obsession with the classic horror stories. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein both repulsed and attracted me in turns.  How could I not be enthralled by such an incredible character? Or feel empathy for his plight and fear?

Bram Stoker’s Dracula- another fascinating creature! Immortal, infinitely cruel , yet somehow tender? How could you not be entranced by his weirdly romantic, yet macabre story?

The infamous Jekyll and Hyde, indelibly written on my brain before I hit junior high.  Always wandering the elementary school libraries in search of monster novels I haven’t yet read. The Werewolf, King Kong, The Mummy. Loved them all. Classic horror, gothic horror- could not get enough of them. While other kids were delving into Sweet Valley High, I was devouring Edgar Allen Poe.

(I was also not allowed out much, and we didn’t have cable. A girl has to have a hobby,and it gets really hot here in the summer)

  

For some reason the picture reel in my head for the books I loved and most remakes always revert to the black & white films. Somehow the movie magic was a little more mysterious in the old silver screen films, the women just a touch more dramatic and glamorous. Maybe the imagination had to be more engaged when watching the old reels.  CG is fun to watch, but it doesn’t really leave much to the imagination.

I highly suspect that “Elvira- Mistress of the Dark” plays an integral part with the black and white movie love. I may not be old enough to remember a time before color TV, I’m just old enough to have seen several movies and shows in black and white- and those were Elvira’s favorites.

One night she had shown the movie “Nosferatu”. Made in 1922, and which I only saw once. However, something about that damn movie haunts me. I am pretty sure that movie is the basis for my imaginary nemeses “The Shadow Goblins”.

If I had to hazard a guess it would be any one of these little gems that did it:

You have to admit, for 1922 that was some insanely well done makeup. That imagery had to have scared people shitless back then.

Now here is where it gets weird- I have never searched out and read stories, books, comics nor willingly watched any zombie themed movies.  Something about them, the very notion or idea of them freaks me the fuck out.  When “I am Legend” came out, I watched it in Imax with the hubby and spent the next two weeks trying to burrow under him in my sleep. (I couldn’t not watch the new Will Smith movie. Lesson learned- still haven’t watched the Brad Pitt “World War Z”, and I have no future plans of doing so. Zombies are creepy as shit already. FAST zombies? No thank you.)

I did, however think that watching the spoof “Zombieland” would not be a big deal. HA! I was treated to about a month of recurring dreams that featured the Zombie Clown. That was fantastic, let me tell you.

Now you have the background into the weird phobia I have of running in the dark- which was supposed to lead to a very short story. Tangent.  One of these days I will find one and stick to it.

The other day I was running on a beautiful springlike-summer morning around a golf course.  Not a soul in sight for the first mile or so. As I was running and the heat was starting to sneak its way into the day- I had the thought that this would be a gorgeous run at night.

You know, if I wasn’t a giant chicken of the dark. Which naturally led me to think of all the creepy things that could be lurking in the dark. Like shadow goblins. By themselves they are not strong enough to subdue a human, ya know.  However, they do have gardens with flowers that bloom only at night. Those flowers emit a sleep-inducing toxin into the air.  Any unsuspecting jogger would be breathing hard enough to inhale enough of that toxin to immediately be put to sleep. Once asleep the zombies eat your brains.  The shadow goblins get the rest.  Rather neat ecosystem they have going, but one I don’t want to be a part of. So I will continue to run during the daylight.