Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Family Photo

This is the picture we are sending in our Christmas cards this year, for those of you who may not be receiving a Christmas card (I may not have your address, or some such other technical difficulties).


Wednesday, November 12, 2008


No one ever deserved more to live than my friend, Kimberly Joyce Rupp. But if she could not live, no one ever deserved more to rest in gentle peace.

With apologies to Shakespeare, I offer the following quote:

Come, gentle night, — come, loving black brow'd night,
Give me my Kaihea; and when she shall die,
Take her and cut her out in little stars,
And she will make the face of Heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night,
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
Juliet, Act III, scene ii

In memory of Kimberly Joyce Rupp, 33 precious years old, who lost her battle with cancer at midnight, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Repost from my friend Kaihea's update website

As of tonight, there's no denying we are losing our Kaihea.

Over the past weeks it has become increasingly clear that no plausible medical options remain, and that the damage her body has sustained is simply irreversible. We have shifted from trying to fight the cancer to trying to reduce her suffering, and her family and I have worked hard to make sure Kaihea's wishes regarding resuscitation, etc. were clearly understood and documented before she lost the ability to communicate.

Over the past 48 hours she has become almost completely unresponsive to any outside contact.

She does not seem to be in any pain, and some excellent doctors and nurses are working hard to make sure any pain or discomfort is avoided. Either a family member or myself (usually quite a few of us) is with her at all times and will be through the end. We expect that soon she will slip away painlessly. Her long and difficult battle is nearly over, and I would not say she's losing the fight; rather, we've long felt that every day, week, month we've managed to keep her around is its own victory, and well worth celebrating.

I know you are all aching to do something for her. If you pray, now is the time to pray not for a miracle but for a peaceful and painless end. The time for medicine has passed, and also the time for miracles. You have all done so much for her, shown her so much support and love throughout this ordeal; now is the time when we must let her go, and wish her a gentle and safe passage to whatever lies beyond.
------written by her loyal and courageous boyfriend and soulmate, Manko Eponymous

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Here's a couple of Halloween pictures from VEGAS!! It was such a blast!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My friends

What my friends teach me all the time:

Forgiveness is a gift.

Reaching out to someone means a lot.

Texting is a form of showing love.

Friends and family are the most important things in life.

I am so grateful for my friends. I love you all.

My Friend Kaihea

Justin and I are in Washington, D.C. visiting my friend Kaihea, who is in the hospital battling cancer.

The good news is, she's doing a lot better than I thought she was. YAAY!!

The bad news is, she's fighting a lot of things she shouldn't have to be, like MRSA, pneumonia, and side effects from chemo, mostly nausea.

It is sooooo good to see her and talk with her.

I have faith in God and his healing powers, and I know that God will heal her in his own time. I do not understand why she must suffer first, but I know He will heal her.

May Love Hold Her.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Some pics

Here's some recent pics.

Also, for anyone who isn't on Facebook, I HIGHLY recommend joining. It's the easiest way I've discovered to keep up with friends. I post photos there all the time because it's the easiest way to share them, and my friends and I can all keep track of each other much easier.

Hard lessons to learn

First off, because I have so many wonderful friends who care (and I mean that in the most sincere sense possible), my friend is out of the ICU and doing marginally better. Justin and I fly to Washington, D.C. to see her next week, and I'm practically jumping out of my skin because I want to be there NOW. I'll try to contain myself.

I've learned some pretty tough lessons this week. I may or may not have cost myself a couple of friendships, hopefully not but if I did it was my own fault.

I'm so glad to be reminded that I'm a human being, a work in progress, and thank goodness for divine forgiveness. At least He forgives me, even if my (also human) friends can't.

I guess the day I stop learning is the day I die.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I have faith. And I believe in miracles. And more importantly, I believe in the power of good over evil.

And so, I apply my faith, and my beliefs, to my friend Kaihea, who is, as we speak, in the ICU in Washington, D.C. Not only is she fighting this horrible, evil cancer, but she had to have surgery to replace a kidney stent over the weekend. And as if that weren't bad enough, she aspirated fluid during the surgery. Which landed her in the ICU. Because fighting the cancer isn't fucking enough, I guess she needed to have her strength taxed even further fighting stupid fluids in her lungs.

Despite the bleak outlook, I have faith that God will heal her. I believe that the hour before dawn is the darkest. I hope like hell this is the darkest hour. Please, God, let this be the turning point. Please shrink the tumors. Please heal her lungs. Please, God, please, let my friend live. She's only 34 years old. It is not her time. The gifts she has for this world are many and wondrous.

Please, God. I'm on my knees, asking for your mercy. Hold her in your arms and shine your healing light upon her.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Thumper had it right: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

Ok, so that was Thumper's mom.

But still, this advice and the good old Golden Rule have it right.

I think the key to happiness is to be the best person you can possibly be.

Don't worry about other people's behavior. Just yours. If you treat everyone else in the highest regard possible, then good things will come your way.

And if they don't, they were not meant to be.

I'm so smart...it only took me 31 years to figure this out (or to rediscover it).


Friday, September 12, 2008


Yes, I know there is something to be said about old, long, established love. There's an attraction to knowing someone so well you can finish their sentences, and the perfect gift to give, etc.

But let's face it, there's a certain dynamic attraction to the first few heady days of falling in love. Or falling in lust.

Now, before you all go freak out on me, I'm thinking about this because I'm watching Pretty Woman. I'm not cheating on Justin. :)

But watching Richard Gere and Julia Roberts fall in love with each other, kiss each other on the lips for the first time, Richard teasing Julia with the diamond necklace box....

the allure of fresh possibilities, the promise of new experiences, is just as attractive as the person you are sharing it with.

Is it possible to have that with someone you've known for 10 years?

I think so, and I'm setting out to prove it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's been a while

Like Thumper says: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

I haven't had anything nice to say in a while. Life has been quite a roller coaster lately.

With another down today.

The funny thing is, since life isn't definite, like a roller coaster, one never knows when what appears to be a down really might be an up, saving you from an even worse down we never know about.

It is so hard to not base one's self-esteem on what other people think.

I have to remember that I am a strong, independent woman who is beautiful and smart and perfect in her own imperfect way. God made me this way.

I am a work in progress. What does not kill me will make me stronger.

Everything happens for a reason, even the things that crush us.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Strange Fire

When you learn to love yourself

You will dissolve all the stones that are cast

Now you will learn to burn the icing sky

To melt the waxen mask

I said to have the gift of true release

This is a peace that will take you higher

Oh I come to you with my offering

I bring you strange fire

This is a message

A message of love

Love that moves from the inside out

Love that never grows tired

I come to you with strange fire

--lyrics by Indigo Girls

Sunday, July 13, 2008


To a person who only wants to be heard and understood, being ignored is sometimes cruel violence.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Neat Quotes That Speak to Me Right Now

"Love is a choice you make from moment to moment."--Barbara De Angelis

"How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one's culture but within oneself? If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction, because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light."--Barry Lopez

The single clenched fist lifted and ready,
Or the open hand held out and waiting.
For we meet by one or the other."--Carl Sandburg

"My will shall shape the future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man's doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice; my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny."--Elaine Maxwell

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."--Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I'm doing what I think I was put on this earth to do. And I'm really grateful to have something that I'm passionate about and that I think is profoundly important."--Marian Wright Edelman

"The relationship between commitment and doubt is by no means an antagonistic one. Commitment is healthiest when it is not without doubt but in spite of doubt."--Rollo May

"The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it."--Pearl S. Buck

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."--Theodore Roosevelt

"Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible -- the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family."--Virginia Satir

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."--Albert Schweitzer

"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."--Albert Schweitzer

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude."--Denis Waitley

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Crisis of Identity

I feel cheated. I really thought, when I was younger, that I would have all the answers when I grew up. I remember going through a crisis of identity in my mid-20s, and I was so happy when it was over. It was one of the worst times in my life. I didn't know who I was or what I stood for.

Now I'm at the beginning of my 30s and I'm having the same problem, and I just don't think it's fair. Shouldn't I know by now who I am? What's important to me? Or is this stuff going to continue to change my whole life! Do I have to go through this every decade? I'm not sure if my family can stand it.

I wish I could just sit down and write a list, and say: This is it. This is me. This is who I am, and if you don't like it, tough. I spend so much time trying to be all things to everyone, and part of me likes that I am versatile like that, but I sometimes feel lost in the middle of that. Especially when what one person wants conflicts with what another person wants, or even with what I want. I have a hard time justifying saying: "This is what I want, and I'm going to do what I want."

Is part of growing up learning to say that? And how do you decide when other people's priorities are more important than your own?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Does the statement describe you or not?
I love to be the center of attention.

I have a tattoo.
not yet

I have a piercing.

I have a cat.

I have a dog.
not yet

I have been sent to the principal's office.
not while I was in school, I is an adult now

I have been suspended.

I have gotten detention.

I have been expelled.

I have gotten in a fight at school.

I have lost an iPod.

I have lost a cell phone.

I have listened to classical music and enjoyed it.

I have listened to rap and enjoyed it.

I have listened to showtunes and enjoyed it.
Hell yeah

I have seen a movie with Lindsay Lohan in it.
I...don't think so.

I have taken an art class.

I have written a song.

I have written a poem.

I have been part of a wedding party.

I have been to a funeral.

I have baked a cake.

I have baked cookies.

I have bought shoes that cost over a hundred dollars.
Um, no. Can't imagine it, either

I have made fun of someone.

I have read a Harry Potter book.
All of them.

I have read the Chronicles of Narnia.
Yes, the whole series

I have read A Series if Unfortunate Events.

I have read A Wrinkle in Time.

I have read Animal Farm.

I have read the dictionary.
not cover to cover, but I use it for its intended purpose

I own a dictionary.

I own a thesaurus.

I have lost a text book.

I have had a cavity.

I have broken a bone.

I have had an X-Ray.

I have broken a bone.

I have had chicken pox.

I have had pnuemonia.

I have had a child.

I have been in a parade.

I have sung karaoke.
yes, and love it!

I have had a cup of tea.
yep. Dumb question, though

I have sang in public.

I have danced in public.

I have made a teacher cry.
Not to my knowledge

I have made a teacher laugh.

I have been to the house of one of my teachers.

I have seen The Princess Bride.
hell yeah!

I have faked sick.

I have taken a foreign language class.

I have spoke in a British accent for an entire day.
Not for an entire day, but for extended periods of time

I have fallen off a horse.

I have ridden a horse.

I have placed a saddle on a horse.

I have driven a tractor.

I have held a duck.
touched, but not held

I have held a shark.

I have held an iguana.

I have held a rabbit.

I have held a hamster.

I have held a guinea pig.

I have held a mouse.

I have held a rat.

I have held a chick.

I have held a cat.
many times

I have gotten a free doughnut at Krispy Kreme.

I have cried myself to sleep.

I have written a love letter.

I have received a love letter.

I have been to Disneyland.

I have left the country.

I am British.

I am German.

I am Spanish.

I am Asian.

I am Italian.

I am Black.

I am Scottish.

I am Swiss.

I am Irish.

I am tall.

I am fat.

I am skinny.

I am in love.
Sure am

I am loved.

I am alive.
as can be

I am happy.

I am confused.

I am depressed.
almost never

I am excited.

I wish it were summer.
It IS summer!

I wish I was older.

I wish I was younger.
some days

I wish I could start over.
some days

I miss someone.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


So, all that snow I wrote about in the last post is melting, and now they're calling for river flooding.

Not that we didn't see this coming, of course.

But it's kind of impressive how fast the river is actually rising. It's noticeable from one day to the next.

Seems like the s*** hits the fan every time I leave the valley on vacation.

Well, Moab, here I come! :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008


There may be few things in the world worse than wanting something and not being able to have it.

I search and search and search but nothing fills the ache for what I want and cannot have.

Nothing else fits. Nothing distracts. It's an unhealthy fixation that I must get over.

In other, happier news, my friend who's kicking cancer's ass is, in fact, kicking cancer's ass.

Wahoo!! :):) Keep fighting, girl!

It's snowing here. Someone forgot to tell the weather that it's May and therefore should rain instead of snow.


I swear, it'll be snowing here in June or July this year.

There's more snow on Independence Pass than the plow crews have seen in two decades. They fully expect to see 20 foot (or more) drifts by the time they get to the top. And they don't expect to have it clear until after Memorial Day.

That's a lot of snow.

And yet, the fire danger is already high here in the valleys. Go figure.


Yep. I'm restless. Talk about fire danger.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Memory Keeper's Daughter

I recently finished this book, and for anyone who wants to read it and hasn't, SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!

With that being said, this book evoked a strong emotional reaction in me, which I'm sure it was designed to do. I understand David's reason for giving his daughter away (though not how he could do it) but for pity's sake, how could he spend his entire life lying to his wife?? His poor wife's entire life was a LIE! She didn't even know his real last name, for pete's sake! When she found out that Phoebe was alive, I cried so hard for her. How DARE he keep her daughter from her! How DARE he die without telling her and leave Caroline to do it? How DARE he keep his children from knowing each other their entire lives? The utter arrogance of this man is galling, I can't hardly stand to think about him without wanting to throw something (preferably this book) at him. I want to beat him to a pulp. He deserved all the misery he got. He objectified everyone around him in order to deal with his own selfish insecurity.


I can't imagine what this author must have gone through in order to dream up this book.


I have a friend who's battling ovarian cancer. She is the sweetest, kindest, most enigmatic, bewitching person I know. I met her in college and we have been friends ever since.

Unfortunately, she lives in the D.C. area and it's hard for me to visit her. Last time we saw each other was in August, and we both cried when we parted because hey, when you're battling ovarian cancer, you never can tell when the last time really is the last time.

Now, she's in the hospital, again. She's been in the hospital for most of 2008. It's hard for her to communicate and I no longer have her current address because she's moved in with family to recover (when she isn't in the hospital). I have her phone number but she has tubes in her throat and can't talk.

I'm scared she'll die before we get to see each other again.

I know she's got other things to worry about right now and I hope she is concentrating all her energy on healing and getting better. The world cannot stand to lose her. It will truly be a loss for humanity.

But, I hope the powers that be whisper in her ear when all is quiet this message:

"I love you. I've always loved you. God be with you and take your pain. May your bright, shining spirit be a guide for us all. Don't give up."

God be with you, Kaihea. May God take away your pain. May God heal your body so that your spirit can shine through and inspire us all.


I've also lost another friendship I've had since college. If you are reading this, you know who you are. I'm so sorry, and I hope when the dust settles you will call me again. I never meant for it to end like this. I wish you all the best.


Finally, I'm voluntarily closing the door on yet another chapter of another friendship. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. To this person (who will probably never read this anyway), I say: "Thank you for our beautiful season. I wish you happiness and joy in your new season and lifetime."

All we can remember is that everything happens for a reason. God places us where he needs and wants us to be at any given moment. When things happen and you don't know the reason, remember, you may never know the reason, but God does. All we can do is try to learn the lesson he has set for us.

May God give me the strength to learn my lessons.

Peace to all.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Caribbean Cruise!

We just had the best week spent cruising in the Southern Caribbean! We were on board Serenade of the Seas, on Royal Caribbean cruise line. We visited Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas; St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Bridgetown, Barbados. We snorkeled with sea turtles and did two different ziplines tours on St. Maarten and on Antigua. Unfortunately, no pictures of those, but they were damn fun. We ate ourselves silly, got dressed up for dinners and shows, enjoyed the sun, and hit the hot tub. Oh yeah, that was me dancing in the hot tub! :) I don't have any pictures of that either, but here are some of the better pictures from the trip.

Oh, and if you haven't cruised, I highly recommend it.

We rented a motorcycle on St. Thomas and drove all over the island. Justin did a great job driving on the LEFT side of the road!!
We visited a butterfly farm, also on St. Thomas. One even landed on my aunt's leg!
I'm a dork, so I haven't figured out how to rotate this, but this was the back of the dress I wore for one of the formal nights.

Me, chilling in my bikini, on the ship. Hell yeah, it only took three years to get back my body from pregnancy! Damn proud of it!This is my favorite picture, taken on St. Lucia.

It was a great trip!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

About the Job

Dispatching is unique because in few other professions do you have so much influence on human life. It's also not a job most kids growing up think about. I've never heard a kid who didn't have a dispatcher in the family, say they wanted to be a 911 dispatcher when they grew up.

Yet a dispatcher has tremendous influence over the outcome of an emergency incident. For instance, a sharp-thinking dispatcher who takes the time to ask why the patient is bleeding profusely may discover that he has a knife, has slashed his wrists, and is threatening to take as many cops as he can with him when he dies. An unobservant or untrained dispatcher might never ask the question.

Dispatchers are the first people on scene of an emergency, and don't let anyone tell you differently. Just ask the dispatcher who EMDs (Emergency Medical Dispatch--trained dispatchers give medical instructions over the phone) a baby's birth successfully, or the unfortunate dispatcher who is the last person to speak to the poor soul who calls to say "I'm committing suicide at ______" and then pulls the trigger while on the phone, all because he doesn't want his body to rot where it falls.

These dispatchers are there, and they are just as much affected as the paramedics and firefighters who arrive in person to care for their patients.

Our dispatchers have worked a motor vehicle rollover where the car caught fire. The two occupants were trapped in the vehicle by the damage done in the rollover. Every time the frantic officer, who had used up his fire extinguisher in vain, keyed up the radio, the dispatchers could hear the men screaming as they burned. These screams, coupled with the officer's panicky anguish, will echo in the dispatchers' mind for a long time, possibly forever. They may not have seen the car, but they were there. In some ways, what we imagine is worse than the actual scene.

Yet we must go on, answering more mundane calls for service. Someone's in someone else's parking spot. Someone's roommate stole an iPod. The rest of the world doesn't stop for the two lost souls in the car. And so we answer the phone again. And again. And again. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. 365 days a year.

Welcome to dispatch.


Someday, I'd like to write a book and have it published.

Someday, I'd like to save someone's life.

Someday, I want to achieve inner peace and keep it for more than one or two days.

Maybe...inner peace comes to those who don't chase it.

Maybe...it's something to be practiced instead.

One thing I've learned is that confidence needs to come from within.

True confidence cannot be given by someone else.

You have to know, deep down in your heart, that it is ok to be the person you are. You do not have to apologize for yourself to anyone.

I have the right to be loved and accepted for who I am.

I have the right to choose who I have in my life, and by whom I am influenced.

I don't have to be a slave to anyone or to anything.

I choose.

I choose peace.

I choose to keep fire in my heart, as impetus for passion.

I choose to have peace and passion co-exist in me.

I choose to wear my hair color as a symbol of my passion for life, my passion for peace, my passion for justice.

I choose to love myself, imperfect though I am, because God loves me.

There's a church sign down the street from my house that says "God's mercy is bigger than your greatest sin."

Isn't it a beautiful fact of life that that's true for all of us?

Some people's greatest sin is that they don't believe that statement.

Freedom of Choice.

Peace, people. Just be at peace. God is at peace. Why shouldn't we be at peace?

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I went to the fastest wedding on record last night--it took a mere five minutes from the beginning to the end. I kid you not. It was the second marriage for both, so maybe they both thought they knew the drill. Don't get me wrong, it was beautiful, the bride cried and looked lovely in her dress, and he was handsome in his tux. But 5 minutes? Holy cow.

As part of my job we have to watch prisoners on camera. It seems to me, that if you are in jail, yelling about how you want your phone call is not going to get it faster. After the first time you've made your request, isn't it kind of obvious what you want? It's like they're 5 years old and whining for a new toy, and they think if they whine enough Mom and Dad will give in. I guess it's not getting past that mentality that lands them in jail.

I don't know how I stayed in touch with my friends without text messaging. I have a friend from middle school whom I've started texting with, and I quite enjoy our text conversations. I wish I had started texting her before now. Think of all the time we've lost! We both have kids so it's too hard to carry on a phone conversation without "MOMMY" on both ends, but texting allows us to do it on our terms and not be interrupted. What a great invention. And to think, when I first heard of it, I pooh-poohed it. I thought it would never catch on. OOPS.

Does anyone else think that Hillary's campaign would go much better if she gagged her husband and threw him in a closet?

I guess that's enough random for now. Here's a shout-out for my friend Kaihea, who's been in the hospital for a staggering six weeks trying to recuperate from complications from her cancer fight. Kaihea, I'm visualizing you cancer and pain free RIGHT NOW!! Take care of you...

Love to all

Friday, February 15, 2008


Here's some pics from San Diego...we had an awesome time! Oh, and the fire conference was totally worth it. I learned a lot!

I love the beach...the waves are awesome!
But it was windy and so that made me cold. I still got in the water, though!

Pic of me and my honey kissing on the beach!Watching the sun go down on the beach was the perfect way to end our trip. We went out to dinner at Buca di Beppo that night and caught an early plane the next morning. We definitely want to bring kiddo back to play in the sand!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Recipe for me

Just in case you wondered how to replicate me....

***The Recipe For Jennifer***
3 parts Talent
2 parts Sass
1 part Rebellion
Splash of Defiance
What's the Recipe for Your Personality?http://www.blogthings.com/whatstherecipeforyourpersonalityquiz/

San Diego

Few things I learned in San Diego:

1. The sidewalks are actually quite comfortable to lie on when pleasantly intoxicated.

2. It is not always warm in California.

3. People in California are even friendlier than they are in Colorado.

4. It is almost impossible not to laugh or think dirty thoughts when the staff at the Hard Rock Hotel answers the phone "Hard Rock Hotel, how may I rock your world?"

5. The beach is awesome.

More to come, when I have pictures to post. It was a great trip.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Finger

My cousin had this cool quiz on her blog today. So I stole it. Thanks, cuz!

***You Are the Index Finger***
You are ambitious, driven, and capable.You aren't afraid to take responsibility for your actions - or place the blame on whoever deserves it.You are honest, free thinking, and objective. You see things in your own way - and you aren't afraid to let everyone know about it.
You get along well with: The Thumb
Stay away from: The Ring Finger
What Finger Are You?http://www.blogthings.com/whatfingerareyouquiz/

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Acts of Love

One of the most unselfish, meaningful acts of love I have been privileged to experience comes from my daughter, who's 3.

She has a Pooh Bear that is her dearest, most treasured possession. He sleeps with her, gets dragged around by her, is never far from her side. He is a well-loved bear.

From about six months old, she has slept with him, and the position for her is thumb in the mouth, Bear's paw rubbing against her nose. Every once in a while she will switch paws.

When I have been a good mommy, or just because she feels like sharing, she will climb onto my lap with Bear, take his paw, and tenderly, gently, rub my nose with his paw.

She shares her Bear with me.

How humbling.

I hope that I am always worthy of this precious gift, both the sharing of Bear and my treasured daughter, herself.

Monday, January 21, 2008

7 Things

7 Things You May Not Know About Me

1. I have a 1983 Yamaha Virago, red, that I love to ride

2. I love my job but the ideal one would be one that paid me to read all day long

3. Some day I'd like to go to Ireland and fit in with the other redheads.

4. I'd also like to visit every state.

5. I have knocked Hawaii and Alaska off that list already, thanks to my dad.

6. I love the smell of rain and freshly laundered clothes

7. I believe that angels masquerade as people all the time. We just have to notice and appreciate them.

Not part of the list, but one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen was the full moon tonight, shining gorgeously brightly as the snow blasted out of the sky.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

In Response to Tigers

Yesterday, I was in anguish. Today, I have hope, thanks to this beautiful poem by Hafiz sent to me by my dear stepfather. Thanks, Dad.

There Could Be Holy Fallout

We are often in battle.
So often defending every side of the fort,
It may seem, all alone.

Sit down, my dear,
Take a few deep breaths,
Think about a loyal friend.
Where is your music,
Your pet, a brush?

Surely one who has lasted as long as you
Knows some avenue or place inside
That can give a sweet respite.

If you cannot slay your panic,
Then say within
As convincingly as you can,
“It is all God’s will!”

Now pick up your life again.
Let whatever is out there
Come charging in,

Laugh and spit into the air,
There could be holy fallout.

Throw those ladders like tiny match sticks
With “just” phantoms upon them
Who might be trying to scale your heart.

Your love has an eloquent tone.
The sky and I want to hear it.

If you still feel helpless
Give our battle cry again.

Has shouted it a myriad times.

“It is all,
It is all the Beloved’s will!

What is that luminous rain I see
All around you in the future

Sweeping in from the east plain?

It looks like, O it looks like
Holy fallout

Filling your mouth and palms
With Joy!


I read an article today that quotes someone as saying "ginger confers absolute power over tigers." Well, actually, the article says that ginger doesn't do that but that it does many other things.

This tiger concept caught me. How many of you have tigers in your lives? Maybe some of you are lucky enough to have real tigers; I wouldn't mind but I think it's illegal in my part of the country. I see tigers as those problems that really stalk you. They crop up again and again. Fend them off with a chair, calm them with music, vanquish them with a whip, but tigers are hard to kill and they're beautiful so why would you want to?

Tigers? Problems? beautiful? yep, you gotta say they're beautiful because you have to claim them as your own, sooner or later. And if you claim them, eventually you have to do something about them, and those are opportunitites to grow.

Now, growth hurts. Ask any kid having growing pains, or someone growing new skin after being burned. But I think being stagnant is even more painful. Who wants to stay the same your entire life?

The problem comes when you are committed to someone else, and your individual growth causes friction. You're not growing together, you're growing against eaach other. That's a different kind of pain. Your tigers are not the same as the other person's tigers.

Maybe one is black and one is white.

Or maybe just varying shades of orange.

Why struggle with the tigers? Why not embrace them, enjoy their beauty and forever keep them close?

Ah, but tigers are carnivores and you can no more change their nature than you could change their stripes. Their essential nature is to attack, to hunt, to stalk, to kill.

So, I want "absolute power over any tigers." I want to be unstalked, unhunted.

How does this occur?

I think we are talking about peace. Peace in the heart, peace in the mind, peace in the soul.

And so I pray. For peace. Continually. Always.

"Absolute power over any tigers."

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Living the Past

Generally, I live my life in the present. I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking "what if" because it's pointless. And I believe that God has a purpose for all of us, and a plan. But....

I had a friend in high school named Tony Harrison. In our theatre world (Yep, I was a thespian), he was my big brother. And since we both had flaming red hair, he really could have been my big brother. Lucky he wasn't, though, because I loved him. Oh, my goodness, how I loved him. He was such a deep person, he had these thoughts and ideas that I had never encountered before. Unfortunately, along with that came demons of the mind I'd never encountered before either. Without getting too much into a story that no one really wants to hear, his demons got him. He tried to change his name to Beau Bronwyn and pretend he'd never met me or any of his other friends. Being a caring friend, I tracked him down at his new job and told him how insane that was, which of course he didn't take too well.

And then, he fell off the face of the earth. Literally. He told his parents he was joining some cult, I think, and took off and no one has heard from him since. Not his family, not his grandparents (whom he adored, and the relationship was mutual) and certainly not his friends. Now, I dream about him every now and then, and in my dreams I'm always so overjoyed to find him, and heartbroken when I wake up and find out it was just a dream. Again. I just want to know what happened to him, even if he's gone from this world. There must be a reason I can't get him out of my head. Maybe I'm supposed to help him. I don't know. But I need to find him.

He has failed to resurface on any website I can find. I've searched MySpace, Classmates.com, tried to search death records, etc. Now, I'm reaching out to anyone who can help me find him. Here is what I know:

Anthony Wayne Harrison
went to Cherry Creek High School
DOB 05/16/75
about 5'7" or so
may have changed name to Beau Bronwyn
last known to live in the Englewood, CO area

If you know this person, or know how to search and find him, please help me. I'll post a picture of him as soon as I figure out my scanner.