Category: Uncategorized


I’m back… I guess I need to finish this for me… so much I feel the need to get out and so much of me feels like I will never get it all out. I have a few things I want to do with this today though and I hope I can find the time. First off… this morning has been funny, sad, heart breaking… I was cleaning out my email stuff and decided to go through my dad’s folder. Ok… let me wait on that so I can get out this other stuff… but I will get to that, I apologize my mind is all over the place so I just need to focus…

My father has passed, and now what? I did not know. I have never had to do anything like this. Meeting the funeral home with my uncles and getting the sticker shock… My uncles and I got to sit and try to explain to a stranger “who” my father was… as you can see from the picture in the last blog and I will add it here too…

dad

they did a good job I think, my father if nothing did not know how to do anything half way. Then the feeling of guilt picking out a coffin when you do not want to look at price and feel cheap, but what choice do you have? I mean honestly I know my dad would have not given a rat’s tail. But everyone who comes knows my dad, and well if I am the one who has to make the decisions on how to send him off, and my decisions affect how everyone sees him for the last time… oh god… talk about pressure… then there it was… something that actually had “Blue” in the name… talking to my uncles and we all kind of smiled and agreed. It felt really good to have someone to share that with, to know I was not alone in thinking that it was a good choice.

Now back to his house, my uncle and I needed to go through some paperwork to attempt to try to find a will, I really prayed there was a will. So much easier that way, we found the life insurance policy and found titles and deeds… even found a blank do it yourself will kit… but no will… I hope and pray even harder that this goes smoothly. I would give anything to give this over to someone else, but it is my father, my responsibility, and I try to never give anyone else my burdens. It was mine… he was mine… and I will do it.

Everyone has gone home to rest, I am sitting there at the table with what feels like a mound of papers in front of me… call this person call that one… stop this card, freeze this account… spell my name correctly again for the person who is getting it wrong again for the 3rd time… I am numb to “I am so sorry to hear about your loss… we send our deepest condolences…” from the people on the phone who do not know me and are looking at a computer screen. I understand they may even mean it, but I am in robot mode, I have a job to do, I have to finish dad’s business matters he had a good name and it will stay that way. I will make sure his bills are paid and I will close out every single account in good standing. I will see that done no matter what.

Sitting back looking around I would have given anything to have him there… I don’t want his stuff… I don’t care how much things cost, I don’t care how much anything is worth… none of it is worth what I would give to have him take me shoot, to have him take me hunting for my first time, to go back and start over and be the son I should have been… none of this shit can touch any of that. The value any of it holds to me is that it was his, my dad’s… knowing he had picked this out or that out to go do things he enjoyed; I want to pick up where he left off…

During this time I had a lot of people helping me emotionally through this stuff friends from NC, old friends from Ohio, family… and of course Facebook that I could not keep up with.

It was that night I got to unwind a little I think, I went to an old friend’s house. Met her husband and her kids, I got to smile a little at their interaction because it was just a typical family with teenagers lol it felt good to smile and just have a few beers. To just talk and get it out… her husband and family were awesome and it really was a great help. But then it was time to go… time to go back to my father’s house… my house…

Once again sitting and looking at the bills, and accounts, looking in the fridge and seeing the stuff. He had been in the hospital for almost a month before he passed, it was as if in his house his life was just paused, except you can’t pause produce and meat and the stuff growing in the fridge. Just looking around I really did not know where to start and my mind is always all over the place anyway that did not help much. I fell asleep, kinda, in his chair looking as some of his pictures.

Well it is viewing day…   ok I am stopping this here, I have been very busy and I have not had time to finish this. I wrote that last bit well over a week ago, and it seems as I go further and further away from events, the foggier it all seems. A lot went on, many nights alone in his house with a lot to still do; I would have given anything to ask his advice on stuff. But so would have a million other people who lost loved ones… so I am going to change direction… I have a poem I wrote a long long time ago after watching a movie. Something about the final scene of the movie struck a chord in me and I just had to write something. I had not written anything in such a long long time. At least not a poem like this, I used to write poems all the time, but this was just out of nowhere so to speak. But the more I think about it… there was a man, who knew he was going to die, he knew it was coming and he sat up and looked out at space and saw beauty one last time before he was gone. He did not hide from it he did not freak out and cry, he stood up, faced it, and let it take him. My father was told he was dieing… he did not lose his mind, he even had the option to eat and drink anything he wanted knowing it would hurt, knowing if he did and they upped the meds he would not be able to talk to us as he was. And all he asked for was ice chips… he faced it… so this is something I have never felt I needed to dedicate to anyone… but somehow this just fits. So this is for my Dad, written well before his death or even knowing he was going to die, but now knowing it just fits. He was a Leo… just like me… all this time I never put that together, but it makes sense.

The Star…

Moonlight surrounds me as I breathe in the stars this night

Evening dew settles on my skin as I am afraid to move

Droplets whispering to me telling me the secrets of heaven

.

I stand transfixed, drawn to a distant point, a place among the stars

I cannot see it nor have I been there but my heart feels as if it knows the way

I stand spellbound in a dreamy state as I am afraid to close my eyes

.

Time passes and I have seen a million shooting stars

Each time gone before my mind can register their existence

Each time only leaving a ghostlike impression in my mind

.

But the one star I seek, though I cannot see it, I know it is there

.

I can feel it calling to me… pulling me

.

and I am scared to look away

.

Keeping my eyes fixated on the heavens I feel as if the cosmos is mine

I am the lion among the stars, the king of this jungle

A warrior in my own mind, and yet… I am scared to look away

.

Soft droplets of dew fall on me

Gently kissing my skin…

They are tears cried by stars long gone

.

as they land they turn to ice on my skin

a frost that covers my eternal soul

even with frosted eyes I never look away

.

Brilliant blinding light starting as a pin point growing as vast as an ocean

Bringing the fire of life as it heats my body until the frost just melts away

Basking in its glory I stand as naked as my soul, without protection, only trust

.

The star has come full circle

Bringing life to a dark cold place

A phoenix bursting forth in the night

.

To my knees I fall as I bask in the glory of the prize

A soul laid bare before its maker

Searching for answers and finding them

.

I am now home

.

I am now happy

.

I am finally free

 

As I read this again but with my father in mind tears come to my eyes… how perfect it is to me, how fitting… if to no one else but me, it just fits. Now I had also been reading over some of the emails he had sent me over the years, I had never put them together in this way before because really for the most part I mainly got some great jokes and funny work friendly forwards… my co-workers loved them too I can’t tell you how many time I would send something on and I would get a reply, “that came from your dad didn’t it?” That would always make me laugh.

But aside from the funny stuff I put together his other emails… normally never than like 10 lines, he was not much of an email guy. Like this one from 2010 I don’t remember what I had said I guess it was me trying to apologize for being an ass as a kid… but re reading this made me feel good:

 From: Blue [mailto:dbacskay@windstream.net] Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 1:15 PM To: Bacskay, Douglas (TS) Subject:

 

      Hi Doug

   Having just received your e-mail, I feel a responsibility to let you know. I don’t think your a loser,

and I don’t believe you have to atone for past sins. Your a good man Douglas, a good husband and

father. You may have been a bit slow growing up, but you had terrible influences and role models

when you were young. That’s more my fault than yours, place the blame where it belongs. You have

made me proud, through hard work and determination you’ve proved your self, not with words, but

your actions. Don’t ever believe yourself unworthy, and don’t get too full of yourself. Life is tough

enough without setting ourselves for the falls.

          Your Dad

And then there were other that were just odd for even him but make me smile… he could be a strange cat sometimes but I would have not had it any other way…

From: D Bacskay [mailto:dbacskay@windstream.net] Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 9:46 AM To: Bacskay, Douglas (QM/H) Subject: [RMX:##] hello son

 

Douglas

     I just thought I’d take a moment to say hi. Everyone up here is healthy and doing well. I,ve been going to a lot of shoots this summer,and I’m

shooting pretty good. The boat is in the water, and I,ve been spending time at my camper. Its been a busy summer.

     Theres a powerful thunderstorm blowing outside,its been rather dry year, so we need the rain. This has been a good year for crops and

flowers. We,ve been eating sweet corn and tomatoes for afew weeks now, and it’s the sweetest in years.

     I was very happy to see you get your own house. By now you must have that feeling of home and responsonsability that you cant get from a

rental. There’s something about sitting on your porch, looking across your yard, at the flowers you planted. You somehow feel more rooted to the

land. I think I’m babbling.

     Happy birthday last week, How does is it feel to be middle aged. I’ll bet fifteen years ago, you didn’t think you’d be standing in the shoes that

you are now. Today I start the fifty-eighth year of my life, what a strange trip it’s been, most eventful.

    It’s time for breakfast,and I’m hungry for a biscuit.

 

                     MY LOVE ALWAYS

                             DAD

 

 

 

             AM I TYPING TOO LOUD ?

There is another email I will share too but I am going to take parts of it out because it talks about someone else and it’s just not something I want out there like that… for me it is the stuff he write for me directly that are important to me now…

From: David Bacskay [mailto:dbacskay@windstream.net] Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 8:57 AM To: Bacskay, Douglas (US/BA-FAT) Subject: [RMX:#] hey

 

hi doug

   

    My pride in you is huge , you are a good housband and father and a selfless, charitable man. I have been

watching facebook, because it’s the best way to follow your ride from a thousand miles away.The pride in

Kayla’s face was literally glowing in those pictures.

   I look forward to my next visit, i hope to be back in the spring again.

             Dad

That last one really hits me… I will post the picture I think he was talking about with my daughter and myself it was one of my favorites.

mekayla

But reading these I am happy to know that I really do not have any doubts what he felt, I am so blessed to be able to look back in a way so many others are not. And no matter how bad things were in the start, in the end is all that matters and my father was one who did not put up with bullshit from anyone. So for him to say these things he meant them… and he felt it. And well I just wish I could tell him thank you. For not giving up and being able to see what was good in me, even when I was still struggling to find it in myself… even when I was pushing to find that next thing to do to prove I was a good and strong person. He already knew, and believed in me.

Then there was when I did Mt. Mitchell one of the few big big rides I have done that was not a charity ride… this one was for me. The guy who has had so many knee surgeries on both knees, who had gained and lost weight and struggled to keep it off every time… who just felt like a fat guy struggling to keep it together most of the time. That ride was going to be for me… well I did it… and he noticed in another of his exceptionally long emails lol

 From: David Bacskay [mailto:dbacskay@windstream.net] Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2014 2:03 PM To: Bacskay, Douglas (US/BA-FAT) Subject: congrats

 

   From your facebook postings, i knew you did the mt. mitchell. I did’nt know if you had made it to the

top till now. I always knew you could do it, wheather you would make it all the way to the top was my

only concern. That was quite an accomplishment, there are things in your life you will always remember

without regret, this is one of them. You have much to be proud of.

   The true test of a man is’nt measured by how he acts normally ,but how he reacts in the face of

adversity.You showed great inner strength, it does’nt matter what position you finished in, you perservered.

    Theres no such thing as giving 110%, you can give all you have and no more, you gave everything!!

    my love 

       dad

That makes it all worth it… there are more… but well I will keep them for myself. I never have to wonder and I can go forward and know that all that I am going through and dealing with now is worth it. He was my father, and I love him, and I know that he really loved me and was proud. And that is all a son can ask for.

 

Thanks for letting my purge and for reading… it helps to get stuff out sometimes

grave

Chivalry

Chivalry…

 oh boy… man I have run this over and over in my head most of the day, after reading an article/blog that was shared on Facebook (why chivalry is dead from a mans perspective) this article/blog for me was an interesting read that made quite a few good points. Other parts were a bit off… but on the whole I thought it made a good overall point.

   Ok for a moment let’s just get beyond the history of the word, chivalry, I mean ok yes everyone who wants to run chivalry through the mud will bring up images of oppressive knights on powerful horses as they do evil things to prove they are great warriors and good knights, all the while looking down on their ladies as prizes and “things” or objects to own or to win over. They will also tell you that it is power trip to show women are helpless and need men to do things for them…  fast forward to today…

  Between our marriage laws and our president it is clear we are far from the dark ages… I am trying hard not to drag this out to much as I can tend to be rather full of myself and try hard to make my point clear 🙂 

  But ok back to today, and my thoughts on Chivalry and even this article/blog… he made some pretty good points about the direction our society is going and maybe even hurt some feelings with that. Some of what he said did come off a bit on the, poor me I’m a good guy side, no one ever likes being friend zoned for the bad boys and then having the girl cry to you that she cannot find a “good” guy… but again that is not what this is about…  I read over the comments about how sexist this guy was… and how oppressive his point of view was… I also read the comments when people stood up for him and said that they liked the way he thought and saw nothing wrong with it… then reading further as they got bashed for what they believed.

  So umm ok I am confused when are we aloud to be judgmental and tell people what they think and feel is wrong and when are we not? When is it we are able to look at someone and say you are stupid for thinking this or feeling like this even though this is your own person choice about how you want to be treated and how you are treating others…

  Reading this… I see respect not oppression… I see values and morals… at least from his perspective. let me take a second and define something this definition is per the ever knowing interwebs : Sexism or gender discrimination is prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender. Sexist attitudes may stem from traditional stereotypes of gender roles, and may include the belief that a person of one sex is intrinsically superior to a person of the other.”  so ok let’s look at this and the way he wrote this… I do not see him saying men are superior, in fact he states that he collected his values from the women whom he seemingly looks up to. Second he ends this with women hold all the cards… granted he is referring to sex, but he is stating that if they want higher standards in men they have to make them have them. That today as he sees it, women do not. Again I think some of the ways he got his point across are bit questionable… but no where do I see him saying, what is up with these girls… they know they cannot afford their own food, why can’t they just let me buy it.

 

 Now, holding open the door, pulling out a chair, walking on the traffic side of the street, these things are courtesy. Same thing you do for elders, it is a sign or respect. I mean yeah every guy knows from all the late night “fail” videos on YouTube a girl/woman can take a face plant as well as a man and shake it off… and seeing those men on the tables hooked up the with electrodes to simulate labor after which they are a pile of drooling jelly, the look on their faces was priceless as they realized just how tough their wives were through their own tear streaked eyes… I mean this is the information age, we know if a car splashes in a puddle and soaks us you are ever as able to take it to the face as I am… and we know you are just as able to pull your chair out and or stand and wait for me to sit before you do. Trust us we know you can take care of yourself and buy your own food, we also know that you can buy your own flowers. Knowing that… I still would like to do this for you… because you are weak or because I want to show power over you?  hell no… because I am attracted to you… because I like you… because I want to spend time to get to know you. I mean if you ever want to come wash my dishes, or try to get some of the stains out of my clothes I would be more than…. hahaha got you… just kidding lol thought you had me huh 🙂 but honestly ladies… this is a respect thing. And yes I said ladies… why? because it is my blog and I am a straight guy lol but this works for any gender in any relationship… if someone asks you out it means they are interested… if someone tries to buy you a drink do you get mad and rant that you can buy your own shit and go off on them? sure you can… go ahead… lol but why? it’s an ice breaker to try to spend time with you… someone from a distance noticed you were pretty and wanted to talk to you. and yes I know I will get talked to about why does it have to be about looks… how does he know he likes me… well he cannot see your soul and he cannot get to know you without talking to you, and well he tried to break the ice and do just that but you went off… and depending on what you do next after he makes that attempt to communicate, he or no other guy within 40 ft, may get that chance or want too for that matter.

 

  Ok so now that I may get blasted further… those that are chomping at the bit calling me a sexist so and so… ya know… some ladies… and men even… want to be treated this way.  Some women want a man who will be more dominant… who will take care of them… who will do things for them… then some guys will put a leash on and let his girl lead him around the house like a dog… to each their own lol. Everyone has a different view of what they want and or desire… I just do not understand in the world we live in where everyone is supposed to be so open and honest… where everyone is not suppose to judge or look down on anyone else… where we are supposed to be accepting of different religions, and sexual preferences, different class types, all of the above… those that fight the labels the most seem to be the ones who help reinforce new ones. Who beat down anyone who want to keep what they see as “traditional” beliefs…

 

  I respect everyone’s right to think and feel how they wish… but how is it when someone wants to do something they see as being nice and proper labeled as chivalry… and then others say, “hey I like that… that guy is speaking the truth.” that we can jump all over them and push our ideas of gender roles and sexism and knights and horses on them…

 

  My grandfather when I was little told me to never ask a girl out unless I was willing to pay her way, and I said why grandpa is it cause she is a girl? he said no son… because you asked her… she did not ask you.  Talk about making it simple.

 

  Would I buy a guy friend of mine dinner…  yes… would I buy another couple dinner… yes… do I stand normally until everyone is seated? yes… is this a power trip hahaha hell no… this is love.  I love people and would like to make them happy… sometimes people do not feel they are enough… sometimes they feel like doing things and buying things for people is a good way to show they care because they just cannot find the words… sometimes… little boys look at knights like the hero of a story… and would love to have a girl look at him like he is the hero… why? because he is the boss? because he is the man and she cannot do it herself?… no… sometimes because simply he wants to be loved.  We have to stop making everything negative… in the end there will  be no colors… no genders… just a grey dull world with no diversity and no choices… everyone will think and feel the same way… because they have no choice.

 

  call me sexist all day long 🙂 but chivalry the 21st century version that does not involve repression lol will live on!!! 

 

  *please note that I was interrupted many times while writing this and I am really bad at proof reading… also yes I have a mild addiction to “…” and well this is my blog and I am ok with that… and I have been told over and over to love yourself just as you are ;)”

 

  Smile… life it to short to run around trying to make everyone else happy… find what you like and do it… and above all else… find a way to love yourself. 

I really loved what she is saying here so i wanted to share.

Kait Nolan

One of the first things I saw when I logged into Twitter this morning was a conversation between a writer friend of mine (who, incidentally, is also a professional editor and teaches workshops) and another writer who was essentially lambasting her (and all other professional writers) for not helping new writers.  Digging back through the conversation, this evidently centered around the issue of queries, but it definitely had broader implications.  My friend handled things in a very calm, professional manner, stating quite rationally that she couldn’t be held responsible for every writer who wants to write, as it simply wasn’t possible.  To which she received this in reply “Your reaction is why so many writers feel worthless. No one wants to hear from them. No one cares.”

Frankly, the whole exchange pissed me off on multiple levels.

Now I know nothing about this person who initiated the conversation.  Looking back at…

View original post 700 more words

Yeah ok who am I to tell anyone the key to life? I’m no prophet or yogi… I’m not a learned scholar… heck I still rely on spell check for grammar and spelling issues way too often, and I still get it wrong… But I digress. I really should get this all out before I lose my thought…

 

 

An easy Google search tells me that a Key by definition is:

 

a. A notched and grooved, usually metal implement that is turned to open or close a lock.

b. A similar device used for opening or winding: the key of a clock; a can that has a key attached.

2. A means of access, control, or possession.

a. A vital, crucial element.

b. A set of answers to a test.

c. A table, gloss, or cipher for decoding or interpreting.

 

And there is more but this serves my purpose

 

 So as we see… a key, simply put, is a way to gain access to something: access to knowledge, access to a place, access to time (the key to a clock).

 

 Getting access to knowledge, places, people, and things… well that is what we do in life, is it not? So the best way to do these things is to live life… by a stretch of my already stretched imagination… to live… to really live is the key of life…

door

 

  The picture above looks very foreboding, metal grate fastened over a window with wire running through the glass… perfect for keeping people in or out. With only a small view as the one pictured, it would make you think moving forward was hopeless, but with a step back, (no picture sorry) we can find that the window is attached to a door. The point I want to make there is sometimes we are much too close to a problem we have in life… maybe sometimes we have to take a few steps back and the way will seem much more clear. There are times I feel that we move through life way too fast and we do not slow down to actually enjoy it… so we come up on our problems so quickly we never see them coming, and then we feel so rushed to get through them, we do not take the time to step back and make clear decisions. Maybe one of the keys to life should be to slow down, and do not be afraid to go back from time to time… maybe you missed something you should have seen.

different

 

   All of us are human, we may look different and talk different but we are all here for the same basic reason, to live life and learn as we go. We come in different colors, shapes and sizes… it’s a beautiful diversity that makes us as humans a beautiful thing.

differentsame

 

   But with that being said… many of us at a glance can seem very alike… but if you look close and take the time to actually see each person for who they are—their likes and dislikes, the things they are passionate about—you will see that even though they may seem to be the same, each person holds the keys to different locks. Each person can bring something different to your life and break open a new part of life you may never knew existed.

uncut

 

  Many people have a clear path and are good with things from birth… others seem to struggle trying to find their place… much like the keys in the picture above, one has been cut and fits a specific lock. The other is still blank, and although it was never cut to go into any one lock, you can see the age on it and know it has lived a long life. People are like that… some are really good at one specific thing; others never really find that one thing they are awesome at. Jack of all trades and master of none… it does not make one better than any other… it simply makes them different.

stop

 

Everyone wants to know the key to the secrets of life… but I think the memories we make with the people we know and love are the best keys we have. It is a key to a memory of a moment in time where you were happy or sad or whatever emotion you remember… it is a key to a moment in time that you lived. Living… is for this guy… the key to life. Take your keys wherever you go… in the form of memories and remember to make new ones and live for today… tomorrow is never promised to any of us.

 

 

   Smile… it might be the only key to unlocking the smile trapped inside someone else.

Party Pooper…

 Normally I do not post just random forwards or funny things… that is what Facebook is for lol I try to keep my blog for stuff that has a bit more meaning. Well I can not help myself, watching this made me laugh.

Funny how words we can use often and know the meaning too without a thought can be missundersttod by those who are not part of our culture.

 Enjoy 🙂

 

 

 

Four points of view that change how we see ourselves…

 

First word is an excuse used by many people to justify why they do not do something… It is a way to promote failure before you ever try, a way to beat yourself into believing a lie… oh I just can’t possibly to that… I can’t do math… I can’t play basketball…

 

The next word is something society and people around us slowly filter into our heads until we believe it as truth, School books, doctors, parents and even friends will sometimes think they are helping by telling you that a dream or a goal is impossible… sometimes they can be right and I would never ever tell anyone to go against anything a doctor tells them. But what I would say is that if you can afford it and it is possible, to get a second opinion on anything you feel strongly about. Many times we see things that we think are impossible for our self, and we tell others that it must be for them too. Some people lack the will power or the fortitude to push or go forward, then without even knowing it projecting that inability on to others. Sometimes we want to protect those we know and love from failure so we try to encourage them to not even try feats that for most seem impossible. This is not done out of malice or hate, it is sometimes done out of love or kindness and with the best of intentions. But the problem is if we never fail we never grow… and what might be impossible for you might just be possible for them. We have all been given a different measure of ability and gumption… it is what makes us diverse and amazing creatures.

 

Then we have *unable*… I am unable to do that… you will now not be unable to run or walk or play normally. I understand that these words are close and can be interchanged. I am writing this with the mind set of how I hear them the most in my life and in what way I have seen them used. Most doctors do not say… “You can’t do this or that…” they are more technical… “Because of your blah blah blah, your body is unable to handle… unable to bend… unable to move that way ever again.” Now I must repeat I would never tell anyone to ignore anything that a doctor says. Please do not get me wrong here… I feel all doctors have to go on is what they see… x-rays, and numbers from tests… what they cannot see spirit and drive… is sometimes what allows us to do thing we normally could not. Doctors do not want you to hurt yourself and do not want you to make an injury worse. So they will 99% of the time speak on the side of caution. The way the world is, if a doctor says you can do something and you get hurt they will be blamed and many times in this day and age might get taken to court… so I do not blame them for wanting to limit their patients so as to make sure they are not hurt. And if you are able to do more than expected… well it’s a miracle. Normally a doctor can only go on what is “normal” for your injury and your test results, from there they make educated guesses… it is not an exact science because we are not all the same, each one of us are different in one way or another… part of the reason why I like how they call it “Practicing” medicine…

 

And finally… Chicken Shit, It’s used to help grow veggies, and fruits… to make flowers beautiful… and grass greener when used properly. But when there is too much… it can kill all plant life and leave everything withering and dying and burnt… Chicken shit… Can’t… impossible… unable… all of these things when used to much can leave us withering and dying… but if used as fuel, to help fertilize our motivation and push us to grow… these words can make us stronger so we can blossom into maybe not what the world would see as perfect, but maybe if we work hard enough we can become extra ordinary. Being chicken shit is not always a bad thing… you just have to decide what it is you are scared of… pain?… failure?… ridicule… and sometimes we are scared of none of those things. Sometimes we are scared we may succeed, because once we do, no one will cut us a break anymore. No one will look at us and be easy and give us pity. Whether we like to admit it or not we all sometimes just want to lay back and do nothing and have people look at us and tell us that it is ok. To use what others would call a weakness be it our injury, birth defect, and mental limitations as an excuse to not do or be 100% of what we can. To lay back and say I can’t do that because it is impossible. I am unable to move/think that way and because I am chicken shit. To have people look at us and say, “Oh, it is ok… really we understand, and do not blame you on bit… we could not do it either and we don’t have your limitations.” Sometimes we just want to hear that it is ok not to try… that is Chicken Shit.

 

I’m blessed… I may have had a ton of work between meniscus tears and a blown ACL, collar bone broken in two places, double hernia in my lower abdomen, spent a good deal of time in the hospital as a baby with pneumonia, had the Forest Gump braces because of severe bowing and pigeon toed as my legs were developing, fractures to my skull, concussions, and a couple broken noses… there is more but cry me a river all of that was a blessing and I’m tired of thinking about all the negative stuff, each of these things made me stronger in other ways… but forget about all of that… I am blessed… I can walk upright without any disfigurement, I have all of my arms and my legs, all of my digits, and all 5 of my senses work well. My brain although scrambled at times and can get me in trouble is what I consider one of my best attributes and my heart, though over worked at times, helps me care about almost everyone around me. (Let’s not debate feelings being a chemical reaction in your brain this is figurative) I am blessed to be healthy enough to do the things I do… I have been told I am not allowed to run because I need at least one knee replacement and the other is close… I have been told that swimming and cycling are pretty much the only things I can do but even then I should take it easy *snicker*. But then they messed up, after I was told to take it easy they followed it up by saying, “You can really do as much as you want… it just depends on how much pain you’re willing to live with. You are too young to get a knee replacement at this time so your best bet is to just take it easy and hope science can catch up to you… and of course lose some weight to relieve a lot of the pressure on your joints.” Wait what? I can do anything? That was all I heard… ok it’s going to hurt… but I can do anything? Hahaha GAME ON!

 

So I have done a couple things here and there… a few really tough things to be honest although this is not about me or about what I have done. I have other blessings in the form of the amazing support system I have in my friends and family. I also think back to the very first MS150 that I had ever done… I was dying it felt like, and thinking how stupid it was… that I raised the money and there was no point in putting myself through this, it was hot and everything hurt and is was tired… I was just done; I had hit the wall (figuratively). Then I heard a voice say… “On your left!” someone was going to pass me but the voice was a bit low… it must be a recumbent bike I thought to myself… and then I saw him as he cruised by me with a strained smile and a nod… peddling his bike with his hands because he had no legs. I had never seen that before! I was new to cycling for the most part, but I had to stop myself from staring like a fool. As I watched him truck along by me and put more distance between us, it hit me like a wall of ice water and I teared up a little to be honest. What in God’s name did I have to complain about, I just got passed by a guy who had no legs, and he did it with a smile and a nod. Not a grouchy get out of my way… but an “on your left…” and a good job… keep it up… nod and smile. I got a little angry at myself, not at letting someone with no legs pass me, but at being “healthy” and complaining that I tired. It was not out loud and I was only complaining to myself, but really, what did I have to complain about? I finished that day, it was not easy, and I am sure that man has no idea the affect and inspiration he was to me that day. I had an obligation to do it for those who could not. MS strips people’s ability to do things for themselves… I had no reason to complain.

 

I won’t go into why I do so many of the things I do now and the inspiration behind it. I want this to be about the people I think of when I start feeling tired and I start feeling like I have nothing left to give… I will just give you 3 examples but there are so many others…

 

 amanda-269x300amanda2amanda

First is a girl I started following on facebook, Amanda Sullivan I will let you read her back story in the links I have posted at the end of the blog. She is an amazing person, upbeat and the true meaning of inspiration. She does not let anything stop her, and if it does she just trains harder. Amanda is someone I have followed on facebook for a while, when I was attempting my last few challenges she came to mind. A couple times I was thinking about what she is able to do, and thinking about all the people she promotes on her facebook the men and women who have lost limbs or senses and are pushing forward to do extraordinary things. But not only that, they are so supportive of not only those who are like themselves in many ways, but of anyone who are trying. She is without a doubt one of the most amazing people I follow and she has a true warrior’s heart, with the kindness of an angel. I was blessed to have found her and to be able to just read about her adventures and use that to help me drive my own. I wanted to share her spirit with anyone who reads this… follow her on Facebook and help support her in what she does. If anyone deserves it, she does.

 

ashleyash1ash2

The next person I met online and because friends with through a blog sight, she has an amazing heart and well for a long time I never knew she had a disability lol… and I laugh here because well there is nothing about her that says disability. She is one of the most able people I know. I would say she is normal, but she is not… in this day in age normal has become the people begging for money or assistance because they have a disability and should be taken care of. I have followed her blogs, and her life across the US and back again… shared in her heart break as well as some of my own… she has never, not one time, in my years of knowing her used what happened to her to gain an advantage and use it as a crutch.

 

She told me,

 

“Yeah, I really dislike for people to categorize me as “Ashley, the girl that lost her leg. Or battled cancer.” I want them to see me as much more than that. As just myself. Not what has happened to me. So, for that reason I don’t bring it up or let or “control” my life. Which I have seen a lot of”

 

When she was a teen she had a cancer that lead to surgery that led to complications and her loss of a leg. Can you imagine… a teenage girl going through all of that on top of all the stuff teenage girls already go through? (I have a 17 year old daughter I can’t imagine that) But she beat the cancer… and now has such a great attitude, rides horses, has recently become a gym rat… dances… I really have not seen anything physical hold her back. There are some restrictions she says, but most of it would come from the material the leg is made out of more so than her own physical issues. As someone I have gotten to know over the years who is a dear dear friend and someone I hold in the highest regard, she is kind and has not let any of the words above limit her life.

 

The third person is famous in his own right his name is Nick Vujicic and I do not know him personaly (so I have not added any photos) and have never spoken to him in email or otherwise, but I watch his YouTube videos often when I need a lift. This guy was born with more issues than anyone deserves, no arms and no legs. But I do not think you would ever hear him mutter any of those words I listed above. I will put a link here to one of his videos and a link to his channel and we pages bellow. He is a motivational speaker, trying to show people that even when life gives you a bad hand there is always hope.

 

I think I have went on enough… but before you think about using the 4 things in the title, think about the people I have listed and the thousands of others just like them… the wounded warriors… special Olympians… Paralympians… think off all these people before you look anyone in the eye and say… “I can’t…” “I’m unable…” “It’s impossible…” and then stop to think about exactly why it is that your “chicken shit”! Are you afraid to fail? Or are you really afraid you will succeed!

 

Nick:

 

You tube: https://www.youtube.com/user/NickVujicicAIA/featured

Web: http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NickVujicic

 

Ashley:

 

Blog: http://southerngrl85.blogspot.com/

 

Amanda:

 

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1gdHTIGISHwCWa38ADaqnw

Blog: http://blog.spartanrace.com/overcoming-obstacles-amanda-sullivan/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/Crutching_Tigress/#

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmandaSullivanSmiles/timeline

Bipolar emotions…

   Bi-polar emotions…

 

First off let me say (because of the way people over react in today’s world it is sad I feel the need to first put a disclaimer before I write my blog…) that in no way am I making fun of… making light of… or down playing a mental illness. This was just the best and fitting comparison for my purpose.

 

With that said WebMD defines Bipolar as Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental illness that brings severe high and low moods and changes in sleep, energy, thinking, and behavior. With that thought, it is the best way to describe the roller coaster of emotions that I am feeling about my upcoming journey.

One min I am excited and I cannot wait to go, the next I am scared and I have no clue as to why I signed up for such a thing. As most people with Bipolar disorder take meds to balance out their thoughts and feelings, I have my friends and family. The fact that I am not alone in this and that I am going with someone else helps greatly. We also have a supporting cast of family and friends who will be cheering us on from home, in texts and well wishes, who at this point if I am honest believe more in our ability to complete this task than I do in my own at this moment.

Assault on Mt. Mitchell is a tough and grueling ride that has in fact been going on sense 1975, which is fitting because that is the same year I was born… almost as if this was meant to be. Some web pages list this ride as the 2nd hardest ride in the US, so what the hell am I thinking. I mean at one time I was a weekend warrior cyclist, now I ride a bit more. I have my own group that I ride with normally 3 times a week but as much as even 6 times a week. It’s our “Pack” if you will… tight nit and supportive of each other in more than just cycling. Mitchell was a challenge I first heard about a few years ago and put it out of my mind, I mean first off fat guys do not climb hills well, 2nd ummm I am not crazy… or was not crazy at the time. I mean the pros use this as a training ride, and it is also a qualifier for RAAM, I am neither anything close to a pro nor do I have the ability to attempt RAAM. (I will have links for what I am talking about at the bottom) I have watched a ton of YouTube videos on the ride, and read other blogs about it, I have been told by people I look up to how hard it is and how often they had to stop and walk the bike because it was just too much of a climb in some areas. But ya know… how do you find your breaking point unless you reach it.

I have a feeling my friend Patrick and I will reach out breaking point and either have to stop, or we will push through it and have a new one. This ride is going to be epic for us in many ways and will give us something to talk about for years I think. As these bipolar emotions run through my head and heart, I am playing the waiting game… two more days and I will be on the road to the event… and then the next night I will not be able to sleep at all. A combination of a child waiting to come home with a bad report card knowing he will be grounded and get his but spanked… and a child waiting for Christmas and the best presents ever… now you see why Bipolar was the best way to describe my emotions right now…

 

So for any of you that read this, on May 19th at any point during the morning or day, if you find yourself with a moment to spare… say a prayer for us… send us some positive energy… rub a rabbits foot for us… anything you want to do. Because I have a feeling we will need every bit of it. And once we are done I will post some pictures and let you know how we did.

Thank you to all my friends and family who always support my crazy ideas and challenges… May the Pack roll on… and please oh please lord don’t let me get kidnapped by crystal meth tweekers, cause then we would just be shit out of luck. (inside joke)

   RAAM link info here…

 

   MT. Mitchell link info here…

    Here is a picture of one of our centurie rides… 4 of us ride together a lot… but like most packs we get people that wonder in and out that we still consider part of the family for as long as they are with us… we take care of each other.

pack

The explanation…

 

untitled 

So first off let me tell you Bruno is doing much better, he ate his food last night as well as drank all of his water and he kept it down!! That is great news! I talked to a Tech this morning and well she seemed really optimistic but in the end it is the docs call to figure out if he can come home or not. So once the doc gets in and has time to look everything over she will make the final call. But we are excited to have him healthy and to have him home!!

So… something that has been on my mind quite a bit and I feel the need to explain. Not that I have to mind you… but I sort of want to. There are several different types of people in this world; it takes all different types to make the world the interesting and diverse place that it is… also we need each type to balance out the others, because if we were to all be the same then the world would be a dull place.

I am and I have tried my best to raise my children to be the kind of person that believes anything is possible. I am and I have tried to raise my children to know that kindness is not so much something you show to family and friends but something really you should show to all living creatures. As a child I was told I was too tenderhearted when it came to animals… I brought home sick creatures of every shape and size. I wish I have a picture of my mom’s face when I walked through the door when I was about 11-12 and I have a black snake curled all the way up my arm and partially around my neck, with its head in my hand. It had been run over by a car and I wanted to help it… lol she about flipped her lid. But being half country girl half city girl she quickly saw it was just a black snake and knew it was not going to hurt me. We did what we could and let it go… Is it silly? Probably… but I have a question… who did it hurt? Who did it hurt to show kindness to a snake… who does it hurt to show kindness to any animal.

I know I know… many people out there in the world think animals are just animals… and I get that and to them they are correct. But only to them… ask a blind man what his dog is worth to him… ask the kids in the hospital who get visited by pets and animals to help comfort them when they are sick what that animal means to them. Ask the grandparent who lost his/her spouse, and whose family no longer visit as much… ask them what that little dog/cat means to them.

Now do not get me wrong, I am not preaching… I am not soap boxing I am just explaining. I am not asking anyone to have passion for animals or anything the way that I do or my family does. And honestly I do not put an animal’s well being over that of my children or my family.

I have been asked from many places why on earth I would ever consider using this much money to make a puppy better… I have heard that I could buy 2-3 puppies for the cost it takes to heal this one, who might not even make it. I have been flat out told it is stupid what I am doing. Or that I could save the money and get another car (because at the moment we have only one). A lot of people just do not understand… and when I decided to take this on, I had decided I would sell whatever I could, or had to, to help make Bruno better.

My daughter seeing the strain it was going to put on us wanted to do something to help. And boy did she ever… and then for every person I knew that told me I was crazy. There were others who not only understood but wanted to help, with kind words, and support of many different kinds.

How much is it worth to, if for only a moment, be your child’s hero… the person that did not say no and did what they could regardless how stupid other people thought it was?

My obligation… Bruno never asked to come home with me… he never asked to get sick… he does not have the ability to make himself better. When my daughter begged me for a puppy and told me it would not cost me anything because she had the cost covered, and she was going to get a job for the other stuff and I would never even know it was there. Well I’m not stupid… I have been around the block once or twice and I knew what would end up happening. But I never could have guessed it was this. While he was not sick in his short time in our home, he quickly won over our hearts, such a little fragile puppy with teeth like razor blades… and who snored… ha-ha yup and even snorted. The stupid little dog was just too cute. My daughter was in love… I was told that we have not had time to even really be attached to it… I am not sure you can put a time frame on something like that, but we were more than attached.

My daughter has been to almost every charity event I have done over the past 8-9 years. She did not work out in the sun all day and help for a t-shirt… or to get free food… she really believes in the things I do. Be it for MS, or Cancer, Or the Human Society… she always wants to help support me. Taking pictures… giving out medals… doing whatever it takes. With her help I have raised a lot of money over the years for a bunch of awesome and well deserving organizations. I have tried to teach her how important it is to not just give money but time. And to help where you can… she has that caring spirit in her.

medal

So why would I agree to pay a ton of money to heal a sick dog… love… responsibility… because it is the right thing to do. Because of the gifts of family, friends, and strangers… this will not be a burden to our family at all… because of the love everyone has shown us this is one of the best learning experiences I could have ever give my children and anyone around me. Where there is a pure heart, and a will, there is a way.

mekay

Because there are other people like us in this world, later today with tears in my daughters eyes she will see Bruno again, and the vet will tear up and the techs will tear up… but I won’t cause I am a guy and we don’t do that stuff 😉 and her mom will be blubbering like a child lol… and then I guess I will see all of this and my best explanation would be to the question of why would you pay so much to make a puppy better is… how could you not… the vet is going to walk away today and the techs… thinking to themselves as they wipe the tears from their face seeing my daughter and the puppy so happy… “This is why we do this… this makes the bad days better”
Ask anyone in that room what is that feeling worth… it’s priceless.

Would I let my family starve to do this? No… would I get my electric shut off? No… but I knew somehow it would work… and it all has. Thanks to everyone who loves animals the way we do… That bond is priceless.

HOPE FOR BRUNO

Fundraiser link

 

kaylaanddad

kaybru

So as most parents get hit at some point and time, there I was with a child of mine looking up at me begging for yet another animal, “Daddy please… you won’t have to do anything I promise.”

 

There it is… the short term memory promise all parents get from their children… that promise that says “For as long as it is new I will kind of sort of keep my end of the bargain…” that promise that in the deepest of hearts they intend to keep… at least right at that moment.

 

“No… No… No… absolutely not! Not in this life or any other are we going to bring any more animals into this house!”

 

“But… it won’t cost you anything!! I have it all figured out… and… and… and…” There is always another “and”. No matter what you come back with… no matter what logic you throw at them, there is always another “And” or “but”

 

“OK this conversation is over! No! I mean it with ever fiber of my being!! NO! No! No!”

 

And she walks away with the cold shoulder and the look of malice in her eyes… I knew in one form or another that this was far from over…

 

Time passes… room had stayed cleaned… no fighting… had been helping around the house… then the grades came… all “As” and I think 1 “B”… still she had not said a word about the puppy. No begging… no see I told you I could do it… humm… boy oh boy am I a sucker…

 

I talk to her mom and asked… “well what do you think?” just looking at me she knew I had made my mind up and she just shook her head… she knew as bad as it sounds it really did not matter what she thought lol I had made up my mind. But I explain anyway… she had missed a ton of school because of some issues she had with her heart, and even with all that still kept her grades up, had a way to get the dog she wanted without costing me any money… and it was a small dog, not like the monsters we have, so how much could it really eat.

 

So I call her… tell her I am not making any promises but I am headed to the pet shop just to look at this puppy… just to see what I think. She squealed… she knew what that meant… telling me that she was not going to say anything but she had just left there showing it to a friend of hers, that even though she could not get it she was visiting it almost every day.

 

First disaster… I get to the pet shop to see the puppy… and it sold just moments before I arrived. I called my daughter and let her know and at first she did not want to believe it. I felt so guilty for dragging my feet and now the dog was gone. I was on a mission to find her another one now.

 

We had a few leads thanks to the help of Facebook and the internet… and the found another puppy right here close to where we live. Put a deposit on it… she visited it, named it… took pictures of it and the works. This was her deal so I was letting her handle all the talk between her and the breeder… and due to miss communication… and just a mess… the breeder decided to refund the deposit and sell the pup to someone else. Her heart was broken… again…

 

The search continues… finally she found one, but it was far away… doing what she does… she talked to her friends and got a ride to get the pup… this time it was to take him home. She finally got her Boston… she was happy and when she brought him home, instantly everyone fell in love. You just could not but help to smile when you looked at him. The name she picked out was not fitting this one because she could not help but think of the other puppy she was supposed to get… and because of his stance and the way he looked “tuff”… she named him Bruno. And it fit him very well.

 

Kayla is good at research, but like most people gets sometimes too into details and did not look back at the big picture. I must admit I have even learned a good bit myself. She researched everything you would want to know about Boston’s and their breed, but got so caught up in breed specific care that left out “general” puppy care.

 

Neither of us realized how susceptible a puppy was to Parvo until it got its 3rd set of shots. Bruno got his first set, and we were going to get his second set but we were waiting for him to finish his meds for a slight upper respiratory issue he had… Kayla did like any dog owner would. She wanted to take him everywhere, to the park, and to Petsmart, to her friends, and she promised that she would be the one dealing with the puppy so did just that. Not knowing that until he got his 3rd set of shots, every public place he went was very dangerous for him. That Parvo lived everywhere and could live a very long time on its own.

 

Now Bruno just got over some upper respiratory issues, and we were about to schedule his second set of shots, when he started throwing up again, and snotting… we gave it a day or two thinking the other stuff he had came back. Kayla even boiled chicken and rice for him because she read it would be easier for him if he was sick. Well then out of nowhere it hit hard and fast… bloody stool and throw up… smelled funny too. Hitting Google and vet pages it did not take us long to figure he had gotten Parvo somewhere. And in the research I found that it is one of the most expensive things for a Vet to treat, and only has at best a 50-50 chance the dog will live, and the smaller the dog… the worse the chances. My stomach felt sick for him… and for my daughter. She worked so hard, and dealt with so much for this now to happen. And looking at all the info this was going to cost from 1000-2000 bucks. And that was money we just did not have laying around. I just had paid 360.00 to treat the upper respiratory infection. We really did not know what to do. I told her I had 200.00 in the bank we could use to get in and just get to test and make sure what it was, then go from there… maybe we could make payments or do something. I called off work the next day and was waiting outside the vet’s office.

 

It was in fact parvo… and he was getting worse and worse… I was racking my brain trying to figure out the money… I had guns I could get a loan on… and other stuff I really did not need, gold clubs and other stuff I could just sell and get rid of. The low side of the visit was over 900… but the high end was 1220, and that does not include the aftercare. So I gave them the 200 and told them I would get more by the end of the day… and if need be we could take it a day at a time.

 

Well I did something no grown man ever wants to do… I called my father. He is a bit old school and could not figure out why on earth I would put up that kind of money for a puppy we had not had very long… but in the end he said it’s your money… if you are paying me back I will loan it to you but it does not make any sense to me. I felt bad… like I was disappointing him in some way for doing something so foolish in his eyes. But how my daughter felt at this moment was more important… and it will work out, I just needed to keep the faith.

 

Instantly felt like a weight had been taken off my shoulders, now all we needed was for Bruno to pull through and I would put in more time at work to pay Kayla’s grandfather (my dad) back. Kayla talked about putting in applications and doing odd jobs to help. She (almost with tears in her eyes) said whatever it took she was going to help me pay it back and be a better daughter. That kind of tugged on my heart strings a bit… as much as I liked little Bruno I was doing this more for her than anything else.

 

Later that night we were talking and joking around, I told her she better start thinking of fundraisers or something… then she talked to people online and came up with a plan that shocked me. It shocked me more than once… First off she did a great job putting it together, secondly the people she knew that were following Bruno on instagram are in line for sainthood… the well wishes and prayers… the love they sent my daughter still touches me. She was so sad and scared, and still is, but with the support everyone has shown her it has made it so much easier for her. Dog lovers really are some of the best people in the world.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/hope-for-bruno/168205 

 

I am not posting this as a way to get people to donate anything, I really wanted to post this to show, what the love a child can have for her pet, and her determination can do. And also to point out that there are really some amazing people out there in this world, ready to stand up and help strangers.

 

Also if you want to follow Bruno and his recovery and life on instagram @SirBrunobt

Crystal Meth Tweekers…

Crystal meth tweekers…

 

 

 Sometimes the smallest things can get you through the dreaded Monday… oh that Monday, the bane of our week’s existence. That day of the week that starts it all over again and has you dreaming about Friday all over again…

 

  Sunday evening I was playing with my newest toy, I had crossed over to the dark side and I bought my first Apple product *insert gasp here*, after going through 3 Zunes that broke and stopped working and then stopped even supporting you except through email, I just had to give up.

 

  So I started my search and purchased an Ipod 5th gen which so far I like… I just need to figure it all out… so I was doing just that and adding music to it when I put my phone on silent because I kept getting facebook updates and I was tired of hearing it make that noise lol… well low and behold I forgot to turn the sound back on before I went to bed. So as it happens early Monday morning my local cycling buddies started an early conversation which I was included in but did not know it because my phone was shushed.

 

  Now let me say, I am a very connected person, like I mean it… mess me and you will be sleeping with the…. Ok ok no not that kind of connected. I mean Facebook, text, email, every sort of messenger you can think of. And unless I am in a meeting or doing something that would otherwise occupy me, I will get back to you fairly quickly. My friends all know this… so after 30 min or so of chatter back and forth and no one had heard from me… well then I became sort of an early morning joke which included this video being posted to my facebook…

 

  We had a really hard ride on Saturday, and most of us vegged out on Sunday and did not move too much. At first I thought I was just being a big baby, cause I had some mechanical issues for a good 2/3rds of the ride, but it seems even our more hard core riders were indeed sore and stiff to so that made me feel a little better… well not that they were hurting but that it was just not me.

  After I got to work and noticed just how quiet my phone had been which was odd, I looked at it and seen that I have a million different missed notifications lol and then I saw the video that was posted hahaha  oh man did that ever make my day.  A few of us laughed and joked about it most of the day, and more than one of us watched it several times just to laugh. And we could not get it out of our head.

  So yeah next time you’re about to fight off the dreaded Monday… just think… it could be worse! You could have been murdered by Crystal Meth Tweekers… hahaha

   Happy Tuesday folks and remember to smile… nothing fights off a bad day like a smile… and for fun just add a twitch, people will steer clear of you all day 🙂