Tag Archive: Family


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.

 

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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

The explanation…

 

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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.

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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

Bruno’s Update…

So just a quick up date and a few pictures that make me a little sad…

 

sad

 

I will to save myself time just cut and paste the update from my daughter’s fundraising web page…

 

 

Bruno update Thursday April 24th

 

I just got off the phone with the Vet tech and it’s a tough update day… Yesterday he only had water and was not interested in food still. But last night sometime he did actaully eat a little. But then he threw up. The vomiting is a set back because he needs to be able to keep food down. The tech is not sure exactly where the doc will want to go from here, so I will be calling again at lunch to see what the prognosis is.

 

On the flip side to that, it seems that the techs have fallen in love with Bruno and spend a good bit of time with him… but then again how can you not J She said that he is very happy to see them and is moving around a great deal. And even with the vomiting set back he seems emotionally stable. But she stressed as happy as he seems, the vomiting is a big concern.

 

He is still drooling a good deal which she said is an indicator that he is still nautious, hence the vomiting and they have injections for the nautia schedualed but at this point he should not need those anymore she said. So again she cautioned me and showed concern.

 

Our whole family is ready to see him and have him home… we are past our lower initial vet deposite and now will be getting into the higher end. Which as it stands now may go even higher… but honestly with all the love you guys have showed us we are going to do whatever it takes. We just want Bruno back home with us.

 

Thank you all so much for your continued loved and support.

 

 

So there it is in a nutshell… I’m a little worried about the food issue and the vomit… and he looks soo sad it is heart breaking to be honest. But I have faith that with all the well wishes and love from everyone that this is going to work out and we can bring him home soon.

 

 

Keep him in your thoughts if you would and feel free to share and or reblog this… if for no other reason than to make people aware that puppies are not safe out in the public untill they are done with all of their shots… not just a few sets… but all.

 

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Hope for Bruno Page 

 

*breaking news*

 

Just as I typed this up I called to ask the Tech if it was ok to post her picture… and well they have given him an oral antibiotic and he kept it down… as well as more crushed ice and water which he also kept down! That is a good sign. Also they are going to try more food in a little bit… so I am hoping that it is good!

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

     I want to share a thought I had with you good folks… maybe it is worth your time… maybe it is garbage, but I was having a conversation about depression with someone. I won’t get into the details of that… but in that conversation it led me to an analogy. One of those things that just popped into my head out of nowhere, after which I thought was so brilliant I even surprised myself… so then I thought how can I apply that to my life. And poof another thought… all those thoughts and it did not hurt or anything 😉

 

     So maybe at another time I can touch on the depression issue in the same way I was able to with this other person… but for now and for my journey I will only write about how I will use it to in turn help myself.  I have heard many times that by helping others we in turn really help ourselves… and this here proves just that! And if by writing this out and someone reads it and they too can use it, well so much the better 🙂 the more “light” we have in the world the less dark it will be, and that will make more sense later lol

 

      So for my fellow weight loss enthusiasts… say you have a bad breakfast… or a bad lunch… then something bad happened at work and you get home later than you want… or for those that stay at home already, your kids come home or spouse comes home in a bad mood and everything in the air is just foul that day. Those are the days I dread… the days I just want to say forget it… no tracking points, no worries about nutritional info… I just want to throw some food together and eat and not think about anything else. Today is crap and I just want tomorrow to come so I can start over. I mean that sounds like a good plan right?  It will make you feel better right? Well until tomorrow… when you remember what you ate as you start tracking again… what if you have a whole week like that? And then before you know it is a month, then a season… and now we are looking at just waiting until after the holidays. I know all of this from experience. I have done it time and time again… and each time if I could track it back, I would track it back to one day… where it started off bad and I just said forget it.

 

     So here is my analogy… what would you do if you walked into a dimly lit room that only had a few candles burning… that room represents your day… you’re walking around and you can see the stuff around you, you know what is there, but it is so dim it’s getting hard to make things out. That is how I feel when I mess up… like I wonder why I am even doing this. What is the point, will anyone else even care. In the dim room that is my day goals seem blurred and hard to make out, it matters less and less the more I think about it.

 

     So you’re in this dimly lit room… what do you do? Common sense says turn on a light… light another candle, throw back the curtains if it is daylight… so then why do we walk into that room and blow out more candles… we have a bad lunch… we then go home and have a bad dinner because the day is ruined is like walking into the room  to see it is dim kinda in a funk and we make it darker. And the worse it gets the darker we make it… then in turn the worse we feel yet again.

 

     Light a candle… don’t blow it out… every time you have a bad day with food you can’t spiral into that black hole and let it swallow you… you can’t walk into that dim room and think it will get better by making it pitch black… oh and guess what… no matter how dark it is… no matter how black a room gets, the smallest candle will shine.

 

      So no more walking into dimly lit rooms and making them worse… make it better!!! Light only makes you feel better, and the more you do it the easier it gets.

 

      Last week I hit 25 lbs in my weight loss journey… I have not done it alone. I have an awesome support group in Weight Watchers, I have amazing friends that not only keep me up with my activity but also give me tons of support with everything else. And I have a family cheering me on from the sideline… I am blessed and I know it. Not everyone has that and I understand it is not easy… but find whatever you can to keep your room from getting dark. Keep those candles burning and do not get frustrated and blow them out! Once they are all out, it is tough to find your matches to light them again!

 

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   Smile… it can be the light that brightens someone’s otherwise dark day!

2014 The year of no promises…

I will not promise to be a better person…

I will not promise to lose weight…

I will not promise to change how I interact with my family…

I will not promise to save money…

I will not promise to manage vacation time…

I will not promise…

This year I refuse to make any promises in regards to changing myself… this is not a resolution… this is just a statement. By definition as promise is a statement telling someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future.

So let me explain… I am not a wizard, nor am I omnipotent, psychic, a fortune-teller, or a god in any form. I know there are a lot of things in this life that I would “like” to happen and honestly as much as I believe we are the masters of our own fate. I know that little in this life we truly have complete control of other than how we re-act to situations around us. Our feelings and emotions though influenced by others and out surroundings… are still ours and ours alone to control.

I would love to promise to get published, ride seven thousand miles, finish all my cycling goals, lose all the weight and have a 6 pack, get father of the year award, have my personal life work out all of its kinks, give more to those who need, and learn to cook something new. But what if in this blog I promise you all of those things… and tomorrow I get hit by a truck. I know a bit drastic… but a promise is really not good for much.

What I am going to do is quietly work to do all of those things I listed above. I will not make big big goals and put a ton of pressure on myself, I will not twist people’s arms and guilt them into helping me do this or that because it is what “I” want them to do or because “I” need their help. I will share my success with my friends, family and loved ones… and I will not have any defeats… because I will constantly be trying to improve. Minor setbacks maybe… but I have made no promises so I have nothing to apologize for… if I attempt a ride that I am unable to finish, well I have learned from it, a limitation that I can use as a tool to know what I need to work on… it is not a failure in any way. But a chance to learn and grow… if I have a week or two that I gain weight instead of lose I have not promised anyone that I will, because honestly my weight has nothing to do with anyone in this world but me. It’s my weight… my food… my activity… and if I have a bad week or two… then I will know again my limitations. I will not get mad or angry, I will simply move on.

2014 is going to be my year to better myself with less stress… a promise adds stress, it forces you to perform when you just might not want to. In the past I have used it as a tool to “force” myself to do things. And honestly it has worked many many times for me. But in the end when I meet the goal I promised, I slack off and whatever I worked hard to do is quickly undone because after my promised goal I just drift… this time it will be different.

So here is to 2014 and my year of less stress and less promises… I will be healthier and happier… I will accomplish amazing things… and I will uncomplicated the things in my life that make it more complicated. There is nothing and no one in this world you must have to live… no one person or thing you cannot live without… so the people and things you have in your life need to be there for your benefit and theirs. If they are crippling you and not making you better, lose it… if something is costing you more money than you see a benefit… lose it… If a club or organization is no longer fun and you no longer enjoy it quit. You have but one life to live, and I believe we have no set paths… you chose where you go, and there is an unlimited amount of choices. So do what you love and love what you do 😉 (I read that on a coffee cup but it fits).

This is my first blog of 2014… my blog of nothing… and of no promises 🙂

Smile… it relieves stress and makes you feel better… do you really need any other reasons?

welcome back scribblers! todays challenge requires you to answer 3 questions. you must choose one of the alternatives.. pick the one that you are more of the time. don’t proceed till you’ve answered the 3 questions.

1) are you happy.. or are you melancholy?

2)are you terse.. or are you wordy?

3) are you a poem person.. or a prose person?

 got your 3 answers? good.. now write something just opposite.

if you are a happy terse poet.. Write some melancholy wordy prose. if you are a melancholy wordy prose person write a happy terse poem. Got it?

   yes, this will take you out of your comfort zone.. but creative writing is about growing.. trying new things. you can do this.

1:  Melancholy

2:  Wordy

3:  Prose

 

 

  Ugh so I have to write a happy terse poem….

 

  Oh this is defiantly going to be a stretch for me, and just because of that I will lay it on thick!

 

   All natural…

 

  Sunshine warming…

  Butterflies swarming…

  Soft breeze enveloping you…

 

  Spring time blooming…

  Lovers swooning…

  Kisses soft and new…

 

  A new day dawns…

  Giving birth to fawns…

  Mother Nature at her best…

 

  New Love spawns…

  A child yawns…

  As he lays down to rest.

 

    Yeah yeah I know… it has no real point except being happy but I pushed through lol

  First recipe…

 

I have to start off by saying holy crap!!! I was skimming through this cook book and I am in way over my head here… I am cooking with stuff I have never heard of or even know how to get. The thing I chose tonight was something that has the simplest ingredients eventhough there were a few I had never heard of and had no idea how to find…

 

OK for starters at some point I am going to end up making something called…

Tandoori Poussins with mango relish… ummm OK half of you can pretend all you want that you knew exactly what a Poussin was… but I had no idea and I was scared. Lol so I called the local butcher (and I am in a small city) and he was clueless… so I am not sure what I am going to do lol evidently it is the chickens equivalent to veil, it’s a teenage chicken… won’t that be fun?

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But onto tonight’s great adventure… Fish cakes with anchovy dressing… now take into consideration anchovies were something my uncle teased me with as a child to gross us kids out… I never really liked them much and hated them even more when I worked in a pizza place and they stunk the joint up… but the recipe was simple enough… or at least so I thought…

 

ingredients:

  • 14oz waxy potatoes
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • finely grated rind of 1 large lemon
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • few thyme sprigs
  • ½ lemon, sliced
  • 10oz salmon fillet
  • 10oz smoked haddock fillet
  • handful of Italian parsley chopped
  • handful of chervil, chopped
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

 

Anchovy dressing:

  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 shallots
  • Italian parsley
  • 4 marinated anchovies
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

 

 

OK first… I did not know what a “waxy” potato was… I had never heard of chervil or how to find it… and I had heard “capers” before but only on cooking shows and had no idea what they really were.

 

I get to the store and all they have is the salmon and no haddock so I just doubled the salmon. After spending an hour in the store… because I am a guy… looking for stuff and not asking anyone what or where some things might be, it was almost like a scavenger hunt. My wife is on her phone looking up the things we had never heard of… while I was choosing the fish and trying to get the other stuff.

 

After some time passes in the store we finally find everything… except the chervil was dry and not fresh but at this point I did not care I was ready to be out of there and get home to cook. Well let me tell you another rookie mistake I made… I did not read the recipe all the way through before I started and I will get to why that was a problem in a bit.

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So peel the potatoes and get them on the stove that was easy enough even for a guy like me…

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while that was going I take care of the lemon and get it ready and put it in dishes to be used once the potatoes are finished… that was when the evil person in me decides to find out if our puppy likes lemon lol… and sure enough he loved it hahaha that was a great thing to watch for a little while…

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next it was time to poach the fish with the thyme and a little olive oil and salt…

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with that finished and the potatoes done I mash them… add the lemon and the parsley as directed…

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then it was cool enough to separate the skin from the salmon and chunk it up a bit… the recipe calls for you to remove the bones but I did not see any…

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mixing up the potato and the fish and the rest of the spices… you form them into patties… this is where I did not read ahead. At this point you should put them in the fridge for a couple hours to get them to hold their shape while you dip them in egg and put them in the panko bread crumbs, I did not do that so they were falling apart in my hands… but through several curse words and such I got it done…

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time for the “dressing” I think I did something wrong here because the picture shows a “sauce” but mine was pretty dry even after trying to thin it out some… maybe I should have used wine instead of drinking it… it had just been one of those days I am sure you understand… with the shallots cut I move on to the rest…

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I bounce back and forth from the “dressing the the browning of the cakes… with the cakes browned I put them on a sheet to go into the oven where I finish the rest…

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Parsley… capers… oil… anchovies… simmer

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finished product…. served with peas… yeah of they are the steam able microwave kind… sue me… paired with the wine it was actually really good everyone in the house who ate it loved it… I may do it again sometime.

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So this was my first adventure into the Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Appetite cookbook… I hope you enjoyed reading my adventure… the next ones will be really interesting I mean I have to clean a squid…. not sure sure I will like that… or that anyone else in my family will even attempt to try it haha…

 

Smile… cooking is a new adventure every time you try something new! 

Moral Compass

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Moral Compass

 

A few days ago someone posted on facebook a few questions from a class of hers to get a different prospective or different points of view. Most of these questions were meant to stir potential debate and strong feelings, which judging from most of the responses they did just that. But one in particular got me thinking (don’t laugh it happens from time to time), the question was, “What are some specific moral reasons people may reject the Christian gospel?” I wont go into all the answers and semi debate that was had in her post. But it really got me thinking as I started to read the different answers and seeing the way other thought about morality and it’s infinite platform of good. My answer for me now is just the same as it was for her then, “ Morality is a tough nutt because like beauty it is in the eye of the beholder. what one person views as moral another might not… maybe that is the case. Where as a non Christian sees killing as a moral issue… a non christian could see it as survival of the fittest. A non Christian might reject Christianity for homosexuality stances. For many it is morally wrong to judge or hate someone for a sexual preference, and many Christians do just that… Not sparking debate… just trying to answer your question the best i can” This was for the most part how I responded to her question…

 

Other people answered her question and much of it I agreed with, but the more I read the more I got to thinking how subjective morals and morality is on one hand but on the other hand how defined it can seem… how set in stone others see it as being. Some morals should never be questioned in some people eyes while others are blown off easily. Then conflict of morals is always a touchy thing… when one moral strikes another and they but heads, which one wins?

 

Some people use the bible to hold true to all their beliefs… do not lie, do not steal, be good to your parents, don’t make God mad or your going to tread water kinda stuff. But what of other religions and cultures, what of the people who were not raised up in that way? For some it is morally objectionable to eat any form of pork, or beef, while most of you reading this probably consume this in one form or another weekly if not daily. For those that would not touch it because it is dirty or sacred these are their very fibers of their belief system and so many can shrug it off like it is nothing…

 

In almost every corner of the world it is morally wrong to lie… but we do it almost with out thought, we lie without thought sometimes… even at times doing it because we feel it is the “right” thing to do… but wait morality is suppose to be the right way… so how can the lie be… what a complex web we weave.

 

Relationships… till death do us part… never let someone hurt you more than once… never let anyone put their hands on you… some countries it is OK for a man to “discipline” his wife much the way someone would a child or an animal. These people were raised this way and is an firm part of their society. Though most of you cringe or get angry if you think of a man back handing his wife for talking out of turn and embarrassing him. So tell me whose morals are OK? I mean can you really impose your belief on someone else? Can you force what you think is good and moral on another person if they reject it? What about a wandering eye or a wandering heart? Cheating on a spouse or a boy/girl friend instead of leaving. Most people bristle at the thought of such a thing, quick to cast judgment and return a scow of hatred at such an act… but before your able to do that, is it moral to cast judgment without first knowing details? Or should you forgive and have pity, which moral are we talking about here?

 

Shakesphere has taught us to thine own self be true… what if the moral of the story is to be good to yourself? What if it hurts other people? Well most would say that is wrong… but what if staying true to others is actually hurting you… hummm what a conundrum…

 

I think our Moral Compass most of the time just spins and spins like we are in an electromagnetic storm from time to time stopping where we want it to but other times it just goes the opposite way. I think Morals might just be one of the most objectionable things we can have, many of us over our lifetime will have our morals change several times from one thing to another. You will listen to what others teach and what others say and see things from a different view… only to a year later have someone else share something from a different stand point.

 

I think the most dangerous thing about morals it is gives people the feeling of superiority, makes them feel better than others and look down on them. At that point they are less than you and morally you can do anything because it does not matter. I think that happened with the slaves, I think it happened with women, I think it is happening now with people who are gay or lesbian. We look at “our” values and “we” decided for ourselves what rights other people should or should not have based on our own moral compass and by doing so we disregard what the other people or nation wants or believes because it does not coincide with what we “believe” to be true. And then we become superior to that other person or group because of course we know we are right and they are wrong.

 

Time has shown us a few things… in our history as humans the Morals compasses have always drifted… the books we call holy books the things we hold so sacred have been of little use in the eyes of the slaves and native Americans… the witches in Salem who used herbs to heal people, things we buy at walmart now in pill form were put to death and burned because of the “idea” that they were moral creatures. Which is more immoral? Using odd methods to heal, or killing? We have wiped out complete civilizations in the name of “gods” which have give people the feelings of doing something moral and good… but was it? Where is it OK for your morals to take the life of mine?

 

I can not say what brought all of this on honestly, only that I tend to think and over think things we take everyday as normal living. I know what I feel to be right and wrong is different than so many others… I know that my heart is so much different than many other peoples… some of us have holes in past that a life time of good deeds can never fill them… Morality in all of it’s forms is a great tool when used for good… but sometimes when your doing the greatest good stop and think to make sure you are not doing the greatest harm to someone else… and then maybe find the balance in between the two.

 

 

Smile… remember the person you judged just might be praying at that moment that your eyes are open to a truth your not ready for…

 

 

None of this was directed at anyone group nor is it meant to bash anyone… it is just me purging a mind that is way way to full of junk… and when your life is too full we all know the first thing to go is usually the morals 🙂 

me

ReBoot…

    *back ground music… 300 soundtrack*

 

ReBoot…

 

 

The last installment of my blog I left you with the some of the trials I faced with a death in the family over the holidays. Now the holiday season is over with the exception of Valentine’s Day, maybe life can begin to be a bit more normal.

It is time, I have a ton of training to do and so much to plan and I allowed myself to get swallowed up and I used it as an excuse to well basically do nothing. Yeah ok ok I know some of you who know me on a personal level may have rolled your eyes, and I know I did not exactly just do nothing… but I did allow myself to use everything going on in my life as an excuse to stop eating right and to stop riding my bike… and the whole time I knew it… but I went right ahead and let people make me feel better by saying, “you have a lot going on right now”, or “it’s understandable considering…” so yeah I get it… but because you get it and understand why it does not make it ok.

 

So now it is time to reboot…

 

You know when your computer has over heated or is running slow and you just can not seem to clear everything out. Or it just freezes up on you and does not want to function at all? Well sometimes your only viable option is Ctrl Alt Delete. Restart… do not open so many programs.. slowly defrag and delete old files and get things running smoothly again.

 

So here I am… rebooting… I was about 5-7 lbs from my goal allowing myself to shave… now I am 13.8 lbs from my goal and refusing to fall back anymore. I need to get back into a good shape and be a bit more healthy… I also need to start training more getting ready for my ride to the children’s hospital.

 

I had grand plans for this blog but it is getting late and I have to work in the morning so I will just cut it a bit short for now… but in 13.8 lbs I will shave and post a video of pictures I have collected since May of 2012… I vowed not to shave until I lost 45 lbs. So far as much as I hate all the fur, I have stuck to it and taken at least a few pics a week, now I am pushing to get rid of the last bit to be done with this in time for my charity bike ride in March. I will post more about that later.

 

For now I have decided to put my plan in motion… I work better under pressure and this will be big. I will lose the weight to hit my 45lb mark in 6 weeks. On March 16th at a time yet to be determined there is going to be a coming out party… coming out of my beard and into a life where I stay healthier than I have in the past. I can do this… I will do this…

 

Pain is only temporary…

Failure is not an option…

I am a machine!

 

Smile… it’s not always about what you have done… but what you plan to do…   

 

Finding my way out of the dark

Finding my way out of the dark