come taste the spice in my life

A call to veterans

The article A Charge to Veterans No Longer In Uniform is a reminder to all veterans – from many years ago to today – that we should continue to serve, even in our civvies. (I should mention that a great veterans group The Mission Continues posted it on Facebook – which is where I found it.)

The article highlights a letter written by General Jonathan Wainwright sent to Soldiers discharged from the military, following their service in World War II.
I personally love this quote:

“Start being a leader as soon as you put on your civilian clothes. If you see intolerance and hate, speak out against them. Make your individual voices heard, not for selfish things, but for honor and decency among men, for the rights of all people.”

How do you make your voice heard? How do you lead? How do you continue your call to serve?

For more inspiration read the entire article here.

Pictures can tell an amazing story

I read this photograph essay recently and I’m compelled to share. It might be an emotional journey for some – so please be prepared. It tells a story I believe everyone should know exists but no one should live.

Photographer as Witness: a Portrait of Domestic Violence

“There comes a …

“There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.”

I’m not sure where this came from but it fits me right now.

I recently had to let go of a very dear friend because they were not good to me or for me. It is hard & sad because we had grown close. At least it felt that way.

In the end they had become a drag on my self-esteem. It felt as if the only reason they wanted to be my friend was so they had someone to lecture or talk negative about to others. I’m much happier now knowing that they will no longer have that ability.

I did fall down…yes, but I didn’t need another mother.  I needed a friend. Now, I’m getting back up with out you.

Magical Idaho

Photo taken by my friend Hao.

Photo taken by my friend Hao.

This past weekend we had a snowstorm provide some much needed snow in our area. Fearing/predicting it might be close to the last time a good snowshoe could happen this year some friends and I planed a trip to the mountains for a snowshoe hike. In addition to the hike, we made plans to enjoy a dip in a hot springs after the hike. It was to be a first for my friends, as they had never visited a natural hot springs before.

The snow was wonderful, powdery and beautiful. The views were amazing, with grand magical mountain tops in the distance. It was a great snowshoe…but the real joy in the day came afterwards in the hot springs.

We climbed around the waterfalls crashing from the rocks above us to find an empty rock formed pool. After a short walk we found a pool tucked underneath a falls and we settled in only then really taking the time to look at our surroundings.

The hillsides were charred from a forest fire that ran through the area years earlier. New growth of the forest was beginning to show again. It was close to sundown when we arrived and we very shortly began to see the signs of dusk, with one of us spotting a herd of elk grazing on the hillside across the road that was nearby.

As the sun began to set a bit more a few more signs of nightfall began to appear. We talked and looked at the river that flow next to us as something caught my eye in the sky. I looked towards it and a majestic bald eagle few 20 feet above our heads. He followed the river, presumably looking for his evening meal.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

With the awe of such a bird in such a setting still consuming us my friend squealed in excitement.  “They are right there, you guys, they are right there!” Confused by what she might be talking about the rest of us looked in the direction of her pointing. After a few seconds we spotted what brought her such delight. An elk head was peering our direction not 50 feet away. We sat there as she grazed for several minutes then another head then another popped up. After several minutes we knew they were not afraid of us. We each took turns standing up to get a better view of the six elk that grazed for their evening meal not far from where we soaked in the lava heated water.

It was an amazing experience and one that I know is not uncommon here in this great state. I’m so glad to be back and excited to share my stories and adventures with my friends, new and old.


There is a lot to say about expectations. For years…all of my adult life and before…I have expected something special on special occasions. The Hallmark Holiday, as it is sometimes called, has been no different. I’ve always said I didn’t expect anything special but that was always a lie. I like to receive tokens of love – something special – I am a woman! But for me it didn’t have to be big. It could be dinner, flowers, candy, a card, most years even just the acknowledgement that it was a so-called holiday was enough.

This year was different…

I didn’t fight with anyone…

I didn’t have to get pretty for dinner only to deal with crowds…

I didn’t have to cook dinner only to have it over in 30 minutes…or less…only to watch T.V. the rest of the night (boring by the way)…

I didn’t have to go to bed angry, disappointed, or regretful because something I expected to happen didn’t (or worse – something I didn’t want to happen did)…

This year, I didn’t expect anything – from anyone – why would I? I am single for the first time ever on February 14th and okay with it. Instead I spent the evening with one of my best friends working on my house, getting electrocuted, enjoying a few good laughs and loving life. Love in the form of friendship and nothing less. Yes, for the first time ever I discovered how to spend your Valentine’s day…with no expectations…enjoying the evening with someone special. There was no one trying to make it a special night, it just was an evening of nothing but non-expectations.  I think it was possibly the best Valentine’s I’ve ever had.

Welcome to IDAHO

I found this image today and thought it was fitting and relevant to my recent political posting. The article accompanying it backs up my statement stating that my blue vote means nothing in this red state.

The Alternate you

A friend of mine started an experiment this past week. She’s not a big drinker, a social drinker yes, but not a big drinker. This past weekend she had a bad taste put in her mouth after what wasn’t a lot to drink. It took a day a half to recover from a few drinks. Needless to say she didn’t like the recover time for that hangover. Not sure what to do about it she started an experiment…no alcohol for a year. For some this is really not a challenge at all, silly in fact, but for others it is a bit more of a challenge. I think it’s also going to be a realization for her as to how much she really does drink – and interesting year is in store. If you’d like to follow along she started a blog – Check it out and give her your support.

Myself – I spent 4 years trying to have a baby…one of the things I did while trying to achieve this goal was not consume alcohol. This was based on the belief that it would inhibit my ability to conceive. It was easy most of the time, but it there were times when it was difficult…like when dealing with a non-sober husband. I wasn’t  a social drinker and I didn’t have a favorite drink either which made it easier. The task might be harder now becoming a social drinker in the last year and finding my favorite drink…but I don’t think so.

Election time

First I should explain, I live in the second red-ist state in the union. There is not a chance that my blue vote will matter in the 2012 presidential race. but that’s not going to stop me from pretending. About 25 of my friends and I plan to gather tomorrow night and watch the election results together. We are from a wide variety of backgrounds with both blue and red running through our veins (some with both). It will be a bipartisan party to say the least and I’m very much looking forward to it.

One item I plan to take with me is this electoral coloring map. I love the idea of having coloring time during the result readings. It should go well with the All-American salad, hamburgers and potato salad. (I found the map here.)

Apparently this is a common thing — having a results watching party. I’ve never done it before, but I’ve never really been around non-military either. I find it odd that military personnel don’t really have a desire to celebrate who their new boss will be…or maybe they feel they can’t.  Perhaps it has more to do the fact that the local race should be or is the draw and there isn’t a vested interest in the local race for military personnel. There is the slight possibility that maybe my interest this year lays in the fact that I’ve gotten older…but I’m sure that’s not it.

What do you think? What are you doing tomorrow night?

A different life…

For many of us we never get the chance to make a different life for ourselves. To change what we know and reach for what we want to know. For some of us we get that chance sometimes more than once. What we do with that chance is up to us. We have two choices – take it, hug it, embrace the change and the difference for the good it can be or, we can run from it. I grew up learning to embrace change and make the best of it, so my story today isn’t really all that impressive to me.

When I was really young my family moved around a few times but by the time I was seven it was pretty stable for the most part. There were times I thought things could be better, but it was as good as it could be at the time. When I became an adult my life changed, kind of, I married but not just that, I married a military man. We moved states away from the life I knew, not that I enjoyed it, but I knew it. We moved our home 7 times in 9 years. Then I joined the military too, another 2 moves on my own. Life was much different than it was growing up. I loved it. I really did love it. I loved seeing the different parts of the country, experiencing all that each city had to offer. It was wonderful, new and different – the food, the people, the celebrations, the life.

Then life changed again. This time it wasn’t my decision and I wasn’t OK with what was happening, but it happened anyway. I had to move back to Boise, alone and without my best friend. It was not a change I wanted to hug or embrace, but rather I wanted to yell at it to go away then turn around, run and hide under a rock. I wanted my old life back…today has been one year since that change occurred. One year ago, with the help of loved ones, I packed up my life as I knew it, leaving behind the stuff I was ready to let go, packing and securing that which I was not ready to let go of, and I left home. I left my life. I was headed for Boise and another new life. I felt like I needed to discover what kind of life it was that I wanted – the discovery wasn’t easy. It took months to figure out I needed to take control and figure it out on my own. Then one day I started to create challenges and eventually convinced myself to conquer them.

  • A long distance snowshoe – after never have done the sport before that winter.
  • Backpacking Hells Canyon for 3 days – after not backpacking for more than a decade.
  • Rock climbing a 5.10 indoor course – after not doing it for more than a decade months before.
  • Repelling down a waterfall – never done that before.
  • 14 mile hike with my grandfather in his backyard – life dream of mine!
  • Completing a century (100 miles) bike ride this summer – after never riding more than 20 miles prior to that spring.
  • Earning two awards for volunteering.
  • Making friends & keeping them.
  • Maybe the best of all…I bought a house – on my own – after not being sure I could live, survive or even figure life out on my own.

I’m not sure my new life has been healthy all the time, but it has been fun. I’m also not sure if I’ve really proved anything to myself, except that I can do it. But isn’t that I all I need to do?

Richard Branson quote.

Richard Branson quote.

“Every risk is worth taking as long as it’s for a good cause, and contributes to a good life.”

By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group

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