Saturday, January 7, 2017

I Live with Thieves

Some in this historic Georgetown, where I live, are positive they live with ghosts. Not unusual when houses and buildings were built in the mid 1800s. Me? I live with thieves. When I told my daughter this recently, she gave me the weirdest look. "Have you had a break in, Mom?"

I wasn't sure how to tell her. "I never see them, but I know when they've taken things."

"Mom, don't you keep your doors locked/" I could hear the concern in her voice or was it shock! As my daughter persisted, "Should we change the locks and codes?"

Still thinking, I pause as I wonder how to tell her.

When I worked as a tour guide at the Stanley Hotel, in Estes Park, Colorado, which promotes a ghost riddled hotel, it seemed that every tour, someone would ask me about my sightings of the infamous ghosts. My answer was always, "Even though I personally have never seen any ghosts or unusual sightings, I certainly have had guests tell me numerous stories." I was off the hook!

This, this was different, no easy answer now.

"It is sort of scary." Not usually at a loss of words, I hear my voice shake a little. "It happens when I'm in the house alone." Now she frowns and fold her hands.

Haltingly, I continue, "Sometimes when I'm preparing food, these thieves come when I'm not looking or have just stepped out of the room, and I know because one of my ingredients is gone, off the counter, not anywhere in the kitchen. Thinking, I may have distractedly taken it to the dining room table, I look there. Nope. Then my glasses are gone when I've just put them down."

Poltergiest, I imagine, though they throw things. My inner voice takes over my thoughts. Maybe a impish elf. Prankster. Gives me a start and a slight feeling of fear.

"What else, Mom?" Her voice brings me back to the present. "It is so frustrating. What really bugs me," I look her right in the eye and let her in on this weird phenomena, "Often, I'll go back and there it is, right where I knew it should be. It's like these thieves are laughing at me."

Damn it! She is smiling, stifling a snicker.

"I'm serious!" I hurl back at her. "Lately it's been getting worse." My daughter's face becomes taunt with a serious frown.

Okay, I'm just going to say it. "These thieves are stealing my words and it happened when there are people right there listening. These thieves are following me around now." I look down at my feet. "It is so embarrassing."

Now I watch as she looks around. What? Did she see one of these thieves? Looking around, I see... nothing.

Oh my god, they are stealing my mind!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

On my horse farm, I also had milk goats for awhile. You will laugh because I wasn't raised on a farm, so when we moved to the country to raise animals and live closer to the land, the milk goat got there before the goat shed and milking stanchion were done. We put hay bales in the garage to form a make shift stall and my 3 children, fed the grain and held the "How to Milk a Goat" book. I sat on the ground, listened to the instructions one child read to me, and milked. 

My brother, who also never was raised on a farm, built the goat shed and best of all the goat stanchion to hold the goat while milking. He also built the attached chicken coop. 

Although I don't remember any pesky raccoons there, we did have an occasional skunk, one who squeezed in between the pipes under the sink where our garbage can was. When my six year old son, opened the cabinet door, the shock on his face brought all of us into see what he saw. His older sisters started to scream, I was beside myself trying to quiet them. We saw him leave in an unbelievably small area around the pipe. 

The extension service told us to find the hole around the base of the house where he got under, scatter flour on the ground around the opening, when we saw footprints in the flour leaving, then we should board the hole up. Not easy in Oregon where it rains a lot. Ha. 

Good thing that resulted was the children were very quiet in the house until we solved the entrance problem.

Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Power of Risks and Chance

I've wanted to write this story for a long time now. So almost 30 years later... Here it is.

As an Incentive Program Manager, for an International Fortune 500 company, my job was not only to arrange all the venue, meeting spaces, transportation, food and logistics, but to find a speaker who could/would relate and motivate a national sales force. The company was experiencing a downturn in sales for the first time and morale was escalating downward too. 

From the Meeting Planners International list of speakers, I listened to a tape from a speaker who talked about a Little League coach whose team was down 0 to 3.  It was the bottom of the 9th inning and this was it. Gathering his young team around him, he looked around at all the defeated faces. He asked them, "Is it possible to win the game?" Everyone one of them shook their heads no. "Do you think any team has won a game being so far down in the bottom of the ninth?" Again, the desolate group, shook their heads no.

Grabbing his laptop, the coach did a quick search, turned the screen around and showed them that not only one but a long list of teams had came back in the bottom of the ninth to win the game no matter how far down they were. He asked them again, "Is it possible?" Their eyes lit up, and with a fire in their belly, the pushed on, determined to win. 

I hired that speaker and he delivered.  The changing energy of this sales force could be felt as the 
speaker continued to talk.

The speaker held up a 1x6 piece of board and started talking about the power of the mind to do seeming impossible acts, like breaking this board in half with only your hand. As he proceeded to ask if a woman would volunteer (there were only two in that group) to break this board. Both woman had taken Karate and that didn't work for him.  

He glanced around the room until his eyes lighted on me, the meeting planner. "Dawn, come on up here and let's do this", he said. Needless to say, I refused, but when the sales force started chanting for me, how could I not do it. By the time I got up to the the front, my knees were shaking. All I could think about was breaking my hand not the board. How I would humiliate myself in front of my group. How could I get out of this. 

The speaker started talking about Mohammed Ali when he would throw a punch, his aim wasn't on 
the face of his opponent for a knockout, but through the face and a few inches behind it. That's what 
made his punches so powerful. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

MEMORIES... and that's not the name of a song anymore!

Memories, memories... and that's not the name of a song anymore. It really bothers me when I can't remember someone's name or even a word. The worst is when I'm talking and I'm corrected. What I thought I said comes out something totally different.

My friends and I laugh at our memory loss. One of us will always fill in the blanks. Then we chuckle together about our "group" memory. I'm thinking it's not so funny anymore.

It worries me. Puzzles like Sudoku, scrabble blast and sequence games fill my life in an attempt to recover that brain function.

Fish oil was reputed to help with memory. I bought some with the right recommended levels of potency, opened up the bottle and about fainted. By god, they were horse pill size. A big gulp of water and a prayer that I wouldn't choke, but no. It wouldn't go down. Filled up the whole glass of water again and gave it another go. Well, I did get it down hoping all along that it wouldn't get stuck.

Had a great idea to puncture that huge pill and squeeze the oil onto a spoon. Worked. Swallowed with no problem and aghhh, gag. What a horrible taste. I'm talking FISHY at its worse. Tried everything to get that taste out of my mouth. No it seemed to linger on for hours. Then came the burp. Oh no. Here came that taste all over again.
I'm still looking at that bottle warily.

I tried Macha green tea, too. Didn't know that it was dried green tea leaves ground up into to a fine powder. Poured the hot water into the cup, added the right amount of the powder and whisked the heck out of it as per the instructions. Now mind you, it was first the color of a bright green chameleon. Frothed to become a lighter green foam that quickly dissolved to a putrid tanish green. Oh well. Ah, I settled down with my cup of memory tea. Took a sip ... what the heck, could grass taste any worse? I tried to add sugar didn't help! Maybe a little milk. Nope. Horrible hot crud. I could NOT finish it.

You know, maybe at this stage of my life, I'll just sit back and enjoy the quiet of my memory loss. Guess what I can't remember isn't that important after all.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


A good friend was talking yesterday about starting her dream and producing a solid business plan. Listening to her has inspired me to dream and to have a goal once again.

Important blocks of ten years weave in and out of my life - marriage, Arabian horse farm, international corporate marketing/communication job, traveling the world, owning a B&B, published author and columnist, RVing after retirement. Some overlapping the other. Indeed, it has been a great life.

Now, it seems as though I'm watching other peoples lives. I don't socialize. Not traveling. NOTHING (definition -a quantity of no importance) Nada, nil, naught, zero, nix, zip.

Sometimes I look around and think that I'm just waiting to die. Then introspective thoughts tell me, that's just not who I am. My Mother's grandfather clock sits in its place of honor in my house reminding me that time is a creative idea, not to mark off the days, but to dream.

My mother was joyful, happy, good natured, hard working and wanted more for herself and her children. Both she and my father were charismatic, optimistic, full of life people who believed in living life. Then again, that's a different story.

Two of my favorite quotes: one attributed to C. S. Lewis, "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream"; the other from the South Pacific song, Happy Talk, "Talk about things you'd like to do. You gotta have a dream. If you don't have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?"

When you push the universe forward with your dreams, watch out because it will quickly fill your life with opportunity. 

You may not believe this, but while I was writing this blog, an email clanging notice appeared on my screen. It was the editor of the local paper asking me if I would be interested in writing a monthly article... a paid writing assignment. Now, even stranger, while I was writing the email back to him, my voice mail alerted me of a new message. It was from the Author House Publishing asking me if I would like to move forward on publishing my book.

My hour-a-day writing commitment is starting off with a resounding bang!

Friday, April 22, 2011

That Cold Hug

My heart is heavy this afternoon. I'm incredibly sad. Hard to walk. My cheeks feel droopy and my eyesight is blurring. What is wrong? I did have a feeling before I left to see her but I wanted to meet with the hopes of making a new friend. A friend who shares a love of horses. The conversation was awkward; hard to maintain eye contact. The highlight was the big warm blooded Hanoverian gelding. He was nuzzling and open. Just like all animals, the connection is always honest, non-judgmental, happy to be with you, comfortable. With a hug she says goodbye, but the hug was cold. Not genuine. Extending my hand may have set the cold mood, but the answering hug was worse. Was it me? Was I exuding the uncomfortable air that hung between us? That feeling won't go away. I'm just going to let the blue funk take me. From past experiences, I can't fight it. It always comes hard, sweeping, engulfing.

The sun is shining this morning, those puffy white clouds that make the cobalt blue sky even more intense. Blue skies this morning, blue funk last night. One call from a mutual friend led me out of the depressing feeling that engulfed me. Everyone hides things, weird things, shameful things, things we just don't want anyone to know about. I believe that we all can read the energy of others, whether consciously or subconsciously. That feeling yesterday, was it because I read a troubled soul? One that used alcohol to hide the emptiness, the boredom, the losses in her life? Or maybe it was mirroring my feelings? My fear, my loss, my boredom.

I'm pulling myself into the now of existence. The only place I want to be. "Surround yourself in the now," I say. "You can do it." Really isn't that hard, but it does take a great deal of effort. Not living in the now has led me into the past, experiencing all those horrible feelings over and over again. "Not anymore," I say. "Not anymore." The only life I have is the one I create from this point onward to happy, content, active feelings and the anticipation of what exciting event is going to happen now.