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The Unexpected Great Days

Last year, one of my most memorable days was an unexpected one.

Earlier in the year on my annual mammogram, they found some suspected calcifications in one of my breasts, of which they were adamant that I get checked out.

This led to a needle biopsy for two locations with results of no cancer, but an MRI was recommended for a follow up to see if they could see anything further as one spot although non-cancerous, was atypical in cellular nature.

The day of the Biopsies, I was the first patient and as I wasn’t too concerned, I  was able to enjoy the nurses and technicians and surgeon that performed the extraction.  The nurses were so pleased to have a calm and talkative first patient of the day that after they wrapped me up with some ice packs post surgery, they sent me off to work with a hug.

The MRI also was an interesting experience.  For those who haven’t had one, the noise of the machine is louder than one might anticipate. I am told they give headphones with music sometimes, but that wasn’t an option for me.  Even with the noise, I dozed off as they ran the machine around me.  Maybe my mind just associated it with the noise of public transport of which I can almost always doze off on.  No great conversations that day, so no hugs either, but again, the results were negative with no red flags – except for the last line that suggested a surgical consult.

I was due for my annual visit to the gynecologist, so I figured he would explain it all.  His suggestion was to go have the surgical consult and provided me with a list of surgeons to choose from.  One of the names on the list was Joyce Moore.  I choose her not after a long in depth search of her qualifications, but merely because of her name. (She has my mother’s first name and my good friend Sally’s last name – yes, I have a friend named Sally)

noun: consultation; plural noun: consultations
  1. a meeting with an expert or professional, such as a medical doctor, in order to seek advice.
    synonyms: meeting, talk, discussion, interview, audience, hearing; More

I am here to tell you that an surgical consult is not a meeting as much as it is the day you meet the surgeon to schedule surgery.  She was a woman of my age with a good sense of humor, had an open heart and was quite insistent that for everyone’s peace of mind, it was best to have a lumpectomy to take out the atypical cells and a bit of the surrounding tissue just to make sure that everything was clear.  In some tangent of our conversation, I learned that he husband’s second toe is longer that his big toe – same as me.  I don’t recall how our conversation got to that as I never took my shoes off, but I let her know that it was a sign of royalty. At least that is what I was always told by my Grandmother who also had the same toes. I have found it really interesting of late to notice what information people will share when not thinking.  I still get the giggles a little when I think of her going home for dinner and telling her husband that he has royal toes and him wondering just how in the world his toes come up in a conversation in her practice of women’s breast issues.

She picked a date in early November for the procedure and asked if I wanted to be put under anesthesia or go with a local.  I was surprised to hear I had an option and said I would prefer to have the local so that I could see and hear what goes on.

After all, I was the little girl who wanted to be front and center if there was surgery to be performed on any of the animals at the farm or be present at when we butchered a cow or sheep.  It always has fascinated me the complexities of what is hidden beneath the exterior of our outer coverings.

What is under all that wool, I wondered.


I’ll tell you about the day of the surgery tomorrow as it is the really unexpected great day.

Love Sally

Thinking of many

This week we have been witness to the sun and moon shining a red light upon us. There were the early mornings this week with the sun on one horizon and the moon on the opposite and except for their size, they looked to be the same object in the sky.
The wildfires that plague the west just now have sent a thick blanket of smoke to our area giving us beautiful skies. With that though is the reminder of the people in danger both in their homes in those areas and the brave fire fighters pushing themselves through incredibly long days and extreme conditions. My good friend N who was just recently out here has a son working on those fires. I pray for him often as the smokey skies here remind me to do.

Red Colorado Sun this week
Red Colorado Full Moon looking much like the sun – Joe Randall

Then there is the East and south that is being ravaged in another manner. We spent some anxious days last week worried about our extended family in the Houston area and the epic amount of rain that was poured upon them. Thankfully, they are safe.

Imagine that Colorado’s annual rainfall is 15.47 inches per year and parts of Texas received over 51 inches in just a few days.  Mind boggling.

And now there is Irene that has grazed one’s we care about in Puerto Rico seemingly only taking electricity away from them but possibly taking a more direct shot at the many in Florida.  Several we know have fled, several couldn’t find enough gas to make the trip after boarding up their homes.  Lots of prayers there too as so many there also have the possibility of being displaced for quite some time.

A little chickadee just landed on my knee for a moment as I was typing this post on the deck, to possibly remind me to mention the wildlife that also loses homes and family in these catastrophes as well.

Sending love and prayers to all.


Spring is Here

This week has been mostly gorgeous. I have spent my lunches in the Clear Creek Trail space by the office. Some days I hike for the hour and some days I plop a blanket by the creek and just take in the sun and sounds of the water, the birds in the trees and the mallard ducks that proliferate in the area.

It was easy to settle into the ‘I love spring’  mantra and enter into the making summer plans mode – Mostly dreaming of how I could pull off an amazing summer like last year.

But Mother Nature has ways to bring us out of the daydream of tomorrow and focus on today as this morning I awoke to this:

So I am sequestered indoors to finish up the quarterly taxes that I’ve put off as long as I possibly could.

The weather man says we will be back up to seventy degrees this week, but for now, all that is sure is:


Happy Spring everyone.

A metropolis

Today is the first day that I have gotten to enjoy the sunrise from my deck in leisure.

Ted noticed the other day that some magpies were building a rather large nest in one of the trees closest to the house, so I went out with the hopes of seeing some of the construction.

The variety of different birds and their chirps, calls and songs was amazing to me. So many that I couldn’t begin to keep track.

As I sat and just got caught up in all he energy, I realized that if I were to envision the activity I was seeing and hearing in human forms, I would think there was metropolis outside. A hustle and bustling  city with bosses yelling at workers where to go – calling for more product – directing traffic. There was the hammering of the woodpeckers (thankfully not on our house) pounding out signs of their construction or destruction. There were the Robins doing the ground work, hopping to and fro pulling up grasses and looking for meals.

The Evening Grosbeaks (one of my favorites to see) were like the youthful kids – all hanging out in a group moving from the local food stand to the next closest hangout and back again.

The energy was that of everyone realizing it’s a beautiful day, so let’s get as much done as possible while we can.

I suppose I should listen to my feathered friends and follow the advise, but I know Ted will be up and take that stance only too soon, so I’ll enjoy watching others work while I sit on the morning sun.

By the way, Ted was reading that when the magpies are done with their nest, that owls or Hawks or Ravens will generally take it over. This should be fun.

Have a happy and blessed Easter everyone.


No Card this Year

Please don’t think you were slighted because you didn’t receive a Christmas/New Year’s card this year.  I didn’t forget you, I just didn’t get around to sending any.

I started my annual Christmas Card this year, but it was hard.  So many memories, so many stories, so little space, no decent photos of the kids.

I had ones with Devin with a girl that is no longer in the picture, I had a few of Galen with the dog before he moved out. (Galen moved out, not the dog).

I couldn’t figure out how to consolidate a year that was so amazing for us.

2016 ended and people were saying what a horrid year it was and worldwide and socially it was bereft for many, but I felt as though I was in an alternate universe where I had a magical year.

So, I’m going to effort posting some of those stories before they get so buried that I never share.

I may need shorten some and leave out the visuals so that I can just relay more quickly, but it is a goal for me to do.

So prepare for a Christmas card that doesn’t come in the mail, but will come in short and hopefully frequent clips.

Love Sally



A Miracle Week

Last week was one of those weeks that should have been destined to be a challenge.  Half the office had been sick the week prior but still managed to come to work.

I have prided myself on not getting a cold virus for the past year or so, but over the weekend, this one had grabbed and took me down too.

So the week started with nearly all of us not feeling our best.

The other factor for the week was that it was a full moon.  If you don’t believe the full moon affects at least part of the masses, then you haven’t worked in customer service or a psychiatric ward (some days those jobs seem interchangeable)

So when Wednesday came around and I found myself getting to work with a undeniable feeling that it was going to be an amazing day, I had nothing to base it upon. But some things you just know.

I declared early on  that the day was going to be a “miracle” day!  I got the usual “whatever” looks from the early morning crew.

But then miracles did start to happen.  Cases that had been unworkable were suddenly completed.  People who had delayed orders, had gotten delivered.  Technicians had made appointments for service calls when they said there was no openings.

Pretty soon, I wasn’t some Pollyanna spewing rainbows and butterflies as others were starting to chime in with their miracle for the day too.  I can’t even tell you how much fun it was to see the office switch from complaining about the next crazy customer to finding the next miracle in our day.

It spilled over to Thursday and Friday too!

I hope you had some miracles in your week too.

Love Sally

The Bouquet and the Garden

Sometime after I had initially contacted Jayna to see if we could visit in Austin, she realized she already had a commitment on the afternoon we were arriving and so just asked if we wouldn’t mind all going.

The event was a 10th? birthday party for the daughter of one of her long dear friends. In fact, the daughter was named after Jayna and therefore when all together, the younger was referred to as ‘Little Jayna’.

I thought it incredible to have a namesake that wasn’t a blood relative. Obviously I was just in a long list of people who saw the first Jayna as someone special.

What we encountered when we went to little Jayna’s birthday party was the family of the birthday girl complete with grandma and aunt and cousin from out of town on Dad’s side and cousins on Mom’s side as well.

Trixie and I sat by the pool and watched the kids play in the pool and got to know the Grandma who really wasn’t much older than I am.

She was a fascinating woman who originated from a large family in Belize. It was one of several times this summer, that as I spoke to someone and really shared eye contact with, that I was asked if we had met before.

I’m pretty sure I would have remembered this beauty and personality. Her stories would fill a blog for years and I loved hearing just a portion of them and was honored that we were given snipets of the good and bad, love and heartbreak that she has had.

After a few hours poolside we all went inside to feed the kids and chatted more with the entire group. Some of us gals then went out to the Salt Lick for the Barbecue and more stories and conversation.

Trixie and I both felt very welcomed and included in the assembled family.

And for me, as I know a few of Jayna’s biological family who love her dearly, it was interesting and heartwarming to see her with this family – built first from friendship. The closeness and pure love was evident from all the generations and extensions of the framily there towards her.


And it might have been even more appreciated since here I was traveling and staying with part of my Framily in Texas.

Sometimes, you go to visit and think you’ll just get a few hours together and whatever that is, will be okay.  Other times, it turns into so much more.

When I reflect about the two times that I have spent with Jayna, it feels like the first time -at the wedding – everyone there was an individual flower brought to make this beautiful bouquet of people assembled for the wedding.


Seeing her in Austin with the family she was clearly a big part of, made me feel like I got to see part of the garden from whence that beautiful flower came from.

Thank you to all in Austin that day, for making us feel so welcome and for sharing your lives with us.

Love Sally

First Impressions


The friend I was going to see in Austin is the sister/cousin to the bride at the wedding I had attended in Tulum in January.

She is biologically her cousin, but I can attest to the fact that if you live with a cousin for any amount of time, they become more a sibling than cousin. And so it is the case with them as well.


I so enjoyed seeing and meeting her in Mexico, that I decided that if I was going to be in Texas for another event, I may as well see if she was available and visit once more.

There are sometimes moments or events where you seem to learn  much about one person in particular. I had one of those times at a meal with our Austin host in Mexico.

It was a meal with the bride, groom, mother of the bride, the two sister/cousins, another engaged couple (who were friends of both bride and groom) and myself.

It was a joyous meal with much story telling, hilarity, great food, sauce so hot your mouth could bleed, mis-phrasing and raucous laughter (the staff tried turning up the volume of the music to drown out our table to no avail).

I try to pay attention to how people behave to certain situations or react in certain settings and sometimes it is very telling.

I was amused, enchanted and felt that during that one meal, I had learned much about Jayna in particular.


This is what I had learned then and what I had sent to her afterward:

What that meal told me about you.

You are bright, adventuresome, giving and responsible. You don’t give up and are inherently competitive.
You appreciate a good story and are happy to tell someone else’s portion of the story before you even think about inputting your own. You shine the light on those around you instead of taking the spotlight yourself.
Your adventuresome and willing to step into an “unknown” without hesitation in the hope that what is there is amazing. In the case that you have mis-judged and realize it was a mistake, you don’t expect anyone to bale you out or correct your error. You continue through it even to the point of causing yourself pain. You tend to hope it will get better as you see mistakes as failures and you hate to fail.
Your not a complainer and never want anyone to feel badly for something you have said or done – even if it is said or done inadvertently.
Your mind is quick and is always thinking of how to bring folks together around you but not with the focus on you. Sometimes your quick mind thinks faster than the words arrive out of your mouth which can cause some hilarity. – which draws attention and horror for you.’
In all, what I learned in Tulum and that one meal in particular is that you are a gem. A beauty with high vibration and radiance. You shine and make those around you glow and feel better just by being in your presence.
I’m so glad I was there to witness.


So, in going to Austin I was hoping to connect again to this gem and Trixie was not wanting to miss out either.

More on the visit with her and her Austin family soon.

Love Sally

Austin BBQ

As I mentioned in my last post, we were on a road trip and the next stop was Austin, TX.

Trixie and I made it to Austin just around lunchtime and as the friend we were to visit hadn’t yet returned from her current business trip, we set out to find a spot to dine.

Trixie is a most excellent co-pilot, navigator and google searcher when I’m driving, so she began to check for good listings for food.

Being in Austin which is known for some pretty excellent eats, I thought that our criterion for lunch should be either Barbeque or  tacos as that is two of their acclaimed food groups.

I had done a search of my own before leaving on the trip and several of the places were familiar in my brain.  The one that required a two hour wait in line was nixed as neither of us could expect it to be that fantastic to want to stand idle for that long for food.

The next spot was one that intrigued us both.

The reviews were excellent and their fare met both of our criteria as they smoke their own meats for their own specialty tacos.

One reviewer said that if the truck moved it’s spot to Hades, they would still follow.

follow-you-into-the-darkWe decided the best bet would be to swing by the parking lot where Valentina’s Food truck is parked and see what that was about as the reviews also said that once the meats were sold out that day, they closed.   It was also stated that the lines could be long at times.

The Smoker and Food Truck were parked at the end of a small parking lot that also contained a small gas station and a liquor store.


I dropped Trixie to hop into a spot in line while I located a parking spot down the street a bit.

The line was only maybe about 6 people deep when we arrived, but by the time we received our eats, there were nearly 20 people anxiously awaiting a turn to order up the enticing fare.

I have to say, it is on the top of my list of places I would return to.  The meats were very well smoked and would have been delicious alone, but they pared them so well with garnishments picked for the specific type of meat and home made sauces and tortillas to give you an eye rolling, toe curling bit of wonderful.

valentinos-tacosWe should have taken a photo before we started to eat, but really, we were proud that we even remembered to stop eating long enough to take a picture at all.

We went to an event with our friend during the day(more on that later), and then that same evening a small group of us went to another amazing place.

the-salt-lickGoing to The Salt Lick was a bit like going to a small county fair.  It was out in the country and surrounded by their own vinyards.  The parking lots were dirt and large as were required for the amount of people there at any given time.  When you arrive, you’re given a pager so that they can let you know when one of their 800 seats are available.  On any given Sunday they feed around 2000 people.

The seating is available outside under the large beautiful trees.


Or inside in one of their several buildings.


They have unique smoke pits inside two of the buildings where the smoked meat is kept warm and smoking a bit more until orders are placed.

salt-lick-pitI think we ended up sampling nearly all of their meats and can say that it is exceptional BBQ.  Their sides were tasty as well, but at a spot like this, it really is the meat that steals the show.  Which made it all the more special as our host doesn’t even eat meat, but wanted us to experience the splendor of the place even if she could not participate in the carnivorous aspect of it.

So, If you find yourself in Austin, you can know that I highly recommend either of those spots.








Salt Lick

Road Trip Disclosures

lets-go-on-a-road-tripOne of the first lessons of the summer is one I had already known but obviously not fully learned prior: that there should be disclosures given to each party about items or information that could or will effect the other person in the car.

The first trip this summer (after the already blogged about Seattle trip) was to Texas.
When discussing with a friend my summer plans, Trixie requested that she go with me on the Texas trip. She was feeling the need for time away and she does after all have relatives there we could stay with.

I know trips are meant to be when everything aligns and goes maybe not how you envisioned, but if you let it flow, it is better than was imagined.

We prepped the car with our road trip snack bag and cooler, loaded a novel onto my iPod for our listening pleasure (The Light Between Oceans – as Trix had heard it was good), and off we went.

We kept the stops to a minimum and snacked from our stash.  What mostly sounded good on this drive was the jerky and cheeses with a few crackers and nuts mixed in.

We made it to T’s Aunt’s home the first night for a ever so brief but restful night. Aunt MM had a tennis appointment early the next morning, so we were off again to Trixie’s Mom’s house another 5 hours away.

We spent a night with Trixie’s mom LP, and then headed off again the next day to Austin to visit a friend of mine.  As we loaded ourselves into the car on this the third day of steady driving, Trixie mentioned something about needing to change our diet as she was having what they call in her family – goat poop.

While I hadn’t heard that one, I didn’t need further explanation and frankly I was a bit envious that she had gone at all.  I second that motion and so we stopped at the local grocery to get some fresh veggies and some juices before heading to Austin.  She opted for the mango smoothie while I went full in and got the beet juice.  I had completed a cleanse in the spring where beets were a steady diet for a few meals as they are natural colon cleansers, so I knew if indeed this was good beet juice, I would be relieved sooner than later.

As we passed through the countryside, we passed through and area rife with places that were selling lawn ornaments of all sorts.  We made note that we should check these out on our way back as my hubby had spoken of getting a gargoyle for his waterfall/garden area and this could save the shipping on a heavy item.

Then, as we were stopped at the light in the rural area, we saw a small place just past the local Dairy Queen.  We decided that we could afford to stop at the small display since we wouldn’t be drawn to spend excess time wandering over acres and acres as the others had shown themselves to be.


It was akin to going down the rabbit hole, as one little area would open to another and yet another and then into an entire indoor area full of all sorts of treasures.

Trixie found artistic wood and metal wall pieces that would go well in her Mom’s new place as well as a door sized and matching window style piece for her home.  Good thing we had driven my Subaru and had extra space.

While she was negotiating the best price for her finds, I made way to the only restroom in the place as my beet juice had kicked in and the time was now.

It was a quaint bathroom in the middle of the store and while I enjoyed the Mexican style painted clay pieces on the wall and adorning the small space, I was aghast that there was no fan/candle/air freshener/ etc.  No time to go somewhere else, I was as quick as possible and then grabbed the few items I had contemplated purchasing and made for the car where Trix was figuring out how to load everything she had gotten while I was taking care of my own business.

When we got into the car and onto the road, I commented that she must have gotten the deal she had wanted since she came away with the items for both her home and LP’s.  She commented that she would have gotten a better deal if she had paid in cash, but she hadn’t brought enough to cover.

“I have cash”, I told her.  “You could have used my cash and gotten the better deal.”  She sighed and said that at least she knows now and then asked what I had gotten.

I laughed the embarrassed laugh you get when your honest with a friend and admitted that I had felt compelled to purchase the few items I had contemplated after I had polluted their bathroom and fled.


“Well, I have Poo Pourri” she says with a laugh.

I had seen the youtube video on the product, but had only thought it was a fake funny add, not an actual product.  I was wrong.  The stuff works and we soon learned that had we shared a bit more of what we each had brought along on the shared road trip before this stop, all involved parties might have come away just a little bit happier and better off.

dos-and-donts-of-road-tripSo, share the information of what you have brought before it’s actually needed when traveling with another is the lesson of the trip. Oh, and eat a more balance diet while on the road.

More on Austin next.

Love Sally