Tag Archives: wilma and betty

December 2023

December began and was frequently filled with many holiday gatherings. Friends, neighbors, family, framily, it seemed like every spare space had a gathering to it.

Part of those gatherings were in Ohio. I went to help my sister prepare and have a baby shower for my nephew and his wife who were expecting their first offspring. Also on the agenda, was a retirement party for my sister in law. Unfortunately, my sister in law and brother were sick and so that party was cancelled. I had a great time visiting several friends and spending more time with my sis since we avoided the farm this time due to whatever crud they were dealing with. We even had a last minute visit over in Pennsylvania with my Aunt and cousin. Luckily they knew the owners of the cafe we ate in, as otherwise we might have been kicked out for the level of laughter we generated in our getting caught up on each others lives.

I arrived back home in Colorado and my nephew Ian followed me out the next day so that we could all go ski/snow boarding together. Galen, Devin, Ian, Molly and I met up at Arapahoe Basin once again and had a super fun day playing on the slopes. This was the first time I had skied with both of my boys in decades, so it was really nice to be up there all together.

Not just settling for skiing, there were hikes, walks and parties every night as everyone wanted to spend some time with Ian.

I finished off December with a low key Christmas, some beautiful snowy hikes in the woods below us and a meet up with my friends.

Fun fact: In the last photo are the two reasons that this blog was ever started in the first place. Anita – to my right = was Wilma in the earliest blogs. She is my friend who had moved to Australia and was doing a mud obstacle race. Jane – to my left – was the team captain of our obstacle team. Lucky for me, Anita moved back to Evergreen, and Jane was here visiting over the holidays. It was another good night of fun.

2023 was an intimate year with so many extra special times for connection, reflection, joy and heartache. But then, that is life, isn’t it.



Trip complete, Journey still unfolding


focus on the journey

I am sitting on the deck and it is a beautiful morning.  The stream below us can be heard with its temporary  small rapids from all of the rain that happened while I was gone.

stream behind the house

The jet lag is gone or at least I can no longer use it as an excuse. It is time to put some words to this last post on the Raw Challenge page.

full circle

I think that this experience from beginning to end will continue to stay with me and reveal more treasures that would not have been found without it.  I find the entirety of this adventure to be nothing short of a miracle.

miracle of starting

Well for me, I don’t think it was so much courage to start as it was the abandonment of rationale that would normally have kept me in the mode where I knew it was not good timing, reminded me there was no way to write a daily blog (especially since I’m not a born writer), and that I’m not in the kind of shape to attempt an obstacle race.  Clearly this was something that pulled at my heart so strongly that I could not ignore it and just had to approach it as a possibility.

think you can

I have had the good fortune to experience so many aspects in these past few months that would not normally have come about otherwise.  I have connected with friends and family that I haven’t necessarily been in touch with.  I have worked some muscles that I haven’t necessarily been in touch with either.  I have been to another continent, hemisphere and seen sites truly amazing.  I have written more in a two month span than I probably ever have prior and found that I truly enjoyed it.

one one sees the world they way you do

I have had several comments on how adventurous I was to set off alone each day and explore. I can say that I never once felt that I was alone.  You see, with all of the postings, comments – written and verbally expressed- over the past two months, knowing I was to be sharing my days with all of you, I sincerely felt accompanied at all times.

I would often type up some of the post on my phone while riding the train into the city or back to the burbs. I could take advantage of that down time to jot some thoughts if I didn’t get too distracted with watching the different areas stream past my window or get caught up watching fellow passengers.  People watching is pretty entertaining at times.

I was totally unencumbered by having to comply with anything someone else wanted to do and just let my days flow with a general idea of where I might be headed and mostly let each day evolve knowing that I was sharing it not with someone riding or walking next to me, but with the friends and family that would read about it the next day. I had Wilma, Pebbles and Poppy to share with in the evenings.  The few days that Wilma could be with me enhanced those days with laughter that I would mostly keep to myself when alone. I then too had that extra person that could laugh and make fun of the silly things that I tend to do.

Had I thought to write up what a perfect trip would be, I daresay I could not have done better.  Okay, I could have been lighter so that my feet didn’t scream of all the walking.
Best Journey's


My Fitbit was always on Mountain Standard Time, so the daily walks were not recorded in full, but my report from the last week that included the last two days of mostly riding on a plane with no walking/standing/moving at all was:

Fitbit report

It is obviously my new high water mark and a goal to see how it can be beat. So I have that to look forward to.

As for my blogging, I have decided that for now I will continue to share my thoughts and experiences.  I will keep this page separate and a available and start a new page as I feel there are stories to tell and stories to hear from you as well.  The posting regularity is sure to change, but I am not ready to give it up.

My only real question at this point is do I stay Betty for the blog or go back to my given name?  No last name – ever – as I need to keep it so my crazy customers over the years don’t find me.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read and support the endeavor of the past few months.  It was a trip worth taking.

live, travel, bless

I’m not sorry.

Love Betty






Words from Wilma


stepping upSo after some encouragement/indirect pressure from Betty, I am submitting a post. I am not a writer by nature, I tend to get a bit wordy, let’s hope this isn’t one of those times.

The Raw Challenge – wow, it’s almost here, and Betty along with it. I am looking forward to many laughs with Betty, a bit apprehensive about the obstacle course. I initially heard about the course from Jane (you’ve heard about her from Betty), and casually considered joining her team. She assured me that I would be fine with it – guess we’ll see on Saturday. So I signed up, and dropped a status update on FB. Betty became involved, initial to support long distance, then upgraded to full participation in Sydney. Too cool, right? What a pal – now there’s no way I can back out.

But I wouldn’t back out anyway. After all, what’s the worse that could happen? Yes, serious injury is possible, but I’m planning on surviving with maybe a few bumps and bruises. After all, I have a rowing class early Sunday morning.

I think Betty has put a great deal more thought into the challenge, looking at the obstacles, calculating her chances on each one, considering the consequences. I’m more of a don’t think about it too much, just do it kind of gal. That often gets me into a bit of trouble, but it also allows me to have experiences that may have passed me by, if I thought about them.So – Raw Challenge – I will have experienced that by the end of the weekend, as well as fencing, squash and learning to row, plus many others over the past years. I will keep my eyes and ears open, hoping to find another new challenge as I move forward, and I’ll just do it.

Cheers, Betty, wishing you safe and enjoyable travels, I’ll see you at the airport on Thursday – let the laughing begin!


Packing for the changing Seasons


Heading out for the Sunday walk today only served to remind me that I am leaving the season transitioning between winter and summer to go to the one transitioning between summer and winter.

Today started with rain and turned into big and beautiful snow flakes.

New snow

new snow 2







It will be 70 degrees by midweek.

I’m thinking that Sydney won’t be quite as volatile or have the same temperature fluctuation that we have here at elevation, but it is still a changing season and as such makes me wonder how hot or cold to pack for.  From the 10 day forecast it looks to be uppers in the 70’s and lowers in the 50’s and kinda rainy lately.

Currently the Raw Challenge race on Saturday has a 90 percent chance of rain.  Expecting to be coated in mud anyway, so I’ll just consider it a shower between obstacles.

Who knows, on those tall wall climbs, maybe we can feign a middle age girls mud wrestling fight, roll to the other side and pop up like we made it over and onto the next obstacle.

Holy cow.  Being use to googling images for sections of my blog, I made the mistake of checking out the photos that came up for women’s mud wrestling.  Yikes, some things can’t be unseen.

Back to checking the packing lists and bags.  Tomorrow is my last night at home for a while. I did manage to get two audio books on my Iphone. Thanks BA and N of the recommendations.

Oh, and I suppose I could do the squats, planks and hang on the pull up bar for a bit.

Love Betty





Doing the Math


raw challenge days remaining


Nine days to the challenge!

I slept horribly last night and so when it was time to get up and I had just gotten back to sleep, there was no chance of me getting up and working out this morning.

awake in someone else's dream

I had to drive Barney from the auto repair back to his office at lunch, so no time to walk or do extra exercises then.  Okay, if I hadn’t gone to the plant nursery across from Barney’s office to make my list of tomatoes and flowers that I want him to pickup for me I might have had some time, but it hadn’t been the best of days at work and something about planning the gardens seems to set the world right.

I left work almost on time – sometimes getting out the door takes and hour or so by the time I get the day’s loose ends all caught up.  On the way home I resolved myself to the thought that today is the day I see if I can actually run a 5K.  I talk to myself and say that it is a good day to try.

The closer I get to home, the more dark the skies become and it is starting to rain a bit.  I’m still resolved to try until I get almost home and realize that hey, there are 20 or so obstacles on this 5k course.  I don’t have to run 3 miles, I just might have to jog in between the obstacles!

Suddenly since it is raining (sure it’s only sprinkling, but it’s all perception), it is way easier to think about calculating the distance I might need to run between obstacles than how far I can run all at once.

BamBam is home and wants something to eat before he goes to youth group so I send him out with the dogs instead of me and make him something to chow on before he leaves.

My friend Trixie came over and had dinner with us and it was then that I remembered that I was wanting to figure out the distance between the obstacles.  Turns out I only need to run about 264 yards between each obstacle if evenly spaced.  I can do that.  I’m not giving up on training and all, but lets be realistic.

I’m thinking I will take a Dramamine tonight to see if it makes me drowsy and how I sleep as it has been recommended for the flight. Not having taken it before, I want to test it before being stuck on a plane and finding out it has an opposite effect or make me sing Broadway tunes in my sleep or something.

Wilma sent me a photo of gumboots – wellies I think they call them down under.  I hope that was a joke.

Love Betty


Thinking of someone to find out they have been thinking of you


Today I called an old friend from back home that I have been thinking of this week.  As happens many times with us, she was also thinking of me this week.  It was good that I called.

I guess I haven’t spoken to her in longer than I had thought as there was much to catch up on.

I didn’t meet her until I was in high school.  She was a city girl who had been living with her Dad and siblings in the city but got a little too ornery and was banished to live in the country with her Mom who had married our widowed neighbor.  Neighbor on our street was about a 1/4 mile away.

She joined the country crew of her new family that had two boys and a girl, but she was older than the others – and wilder – so she wasn’t much for hanging out with her new found family.  Instead she opted to come to the farm quite often and hang with me mostly. (we can all admit to a crush she had on my brother though)

The thing about hanging out on the farm is that if there is something that needed to be done and you were there, you were expected to help out.

She was a trooper and a little intimidated by my Dad so she would attempt anything we asked of her. Problem was, she didn’t have the vocabulary of farm knowledge to know what we were talking about sometimes.

I remember telling her to go up in the haymow and throw down 4 slices of hay for the calves.  After a few minutes of seeing no hay coming down, I climbed the ladder to see her standing in front of a bale of hay just looking at it.  I’m sure I asked what she was waiting on to which she replied “I don’t know how to slice hay!”   Of course in instances such as that, she received only laughter in response to her lack of knowledge.  It still makes me giggle just thinking of it.


At any age, we didn’t attract alot of friends who wanted to spend time at the farm – that ‘you have to work if your here’ thing kinda puts a damper on people coming over too much.  She definitely spent the most time at the farm with our family of anyone I can remember.

As we were catching up on my drive home, the conversation came around to my current adventure.  I let her know there was a blog involved and said when I got home I would send a link.  I told her that my Raw Challenge friend and I were Wilma and Betty and she was somewhere between surprised and not.  Turns out as  she informed me that she and her sister are Wilma and Betty in their alter egos. She is also the Betty character.

I sent the link and the site views started clicking away showing that she was indeed going through the pages.  I messaged her that it wasn’t recommended to read all the posts in one sitting as it hasn’t been tested and could cause mental damage!  Read on she did anyway.  She loved the one about the Robin’s Return and Mom as she had heard that one while her time at the farm.

The actual messages were:

“I love it! All of them. I like the memories of your mom…and when you reflect on your past and bring that into your present.
 It’s really good.
 It makes me miss you..”
What a great statement to hear.  It affirms that my personal tone is actually coming through and still recognizable to someone from my youth.
I haven't changed

KB, It was great to catch up with you and  since you have read the blogs, you know that I write about what is on my mind at the time of the post and tonight you’re it.  Lets plan on you coming out this summer.

Wilma, keep sending me what I need to pack.  My co-worker checked the weather and it looks like rain is in the  forecast for a while still.  No problem.  What is a mud challenge without the mud?

To my guest Bloggers who have already sent in your submissions, I will definitely post them sometime soon in between some of my own.  Thank you and keep them coming if you feel obliged.

Love Betty




The Guest Blogs


step  up to the plate

I have to say that I am thrilled about the number of you whom have expressed a desire to possibly write a guest blog for me.  I just might take a month off!

Oh, probably not, but it would be nice to have some extra blogs in the Betty email that can be drawn upon. Those times after a long and drudgerous day when there are no words coming from my head or fingertips. (Wiktionary has drudgerous in there, so quit thinking I’m making up my own words – even if I looked it up to make sure that I wasn’t the one making it up)

I do not have a date that I know I will need your guest blog as I cannot see the future and do not know when life will throw a curve ball.  If you send them to the betty@thelaughyouknow.com, I will post them in the general order that they come in – but on the as needed basis. I could end up keeping it in my back pocket for a while, so if you send one be patient and I will be sure to email you the day it goes up so you will not miss it.

I’m looking for stories to share and you may choose your own format as long as the content doesn’t get me booted from my own site!

comfort zone

I have a trip planned a month from this one, so you needn’t worry that you can only write one and it will be used in the next two weeks or not at all.  I will continue until we are all tired of sharing stories.

There might even be a grander trip on the horizon so you can write a several part story if needed to keep you from writing War and Peace all in one post.

go for it


Thank you for the help.

Wilma, you actually get to choose when your guest blog goes up if you write one.

I guess for the rest of you, if you have one for a particular day that you would really like the blog to post, I can consider those as well.

Love Betty



australia stamp


It has been asked about my traveling without family since I have ventured to Mexico and a few other jaunts without them now.

Some of my family is more adventurous than others.  Barney would prefer to be within the distance of home so that if things don’t go well he can leave and be back in his own bed and have his own bathroom without much delay.  He is adventurous, but likes the comforts of home as well.

It was a peek into the future when three weeks into our month long trip through Europe on our honeymoon he turned to me and said “the Broncos are playing the Browns this weekend, do you want to cut the trip short and go back?”  He had had enough of not knowing what we were ordering off of the menus and only speaking English to me for a few days.  I managed to guilt him into staying and we had a great time but it was a harbinger of things to come.

He does not seem to mind me going now though and I know he would have never made it through the Mexico customs line.  He would have been back on the tarmac trying to get on the next plane back to home.

define travel

Son#1 is more willing to enlarge the circle of travel than Barney depending upon whom he is traveling with and the climate he is going to.  His only response to when I asked him what he thought of my trip was that it was going to be hot.

Bam Bam will go anywhere with anyone who is paying.  He would have loved the Mexico trip and would love to join me on this one as well but both were in the school year and well, he has yet to pony up any funds to contribute. My stance is that if you want to go bad enough you will contribute to go.  He is also going on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic this summer so he will have a trip of his own soon.  He is providing effort to go to that one.  He also went to Ecuador two years ago as did Son #1.

When I asked Bam Bam what he thought of me going down under and doing the Raw Challenge, his response was that he would have done that with me as well. He just didn’t want to be  stuck in the children’s division.

I guess it is hard to be sixteen but want to do what those 18 and older get to do.

Wilma called just as I was leaving for work this morning and we were able to chat the entire drive in.  We are both getting excited.  She mentioned that she is learning more history about me than she had previously known.  I had to remind her that while it feels that we have known each other for 40 years, it really is more like 4.

very old friends

Wilma is also afraid I will embarrass her on the challenge since my training has fallen off a  bit while #1 was home.  Clearly she forgets that I will embarrass her no matter the strength and stamina or stage.

embarrassedFine, I’m off to lift some weights and do squats and a few planks.

Love Betty


How we perceive ourselves


busy bee

Yesterday as I was looking for photos/quips to put in the blog, there was “The Busy Bee” picture that reminded me of a story of misunderstanding and how clueless I can still sometimes be.

When I started at my current job, the department was small and they had just promoted from within so if you had been there and outlasted those around you, “manager” was put on your placard.

The gal that was the manager didn’t like change or customers or me trying to go above and beyond for the customers.  It seemed to infuriate her that I would treat everyone with kindness and do as much as I could for them.  It got to a very contentious point and ownership finally hired a director for our department and her level of involvement diminished.

We were and are a department that communicates via messaging on our computers to pass along vital information while we are taking phone calls.  Sometimes the messaging is just personal between two co-workers.

One of the new people that had started just prior to me  had recommended the director for the position and they would message frequently to communicate policies and changes and what was happening in certain situations.

The manager whom was losing her stature quickly could see the screens pop up from her desk, but could not read them so one day when the co-worker was outside taking a break, the gal manager went over to the co-workers computer and brought up her messages to read.

get a life

I let my coworker know that her privacy had been compromised.  She confronted the manager and she admitted to looking through her messages.  The coworker let me know that the manager eventually blamed it on me and called me a nosey B.  (excuse me, but I wasn’t the one poking in someone else’s personal messages).

I of course envisioned myself as the nosey bee – the little bumble bee buzzing around the room.

A couple of days later I was speaking with Wilma on the way home from work and she was asking if there had been any new drama.  I relayed the story of the manager and the coworker and the the comment that it was really my fault for being a nosey B.  Wilma immediately replies that she cannot believe the manager called me a bi@tch!  Seconds pass before I realize, Holy Cow, she probably did call me that!

I go into work the next day and ask my coworker what was actually said and of course Wilma is right. I’m just the Pollyanna who hasn’t considered that anyone would think I was anything but the affable person I consider myself to be.


seeing yourself

It is a story that my coworkers still find hilarious and every now and then one of them will call me Bee.  (for them it is not short for Betty either)

liar liar

Wilma, I got your email with the link for getting the Visa and you were correct.  It was super easy and quick to do.  I can now come and go to Australia for 3 months at a time as many times as I wish for the next year starting today.  I leave three weeks from today!  Mind Blowing.

Love Betty









Some History on Wilma and Betty


wilma and betty working


Not many who read this probably know Wilma, so I thought it was time to provide some background on how we teamed up as friends.

About five years ago we worked together for a short time.  One might not normally get to know someone so well in the workplace when you only work together for a few months, but this was more of a war zone than a work place and when a comrade arrives new to you in battle and has your back from the start, it doesn’t take long to forge that bond.

got your back

She was/is a straight shooter in that if your honest with who you are and what you need, she will help without pause.  I don’t think it took Wilma but about two days to determine the owner of the company we worked for was a bit mental and when she asked about a something that was on the border of needing a conversation with him and she said “I don’t think I will open that can of worms” I immediately knew I had someone who got the situation and could make working there again bearable.  I’m pretty sure I told her I loved her that day.

We had been through many people when Wilma took the job and unlike others who didn’t have the skills to withstand the position, she was overqualified in education, experience and mental toughness.  I’m sure all of those reasons also played into her resignation just a few months into the chaos.

She stayed long after she ever meant or needed to just to make sure that I wasn’t being left to deal with the wreckage alone.  Every week she would say it was her last, but when no one came in that was remotely acceptable, she would stay while the search continued.

I left not long after she did as she did help me to see how badly the atmosphere had deteriorated – or maybe was always horrid.




While it was sometimes an gruel to work there, we also had so much fun in the daily making fun of some of the ridiculous situations.  I got to learn the “many faces” of Wilma and to delight in the times when she thought she wasn’t showing her thoughts and it was like a one way mirror for me.  I could see exactly what she was thinking and she couldn’t see that her reactions were so clear.

We stayed in touch after she quit and I got her girls to take a Sabre Fencing class that I had helped to set up to promote the club that my eldest son was in that needed more participants.  I also took the class.  I guess she declined thinking paying for her two girls as participants was enough and she liked making fun of me in the class with all the kids in it anyway.  I did get another friend to take with me, so I wasn’t the only non-teenager in the classes.  It actually was quite fun and a good workout.

Her girls now compete on a high level in Australia with the Sydney Sabre Fencing club.

I’m a lucky gal to have her as a friend.

Love you Wilma!