Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pyrate Nyte!

(Jack Rickam's Flag)

The conditions were right! Last week the water main was broken outside of our units. I live in a HOA of sorts, and the water is a shared source. Broken and only repairable for a few hours at a time by using a city by-pass, we were without water for most of the week - save an hour here, an hour there, and naturally the hours were set up to accommodate those who were working during the day. I was asked to be inconvenienced as I don't really have a job. Authors just play all day, you know that.

Next in line for the inconvenience mill was the air conditioner. It broke when I turned it on. First day of necessity, and I suppose it just wasn't up to its old self. Old being the optimal word - ancient is even a better description. The AC guy told me he's never replaced that particular part in the 12 years he's worked for TRANE, so there you go - he ended up ordering me a new unit. Thank you! Of course, it was on back order and the HOA had to approve it, and all that - so there you go, this was day 13 without AC. I'm OK, I was born a Sooner! I can handle the heat. I can handle the snow, the tornado, the wind, the rain - throw it at me. Just don't let people drive in it - we're not known for our maneuverability - not like Texas!

OK...third's the charm. The electricity man came by yesterday and cut me off. I asked him to stay for a second so I could bring out my receipt, it was paid for online, but he wasn't really interested. I missed him by a few seconds, he simply drove away. My phone is connected to my cable, which is powered by electricity, and my cell was about out of juice - again, powered by electicity - but I have the car! I ended up powering up my cell from the car battery, and driving myself to the store to get a few more candles after the electric company told me they hadn't downloaded their page where I had recently paid -something about being backlogged with work. Thank you. I was cut off - and it would be another 20 hours before I could see the light to day again...well, technically it was already the light of day, it was just before noon. I had light, but was told it was going away at around 8:30 that evening. I was also assured that it would return - at least God's light, and then we'd have to work on the other people.

With 12 new candles (thanks to Glade) I had to come up with a fresh idea of what to do without my tv, my internet, my cable, my phone, my stereo, my lights, and my food - anything in the frig would be taken to my girls' house so it wouldn't spoil, which means it would also be eaten by the various pack of boys that go in and out of those doors 24/7. I decided fast too, didn't take much of a twisting. Pyrate Nyte!

Call the girls over, not my girls, they're too young - the old ones. Call them all, get the tequila, get the wine, get the flag out. Yes, I do have a flag and I do fly it on these occasions...when it's Pyrate Nyte it's a no-penis night. Men need not attempt to break barriers - not without fear of being kidnapped, not without fear of being forced to do every bidding, every order, every chore - - imaginable. We don't wear much at these parties either, especially when the AC is off and it's too dark for the lookers on to really see much. Depending on how many older women could gather into one house - that man could be risking more than just his life should he dare to try to sneak past us for a taste of the brew so pleasingly placed on the table, waiting to be consumed.

When the cigars come out the gun powder tea is also rolled and smoked. I had forgotten about the pole in my backyard on the patio - one of my mates found it appealing, thought she'd try out a new step. She wanted to see if she could hang upside down from her thighs while smoking - she can. We're all practicing now and will be able to put forth a right good contest for the next event - probably not too far off, these things only need a little coaxing to be encouraged. Women actually find the company of women to be uplifting, in this case swingingly uplifting! When the dancing was over the stories began - she who lies best wins.

Before the close of the evening we were listening to Dwight Yokam a bit louder than the neighbors would have ordinarily approved, except the neighbors were in company as well. Dwight has a way about him - his manners please a few tipsy women holding limes in one hand and cigars in the other. We like Dwight... a lot. Our bellies full of cheese and crackers, beer, wine, tequila, and smoke - we agreed full heartedly that it was time to say our last lies, and bid the night sweet dreams. Some poor villains had to get up in just a few hours to plug in cables, pull wires, work on engines, and yes - because women are good at it, some of these poor wretches had to give orders to others and they wanted to be on their best behavior. Hard to do with the skull and crossbones staring back at you in your blurred memories...time to call the boys.

Men came to take their women away - never sail a ship with a smile plastered on your face. Let someone else do that. It's important to be in one piece so that the season's opening is not the last Nyte to be had....welcome good weather, welcome inconvenience - we know how to handle you! Hoist the colors. Grin and ... bare it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I Can't Run for President

Try as I may, I just wouldn't make a good presidential candidate. I don't have what it takes. I don't have a lot of money to throw around and if I did I would be putting it into charities such as Operation Iraqi Children, Feed the Children, and Compassion. I don't have any real dirt to share - OK, I filed bankruptcy because I broke my neck in '92. I had a kid out of wedlock, and I've been fired from probably 105 jobs...106, I don't know, a few. I don't have a nasty preacher who says stupid or idiotic things from his pulpit because I'm not really a member of any church. I do attend one. I suppose they could camp outside my pastor's office and see if he makes outlandish statements about one race being better than another, but he'd probably be referring to a summer outing where a three-legged race took place behind the bean-bag toss. My pastor just doesn't make a splash that often, if ever.

I couldn't be the next president because I'd have to admit to being over 35, and where that benefits me because my son is 22, I still have a bit of an issue with the fact that if I were caught kissing a man half my age he would still older than my son. Yes, that bothers me. I couldn't actually be caught kissing any man because I don't kiss very often, and that fact would probably keep me out of the White House. Nothing to report, nothing to talk about, nothing to dig up, nothing to exploit. Face it, I would be a very boring candidate.

My politics would also keep me off the stage. I'd want to open up the forum to allow educated people in various walks of life from various economic backgrounds to give me their input and ideas on what to do to lower the deficit. I'd actually consider lowering it - it means something to me to pay my debts. I hate that I have to, I'm human in that respect, but I'd want to put forth an effort to become a more self-contained government - my exterior spending would be lessened, oil would be drilled in Alaska, and alternative means of fuel would be pursued. I'd have border negotiations with Canada and Mexico, I'd offer better salaries to everyone through real programs designed on the barter system where one company paid another company for helping another company which benefited their own company. This round-robin means of paying employees could also result in larger groups for insurance purposes, making it less expensive for the overall man/woman to afford insurance - oh, and there I'd be in the middle of a speech about insurance and have actual knowledge of it. What kind of candidate would that make me?

I don't know. Maybe if I ran for president I could at least meet Fred Thompson. I like him. He's pretty cool. I could go on sets in Hollywood pretending I wanted support from the actors and directors - just so I could get a good word in about the writers needing more money since promoting the real talent in Hollywood (writers) wouldn't be accepted if I just blogged about it. (Tell me again why an actor gets $30,000,000 for a movie he/she didn't write, direct, produce or distribute.) I could run for president if I found a good running mate - that would be the only way I'd win. No one wants an honest, upfront, troop supporting, educated, romantic, dogmatic, Christian-minded, spiritualist who feels that ethics should be a platform. Who the hell could stand on ethics and get anywhere in politics? Please. I'd need a VP worth his or her weight in controversy...I'd still have to run on the Indy ticket; maybe I'd pick Donald Trump to be my VP. If we got into trouble he could write a check.

Oh, you know I'm kidding. I wouldn't run for government - I wouldn't work on Saturdays in the fall. Football! Even the greatest leader in the world would have to set priorities!

Bring Out the Dogs!

(Not my photo or my dogs)


I was driving down I-35 the other day (as one often does in Oklahoma) and saw a very uncommon site: three police officers in marked vehicles (Highway Patrol actually) had stopped 3 separate trucks, one of which was a very large trailer without windows. The trucks were all very well kept, quite new, and stunning actually - very pretty. Outside of the trailer were two (2) K9 units both German Shepherds, both frantically hitting and barking at the trailer. Now, I'm no expert, but I don't think the dogs found Kibbles n' Bits!

Maybe it's just me, but I watch an extraordinary amount of cop shows. I'm so forensically educated that I could probably give a seminar while wearing a white coat so that the real geeks could take a well deserved break. My knowledge of drug sniffing dogs doesn't end with what I see on on CSI, no, I have a drug sniffing dog and I didn't even ask for her. We were flying back from Vegas when Faith (my little yellow mutt) decided to notice the guy behind us - closely. She began whining and sniffing at his cargo-pants pocket and he became a little nervous. Because we were about to land in Dallas I gave him a little warning. "Hey, I don't know about Texas laws and marijuana, but I can tell you that if my untrained dog can spot it, their experts can. Dallas security walks around with K9 patrol." He understood. He smiled, and to be honest I was a bit embarrassed about Faith's new habit.

It's always dogs isn't it? I mean, you never EVER see the Five-0 bringing out cats on leashes to find anyone or any substance. Cats aren't good at that sort of thing. Cats couldn't care less whether they pleased their owners...they don't work per se. Cats don't listen to anyone, and they certainly don't dain to lift a finger to secure their surroundings - that's YOUR job if you own a cat. Can you own a cat? Dogs are the worker bees - they sniff, they paw, they bark, they hunt, they chase, they secure. That's what I saw, I saw working, securing, barking, sniffing K9s doing what they do - no cats allowed.

When Matrix and I watch TV together and we see a cop open up the back door of his black and white to allow his K9 partner to join in on the fun Matrix always reminds me that the human has to cater to the dog. It's not the other way around. Never do you see the dog opening the door for the human - no sir, and it's the dog who has to come around and clean up what the human couldn't do - dogs are cool like that. Can you put yourself in the position of a cat owner at this point, coming to the realization that your fuzzy little monster is actually quite worthless in some situations? Brings a tear. Test my theory! Put a cat on a leash, take it out to the docks to sniff around - see where that gets you!

Bring out the dogs!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bath Toys





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What does it mean when you're 46 and you still play with bath toys? I wanted to know the answer so I asked a couple of people in the field of psychology and their answers may or may not surprise you. To be honest, I wasn't quite satisfied with either answer; I took the query one step further and asked two people who work in the psychology department of one of our nation's greatest universities...the University of Oklahoma. We have a great mental program going on, so asking the question wasn't the least bit embarrassing - maybe that fact plays into the result as well. You be the judge.

I'm a 46 year old woman, single and living basically on my own. You can't count the fact that my girls come in and out of my house at will because technically they have their own places to live. Technically they've been subjected to my bath toys for years...technically they gave me most of them when they out grew them. If you want the real truth.

My toys are the usual childhood toys: rubber ducks, whales, a dolphin, a little turtle, and a car from the movie "Cars", it's the red one, I don't know his name. I have the Genie from Aladdin also, I call him Gus though, and no, I don't know why. I just didn't like Genie. Gus starts with a G and so did Genie. Maybe that's a tell-tale, who knows.

When I play I basically create little stories involving the ducks and the whales. Maybe the dolphin is sent in the save a duck, maybe Gus is asked to take a duck to the park to get away for a while. Maybe the car just speeds up and down the side of the bathtub racing the ducks and dolphin and the whales and Gus are the judges. Nascar never gets watched at my house - Bubble Derby! That's the ticket.

I used to have Barbie heads but Caity finally got around to throwing them away. I saved them for her just in case she decided to match them back with their bodies. After so many years of detachment it was pretty sure they were going to be zombies forever. She made the decision and replaced my smiling heads with ducks. I have a few, and they aren't yellow - one is; but Bath and Body Works had pink ducks, blue ducks, green and even a purple ducks, so my ducks are multi-colored. My yellow duck is actually quite huge. She's the mother duck. She was a promotional ad display rather than a give away duck - I talked the store manager out of her when I told her I really would play with her. At 55, she too understood. She took one home the same day. We talk about it.

My psychologist friends told me that I was a kid at heart, a creator, a mimick, a playful individual with open and honest ambitions. They mentioned separately and collectively that it was normal to play, that the bathtub is a good place to relax and take a few well deserved minutes to unwind and that it was very healthy to give play and patterns of play a place in my daily life. I thought they were patronizing me so I went to the big guns.

The doctors I asked at the University Health and Science Center had the very same things to say to me, and one added this: I am (because I admitted to playing in the tub) a very trustworthy individual with tendency of fantasy and illusion rather than focusing on reality as being the force which guides me throughout my daily existence. You think? I just told you I play with bathtub toys and that I make one of them race the others. I even let the car think he can beat a 15" duck! All in all I'm safe. I'm harmless and I'm fun. I knew that - so what's the catch? Is the shoe going to drop someday, will I be picked up and locked away without my toys? No, the most that I could ever worry about is my kid coming back into the bathroom and not flushing or something leaving me in the tub with the knowledge that I was not important enough to have her knock first!

I suppose if I ever do get into a real relationship again the man will have a choice to make. He can either play with me (buying new toys if he doesn't like my colored ducks) or he can stay out of my bathroom - Gus and I have decided that if I wanted to I could make a wish and have exactly what I want out of life; maybe a man who would sit and play duck-races would be the ideal man...what do you think Gus? He said yes. (You can't hear him - he only speaks to me!)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Someone May Shoot Me, But I Won't Die From Heart Attack

I wanted to test the theory that I wasn't readily losing the poundage as quickly as others do because my heart rate just doesn't get up there. It makes sense - physically speaking, that one must actually pump the heart and keep it going for at least 20-30 minutes a day in order to see the results they anticipate and/or desire in terms of weight loss. I'm just not a heavy beater. Try as I may, I can only attain an elevated heart rate of around 140 and I can only hold it for so long. Now, keep me around the 123-130 mark and I'm sweating like a pig - normal people stuff, but I just can't seem to break the high-profile exercise momentum that some say is needed to really get the fat off. No two workouts should be the same.

I decided to really spice things up. I downloaded a couple of hot videos from YouTube (and get this, I had to sign up saying I was over 18 before I could actually watch the Karma Sutra. My kid bought me the book when she was 14 because I was too giggly to pick it up from the shelf at Borders and pay for it!) I agreed, and yes I used a fake name because I'm silly like that. I said I was Caity!

I'm working out, I'm at the 123-130 range and I take a second to push the play button on the computer. There they are - experimenting and making all the appropriate noises associated with informational, educational, and instructural position training; that is what people use these videos for isn't it? I checked my heart rate...129. I watched another, and another. I can honestly say that without changing the pace of which I rode the bike, because that wouldn't be fair - I never hit any number higher than 132 tops...until.

Yes, I got really smart and decided to make the heart go back and forth. Back and forth is good when you're weight training, interval training, strength training, eating, anything - make it different, keep the body jumping and wondering what's going on. I drink hot tea and follow that with ice cold water to make my metabolism work harder. Hey, it burns 70 calories a day just trying to keep up with my mind.

Mind is a great tool too. I believe in mind. I believe that our (my) thoughts control our (my) experiences, and I know that when I'm working out I'm thinking about working out, so I have to stop that - get into a great trance of an awareness other than weight loss because the more energy I submit to creating actual weight loss vibrations the more I will bring about the NEED for weight loss - are you following? It's the Law of Attraction. What you think - you create. It could be beneficial or not, but it is what it is. If you think about weight you'll get it. I try harder to think about joy, happiness, peace, and fulfillment - not security. If you think about needing security you'll be insecure....Laws are laws.

So, video number 4 did it for me. I found a few (OK hundreds) of still shots of a particular green eyed, turtle-smiling man from the greater Chicago area and BAM...141, 142, 142, 144...you get the picture. My problems are all but solved. I threw in a few photos of my kids, my dogs, ravioli, bread sticks, pictures from the zoo to bring the beater back to around 110-120, and then momentarily back to the naked man standing in the snowy river with just his socks and maybe boots, I never really paid that much attention to "Mother" Wilkins attire....Midnight Clear; good film.

Needless to say, this method may not work for everyone trying to pull that last 25-30 pounds, but for me it's a keeper. There will be a few more dishes of beans and rice, a few more stems of broccoli - and a lot more mind-games. I might add it burns more calories when you smile too.

I'm a visual learner - whatever works.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Metaphysical Much!

Because I am a born again Christian it has been beaten into me from birth that all things strange, out of the ordinary, that which cannot be explained, and/or examined is therefore of the Devil. I tell people all the time that I used to be a Baptist, but now I'm a Christian. I mean that.

Being raised in the Baptist church was fantastic for me. It gave me the sense of spirit and love that I needed from God, and it gave me the head knowledge to win absolutely every trivial game involving the names, dates, events, and locations dealing with the Bible. I can say all 66 books of the Bible in order, I can tell you the various differences and similarities between the prophecies of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. I know all about the Rapture, the Second Coming, Armageddon and eternal peace which will follow the Millennium of peace on Earth and the destruction of both Earth and Heaven. What I cannot do as a Baptist is have true FAITH. I got out of the box that is organized religion, and have found the true essence of my soul - which is Christ, and you have to admit, being able to walk through walls, to walk across water, turn water into fine wine, and ascend and descend at will seems a bit out of the ordinary and probably couldn't readily be explained.

I decided to leave the box of organized religion when I couldn't get anyone in the box to explain the verses in the Bible dealing with the Angels and the giants, and the true whereabouts of Eden. I couldn't find solid answers to some of the things we are expected to simply believe - which means we DO accept the metaphysical, but we don't talk about it. If spirits existed then than they exist today, and I am willing to place a bet that they will out live us all - except for the fact that we are actually...go ahead and say it with me - Spirits!

I talk to Sam. Sam is with me all the time, Sam has been with me since before I was born. Sam is my Guardian Angel, and though his actual name is Theonopholus I still call him by the name I gave him when I became aware of him at the age of 6. That's another unanswered question I had to deal with. I asked my preacher, my teacher, my Sunday School teacher, my mother, anyone with a background in the church who this guy was that was hanging over my shoulder (left) and why he was so prevalent, even to the point of interrupting me when I was about to cuss someone out...not at 6, but later on. They couldn't answer. I couldn't see him but he was there. He needed a name and I gave him one. He seems to like it when I ask his advise.

I am the type that will intentionally shake up the bag to see the contents mix about. It's not beyond me to ask someone a question which will certainly define our boundaries or borders socially. It's not a game, but an awareness. Since I'm actually pretty damn aware of the way I live and love, I often wonder if anyone else out there thinks the way I do. Is it a Celtic gift? Some say my ancestors were able to tell truths - - I know I think things and they happen. It's not an every day event, thank God or some people's lives would be ruined for sure. I believe in the Law of Attraction - and I made myself a little happy the other day when I forced myself into the mind of someone I think is really pretty cool. Just waiting now to hear back to see if it made him smile or not. I bet it did. I love to dance.

Having the knowledge of who you really are is such a gift. Money isn't important when you have clear goals - money doesn't even play a role in it. I get it as I need it. I use it as I need to, and I see it coming and going without fear most of the time. Now, if I could only convince my creditors of this method of believing in one's ability to do what is necessary. That, or perhaps I need to dream larger..I'm not sure, most of the time my dreams are really too busy to include making money. I'm either making love or just enjoying the peace that I dare to expect in my life.

Through the Law of Attraction I am able to draw to myself people and situations which will strengthen the future for myself and these people whom I choose to attract. If I need a job I find it, if I need a trip or a air fare to work out it does. The right people come along. Right now I want a few things and I'm working on their pull - the pull. In human terms it doesn't happen over night...but it does get itself ready to happen, preparation is everything - timing is key.

When I walk through stores people find me and ask me questions out of the blue about nutrition and I'm not exactly thin yet. They ask me questions dealing with their lives, what to do about a situation, or where they should be right now in their world of existence. I'm not kidding you. I must have a target on my face that reads in bold letters "Ask Me" because I'm singled out of crowds on Times Square. I'm picked out by flight attendants at 35,000 feet. I wish I could look into the future and come up with 6 lucky numbers on a weekly basis. That would be nice, but the truth is (obviously) that money isn't what I need at the moment. I've been doing well enough without it long enough. Maybe it would just screw things up for me.

The truth is - the truth is there. It sits in front of us, it lays around us, it floats above us, and all we have to do is look at it squarely and accept that it is. It's not going to change. What is will be, and what will be is. So, whatever you think you will achieve you will - good or bad. Whatever you think you will be - you will be; again favorable or not favorable. It's all being drawn to you by you and through you. Everything is connected. Everything is affected by everything and we, you and me both, are actually in this together whether we realize it or accept it, it is.

I'm good at the game playing because it helps to not be too serious about the unknown. It actually helps me to understand the current and the past better if I think good about the future. Try this: sit on the middle of the bed in silence, try to knock out everything negative, absolutely everything negative, and think ONLY on a good and peaceful image of yourself. Keep that. You'll find that the positive really is much more powerful than any negative. I've often been accused of being aloof if someone cuts me down - it's not that I'm aloof, no, it's that I don't believe them. I have to accept an insult before it becomes one. If I don't accept it to my soul - it merely vaporizes with the words themselves - and is gone. Hence the existence of a very strong self esteem.

What does my future hold? Oh, I could go on and on about it. What little tidbits that may need to be leaked today are leaked for the preparation of another not me. I am completely satisfied with the timing of what will be - but another may need to gear up and/or get ready to gear up. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We have a lot of things to achieve, and the good news is that my goals are his goals. It may sound self sacrificing on my part to want to support someone else, but when you figure out your purpose it really puts to rest the need to keep looking. I'm the wind in this case. Ever present, ever responding, ever changing but always the one unseen. I remember when I worked in theatre I was in the background...it suits me.

Prayer and supplication backed by scripture too - gotta love it when God says it. Reading Matthew 7:7, Mark 11:24, and of course others. You can't help but get the pattern down that when you ask you do receive and when you ask you need to believe. That's the promise behind the Law of Attraction. Action and thankfulness. Or, we could say it really simply like this: "Don't worry. Be happy!" (Psalms 37:4)

2008 NFL Draft - My Date for the Weekend




I actually DO have a date this coming weekend. I will be glued to the television and on the phone with perhaps (no, with the actual)the best looking man on the planet. Date wouldn't be the right term since the man is my son, but we have a TIME SLOT that we will be together - All day Saturday. I know the boy will want me to follow up with him on the 2nd day of the NFL Draft, but I want to go to church and then catch up with friends at a BBQ later on Sunday. I'll have to prepare myself for the multi-hour phone call which will inform me of the whys, the whats, the who's, and the forever "could-have-been-better" and/or "damn-I-don't-get-it" conversations which will surely be the Sunday follow up call.

Saturday will be the longest day of my life! The only thing making it tolerable is the love I have for the blabbering boy on the other side of the phone. He's mine. He's precious, he's full of football, full of stats, full of strategy - about the only thing he's not full of is himself. We leave that one up to Caity, where if you look up the word "narcissistic" you will see her smiling face. Reuben's genuine concern has always been for others. In this case the others consist of the Green Bay Packers. Every year we go through this Draft thing. I must go through this Draft thing. I am forced to understand rankings. I am led down the road of what will become the Rookie Year for every man on the list. I am asked, and usually politely, to do my homework. I must know and understand the players - it is my assignment.

As a teacher Reuben isn't half bad. I know the names of the top 20 draft choices. I know the difference between John Harrell and Greg Olsen from last year's Green Bay fiasco. I know that Green Bay has the #30 pick, and that we, we as in Reuben and I, want them to pick Reggie Smith from Oklahoma, but I also know that he's expected to go later in the draft - around #40. I also know that Howie Long's kid is Chris Long, not Jake Long. I know how to pronounce some of the stranger names up for the show this year and I wonder where the hell their mothers came up with these names!

My "Date" or "Time Slotted" has actually already begun. I have been on the phone with Fairbank's #1 PFC for several conversations involving the two of us sitting at our computers going over sites and stats. One guy says this, another says that, but Reuben doesn't trust him because he thought Eli Manning would stay with the Chargers. We all KNEW that wasn't going to happen - apparently a good choice was made by Manning to leave. EVEN IF...even if...Manning's Giants kicked Green Bay out of the National Championship, but what we, we as in Reuben and I, don't understand is why the Patriots have a 2nd pick in the First Round! They lost their pick when they "spied" on the Jets...or so we thought. There they are.

Miami gets the first pick. We know that too. We're thinking Chris Long - good weather, good location to start and maybe make a difference. He certainly couldn't harm the team's reputation; nothing could harm the team's reputation at this point. But the question for us, as in Reuben and I, is "What about Malcom Kelly, what about Reggie Smith, and what about Curtis Lofton?" I don't think Green Bay could swing that one - but wouldn't it be great if they did? Oh and then Adrian Petersen could leave the Vikings as a free agent and go to Green Bay. And, and, and, then Tommy Harris and Dusty D. could leave Chicago and move up the pike! Hey, we'd have another Oklahoma Sooner football team up in the Cheeseland of Wisconsin...that (for Reuben and I) would be the ticket.

I have to get off the blog, the phone's ringing and I haven't had my 2nd cup of coffee yet. I'm sure he has something really really really important to add to what he JUST told me five minutes ago.

Red-Headed Celtic Scorpio Woman




I suppose I intimidated him. I was asked out this weekend just as I was returning from a trip to St. Louis. Apparently a man from the area was on the plane with Faith and I traveling to my city to do a little convention or something having to do with being a doctor. You'd think after going through what doctors (especially all the resident years of past) go through to become a physician that he'd be a little stronger in his countenance...oh, but it must have been something I said.

I will admit I was wearing a t-shirt with the zodiac symbol for Scorpio on it, and the picture did have a rather seductive looking scaly insect about to mystically and forever sting her prey into submission. I think it was a Piscean fish. I'll have to look. Nevertheless the man was brave enough to approach me. After finding out that my sir name is Scottish he nodded his head and added his summary "Wow, you're a red-headed Celtic Scorpio woman. Don't tell me you're wanted in several states." My retort was "Only Arkansas, haven't been caught in any others".

He asked me out in a way that was somewhat benign but led me to believe he was looking for a little convention company. Man just traveling through the greater area sort o thing. When I asked him about his profession, about his politics, about his belief systems, and about his stand on military and immigration issues he backed off the invite. Something about just wanting to keep it simple. Hey, Mr. Traveler, I'm no simple woman. You said it yourself - I'm a red-headed Celtic Scorpio woman. Perhaps he expected a little light-heartedness or a few drinks at the pub. Sorry, I don't date. I talk. I discuss. I even debate, but no thank you on the sucky-face, BS time spent between two people who have no intention of getting past the first few layers of interest. I don't need it, I don't want it. I don't have time for it.

When I sat down and asked God to provide for my heart I left it with Him. I guess the next man to think he'll be getting past the belt line will have to remember where the soul sits; firmly in the hands of a God too intense to be seduced. I'm just a human, I went for the true "body" guard this time. I guess it's just the woman in me, but I could go another 9 years without a man if that's what it took - I've got my mind made up on one so I left that with God too. It is what it is. Good thing we're both Christians. I can chase him throughout eternity - without all that stupid sex stuff to get in the way. LOL (Shame on me, I'm all but negating my Scorpioness when I say that sort of thing.) *grins

Go away Mr. Traveler - kiss someone else. It's not your body I crave sir, but your mind. Give me something to sink my intellectual teeth into before I sink the real ones - there we go, found the Scorpioness again...felt good too!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dreaming of Ladders and Being Barefoot

You know you'll sense the meaning of this dream the instant that I tell it to you. You won't have a problem whatsoever figuring it out - - and that's a good thing. You're becoming the great dream interpreter (like me), and that can be handy at the office. People will begin to respect you, fear you, laugh in your face - but they will do something.

I was in a building, a big, pretty brick condo or apartment building and I was in downtown Manhattan, probably around the Tribeca area, something flashy, something solid. I was walking outside the building using the revolving door, and I noticed that I wasn't wearing any shoes. That didn't seem to be a problem for me, it was almost as if it was a blessing. I COULD walk around NYC without shoes; I think that was the important part of the first act in this dream. My dreams have several connections to stage performances. I usually dream in color, I always dream in detail, and there are words in my dream too. Sometimes the words are written and sometimes they are just spoken out loud. I love it when that happens. I can try to read the signs of whatever it is my subconscious is trying to tell my heart.

Act Two: I'm going back into the building (perhaps to get my shoes) when the elevator isn't where it used to be. I'm asked to use the stairs. I live on the 8th floor, but decide what-the-heck, a little exercise is good for the body right? So off I go, but I'm not using stairs I'm using ladders. At first the ladder is plastic, then wooden. I think that means I go from the temporary to the permanent. Anyway, I'm climbing the 3rd ladder when I see 2 little girls climbing in front of me. One is older than the other and they are cute together, just sisters being sisters. They are talking to each other and carrying dolls in one of their hands while using their other hand to hold onto the ladder. I pick the smallest one up and I take her up the ladder with me as if she is my little doll. (Gotta be Caity, I see that she has her doll in her left hand.)

Act Three: I'm in my apartment or condo now, and I'm not with the little girls. I'm standing in my new yellow sports bra and showing off my rock hard abs...and my giant gallbladder scar. My sweat pants are orange and change colors as I walk. I'm sitting on the bed talking on the phone, clicking the remote, and watching something about nature all the while putting on my left shoe. Can we say "multi-tasking"? I woke up with a satisfied sleep, a good rest, and a great outlook for the day. I knew straight up that the building was solid, it was brick, it was big, it was strong, it was steady. That's ME! I'm thinking of myself in those terms. Buildings are often a way that we reflect upon ourselves and how we feel about ourselves. There was construction going on outside the building - and I'm working out nowadays! Making my structure fit my expectations.

The real meaning behind the bare feet is simply this: Freedom. I know I have time to waste right now. I'm working on my body, I'm working on my 4th book. I'm relaxed, not traveling for 3 weeks, just putting my time into me. The ladders are great too! They symbolize climbing or achievement. They're always good, never risky, never unstable, and they show a willingness to work on my own issues myself rather than expecting them to be handled for me. The little girls are most obviously my own little girls, and I do pick Caity up a lot in terms of support and love more so than I do Laura right now because Laura is actually employed. Laura was in the lead, and she had her little doll secured while Caity was about to lose grip on her doll. I had to pick her and her doll up for a few of the steps.

The girls weren't with me in my apartment and they don't live with me now either. I am on my own. I do multi-task, and I do have a yellow sports bra! My scar showing is just as important because it means I don't mind the world knowing I have flaws and that I've been hurt but have survived. That's so me. I want the world to see it. I think that even after I get my bomb-body, the one you never thought you'd have again, that I'll get a two-piece swimsuit or wear my sports bra with low-rise sweats and let the scar be seen. It's ugly sure, but it's beautiful too. It holds so much power and strength for me. It screams "I made it".

A good dream I think.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Broccoli Please

Apparently I am still fat. I am not in denial - I accept that fact. I guess I'm on the "I-Keep-Seeing-Myself-on-YouTube" diet. I have been working out, fighting the odds and really doing such a bang up job in the numbers of it all, but it's just not working. I complained about it to my svelte son today, who used the U.S. Army diet for 16 weeks and went from 6'3" 240 pounds to 5'11" and 190 pounds. I think it had something to do with regulations for driving a tank that he lost the height. I don't want to lose anything in terms of tallness - No, that would make the fatness fatter. I don't need that.

The solution that Reuben came up with was a 3 part diet. Chicken for protein, broccoli for fiber and rice to fill me up. Rice has too many carbs. I'll do 1/2 the rice and add a lot more beans. Beans fill you up and they have more fiber than the broccoli. I love broccoli. I could eat it solely, but you do actually need protein and a few carbs too when you're working out. After all - you have to have energy to burn off energy don't you. I'm thinking of going on the "I-Paid-the-Surgeon" diet to be honest with you. It's faster, less painful, and the results are usually good.

Today was a bike-riding day. I pumped it up to level 4, burned over 400 calories in 40 minutes. I wore 5 pound weights on each ankle, 3 pounds on each hand, and I did a little running, flying, dancing, waving thing with my arms for 20 of the 40. I dropped the weight to 2 pounds on the wrists and finished with a jogging, boxing sort of thing for the next 10, and after 30 minutes of arms flapping and moving around I dropped all the hand-weights and pushed the legs to level 5 for the last 10. I have to tell you - I'm doing the right things.

Water is important too you know. I wouldn't even recognize a Coke or a Dr. Pepper. I haven't seen one in over a year. I don't eat fatty foods. I don't go to greasy spoons, and I only every once in a while eat reduced fat ice cream or something to shake up the metabolism. You can't starve yourself, you'll end up just spinning your wheels. I'm not exactly frustrated over the non-weight loss...I'm pissed. I'm actually mad about it. I'm about to ground my body until it produces the results I think I should have. What would that be like?

I'm doing what Reuben said. I'm working out in the morning with jumping jacks and running in place. I can't do the over-the-top impact things. I broke my neck (C5-C6) in 1992. I can't even really jump rope, but I can slowly do jumping jacks without too much impact. I just have to get that pulse going. Jeanie (bf) tells me my pulse is the problem. I've never had a fast pulse or higher blood pressure. I was 110/60 when I gave birth to my son! I remember the day my doctors couldn't find a pulse and asked me to stop holding my breath - I had stopped my pulse without much of a problem. So, if the pulse isn't raised for a while it makes it difficult to lose the weight. It's a cardio thing.

OK...a bout of 20-25 minutes of calisthenics in the morning, riding the bike in the afternoon, and every other day I do the ball while weight lifting. I eat the 3 foods over and over. I drink 80 ounces of water (I'll still do the high fiber intake of figs, prunes, pears, and Fiber One cereal). This better work! I can't join the Army, I'm too old; and I better not lose 4 inches in my height either. I'm hoping for a loss of 15-20 pounds over the next 6 weeks....or 40 pounds, I don't care. I really don't.

Next time I see myself on YouTube I want to say "Hey, where did that fat belly go?" That's the goal...that and the fact that I want to wear Laura's jeans! Hahaha

Right!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Naked In the Midnight Sun




We all knew the good snowy cold weather in Alaska just couldn't last, and sooner or later (this case SOONER) there would be nakedness on base at Ft. Wainwright. And there's something inside of me that knew that the first reports of nakedness would be reported to me - involving my son.

It's true, the boy sleeps naked when he's in the tank, his Stryker. Something perhaps the United States Army doesn't want the entire world to know, but the inside of a real live Stryker vehicle gets hot enough in Fairbanks, Alaska to warrant men taking off all of their clothes. Mind you, most men I'm told only strip down to their underwear, but being the light-hearted, air-headed Aries that he is, my son goes the full monty whenever possible. He and Caity have that in common, something Laura and I have never understood - so I guess we do actually live in a house divided, and it has nothing to do with rival colleges now, does it?

To be the most obnoxious brats and com padres that they are, the other men inside the boy's Stryker were hangers on, they weren't crew members of Reuben's, but friends. They woke up a little earlier than the boy and decided to play a little trick on him. Finding his skivvies on the floor of the machine they promptly pulled on their own pants and flung my son's undergarments in plain sight up on top of the Stryker, and just over the gun-thing - or the radio antenna. My son was laughing too hard when he told me the story via cell phone out in the field - WHERE I MIGHT ADD, they ordered TACO BELL and an actual employee brought it out to the field to them! I think that was a completely separate issue from the underpants on the radio thing, but you may actually be getting the gist of this blog - Our Army has far too much fun!

There he was on the tank-like vehicle, bare-butted, I think he said he had socks on; and he was reaching up to get his panties off the radio thing when he was spotted by a few men who were (like my son) on field exercises. They nodded, laughed, and gave him a few words, but for the most part just thanked God they were born into families that actually finds that behavior to be absurd. My son just popped back into the Stryker and drove the boys home. When asked about the whereabouts of his uniform, his helmet, his shoes, and his weapons he told the C.O. "Oh, I have my weapons Sir, there's no way I'd let them take those. I have my weapons, that's for damn sure." You know my kid, he has his priorities.

Now, I ask you - where was CNN all this time? Somewhere in Texas filming the white chapel and overtly religious families. Thank you God, thank you for the timing. I can just see my Oklahoma Sooner son with his big mouth smile saying "Howdy" in his birth date suit to the all-seeing cameras of the Associated Press. (Boy, do me this: please tell me they were clean. That's all a mother can ask for.) Love ya.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Book #4 is Being Written NOW

HOW CAN IT BE TRUE? Yes, you too can pick up your own copy of my 4th book titled "Jude's Almost Daily Blog" at Amazon.com sometime around October 1, 2008. I'll be putting the blogs together over the next week, and then sending them off to the publisher (Xlibris), where they will formatted and completed. I will of course be in charge of the editing, as I'm the picky one. The first book was such a disaster regarding errors - had to make a 2nd Ed. just to correct the problem, and wouldn't you know it, I missed a few anyway. I swear I'm a great teacher...I just can't read my own stuff well enough at times.

My fourth published book. Sounds like I should be out there doing book signings and all that, but to be honest the book publishing business isn't all that easy to break into. No, no it's not. I'm self published today, hoping that someone picks up one of my books and says "WOW...we need to be her publisher!" That would be nice. This book is so much different than the others - you're actually reading it now. I'll be gathering up 170 to 175 of my 405 blogs and forcing them to sit side by side in a real live book. I'm binding them together forever! Then, because I'm cool - I'll probably do it again in a few months with another 175, then another, then another. I'm sure that by this time next year I'll have 4 more books out there, and maybe with any luck - someone will say "Wow...we need to be her publisher!" (see a pattern?)

Blog 1 will be the best I can find about my family, the Army, dogs, love, laughter, and maybe I'll throw in a blog or two about Gary just to shake his world up a little. The busy man needs something to peak his interest from time to time; nothing rowdy, just a little pinch. I do have some really nice fantasies, perhaps I'll wake one of them up from napping in my brain long enough to dress itself in veils of sweet romantic humor - - only to reverse the process with a pyrate's smile. I do well actually. If there is one thing I do it's pretend well on paper. (Oh, and I make some damn good looking kids! Yes, I do.)

So that's it. I have one week to compile 175 of my favorite blogs from the 405 that are sitting on the site today. Call it the first act of a very long and drawn out play of words - poetry will abound as well as laughter, giggles, weeping from the emotional heart pulling that occasionally hits the screen, and of course...there will be silly and stupid things I've done that make me who I am. I never blame someone else for my mistakes - Billy Joel says our mistakes are the only things we can truly call our own! I believe that. I also believe that a heart is never closer to breaking than when a fool realizes her folly a minute too late. I've done that.

Wish me luck; soon I'll be able to sit down and write out the 27 Opinions book. That will be a blast! I can't do it until I get rich enough not to have to look for money to pay the bills - so please be patient...these things take time. Good thing I'm a Christian huh, I have eternity! LOL

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Only Acceptable Fur Coat



(Carol Guzy photos from the Washington Post April 2008)

If your fur coat is able to bark on its own, it can be worn. That's my opinion, and I hope you agree with me. Faith often takes a ride from me or from her manager Mike Maguire, who she can manipulate far easier than she can anyone else. Mike is just such a softy! I love the way Faith sits (like a rabbit). We actually taught her to sit like this because she had to get off her chest when she was little. My son Reuben was into sports, mainly football, and he'd stand in front of Faith and do his jumping jacks, bends, and push ups. She began to imitate him from a sitting position and it helped to strengthen her legs and abdomen muscles. I'm so very jealous of my dog's 8-pack.

Maguire and I take turns helping Faith whenever she gets tired when we're on the road. Faith has had a number of good dog handlers in the past as well. She loves her Uncle Lenny (Petlane.com be sure to buy everything from Leonard Slape!) and her Aunty Niki from Oklahoma City. I drug Niki to Vegas with me when we did the Spanish TV shoot. She was a great companion and assistant to us both. We teased Niki about being good enough to pour Faith's Evian water in the marble bowl - the Four Seasons Hotel went WAY over the top for us. The hospitality industry loves my dog! We thank you all.

Most of the time Faith is content to lay under the bed and watch life passing by - but when you say the magic words "Let's Go Faith", she is up and ready to roll. No matter where we go she's happy. She gets antsy when we arrive at the airport, but she's settled into her chair and comfortable the next minute. The flight is usually her chance to catch up on a sleep before she begins her inspirational journey - wherever that may be. She lights up the world when the plane lands too. Mostly quiet on the plane, people forget there's even a dog on board - but when the final bell rings, she's up out of her seat and gives a little "Let Me Off Now" bark! Every once in a while she's delayed for photographs from the crew - but we thank them. We fly American, and it's been a really good venture for both I think. We can show that we put "faith" and "Faith" in the carrier.

Faith does get tired on her back legs, but not in an airport! She's out running us all - hanging a left, then a right, she's the first to the baggage claim area and on her way to the show! She understands we'll be stopped a dozen times. She understands that she's suppose to lay down to be petted by everyone, and she understands that she's going to be able to manipulate at least one or the other of us to pick her up and carry her soon enough - - Mike rocks her like a baby. I've heard him singing in her ear! She loves her Mike. I hoist her over my shoulders and let her rest as long as she can before we go to our next destination. Yes, before you ask, she gets heavy! 27 pounds of dog on your shoulders can build character! LOL

Faith and I hope to visit as many as we can, and if you see her in the malls, Time Square, the DC memorials, or the hospitals - and she's on my shoulders, please don't think she's in any pain; that would be me. She's fine. She's accustomed to simply draping herself off to the front and just snoring away...when she can.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Perfection!




(Neither of these pictures are mine)

If perfection came in a cup - it would look like the sunshine face of a cappuccino! It would look like the vision I imagine when I climb out of bed and peer from my penthouse hotel/castle (image shown) and I would be sipping and smiling...just simply enjoying the life that God Himself has intended for me. Am I alone? Well, of course not. I can't roll over and call to the man since I wake up a good hour later than he does (dreaming again, the only ones I sleep with bark). He'll be out jogging I'm sure, probably picking up some flowers for me. Orchids are nice, but daisies are fine too honey, whatever you're in the mood for.

The day is bright, my cup is getting emptier and emptier with the foamy frothy edges of the sides of the cup filling in at the bottom - reminding me to start up the new machine again! I did say this was perfection, right? OK..so the laundry is done, the dishes aren't an issue. My mail has only good news, and the video outside my house with the note attached asking me to pay up or the master gets released...gets released! I sell whatever rights I need to, I make $10M and if Laura's singing in the shower experience is seen all over the world - so be it. Maybe she'll get an agent, we can CGI her body, do a little air-brushing here and there....not a problem.

Perfection would look something like this: Men and women in Iraq shaking hands with men and women in Israel. The sight of Old Glory being packed away in a suitcase coming home. The sound of silence in the Middle East would be overwhelmed by the sound of children playing outside - without fear. It would be girls holding hands with other girls, their best friends without being called names. It would look like the inside of a sunrise, where you can't quite tell if the hues are melting or bouncing. It would feel like the air behind the rain in my nostrils just before I suck up that last sip of my little sunshiny faced cappuccino...and oh, there he is, he is in my bed after all - he didn't go running, so if the flowers don't get bought today they don't get bought...I'll even postpone the 2nd cup for a while (grins).

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My Good Friend Julian Troup Turns WISE Tomorrow!

Happy 80th Birthday to my new and good good friend Julian Troup of Los Angeles, California. Even though I don't have a picture of my buddy, and to be honest, I have never laid eyes on him - I know he is gorgeously wonderful in every way. He and I have become so close over the past month through e-mails, and we're about to become more involved with a project that should be both interesting to us, and entertaining to the world.

Julian comes from a time of yesteryear, revolution, and new beginnings. When he was born in 1928 women in this country had just be allowed to vote for only 8 years. He lived in Brooklyn, NY during the Great Depression, made it through school, and learned to drive about the time Hitler was taking over parts of Europe! He witnessed first hand the influx of immigrants of which I am sure his parents were very familiar - being raised in such a time would have opened up doors and endless opportunities for youth - - both good and vile.

To the California sun he moved, taking a beautiful woman as his wife. Helping Kathy to raise her children as his own, my friend became a father and best friend to three precious children who call him Dad. Though my learned knowledge of Julian is limited, and I dare not sure anything too intimate with the world - - suffice it to say that my heart and my joy has been full for having met him. I call him my friend, and I can't wait to put my two arms around his neck to kiss him and thank him for being so kind to both Faith and I.

Looking forward to learning from him - (I even got a salute from him today! Grins.) I sing with my soul a "Happy Birthday" to you. Happy Birthday Julian Troup!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Early Show - Good Morning America

Well, it was a race and it looks like the Early Show has been scheduled for Friday morning April 4th, 2008. Good Morning America may still be on for Monday, April 7, and I hope they are. I need a publisher, and you just never know if that one really good publisher is watching ABC or CBS...wait, what about NBC? You guys can have me on Tuesday I suppose - I'm up for that.

When it comes to traveling here and there I'm not about to say no as long as we're both comfortable and Faith is being offered that omelet she likes so much on American Airlines. When we fly we usually fly first class because Faith is considered a celebrity, but we can fly economy I don't mind; Faith prefers the larger seat of course, but she can be accommodating. She did do something funny the other day - - we were on our way to Washington DC and upon boarding the plane Faith noted immediately that someone was sitting in her seat. We always sit in row 3 on the right side seats A & B. Row 3 is the first seat on an American S80 plane. Faith walked onto the plane and when she saw the man in her seat she stopped in her tracks. She first stared at him, then she turned her little confused face to Linda our Flight Attendant!

The Flight Attendant was just in stitches from the look on Faith's face. She told the man that he was in her normal seat, but that we were sitting on the other side of the plane this time. We were still in Row 3, but we were seated in seats E and F. There are no C and D on the S80. All throughout the flight from Dallas to Dulles Faith just stared at the man in her seat. He finally stopped looking over to see if she was looking over at him, but you can bet he's felt guilty about it all week long! Faith didn't seem to hold a grudge though, when the plane landed she "allowed" him to pet her behind the ears.

This Friday we'll be on CBS's the Early Show and I do hope I get the opportunity to ask the world (because the world will be watching) for a publisher! I have 2 books out there already, and a series of children's books that will not only star Faith as the central character, they will build esteem, work with powerful and encouraging messages, and hopefully inspire young readers to be compassionate, patient, and tolerant of others who may seem different than they are. Let's all hope!

No Vistas

(Not my photo)


My new good friend Julian just wrote to me and explained that he was experiencing storms and through the vistas he could see more coming his way - I knew he meant that there would be rain; rather than storms or troubles in his life. However, the thought of a vista in my own life gave me reason to think - I really have very few vistas....no runways, not a one to think of. When I look over the horizon my view isn't stopped by rows of anything. I really haven't been narrowing my thoughts enough to cause them to form a perhaps necessary vista.

That's when it hit me...I haven't been narrowing my thoughts because my heart was standing in the way. I was thinking too much about a certain man most of my day, and I didn't really even realize the amount of time I was devoting to him. It seemed that he was just there, in my head, in my eyes when they were open, and in my dreams when I was sleeping. I couldn't see the vistas because I had openly blinded myself to the world beyond my thoughts of what-if, and could-be, or even the maybe it will happen thoughts....I gave him up.

It won't be the easiest task I know, but there isn't a single reason to keep him in my head. He can reserve a place within my heart, as I don't believe love ever fails nor does it die, but he certainly has no spot for my thoughts not when I have too much to do. I need a vista to refocus me. I need a vista, a prospective purpose - I need to rethink, redo, and regain the future that I have been working for. Poetry helps. I'll start that practice I'm sure - with the greying skies, the morbid rain thumping beyond the patio; there will be poetry. If time allows, if God demands then this man, this vision really, will return - but I hope he doesn't demand so much of my time. I have given away more than he would even ask if he were to ask, and I am quite sure he would never believe he was even deserving of it - and there I was...draining my life for it. No more.

Today I will write. Today I will breathe again, and the air will not be padded with the essence of anything other than what it - truth and reality. I don't often welcome reality as a guest because she stays a bit long and reminds me often of my failures - - however, today she will be treated with the genteel hospitality that I as a Southern woman was raised to extend.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Faith Goes to Washington





(Manassas, Mike Maguire Faith's agent with her at the TJ, Carol Guzy of the POST and Me with Faith at the White House)


Washington DC is just such an amazing city in and of itself, but we were able to visit several cities surrounding the DC area including several battlefields as well. My son was so very very jealous that Faith and I were at Manassas (1 & 2) and that we walked on the same ground that Stonewall Jackson, Lee, and so many others walked. I was on the phone talking to Reuben early in the morning from the forest of the battlefield when Jesus decided to break through a bunch of clouds just over the horizon, and through rays of pure white sunlight you could almost see the men in their uniforms, and smell their morning breakfasts as they prepared to fight their counterparts just over the other side of the ridge. Yes, I cried. I held onto a cannon that I tell people is the great-great-great-great grandfather of Reuben's Stryker tank vehicle now - my son's spirit was certainly with me at Manassas.

Later we went to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, but I can't post the pictures we took for privacy reasons. Let me tell you though, the men (and one woman) that we met who had been injured in Iraq before coming to WRAMC were so incredibly brave, and so humbled by their experience, they were not bitter - nor were they shy. They stood up on crutches, sat straight in their wheelchairs and they told me stories that would make any grown man break down. I think because my heart was inside each of their words I was able to hold back the tears only because as they were talking I was praying and thanking God for their love of freedom, their desire to fight for me, their willingness to go back if they could, they were some of the most amazing people I have ever met. One in particular captured my heart completely. His name is Frank. He is a Private First Class I believe, and he was about 19 years old. He had lost both legs very recently, and with both of his hands he held Faith close to him and he kissed her. He informed me that he was on medications - I could tell - but he wanted me to know that Faith was doing what he wanted to be doing in a little while. He wanted to walk. He wanted to be the one making people happy. I told Frank that in six months we can find him, and he will be walking NEXT TO Faith....by his own faith.

Walter Reed is the best place I have ever had visited. Bar none! Thank you guys for your love, your courage, your strength, and your power. I don't want to miss anyone, but here is a shout out: Frank, Jon, Jon, John, Bryan, Brian, Will, Jesse, Greg (Boomer Sooner), and of course Harvey, Reyes, Captain Mobit, Tanya, the staff girls, and First SGT George the therapy dog! (Hey to Deuce too, he's a therapy dog too, but we didn't get to meet him).

After Walter Reed Faith and Mike took me to the White House where we were promptly asked to leave the area because Faith (as you know) causes a distraction wherever she goes. We had hundreds of people standing around outside the gates of the White House and Jason the police officer laughed at us, but he made us "disperse" so we went 10-20 feet and it happened again. We went a little further, and it happened again. That Faith! She just gets me into trouble.

We walked over to the other monuments too - this time we took Carol Guzy of the Washington Post with us. To get there we had to take the Metro Train from where we were visiting, and we met hundreds of more onlookers as Faith is probably one of the only dogs they'll ever see on the train. She's special you know. Anyway, we went to the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the WWII monument, the long pool just outside of the Lincoln Memorial, and I think we passed the Korean War Wall, but we were really tired and had very little time to get back. While at the Jefferson Memorial (I called it TJ's) we were walking up the steps and as Faith climbed a few of the steps hundreds of people stood and gave her an ovation! She's happy to accept it of course. She invited them all to pet her - most did.

We let her be a dog and chase squirrels both at the White House and the various memorials. She was up and down a lot, but she was happy and showing off her monster-wagging tail. She hangs her tongue out to one side of her mouth a lot as well, so that when the tongue and the tail are going she looks like the happy little puppy that she is. This was something Carol Guzy picked up on several times, and her photo journalism work paid off for her. We were featured on the front page of her newspaper the Washington Post - and the POST put the story on the AP. Just this morning I had an interview with a woman with Der Spiegel, a weekly magazine in Germany. I will be talking with the newspaper journalists from the Netherlands in the morning, and one from Sydney tomorrow. I believe that will be a magazine article as well.

This weekend we will be at an expo in Grand Rapids, MI and then flying straight from there to NYC to do a segment on Good Morning America (we hope) and we'd love to pick up a few other shows while in town...I know I would love to see the Rustic Bridge again and get better pictures of that; I'm a big fan of Central Park.

So there you have it - Faith goes to Washington. I think we ate more than we needed to, but thanks to the good men and women of the DC area Faith had reason to walk a little more, chase a few more woodland creatures, and rest a bit - she can't wait to go back!