Little Loco

It has been two weeks since we moved "CoCo" back into the apartment.  All is well.  He has adapted surprisingly well.  The first couple of nights I cringed, when I heard the familiar screeches at his 8PM social hour.  I prayed they would stop.  I had to get out the trusted spray bottle and wet him down to get him settled in.  He hates the is supposedly great to quite them down, and get them to "preen" themselves to distract.

I tipped toed around for the first week.  Once lights are out, the spoiled little brat does not take to kitchen roamers and munching.  If any lights are put on, CoCo lets us know its not alright, and wants you back in your room.

Apart from that, I have learned to ignore his requests.  He seems to revel in sitting on my shoulder, and sharing evening meals with me at the dinner table.  The best was when I had a Margarita for dinner, and he got right in my face to let me know HE wanted a sip.  I had to explain that was a no-no.  So far I have found he loves banana ice-cream and meats, surprising to me, any kind of meat.  He is supposed to love veggies but can't get him to eat them.   Oh and yes, Chinese food, seems to appeal to his Indonesian palette.

So, for now, I have a new feathered addition to the family, I wanted a Pomeranian pup, but ended up with another species.

I guess I will "fly" with the punches....such is life...

My Own Animal Story!

Yesterday, my estranged husband had to give up the parrot (Cockotoo) that has been in the family 18 years. I took him back to African Grey pet shop where I purchased him, 18 years ago in a blizzard! The owner, agreed to take him back and find a good home for him.

After carefully loading his cage in the car, and all his toys, I got to the Pet Shop and surrendered him.

Sorrowfully, I said my goodbyes. It was later I realized I had forgotten a part of the cage, and journeyed back to the Pet Shop...

I asked where "Coco" was, and was told he was in the playpen ( a large, Plexiglas enclosed cubicle with sand and perches) Slowly, I made my way over and caught sight of him. It was apparent he had settled in with the other birds and was content in his new environment. Slowly, I tearfully called his name, and he didn't at first recognize me. Then he slowly turned his head all the way around, and starred directly into my eyes. His black eyes widened with curiosity. Of course, I was wreck and cried uncontrollably.

Finally, the owner, Karen, asked why I wasn't going to "try" him out at my humble dwelling. She suggested we try to take him back to my Boulder apartment; and see if he would settle in with me. I had given this careful consideration before, but my roommate and son, was against this, and made it painfully clear he didn't want "Coco" to come home with us. However, I had forewarned my neighbor that we may have an unusual guest, and asked permission to try him out at the apartment some weeks before, cautioning him that he would be a screamer. He looked at me and asked "do you want to bring him home?," and I told him I did. "Well, he continued, 'we certainly can give it a try, and if it doesn't work, it doesn't work."

So, after bringing up the disassembled cage, and making numerous trips to the car, I got him set up again, in my humble apartment, in the living room. Around 10 PM he started to scream, and I panicked. Actually, he was telling me he was tired and wanted "lights out." I quickly got my water for the night out of the kitchen, and brought it to my bed room.

I didn't hear a peep out of him until I woke him this morning. My son and I are trading him off (from room to room) and letting him perch on our shoulders, giving him extra attention to better acclimate him to his new home.

I will continue to monitor him daily. Taking a day at a time, hoping I won't have to give him up ever again. It is a prayer I hold deep in my heart.

Denise Fisher

Sugar and Spice and Other Things Not So Nice

I am at it again, stalking the isles of King Soopers with my raincoat and sunglasses, tip-toeing round corners and eying the Ice Cream, Cinnamon Rolls and other decadent delicacies.  Just this week, I had just finished a bowl of pasta and absolutely had to go out to Dairy Queen to have a Blizzard fix.

Shouldn’t I have grown out of this? What makes me so crazy for sugar, sugar and MORE sugar? Maybe because I didn’t have enough sugar (love) in my life, but whatever it is, it has wreaked havoc on my waistline and tummy. As long as I can remember, I have always had a love affair with food, and especially sugar.

The people I love to hate are those who sigh “Oh, I forgot to eat today.” Come on now, how can one FORGET TO EAT? It is like forgetting to breathe. I am sure you get the drift. It is Friday afternoon, and I haven’t had my yogurt for the day, and am already dreaming of Pizza for dinner.

When I was on the “Suzanne Sommers” diet, I actually lost my gut and got rid of my sugar cravings. The first two weeks was going through withdrawal. It was every bit as hard as kicking any other addiction. The one great trick I devised was my baked apple dessert, topped with “Butter Buds” and Stevia or “Sweet and Lo.”

I am digging hard and fast to fill up the hole inside of me, and am pondering ideas that don’t include the sweeter things in life.

By the way, I only have 6 more hours before I dip into that Pizza.

Now What?

The dust (oil) hasn't quite settled in the Gulf, and wonder what can we expect after the latest assault to the environment. During this crisis, I buried my head, I couldn't watch the news and just honestly couldn't deal with it at all.

Beautiful creatures laden with oil, damaged and drained, lifeless carcasses tossed about on the beaches. What a horrific sight. I wish I could shrug it off and forget about it all together. But it hangs over my head and remains in my thoughts.

Animals have a special place in in my heart. Maybe because they are so helpless and have no voice. We have to be their voice.

So in the days to come, I w ill watch what plays out. I appreciate the individuals who gave their time and money to help clean up the mess. I am haunted by the aftermath.

Unlike many, I cannot affix blame, but accept this is a fact of life that is part and parcel to the benefits of modern technology.

It doesn't mean I am happy about it, however. So what is the answer? I don't have an answer, or a solution. I need this opportunity to express my feelings and share them.

So in the days to come, I will keep watch and observe this evolution.  I pray that nature can once again restore a balance, for the the smallest and largest creatures; the snails to whales. My hope is that the sea will once again become their refuge and playground.
I Shudder...

Newsweek headline shouts: "What Will be Killed" and I shudder.  I shudder about all of God's beautiful and helpless creatures.  Ruined.  Destroyed. With the wonders of technology, comes sadness and loss of life. Because of the comfort we enjoy;  we trade the well-being of wildlife.  I want to bury my head.  I cannot bear to look at the glaring headlines, or the coverage on the networks at night. 

I buy Dawn dishwashing liquid because I fell in love with the campaign, and the contribution that was devised to quell wildlife disasters' like this one.  It is said that the Exxon oil spill dwarfs this.  I can't even imagine.

At this point, all the money in the world cannot undo what has happened.  To live is to die, but I don't want to think about this kind of death. 

I don't want to deal with how these helpless creatures now measure out the balance of their short lives. Suffering so softly;  unable to complain, accepting their fate.  We watch them daily fading from sight until their water-logged bodies attest to yet another catastrophy induced by humanity.
I shudder.  I want to hide.  I don't want to look.


It's hard to believe that another year has flown by and am looking at my birthday coming up next week.  What have I learned in the last year?  Let's see...that life goes on no matter how much you want to stop the world and get off.  Somehow we survive the toughest challenges.  Nothing is ever so bad you can't figure out a way to get past the drama.

Last year at this time I was concerned about being unemployed.  I am happy to report that I scaled that mountain and found a decent job for the moment.  Moreover, the people appreciate me and are, indeed, a pleasure to work with.

I still spend twice as much as I make (some things never change).  I have made some new friends, and continue to nuture my old friends.  So what's missing?

 I still want to buy my little house and add another Great Pyrenees to the family.

One day at a time.  I suppose I will tackle this for the coming year. 

In the meantime, I did finally purchase a new laptop, and have no excuses for neglecting my blog.

Until next time.


While working out this evening, I began thinking about all the special "things" I cherished as a teenager. For example, there was my diary, a potpourri of hopes and dreams. Insights and personal analogies.  How I saw the world 45 years ago.

I reflect on my cherished Beatles’ albums, the poster of Ringo” I won at a dance contest on Miami Beach; and another poster of one of my then favorite actors, David Hemmings. I wish I had also kept my Junior High School yearbooks. They too, are gone.

My father, not one for showing affection or sharing feelings, wrote me a postcard on a business trip from Japan. It read, “miss you and wish you were here.” I think about that postcard all the time. I could just kick myself for not tucking it away. A few odd and ends survived, mostly jewelry passed down from mother to daughter.  Funny that I cherished the scrapbooks, photos, diary and music over the jewelry.

After we sold the house and my parents' split up, I shared a little apartment with my mother .. We moved a couple of times, and I suspect either they were lost in the move, or more likely, thrown out.

I would have enjoyed reading my diary, and the albums would be worth something today. More importantly, they were my treasures at the time. I wish I had paid more attention, and had been more responsible.

I made "baby books" for my children.  Sadly, they did the same thing; left them with their father for safekeeping.  I hope that in 45 years they have something to treasure, and that they didn't make the mistake I did.

When we're young, we tend to push aside anything that isn't important to us at that moment.  I suppose we all grow more sentimental with age. I certainly have.

For now, I just relish the memories.

Fear of Flying

My hands are quivering, my knuckles look white, as I grab the faded linen seat arms.  I hear the rumble of the engines, my heart is racing.  The runway looks like one continuous white line.  I am ready to take off; all from my living room couch.

No, I am not going on a trip, I don't have a trip planned. I am the classic "white knuckle" flyer. 

How ridiculous; here I am thinking about how afraid I am of flying and not going anywhere.  Wow, now that is also classic anxiety.

Let's see, what else can I worry about.  Oh, yes, of course, this week I will take my final test for my job training, I am already sweating thinking about it.  When I get to my computer, I imagine going blank , and forgeting everything I have learned.  It doesn't matter how many times I am told NOT to worry, I just have to have something filled up in the "worry" box in my head.

How I admire my friends who can live day to day, without worry and concern.  I am sure they worry if there is SOMETHING that warrants their attention.

Today I am going to focus on enjoying life, excluding the drama.  I'll see how it works out.

Lost Loves

I woke up thinking about all the "lost loves" I have had, true loves, innocent loves, and “first" loves. The four-legged loves of my life.

My family has always been in love with dogs. As long back as I can remember, there was a pet taking center stage in my life. So many loves; now gone, but not forgotten. Some of these loves are harder to get over than the rest; some passed gracefully, while a select few suffered hard and long.

All of them had unique personalities and proclivities. Some were "snippy" and did not like to be cuddled, but were amazing at expressing affection in the most intimate ways. Others followed from room to room, the Florence Nightingale’s of the canine world.

I always know how close I am going to be with someone when the talk circles around to pets. For instance, a recent date told me that when he buys his new home, he would want his pets to be "outside" dogs. That was a big- time red flag. I couldn't imagine not giving my pets the run of my house, including snuggling up on the bed.

The biggest joys of my life have been coming home to find my dog, Pepe, on my bed with his head on my pillow. What a show of love and devotion that is to me.

I might just be dog-crazy, but I am making no excuses and taking no prisoners.

On the Other Hand...

I used to say I had never met my soul mate. After much deliberation and thought, I realized  I have and I married him.  He totally understands me; helps me solve problems and is concerned when I am ill or upset, and is my best friend forever.

Unfortunately, my beloved has serious mental health issues which caused our breakup and separation. I am there for him, and he for me. I suppose we only get parts of a person, there always seems to be that one piece of the puzzle that does not fit. This is certainly the case for us.

While I am no "walk in the park," either, I have to have a peaceful place to call home. Therefore, it was 5 years ago that I elected to move out and call Boulder my home.

I certainly do miss having a “significant other” in my life. However, maybe I really do have someone, but without the baggage. There is something to be said about having a warm body to wake up with in the mornings, and to snuggle with in the evenings, to grow old gracefully, together.

There are still many benefits in being friends, and I can talk to him about everything, including dating. It is remarkable that he can answer me truthfully, without jealousy or subjectivity. How does he do it? I certainly cannot call myself mature on that level.

For now, that is not in the cards, but there is always tomorrow. I have many good things happening for me in my life right now for which I am grateful.

Another reason to count my blessings...

Managing Disappointment

I am feeling disappointed today. I have this problem: I am a dreamer and see people they way I want to see them, not they way they really are. I suppose this leads me to make poor choices for partners in life.

There is an art to successful relationships; just like everything else in life. One has to work at them. I suppose I don't work hard enough, or investigate deep enough. It is not that I don't enjoy my own company, but I find it so much more rewarding to share my hopes, dreams and aspirations with someone else. My friends fulfill much of my needs, but I am a hopeless romantic. I can find fascinating things in the most unlikely people, and disregard the most critical aspects of their character. Then, when things do not work out, I find my self-feeling let down and frustrated about my choices.

The more offbeat the person, the more interesting to me. While I am attracted to the unpredictable types, I appreciate grounded, stable people.

In short, people like me should not marry, because our judgment is off. 

I can have remarkably good judgment about business, other people's issues; but I lack this good judgment when it comes to my own personal affairs.

So, while I am disappointed for now, I know tomorrow is another day.

Inner Strength

"You can tell your inner strength by your outward actions;" That thought was discussed this weekend at church. It gave me pause. It answered a great deal about my inner self.

I have always admired people that are in total control. You know about whom I am talking. Even in the most heated discussions and life events, they are in total control. Let others scream and act out, not them; they never look like the fool. Their answers are measured and logical, they don't fall into others' emotional traps.

I remember an incident, years ago, when I first divorced and my children were very small. My ex-husband would get the children on Sundays. One particular Sunday, I was working a special event for a non-profit organization. I couldn’t make it home by the time the children were dropped off.

My ex-husband and his then girlfriend decided to leave the children unattended at my apartment; despite the fact that I called ahead and explained I would be late. I was livid, and let them know it. While I was acting out and screaming like a crazy woman, my ex-husband’s girlfriend grabbed the phone and never raised her voice. Now what she had to say was unkind and cruel, but the WAY she said it just floored me.

To this day, my children remember the incident. I felt like a total idiot. Why did I let myself become so emotional? You see what I mean, don't you? Maybe I can learn control with training and practice. It is hard for me to keep my emotions in check.

On the other hand, I break out and cry to share joys and sorrows. Sometimes, it is a curse because I can actually "feel" others’ pain and it hurts terribly. Where others sympathize, I empathize. I bear this cross.

Does that mean I am a marshmallow inside? Maybe I never had the foundation I needed to be a stronger person. Whatever it is, it is me, and I have learned to live with those feelings.

Those feelings keep me from being a "shark" at work, or succeeding where others' fail. That is both a blessing and a curse.

Then there is that other famous expression..."to thine own self be true."


I am feeling very guilty at the moment. I have neglected my blog. I didn’t plan this, it is just that a wonderful thing happened; I found work and have been in training. I am training to do something I have never done before in my life. In fact, it is highly technical. I have already told myself that failure is not an option, and that any job worth doing is worth doing well. Unfortunately, I gave myself permission not to write every day.

There is actually more to it than this. I was very ill for a few weeks, with a flu-like virus. It was all I could do to show up at work for training. So, there you have it.

It is a quiet Valentine's Day, and I am sitting home watching "Julia and Julia." Since it is all about a blog, well, you know the rest.

I am approaching 2010 with a great deal of optimism. I feel that new doors are finally opening for me, and are well deserved. I have paid my dues, and I am ready for the universe to reward me with abundance.

Nevertheless, I am going to make every effort to keep on writing. How can I ever finish a book if I keep making excuses?

What that being said, I wish you a good evening and Happy Valentine's Day/

New Love

Lil' Mo

Loving animals apparently runs in the family. My sister shows Collies', and my brother just announced he is the new father of a 3 month-month old Great Dane, "Mojita." She is just precious, thought you'd want to take a look.

He called me with a zillion questions such as "She is dumping 4 times a day, is this normal?' Of course, the first question I asked him was if she was de-ormed. After he shared all her peculiarities with me; we set up a date, the big day, when I would get to meet her.

It seems our love of dogs goes back to the 50's, when I was a tot and my sister had her first collie, "Skippy." "Skippy" was the only male dog she ever owned from that time forward.  I can mentally account for each of her collies' throughout the years  with love and affection. There was "Charlie;" (the only mix, but she looked like 100 percent collie). Charlie was part German Shepherd.

Then, there was "Annie" and "Annie 1"; "Abigail" and "Abby." Add to that ”Vanessa" and "Ruby" who take center stage with "Rockstar". By the way, "Rockstar"  is not a collie, but a longhaired Chihuahua!

As a young man, my brother had a German shepherd, "Zsa Zsa."   "Zsa Zsa" was very selective about whom she liked. I remember an argument my grandmother had with my brother. It ended with her dress ripped by "Zsa Zsa" and her girdle being exposed!

So It comes as no surprise that I can’t wait to welcome the newest member of the clans' extended family.

In the meantime, take a peek yourself.


As life's plan unfolds, I am gifted with the understanding that our lives have been brought together for a reason. It is a gift to share together our joys, and hopes, and dreams. Thank you for being my friend.

I received a beautiful vase recently from a dear friend. It is eggshell white; tied at the neck with a checkered blue bow. The top is shaped like a rose that is beginning to open. It contains the little inscription above.

Blue hearts dance around the inscription.

I have put it on top of my bedroom dresser. This vase is a profound reminder that someone loves me. Just for me. Not because I am nice all the time, not because I say and do what I think they want to hear. They love me for being me. The good, the bad and the ugly. Yes, especially the ugly me.

Many years ago, when my then 14-year-old daughter went to visit her father in Connecticut, I received a call from my ex-husband announcing that she didn't want to come back to Colorado.  Instead, she wanted to finish high school in Connecticut. I came unglued. I was floored; no amount of pleading could change her mind. She was set on living with her father for her remaining years before college. Thoughts raced through my head at sonic speed: I wasn't going to see my little girl in her prom dress, her first date; I wouldn't be there when she went off to college.  Oh, I would see her, but, just as a detached party for a visit on occasion.

I wept and sobbed uncontrollably.  As I wept, I heard the door creak open, and in walked "my friend." There for good and bad, happy and sad. I shall never forget the warmth of her hug, and reassuring smile. It dawned on me that it really wasn't the end of the world. I could take my next breath. Life would go, on, and all would be well again.

I honestly don't know where I would be without my dear friends, because, regretfully; my family hasn't always been there for me.  I am the odd duck out; friends have been closer to me than family throughout my life. It is the little cross I have carried from early on.

God provides, the sun comes up, and like it or not, we move on.  Maybe we don't forget, and the empty hole never really gets to be filled. Healing comes to us gradually, and we start anew.

The next time I become "unglued" I will look at this vase and read the words aloud, very softly, one more time.

Show Off

It has been said the world over that "women dress for other women." I am no exception; and, I find the statement very true. Women love to compare outfits and compliment one another on "fashion statements" and accessories.

Okay, I am just going to a freaking training class. I still feel I have to dress professionally. So, instead of donning my blue jeans and a nice top, I put on my tights, a dress and boots today. Perhaps it's because I have been out of work so long and it is refreshing to be in the game again.

I must admit that I have always been a clotheshorse. Early on, I can remember that no matter how little I had to spend, I had to get something that made a statement. Good or bad, it didn't matter. I had to create a canvas with clothes.

However, if you catch me in the supermarket you won't want to pay me a compliment. I look like Greta Garbo resurrected. No makeup; sunglasses, egg beater hair, and long coats. No, I am not trying to sneak out with a six-pack of ginger ale. I am simply, hiding.

So, the next time you see me, you won't be surprised if I tell you:

"I love your diamond nose ring."

My Arrival

Just look at it. Untamed, wild and wonderful. I love the way the colors look like a Neapolitan ice cream. Rose, blue, grey and salmon. Wow! Imagine getting up in the morning and starting your day like this.

I have to pinch myself sometimes.

I have given up a great deal to live where I live. Funny thing is, I don't live like a King, and my lifestyle is probably the simplest it has ever been. No frills, no fancy clothes, but QUALITY OF LIFE.

When I grew up in Florida, I knew from early on, I did not want to spend the rest of my life in Miami. Oh, it was intriguing; it had its beauty, but not the kind of beauty I wanted.

What turns me on are the mountains, seasons, snow capped mountains, Christmases gazing out the window and counting the snowflakes. Yum, so deliciously exciting to me.

I have earned this lifestyle. I have lived my life, my children are all grown, and having fun making the mistakes I once made.

We all arrive at the same place. The day we decide, okay; this isn't a dress rehearsal. I am gonna take control of my life and do what I WANT TO DO.

I've arrived.


It sho' was nice to get through my first day of work today. The drama continues. I don't exactly have the job yet...I have to pass a test after training. You got it, something else to worry about. I am very good at this. I have mentally started the countdown.

Next, I get to worry about a new roommate. That's right. My son is moving out; here I am, wondering if I will get the ax murderess as my roomie. I calm myself knowing that my apartment community requires a background check; I think I am safe for the moment. Whew! Does it ever end?

When I was a young girl, a friend once told me "I had a very vivid imagination." I think I need to turn it off, power down, decompress. Easier said than done.

Guess what? I have reached the conclusion that no matter how much I worry, or how I try to control things, everything is going to unfold just as it should. No matter how many sleepless nights, no matter how many chants of "bad rice." It's all there, right in front of me, ready to roll out.

When I lay my head on my pillow tonight, I will repeat to myself:

"Everything is going to be alright."

Good Rice

"Life is what happens when you're busy doing other things." I love John Lennon. He is the “writer of writers.’“ Somehow he captured everything in just one sentence. Something other writers' try to accomplish in paragraphs.

This analogy just about describes what I am up to these days. Trying to find a roommate; or, make a move. Preparing myself yet for another journey as I start a new assignment tomorrow. Now that I have gotten my wish and found work, I find that little empty space in my head is gnawing at me again.

Let's see how many NEW things I can worry about. It is never ending. Friends have been chastising me for even DARING to worry. But, I still do.

Maybe I think that if I worry, I will l scare off evil forces from entering into my life. Similar to the Chinese going out in the fields and chanting: "Bad rice...bad rice."

Wonder what will happen if I chant: "Good rice… good rice… for a change?

9/11 Flashback

It breaks my heart to see the suffering in Haiti. So many people, lost forever. Others, crying out from the rubble.

As always, America answers the call.

Americans are there, lending helping hands, doing what we can to salvage the country and its' citizens.

This chilling event has devastated one of the most impoverished countries. Countless organizations are taking donations for the search and recovery efforts. I feel so much compassion for these people; and yet I am helpless.

Relevations about 2012 flood my mind. This feels very ominous to me. I am trying to shrug off the uneasy feelings riveting through my body.

I tell myself this is nonsense. Is is nonsense? The suffering of Haitians and those unforgettable images give me pause.

I am going to pray, and keep praying for the end of pain; for miracles to minimize the loss of life. This is the least I can do for a nation already paid its' dues and then some. Parents in limbo, fearful that they will not see their children again. Others, trying to locate their relatives- all so incomprehensible to me.

I feel saddened; this evokes the same kind of feelings I had on 9/11. You may argue that this event is different.

 However, it seems very similar in many ways.

Happy Trails

Looks like persistence has paid off. I am going to be part of the working world again, it seems. That is if my business associates tell my future employer how wonderfully creative, hard-working and reliable I am.

I always believe hard work pays off. This time more than ever. With the recession, I had my trials and tribulations like everyone else. Relief was nowhere in sight for months' and months'.

Now, with God's help and protection, I hope I can once again get in the game. There are no promises, no big money, but just chance.

Everyone needs a chance.

I think I am going to like 2010.

Party Planning

Today I am party planning. What am I celebrating? Breathing, I guess. Seriously, I am hosting a pasta party for 10 people. Let's just say it is a big payback for the many times I have accepted invitations to my sister's home, and have let others' wine and dine me.

I know I am not in financial position to party, but I decided to do this and plan a dinner that was not too extravagant, yet fun. Here's the menu:

Spring Salad with mandarin orange dressing
Ziti Romano with cranberry raisins and nutmeg topping
Garlic Bread and more Garlic Bread

Simple enough huh? Well guess what, it didn't exactly end up non-expensive. I ended up forking out $87.00 (and that is WITHOUT wine or liquor). I invited guests to "bring what they would like to drink." I supply the soft drinks.

I am ready for the feeding frenzy. I have not decided on the dessert yet.

Maybe more garlic bread.

I am Not the Manager

I received this quote from a friend this morning on my email. It is thought provoking for me, it addresses exactly where I am at in my life. You see, I am leaving Boulder in the next couple of months. It is a journey I don't want to take. I am still not working. I cannot continue to enjoy the luxuries of maintaining my independence for which I fought.

It occurred to me that, as a fairly religious person with a moderate degree of faith, this move is not about me. While it is like taking a nasty dose of medicine, I have a mission. I am going to help someone else. I am very selfish. I want to be able to navigate my life and do the things I enjoy doing.
This mission is unique because I now have to FORGET about my needs and absorb my energy into someone else.  It's a little late, but I am preparing myself for the journey.

I can think of many people who can do this better. They are the naturals. They are the angels, they are BORN to love and serve. I do my fair share and keep up appearances. I know I have not done enough to help others. Okay, here is my big chance.

As I gaze out my window this morning, the trees somehow look different, I can almost hear them whisper "good bye" to me. I shall miss the antics of the squirrels, rabbits and the snippets of conversation and arguments of my apartment neighbors. Pepe will miss the canine companions and friendships he has made.

I have to learn keep repeating, I am not the Manager.

Social Media and Privacy

I am having lots of fun on Facebook and LinkedIn.  Nevertheless, I also have a concern, perhaps many concerns about these sites.  Oh, I love connecting with people I have not seen in years, but what about all the information that I share on these networks?  I have the option to filter information, just like my blog; I can share as much or as little as I want.  Most people do not understand that when they are on line and invited to join different groups their information (personal) is shared with third party companies.

 These lists are sold to other groups and businesses.  It comes down to you can't get something for nothing; someone always pays the price. In this case, it is you and I.

Is it any wonder there is so much identity theft? So, like everything else in life, there is a ying and a yang.  I have decided to participate in social media.  However, I am cognizant that my security is compromised every time I sign on the web. In my case, I have decided the positive benefits outweigh the negative. Truthfully, if someone wants to steal my identity as this point in my life, it will be their liability!

In the meantime, I am having lots of fun playing on "Farmtown" and "Farmville" on Facebook. I am also enjoying the cartoon version of my picture I also signed up to use on my Facebook page.

Bright and Beautiful

Today I reflect on all the wonderful things for which I have to be thankful.  There are so many blessings that are easily forgotten.  Such as:  getting a mammogram report that shows no evidence of cancer; two beautiful and healthy children; finding an old friend on Facebook; celebrating in the successes of family and friends; being able to walk.  One can go on and on.

So it's 2010 and all is not perfect.  But it is good enough.  It can be great, it is my choice.  So, today, I choose to be happy.  Maybe I don't FEEL happy,  but I CHOOSE to be happy. 

It's a wonderful excerise for the New Year.

Web Dinners

With the advent of the Facebook and MySpace revolution, it now seems we have to do very little to visit with friends, business associates, make new acquaintances and share our lives with complete strangers. What's next? We're heading to the point that we just might even have "virtual" holidays, that is, we can set up web cams in every room of our house and create our own virtual reality show. The Truman Show doesn't seem like such a stretch anymore.

Just think, don't want to cook for Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving? No problem , just hook up with friends and family for a "web dinner." Have great conversations in your jammies or in an evening gown of your choice. I am tentative regarding our progressive technology. I feel in the end, it has compromised human relationships.

When I visited Ireland a few years' back, I was disappointed to see every young person gabbing on his or her cell phones everywhere. On the buses, on the streets, in restaurants. Exactly like the people in the States. Why surprised? Ireland was supposed to refresh my spirituality, get away from it all, but it was just a miniature version of what I left.

My first boyfriend was from County Louth, in Ireland. I met him when he sailed into Port Everglades in 1968 on the Queen Elizabeth.  I loved the stories he crafted in true Irish style: the legends, ghosts, people, and most of all; how he depicted the barren countryside and thatched roofed homes.

Fast-forward to 2002, the only thatched roofed homes I found in Ireland were historical sites for the visitors. What a complete disappointment.  If this is where we're headed, I want my money back. Change is good, but at what point do we begin to loose our humanity, feelings, connections, things that mean the most to us?

It is now 2010, and the 2001 Space Odyssey looks like the romper room in comparison. What's next? Can we ever reverse the process? Do we want to? I am on the fence.

Ancestors and other Unidentifed Persons

My son has been having a ball on "Ancestry.Com".  He is determined to prove that my maiden name is in fact, not Spanish, but Slovakian.  It is fascinating to dig into one's geneolgy.  It is a bit scary in that you never know what you'll find.  Apparently, my father's name is quite rare.  The website advised us that there may be "a whisper" of a Spanish background.

In other words, we would have to contact a specfic group that specializes in researching my father's last name, that is very familiar with the Austrian- Hungary border from which his geneology is traced.

I remember my father hanging a picture of a matador in his office with the name "Danchez."  While, we spelled our last name "Danches," it was pretty intriguing at the time for the whole family.  My father's sister used to comment "I think we have Spanish roots traced back to the 4th century."  Now that caught my attention.  To date, we have not been able to prove we have Spanish blood in us.

I think I am very Spanish.  Entirely sentimental, totally family oriented, a penchant for sweets, BIG TIME.  I delight in having a dessert after dinner. If there isn't something sweet in the house it ruins the whole evening for me!  Because gravity has caught up with me, I now can maybe have desserts 3 times a week.  I am also entirely emotional and demonstrative.  Does that make me Spanish?

When I grew up in Miami, Beach Florida, the Cubans on Calle' Ocho loved there expressos with tons of sugar.  I don't remember any of my Cuban friends ever ordering expresso without sugar.  No one else in the family besides my father and I loved sugar as much.  I even like to add sugar to the recipes for meats I enjoy, (my son researched that and insists this is typical of  Slovakian -Austrian- Hungary linage).

Oh, and yes, we all have hot tempers.  We will  continue to dig to see if we can find that "whisper" anywhere.


There is a best friend in my life I have lost.  Her name was "Gretel".

 She was only 3  month's old when I first met her.  I remember the scenerio like yesterday.  It was a cold November day.  I bundled my two children up and put them into my Red Ford Tempo. Very slowly, we inched our way toward the Black Forest in Colorado Springs.  The house was very difficult to find and navigate the snowy, icy, road at the same time.  It took over 2 hours as we traveled at a snail's pace up Parker Road . We could hardly wait to get there.
You see, we weren't only going to be introduced to "Gretel" but two of her sister's also.  Finally, we arrived at the farm house, then we were faced with navigated a winding road all the way up on a hill to the farm.
We were greeted by three jumping German Shepherd female puppies, all smoothering our faces with wet kisses,  endlessly pawing and jumping for attention.

I looked at the kids, and asked, "Which one do you like?"  "That one!" they cried, and I quickly selected the most hyper puppy as our final selection.

"Gretel" was scooped up to have her nails clipped by her breeder.  She was absolutely beautiful, a black and tan face with a perfect diamond in the center of her forehead.  After getting her food and care instructions, I wrote out my check for six-hundred and fifty dollars. A decent price for a German Shepherd puppy in 1993.   It was done.  She was officially ours.

As we made our way back through the winding road of the house, "Lexi" her champion mom, ran along side of our car, knowing that she had one less puppy in her care.  "Lexi" followed us all the way to the highway road, trying to get one last look at the people who took one more of her pups away. It broke my heart, and I can still see her eyes as we drove away with Gretel; but I was so excited at the same time.

She too, was so excited that she threw up on the way back in our car.  We didn't care, we had our own German Shepherd puppy to love and cherish.  Once we took her out of the car, and into the house, my husband sneered at her from the couch.  "Why did you get a FEMALE?, I wanted a MALE," he said.
She knew he was less than enthusiastic to have her in his home.  She sat quietly at the garage entrance door with flat ears and sad, droopy eyes until he said the magical words: "come!."  The rest is history, she instantly became the fifth member of the family.

Through good times and bad times, she was our constant companion and best friend.  She sauntered from room to room at night, keeping close watch over her charges; never faultering on her love, devotion and endless protection.

We actually took her on a long car trip to Nevada.  Oh, how we LOVED having her curl up in the bed at night, between our two children, a very unusual but steadfast "nanny."

I taught her all her manners at obedience school, and practiced with her in our local school playground on weekends.  She was well worth every penny of her $650.00 and more.

After the children grew up and moved away, she got calmer and slower.  No more did she pace back and forth through the rooms looking after her charges.  It was clear she knew her mission was all but over. 

In October of 2005, she developed a sore on her side that wouldn't heal.  We thought she fought or caught on something in the yard.  But it was the worst.  She had a terminal cancer. 

She was spoiled and catered to even more those last 6 months'.  She wouldn't give up, she struggled to maintain her duties around our house.  When the end came, she could hardly hold her head up.  She stared at me as if to say "I'm ready."  We called the vet to our house to keep her comfortable.

I whispered "love you Gret, and thank you."  She struggled until her last breath.  Somehow, I still feel her in the house, even though she is gone.  I don't think I will ever have a best friend quite as unique as "Gretel."

I will miss her until I can join her; and will always think of her as my most devoted friend and companion.

Make Your Dream a Reality

Reflecting back on "Up in the Air," which I enjoyed seeing yesterday, there was a part where George Clooney's character is firing an employee and he asks:  "At what point in your life did you stop living your dream?"  Wow, that hit home with me.

As far back as I can think, I always wanted to be a copywriter and move to New York City.  It was the mecca of everything, fashion, style, excitement, theater, art and film, all wrapped up in one beautiful package.
But, like the character in the film, I never started to put ANYTHING into my bag to lead me to New York.

I "settled" on Miami, Florida, my place of  birth to live and work as a young woman.  I had options, however; I let fear dictate my life.  Now I understand full-well how disastrous that can be.

 When I was accepted to Northwestern University to pursue a career in Journalism, guess what?  I didn't go.  Instead, I opted to "be safe" and close to the nest and attend the University of Miami.  Now the University of Miami was a decent school, but it wasn't the best school for my dream.

I suppose this will continue to be a life-long regret.  I often think "what if" or had I made that choice, where would my life be now? Perhaps I can live out that dream and write a novel about that.  It isn't strange at all that I have come full-circle and am writing this blog.  I suppose it is not only prophetic, but a catharsis for me at this point in my life.
I woke up with the song "Cry to Me" playing back over and over in my head.  Could it be because I just watched "Dirty Dancing" AGAIN?   What a pick me up.  I can't help but think,  how did they do that? every twist and turn on the dance floor.  Every time I see the movie, I have to get up and dance! 

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray just glide on the dance floor. The movie will live on and on.  Every piece of music picked for the film ties perfectly into each scene, a work of  art for those sentimentalists that love  film and  50's music.

I took in "Up in the Air" today.  While I am probably the only woman in the world who isn't wooed by George Clooney,  I can't deny that he was a perfect fit for the movie.  The movie opened during the holidays and is still playing to packed theaters.  While I enjoyed it, it didn't rate as one of the best movies I've ever seen, but I certainly could relate to the plot, it definately makes one think.  Especially being out of a job, and relating to the scenerios depicted in the story line. 

While I am not an avid reader, I have a voracious appetite for film, and this one made me think. 

Crab Apple

 The beginning of the year has started out as a bang, but not a good one.  I have been unusually crabby.  Not a joy to be with, and have taken it out on those closest to me.   Hmmmm, wonder why?  If you have been following my blog, you understand why.

I am honestly at the point that I want to force gaity rather than impose anymore on friends and family.

Regarding the job front, someone suggested I start a paper route.  I can see myself up at 3 AM and bundling papers.  But hey, it's a job, right?

My mother once told me, "it's not what you were, but what you are today that counts."

Nobody cares how many advertising agencies I worked for, how many awards I have won in Real Estate and Marketing, or how many major shopping centers for which I was employed as Marketing Director.  It's what is happening right now that people will evaluate.

In that case, there isn't much to boast about.

But I can be happy for my friends' success stories.  Hearing all the holiday tales from family and friends does warm my heart.

As far as I'm concerned, I am calling the Paranormal team to exorcise me and the little black cloud following me around.

Fresh Starts...New Beginnings

My roomate and son, just got wonderful news for the New Year.  He was offered a new position in Engineering in Florida.  I am so proud and happy for him.  While the news wasn't my exact answer of a prayer, it brings me unbridled happiness to share in his success.

New Year's Eve was spent at the Rectory enjoying an indian dinner with our Pastor.  He is an indian priest, and we just adore him.  A brilliant man, he is never short on stimulating conversation and encouragement.  He is always researching other religions, and last night he shared his observations about the Koram.  While we are Catholics, it is always fun to understand other cultures and beliefs.

In between bites of scrumptious curried chicken and all the trimmings, the phone in the Rectory rang endlessly from family in India wishing him a happy New Year.  I had never heard him speaking his native language and enjoyed listening to the bantering of conversation and excitement in his voice.

We talked about Mother Theresa and how she visited his seminary while preparing for his priesthood.  Mother, never short on wisdom and encouragement, was always ready to serve others; sharing spiritual gifts connected with selfless living. I had always wished I had an audience with her, and I have always been in awe of  her life.

Today, the first day of this New Year, I am invited to one of Denver's most elegant hotel's for an early dinner with a close friend. 

I can hardly wait to turn the next page of 2010. While I can't look into the future, I am hoping it is better than 2009.