Mounted Archery – What AM I thinking? – HaliPawz

Towards the end of last year I made a decision I was going to try Mounted Archery. What the HELL was I thinking?!?! Don’t get me wrong, I think the sport looks amazing and I’m looking forward to trying it, but seriously, me? The one who still competes in the walk – trot division at the fun show? Me, the one who has a panic attack before throwing my foot into the stirrup EVERY time? Now I think it’s smart for me to attempt something where I have to let go of my reins and trust me connection with my horse, trust my ability to balance without falling (yes, I know balance has nothing to do with holding the reins but in my mind it does!), trust myself to do this at any speed faster than a walk? I cannot believe I’m thinking this is a good idea.

I love my horse, Luke. He is an wonderful boy.

I adopted him November 2011 from an amazing horse rescue, Crosswinds Equine Rescue, Inc, and have loved him from the moment he arrived in Kansas City. I took lessons, I worked with him, I try to get him the best feed, I do what every good horse owner should do, except deal with the mental block that keeps me from becoming a better rider. Luke has never done anything to make me feel like he isn’t there for me. Just the opposite really….when I’m in the saddle, he’s different. He’s slower, he’s steady, he seems to sense I want calm, and for the most part, gives it to me. When a stronger rider is on him, he goes into a more spirited version of himself and responds accordingly.

I made a decision last year. I decided I was going to STOP saying “I’m a bad rider” and figure out a way to change it. The first thing is to figure out what I would enjoy doing with Luke. I have learned I don’t truly enjoy trail rides with my friends but I do enjoy the controlled environment of arena work. Now this may be a “what comes first, the chicken or the egg” situation, meaning I might not like trail riding because I’m not confident in the saddle, but if I get better in the saddle, I might enjoy trail riding. Time will tell. The second thing is, I have to pick something or some things to do which will result in me wanting to be in saddle more. I had taken a tracing lesson last year with Brandy Von Holten and truly admire her as a person as well as an equestrian. I saw where she was going to be doing a ground zero archery clinic this spring and my curiosity was piqued. I liked archery as a child, hadn’t done it as an adult, but thought it sounded interesting. A decision was made. I was going to try mounted archery!

I started where every decision seems to lead; the internet. I searched everything I could find on archery, mounted archery, equipment, techniques, etc. I didn’t want to put a lot of money into it in case it wasn’t something I enjoyed and, let’s face it, budget always has to be a factor.

I found a bow for a reasonable price and asked my mom for it for Christmas. Since I’m her favorite daughter (ha ha, now I’ll know which sisters read my blog. I know I’m not her favorite, she loves us all equally….blah blah blah ūüėā) she, of course, said yes. The bow took a LOT longer to arrive than expected, I won’t go into details but it was ordered the beginning of December for a Christmas delivery and I didn’t get it until February. Once I had it, I needed to find arrows and other items just to get started. I read where real feathers for the fletchings are better but they are also more expensive. I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to shoot this thing! Oh yeah, let’s talk about this bow for a second. Mounted Archery requires you to use a traditional bow, similar to the Mongolian style….with no shelf! It’s bad enough you have to shoot at a target while you are moving, on a horse, but you have to do it with a complicated bow! Again, what am I thinking?

After a long search, I decide to order some arrows off of Amazon. I always make sure to use smile.amazon so a portion of my purchase goes to a rescue of my choice. I have Crosswinds Equine Rescue as my rescue I support. I figure they are too far from me to give of my actual time, so it’s only fitting I give back to them this way. I chose the arrows I did because they were reasonably priced, bright colors, and would be good for basic ground practice in the beginning.

I watched a few YouTube videos to help me understand exactly how to shoot this crazy bow with no shelf. I appreciated BackyardBowyer for his simple approach to teaching how to hold the bow and shoot it. I watched a few of his videos and decided I was going to try the off the thumb method because it made the most sense for grabbing and positioning the arrow while moving. I ordered a leather thumb ring when I ordered the arrows and waited patiently for the to arrive.

My plan was to practice from the ground first before even attempting to add Luke into the equation. Let’s face it, dropping an arrow on my horse would not be a good thing. I found an archery target at Wal-Mart marked down to $8.50 and went to pick it up. I now had everything I needed to attempt to shoot. A friend of mine is also trying this and said we could go out to her dads to try but I was excited so I set the target up on top of my outdoor trash can, walked back about 10 feet (I figured I’d start simple since I live in the city, didn’t want to risk my neighbors) and drew back my first arrow. THUNK! It totally missed my target and bounced off my privacy fence. Oops. Arrow # 2. Repeat of 1. Arrow #3….another repeat. This isn’t looking good for me. Arrow #5 HIT!!! Yes! I could do this! Arrow #6….repeat if 1-4. In total, I hit the target twice. Not a complete fail but not good either. I decided for the sake of my arrows, my privacy fence, and my neighbors safety, I would stop practicing in my back yard until I’m better and find a more suitable place to practice.

I’m nervous beyond belief of this endeavor but also very excited. My archery clinic is in April so I have some time to practice before then.

I’m hoping this is the year I go from “I’m not a great rider” to “I’m looking forward to riding” I’ll still do the fun shows in Oak Grove, MO each month like I have every year. I’ll stay in the walk – trot division this year and I’m ok with it. I may even consider doing some obstacle competitions this year. I just want to enjoy time with my horse ON my horse. I want to focus on moving forward and not letting fear or nervousness keep me from doing something I believe I will truly enjoy.

Have you tried Mounted Archery? Have you ever been nervous mounting? What are some things you enjoy doing with your horse? I’d love to hear your stories. Feel free to share in the comments.

Wish me luck on this new adventure. I’ll keep you posted!

Garlic Pumpkin Seeds – Halipawz

Fall is here. Halloween is right around the corner. What is synonymous with Halloween? Pumpkins! I sat down tonight to carve my first jack-o-lantern and looked forward to eating the seeds the whole time. I can‚Äôt believe how many people I talk to who have not tried pumpkin seeds. I put a little twist on mine.  I make garlic pumpkin seeds. 

Pumpkin seeds, in general, are pretty easy to bake in the oven.  I do not promise they are healthy, but they are yummy! 

All you need is fresh garlic, real butter, a little sea salt, and, of course, fresh pumpkin seeds.  

Separate the seeds from the rest of the pumpkin guts and place in a small bowl.  Press about 4-8 cloves of garlic into the bowl.  I like lots of garlic so I tend to use 7-8 cloves.  It also depends on how many seeds you have.  Stir the garlic into the seeds (the seeds should still be slightly damp).  

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the seeds out onto a cookie sheet.  Try to make it as much of a single layer as possible.  

Sprinkle a slight dusting of sea salt over the seeds.  

Cut small slivers off of two tablespoons of butter and spread out over the seeds.  Put in the over for 10 minutes.  

Remove the cookie sheet, stir the seeds, cut small slivers off of another two tablespoons of butter and spread out again over the seeds.  Place in the over for another 10 minutes.  

Remove and stir again.  Be sure to mix the seeds well and spread out again into a single layer. Cook for another 10 minutes. 

The seeds should now be a golden brown. Remove, stir one last time, and enjoy! 

Caramel Apple Snickers Salad – HaliPawz

I received a text message from my niece this morning asking me for the recipe for my Caramel Apple Snickers Dessert. ¬† I immediately came to my blog to pull it up and realized I had never typed it up! ¬†I took all of the pictures the last time I made it, but forgot to write the recipe. ¬†I needed to correct this oversight immediately! Now, yes, the title is misleading, it isn’t really a salad, it’s a dessert, but let’s face it, we all feel better calling it a salad.

Dessert, caramel apple
I will admit, I didn’t come up with the recipe, I found it a while ago, back before I was writing a blog, so I didn’t save the information of where I found it or who had authored it. ¬†I have made some changes to it to suit my preferences and wanted to share it with everyone. ¬†Because it is a nice cool dessert, it makes a nice Fourth of July celebration dish but can be enjoyed all year long.

For my dessert, I chose to use Ambrosia Apples.  You can use any type of apple you want, but I chose these because they are a low acid apple, so more people can enjoy them, they tend to be more sweet, than tart, and they blend well with the other ingredients. If you want a tarter apple, Granny Smith apples may be better for you.

As some of you may recall from my pasta salad recipe, I like to use the half size disposable¬†aluminum steam pans. ¬†I usually buy the pans and lids from Sam’s Club and use them throughout the year. ¬†I never have to worry about remembering my pan after a party. ¬†Depending on the size pan you are using, you can adjust the apples and the snickers to match.

Ingredients

6 Ambrosia Apples (Can use any type of apple you choose)

12-15 Fun Size Snickers Bars (I used the fun size because ounce for ounce,

they are cheaper than the full size ones at Wal-Mart and easier to cut up)

1 16oz tub Cool Whip

1/2 cup Milk

1 5oz package Vanilla Instant Pudding (If you want more pudding flavor,

use two small boxes and 3/4 cup Milk)

Caramel Topping

Chocolate Topping

Handful of chopped pecans (optional)

Before I begin to mix everything, I start by cutting up the apples and the Snicker’s bars. ¬†To speed up the apples, I use my Pampered Chef Apple Peeler Corer Slicer. ¬†It works amazingly well, and then I just have to cut them into a little bit smaller pieces. ¬†I take the peeling off because it’s easier for my mom to eat that way, but if you don’t have anyone with those issues, feel free to leave the peelings on.

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Apple being peeled by Pampered Chef Apple Peeler, Corer, Slicer

For the Snickers bars, I found it easiest to flip them over, cut down the middle, then cut along the bar in small, bite size pieces. ¬†It is important to make sure you start with a sharp knife. ¬†I’ve tried it before with a knife I didn’t sharpen, and it was a mess. ¬†When I sharpen the knife right before starting, it cuts through the candy bar very nicely.

Flip Snickers bar over for easier cutting

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Chopped up Snickers Pieces

To start putting it all together, I make a small pattern of the caramel topping and chocolate topping on the bottom of the pan.  I know no one sees it, but I think it helps with the flavors being better mixed.

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In a mixing bowl, combine the milk and the pudding mix.  Slowly blend in the cool whip.  Once you have it at a nice consistency, fold in  the apples and the snickers pieces.

Once they are all mixed well together, spread the mixture out into the pan. ¬†If you’re like me, I try to smooth it all out, so it’s flat and even, but since it’s a “salad” it doesn’t matter how it looks in the pan. ¬†Well yeah, to me, it does!

Drizzle the caramel sauce and the chocolate sauce over the top. ¬†You can sprinkle some pecans on the top if you want as well. ¬†I know I know, with the Snicker’s having peanuts, why would you add pecans….to that I say….why WOULDN’T you add pecans? ¬†Pecans ALWAYS go with chocolate, caramel, and apples!

Caramel Apple Snickers Salad

Chill for at least an hour before serving. ¬†If you’re taking it to a party, you might want to consider taking another empty pan, put ice in the bottom, and let the salad sit on the ice to keep cold until it is served.

Enjoy!

Revitalash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner; my review – HaliPawz

I recently had the opportunity to review the Revitalash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner.  I had tried the Latisse in the past and was curious about how Revitalash compared to it and did it really work.

Revitalash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner tube

Let’s start with what Revitalash really is. ¬†Revitalash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner is just what it says it is. ¬†It is an eyelash CONDITIONER. ¬†The company claims, by using it daily, you will have healthier-looking, luxurious lashes as a result. ¬†It was formulated and designed specifically for healthier looking lashes. ¬†It was designed to enhance NATURAL beauty.

Latisse is only available through a prescription.  It is for people who grow inadequate eyelashes or not enough eyelashes.  It helps to grow more hair in the area it is applied.  It was discovered purely by accident.

Back in 2001, Allergan developed a medicated eye drop used to treat ocular hypertension. In addition to successfully lowering eye pressure (the only treatable risk factor for glaucoma), many patients using this medication experienced a side effect ‚ÄĒ they began to grow longer, fuller and darker lashes.

Latisse is FDA approved, but it has some complications associated with it as well.  Even on their website they warn you about the following

May cause brown darkening of the colored part of the eye which is likely permanent.¬†LATISSE¬ģ may cause eyelid skin darkening which may be reversible. Only apply at base of upper lashes. DO NOT APPLY to lower lid. Hair may grow outside the treatment area. If you have eye problems/surgery, consult your doctor. Common side effects include itchy and red eyes. If discontinued, lashes gradually return to previous appearance.

Even with those warnings, I have to admit, I wanted to try Latiss¬†so I had a doctor I worked with at the time write me a prescription for it. ¬†The pharmacy at Sam’s Club had the best price on it, and I took it home to try it. The instructions where a little complicated. ¬†You had to use a new applicator each time for each eye. ¬†I started out doing it correctly and lasted about 2 – 3 weeks, but then I would forget, or I wouldn’t have the time. ¬†Eventually, I just stopped doing it all together. ¬†I did not have any of the side effects mentioned, I applied it correctly, it just became too much of a pain just to have nicer, longer, eyelashes.

Fast forward to recently when I had an opportunity to try Revitalash. ¬†My first thought was, NO THANK YOU! ¬†Been there, done that! ¬†The person I was talking to stopped me. ¬†He listed to me complain about Latisse and promised me this would be so much easier. ¬†He said I would love it. ¬†I reluctantly agreed to try it but in my mind I thought….this is going to be a waste. ¬†FULL DISCLOSURE…..I was given the sample for FREE. ¬†Now he knew I was already going to be against it and didn’t have high hopes, but I want to make sure it is documented I did not pay for the sample. ¬†While I was waiting for the sample to arrive I googled some before and after pictures. ¬†I tend to not believe before and after pictures all the time because I believe they can be photo-shopped too easily. ¬†The pictures always seem to be on perfect faces! ¬†My face isn’t perfect. ¬†I’m overweight, I’m blotchy at times without makeup. ¬†I knew without a doubt I would take REAL pictures to show the difference if there were any.

Revitalash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner Application Directions

When the product arrived, I read the instructions. ¬†Seem’s pretty simple. ¬†Of course, when I was starting out, I was so careful. ¬†I would use some OCuSoft Plus Lid Scrubs to clean both eyes, wait for that to dry, and then apply the Revitalash. ¬†I set an alarm on my phone to go off at 10pm each night, so I wouldn’t forget to do it. ¬†As time went on, I realized I was making it too hard for myself. ¬†Now I have the tube in my toothbrush holder. ¬†I step out of the shower, I apply the Revitalash, then brush my teeth. ¬†The lashes are dry by the time I’m finished and I can apply my makeup as usual. ¬†It takes maybe 20-30 seconds to apply it the way I’m doing now, so much easier then when I was doing the Latisse.

When I started, my eyelashes were ok. They weren’t horribly short, but I think every female wants longer, fuller lashes. ¬†If I can get longer, fuller lashes without dealing with fake eyelashes, I would be happy!

Eyelashes at the beginning before using Revitalash. February 2016

Over the months of using the product, I went out of town a few times and was pleased with how easy the Revitalash travels. ¬†I just threw it in my makeup bag and kept the same routine, hop out of the shower, apply the conditioner to my lashes, then brush my teeth. ¬†I always kept it close to my toothbrush, even while traveling. ¬†There was a small time, around June where I didn’t do the Revitalash for about 3 weeks. ¬†It was right before I switched to putting it by my toothbrush, I would just keep forgetting to use it.

Here are some pictures over the months…..As you can see from the splotchy makeup here and there and the mascara remnants, I did not use any filters on the pictures or touch them up in any way unless I indicated as such in the picture.Eyelashes after using Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditioner 993

Eyelashes after using Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditioner 0990Eyelashes after using Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditioner 0998

 

Eyelashes after using Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditioner 1327

March 31, 2016

March 31, 2016

Eyelashes after using Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditioner 1303

Eyelashes after using Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditioner 4333

Eyelashes after using Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditioner 4335

July 28, 2016

Eyelashes after using Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditioner 4362Eyelashes after using Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditioner 4320

 

July 28, 2016 with mascara

July 28, 2016 with mascara

July 28, 2016 without Mascara

 

 

October 11, 2016

October 11, 2016

Eyelashes after using Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditioner 5080Eyelashes after using Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditioner 5064

Eyelashes after using Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditionerEyelashes after using Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditioner 5067img_5125

 

Eyelashes after using Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditioner 5007

There was a filter used on this picture

Eyelashes after using Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditioner 5113Eyelashes after using Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditioner 5118

In every picture where you see the words “with mascara” I was careful to use the same type of mascara so the pictures would reflect true changes. ¬†I used:

VOLUM’ EXPRESS¬ģ THE FALSIES¬ģ BIG EYES¬ģ WATERPROOF MASCARA

.  They have a different brush for the lower lashes and the upper lashes.  I am not the neatest when it comes to applying make-up, as you can see from the pictures.  I get the mascara blotchy at times, but I do try to be careful.  I found this mascara to be easy to use and had a nice effect when I used it.

 

Overall, I have to say I have been very happy with the Revitalash Advanced Eyelash conditioner. ¬†I believe it does make my eyelashes longer, fuller, and I have noticed I don’t have as many falling out. ¬†They feel great. ¬†They seem to hold the mascara better when I do use it. ¬†If you want longer, healthier, fuller eyelashes, available WITHOUT a prescription and without any of the negative side effects, I would recommend trying this.

If you do try it, let me know what you think about it!

Dream about death leaves me thinking about life – HaliPawz

I don’t always understand my dreams. This morning, I woke up after having a dream about four people who we are thinking about dying. Well, actually three of them were thinking about it, one was already on life-support. One of them, a younger person, was terminally ill. To break it down; Two adult males, that were of older parental age (40-50), one person, female, on life-support, and then a young girl about mid to late 20s who was terminally ill. 

They were all somehow related, but I could not quite remember, or figure out, how the relationships all worked out. I do know, however, that they had decided to all pass away at the same time. It was in such a bizarre way though, the one who was on life-support was going to remain on life-support and they had a note asking whom ever walked in on them to stop her life-support after they were all gone. The other three had decided to lay in shallow pools of ice slowly bringing their core body temperature down until they grew weary and eventually pass away. 

The three all had a normal conversations, talking about other family members, and did not seem to be freezing as they all laid in the ice. As the talking slowly drifted away, and they began to think about their own lives, my dream began focusing on just one of the men. My dream showed him starting to think about some things he didn’t get finished, about someone else in his life he hadn’t seen in a while, and even about one of his pets. As his thoughts continued about all the good things, the happy things, in his life, he realized, he wasn’t ready to die. As he felt his eyelids getting heavy, he said out loud,  “I’m not ready to do this”, and he stood up.  

The other adult male glanced over at him, and asked “why”?  “I don’t know” said the man, it’s just not time. The other man stood as well and decided perhaps he to rethink the decision and reasons.  I know more happened before he rethought it, I just don’t remember the details.  

They glanced over at the terminally ill young lady, realizing she had not said anything throughout their exchange. She had, indeed, already passed away.  The woman on life-support had also quietly passed away. While the men were sad at their passing, they also knew it was the right time for them. 

I woke up completely confused; confused about why I had a dream about death, why I had dreamt about suicide, because that is indeed what it was, and why there were four people in my dream I did not know at all. It started making me think, that because they had chosen something that was so slow and within their control somewhat, is this the message I was supposed to share. If more people who were contemplating suicide had the time to reflect on the good things in their lives, on the things not yet completed, and on the thing that made them happy, would they second-guess their decision? 

Too many times in our society, especially with social media today, we are used to knee-jerk decisions and reactions. I think it is time for us to understand how important it is to not do a knee-jerk reaction, or make a knee-jerk decision. Take time to think about the consequences of your actions and your words before you do or say them.  

Sadly, when someone chooses to take their own lives with suicide, they don’t have the time to reflect, to reconsider their actions. I am not a trained professional, I do not claim to have all of the answers‚Ķ So if anyone is reading this, and they are considering suicide, please think about reaching out to those who love you, or reaching out for professional help. Think about all of the things that make you happy, the moments in your life where you smiled or laughed, focus on those times until you can have a conversation with someone who can truly help you. 

As I said at the beginning, I don’t always understand my dreams, but this one seemed important enough to share. I can only hope, that if it even helps one person, then there was a reason for the dream and the push to share it. 

I wish everyone reading this many wonderful years of happiness and laughter.  Reach out to those in your lives you love.  Let them know you are there for them. 

Happy 80th Birthday Mom – HaliPawz

My mom is turning 80 today.  As a writer, I want to convey all of my thoughts, my emotions, into the perfect masterpiece to share with her today, but I find myself critiquing every word. How do you say Happy Birthday to someone you thank God for everyday, someone you feel blessed to still have; someone you are fiercely protective of, yet want to encourage as much independence as you can? “Happy 80th Birthday Mom” just doesn’t seem enough.  

Happy 80th Birthday Mom. Looking forward to many more adventures!


As my mom enters her octogenarian years, I think back to how our lives, our relationship has changed.  As the youngest of six, I truly feel lucky to have had older parents.  I would find it funny when my friend’s grandparents were the same age as my parents.  I was ok with my mom & dad being older and parents, not best friends.  I think I always felt just a little closer to my dad growing up. I wanted to be with him more.  My mom was a stay at home mom until I went into first grade, then she started working.  Since she would work until 4, my dad would get home earlier so I just alway seemed to be with him when he was home.  My parents were more relaxed with me. They had raised 5 kids already. They were on “autopilot” with me. 
I learned some interesting lessons from my mom, long before I even realized they were lessons.  The older I get, the more I realize how much I am truly BOTH of my parents. I used to think I was so much of my dad’s daughter, but there is more of my mom than I would have ever imagined. 

I learned to be there for others when they needed you.  Growing up, mom would always be the first to volunteer to help someone, to recognize a need in others and help.  I didn’t realize these were lessons when I was younger. I used to think…why are you spending time with them or spending time doing that; instead of with me, or me and my sister(s).  It wasn’t until I was older, I realized she was always there for others, sometimes when no one else was. 

I learned tea is more than tea. True friendships are solid. The world could get along better with tea. My mom’s best friend, Pat, comes over about once a week, and has for as long as I can remember.  My mom would turn the teakettle on and they would proceed to get caught up on family, politics, neighbors. No topic seemed taboo. I never heard them disagree about an opinion.  I never see my mom drink hot tea except when Pat was over.  We grew up going on vacations with the two families. Pat is usually at any major family events when she can be.  They both may be getting older, but tea time still takes place.  They each sit at the exact same spot at the kitchen table they always have, and they still solve the problems of the world, or at least the problems in their worlds, their communities, their families.  

My whimsical, non-sensical, side is all her. From her passion for Hallmark Christmas ornaments, to her cute knick knacks. She has a flair for finding the cute, the different, the unique….and loves it.  I never realized until recently how that transferred over to me. It is this side, combined with my science & math side, that makes me so great in optical, in problem solving in general.  I can look beyond the part that makes “sense” and twist it to make it perfect.  I can see past what is in front of me to picture what is needed. 

Mom with the whimsical statue she liked at Omaha Zoo


On the Train at Omaha Zoo


Mom has a sense of adventure I never saw as a child. She is always willing to go somewhere.  She is always willing to experience something. The past few summers with mom have been the highlight of my summer.  She might not be able to walk very well but get her in her scooter and she is ready to go! She has lasted all day at Disney World, she has gone to the rodeo, she has survived days at the zoo in 95 + degrees. She loves doing things. You can always see a smile on her face when she is out seeing what the world has to offer.  Her willingness to just go, to just do something different is amazing to me.  Might even be why I was willing to go pick my nephew up at 12:30am so he could join me and my niece on our quest to find Pokemon.  

Representing Marysville Michigan in Florida


Her love for family is strong.  Her family, including her extended family, is the most important thing to her.  When asked what she wanted for for 80th birthday, she said, “for all of her kids and grandkids to be with her”. She didn’t want a big party. She just wanted us all together.  So guess what? Every one of my siblings and their kids and grandkids will be together with her celebrating the amazing woman she is.  My mom is such a trusting person. She looks for the good in others and believes in them. I am a cynical person by nature. I question. I dig. It is because of her I’m often willing to forgive. To give a second chance. 

Mom with Birthday Cupcakes after her surgery

Happy Birthday Mom


Mom is always willing to accept those as they are.  I used to say she looked at life through rose colored glasses like it was a bad thing.  Now, as an adult, I realized it is a good thing. It makes you accept life as it is.  It helps you navigate through the tough times.  

My mom is stronger than I could ever imagine. From the pain she endures because of her arthritis to the emotional scars she has from life in general. Losing both of her brothers fairly young, to caring for her husband as Alzheimer’s took his mind before his body. She took those moments. She bore the pain. She came out stronger on the other side.  It is because of her, her strength, I know I can get through anything as well.

Mom and Cayla Omaha Zoo

I am so blessed to have the amazing mother than I have.  I look forward to celebrating her 80th birthday with her and my family today and look forward to many more summer adventures with her and many more birthday celebrations! 


HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY MOM! 

The Bandits Went Up My Tree – HaliPawz

Last night was a crazy night. ¬†I needed to run an errand that I had been putting off, so at 10:30pm, my niece and I head out of the house to drive across town. ¬†The dogs had been driving us crazy going in and out of the patio door, so I decided to take both of them. ¬†Cayla put the leash on Bella, I put one on Zipper, and we headed out the door. ¬†I saw Bella almost drag Cayla down the porch steps and all of a sudden, Zipper started his high-pitched, excited bark. ¬†I look over and see something scurry up my tree. ¬†I’m used to seeing squirrels going up and down it, but these were bigger, and a lot of them. ¬†I look over again and peeking behind the tree is a raccoon! ¬†I have never seen a raccoon in my yard, let alone a bunch of them. All of them had run up the tree except this one, who kept peeking at me around the tree. ¬†I was trying to get Cayla to come back near me to see him, but Bella was pulling her in a different direction. ¬†I couldn’t help but laugh because the raccoon would peek around, see me looking, then disappear again behind the tree. ¬†We did this game for about 2 minutes. ¬†Cayla was finally able to make it back on the porch to see him while I held the dogs. ¬†She saw the game we were playing and then it ended as he also went up the tree.

Raccoon peeking out from behind a tree

Thank you to  irissansfrontieres for this perfect picture to match my story!

 

We used the flashlight on my phone to try to look up the tree to see all of them, but had no luck. ¬†I needed to get something out of the van, which was parked under this raccoon climbed tree, so I unlock it and cautiously approach. ¬†It’s like I was waiting for a raccoon to swipe my ankle from underneath as I approached the van. ¬†Cayla, laughing at me, had to remind me they were poltergeist raccoons, but for some reason, I was just waiting for them all to start launching themselves at me in an attack as I neared the van! ¬†Luckily I was able to enter and exit without harm, other than my pride as I was being laughed at.

As we were backing out of the driveway, we saw something come down out of the tree. ¬†Assuming it was the raccoon, we looked to see where he headed off to….only to our surprise, it WAS NOT a raccoon, it was something else! ¬†It was long, skinny, and seemed to have a funny walk. ¬†We drove in the direction to see what it was, only to discover it was just a very skinny cat. ¬†Wait…a cat??? ¬†What the heck was going on up in my tree? ¬†An animal party? ¬†I have raccoons AND cats up there at the same time! ¬†All we could do was laugh at the situation!

We headed across town, turned down a road leading to our destination, only to see another odd-looking critter go running across the road. ¬†We still have no idea what it was. ¬†We tried to find it, but couldn’t. ¬†While I was stopped for a few minutes, something round hit the top of my truck on the moon-roof and then rolled down the windshield and was gone. ¬†It would not have been a big deal, except for the fact I was nowhere near a tree! ¬†Now things are falling from the sky?!?! ¬†What was going on?

As we pulled out of the driveway to head back home, we see yet another strange critter running across the path in front of us, but this time, we were able to identify the creature.  It was my favorite stinky friend; a skunk.  We waited, wanted to be careful to allow extra time for him to get where he was going before driving past him, especially considering all the craziness happening with the various critters.

As we were going along Gregory in Swope Park, my niece says, “deer” ¬†I look, I don’t see anything, she says it again and I see a doe in front of us, off to the side of the road. ¬†I slow down, giving her time to decide what way she was going to go. ¬†She sees us, and then turns…..but does she run? ¬†Oh of course not, that would be too much like normal and the night was anything BUT normal! This crazy deer turns and walks directly in front of us, down the street, with ATTITUDE!!! ¬†I’m not kidding! ¬†Her tail was SWISHING back and forth…..we both started laughing. ¬†It was too much. ¬†We follow her a short ways and then she runs off to the other side, as if to say, thanks for playing…see you soon!

We arrived home, no sign of our masked bandits in the tree, no sign of any other crazy critters in the yard.  I guess our crazy night of animals gone wild was over.  It was a humorous night for the two of us, the dogs were happy because they got to go for a ride in the truck, and my errand was complete.  All in all, it was a successful, adventurous, humorous trip!

 

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