Monday, April 25, 2016

Writing Challenge

As if I don’t have enough to do every day, I’m going to challenge myself to do one more thing. A blog post every single day during the month of May. I don’t exactly know where this challenge came from, so I can’t give proper credit, but here are the daily topics…

Join along. We can learn so much about each other during the month.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Thought For Today

We used to be the life of the party.
We used to be the ones that they wished they were.
But now it's like they don't know how to act,
Maybe they're like me and they want us back.
It's like there's always an empty space.
Those memories that nobody can erase.
Of how bright we burned,
Well now it hurts, but it's true.
When they think of me, they think of you.

-Chris Young & Cassadee Pope

Monday, April 4, 2016

She was here for a minute.

My Sister. She was here. For a minute.

Her office was closed for a week during Spring Break, so she decided to drive down to LA and surprise all her friends.

Her 35th birthday was a few weeks ago, and what better way to spend it, than with all her friends for a pool party/bbq.

All the kids played in the pool. RJ and Lil’ SS were even there to help celebrate.

She stayed at my house for most of the time she was in town, which was a total of seven days. After visiting with everyone she had time to see, she headed back home to Oregon, where she’ll be patiently waiting until her next visit in May.


Until next time, Little Sis.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Poodle Visit

Guess who made a surprise visit to see me?

Yes, that’s the one and only #UdonThePoodle !!!

The trainer he lives with, made a trip up to our ranch to video a couple of dogs for an upcoming shoot, and she mentioned she could bring him along for a little one-on-one time.

I wasn’t about to turn that down, so a play date is what I got.

Red heart

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Saying hello to a Goodbye

A few weekends ago, we spent the afternoon in Santa Barbara. We said hello to StepDad, who if you remember, is floating around in the ocean after we spread his ashes. It was the anniversary of his death, so we hung out for a while. RJ played in the waves, while SS and I watched from dry land. Two years, and the pain is still very real. Missing him every day.



Thursday, January 21, 2016

Snow Day

Work. School. Work. School. Work. School. Work. School. Work. School.

I’m exhausted. Burnt out. Ready for a vacation.
I decided the only type of getaway I was going to get, was one that was close to home and only lasted one day. So, SS and I hopped into the truck and off we went to the local mountains.

We threw snowballs at each other, slid down mountains on a sled, and built a snowman. It was the perfect kind of day-getaway that I needed. I wish we could have stayed longer, but it was so crowded, and that kind of made it less fun.

You can guarantee that the next El Nino storm that passes through here, will find me up in the mountains once again.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

NASCAR: The Complete History

I received this book for Christmas, and let me tell you, it’s awesome.

This book is 640 pages of jammed packed NASCAR information. A LOT of information. Going back before NASCAR was started…..


…to the 2014 Championship….

I’m only a couple of pages in, but I’ve already learned stuff I didn’t know, and can’t wait to get deep into these pages. Fun stuff!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Road Trip

It's Saturday morning, and it's almost time to hit the road to my least favorite place. Phoenix.

In actuality, I enjoy road trips. They're full of adventure with the unknown in the windshield. But, sometimes I just go along for the ride, because a 13hr drive, isn't as much fun when you're alone. And if riding along for the day means SS is happy, then it's worth every second. I aim to please. Especially for someone I love deeply.

There's so much I could go on and on about when it comes to making this turnaround trip, but I know who reads this, and the last thing I want anyone knowing, is how I really feel about it. So, my mouth stays shut, my mind switches to something else, and the day goes on. As planned.

Ive talked SS into getting one of my all time favorite fast food places for lunch today. But, we have to get to Phoenix first.


Happy Day two of 2016!


Friday, January 1, 2016

A New Year Begins

Tomorrow, SS and I will take Lil’ SS back to her Mama. It’ll be a sad day, but we always know it’s coming. The 6hr drive home is much more quiet than the 6hr drive there. I don’t know if it’s because she’s not there to keep the conversation going, or because he’s missing her. Either way, he’s different until we get home.

SS and I got a fishy. His name is Indy. He’s a welcome addition to our family in this new year. We have sat in front of his bowl for countless amounts of time, just staring at him and watching him swim. He’s an intriguing little guy.

Happy New Year, to all!

Trying something out

I've gone ahead and downloaded a blogging app for my phone. My hope is that it will allow me to blog more. My current problem, is that I just don't sit down to my laptop much anymore. When I do, it's for something quick that might take too long to do on my phone. Or to edit photos. Since I always have my phone with me no matter where I am, I'm hoping this will work.

I just need to figure out the whole picture thing on here.

Here's to more blogging in 2016!


Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Championship Well Deserved

A Champion. Webster defines it as “a winner of first prize or first place in competition or one who shows marked superiority”. And that’s exactly what Kyle Busch is. A Champion who showed an extreme amount of superiority.

From the crash at Daytona in February, Kyle had a sense about himself that he could do the impossible. A feat that not everyone believed he could accomplish. Us fans, believed. And we believed strongly every single week.

After being out of contention for eleven weeks, he came back stronger than ever. Against all the odds and doubters alike, he won race after race and earned himself a spot in the year-end Chase. Awesome!

I’ve never been more proud to be a Kyle Busch fan. He’s grown and matured so much, thanks in part to his wife, Samantha, and it just makes him all around, a better person. He still has his point of view that many don’t agree with, but let’s face it, whether you’re a fan of his or not, he’s by far, one of the best drivers on the track every week.

For those that don’t understand what Kyle Busch did this year, imagine your favorite football team not playing for the first eleven weeks of the season, yet still winning the Super Bowl. THAT’s what happened.

Congrats to Kyle. I hope they plaster his face on everything!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Miss you, Sis.

I miss my sister. A lot. Especially right now during this time of year. As friends and coworkers head out of town to spend it with their loved ones, I think about how much I’d love to be spending it in the rainy city just outside of Portland, with her and her hubby. 

But I can’t. And that’s just going to have to be okay. I’m grateful she’s still alive and that we can video chat, text, and IM to make up for it.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Another year


-the 12th prime number
-the atomic number of radium
-the normal body temperature in Celsius
-the number of plays Shakespeare is said to have written
-my age

On Thanksgiving day, I turned thirty-seven years old. An age that I swear I do not feel. Wasn’t it just a few years ago when I was celebrating RJ’s first birthday and I was twenty-two?Ryans 1st B day 3

Since Thanksgiving day was for spending time with family that drove in from out of state, and being thankful Mom and SS know how to cook a turkey, we celebrated my birthday the day after.

Queen Mary – Long Beach, CA

We spent the morning at the Queen Mary. I haven’t been there since I was about six or seven years old, so it was pretty exciting to be back. And this time, I got to share it with my kid. We took a tour down to the bottom of the ship. That was pretty creepy, but amazing at the same time.

After we wandered around long enough in the areas we were allowed, we headed across the bridge to…

The Aquarium of the Pacific – Long Beach, CA

This place was amazing. RJ touched Hammerhead Sharks in a big aquarium, SS played with Horseshoe Crabs in a tank, we all saw penguins up close and watched baby sharks swim around in their pods. There was so much more to this place, that a single post on here just doesn’t do it justice. It was amazing, and totally worth the trip to Long Beach.

We had lunch at Hooters, where my 15-year-old son just couldn’t keep his eyes to himself. I’m surprised I got any attention at all. ;-)

It’s Almost Christmas

Christmas is nineteen days away. Nineteen. Am I ready? Absolutely not. Am I looking forward to it? Nope. Is my house decorated? Not at all.

Four weeks ago, SS and I pulled all the Christmas boxes out of the garage. At the time, I had promising intentions of decorating my house with red and green and silver and gold, but then family came to visit for Thanksgiving/my birthday, and finals happened. After working all day, and going to school at night, the last thing I want to come home and do is stand for one more second. So, the boxes are still unpacked.

SS and I aren’t going to see either of the two kids until after Christmas this year, so it’s kind of kept me out of the holiday spirit. I have no desire to hang stockings, or garland, or even put up a tree. It’s sad. And that makes me even more sad.

I talked to my mom the other day, and although she doesn’t usually give me great advice anymore, she did tell me that it was my duty as a mother, to make my house feel Christmasy for the kids. Regardless if they’re there on Christmas day or not.

Here’s to hoping I get into the holiday spirit soon……


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Happy Birthday to me

It’s not brand new, but it’s new to me.
And the best birthday present I’ve ever gotten.

The road I drive every day to work, is a tough one. It’s dirt mixed with little pebbles, large rocks, and many dips and holes. There is a section that makes me feel like I’m doing a four-wheeling rock climb, and while that is just cool in itself, the Honda of SS’s I have been driving since my accident in April, just wasn’t cutting it. Plus, with El Nino supposedly coming ten fold this year, SS was determined he wasn’t going to be riding his motorcycle to work every day for the next two years while I finish school. So, he went out and bought me this truck for my birthday. That’s how bad he wanted his Honda back.

So, every day, I drive this Escape down a long, windy, bumpy road, and she gets me there. In one piece. She’s a real good sport about it, because I know that road isn’t very forgiving.

I see camping trips, 4-wheel-drive back road mud days, and a teenage boy that won’t complain about the lack of room in the small car anymore. Score!

Now she just needs an appropriate name. I don’t know why I assume she’s a female. Maybe because she’s not a monster truck with large tires? Who knows. Either way, this baby needs a name.

P.S. I’ve already got the Kyle Busch stickers on order for the back window. And of course, the MsNscr license plate will be on just as soon as we get all the registration stuff from the dmv.  :)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Yo, yo, yo.

I can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly busy I’ve been. Between work and school, I don’t get anything else done. You should see my kitchen table. It’s got soldering irons, a remote control helicopter, some legal paperwork from the child support office, some homework scratch papers, a few odds-and-ends I pulled out of my crashed Nissan, and my laptop. There are four totes full of Christmas d├ęcor that we’ve pulled out of the garage in hopes of putting up, but haven’t gotten to yet, sitting in my dining room. And the most annoying thing, is that there are dishes in my sink that I haven’t rinsed and moved to the dishwasher. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Even when I had that extra hour for Daylight Savings, I still needed a few more.

Even though things have been super busy for me, other things have been happening in the background. Life doesn’t stop, no matter how much you’d wish it would once in a while. Can’t wait to share my most recent news. ;-)

Talk soon…..

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Back at it

A few months ago, I received a phone call from an owner of another animal company in the business. He expressed interest in hiring me to run his office, but at the time, I was very content with just going to school. My days were filled with studying and trashy daytime television. It was the best mix of chaos and relaxation that could have ever falling into my hands. And although SS was extremely jealous that I was doing that, he tolerated it.

As much as I enjoyed my time off work, I couldn’t realistically continue to do that. Since the fear of starting a new job was more overwhelming than I wanted to handle, I decided it best to at least stick with the field in which I was familiar. Animals in the entertainment business. That was my whole life for more than eight years, so I decided to call him back.

I just finished my first month.

The new place is different than my last ranch. Different in so many ways. So. Many.
First of all, they are mostly known for exotics. Yes, exotics. I now currently work at a ranch that houses lions, tigers, and bears (Oh My!). When I get to work every morning, I can hear the lion grunting – perhaps trying to remind the trainers it’s breakfast time?

It’s been a really tough month. A huge eye opener. I’ve learned that I’m tougher than I thought I was. Work from 8a-5p and classes from 6p-11p. Some nights I just want to pass out dead tired after class, and some nights I just want to keep going. But then at 6:30a the next morning, I want to pull my eyeballs out because the sun is just too bright.

Here’s to another job. And to another quarter of school.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Behind the Wrench.

“I may be a mechanic, but I can’t fix stupid.”

‘67 Corvette Stingray

Today, we’re talking with SS about what it takes to be an Auto Mechanic, and the ups and downs of dealing with machines. And the people that drive them.

Me: How did you decide to become an Automotive Mechanic?
SS: “Growing up, I always helped my dad work on his cars, and I was good at it. When I started at the local community college after high school, I took several different types of courses (accident investigation, EMT, along with general courses), hoping to find something that interested me enough to make it a career. Nothing did. That’s when I decided that since I was so good at working on cars, and I actually enjoyed it, I’d make THAT my career. And off to Phoenix, AZ I went.”

Me: What type of education do you have?
SS: “I have a high school diploma, a few general education courses from the local community college, and an 18-month Auto/Diesel program from Universal Technical Institute.”

Me: Do you feel the education you received prepared you enough for real job prospects?
SS: “No. I think the work experience has been the best teacher for me.”

Me: What certifications do you have?
SS: “No certificates. I’ve found that most employers would rather see your actual work skills, than trust the results of a paper test that anyone can pass.”

Me: What’s your favorite thing about your job?
SS: “The accomplishment of knowing I was able to fix something that was wrong/broken. Knowing I could fix something someone else couldn't.”

Me: What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever worked on?
SS: “There have been so many, but I suppose I’d say a ‘68 Roadrunner and a ‘69 Dart. They were 9-second race cars. Definitely not street legal. That was fun.”

Me: What are some of the duties you do every day as a mechanic?
SS: “Inspect (and repair) vehicles for regular maintenance including belts, hoses, leaks, or any generically worn out parts, to ensure the safety of the customer.”

Me: What is the hardest part about your job?
SS: “The big jobs. The rebuilding of engines that takes days, instead of hours. Making sure you keep track of so many different little parts, and making sure every single one of them goes back. Those can be tough sometimes.”

Me: What are some specific characteristics that make a good mechanic? SS: “Right off the bat, I can say problem solving and creativity. You need to be able to look at a situation, and visualize how to fix it. At times, when you’re supposed to do something a certain way, your creativity and rationalization can come into play, allowing you to do it a little more efficiently. You need to be fast and efficient, not careless.”

Me: How has the Internet affected automotive service? For example, are there more customers trying to self-diagnose their car problems based on something they read online?
Let me interrupt this interview by saying that the amount of eye roll and irritation SS showed while answering this question, proved to me just how difficult this job can be.
SS: “I see it all the time. A person has their car towed to us, in pieces, because they couldn’t get done exactly what the YouTube video was trying to teach them. Either they didn’t have the right tool, or they weren’t strong enough, etc. The worst part about it, is you have to hope they brought you all the parts to put back. YouTube, sometimes isn’t the answer.”

Me: You work for a small, independent auto shop. How does that differ from working for a major automotive manufacturer, like Ford or Chevy?
SS: “Working at an independent shop, means you have to have more general automotive knowledge. If you work for a specific manufacturer, you typically know about that one, not any others. At an independent shop, you work on a variety from German to American to Japanese. And is generally a little more relaxed. Less bureaucracy, and not as many hoops to jump through to get something done.”

Me: Is there something in the Automotive business you would like to do in the future?
SS: “I know there will come a time when I won’t want to wrench anymore, so I just figured I’d move into the management portion of it. Maybe at my own shop. Maybe not.”

Me: If you hadn’t become an Auto Mechanic, what would you have done?
“Ha. I had such a hard time decided what to do, I can’t imagine doing anything else. However, now that marijuana is making it’s legal way into our lives, perhaps maybe I would grow that. I’ve always enjoyed that as a hobby.”

Well, that’s a little look into the Auto Mechanic career. Do you think it’s something YOU could do?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Monday in Pictures

Hey, hey, hey. It’s Tuesday, and I thought I’d do a little post about how my Monday went. It’s been a looooooong while since I’ve done a Today in Pictures post, so I thought I’d go ahead and do one.

My Monday started out just like any other day, at 7am. Sometimes, that alarm goes off just too early. Yesterday, I was not ready to hear it scream at me, but I put on my best smile anyway. ;-)

Once SS left for work, I went downstairs and started my day.

I immediately turned on the television so I could watch the latest episode of I Am Cait. Everything else can wait because I just love that show. And her!


Once the show was over, I got a little daring, and mixed two different types of cereal. Since there wasn’t much left of my Oh’s, I went ahead and filled the rest of the bowl with SS’s Cap’n Crunch. Mmmm….


For several years now, I’ve had an unhealthy addiction to playing FarmVille on Facebook. Yesterday, that addiction continued while I ate breakfast….


Once I was done fooling around on the computer, I decided it was time to get started. After all, it was Monday morning. The rest of the world was working, so I figured I might as well be too. Even if it is just around my house.
Laundry. It’s one of my favorite things to do. The smell of fresh clean clothes, towels, and SHEEEEEEEETS. Ohmygosh. It’s sooooo worth it.

I’m learning how to solder, so my dining room table is a ridiculous mess. Totally not acceptable to me by ANY standards, but since we don’t have a workbench, or anything of the sort, I’m forced to use this space. Good thing we don’t have company for dinner very often.


Turns out, playing around with soldering irons makes me hungry. Or maybe it was just because it was lunchtime. ;-) 
I was in a sandwich mood, so I played “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” with which type I wanted.
--Peanut Butter & Jelly, a classic favorite?
--Turkey & Mustard, maybe with cheese?
--Grilled Cheese, comfort food for the soul?


Every Monday, the USA Network shows an NCIS marathon. Every Monday, the NCIS marathon is on my television as background noise to anything else I’m doing around the house. I suppose it’s a soothing and somewhat comforting feeling to hear DiNozzo, Gibbs, Ziva, or McGee talking. Call me weird, that’s okay. ;-)


Around three o’clock, I started to get a little hungry. We don’t eat dinner around here until 7:30p or 8p most nights, so I usually eat multiple times during the day. This time, I made some plain noodles with salt and pepper. Was good and held me over until dinner.


A little while later, SS came home. The day is always better when SS is around.

Finally it was dinnertime. We had a Rosemary marinated tri tip, rice, and a salad. It was the perfect amount of food, and I even have leftovers for lunch another day. Score!


Before bed every night, we have a snack. This time, it was a Ding Dong. Remember those? They’re waaaaaaay smaller than they used to be when I was a kid. (Or my hands are bigger and they just seem smaller.)


Bedtime – 10:30p. I look forward to this time every single night. It’s an awesome feeling to climb into bed, knowing I’ll be cuddling up with SS and all his warm body temperatureness. And clean sheets. Can’t forget the clean sheets!

{No bedtime photos – sorry}


Until next time….

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