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Realizations And Shape Shifting Clouds

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I was the passenger in a little, sporty, black, BMW the other day when I asked the driver this question, "What do you like best about yourself?" It was at that very moment on the space time continuum that I realized I had no answer regarding myself, hence the origination of this post.

I knew then I needed to delve down deeply, and search out, the good that is within me, traits that I like, that I know are good, and meditate on those which I was gifted. Gifted with may be the incorrect terminology, perhaps those I have developed through trial and error, innate qualities that are untainted and pure, and only then would I be able to move forward with my life, my happiness, and quell my fears.

I'll attempt that now, attempt to uncover what I like about myself. I'm not going to worry about things I dislike, those have controlled my life for far too long, and it is time for them to be put in the background for a period of time and seek out the good, the extraordinary, the silly, the fun, the things about myself that I, myself, like. True happiness can't be found without acknowledging, and liking, the unique characteristics that make me who I am today.

This has proven a challenging task and has taken many days to ponder, but for me to move forward with my life it is something I feel, for me, needs to be done. So let's jump in and see if I can find, and rub the dirt off of, some of those buried treasures.

The first thing that comes to mind is that I'm not afraid to stand up for myself any longer. I used to pretend I wasn't afraid to, but I was always. I do fight for what I believe to be right, and I do analyze situations now and pick and choose which to fight and which to let go. I have quite a few things I'm in the process of releasing presently.

I am very much a people person, in a sense. I say "in a sense" because even though I love people, being social, and the energy the laughter of a group brings, in reality people scare me for reasons far too emotional to go into now and that's not the point of this post anyway. Good things Teri, good things.

I love that I have my father's sense of humor. I can be very funny at times, I think so anyway which is all that really matters. I also have his intelligence, his sense of "WTF let's do it," and his heart for his passions.

I'm adventurous, I love new things, people, and places. I also love being home, in bed when it's cold and rainy, covered with blankets and watching reruns of "The Sopranos," eating popcorn and chocolate covered raisins.

I like that I can cook very well, although I don't cook nearly as often as I did when the children were home, I can cook, and bake, with the best of them.

I've come to realize that I am genuinely a good person. I want the best for those I love, whether I'm in the picture or not, I truly want them to be happy in all of their endeavors.

A new thing, in recent years, is that I've learned when to throw in the towel, when to say "enough is enough," and move forward. I don't want negativity in my life, if someone brings it into my space bubble I have the power to say "hasta la vista muchacho."

I've come to respect, and value, who I am, and I'm no longer willing to compromise my standards. I'm willing to work hard on myself to become the best I can be. I know I'll always fall short, but I'll never say, "I'm not willing to work on that." I'm eager to examine myself, and my actions, and face them head on, change what needs to be changed, apologize when I need to, to be humble, and to try to listen to understand and not to reply.  I don't want to be tormented and I am more than willing to do the hard, scary, work on myself to be the very best I can be, the woman God intended for me to be.

That's enough adulting for today. I think tomorrow, after a few errands, I want to lie by the river on a blanket with my puppies, look into the blue Oregon sky, and watch whatever clouds that may float by shape shift into something magnificent.

As for now I think I'll grab my blankie, some colored markers, and decorate my iPad cover, and possibly find those hidden chocolate covered raisins.

Until we meet again,


Kaleidoscope Mind

Saturday, August 13, 2016

With each movement, each head turn, each tear that fell, it was if my world had evolved into a continually rotating kaleidoscope of shapes, colors, and sounds. From each side more fragmented pieces appeared and escape did not seem possible.

That which seemed real was not. The never ending bombardment of every imaginable shifting thought pushed me further into the spiraling technicolor tube of terror. I could feel the motion of the sea with each torturous turn.

My head was left spinning, not one cohesive thought could be formed. Each twist of the plot was more devastating than the previous. My eyes stung, and my head pounded, from the rivers that fell freely drenching my skin, my clothing, my sheets.

As evening crept upon me the tormenting events had not ceased and I saw only one way to clear my mind, shake out the poison, and once more see rationally, and that was on my motorcycle.

The weather was perfect. The sun had not yet set, the air was warm, and the bike would take every shred of concentration, and that, I hoped, would quell the sounds, the colors, and the shocks, of the days developments.

I exchanged my faded cut off shorts for a pair of riding jeans, pulled on socks and my boots, gathered my blonde locks into several hair ties, and headed to the garage to begin what I hoped would be a journey that would bring clarity.

As soon as I started the magnificent machine to warm up as I continued readying for the ride I felt the clutter start to settle. I zipped my fringed chaps, put on my helmet, gloves, and riding glasses. With each item I gained more mental courage.

I felt my chest heave with the deep breath I took as I swung my leg over the saddle and when I stood up the bike, put it in gear, and rolled on the throttle, even more fell into place.

I was at home, I was at peace, and my spirit was ready to soar. As I wove my way through the gorgeous Oregon countryside every thought was pushed aside except for those of the beauty of the State in which I reside and how blessed I was to be able to see the amazing handy work of my Creator.

I didn't rush through the ride. I took my time taking in as much as my mind could hold, the horses grazing, the rolling pastures, the peaked mountains, and the acres, and acres, of vineyards. Around each corner was something new to behold, and one more thing to push the chaos of the day from my being.

I was one with my bike, one with the road, and found peace within myself. The heaviness of the world had lifted and been replaced with gratitude and thankfulness. I stopped by a quaint little sidewalk cafe and had the most delicious dish of paella along with a simple glass of water. I chuckled as I listened to the conversations of those around me, and shook my head at the pretentious group to my right.

I was going to make it. It amazes me I  have a passion that has the ability to alter perceptions, feelings, and thoughts, for the better and allow a respite from the never ending conflicts, and complications that life can throw out of the blue.

For several hours I was allowed freedom of serious thought, and it was in that time I realized adulthood is just not something in which I always want to partake.


I Said It Would Never Happen

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Even though thoughts of this have been running through my head for some time now I would continually shake them off thinking there was no way I would ever go through this again.

Well I was wrong thanks to a friend of mine that just got two gorgeous German Shepherd puppies. Thanks. A. Lot. Bruce.

I liked having little dogs, but in reality I needed a larger dog for protection. Never, ever, have I considered a German Shepherd, One look at the two remaining pups and my life flashed in front of my eyes and I knew I wasn't going home without a few bite marks, scratches from baby claws, a huge 8 week old puppy, and an even bigger smile.

Meet Karma

Oh my gosh she has this girl hopping! She's been home now for 3.5 days and we've been pretty busy keeping her busy, and out of trouble.

Starting crate training is a pain in the ass, especially with a puppy whose bark is bigger than a semi truck, and whose puppy dog eyes are sadder than sad, but we're sticking to it.

Karma's a smart little (big) pup. She knows several commands so far, is doing great with leash training and house breaking, and is doing an incredible job of burning my calories. I'm trying to see the equality of this, nearly 20 pound, puppy growing larger, stronger, and heavier, while at the same time forcing me to consume calories I don't have to consume. Well at least I'll be getting more cardio.

We've began socializing her by multiple daily walks, meeting lots of people, and tonight we walked NW 23rd and she sat by my feet, as quiet as a mouse, as we dined at Papa Haydn's outdoor patio. She was captivated by the eclectic atmosphere of the area. She was taking it all in and it was amusing to watch her attempts to figure out all of the "Keeping Portland Weird" people and activities.

So far Miss Karma loves the scrubbies from my shower, she loves the shower period. She loves to try to play with the other dogs, chew on their beds and shake them wildly with her head while holding them tightly in her razor sharp teeth. She's learning that it's not so cool to sneak up on an old, deaf, Maltese, or to jump at a sometimes surly Shih Tzu, and I have a feeling she thinks the Yorkie is a squeaky toy.

She's the sweetest little thing and I'm certain she's going to be the perfect service/companion/guard dog. She's certainly captured my heart. Then when a friend on Facebook saw my news about Karma he ended up getting the one remaining litter mate. I'm thinking we need to arrange sibling play dates.

Here's to a new chapter!



I'm Very Passionate About My Passions

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The days, weeks, months, and possibly last several years, have been a blur of activity, some, great, some good, some not so good, and some down right horrible. The blur of time includes issues such as health problems, separation, divorce, therapy, learning, and then a wedding, and more health puzzles.

One of my passions, my motorcycle, has been on the back burner, and when I had been able to ride some they weren't the rides I love. The rides I love most are trips, not over night, not over a weekend, but fully packed bikes, little out of the way motels, rallies, pictures, and most of all, very limited technological access and total emotional connection with my fellow riders. 

Today, well today was different. My husband and I took off for a day, a long, full, day of riding, thinking, and taking in the incredible scenery of Oregon.

The second I geared up and threw my leg over my Harley I felt alive. I was incredibly overwhelmed anticipating what the day would hold. There's just something about being a woman that rides her own Harley that is more than empowering.

I love to ride, and as we rode through the National Forests of Oregon, I remembered why riding is a passion of mine. I can see more when I'm on my bike, like the hawk just above me at one point, that I could have never seen in a car. I see the blades of grass gently dancing in the wind, horses graze, and old men fish. I see the world as it was before technology took over.

On a motorcycle you pretty much have to notice more than you do in a car. There could be deer, wet leaves, loose gravel, and those pesky people enveloped in a cage that seem to like looking at their phones more than looking at the road. So with all of that in mind, you see everything.

 All of my senses are heightened when I ride. There's so much more I experience. The beautiful aromas of flowering fields, and freshly mown lawns, are only two of thousands that come to life. There's the "woodsy" smell of the forest, the intoxicating, to a biker, aroma of leather, gasoline, and sunscreen. 

As we rode along the beautiful Clackamas River I could feel the cool breeze drifting from the rushing water and wafting in the heat of the sun. Then there were the "micro climates" we have in the Northwest that amaze me. Hot, warm, cool, and cold, could all be felt in a matter of minutes while riding through the winding roads lined with towering trees.

The biggest rush I think is the feel of being on, and controlling, a machine nearly 8 times my weight, experiencing its power, feeling the bike lean as you push into the curves, the vibrations of the motorcycle itself, and knowing that I have to be in control of my motorcycle, my emotions, and my thoughts, at all times. With that comes clarity of mind.

That must sound a bit crazy to a person that doesn't ride, but with so much to be aware of, I'm then allowed to forget, for the time, the problems of daily life. I'm able to think through things I choose without the constant tones of texts, and other social media bombardment. I can see life through new eyes. I'm free, not only from the world as it presently is, but from troubles that can be pushed to another day.

Today, as every time I ride, I remember why I fell in love with riding, and I fall in love all over again each time.


The Holder of Truths

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

It was a heavenly warmth that filled the Vegas air that July night. Comfortably warm evenings after the sun sets are something this native Texas girl living in the Great Northwest misses greatly. You know, the ones where only shorts and a tank top are all that’s needed. Where feet are always bare and the fireflies flight is heavy with pulsing flashes that entertain for hours

My husband and I were enjoying people watching on Fremont Street while relaxing atop the red and white leather lounges outside Bar 46. A beautiful young woman with smooth ebony skin and hair as black as the night’s sky and the texture of silk moved in close and asked us what we’d like to drink.

Neither of us are drinkers. We looked at one another for a moment before telepathically agreeing, “Tonight we will drink.” He ordered a whiskey with a beer back. I had no idea what I wanted so I turned my head, looked into her smoldering black eyes and said, “I’d like something fruity and girlie. You pick.”

I watched as she turned to place our order. She leaned in and whispered something to the man mixing drinks. They both looked back at me, he smiled, she giggled. She disappeared while he juggled several bottles of clear liquid, poured some of each into a plastic cup, topped the concoction with a cherry and a lime, and added a bright pink straw. He then reached for a bottle half full of whiskey. I was mesmerized with his fluid movements as he switched from mixing one drink to pouring the next.

The amber colored liquid flowed smoothly into the crystal shot glass. He twirled the bottle back and placed it in it’s space without even a look. He put both drinks onto a circular tray, quickly added a glass and filled it with beer. I saw him motion to the ebony beauty and she was soon in front of us with an all knowing smile and what would soon become the first of several return trips.

I don’t drink often, but when I do I tend to drink much more quickly than I should. The drink she had made for me was dangerous. It was refreshing, didn’t appear too strong, and was exactly the taste I was craving. My husband, who hasn’t had a drink in years, took the shot glass sitting before him, raised it, made a toast to us, looked at it again as if he wondered if he really wanted to ingest its contents, took a breath, and down it went. He quivered a bit, took a mouthful of beer, shook his head, and to my shock asked for another round.

When the second round appeared the effects of the first of my drinks had not yet set in, therein was the danger. We laughed, we talked, we took selfies and tagged them on Instagram to see them appear on the giant canopy above Fremont street. We felt free from the bondage of the chains that had held us captive during preceding months, and we celebrated,

The night was alive, the energy electric, and the drinks kept flowing. About the time my third drink was placed before me the first was beginning to make itself known. I looked into my new husband’s eyes and saw his was as well. It was then we switched to water, but the effects continued to intensify and levity surrounded us.

I noticed the beautiful girl that had served us had been watching. She seemed to enjoy us being free, having fun, and she seemed to know the potions she had placed in front of us were not only refreshments, but the elixir of truths untold.

With inhibitions thrown into the wind words, memories, and thoughts of times past, came forth. We came to know each other in ways not yet known. The bond we had before grew stronger that evening. The beautiful woman with the soft ebony skin seemed to know her trade better than most. That night she brought two souls together by allowing the tearing down of walls so carefully built throughout the decades.

We didn’t see her again during our stay. I now wonder if she was indeed a server, or perhaps someone sent from the heavens to seal a bond that had long before been appointed.



There Was Almost A Death

Monday, June 27, 2016

We were out riding in the glorious weather yesterday. A perfectly, beautiful, much needed ride. There was no cloud that could be found in the clear, sunny, Portland sky. We changed things up a bit and rode down to NW 23rd. For those of you that know Portland you know how eclectic, and entertaining, it is down there. 

On the way it was amazingly awesome being able to smell the food carts, the flowers, the fresh air, At one point the song "Stuck In The Middle With You," came to mind when I looked ahead and I saw Mt. St. Helens to the left of me and Mt Hood on my right. Great, I thought, that song will be stuck in the recesses of my mind for days. I'm still hearing it. Luckily it's a kick ass song.

For those that aren't familiar with NW23rd, summertime is a magical time. Outdoor cafes, twinkling lights, great shopping, and fantastic people watching opportunities. There all types, as usual, out and about, even a woman painting a cow, a dude that sounded exactly like Louis Armstrong and playing a sax, interesting attire, dogs, and freaks! 

It was also totally entertaining to watch people that wanted to parallel park behind our bikes assess the situation. They would look at the bikes, look at the space, look at us watching them, and more times than not they would decide to leave the space open. However, a few brave souls were able to park there, not touch our bikes, therefore keeping their lives. 

We grabbed some Mexican food and enjoyed it at a sidewalk table in the cool shade of a street side tree right in front of our Harleys. We saw all types walk, waltz, glide, and run, past us. Here's a fashion tip for the millennial "men." You look absolutely ridiculous in your skinny pants, loafers with no socks, and cocky attitude, but at least you'll have something to look back on, and the way you looked in the year 2016 will give you a good laugh, as it does us adults now. Trendy isn't fashion, classic is, but hey, if you want your kids and grand kids laughing at your 2016 pics go ahead. The rest of us are already shaking our heads and laughing wondering how in the heck you can call that fashion. Although I do have to admit that it's much better than the trend of having your butt hanging out of your 30 times too large pants, it still looks ridiculous.

When we decided to leave it was hot and the roads crowded. Having lived in this area for nearly 20 years I know the back roads away from the, then packed, freeway. We decided to make a stop to get ice cream. We turned into the entrance of the plaza, I was leading. A guy in a white crossover cage ran a stop sign, didn't look to his right (where I was coming from) and damn near hit me. I had the right of way, no stop sign, and thank God I watch what's happening around me. I laid on the horn and I saw him watch me in his mirrors. He pulled into a space. I stopped right behind his death mobile, stared right back at him in the mirrors while trying to calm down and figure out what to do. He wasn't getting away without a lesson regarding driving in America, or anywhere for that matter.

He watched in his mirror as we sat behind him. He tried to pull into the space in front of him to exit the lot (dumbass) but another turned into it. He knew he had messed up badly and was then trapped. Since he had no exit I pulled into a space a car away, got off of my bike, and walked over in full gear, and knocked on his window. 

I could see, through the window, 911 was on the touch screen of his smartphone. Yeah a chick on a white and pink bike is REALLY scary right? He put down window, phone in hand,  and I said (nicely...believe me, it took every ounce of self control) "You ran that stop sign, you didn't even look the other way, you could have killed me and my boyfriend that was behind me." 

His eyes grew huge (as did those of his little blonde bipeds) when he heard I saw exactly what he did and I told him of his every move, he almost killed me and to please watch what he was doing. He canceled the 911 call, he knew he was in deep shit at that point. 

He looked back and saw my BF, that looks much scarier than I, and said, "I'm so, so sorry. I was looking for a parking spot. I was only looking for a parking spot." 

Me: "A parking spot? Well Sir, is getting a parking spot worth killing, or badly injuring another person?" 

He kept glancing in his mirror at my BF, Mr. scary, old school biker with a long silver pony tail, tats and tanned. I didn't look at my BF while I was speaking to the guy but I can imagine the look on my BFs face as he waited to see if he was going to need to stop a fight. I don't fight, but the guy could have very well jumped out and tried to intimidate me. That doesn't work with this girl. My BF was probably thinking, "Oh great. What kind of mess is she going to start that I'll have to finish." I kept my cool, on the surface, inside I was fuming.

"No, it's not (trembling voice now) worth a life. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." 
Me: "Well maybe you'll watch next time, and I hope your kids (that were in the cage) have learned something as well. You really need to STOP at signs, lights, etc., turn your head and look before you kill someone.You didn't even slow down or attempt to look." Damn, I could have been a kid on a skateboard, a dog, a senior on a scooter, or with a walker. We had the right of way and this ignorant person did not even stop, let alone turn his freaking head to see if anything was coming.

I was proud of myself. I kept calm when all I wanted to do was smash his freaking windshield in with one of the "tools" strapped to my bike. He and I should both be very happy I kept calm and he was polite or he would be replacing the door on his cage as well as the windshield and I would be posting today asking for someone to bail me out of jail. 

Moral of the story, stop at signs and lights, STOP don't roll through, and please look both ways. I think everyone one in drivers ed should be required to take a motorcycle awareness class. Then they may be more aware and not kill one of us, a kid, someone's pet, or anyone they failed to see because they didn't look. 

Please everyone, please, look while you drive. Stay off your phones, no texting, stop when you should, and turn your head. Be safe for us all. 

Oh, and look what Chickey did to my leg while organizing the garage and forgetting I had let my bike warm up. Dumb move! 


The Day Began With Perfect Expectations....But....

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

As ribbons of light from the early morning sun streamed through my bedroom window I awoke with thoughts of sunshine, the smell of leather, and the rumble of pipes filling my still groggy mind.

It was a perfect day for for a much awaited ride on the bikes. As I downed my coffee I pulled my long blonde hair into a pony tail, jumped into my jeans, selected a shirt, socks, tied up my boots and was off to the garage to ready the baby to ride.

We warmed the bikes, checking all crucial components, geared up, and took off for what we thought was going to be an incredible day of feeling the wind, seeing the country, and being free for the day.

We were about three miles into our ride when one of the bikes sputtered, backfired, and quit. I had been leading and in my mirror saw the bike pulled to the side of the road.

I climbed off of my steel horse, took off my helmet, placed it on the road behind my bike (the sign of a rider in trouble) and walked back to see what was going wrong.

THIS is the signal for needing help

The bike would start then die, start then die. He placed his helmet on the road behind his bike. If you are a BIKER you know the sign that a brother needs help.

We happen to live in a rather affluent (read clueless) area where most "bikers" put about 1500 miles a year on their bikes. They're not bikers, they're people that own a Harley and a shirt.

People, everyone, if you see a motorcycle on the side of the road, with a helmet behind it on the ground, someone is asking for help.

We watched the "weekenders," probably at least 30 motorcycles, as they passed by and waved. ONE bike did stop, but there was nothing he could do, but he stopped!

I walked back to my bike, laid in the sun and awaited further instruction, help, or whatever was going to happen.

Miraculously a van stopped and a man with a baby got out. I heard a whistle signaling me to approach. As I neared the bike the man that had stopped looked familiar. Then he removed his sun glasses. It was a very good friend of my oldest son that I hadn't seen in years!

He had no idea who he was stopping to help, but he knew the signal and stopped. He helped us get the bike running well enough to get it home, then came over about an hour later and they tinkered with it some more.

Kyle, thank you. You are a gentleman, a biker, and a friend. I find it ironic the kid I have known for 15 years or so had no idea as to whom he was stopping to help and as it turned out it was his good friend's mom and her boyfriend.

People, riders, everyone, if you see a bike(s) with a helmet on the ground behind them they need help. Possibly they haven't been able to reach anyone because their phone had died, perhaps another reason, but at least stop and ask if they need something. If you don't feel comfortable at least pull up, crack your window and ask what the problem is. You could very well be the one that makes the difference between life and death.

As to all the "bikers" that waved and smiled as they rode by, sell your toy and take up golf. You're SO not bikers and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

I do have to say, all things considered, I'm very thankful it was Kyle, the guy in a mini van with a baby, that stopped. Thank you Kyle. You so rock!

It was planned to be a good day

Loving my pony tail in the mirror

At least I had a great view

Not a happy biker

Need some help here

Taking a break

Catching some rays
Help arrived! Divine intervention!

If you're going to ride learn the signals.


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