Sunday, September 28, 2008

What a difference a day makes

I recently read "Cesar's Way" to learn more about dogs, how they think, what motivates them. One of the things he says is walk your dog, walk your dog, and walk your dog some more. When you think your dog is tired do another mile! So yesterday I had to work in the morning and because I had closed the night before I had to sleep fast. Still, I only had time for about a half mile walk with Callie before I had to go to work. Then when I got home we were having a righteous dust storm, so I wasn't going anywhere!
Well...this morning it was Callie Full Throttle again! Oh my heck! You'd have thought she was twelve weeks old again. Since I don't have to work till this afternoon, we hit it. Four miles was about what it took to get her settled down, even then she's still a little nuts this morning. Once again Cesar is absolutely right, when you're tired, walk your dog some more! The icing on the cake is she did get to see Jim. That just makes her day everyday she gets to spend time with him. I think she'd dump me in heart beat if he gave her the word! :-)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I have a friend

I have good friends these days and am grateful for everyone around me and the support and love and friendship they give me. I may give a fraction of what they give me back to them. I have a friend at work who has always been quiet, unimposing, laughs easily, works hard, is raising a daughter on her own, taking care of her dad, paying bills, and living life. She comes from a very large family. Her grandmother recently died and was hailed as the oldest living person in Mesa County (she was 103). When I got home from New Mexico I shared my story with some people and as I've grown and learned and become who I am they were right there with me, supporting, telling me I was wrong; yet loving and laughing and sometimes crying with me, and letting me learn my lessons.

I told her some time ago that I had to throw all of my plants away when I came home. One was a Shamrock that I had gotten at a church yard sale when I was married. It was a little wimpy looking plant that my ex-husband thought would never become anything. I had that plant for fifteen years and it was beautiful. I didn't care for it well while I was self-destructing, and then when I went to Rehab it sat a month without water. Then I completely fell apart and didn't see the point of trying to bring it back and threw it away in one of my many drunken rages. So I threw it away with all my other plants. Two weeks after I shared that story we had Shamrocks delivered to the store, and my friend bought one and gave it to me. I cried. She is always so thoughtful, so caring and so giving to everyone around her. She pays attention to the little things. I've tried to return some of the kindness. She has asked me to get some legal documents for her, I've answered her questions, I've listened when her daughter is going through hell with her own father who is alcoholic.

Today at work, her brother came in and told her he needed to talk to her now. He told her that another brother had been killed in a car accident. She collapsed completely. How much more is she going to have to go through? How much does one person have to endure? How much can a person carry on their back and still stand? I believe she will still stand regardless the weight placed on her. She will be as strong as she needs to be for everyone around, she will ask nothing of them, that's not her style. She will come to work because she must, she will continue to care for her dad because she must, she will continue to raise a terrific little girl because she is a mother. She will continue to be a great friend, because that is what she does so well.

When I look at her I want to take her pain away, give her all the greatness of the world and be there for her as she is for everyone else. She is in my prayers tonight and every night. She deserves so much more, yet is content where she stands. She is a truly amazing woman. Unstoppable, capable and at her very core, kind to every human being she meets.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Will Hoover

As I was reading about the failure of Washington Mutual, I remembered a Ponzi scheme in Denver that they were innocently involved in a few years ago. I worked for one of the Bankruptcy attorneys representing the Trustee of the estate. One of my jobs was to sort the endless documents that were used to attempt to cover this guys tracks. Curious, I googled his name and lo and behold, four years later he's still making headlines.

Though former Denver financial adviser Will Hoover is sitting in prison in Sterling with a 100-year sentence for racketeering, theft and securities fraud, some family members have fresh legal burdens.

The Chapter 7 trustees in Hoover's personal and legal bankruptcies have filed a lawsuit, recently transferred to Denver federal court, that asks to nullify and obtain judgments against four Hoover family members for $527,548 in transfers made within four years of the bankruptcy filings.

A separate lawsuit in federal court goes after an $8,000 payment made to the photographer at the wedding of Hoover's daughter, Kim.

Jeanne Jagow, the trustee in Hoover's personal bankruptcy, and Daniel Hepner, the trustee in the bankruptcy of The Will Hoover Co., charge that:

Katie Galpin, Hoover's sister living in Wimberley, Texas, received $224,622 from Hoover or his company within four years of the personal and business bankruptcy filings, of which $40,583 was made within one year of the filings.

Michael Hoover, Hoover's brother living in Charlotte, N.C., received $33,050 within four years of the filings and $10,050 within one year of the filings.

Kim Wyatt (formerly Kim Hoover), Hoover's daughter living in Orange, Calif., received $185,658 within four years of the filings and $119,215 within one year of them.

Mark Hoover, Hoover's son living in Laguna Hills, Calif., received $84,218 within four years of the filings and $22,679 within one year of them.

Hoover and his company -- which were operating a Ponzi scheme in which early investors were paid mainly with funds from later investors -- "lavished their ill-gotten gains upon Defendants, who are members of Hoover's immediate family," says the lawsuit.

Separate federal statutes are cited with regard to obtaining judgments on the transfers within one year versus four years of the filings. But in both cases, the lawsuit charges "intent to hinder, delay, or defraud other entities" that were owed or would be owed money.

Hoover's wife, Georgeann Hoover, is a defendant in a separate lawsuit that charges fraudulent conveyance of a house in Gig Harbor, Wash., and other assets. She has requested a jury trial. Galpin, Wyatt and Mark Hoover filed a Nov. 24 answer as defendants in their lawsuit that also requests a jury trial, which has the effect of transferring the case to federal district court from bankruptcy court.

The thing that is truly amazing about this guy is he honestly didn't believe he was committing a crime and his clients would be paid back. From where remains a mystery.

Night is falling

More often than not as night is falling I am at work. Darkness comes sooner as the fall creeps on us, and daylight is slower to show us the sun. Night is a time for gratitude. Callie had a good day, a customer is happy, I made a co-worker laugh, I survived another day of my fellow CRM who I really don't like, and I am sober another day. I never was one who did much at night, so being at work seems to make sense. The trade-off is that I have my mornings free, and I have simply come to relish that time. Being a morning person anyway, this isn't a big sacrifice for me. Mornings are so fresh and new and full of possibility. I hit the streets early, first a meeting, then a long walk with Callie. I have come to just love those walks, sometimes exploring new places, sometimes sticking to the same old routine, but loving every minute of that time together with the morning. Especially since it is so cool out now, we go longer and explore more. I love watching the hassled morning commuters running off to work already grumpy. That used to be me. The joke is that Grand Junction has rush minutes rather than rush hours, so no matter their hassled attitude is short-lived. I do like watching the sun set. It glows pink off the monument and outlines the Mesa. These are good times, almost quiet times even though I'm at work. The rush minute has left the store and business as usual is done for the night so we can just ease into the evening, helping the late shopper or ice cream hunter until we lock the doors and go home.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Callie's big adventure

The fall colors are supposed to be at their peak this weekend in the mountains. I'm working so Callie and I went up to the Grand Mesa today and did some hiking and a bunch of picture taking. The colors are more beautiful than my little camera can give justice. It was a great day, perfect weather and not over crowded since it is a weekday. I did try to get some pictures of Callie, but she's almost six months old now and moving faster than ever. I got a lot pictures with a Callie blur exiting camera left, and a Callie blur exiting camera right. I managed to get a couple okay pictures of her once she got a little tired!

View from the Mesa Lakes Trailhead
There is a sign posted saying that dogs must be leashed. Nothing says I have to be holding on to the other end!
I liked this waterfall. I could hear for a long distance on our hike around Mesa Lakes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kealakekua Bay

Kealakekua Bay and Captain Cook's Memorial are two of my favorite places to snorkel. You can see Captain Cook's Memorial from Kealakekua Bay, but can't get there unless by boat. The water is deep and the currents are strong. Kealakekua Bay has a launch point from the beach, but you have to be careful, I cut myself on the lava rocks there. The tide is swift and will wash a body into the rocks fast, so it is good to be prepared and paying attention to the water. Captain Cook's Memorial is a different experience altogether. My family took a Zodiac tour that takes people down the Kona Coast to the Memorial, stopping at caves along the way. I think we snorkeled in two places, but Captain Cook's Memorial was by far my favorite. We jumped off the boat right in front of the statue. Looking down in the water, I could see the land move away fast. It is almost like jumping off a cliff. When I looked towards the memorial I saw a sheer drop off into nothing but incredible blue water. When I looked up, there was nothing but blue water in front of me, and then suddenly these incredible colors started to appear. Yellow, fuchsia, purple, dark blue. Every size and kind of fish imaginable. The surrounded me. I know it's because they're used to snorkelers feeding them, and when I produced no food, they dropped me like yesterday's news and moved on to the next person. My grandiose fantasy is to pick up and move to the Kona Coast. I've had that fantasy for a long time, but never the courage, and a sabotaged my dreams anyway. I still think about it and think that if I set the goal, I'm serious and focused, as I have been on the other pieces of my life that I've put back together; it can happen. Anything is possible if I believe it and take the action to make it happen. I know that now.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Rose

I was out working with "my" roses this morning. I didn't plant them, I don't own them, but I've nurtured them all summer and have received great compliments from my landlord and his wife that they look the best they've looked in years. I find it very healing to be out in nature as much as possible in the aftermath of the hell of my own making. As I was working with them, I thought, naturally, of "The Rose"

Some say love it is a river that drowns the tender reed
Some say love it is a razer that leaves your soul to blead
Some say love it is a hunger an endless aching need
I say love it is a flower and you it's only seed
It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance
It's the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance
It's the one who won't be taken who cannot seem to give
and the soul afraid of dyingthat never learns to live
When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long and you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong
Just remember
in the winter
far beneath the bitter snows
lies the seed that with the sun's love in the spring becomes the rose

Devil's Canyon

We took Callie out to hike in Devil's Canyon yesterday. It's a beautiful place to go, there are lots of other dogs, and she can go off leash since it's BLM land. She got a kick out of it big time. I don't have many pictures of her there because we were hiking fast and I shot a bunch of pictures of the scenery.

Pretty everywhere we looked out there.
We did manage to get Callie to sit still for a split second to pose for this with Mom. As usual, she prefers rocks. She likes to sit on them, push them with her nose, carry them in her mouth, etc. I call her the Rock Hound.

Water Hound:

This morning she got back into the water thing. She forgot she liked to swim for a couple of weeks; I don't know what that was about. But today she played in the water quite a bit. I had to take some movies back to Blockbuster and I had to walk the dog. Perfect walking distance, and took care of two chores at once. Sometimes I amaze myself with my efficiency...:-)

I digress...we were walking along Patterson in front of Quizno's and their sprinklers were running. One of the sprinkler heads was broken and it was bubbling like a little fountain and creating a small pond in the rocks. Callie was a bit timid of the sprinkler at first and bit at the water a couple times. She discovered it was great fun. She would chomp down on the water and get the bubbling to fill her mouth. She stepped on it with her paw and looked around to see where it was, when she moved her paw it shot up in her face, so she attacked it again. She became for a short time an obsessive-compulsive dog fixated on the water. It was fun to watch her, but I had to keep her moving. People on Patterson were rubber-necking and she was going to cause a wreck!

She continues to grow about an inch a minute. I don't know how big she will be, but she is already extremely powerful. Every day I continue to enjoy the heck out of her!

Friday, September 12, 2008

In a Cemetery

In a cemetery (Green Mountain to be exact) in south Boulder are four graves. In each of those graves are my great great-grandparents. The Haworth's are my Mom's family, the Kenner's are my Dad's family. The cemetery is at the base of Chautauqua Park that leads to the Flatiron's, the most photographed mountains in America, and the most cherished by rock climbers. What's interesting about the graves is the headstones are back to back, we imagine that means the caskets are head to head. Both sets of grandparents died before my Mom and Dad knew each other, and they were attending another grandparent funeral when they made the discovery.
My friend Gigi lived two blocks from the cemetery for a while, Murphy (my dog when I was married) and I would go visit her, walk through the cemetery that connects to a trail leading to Chautauqua Park and the trails the wind through under and behind the Flatirons. As outdoorsy and active as Boulder people, we could hike for hours and only see a couple of other people. Bears were more often spotted than other humans!
I have a long family history with Boulder. I am a third-generation native, but no longer live there. There are many things that I miss, but I don't see myself going back there to live. Where I live now, there is a long family history as well, and life here seems to make more sense to me.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Isn't that precious

Two nicely dressed ladies happen to start up a conversation during an endless wait in the LAX airport. The first lady was an arrogant California woman married to a wealthy man. The second was a well mannered elderly woman from the South.

When the conversation centered on whether they had any children the California woman started by saying, "When my first child was born, my husband built a beautiful mansion for me." The lady from the South commented, "Well, isn't that precious?"

The first woman continued, "When my second child was born, my husband bought me a beautiful Mercedes-Benz." Again, the lady from the South commented, "Well, isn't that precious?"

The first woman continued boasting, "Then, when my third child was born, my husband bought me this exquisite diamond bracelet." Yet again, the Southern lady commented, "Well, isn't that precious?"The first woman then asked her companion, "What did your husband buy for you when you had your first child?"

"My husband sent me to charm school," declared the Southern lady.

"Charm school?" the first woman cried, "Oh my God! What on earth for?".

The Southern lady responded, "Well for example, instead of saying "Who gives a shit?" I learned to say, "Well, isn't that precious?

Monday, September 8, 2008

That first drink

Someone called me at work last night, apparently very drunk, but hung up before I could get to the phone. I hope it's not who I think it was. This person has been struggling for some time, and sits in strong acceptance/denial. I understand, I sat there for a very long time. Pretty soon we have to face the fact that drinking for us leads to extremely egregious behavior and the damage we do is almost unbelievable. I remember my first drink after five months of sobriety like it was yesterday. It was the beginning of the end of a potentially great relationship with someone I loved very much, but I couldn't see that coming.

I had made a huge geographic change after only a short time sober, which is strongly advised against by any recovering addict (I didn't know until a couple of weeks ago why. One out of two people who make as big a change as I made drink. No one knows why, but we do). But I was in love and still had poor judgement with such a short time out of the bag. I was having a pretty good day, things were just cruising along. I figured I'd get a job soon, I had the house pretty well put together, we could walk through it at least. He was at work, and I stopped at a convenience store. I was thinking I'd just have one and the bottle would last me about a week. Ha! It lasted about 10 minutes, but the nightmare lasted eight months. Until I had to go to rehab, relapsed after that, got kicked out, and had to sell everything I owned and come home with my tail between my legs. The memories that I can recall are so painful. I believe they will be with me the rest of my life. I don't think that's a bad thing, it will help keep me from picking up that first drink ever again. Because I will never be "just one". The hard fought self-respect I have worked so hard to re-establish with myself will be gone. The spiritual, financial and emotional bankruptcy that I have worked through will be gone. My new life that I cherish so much will be gone. Callie will be gone, Abbie will be gone. Any potential new love I am thinking about will be gone. And it will be that fast! I still hurt so bad over what I did...and I did more damage even after I sobered up by blaming the other person; but I move forward because there can be great growth in the healing of that pain and in the end, I have to believe I will be a better person...I hope.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Walking the Dog

Callie and I hit the road each morning after my meeting. I used to take her with me and leave her in the car so we could go straight from the meeting to our morning adventure. Then she ate my steering wheel, so now I go home and pick her up. When we first started walking, a walk around the block was a big deal for her, she was that little. Now the girl can cover some territory! We have so many great places to walk in this town, but our favorite has been our own little neighborhood. We live about six blocks from Sherwood Park, so we wander down there, do a loop or two. Sherwood has the miles marked and it is a one mile loop once around. That gives her some interaction with other dogs on the way. Then we head over to 1st street and up to Hillcrest to do some uphill and play in the irrigation canal. It is tough to find hill work around here unless you drive a little ways out of town. The valley floor is flat, flat, flat. Then we wind our way by St. Mary's Hospital and home again. It is always a nice walk, we usually see the same people. They make a big fuss over Callie that she just eats up! It feels good to get out and do the physical work, I get tired of my own mind, it begins to feel like a prison, the same thing over and over again. Writing sometimes helps, but my brain still churns. There is still so much of the past I have unresolved with myself. I work at it, but if I sit too long it starts to run like a squirrel in my head.

On top of Hillcrest is the remains of the KREX-TV station. I've heard their going to rebuild it, but I haven't seen a lot of progress. It burned to the ground last spring. I hadn't been living in my current place very long, and Mom and I were going to do something and saw the smoke. When she was driving over she had that fear that it might be closer to me. I was afraid it might be close to Jim. I didn't know where he lived at the time. It was a Sunday, a quiet day in this town, most everyone is at church. The reporters, camera folks and crew come into the store frequently and that day was no different. They reported an electrical short just as they were going on the air. The fire spread fast, the fire department couldn't get there fast enough. The fire took everything except the tower that I can see from my house, and can been seen all over town. I know they are back on the air, but I don't know where they are broadcasting from, and I hear they will rebuild, but it's anybodys guess as to when. In the meantime, Callie and I cover our miles building her strength each a day and enjoying the great fall weather that if finally here, clearing my mind, making room for the new and hoping that someday I can forgive myself the past.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It's good to be the Dog

Callie usually sleeps beside me on the bed and Abbie sleeps on the pillows. Callie was watching Abbie one night and then decided to give it a try herself. She disovered Abbie was onto something pretty neat. I just love that face!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sad, but it happens...I know

ASPEN, Colo.—An Aspen police officer has been fired and arrested on alcohol and weapons charges after the chief said he came to work drunk.
Jim Crowley, an 18-year veteran of the Aspen force, was dismissed last week and arrested on suspicion of driving while ability-impaired and prohibited use of a weapon.
Police Chief Richard Pryor says the weapons charge was filed because Crowley had a firearm in his holster at the time he was allegedly intoxicated.
Attorney Lawson Wills says Crowley went to work hung over and had not been drinking before work. Wills also says no one saw Crowley driving.
Wills says he is providing legal advice to Crowley as a friend but will not be his attorney in court proceedings.

I was fired from two jobs for drinking. The first time I was fired I denied drinking on the job. The sad thing is, I went out and got another job instead of help (I was that far in denial of my ability to "handle" my problem), and was fired from that job as well. It was only then that I decided the rest of the world was right and I needed help. Rehab didn't keep me sober, but I learned a lot. Sadly, I had to lose a lot more than a job to get sober. Thank God I did. The life I have now is actually worth living.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Abbie and Callie

Someone asked me the other day how Callie and Abbie were getting along.
They are doing well, although Abbie still isn't interested in anything Callie wants to do, like jump on Abbie or chase her through the house. I can't figure out why :-).
Obviously, I have been steadfast in my opinion that I would have no more dogs on the bed after Ozzie died.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fall is coming

Fall is on it's way. Finally we have had a break from 90 degree weather day in and day out. I think it has been two solid months of that kind of heat. It makes me as cranky as months of cold without respite. We got the Halloween candy at the store three days ago :-). Not even Labor Day and we were stocking the shelves for the end of October. Which means we'll be getting ready for Christmas right before Veteran's Day! Merchandising is an interesting concept.

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year, except 2006, all Christmas' have been very special for me with my family. I think my favorite Christmas was when Eric (my ex-husband) and I were in College. My aunt was married to her second husband and living in Grass Valley in Northern California. We were all invited out for the holiday. Eric and I took the trip out with my grandparents. It was a full two day trip (Grandpa was never in a hurry to get anywhere). The first night we stopped in Elko, Nevada and Grandma's money angel was hanging around. She won $500 that night not even really trying to gamble. She had a quarter and stuck it in a slot machine at the grocery store, won $15 and then at the hotel we played the nickel slots and she kept winning!

We drove to California on I-70, catching highway 15 in Utah and North to I-80. In Northern California we crossed Donner Pass. The world changes there. The trees are larger, the snow is heavier and deeper and the pine cones bigger than anything I've ever seen in my life. One of Callie's favorite things to do on our walks is collect pine cones. These cones would be way too big for my rapidly growing dog. The picture is Colorado Pine Cones look about like a Kiwi fruit or even as big as a naval orange. In California, picture a large Honeydew melon or a small Watermelon. Pretty, so pretty and white and welcoming. When we got to Grass Valley we spent a great week exploring and most mornings were spent out early watching the Wild Turkey's that wandered through my aunts yard. My aunt has since moved Chico, California and is with a great man. We haven't been out there for Christmas, but did spend Thanksgiving there and in San Francisco for my Mom's 50th birthday. I can see why my aunt likes it there so much. If I didn't love where I live so much, I would consider Northern California. Most likely because it is so much like Colorado.

I think we'll spend Christmas here this year, and I look forward to seeing my family and having a great meal and great games of Shang-Hi.