Posts Tagged ‘birthdays’


doggie cupcake from Oliver’s Collar

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I adopted Meghan the Wonderdog!

A lot has happened in this year:  Meghan has made some new friends (including Bou, Darcy, Elvis, and Jake);  she’s learned to walk fairly nicely on a leash;  she saw her first snow; and she’s finally learned to “shake.”

Unfortunately, all has not been perfect in Meghan’s world.  Most recently,  she tore her joint capsule in her left knee, and had to have surgery a few weeks ago.   Because of her medical condition, which mostly means no running and playing for six weeks, I had to cancel the planned adoption day party with her doggie friends listed above.

Instead, Meghan’s adoption day was rather quiet.  Of course I told her how happy I was to have her and gave her a new Kong.  I also presented her with a delicious cupcake from Oliver’s Collar.

Here’s a few photos of the event.  Please note that the cupcake contained only ingredients safe for pups — definitely no chocolate!


What is that?




A treat? For me? Really?



Such concentration!


Just let me have it already!


Note that the picture of her devouring the cupcake doesn’t exist.  You’ll just have to take my word that she grabbed it in her mouth, ran into the dining room and devoured it in two bites.



Now time for a well-deserved post-treat nap.


Just a little P.S.: when I adopted Meghan last year, I was injured and had difficulty walking.  This year, she was injured.  So I look forward to next year’s adoption day, when both of us will be able to romp around painlessly!


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rocky road

Tomorrow is my birthday.  Happy Birthday, me!

I’m actually not that “in” to my birthday these days, though I sure loved it when I was a kid.  You see, I had something to look forward to after all the excitement and celebration of the Christmas season was over.  And yes, there was a bit of materialism in there, too.  I was going to get more presents!

As the years have passed, I’ve moved away from family and I’m not as motivated by presents. I also realized that birthdays around the holidays are a bit of a pain to everyone except the people who are having said birthdays.   Case in point:  one place where I worked would host monthly birthday parties for its employees.  But the January birthday folks?  Usually forgotten, or asked if they really wanted the celebratory cake, since everyone had already eaten too much over the holidays.   I should have loudly said, “YES!”  but instead I acquiesced and  just slowly quit talking about my birthday.  Now, most of my current friends don’t even know when it is.

But I digress… back to the subject of birthdays… Last year was a big one.  I turned 50 and was going to make major changes in my life.  I also challenged myself to read 50 books, eat at 50 new restaurants/cook 50 new recipes, and try 50 new experiences.

As I turn the page on my 50th year, I decided to look back and see how I did.  At first glance, not so good. I read less than 30 books. I realized that I don’t want to eat out all the time and that, while I enjoy an occasional new activity, I am pretty stuck in routine.  I also didn’t have time to devote to 50 new adventures, what with training for my 500-mile walk on the Camino de Santiago.

But, the good news is that while walking on the Camino, I definitely ate at 50 different places, and had numerous new adventures.  Problem was (or so I thought) that some of those adventures weren’t ones I particularly wanted.

First adventure I didn’t want:  getting injured.  I never, ever thought or prepared for the possibility that I would get seriously (for me) injured.

People have asked why I didn’t plan for that.  All I can say is that it just wasn’t in my consciousness.  I’m basically healthy, and I had done lots of training. I also wasn’t trying to walk at record speeds.  I was going to be fine!   How was I to know that a massage therapist was going to hammer my heels with something so hard and unforgiving that I received a stress fracture?

My injury certainly changed the tenor of the trip, and caused great stress for both myself and my walking partner.  We had agreed from the start to go our separate ways and meet up at night, and that neither would change their trip for the other.  I also knew, deep down, that my friend wasn’t supposed to help me.  So that was okay.  But there were some interactions  along the way that did not feel particularly pleasant or supportive.  I say this admitting that I’m not the easiest person to be around,  and knowing that even though I tried not to impact my friend, my compromised emotional and physical state did have an adverse affect on her.

The second adventure had to do with some of what I just mentioned:  being around someone for a long period of time, thus leading to some disagreements, and having different views on how things should be done.  Where I fault myself is that I was too afraid to strike out on my own when the opportunity presented itself.  I couldn’t speak the language, I had huge communication issues with my phone, and I’m not an experienced traveler.  So I stuck to my friend’s schedule like glue, even when it would have been better for both of us if I had chosen otherwise.

The third adventure had to do with coming back to the States and looking for employment.  I had hoped to get clarity on my life’s direction on the Camino, and I did get some of that.  Problem is I didn’t get concrete, next steps to take.  So I came home,  injured and worn out emotionally, and decided that moving to some undetermined spot to start a business wasn’t in my best interest.

I’ve since been working temporary jobs and have had to deplete some retirement savings in order to pay bills.   When a job I thought was certain to be mine did not materialize, I fell into a tailspin of doubt and depression.

I spent the fall months of 2103 berating myself.  After all, I had a job that wasn’t particularly satisfying, but I could pay my bills.  Everyone had told me not to leave the job, but I felt I had to make a clean break.  I was going to move, after all.  Except… I didn’t move.  And I wasn’t finding employment that would be a good fit for both me and the employer.  Looks like I screwed up my life!

I hit rock bottom.

Then, slowly, from that place of sadness and desperation came several realizations.  One is that I made the best choices I could for myself at the time.   Another is that I can trust that I am always being divinely guided.   And a third realization is that fear really, really, really isn’t my friend.   Thanks to my experiences before, during and after the Camino, I’ve been able to integrate these ideas and am now moving forward in a more positive manner.

So, as I close out my 50th year on this planet, I have come to realize that the Camino truly did indeed give me a wonderful gift.  I am ready to  let go of fear and live a life of trust.   Thank you, beautiful old pathway! It took me awhile to realize it, but you have given me the direction I’ve been wanting.

I might not know the particulars, but I trust that signposts will appear to lead me to my destination.  All I have to do is look for the yellow arrows.

5-4 to estella 16 sign

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image courtesy of Microsoft

image courtesy of Microsoft

About a month ago, I celebrated my 50th birthday.

Now, celebration is a rather broad term for what I did.  You see, I’m not much into birthdays.  But my friends told me that this was one to celebrate, and that I should do something extraordinary, like zip-line.

I said no to zip lining (at least for now) and yes to buying my plane ticket for the Camino de Santiago.   And I went out to eat with some friends.     But that still didn’t seem “enough.”  So I have spent some time thinking about how I’d like to spend my 50th year on Earth.   Here are a few things I’ve come up with:

1.  Do something that relates to my age, such as walk 10 miles for every year I’ve lived.   Ha!  That was easy – I sort of cheated on that one, since it just coincidentally worked out I would be walking the 500-mile trek to Santiago this particular year.

2.  Do 50 things that scare/stretch me.   This one could include all kinds of things, from driving in an unfamiliar city to attempting something new.   I tend to stay stuck in the familiar, and what better way to shake up life than expanding my comfort zone?

3.  Eat at 50 new restaurants.  This one might be hard to do, if I don’t count my time on the Camino.  My extended community has lots of restaurants, but I have a fairly limited diet, so finding 50 new restaurants where I could eat something other than a garden salad will be a challenge.   Plus, I tend to eat at home.

4. Cook 50 new recipes/use 50 new ingredients.   This seems like a silly goal for someone who likes to cook, but when I find a recipe I like, I tend to make it over and over and over again.

5. Read 50 books.  This one might be cheating a bit, since I do love to read.  I don’t keep track of how many books I read a year, but it might be worth noting.  And perhaps, since I’m stretching my comfort zone, I could read some genres I don’t normally read, like biographies and mysteries.

So that’s what I’ve got so far.  Any suggestions?

I plan to post how I’m doing on my 50 things list, so we’ll see how it goes.

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