my god…

…i did not realize that ten days have come and gone without me posting anything. no, i have not been out having adventures and gathering unique stones to present as gifts to others. 

i have been sick and completely bored and useless. first i had the flu, which knocked me on my ass. then, i began feeling better, but i got “respiratory toilet,” as j**s calls it…a fancy nursing phrase for bronchitis.

i went to the urgent care here in small-town oklahoma and was given a ten day course of augmentin. the augmentin made me more sick than the bronchitis, but i kept taking it. i have two pills left now.

i am finally feeling much, much better!! now, i realize just how bored i really am. i am finding myself getting really excited to go grocery shopping, to the veterinarian, and to the doctor. 

i realize that i require periodic socialization. i need a social outlet to talk, to laugh and smile, to do good deeds, and to interact. i thrive on conversation or communication of any kind.

without communication of any kind from others, i would surely be beyond bored. i remember how it was before buggs…pretty lonely. i am blessed to have him to cuddle up with and to talk to. he is a good listener.

anyway, i am back and will continue the stories of our journeys and post photos. i am working on photos as i write this, however, the sheer number of images is mind blowing and i’m a bit intimidated.

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journey journal, our travel tidbits…

journey number one – henderson, nv to fremont, ca to walnut creek, ca to spokane, wa to henderson, nv – approximately 2,501 miles and 39 hours sitting in the car driving – approximately 10 hours outside of car walking dogs for potty stops.

     clients:  two different clients.

     passengers:  (1) dog named – olivia, a chocolate lab. (5) cats named – bear, claude, and i don’t remember because they didn’t throw urine on me or barf.

     number of states driven through: (5) nevada, california, oregon, washington, idaho.

     number of nights slept in the car: (2) fremont, ca (denny’s parking lot) and pasco, wa (walmart parking lot).

     number of nights slept in a hotel: (2) spokane, wa (rodeway inn, our grade – d) and jerome, id (comfort inn suites, our grade – a+)

     highlights: mt. shasta, shasta lake, klamath falls, crater lake, twin falls, great basin

     low points: my middle of the night meltdown, pet odor in car, sweating in hotel room with broken a/c, backing into another car, loss of reception and road construction in great basin, google leading me astray, and losing a contract due to reception

journey number two – henderson, nv to south lake tahoe, ca to puyallup, wa to gig harbor, wa to laurel, mt to bozeman, mt to idaho falls, id to murray, ut to cedar city, ut to henderson, nv – approximately 3,024 miles and 47 hours sitting in the car driving – approximately 12 hours outside of car walking dogs for potty stops.

     clients: one client.

     passengers: (1) dog named – asia, a pit bull terrier.

     number of states driven through: (9) nevada, california, oregon, washington, idaho, montana, wyoming, utah, arizona.

     number of nights slept in the car: (3) south lake tahoe, ca (raley’s grocery parking lot), ellensburg, wa (flying j/pilot truck stop parking lot), nephi, ut (pump and park truck stop parking lot).

     number of nights slept in a hotel: (5) fife, wa (motel 6, our grade – b+), bremerton, wa (super 8, our grade – a-), bozeman, mt (super 8, our grade – a), idaho falls, id (quality inn suites, our grade – a-), murray, ut (baymont inn suites, our grade – F).

     highlights: lake tahoe, klamath national forest, gig harbor, bremerton naval yards, puget sound, tacoma narrows bridge, lake couer d’alene, whitefish, red lodge, yellowstone animal sanctuary, bozeman, yellowstone national park, idaho falls, hell’s half acre lava field, cedar city, yuba state park, the virgin valley.

     low points: seeing beautiful forests on fire and animals fleeing their home, crying as i drove through portland and vancouver, being stiffed $100, being 2 hours late for brunch and for repeating the past, getting sick, hurting my back, being hospitalized, being terrorized by behemoth spiders, seeing someone that i care about do hardcore drugs in front of me and cutting them out of my life, salt lake city at night, the baymont inn suites in murray, getting another speeding ticket, losing my phone in the sand dunes of yuba state park (but finding after two hours of wandering), being so sleep starved that i knew nothing when i woke up in the back seat of my car in nephi, falling asleep in the virgin valley and waking up with multiple very deep burns on my abdomen and flank.

journey number three – henderson, nv to vallejo, ca to wendover, ut to sidney, ne to fort wayne, in to albany, ny to niagara falls, ny to erie, pa to columbus, oh to st. louis, mo to weatherford, ok – approximately 5,147 miles and 77 hours sitting in the car driving – approximately 19.5 hours outside of car walking dogs for potty stops.

     clients: one client.

     passengers: (1) dog named – lex, a white german shepherd. (2) cats named – l.o.g. and bofurd.

     number of states driven through: (15) nevada, california, utah, wyoming, colorado, nebraska, iowa, illinois, indiana, ohio, pennsylvania, new york, missouri, kansas, oklahoma.

     number of nights slept in the car: (1) st. louis, mo (love’s truck stop parking lot).

     number of nights slept in a hotel: (9) vallejo, ca (motel 6, our grade c), wendover, ut (super 8, our grade b), sidney, ne (america’s best value inn, our grade c-), fort wayne, in (motel 6, our grade d), fort wayne, in (motel 6, our grade b-), albany, ny (red roof inn, our grade a+), niagara falls, ny (motel 6, our grade a), erie, pa (comfort inn suites, our grade b+), columbus, oh (magnuson grand, our grade b+).

     highlights: seeing golden gate bridge lit up at night, revisiting donner pass in the winter, the great salt flats, driving over the mississippi river, chicago lit up at night, tuffy’s automotive in fort wayne, the people of fort wayne, cleveland old architecture, beautiful rest stops in ohio and pennsylvania, seeing the waves and beaches of the sea that is lake erie, the lighthouse on the lake, the beauty of upstate new york and being in jamestown home of lucille ball, the tiny little hidden towns and villages between albany and buffalo, little italy in niagara, niagara falls, the cave of the winds, seeing the maid of the mist, the tiny little hidden towns and villages in the pennsylvania countryside, fried cheese curds at sheetz, seeing where my dad was born in columbus, seeing an old time drive through dairy store like from when i was a kid, the gateway arch lit up at night, driving over the “stan span” (the stan musial veteran’s memorial bridge) lit up at night, having a white castle adventure at 0300 with buggs, touring the price building designed and built by frank lloyd wright with my friend e**c, and making candles at the keepsake candle company with my friend l***a and her son d***n.

     low points: my square card reader not working to accept payment from client, my phone crapping out on me, being stalked and attacked by bofurd continually, not being able to get bofurd back in his carrier for two hours in utah, starting to nod off while driving, having to pull over and take cat naps, my alternator crapping out in fort wayne, saying something to j**s without thinking that was selfish, having to give lex back to his owners, having my funds be frozen by my bank because i had used my debit card in so many states in just a few days, waking up in the car freezing in st. louis, getting sick to my stomach after drinking 6 – 20 ounce black coffees to stay awake from missouri to oklahoma, and accidentally getting onto the turnpike without any cash or checks in oklahoma.

twelve months – 2017…

january 2017

  • i met m****a online and she became my girlfriend
  • buggs and i flew to iowa
  • we spent christmas and new year’s in greenfield, iowa with my girlfriend and her two teenage daughters
  • i drove all over iowa taking photographs and exploring with buggs
  • m****a and i did a paranormal investigation of the roseman covered bridge (one of the bridges of madison county) in the middle if the night
  • buggs and i flew back to nevada

february 2017

  • i was hospitalized with hypercapnia (carbon dioxide toxicity)
  • i created a custom deck of doggie playing cards
  • ended relationship with m****a
  • received an email from “the universe”
  • began exploring and photographing the 18b (arts district of las vegas)

march 2017

  • began delivering for postmates using r*****d’s car
  • continued emdr
  • went on “relationship restriction”

april 2017

  • buggs and i spent three days and two nights with our friends l***a and e**c in las vegas
  • found and began “talking to” my invisible friend and co-co-pilot j**s
  • i created a one of a kind tarot deck for my friend for her birthday
  • got my nevada driver’s license

    may 2017

    • finished exploring and photographing the 18b (arts district of las vegas)
    • photographed old hotels and motels of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s in las vegas
    • rented car and began shuttling passengers around las vegas for lyft
    • met my dad and his girlfriend for breakfast after not seeing him in a year and a half

    june 2017

    • began car hunt
    • nearly died from heat and boredom in the desert

    july 2017

    • found and purchased my car in mesquite, nevada
    • went back to delivering for postmates
    • began delivering for ubereats
    • buggs and i explored lake mead and took lots of photos
    • turned fifty years old

    august 2017

    • began driving for citizenshipper
    • completed our first full journey transporting five cats and one dog, plus buggs
    • began collecting stones from each place that i stop to present as a gift, like a penguin (once tumbled and polished)

    september 2017

    • completed our second full journey transporting one dog, plus buggs
    • had brunch with my friend after not having seen her for nearly two years
    • went to montana because it was closer than nevada and i was really sick
    • hospitalized with upper respiratory infection and bulging discs in lower back
    • stayed with p**l until i was recovered and able to drive

    october 2017

    • arrived back in nevada
    • took some time to recuperate completely from being sleep starved
    • won bid on cross country contract

    november 2017

    • completed our third full journey transporting two cats and one dog, plus buggs from the west coast to the east coast
    • had my car breakdown and be fixed in fort wayne, indiana
    • visited niagara falls
    • buggs and k*****n went to white castle at three am
    • had thanksgiving in oklahoma

    december 2018

    • bid on jobs going west to no avail
    • visited my friend l***a and her family in bartlesville
    • came down with the flu
    • had christmas in oklahoma
    • had new year’s eve in oklahoma

    jubilee – the year that was 2017…

    i had heard the word jubilee before many times, but never really gave it any thought. 

    a few years back, it was my friend d****e’s birthday. it piqued my interest when she posted that she was celebrating her jubilee. i wished her a happy birthday and asked her what she meant and she told me that she was celebrating her fiftieth year.

    i found jubilee to be an awesome and fitting word for embracing and celebrating fifty years of experiences, memories, friends, family, love, and life. i knew that i was turning fifty this year and that’s how i wanted to handle it…as an all out celebration of me. 

    i didn’t want to be sad or depressed or caught up in self-pity. i wanted to fly high and push the envelope as far as i could. i wanted to go to new places, meet new people, and try new things. 

    i wanted to tear myself out of my comfort zone and throw myself into exciting explorations and thrilling adventures. i embarked on a yearlong journey that i never saw myself capable of doing solitarily a year or two ago.

    but as 2017 ends, i can see it all very clearly. and, I did it. I did it all solitarily, save for the two precious souls that were always with me 24/7…my twelve pound dynamo and co-pilot buggs and my invisible friend and co-co-pilot j**s. 

    i give these two beloved and precious souls kudos and all of the credit for keeping me safe and on course. when i think about it, without either one of them on board, i could have been lost forever to sleep sickness and never heard from again.

    but, here i am and they are still here too…and i still have six more months of jubilee left in me!! so, i welcome 2018. i am antsy and bored and ready to get out of this comfort zone and into some exciting explorations and thrilling adventures.

    dear friends and loved ones, i appreciate and value each and every one of you!! i wish you all the very best that life and love have to offer. i wish you all to have good health and strength of body and mind and soul. i love you. happy new year 2018!!

    our second journey, part nine…gig harbor…

    i never really was aware that i was a slow eater. my mom always used to tell me that i was a fast eater and just gobbled my food without tasting it. so, i really don’t know if eating slowly is a new thing of like the last five years or not. i just know that when it’s just me and i’m on my own meter, it’s fine to take an extraordinarily long time, but when i’m with someone it has begun to make me feel really uncomfortable.

    we continued talking as i ate, but with each bite i began to feel more and more guilty for wasting two hours of my friends time. i began to overanalyze everything. it was nothing that my friend did or said. this was all on me, my problem, my discomfort, and my guilt. i felt badly like i was keeping my friend for the things that she not only needed to do, but her sick dog, luna…whom i knew she was really worried about.

    i couldn’t think of what a “normal, socially acceptable” person would say, instead, i said something that i realize now (after going back and reading through past email) that i had done before (but in a really yucky way). instead of asking, if she needed to go. i dismissed her…not just once, but a few times. without thinking about what it meant, how it felt to hear it, or remembering that doing so could be a trigger…i said,”you know you can leave. you don’t have to wait for me.”

    the first time was met with,”no, we’re catching up.” the second time was met with,”i’m still finishing my coffee.” and the last time was met with,”look, i’m a big girl and i’ll leave when i’m ready.” it was that statement that finally got my attention. i realized that i wasn’t doing what i thought i had been doing, which was to communicate that i was sorry and to “let her off the hook.” instead, i was telling someone (who made a special effort on my behalf…someone whom i care about and is special to me) what to do.

    i felt badly about what i had done, but wouldn’t even realize the full ramifications of what i had done, until just a few weeks ago (when i rediscovered something similar, but yuckier almost two years ago). after a few minutes, she looked at me and told me that she had to go. she got up and we hugged quickly and she was gone. buggs and i were left there with the last bite of pancake and a weird, bewildered feeling. i took some photos and we walked back to the car.

    more tomorrow…

    ***what i rediscovered in my past email a few weeks ago, made me really sad to think back on. almost two years previously, my friend and i had a phone conversation in which neither of us wanted to get off of the phone. my friend, however, had school and homework to do. we were cute going back and forth, until i thought that i would be both “funny” and “the older person” and i said something that i will always regret. i said,”get off the fucking phone.” she did and i had a sleepless night and sick feeling in my gut. however, i was incredibly fortunate, when she called me the next day. i listened as she told me how my statement had made her feel. i told her that i knew that it was wrong the moment it came out of my mouth and i apologized with my whole heart. i never ever wanted to hurt my friend, but i did then and i think that in did in gig harbor, too. it’s probably too late now and there’s nothing that i can do to change it. the only thing i can do is own my fuck-ups, learn from them, apologize, and move forward.***

    d******e, i am very sorry and owe you an apology for being dismissive and for not remembering the past and being lazy in my diligence to not repeat it. you are and always will be special to me and i let us both down. thank you for being kind to me and giving me your time and a memorable brunch.

    our second journey, part eight gig harbor… 

    my friend and i perused the menus at net shed no. 9. ironically enough, we both said, “i’ll either get the pastrami panini or the ricotta pancakes.” so, i suggested that we each get one and then split and share the rest…that’s what we did. 

    my friend and i spent time talking and sharing. all the while, i was taking my surroundings in. my senses reveled in sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. i couldn’t have imagined a more spectacular place to have been invited to. it screamed, “magic!!”…just like java moon had in sheridan, wy. 

    my friend put a lot of thought and effort into asking me to brunch. all of my little ridiculous “signs” we’re there…bob and bud my crows…the revivalist’s, “wish i knew you when i was young”…and the presence of my number, the perfect number 9 (because 9 is three 3’s and the square root of 9 is 3).

    our server came back and served us our food. it was as delicious, as it was beautiful. my friend began working on a pancake and i began nibbling on a half of pastrami panini. buggs still seated in the chair next to me, gave me a pleading, sad look. 

    instead of ignoring him or just saying no, i stabbed a piece of pastrami with my fork and fed it to him. at the time, i never even stopped to think about exactly how that would look to other people…a dog seated at the table in his own chair, being fed pastrami from his owners fork. 

    like i said before, i was physically exhausted and sleep “starved.” when i get to the point of being sleep starved, i’m just not “myself” anymore and all kinds of digression becomes possible. it can be goofy and ridiculous like brunch, or it can be frightening and dangerous like losing a cell phone amongst the sand dunes. 

    but, brunch was nice. we got to the point where we exchanged the other half of our meal with each other. my friend finished her meal first, which was no surprise because i’m a painfully slow eater. i could feel myself becoming uncomfortable. i wanted to finish my meal, but felt bad about doing so, as i had already usurped two hours of my friends time, by being late. 

    ***stopping here today, because it makes me uncomfortable to think about it.***

    …more tomorrow… 

    december 28, 2017…

    today, i am grateful for… 

    …my dog buggs who is my best friend, co-pilot, constant companion, snuggle bug, and source of constant entertainment. he provides me with love, comfort, and protection twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. i am so grateful and happy to have him in my life… 

    …new socks…all of my other socks had holes in them and i just kept on wearing them, because i was too busy to stop and buy new ones. these socks are nice and keep my feet warm… 

    …a nice hot shower after being outside with the temperature being 18°. it helped to soothe all of my tires and aching muscles. the hot steam made me cough and cough helping me to get rid of a lot of the congestion… 

    …a good talk with my co-co-pilot j**s last night. although we have never met, she understands me and listens to me. we are planning on meeting soon… 

    …my new friend a****a. my friend l***a introduced us to one another, when i was visiting her in bartlesville. she is very positive and always has something good to say… 

    my body may be infirm, but my heart, mind, and spirit are strong. i may be in a strange place in the middle of the country, but l***a is three and a half hours away from me. i may feel lonely and alone from time to time, but i am surrounded by wonderful and caring friends. 

    i am capable. i am independent. i am open to possibilities. 

    namaste.