this past weekend…

buggs and i picked up a giant german shepherd named, lucious…in norman, oklahoma and transported him to lincoln, nebraska.

it was a fun trip. i was delivering lucious to a former professional football player (for the san diego chargers). who is now a coaching assistant for the nebraska cornhuskers.

it was rather exciting to drive right up to memorial stadium…home of giant college games that i have seen on tv so many times over the years. it was beautiful and grand.

lucious’s owner was such a nice guy!! he gave me a big hug when we met and when i left. the reunion between him and lucious was a magical moment. he may have shed a tear or two.

buggs and i spent the night in belleville, kansas. we stayed in a hotel run by the nicest family. our room was nice and the bed fantastic. i had the best night of sleep that i’ve had in years there.

we arrived back from our quick trip yesterday afternoon. we were greeted by very hot and humid weather. the temperature was 94°. we went inside and cranked on the a/c.

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it’s all just a blur now…

life has changed radically for me. i have gone from being dependent on others, heavily medicated, unhealthy, and really not doing much…with a lot of free time on my hands to write…to being completely independent of others, not heavily medicated (went from 26 meds down to 5), healthy and able, and doing so much with my life that i don’t have as much time to write as i once had.

i live independently of others. it’s just me and buggs. while we help others in my family…mainly my sister and dad…we no longer live with them. i come and go as i please and i am accountable to no one else but myself and buggs. i have made many new friends and we do stuff like plant a garden, play cards and games, go out to eat, go to the free movies, and more. it feels good to be beholden to no one.

when i was in washington…i was on 32 different medications. in montana, that amount was cut to 26. in nevada, that amount was cut to 24. and now…here in oklahoma, i take a total of 5 different medications. i no longer fall asleep, when i am supposed to be awake. i don’t feel at all sleepy when driving. i feel alert and alive and it feels so much better than being overly medicated.

i walk and workout each day, being mindful of burning 1000 more calories than i consume. i am eating a healthy diet and lots of protein. i am building muscle and losing fat. i am strengthening my core and gaining endurance. i am stronger and more able-bodied than i have been in 10-15 years. i am proud of myself.

i am always busy here. there is always something to do. i’ve had five dog transports in the last 4 weeks. i have visited arizona, new mexico, texas, arkansas, kansas, and nebraska as of late. i’ve been busy helping with my nieces and running errands. i’ve been going all over taking photographs. buggs and i are having one adventure after another.

i am happy being independent, fully alert, healthy, stronger, and able to choose my own adventure each day. i feel vital, capable, useful, and free. those are good feelings to have. i like me much better now. i know that i am worthy and deserving of love.

busy…

lately, i haven’t had a moment to stop, slow down, catch up, or breathe easily. the last few weeks have been filled with new journeys. while still struggling to write about our second journey, buggs and i have completed journeys number four, five, six, and seven.

in comparison to our first three journeys, these have been rather boring and uneventful…perhaps that’s because they have been shorter trips and trips to places that i’ve already been and really don’t interest me.

for the first of these trips, we transported a rottweiler/pit puppy from norman, ok to tucson, az…from there we drove down to odessa, tx and picked up a terrier going to cookson, ok. next, we picked up a bulldog in moore, ok and took to hardy, tx. then we went right back and picked up a bengal kitten in edmond, ok and dropped off in kansas city, mo.

there was really no time to do much photography, except for a half an hour in hatch, new mexico. my driving team was in place as always…my co-pilot buggs and my co-co-pilot j**s…however, as i said these were all fast, long trips…the last one was seventeen hours round trip.

once buggs and i arrived back in oklahoma, we were extremely exhausted and crashed hard. we both woke up feeling worn out and sick. buggs with allergies from all of the pollen in the air and i have been laid flat by the flu. the only time in several days that i’ve been outside, is to take buggs potty.

i have been laying on top of my bed, under my blanket watching house hunters on hulu and going in and out of consciousness. i can’t seem to stay awake for very long. my head is full of snot…i have a fever…and i just basically feel like shit.

i have fallen behind on my blog and i feel bad about it. as i begin to feel better, i want to get back to posting daily and eventually back to posting several times daily. life never really seems to turn out how i plan it, so we’ll just take it as it comes.

our second journey, part twenty…west yellowstone, mt to island park, id…

the snow fell steadily through yellowstone national park and up until west yellowstone, where we stopped to get gas and i got myself some coffee. the gas station had a help wanted sign and i thought seriously about applying and just staying. it was so beautiful and everyone was really nice.

we left there and pulled up and parked at a gravel lot. i took buggs out for a walk and to go potty. there were all kinds of interesting things that people must have just thrown from their windows, as they drove by. buggs was patient with me as i collected stones like a penguin…to give to j**s later.

we got back into the car and drove on. i noticed that the landscape was changing rapidly. the scenery was breathtaking. i wasn’t sure exactly where we were until we saw this tiny cemetery. it said, “island park cemetery.” i looked it up online and discovered that we were in idaho.

i photographed the cemetery from the outside and then drove inside. it was mysterious and foggy out. the glorious colors of autumn were everywhere. it was still and silent out. you could have heard a pin drop. all of the sudden, i looked up and there was a white horse.

the great, white horse seemed to just appear…it didn’t come from anywhere that i saw. he was magical and mystical and amazing. he pranced along the fence as i shot his photo. my mind saw him as a unicorn. i instantly thought of j**s and her stories of feeding the wild minnesota horses apples.

i immediately sent j**s the photos and video, she got a kick out of it. we drove on and pulled over at the three tetons historical marker. it was so beautiful there. i took a panoramic photo. idaho definitely stole my heart as well as my breath. i could see buggs and i maybe living a yurt somewhere there.

our second journey, part nineteen photos…yellowstone national park, mt to west yellowstone, mt…

our second journey, part eightteen photos…yellowstone national park, mt…

our second journey, part seventeen…big sky, mt to yellowstone national park…

as i mentioned before, the snow started coming down in big sky. it was very beautiful and added a little something to the already breathtaking landscape. i was a little worried about the driving conditions going up and coming down from the passes. the snow i was fine driving in…it was the ice that i worried about.

the temperature began dropping as we approached yellowstone national park. my car’s temperature gauge flashed “icy” over and over. i continued to stop and take photos along the way. i used common sense and exercised great caution. i thought about my roommate, j***y, who was terrified of me driving through bad weather and chuckled.

i passed the sign that said yellowstone national park. i was overcome with the glorious and curious wonders of the autumnal landscape. everything seemed so surreal to me…i couldn’t believe that i was there…i was actually fucking there!! and, i did it myself…with a companionship provided by my co-pilot buggs and my co-co-pilot j**s.

i felt like i was in a dream state. everywhere i stopped, i got out and walked. i shot photos and gathered interesting stones from each location. when i got back to the car…i put the stone in buggs’ poop bags with a piece of paper that noted the location. i decided that i would be like a penguin and gather stones to present to a mate.

my mind was full of competing thoughts. i was so excited. i just wished that i had had a special human with me to enjoy the adventure. i remembered what someone important to me once said and, at the time she was right. she told me that she would probably build-up resentment over time, because i was too unhealthy to keep up with her.

it was a bittersweet thought. bitter because she was never able to see me hike and climb and explore. sweet because i could walk far and fast, hike, climb, carry. i was fucking proud of myself and my progress. i just wished that she would have been present to experience me walking further and faster and being able to keep up.

hahaha…as my mom would say, “if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”

more tomorrow…