Celebration of Life

Moving beyond my pain and celebrating life.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Vacation Time!

Tomorrow is the first day of my vacation so Chuck and I will be gone for ten days. I have highlighted the map of Wyoming below in yellow so you can follow our route.
Tomorrow morning, bright and early, Gary, Chuck and I will be taking Gary's 5th Wheel camper up to Louis Lake on top of South Pass.
Rock Springs is in the bottom left hand corner of the map, just about where the O is in the word Mountains. We will travel north to Farson then turn east at Farson and park the trailer about where I inserted the first yellow blotch.
From there we will take the motorcycle northward to Thermopolis and stay the night there and soak in the sulphur hot springs. (Second yellow blotch) The next day, Sunday, we will continue northward to Worland then east again, over the Big Horn Mountains to Buffalo (Third yellow blotch) where we will meet up with Ellie and her son Ed, for lunch. After lunch we will go out to the cemetary and place flowers on Mother's grave along with others.
Then Sunday evening, we will travel south to Casper where we will visit Aunt Goldie and I will finally meet Gary's youngest daughter, Erin. (Fourth yellow blotch)
Monday, we will travel back to South Pass (first blotch again) and be there the rest of the week.
Louis Lake, South Pass, Wyoming

Our transportation for a few days!

I will not have access to internet nor will I have cell service most of the time so this will truly be a vacation away from reality.

We will be back in Rock Springs the night of July 7th.

Happy 4th of July everyone!


Jo & Chuck

Monday, June 23, 2008

What are you afraid of?

David McMahon at: http://david-mcmahon.blogspot.com/, posed the question, "What are you most afraid of?"

Being a strong willed and independent Wyoming woman, my initial response was, nothing absolutely nothing! But, then I started thinking about the question and what "fear" really means to me and I found that I do have an underlying fear.

I have had plenty of sadness and pain in my life in the last few years but through it all I do not remember the emotion of fear. Even at the time of the car accident, when we were t-boned by a cattle truck, I did not feel fear. I can remember feeling very sad at the deaths of my husband and mother recently but not fearful. I have become frightened when lightning struck too close or when another driver almost runs into me and I have become frightened when my children were sick or hurt but it was always temporary. I am not even afraid of death...

What frightens me is failure and rejection. I fear that I am not a good enough person, a good enough mother, a good enough employee and by failing, I will be rejected. I have spent my entire life trying to fit into the "normal" category because as a child, my father constantly told me that I was stupid and retarded. I just wanted to be "normal" not those labels so I have worked very hard just to fit in; I want to belong and be accepted.

So now you know what frightens me and makes me retreat into my shell like a turtle sometimes.
Yes, this makes me "normal".

Have a great day, everyone!

Friday, June 20, 2008

I had a dream....

I had a dream last night that is still haunting me this morning so I decided to blog about it. Some say dreams are memories of things that have actually happened while others say our dreams for tell our future and I have read that dreams are just brain activity while you sleep. I hope my dreams are not in the first category because then I would consider myself very weird!

I dreamed I was standing at the bottom of a dam. I was inspecting it, trying to find leaks or possible leaks. I was chewing gum and thought I would use it if I found a leak but there were none. People kept coming up to me and talking to me about this process and even though I listened politely to what they were saying, I would diligently continue to search for leaks. Some talked to me about the gum I was chewing, if it would hold a leak or not, some talked to me about things that weren't relevant to my task at hand. I remember feeling a sense of urgency that I had to find a leak because a dam that big could not be without one and it was my duty to find it and plug it.

Flaming Gorge Dam 2008

I am not sure what this dream was all about; I am pretty sure it was not a memory.

As I have been writing this post the thought occurred to me that this dream could be symbolic of my life thus far. The dam could be symbolic of my life and relationships. I have been 'plugging holes' all of my life, trying to fix cracked or broken relationships. I did not have the skills or the tools to really accomplish that task (bubble gum). But, I was diligent in watching for any sign of leaks.

Today, at this time in my life, I have better skills of communicating and resolving conflict. I am more honest with myself and others about my feelings. I still have some trust issues but I think not trusting everyone at face value is a good trait. I am open to new and different ideas instead of thinking in only black and white abstracts. My life has taken on a new form or an enhanced form of my previous life. A year ago, I would have never believed I would be riding on the back of a motorcycle and enjoying it. It's amazing what I have accomplished in overcoming fear and narrow mindedness. I am celebrating my life!

What do you think my dream means?

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Kaylee's 6th Birthday!

Yesterday, June 14th, we celebrated Kaylee's 6th birthday. The theme of the party was High School Musical as it is Kaylee's favorite movie and she knows all of the songs and dance moves. While I was in Phoenix, Bryan and I searched for the Chad doll and party favors etc.
The cake was individual cupcakes decorated as a music scale and notes. Kaylee blew out all 6 candles with ease.
This is Kaylee reading her birthday cards and opening presents. Kaylee did very well reading her cards by herself with a little help from Aunt Neen. Elizabeth is watching, listening and helping her big sister.
Little Brooklyn slept.

Happy Birthday Kaylee!
Gramma Jo Jo

Monday, June 9, 2008

Arizona Fun in the Sun....

I have a conference in Phoenix this week so I flew down here Friday so I could spend some time with my family here. Yesterday, my son Bryan drove me to Wickenburg to have a picnic in the park with my sister Rubye Jean, her daughter Anna Jo and her family. Of course, Chuck travels with me when I go out of town, especially when I am going to visit family. Chuck is always the hit of the party when there are kids around.

My son Bryan cooked the meat and to make it easy on everyone, we had deli salads. We had a marvelous time!

Chuck gaurding the watermelon...

Little Emma, isn't she so cute?

Kash loves Spiderman, he is so good natured and smart...

Rue is named after her grandmother Rubye. Rue is so smart and very cute; she is quite the young lady...

This is my niece, Anna Jo and her husband Rick. They are a very cute couple and very good parents. Their love for each other shines through in every aspect of their lives. (I think Rick has a secret crush on me though but shhh don't tell AJ)

My beautiful sister, Rubye Jean. We had such a good visit and truly enjoyed each other's company. I was sad when our time ended; it was very hard to say goodbye.

Here I am with AJ. She is a sweetie and has such a cute personality and sense of humor.

Here I am with Bryan. I am very proud of the man he has become. I am very blessed to have such a strong, wise and compassionate man as my son.

My conference starts tomorrow and I will probably will not have time to post the rest of the week but will be able to monitor blog comments. Have a great week everyone!


P.S. Chuck, AKA Meanie, will be posting a blog later today.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A lesson from a donkey, a well and a farmer...

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and
happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping,
never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.

Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.

Live simply and appreciate what you have.

Give more.

Expect less.

NOW ............

Enough of that crap. The donkey later came back, and bit the farmer who had tried to bury him. The gash from the bite got infected and the farmer eventually died in agony from septic shock.


When you do something wrong, and try to cover your ass, it always comes back to bite you.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Life and Weather...

It is finally summer in Wyoming even though sometimes it is hard to tell with the drastic weather changes. This morning it was clear and blue with no wind and this afternoon it is windy and rainy. I don't mind the rain as it doesn't last long and living on the high desert in Wyoming, I know that hot dry days are coming too soon.

I guess being a Wyoming native has had its impact on my life as my life seems to have paralleled the weather. Parts of my life have been cold and windy as the winters and hot and dry as the summers. I have had rainy and gloomy days offset by warm springlike days full of sunshine and hope.

I am now at a time in my life where I am happy and content. I have a great job, a nice place to live, beautiful children and grand children, enjoy reasonably good health and am dating a really nice guy. I am enjoying the spring/summer of my life.

There is a song with words that say, "Where there is always sun, there is a desert below." The rain makes me appreciate the sun and the sun helps me appreciate the rainy days. I have so much to be thankful for and count my blessings daily.