Everyday Courage

“Courage is the ability to do things that feel difficult, scary, or uncertain.

It isn’t reserved for just a chosen few.

Courage is a birthright. It’s inside all of us.

And waiting for you to discover it.

One moment of courage can change your day.

One day can change your life. And one life can change the world.

That’s the true power of courage; it reveals you.

The greatest version of you.

Discover your courage and you will be capable of accomplishing and experiencing anything you dream about.

Yes, even changing the world.”

~The 5 Second Rule; Mel Robbins


March – Missed Opportunity, Meeting Celebrities, Autographed books.

Ever have those moments when you wish you could just go back and have a redo? Ever feel like you missed a great opportunity to do something unique and beyond your character? To do something that would even astound your friends because it is a “so unlike you” scenario? Well, I had one of those events recently.

Sometimes the challenges in the Ultimate Bucket List book really do not seem like very much of a challenge, rather it’s something just to do. For instance, donating money to a worthy cause (#87). It’s not hard, nor challenging, to donate to a cause that you are passionate about. However, getting people to help you in your fundraising efforts can be extremely difficult and tedious. Then there is Starting a Blog and Keep it Going for at Least a Year (#37). That doesn’t seem like much of a challenge but finding the perfect words and expressions to keep readers interested is extremely challenging. Then there is the idea of raising chickens (#40), doesn’t seem like a big deal. They are rather easy to care for. For me, it is just fun. I love having chickens around. I have had three sets of chickens to date and each set is unique in their own way. They are filled with character. They are curious creatures. Sometimes, they even want some attention from their human counterpart.

There are some challenges in the book that really put me on edge just thinking about it. Fear of Challenges gives some great examples of that. The most recent example of this came Easter weekend. I spent the weekend in Washington, DC with my husband at AwesomeCon. If you have never been to one and you are into comic books and characters, I highly suggest going to one. It is a whole new experience. You have the opportunity to meet people that you would never imagine! I have been to a few. I have met quite a few celebrities. Some were rather really cool and others were…let’s just say…meh!

We can save all those past adventures for another time. For now, let’s concentrate on AWESOMECON 2018. This was my real opportunity to achieve some of the items on my Life List. There were several opportunities available: Meet a Celebrity (#15), Dressed up in a Disguise for a Day (#72), Get an Autograph of Someone Famous (#68), Kiss a Stranger (#151), and Get a Book Autographed by It’s Author (#266).

I was able to mark No. 15 off my list. I met, at AwesomeCon 2018, Count Gore de Vol, John Barrowman, Carole Barrowman, and Stephen Amell. Count Gore de Vol was the most fascinating character. His birth name is Dick Dyszel but was in true character as The Count. He described some of his adventures as the The Count and how he would sleep in coffins on his breaks. I must say that was a little creepy to me. He explained how the shows operated and some of the people he would encounter.

Count Gore de Vol
Wes meeting Count Gore de Vol

Next up was John Barrowman and Carole Barrowman. Yes, they are brother and sister. You may know him best as Captain Jack Harness from Doctor Who. I know him best as Malcolm Merlyn in Green Arrow. This was actually a three-for-one write off on the Life List. I was able to meet a celebrityget an autograph by someone famous, and get a book autographed by it’s author! John and Carole co-authored several books but I got autographs on “Conjuror” and “Hollow Earth”.  John was extremely funny. His sister was just as funny. Her part was to sell the books written by her and John. I would have loved the opportunity to get to know her better and learn about her experiences with writing. I could have stood and watched how they interacted with crowd all day. They were so intriguing and unique!

The last celebrity I met was Stephen Amell! What do I say?! It was Stephen Amell! He was really down to Earth. I did not bother him with questions of his movies. Instead, I was more interested in his Nocking Point Wine company! Yes wine! I do not even like most wines. Yes, I am lame! All the while I was talking to him, I thought how cool would it be to cross off “Kiss a Stranger” from my Life List with a celebrity. Better yet how cool would it be if that kiss was with Steven Amell! I’m not talking locking lips or anything. I would have been satisfied with a kiss on the cheek. Although, I’m not sure that would have counted…but who cares about technicalities! Yes, I am even more lame for thinking this! I was just too shy and afraid to tell him about my Ultimate Bucket List Challenge. Then I had to consider his wife, too! I did not want to disrespect her in any way! I am sure he would not have gone along with it anyways! Besides, who goes around kissing strangers? This will forever gone done in my history as “Missed Opportunities”! In fact, I think this may be even harder than wearing a snake around my neck!

After I got home and was going over my list of accomplishments and missed opportunities, I realized that I also missed out on dressing up in a disguise for the day! I know there will be many more opportunities for that in the future so I won’t beat myself up too bad over that one!

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

The Biggest Challenge ~ Had to Let Him Go

Faced with the most difficult decision. How can you make such a decision? How do you know when it is truly time? Why did I have to make this decision? Should I have waited ~ tried other alternatives? Let him decide to go on his own?

He has been with us nine years. He turns ten in June. We first met in August 2008. He was behind a glass window. I just knew I had to rescue him, take him home, and give him the love and care he deserved. I HAD TO HAVE HIM! I begged my husband for days. I researched everything about him to make sure he would be the perfect fit for our family. Finally, my husband relented.

Sure we had other dogs in the past. The first was a basset hound, Anna May Belle. Her and I did not see eye to eye. I hated her and she hated me more. My husband left Puerto Rico to go to school in California. I had a one year old son and I could not handle both of them. One had to go…

There was Sheriff. The most beautiful yellow lab; filled with energy and love for the world and my two sons. Unfortunately, Sheriff had to go to another home. We loved him so much that we felt he needed a home where there was constant attention. It broke my son’s, David, heart to watch us load him in a truck and be carried away by a father and his young boys. My husband and I where both active duty military and gone all the time. There was no time for love and attention for a pet.

We tried again by adopting a dog (#128) from the SPCA. Never again will I endure such demise. He created issues from the beginning. He hated cats! He would get out of the house despite all our efforts to keep him contained. He ran the neighborhood and scared everyone. He was a rottie mixed with lab. Or so we think. We kept him for a few years before he became really aggressive. I was afraid that soon he would attack one of the neighbor’s children so I returned him to the SPCA.

I swore there would never be another animal brought into my home that I would have to care for. I was not an animal lover of any kind and did not care to have them around. It was just one more responsibility that I did not need.

That was until Mister Bascums came to be. You see, I was walking the mall with my sons. David asked to go into the pet store. He saw my hesitancy and proceeds to explain to me that his father took them into the pet store but they never bought a dog. They just went in to see them. I had just come home from a deployment. How could I say no? After all, his father took them there. We walked in and there standing behind a glass window was the most beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback. Our eyes met. I had to have him. Not my children but ME!

Finally, the day came when I was given permission to go get him. I was so excited. He filled our home and hearts with so much love! One day, when I was at school, my boys was left to tend to him. They left the back door open and he escaped. We found him the next day. He had been hit by a car, gasping for air, barely able to walk. He knew my voice and immediately jumped into the car. We rushed him to the vet, and then the emergency room, eventually to Virginia Tech Veterinary School. We really thought he wasn’t going to make it through all that. He surprised us and gave us 8 more years of his love.

In that timeframe, we added three more fur babies to our family. Neptune and Athena are our English Mastiffs and Uma is an English Lab.

This past Saturday, March 10, 2018; he succumbed to an infection in his leg. He had been fighting it for two weeks. He was in so much pain and misery. As the technician was telling us our different options of surgery and the long, hard recovery; I just couldn’t think about him suffering any longer.

My head still questions if we should have tried all those other options. Maybe, I should have tried harder to help him get better. My heart aches when I think about him. Tears stream down my face when I don’t even realize it. It hurts even more to see Neptune search for him. It’s like Neptune knows he is gone. I see the same pain on his face that I feel in my heart.

How can you make such a decision? How do you know when it is truly time? Why did I have to make this decision? Should I have waited ~ tried other alternatives? Let him decide to go on his own?