a month of thanks & kindness

We don’t always need to travel to see beautiful things. Sometimes there is profound beauty right in our own backyard. I was driving past this neighborhood recently and was struck by the display of fall colors right here is lovely Las Vegas. Enjoy!





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“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the                    knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”               ~Princess Diana



my newest find


I don’t drink much. It’s funny how I think I need to clarify that first. With that being said, I noticed this bottle at the grocery store and passed it up the first time. It sounded good and I loved the pretty label but I was in a hurry. So the second time I didn’t pass. I pour a bit over lots of ice and enjoy it slowly. It’s got a really nice spicy flavor.

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I know that I have been doing a little complaining about my house but no worries, I have not resorted to booze to heal all my troubles. We all know there isn’t enough booze in the world.

Here is what is happening at home. The painter has touched up a lot of areas. (still a few more to do). The cabinet fixes are fixed. The closet door runners are ordered. (3 closets) The short door frames are ordered. The floor is still not scheduled and it’s marked with bright blue tape (which is fun). Someone has looked at the damage and I am told it’s being ordered and will schedule soon. In order to repair a vinyl floor the floor has to be torn up from the closest edge to the damage. THAT SHOULD BE FUN since there is damage in several places. 

My bar stools came in and I am very happy with them. They are comfortable and very white. The faux leather should clean easily!

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Our bedroom was driving me crazy and I couldn’t figure out why. My sweet daughter said, “change it so it is cozy and you love it” so I’m working on it. I know the rug is way too small, mostly it is there to protect the flooring. I pull it out and push it back close to the bed every day.

This is the BEFORE shot. Stay tuned and in a week or two I will have it cozy/holiday ready!

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In the meantime…my Holiday cocktail, made simple. Happy Friday my friends!

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I have been waiting and excited to share this awesome news but have been struggling with some technical difficulties. My daughter came by today and fixed my issues…man, it’s nice to have her in town.

Caleb Daniel was born on October 7th 2019. He weighed in at 7 lbs. 2.9 oz. Caleb’s daddy, Brandon and Daniel were roommates at West Point and Brandon’s wife Christina told me that from the moment they knew they were having a boy, Brandon had him middle named after his friend, Daniel. You can read about Brandon in the West Point section of my book. Brandon and Daniel were on color staff together (color guard or flag and riffle staff) for a semester at West Point and while they worked closely and roomed together they became close friends. Brian and I were honored to attended Brandon and Christina’s wedding a few years ago and it is a prevelige to have this family in our life.

Caleb has an awesome big sister, Elizabeth, who is going to take the best care of her new baby brother and be a big help to mommy and daddy.

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I love this family so very much and our family is honored and humbled to welcome another baby boy into Daniel’s circle of life.

Thank you Brandon and Christina for blessing us with this new addition, Daniel’s 10th namesake.

Here is Caleb Daniel with his beautiful mommy shortly after his birth day.

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why can’t things stay the same?


I have not posted a blog in a few days. I currently can’t figure out why my new photos won’t download from my phone to my computer. I do have some exciting things to share…but hold on because I have to backtrack and figure out why I can’t do what I have been doing for 3 years now?

My Tuesday message…it’s easy to be positive when everything is going great. The challenge comes when you try to stay positive when it seems like EVERYTHING is going wrong.

STAY TUNED friends…

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my kindness experience…

Well October 2019, that’s a wrap. Yesterday I had a chance to share a little kindness and it immediately was given back to me. It was so much fun I wanted to share.

I went through Starbucks dive through and usually I will buy for the person behind me. However the line was long and in front of me was a good looking, young kid with his baseball hat on backwards and it immediately reminded me of Daniel. So when I ordered I told the Starbucks guy I wanted to “treat” the truck ahead of me and how much was his total. It was $14. ** and I was like, “oh wow” but ok, it’s Halloween. As the cute young kid was pulling away he waved to me. I handed my credit card to the Starbucks guy and said, you are charging me for the guy ahead of me correct? so my total should be around $20.00. He said with a smile, “No, when I told him you were buying his, he said, “well then let me buy hers”. So SWEET and a nice “treat” for me as well. So what did I learn? KINDNESS is CONTAGIOUS! I LOVED IT SO MUCH. 

I also learned in the “new” hood, no need to buy candy next year unless things change drastically. I had 1 group of 4 adorable kids and that was IT. We haven’t seen any kids in the neighborhood and that was pretty much confirmed last night. We live in a grown up neighborhood and I’m ok with that.

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This guy didn’t get much company last night.

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And although I saw a LOT of cute costumes on face book, and the four little FBI agents that showed up at my door with black suites and ties and badges were adorable, the best costume prize this year goes to my LA boys mommy, who is expecting their little brother next month! Good job mama!

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WELCOME NOVEMBER! It’s time to eat better this month (until the 28th) and remember to share some kindness everyday!

“You have not lived a perfect day, even though you have earned your money, unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”    Ruth Smeltzer

kindness is contagious


I just started reading a little book called, The Power Of KINDNESS. It contains short stories and I love reading these types of stories to be reminded that simple acts of kindness can make a large impact in someone else’s life.

It isn’t difficult to be kind so I wonder why we notice it? If everyone was kind all the time it would be so normal that we wouldn’t notice, right?

Challenge!!!! (it’s not planks guys)…it’s just being nice to people. Although as I write this I think everyone I know is pretty darn kind, but can we do better? We can begin today (I think I’ll buy someone a coffee) and tomorrow is easy since we will be handing out candy to little goblins and ghosts. Have a joy filled, KIND Wednesday my friends.

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“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.

Winston Churchill


3rd time’s a “charm”

I wrote 2 blog posts yesterday and this is number 3! After I heard/saw this…it became my priority!

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These are Riley’s knees. Soon after she started practicing yesterday with her dad/ coach @10fingersbasketball she took a nasty fall. Her dad gave her a choice to pack up and go home or to endure her temporary pain and continue her practice. What do you suppose she did?

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Riley is the young lady who represents Daniel in basketball (quietly), by wearing his basketball number, 21. She has been wearing his number since she “won” the choice and asked for it at Roosevelt Jr. High School. The players have to “shoot” for number choice and the first year (7th grade) she didn’t shoot well enough to get number 21. So she practiced and the following year, she got to choose. She had to endure the same shooting challenge at Downey her first year of high school because a few other girls wanted number 21. Riley made a 3 pointer and earned the choice for number 21 her freshmen year (as a starter for the JV team). She has been wearing number 21 since 8th grade and is currently a Junior at Thomas Downey High School.

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Riley doesn’t remember Daniel. Her dad, Guy and Daniel were classmates, teammates and good friends at Downey. Daniel held Riley when she was a baby but she has no memories of him except what she has been taught by her parents. Sameth (Riley’s mom) and Guy have been talking to Riley about Daniel since she was tiny. She developed such an appreciation for Daniel through stories and videos (having to watch dad and Daniel play basketball together) that on her own she choose to honor her dad and mom’s “soldier, friend” in this way.

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Our family is incredibly touched by the gift that Riley gives us in representing our son/brother and working hard to develop her skills as she honors this American Soldier that she has heard so much about.

The season is coming up and if you live in the Modesto area I would encourage you to download a girls basketball schedule and come out and watch Riley play. She reminds me of her dad at certain times when I’m watching her play. She is developing into quite an athlete. I will be coming to Modesto in January just to watch Riley play. It’s always a prevelige.

Miss Riley, I know there is one heavenly solider who is extremely proud of your progress and persistance, even and most especially on those days when giving up and going home would have been a much easier choice.


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It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.         Theodore Roosevelt