The Journey


I have had the question put to me several times in the last few years as I have walked through my journey of returning to school… “Why?” Followed by.. “I could never go back to school; it was too hard the first time.” or “Good for you!” etc.

It has been a journey and I have enjoyed 99.9% of it. It is challenging and it does make my brain hurt but growth is uncomfortable or so I have always been told. It certainly seems to be my experience. I have 2 semesters left and I will be walking across the stage once more for my Bachelor’s degree. I received my Associates last year and it was a thrill. I have been inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society, Phi Theta Kappa and The Honors Society. Hard work has been worth all of it and my goal is to graduate Summa Cum Laude. So we shall see what happens between now and then. I am excited and honored to be a student at University of Texas @ Tyler and I can’t wait to see what life has waiting for me on the other side. But in the meantime.. I am enjoying my journey. And I am blessed beyond words to have those who have supported me through this walk and saw me through when I had doubt… and there have been times when I wanted to quit! Thank you!! I love you beyond measure!! ❤

I found this wonderful poem over at my wonderful bloggy friend Michelle Terry aka MammMickTerry She ROCKS!! 😘

The Journey

by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do –
determined to save
the only life you could save.


“The Journey” by Mary Oliver, from Dream Work (The Atlantic Monthly Press)
Photo: ID: MTZ5252, Markita Szymanski

Do You Know This Player?


My name is Pride, I am a cheater.

I cheat you of your God-given destiny…

because you demand your own way.

I cheat you of contentment…

because you “deserve better than this.”

I cheat you of knowledge…because you already know it all!

I cheat you of healing…

because you’re too full of me to forgive.

I cheat you of holiness…

because you refuse to admit when you are wrong.

I cheat you of vision…

because you would rather look in the mirror than out a window.

I cheat you of friendship…

because you would rather look in the mirror than out the window.

I cheat you of genuine friendship…

because no one is going to get to know the real you.

I cheat you of love… because real romance demands sacrifice.

I cheat you of greatness in heaven…

because you refuse to wash another’s feet on earth.

I cheat you of God’s glory…

because I convince you to seek your own.

My name is Pride! I am a cheater!

You like me because you always think I am looking out for you.

UNTRUE! I’m looking to make a fool of you!

God has so much for you… but don’t worry… because if you stick with me?

You will never know!


Tammi Kale

You bet your ass I jumped!! :-P

Yep! I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane and YEP! I loved it and I will do it again! It’s been a long time since I did it the last time, but it is one of those events in one’s life that marks time. It has been 27 years since the last time I went skydiving. My daughter was only 2 at the time and my hubby thought I would do it once and have it out of my system. Nope… I did it 3 times and would have kept doing it but he said he did not want to be the single dad of a toddler and asked me not to jump again, so I didn’t. 🙂

Kim and Marcus 5

I have always talked about it though and recommended it to a lot of people. When I turned 50, I started talking about going again and this time I had full support from hubby! Then a friend sent me a text last week and said she wanted to go! So naturally I made plans and we went!! What a wonderful experience! Better than any ride at Six Flags, Disney World or Universal!

The most common excuse I have heard is “I’m afraid of heights!” Ok, I get that. I’m not, but strange as it may sound, you never feel like you are falling.

Kim and Marcus 6

The hardest part is opening the door and jumping out without passing out. However, if you are strapped to a tandem pilot, you kind of have no choice. But once you are out, the feeling is incredible. Even with the ground 10,000 feet below, you never feel like you are falling. The wind is in your face at about 120 MPH which is the same sensation as being on the back of a motorcycle going 120 MPH until the shute opens.

Kim and Marcus 12

Even then, there is peacefulness as you are coming down. You are floating to the ground and then you just stand up. It really IS that simple!!!

I had no fear! I trusted my pilot and had complete confidence in his ability. My guy.. Marcus has about 7000 jumps under his belt and jumps on average 10 times a day. It is a wonderful feeling and I can’t wait to do it again!

Kim and Marcus 20

I KNOW!! I’m crazy!! But you know what???? This is what I will say at the end of my life!
“I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived!”


They Live up to their name!

Today’s Observation:

In the past week or so, I have cleansed my soul by crying…A LOT! It is very difficult to get over the loss of a pet. Some hurt more than others. We had a kitty that lived just shy of 16 years. He was an awesome cat! It hurt when he passed but nothing like now!

My husband grew up in a house of animals. I still can’t imagine what that must have been like. They did NOT live on a farm. They were in town…not “the city” but they had a house on a busy street right next door to other houses with lots of kids and parents who went to work every day. If I remember correctly….there were cats and dogs, a horse for a short time, snakes and turtles, hamsters and birds there was even a rabbit that was house broke and would bang on the door to be let out! Can YOU imagine?? A rabbit that ran around the house like a cat? It was a zoo! But apparently a very clean, well kept and organized zoo…that was what his mother insisted on.

I had…a dog! One dog…..her name was Princess and she was a collie. I loved her but she was kept outside and didn’t receive the amount of love that she should have 😦

We have had an animal of some kind since our daughter was 3. We got our first kitty (which was weird for me) when we were visiting my mother. I had never had a cat growing up. My grandmother had a cat for years and that was the only exposure I had to them. And her cats were not friendly or warm. Our kitty was named KK which was short for Krazy Kat. Here’s a hint: just like children, do not name something that is the opposite of what you want them to be! She absolutely lived up to her name. KK was my husband’s cat. Or rather, he was her human. She loved him and slept with him during the day when he worked nights. When that began to be a problem, my hubby would lock her out of the bedroom while he slept. Well, like any defiant child, she would promptly go into his office and pee on his chairs! No kidding! We had to throw the chairs away. There were two of them that were part of a sectional couch he had in his apartment before we were married. When she was two we gave her away the day before Thanksgiving. We could not have a destructive animal in the house.


Cat (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

That lasted until April. I left one day to go “run an errand”. When I returned, there was a kitten sitting on my shoulder. It was 8 weeks old and the cutest thing EVER! My husband could not believe that I went and bought another cat without discussing it with him. But I wanted another cat and I was afraid he would say no. THAT cat was Butterscotch and the one who lived to be almost 16 years old. He had nine lives…..A story for another day!

When we moved to Michigan our daughter decided Butterscotch needed a buddy. So we went to the humane society and got Sandy. He was 18 in May…sheesh! I think cats live forever! They were friends though and kept each other company until we moved to Missouri. That was when I decided to get a dog. Up to that point, I was not ready to put in the time it was going to take to have a dog the way we wanted. That was when we got out beautiful boy Nash…….

He came to our family during a very difficult time and was the bridge that mended a few gaps in relationships. I had decided to name him Nash Bridges after Don Johnson but then my husband suggested the rest of the name like the Jeopardy category called “Before and After” so he became Nash Bridges over Troubled Water. It fit perfectly because that was what he was! And he too lived up to his name…we had learned our lesson!

I miss him terribly and his bed still lies at my feet under my writing desk. I haven’t had the inclination to move it yet. Our tears have been many but we have awesome friends and support that have helped…..Thanks everyone! It means the world to me to know you guys understand how much we are hurting. Our other puppies Pookie and Parker are doing better. They are sad…..but acting a little more normal now. As for whether or not we will get another dog? Well……..God will have to take care of that one. If it is meant to be, he will provide what we need. My heart has grown a little bit bigger with all the watering 🙂

Question: What animals have you had that made you happy? If they are still around, give them a hug and pray for long happy lives…..that is all.

Nash Bridges

Nash Bridges

Bridge Over Troubled Water

…….Over Troubled Water

What does N-O mean??

what part of no

Today’s Observation:

What part of NO do you not understand? The NNN or the OOO part??

No doesn’t REALLY mean no..right? It is the point with which you start to negotiate! Well, at least that is what some people think. These are the lawyers and successful negotiators out there. Our daughter being one of those people! LOL! But when she heard no (most of the time) she knew I meant it!! That child can argue with the best of them but a reasonable explanation was enough (again…most of the time…not always!!)

We have done a pretty good job raising our daughter (I think).  Sometimes it is hard to tell how much of what we say actually got through, but it does seem she listened some of the time. At 25, she is not where I thought she would be, but she is where she needs to be at the moment.  She is doing a pretty good job being a grown up now and I am proud of her:-) I see her applying things we have taught her to situations she finds herself in and it gives me some hope and clarity. I just wish she didn’t have to always learn the hard way. However, she does think for herself and her negotiation skills have been honed, so that is a plus!

Far be it for me to give parental advice but one thing we did learn was to be as consistent as possible and follow through on everything we said. We didn’t always do this and that is why I can tell you how important it is. Hind vision is always 20/20….. Do not make threats unless you intend to keep them and you should certainly always reward something when you say you will do that too. So if you “threaten” to spank a child when you get home, then you should spank them. If you tell them they will receive $5 for every A on their report card, then give it to them. And always mean NO when you say NO! And only say yes, when you mean yes……. There are few things in life that can cause as much insecurity as the inability to believe anything someone says. It is the foundation that teaches our children trust for the rest of their life.

Once upon a time when our daughter was about 8, she had a friend over. They had asked to do something and I can’t remember now what it was, but I had said no. I usually had to offer an explanation because a simple “because I said so” NEVER! EVER! worked with her! Not even when she was very small. That is what happens when you have an intelligent child who actually thinks for themselves. Simple answers simply do not work!

A short time later, I overhear this conversation:

“Did you ask your mom?” the friend said.

“Yes, I asked her” said the daughter.

“What did she say?”

“She said no”

“Go ask her again!”

“I’m not going to ask her again. She said no the first time and my mom doesn’t change her mind!”

I had to clap both hands over my mouth to keep from laughing out loud! I was so happy and even though this conversation happened 17 years ago I can hear it in my head as if it were yesterday.

Sometimes………..they really do listen! 🙂

Question: When was the last time you said exactly what you meant and meant what you said?? 

My dog isn’t spoiled! I’m just well trained!!

Today’s Observation:

First of all my apologies dear followers….I have been neglect in my duties :-/

It is my intent to write a little something every day. I have been inconsistent in my discipline but I am working on that. Hence the exercise of having a blog. It gives me some accountability. I appreciate your support in following me and I promise to do better!

In my estimation there are about a billion things I could talk about, but today I think I will choose… with dogs! I have 3. There are 2 Springer Spaniels and a pint size Yorkie!

My oldest dog is Nash (aka Nash Bridges Over Troubled Water) yes that is his official registered name!! and yes I am a Don Johnson fan LOL! He is 13 years old and still going. I guess that is what happens when you actually choose to take your dog to the vet and keep them healthy. When we got him, it was a thoughtful decision. I wanted a dog and I wanted a Springer. My friend had one and I fell in love with the breed. Maggie was an awesome dog! Loved the way she looked, behaved and best of all, she didn’t shed. Springers have hair very similar to a human. It is fur of course, but soft.  When I announced to my girlfriend what I planned to do, her exact words were “You have no clue what you are getting yourself into! Are you SURE you want a Springer?? Maggie is old, calm and well trained. She is NOTHING like a Springer puppy!” I told her I had been reading about them, talked to other owners and had done extensive research. Yes! I KNOW exactly what I am doing!! HA HA! Yeah……..NO, not so much! She was right! I had no clue what I was getting myself into! He was a wonderful puppy though and very, VERY hyper! But I was patient, took him to training, walked him every day and read everything I could get my hands on! I did all the right things…..found a breeder, bought all the right toys, food and a kennel. It took me all of 3 months to figure out he needed a “friend” to keep him company and work off some of that energy.

By now I had found out that Springer rescue was very high. 😦 People (who didn’t know what THEY were getting) would find Springers hard to manage. English Springer Spaniels are traditionally used as hunting dogs. They are part of the hunting breed in dog shows. These dogs are considered “bird dogs” or “flushers” which means they “spring” the prey and cause the birds to fly. They can also be taught to retrieve the birds once they have been shot. People I know who use them for hunting love the breed. But these dogs are active and they need a job! Enter: Bailey! I rescued Bailey from Kansas City, MO. He was 7 months old and I got him through a regional coordinator out of St Louis. He was precious and we loved him. Unfortunately we only had him until he was 3 (that’s another story I will not tell here….maybe another day) When we lost Bailey, God brought us another wonderful Springer, Parker (aka Jazzin Charlie the bird dog Parker) I know…we give our dogs weird names! He is now 8 years old and also very healthy, sweet and loyal. He is the favorite at the vet’s office. We have had a tough year trying to figure out what was wrong with his tummy but we “think” we now know it was a food allergy. Sidebar: did you know it is just as expensive to give a dog a colonoscopy as it is a human?? Anyway, everything is good now!

Then we have Pookie (aka Quincy, registered name but we have never called him that!) I know…..simple huh? He is my nervous breakdown of 2008. I always tell people I have no idea what I was smoking when I decided to get a lap dog!! Although, my 60lb Springers already think THEY are lap dogs LOL! He is a joy and a lot of fun. Even though he was initially MY dog, he has adopted my hubby and now we say he is Pookie’s human! But as we say…our dogs are not spoiled, we are just well trained! The older dogs play with him and they are both good big brothers.

I can’t imagine my life without my dogs. They complete us and are an essential part of our every day life. We also have a Very old cat! His name is Sandy and he is 18 years old. I think that cat is going for the world record. Again, very healthy and you would never know he was that old by looking at him. But once he is gone, I think we are done with kitties. I do not like having to take care of a litter box and he DOES shed! I hate the fur everywhere and he is not a snuggle bunny. Our other kitty was and I miss him, but this is daughter’s cat (who is away at college) therefore I am obligated to take care of him.

Our lives do revolve to some degree around our dogs, but that is our choice. They are more than just animals to us and I know people who feel the same way about their animals also. Right now, it fits in our life and I really don’t care if other people do or do not understand. If they don’t, I feel bad for them and their inability to understand the importance of the richness a dog can bring to their lives……..they are truly missing out!

It is a somewhat exciting existence around here! But I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Question: What animals have you had that bring/or brought joy to your life?

Yes....we got this shot with only one try! (ha ha)

Yes….we got this shot with only one try! (ha ha)