Category: PEOPLE

I have decided to add my cowboy hat to the boot and belt so I can complete my wardrobe lol! I post about this because of the passion I have had over the last few years on learning how to dance and compete in this sport.  I try to look at this and figure out why I am so taken with it?  I do have fun and get tremendous enjoyment out of it and having the chance to playing a “role” so to speak on the day of competition.

I will be 49 years old next week and have come to realize as I get older I wonder like others “is this all there is”? I mean this in the sense of working for a corporation, trying to climb a ladder, acquiring things and then realizing this does not mean anything and you do not get any self-worth out of this in the long run.

Learning how to dance and compete has given me a new chapter in my life and something positive to focus on instead of the same old drudgery day in and day out.  For the most part no one tells you this in your 20’s or if they did I didn’t listen!! I have decided I am not going to sit here and ride out the rest of my life doing the same job everyday and not learning anything new so I will take charge and learn new things on my own. I have recently attended a personal trainer workshop and testing with my next focus on group fitness training.

I know one thing, the people who I have met dancing are some of the most positive people I have met and lots of them are over 70 and very active which I really admire.  The decision I have made at this point in my life is to hang out with “positive people” and my hat, boot, belt reminds me of this and I encourage anyone not to remain stagnant but do something totally out of character that what you are used to.  I know I did, by dressing like a Cowboy!! My momma and her friends think I look like George Strait lol, I don’t know about that but it sure is fun.

Cowboy Hat, Boots, Belt

I have blogged periodically about wearing a cowboy hat that I never thought I would do, but it has grown on me since competing in country western dance events.  Next week will be the first comp of the year and 6 months since the last one I competed in. I blog about this not to “brag” about it , but how this gives me something positive to focus on in life and how much fun I have doing and preparing for these competitions!

I have figured out that as you move through life you need to change course, do things differently,or think differently in order to keep from being in a “rut” or the same mundane things day after day! Putting on the Cowboy hat for the weekend lets me focus on something fun and being somebody different for a few hours!  I can see why as we get older that depression can set it because our kids get older and have their own lives, our relatives or friends die and we can quickly find ourselves alone doing the same old thing we have always done day after day and then “situational depression” can set in!

From the competitive stand point I want to do well and try to win, but if not I still have something that helps me to have a well-rounded life and not to mention meeting interesting people who help to enrich my life!  Oh yeah.. I have posted a picture of “the cowboy hat below” lol.


Me and the cowboy hat have an appointment tomorrow a 1:00!


As I post this blog I am a few hours away from leaving for me next dance competition this weekend and donning this cowboy hat that seems to have become part of my life even though I had no idea that it would!! I have posted before how OCD I was about wearing a cowboy hat etc.. so I will not go into that again, but suffice it to say I have become more accustomed to it as part of my dance attire!  Anyway, what I wanted to post about is what the “cowboy hat” has helped me to achieve in the personal aspects of my life and goals.

I am attending my third competition and have practiced and planned accordingly in hopes of improving my scores. With my last competition I was not satisfied with what I scored so I changed my game plans and prepared differently than my prior two times with more practice and lesson time. At this point I have had positive feed back from my partner and coach that things seem to look better and I am doing some of the necessary things to succeed.  I have approached this situation differently than the last two times with the following philosophy: 1)work hard, 2)have a good attitude, 3)listen to the coach.  I believe I did those things enough, but maybe not enough I just don’t know.

I also recognize that the things I have done differently may not work, or when it comes to show time I could make a mistake and that is just part of it.  But what I wanted to say is this; I have set the goals listed above and have tried to the best of my ability to make them happen. I have come to a point in my life that am tired of chasing things like money, promotions in a corporation, and things that do not have meaning in life.  As I make this transition from “chasing” these things I find myself to be a more content man and put my efforts into things that have meaning in life.

Some may say “how is this dancing give meaning to your life”?  I realize “different things have different meanings” for all people, but doing this competitions and learning to dance correctly has helped me interact with people I would have never made a connection with and this gives me satisfaction that maybe my actions or words have influenced someone in a positive way.  What I am doing with “my hobby” if you want to call it is give me a more balanced life and help take the stress away from the corporate world and for that I am thankful.  Because and the end of my life I will not be saying “wished I had worked more nights and weekend”!! I don’t plan on having any regrets and the end but I might wished I had taken dancing up sooner as it has given me an excitement for life that I haven’t had in a long time.

So if you take anything away from my post is to find something other than the everyday mundane things of life and do something that gives you excitement and joy in your life!! Don’t sit around and wait!! Take action and enjoy the life you have because none of us know when it will be over!


The Competition Cowboy

I decided to go ahead and post the photo above that I am going to talk about so hopefully what I have to say makes sense.  This was the second dance competition I had competed in and the first wearing this ht and clothes.  You must know what a change it was for me to even put a “cowboy hat” on my head!!  It was just an adjustment for me and a personal hurdle that I had to overcome which I did!   I had observed during my first competition the other male competitors wearing a black cowboy hat, black shirt, black pants and boots.  During the final stages of my preparation I finally decided I was going to do this a play the part for this particular dance competition.  Some might say “what is the big deal”? and all I will say is that most of the time I do not get out of my comfort zone and I have decided that it is about time that I do!!
The competition was a few weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon and put on my “outfit” and went down to the ballroom ready for competition!  I danced in six different events and did not knock off the cowboy hat one time!! That was a feat in itself!!  After it was over I was so pumped up and had so much fun that I hated for it to end!  I was asking myself “why did I seem to have more fun this year than last year”?  It dawned on me that not only was I participating in the dance competition but that I played the part as well by dressing up like a “dancing cowboy”!  This may sound corny, but with the everyday drudgery of life, sometimes it is good to play another role completely different from the person that you are in real life.  Playing this role and putting on this outfit is totally different for me and has been a positive influence on my life.
Sometimes you need to do other things in order to get your mind thinking in a different direction instead of the same thing everyday; get up, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to bed and get up and start it all over again the next day.  Even though I do not know what they are right now, I believe this has opened my eyes to other possibilities in life and to try new things. I have decided I am not going to sit around and let time pass by wishing I had tried something or be afraid to change and as I like to say “there are always possibilities”. This has been a positive change for me and as I type this post the “cowboy hat” is hanging on the chair post as a reminder to me of what I have overcome.
For those who care if you look in the photo I do not have “cowboy boots” on! I only mention this because this is the final hurdle I will overcome as I purchase a pair this year to complete my “dancing cowboy outfit”!! I am having a blast!! And by the way.. that is my sweetheart in the picture with me!!

Well blog world I have been behind because life has happened and I had my dance competition this last weekend and will blog about that later but I have to post my incident in Atlanta where we were staying.  But first I have to set this up on why this is like weird or funny so I will let the readers be the judge.  Last year about this time we were visiting San Diego and decided to head to the beach and enjoy the beautiful beach walk on Pacific Beach.  We were probably about 15-20 minutes away from our room and I just happened to look down and there was this big bunch of bird s**t all over the front of my shirt and there was like a lot of it!!  My wife and 23-year-old were like saying “””oooo nasty, gross etc…. and it was true!! I had to get back to the room and change my shirt and making sure I did not touch any of it.  We thought what dumb luck for this to happen, but not the end of the world.

Fast forward to this weekend in Atlanta for a dance competition we were attending.  I like to try to find a good “coffee and cappuccino” gas station (a gas station that sells quality coffee and cappuccino if there is such a thing)  Anyway, I found a place within walking distance and headed there Saturday for a cup and then on Sunday when the incident occurred! We were walking back to the hotel with coffee in hand just talking and I had taken a few sips and in the next few minutes I just happened to look down and saw this “white blob” on my lid about the six of a dime.  I thought “what is wrong with that lid”?  “Must be a defect in the lid, but I didn’t notice it when I put it on the cup”  Then it hit me ” This looks like bird s**t!! and sure enough it was!! Another bird had s**t almost one year to the day it happened to me in San Diego!!  I couldn’t believe!! Some bird has ruined my morning coffee!!

We had a good laugh about it and now a funny memory, but now this has happened two years in a row while I was out-of-town on vacation!! Wonder if this means anything positive or negative?? Or could just mean what my wife says about me after all “that I am full of s**t” lol

Right after thanksgiving my dog molly was moping around the house with her tail between her legs and in pain.  She started vomiting on Friday and this lasted through the weekend so I decided to take her to the Veterinary on Monday.  She was examined and diagnosed with pancreatitis so she was kept at the hospital for a few days and I picked her up today and she looked much better and is now on a restrictive diet.

I post about this for several reasons and wanted to share with everyone.  Molly is 11 1/2 year lab mix so she is getting to the end of her life, but I felt that I owed it to her to find out what was wrong and give her a chance.  I thought about all the joy she has brought to our family and all the things she does when I ask, like when I say “sic’em” about the rabbits in the backyard or when a bug is crawling in the house I will say ” get it Molly” and she does and gets a treat.  The bill was over $300 and during this economy and Christmas right around the corner it was not a good time for this but she deserved to have a chance and I don’t regret giving it to her.

Secondly, some may ask… What caused the pancreatitis and I can tell you that it was probably from the neighbor. I mentioned this in a post long ago about the neighbor feeding her frozen blocks of hamburger and turkey carcases.  I have told them this is not good for her so this weekend before I went to the vet I called to inform of the situation and to please stop doing this as this is not fair to her plus costs me a lot of money.

Anyway, all is well tonight and Molly is home sitting at my feet while I post this blog.  I know she is just a dog but somehow I think they know more than we give them credit for and I know she wanted us to help her and we did.  With anything in life I always like to say I did all that I could in a particular situation and know that I can sleep at night because I did.

I have posted a picture of molly below:

As has been reported Mel Gibson has been recorded saying violent and hateful things to his girlfriend, mistress or whatever she is and as usual the media in this country are talking about it like it is some news worthy story that should be told.  In the last few weeks it has been Lindsay Lohan and her trial and how it has been for her and even her dad has gotten media attention.  I for one am asking the question, “Why do you care what these people are doing”?.   The media will say the reason they report on these “hollywood types” is because we want to hear about it and sad to say, but I believe this to be true and I list below a few reasons why some in this country care about these Hollywood people.

1)Bored with their own life some people want to live in someone else’s life.

2)Some people think these stars are bigger than life and are mesmerized by everything they do.

3)My life would be so much better if I had the life of a Hollywood star.

4)Their lives are so much more fascinating and fun than my life.

These are just a few and I could go on and on, but you get the point.  I like to watch movies, shows on TV and keep up with a few actors I enjoy and there is nothing wrong with this but I would like to point out that we all need a balance in life.  Anyone one thing we latch onto can keep us out of balance with other things in our life and fixation on Hollywood and what they are doing is one of them.

I was talking with my son and agree with what he said about how the media in this country keeps this whole society wrapped up in stuff like this while serious issues in this country are ignored like the economy, healthcare and the war in Afghanistan.  While we are asleep at the switch paying attention to trivial things like Mel Gibson throwing a fit, this government is out of control with what they are imposing on us in the way of taxes and telling us how we should live!

All of us should pay attention to what is going on around us and stop worrying about what People magazine, Entertainment tonight have to say and pay attention to what your government is doing and prepare yourself for the election this fall so you can make a difference and send a message to Washington that we are paying attention and will not be distracted by Mel Gibson or Lindsay Lohan and their personal problems.

I have a story to tell about my neighbor that follows my previous post on People Observation #9.  After we had moved into our house 10 years ago I started a garden as I felt like I was carrying on the tradition of my papaw who had a garden and when I would visit I would help him work in it.  I didn’t know what I was doing but I got to hear him tell some story he made up or about being in World War II.  Anyway, my garden was large enough that I was able to give away some produce and I was happy to do so. In the meantime we had new neighbors move in and the were older and retired.  We became friends with them and each year after that when I had extra tomatoes I would give some to my neighbor.

As I would go and check my garden I would think “I have some tomatoes missing” because I could tell which ones would be ready in a few days and when I would go out in the garden to pick them they would be gone.  I suspected my retired neighbor was helping himself to “vine ripe tomatoes”!! but I had no proof.  Once day I was coming up the stairs into the kitchen as my back window looks out into the back yard and there he was!!! The neighbor had walked through my pine trees and standing at the edge of the tomato row, kind of hesitating and looking towards my house to see if anyone was watching. I watched this for a few minutes and then he did it!!! Bent over, picked a tomato and disappeared into the row of pine trees!! It was one of the funniest things to watch. You could see him debating in his mind “can I get this tomato without any watching”?? Like some little kid trying not to get caught!!

Anyway, this is how I coined the phrase “Tomato Bandit” in reference to my neighbor.  Just a funny story I wanted to share.

As I make this post my lab mix dog (Molly) is outside my kitchen door crying because it wants to come in, but she needs to stay outside to do its “potty business”.  Anyway, we live on 2 1/2 acres which is not fenced so I would just let her out and she would stay in the yard and I would let her back in.  In the last few years we had some neighbors move in that are retired and I noticed that Molly would not come back in right away so I figured out she had walked next door.  I began to see food items appear in my backyard that I had not seen before and concluded my neighbors were feeding Molly.  My neighbor likes to fish so I would find cut and cleaned fish, meat wrappers, one time it was a whole frozen block of hamburger, and just the other day I opened door and in the garage was a whole raw steak!!  These people throw their old food out in the yard and Molly wanders over there to eat it!!  I was unaware of this until I began to see the signs I mentioned above so I have started to keep a closed eye on Molly and bring her into the house more frequently.

I am trying to find a diplomatic way to approach this as I do not have a fenced yard and Molly is able to wander next door but I did not have this problem until they started feeding her.  I don’t get why they just throw food into the backyard!! I say just put it in the garbage! I don’t understand these people who just can’t throw things away.  I like my neighbors and we get a long I just don’t want my dog to get sick let alone die from eating this garbage! It is like when someone wants to give me furniture or clothes and we take it and it is junk or wore out and I kick myself for taking it and now “I have to throw it our or give it away.   My advice is that if it is garbage throw it out, if something you have is still usable give it to Goodwill or some other organization.

My Dog

Molly in the Kitchen waiting for a “healthy snack”!!

I have posted about our dance lessons and meeting new people and how fun this and got me to thinking about this and how we have been treated by some church members in the past in comparison to how we have been treated by our new relationships in the last few years.  For starters this is not a slam on the Church as I am a Christian, served on committees, attending regularly etc… all my life so my view is from extensive experience.  When we began to take our lessons and go to the local “honky-tonk” several people came right up to talk with us, within a few months we were invited with the group to a cookout, we went to the gun range together etc… and have made some good friends.  A few months later we met a different set of couples and within a few months they were inviting us to go on their out-of-town dance trips they had been taking together for several years and accepted us into their group which I thought was awesome.

In comparison to some church’s I have attended there are group’s already established and they do not want to let you in. Or, some people are self-righteous because they think you don’t attend enough and judge you for it.  Of all places where you should be included and not judged for things out of your control is in your Church!! I hope people who call themselves Christians really think this is ok?? The Church is not a country club for certain people to decide if they are good enough to be included or not.  It is sad that I can meet people who are not regular church attenders treat me better than some I have gone to Church with and it should not be this way. Then some wonder why Church attendance is dropping in this country and can’t figure out why.  We all can make mistakes and not realize what our attitude can do someone else, but if you did make an honest mistake then own up to it and try not to do it again, but don’t continually have a sorry attitude towards someone else especially in Church and if you are a Christian.