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Annie inspires me often.  Her zest for life fires me up!  She makes me laugh.  She doesn’t let me take life’s ups and downs too seriously.  She loves me so much that she’ll suffer through my pity parties.  Luckily for her, I’m planning to be done with those! 

Annie thrives on life!  She lives as fully as possible.  We’ve enjoyed many adventures, competitions, shopping marathons, parties, games and gatherings together.  We LOVE to get high on exercise!  I mean REALLY HIGH!  Who could be as much fun as her?  How would I feel if I met someone who was just as much fun?  That sounds exciting!

Annie is the best cook in our little family.  The rest of us may not be world-class competition though.  Ha!  Annie really is a superb chef.  Her whole wheat three-cheese supreme pizza outclasses the New York pizzerias I’ve visited.  That’s saying a lot!  Her chicken quinoa was the rave of our huge extended family gathering.  My lucky co-workers, who enjoyed leftovers, were impressed.  It’s tasty, healthy, spicy and energizing!  Annie’s roasted vegetables are also awesome!  Her chocolate-banana protein milkshakes have become a staple of my wellness diet.  They may be even better when we add peanut butter!  Yay Annie!

Annie strives to be the best she can be at everything she does.  So she’s a stellar student and a ray of sunshine to the retired folks she serves at her job.  Who wouldn’t appreciate expressions of joy, compassion and encouragement?  Annie even tries to keep her home clean now.  That is a recent change for the better!

Annie’s now busy plotting more adventures for us to enjoy: river kayaking, camping, WSU football games, bicycling, running, nordic skiing, etc.  The more variety, the better!  That goes for activities, locations and participants! 

Live well!  ( :

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I really do love life.  My new bike is amazingly cool.  But this week, due to the demise of my old car, I’ve ridden my 1986 Panasonic mountain bike several times.  It is so fun!  This bike is as great of a material friend as my old car was.  The three of us (yes, other people too!) have had hundreds of exhilarating adventures together.  These adventures add spring to my step and sparkle to my eyes.  They are as much of who I am as are the genes my parents blessed me with. 

I like the smell of my new rig.  Yes, the computerized navigation, voice activated Bluetooth, air bags, computerized traction and brakes and all the other modern amenities are nice.  But I was happy with the old car.  That’s because life is fun!  Adventure awaits!  Cool people to meet are around almost every corner!  There are many things to learn, experience and discover!  I’m off to stir up some new tales!!!

My summer vacation was fun!  Then it was scary.  Then it was fruitful.  Know what I mean?  I’m sure Annie does.  She looked like this:

Annie in the wild!

Later she looked like this:

WTF?

It was right after she lived through this:

Annie and Frank survived!

Then she saw this:

The little car that could, no longer can…

So, since we survived, she helped me pick out this:

All’s well that ends well!  ( :

I sometimes wonder about signs.  This computer has not allowed the “reader” function to work for a while.  Now I can’t even “like” a post; it simply re-loads the post I’m attempting to like.  What does this sign mean?

It’s time to re-load.  Rejuvenate!  I’ll pray to be invigorated, inspired, energized and re-focused.  My destination is freedom and my vehicle is retreat.  In a land free of cell phone service and internet, I’ll return to a timeless way of life.  Upon returning to Virtualville, I’ll hope to find that you’ve smiled and served, setting your hearts a place at the banquet of love.  Live well!  ( :

My dad is amazing!  Like my mother, he passed from this world in recent years, but he lives on in our memories and in our characters.  Dad personified one of my most important, ongoing lessons:  actions speak louder than words!  His actions spoke beautiful tales, while it seemed to me that his tongue rarely did.  When we got him talking, he had wonderful stories to share about his life, tales of hunting and fishing adventures, getting stranded solo in a schoolhouse during a snow storm, growing up during the Great Depression, and a simple life in a large family.  The television show about “The Waltons” is believable to me.  Dad was not a persistent talker like me, and many of my siblings, however.  Maybe it was his humility, or his preference, but he spent a lot of time being quiet.  Maybe that’s how he learned so much.  Dad was a handyman, a mechanic, a farmer, an equipment operator, and whatever he needed to be.  So he was an electrician, plumber, appliance repairman, groundskeeper, painter, framer, concrete worker, welder, carpenter, bean counter and planner as well.  Dad was not afraid to take on new occupations.  He saw needs and filled them.

Dad loved science so much.  The Apollo space program was riveting for him.  Now that was some low definition television!  At least we only had three channels to surf.  This left much more time for important things.  Our virtual lives were based on imagination, without the computers.  I imagined being a professional quarterback and rivaling Jack Nicklaus on the links.  In retrospect, golfing with wounded body parts would have been tough! 

It was fun to see Dad in a relaxed state, because he was busy so much of the time, providing for our large family.  We got to help provide, by irrigating the farm, burning sage brush to clear the “back forty” acres, picking rock from the fields, weeding the garden, picking strawberries and raspberries, collecting the dreaded crab apples from the lawn, etc.  Who was the idiot who sold crab apple trees?  Must have been a make-work project after the Depression?  I think I still have a resentment against that tree!  Dad was most relaxed while fishing.  If you were lucky enough to be roused by him at 5 AM for fishing, you got his best, along with nature’s best.  Whitetail deer, bald eagles, loons, beavers, osprey, bears, bass and trout would fill your senses!  Now that’s a good life! 

Golfing was another of Dad’s passions that revealed his fun-loving nature.  He loved competition as much as I do.  His swing became consistent and he scored well, around the age that I am now.  I was a young whippersnapper with a penchant for overswinging.  My balls visited strange places, while his usually enjoyed the manicured grass of the fairways.  If you saw Bubba Watson’s incredible recovery from the woods to win the 2012 Master’s golf tournament, you can relate to some of the places I found myself.  My lessons were many, eventually leading me to a shortened, more consistent swing, that helped me to some excellent rounds of golf.  And to a better life.

Pinochle games were high on Dad’s list of fun too.  Except when someone took too damn long to play.  Make a decision and move on!  Are we going to waste our whole life waiting for overanalysis?  Rumor has it that I was one of the worst offenders.  I believe that I’ve grown a bit in this regard, so the rumors about me have morphed into tales of wild, outrageous bidding.  I don’t know how to confirm or dispute such claims, except via my mind’s reassurance that I’ve taken in more quarters than I’ve paid out.  This may be a dispute that is never settled, but continually researched?  I wonder sometimes if I’ve made bigger life decisions like a fast-moving pinochle game, when I should have tried a bit more analysis?  And the opposite as well!

Dad lives on in many beloved family members.  He is an awesome patriarch, even after death.  He died with dignity, setting right everything he could think of, and passing without fear.  Without fear!  Did he save our greatest lesson for last?

Thank you Priscilla for nominating me!  My favorite posts of hers are mentioned here.

Award rules:

Thank the person/people who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
Share seven possibly unknown things about yourself.
Nominate fifteen or so bloggers you admire.
Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know and link back to them.

Things about me:

  1. I love brussels sprouts, especially grilled with olive oil and garlic.
  2. I get high on such things as hackysack, running, bicycling, skiing, competition, socializing, loving and making love.
  3. I was petrified of speaking in high school speech class, but now I’m quite extroverted.  As John Denver said, “thank God I’m a country boy!”
  4. My bicycle is worth far more than my car.  Well, so are my golf clubs.  And my television.  Maybe my bed too….
  5. My car runs great!  Rolls, actually.  I run pretty well.
  6. I like over 98% of the foods I can think of.  That’s a wild ass guess, but I’m a bean counter, so I fancy myself to be a pretty good guesser.
  7. Seattle is the biggest city I’ve lived in.  It is far too wet and crowded for me.  But it’s fun to visit in the summer!  New York City is called “The City” for good reasons.  It was the most fun city I’ve been to for culture.  Orlando was incredibly fun!

I always nominate fewer bloggers than directed by “rules.”  I think it’s a lesser offense, one that I should be forgiven for.  I’ve cut back on speeding, so I feel the need to do something naughty.  ( :

jazfagan – jaz sparked me with “A Common Bond.”

petpisces – she expanded my thinking on the first post I read, “Emotions of a Hunter.”

Blessed with a star on the forehead – Blessed gives honesty and insight on many great posts.  One favorite is “Allowing my brown eyes to scream.

J. Michel Fleury – I love inspiration!  Check out her poems in “Love grows in you …

Thank you to these lovely bloggers who inspire me in spine tingling ways!  ( :

My dear, sweet mother gave me the core values that are the foundation for who I’ve become.  They’ve pulled me back from the brink of ruin!  They’ve helped me blossom into a kind, honest, adventurous, loving, funny, generous, passionate, fun and well-mannered man.  My Mom is in me.  I am in her.  Her deep love for God, family and other people is inscribed on my heart.  Her loving support taught me how to be a successful parent, despite all the parenting mistakes I’ve made.  Love overcomes!  I feel that God’s deep power is His love that he shares with us.  This is love of Him, people, beauty, nature, music, poetry, adventure, dancing, etc.  My Mommy passed this love to me.  She made it real.  She is my very first heroine.  She’s not injectable, but she has interjections!

Mom always encouraged me to look at women’s hearts and not worry too much about their outward appearance.  I’ve always looked for both, but one is more readily apparent than the other.  Imagine my delight at finding a stunningly beautiful woman, with an incredibly loving heart, who loved me too!  What a wonderful feeling!

Mom did many things to foster family bonds.  Grandkids remember getting a lot of two dollar bills in their greeting cards.  There were always treats to be had at Grandma’s house.  Treats, a twinkling smile and a “delighted to see you” attitude.  Mom flew on her wings of love.  She soared on the ground.  Dad, eleven kids, kids’ spouses, dozens of grandkids, grandkids’ spouses, and great-grandkids are her treasures.  She’s a treasure to us!

What would she like to see me doing?  For now, I’m heading out to open some doors and spread some smiles, in honor of my amazing mother!  ( :

One of the most influential people in my life is my psychotherapist.  We’ll call her Angelica, because of her always honest, insightful and consistent aid in my journey.  My wish is that everyone could have someone like her in their life.  She delivers a face and voice of God to me.

Angelica has guided me through thirteen and a half years of recovery, so the changes she’s encouraged are significant.  These changes are directly related to the degree to which I have willingness to try new ways, honesty to see my failings, and open-mindedness to grasp where I’ve suffered from rigid thinking.  These are cornerstones for positive changes in life.

Physical health is interrelated with spiritual and emotional health, so I’ve spent a lot of time on exercise.  Exercise feeds my mind oxygen and endorphins.  It helps my confidence and opens many doors of opportunity.  A healthy body allows me to do many things that some people cannot do.  It is an amazing blessing!  My active life is so fun!

Angelica’s voice of reality has opened many flows of tears, while her compassion has felt my pain.  She’s helped me learn that my ability to love deeply is good.  I have opportunity to engage my mind, along with my heart.  I can go slowly, turning the key to lasting love.  I can know and love myself deeply, being true to who I am, so that I will not be desperate for partnership, while open to it.  I can live by my core values.  It seems that if mature, mutual respect and admiration develop, after mastering the lessons of aloneness, healthy people can blossom together.  This feels true in my heart.  The closer I’ve come to this, the better I’ve handled relationships.  When I’ve wanted love too badly, I’ve set myself up for heartbreak.  These heart breaks cleanse my tear ducts, but threaten my longevity.  I sense that serenity fosters health, while turmoil wears me out.  Shall I opt for serenity?  Why not?!?!?!

The first part of my bucket list got me thinking I need to add more:

  1. Do the high ropes challenge course at Washington State University Recreation.  DONE!  ( :
  2. Do the low ropes challenge course at Washington State University Recreation.  DONE!  ( :
  3. Drive a Corvette.
  4. Drive a Camaro.
  5. Drive a Challenger.
  6. Drive various Lexus – SUV & sporty sedans.  DONE!  ( :
  7. Run track events at the Eastern Washington Senior Games.  Skipped for 2012 to do #1 & #2 above.
  8. Run a marathon.  Perhaps in Portland in 2013?
  9. Write a short book about the fun events of my life, like large family gatherings, adventures, love affairs, being child-like, meditation, etc.
  10. Assemble some of my best photographs; use to enhance and inspire the book!
  11. Fly in a helicopter.
  12. Sail across a lake and back.
  13. Complete a mini triathlon.
  14. Visit Washington, DC.
  15. Love unconditionally, consistently.  Getting there!
  16. Find a hackysack practice group to refine skills.
  17. Get rid of half of my stuff; find freedom of spirit!
  18. Fear nothing, freeing me to be fully present.  Getting there!
  19. Be the best version of me that I can.  Working on it!
  20. Run one mile in under six minutes.
  21. Hike on Mount Rainier.
  22. Fly around Denali.
  23. Pray for anyone whom I find resentment for.  As I go – this is freedom!  ( :
  24. Travel to South America.
  25. Travel to Europe.
  26. Travel to Australia.
  27. Travel to Asia.
  28. Drive a Scion FR-S.  DONE!  (
  29. Hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
  30. Help!  ( :

I just remembered an inspiration I had to write about inspirations.  This blog may be the closest I get to writing a book, or my memoirs, and that’s okay.  Writing is writing!  After decades of procrastination, I can’t believe I’ve written this much.  It feels rewarding.  I recently thought that I should cut back on writing to do more reading.  Nonetheless, I want to get this idea started on the path to fruition. 

In the book of my life, many of the most important chapters are about the people who have inspired me along the way.  In various ways, they’ve helped me become a better version of myself.  My life has been blessed with many inspiring people, so there is a huge risk that I will overlook some of the most important ones.  I might take them for granted.  My life path offers chances to open up my tunnel thinking, so I’m willing to take this risk.  I’ll rectify these mistakes if I see them.  I won’t be able to talk about all the important interactions of my life.  I don’t know how many of them I even remember.  I do believe I am a reflection of where I’ve been, and the people who’ve formed me, so there may be therapeutic value in this review.  If not, then perhaps there will be pleasant memories and a resolve to take care in whom I spend my time with!

I don’t know yet whether to discuss the people who seemed to pull me down.  My fourth and fifth step of recovery dealt much with them and really, about me.  They could have been anyone. 

What about the exciting prospects of the unknown future?  I’m praying that I’m open enough to let great chapters unfold as they can!

I am so impressed by the amazing athletes I’ve watched at our United States Olympic Trials!  It seems like a celebration of wellness.  I’ve seen a lot of swimming and some track and field and gymnastics.  The athleticism, focus and clutch performances are captivating.  I must admit that I’ve hoped the most for Natalie Coughlin, Dara Torres and Anthony Ervin.  It’s cool to see the older athletes do so well.  They help motivate me to take care of my body.  Janet Evans  interviewed with heart-warming class, maturity and gratitude.  She made my heart smile!

To have the Tour de France and Wimbledon happening at the same time creates an abundance of elite athletes available to watch.  This always gets me pumped up!  I jumped on my new bicycle and had a great time meandering along some of my favorite paths.  I pedaled to Bennington Lake and toured as many single track trails as I could, including the Lakeside Trail, the Weed Patch and the Enchanted Forest.  I crossed Mill Creek near the dam and passed Rooks Park, en route to the Five Mile loop.  The sun was warm, but my body was nearly bare and my water was icy.  I felt free, invigorated, inspired and fully alive!  I climbed the big hill and flew down the other side, noticing more strength in my legs.  Nearing home, I zoomed around the Provenance loop, arriving home in just under 89 minutes.  I was primed for cool drinks and more chores!  Nick helped me kill some weeds and I barbecued a tasty dinner.  I watched a bunch of the Olympic Trials, including the awesome gymnasts.  What great examples of balance and being centered!  ( :

Tell me it isn’t so!  Tell me that blogging is not harmful to my health!

Is there a little devil sitting on my right shoulder?  How can the right side of my body be wearing out faster than the left side?  My right ankle, elbow, index finger and wrist are in distress.  It seems the list is getting longer, instead of shorter!  Is blogging, in addition to daytime computer work, wearing me out?  Yikes!  Could it be therapeutic to my emotional health and yet detracting from my physical health?  Am I still in search of balance?  My plan is to switch back to a regular mouse, instead of this mouse pad.  I’m hoping for an orthopedic doctor’s recommendations on how to rehabilitate my elbow, wrist and finger.  I’m also going to pray a lot!  To the extent that my body allows me to lift weights, my new emphasis will be on lighter weights with more repetitions, stretching and building core strength.

Yesterday I visited Saager’s Shoe Shop, a lovely store with excellent service and quality footwear.  It was such a pleasant reminder of the special feeling that great customer service and friendliness bring.  Saager’s has thrived despite a quiet site and the rise of mega-stores, because they make people happy and sell them great products.  I purchased Vibram Five Fingers KSO TrekSport shoes.  They are part of my strategy to become more centered, balanced and in touch with my body.  My hope is healing, injury avoidance and well-being.  Perhaps I will learn how to train without inflicting injuries on myself.  I am sold on the belief that when running barefoot, we naturally run in a way that minimizes shock throughout our bodies, including ankles, knees and hips.  We land softly on our mid foot, instead of the pounding inflicted by heel striking.  So the trend towards minimalist running shoes seems intuitively sound.  I’m hoping to re-train myself to walk and run in a balanced, centered and efficient way, easing the stress on my body.  I’ll mix in wearing the Five Fingers shoes, starting with walking, to build strength and balance in my feet.  I hope it works!

vibram-treksport

 

frankoshanko

I love health, humor, adventure, exercise, romance and competition. Well, I just love life! ( :

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