Do You Stop Short of Success?

Do you tend to stop just short of success

Boycott “Shortstops”

Do you stop short of success? Funny I should ask! Today is March 15th. I’ve been working for two weeks on a St. Patrick’s Day marketing idea that would bring people to my website to buy my little children’s book, “Lucky, the Left Pawed Puppy”. I have left myself a whopping two days for promotion.

This article won’t be long because I do realize I’m writing this instead of doing my other work. But this is what I always do. I stop just this short of success, and maybe you do too.  But I’m not going to do that today. screenshot Irish Memory Match Game for St. Patrick's Day

Your Past May Be Present 

So where did this new discipline of mine (if it kicks in soon) come from? Google, of course, is the answer. I simply searched and found two wonderful articles that might help you if you’re a “stopper” like me. The first piece, “The Fear of Success” was written by Dr. Susanne Babbel for Psychology Today, resonated with me the most. Dr. Babbel discusses the surprising link between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and fear of success. She addresses, as well, the avoidance of situations that might “get our hopes up. Sound familiar?

The second article, “Fear of Success: Do You Have One Of These 6 Symptoms?” will be helpful in identifying whether or not you fall into this “un-merry” band of brothers (and sisters). There are also insightful questions at the end of the article which just might propel you towards the success you really do want.

I’ll be off now tweeting my promotion because a St. Patrick’s Day marketing scheme just can’t wait until Easter.

‘California Weaving’

crystal ballIf I had gone to a fortune-teller in Minneapolis in 1990 – let’s imagine a dark-haired woman with a crystal ball and a gypsy scarf around her head – and she attempted to tell me I’d be living in southern California in 2016, I would have laughed out loud. If she told me that my friend Patti Hall would one day retire and also move to California where both of us would have adult children who lived a few blocks from each other, I would have
rolled my eyes and droned, “Yeah, right.”

Patti7But here it is 2016 and Patti lives in Toluca Lake and I live in the OC and we meet often for lunch at some beach-y restaurant with seagulls and surfers and sometimes a stray dolphin swimming by.  Patti might not have been as surprised by the imaginary fortune teller’s California predictions because, after all, she did start her young adult life out here on the West Coast, attending Cal-State, Los Angeles where she received her BA in Art.  It might have been predictable as well, that after years teaching and mentoring new teachers, Patti would finally be able to devote herself full-time to her own personal artistic pursuits when she retired.

It was over a margarita at Duke’s in Huntington Beach (Surf City, USA) that I started asking Patti more about the weaving that I knew she was pursuing full-time and about her shop in the Etsy store I had recently visited online.   Continue reading ‘California Weaving’

Learn Almost Anything, Anytime, for Less Than a Few Venti Frappuccinos

Full Disclosure: I have absolutely NO connection to this website other than having taken classes at the website mentioned in this article.

screen shot of art classes at udemyWhen I was searching craigslist for someone who might do a professionally looking video for me, I found a young videographer who was interested in taking on my project. “First,” he told me, “try some of the classes on They’ll be a great guide for you before starting your kickstarter video and they’re really inexpensive – $10, $20.
I ended up deciding not to go with kickstarter,” but I did find Udemy. I’m not in love with the name “udemy”; it’s hard to remember and people don’t catch it when you tell them about this great offering.  However, I am in love with the classes! You can find hundreds of interesting, informative, and well-produced courses on this website – everything from writing a novel to software development. You can even find “Happiness Classes” under “Personal Growth”. Just use the search bar within the website and you might happen upon something you’ve been looking for for a long time!


Three Simple Words to Save Face in Election Year 2016 or Any Other Time of Your Life

handsome man looking embarrassed
By November 8, 2016, or possibly before, there is going to be a need for a few people, if not millions, to save face. The conventions are over at the date of this posting, and the debates haven’t started. Whether you're Democrat, Republican, Independent, or any other party, there are several scenarios that can play out in the next few months that can cause many of us to have a reason to save face, preserve our dignity, and regain credibility for the proclamations and predictions we made to friends and family about this election. "Donald Trump will never make it to election day." "Hillary will reverse her decision on TTP". "The Millennials simply won't turn out to vote." 

But this year's election aside, in our everyday interactions, there are times that we make proclamations or take stands with our friends, neighbors, family, and our spouses based on our psychological needs. Why did we have to negate a friend's idea or suggestion? "Oh, I really didn't like the Jason Bourne movies - way too violent for me." Is a statement like this made out of some need to prove our exceptional moral character? Or what about a seemingly innocuous statement, "Hybrid cars are such a good environmental choice," spoken to our cousin who we know loves her Chevy Suburban? Or more importantly, what about our interactions with our spouses? "If you weren't so stubborn, I wouldn't have yelled" - a statement skirting responsibility for our own actions. 

But no matter what the reason for our very human tendency to often revert to the less noble part of ourselves, when our choices or proclamations have been proven to be psychologically needy or unsound or based on illogical conclusions or false assumptions; if we have acted in a way that is embarrassing on a small-scale or a large-scale, there are simply three words that can go a long way in helping us save face:


Depending on the situation you might want to add a sentence or two in front or in back of this statement.  If you're going for humor, you can add: "What was I thinking?  I must have been on drugs." If your actions directly affected another person, you will want to add a sincere apology: "I'm so sorry."  It doesn't matter whether our positions were of little consequence, as in our opinion about a movie or a restaurant, or of huge consequence, as in action taken against another.  Whenwe say these three words,  "I was wrong,"  we honor not only the other person, but ourselves as well. 

The Woman in the Turquoise Bandanna

We’ve all experienced it – that feeling when you’re traveling in a strange town, and you meet someone with a connection to something familiar.  I don’t know the name for it.  It’s serendipitous when it happens, yes, but what is the feeling? Maybe there’s word for it in a different language.  I don’t know.

The best I can describe it right now is the “unexpected joy of connection”. That’s how I felt when I started talking to the woman in a turquoise bandanna and her husband sitting in front of the Chart Room Restaurant in Crescent City, CA waiting for a table. Mike was inside putting his name on the list.  I don’t often start a conversation with people in recent years. When I was young, I used to strike up conversations with everyone I met, but now Mike is usually the one much better at that than I am. But I struck up a conversation with this woman.  Maybe it was the turquoise bandanna she wore that made her seem so accessible. It’s lucky I wasn’t wearing my own favorite green or red scarf that I like to fold in a triangle and tie under my hair in the back. I would have worried that the people in the restaurant Continue reading The Woman in the Turquoise Bandanna

Our First Drive-by Smile

imageInterrupting the sequence of this blog (STAY TUNED FOR "The Woman in the Turquoise Bandanna) to bring you late, breaking news.  We received our first drive-by smile about an hour ago on US 101 north of Cloverdale.  How sweet!  The girl in the car waved at our "Smile, blogging on wheels!" sign.  Here's to you, sweet young girl.

Bear Camp Road: “Not Even God Can Find Me”


I always loved the song “They Call the Wind Mariah” made popular in the 50s by Frankie Laine. I hadn’t thought about it for many years, but on July 23, 2016, on top of a mountain in the Klamath Mountain Range, the lyrics leapt right out of their cobwebs in the back of my brain, jumped up to the front, fired some old neurons, and I could almost hear Frankie Laine’s voice:

And now I’m lost; so awful lost;
Not even God can find me.

f you take the “Road Not Taken” as Frost speaks of in his infamous poem, be sure it isn’t a one lane path winding up and down and ‘round and ‘round through a mountain. (Chubby Checker’s twist is not how you want a road to move). Also make sure it isn’t the Bear Camp Road that climbs 4,600 ft traversing the Klamath Mountain Range. Wikipedia describes it thus: “a paved, one-lane road with…  Full Article

Hold On…More to Come

Adventures are happening faster than I can blog! Here are some quick pictures from this morning in Grants Pass. This afternoon we arrived in Crescent City where it’s wonderfully cool and on the ocean! Tonight I hope to post “The Road We Shouldn’t Have Taken” (or some title close to that.) Hello to everyone we’ve met along our way. Stay tuned.

  • One of many bear decorations on streets of downtown Grants Pass

Lots of Lhasa

Oliver and Scooter – Little Lhasa’s Meeting at the Motelbra

When most people see our little Scooter, they ask if he’s a Shih tzu, and I tell them he’s part Shih tzu and part Lhasa.  Yesterday morning, Oliver’s owner asked if Scooter was a Lhasa because Oliver is, and they sure do look as if they could be brothers.  (I believe Lhasas are taller than the Shih tzu breed and their noses are longer.)  So this woman saw the Lhasa in Scooter because of her experience – which brings me to a point she told me in our brief conversation about her other experience.  Oliver’s owner just happened to have been the Regional Sales Manager, if I understood correctly, for the entire Northwest Region of the telephone company.  I believe she said AT & T.  (We were both in a hurry to get back on the road, so I’m a bit sketchy about the details.)  She apparently retired young and is simply living life, enjoying her grandchildren, helping relatives move, doing whatever she might love to do at this stage of her life.

“Hmm, I wonder?” Oliver and Scooter contemplating the question.

When I processed that information later as we drove out of Centralia towards Salem, I realized that this conversation had gone straight into the box in my head called, “Re’gret City” (accent on the first syllable).  I’m not sad I have this area in my brain reserved for keeping track of all the regrets of my life.  I keep “Regret City” there because I love the quote: “Maybe the sole purpose of my existence is to be a warning to others.” That’s not a bad thing. Great inventions of the world, great plays, great philosophical and scientific thoughts have been based on improving on the mistakes others have documented. So I’m documenting this observation:

Being a Sales Manager or anyone in charge of a number of people takes pluck and courage.  It takes the ability to look someone in the eye and say “no”.  It takes the stamina to endure the stress of perhaps not being liked or the stress of weighty decisions.  It takes the ability to think more about the welfare of others than of your own.

I know for a fact that I simply am not able to manage anyone; it’s not in my DNA or in my upbringing. (Sometimes the ability to manage other people or endure the stress of decision making is in conflict with our other gifts.) But the lesson for those of you like me who stand by and let the world chisel pieces from your soul is to take baby steps out of your comfort zone and be brave enough to confront issues head-on and not walk away.  You don’t have to do it everyday of your life. You don’t have to do it every year, or even every ten years. But wouldn’t It would be nice if, at the very least, you could do it once! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could look back on your life when someone asks you to think of a time when you were really assertive, that you would have at least one image of you taking control of an issue that matters with dignity, assurance, and effectiveness?  If you have already created that moment, inspire us with your story in the comment section.

It’s Fun to Answer a “Why”

  • Mike and Kerry, Chehalis,WA

Does it seem like lately there are a lot of “why’s” in your life hanging about in unanswered suspension?  Finding answers to the littler “why’s” you encounter can give you a sense of unity and connection to it all.
I know exactly why, out of all the booth’s at the farmer’s market in Chehalis, WA Continue reading It’s Fun to Answer a “Why”

Carrie and the Flowers

dog on road tripgeraniumsLet’s get back to Thursday, July 14th. (Who says a blog has to be organized, in sequence, timely, or any one of those characteristics that is foreign to so many of us?) I could write about our cute, cozy cabin at Bozeman Hot Springs Campground or the little stream that runs through the camp, or the hot springs that is a unique campground feature, but I want to cabins at Bozeman's Hot Springs Camproundwrite about Carrie and the flowers.
Anyone who knows me, knows about my fascination with the Strong Campbell Interest Test (presently called the Strong Interest Inventory). This is a highly respected test used by career counselors to help individuals find their life’s work. As it was explained to me eons ago when I was in my 20’s, the test was based on a unique concept. The hypothesis, as I understand it, was that people who are drawn to certain careers, have similar personal interests. Let’s say you’re interested in Continue reading Carrie and the Flowers

Candy Blasingame – Remember that Name

candy blasingamedog on road trip




So we're setting up our little tent at Jellystone Campground in Missoula Montana, right?  I know, I know. We said no more tenting, but it was getting late and all the hotels were booked because of "The Biggest Bike Travel Celebration Since Bikecentenniel in '76." (We really should check these things out beforehand.) But $30 is a sweet price to pay on the road, plus we just invested in a brand new air mattress and pump, so the dye was cast, and we decided to give tenting a second chance.
Never to be known to roll into a campsite earlier than about 8:00 pm, we were among the last to check in to the cute Yogi Bear Jellystone Lodge. We got our little tent up in the dry camping area (no water or electricity - just some nice rock-less ground), and were just about to put air in the mattress when we remembered the pump needed 4 D-cell batteries. We 
raced off to the store in town, but on our way out, we waved to the woman in the tent next to us. (She had gotten her tent up in about 10 min. and was now sitting in a camping chair leisurely reading a book on her tablet.)
When we zoomed back from the store with our batteries and were racing against the setting sun, the woman next to us, having noticed our "BloggingOnWheels" sign on our car, had gone to our website and now asked about it. (This was the first person who had seen our sign and had actually

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Modern Day Pioneers

Bozeman Hot Springs Campgrounddog on road tripThey would be the last to call themselves pioneers; but I would.  We met Nick and Jean at breakfast in the lodge at Bozeman Hot Springs Campground.  They were sitting at the table behind us, and as happens over free sausage and pancakes in a lodge that reminds you of your summer camp, people become talkative, and we struck up a conversation. "We're from Minnesota," Jean added to her introduction. "We're from Minnesota," Mike and I chimed in together. (If we had been talking longer before our declaration of our place of origin, we could have guessed where each other was from by the similarity in our accents). 

Jean's hooded jacket had the logo of the Minnesota Deer Hunter Association, and we quickly learned that both Nick and Jean were avid

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Maybe It Was Her Hat

dog on road tripHow does it happen that you can meet some people, talk to them for less than 5 minutes, and you know that you could be life-long friends? DeannaThat’s how it was with DeAnna. She had this really cool hat and was taking off some gloves when she approached to tell us that no dogs are allowed on the lush green grass at the Dwyer Junction Rest Area near Laramie Peak, WY. (Scooter had decided he needed to simply lay down on this cool green carpet. He failed to read the sign saying "No Dogs on the Lawn" and so did we!)  Maybe it was DeAnna's hat and her rolled up jeans that made her so approachable.  When you think about it, a person has a lot of choices for hats when working out in the sun. You can wear a visor hat or a floppy garden hat or a hat like DeAnna wore. I think it was the wide brim of the khaki hat and the loose strings that suggested an Indiana Jones kind of charm.  Her rolled up jeans, while having a practical purpose, really spoke more to her obvious youthful spirit. As we started talking, I asked if she

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You Could Spend Your Life on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico

dog on road tripThere should be towering Cathedral doors at the entrance of Canyon Road Artist quarters, and you should have to whisper in reverence when walking around the Pueblo style buildings that house the artists' eclectic works. We had visited here two years ago, and we knew then we had to come back.

David McGary Sculpture

David McGary

Instead of Cathedral doors, at the entrance of Canyon Road are the life-size poignant and stunning bronze sculptures by David McGary. The emotional intensity of McGary's Native American sculptures provoke questions not only of the psychology of Native people, but psychology of each of us.  McGary captures moments of nobility, pride, courage, endurance, determination - all cast in bronze to be viewed not as fleeting emotions, but frozen in forged metal to be admired and emulated. 

Owner of Caffe Greco - Michael Lerner

We knew we were at the same place we had been on our last visit because we

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Hang On, Santa Fe Post Coming

dog on road tripBlogging on wheels with a dog would be easy for a Cirque du Solei performer - not so much for this writer.  So hang on for pictures of yesterday's visit to Santa Fe and a chat with the affable artist David Jonason and with the 80 year old owner of Cafe Greco , Michael Lerner..  As soon as Scooter's nap is over, we'll be on it 🙂  Cheers from Billie on the road somewhere in Wyoming.

The Toasted Owl – Flagstaff

  • waitressnameAspe
    The Lovely Aspen and our Breakfast

dog on road tripIt was late '69, early 1970 when I saw Flagstaff for the first time.  I'll never forget it.  It was dusk and the sun was setting in a purple haze behind the mountain.  I was in the car and remember that the view actually took my breath away.ToastedOwl2I always knew Flagstaff had a quaint looking downtown area, and yesterday we found it in the historic district.  That's were we came across a unique restaurant, not only for the food, but for the decor. Initially, it was the colored umbrellas outside that drew us in to "The Toasted Owl" on 12 S. Mikes Pike. I hadn't realized that this was a vegan restaurant nor that every table in the cafe is a different vintage type table which, according to my husband Mike, are all for sale. This restaurant is teeming with owls, not real ones, of course, but every kind of owl-themed art you can think of. (It's always charming when you have a theme). Apparently people come to the restaurant not only for the food, but to buy these antique owl objects.(A bubbly blonde waitress came over to get a embroidered crewel

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For Sale, Road Trip Tent, Used Once!

dog on road tripIt wouldn’t have been our dog Scooter in tentso bad. The weather in Flagstaff was great last night – probably 60 or so.  The rate for the tent site was only $25, and the people at the Woody Mountain Campground and RV Park could not have been more genuinely friendly.  (The woman checking us in was closing at 7:00 pm when we came zooming in, but stayed open to make Mike a huge ham sandwich in the Woody Mountain little campground store !)
Woody Mountain Campground
So it might have all worked out if it hadn’t been for the air mattress! It was the leak that did us in (mostly) – that and crawling in and out of the tent on bodies that never kept up with Yoga lessons – well, let’s face it, on bodies that never actually took a Yoga lesson.

But in spite of the leaking mattress and crawling around, we were working it out.  We decided to put our comfy comforter on top of the air mattress which was about 1/4 filled and to sleep on the comforter.That should cushion the rocks, we reasoned. We had two small “throws” to put on top of us. By 1:30 though, the air mattress was 0% filled, and even though Mike seemed to be sleeping ok, I hadn’t been that lucky. Finally, I gave up on wrestling with the rocks and for control of Continue reading For Sale, Road Trip Tent, Used Once!

Among the Worst Phrases in the English Language

Hobson State Beach
Hobson State Beach

Among one of dog on road tripthe worst phrases in the English language is the phrase, "The course has been taken".  While that phrase may serve us well and give us comfort after a rocket has been launched or in the middle of a haircut, in situations where there is still the option of turning back or changing courses, we probably should seriously consider doing so. Never being one to hesitate changing my mind about anything, we have changed our course. After going up the amazingly beautiful Pacific Coast, stopping at Hobson State Beach in Seacliff, CA and having supper in the quaint beachside town of Carpentaria, we were going to head up to Seatle.  However:  news flash - hotel rooms have

Billie in Big Bear
Billie in Big Bear
Hobson Beach, Ventura, CA
Hobson Beach, Ventura, CA

skyrocketed in price since our last road trip two years ago (almost double) and we decided tenting in Big Bear might be the answer. (more about finding a campsite in Big Bear in the next blog).

So the lesson of this blog is simply: instead of deciding that the "course has been taken" and you have to stoically stick to it, consider instead the Chinese proverb: "He who continues to travelon the wrong road, is truly unwise." (or something like that). See you next posting.