tDebbie first saw Cleo around Christmas of 2007. I said no. We painfully had to give away our dog Bo Bo a few years earlier because Debbie and the kids struggled to take care of him, walk him, etc. Debbie moved to her Plan-B strategy, making sure that I was able to see Cleo myself while we were out running errands and justify buying Cleo as being the perfect gift for my 40th birthday, I relented and every night that I've been home since then, this silly dog jumps up on my pillows and rolls over and asks me to kiss her tummy. Cleo has been progressively sick a few years and I think we all know our time with her is drawing to an end but she has truly been a sweet addition to our family and has been Debbie's best friend ever single day since we took her home on that January afternoon.
Napping on the Forest Edge
Watercolor & Gouache
10x14 Arches Cold-Pressed #140 watercolor paper
I will take a better photo and using my lightbox later...
Fifty-one never felt good, I never wore it well, my Dad died when he was 51 years old and when you carry that for 21 years, it does something to you. I thought we could get past it if we had a big birthday blowout extravaganza because I never celebrate my birthdays but Debbie couldn't get her act together on that one, a few weeks later, she fell on black ice and for the whole year we have lived with the hell of a severely broken leg and ankle, multiple surgeries, several ambulance trips, a near-death experience as all of her electrolytes flushed from her body, 8 days in ICU, touch and go, a daughter with a pain syndrome, days of being unable to make it to the bathroom, trying to do school work on the internet when the sheer act of moving her arm made her cry out in pain, our oldest son reimagined his privileged life caught up in some sort of Millennial trauma storyline that is absolutely nonsensical, leaving my job, the absence of a few people who have always been there for me, in my hardest days, not going to lie it was one thing after another, like a 365-day rain storm, thoughts shifting between building an arc and trying to figure out who put this voodoo curse on me and finally concluding that, no, it's all a bunch of BS - I am some poor kid from Greensburg, Indiana who has done really well for himself through hard work and good luck and this is the other side of that equation, every day can't be sunny and rosy and I had lived so many of those that I came to expect them and learned to not appreciate them. I decided I wasn't going to play that whole game anymore, I remembered who I was, I took a little time off, I did things for others, I made things with. my hands and piece by piece it came back to me and this morning I woke up and BAM! Everything felt different. Yes, it will rain in the future, yes, there are things to contend with in life, we all have to do it but that year, whatever it was, why so ever it was, it's gone, today I am 52 in a new decade and I've done some pretty mega things in my life and I'm not done. I pity the world that knocked me around a little bit when I was 51 and I remembered something that one of my bosses said publicly a few years back, he said, "I would never bet against Dan Buell," me either! Happy Birthday to me! Let's go!!!!
It was my first walk of the new year and I was rushing to get out the door so that I couldn't talk myself out of it with superior persuasive techniques that haven't served me all that well in my life and I don't think I dressed appropriately. My watch said it was in the mid-40's but I didn't get a read on the wind, which was pretty stiff and cold blowing off of the Rocky Mountains. It was also very icy. Our neighborhood is on a fairly steep hill and is an ice pit from the Arctic most winter long as the snow and ice warm up and water flows downstream, amasses in various places including in front of our house and freezes again, making it very treacherous. My wife, Debbie fell last January and severely broke her ankle in a number of places, has nearly 30 screws and several plates in her ankle and leg, is still recovering and walks with a cane so we are super sensitive about the ice to put it mildly given its impact on our lives this past year. Because it is the holidays, the roads, sidewalks and ice pools are not well tended to and I nearly went down about two minutes into the walk and on two other occasions but I kept going because I'm wound that way I guess - feel free to nominate me for a bravery medal :-)
I am sharing some photos from today's trip. I did not take my cameras because I didn't trust myself on the ice, so these were all taken with my iPhone. Today's trek was a loop around our neighborhood - on other days I'll go to different destinations to walk and photograph and sometimes I'll take my good gear.
Like everyone I have so many big goals for 2020, it's a new decade after all! I actually may have more goals than most people, which probably makes me slightly neurotic - I suppose when it is done and over nobody will ever be able to accuse me of not reaching for the stars but sometimes that over-achiever infliction that I have is just exhausting! Rome wasn't built in a day nor will Dan Buell version 5.0 be but today's focus will hopefully edge me forward and help me get there!
On my life docket today:
1. Finalize my new personal organization system (I am a Myers Briggs INTJ, we build systems). I will go into detail about it later but after 25 years of testing and using most every system that exists, I feel uniquely qualified to try to pull this off - I am heavily influenced by a confluence of sources including the GTD (Getting Things Done) master list concept, Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Successful People value-based categorization approach to organization and bullet journaling for its customization and simplicity. I'm using Evernote as a tool - I'll post more about all of this in the future after I've given it a test run.
2. I have some major league health goals in 2020 and today I was off to the races. I did not sleep very well according to my Apple Watch app, SleepWatch, which I very highly recommend if you have the latest Apple Watch. I'm not sure how it works with past versions but I did get a great workout on my stationary bike and braved the ice and cold for a decent little walk around our neighborhood in the late afternoon - I'll share some photos from my walks go-forward. I've eaten pretty healthily today and anticipate that continuing - I'll share more about my fitness programs downstream but needless to say, I am going to make 2020 my year for optimal health. I am using several apps including LoseIt, which I have used before with moderate success.
3. I am going to spend some quality time with my family today doing the not so fun activity of cleaning the house after the holidays - I'll think through how to make it fun.
4. I'm going to be setting up this website of course...
There may be more, things might pop up and there may be less but here it is and here I am - Happy New Year!!!!
2019 and I were not friends, we called each other names and sabotaged one another - I would like to say something nice about 2019 and I may over time but for now, I am ecstatic to announce that we have ended our relationship and I have found a new love, her name is 2020 and I think that together we can do great things! Welcome to my brand spanking new website, there will be a lot of changes and growth here over time!