OnTheGoWithAmyO.

"Live The Life You've Imagined." ~Thoreau

Archive for the category “Friends”

¡Feliz Navidad from the San Antonio River Walk!

SONY DSCA few days ago, I drove up to San Antonio to enjoy a Christmas party with team members from my “day job” as virtual marketing assistant.

It was worth the 3-hour drive from Port Aransas just to see these lights!

There were some reports that the San Antonio River Walk had less lights than last year, but I didn’t notice. It certainly looked colorful and beautiful. The food at the Iron Cactus was delicious as always.

After dinner, we went over to the Alamo and took some fun team photos in front of the historical landmark.

All in all, a fantastic visit. ¡Feliz Navidad!

 

(Photo: Amy Oakley Photography)

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A True Story: Four friends, an old Cajun man, a Hanging Tree, some vultures, a rural cemetery, and- a dog!

spud01
Last Saturday, we found this little dog all alone in a rural cemetery halfway between Seguin and Nixon, Texas. He sitting in front of a tombstone as still as a statue. It was pure luck (or serendipity!) that we found him.

So grab some popcorn, and settle in for a true short story about four friends, an old Cajun man, a hanging tree, some vultures, a rural cemetery, and- a dog!

It all started when Lorelei and her friend Kim drove from Waco to Seguin last Saturday since they had tickets to an evening tour of a haunted hotel. Since they were so close by, my friend Cheryl & I drove from San Antonio to meet them for an early dinner at Tavern on the Creek in Seguin. (So delicious!)

Apparently an “old Cajun man” told Lorelei and Kim about a haunted Hanging Tree on a dirt road near the town of Nixon that was a must to visit if you wanted a genuine hair-raising paranormal experience.

So, with a couple of hours to kill (no pun intended) before their evening haunted hotel tour, we decided to drive in search of this Hanging Tree. (Which in itself is a big deal, because I tend to stay far, far, far away from all things haunted, but for whatever reason I was game for the adventure… anyway…)

As we turned down side roads, traveling farther and farther away from town, we saw a couple of vultures! But Lorelei assured us vultures actually have a positive connotation* (see footnote), so we all took deep breaths, shared a few nervous laughs, and continued on.

A few minutes later, I spotted a Texas Historical Marker sign and asked if we could stop at it. (In hindsight, don’t horror movies always start with someone saying, “Hey, let’s stop”?!)

Lo and behold, the marker was in front of a small, very quiet, gated cemetery in the middle of nowhere with large oak trees that I’m sure look spooky at night.

As we read the historical sign, I saw what looked like a stuffed animal in front of a headstone. “Is that a dog?” (Famous last words to an animal rescuer, ha!)

Yes, it indeed was a little dog. All alone.

He was very scared, and didn’t make any movement until we got close to him, then he crawled submissively to us and rolled over on his back.

We whistled in case maybe there were other dogs or puppies (there weren’t). The little dog had a few fleas, but otherwise looked to be in excellent health.

So we loaded up the pup, and – with fingers crossed for luck – went looking for his family. We drove a quarter mile here, a quarter mile there to see if any neighbors recognized this little guy. No luck, so we ditched our search for the Hanging Tree and headed back to town.

Since everyone else had a husband or boyfriend saying, “Cute, but NO!”, the little dog went home with me.

I named him “Spud” and he is a wonderful dog! He’s about a year old, potty-trained, crate-trained, doesn’t bark, doesn’t whine, doesn’t chew things up or scratch on the RV bathroom door. He’s friendly, walks well on a leash, and all around happy (but like a magnet to me).

I took him to Banfield on Sunday morning for a microchip scan, and since there was no chip, he got a collar, dog food, flea treatment and dog bed at PetSmart thanks to a farewell gift card a couple of months ago from my Waco rescue friends, Michelle, Fallon, Julie, Dot, Kim, Danielle and Casey.

On Tuesday, I took Spud to a Vanguard low-cost vaccination clinic for full vaccinations, heartworm test (Negative! Yay!), heartworm prevention and dewormer. I have requested an appointment from the local low-cost spay/neuter clinic for neuter and microchip. Hope to hear back from them soon.

Spud gets along “like peas and carrots” with my rescue dog Sofie Darla, and people keep asking if I’m going to keep Spud. For now, my answer is “I’m keeping him until he gets neutered, then we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

I am still checking lost/found pet sites near the area, just in case anyone is looking for him, but I know the odds are low.

On the bright side, this whole experience has spurred a couple of new short story ideas about puppies in the cemetery… paranormal is not my usual genre, but I’m always open to new ideas, especially when there is a happy ending for a little dog.

By the way, I wonder if we were to go back to look for that old Cajun man if he’d still be there. Maybe he was that little dog’s guardian angel. Or maybe the little dog saved us from paranormal ambush at the haunted Hanging Tree… We’ll never know. (Insert Vincent Price evil laugh here!)

#PhotoJournal #WriteOn

* Vulture Animal Totem: The Vulture is the symbol of death and rebirth, the mother symbol, and represents purification. For those with this totem, you will be noticed more for what you do than how you appear… The Vulture promises us that no matter how difficult things are at the moment, rescue and change are imminent. (~http://linsdomain.com/totems-t-v.htm)

Rack ‘Em Up! A Night Out With One Of My BFFs

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Last night was “Girls Night Out” with my BFF Cheryl, woot woot!

We pretty much alternate who wins the game, and the other half of the fun is picking our favorite 70s, 80s and 90s songs at the jukebox so we have happy music while we play.

Lots of laughter, sharing old memories, making of new memories… it’s the best!

It’s simple moments like these that remind how incredibly blessed I am to have a close circle of inspirational, fun, talented, and fully trusted “soul sisters” in my life.

Even if we’re not always close by, we’re always close at heart.

 

The Bonus Of A Goal Buddy

228_TrainTracksSideViewPPTDO YOU HAVE A GOAL BUDDY?

Time may give us the illusion that it is infinite, but it’s not. One day, each of us will reach the end of the line in this journey called Life.

It’s quiet moments on back country roads like this that make me ponder:
• How am I spending each precious minute of my day?
• Am I wisely investing my time and energy towards achieving that which is important to me?
• What activities bring me the most joy in accordance with my Major Goals and Life’s Purpose?

There is something powerful about writing down a goal, but I believe there is added empowerment in speaking that goal out loud to a trusted friend. There is accountability. There is encouragement. There is the gentle nudge on those days when the goal seems impossible.

For more than 10 years, I’ve had a Goal Buddy – my best friend, Suzan.

This unique aspect of our friendship allows us to motivate and inspire each other in our individual journeys, to take small steps on a daily or weekly basis towards bigger goals, and to celebrate the victories, both big and small.

On occasion, I’m faced with a challenge where a goal no longer brings joy to my life, or it no longer serves a purpose towards my Major Goals or Life Purpose. At those times, like the song says, I have to be strong enough to ♫ let it go ♫.

Tomorrow morning, Suzan and I will have an early morning conference call to review our individual 2nd Quarter accomplishments, and stake a claim in what each of us wants to achieve in the 3rd Quarter of 2016. These conversations light a fire in my soul that make me appreciate every minute in the day.

I’ll note that when we first started these Goal Buddy Reviews, it was on a weekly basis. Over the years, however, we’ve hit a comfortable stride with our progress so that we only do Goal Reviews at the end of every quarter, and at the beginning of each New Year.

My Suggestion: Life is short. Make it count. No regrets. Figure out what’s important to you, grab a trusted Goal Buddy to share your vision, then create a road map to keep you on track!

Wishing you abundant blessings,
AmyO.

 

Washing Away The Worries

06192016_RainsDuring the past few weeks, I’ve been struggling with several significant personal questions, such as whether to reconsider my RV summer travel plans, how to best assist a couple of animal welfare groups that are important to me, and to figure out why I was feeling so uninspired creatively.

After chatting with close family members and “inner circle” friends who I’m confident have my best interest at heart (as I do them), I discovered answers to most of my concerns, as well as a sense of relief that lifted my spirits!

Then, almost like a gesture of celebration, a large lone rain cloud formed overhead that same afternoon, which released a gentle but steady rain shower that lasted at least 30 minutes. As I laughed and lifted my arms to greet the cool raindrops pitter-pattering on my face, it was like they were washing away the last of my worries, and filling me with a sense of peace, purpose and gratitude.


‪#‎PhotoJournal‬
‪#‎LetItGo‬ ‪#‎BeInspired‬ ‪#‎Gratitude‬

Boat Ride to St. Jo’s Island

01242016_StJo03Yesterday, my friend Michele (another solo lady RVer) and I visited St. Jo’s Island, which is right across the channel from Port Aransas on Mustang Island, Texas.

Since you can only get to the little island by boat, there is very little traffic, and because of that, the beach has an abundance of shells!

It was a perfect day weather-wise, too; sunny and warm, compared the rest of the country dealing with snow, blizzards and freezing temperatures.

01242016_StJo02

This is one of the reasons I love the RV Life: If I don’t like the weather, or neighbors, or city… I simply hitch up and go somewhere else!

In all the years I visited Port Aransas, I’ve never ventured across to St. Jo’s. It was worth it!

But a word of warning, there are no bathrooms! You can BYOTP (Toilet Paper), or if you’re like me, you just don’t drink anything earlier in the day and hope you make it back across the boat before you have to go!

Life is a journey. Enjoy every minute of it.

AmyO.

So Tina’s Death Is Not In Vain…

I lost a sweet friend named Tina almost a month ago to the day.

06252015_TinaThis was a little tribute I wrote as a way to express my grief and shock. Please take heed of the warning about mixing prescription drugs, and knowing how much you took, and when.

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June 21, 2015 – My friend Tina passed away this morning in a hospital near Houston.

On Wed., June 17th, Tina made the tragic mistake of mixing prescription drugs and too much. Sadly, she was scheduled to start her new job in a few days, and was very excited but nervous, so she took the meds to calm her nerves. Whether she forgot she took a round, or felt that the dose she took wasn’t working, we’ll never know, but she took that fatal 2nd dose. Because she was so sedated, she was not breathing correctly that night, which led to carbon dioxide poisoning of the brain.

She was unresponsive early the next morning, and went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital. Her body also took a toll from two heart attacks in less than 48 hours, and doctors confirmed there was no hope of recovery. Tina passed peacefully surrounded by family & friends. She was only 52.

Tina always had a smile for everyone, never met a stranger, and she will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Reminder to please know the appropriate dosage of prescription drugs, do not exceed the maximum you’re allowed to take, and keep track of when you’re taking it (write it down!).

As Tina’s story proves, making a mistake with prescription drugs can be deadly.

Love & miss you, Tina.

Hugs,

AmyO.

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