RAK #32: Juan P. Rivera Velazquez

This one was another three birds with one stone (sort of) RAK. This is the thirty-second of 49 random acts of kindness that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!

I had a set of three Erin Condren compliment cards that I taped to my RAK cards. I then walked around the office and left them on random desks when people were away! Hopefully they helped put a little smile on someone’s face!

This RAK is in honor of Juan P. Rivera Velazquez. He died with his longtime partner, Luis Daniel Conde, who managed the makeup side of their salon while Juan styled hair. He was known for always making people feel beautiful. Rest in peace, Juan.

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RAK #29: Jason Benjamin Josaphat

This one was a three birds with one stone (sort of) RAK. This is the twenty-ninth of 49 random acts of kindness that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!

I bought a set of three Starbucks cards, taped them to each of these cards and picked three random vehicles in the Safeway parking lot to leave them on. It was so much fun!

This RAK is in honor of Jason Benjamin Josaphat. He was young – only 19 years old – and known for being soft spoken. He called his mother from the bathroom of the club, where he was hiding from the gunman. Friends and family say his laugh was infectious and unforgettable. Rest in peace, Jason.

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RAK #28: Joel Rayon Paniagua

This one was a three birds with one stone (sort of) RAK. This is the twenty-eighth of 49 random acts of kindness that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!

I bought a set of three Starbucks cards, taped them to each of these cards and picked three random vehicles in the Safeway parking lot to leave them on. It was so much fun!

This RAK is in honor of Joel Rayon Paniagua. He worked in construction and always tried to send money home to his family in Mexico. He was always willing to lend a hand and loved to dance. Rest in peace, Joel.

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RAK #27: Jonathan A. Camuy Vega

This one was a three birds with one stone (sort of) RAK. This is the twenty-seventh of 49 random acts of kindness that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!

I bought a set of three Starbucks cards, taped them to each of these cards and picked three random vehicles in the Safeway parking lot to leave them on. It was so much fun!

This RAK is in honor of Jonathan A. Camuy Vega. He was a hero during the massacre – he died trying to save someone else. His body was found covering that of a young mother, Yilmary Rodriguez Sullivan (she will be RAK #41). He worked for La Voz Kids, a show similar to the Voice. Rest in peace, Jonathan.

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Baby Parakeets!

One of the most beautiful things in having so many animals here at the ranch is the chance to see the circle of life. This last year we lost our Shadow to cancer, found Jenny, and got to witness the birth of seven beautiful, healthy puppies. You may or may not know, but I’ve had two parakeets for the last 6 or so years – Ceelo and Lucia. Ceelo was a male, and unfortunately, passed away in early 2017. Lucia is female and, to my knowledge, has never procreated.

When Ceelo died, I worried that Lucia would get lonely, but didn’t want to buy just one more parakeet, knowing that she was pretty old. Enter Green Bean (boy) and Sky (girl). They were named by my 5 year old niece, but their names will give you an idea of their coloring.

Apparently, Miss Lucia is a bit of a cougar. She never showed signs of interest in Ceelo, but Green Bean seems to do it for her. Suddenly, there were eggs EVERYWHERE. I did what every good pet owner does when their animals do something like this – I took the eggs away so they wouldn’t hatch bought a nest box. I thought there was no way we would end up with babies, but here we are, 14ish days later with TWO babies! That’s right, for those of you who were following along on Facebook, we had a second one hatch yesterday! There are still a couple more eggs in there… not sure if they will hatch, but we’ll see!

Lucia is a fierce little mama – when you open the roof on the nest box she squawks like you would not believe (you can hear a little bit of it in the video below). The babies are now both making very quiet peeps when they’re hungry (I’m assuming) that you can also heard below. It’s so amazing to watch life!!!

Happy 2018!

Wow, the older I get, the more time seems to fly. Seriously, where did 2017 go?

We held our 14th Annual Blankenheim New Years Pig Roast last night – the first in our new home! It was a great time with a lot of old faces and some new ones too! The dogs were in their element – they hung out all day in the yard and made a lot of new friends. I’m sure the fact that they were being fed all sorts of people food helped too!

Every year is a bit different, and as we’ve gotten older we’ve done less of the shots at 2am and more of the 9pm New York new years. This year, everyone left around 11pm and by midnight it was just us two:

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I hope you all have a wonderful 2018 – I’m looking forward to everything it brings!

 

2017 Year In Review

I can’t believe another year end is upon us! This year has been a year of highs as well as a year of lows. Without further ado, here’s the 2017 wrap up!

January

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  • Jan 21: Moving Day! After what seemed like the longest process ever, we FINALLY moved to our dream home and ranch! I still can’t believe it’s ours when I wake up every morning!
  • Jan 30: Filed LLC paperwork to open Black Dog Stables. Never in a million years did I imagine we would have our own business! It is so amazing to have the ranch and to be able to work with horses!

 

February

  • Feb 5: Superbowl Party. Our first get-together in our new home! Mike made ribs and we had an absolute blast!16826115_10155001342098895_8754661430342286694_o
  • Feb 18: Jeremy & Mary Ann’s wedding. I practically grew up with Jeremy, so it was wonderful to watch him find his true love and to marry her!

 

March

  • Mar 4: New chicks & ducks. We lost several chickens this year IMG_8313to old age and heat. I got a new batch of chicks and decided to give ducks a try. Enter Quackers and Cheese! They’re disgusting animals, but the duck eggs are absolutely amazing!

 

April

  • Apr 6: Shadow diagnosed with cancer. My little old man started showing signs of not feeling well in early April. We took him to the vet and found out he had cancer. We ran some tests to prep for surgery and discovered that it had wrapped itself around several organs and was inoperable. We brought him home to spend his last days in peace.032_edited-1
  • Apr 14: Shadow passes away. On one of the first beautiful days after a week or so of rain, Shadow went out, laid down by the pool in a patch of sunshine, and passed away in peace.

 

May

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  • May 6: Run for Rory. I am beyond proud of my stepdaughter, Kayla. Her friend Rory committed suicide and Kayla organized a run that benefited the local suicide prevention group. It was a beautiful day and so good to see a large turn out!
  • May 7: Jenny joins the family! In what can only be described as God’s plan, little miss Jenny started hanging around Mike’s fire station. She was clearly a stray and we decided to make her ours! In a twist of fate, we found out that day that she was pregnant!
  • May 13: Kennedy Mine Tour. For Mother’s Day, we headed out to the local mine for a tour. It was absolutely amazing to see and to learn all about the history!

June

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  • Jun 7: Seven puppies!!! The puppies were born just four short weeks after Jenny joined the family. It was absolutely an amazing thing to watch and Jenny is such a good mama! Little Tritip was the first born and I fell in love almost instantly!
  • Jun 24: Guild tea party. My mama is a fantastic quilter and a member of a guild. They had a tea party that also raised money for the guild and my sister and I joined her. It was so much fun and I can’t wait for next year’s event!
  • Jun 26: My “puppy shower”. My sister and best friends tricked me into thinking we were just having lunch, but it turns out they threw me a puppy shower! Everyone brought gifts for Jenny and it was absolutely the sweetest thing ever!

July

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  • Jul 1: Mom’s Surprise 60th birthday party. We pulled off an epic surprise – a surprise “diamond jubilee” 60th birthday party for my mama! We held it at the ranch and had her friends from all over join in the fun! There was music and even riding the blow-up bull in the pool!IMG_3008
  • Jul 24: Tari joins the family! We own a horse ranch, so of course we were going to end up owning more than one horse! Tari joined the family and is retired. She gets to be ridden once in a while but mostly gets to hang out in the pasture with her friends and just be a horse!

 

August

  • Aug 5: Jamie’s baby shower. My good friend Jamie was expecting her first little one and her shower was amazing!
  • Aug 7: Epic dog collision. A game of ball turned into an epic mess. Jenny needed 7 stitches and knocked a tooth through her lip, while Brady broke a canine tooth in half.
  • Aug 10: Brady’s surgery. After the collision, poor Brady had to have his canine tooth removed.
  • Aug 15: Lady Gaga concert. I won tickets to the company suite at work – Lady Gaga was absolutely amazing!
  • Aug 19-26: Lake Almanor aka “Tippy’s Big Adventure”. Normally Brady would go IMG_8940with me, but he was recovering from surgery, so I decided to introduce Tritip to Lake Almanor! He was a mere 8 weeks old, but had a blast – he went for his first swims, rode in the boat, and did really well!

 

September

  • Sept 1: Jenny gets spayed. As much fun as the puppies were, it’s not something I wanted to undertake again, so little miss Jenny had to get spayed. She did really well!
  • Sept 15-17: Cabin trip. I loaded up the horse trailer and headed out for a great weekend of riding with my friends – it was amazing!IMG_8980
  • Sept 19: Mike promoted. I am beyond proud of my hubby – this year he was promoted to Division Chief! I had the honor of pinning him – so very proud!

October

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  • Oct 14: Juliette’s 3rd birthday. My sister knows how to throw a party and Juliette’s Paw Patrol birthday was no exception!
  • Oct 20: Preston Castle Haunt. I went with my sister in law Nicki and her friend Lori to the Haunt – it was so much fun!
  • Oct 22: 6 Year Anniversary. Time flies while you’re having fun! We took our anniversary trip a little later this year, but spent some time together on our special day!

November

  • Nov 2: Nate pinned as a battalion chief. I’m so proud of my brother in law who was promoted to Battalion Chief this year!

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  • Nov 10 – 14: Chicago anniversary “roadtrip”. We spent 5 days in Chicago and had a blast! While we were there, we went to the Shedd Aquarium, caught a Chicago Bears game, visited the “bean”, and stood on the glass in the Willis tower!
  • IMG_3772Nov 20: Oma passes away. After a hearbreakingly long battle with Alzheimers, my sweet Oma passed away. It was difficult, but I had a few days to go visit with her before she died and I’m so thankful for that!
  • Nov 26: Seahawks vs. 49ers game. As a surprise birthday present for Mike, I snagged us tickets to see the 49ers play the Seahawks at Levi stadium. Our good friends Sean and Erin came along with us – we had a really wonderful time!

December

  • Dec 1: Oma’s funeral. It was a beautiful day to lay my Oma to rest with my Opa. 25440003_10108098813654360_5736622663435040773_o
  • Dec 16: Chloe’s 5th birthday party. This sweet little girl had the best princess birthday party!
  • Dec 24: Christmas with the Blankenheims. We had a great Christmas at my in-laws!
  • Dec 25: Christmas with the Smithsons & Barcklays. It was a wonderful Christmas at my parents house!
  • Dec 27: Tritip gets snipped. Keep him from running, jumping, and rough housing, they said. Yeah, right.