Don’t Date A Person That Doesn’t Wag Their Tail At The Sound Of Your Name!

Bruno and his wife Elz....he's a stud, she still has mad love for him. :)  He treats her like a queen, its sweet really....

Bruno and his wife Elz….he’s a stud, she still has mad love for him. 🙂 He treats her like a queen, its really sweet.


Valentine’s Day is coming and of course it has me thinking about love.  There are some things I’ve learned about love over the years from dating, but I think the sweetest lessons I’ve learned have sadly come from my dog, Bruno. (I’ve learned a lot from Elz too, more on her later…)

Make sure you wag your tail when you see those you love. My dog always greets me with excitement and a wagging tail.  All I have to do is mutter his name and the wiggling and dog smiling starts.  Bruno fills my heart with joy and shows me how much he loves me with his attentiveness.  His enthusiasm makes me smile!   

Lesson Learned:  Don’t date a person that doesn’t wag and smile when you utter their name.  When you are unappreciated for too long; the consequence of that is inevitably a feeling of worthlessness.  No matter how tough you think you are or how much you think you love that man or woman, nobody should live without a smiling partner that values your existence.  There is a reason Destiny’s Child sang, “Say my name…Say my name…” That’s all it should take to get a tail wagging when you’re with the right person!


 Sometimes words aren’t necessary. I communicate with my dog every day without words.  My favorite thing to do is wake him up by rubbing his belly and kissing his fuzzy ears.  He’ll stretch and look up at me with a grateful look, yawn, gently paw the air, and roll around like a puppy, enjoying every minute of it. 


Lesson Learned:  The moments you feel the closest to those you love are in the quiet times.  The communicating taking place when talking isn’t necessary seems to be when we’ve conveyed the most.  If you don’t believe me, just watch a husband piss off his wife. We’ve all witnessed the silent look she’ll shoot him in an instant. (Powerful and silent communication at its best.)  Mothers possess the same talent with their children, no words are necessary; all it takes is a glance. Love works silently in the same way.  It’s the wink across the kitchen table or that shirt folded for you in the laundry room.


Stick your head out the window when you drive. My dog is excited to be in the car and greet the staff at our local coffee shop drive thru on Sundays! Sometimes, I feel like he is more excited about coffee than I am.  Bruno teaches me to live more fully in the moment!  He’s taught me to be joyful in the small things and to appreciate the scenery while leaning my head out the window. When we go for walks, he doesn’t care where we go, as long as we are together and outside.

Lesson Learned:  Love needs enthusiasm.  You have to be excited to hold hands or go for a drive with your partner; don’t take them for granted.  The first time I took my dog to the lake and removed his leash, he raced toward the water, sailed into the air and jumped in.  When the shock and worry over him hitting a branch or not knowing how to swim wore off, I couldn’t stop laughing.  He was fearless and knew that I would be waiting for him at the shore. He embraced his excitement and didn’t care what anybody thought, he knew he loved water and he went for it!  In love, we need to go for it!  Just run like hell and leap! You’ll learn how to swim and if the water isn’t comfortable, you’ll recognize when it’s time to get out.  You can also leap in repeatedly and confidently do a few flips with the right person lovingly waiting for you on the shoreline.


Communicate what you are feeling. When my dog needs to urinate he does a certain bark that I know means, take me out now or your hardwood floors are history!  When he is sad, he does another distinctive low bark that I know means,” Sit with me awhile longer; I’ve missed you all day.”

Lesson Learned: When you are in a relationship you also need to say, “Take me outside now!”  As in, I need a nice dinner and a date night.  Occasionally, we also need to say, “Can you just sit with me awhile longer, I need you today.” But your partner won’t know how you are feeling if you don’t communicate.  What the hell, try barking, wagging your rump, and howling a little at your partner tonight, it could only lead to a good laugh and a fun memory. (I’m smiling just imagining it!)


Kiss a lot! Bruno kisses me any chance he gets.  When I feed him he is thankful and always licks me after he finishes his last bite.  When I wake him in the morning, I am kissed. When I leave in the morning, I know what’s coming, kissed again!  My dog knows that I hate licking, this has required him to master a quick one-touch lick. When we are driving down the street sometimes he’s so happy, he leans over the glove box from the backseat just to gently land a quick one on my cheek. 

Lesson Learned: Kiss a lot!  When was the last time you leaned across the glove box just to land a quick kiss on your partner?  Human kisses are amazing they communicate more than words ever could!  They also have a strange way of sincerely implying, “Thank You, I’m sorry, and I want you now!” 

Sometimes you need to say, “To hell with it” and eat the sponge. Being spontaneous has its benefits, like breaking up the daily monotony and making the people you live with laugh out loud.  A few weeks ago, Bruno did something out of the ordinary for him; he snuck out of my bedroom in the middle of the night, went into the bathroom and decided to have a blast chewing up my new bath sponge. He was so proud of himself and guilty all at once, that the only thing I could do was burst out laughing!  He really thought he was going to be in trouble when I woke up, but his wagging tail and the hundreds of tiny bits of sponge covering his face made it impossible to be mad.  He followed his instincts and had a blast living in the moment and I learned to let my anger go! 

Lesson Learned: When is the last time you made your partner laugh and did something completely out of character?   Are you living it up in the moment and shaking up your daily routine for the both of you or are you a boring partner? Are you flipping out over your partner ruining your bath sponge or are you able to laugh, embrace the moment, and accept that weird thing they decided to do today? Sometimes, we need to give a person the freedom they need to express their quirkiness; you might learn something new about the person you love and even like it!

Bruno's guilty "I ate your sponge and its all over this blanket face."

Bruno’s guilty “I ate your sponge and its all over this blanket face.”


Be Loyal. My dogs are loyal. They won’t leave my side no matter how many times a person may try to entice them with a well-meaning belly rub.

Lesson Learned: Loyalty allows love to endure long term. It’s the most important part of any relationship.  People call it faithfulness, but loyalty is what carries you to faithfulness in the end. Loyalty is the guard at the door keeping the call of the wild at bay. Loyalty doesn’t go where it isn’t supposed to; it’s the beautiful presence waiting for you when you return home and the one you want with you on wild adventures. Loyalty cuddles you on a cold winter night when your socks don’t match, your eyeliner is smudged and you really should be wearing a bra.  

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Who in the Hell Invented the Burpee?

You wanna know why I haven’t blogged? Because I tried some shit called a ‘Burpee’ by a trainer at the gym, and I’m walking around like Frankenstein….nothing can bend without wincing, I’m keeping my arms out in front of me to avoid motion pain. I was in too deep fast, and I couldn’t embarrass myself by quitting, (Pride issue going on here) so I stayed with 6 other girls and pretended I wasn’t hallucinating from the shock (I have no business doing those moves consecutively!) That was some bull $@!#!!!!  Burpee? I’m hopping back on the elliptical, with sane people where I belong. What a dumb name, I was thinking, Burpee? Sure, just give me a coke and 2 minutes…burrrpppp.
Keepin it real yo.
(Apparently ‘Burpee’ was a real guy with a PhD go figure…lol)


Dear Santa


Dear Santa,

If your reindeer really can fly…then women nearing 40 can still write you a letter.  I’ve made big strides in the past year; I’ve only cussed once on the freeway that I can remember and I only mildly lost it last week when the check-out boy kept calling me “Bud” and “Buddy.”  All I said to him was, “I am not your “Bud” or “Buddy.” “I’m not some little boy at little league game!”  Surely you remember the Tina of old?  She would not have had that much patience.  Would you let your elves call Mrs. Claus “Bud” or “Buddy?”  I’m guessing you would take my side on this issue after the first time an elf in retail was condescending toward her and said, “Hey Bud are you ready to check out?  Sure thing Buddy, I can gift wrap that for you!”

I am writing to you because Christmas is the season of miracles and I still believe.  Here’s the thing, I need an electrolysis machine.  Have you priced those?  They are outrageous and so are the procedures.   I need one for the new blonde hair that sprouts every few weeks from the center of my chin.  I can usually catch it in time and pluck the damn thing before anybody notices but it’s getting harder to keep up!  I need you to help me zap it and the ones I fear will follow.  The way I see it, my ancestors were sailing around the same time as the Vikings… my guess is, that blonde hair is a mutant gene determined to remind the others that it still exist and is strong enough to keep sprouting.   I’m guessing an ancestor strayed onto the boat of a hot Norseman at some point in my lineage.  Just a guess, but I do tend to find Scandinavian men attractive…it’s all coming together the more I think about it.  Did I mention I am a brunette?  This hair is not white Santa, it’s downright BLONDE!   If you bumped some snotty nosed kid off of your list this year, I hope you can find it in your heart to squeeze me onto the list and bring me a toy capable of hair removal.  I promise to share it with all of my other friends in need and to use it to spread Christmas joy!

I should probably tell you that there will not be any cookies out for you, I am on a diet. (Or I ate them all. One can never tell how these things will go— once the spirit of the season hits you.)  However, I never give up on whiskey, so you feel free to help yourself to some Jack and there are diet 7-ups in the fridge.

All My Love,


If I Were To Online Date…

online pic 3

My friend just signed up for online dating(barf) and I was cracking up reading the “about me” sections of those things with her. She didn’t enjoy the mockery but I couldn’t help it. (Plus I saw TWO GUYS I KNOW ARE MARRIED!)  I respect people choosing online dating as an option, it is none of my business, but it isn’t something I would ever do.  I wonder what would happen if people were brutally honest with their profiles….  I started thinking about what my online dating profile would sound like. Haaa  Here it goes:

You may not call me “Babe.”  That is a generic term that guys use as a catch-all and more than likely, was used on every girlfriend you’ve ever had.  If you’re going to be with me, you’re going to “Say.My. Name!”

If your mom is a meddler and attempts to subtly put down your girlfriends over dinner, I am not the woman for you.  I am too old to be polite to mean mothers.  I will not wince before verbally nailing your mother to the wall, no matter how cute you are. I regrettably tolerated bad parents when I was young and naive – I won’t do it again.

I come with two dogs a cat, rabbit, and some really annoying God kids whom I love very much.  They will want to be your friend, how you treat them can and will be a deal breaker.

I’m set in my ways, that means you are welcome in my home but the minute you start trying to rearrange my furniture and/or attempting to change me in general; you are history. I’m still wild enough to try almost anything once, but I like myself the way I am, I’m not changing. But, I promise to return the favor.

I really don’t enjoy large crowds, gambling, Vegas, or middle-aged men that still talk about the football pass they made senior year of high school or college.  Living in your past sucks.

I can’t twerk and I don’t want to.

If you don’t believe in good dental health keep scrolling.  If you floss religiously everyday, call me.

In my opinion, a great sandwich consist of only cuts, a fresh roll, mustard, red onion, and mayo.  I like onions and garlic a lot, this will work out better if you do too.

Music, movies, nature, and art are part of my life force.

I can’t compare Star Wars to Star Trek, I won’t choose sides.

I prefer a man with a big nose, big feet, and big hands. (Think Adrian Brody or Robert De Niro)

My idea of a good time is an old cabin in the middle of the forest, good wine, books, delicious food, quality clothing, great leather boots(I like to get dirty if my feet are comfortable), tiny cubes of cheese, dessert, comfortable furniture, a fireplace, and a Range Rover(if it’s good enough for the queen…) to get me back into the city every few weeks. ☺💜

If that sounds boring to you keep on clicking………

online pic 1

Branch Walkway


I want to try to make an arch like this out of all my pruned branches this year! Add some lights…..trinkets…..I’ll probably end up getting slapped in the face every time I try to bend and secure one of these branches, but what the hell! I’m going to build it and friends will come and be merry! I think I can do it, I would rather make a round hive-ish thing, but maybe I can add onto it next winter and eventually end up with a reading cave!

Oh, if my 20-year-old self could hear me now……ROFL

Yo Mama Joke

Another reason to love my friend Natt when she picks her son up at school we get to hear what she observes:

The other day I overheard two kids talking to each other. One girl told the boy that his Momma was so fat, she tried on high heels and they turned into flip flops.

I feel like our youth is headed in the right direction.- Natt

Bah Haa ❤ her……


(My November article for HaveHeart Magazine November 2014)


(What if these successful people had doubted their abilities: Cesar Chavez didn’t make it past 8th grade, Thomas Edison quit school at 12 years old, Matt Mullenweg(the founder of WordPress) dropped out of college, Walt Disney dropped out of high school, and Rush Limbaugh flunked ballroom dancing in addition to dropping out of college.)

Let me be clear in stating that I am not advocating dropping out of school. I believe in education and the doors a college degree opens for a person, but these examples did challenge my thinking. What if these successful people had harped on their shortcomings and allowed themselves to be held back from what they knew they were called to do? Would I want to stay in school if I believed in myself enough to do something great? I began to wonder how much of what we don’t do, is because of our own self-imposed limitations. The failure to think for ourselves just may be the missing link we need to penetrate the surface of those springs of doubt that cause immobility; bringing our dreams into view. Personally, in my own life, I see that I need to find my way back to a version of myself that was braver than I am now. I used to carve my own pathways with zeal, not fear? Where has that part of me gone? When did self-doubt creep into my mind and become an option? Am I wearing rose-colored glasses while comparing myself to more accomplished friends, the women I see on television, and the photo shopped models staged in magazines, only to take off those shades at home and wonder why my
life doesn’t look as rosy?

Maybe, but I’m working on it.

I started to evaluate the messages I’ve absorbed that have created self-doubt in a grown woman and then my thoughts turned toward the young girls growing up in this era. I can see their cause for rebellion, “nothing but mixed messages going on out here” is what I would be thinking. If we look at the examples of womanhood on reality shows, it’s a wonder there are still young women that choose to leave the house without makeup and find reading a worthwhile pastime. What would I be thinking if I were a teenage girl and my mother and the female celebrities I looked up to told me, “I was valuable, pretty, and should confidently accept my imperfections,” only to have botulism religiously injected into their own faces every three months?

Would I really believe them?

Then I addressed my own mixed messages and wondered if I had forgotten to protect myself over the years. How many of us would never let a person skate by that was disrespectful or spoke rudely to us in a social setting? Would you instantly intervene on behalf of your friend or sibling if they were being ignored or mistreated? Would you move to protect a woman on the street that was being verbally abused in front of you? Most of us would say, “Yes, of course,” but when was the last time you truly intervened on your own behalf? When I asked myself that question, I sadly couldn’t remember. I’ve used self-talk that I would never allow a person to direct toward a friend, a stranger, or myself! Are you tolerating negative thoughts in your life that you would never subject somebody you cared for to? Why is it acceptable for you to settle and believe in defeat as an option, but not your daughter, son, friend, co-worker, spouse, etc.? Making the correlation between my own self-defeating thoughts and the consequence of immobilizing fear has been very uncomfortable, but also surprisingly empowering. Sure, there have been some rough moments. I wouldn’t mind subjecting a few deep creases in my psyche to a little Botox in an attempt to smooth things over in my mind, but I believe flaws in our thinking, like wrinkles, can be beautiful on a person that won the war and kept smiling.


It’s hard to admit that we may be our own verbally abusive bully or responsible for casting the most doubt on what it is we hope to achieve. It would be easier to avoid this conversation and say, “I’m over thinking this,” but I long to be the braver version of myself and the first step is to come out of the dark and face my demons, even if my sword is trembling in the air. I need to stand up to my mind and not allow defeating thoughts to pervade moments of joy. Can you relax without guilt? Often my own self imposed moments of relaxation have sounded like this: I really should have walked my dog and cleaned the garage before I indulged in this book—If I could just get it together and function on less sleep, I could dress better for meetings—I shouldn’t have taken this vacation, I have too much to do and not enough in savings. And my least favorite, that goal is too big Tina— you really think you can accomplish that?
As painful as it is to admit, the past few years I have been my own worst enemy. Talking about change and realizing an area of weakness is one thing, but nothing happens until a person moves toward the desired outcome. How can I tuck myself into a crate for safety like a puppy and expect to ever make my mark on the world? Doubt and self-defeating thoughts keep you protected from challenges and I have to revive the fearlessness I’ve known. That means leaving my comfort zone in order to make things happen. Am I nervous and scared? Hell yes, but stagnancy is the alternative. I don’t want to live a life dreaming and hoping for the things I want and need; it’s up to me to make my “mark” so to speak and push through the fear. Some of my goals are far-fetched and a bit wild, but that’s where fearless abandon comes into play and my animal instincts are still intact! I intend to step out of the puppy kennel of self-doubt, chase some Frisbees, and target as many hydrants as I can along the way.

(If we should meet along my journey—please feel free to throw me a Frisbee!)

When was the last time you really challenged your spirit and felt alive with inspiration? If you answered, “Yesterday, when I logged onto my Pinterest board,” it might be time to try something new! Do you have a dream job? A fitness goal? A destination vacation? Have you pursued job listings, called a gym, booked the vacation spot or only looked them up on Google over a cup of coffee? Let’s ask ourselves how we really want to spend 2015 before New Year’s Eve arrives, silence our inner critic along with any doubtful thoughts and start making things happen! What are you telling yourself every day? I was telling myself that my dreams were next to impossible, that was before I decided to stop limiting myself and circling the building. I intend to treat myself better—I’m walking inside from now on, moving toward the direction of my dreams and I hope you will too! To those of you that can relate to my experience I want to say, “I believe in you, I think you are capable, I’m excited for you, and I know you can do it!” And just like I believe these things for my friends at HaveHeart, after some candid introspection I can also say, “I believe them for myself.”