I’ve Moved!

Always A Caveat is moving to www.ordinarycontradictions.com. The new blog will be similar to this one but hopefully a bit more focused on the contradictions that happen in everyday life.

Come visit!


Coffee Spoons

I have measured out my life with

dog walks

tent zips

boot  lace ups

late starts


So how should I presume?

Manifestation and a Belated Valentine

As a kid I kept journals on and off. I would write, stop writing, and then some big life BANG! would happen and I would go back to my journals and read what I had written in the past.

The beginning of postcards to myself.

Repeatedly I experienced writing “I want xxx” or “I wish xxx” and then finding that the desire came true. Sometimes it would be spooky just how true.

For instance, many years ago I wrote: I want someone like Hans Solo.  Within a year, I was with someone who thought he was Hans Solo (in a good way, not a crazy way).  It turns out I didn’t want to date Hans Solo (I’m not nearly as proper as Princess Leia).

The picture at the top of this post is a piece of a dream board.  The board was about love and home; I specifically mention wanting children in my life, wanting a potential soul mate, wanting to write (I included a picture of my favorite writer, Pam Houston) and of course, many images of mountains and freedom.

I made the board and hung it next to my bed.  In time, I found a mouse free house (with a fireplace!) and a wonderful man with three children came to me.

I am the generation that has grown up with The Secret and the idea of intention.  I’m not fond of these concepts in popular media.  But I do believe that one can create her life.  Not everyone does it through words or pictures, but give it a try.

As for the Valentine; sweetie, thank you for coming to my life and I love discussing the price of eggs and the meaning of life and the kitchen sink with you!

Why, yes – That Bunny is Standing on Her Head.

I’ve been told I’m too serious.

Chill out! Relax! Just watch some TV, they say.

And you know what?

(I think it’s true!)

Sometimes something happens that I just can’t let go of. I think and turn and think – analysis paralysis. I’m a dog working the fluffy stuffed lamb to get the squeaker out.  I might as well stand on my head and simply hope the answers to everything falls in.  My brain desperately wants a reason, a why, closure, an epilogue that tells where everything ends up.

Rule 86.3 of Life:   There is not always a squeaker. By the time epilogues come you don’t really care anymore.

I’m consciously working on accepting that I can’t necessarily solve it all tonight or even this month; it will take years and if I don’t stop gnawing at it I’m going to end up with rough spots in my mouth.

Relax and Enjoy.

I Stumbled Across the Meaning of Life

There are graphic artists with one-eyed dogs who have been attacked by coyotes that are willing to write “I stumbled across the meaning of life” on a piece of art and sell it.

It’s true – he lives in Chicago. When flying from Madrid to Denver but getting stuck in a snowstorm in Chicago, decide to see The Blue Man Group, but since you are a cheap skate take the shuttle from the hotel (that you have to pay for, since airlines won’t pay for hotels when the delay is due to weather) back to the airport, then sort of figure out the El.  Get off at the most confusing intersection ever:  somehow it is an intersection of six streets and all the street signs could easily be referring to two or more streets.

Enter a graphic arts shop thinking you will ask directions; the plan is to walk to the theatre.  Since you are considering moving to Spain and need information on taking your dogs across the ocean, check out the “pet passports” for sale.  Talk with the shop owner/artist; talk about his work, Spain, Chicago, dogs.  Notice the print that says “I stumbled across the meaning of life; ” notice how perfect it is for the time-space continuum you are currently in.  Buy the print on the spur of the moment; enjoy the feelings of contentment, grace, joy it gives you in the future as you look at it.

Accept his offer to go to dinner and then be dropped off at the theatre.  You wouldn’t usually agree to get into a car in a strange large city with a man you have just met.  But you have met his dog who is one-eyed after a fight with a coyote.  Having two special needs dogs yourself, you are certain he isn’t an axe murderer.  How could someone with a one-eyed dog be an axe murderer?  At least this is what you tell your friends later.  Besides, it’s an incredible thing to put the meaning of life on a piece of art and then sell it.

Enjoy dinner.  Watch the Blue Men.  Be happy that the good flow is continuing even as you are west of the Atlantic; hooray, the good flow is not trapped to the east!  Return to the Colorado mountains with a mixed sense of sadness and ending coupled with rebirth and joy.

I Love Mountains!

Mountain living thoughts are incubating; more to come!  In the meantime:

Failing at Falling

(Note: that isn’t actually my foot right now; that is a picture from surgery several years ago).

I like climbing and there is an awesome bouldering gym pretty close to me.  But I’m a big chicken when it comes to falling!  The mental aspect of it was totally beating me down… so I decided to practice falling.

I was methodical.  I climbed up just a bit, braced myself, and jumped off.  I was in an area with huge cushy pads and every time after I fell I thought “see, I’m fine.”  I did it over and over.  Then I climbed a bit higher, braced, fell.  Still fine, although I’m certain I used 200 beats of my heart’s lifetime in a very short minute.  Again.  Again.  Ok, this is ok.

I was feeling good; I was facing my demon and forming confidence!  It was working!  I climbed up a bit higher – my feet were now about ten feet off the ground.  I reached for the next hold knowing I would likely fall, fell, “great job!” my boyfriend said, then “uh oh, that hurt.”

Man did it hurt!  Ow ow ow ow ow OUCH!  I tried all the pain reliving techniques I know:  I rolled around, waved my hands around frantically, attempted (unsuccessfully) to stand up, told my boyfriend in no uncertain terms not to touch my ankle.  There were many inappropriate words for children in there too.

After awhile (I think it was about 20 minutes), the pain became manageable.  But the loss of my burgeoning falling confidence was a huge bummer!

Now I’m nursing a sprained ankle, sprained dignity and hoping not to psychologically be creating more falling fears.  I’m working on learning “proper falling” technique and prepping for the next fall.  I will learn to fall without failing.