When Was The Last Time You Felt Passionately Alive?

Dad dancing 300x286 When Was The Last Time You Felt Passionately Alive?

Dad learning to hula in Hawaii.

Remember back when you were a teenager and every thing that you did was either the beginning or the ending of the Universe as you knew it? The angst, the drama, the excitement, the thrill of life is usually never more vivid than during that time of such strong feelings and emotions. But as I shared in a previous post, I’ve had a couple of challenging weeks and it occurred to me over the weekend that I was severely “fun deprived.” In fact, it was four in the afternoon and I couldn’t even remember if I’d laughed once, let alone cracked a smile. That’s the exact opposite of feeling passionately alive. Continue reading


Money SMART At Any Age

Money SMART 300x218 Money SMART At Any Age

True wealth is…

As most of you know Thom and I have been mainly self-employed since we got together over 37 years ago. Fortunately, we are currently more financially secure and wealthy than we’ve ever been throughout our lives. Are we rolling in money? Not hardly. But not a week goes by that we don’t hear how so many others are stressed about money, how difficult are these economic times, and how financially things seem to be getting worse everywhere in the world. So what makes me feel so good about money these days? It’s probably because Thom and I take a money SMART approach to our finances. Continue reading


Five Big Ways My Marriage Differs From My Mother’s

wedding photos 1024x579 Five Big Ways My Marriage Differs From My Mother’s

Wedding Photos —Thom & Kathy–in the mountains above Colorado Springs 1977————Alice & Rudy, Burwell, NE 1951

This week Thom and I celebrate our 37th Wedding Anniversary. Whew! It’s strange to think that I’ve been married longer than many people I know have been alive. It’s even weirder to think that when we met all those many years ago I had the foresight to know that Thom was the one. Not just one, but THE ONE. Obviously, my life as I know it would have been dramatically different with any other man, Plus I would probably be much different than the person I now know myself to be. In the big picture, I’m sure there are several reasons why we’ve lasted while so many other good people haven’t. But one thing I know for sure is that my marriage to Thom differs tremendously from both my parent’s marriage and that of my in-laws in a couple of very distinct ways. And perhaps that offers some clues to others who would like to create a marriage of a lifetime.

Continue reading


The Power, Mystery & Variety Of Prayer

MC Hammer Pray 508346 295x300 The Power, Mystery & Variety Of Prayer

Click on the photo for a link to MC’s song “Pray”

A well-known study done in 2008 by Brandeis University reports that 90% of Americans believe in prayer. In fact, according to medical centers across our country, prayer is consider the most commonly used “alternative medicine” practiced. But what does that really mean? Are we all thinking, feeling and practicing the same way? Hardly. In fact, I’m fairly certain that the prayers I practice are very different from the prayer that you say or do—if you do. But if 55% of our country’s population say they pray every single day, who or what are they praying to, what are they experiencing and what do they expect as a result? Obviously the power, mystery and variety of the practice deserves more discussion.

With that said, I’d better point out that I am not religious at all. I do consider myself spiritual—actually a spiritual being having a human experience—but what I sometimes call God is likely very different from how you define It. Fortunately I don’t need you to agree with my definition of All-That-Is to receive the full benefit of my understanding. By the same token, I hope you don’t need me to agree with your definition for you to receive your benefits as well. Continue reading


7 Things Mexico Taught Me Not To Take For Granted

IMG 0640 1024x575 7 Things Mexico Taught Me Not To Take For Granted

Rural life on the outskirts of Oaxaca, MX

There is nothing like traveling to another country to help you appreciate what you have back at home. It’s also easy here in the U.S. to take so much of what we have, and routinely do, for granted. So even though I told you I was done with writing about our recent trip, here is what I immediately learned to appreciate the minute we crossed the border. Of course it is only SMART to remember these each and every day. Continue reading


Oaxaca and Final Thoughts—Travels With Thom & Kathy Part 4

KG Oaxacx first dinner 300x225 Oaxaca and Final Thoughts—Travels With Thom & Kathy Part 4

Our first night out in Oaxaca at Los Danzantes.

We woke up early on our final morning in Oaxaca MX and came up with five remaining SMART Tips we can all use for both travel and the journey of life. Overall our vacation in Mexico has introduced us to captivating and interesting sites and experiences. Everywhere we’ve gone we’ve met friendly, kind and generous people. The variety, quality and presentation of the food and beverages have been asombroso (amazing). And like the very best of travel, we have learned more about ourselves and discovered that people everywhere mainly strive for the same things—love, meaning, peace and a sense of purpose. How SMART is that? Continue reading


Flowing With Unexpected Surprises—Travels With Thom & Kathy #3

IMG 0259 225x300 Flowing With Unexpected Surprises—Travels With Thom & Kathy #3

The Monastery At Cholula

What every good traveler knows is that every trip contains unexpected surprises. Some surprises bring a wide smile to your face at the first sight of a natural wonder or touch your heart at the unexpected kindness of a stranger. Others make you laugh out loud or purr with delight. Of course on the flip side, events sometimes occur that make us frown with disappointment, wince in pain or even snarl with anger.   No matter where you go and what you do, life happens. So even when most of a trip flows pleasantly as expected, learning to accept and flow with unexpected events is the key to traveling SMART. Continue reading


Mexico City–Travels With Thom & Kathy Part 2

Photo 1 300x271 Mexico City  Travels With Thom & Kathy Part 2

Flying out of Tijuana on Aeromexico.

Last Tuesday Thom and I arrived at the Tijuana Airport for our flight to Mexico City. We’ve never flown out of Tijuana before but had several friends who encouraged our decision to give it a try. Even though we had checked in online and had boarding passes, we arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare. After all, nothing can ruin a vacation like missing your flight. Thankfully, the entire experience went smoothly and easily starting our vacation in the right way. Continue reading


Travels With Thom & Kathy; An Introduction

IMG 1421 225x300 Travels With Thom & Kathy; An Introduction

So many places…so little time!

Back when I first began writing I dreamed of becoming a travel writer. In those days travel writers wrote mainly for newspapers, magazines or occasionally a book.   Then 10 years ago when I started hearing about the potential of blogging, Thom and I toyed with the idea of a travel blog for middle-aged motorcycle riders. Yes, really! That idea crashed and burned when I dumped my motorcycle at 40 mph, broke my arm and shoulder, and Thom sold my bike. Instead I spent over three years writing about the environment and everything green and sustainable before eventually focusing on what I call SMART Living. But even though writing about things I consider SMART is deeply satisfying, I’ve never forgotten that pull to write about my second love—travel. So with a three-week adventure planned in the days ahead, I decided to give it a shot—with a dose of SMART on the side! Continue reading


Pain Is Inevitable—Suffering is A Choice

sprained ankle 300x229 Pain Is Inevitable—Suffering is A ChoiceTwo weeks ago I was walking my dog Kloe down the street near the house we rent in the mountains every August. Gawking around and enjoying the beautiful day, my left foot slid on some gravel and twisted violently to the left. @#$&! To compensate, I jerked to the right and slammed my right knee into the pavement scraping away the skin. Double *&%#$! I sat there for a minute on the side of the road assessing the damage. Gradually I managed to get myself standing and hobble home.

It hurt—both the ankle and my knee. But what hurt more than anything were the thoughts flooding my mind at the same time. How could this happen? Thom, Kloe and I had spent the previous week scampering up the side of steep and slippery mountainsides without a bit of trouble. During the week before we had clocked in at probably 15-20 miles of mountain terrain. Health-wise I felt as good as I had in the last ten years and both of us were getting in shape for our upcoming trip to Southern Mexico in September. How could something so stupid and unnecessary happen? Right from the beginning I allowed the pain in my foot and knee to spread to my mind—that’s where it became suffering. Continue reading