Ojo private poolI love road trips and I love hot springs. That means my recent road trip to explore New Mexico hot springs was pretty much a win/win.  This was one of my favorite road trips to date. If you are wanting an off the beaten path summer getaway, this one is calling your name!

Read about my summer road trip adventure in my latest Huffington Post piece: An Enchanting Road Trip to New Mexico’s Hot Springs






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Caged Birds

by Kee Kee on June 8, 2014

in Change,Cowgirl,Living Outside of the Box

2001 Card

 “V,” a lovely former co-worker whom I worked with for over a decade, recently sent me a private message on Facebook.  Both of us have since moved on from our previously employer.  In V’s case, she saw an opportunity and embraced change by quitting her job for a better one. In my case, I was desperate for change at the same time as I was terrified of it, which left me paralyzed and stuck in the status quo until I was ultimately laid off in 2009.  I haven’t seen V in over five years.  In her Facebook message, she told me that these days I seem “free.”

She had no idea how much her simple adjective of “free” would mean to me.  The day before she sent me this message, I had unearthed a card that my sister Betsy sent me in 2001.  The cover of the card made it clear that she saw something in me that I couldn’t see in myself: my terror of living an authentic life because I feared others would look at my path as the wrong way.  Betsy wrote the following in the card:

“You remind me of a caged bird. Some birds can happily spend their lives singing from that cage, but not you – you were meant to fly.”

I got misty-eyed when I read my sister’s old card, realizing how prophetic her words were a full nine years before I finally hit rock bottom in 2010 and, out of desperation, climbed in my car with Yoda to drive into the unknown with the hope that I would finally learn to fly free.

Inside 2001 Card


Over the past few years I’ve been a fledgling, slowly opening that bird cage door, spreading my wings and attempting flight. Like every young bird, I’ve fallen to the ground quite a few times and have had to hop back to the nest to start flight school all over again. But I’ve kept trying, in spite of the fact that it would be much easier (and lucrative) to fall back into the habits of my old life.  It was probably about the time that I met Cowboy Wade and vowed to embrace life with an authentic cowgirl spirit that I first started to learn to fly.  Each time I make a choice in life that embraces my authenticity, I believe my wings grow stronger.

So I agree with Betsy and V, I was meant to fly free. But I’m not special. I don’t think any birds can happily spend their lives singing from behind the bars of a bird cage. I think everyone is meant to fly free. That includes you, your kids, your colleagues, your friends and your neighbors.  So open that cage door, fluff your feathers, and take a leap of faith.

When you take your first wing flaps and start to realize you are riding the thermals as you soar through the sky, sing to yourself the quote on the cover of Betsy’s card:

Some people will say that you are going the wrong way, when it is simply a way of your own.

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Emotional Pizza

May 21, 2014

Everybody hurts. Everybody has had moments of deep despair. The trick to breathing through the inevitable emotions that go hand-in-hand with being a human being is to remember that just as the sun sets each night, it always will rise again tomorrow. I have a friend named Cendra Hicks. Cendra is 47 years old, has cerebral [...]

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Toothpaste Pants

May 4, 2014

“I have toothpaste on my pants.” I looked up from my squat position in the driveway where I was saying hello to my friend Ole’s two exuberant little dogs, Ziggy and Perdy, who had just jumped out of her car and were running in euphoric circles around me. “I need a washcloth right away,” exclaimed [...]

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Wabi-Sabi and My Tax Bill

April 2, 2014

I’ve long subscribed to the Japanese view of wabi-sabi. Or at least I’ve aspired to subscribe to it, which isn’t always easy. Wabi-sabi loosely translates as seeing the beauty, or perfection, in imperfection.  Think about how you would probably walk over a single blade of grass growing through an old, cracked uneven sidewalk. It’s easy [...]

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What I Love & Appreciate About You

March 29, 2014

My twenty-year friendship with Holly began with a Post-it Note. I had recently started my first post-law school job in Madison, Wisconsin, and Holly was a co-worker.  I was struggling with my new boss’s demands, and my lack of experience left me without the courage to voice my frustrations with the situation. I must have [...]

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Goodbye Little Blue House

February 18, 2014

The mailman really was my Santa Clause, as I surprisingly waxed prophetic in a recent blog post. It all started in mid-December when my landlady sent me an e-mail to tell me that she and her daughter were going to move into the sweet, magical, healing little blue house that I have rented from her [...]

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An Open Letter to the New Year

January 7, 2014

Dear 2014, I’m late writing you the annual letter that I’ve written to each new year since 2011. The fact is, I didn’t want to write you. I was pissed off at 2013, and some of that anger was unjustly carried over to you. Although 2013 was overall a pretty good year, it really didn’t [...]

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Christmas Magic – Yoda and the Mailman

December 25, 2013

        A year ago last December, during one of those inevitable vulnerable spells that periodically bubble up when one is attempting to reinvent oneself, I found myself emotionally gushing to a friend, “I need to drum up some Christmas magic.  Where is the Christmas magic?!” After allowing myself a brief moment to [...]

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Create a Better Moment

December 2, 2013

When will this headache end? This was the main thought running through my head for the past four days. It felt like someone dipped a corkscrew in fiery coals so that the metal screw was blazing red hot, then they repeatedly jammed that corkscrew into my forehead right above my left eyebrow. Next, they slowly [...]

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