Happy New Year…Happy Trails

2018.  We made it!


I’ve had great time here over the past six years. You’ve been kind enough to let me bend your ear for all that time. I appreciate each and every one of you and I want you to know how fulfilling it’s been to have a place to create, to vent and to pass along a few things I’ve learned as I’ve traveled along my way.

The gym has always been a place where I’ve challenged myself physically and mentally. It’s a place where I’ve been blessed to meet and to keep company with wonderful people who have similar interests. It’s a haven where I don’t have to explain my interest in beautiful physiques and in sculpting muscle to match the aesthetic I find so pleasing.

My presence on Bodybuilding.com and here in the WordPress blogosphere has been a lovely and welcome extension of my life in (and sometimes out of) the gym but I feel things changing, moving and morphing as they always do over time.

I’m not sure what’s around the corner. I know fitness pursuits will always be a big part of my life so that’s not in question but my boys are getting older and I have a little more time to fit additional things into my schedule. I know I want to be useful so some of that time will be volunteered (probably to veteran’s causes and to try and help the Christians in the Middle East and North Africa). I also have a couple things that have been on the back burner for a long time. I want to try my hand at yoga. I’ve always been strong but I’m not flexible and as I age, I think it’s important to work on that. I’d like to pursue photography. I don’t mean in an academic or pedantic way, I just want to get outside and play with my cameras. Since writing has always played a big role in how I express myself, I might try my hand at a photo journal or make a blog devoted to my favorite huskies. We shall see.

At any rate, I’m not going to delete this site in the short term because I think there’s lots of good information (and encouragement) for beginning lifters, especially in the early years of my writing here. I will still answer mail I get here for now, I just won’t be adding additional posts in the future.

Thank you for your encouragement and company. I wish you all the best this coming year and beyond. Remember to be gentle with yourself.

God bless you, God bless our troops, our veterans and…


Signing off, with love and gratitude,


December 25th, 2017


Wherever you may be celebrating Christmas this year, whether near or far from home, remember that the Christmas spirit is carried in the heart.  Wishing you and yours a joyous and beautiful day!


For Our Troops

As most of you know, I always deliver Christmas greetings to our troops a little early.  I have to because…well, you know, some of them are in far flung places and it may take a while to get from here to there.  The elves are working diligently but occasionally get a little overwhelmed this time of year with all the mail needing to be sent to and fro.  That’s why I take the opportunity to send my brand of Christmas cheer out early and I do it myself.

On that note…Merry Christmas to you, wherever you are.  Know that your hard work is sincerely appreciated each and every day.  America loves you, and so do I!  That’s why I’ve loaded up my rucksack with warm wishes and good cheer for you. You’ve earned it.

military pin up

My sack of Christmas wishes is packed but I feel like something is missing.

Marine Corps Christmas

Oh…I need my official Santa’s helper hat…and let me see if I can compress this load so I can fit even MORE in here.

Military Christmas

O.K.  now I’m all ready to go. If you don’t sleep too deeply, you might catch me as I come by with your gift.

Wishing you a heart full of love and laughter…


I’m delighted to tell you that the beautiful military working dogs who were scheduled to be put down this week have been given a reprieve.  They will be “re homed” with people who will care for them the way they deserve after all their hard work!


Thank you, thank you to all of you who took a minute to sign the petition.  It made all the difference in this case.  The number of signatures topped out at 374,304 (in just 4 days) and was still going strong, before the Defence Secretary responded and ordered that the dogs be saved.


Love and hugs to all who helped in the quest to save these dogs!


Puppy Love

Help save the lives of some military working dogs.

Sign the petition at the bottom of this post.  It costs nothing and only requires your name and email address.


Kevin and his handler

Military working dogs are highly trained canines who go to war to help do very dangerous work.  Dogs have fought alongside American forces in every conflict since the Revolutionary War (but only officially since WWII).  The particular dogs in danger of having their lives taken, worked with UK forces on the battlefield. 

According to an article in The Sun, two Army dogs who helped save thousands of lives while on duty in Afghanistan will be put down next week, be­cause Top Brass say they can’t be re-homed.  This is despite having trained, military dog handlers who are willing and able to take them in and provide a home for them.


Kevin worked in Afghanistan (Helmand Province) sniffing out IED’s. He will be killed next week if there is no intervention on his behalf.

Add your support at change.org/saveveterandogs

Not only would I be grateful if you’d take a moment to sign this petition to save these dogs, I’d be delighted if you’d pass it on to others.  Let’s see if we can help!

Add your support at change.org/saveveterandogs

Happy Thanksgiving!


I’m thankful that I have so many things to be thankful for!  I’m the recipient of abundant kindness and good fortune.  I’m highly aware of that and try to make sure to pass on some of that bounty to others.  The concept of paying it forward thrills me particularly since some of the wonderful blessings I enjoy came from people like my parents, grandparents and a couple of loving friends who are no longer here.

I got the chance to grow up healthy and strong because I was adored, supported, instructed…and gently corrected every step of the way.  I’m deeply thankful and appreciative today…and every other day of the year.

Let’s also keep our military members in mind on this special holiday.  Some of them are on duty in far flung places and won’t be able to be at home to celebrate.  Thank goodness they’re there, working hard every single day.  God bless them, and God bless you and yours!


Veterans Day – 2017

Good morning America!  It’s Veterans Day which makes it the perfect time to reflect on the fact that the bounty we enjoy in the United States has been won, protected and defended by a few willing, dedicated and selfless citizens for the benefit of all the rest of us.  My wish this November 11th, is that our veterans feel the love, respect and admiration we have for them, today and every other day of the year.

rucksack surprise

May every load you carry rest lightly on your shoulders… Happy Veterans Day!

Marine Corps Birthday – 2017

242 years old and still going strong.  God bless America and God bless our Marines!


I first saw this video yesterday on my friend’s fantastic blog (Pacific Paratrooper) and I wanted to post it here.




Medal Of Honor (Ty Carter)

Ty impressed me thoughtful, kind, bright and energetic.  He had a mischievous sparkle in his eye and a big, warm, welcoming smile.


Army Staff Sgt. Ty M. Carter’s story was reprinted here from an article by Szoldra & Ingersoll on Business Insider.com, August 27, 2013


The day at Combat Outpost Keating was one to remember, or one to forget, depending on who’s doing the talking. So far, the fighting there has produced two Medal of Honor recipients.

On Oct. 3, 2009, Carter was one of 54 members of B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment defending Outpost Keating in Nuristan Province. Shortly before 6 a.m., the remote base was rocked with blistering enemy machine gun and rocket fire. More than 400 fighters were attempting to overrun the base.

Then-Specialist Carter sprinted across open ground to join his fellow soldiers on the perimeter, then ran back again to gather up necessary supplies despite withering enemy fire. Later, Carter noticed his fellow soldier Specialist Stephan L. Mace was wounded.

While Larson provided cover fire from within a nearby Humvee, Carter stanched Mace’s bleeding and placed a tourniquet on his shattered leg.

He realized he couldn’t carry Mace while he had his weapon. He returned to the Humvee and told Larson his plan. Larson got out of the Humvee and provided cover fire while Carter returned to Mace, picked him up and carried him through the hail of bullets back to the Humvee, and went back to firing.

During the 12-hour long battle, Carter continued to give medical aid to Mace, engage the enemy, and communicate with his fellow soldiers to retake the base. According to the Army’s official narrative of the battle, “Carter’s remarkable acts of heroism and skill, which were vital to the defense of COP Keating, exemplify what it means to be an American hero.”

Carter first joined the military in 1998, enlisting in the Marine Corps and serving until 2002. After some time attending college and traveling, he enlisted in the Army in 2008, and continues to serve on active duty.

He joins fellow Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha as the second recipient of the Medal of Honor for the battle at COP Keating.

According to a Reuters report, Carter said he was eager to represent those who had suffered as a result of the war.

“Only those closest to me can see the scars that come from seeing good men take their last breath,” he told reporters.



For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Specialist Ty M. Carter distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Scout with Bravo Troop, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on October 3, 2009. On that morning, Specialist Carter and his comrades awakened to an attack of an estimated 300 enemy fighters occupying the high ground on all four sides of Combat Outpost Keating, employing concentrated fire from recoilless rifles, rocket propelled grenades, anti-aircraft machine guns, mortars and small arms fire. Specialist Carter reinforced a forward battle position, ran twice through a 100 meter gauntlet of enemy fire to resupply ammunition and voluntarily remained there to defend the isolated position. Armed with only an M4 carbine rifle, Specialist Carter placed accurate, deadly fire on the enemy, beating back the assault force and preventing the position from being overrun, over the course of several hours. With complete disregard for his own safety and in spite of his own wounds, he ran through a hail of enemy rocket propelled grenade and machine gun fire to rescue a critically wounded comrade who had been pinned down in an exposed position. Specialist Carter rendered life extending first aid and carried the Soldier to cover. On his own initiative, Specialist Carter again maneuvered through enemy fire to check on a fallen Soldier and recovered the squad’s radio, which allowed them to coordinate their evacuation with fellow Soldiers. With teammates providing covering fire, Specialist Carter assisted in moving the wounded Soldier 100 meters through withering enemy fire to the aid station and before returning to the fight. Specialist Carter’s heroic actions and tactical skill were critical to the defense of Combat Outpost Keating, preventing the enemy from capturing the position and saving the lives of his fellow Soldiers. Specialist Ty M. Carter’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Bravo Troop, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and the United States Army.

Have A Boo-tiful Day!

Halloween Bee_4

To bee or not to bee…

Oh my!  This is the last day I get to enjoy my numerous Halloween decorations.  Tomorrow my two light up Halloween trees, my skeletons, the spooky village, my dishtowels, ghosts, the big cauldron, talking pumpkin and assorted other thematic things go back in their boxes until next September 15th.  Sigh…

Ah well, the way time seems to be passing lately, it’ll be time to dig them out again before I know it!

Happy Halloween my friends!

1 Halloween Bee

Do you have a treat for me?


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