lisa & the kitties

VOBS Dog Sledding Series: Sunday, 3/15/15, Day 2

We were woken up at 6AM.  Ed showed us how to pack our bags so we got up and put our gear away.  We grabbed our duffels and headed to the cabin to have breakfast.  We used our camping bowls and spoons and had sausages and grits.  After breakfast we headed out front and learned how to pack our sleds.  The sleds are made by students who are there for the 60-day courses.  Our sleds are “The Daddy Kay” and “The Weeze.”  We packed up the sleds and then packed up 3 pulks for 3 of the 5 skiers.    We walked down to the dog area and Ed showed us how to “two-wheel” a dog and harness her.  Once the mushing group came they took over and the ski group headed out.  Me, Ed, Fil, Adam, and Juan were the first ski group.  Ed gave us a crash course on cross-country skiing and we hit the trails.

I fell.  A lot.  At times we had to take our gear off and give it to the mushers so that we could help them get their sleds through the portages.  We traveled on the lake and used portages to get from one to another.  Some of the portages didn’t have much snow so we had to help a lot.

Sled commands are “ready dogs, let’s go,” H-O-G or “Hah” (left), “on-by” (straight), “Gee” (right), and “whoa” to stop the sled.  There are also 3 braking methods.  The sled brake, drag brake, and a chain that wraps around the sled foot.  Skiing was tough.  We traveled roughly 5 miles and by the end of the day I was beat and my left knee was sore.  Oh, and I skied with a pack on my back.  No pulk.

At camp we learned how to set things up.  I learned how to make a knot called a trucker’s hitch.  We set up tarps for cover and got our beds ready.

Dre got the fire ready and we enjoyed a “hot drink” (hot chocolate for me) and dinner.  Dinner was an odd version of spaghetti carbonara which was made with powdered milk, bacon, onions, and spaghetti.  Not too bad.  After dinner we got ready for bed.

Oh yeah, before dinner someone reads a quote from the quote book and then says “peace and chow” and we echo it.

The dogs were all passed out once we got to camp too.  It was pretty adorable.  I’m pretty fond of Growly Bear and Tiberius.

Sled 1 dogs:  Isabella, Growly Bear, Tiberius, Sila, Buckwheat, and Mikkl.

Sled 2 dogs:  Tamarack, Bimble Bear, Marten, Yukon, and Polaris.

“Squirrel bags” are snack bags filled with sesame sticks, M&M’s, gold fish, dried fruit, and nuts to eat throughout the day.

Gear:  mouse boots, gaiters, leather mittens (chompers), beanie, neck warmer, liner gloves, liner socks, wool socks, long underwear, underwear, sports bra, wind pants, t-shirt, fleece top, down jacket, anorak.  Adjust layers as necessary.

Started travel around 9:30-10Am and arrived at camp around 5PM.

VOBS Dog Sledding Series: Saturday, 3/14/15, Day 1

Today’s been a long day.  I got up at 4AM and left for the airport at 4:30AM.  The flight into Minneapolis was nice and I just had enough time on my layover to get to my next gate.  I got into Duluth at 11:15Am and waited for the driver.

Sam (10/16/16 edit:  who looks like Charlie Hunnam) showed up a little before 1PM and we took the van to a local gas station for wait for the other 6 guys who were coming in by shuttle.  We got to Outward Bound around 6PM and got our gear packed and situated.  We’re waiting around now for everyone to finish up before we do some training and then we’ll sleep out on the porch.  I’m excited but wondering if I’m ready for this.

We had to do ice rescue training and they needed a volunteer to go into the water so I went ahead and volunteered.  They gave me some clothes to put on to jump into the water along with a rope, helmet, and life jacket.  We went down to the ice hole and I jumped in.  It wasn’t even waist high but I kneeled down to try and get as wet as possible.  It was pretty friggin cold.  The guys had all the stuff set up – a tarp and blanket, plus a dry set of clothes.  They took my shoes, pants, and top off and put me in dry clothes and then wrapped me in the blanket and tarp.  It was pretty neat.  After I got to go change and dry off in the 150F sauna.  It was nice.  Our instructors are Dre (Andrea) and Ed.  My classmates are Fil (Navy), Tony (Army), Adam (Army), Kevin (Army), Johnny (Navy), and Juan (Army).  It’s not bad being the only girl.  After the ice rescue training we put our headlamps on and went to the dog yard to visit with the dogs.  It was hard to see them all but there are over 70 dogs there.

I visited with  as many dogs as I could before we had to leave.  The musher’s cabin was pretty cool and had names of all the dogs that had been at Outward Bound.  They even adopt out the older dogs!  We turned our headlamps off at one point and just looked at the sky.  All of the stars were beautiful.  We headed back to homeplace (name of Outward Bound HQ) and got ready for our night on the porch.  Ed showed us his sleep setup.  We have 1 full pad and 1 half pad for under our torso area (extra insulation) and then we have 2 sleeping bags.  An outer synthetic bag and an inner down bag for warmth.  He showed us where to keep our gaiters and boots when we take them off for the night (in between the two pads about the hip area).  When he was done we hopped in our bags and went to sleep.

VOBS Dog Sledding Series: Intro

Last year I went on an 8-day dog sledding adventure in Minnesota with Voyageur Outward Bound (VOBS).  I took a notebook with me to journal my daily thoughts and adventures.  This trip happened not even one month after my life fell apart.  Over the next few weeks I will be posting those journal entries.


Do this, not that.  Wear this, not that.  Eat this, not that.  Say this, not that.

Mind. Your. Own. Business. I am so tired of being told what I should be doing according to someone else’s ideals.  What ever happened to living an authentic life for yourself?  Nowadays we are so concerned with what we should be doing that we don’t simply do things that make us happier.

A couple of years ago I was in Georgia visiting my [ex] mother-in-law.  I asked one of her daughters what she thought about a hairstyle I was thinking about getting.  I asked her if she thought it would be appropriate and she said, “Who cares?  If you like it, do it.”  Ever since then I try to live my life how I want.  I also try to withhold judgment of others based on what they look like, what their hair looks like, what they’re wearing, etc.  It’s none of my business.  If it makes them happy, rock on!  Isn’t that what life is about?

In my opinion, it seems as though everything we do needs to be categorized somehow.  Right or wrong, cool or uncool, sexy or ugly.  Why?  I just read an article about being single and while I agreed with some of the points I strongly disagreed with others.  The writer, in my opinion, was trying to justify being single and at times, putting down those in relationships.  There is no need.  No way is more right or wrong than the other.  Do you and just #myob.  Why is it so hard to just live life and not try to justify why you or your way is better than someone else’s?

My personal philosophy is simple.  Do, wear, say, and think whatever it is that makes you happy as long as it doesn’t harm anyone or anything else.  Simple.  Who cares what the retailers tell you you should be wearing it?  If it makes you feel like a goddamn rock star, wear it!  To me, there’s nothing more bad ass than feeling like your best self and living authentically for you.


Lone wolf

I went on a hike yesterday.  I brought my headphones but didn’t use them at all.  For 6.3 miles and almost 2 hours it was just me, nature, and my thoughts.  My mind was all over the place.  Sometimes I was replaying song lyrics in my head, and at other times I thought about the instability of career and some of the not so nice things people have said.  At one point I had an epiphany.  I realized that I truly love being alone.

“Now I’m me without you, and things are ’bout to get real good.”Gwen Stefani

As I was walking that trail I was content with my own company and didn’t once wish there was someone there with me.  Thinking back, I have always been an extremely independent person; my parents would attest to that. When I was 4 I fell down a flight of stairs and got pretty fucked up.  To the best of my recollection, I stepped inside a laundry basket in order to reach a light switch, and accidentally ended up sliding down the stairs to the basement and getting pretty banged up.  According to my mom, I limped my way outside where they were and didn’t say anything about what had happened or the fact that I was hurt.  My knee had swelled up pretty bad and they eventually noticed and took me to the hospital.  I didn’t break anything but I was rocking a walker and full leg cast for a while.  Anyway, the point of this little trip down memory lane was to prove that I have always done things for myself and kept to myself.

It wasn’t too long ago that I would go through periods where I worried about being single for the rest of my life.  A recent experience helped me narrow down what it is I want out of life and relationships, both romantic and platonic, at least right now anyway.  Furthermore, it helped me realize there is nothing to worry about.  At this point in life I am exactly where I should be and with whom I should be – me.


“What’s a little boy like you doing with big boy smut like this?”Mailman, Better Off Dead

I recently went to Las Vegas and did a private shoot with the one and only, Paul Buceta.  Last year I went to his studio in Canada and it was the first time I had ever done something like that.  I walked away with a new found confidence and some bad ass photos but this time…  Let’s just say I was mentally prepared, had a great time, and I’m much happier with the results.  With that being said, these photos are a little more risque so instead of posting them on FB I decided to share some of my favorites in this blog post.

Now before you think I’ve gone soft let me explain myself.  I usually have a “fuck it” attitude when it comes to what I post on MY social medial feed but I do realize that most of these photos aren’t for everyone.  For those of you that enjoy the art of photography and don’t just see these as smut – enjoy!

Photos | Paul Buceta
Hair | Sarah Scotford
Makeup | Monica Kalra of Violet Noir Artistry

If you’re not first, you’re last.

Today it finally caught up with me and now I must deal with the consequences.  I stretched myself too thin and lost sight of my priorities.  There’s no feeling I hate more than being disappointed in myself but it happens from time to time.

If you keep up with me you know I stay pretty busy and while that might seem like a good thing, it really isn’t.  At one point, something has to give.  I can’t go back and change the past so I need to press forward; chin up or the crown slips.



Chin up, princess.

Life is hard.

I am pretty sure I’ve started a previous post with those same exact words. Nothing has changed.

Today I celebrate my 35th year of existence. I feel great. Life is getting better. I have a better understanding of who I am and what I want. I am healthy. I am in fairly good shape. I am happy with who I am as a person. But that doesn’t mean that life isn’t hard. Even though I have all of these things going for me, I can’t help but feel a little sad today. It seems as though every day brings its own set of challenges and it can be daunting just to make it through the day. At the end of the day I need to keep my chin up. Not just for me, but for others too. Today I was reminded that I have a responsibility to inspire others; a responsibility I do not take lightly.

I thank you all for the love today and I wish you a wonderful day❤


It’s late and I should be sleeping. My sleep has been off lately. I have little energy to do things. It could be fatigue. It could be depression. I am not really sure. But that’s not what this post is about.

“Well, what inspires you?” I asked an old friend tonight. He responded and called me Lee. So familiar yet so unknown. It feels like our lives were entwined lifetimes ago. I’ve dreamt about him many times before. He doesn’t know. The internet said it could be that I miss a time when life was simpler. I think it’s true. So much has happened between now and then. My life seems surreal to me.

Before I got up to grab my laptop I was laying in bed looking at the ceiling for minutes. Tears started streaming down my face and I realized that if anyone would have been looking at me they would have thought me to be crazy. I think it’s good to cry. It’s good to still feel emotion, to analyze where you’re at in life. It means you’re present and aware. It could also mean I’m a hot mess. I think I’ll go with the former though.

A little over a year ago I laid in bed and cried. My mind visualizing terrible things. My heart asking questions I would never get the answers to. It amazes me that while things are different now, they are the same. When shit went down with the ex and people told me it would take time, I never believed it would take this long. Who knew that the effects would last this long? Don’t get me wrong, I feel as though I have handled the situation appropriately and for the most part I have healed; however, I do think these moments will stay with me forever. That kind of sucks.

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