The Declaration of In-dependencies

By | 2013-07-04T10:35:55-04:00 July 4th, 2013|Life|

My heart is heavy today. Laden with thoughts of daily life, interactions with others, needs, wants, hopes, and desires. Since today is supposed to be a day of celebration, I will spare you my melancholy and even spin it in to something positive. If it were not for the independence of our nation, I (we), would not be able to even entertain thoughts of wants and hopes. We are a country and culture where striving for independence is our first motivation. Beginning with infancy, we are encouraged to feed ourselves, walk unattended, and ultimately grow in to people who can make good choices and live our lives independently. We are a nation that also supports each other when we cannot make those choices allowing some to be dependent until they can become independent. Dependency is not always a weakness, but sometimes a necessity to find the strength, courage, and power to go it alone. I am blessed that I have three kids who are dependent upon me to teach them, nurture them, and educate them in to their own independence.

Happy Fourth of July from Totem Tamers!


Totem Tamers presents TUESDAY!

By | 2013-07-02T13:35:27-04:00 July 2nd, 2013|Life|

I make an effort to recognize a WARRIOR on Wednesdays, more for alliterative reasons than anything, but also because it’s the middle of the week and it’s nice to have that positive boost. A WARRIOR is usually identified as someone (or an organization of someone’s) that has overcome an incredible challenge or is helping others overcome challenges. That’s just an example. Sometimes I am struck by stories I hear of people who in their own right are WARRIORS. Sadly the stories don’t often have happy endings. Two such stories have come about in the last couple days. The first one about a young girl known all over the interest as Teresa B. Teresa was adopted by an incredibly loving couple even though she had a heart defect and would need a heart transplant at just 6 years old. Her story captivated millions and was even featured on The Today Show. Sadly Teresa passed away yesterday, as pictures from around the world of people wearing tiaras (her favorite) surfaced in her honor. Teresa’s story has brought to light adoption of special needs children, rare medical conditions, and the incredible courage and strength of the amazing family that gave Teresa a home and happiness. Teresa was a WARRIOR in her fight for life and gift of bringing so many people together and her family are all WARRIORS for giving Teresa happiness in the short time she was on this earth. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Teresa’s family and everyone impacted by her passing.

Teresa B

Teresa B

The second WARRIOR story this week has been learning about The Granite Mountain Hotshots. A group of elite firefighters who risk their lives to help stop the spread of  wildfires while protecting threatened environments and communities. 19 firefighters lost their lives while doing just that this week. It is being called the largest single loss of firefighters since 9/11. Only one member of the 20 person team survived and only because he was ordered to go move an equipment truck. These men are all WARRIORS for the courage, dedication, and passion to fight fires and protect their land and the people living on it. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and the community struggling to come to terms with this awful tragedy.

The Granite Mountain Hotshots

The Granite Mountain Hotshots

There are WARRIORS all around us every day, take a moment to recognize them and thank them for what they do. In doing that, you become a WARRIOR, too!

Stay safe and stay well.

Learn more about Totem Tamers at

Life lessons at a rock concert? Damn straight!

By | 2013-07-01T13:24:04-04:00 July 1st, 2013|Life|

Rocking through life!

Rocking through life!

I took two of my kids to see The Wallflowers and The Counting Crows perform the other night. Yes, I’m that kinda mom, and they are definitely those kinda kids! It wasn’t long after we got in to our seats that we noticed some commotion in the next section. We then watched as a frustrated gentleman attempted to push his very wobbly date up the stairs, while others in their section tried very hard to stay away from vomit she hurled all over the floor. Life lesson #1: Don’t drink to excess. Then we watched as a young man with a mop and bucket did his best to find the alcohol explosion in the dark while The Wallflowers crooned away. With the help of other concert-goers, the puke was cleaned up and off the young man went. Life Lesson #2: Do well in school, go to college and get a degree, and you will never have to mop up a strangers vomit. Those two lessons were fairly simple and pretty self-explanatory, the third one however was a bit more complex. Totem Tamers was started after my middle son began experiencing anxiety attacks. One of the worst attacks he had was about a year and a half ago at a rock concert. My kid did ok with the opening act, he had earplugs in and no real expectations because we weren’t familiar with the band. By the time the band we came to see took the stage however, he was already worked up from the anticipation and anxiety that they wouldn’t play his favorite song. Imagine a 9-year-old kid going pale, sweating, physically restless and agitated, ultimately causing an upset stomach that required a trip to the bathroom. My response was not to leave the concert because I knew he would regret it and I knew his favorite song would get played. My response was to do my best to give him the tools to keep him calm. That was his Bulldog Totem in hand and a jacket over his head to block out the stimulation as best as possible. As soon as the first notes of the song he was waiting for were churned out, there was a shift. Now my kid was rocking out and I was exhaling. By the end of the song, my sweet 9 year old boy had tears in his eyes. He hugged his brother and hugged me, and thanked me for making him stay. We’ve been to several concerts since and each one gets a little easier, including this last one with The Counting Crows, where he didn’t even want the earplugs and hooted and hollered along with the rest of us fans. Life lesson #3: Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone may be scary but it helps make your comfort zone that much bigger!

Stay well and rock on!