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Blue paper scrubs

There are those near losses that threaten to tear our families apart and bring us to our knees.

They turn non-believers into believers who pray for the first time since they were children, and then, sometimes, maybe… more often than not, the dark is followed by light.

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Pura Vida

Costa Rica is green and beautiful. Raw. The land seemingly only touched with a soft hand  … and graced by something or someone from up above. A spiritual place where you can truly connect with nature, your environment and perhaps who you truly are.

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Goop

You know you need to throw away the half-eaten protein bar in your work bag when a little piece of it easily acts as an earring back. Don’t judge… I was desperate. One of my hoop earrings fell out at an active scene, and while I shockingly found it in the street an hour later in the perfect little asphalt crater left behind by wear and tear, the earring back was m.i.a. (Evidence above)

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Intertwined

Wife.   Mother.   Brother.   Child.   Neighbor.   Boss.   Partner.  Employee.

Who are you beyond the titles at home and at work?

Who are you in this intertwined world?

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Beep Beep

We simply drive by other people’s lives only to get a glimpse of a face… a smell… a sound… but we don’t really know what life is like for them.

 How is work going? How is that new boss? What’s going on at home? Are your kids healthy? How is your mother doing?

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Love, Faith and Family

I have spent time in jail and prison. I sat across from a guy who had plastic zip ties, duct tape, sex toys, and a shock collar among other supplies inside his van. Some of the charges filed against him… confinement and battery. A lawyer chuckled after he heard what the man had admitted to me in the exclusive jailhouse interview. I believe that was my first story on FOX59.

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Gone Fishin’

annkeilIt’s a big smile after a ridiculous 24 hours that felt much like Russian Roulette.

Okay, okay.. maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but hear me out. Flying these days is not the same. I remember thinking it the other day, saying it, and then I realized that I had cursed myself. I could not fly out of Indianapolis.

In the end, a complaint was filed against a rogue airline employee who took me off a flight for a reason beyond my understanding or the airlines. I had checked in, my ticket said 1A, but I was booted. A reality I was unaware of until the following morning when my attempted ticket reprint failed. I was on another flight, or rather, two flights said a surprisingly unpleasant airline rep who had rudely interrupted a conversation I had been having with her coworker.

Farewell direct flight and hello unforgiving, airplane bathroom stench post full speed run in heels pre-6 a.m.

I should also tell you the airline delayed then cancelled my original flight the night before minutes before we were supposed to board. As I walked back out of the terminal, there it was, a long line full of unhappy people who were told to call the airline to avoid the ugly in person encounters that were coming anyways. I furrowed my brow and internally tapped my foot realizing that every moment I waited in line meant someone else was getting a seat I so desired.

Then, the man standing in front of me gave me a big smile and asked me out on a date. I had been so focused on being the next in line as I intently watched my only line of communication dying before my eyes after a worthless call to an agent in a far away land, that I had to read his lips as he nervously pitched his feelings. The whole thing felt a bit blurry. He got some serious points for being a man unafraid to put himself out there.  It’s a rarity. These days you get text messages about real life and feelings. Still, he had what you call very bad timing, and I thanked him for the very nice compliment as I headed towards a newly freed up agent.

I would get a new plane assignment, that would only prove temporary, as I mentioned before, a coupon for an airport hotel even though I am a local, and a warning that paying the day rate to park at the airport was going to be a must. Where was the positive in this equation?? Oh, right, I actually knew where I had parked!

Still, I was not a happy camper. I was going to miss an important appointment and the reason for my trip.

The next day, on flight two, after minimal sleep, I finally laughed. It was hard, but my seat neighbor quickly revealed her special gift: open-mouthed, sunflower seed chewing then purposeful regurgitation of the bird seed into a barf bag… lips to bag every sixth or seventh seed. I counted to see if she was conscious of this repeated act of crazy, and I wondered what the bag would look like if it was dusted for prints. Undoubtedly, it would keep any forensic expert busy. Then, I closed my eyes and pictured something dreamy, specifically one of my favorite things, and I made it happen.

Rental boat. Check.

Squid and shrimp for the picky palettes.  Check.

My old fishing grounds. Check.

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Nine Zero

She is allergic to grass, flowers, and the outdoors? She loves the celebrity obsessed magazines and lengthy conversations about his uncle’s, father’s boss who married her on [insert specific date, time and location]. They now have [insert number] kids who are living in [city1] and [city2]. She is a strong woman who talks about her battle with breast cancer as if it were a cold. “Never mind that,” she says, as she reappears in another colorful pantsuit with a perfectly matching scarf. Her Chanel lipstick always in tow… She is sharp as a tack, and she is the classic beauty she always was.

He is a retired military man and dentist turned farmer with property in Pennsylvania that he may love more than his own bedroom. Vegetable growing, tractor duties and woodworking… all favorites. He’s also a longtime docent at a Washington, D.C. museum because of his vast knowledge of pre-Columbian Art and English gardens. He explored the Amazon several years back in search of the rarest orchids. His knowledge base is extraordinarily large. Pick a topic minus i.t., and he has it covered. His button ups are almost always blue in color, and his pants remind you that he probably did more hardcore cardio than you did this week. A little dirt won’t kill you.

They’re married, by the way, and my grandmother, Charlotte, just celebrated her 90th birthday! Grandpa Dave is 92.

They’re hilarious, together and a part.

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They make me think about marriage, then and now. What made them say, “I do” on September 25, 1943?

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I am pretty sure I have learned as many lessons about relationships in their company as I have from my own personal experiences. They can be tough, but they are everything, aren’t they? So, once you snag a good one, hold on tight!

Love thy ‘selfie’

Selfie (n): a picture you take of yourself; if you’re an amateur, like me, your arm is in it no matter what you try unless, of course, you’ve used a mirror or it’s this close up.

Exhibit A.annkeil

How many of you have taken one? Come on. I see you smiling now or laughing at me…

I couldn’t help myself.

I often crack up as I flip through my long list of social media accounts.  There is always at least one ‘selfie’ per hour, AND the alternative, which is almost always a picture of a delicious meal. Are we obsessed with food too, or are we that busy at work that food has become that much more exciting?? I’m confused and strangely intrigued.

I just signed up for Instagram after fighting it for quite some time, and guess what I found? More of the same…

I have to admit I have taken a picture or two of my Tupperware lunches. For some reason, I simply get a kick out of opening the lid, and just waiting for my photographer to say something, anything. When I eat clean, I tend to cook up a broccoli, egg-white combination, and it smells awesome. (No, it doesn’t.)

I’ve even taken it as far as a chopped, raw vegetable mixture from my favorite organic grocery store. Hours later, my photographer and I angrily searched the live truck for whatever rotting food someone left behind. That is, of course, after we had looked at each other inquisitively for a few minutes as if to say, ‘Is that you? It couldn’t possibly be!’

I love those moments.

I had accidentally bumped the veggies when I jumped into the truck, and the plastic container opened on its own. Oops! I swore… never again.

So, if it’s not already obvious, I have not impressed anyone with a gorgeous meal, but I did just take care of that. I captured my first authentic, eight course Japanese dinner. One of the diners was a Pescaterian so we stuck to seafood. No complaints from this Miami native even with fish liver on the menu. You have to try everything at least once as long as it’s not going to kill you, right? As for my ‘selfies’… I’m a work in progress.

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An Easy Dream

annkeilI miss outdoor exercise, and I’m not talking about using a busy, bike path.

This winter, in Indy, has been BRUTAL. Yes, the word is deserving of all caps. I thought certain people were exaggerating when they called last winter ‘mild.’ I used to laugh and say, ‘sure,’ and I’d think to myself, I survived more than three years in Boston. I can take it!

But… there’s always a but. Right?

But… I miss the sunshine on my face as I work up a real sweat. The gym gets old. It always has, actually. Yet, it’s often the only option when your local weatherman is promising a ‘wintry mix’ over and over again, and you work long hours. As a result, my reality is often a bar over my head with heavy weights on each end way too early in the morning for me to even form a proper sentence. My inner thoughts are something along the lines of, ‘lift or get clobbered.’

I much prefer the natural movements, the workout, you can get outside in the fresh air. You don’t have to tune out the top 20 radio station blasting from a countless number of speakers or the smelly man working out next to your machine who is wearing jeans?! Yes, I have had several sightings.

So, lucky for me, my waistline, and my sanity, a very good friend, who is living the California dream, invited me to the West Coast. We hiked, did a little bit of climbing, and I loved every minute of it!

Southern California is an easy dream… even in March. Proof?

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I also snapped a few nature shots.

It has been a little while since my creative juices have flowed. Plus, it gave me a good excuse to take a breather… just for a second, of course. (gasp)

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