• The Two Years That Disappeared

    Wow. Last blog post, 2019!  

    What happened to 2020 and 2021?


    I guess I don't need to tell ya.  :(

    While COVID may not be over, I think most of us would agree we are getting over it.  Some of us have litterally had to 'get over' COVID - we've had it, we've lived through it (at least, if you're reading this, you have) and we deeply desire to MOVE ON in our lives.

    That's were I'm at, in any event.  Time to get at getting into this 'new world' that is slowly (and quickly too!) emerging from the post-pandemic chaos. 

    There's lots to talk about. Lots to share.   

    Dogs. New Primary Relationships. New views, perspectives and experiences to unpack. New relationships with dogs (which, btw, run in packs ;)

    So stay tuned.  Literally.  I've got a podcast series in the works and acres and acres of thoughts and feelings to share with y'all. 

    I'm glad to be back. I've missed ya!  

    Looking forward to catching up on all things Below the Neck and Above the Waist! 

    ReinMan ❤️🙏🏼

    Kate supports ReinMan's COVID process

  • Today I Commit to Bring a Bit More AwesomeAwareness Into The World

    Wow. What a title there, eh?  

    I'm always a bit  leery of starting any public statement with the words "I Commit". It seems bad enough that I'm speaking publicly on the World Wide Web about ANYTHING. 🤪

    But "I Commit"... well that just seems to put my personal word dead center and rather naked before all those that come across this website. A commitment is something that, for me, is about My Word. It's not about something I'm THINKING of doing, or just wanting to discuss over a pint with a buddy.

    To Commit is to birth DOING.

    Okay - that part is pretty straight forward... but oh my gosh: that NEXT batch of words that I put down AFTER "I Commit"!  Jeez Louis, just what the heck do I mean by "bringing a bit more awesome awareness into the world" ?  🤷🏻‍♂️

    Well, I gotta confess something right here, right now, Dear Reader:  I know EXACTLY what I mean by those words.  And it is actually the fact that I'm NOT confused about those words that scares me more than I thought it might.

    I'm not fuzzy on the words "bringing a bit more" at all.  It means MORE than there is NOW. That's straight forward. "A bit more". Not a Universe-destroying and mind-numbingly HUGE wack of something... Just a bit. More. More than there was before that moment.

    "Awesome Awareness".  Now this where it gets interesting for me.  Hopefully for you too, brave adventurer into the ReinScape.  Many MANY folks much MUCH more wise and schooled than I understand AWARENESS. It's actually pretty simple: you are aware of SOMETHING or you are NOT aware of it.  You might even THINK you are aware of something but until you get to it's truth and essence you might only be aware of the idea of something... not it's truth. But... you are aware it is there. Ready for your scrutiny, if you so choose to scrute. 

    And "awesome" - again, no heavy rocket science to get to the root of that word. Awe.  And, in this case SOME amount of it! When we, as humans witness anything that touches our hearts, moves our soul, impresses our minds we can be said to be in AWE of that thing. That experience.  It is usually a positive thing, but sometimes it is not. Thus the word "awful". But AWE... well, it tends to MOVE us.

    So Awesome Awareness is to not only NOTICE something, perhaps something unnoticed before,  close to its core beauty and authenticity, but to fully "get it" at a level that it inspires a deep feeling of awe in one's awareness of that thing. That "thing" noticed will now tend to not be ignored or forgotten.

    Okay. Right. Let's go over those potentially crazy words again that I just used to title this blog entry:
    Today I Commit to Bring a Bit More AwesomeAwareness Into The World."

    I've lived a decade past my half-century mark now. I've learned some things. I'm okay with giving you the story from each scar, notebook, life-movie review that I've been through. Some stories are pretty sad, by my reckoning. Some are pretty funny as hell.  They are all both awesome and awful in their own ways.

    But I don't wish to "entertain" you here. I wish to inspire you to find your own awesome stories... and face down the lessons you can most surely learn from your AWFUL stories.  If you communicate with me, I will call out to that part of you that wishes to be an awesome person. I intend for you to leave any and all communications with me a BIT more AWARE of how AWESOME you and your life is.

    Hang with me and I'll remind you that living Below your Neck and Above Your Waist will allow you to have a much more clear, exciting, peaceful life. And that living this way invites others to do the same. 

    I commit to this.  😌🙏🏼

    Will I scare some folks away? Most likely. And that's okay.
    Might I inspire one or two or more folks to dig into their own Awesomeness and become Aware of just how brilliant they really are? I sure hope so.

    Will it get MESSY? Most assuredly.
    The Universe ALWAYS hides the diamonds in the manure pile!
    That's okay - I got gloves for everyone!!😁👍🏼

    Thanks for reading, my Most Awesome Peeps. 
    More to come, more to come!




  • Sometimes, No Matter What, Ya Just Gotta Laugh

    [from Facebook Post Nov. 3 2019]


    TOPIC de JOUR: Having a laugh with one's disability.

    So... as you might guess by the title above, I'm gonna talk a wee bit about the absolute power of HUMOUR, the power of Not-Taking-Things-Too-Seriously even when one needs to be serious about something. Why, sometimes, laughter IS the BEST medicine.

    Last night I got to hang out with some folks who, in many different and varied and creative ways, have had to deal with the total hell of either living with a disability, or needing to support a loved one WITH a disability.

    In this case, the disability is FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder). Though I suspect what I'm talking about is pretty universal in handling many of life's woes and challenges.

    Last night, I was welcomed into a tribe of VSBLP's (Very Strange But Loving People). Three of us adults swim daily along the river of FASD. The rest were parents with children learning to navigate these same, at times, turbulent waters.

    Was there a person in the room who had not "suffered" deep and seemingly-at-times horrific challenges due to this particular disability? No. There was not. Did we all, to differing degrees, know about each other's challenges and some of the deep pain we've felt in our own varied ways? We did.

    We even had a "life event" occur last night that would have, I suspect for many people (neuro-typical or typical-challenged) f•cked up the whole evening.

    Said event was handled quickly with love (and, truthfully, a few laughs at how crazy the Advocacy Path can get at times).

    But. We. Didn't. Let. It. Rob. Us. Of. Our. Joyous Spirits.

    We all wobbled but held together... and like unexpected bad weather, the storm passed.
    Was it a giant group-hug at a PityParty?

    Far far from it.

    We laughed at the Devil last night. And then invited him in and gave him a chance to learn to laugh at himself.

    For me, here's the IMPORTANT question of the moment: Did I laugh more soulfully than I have in months?
    You betcha.😂👍🏼

    Was I / am I hurting? You betcha. 😌

    On a lot of levels, truth be told.

    I'm currently working through "some s***" 😏 🤷🏻‍♂️

    So, was my laughter bull-shit? Was I "faking it until I was making" it? Or even worse, perhaps you're pondering, I was a bit tipsy from a drink or two?

    No - to all the above (though the Root Beer was a BIT sugary - and delicious 😁) No one had had a drink all evening.

    But... we chose to laugh.

    We chose to be real with each other. We chose (my personal observation here) that we would, THROUGH our very different yet so similar life's-lessons-scars, connect in mind and spirit. Not to avoid or deny our various challenges. Not to commiserate.

    But to CELEBRATE how awesome the human spirit is when we choose it over the sometimes dark tunnels of our minds.

    Thanks to Team Love.😇 (you know who you is 😉)

    You, and so many others on my FASD Trip, are learning me many good things about all of us. Sending y'all one heckova Namaste!  🙏🏼❤️


  • Let That Sink In

    [from FaceBook post Oct. 26, 2019]


    This is so true!

    And that last line: let it sink in. Really.😌

    In my experience, I never stopped loving my parents... but for a long time I did not LIKE them. That, along with my crushed self-esteem, caused me to choose some very un-loving paths in my life. Unloving to others. Unloving to myself.

    To all my peeps that are parents out there. Or guardians. Or mentors. Or that have "friends"... FIND a way to put LOVE back into your communications, SPECIALLY when you need to set a boundary with someone. It's always been important to do so, but right now in these times in this world It seems even MORE important.

    Be good to each other out there, my fine Peeps.
    Peace &Namaste Y'all! 😎🙏🏼

    ReinMan OUT✨

  • ❤️Thankful for My Mama 🦃

    [from FaceBook post, Oct 14, 2019]


    The Near-Turkey Experience (starring Mama deSmit and Yours Truly)

    So the "retirement" home my Mama is in does "okay" food... but nothing like the crazy-BIG Thanksgiving meals my mom used to prepare for us year on year on year. But at nearly 96 years old, I can hardly fault her for not feeling like doing all that cooking these day. (Also, she doesn't have a kitchen any more, so that further complicates her doing her cooking magic any longer. )

    So I drove through the beautifully painted countryside of Ontario (which was also blessedly free of MOSQUITOES 😉) to take her out to Swiss Chalet. We shared the "Thanksgiving Feast" which was rather turkey-less and yet, perfect for what Mama required and requested. Cranberry Jelly along with semi-realistic StUFFING (which I let her have totally as I am not a fan, even the stuff she used to make).
    My Mama and I, well, we've known each other now for about 60 years. We've been through a LOT. We've cleared up pretty much all of the shite and detritus that a mother and son can generate in a "fully lived" life.

    I'm thankful that we can have a nice meal together. I'm thankful that I can sit with her and listen to her chat for up to two or, with a glass of red wine, three hours at a time. I'm thankful for the life she (and my dear passed Papa) gave me.

    It's been a bumpy ride at times, but much like the country roads of Ontario that spend part of the year nearly impassable with snow and ice, yet have moments of awesome Fall beauty and Summer blue skies, we've made the journey valuable and worthwhile.

    Without my Mama I'd not be regaling you with my wit and my ominous swath of words.  So ... there's that ;)