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Stay Sexy ~ The Best Little….

Lacy-lips-mediumOnce it was the best little whorehouse in Texas—but now it’s in Nye County, Nevada, where we live, and it’s called the Chicken Ranch. So when friends invited us to Octoberfest at the Chicken Ranch, we decided we shouldn’t pass it up.

Loved it! Like no party I’d ever been to. Football was the theme, and guests were encouraged to wear team jerseys, so of course I hauled out my 2010 Championship T-shirt for the Green Bay Packers. Sad to say, not one of the ladies was a Packer fan – Steelers, Cowboys, Raiders, Broncos, even Seahawks. And I’ll have to admit their jerseys looked a little different than mine…

Drinks, finger foods, like any other cocktail party, with a little something extra. There was a “football” game where one player, blindfolded, had to carry a nerf football through the opposing team and endure a variety of tackles in order to reach the goal line. I won – and so did everyone who played, and I don’t think anyone minded the up close and personal tackles.

My favorite was the musical chairs lapdance. I’ll confess a lapdance has been on my bucket list for a while, so now I can check that off, very happily. Twelve of us, all genders, sat on chairs in a circle, and the ladies danced for us, then moved on to the next guest when someone yelled “switch.” Definitely entertaining.

Both of us also enjoyed a chance to talk with some of the ladies who work there. They’re normal people, making a good living. Some are saving up for hopes and dreams such as graduate school or starting a business. All are glad to be doing work they love in an environment that’s friendly, fully legal, and above all, safe.

Dare PartyI think that’s part of what made this such a fun, special event: a chance to be engaged in risqué, sexy behaviors with a group of like-minded adults, in a safe and legal setting where consent is at the top of the list and is honored.

Just like in the Dolly Parton movie, the brothels in Pahrump pride themselves in giving back to the community. They are often major donors to local charities, and they frequently host events open to the public, like Octoberfest. Next? A Halloween party at Sherri’s Ranch. I have my costume all planned.

 

 

A Bump in the Road

Since starting to write our Stay Sexy column a year and a half ago, I’ve focused on keeping it upbeat, sharing encouraging stories, interviewing authors who experience success with their health-related goals, and offering tips and information to help readers stay vibrant, healthy, excited and sexy across the life cycle.

I’m that kind of person, and yes, I was a cheerleader in high school. I didn’t want to be writing a column focused on “coping” with the many ailments that can catch us unawares as we age.

We’ve just been hit with one of those. Not major, if everything goes right – but anything threatening my vision, with which I make a living, feels major to me. I’m working hard to hang onto the attitude that will best position me to sail through this with optimum benefit, and I decided writing about it in this column would (a) help keep me honest and (b) maybe help others who likewise struggle with focusing on the positive when something unexpected blindsides them.

My diagnosis, technically, is a “pseudo-macular-hole” in my left eye. It’s a lesion in the concentrated bundle of nerves at the center of the retina, the area that communicates the vast proportion of visual information to the brain. ”The macula provides the sharp, central vision we need for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail,” (National Eye Institute). Um, yeah, gonna need that for the long haul.

It’s caused by aging – the vitreous gel that fills the eye shrinks with age and can pull away from the retina, causing a hole. My case is considered mild, and we caught it early, so I have much to be grateful for. The surgeon we’ve been referred to is a national expert in this field and she anticipates I will have either complete or nearly complete restoration of my vision in that eye.

I believe her. I don’t know that restoration will be complete, but I believe I have excellent odds, given both her assessment and the energy I’ve focused for years on doing everything in my power to stay healthy.

So where do I struggle with attitude? Lots of places. Any surgery requires a period of rest and inactivity. If I’m not regularly working out, I’m easily subject to depression. I hate when that happens, and I’m not a lot of fun to be around. I’ll have to work hard not to let it get me down or fill me with negative energy that won’t help me heal.

I don’t like unknowns. I don’t like not being able to plan ahead, not being able to know what to expect. If surgery goes as the doctor hopes, I’ll have to stay in a face-down position for at least two days. Longer, if there are problems. I don’t know what’s going to happen.

I’ve never coped easily with unexpected change, though clearly that’s something all of us need to practice as we age. When this problem occurred, we had just arrived in Seattle after four weeks driving up the Oregon and Washington coast on our summer motorhome trip. We’ve changed our travel plans and booked an extra month at the RV resort where we’d only planned to spend a week. I have no idea how soon we’ll be able to head back down the road to our home base in Nevada. Everything else being equal, actually, I hope that’s the biggest unexpected change I’ll be facing as we navigate our way through all this. Could be lots worse (see? Giving myself a pep talk).

And how do I begin to face these issues? Attitude is always a choice. We’ve been given an extra three weeks to explore what the Puget Sound area has to offer. We’ve encountered great beauty and been able to spend time with three sets of friends we might have missed. I’m supported by a husband who loves me, understands me, and will walk with me through whatever happens.

And we’ll keep writing about it, one way or another. Others have gone before me and faced darker days, and they’ve inspired me. For a taste of what matters, check out my conversations in this column with Mahalia Levey and Emma Lai.

I’d love to hear from you about how you’ve coped with bumps in the road, and what you’ve learned. Meanwhile, here are some of my favorite pics from where we’re staying.

IMG_0466    Lily pads at sunset

 

3_Lake Sawyer Mt Rainier sunsetMt. Rainier at sunset

dawn from Bainbridge IslandDawn from Bainbridge Island

 

Remembering Hollywood Park

Remembering Hollywood Park

Historic Hollywood Park

Historic Hollywood Park

Two legs of the Triple Crown have been completed, and California Chrome is poised to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. This seems an appropriate moment to pause and remember the beautiful track where California Chrome first trained – Hollywood Park, in Inglewood, CA. The seventy-five year history of this exquisite racing venue came to a close at the end of the 2013 season, on December 21. We thought readers of our Riders Up series, set in the horse racing industry, would enjoy a photo tour of the facility.

My husband and I were fortunate to finally visit this track in person last November 15, a few weeks before its demise. Crowds were thin – part of the reason it closed is the popularity of off-track betting with those who follow the horses. But the venue still shone with its historic Hollywood glamor, at least to us. Hollywood Park PaddockIn addition to California Chrome, Hollywood Park was the training home of Seabiscuit, Citation, Swaps, Native Diver, Lava Man, Cigar, Zenyatta, and I’ll Have Another. Hallowed ground, for us. Here’s the paddock area – I’ll let you envision those famous horses saddling up as you stand at the paddock rails watching.

Several thrills for the day:

BHP TVG Hollywood ParkMeeting the TVG staff and getting my picture taken with them (Todd Schrupp, Paul Lo Duca, Simon Bray). We’ve been following the TVG network since 2000, shortly after its beginning, so we feel as though we “know” them, even though they’d never met us before. We’d be TVG network members if we could, but we live in Nevada, where it’s not permitted.

Having a chat with the Hollywood Park bugler, Jay Cohen, also the bugler for Santa Anita and Del Mar, so we learned he isn’t out of a job with Hollywood Park closing. He roams the crowds between calling horses to the post, and we enjoyed his occasional additional solos.BHP Hollywood Park Bugler Jay Cohen

BHP Call to Post

Call to Post

Seeing trainer Bob Baffert in person – totally recognizable with his shock of white hair. We watched his horse Infosec win a $30,000 claiming race and got to see him in the winner’s circle. Unbeknownst to us, Infosec was claimed in that race, and moved to Golden Gate Field under trainer Frank Lucarelli; he ran third to California Chrome’s win in the California Derby this spring

Trainer Bob Baffert and Infosec in the Winner's Circle

Trainer Bob Baffert and Infosec in the Winner’s Circle

And of course watching the races, cheering for our choices and reaping the benefits of hubby’s handicapping skills. We had a good day :).

Approaching the Finish Line

Approaching the Finish Line

Of course, you don’t have to own horses or visit a track (though we hope you do!) to experience the thrill of the race – Books One and Two in our Riders Up series are now available in Kindle format at Amazon:

Cassie's-Hope-eBook-web-redo

 

Riders Up

Book One

Cassie’s Hope

High stakes, a fiery Irish redhead, her stunning racehorse, and a fiercely loyal rancher

BUY LINK  Amazon

 

 

Heat-Wave-ebook-web

 

 

Riders Up

Book Two

Heat Wave

Hang onto the land–but at what cost? Feisty widow hires ace racehorse trainer to salvage her family’s heritage. Can they survive escalating threats to life and limb?

BUY LINK  Amazon

 
© 2017 Adriana Kraft. All Rights Reserved.