I was out to a customer the other day trimming their horse’s hooves.  It was over cast, cloudy and raining a bit.  The customer commented she sure wished it was sunny.  My reply was “Well the grass also needs to grow”.  She paused for a few seconds and agreed.  During my travels around from place to place I find so many people who’s cup is always half empty.  These are the people who always got something to complain about!

I too was one of those who’s cup was half empty until many, many years ago my Dad told me once, “No matter how bad you think you got it, there is always someone around who’s got it worse than you – just look around and see”, and you know – he was right!  After our little talk I soon learned things weren’t so bad.  There was always a positive twist to everything, one just had to look around a bit and find it.  I don’t care what you’re doing or where you’re headed in life lift your head and look on the bright side.

I really got to laugh at people.  In the winter time I’ll drive around and hear people complain because it’s too cold.  I tell them, “Well there’s no flies bothering the horses when I work on them”.  It may be cold enough my fingers are cold, but hey, I got my forge I warm my tools with and once in a while pass my fingers across the front!  And another thing, when it’s cold you can put more clothes on, but when it’s hot, well you can only take so many clothes off!!

In the summer time I’ll be back around to the same place and the same person – “Oh it’s so hot”.  I look at them and reply, “It wasn’t too long ago you were complaining it was too cold, now it’s warmed up and you’re not happy”.  Well in the summer time at least I don’t have all those thick covers people put on their horses to contend with.  My tools are warmed up and I don’t have to worry about my fingers being cold!  In the summer we got more hours of daylight and I love it.  In the winter the days are shorter and not too long a work day. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I also have my days.  No one is perfect.  But just about the time I’m getting into the negative attitude, I start to think about something positive and things begin to turn around.  One great positive thing I got is so many good customers!  I’ve got many people I’ve done their horses for many years now.  I’ve got to watch their kids grow up and out on their own.  It always amazes me how fast time goes by.  Some of these people are really great!  A cup of coffee, drink of water, a nice conversation, really makes my day.  They really make up for the bad places I go. 

I guess I’m lucky I’m my own boss.  I set my schedules and pretty much do what I want (within reason).  I guess this contributes to my positive attitude.  I get to be outside many times.  I travel from place to place and get to see the changes of the seasons as I pass by.  Yea, I got many of the same routes I take, but there’s always something different to see.

So the next time you get in a negative attitude and start to complain, just stop and think why?  Then start to think of all the positive things coming your way.  Just remember – Keep you cup half full!

If you enjoy reading my thoughts, give my books a look at:  http://beslagsmed.wix.com/mikelwdawson

Here you can read a little bit about me and how I started writing.  My two books, GUIDE’S LIFE, and THOUGHTS OF A CRAZY OLD MAN are available in print and electronic.  Check’em out, you might enjoy!!


I watched a movie the other night – V for VENDETTA .  It’s setting was England in the future.  It told how the people got pissed off at the government because one man had a vendetta against those who had wronged him and it ended up being those of power in the government.  I’m not going to spoil the movie – you really need to get it and watch.  Well I didn’t sleep half the night because the movie kept going around in my mind and I knew I just had to put in my two cents worth.

Now I want to make something very clear from the start – I DON’T approve of the methods he employed, but I do support the message set forth in the movie.  The message put across in the move is very relevant today!  And with this being a mid-term election year, where so many on Congress are looking for approval to continue their money grubbing ways, I think many of WE THE PEOPLE need to stand up and make them take notice.

Yea we got lots of democrats and republicans with a small amount of third party people sitting in office, but how many of them are really thinking of the welfare of our country before their own welfare?  Not only are they looking out for their own skin, but do they really care about the rest of us?  One thing brought out in the movie was that governments should be afraid of the people, not the people being afraid of the government.  And when the President of the United States says he can do anything he wants (signing executive orders) without approval of Congress, well there is really something to worry about. 

Then we got judges telling United States Citizens they can’t show our national colors on a day, choosing to let the colors of another nation prevail that day, well that’s not the country I gave almost 23years of my life to protect and defend.  When the Attorney General says schools no longer have the right to ask for proof of birth for children to go to school, is this right?  Who’s looking out for us U.S. Citizens first?  Yea there’s probably a lots of you who say, what’s the big deal?  Well if you don’t think it’s such a big deal, then you personally go out and support those people with your own money.  What’s the purpose of national borders, standards of citizenship, what are they good for?

I think most of us who stop and think will understand our current president never had what it takes to lead this country, in the back ground are the handlers- bankers, big business – those who’s pulling his strings.  Face it would you give a company to a person who’s never held a real job, had to make a payroll, has no understanding of the key principles of leadership, give him full reins to drive the cart?  We know it has to be someone behind all this, just look at the way the main stream media has buckled under pressure not to do unbiased reporting?  For example look how the Libya thing has been getting covered up.  An ambassador and three others were killed, and were was the Commander in Chief?  And listening to our then Secretary of State, how she handled the situation – and some want her for President?

We’ve been to war in place we don’t belong, we’ve been lied to so much even those telling the lies believe them.  Our personal rights are slowly being taken away all in the name of National Security.  We the People are going to have to get pissed off enough about the way these donkeys and elephants have been running our country in the ground.  Somehow Congress in going to have to get their hands spanked and put in the corner, but it’s going to take us all together.  How many times has congress voted to cut their pay and benefits as they want to do for the people on the ground dodging bullets and bombs to insure their rights are secured?  How many millions of dollars have been funneled into campaign funds of these leaders by big business and the powers behind the doors? 

I encourage all of you to watch V FOR VENDETTA.  After watching it, then stop and think about the upcoming November elections, look at the decisions those we’ve elected to govern this country have made.  Then search your inner self and see if you’re pissed enough to make the right decisions?


I was out to a customer the other day trimming her horses and she asked me “What’s wrong”?  I replied nothing, everything was ok.  No she said I can see its not, now what’s wrong?  Well I continued to say things were going good, it was a sunny day, spring time, but she still insisted something was wrong.  Finally I stood up, put my tools down and replied, “Life is so dull after I left the military”.  I continued to state when I was in Iraq at the end of every day I thought back and thanked God I was alive and all in one piece.  You never knew from one day to the next if it was the last or not.  Life was full and exciting.  Now I’m back to the civilian life and it’s just dull.  Every day is just another day. 

Before I moved to Denmark I worked as a guide for an outfitter in Idaho.  Talk about adventure, every day was something else.  Many times I was out in the back country with a bunch of mules and my horse.  It was great!  It was the same as the army, never a dull moment, living life on the edge, never knowing what to expect. 

But I guess the biggest thing I miss is the comradery- being with the guys who you go through stuff with and know what it is all about and living another day.  It’s the story swapping, being able to complete a mission.  When I was a guide, after the first time I saw the Root ranch, I knew I wanted to be foreman there – I made it.  I had many successful seasons as a guide, and many good hunting camps and met many good hunters.  Success wasn’t alway about killing something, it was the experience for many.  It was FUN!

 Setting goals always helped me focus.  It was easy in the military, I had two long term goals to shoot for – get enough years for a retirement and make Sergeant Major – MC (mission complete).  Along the way I learned a lot and accepted a lot of responsibility.  I guess the most impressive thing I did was plan the move for Fifth U.S. Corps’ Rear Headquarters from Kuwait to Balad, Iraq.  After every one and all equipment was moved, and our movement team arrived at Balad, I was met by the Chief of Staff.  He had a smile on his face, presented his hand and gave me a “Good job Sergeant Major”. 

So now I’m back here in civilian life.  I get up every morning and go to work shoeing horses.  One plus is I’m my own boss, but for me, the worst part is I have no goals and just can’t seem to find any.  For a while I got into making knives, doing some forging work, but after I left the army I’ve had a hard time getting motivated.  I got one time of the year I really look forward to – my vacation in November every year.  I head down to a friend’s place in Portugal.  I get away from everyday life and stuff.  It’s the communication with another guy who is a lot like I am.  There is really no set plan.  He has a bunch of stuff we can do and depending on the weather we get stuff done and its fun. 

But I guess in reality I can’t complain.  I got a place to stay and something to eat.  I make enough money to pay the bills and support the house.  Like I told my customer the other day who asked the question, it was a sunny day and in all reality I don’t have much to complain about.  If you just look around you will always find others who are having a harder time and not so much.  I guess in all reality I’m still looking for that one last adventure and here in Denmark, well there just isn’t anything left.  But hey, I’ll get up Monday morning, get a cup of coffee, check my calendar of where and what I got to do.  I’ll get my knives sharpened, file sharpened, check my shoe stock and head out to work on someone’s horse so they can go out and have a good time.  I will say one plus, I do have some good customers and many good times.  One plus, I got many good memories and if I find myself a little wanting for some adventure, well I can just hit the recall button and remember.