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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ask and you shall receive

It started out like any other day, meetings, phone calls, and a list of things to do a mile long.  I headed out the door to attend the Santiam Referral Group meeting at De Nova CafĂ© in Sublimity. Cathy Hemshorn of Country Financial heads up the meeting and does a great job.  I had a seat and ordered lunch and listened to the guest speaker that day.  After the meeting Paula Newman and I headed over to Cathy’s office to take a look at the painting she had done.  As we were standing there I looked over and saw a closed door.  I asked Cathy what was in there, and she said, “Oh it’s an empty office with all my stuff in there.  Then she said, do you know anyone looking for a space?”  Before I could stop myself I blurted out that I would love to have a Break the Chain storefront but that the timing wasn’t right.  She looked at me and said, it’s yours we’ll figure it out together!  Paula and I walked into the room; it was small about the size of a small bedroom.  I told Paula I could bring my desk in and file cabinets and we would use it as an office.  About that time Cathy walked up and said, “What are you doing in my file room?”  I said, isn’t this the space, and she said no silly it’s over here.  She opened the door and I literally fell to the ground.  Paula looked at Cathy and said, “I’ve never seen her have this kind of reaction before!”  I cried and looked around at the space.  It was exactly what we needed to start out.  Cathy had been storing her things in the space as she had just moved into a smaller home and didn’t know what to do with it all.  She said she didn’t have a truck or anything to move it.  I laughed and said oh I have a truck and a 16’ ft cargo trailer!  I called the fire dept and talked to the chief who is a friend of both Cathy and me.   He brought over all his reserves.  We had that place empty and all her belongings to her new home and put away in 3 hours!  We had received the space on Thursday October 13 and this was Friday.  Cathy was amazed that we got it done so quickly!  We began to see the importance of asking for help.  She had an empty office space, and we had a truck and trailer.

The next day was Saturday and my friend Linda emailed me to let me know that her parents Bridal Store was going out of business, and did I need any items for the new store!  Wow we went and picked up everything we needed.  The next day Cathy and I were standing in the store, she said you should paint the walls and do what you want with the floor.  We stood together for a long time, then walked down to the hardware store together and picked out the paint.  I decided to tear out the carpet and Mike and Steff our dear friends who own a flooring company came over and sanded and put a coating on the floor to make it look like a garage floor.  It is beautiful.  Of course none of this would have been completed without the help of my super hero husband Jim.  Then we painted shelves hung clothing and finally opened our doors on October 31 2011. We had lots of help getting it all together and it has been a great journey. 

We are having our Grand Opening on December 2, 2011. Our hours that day are from 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.  The address of the store is 102 S Center Street Ste B Sublimity, Or.   We will have most of our Racing to Break the Chain team at the store to sign autographs and show off their race cars and trucks.  Even “Hope” the Monster display truck will be there!  If you are in the area we would love to have you come by and say hi!  There are a lot more adventures that have taken place at our storefront, but I will save them for another day.  I guess the most important message I can give you is never give up, never underestimate the power of prayer, and don’t forget to ask for help, because you never know who may need something you have, and vise versa.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Weeding lifes garden

When I woke up this morning and heard the weather report for the next week, I decided I

needed to get out and weed our garden. It was completely over taken with weeds and I

could barely tell the difference between what were weeds and what were plants. The task

seemed as if it would be endless, but as I got going I realized that it wasn’t as difficult as

I thought it would be. As I worked, I also came to the conclusion that if I had taken the

time throughout the summer to weed a little here and there, I would not be in this

situation to begin with!

Slowly I pulled and yanked and dug out the weeds that were smothering my bounty. Our

tomatoes were small and withered, along with the giant zucchini we had which were

unable to be seen due to the weed growth. It became apparent to me that our lives are

similar to our gardens. Relationships get tangled with problems that are left to fester and

grow until they all but choke them out. Life’s weeds are what we need to get rid of.

I have been blessed with a wonderful husband, and I am grateful everyday that we found

each other. We have a great relationship but we still have to pull weeds in order to

maintain our closeness. I want you to ask yourself what weeds need to be pulled in your

garden of life? Are you spending too much time on the computer instead of talking with

your spouse or children? Are you spending money unnecessarily just because buying

something new gives you comfort? Are you eating or drinking too much? Are you being

respectful of your spouse, children, friends or coworkers and listening instead of arguing?

Are you dealing with an anger problem that is escalating out of control? Are you taking

your weeds to work and school and letting them take over there to?

Take the time to sit down and write what weeds are in your garden of life and take the

time to work on getting rid of the excess baggage in order to live weed free!

As I finished the garden and looked back over all I had gotten rid of, I realized that I too

need to weed my own personal garden of life weekly instead of letting it grow out of

control. Once it grows out of control there is nothing left to do but till it up and start over!

If you have taken the time to plant it, take time to weed it so it can turn into the bounty

you expect it to be.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beyond the limits

Is it possible to dream past our own human limits?  I say yes.  What is the definition of limit? According to the free dictionary it is,The point, edge, or line beyond which something cannot or may not proceed.  We are given choices everyday regarding limits.  When you go through a drive thru window you are asked if you want “Fries with that” or if you would like to upgrade to a larger size.  We know our limits with food, and seem to have no problem reaching past the full limit.  What would it be like to Super Size our dream limits?  Imagine envisioning your dream, and actually achieving more than what you thought possible!   

As many of you know might not know, actually having a monster truck has been my dream for many years.  I couldn’t  have known that the road I was on back then would lead me to where I am today.  Back in the early 90’s when “No Violence” was making its mark, I was sure we would have a monster truck.  We had our stickers on the Grave Digger and many other trucks that were running the circuit back in the mid nineties.  It wasn’t meant to be. 

Fast forward to 2009 as my friend Becky and I walked lap after lap at the Stayton Relay for Life.  We began to create a Monster truck t-shirt just in time for the Sublimity Harvest Festival.   We imagined that it would crush domestic violence, child abuse, addiction, and other social issues.  We laughed as the concept began to take form in our minds, and we continued to build on the dream. 

After the event I sent the idea to our design team, and they immediately called with questions about just how we thought this “t-shirt” should look.  I remember saying, “the truck is black”, and John saying, “No we need to make it green”.    As I look back I can still remember the looks on the designer’s faces as I began to explain exactly what I wanted the shirts to look like.  What is even more amazing is that we have been able to accomplish most of what we printed on that t-shirt.

On September 9 2011 our very first Break the Chain monster truck hit the dirt at the Sublimity Harvest Festival.  I got to watch it fly through the air and listen to the crowd roar with excitement!  Daron Basl our Break the Chain Monster driver walked away with the trophy for the evening.  Then came Saturday night and Daron hit a double to take home trophy number 2!  Sunday came and the Monster trucks crushed domestic violence, child abuse, child abduction,addiction, and many other issues were written on the cars.  It was the first annual Cause Day at the Sublimity Harvest Festival.  Daron drove our Break the Chain Monster and won the Championship!  You see, it did exactly what Becky and I had envisioned 3 years before.   
By the grace of God miracles happen every day.  We would like to thank the following people and businesses for making our dream a reality.  Daron Basl, Aaron Basl, Gary Basl, David Smith, Cascade Floors, Beyond Auto Repair, Stayton Tire, Service Graphics, CCC Inc, Santiam Towing and Recovery, Sublimity Insurance, D&W Automotive, De Nova Coffee, 1430 KYKN Radio, Withnell Motor Company, Stayton Auto Wreckers, B&B Auto Supply, Jim Burns, Brandon Hamilton, Matt Hays, Kris Stewart, Tom Ptacek, Neal Schumacher, Logan Nelson, Mike Klein, Ben Miley, our Sublimity Harvest Festival family and most importantly God for teaching me to dream beyond my limits. 
I know this isn’t’ the end of the dream but just the beginning.  I know that much bigger things are yet to come.  I dare you to dream beyond your limits.  To envision and follow the path that is waiting for you.  It definitely takes strength, faith, and love to push past the limits. There will be days when you think you just can’t take one more step, and others that you are on top of the world.   Like Jesus said, “It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it”.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Small acts of kindness can make a Big difference

Kaine Horman and Jim Burns go for a ride

We have been going from event to event this summer, and have had little time to catch our breath.  With that being said, something wonderful happened on Saturday.    We were asked by Pat and Nikki James to join them and the Kyron Horman Foundation at the Woodburn Drag Strip for the Truck Drags.

As we pulled up with the truck and trailer I got a glimpse of Nikki and Pat waving us in.   We set up right next to them and their hopped up S10 pickup.  We had met Pat and Nikki at the Hot Rod Hair car show in July and really hadn’t had much time to get to know them.  As we set up Nikki and I went up to get “Hope” (our Monster display truck) signed in as she was going to come up to the starting line and the announcer was going to talk about Break the Chain and our mission during opening ceremonies. 

In a room next to us,  Kaine Horman was conducting an interview with Inside Edition about the disappearance of his son Kyron.  As the interview concluded they came down to the booth and we got to meet all of them.  Kaine is a terrific guy.  Kaine's son Kyron was abducted 14 months ago.  To date they have not found him.  We got to visit with Kaine and the volunteers for most of the morning.   The TV crew loved “Hope“ and took some footage of us talking with Kaine in front of the truck.  Nikki and Pat our latest "Racing to Break the Chain" team members have a souped up S10 and it was all decked out with Kyrons pictures.  Pat took Kaine for a ride down the track with the film crew in tow. 

The film crew left and we were able to sit and have a wonderful conversation with Kaine.  We are definitely going to be doing more events with the Kyron Horman Foundation, and are going to be adding a picture of Kyron to our monster truck and look forward to helping spread the word of his disappearance.  Jim had the pleasure of taking Kaine for a ride.

Kaine had another event to go to, so we said our goodbyes. 
I hadn’t really noticed the little boy sitting in a chair in the booth next to us.  He is 11 and in the 6th grade.  His name is Buddy.  He came to our table with his mom and looked at all the t-shirts.  They immediately settled on the Bullying t-shirt.  Buddy has experienced bullying first hand and is really having a hard time.  They shared his story with us.  Nikki is Buddy's sister and she asked if Buddy could sit in “Hope”.   Jim helped Buddy up into the truck and the look on Buddy's face was priceless!  He was so excited!   It became clear to me that Buddy needed to be with Jim when “Hope” rolled up to the starting line for the opening ceremonies.  This little boy who has had so much trouble with self esteem was now the center of attention sitting in the passenger seat of the truck that would soon crush bullying at the Sublimity Harvest Festival in September.   I learned a valuable lesson.  Just when I think I have it all figured out, I realized again the purpose of Break the Chain. It is to reach people of all ages at ground level.   It is listening to their stories and letting them know that they are each valuable.   Buddy didn’t know that he was going to tell us his story that day, and I didn’t know that we were going to make one little boy feel important and special.   I watched as his sister  Nikki wept softly at the sight of her baby brother being lifted up emotionally and physically into the truck.  His face became illuminated with the biggest grin I had ever seen.  
Thank you Buddy for reminding me why we do what we do, and that small acts of kindness can make a BIG difference. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It takes a Village to build a Monster Display Truck

As I sit and review the last few days, I am in awe.  Hope our Break the Chain Monster display truck turned out even better than I could have ever imagined.  But even though she is truly an amazing sight, something else happened during the build.  I was able to watch a miracle in the making.

I watched from a distance as regular guys came together with their God given talents to build this dream.  One by one they would show up and put in countless hours.  Sometimes staying and working on her until 2 or 3 in the morning, and then get up for work by 8 a.m.  This went on for weeks.  You never really knew how many would show up or on what day but there was always someone there adding a little here and a little there towards the goal.  I guess I never realized the magnitude of the project until I began going to watch them build her.  You see she started out as a 1978 GMC 3/4 ton truck that was donated to Break the Chain by Beyond Auto Repair on March 20, 2011.  She came from the junk yard, broken, beat up and not even running.  I can relate to feeling like that.  She was destined to become a parts truck and nothing more.  But, with the help of  human hands and a spiritual guide she became much more.

What she became was nothing short of a miracle.  I loved the care that she was given as all the rusty old broken pieces were carefully removed.  As the process went on she got new parts added like a 12 inch lift, and some other things, but she was still pretty rough looking.  She had a 2X6 block of wood for a bumper.  Slowly but surely they worked knowing exactly what she was going to look like when she was done.  Me on the other hand, had no idea how great this machine was going to be.  Not only did she look good, but she became an inspiration to all who helped build her. My husband Jim was like a mad scientist.  He would disappear into the shop and not come out for hours.  He worked and worked and worked on that truck and would come into the house and get me to come and see some of the really big things that we had done.  I even got to bleed the brakes!

As she got down to nothing but a frame, motor and transmission the tearing away was complete.  It was time to rebuild what had been broken for so long.  Who could of known what she was about to become years ago as she sat in the junk yard? God knew.  The guys forged ahead with the deadline looming less than a month to get this truck ready for it's debut.  Beyond Auto Repair donated their shop and tools for the guys to work with.  They began to build the cage that would hold the brand new fiberglass body.  Pain staking measurements, pipe bending, and welding were taking place.  Sometimes there were 6 guys working on her at a time!  Some would leave for t ball games, or family bbq's but they would be right back the next day digging in to get her done.  I decided to start feeding the men after finding out that they never stopped to eat.  They would get so involved with what they were doing that they lost all track of time.  Day by day, weekend after weekend, and a few days off she slowly began to take shape.  I still think that what they were able to accomplish was nothing short of a miracle!  Each one brought a different set of skills to the project, welders, pipe benders, roll cage experts, mechanics, and the like came together for one common goal.  To give "Hope" life.

As the deadline came into view we realized that our tires that were donated by Aaron Basl were still in Texas!  We had only a week and half until D day.  Mike Klein of Cascade Floors called and said to get him the address of where they were.  Cascade Floors paid to have the tires shipped up! Mike also made a financial donation to help with any extras we needed to purchase.  Amazing we received them on the Friday just before the 4th of July!  Mike picked them up and dropped them off with Cory at Stayton Tire to have them mounted.  Cory had donated a set of wheels for Hope and we were excited to see them.  They were amazing! Black and Chrome!  Cory got the wheels mounted on the tires that same day.  Which I might add was no easy task as the tires are 52 inches tall!  Not only did Cory donate the wheels and mount the tires, he also donated the shocks, racing seats and the brake lines! 

While all of this was going on, the truck was sent over to Stayton Collision to have the frame and the cage painted.  Rodney Hansen of Stayton Collision donated the entire paint job!  It took him a full 8 hours to get her painted as she has lots of roll bars, and intricate bends to paint!  Rodney is an amazing auto painter.

As the paint dried the guys took a day off to get a little sleep and check up on a few hundred honey do's that were going undone.  I have to say that the wives of these men were very patient, and knew that there was much more going on with this project than just building a truck.  These men were also building lifetime friendships.  The laughed and joked around and shared little windows into each others lives.  They bonded over this giant piece of metal. 

As they pieced her together one by one, they got a little silly.  Laughing and joking.  I was a little sad, as I knew she was almost finished.  Then it happened.  One by one they began to talk about what was next!  They have a whole list of projects that they are going to work on TOGETHER!  They are going to continue to help each other. 

As for "Hope" she's beautiful, 9 feet tall and was built with love and care.  I know they haven't quite finished with her yet, and I heard something about a 454.  Who knows what they'll do to her next! All I know is that they have my utmost respect.  I love you guys!  You are all tops in my book!
It definitely takes a Village to build a Monster Display Truck.  Now you know why her name is Hope.
You can see all the pictures of the build on Facebook.  Click on this link to Check out the picture diary of the building of Hope

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Talk about it

As I sit and contemplate my life, I am reminded of another life that was taken from us way to soon. I have spent many hours wondering as I am sure some of you have, could I have stopped this from happening? Am I easy to talk to, did I miss a sign? Although I am not a psychologist, or a psychiatrist I do know what it is like to be a Domestic Violence victim. It is true that we don't know what goes on behind closed doors but are there signs that we can look for that might give us a hint of what is happening at home? I think we all owe it to ourselves to become familiar with the signs and learn to ask the right questions or at least become approachable when it comes to talking about domestic violence.

From my personal experience, I was embarrassed about being a victim, and I never told anyone at work. I didn't know where the domestic violence shelters were, or even how to contact them. I had a great job and money was not an issue. I know I was in denial myself. You never want to believe that someone you love or had loved could hurt you or take your life. In my situation it was a slow process to the escalation of violence. Although I knew what made him mad, I didn't think that it could escalate to the level of violence that it did. I am one of the lucky ones. I made it out alive.

I am now a Community Advocate for the Canyon Crisis Center.

If you think that you or someone you know is in a Domestic Violence relationship please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and ask for help.  

1.800.799.SAFE (7233)

Red Flags of Abuse

The following is a list of early warning signs that someone may be abusive.  This list was put together by survivors of domestic violence who reflected on the early phases of the battering relationship and identified some of the early warning signs of abusers.
Someone who:
Wants to move too quickly into the relationship.
Does not honor your boundaries.
Is excessively jealous and accuses you of having affairs.
Wants to know where you are all of the time and frequently calls, emails and texts you throughout the day.
Criticizes you or puts you down; most commonly tells you that you are "crazy," "stupid" and/or "fat," or that no one would ever want or love you.
Says one thing and does another.
Takes no responsibility for their behavior and blames others.
Has a history of battering.
Blames the entire failure of previous relationships on their partner; for example, "My ex was a total bitch."
Grew up in an abusive or violent home.
Insists that you stop spending time with your friends or family.
Seems "too good to be true."
Insists that you stop participating in leisure interests.
Rages out of control and is impulsive.
Pay attention to the "red flags "and trust your instincts.  Survivors of domestic violence frequently report that their instincts told them that there was something wrong early on but they disregarded the warning signs and didn't know that these signs were indicative of an abusive relationship.  Always take time to get to know a potential partner and watch for patterns of behavior in a variety of settings.  Keeping in touch with your support system and participating in good self-care can lower your risk of being involved in an abusive relationship.

The warning signs above have been provided by the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why a Monster?

Why do we have a Monster truck? I have been asked this question so many times that I thought it was time to answer.  I have always liked monster trucks, and the way that they bring whole families to each event.  I love the way they transform grown men and women into little kids, screaming and yelling jumping up and down while their favorite driver races across cars, buses and  challenging driving courses.  I love watching the kids that are jumping up and down with crazy hats and monster gear.  It becomes an adventure while these giant trucks fly through the air, roll over, lose pieces of their bodies and still get up and keep going.  When it's all over the drivers emerge from the monster to the sound of thousands of people screaming their names.  The adreneline that goes through your body as you watch your favorite truck and driver fly through the air is amazing. 

It became clear to me that there was a wonderful opportunity for Break the Chain to become one of these giant super heros.  When that opportunity was presented to us I didn't even think about it for a minute.  Wow to have a Monster that we could actually have crush domestic violence, bullying, addiction, child abuse, and other social ills was an amazing thought.  After the collaboration of many businesses and fans we have finally been able to put this dream together.  We have been blessed by having this opportunity, and are going to make the most of it.  September is going to be a huge month for us.  We will have this Monster at the Sublimity Harvest Festival  the second week of September, and the Monster will do what we intended it to do. 

If you or your company would like to get on board with this grass roots effort, and Sponsor the Monster please email

Monday, May 9, 2011

Throwing out a Life Preserver

Looking out the window at yet another rainy and dreary day, I am reminded that this blustery, cold and damp feeling can also be how some of us are feeling. This can be a description of how many feel in this storm we call life. After contemplating the economic down turn, the price of gas and other commodities rising, job loss, relationship issues and addictions, it is easy to get swept up in the storm. But.... do we notice others that are no longer treading water and are actually slipping into the dark abyss? Unable to hold their heads above water they simply sink out of view. It is important to pay attention to the signs of people around us to help them avoid a choice that may not be able to be undone. I am talking about suicide.

Below I have included the warning signs of suicide from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

What Are The Warning Signs For Suicide?

Seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional or by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK if you or someone you know exhibits any of the following signs:
  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means
  • Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities - seemingly without thinking
  • Feeling trapped - like there's no way out
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and society
  • Feeling anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Experiencing dramatic mood changes
  • Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life

For more resources regarding the prevention of suicide please click on the link.