Tag Archives: life

High Hopes for the New Year

3 Jan

Anyone who has read my stuff or known me for any length of time know that I don’t do resolutions for the new year. I do resolutions, just not based around what month/day it is. About mid-December I decided to make one of these resolutions, but I haven’t quite had the ability to begin working toward my goals because of moving and finances and so on.

That goal is to buy an item to donate to homeless shelters/food banks every time I go shopping. I know firsthand that people donate more around the holidays. In fact, the Christmas season is enough to keep us stocked for most of the year in things like toys and treats, and we really don’t get too much the rest of the time. While that is great, this is something that we really should work on. Hunger and homelessness are something that are always an issue, not just when it’s cold out (though that is especially awful). Now, the next thing that I have to say might be a little on the unpopular side, but I really have a hard time getting on board for giving toys to kids for Christmas. I’ve also seen firsthand how some parents can afford several gifts, but not as many as they’d like to give so they ask for more. I’ve also seen children who get a “cheap” toy (think off-brand) and they scoff at it and don’t want it. Toys are important but I also think it is important to focus on something other than the commercial aspect of Christmas, and find better ways to teach them giving, caring, and family values.  That is why, when I heard about a program called “Gifts for Grands” I became so excited!

This program focuses on elderly people in nursing homes similar facilities. Think about how sad it can be when family stops coming for these people. The things they want aren’t extravagant, either, but every day necessities like soap and socks. I didn’t hear about it soon enough to be useful, but in the future I’m hoping to focus on giving in this manner.

I’m not here to preach, but I am here to share in knowledge, experience, and growth. I often ask my readers to join in with me on any challenges I do, and this one isn’t any different. I have a short list of things that I hear are really high in demand, so I’m not only buying food, but other daily necessities, too. Socks and tampons/pads are high up there (let that sink in for a moment). Non-perishable foods are always important, too. I have my eye on things like canned green beans and corn, but also things like beans, and even Craisins (just recently discovered and they are so delicious!).

Finally, before I’m finished, I don’t want to reflect back on 2015. I want to talk about 2016, and I have high hopes for this year. I woke up in a wonderful mood, and while I’m looking forward, I always have to give the disclaimer that this is how I feel now. That is the problem with resolutions. We make them with our best intentions, but times and people and situations change, so what is right January 1 might not be right June 1, or even January 2.

My hopes for the new year are to cut down on some debt that I’ve accumulated, and begin saving again. I have my sites set on a new car come the end of next year. I want to make my friendships a priority again (I started this a few months back) and see more of each of the people that I love so dearly. I also hope to finally get that significant other I’ve been pining for, and I think I’ve already taken some positive steps toward getting there. I also want to become more spiritual (for those of you who don’t know it, I’m actually a very spiritual person). I’d like to cook more (how many times have I said that) but I don’t foresee that changing in any less than 3 months. I’d also like to become more active. More hiking this summer, more yoga, and I’d like to pick up something fun like kick-boxing.

Those are my hopes. That is how I’m feeling now (and does it feel nice, indeed!). We’ll see where the year takes me!

Are you going to join me with my donations goals (we can totally co-blog about it!)? Any other ideas of hot commodities to buy? What are your hopes for the coming year? 

Quote 3 Nov

It’s like I’m stuck in some weird, miserable time loop.

Poopin’ on the Poudre

24 Aug

It’s been a while since this took place, but I have to share a somewhat quirky story to share with you.

About a couple of weeks ago, I went to the bathroom just before bed, and when I flushed, much to my dismay…nothing happened.

I grabbed the plunger and did what one would expect to need to do.

And nothing happened.

Well, it took days (yes, days) to get the problem fixed. Just prior to this, I had folks over camping in the yard and my landlord thought one of the ladies might have flushed something inappropriate for flushing with a septic tank. I was mortified that it might have been my fault if the septic system was messed up.

But of course, I had no where to use the bathroom in these few days, which is where the real fun was.

I found myself going just up the road a little bit to a pull off where you can access the river that had an outhouse. Yup. I was using an outhouse to go to the bathroom because I couldn’t use my own. Not something everyone can say they’ve done.

It turns out that the sub-pump just stopped working, and I didn’t actually break anything. Relief.

What happened to you that you had to improvise with what you had at the ready? Ever had your only toilet go out of commission for days, and what did you do about it? 

Faith: A Desperate Man’s Prayer

23 Aug

As I’ve grown older, I’ve almost completely stopped telling people about major events in my life that might garner some sort of sympathy. This is one of those times, but I find that it would be out of character if I didn’t make a point out of life events. It’s kind of my thing.

So, I regret to inform you that my dad has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer.

I don’t know the type or the prognosis or really much of anything, but my mom says that, while the doctor didn’t say much, it sounds like its terminal. If she is correct, she also didn’t give me a time frame to consider.

I’ve only actually disclosed this to 3 friends, and it was because I knew they wouldn’t have much to say on the matter. No amount of “I’m so sorry” will do anything. Nothing. My situation is not unique. And knowing that my friends are “there for me” doesn’t really do anything for me either (the only thing that might make me feel better is having a man in my life, but oh well).

Death is a fact of life, and I plan to treat is as thus.

It’s almost like a clean slate when you might be dying. You can do whatever you want. Even be reckless if you so desire. Maybe its even liberating.

But, of course, I don’t want to lose my father. I assumed I had at least 10 more years with him, but remarkably, I’ve been preparing myself for the loss of my parents since I was a small child. One night when I was probably 6, I woke up from a nightmare that both my parents had died. I told my mom, through tears, about the dream. She comforted me about this plan God had that one day, he will save the world and people will live forever again as they were once meant to.

I held onto that for years.

Unlike the rest of my family, I have not held onto that faith in a higher power. There are moments when I wish that if I prayed a miracle would happen, and being agnostic makes it even more difficult. And that is how I feel about faith in religion. Desperation. So I hold my faith in science and medicine, as I should. There have been remarkable advancements in cancer treatment, and I think that even if God did exist, he would have given us these tools for us to use.

While I hope that something amazing happens and his cancer goes into remission, I hope, too, that my father is proud of me. The two things I wanted my dad to still be here for were to walk me down the aisle of my wedding, and to see me graduate from vet school. Unfortunately, I’m not close to accomplishing either of those things and I do feel some degree of failure because of that, but deep down I know he is very proud of me (all I really have to do is ask and he’ll boast).

I love him very much, and I hope that if it’s time, I’ll at least be able to get the most knowledge I can out of him before then. Because goodness knows, I feel like I call him every other day asking him how to change or fix or make things.

Pickin’ Up Hitch Hikers

30 Jun

Today, with 3/4 of my 40 minute drive home from work, I happened upon a couple of folks on the side of the road. They were at the mouth of the canyon that I now live in, just sticking their arms out with their thumbs up, looking for a ride.

I looked over at my front seat…piled with everything from wine shooters, to pants, to my purse and a 12-pack of soda. The back seat was no better, being piled so high the stuff was level with the back of the seats.

I kept going. There were two of them, after all, and at best I could only clear the front seat. Something inside of me wouldn’t let me keep going, though, so I turned around and doubled back. When I pulled over, I told them what had happened, and explained that I only had one seat. I cleared it, and they both hopped on in.

It was only a few minutes until we reached our destination, but it turns out, these people that were piled on top of one another in the front seat of my car didn’t even know each other! Her name was Laura. His name was Jared. And Jared was quite attractive…if only I’d had enough swagger to get his phone number. They were kayakers, and while I have no idea why they needed a ride, they were both quite thankful.

I’ve come to really enjoy helping people out like this. I don’t know what that feeling is inside that I get…maybe personal responsibility…but I’m glad I get it.

Have you ever given strangers rides or help? How’d it go for you? If you don’t, what would be the exception? 

Some Thoughts About Change [from an Expert]

6 Apr

Did I reel you in with my expert comment? Well, I hate to break it to you, but I’m no expert. I do have some experience with change, though, as you can probably figure out from the events of the last 6 months.

Remember in high school, when you got that senior yearbook, and half of the people who signed it wrote “Don’t ever change!”? I read an article recently (unfortunately I can’t seem to find what it was, or I’d link it) about how you need to change, and hopefully, you aren’t the same person you were in high school, because face it…you were just a little immature.

I understand what the author was getting at. We need to be adults and we need to adapt to our ever-changing priorities, but here’s where I disagree:

I don’t think you need to change, I think you need to grow.

I often hold to one principle: I don’t change. People will argue with me, based on the same reasoning as the author of that article. I’m obviously not the same shy girl who stuttered when boys talked to her in middle school (true story), right?

Well, sort of. I say that I did change in that middle to high school transition, but once I got to high school, it all stuck. Now the only thing left for me to do is grow. Some interests have expanded, and others have diminished, but they are all still interests.

Want to know some things that changed? Well, for starters, I used to be homophobic-ish. There was no hatred, but more of a fear of the unknown. I also used to be very shy, and now I’m not shy, just introverted.

The reason I write this, though, is that these last 6 months have been life changing. Not me changing, life changing.

Six years ago, when I was but a freshman in college, a girl named Kelsey told me about something called Chaco’s. She told me I should get a pair, and in that moment, I never, ever thought I’d buy something so…unattractive. Fast-forward some years, and I met a fellow with a really fun tan-line, that I couldn’t help but comment on. Even then, I still scoffed at the idea of owning a pair. And then fast-forward a few more months, and here I sit with a hydration pack in the mail, and frustration at how much a pair of sandals can cost.

What’s the moral of the story? Well, that it may sound like I changed, but I really just grew. I’ve always had a thirst for adventure and exploring, and believe you me…I love sandals. They finally all just grew enough to merge with one another, and came to a head when I realized I hate shoes, but flip-flops suck to hike in. 

And I kind of really want a cool tan-line.

I can’t really help it, can I? I live in the mountains, after all.

What do you think – change or growth? With my definition of both in mind, have you changed? Have you grown? How?

That Time I Drove My Car Off the Side of a Cliff

6 Mar

Okay…it wasn’t a cliff.

But I did drive my car off the side of the road into the river onto the river bank.

It was a Wednesday night, and I had invited a coworker over to watch The Little Mermaid. It was snowing, and maybe we should have called it off, but we didn’t. Really, I’ve had much worse drives up the canyon even in the short time I’ve lived here.

We stop at a gas station at the mouth of the canyon, and I tell her to park at the top of my driveway, so she wouldn’t get stuck. I completely forgot about the large hill that serves as my halfway point.

We get to my halfway point, and her poor car barely makes it up the hill. I even parked and got out and pushed her the last little bit so she could park. We decided it would be best if she came in my car so that she didn’t get stuck.

We made it to my house just fine, I made popcorn, and we watched our movie. It is always so nice to have people over. She lives as far from work as I do, but in the opposite direction, so even though it was early, we called it a night. We get in my car, and are glad that while it’s still snowing, is isn’t as heavy.

That was when my car slipped off the side of the road and onto the dirt “shoulder”. The roads were very slick, so when I tried to guide my car back onto the pavement, it slipped back down. The only thing I was concerned about at this point, was what was under the snow on that dirt that I wasn’t able to see. I tried to bring my car back up onto the pavement again with more force.

I lost control.

My car veered hard to the left, and across the lane. I hit the breaks, but they didn’t respond. I was about to nose-dive straight into the river, but I was as cool as a cucumber.

I saw my coworker fumbling out of the corner of my eye – she wasn’t wearing her seat belt and was looking for the best way to brace herself. If we were going to plunge into the river, we either needed to jump out of the car, or open the door before we reached it so we didn’t get trapped in the car (the river is low, but the water is cold, and you never know exactly how deep it will be). With my eye on opening my door, I get ready to tell my friend we need to jump, but as I refocus, I realize there is a tree in front of us.

I’ve never been so happy to hit a tree in my life. It was going to stop us from plunging into the river.

And then all of a sudden, my car came to a sudden halt. I hit the tree, we were done.

We looked at each other and couldn’t do anything but laugh. We pondered what to do – no cell service, it’s snowing, and my car won’t reverse – and ended up deciding to walk. Just as we were making this decision, a car comes up around the corner. I jumped back into my car and hit the brights, put on the flashers, and my coworker waved her phone light in the air. I started honking.

They kept going.

So walking it was. We were halfway between my house and where her car was, and decided to go to her car. Not very long after we set out, a truck approached, and we flagged him down. He told us his name, and agreed to take us to her car – he did just get back from church, after all. When we got there, I asked him to remind me of his name.

Adam. You know…like the first man on Earth.

Got it. Not forgetting that one.

We came back down the mountain side, and I went to my good friends house (the one I was living with and dated for a time), and he was kind enough to drive me back up the canyon. We stopped and looked at my car, and he discovered that it was precariously perched on a large boulder, and that I hadn’t hit the tree at all. One of my back tires wasn’t even touching the ground.

Sweetest guy ever. Didn’t even leave my house until about 12:30 in the morning, and still had a 40 minute drive home.

I was okay. My coworker was okay. And my car got fixed for a little over $250. I was very, very lucky. I won’t, however, get back that hour and a half I lost trying to convey to the insurance woman that I live on a mountain, there isn’t cell phone service, and that there are neither cross roads nor an exact address of where my car is stuck.

And it was a winch I needed, not a tow. 

Ever had a close call like that in which you thank your lucky stars you didn’t die? What fears do you joke about with your friends?