Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Garnet Hill Loop

I have to admit, I've been a little lax with my hiking.  Not having a car isn't the worst thing in the world, but being lazy on my days off and making excuses probably is.  So, I decided to make a plan.

At the beginning of the season I went up to the Mammoth Employee Pub with a Xanterra manager and we met the only person under 50 working at the mammoth gas station.  Seemed like a cool dude and he had the same days off as I did.  And now nearly two months after the fact I finally called him up and asked if he wanted to do a hike.

Blaise and I set out around 9:30 to do a roughly 8 mile hike called Garnet Hill.  Since we parked at the station and walked, it really was about 10 miles of hoofing it.  It was a super beautiful hike, through a small wooded area, overlooking the Yellowstone River, and then back over sagebrush hills.

Disclaimer about my photos: I'm currently outside with a glare on my laptop, so I'm not sure how they actually turned out.

(will add pics soon!)
 ALWAYS carry bear spray!

 calm little creek

 Overlook, great views!
 Yellowstone River
From the backside of the hill

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

news and updates!

Oh my goodness!  After arriving up here, I found out I was headed to the YPSS Tower/Roosevelt location.  I really wanted this assignment, but there is no service and no wifi there!  So no updates... on a regular basis anyway.

Since we don't have internet, or cell service for that matter, the employees at this location are "forced" to interact.  Which I love, naturally!  I've met some amazing people and feel wonderful here.  I've hiked a bit, and run once or twice.  It's difficult to do so without running into some wildlife - bison, bears, coyote, elk, etc.

I'm trying to figure out how to put into one blog everything that has happened in the last month.  It's difficult!  I feel like I've lived a new lifetime, but at the same time I know in three months it'll come to an end.

I have indeed taken many pictures, and I've sat up at Lost Lake and attempted to draw, but as I'm sitting up at Canyon Village after hitchhiking here... I realize I left my camera/memory card back at my own location!

The summer is young still.  In fact, it is still freezing at night, there is still snow on most of the peaks, and when it storms, there is a good chance the rain will be freezing.  It's nearly July, which is supposed to be the warmest time here, and our weather is cold!  I dislike the cold, but here it just adds to the beauty of the place and the moment I'm in.  Long nights around a blazing fire with music, laughter, and a few choice spirits are very plentiful.  I even managed to find a kindred spirit to share some a sweet moment with.  Who knows how long or fleeting our time under the sun will be, but I'm not letting myself overthink anything this summer.

I hitchhiked for crying out loud!  And naturally, the wonderful woman who picked me up was not only from Kansas, but got her degree from WSU!  I've had to drop all of my Butler classes since I don't have enough connection here, but I've been feeling like just going to WSU all four years anyway.  Of course, now it'll be delayed.  And now that I have this summer home, I probably won't get to graduate quickly by taking summer courses.  But this is pretty amazing.  Who would be able to say no to this?

Since I dropped the picture ball, I'll leave you with this photo online of Lost Lake.  It is called such because over the hot summer months it evaporates and will eventually disappear.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Some pictures for your enjoyment

After my run (yes, if you read my previous entry, it DID happen!) I grabbed my camera and walked out to the Roosevelt Arch to take some pictures.

I encountered some "friends" along the way:

the second shot is a little hard to see, but in order - there is a chipmunk, and elk, and a rabbit.

Sunset was supposed to be at 9 PM, but with the mountains framing the sun I knew I needed to get there earlier.

There was a little blurb about Electric Peak, which is where a few of the webcams I've been watching all spring are located - (How is my position?)

Another camera faces the Roosevelt Arch

...and here are my many shots of the Arch...
Front side:

From the Arch - sunset and my running path:

Sunset through the Arch:

The entrance where the webcams are located:

Inside the Arch:

My Acadiana and ICT flag pinsπŸ’•:

Where the Buffalo Roam... really

I made it to Gardiner, MT this morning.  I hopped aboard a manual transmission bus that looked straight out of the 70's...

Really -

With a little flag action included!

I tried to get a shot of the flags in front of the YNP sign too, but i'm still a novice and I don't have a manual adjustment camera...
So here's my result -

Oh well!

Right behind that sign is Roosevelt tower.  I decided on a running path that would take me by there, but by the time I was all ready to run the rain had started!  Boo.  Tried again a few hours later, only to be rained out AGAIN!  Sunset is soon upon the town, so I may try one last time.  If I can't get it in tonight, I'll have to wake up crazy early and run it tomorrow.  Ug.  I JUST LOVE RUNNING. (sarcasm) It's currently just past 7:00 PM, sunset is 9:00 PM.  Here's hoping!

I started a physical journal today too.  Since internet access will most likely be sparse in the park, I'm going to try to write in that daily.  I've never been good at it, but if I can manage to write daily then my online blog will most likely get loooong as it covers multiple days!

Catch you on the flip side!

one more step

I'm here.  Sort of.  After over 36 hours of riding/waiting, I'm here in Bozeman, MT for the night.  Tomorrow morning I catch a shuttle to Gardiner, MT, and Wednesday morning I officially check in and start my new job.

Have you ever traveled via Greyhound? This has been my third long distance "move" via this form of transportation, and overall the best experience yet.

Aside from having to start my journey at 1:45 am from downtown Wichita - just in time to catch the dregs of saturday night society - and having to sit with my 30 lb backpack on my lap from Salina, KS to Denver, CO (which, to be completely honest wasn't THAT bad), this trip was lovely.  My seat buddy headed to Denver livened up just as we pulled into the city.  He was headed just past there to pick peaches in Palisade, CO.  He has been picking peaches and cherries in Colorado for around 30 years!  He told me that he took a small break to work in the oil industry, but ultimately the money in migratory farming is much better.  Crazy, huh?

From there on out, I always had a row to myself.  This meant sleep, however sporadic it may have been.  The buses are usually outfitted with wifi, but it's not strong enough for streaming.  I discovered this as I rode for over 3 days from Connecticut to Kansas last summer.  This time around I was equipped with a thumb drive containing 3 movies and a musical.  The combination of movie and vehicular movement proved too much for me... I know each time I put on a movie I got at least an hour, if not nearly 2, of sleep!

In Buffalo, WY I transferred what seems to be a subcontracted line to Greyhound - Jefferson line.  Holy cow these people are nice!  My trip was scheduled for a 12 hour layover in Billings, MT.  I was deposited at around 1:00 AM, and my next connector was scheduled to leave at 1:00 PM.  What in the world was I supposed to do? Sleep.  Yep, the station (as I found out from the employee the next day) stays open if their customers need a place to crash due to the schedule.  They had a carpeted "kid's zone" so I headed over there and used my purse for a pillow.  Shortly after I started to fall asleep, my body temp started to lower, as it does during slumber, and I started shivering.  Next thing I know, there's a blanket on me!  Another layover buddy who couldn't sleep had noticed me shaking and let me borrow his blanket.  Three or four hours later, I woke up to Fox news and a room full of people.  my buddy was gone, I guess he had gone adventuring, so I folded up his blanket and set it by his bags.  I set up a little area by a plug in and tried to figure out how I would spend my remaining 7 hours.

I decided to finish watching the movies I had previously fallen asleep during.  Aided by coffee of course.  I brushed my teeth.  I bought a cookie from the vending machine.  I chatted with the employee.  Soon, my buddy - who's name is Jesse - comes back and hands me a Burger King bag.  He had bought me breakfast!  I honestly hadn't even thought about hunger, but it was definitely wanted!  He said something about good deeds and paying it forward, and I was grateful.  Belly full, I continued watching my thumb drive movies.  Around 11:00, just before a drop off, Jesse came over to me and offered me a stuffed animal that he had one in one of those silly grab machines that just steals money.  He was going to wander around again while waiting for his 9:00 PM bus.  This was the last I saw of my Billings buddy, but I've got a neat plush dino to remind me of him!

Last bus included a kid wearing a K-State beanie.  I finally had a chance to mention that I was from there as well as we were dropped off.  Who knows if I'll see him again.  I have a feeling he's working in the park, but since there are so many locations and we didn't talk much, I may never know!

So, I got to my hotel just before 4 PM.  Got myself all checked in and went to explore the hotel.  It's a nice one!  Thought about going for a run, but decided to shower instead.  Three days of stank kind of made that choice the obvious one.  The bar in the hotel opened while I was cleaning up, so afterward I headed down for a local brew and dinner.  Good stuff!  However, after 1 1/2 beers and a giant burger, fatigue set in and I passed out for a serious moment.  And then of course woke up around midnight.

And now here I am.

I really am nervous for tomorrow, for Wednesday, for the rest of the week.  We'll see.  I hope to update again after I get into the park and settled in my dorm, but I'm not certain of the internet service yet.

Wish me luck!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Something from here, something from there.

A few quick thoughts on packing, packing lite, what to pack, what not to pack, and what I just can't live without.

I've learned to live with a little.  And if I have a lot, most of it will end up being left behind anyway.  Now, sometimes this is a good thing -
~Old clothes that I left behind because they didn't fit, only to find years later that they fit again.
~Music, in various forms, long forgotten that lead to 'lost' days sitting around listening and remembering.
~Old bags left when a new one was purchased, and then loved and used again a decade later.
~An old camera found with old images stored that evoked sad emotion, but now useful for it's size and capability.

As I may have mentioned, I'm travelling via Greyhound Bus from my current hometown in Wichita, KS up to Yellowstone National Park for work this summer.  I've decided that I will be taking a large military style duffel, a backpack, and my ukulele.  I had similar baggage for my bus trip last summer from CT to KS, so this should work out fine.  I have lists, and have packed, re-packed, and re-packed again.  I keep trying to imagine what the 12 hour layover from midnight to noon toward the end of my trip will be like if I have a heavy load, and which is more important: bringing stuff, or walking with that stuff comfortably throughout the evening/morning.

There are some things I know I can get there if I need - camping gear mostly - but the frivolous things I can do without aren't that heavy!  I know I need MY running shoes, and my good hiking shoes, and my Tevas.  My running shoes can double as work shoes, unless I'll be handling a lot of food, in which case, I'll need different work shoes.  Which I can get elsewhere... I hope! That's mostly what is taking up the space.  Dang shoes!

And then there are things I want to take that I don't need, but also don't take up space.  I'll be taking a small digital camera with me for hiking pictures and two pins: one Acadiana flag and one Wichita flag.

I hope to have the chance to place these in photographs for the purpose of size/perspective shots and for representation.  I wanted to bring along something that represented Lafayette/Acadiana as well as Wichita, since I've spent most of my adult life there.  It's like I have dual city citizenship!

Thankfully, a dear friend volunteered to mail me the Louisiana pin, and sent me an actual flag as well!  Luckily, it packs well.  It'll be flying proudly over my dorm room in YNP this summer.

I leave in 8 days.

Can you guess how nervous/excited I am getting every single day?!?!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The reality of age

This week I've had some... shall we say "extra"... time at work.  When I have this time, my mind tends to wander and I become completely involved in a daydream. When I finally snap out of it I can never remember what in the world could have been so fanciful that made me waste so much time, then I proceed to look up the same things I always do on the computer.  (Right now it's mostly Yellowstone related stuff.)  However, this week is a bit different.  I have a lot of this type of time on my hands and I am finally starting to feel creative again.  It has been a good minute or two since I've written anything original.  I started a song last summer after I was kicked off of the Whaler, but depression set in, blah blah blah, I never finished it.

Today I decided to look up some writing prompts.  Part of me hopes that wherever I'm placed at in YNP doesn't have good wifi so that I can remember to read instead of watch Netflix or HBO, or use these prompts to write, or actually follow through on my plan to keep a nature journal.  I have always indicated that I am not a visual artist in any sense of the word, (I can barely draw stick people,) but it turns out that I don't need to be.  I can attempt to sketch whatever it is I'm observing, but I can also use the skills I do possess of words to paint my picture.  Guess I'll need to brush up on my descriptive words!

With all this said, one particular writing prompt from this site I chose today is called "the Vessel."

"3. The Vessel:Write about a ship or other vehicle that can take you somewhere different from where you are now."

Well, maybe this one kind of jumped out at me.  

You see, one of the things that terrifies me is losing the memory of things I've done.  I already know that it's becoming difficult for me to remember all the knots I learned last summer.  So following this prompt would hopefully ignite those memories and possibly create a happier ending than the one that happened in real life.

And what is more, a dear couple to me has decided to up and sell their possessions - house, furniture, 90% of their belongings - and buy a boat to live/work on.  So all my nautical memories are coming back when thinking of their future.

My mind is swimming with book ideas.

Oh the possibilites of time.

I titled this entry the way I did, because the truth is that it IS difficult for me to write in fantasy anymore.  My writing tends to be realistic and very depressing.  I do not want that.  I am here and now setting a goal to write more positively.  Particularly for this prompt.  Maybe my scary nautical story will come, but my first nautical story will be a pleasant one.

If you would like some prompts...

Monday, May 8, 2017

The best HIGH in the Universe... (so far)

All of the talking, training, mental toughness, sickness, injuries, and more would mean nothing if I didn't run - and finish - my marathon.


That look right there is the culmination of months of trying, a little failing, a little flailing, and a lot of pushing myself to do something that I never imagined I would be able to.  When they told me I couldn't run after my knee surgery, I did.  When I thought I wouldn't be able to get out of bed, I did.  When I wasn't able to run even 2 miles, I did.  

And here I am now, crossing the finish line after steadily running for 26.2 MILES.  That's like running across the city of Wichita!  Sort of.  

It was a tough day.  The wind was cold, and we were battling intermittent rain/sleet and jumping puddles and debris that had accumulated the evening before.  I found a buddy to run with, and we stayed together the entire run.  We were able to push each other, and keep each other from pushing too hard as well.  

You see, distance running is not about going as fast as you can, it's about never stopping, keeping up a steady pace, so that when you get to the end you still have enough muscle use and energy to cross.  I knew, thanks to my training, that I did have that.  What I did not count on, was my mental status.  At mile 20 I could feel the tears coming.  It was getting more difficult to think of anything that did not make me cry.  The difficulty level of 2016.  Learning to accept my challenges and work WITH them, not AGAINST them.  Losing my best friend.  I just had to remind myself that I needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

And I did just that.

At mile 23/24, somewhere around there, my mother (who had just finished her half marathon) showed up to give me a last leg boost.  While it worked, it also triggered that last string of sanity I had been holding on to.  When I rounded the last turn and saw the finish line, I kicked in for my sprint and the tears came freely.  As I raised my hands in victory, crossing the finish line, I was sobbing.  Every emotion I had in every inch of my aching body was unleashed upon the unsuspecting bystanders and organizers.  

So that is why my finisher picture is important to me.

I got some nice hardware for my efforts too. 😁

Even though I could barely walk the next day and didn't go to work, I definately wore that "finisher" shirt with as much pride as I have ever had.  The euphoric feeling lasted nearly all week!!  All that from just a runner's high!

Here's my Mama and me at the race expo the day before our runs...

There's no way in the world I would have been able to do this alone.  A week after my run, the bulk of my training friends were running in our hometown race series half marathon.  I was thrilled to be able to be there to cheer them on!

The last few weeks leading up to the race have been pretty action packed too.  My attempt at breaking into the Wichita theatre scene, while unsuccessful at getting onstage, have been fruitful in getting my name in with a company as a reliable person.  

I was asked to help out with some props for the Forum Theatre Wichita's production of "Boeing! Boeing!"  The show was hilarious, AND I was able to make some really great connections through this show!

Here are some bags I spiffed up a bit:
I'm not always the best at straight lines, so I'm pretty proud of that work!

And so, the conclusion of April and the beginning of May have brought some pretty amazing accomplishments for me.  Getting stronger mentally, physically, and realizing that being strong emotionally doesn't mean NOT being weak.

This is now the last week of school for me and my tutoring students.  I'm not sure that I will be working with this program again, but it has been a good year for me at this job.  

This coming weekend is the big show my band has been prepping for.  We have two more practices and then boom!  Make it or break it!  I know that we have the ability, but I tend to be a perfectionist.  Maybe I'll try to do some extra relaxing things to clear my mind before the show.  No time like the present to practice mindfulness!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Not Quite Down For The Count

I've mentioned my marathon right?
Yeah, I thought so.
They say that you always know when some one is a vegan, running a marathon, or does crossfit, because they don't stop talking about it!

This last Saturday I had my longest training run yet: 18 miles.  Yeesh.

We ran through the Andover back roads.  Hills, gravel roads, trucks barreling toward you without slowing, dogs running free.  Guess what else?  I live in Kansas.  Do you know what the word means?  it means "People of the (south) Wind".  That's no joke.  It's ALWAYS windy here.  There's nothing to block the breeze here in our lovely square (with a bite taken) state.  So, when running up and down hills on gravel roads, it's no surprise that I was pretty covered in dirt afterward.

For the last week or so, I've noticed a pain in my heel that has been getting steadily worse per run.  After a short 4 mile run last friday, I noticed that my pain was just as intense as my 15 miler the week before.  I looked online, and it seems that I've developed Plantar Fasciitis.

I only have three weeks left until my race!  What am I supposed to do???

Well, what can I do?  I'm going to continue training, and I'm going to run my race.  I've been icing and rolling and stretching and wearing the right shoes and doing everything I possibly can to relieve the pain and make sure I don't over do it.  But the simple truth is: I have 20 miles this saturday (4/16).  I need to make sure I get 20 miles in this week.  That's 5 miles a day for 4 days, or 4 miles a day for 5 days.  I would prefer the former, so that I can enjoy my Good Friday off and my 4 day weekend coming up.

We'll see.

If you're reading this, and you're the praying sort, pray that I don't over injure myself.  If I really tear this ligament, I can't afford surgery.  And I really want to run the Yellowstone trails this summer.

Onward and Upward, right?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Milestone After Milestone... Just Like Step By Step

To take a step in the "right" direction: forward, backward, sideways, whatever, means that you are moving.  Sometimes forward is the way to go.  Sometimes you need to go backwards and evaluate decisions.  Sometimes you need to step sideways and change your course completely.

It seems these days, that every step I take is a milestone.  A personal record (PR) if you will.

I've already talked about my Younique business and my summer job at Yellowstone National Park, but one milestone I haven't talked much about on this blog is my first Marathon.

I've run two Half Marathons before.  My first one was November 2014, and my time was simply abysmal.  I finished just short of three HOURS. Two years later, after completing a training course here in Wichita, I finished my second Half Marathon in roughly two hours and eighteen minutes.  Which was under my goal time of two hours and twenty minutes.  Yay me!

After that successful run, I decided to keep the momentum going and sign up to train for a FULL Marathon.  Training has been going well, until the middle of March.  Right when my speed group was getting to the long miles, further than I had ever run before and much needed for my psyche, I went down with some serious seasonal allergies for a full week, and then ANOTHER full week of something else for which I never saw a doctor.  I missed a seventeen mile run, and when I tried to go ten, I felt like I was going to die.  I couldn't believe it!  How could this happen?  How would I ever be able to finish a FULL marathon?  26.2 miles?  YEAH RIGHT.

Well, I got over the crud, started feeling better, and knocked out FIFTEEN miles (and a quarter) on April third.  I still feel great, and am looking forward to seventeen or eighteen this weekend (4/8).

My race is coming up at the end of April.  The twenty-ninth to be exact.  I can tell you that I am nervous, but I've been following the race on Facebook. They have been posting mile by mile videos, so that even though I don't live close enough to preview the course with a run, I can see where I'll be running.

This particular Marathon is special.  If you're not familiar with distance running, or Marathon running, the first one can really get to you.  It's a long way!  If you're not already familiar with the story of the first "marathon" then let me enlighten you.

The legend is that a Greek messenger was sent from the battle of Marathon to Athens to proclaim victory.  He ran the entire distance (supposedly 26.2 miles) without stopping, burst into the Assembly and shouted "WE WON!" before collapsing on the floor, DEAD.

*blink. blink*

Yeah, people use that as a means to tell me that I'm crazy.  But do you know what?  The Marathon has been an Olympic event since 1896.  And people have definitely been running it longer than that.  If they can do it, I can do it.  I DON'T plan to run all out, so I will NOT be dying at the end.  I plan on running my miles around 11:30/12 minutes per mile.  And I plan to have a nice sprint at the finish so I look good for the cameras!

One of the specialties of the OKC Memorial Marathon, is that first timers have a different bib look.  There are a ton of spectators along the route, and when they see the newbies coming they give a special hoot and holler!  The city knows what this run means, and it shows.

I'm excited to be a part of it, and honestly CAN'T WAIT to run it! I need a few more miles under my belt, but I'm certain I'll be just fine come race day.

You can check it out at the links I've shared here, or you can drive to Oklahoma City on April 30th!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Opportunities Coming Out of My Ears!

Ok, it's no joke that I am not the most consistent with my posting.  And when big things happen, I tend to get really busy and this blog just slides to the backburner for MONTHS on end.


So here's my update.  If you read my last post (two months ago,) I've taken the plunge and become a Younique Independent Presenter.  Younique is a makeup/beauty company that makes quality, nature based products.  I have pretty sensitive skin when it comes to daily wear makeup, and this stuff is amazing.  Not only does it NOT break me out, but it stays put ALL DAY.  I don't have to use a lot, and it looks great!   I'm having a blast playing with all the new colors and products.  And while it is a lot of work, (yes, I do WORK at my business,) I wouldn't change my decision to become a presenter for the world.

Next, I've been accepted with a company that works withing Yellowstone National Park for the summer!  I'll be working at gas stations/convenient stores for a company called Yellowstone Park Service Stations (YPSS) for the ENTIRE summer!  Holy Cow!  I was feeling the wanderlust bug, but knowing I probably couldn't afford to travel if I wasn't able to find another supplemental job to replace the one ending in may (public schools), I decided to see if I could find a job that would take me away for a while.  In January I started to put out feelers.  I asked my friends, I asked facebook, I got the notion to see if I could find a job at a National Park.  While the official US National Park Service jobs were asking some serious questions, I learned of this small company and put in my application.  It's almost like fate.  My phone interview was conducted by a fellow from just north of where my parents live!  He offered me the job.  I'll be living and working IN THE PARK for almost 4 months!  (5/31-9/24).  I cannot express how exciting I am at this opportunity!  And while I know it was my attitude and mental issues that got me kicked off my amazing job on the Mystic Whaler last summer, I've been through almost a year of therapy and have some techniques I can do to calm myself down.  All I ask is prayer that I will be able to make it the full 4 months.  I'm not sure which station I'll be at yet (Upper Old Faithful, Lower Old Faithful, Grant Village, Fishing Bridge, Canyon, Tower/Roosevelt Junction, Mammoth Hot Springs,) I know that if YOU come visit, I'll be able to see you!  I'll have two days off TOGETHER each week.  (This is surprisingly one thing I am over the moon excited about!) I knew that the company highly encourages us to go exploring, but I also just discovered that there are group employee hikes that are already scheduled!  AND there are park employee sports!  Softball, Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer.  Oh my land!

So here's my conclusion:

Buy some makeup and come visit Yellowstone this summer πŸ˜‰

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Terror of Taking a Leap

I feel like I've been on a rampage.  Not a scary, tear down physical things and wreck society rampage, but an emotional one.  I feel like lately I've been holding so much in so as to not rock the boat that it can't be contained any longer.  It's a difficult thing, living at home at 34.  I want to get out, but I haven't the financial stability to do that just yet.  I'm taking steps though.

At the end of this week, I'll get a car.  That will give me at least the freedom to leave when I want, and to go do the silly little things that solidify friendships.

I've also thrown my hat into the ring of Direct Sales.  I've taken on the role of Younique Independent Presenter.  That's right, I'm selling makeup.  I never, in my wildest dreams thought I'd ever be doing anything like this, but I'm enjoying it.  It's been slow going for me, and challenging.  Trying to get your friends to buy stuff so you can make money isn't exactly ideal for me, but I do love this product, so that helps!  I have a wonderful coach, who I look up to in so many different ways.  If she can do it, I can too!

I guess that's all I needed to get out for now.
No introspective thoughts to trouble my sleep tonight.
I think.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Personal Opinion in it's Place?

I'm curious, why would anyone read a blog with a highly personal (even if names are left out) rant against a person/place/thing?

I'm feeling very rant-y.

I know a few things:

1. Not many people read my little blog here
2. It is possible that in the future more people will read it and go through the back-log
3. Putting a personal rant up is very cowardly.

I am not a coward.

I also know that there are blogs and talk shows dedicated solely to ranting about very specific things, people, and places that the population does indeed read/listen to/watch.

So why can't I bring myself to do it?  Why can't I tell you what is going through my mind at this exact moment?

Reason number one: I'm currently at an Elementary School finishing out my day.  Surrounding me are children that I know I am an example for.  Even though they will never know my thoughts, or that I'm even typing this, I know that what goes on in my head tends to leak to my words and actions.  So, as I was in classrooms and one on one, I put my thoughts to the back.  I purposefully focused on the tasks I was teaching or assisting with.

Reason number two: My problem is a petty one.  I feel slighted.  I am not the only one who feels this way, but I have not seen any other outcry of disrespect directed toward the party in question.  I refuse to be the first.

Is there a reason number three?  Do I have to have a reason not to post hateful comments on my blog? Do I need a reason to post them?  Not really.

I just needed to get my thoughts into writing, and thankfully I am a fairly speedy typist.  Handwriting a journal can be therapeutic, but frustratingly slow.

You, my dear reader, are just that lucky. πŸ˜‰

Monday, January 9, 2017


I find myself thinking about this subject often, but not in the way many others do.  I could be wrong about that.

Word association:
Beauty: Women
Beauty: Horse
Beauty: Within
Beauty: False

Typically, this is a word used to describe a woman.  This is how it is most used in the american english vernacular.  The second most described area is nature.  To be honest, in my little world, it is most often used to describe nature and I still think of women when the word is mentioned.

Beauty is a book about a white horse that ends up breaking it's two front legs.  Heartbreaking.  And it's a children's book.  Okay, sure.

"True beauty comes from withing."  Once again, describing human traits, typically female.

And the 'false' association, well, that's just my negativity coming to the surface.

A quick google search brings up this:
  1. 1.
    a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.

    "I was struck by her beauty"
  2. 2.
    a beautiful woman.

    "she was considered a great beauty in her youth"

    synonyms:beautiful woman, bellevision, Venus, goddess

  3. Once more, the first definition could be anything. Nature, animals, carpet, people, colors. Anything. Yet, the writers of this particular version chose to highlight it's use in describing a woman.

    The second definition is just describing a woman outright. The second is not a true definition.

    The french word "Belle" is a proper name, a word for a woman, and also literally translates to "Beauty/Beautiful."

    Ok, now that I've waxed literary for this long, what does Beautiful actually mean when describing a woman? I ask this, because it has perplexed me lately.

    I have always been told that I need just a little eyeliner and/or mascara because my eyelashes are so very light. When buying a foundation (which I hate wearing) I always have trouble matching my skin tone. I more often than not go without. I honestly can't remember a time in my life where I applied foundation on a daily basis that was not having to do with being on stage for a musical or play. I have naturally rosy cheeks, so I don't really need a blush. The only tones of eyeshadow that really work for my brown eyes, with my light coloring and eyelashes are browns and maybe a hint of purple. My palette is very limited. Every once in a while, the color will drain from my lips for whatever reason, so I'll don a subtle mauve lipstick or a pink tinged lipgloss.

    All this to say that, for someone who hates wearing makeup, I sure know a lot about it.

    I know that when I do decide to wear makeup I feel nice, but I am constantly worried about the stress of the day ruining the various chemicals I've smeared on my face.

    I know that if I wear makeup to run or exercise in, it WILL run down my face as soon as the sweat starts. But if I don't, I'll just look like a person who exercised. I don't mind looking plain, but then again, I was one of the 2% of the population who got 'lucky' enough to have red hair. In other words, without makeup I'm still not very "plain."

    I would tell a person to not judge based on appearance, yet I do it all the time. I've been conditioned to say "That's too much makeup" or "Good grief that lady needs to put some effort in her looks." Neither statement is correct, yet we as individuals make these judgements on a daily basis.

    Stop telling me what I should and shouldn't do with my face. Maybe I can't afford makeup. Maybe I left it all in another state for 9 months. Maybe my 3 kids were running wild and I just didn't trust them enough to take a shower, blow dry my hair, put on a face while leaving them alone for an hour. MAYBE it's none of your business.

    MAYBE, JUST MAYBE I made my own choice and judged myself and said "not today."

    *disclaimer: I totally put on eyeliner and mascara today.

Friday, January 6, 2017

That ever contemplative mind

Things that should be noted before "moving on" are as follows:
~Toward the end of October, my closest friend, one I considered (as did many other unsuspecting humans) as my sister, passed away.  At a time in the future, a blog will be dedicated to her memory.
~I have made the decision to finally finish a degree.  Music Education.  I still need to take a placement test and finish my FAFSA, but I should be starting in the fall at Butler County Community College.
~I have finished training for, and ran my half marathon.
~There are no more pieces of me left anywhere in Louisiana.

Today marks the third day back to work in this new year.  I've thought so much in the few months since I last blogged about what I needed to write about.  The truth is that I just couldn't bring myself to write anything.  No blog, no poetry, no music, not even barely a post on facebook.  Last year was indeed the toughest I have faced.  I lost multiple jobs, moved back in with my parents for the second time in my adult life, faced opposition from my father and brother for that move, and started counseling sessions.  I had been thinking that things would never change. Then I went down to Lafayette to retrieve all the belongings I had in storage.

While there, I send an invite to an ex-boyfriend to join me in libations one evening.  He did indeed show up.  I did not plan on having a melt down, but it had been a long time coming.  The wonderful friend that he is, we sat down after my tears subsided and discussed life over the last year.  It truly has been that long since I've seen him, as our last interaction was January 2016.  He mentioned that the change that has taken place in my life is very visible.  I never thought anything had changed other than my constantly feeling down about every aspect of life.  I'm inclined to believe him.

I have a history of self-doubt.  I have never really seen the positivity in myself until a male points it out.  Let Freud say what he will about father issues (I really do not get along with mine at all,) but it's true.  Let's just say this time it was slightly different.  This was no longer a man I had romantic inclinations toward.  Our time together was rather insignificant in the scheme of relationship history, our intimacy in the figurative sense only.  We separated ways due to the supposed difference in what we each saw for our future.  At least, that's the way I remember it.  So when I extended the invite for the first time in a year, I was surprised it was accepted.

I have always thought that I would live my life out in Lafayette, LA because I wanted to.  By sheer will I was going to be there.  At this point in my life I believe that was never to be.  I have decided to stop making absolutes.  I may end up back there.  I may not.  For now, where I need to be and where I want to be are not the same, and I must learn to accept this and flourish.

Lafayette will always be a part of me.  For the better part of 12 years it was my home, or at least the one place I was always trying to get back to.  That thinking had me blind.  My home has always just been where I was.  My physical address truly had nothing to do with the word "home."  In Florida, I was home.  I found a community I could contribute to and supportive friends.  The same was true for my time in Kansas, and my time on the boat in New England.  Life may not have always been the best of times, but it was not always the worst of times either.

So, now I am here.  Contemplating all the new things laid out in front of me.  Moving in with a family who needs me.  Running a full marathon.  Starting school, and actually finishing it.  This is not the beginning of a new year, this is the beginning of a new life.  It is up to me to keep this up.  To no regress into the ease of making decisions off the cuff, but to continue to be mindful of my present situations and make my decisions based off of where I need to be for my future.

Goodbye, 2016.
Hello, the rest of my life.