Adventures with Jezebel

This dog has the sweetest personality I think I’ve ever seen in a canine. She’s a sweetheart. She’s fluffy and cute and bouncy and she doesn’t bark all the time, if ever. Her name is Jezebel.

We have no idea what kind of dog she is, but I think she’s an Australian Shepherd mix of some kind.

I’d love to get her to the point where I could take her for a walk with a leash, but sh’es not a fan of a leash. So, perhaps I can teach her to heel so she’ll trot right alongside me while I walk. We’ll see how we do. Right now, I’m afraid that she’d end up getting hit by a car as her street sense game is not strong.

I’m thrilled with having her as part of our lives. She’s a sweetie.

Are you a dog person or a cat person? Share in the comments!

The thing about stress…

Did that make you sit up and go, “What?!?” I did, when I heard it on Madelyn Moon‘s podcast with Brian Musial. There I was, walking along and listening to the podcast, totally relating to Brian while he told his story of his divorce {I’ve totally been there, man. Fist pump.} and then somewhere along the way, he threw that out that.

Huh? Stress is totally voluntary? What? And then it was like a light bulb went off in my head and I thought to myself:

Well, duh! Of course it is! I have a choice about how I react to stress, just like I have a choice about how I react to anything. My attitude towards the stress  is EVERYTHINGI can let the stress get to me, or I can find better, more positive ways of handling it. Whether a stressor is a person or a situation. stressors will always be around. That won’t change, but how I react to them can definitely change. Huh.

Folks, I kid you not, it was like the weight lifted from my shoulders and I went from tight-twisted, woman on a mission walker to a quickly-walking, relaxed woman walker. I know I can get really bent out of shape about something and totally stressed out in the space of about a minute. From that point, I worry, agonize and analyze and “what if” until the situation is no longer an issue. By that time, no one really wants to be around me because I’m a world class, grade A grouch.

Self, how is that helpful?

It’s not.

I hope to catch myself in that space of a minute where I want to get all tight-twisted and stop myself, take a step back, and have a look at the situation. Perhaps, that will give me the time to not react to the stress the same way I usually do. Perhaps, I’ll be able to just let it roll and not get all worked up.

What do you think? Do you think stress is voluntary? Share in the comments!

On Knowing My Self and Myself

Lately, I’ve just felt off somehow. It seems like nothing is static. We got married {yay!}, the boy started school {also another yay!} and we’re looking for place to call home {not so much yay! here} as my apartment is way too small for three people and two dogs {though this does get a yay! because I’m looking forward to moving out of that apartment and into a place to call home with Cowboy and the boy. And we hav dogs!!!!!!! Complicated, much?}. It’s just…a lot. And it makes me tired and more prone to staying home with a good book and a glass of wine or a cup of hot tea. When life gets like this, a socialite I am not.

Here’s something I discovered the other day, and please do forgive the forest for the trees idiom usage, but it just worked: Sometimes, there is such a thing as being too objective about things, seeing too much of the forest, so to speak, especially when there’s a rotten, disease-infested tree that really needs to be chopped down standing right in front of you. Don’t ignore the tree because you know ripping it out by the roots is going to be dirty, ugly and probably painful. Get it out of your life, because it doesn’t belong there. Have those hard conversations, clear the air, listen really hard to your soul and make room for healthy trees.

That was my very own pep talk for myself and it all came about because of this post on Instagram {follow here here} from Jamie Mendell:

Here’s what Jamie said about the above:

I’ve gotten a lot of questions today about “connecting to yourself” and how to actually do that. Here’s one of my favorite ways: in the morning and / or evening, put one hand on your heart and the other on your belly and just ask yourself…”how are ya?” “whats going on?” “what do I need to know?” or ask a specific question about your life. It doesn’t always need to be a long meditation, just taking a few minutes a day to give yourself this one-on-one undivided attention can forge a really strong bond with yourself. You’ll be able to process your feelings and gain wisdom about a variety of things. // happy connecting!

I’ve never consciously stopped to take my pulse or to check in with my self or any of that. I go from waking up, getting up and going about my day to thinking about plenty of other things besides my soul and how I am doing to the dinner/homework/extracurricular activities routine to bed. I do try to journal, and that is so helpful for me, but I think checking in with myself occasionally throughout the day would be a great idea.

For instance, if I asked myself right now how I am doing and what’s going on, I would tell myself:

  • You’re hungry and those grapes just aren’t going to cut it. Go get some protein.
  • Your head hurts because you didn’t sleep well and you’re dehydrated too. The coffee you just made to keep your headache at bay doesn’t taste good. Drink water instead and maybe take a couple of ibuprofen. Consider going to bed early tonight.
  • You will want to write your thoughts and feelings down in your journal. Preferably, do this sooner rather than later, because if you don’t, you’ll want to eat a half gallon of ice cream by yourself.
  • Do go for a walk this afternoon. Your soul needs it as much as your body does. Screw it, go for a walk now. Right now. Put your shoes on, plug your earbuds in and go. Everything else can wait.

See what a little pause for reflection can bring to the surface? Apparently, a bit more self-awareness than I normally see on a daily basis. :-)

And on that note, I’m going to listen to what I say and I’m going to go for that walk. Enjoy your day, lovelies!

Liebster Award!! Yay!

I was nominated for a Liebster Award by FireMoonRage! Thank you thank you thank you! I love her blog and i think it’s great that there’s an award out there for the small fry bloggers out there! Here’s how it works:

The Liebster Award is a peer award aimed at connecting bloggers and readers for blogs that have fewer than 200 followers {like me!}. It helps us all get to know one another and perhaps gain a few more regular readers. Also, it’s always fun to know that someone likes to read what I’ve written!

Here’s how the Liebster Award works:

  • Link back to the person who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you by the nominator
  • Display the Liebster Award logo in your post
  • Nominate up to 11 other bloggers with fewer than 200 followers
  • Create 11 questions for the nominees
  • Notify all nominees via social media/blogs

Here are the questions FireMoonRage posed to me:

  1. How did you get started blogging and which post makes you most proud? I started blogging about 10 years ago as a way to keep in touch with my family. It turned into a fun creative outlet for me that has been so therapeutic over the years.
  2. What is your favorite way to pass time? Spending time outside {hiking, walking on the beach, doing yard work, whatever!}, reading a good book, talking with friends and/or family over a delicious meal, enjoying a glass of red wine…the list goes on!
  3. Where is your dream vacation? I’ve never been one who wanted to go to a tropical destination for a vacation. I’m going to have to go with pretty much anywhere in Europe. Switzerland, Ireland, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Greece, Austria…and then Canada and Australia. Ideally, I’d like to spend the vacation somewhere where I can go for walks or hikes daily, somewhere where the sun shines in the summer and somewhere where the food and drink are worthy of exploration.
  4. What do you consider to be your best quality? Oh, wow. Let’s see. I think my best qualities are my honesty and loyalty. 
  5. If you were to give advice to a new blogger, what would it be? Write your heart. Share the good and bad bits and bobs of your life. Leave comments on other blogs and develop relationships.
  6. What most inspires you? The hope that I have that there is something good that will come from nothing…or that something good will come out of a catastrophe. I am ever the optimist!
  7. Do you have hobbies? I do! I crochet, read and I love to try new recipes.
  8. What was your favorite or most special meal before today? Hmmmm, what a great question. My favorite thing to eat when we go out for BBQ is brisket, so I’m going to go with that. Unfortunately, not many BBQ restaurants here in California make brisket, but we do have one local place and I go there any time I can!
  9. Finish the sentence: I am happiest when… I’m at home with my husband and son and we’re playing a game or watching a movie or talking about our days together and there’s a lot of love and laughter. It’s the best.
  10. What gives you a thrill? Creating something or learning something new or just making something fun.
  11. Finish the sentence: It wasn’t funny at the time, but now I can laugh when I think about …. the time I ran over the milk cow with the feed truck when I was five. I was steering while Dad threw feed out for the cows out of the back of the truck and I had been instructed to stay on the road. I also didn’t know where the brakes were. So…the poor milk cow got lightly tapped with the feed truck bumper. It’s funny now, but it certainly was not then!

I have quite a few bloggers I enjoy reading, and I pulled these from Feedly which tells me how many subscribers they have. Today I nominate:

And here are your questions:

  1. Who or what inspires you most?
  2. What would you say is your best quality? And your worst?
  3. What is your favorite quote or saying?
  4. What’s your favorite thing to cook or bake?
  5. Why did you start blogging?
  6. If you could do anything in the world, what would you do and why?
  7. What’s your favorite thing to do when you have some downtime?
  8. What relaxes you most?
  9. What’s your favorite snack?
  10. What’s your favorite memory?
  11. Are you a dog or cat person? Or a some other kind of animal person?

Whirlwind

This is what I feel like right now. A lavender unicorn with sass, that’s me! I’m remaining optimistic and I’m smiling through the whirlwind that is life right now. The boy started school this week and he had a wonderful first day. He rode his bike home from school and made new friends! It’s such a relief when he has a good first day of anything.

This post has sat here on my screen for two days and I can’t seem to get more typed than the above paragraph. It’s kind of ridiculous.

Life is crazy right now and I’m trying to remain cool, calm and collected. Honestly, I’m failing. But, there’s always tomorrow, right? Actually, I choose right now to start over with today.

mary-oliver-love-the-world

I sometimes get so tight-twisted that I just. cannot. relax. I’m learning to love myself and then move on with life. It’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to and I’m not doing myself {or anyone else} any favors by being a curmudgeon.

So, here’s to Fridays, glasses of red wine, time with friends and lots of hugs and laughter! Here’s to the boy having a wonderful week at school! Here’s to not letting my stress and anxiety obstruct my creativity. Here’s to reading good books and clean laundry. Here’s to payday! Here’s to everything good in the world!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you next week!

~ Gratitude Lately ~

We’ve been spending our weekends out in the sun, dirt and wind lately. It’s been glorious, though I do have a pretty decent sunburn on my shoulders. I do love where I get to live. Sure, it has its issues, just like any other place, but it’s beautiful. I mean, with views like these, how could you dislike it?

The sun, the grass, the sage, the trees…it all smells sooooo gooooood. I can’t even try to describe it to you. I count myself so fortunate to have the opportunity to get out of town for awhile and go back to my roots. I never thought I would marry a cattle rancher…not in California! The breed of cowboy I grew up with was something I thought couldn’t be found outside of Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Nevada and New Mexico. I’m happy to say that I was wrong.

I grew up around cows and I absolutely love them. They’re so fun to watch and it’s fun to pick out their different quirks and mannerisms. I think if that one on the left were any shorter, she’d be perfectly round. She’s rather heavily pregnant and should calve within a month. When she walks, she waddles. It’s rather cute, but as a woman who has waddled when pregnant before, no woman or cow wants to be told she’s cute when she waddles.

The boy has found his favorite cow in the herd and has named her Oreo. Here he is, feeding her some hay, which she isn’t shy about coming to get. Some of the cows are a little on the skittish side, but not Oreo. Once she smells alfalfa, she makes a beeline for the truck.

On a different note, I’m very glad that I work for a company that will allow parents to bring their children to work with them when necessary. The boy has been spending a few hours with me at work since his summer care program is over and school doesn’t start for him until later this month. I’m so very fortunate and I’m so grateful.

Whirlwind of a Weekend

Well, if that wasn’t awesome…I don’t know what was. I don’t think that makes complete sense, but whatever. Oh, my…where to start. My heart is so full of love and gratitude and humility and all good, warm, fuzzy feelings. Lots and lots of love surrounded this weekend and its events and it make smile so huge whenever I think of it. So, want to see some pictures? Ok, here we go!

My mom, traipsing back from her very brief wading session in the 55 degree Pacific.

My parents, aunt and grandfather arrived on Friday afternoon. We puttered around, getting a few things for the wedding ready and then had a simple meal of pasta for supper. The following day, we ran a couple of wedding-related errands {Costco! Yay!} and then took a little trip to visit Pebble Beach and Carmel Mission.

We stopped at the Lone Cypress, just to say we saw it.

My parents said they saw more at the mission this time around because there was time to actually look at it all. The first time we were there, my son was with us. Bless him, but he’s not much of a museum type, unless there are wild animals or dinosaurs or something of that ilk there to see. This time, he stayed behind to build Legos and eat burritos, so Mom and Dad could meander as they saw fit.

My dad and mom, me and Cowboy…oh, and Ginger.

That evening, we had a simple BBQ with burgers, hot dogs and this delicious tritip that Cowboy made. Yum. It was nice and relaxing and everyone got to know each other there. Our parents hadn’t met yet {gasp! I know!}, so they got to meet and talk there. It was really just perfect. And, there were s’mores! <3

Then, on Sunday, I did that hair and makeup thing. Let me tell you, this man does a WONDERFUL, AWESOME and PERFECT job of hair and makeup. I let him exercise creative license because I honestly have no clue what I’m doing in the formal hair and makeup department. I really didn’t care what he did either, so it was fun for me to see what he came up with. I loved every bit of it!

The day actually went by rather quickly and before I knew it, my dad was walking me down the aisle. We said our vows and exchanged rings and kiss or two and then it was time for the party!

We ate and drank and danced and talked and had a wonderful time!

Honestly, it couldn’t have gone any better if I had planned it out more or had more of a schedule or anything. There truly is something to be said for getting a general idea of what you want to happen and then winging the rest. It was wonderful and fun and there was a lot of love and laughter and hugs and all the good stuff in life.

What else could a person want?

NOTE: I know some of the pictures are a little blurry here…forgive me!

Four Days & Counting

We have two days until my parents arrive and four days until the wedding! As of right now, I am not at all stressed or worried or freaked or any of those things. Right now, all I want is a cup of hot tea and my morning bowl of breakfast yogurt with a sliced peach. I hope I can remain this relaxed and carefree and go with the flow.
 
This last week has been filled with horses and cowboys and branding and work and fun. The boy got to see a horse parade while Cowboy and I went for massages. The boy took quite a few pictures and even some video. Some of his pictures are actually quite decent. This was my favorite from the day.  
It was so fun to watch a branding and I even helped a little by filling and holding syringes. Watching brandings  for me is so nostalgic because I grew up going to brandings every spring as a child. When I was young, I was in charge of the nut bucket. If you would like a description, I will describe it, but for now I think just leave it at that. As I got older, I got to give the inoculations. 
Even though I don’t live in Colorado or Nebraska anymore, and I don’t live a ranch lifestyle, I really do miss it. Soon enough, it will be my job to make sure the men get fed and I will happily do that. I miss being out in the open every day too, but that is easier to come by than living on a ranch around here. Just drive east and then hike up :-) soon enough, you’ll find yourself on top of a decent hill and able to see for a few miles. I think that is what I miss more than anything, being able to see for miles and miles and miles.  
The boy had a great time and learned a lot. After all the branding was done and the cows and calves were turned out, he went hunting in the corral for bull horns. He found them and they are currently sitting on a plate on the kitchen table, packed with salt so they can dry out. Boys…still, a nice souvenir for a kid :-)

It’s time for me to get going, so I will leave you now. I hope you all are having a wonderful, wonderful week!

A Wee Weekend Update

I spent this weekend in the company of some of my favorite women. Not all of them could attend, but most of them were at my bridal shower. I was not at all excited about being the center of attention when a dear friend brought the subject up, but once the day dawned, I was excited to see my lovely ladies. Even though the photo above might not convey excitement, I really was excited. We had mimosas and pie from here and it was a lovely afternoon. We had a lot of fun chatting and making flower arrangements and eating delicious sandwiches and that wonderful fruit pie. It truly was a wonderful party and everyone had a wonderful time, which was the name of the game.

I also got my nails done…and for the first time ever, I got glitter! And I like it! I’ve never been a person who likes to use or see a lot of glitter on stuff, but this time I thought I’d try it. I went for a walk on the beach afterward and the sun would catch the glitter and nearly blind me if I looked at it just right. That’ll teach me to get glittery nails.

We have 12 days until the wedding and yeah…that’s about all I’ve got to say about that. I’m not running around like a fool chicken with my head cut off yet, but I may be by next week. There are so many things that I don’t have a plan for and honestly, I’m not overly concerned about it. As long as everyone shows up, has fun and we end up married, I’m not too concerned about the music or the transportation plan or the dancing or the blah blah blah. I should be, but I’m not. I’m perfectly happy to wing it and see what happens. However, for the sake of the nerves of my family and friends, I’m going to make a transportation plan and some other plans for things.

That being said, most of my nights this week will be spent writing thank you cards for my shower gifts {I got seriously spoiled rotten} and working on the centerpieces and thinking about the logistics. There’s a lot of logistics stuff going on right now.

With that, I’m going to go finish my coffee and get some stuff done. Enjoy your day, lovelies!

Think Out Loud #6

Well, every day is for thinking out loud if you don’t have a filter. But for some bloggers, we have what’s called writer’s block and we need all the help we can get to get the words out of our heads and onto paper or a computer screen.

Thankfully, Amanda over at Running with Spoons created Thinking Out Loud. Head on over there to read all about it!

So, here’s what’s been running through my head lately!


The cream I used in my tea this morning was sour. It made me disgruntled because it was a sad misuse of perfectly good tea. I made coffee instead and used some vanilla creamer. It’s still good. :-) And it’s caffeinated, which is precisely what I wanted this morning.

This was not the above mentioned cup of tea. This was a beautiful cup of tea from a couple of weeks ago, where the cream was not curdled and sour and gross.

I’ve been channeling my interior decorator lately and last night I made some wonderful finds at Michael’s and Dollar General. I really really really hope that our wedding isn’t a boring, bland affair. I struggle with wanting to keep things as simple as possible and wanting to focus on the little details that I believe will make it “us.” I am trying my best to be rather laissez faire about it, while still making it pretty.

The centerpieces are a work in progress. I think they’ll look fine.

I need to work on my tan. I have a pretty decent sports bra tan and my dress is strapless. Um. yeah. Uncool.

And now, I’m off to get the day going. Do enjoy yourselves!