Saturday, April 20, 2013

Best Advice Ever

I asked my Pops how to use a circular saw.

His reply, "Keep your fingers out of the way."

Well, after finding where the hell the safety was, I did it. A little nervous at first... but it got done.

A few cuts made, a few screws put in with my handy-dandy mini drill... and bada-bing-bada-boom. 

Project done.

And, all my fingers are still here.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Memories of Dirt, Sun, Work Gloves and Wranglers

I don't know what it is, but the country life has been on my mind a lot lately. I don't know if it is all the yard work, how broken in my work gloves are getting, the sun, this time of year.... I don't know why, but memories are hitting hard lately, and it's hard not to get sentimental.

Tonight I watched the last 20 minutes of the Academy of Country Music Awards and Garth Brooks sang The Dance.... immediately I was whisked back to that El Paso County Fair -- Friday night dance. I think I snuck in because I was too young; and before I knew it I was pelvis to pelvis with Tim Ellison two-stepping around the big event tent, the smell of dirt and beer hung heavy.... and I was on cloud 9.

Let's be honest. That boy could dance, his hat was big, he was tough, he was the King of the 4Hers and I was more than happy to be pressed up against him all night. Eat your heart out girls.

Songs like this.... memories come every time.... Strawberry Wine. Makes me close my eyes and smile by the very first chord.

It makes me think of all the memories I had with friends, animals and family. All the shit I had to deal with, literally. All the crazy days of weigh-ins when none of the animals were truly halter-broke and were dragging us around and getting out of pens left and right. Denting brand new pickups and hiding under cop cars. Wow.... now THAT should have been a reality show.

Makes me think of sneaking into the camper grounds and how "forbidden" things were. Oh the days of being a teenager again.

I remember selling my 4H animals, and how Damon and Derek Glover would take my animals to the slaughter truck for me so that I didn't have to. Just coming back to the barn and seeing the empty halter wrapped up neatly and sitting on my tack box would make be sob every time.

Then the water fight that always happened on the last day of fair. The wet wranglers, soggy roper boots and dirty water buckets. The screams and hugs. The day we all said bye and packed up trailers for home. 

Those were good days. Those were the nights memories were made. Such a different lifestyle than now. Part of me misses it. I often wonder if I want to live that life again.... life would be different. It's something I couldn't do alone.... but.... it makes me wonder.

I want to write a book. It's on my bucket list to write a book, but I've never known about what.... the more I think about country life and my experiences there the more I realize that might just be it.

Gleaning steer food from the nearby dairy farm, collecting it in old trash cans to take home for my steer. Sitting in the pig barn at fair and slapping wrangler patches with the pig bats, but only on the boys you wanted to flirt with. Learning that baby pigs are literally born running. Doing chores in blizzards so bad you had to follow ropes to get from barn to barn. Laying in bed and listening to coyotes, hoping they aren't as close to the barn as they sound. Staying up all night dressing out a pig that unexpectedly croaked. Wow, the list goes on and on and on.

We could talk about this for days, and maybe some day we will. Until then, let's be grateful for pandora and all the memories it can bring with just the first few chords of an old country song.... and maybe one day I'll find a man who can two-step. Then the world will be right once again.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Bed Hog

It took three years, but it has finally happened.

I woke up the other morning and realized that I was smack dab in the middle of my queen size bed.

Three years ago I was back to sleeping by myself, but for some reason I always still slept on my side of the bed. Porter has enjoyed having a side of the bed all to his chihuahua self... but no longer little guy. For some reason three years has been the magic number, and I have taken over once again.

It took me by suprise a bit, but has also made me really content. Until you've been there I'm not sure you will ever understand. Just like that semi-annoying Taylor Swift song....

Until you have made the epic mistake of being under someone's thumb, you will never understand the true elation of realizing that you have freed yourself of it.

It has taken a long time, probably still will for other small battles.... but in some strange way I'm grateful for the lesson... and due to that I've learned that I can't keep my mouth shut about it.

I work with so many young women who need to understand this, that need to understand that even the strongest of women can get stuck here, that it is something that needs to be fought against, and that they aren't alone....

So here we are, supporting each other and being sooooo incredibly stoked to once again be a self-proclaimed


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Late night ramblings....

It's 1:37am, and there is nothing on TV. The dogs and I are snuggled on the couch catching up on lovins.... and I can't sleep.

This happens sometimes. It comes in waves, and lately it's been double-overhead.

I try to sleep when I think I'm ready.... I head to bed, leave my phone alone and meditate. I try to make myself comfortable and create a quiet place in my home.... sometimes it works, and sometimes I lay there for hours. Awake.

I've learned that after a few hours it's better to just get up and do something productive than lay there and get frustrated.

So I'm awake, and trying to process through some things....

1. Do I race again this year? I've loved racing the past two years. I've come a long way and actually hit a few podiums last year, but training takes a LOT of time and dedication. And racing takes a lot of time and money during the summer. I have decided that this summer I want to explore more. I haven't explored in years, and I want that to change this year..... so do I have the time and energy to do both? I don't want to give up a camping trip to be in town for a race..... And then the whole question of if my knee will hold up to run training or not. I know I'm not going to give up crossfit, so now we are talking about workouts twice a day. Do I have the motivation for this? I might just want to go camping instead.....

2. What I want to do around the house this year. This warm weather is getting to me... I'm ready to repaint the porch, add in raspberries and blueberries on the back fence, trim up the tree, build a bar to cover the AC unit, redo the flooring on the back deck, build and start the greenhouse, add onto the raised beds.... my list is growing and I want to get started! But I just saw on the third re-run of tonight's news that snow is coming in hard on Wednesday and staying all week, so looks like I have plenty of time to make my list.

3. Am I doing enough to build my career? I have had some fun things happening lately.... but should I be pushing it more? I am pretty much just letting things come to me as the world sees fit, but maybe I should pursue it a bit more aggressively. There are always feelings of self-doubt, especially after midnight.... Maybe that is why it's so hard to be awake at this hour. You never feel good enough.

And as soon as you start to doubt yourself that creeps into everything... and all the sudden you aren't smart enough, pretty enough, successful enough, lovable enough, skinny enough.... and that is when it's time to get up and do something productive, because laying in bed in that state of mind will ruin you quick.

So here I am, Ike laying on my feet, Porter snuggled at my hip. Drinking warm tea, reruns of the news on TV, and typing to you guys....

I have on only one light, my Moroccan lantern, and it's colorful glow makes me grateful for my house, my haven. I am thankful for the warmth and safety this house provides, not just physically, but emotionally. I am safe here. I feel comfortable here. I am content here... and that is important. That is crucial.

Thanks for listening, thanks for supporting. Thank you for your positive energy that you send me through this crazy, complicated, wonderful world. These late nights can get askew, but it is also in these nights that I can open up and know I am supported.

Love you all, I hope you are sleeping tight.... and hopefully I can join you sometime soon.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Website recommendations. SAY WHAT?!?!

I'm in Jackson, WY with my snowboard team and last night we are sitting at dinner, talking about how gorgeous this place is. I mention my goal to buy a cabin/land by the time I'm 35 and the conversation turns into...

One of my male snowboarders, about 18 years-old... long blonde hair, chiseled features, quick laugh... you know, snowboarder..... Anyways, he leans across the table and looks me dead in the eye and says, 

"Have you looked at Free Cabin Porn Dot Com?? It's awesome."

Say What?!?!

I died laughing, the coach next to me died laughing, the girls on the other side of me died laughing.....

Sure enough, he was serious.

A website of gorgeous cabins from around the world. I was stuck on that site for about two hours last night.

The kid knows what he's talking about. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

As the Clouds Race Over the Moon....

I tried to sleep, but it didn't happen. I put in my iPod, and that didn't help.

Instead, it encouraged my mind to wander, and very quickly my energy seemed to be trapped in my body and I felt I would burst out of my skin if I didn't get moving. Anywhere, and now.

So I did the only logical thing. I got up, put on my sweats, wrapped myself in the extra blanket from my bed, went outside.... and snuggled myself down into the snow.

Being on the road in Sun Valley, ID gave me what every country girl yearns for, plenty of fresh air to cleanse her soul while staring up at the moon and listening to the song that seems to bring meaning into just about anything.

So, here I lay, in the snow, watching the clouds race across the full moon, fully pulling into me the fresh mountain air and listening to this....

The song that I instantly fell in love with at a small intimate concert in downtown Salt Lake City. The song that is on every single one of my playlists, no joke. The song that seems to refocus me and make me want to grow beyond what I think I am capable of becoming. The song that gives me the courage to keep going, to dream big.

And I lay here, cocooned in my little mini recliner of snow. My hair flowing wildly around my shoulders and the mountain breeze kissing my sniffly nose.

And magically I feel completely present. Content. Alive. Driven. Confident. Satisfied. Grounded.

And here I lay, watching the clouds race across the moon, counting stars.... the ones you only see when you escape the hustle-bustle.

And suddenly my eyes are closed, I'm breathing confidently.

I notice the song changes, and for the first time in the past thirty minutes I don't start the song over.... I let it pass to the next. Another favorite.

And I'm swaying, wrapped in my little snowy cocoon. Eyes closed, grooving.

The song ends, and my moment is over.

So I climb out of the snow, back onto my master bedroom porch, shake the snow off and come inside. Teeth chattering.

It's all I needed. A reset.

Every now and then a girl just needs to come back to basics and recharge. Nothing a little music and fresh air can't fix.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Eight years, It feels like just Yesterday

Eight years ago... the last two minutes of the second period of a hockey game, it changed everything.

I still remember the smells, the times, the faces....

He dropped to block a shot, came to the bench, and only made it half way over the boards. As the guys were celebrating a short handed goal I was tugging on coaches leg.... "He isn't breathing and I can't turn him over, I need help."

The rest is a story that is told in hushed tones, usually with tears welled up on my lower eye lids.

I lost him, we lost him. It wasn't due to a lack of trying, that is for damn sure. He had everything he needed, and fast.... the timeline of things is actually quite impressive.... but the finality of it is, it just didn't work.

It made me question everything. And I mean everything.

I questioned that night, our actions, my career, my life, my relationships. I questioned my hobbies, my dedications. I questioned it all.

In the end I came out of it with the reassuring understanding that we did every little thing we possibly could have done that night. I decided that my career was one that I loved, even if it gave me such a stinging experience as this. I decided that my life was one that should be lived, and fully....

We have a lot of pictures of Jaxon, and all of them are him absorbing every bit of life he can. I have tried to adopt that, to soak up that piece of him and carry it with me. He was fearless, and I've tried to pull a piece of that with me. I've tried to conquer life with the same tenacity that he did.... to not let fear stand in the way. And honestly, in the past eight years, I've had a lot of amazing experiences because of it. Sometimes those tiny battles turn into little conversations, just him and I, and in the end it always turns out magical.

Eight years ago today, has it really been that long? The night that changed my life? The night I will never forget? The night that put a ring on my right hand that I wear constantly, that means so much to me and represents such specific determinations?

I write to him on his website often,, and I always end with the only thing that seems appropriate. "Thanks for everything..." because honestly, that is the only thing that seems to summarize my tears. He has taught me so much, and ironically I learned more through his living than through his dying.

I still remember, the freshman that skated up asking me to tape his wrists so his black fabric on his elbow pads wouldn't touch because he was allergic. I thought he was crazy. But his older brother (whom I had been friends with for years) gave me a nod.... well, that started it, and I completely adored that smiling freshman for the rest of the semester. December came, his brother graduated and moved away saying, "Take care of my little bro...." and then a month later I called him, late on a Friday night. He didn't answer and all I could choke into the voice mail was, "Dustin, I'm so sorry.... call me."

The rest is a whirlwind of grieving family, team, league, school and community. The support we received was staggering. Letters from around the world, people that never knew this spunky kid. We did everything we could, and I still do.... his energy lives on, and always will.

Rock on, Jaxon. I adore you, always will. Thank you for teaching me so many things, not only through your death, but mostly through your life. January 21st. Today will always be a day of remembering, a day of memories, a day of re-dedication to be fearless and attack life with a gusto that you harnessed so well.

Rock on, Jax. Thanks for everything....