Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Filling the Void

Today is my little brother’s 21st birthday! Happy birthday, Will! [Though I doubt you read this.]

My weekends are full of Nat’l Ski Patrol and my weeks are full of work, but I’m doing my darndest to find a little time in the midst of it all to fit in my favorite thing – horseback riding, or anything horse-related for that manner! My life has been seriously lacking it since I sold Orion.
Yeah, I could go ride Pegasus, but I’m sorry, its just a big hassle. He’s got 15 – 20 minutes of yay-I’ll-work-hard-and-try and then its all oh-my-god-my-mom-where-is-she?! Why? Because he’s four years old and has never been separated from her. Oh, and did I mention he’s also never been socialized with another horse other than his mother? Yeah. Its like that. Buddy sour with an Oedipus Rex complex. I value my health [and life] thanks.

So to fill this void in my life I’m beginning once-weekly trail rides with my favorite kids and their ponies. And I don’t care if I look like a giant while riding a tiny Welsh pony. She needs the exercise. She’s really going to hate it. But to hell if she tosses me, its like two feet to the ground, haha! Bring it, Pearl! (I’m probably going to regret that statement as I’ve now jinxed myself.)

I also got permission [again] to ride this wonderful boy whenever I want:

I love him so, so much. And I’ve missed him greatly this past year + that I haven’t ridden him or spent time with him. We spent 5 intimate years together. He was my first endurance horse (the whole one time I did it, yes) and we did the one show [above] and so much trail riding. Showing ISN’T our thing. No siree. Stan hates being in the confines of a ring – unless there are jumps. Horse loves jumping. Gah, I’m so thrilled to start riding him once or twice weekly. Its going to be all the more wonderful now that I have all of my own tack/grooming/etc. More convenient if he’s in the lower field. I’m quite content living out of my car as far as horse things are involved!

I’m looking majorly forward to a long four-day weekend of shenanigans in Morgantown and [hopefully] at my cabin. Its work weekend up there. I’d really like to make the big family dinner on Saturday, but One Big Love will be in Morgantown for a friend’s birthday, so I kind of want to stay for that, too. I’m not sure what I’ll do yet. Ultimately its going to depend on the possibility of working this weekend. A bat researcher is starting some fall telemetry work on Indiana bats over the next month and a half and I’ve been volunteered for it, which is fine by me because I would love to gain the comp time. No matter what, this weekend will be a welcome break and mini-vaca. I can’t wait to lounge around on campus for a few hours on Friday. I have OEC stuff for ski patrol to read, maybe Ill go to the library and re-live the olden-stress times. Haha. I found my own nook in the library that I loved during the last year there. I miss my nook. Hell, I miss college. A. Lot.

Fall weather is settling into WV, I’m a huge fan. 50ºF, 60ºF at night, 70ºF, 80ºF during the day with sun and low humidity. Oh, baby, I love it! Definitely my favorite season. Definitely, definitely.

"Go take a step outside and see what’s shaking in the real world" -John Butler Trio

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Slow week, steady week, good week.

I’m settling into this job finally. Taking it as it comes. Not watching the clock wishing idly for something more. Not powering through my workload at light speed. Leisurely enjoying what I’m given and letting the minutes slip by as they inevitably will. It’s a good place to be. Its nice to be content with what you have and not always wanting more.

I’ve done a lot of number crunching this week for my OSU courses and course plan. I think I can finish this certificate/degree by June 15. There’s still a little bit up in the air as to what courses I’ll be taking for certain this fall, but chances are very good that I will be taking 12 hours (of the 23 total I need to complete this degree). Wham, bam, done. At least that’s how it’s looking! It’ll be nice to have a little more on my resume. Some more credentials. Between this job and that degree (and some mad-awesome first aid skills acquired from my NSP training) I’m going to be sitting pretty as far as my resume is concerned come June 2012! Muy bueno.

And then? My dream [ha] would be is to move to Oregon, buy a little trailer, score another FWS position, work on getting into a graduate program w/in the next four years (before my GRE scores expire). Why a trailer? Well I mean, a little house would be acceptable, too, but basically I plan on going somewhere for 2-5 years to really build on myself and learn more about another place and I’m tired of dealing with rent and pet issues etc. Getting my own tiny place would be nice. Sell it when I am ready to move on. I’m a clean person so it wouldn’t be a dump when I was done or anything.

And my super dream [double ha]: move west, get small residence, get horse, participate in mad-awesome endurance races and live the good life, the horse life. But chances of this? Slim. Not impossible, just slim chances right now. I’m keeping my goals feasible and possible with time-limits on them right now. Knowing I’m definitely going to meet them with time is much nicer than setting some extravagantly silly goal of owning x number of horses/dogs/etc., living in such-and-such extravagant home, working at such-and-such cushy job.

Dreaming aside, back to the present…

I purchased one of these this week:

For my chair at work. Had it for Thursday and Friday, so far, so good. No hip pain like I’d been having daily. Mom said she used to have the (maybe still has?) the issue of hip pain due to the bucket seat design of most work chairs. This little invention is the exact opposite of bucket seat. Not to mention its excellent for improving posture! Not the squishiest and most comfortable thing in the world, but that is a minor defect in my mind. I’m coping well.

I also cleared out a lot of my clothes this week. I have a pile of old t-shirts to make into a third t-shirt quilt this winter, but aside from that I heaped up three garbage bags worth of clothes, shoes, bags, scarves to donate. Well, I was going to donate them, but then a former neighbor reminded me of her daughter so she picked them up instead.

So hurrah. I remember gaining stuff from a girl in my neighborhood when I was younger and how cool it was getting to use some of her stuff because I thought she was super cool. Anyways, I’ve downgraded all of my clothing to be only things I’ve had since I’ve entered college minus a few t-shirts and hoodies. Way less. Way good. Its been difficult to say goodbye to shoes because they’re not something I’ve necessarily out-grown as my feet have been the same size since 4th grade!! I am so happy to have finally downgraded to such little in comparison to what I used to have. It’s a really awesome feeling – complemented by helping others!

Ah, contentment, why can’t I always be best friends with you? We really are good together, you know?

"But hold on to what you believe in the light
When the darkness has robbed you of all your sight"
-Mumford and Sons

less is more

less TV, more reading
less shopping, more outdoors
less clutter, more space
less rush, more slowness
less busywork, more impact
less driving, more walking
less noise, more solitude
less work, more play
less worry, more smiles

Friday, August 26, 2011

TGIF Dance Party

If part of you doesn't start bumpin' along with this song something is wrong with you, jus' sayin'.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Club Fed

AKA the mad-awesome place I was paid to stay and eat at while I received valuable work training last week (and which made me realize I never, ever, ever have the desire to be a lawyer).

Classroom building
Dining hall ceiling
Other side of classroom building
That's right, beer prices were PHENOMENALLY AWESOME
And all-you-could-eat free popcorn!
I stayed in the back bottom corner of the left wing of this building - Aldo Leopold
White car was my rig for the week; epic clouds!
Unadon - flipping amazing!  From a restaurant in Shepherdstown.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


5.9 in Mineral, VA southwest of DC - we felt it in WV, did you feel it, too?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Future me **edit**

In the future I will be:
  • calm about happenings - not worried about things I have no control over
  • confident in my abilities - not putting myself down
  • optimistic
  • pragmatic & objective instead of falling back on my type-A personality
  • stay in my adult chair and be aware of which chair I'm in (parent, child, adult)
  • focused on being happy & relaxed (though all of the above should lead to this)
  • less judgmental of people and situations - not jumping to a conclusion in my mind, but not ignoring a gut feeling either
  • fewer facetious/mean/quick remarks
I'm already actively working on a lot of these things & I get better all the time.  But I"m still regressing on occasion and I need that to lessen.  A class I had in college discussed how we can actively change ourselves.  Different steps up a spiral leading to milestones, but you will always stumble & fall back to a former spiraled step where you have to start upward again. 

The goal is to reach permanent change where you are stable on top - where the change is not a change, no more falling, its a permanent occurrence in your life.  This could take days, months or years depending on the change.  Its possible to do if you work at it though!  And work on it, I am.

Not to say there are things wrong with me now.  There are a lot of things about myself that I want to keep.  Things I’ve worked on since I was in high school that I have majorly improved upon and have really become a part of who I am.
After I wrote last night’s post I sat down and read through my 4-H Charting book – from a self-discovery course I did through 4-H (one of the greatest things I participated in as a kid and young-adult & I definitely recommend it to any one for their kids!!!  No, 4-H is not just cows and corn!!).  I’m surprised how "together" I was back then, because I didn't feel I was until I read what I wrote.  Some things are different - one primarily concerning my religious views – but for the most part I’m the same person.  The same ideals govern me day to day in the present as they did in the past. 
·         Honesty
·         Tolerant
·         Trustworthy
·         Accepting
·         Organized
·         Detail-oriented
·         Fun-loving
·         Appreciative of where I am and what I’ve done
·         Open to change and willing to adapt
My values five years ago were these: honesty, adventure, relationships, education, health.  My principles were:  honesty in all situations, willingness to try new things, desire for adventure, spontaneity, and kindness to all.

In addition to those I have also incorporated some things I wrote down that I really wanted to work on back then – be more outgoing and be a better listener.  It took getting out of my small town home and heading off to college to fix the outgoing thing, but I did it with gusto.  I have so many incredible friends from all over (both geographically and in walks-of-life).  A lot of these friendships wouldn’t have been made if I hadn’t been bold enough to say that first “hello” or pose some silly statement to strike up a conversation.  In fact, I doubt most of these friendships would exist!
I know I listen better now because I notice how little I talk in comparison to how I used to be.  I used to have conversations with people and look back on them later on and scold myself for talking too much.  Now I sometimes scold myself for not piping up enough!  I really feel though that I’ve found a good balance for most conversations.  A balance between listening and contributing to conversations.  Ebb and flow, baby.  Give a little, get a little.  And it’s a good place I’m at with it all now.  And it makes me really happy to recognize where I am with it.
I’m really surprised and thrilled to see where I am now compared to 5 years ago when I began my Charting experience.  I’ve grown up – a lot – but I’m still me.  And I feel I’m better than I was before.  Seeing the change in myself is really amazing and makes me feel really great about my life.  Five years ago I had to make predictions about where I would be in 5 years, which is now.  

Five years from now
I want to do:
  1. Be in college
  2. Accomplish my goals (get good grades)
  3. Sky dive
  4. Travel
I want to have:
  1. Wonderful friends
  2. Good grades
  3. A job
  4. An apartment
I want to be:
  1. Honest
  2. Loyal
  3. Ambitious
  4. Understanding
Other than that whole sky diving bit I'm where I wanted to be.  So, go me?  Haha, I'm happy.  And happiness is all that matters.  Changes are good, I like where I've come due to the changes in my life.  Character building times really suck, but I wouldn't be who I am now without them.  And who I am now is pretty happy and content and stronger than ever.  Its a good place to be; its a strong foundation to keep building upon.

Have you fulfilled goals you made for yourself years ago?  Are you proud of what you've done and where you are now?  Who you are?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I would call it a wish list, but its more like a dream list - or maybe a goal list.  Whichever way, here it is:

Single horse trailer:

Austrailian Saddle

Barefoot saddle (this one is treeless)

Smart bridle hackamore (By Runningbear)



Horsehair bracelet (I could make these)

Egyptian or Anglo Arabian (w/in next 10 years)

Sweet ski pants that make me look more like woman and less like a little boy (this winter)

Border Collie (w/in the next two years?)

Natural wood bed frame (could also make with help)

Or one of these rooms...

I LOVE this one.  Hahaha.

Master of Science degree

Car rack so I can go cross-country

Mustang - probably the last thing I would obtain from this list because of the time I will devote to him one day; this image is one of the adoptable ones from the BLM this past July (his markings are beautiful!)

I plan on having most of these things with time.  Some I can make; some require a long-term commitment; some require a lot of work; others will require funds I won't have until later in my life.  All (except maybe the treehouse, haha) are attainable though.  Its nice having attainable wishes/dreams/goals.  What is nicer is having the confidence in myself to do the things to reach these goals.  I know the road to all won't be smooth, but I need to focus on all the tiny happy things along the way.  That will make bumps along the way not seem like mountains - and it will keep me a sane person.