13 October 2018

how lucky am i

Sigh. I'm homesick.

6 days of being away and I'm missing my cat, my family, and my man.

The weekdays aren't so hard. I think it's the free time and loneliness of the weekend that is hard. Plus I feel guilty that Pumpkin has been left alone for so long. My neighbor has fed her a few times and says that she cries the whole time she's there. SO MUCH GUILT.

I went to a wine festival in Raleigh today. It was super crowded so it was mostly standing in long lines with a wine glass. The weather was nice, though, so I people-watched until I got tired of it.

Jammed some gangster rap on the satellite radio while cruising down the freeway with the sunroof open. 

Yeah, I know I'm lucky. 
That I get to travel, that I get to experience new things and meet new people. The people in my class are perfectly nice, but I haven't exactly bonded with any of them.

So damn, all I want right now is a glass of wine on my back porch with my cat.
Maybe with foxy grandpa sitting next to me smoking a cigarette.
With plans to go see my sister & nephews tomorrow.

Ah, but I'll soon find a way to appreciate the lovely 65-degree evening listening to the crickets softly chirp in the woods.

I also found a yoga studio nearby that I think I'll check out tomorrow.

22 September 2018

headboard

Omggg you guys. I just bought a headboard ONLINE. I don't know why that fills me with anxiety!


Maybe because I've been casually searching for headboards literally since I bought this bed in 2010. 
(Shit, 8 years... does that mean it's time to buy another mattress?)

I don't know why it was so hard to commit to buying a headboard. But I finally got one. *excited*

20 September 2018

better now

It was several weeks ago, when I was taking a yoga class, that I happened to notice every woman in the class had a ring on her left hand.

I suddenly became very self-conscious of my ring-less hand, and a wave of some complicated emotion washed over me. I was the only single woman in the class. What a strange, new distinction.

It was a rare moment, feeling sorry for myself. As strong as that feeling was, I forced myself to think positive thoughts, change my perspective. I started to wonder how many of those women were happy, how many were angry, how many different paths their lives had taken.

I started to think about the path my life has taken.

And I felt overwhelmingly grateful.

I'm thankful that I'm not struggling every day to figure someone else out. I only have to figure myself out, and it turns out, it's not hard at all.

I love the freedom I've got, and I love how strong I feel. I love that I'm back to being that happy person I used to be.

As for the perspective change, I know that the future can be just as unpredictable as the past, so it's been that much easier to appreciate the moment I'm in.

06 September 2018

VEGAS

Oh my God. Vegas was incredible. Just... wow.

We flew in on Saturday morning and headed to the rental car lot. Thanks to the helpful Hertz guy, my President's Circle status, and the discounted rate through my job, we got a convertible Camaro for $40 a day.

You just don't turn down the option for a convertible for that price in Vegas.

The trip went by so fast and was SO MUCH FUN. (Even with disappointing hotel service)

At the end of the trip, Foxy Grandpa and I were talking about our favorite parts, and it was so hard to decide on the highlights because it was ALL so good.

We started with a private limo tour of the city, including stops at the historic 'Welcome to Las Vegas' sign, the Mirage, the Bellagio, and Freemont Street.
WOW, Freemont Street. I could go there every day. It was spectacular. The limo was pretty awesome, too. I'd never been in a limo before.

Then we woke up Saturday and got to see Luke. He gave us a tour of his job, which involves creating concentrates from marijuana (all completely legal). The tour was fascinating and scientific and I'm incredibly impressed at the mad scientist antics that my brother is involved in. That industry is about to explode and he's one of the few skilled scientists in the country. I'm so unbelievably proud of him.

Then we crammed into the camaro and visited the Hoover Dam, which was cool but freaking HOT. I'd like to go back when it's cooler to see all the different things.

That evening we dressed up and caught Absinthe at Caesar's Palace, which was a fantastic show. I loved every minute. We had great seats and the show was hilarious.

A little gambling ended the night, err... morning. It was 3am or so when we finally got back to the hotel room... which wound up being a trend. Everything in Vegas is so spectacular that time goes by so fast and the next thing you know you're falling asleep in a casino at 4am. I loved it.

Sunday involved a little sleeping in, then meeting Luke and Natalie at the Stratosphere, which is really close to where they live. The view was incredible. We had a drink and watched the city light up. Planes flew in, helicopters zoomed by, and a dust storm rolled in. I got to visit with Luke a bit and hear some stories from his adventures over the past couple years. Foxy Grandpa and Natalie enjoyed a few rides at the top of the building while Luke and I cheered them on because rides don't exactly thrill us haha.

Then we visited a nearby dispensary so that Foxy Grandpa could sample the concentrates that Luke had made and we could visit for a bit. I loved visiting Luke. I haven't seen him since Frank got married, and I've never seen him in his element. I'm so impressed with everything and so proud of him.

Foxy grandpa got a pretty good high, so I drove us back to the hotel with the top down, cruising down the strip amidst the lights and glitter. It was gorgeous. We stopped at the hotel convenience store and spent 30 bucks on snacks, then we gambled at the casino until I started to fall asleep. We didn't win anything but had so much fun.

Then it was time to go back home. The days were jam-packed and fun and we're already planning another trip early next year, probably with Ash and Collin.
I really want to try that big ferris wheel thing and the eiffel tower and will definitely go back to freemont street. And walk around some of the casinos and drive into the mountains to see some snow.

Overall, it was an absolute blast and I'm so happy we had such a good visit. I know Foxy Grandpa loves Vegas and would go back just for the city, but he keeps focusing on the fact that we'll go back to see Luke and it's such an important distinction.

28 August 2018

chasing tranquility

Now that it's not so deathly hot in the evenings, I have started to sit outside for a while every day, purposely leaving my phone in the house. Which is why I have no photographic evidence of the two ridiculously adorable hummingbirds that have been flitting around the back yard the past few days.

Foxy grandpa and I were hanging out on the porch Sunday morning when they flew down right in front of our faces to say hi, then zipped over to feast on the bottle brush trees in the back corner of the yard. I immediately jumped up and made some sugar water for the feeder. I don't know how long they've been around, but I'm so glad I didn't miss hummingbird season this year.

I haven't been to yoga because my membership expired and I don't want to renew it until I'm done traveling so much.
In the meantime, I've found it's kind of meditative to sit in nature- even if it's not a porch in the Sierra Nevada mountains or the wooded path behind the hotel in North Carolina.

After traveling for 2 weeks, it feels SO GOOD to be back home. Even though coming home still doesn't feel like "coming home" because I'm not completely used to this house yet.

Still, I'm happy with my small patch of humid back yard paradise. Sometimes I sit there and zone out because I'm tired, but eventually my eyes will catch a spider building a web, or a flower petal floating down the stream, or a fish swimming, or the clouds moving in the sky. Or Pumpkin jumping the fence.

Poor Pumpkin was attention-deprived to the max when I was traveling, and hasn't left my side. Fortunately for both of us, I don't have a lot of customer visits scheduled this week and have been using the last couple of days to catch up in the office. She sat in my lap as I sat in there all day Monday and still didn't complete everything on my list. I'm hoping to wrap things up tomorrow so I'm free to go visit some customers Thursday or Friday.

P.S. Foxy grandpa has caught on very quickly that flowers make my heart sing and rarely comes over empty-handed. Damn, that man is good.

We are taking advantage of the long weekend to go see Luke in Vegas. I'm SO EXCITED ABOUT THAT! (Sorry Pumpkin)

22 August 2018

Lake Tahoe

Hey, so I took a week's vacation to Lake Tahoe.


Foxy Grandpa had the trip planned because his parents couldn't use their time share, and it was super easy to add me onto his Southwest companion pass. When he invited me, I was alllll too happy to accept.

Vacation with a handsome man? Yes please.


I got a super sweet deal on rental cars thanks to my job's discount, so it benefited everyone and I felt like I contributed to the trip.

A bunch of folks went (his friends), and they were all super nice. They liked to DO things,  which immediately induced skepticism about the trip's relaxfulness, but it turns out they also liked to chill* so it was a really good balance of doing things and relaxing.

Thanks to the people who liked to do things, it was my first time parasailing, (A+, would do again), the gondola ride to the top of the mountain was initially terrifying (but after some wine was awesome), and the boat ride was great until it got too rocky for me to handle.





Beautiful sunsets, gorgeous beaches, peaceful mornings drinking coffee on a balcony watching blue jays and chipmunks, nights spent enjoying camaraderie in 50 degree weather and yoga pants... it was fantastic.


The pine cones were gigantic! (banana for scale... it was a big banana too.)


And, to be honest, the most important part is... A week straight of foxy grandpa and I still want to hang out with him. 

It should be noted that he surprised me with tickets to the Legally Blonde musical in Reno after I saw a billboard driving around and expressed interest in it.

A man. willingly bought tickets. To.
the Legally. Blonde. MUSICAL.

MUSICAL.
Legally Blonde.
Musical.
LEGALLY BLONDE. MUSICAL.

As a complete surprise, just because I mentioned offhand that I'd like to see it.

The LEGALLY BLONDE freaking MUSICAL!!

~insert swoon here~

It was amazing! It was at an adorable outdoor amphitheater with the best cast. I laughed out loud several times and clapped with glee throughout like a giddy child. 10/10 would see again.

Solid move on foxy grandpa's part.



*smoke legal weed

09 August 2018

all good things yo

Mom and I have been on this big, "go with the universe" kick lately. Just rolling with whatever happens and trusting our guts. It's working out well, actually.

I've never been more content because I know nothing is in my control and I know everything happens the way it's supposed to. I've been appreciating things in the moment more, because I know things can change in an instant.

I've been doing a WHOLE LOT of reflection lately. Naturally, a lot of it has happened during long drives around East Texas. Oh, there have been some beautiful drives, and since the radio stations in-between towns are usually gospel or classic country, I have had lots of time to think.
(Not that I don't love me some Wynonna Judd.)

Mostly thinking about how my mindset has changed so much in the last few months. (not to mention my marital status, address, immediate surroundings, and focus.)

I feel so blessed in so many ways. I feel like after so much turmoil, a lot of things are settling in the way they're supposed to.

Work has been crazy busy this summer and it was such a good thing. My utilization numbers are great and performance reviews are just around the corner. I feel like I'm getting comfortable with this role.

Slowly feeling at home in this new house. Some mornings I wake up and smile because of the way the sun shines into my bedroom through the french doors and I can hear the pond bubbling.
I've spent a bunch of money on the roof and the security system (with cameras soon) and there's a few other expensive items still on the list, but I see it as a worthy investment. I feel good in this house, like I'll be happy here for a while.

I had some gals over for a game night last weekend even though there's crap everywhere. I figured I love hosting parties and if I wait until things are perfect, it could take years! Plus anyone I know well enough to invite into my home won't judge me based on the piles of un-organized stuff. I'm glad I decided to have people over. It was a lot of fun.

Pumpkin can apparently still climb fences. I thought she was too old but I watched her do it the other night so now I'm slightly worried that she will hop the fence and get run over on the busy street. But I guess I can't worry about that. Hopefully she's smart enough to avoid the street full of cars. I think the giant frog living in the corner behind the pond is enough to keep her focused inside the fence for now.

Foxy grandpa has continued to be a hugely positive thing for me.
Overall I am finding that he is a very genuine, kind person. Kinda restores my faith in a lot of areas where I've become massively jaded.

I like that he's super handy and has helped me with a few projects around the house.

Recently he facilitated an outing with Frank, Chelsea, Ash, and Collin and we all had an absolute blast. It's so important to me that any dude I'm with on a more-than-casual level get along with my family.

We're planning to go float the river next month and HE brought up how I should invite Suzy because it's near Austin. And HE suggested that I invite Ashley and Collin. (Not that I wasn't going to anyway, but his enthusiastic suggestions were a refreshingly big deal.)

He also invited me to go on vacation to Lake Tahoe and Vegas and YEAH I'm super down for those things. He added me onto his Southwest companion pass and I get a bunch of hotel and rental car perks through my job so between the two of us, this travel situation works out well. Looking forward to more random trips with a dude that I don't mind sharing a hotel room with.

The best part of the Vegas trip is I know he's excited to go gamble, but he keeps bringing up the fact that I'll get to see Luke because he knows that's important to me. I love that.

I'm choosing to believe that the universe sent him my way at this period in my life for a reason. He's a fun, happy addition to my life.

So all in all, things are good right now and I am definitely okay with that.