Friday, August 31, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 163)
1) I realized that I have a Big Important Lofty goal for the end of this year. Not really.  I have a goal, but it's not that important. I noticed that each year my total number of posts for the year declines.  To some extent, that's fine.  I posted too often at first.  But I'd like that to level out eventually.  So that is my goal. To have more posts in 2012 than in 2011.  I had 107 in 2011, so my goal for 2012 is 108. I know! It is a really big deal, and you're so glad that you got to read about it!  Lucky you.  In reality, I likely won't pay a lot of attention, except on days like today when I am trying to determine whether to Quick Take or not.  And then I have to fill them up with something, and now you have this riveting take that you have spent actual precious time out of your day reading. 

2) I'm sorry for #1. I promise I'll try to do better for the rest of these. As you can see, I've set the bar pretty low, so I think I should be able to meet that goal.  That's what life is about, you know. Setting substandard goals that a hunk of moldy cheese could accomplish with minimal effort.

3) My mom and I were playing phone tag this week. I get a text from my sister (because my mom refuses to text) telling me that Mom would like me to call because her shoulder is hurting. I hate over the phone PT, but what are you going to do? So I tried calling her at various points during the last several days. This is harder than it sounds, because I currently live and work in a dead zone for cell phone reception. I finally got a hold of her today, and she starts telling me about a few random things, and then stops herself so that she can ask me what I need and why I've been calling.  Umm, because you asked me to? 

4) I then got a reminder of how frustrating my job can be sometimes because people don't realize what I can do as a physical therapist. She did inform me that it was not her shoulder, but her elbow that was the problem, but since it was a tendon and not a muscle, there wasn't anything I could do about anyway. Are. You. Freaking. Kidding. Me!?!  I don't blame my mom.  I blame us as physical therapists. We are not getting the word out about what we do. Yes, I treat tendonitis! I would be one sucktastic therapist if I didn't know a lot of different tricks for tendonitis. I treat bones and muscles and joints and tendons (which connect muscles to the bones) and ligaments (which connect the bones at the joints) and cartilage and nerves and pretty much anything related to movement and pain in the limbs or spine.

5) I have laundry in the dryer I should go get it before it wrinkles.... Oops! Not living up to the second goal!  I hope that's not a foreshadowing of a mere 106 posts by January 1st.  I do have an old hunk of cheese in the fridge; maybe I should get it out and throw it at the keyboard.  It might win as a more interesting QT.

6) Please don't hate me for this take, but I have to say this. (Okay, not technically true, but I want to, so I will.) I got a massage today, and it was fantastic.  The thing is, I am far past wanting massages for mere relaxation. I want them for the wellness factor. Yes, it's expensive. No, I probably wouldn't get them as often if I didn't work in a place that gave me a 1/2 of discount. I also probably wouldn't get them if I weren't single and therefore have fewer expenses than some. But they are wonderful. I hurt so much less in my day to day life. I didn't really think I was hurting, but there are a lot of things that just get ignored. I don't ignore them anymore, now that I know what it feels like to be without them. (Also, have I ever discussed how massage reminds me of confession?)  I will say though, if you are considering spending the time and money, try to find a massage therapist and not a mere masseuse. I don't think there's technically a difference besides in my head. In my head, the first is the kind of person that will actually help you have health benefits; the second is the kind that works in a spa and will help you have a nice relaxing time with fewer long term results.

7) I can't remember what the last one was going to be, but I just glanced up at #5 and realized that I still need to take care of that situation. Have a great weekend and head over to Jen's for more Quick Takes (the kind that could go head to head in a writing competition with a chunk of cheese and actually win!)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

One of Those Posts

I have a confession.

I still don't want to be single.

I've been trying to write a lot of posts that focus on a lot of different things, because I don't want to focus on that. I'm bored of that, even if all you readers are gracious about it. But all the posts about all these varieties of topics get stuck somewhere in the middle, and I'm not sure that how to finish them, and then I find myself back at the same old place.

Honestly, it's not one of those really hard times when I'm all angst-y and teenager-y and my-life-is-awful kind of times. It's at one of those times in the journey where it's not as painful, it's just a drag. I feel pretty good about a lot of things, and I can even get on fb most days with very few consequences (I know that sounds lame, but I know a lot of you know exactly what I mean). It's just not what I really want.

My job is pretty great. Even if some of my friends are moving, there are still plenty around. I have a new church that I think I'm going to like, even if I'm having a bit of a hard time getting involved. I love my little cottage. I love all the activities to do.

It's just not enough.

I feel that God has been throwing a lot of great blessings my way. And, because I like to be honest with Him- even if it does make me the most ungrateful person on the planet- I tell Him thanks, and that's really awesome, but it's not enough.

St. Anthony and I are in a fight. Actually, it's one sided and I'm fighting with him, and he's much more mature and saintly and whatnot. I mean, he can help me find a jury summons that I've left lying in the middle of the road, and moose up close to the road at a time of day that you're not likely to spot wildlife. And there was even that time in the city where I was trying to find this one particular shopping center. It was kind of a needle in a haystack, and I hadn't been there in over a year and I forgot to look up which road I needed to get there.  So, in a very annoyed, huffy, sarcastic tone, I started to say "Well, St. Anthony, since this is not very important, you think maybe you could help me find this store?" But I stopped in the middle because my attitude was so bad that even I felt ashamed, and I decided I would just look for any old store that I could browse through while I killed some time. Wouldn't you know that I drove right to the shopping center that I was trying for?  The point is, he can help me find all kinds of crazy things if they are not the one person that I am looking for the most.

It kind of reminds me of backpacking this weekend (I would love to discuss that more; that's one of the many posts I've tried to write). Anyway, backpacking requires a heavier pack than I am accustomed to. It's honestly not as bad as it could be, but when the sun was hot and I was on my way uphill, I kept wanting the hike to be over.  The load felt ridiculous. The breaks were nice, but we kept having to pick the packs back up later.

Anyway, I guess that is all. I feel like this life that I'm leading would be great if only it were enough. I've tried to be satisfied and make it enough, but I can't seem to manage it.  I really do wish I were more grateful for all the great things in life, and content with what I have. I even feel like there's somehow a meaning and a reason for it all. I'm just dragging a bit is all.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dear Friend,

We talked about some stuff this weekend that left me wishing I could say more to you. Maybe I already said it, sort of. I tried to.  But here it is, all of what I really wanted to say.

Thank you for taking the time to share with me what you believe and why.  That is such a deeply personal thing, and it means a lot to me that you would be willing to share it. You certainly know that I'm one of those religious types, so that can make it a little tougher to talk about why you are agnostic.

You have such a great love for life that I have always enjoyed being around you, but now I respect you even more. Growing up in a religious family, you have found a way to embrace the good of that upbringing, even when you found that what they taught didn't make sense to you. I can also see why any hypocrisy that you see would make an especially big mark on you. You are so guileless that you can't even play a practical joke on someone. You are the epitome of "what you see is what you get." That is a beautiful thing that not many people can manage, and therefore hypocrisy is the antithesis of the essence of who you are and what you stand for. I do not claim to know everything about you, but I will say that your decision to leave the faith of your family and the reasons why are consistent with everything I know about you.

I know you feel that there is no way to know, in this life, whether or not there is a God. I know that you are committed to being the best person that you know how to be because that is who and what you are. If, at the end of your life, you find there is a God, you feel that you will end up where you end up. You know what I think? I see your delight in beauty and goodness. I think that if you come face to face with the One whose essence is beauty and goodness, you will be completely overcome.  Maybe it's wrong, but I'm not particularly worried about your soul and where you will end up.  Because I when I see you living your life in the way you know best, it points me to God. In many ways, I see you in heaven before me.

That doesn't mean that I don't pray for you. It doesn't mean that I don't wish for you to know Him here and now, before you see Him face to face. He is my Beloved, and I know that He delights in your delight of the world around you. I know that He delights in your transparency, and your joy in the people in your life.  He delights in you. I know I give you a hard time about saying that everything is your favorite (when we are climbing, climbing is your favorite; when we are backpacking, backpacking is your favorite; when you put on a fresh cotton shirt, cotton is your favorite; when you are drinking water, water is your favorite), but I love that it's all your favorite.  And it really is; I know that you're not just saying that thoughtlessly. I love that you live each moment so fully that that moment truly is your favorite.  I may tell you that you're pathologically happy, but it's a disease I hope we all catch. My point being, I hope someday that you realize how much you are His favorite, and that He is more excited about you than you are about each sunrise, sunset, beautiful mountain and fun activity (and we both know how excited you get, so that's saying a lot!)

Anyway, thanks for sharing a piece of yourself and thanks for being you!  You really are an amazing person!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

An Stream of Unorganized Thoughts from a Lake

Today I ventured into uncharted territory.

The water.

I have this issue with water, in that I float like a rock. I like to say that I'm pretty sure I wouldn't drown in the deep end of a pool, but I'm not sure, and I haven't tested that theory. But today, trusty PFD (personal flotation device, AKA, lifejacket) in place, I sat down in a kayak and let some stranger push me off a dock and into the water.

The first moments were an uncomfortable lesson in physics. Each motion from me resulted in an equal and opposite motion from the boat. Which is sort of okay, but I had to figure out how much I could move without the reaction resulting in a tipped kayak and me in the drink.  Then I started to make some tentative movements with the paddle, and soon I was comfortable that the boat was not going to tip too easily, that I could kinda sorta steer, and that this was, in fact, going to be fun.

I love the perspective of sitting down on the water. Everything is above you. The sky, the peaks, the trees, the shore. All of it.  I love that when you are just enough feet away from the shore, the water takes on a different sound, because you can't hear it washing over the rocks on the shoreline.

The first part of the day was the part where we paddled. Several of us were newbies and had to try to figure out the "right way" to paddle (push with your upper hand, DON'T pull with the lower hand). Reach out in front, but not too high. Result? Lots of banging of knuckles on the sides of the boat, and so much pulling with the lower hand. Yeah, I listen well.

We were fighting against the wind. I'd paddle and paddle, and then look over and look at the sllloowww passing of the shoreline. It was a little like being on a treadmill. Lots of forward effort, but little forward motion.

After lunch was different.  There was lots of floating. The kayaks became personal pods with each of us lost in private reveries, or simply floating with little or no thought at all. The sound and feel of the gentle waves rocking was almost enough to put you into a trance. I looked down into the water at one point and saw that the reflection of the sun was doing this weird thing where there were a ton of points of light that looked like they were coming up from below the water. For one instant I almost understood why that idiot Frodo followed the lights.

I had no camera (because mine's not waterproof, and even if it were, there's the issue of dropping it into the lake- I'd be the one to do that if it was going to happen).  But the picture is there. My legs, that I could almost watch as they burned (despite copious amounts of sunscreen), the orange kayak extending out in front of me and coming to a point, with the sparkling water surrounding it, and the mountains rising up from the distance.

I looked at my knees, which are covered in bruises from inexpert climbing the day before. My legs, covered with water from paddling. I am in a place that makes me excited that winter is coming and hopeful for a good snow year, because I can't wait to ski (we could see the nordic center trails from the lake). I consider the fact that I was climbing the day before, kayaking today, and ready for cross country ski season.  So strange for someone like me, who- a couple of years ago- avoided the outdoors because there were too many bugs there.  My only "sport" was walking. Sometimes. If it was not too hot, too cold, or too wet, and I was not too tired.

Today I was on the water with a friend who will be leaving in a couple of weeks. A friend who is genuinely excited about life and all kinds of fun outdoors experiences.  The friend who helped teach me many of the sports that I now do.  The day was bittersweet.  So fun to try something else that is (almost) new. So great to make the most of time left before a new chapter begins in her life. So sad to think of new adventures without her.

Life is strange and fluid.  It's always changing and people move in and out.  I can't even begin to say how much it meant to have her and another friend here in the mountains for the first two years. Or how much it hurts to have them go, but I'm okay with that. Because they're worth it.

They are leaving, but who knows what is next? I got to know someone else a little better today, someone I'd only met once or twice before.  Maybe she'll become a good friend, too. Maybe I'll just rest my paddle for a while and float and see where the water, and life, take me next.

Friday, August 17, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 163)

1) I actually have many thoughts about which I could blog (and if you were really lucky, I would keep using that fantastic grammar while I did it).  I have so many full posts wanting to come out that I almost skipped the Quick Takes this week.  But, it turns out that I need the QT's to be a steam valve so I can let off some of the pressure of building thoughts before I explode!

2) Biggest reason for this is that I have friends that think that they need to move.  You know, they act like jobs are important and following life dreams are important and whatnot.  That's all well and good, but what about me?!  I had my last time seeing a friend today (until I can go visit her in her new home, that is) and I also found out this week that another good friend is moving overseas.  So many ways that I know these are the right moves for them, but them not being around will definitely leave my world a little more drab for the loss. More on that later, I'm sure.

3) I have run into a couple of situations online and in my family in the last couple of weeks, where I sit back and listen to two different "sides" on an issue. I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with both "sides" in different ways, but what really gets me is the ways that we are not listening to each other.  I have heard so much talking at cross purposes that it is unbelievable! It seems that everyone is SO focused on their own viewpoints that they can't even hear what the other person is saying.  It turns out that dismissing the points nearest and dearest to the other person's view somehow does not lead to any resolution of the issue.  Funny how that works. No doubt I'll subject you to more of my thoughts on the subject later (and hopefully be a little more clear).  I apologize in advance.

4) Part of the reason for all these issues building up was the fact that my modem decided to start giving me fits, and I've been without internet for a few days again.  I don't do well without internet.  Not well at all. I thought I was going to have to wait until I could schedule a tech visit, so I was freaking out about waiting a week or more for internet, but they were able to fix it remotely, so here I am!

5) Since it only lasted a few days, I have to say that there are nice things about internet breaks.  Not that I used mine to any great advantage, but sometimes it's good to get out of the routine you've gotten yourself stuck in. (Ooh, ended a sentence with a preposition.  I am on a roll with my fantastic grammar today!)

6) This last weekend, I decided to go on a long hike.  It was a rare weekend where no one was available to go with me, so I picked a busy area. I stayed in the area the night before to get an early start.  I got there, I started hiking, and the clouds built up, and I turned around.  Such a let down! But there's a very scenic road in the area, and I decided to drive it instead. So that was nice. And I love that when you're on top of a mountain, the clouds are so close.



7) Then, I decided to go down the mountain on the far side. I know there are a fair number of moose over there, and they're hard to find as a rule.  It was the middle of the day, so it was an improbable time to spot any... But I guess improbable is not impossible.


Have a fantastic weekend, and head over to Jen's for more Quick Takes!

P.S. Word verifications are kicking my rear end right now.  I cannot even begin to read some of them, even after asking for several new ones!  I had to try twice today to make comments on a couple of different blogs.  If you start to see fewer comments from me than usual, and you have enabled wv, then know that it's not because I don't like you; it's because I'm not smart enough to overcome the wv!

Friday, August 10, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 163)
1) So guess who's jury summons/obligations or whatever were fulfilled by calling in to be told that I was not needed? Of course.

2) Wow. One take down and I got nothing.  There is some serious writer's block around here folks! (Also some being busy, but usually I use blogging as one of many ways to procrastinate, so I can't really blame that).


3) Maybe a picture will help get me going.
Obese marmot
Okay, so I know marmots are cute and you like to try to feed them and whatnot, but the food that's not good for us? Also not good for the animals!  Y'all are always welcome to come for a visit, but don't even think about letting me catch you leaving food for the animals, or littering, or walking off trail.  In other words, be a visitor not a tourist that ruins things for all the many, many other people that are also trying to visit!

And, end rant. Stepping off my soapbox now.

4) Hmm, I really did think that I would show a picture of a cute animal, and that's as far as my plan went.  I didn't mean to get into a snit on you.  Maybe a different picture.

Mountain lake
Ahh, that's more like it.  Much more relaxing. Are you tired of mountain lakes yet?  Because I never get tired of them. I think that I might try to go find some more this weekend.

5) One more.

Fungus
I don't know why.  Maybe because I make you look at flowers all the time, I thought I'd try something different.

6) I have a couple of things that I would like to learn how to do on my camera.  There are a couple of types pictures that I see that, but that I can't pick up on the camera.  I may have to take an actual class someday.

7) Okay, I'm not going to lie and say that I did my best, but I gave you what I've got in effort to try to get some posts up. More because I miss posting than because you need to be subjected to this lameness.

Have a great weekend, and head over to Jen's for less lame QT's!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to Keep Legal Documents Safe in 36 Easy Steps

Step 1: Receive jury summons in the mail. Note that "summons" seems like such an ominous word. Between that and the boxed words: "Legal Document" make a note to self that this has all the earmarks of a Very Important Paper, and one that should not be lost.

Step 2: Read through all of the many Very Important Instructions about how to show up, where to show up, what to call to see if you should show up and how to be sure that- for the love!- you park in the right place.

Step 3: Make another urgent mental note to self not to lose the Very Important Paper containing the Very Important Instructions.

Step 4: Whimper slightly because there are 3 whole weeks to concentrate on this whole "not losing the little piece of paper" nonsense.

Step 5: Place the paper on the counter with other random and sundry papers of varying levels of importance.

Step 6: Leave and ignore for a good 1.5 weeks.

Step 7: Relocate to another stack in another room, but at least isolate it with other Important Papers That Require Action.

Step 8: Reach the day that you will have to call to see whether or not you have to report as a potential juror.

Step 9: Grab the paper to take it to work.

Step 10: During a break, decide to pull out the paper and re-check the instructions.

Step 11: Realize the paper's not in the pocket it was thought to be in.

Step 12: Shrug and realize that things often end up in a different pocket than you thought they were.

Step 13: Check another pocket.

Step 14: Check the last available pocket.

Step 15: Realize you must have been mistaken about which bag it was in. Check the other bag.

Step 16: Realize that you must have missed it and check all the pockets again.

Step 17: Repeat step 16.

Step 18: Get confused, because you were sure you put it with your stuff this morning since you knew you would have to call from work.

Step 19: Roll eyes and realize you must have left it on the couch by your purse, but luckily it's a short trip home and you have a break.

Step 20: Go home.

Step 21: Start to get a little nervous when you don't immediately see the paper.

Step 22: Look around the house, which is clean for once and should make for easy spotting of said paper, but it is no where to be seen.

Step 23: Look around the house again, including flipping through yesterday's mail 2-3 times.

Step 24: Console yourself that you clearly must have missed something in steps 11-17, and the paper must be at work somewhere.

Step 25: Don't believe self and have a moment of panic.  There is a number to call if you have any issues with the summons, but it is, of course, listed on the lost paper!  No number? Who're you going to call?!

Step 26: Since Ghostbusters probably aren't the people to call in this instance, do what any cradle Catholic would do when faced with a lost item that they need found posthaste, and send a shout out to St. Anthony.

Step 27: Because you're delusional, console yourself again that the paper must be at work, but decide that since you walked to work, realize that you're going to have to retrace your steps on the off chance that you dropped it and it might still be waiting for you on the ground somewhere (seems at least as likely as the "paper's in one of the thrice-searched pockets" scenario).

Step 28: Walk down your driveway.

Step 29: Hear thunder in the distance, but decide not to retreat to the car, because while finding the paper while walking seems unlikely, finding it while driving is even less likely.

Step 30: Walk quickly and scan roads/sidewalks for trash.

Step 31: Realize that if anyone needs probationary work cleaning up roadsides, there is plenty to keep them busy for a very looonngg sentence, but no sign of the paper.

Step 32: Within a couple hundred yards of workplace, realize your wild goose chase is not working out so well, and try to convince yourself that you just missed it in the cupboard at work.

Step 33: Still concerned that it was not at work (based on evidence from the initial repetitious search), send up a panicked, "St. Anth-"

Step 34: Get interrupted in the petition (for intercession, people! Only God answers the actual prayer) by spotting a small rectangle of white.

Step 35: Pick up the paper from the curb where it was safely waiting right where you left it, with only a few tire marks on it.

Step 36: Be thankful for many things, despite the fact you feel like a moron: 1) because God and St. Anthony had your back and will help you find a piece of paper on a curbside (even if they are not always so obliging on helping you find some of the little things like a husband...) and 2) because there's finally something to blog about!