Friday, May 30, 2014

7 Quick Takes

1) I figured that it had been a few weeks since I had joined up with 7 QT's, and maybe that would be another good way to get back in the blogging groove. Six weeks. It's been six weeks since my last QT's.  I have been way out of my normal blogging habits!

2) Fun fact: Did you know that only 48% of Verizon customers have a smart phone? I really thought I would be one of the last people to get one (besides my mom, but that's a whole 'nother thing).  Turns out that I am now ahead of the curve since I got a smart phone yesterday.  Who would have thought?

3) I had to go get a phone because my other one decided that it really didn't want to work hardly at all. I couldn't access my contact list, I could only check texts a certain way, I could only call if someone was on my recent call list. It was time for a new phone, and I really can get enough use out of a smart phone to finally cave for the data charges.

4) Speaking of accessing my contact list... You know how every so often someone will post on fb about how they lost their contacts? I'm always thinking "poor schmuck". Now I may have to be the schmuck to make that announcement on fb (I'm trying to avoid it). I was able to get some of my numbers back if I had made calls to the person recently or if I had the number in an email. But, yeah. If you have my number and would care to send me a text with your name so I can re-save it, I would appreciate it!

5) Oh, one other thing. Now that I finally have a smart phone, can someone tell me any good apps for charting? I still want to track some things with that, but I've gotten lazy about it. The whole charts and sticker thing just doesn't work for me on several levels.

6) My schedule has been wonky all month.  Many, many good things, but one of the things that has been missing is having a really relaxing Sunday.  If you need me, I will be one with my couch and probably constantly attached to something electronic.  I'm not too proud to admit it. Except while I'm taking a nap.  I feel like a nap needs to happen.

7) It's Friday! Have a wonderful weekend and head over to Jen's for more Quick Takes!
A little mountain town

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Do you ever get to the point where you don't post or you rarely post because you get out of the routine, and then you don't know what to say or how to say it? I'm there. Admittedly, it's been a couple of crazy busy (but great!) weeks and that has a lot to do with it as well. I find when I get in this situation where I might have things to say, but I don't really know because it's like I've forgotten how to blog, I just have to throw out some random crap stuff and then I can get going again. (Isn't that all that my blogging is, anyway?) Enough staring at the blank screen trying to think of something good or important to say. Just say anything.

I don't have to blog, of course, but I have been missing it.  So here I am.

My brain is really, really fried right now.  Seriously. I need my downtime, and I have had very little in the last couple of weeks. I wouldn't trade any of the stuff that has been using my downtime, but I am glad that I said no to an opportunity to be busy this Sunday.  I need my Sunday off!  Maybe by then I'll be able to come up with a real blog post.

How about some of the very few photos I managed to take a couple of weeks ago?

Hey! They posted! The moral of this story is that West Virginia is very beautiful. And I should go to bed. I do not promise a better post next time, but I'd say your chances are good.  I have little room to move except up! :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Triple W in WV

Okay, I'm still in a bit of a fog.  It's not just because we neglected to really sleep this weekend, but that is certainly part of it.  It's also because I came home to a ridiculously crazy week, which would be why I'm just getting around to posting a little something here.

Guess how the Waiting Well Weekend started for me?  With a flight delay, of course! Seriously, what else would you expect? Actually, both of my flights were slightly delayed flying in. I think next time (because there definitely has to be a next time; it was awesome) we need to specify to God that we are getting together because we are already waiting and we want to hang out with people that get what it's like when life seriously doesn't go according to plan and not because we think we need more practice with waiting and plans gone awry. ;)

The only plan that really mattered was being able to spend time together, and we got to accomplish that in spades. I flew in Thursday and got to stay with Rebecca and meet the Man.  I also got a tour of where he works.  We got to talk a little bit about nerdy muscle stuff, but we could've talked more. From what I can see, if he was a whole lot of miles closer, I would be referring some patients his way! As for Rebecca and I, we noted that it really wasn't like meeting each other, because we've known each other for a long time, even though we haven't been able to spend time together in person before this weekend.  Also, after getting to run through part of the WVU campus, I can tell you that it really is beautiful, not just for those (Rebecca) that might be a little to a lot biased towards it!  I would show you pictures, but we were running and I didn't have the camera to take pictures. (By running, I mean jogging very slowly while we chatted).

Then we got to head up to Wheeling to daily Mass where we met up with Donna, and later at the house with Stephanie and Lora. In a way, nothing went as planned due to the weather misbehaving and a couple of other little things.  On the other hand, it when exactly as planned in that we had a fantastic time together, ate great food (even managed to convince Donna that GF eating is not the end of the world), drank wine and stayed up WAY too late because the days together were too short and there was too much talking going on to end up in bed any sooner.

I have more to say if I can find free time later, but for now, here are some of the few photos that I got.

Nope, take that back. Blogger's being goofy and won't let me post them. Maybe later. I'm going to bed!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Story

As I may have mentioned once... or twice... the last month has not been the most fun.  May really is doing better, but there have definitely been some feelings left over from April.  Starting off May with Mother's Day is not my favorite. Last year the Mass I went to didn't do the blessing of the mothers.  I was both relieved, and not.  I think mothers are awesome and deserve recognition, but I hate that it's so complicated for so many.  Still I don't want the mothers to get shorted their blessing because I have issues.  Can we just have a Mass somewhere for all those who would like to skip that part this Sunday?

Anyway, in the midst of revisiting all the feelings that I have about not having a husband or children to share my life with, I keep reminding myself that I can't live in what could have been, what my plan was that didn't work out, what I wish were the case, or what I might have done differently to lead to a different outcome.  I can only live in what is. That is my story.  The could've's, should've's, and would've's were The Plan, and my plan has fallen apart completely.  There is no plan left.  There is no knowing whether some of those elements will someday be a part of my story or not.  They are not right now at this moment, that is all I know.

I can tell you that I held on to The Plan for too long.  There was not room for pain and brokenness in The Plan.  When those came up, I rejected them, and unfortunately that left me with bitterness and emptiness as The Plan disintegrated. It also led to jealousy as I looked to others and could see in their lives the elements of the Plan that I have desired for so long.  Not to mention what it did to my relationship with God.  If my Plan wasn't good enough, then He was supposed to have a plan.  Only, He seemed to have forgotten me, or not loved me enough, or something.

So, The Plan is dead.  The story simply is what is.  It is this moment. It is the good and the bad.  It is the opportunities that present themselves today.  It turns out, that while the pain really sucks, embracing the pain as a part of this life and this moment is not all bad.  As a bonus, it doesn't leave much room for the bitterness.  I hate to tell you that the emptiness can still be a butt kicker. I don't embrace pain because pain is good.  But I embrace it because it can bring good things.  I have been broken by the pain.  There has been more breaking in the last month or so.  But I see things coming out of that that I never expected.  When you work out, you are not only okay with muscle soreness, you embrace it, because you know you are getting stronger.  Do you know how that process works? When you stress a muscle beyond what it can currently handle, little fibers of the muscles actually tear.  When it repairs, it builds back stronger than before! (Also, part of the reason why it is so important to have rest days as part of a healthy work out program, so your muscles have a chance to build back up!)

But, because the focus is more on what is, than on what isn't, living the story also gives me a chance to appreciate and delight in the good things that are in my life. There is a lot of that to focus on this month, and I am enjoying it.

I am starting to see more clearly that this pain, this suffering, the emptiness, all of it are not in my life because they are good things.  They're not.  But they can become something good, because the story is not determined by the one that brought sin into the world.  It is determined by the One that took what is and redeemed it.

At daily Mass today, we were singing "At the Lamb's High Feast".  There was one line that really got me: "When the paschal blood is poured, Death's dark angel sheathes his sword." I've always associated that with bodily death, and that is likely what it was referring to the most.  But whoever you are and whatever your pain is, it likely feels like death sometimes.  I know that's how it feels to me.  I can say things like "live the heck out of your story" but that doesn't mean I don't feel like throwing in the towel.  Today I was thinking how any of our pain and suffering, joined with His, has the potential to become life.  His blood poured out on all of our pain makes it something new.

Let me tell you, in the last couple of weeks, Papa (JPII) and I have been praying for some awesome blessings to be poured out.  You know, the kind of blessings that aren't in disguise.  I hope to join you all in some awesome stories of joy and praise.  But please know that I am also praying for you in the pain, because I know that there are a lot of people dealing with a lot of pain right now. 

I'm going to throw this in again.  Because I love it, and because I choose it as a part of my story for this month of May.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Little Happies ~8~

Joining up with Stephanie for another week! I would love to say I have more substantive posts coming, but even though I would love to write, I can't think of anything to say right now (plus there's this ridiculous time issue- or lack thereof).  This link up is quickly becoming a favorite of mine, though, because I find it all too easy to focus on things that annoy me, or things that are worrying me, or so forth.  I love that this one makes me focus on the good things and often gets me to stay focused on that past writing the post.

1) My class this weekend was so great! It's really, really hard to sit in a chair that long. (Seriously, how do people work at desks all day? I hurt more after 7 hours in a chair than I do after a long hike!) But this one was worth it.  I find as the weekend's over, I'm not regretting my days off spent at a class.  I have new ideas and will hopefully be able to do a much better job at what I do. It's one of those classes that makes me excited to go do my job. I hope I still feel that way after a jam packed day, but being excited about work on a Monday is a good thing! :)

2) I often feel sort of decrepit due to little nagging things here and there, but I'm feeling great today.  I love where classes not only give me new ideas for patients, but make me feel better, too!  Ooh, that reminds me, I still want to write some more stuff about the chronic pain stuff.  Someone please remind me, okay? I keep forgetting!

3) I am hoping that I might get to climb a peak this weekend.  There are never any guarantees when you're dealing with crazy Spring weather and whatnot, but the anticipation is still fun!

4) I got to have a lovely talk with my youngest sister today.  She's so much younger that we don't always talk the way I do with some of my other siblings. But today we did, and I love how we are still on the same page with certain things, even though we are so far apart on age.  She gave me a very interesting idea... One that I am not certain that I am willing to share on the internets, but if it works well enough, I'm not sure if I'll be able to resist. Sorry about the teaser without resolution here, but at let's go with the fact that we had a great talk!

5) I led a climb the other day! It was a super simple one, and the clipping stances were almost cheating, but it felt pretty good to be on lead. Then I climbed a second climb that was a little tougher, but felt really good (definitely didn't lead it).  I also got to clean the anchor and rappel that day, so I'm feeling a lot more like an actual climber again!  I'm sorry, I know that doesn't make much sense if you don't know climbing, but let me put it this way. I have felt like a shaky, brand-new beginner all spring, and not sure if I really deserved to be called a climber.  It's finally starting to come back.

6) These are from the other week, but the mountains are always on my happy list!

An old resort that is being restored as a historical site.
7) Finding new settings on my camera! As someone that knows nothing about photography, I found this brand new thing, "slow flash".  Now, those of you that know a little about photography are wondering how I could be so ignorant, but I'm not always the brightest bulb, either.  ANYway, I loved that it would give me a little more light without taking away all the shadows that make things great sometimes.  I think all that I have is a stairway to really showcase it (the stairs from the above building). I was trying to get a photo of some of the lines I really liked, but it was either a dark shadow of a staircase (not shown), or this:

Dirty stairs. How fascinating. Why exactly would you take a photo? Besides that you have a digital camera and too much time on your hands?
Until I found out that I could do this:

Clearly, you could still argue that this is still the work of someone with too much time and too much memory on their card, but I like that the colors are better and the way the shadows show the various lines more. Yay, slow flash! Sometimes it's not about the actual photo, but the fact that you learn something from it. Don't worry, you don't have to be as excited about it as I am! :)
Well, it's time for me to move toward bed. I'm going to go ahead a publish this early, so the official linking up will happen when I get a few minutes, but those have been a little sadly rare of late. Maybe things will slow down a touch soon?  I guess I won't hold my breath.  I know my schedule for the next few weeks!