#KissMeInTheRain

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I have this thing I dream about.   I know it’s crazy but I often day dream about a guy I’m interested in at whatever that time in my life when it’s raining.  The man will show up on my door step when it’s raining.  I’m just ecstatic to be surprised by him.  He walks me down my steps so  we are standing in the rain.  I feel the cool raindrops hit the warm skin of my shoulders and face. He then puts his hand on the small of my back and pulls me into him, we are standing chest to chest.  I’m a shorter girl so I need to look up at him and he gazes down to me.  I can feel the heat of him and sell his  Giorgio Armani   Cologne. His hand starts to move slowly up my back until I feel his hand at the nape of my neck and his fingers gently moving in my hair.  I feel a slight tug as he pulls my hair, lifting my chin up.  My head is  now  tilted upward to look at him perfectly.  He then leans down and kisses me gently at first; followed by a bit more aggressive of a kiss.  All while we stand in the calming rain. He never expects more from me.  He’s just happy to know that I’m happy to see him.  Some times we chat other times we just enjoy the quiet of the moment we are in.  It’s a fun day dream because in my dream it’s unexpected, innocent, well until that kiss is brought inside, wink.

I have repeated this day dream in my  mind every time it rains or looks like it’s going to rain for almost 6 years now. I’d put it out to the world secretly, with a hashtag post of #KissMeInTheRain on Facebook or on Instagram. My way of saying I’m open to receive this if your willing to give it world.

I  realized I don’t use that hash tag anymore when it’s raining and I don’t day dream about it as much.   It was kind of heart breaking to me today when I realized this.

Am I losing that romantic part of me?  Am I losing hope that romance isn’t the same theses days?  Do I feel like I don’t deserve that kind of love anymore?

Is it weird for a 36 year old woman today to dream of such things. I’m dreaming just as a small child might dream of becoming a princess when she grows up?

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Am I just older and wiser now; maybe jaded by the past?  I don’t want to be a grown up if it means I’m losing these ridiculous day dreams that make me smile.

I know I don’t want the one night stands without, at the very least, intense passion.  I don’t want the predictable “Hi babe, I’m home kiss on the cheek every night with no surprise or real feelings behind it.  I want to be the hopeless romantic.

The other day I was chatting with and ex boyfriend catching up on life. Wait! before we go further I should disclose that I’m still close to all my ex boyfriends but we are nothing more then friends .  Anyways, he made the comment that “I might have a problem marrying people.”and I jokingly said back “I don’t believe you have a marrying problem.  You never married me HAHAHAHA.”  He responded saying “probably should have, At least you understand me better than the others.”  Is he really telling the truth to me? I am understanding this male correct?

His comment kind of caught me off guard at first.  I don’t feel like I understand males much any more even though this isn’t the first time I have heard something like this before from a ex boyfriend; the whole  “I get them really well.”

At a time when I feel like I am finding it harder to connect personally with a men then I have ever had before in my entire life; yet  I also feel like I’m understanding their thinking more then I ever had.  Is can both be possible at the same time?  Does this make sense?    Friend wise, boyfriend wise, even do I dare say friends with benefits too.  All of them, I feel as if  I can’t connect with them like I want to.  I just want them to understand that I want them to take my  time a bit.  Date me see if it goes anywhere or see if it doesn’t.  Can we just hang out and have fun talk like friends sharing a beer?   Can we try the sex thing more then once.  You know to make sure the awkward first time with each other was “just awkward’ that first time and the second time is going to be even more fun and relaxed.  Will they just believe me when I say “Wow you body is amazing?”

As I sit on my porch and smell the clean invigorating smell of rain that I love so much.  As I feel the lightest bit of a breeze blow over my skin and I stare out at what looks like might be rain clouds heading my direction and I’m hoping maybe I can sort some of this confusion out in my head. Maybe not.   Hell, if I could  sort this out I might be able to figure out the other crazy questions like how to cure cancer or how the hell am I always sticky now that I have a kid?  Nah, those day dreams are for another day .   Maybe I can force myself to will my favorite day dream back in my mind to enjoy just one more time.

What’s you favorite day dream?  Do you consider yourself a hopeless romantic?  As always thank you for reading my minds thoughts.   Continue reading

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Posted in Dating, Self Reflection, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Dragon Lights Reno

6BBD4814-029A-4C6B-AA69-0C86F7874B33I’m just going to start off by saying just go https://dragonlightsreno.com/  buy your tickets now before this event is over and gone.  This event will be running from June 30th to August 5th, 2018 at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park located in the area of Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Botanical Garden.  This light sculpture exhibition is a blast to go view with children.  There are discounts for students and well as for seniors.  Children tickets are $12 and adults are $17 or you can purchase a family 4 pack for $45.  My daughter and I spent 3 hours in the park the night we went and felt like the money was well spent.   There were about 40 different Chinese Light sculptures.  I think we still missed some on our self guided tour as I saw photos later of some I hadn’t seen.  There where so many routes to follow.  The Chinese artisans are from Zigong, Sichuan which is China’s cultural capital for the ancient art of lantern-making according to the Dragon Lights website.

CEAB6B59-3E6D-4C10-8FF9-8B31B764F0E0My daughter and I purchased tickets for the 8P.M. entrance time as everyone said that this was the best time to go. I think a 9 P.M. time would be even better if you want it to be dark out when you view them.   To be honest though the light sculptures were also fun to see in the daylight too.   My daughter and I planned our attack to walk though and look at them all first in the day light then we ran and snagged  some front row seats for the dance and circus presentation.

E4134219-A8A5-457E-AEB4-C0CDF4073871This is a popular event and there can be bit of a crowd.   I found that by lingering back a little bit and letting the mass of people go ahead of my daughter and I the crowd thinned out a lot for us.  We lingered about 5 minutes.  There is a food truck in the park as well, which is surrounded by picnic tables were you can grab food and sit to enjoy  lunch or dinner.   Don’t forget to bring a few dollars for this.  The food truck could serve as a nice little break to sit and enjoy the lights that are around you too while the crowd from the show moves on.  As you can tell I was able to get some great pictures even though the park was filled; don’t be discouraged when you hear that is a full park.  Everyone is constantly moving.

3372D8D5-D41F-4543-B803-D8A55B78FA24My daughter loved each sculpture so much so that she was requesting a picture next to every light sculpture we passed.   When we turned a corner I could her often let out a “Wow!” in wonder or “Look at that one mom!” in pure excitement.  That was rewarding enough as a parent but we were also outside walking around a park and not sitting in front of a TV, Added bonus.

During the show she was memorized by the act where the girls where juggling the Diablo.  I might end up buying her one for Christmas.  If I can get over my fear of it flying though one on my windows.

283C42FC-8DEA-4B3B-B1B3-F9A0092F727BA quick tip for a fun picture get there early be for the gates open and head straight towards the stage.  Just before you cross a bridge there is a little photo opt area where you can put on Chinese robes and take a picture for free.

I would suggest that you bring a water bottle, sun block, a light jacket if going in the evening, some spare cash for the food truck and good walking shoes all stored in a small back pack.

805D89CC-D8D0-404C-AB07-3503C83B318DIf you go to venture out to the Reno Dragon Lights please pop back in and tell me what your favorite light sculpture is.   Ours was the long red dragon.

 

Posted in Parenting, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SUICIDE

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This week I have woken up twice to news of two famous people that have committed suicide.  Today’s news of Anthony Bourdain hit me hard.  I follow him on Instagram, and appreciated his views and his often blunt honestly.  I felt like I understood and  connected with his public appearance of who he was.   Watching his IG stories, his music choices and perspective always felt perfect with my moods.

I can’t tell you where I stand on suicide.  I know what it feels like to be a child left behind by a biological parent that killed himself.  I also  know what it feels like to be in the mind set of actually attempting to kill myself.  I also know how I feel about assisted suicide with terminal illness.

I know no one’s life is easy yet as I sit here wiping away tears I can’t explain, I wonder really what are my chances?   If the rich and famous can’t beat the need to commit suicide where thy have more ability to resources and doctors then I  how am I going to do it?

I can tell you that being someone who has attempted; personally seeing postings of the suicide hotline number on Facebook does not help me or make me want to call.  I’ve had that number close by my side for years.  I actually have it as a contact in my cell phone even.  I have never called in to the hotline.  I’ve had many times most might think it would be the time to call.  I as a person don’t actually want to die; so I’ve tried to find help in the past but  I don’t want to talk to a stranger that I called some hotline to get.   I want the people that I care about around me. I want to feel seen as a person at that time, reminded that I have value to those I care about.  I know I’m not an academy award winning actress is my paint really not able to be seen by the people that often see me every day?  For me id say its the pain and burden I feel that pressure me the most to jump off the parking garage or take all my meds in one giant swallow.   I don’t feel the words from a stranger telling me the future is worth it will change my mind.  I want to know, that know no matter who I am  that day clinically depressed, happy, sad, upset, negative or bitchy  people won’t think I’m not worth their time or that my voice doesn’t count.  That I’m not a disappointment to them. That I don’t make their life worse.  Now please don’t take my view as the suicide hotline number as terrible, I’m not saying that.  The phone number is a great resource to many people and has saved lives.   It’s a good tool to have in the tool box.  Like I said it’s in my phone.   I’m just saying id be more willing to call it if I had a friend holding my hand while I  dialed the number.  Knowing that after I would talk with the wonderful volunteer that would answer my call, I would have a friend by my side when I hung up the phone.  I just can’t see the point of calling a stranger who is going to tell me I’m not alone and it will get better when in fact I am alone or lost and knowing that when I hang up the phone that person won’t be there anymore.  That to me would feel like another slap in the face.

I’m about to be discharged from my “Keeper”  my phycologist that I have been seeing for over nine years, and most of those nine years were weekly visits.   I have faced miscarriage, death, abuse, divorce, home robbery, job lose, friendships lost along the way.   Most people experience this, even far worst things then I have and don’t have the urge to kill themselves. So why do I have such a strong urge to do it?  Why do I feel like a burden to everyone or annoying to people.  Out of place.  So alone.    I love life.   I try to live it to the fullest.   Maybe it’s I  have a strong personality. I feel that  my brutal honestly of how I feel is often misunderstood as negativity thus people push me away.

Look at the most recent people that have committed suicide. They are seen as strong, successful, creative, loud life loving people.   The lost life’s were not weak.  They were not selfish.   I don’t see suicide as being selfish.  We are literally in most cases taking our own life not to trouble our family friends anymore.  I often feel people would have a better life if I wasn’t around, that my presence annoys them.  When I text someone just to see how there day is going and I don’t get a response I feel that I bother them or they can’t stand me and that’s why they don’t respond.  Deep down it feels true but mentally I know it most likely isn’t true.  I wonder if  that in the end they were just feeling alone, a burden or judged when they opened up and allowed someone to see them in all their honestly. Something I feel this way often and it is very heavy at times.  Look at me for an example I may voice my worries my concerns loudly and not hindered because I am honest with how I feel.  I may expect the worst but  I love when things end up being well off even if that’s not what I think or expect to happen.  I prepare for the worst as that’s what my life experiences  have taught me. What I have learned from other people though is to stop sharing my thoughts or only answer yes no answers.  When I think negative or voice a negative concern   that doesn’t mean I don’t hope quietly for the best.  I share the negative because I don’t want myself or friends to get blindsided or hurt.  I share negative because honestly that might be what I’m really feeling. I don’t want friends to feel or have to go though the same issues I have.  Trust me I don’t want people to feel pain.  I feel it daily at times and its horrible.   I just want them to be prepared for the worst and pleasantly happy when It doesn’t happen.

Sadly I’ve learned that there are very few people that can handle my personality.  They toss me aside if they don’t like what I say. Is it fair to say that a lot of people are selfish now days. I include myself in this comment.  It’s so easy for a person to say you’re to negative and walk away from a person thinking of only  their own feelings of what they want. The leave the people that care about them behind or look though them and run to those that tell them what they want to hear.  Instead of saying ok that’s your opinion, fair enough, this is mine we just don’t agree and still be friends.

We as people never look at how we  ourselves treat people in general anymore.  There is a way to treat a person like a real life human with feelings. You can even do this if you hate them or can no longer healthy to have a relationship without creating more negativity in the world. How give them a genuine  hello when you see them can’t say hello at least smile.  I  believe that it is here in common human courtesy  is were we are lacking as a group.   I feel that it’s this lack of compassion for others that is leading to higher suicide rate.  We are too caught up in a society that thinks if it doesn’t make “ME” happy I don’t need to worry about it or we stick it under the category of I’m taking care of me so it’s ok and its what I should be doing.  We feel that if we don’t like someone we  can treat them with disrespect because I don’t care what they think about me. It’s this I’m doing what’s best for me misunderstanding that is shutting us and people out.   We are two quick to judge people online about the things they share, to quick to call someone negative without looking at how are own behavior effects others.  While its great practice to put yourself first, be happy doing things to stay mentally healthy, even if it means cutting someone toxic out of your life.  I support all of that but we have to also ask is it an ok practice to hurt or disrespect people in the process of taking care of us?  Is it ok to ignore the real fact that everyone good or bad in your eyes also have feelings and your actions causes and effect of either good or bad?

I have started a thing at my home called porch time.   I post on Facebook that my porch is open meaning feel free to stop by chat and hang out.  It’s a strategy I’ve created and am working on for after my discharge from therapy. During porch time I have time to self reflect or have time to share conversations and friendship with anyone that wants to stop by.  It’s just meant to be time shared with anyone with no expectations or rules.   I’ve had a lot of porch time alone too, to reflect and I have also had some amazing company on my porch where I have had chance to hear other peoples fears, happiness and thoughts.

During my most recent porch time I reflected on a friend who recently told me I’m to negative to talk to, share with. Common theme lately in reasons people say they stop hanging out with me.  For the record the only ones that had said that their lives where in the mist of crisis.   That was  a pretty big stab to hear said about you from anyone even if your a normal functioning human with little to no depression.   Now I ask you to take a moment and think about you as if you are a person that fights daily to not take your own life.  You are working hard to show up daily, you open yourself up to people the best you can still though it all, Then a person you care about says you’re to negative. How would you feel? Remember you are suicidal and this person might not know what goes on in your head maybe they do.  That comment could be fatal or almost fatal. Maybe this is a person who you have tried to be there for in some of her on hard times. My friend said this to me.  a friend I had open my house to, allowed myself to be in situations that trigger my PTSD for a week (I take responsibility for this as it was my choice) so she wouldn’t be alone in some hard situations.  This person stopping sharing in our  friendship because she said I was to negative. Cut me out stopped taking to me and even called me a name.  I’ve known this person for years I can easily say there hasn’t been one week where she has not complained about a coworker, her husband, how stupid people to me.  She has pushed negativity and drama every week claiming its everyone else fault.  I stayed there as her  friend stuck up for.  The lean on me friend we all like to be.  I stayed present and listened because I understood it.  Life is hard.  It’s a pendulum of events of extreme ups and downs.  In honesty she is actually one of the most negative energy carrying  people I have ever met.  She is just the kind of person that I believe maybe needs friendship the most.     I know I’m negative it’s something I work on.  It’s a part of the depression that I fight daily.  That I look at head on and fight and work on each day.   That day when she came to me to talk because I had not been talking to her.  A direct effect of her own actions of over a month I choose to be just a coworker that day and no longer a friend. It was hard and yes I’m going to carry a bit of sadness over that choice.  I had tried to say multiples time that I was done talking about  it but she kept pushing.  It was frustrating for me  as I could tell that she had little to none awareness of her own actions and behaviors.  I tried my best not to hurt her feelings. Maybe I did maybe I didn’t.  I just personally at that time and after a month of feeling the effects of her own choices and behaviors I  just felt that she would be better off with out me in her life especially since she took the steps to stop talking to me and that she felt she couldn’t share anything personal with me.  If a person feels like they can’t trust to share things about their life can you call them a friend?  The person deep in me immediately took what she said, heard her words and understood it as I was a burden to her, she no longer trust to share in our friendship. That’s not a person I want to be to someone.  The fact she couldn’t tell me straight up to my face validated my nonsense fear that I’m not worth much to people.  She just pulled away. It wasn’t till I had accepted her behavior and stopped adding by not  investing as much effort was when it suddenly mattered to her. Why?  Is it because when you finally realize your not needed or wanted it stings? You feel the pain now. How would this affect someone that is on the edge of choice life or death?

Now on my porch during my porch time I tried to figure out is there a way to take care of me and delicately balance a friendship like this or do I chose to take disrespect to “be there for someone” I know is going though a lot.   I caught myself thinking “damn we as humans have so much on our plates now days, so much stress and needs that it feels hard to just be caring to another person.”  Knowing the person I’m sure she will just chose to ignore me on thinking that I’m in the wrong.  I’ll fight my internal talk that I’m a horrible person but feel like I’m mentally adding another check mark or two to the tally of me wanting to give up on this life and ever feeling understood.  After this session I came started looking from something to help me negotiate my thoughts, actions and feelings and I came across this quote.

“Everyone of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves.” — Princess Diana

That’s an amazing quote by Princess Diana.  If only there were instructions on how to do just that.  I do better with instructions.   If we want to stop losing amazing people to suicide we need to start living lives that show everyone that we care about them without losing the goal of taking care of ourselves as well. Princess Diana was my role model from a very young age.  She always seemed strong and beautiful to me.  I would sometimes imagine that she was my mother.  I checked out her biography from the library all the time and would flip though its pages.  It’s been long rumored that she herself attempted suicide.  She was so strong to me and seemed to love life, was giving and loved people.

“I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.” -Robin Williams

How many times have you sat in a room full or friends and family yet you felt so very alone and misunderstood?  Is it happening more and more now?  Are people more interested in what’s on their phone then who is right there with time in the moment?

“I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy.” -Robin Williams

The second quote here from Robin Williams.  It’s kind of powerful don’t you think?  How many people did he make happy with his jokes, movies, and giving?

“I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.” -Anthony Bourdain

Does this quote here not sound like someone that loved living, appreciated everything out there to experience?

As I close I ask.  Take a moment think of how you treat people you come in contact with. All people, family, strangers, former friends.   How do you think of them before during and after they are not around you.  Find a positive and try to share that with them the next time you see them.

If you are  questioning suicide I know you must be in an obscene amount of pain.  I’m sure your feelings are valid, your pain is real.   You are real too. Someone sees you even if you don’t see them seeing you yet.  You mean more then you may ever know to that someone.  You might not have even met that person yet that you will mean so much too. You do bring a positive to the world without evening trying. You are good even if you make mistakes or even if another person can’t see it.  Your a positive just by being here, just by breathing.  I think that’s hard for us to see though are thick fog of depression. The fog makes that magic that’s hidden in us are to feel, see, or find. .   I can’t say what will happen in your future,  I can’t promise you would enjoy it either but I also can’t say you won’t.  Ponder that, you might very well enjoy your future.  This is strictly my opinion/suggestion and you can do with it as you want. Hear me out for just a minute longer.  Let me suggest that you make it a goal to wake up tomorrow and accept that you are you.  There is not one other person that is like you and their is no one that can replace you.   Now why not let yourself see what you can bring to you and only you tomorrow.   You are unique and it would be sad to not experience all that you are meant to don’t you think.  If  your reading that and you think bullshit that’s ok to.  Try calling a friend or if you hate your friends right now call the suicide hotline number and tell them why you hate your family or friends or people.  It’s ok to have feelings.  It’s ok.  It’s ok. It’s ok ! Accept that feeling and now breath.  Now that you acknowledged it move on to the next hour.  Hate that idea too?  Feel free to comment below what you want to tell everyone but don’t know how.   I’ll read it and then read it again.   I would love to read your thoughts and words. Here is a safe place to share.

I’m not a doctor.  These are just my thoughts coming out of my head.   I personally have found support by having a great counselor that I trust to vomit my enteral dark secrets and concerns too.  That’s what helps me.  I have also taken medication to get though hard patches.  I have admitted myself to a hospital for help when I was weak and unable to stay strong for myself to take care of me. I love life even when I’m feeling alone, ugly, fat, misunderstood, a failure and disgusted with humans.   I love life when I’m pissed and angry, when I want someone to hurt as much as I do.   I am a person, I am seen and I try my hardest to wake up the next day and see what I was meant to experience.  I just more then anything want to feel valued as a person or the very least seen.

As always thanks for reading my blog.

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

 

 

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Will my daughter come home from school?

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Will my daughter come home from school today?  Is that a fair question to ask myself in this moment of our lives?  Is it ridiculous that this is even a question that sometimes crosses my mind?

When I became a parent one of my panic thoughts was “How am I going to keep this baby safe?”   I had fears of dropping her, her head falling off and rolling away, is she going to choke on that?   To be honest though, other than how am I going to help my child do her homework when I have such a hard time with the whole “book smarts” thing was the only fear I had about my daughter and school.

Did you know that there are active assailant classes?  I have taken a active assailant incidents class myself  though my work. It’s kind of crazy how much we hear of events that would be useful to have this type of training.  My job is in a hospital and a few years ago we had active shooter situation at another hospital in my city. It seems like daily we hear mention  of another horrible school shooting or some other mass shooting of some sort. I personally can remember not that long ago we had a shooting here at a middle school.   The Las Vegas Route 91 shooting in October was too close to home.  I had several friends at that concert. When the option came up to take an active assailant incidents class, I  felt like it was a smart thing to do.  I work at a hospital, I sometimes volunteer at the school my child attends, I shop at malls, go to clubs and watch movies at the movie theater.   I figured now days it’s better to be over prepared for anything that could happen then not be prepared at all.  It was also free for me to take the class so really there was no reason not to.  Every day people like you and I can also take a similar class more directed towards us and not a healthcare worker.  Here in Reno, REMSA offers a Bleeding Control for the injured (b-Con).  This class educates community members on how to perform immediate and basic life saving interventions prior to receiving definitive medical care.  Think tourniquet application and wound packing.

At this class I was taught how to triage  victims quickly. How the recuse process works in these situations and what would be the best measures to take to keep myself and others alive.  To be honest I used to think that this kind of  terrible event would never happen to me or any member of my family.  That changed when my aunt actually works at that hospital where the shooting had happened a few years ago and that not to many years ago my then current husband pulled out a rifle  and threatened me with it. I’m now in the mind set of “whelp I’m no different then any body else and it’s not going to hurt me to know this stuff and it can be possible that my daughter or I could be involved in one of these scary situations. They can happen anywhere.

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Now I don’t live in constant fear daily and I’m not saying I expect a shooting to happen but I am the kind of person that plans for the worst and is happily surprised when the worst doesn’t happen.   I look at it like this, I know some great useful information now and I might as well share it to by taking a few minutes to educate my daughter on how to apply pressure to a bleeding “ouchie” and how to do a tourniquet.  I didn’t do this in a scary way; we played doctor one day.  She watches Grey’s Anatomy with me sometimes so this was more like playing out scenarios from the show.  I vaguely mentioned you could do this to help your friends too if they were hurt really bad and bleeding. By the way if your thinking, oh my god she lets her daughter watch Greys!  Yes, yes I do, sometimes.  I actually got her name from the show but back to what I was talking about.    While sneaking in the tips on  how to twist a tourniquet and how you need to be dead silent and listen to your teacher; my daughter wasn’t to surprised or shocked by the topic because her school has had active shooter drills.  I’m not sure what they call it at school.  Most likely something like code yellow drill.  For three years she has had them, its almost as normal of a drill to her as a fire drill!

Not to long ago  my cell phone rang, my email dinged, work phone rang, and a text came though simultaneously  from my daughter’s school. It was about 1:30 in the afternoon.   Immediately I panicked a little bit because this has never happened before.  The message expressed that there was an a precautionary code yellow lockdown at the school.  This happen when the children were at recess and all children were accounted for and further information about pick ups would follow.  I felt relieved to have an idea of what, when and where in an extremely timely manner and that the kids were accounted for.  I was even notified by the school’s principle by a message, recorded in her own voice, before my local news station’s breaking news text came though to me. That was appreciated by me. Not to long following the first call  all my phones were again ringing simultaneously telling me that the school code was called off and that school pick up will be as it normally is. Thank goodness.

211F30A2-D673-400F-8F83-398B18610B96Photo screen shot from RGJ.COM

As I drove to my daughter’s school to pick her up I saw about 8 different police cars with lights flashing down the street from the school and news reporters  scattered around the area as well .  I knew my child was safe yet the sight of all the cops and news got my adrenaline flowing again. I can’t imagine what other parents feel at these schools where adults and children are hurt or killed. Even trying to picture it makes my stomach sick and heart ache.

My daughter began telling me  all about the excitement of the afternoon as soon as we walked out of the school and were in my car.  She told me how she was on the play ground and police officers started yelling at all of them on their recess to run inside! Get inside now! That her teacher was putting paper over the windows but couldn’t get one to stay and that they were all huddled in the corner of her classroom behind the teacher’s desk.  She kept saying how scared she was. She told me that some guy had a gun and that’s why they had to go inside. I’m not sure how she knew that fact.  She just said someone told her.   This was an eye opening and  gut wrenching feeling for me as a parent and this was for an event that did not happen on my child’s school campus but down the street from it.  I felt like no time would be better than that moment to remind her that the school did a really good job keeping her safe. I told her how good it was that all the students had great listening ears on.  I reassured her that the school called me too. That I knew she was safe and that no matter what if that happened again I would be following the rules I would be given and I’d be there waiting to pick her up where the school would tell me to go.  I also asked “Hey do you remember what to do if something bad happens to your friend or teacher?”  She did!  She told me she would stay quiet till she knew it was safe. That she could use a shirt and hold it on the ouchie or she could tie something really tight higher then the gun shot on legs.  She also said she would listen for the police to come and get her. I was happy with that.  She was still pretty much amped up with the events and could recall a lot of what to do.

7D4E5A1E-AC84-4076-A20B-7161B30F6760Shortly after this event,  our school district sent out an invite to listen to a guest speaker Scarlett Lewis who started the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation.  She is the mother of Jesse Lewis the 6 year old boy that yelled “run!” to his classmates at Sandy Hook just before he was murdered. I decided who better to get some perspective from then a mother who is living though what might be for some of us our worst nightmare. I made plans to attend the talk held at a local high school.

90A1048F-39F6-4EB8-9461-C630F7769888When I first saw Scarlett step on the stage she had such a positive energy about her.  I can be a crying mess when I talk about my miscarriage and here is a women about to speak to strangers  about the murder of her child and she was smiling.   She was exemplifying what she was about to speak on!  She had a powerful presence. She spoke on how she chooses love each day.  How she choose to forgive her son’s murder. She spoke on how she started her Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation with highly knowledgeable experts.  That the program was inspire by  a message left behind from her son Jesse. The following is straight from her website http://www.jesselewischooselobe.org

“The choose Love enrichment Program is a no cost Pre-K though 12th grade social and emotional learning  program that teaches educators and their students how to chose love in any circumstance and helps them become connected, resilient, and empowered individuals.  These skills, tools and attitudes have been proven though decades of scientific research to be the best way to ensure a healthy, meaningful and purpose-filled life,  that schools can teach to teachers and students.”

You can go online and take the course to learn how the Choose Love program works and how to implement it in your own home for free.  I found the website easy to navigate and found the information interesting and pretty easy to apply.   During the presentation Scarlett spoke about how our state, Nevada, was ahead of most when it came to social and emotional learning (SEL) in our schools and that she has been here several times. I really appreciated hearing that as a parent.  I believe that there is so much to learning and to learn about other then just passing a test.

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Scarlett also spoke about Post Traumatic Growth (PTG). Look that up now.  You haven’t heard of it before have you?  Neither had I, yet we all have heard of PTSD.   Post Traumatic Growth suggest that a person who suffers a traumatic event could actually benefit form that event by becoming stronger.  That the person could benefit from the tragedy.  This was a very interesting topic for me considering some of the events I have faced in my life.

After hearing her speak about her life now and how she has dedicated  herself to spreading Jesse’s message I wanted just a little more information, more back story.   The concept seemed to easy to not look into it more considering how much school violence is happening now days.  I was very interested.   Thankfully, as luck would have it, I ran in to a friend that was there also attending the talk and she mentioned she had the book that Scarlett had written called Nurturing Healing Love, a Mother’s Journey of Hope and Forgiveness.  The next day she delivered it to my mailbox and I immediately dived in.  I read the book at home and at lunch.  I listened to the YouTube videos from the Choose Love program at work while I was working.  A bonus is the book is fast read.   While the book has some sad parts I would say most of the book talks about strength, Scarlett mentions  that it’s a love story in the end.

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Will this enrichment program stop school shooting by teaching children that they can make a choice on how they feel and how those feelings will affect there choices?  I don’t know.  I personally can’t find a fault in it to not try it out  and in my opinion it is something we should all be teaching our children anyway so why not give it a try.  Will by daughter come home from school every day to my arms? I hope so but I’m not always going to be in control to see that happens.   All I can do it to see that she has the best odds.  I can teach her to love people, be compassionate towards others, pay attention to drills, some quick life saving tips and if she has the chance to run, that she runs like she has never ran before.  If that chance doesn’t happen to stay hidden and quiet and wait for the police to get her to safety and then to my arms.

I don’t know exactly what will solve this mass shooting problem we are experiencing.  I find myself right smack dab in the middle leaning back and forth from side to side at times.   I don’t believe that taking away guns will necessary  solve the problem.  I feel if someone wants a gun bad enough they will get one.  I also don’t think people having guns will necessarily protect us.  Will having stricter guns laws help?  Maybe and maybe not.  Could stricter gun laws  buy us a little more time if it makes getting a gun a bit harder for those wishing to cause  harm.  I’d believe maybe.   For all my legal to carry friends they have no problem doing what they are requested and following the laws.  So how do we find a solution this problem facing our nation?  Can choosing love be the answer?

I’m curious, this question is for readers that are parents, what are your thoughts on the drills they have at school?  Do you openly have conversations with your child/children regarding school shooting or do you try to keep their innocence and shield them from these unfortunate events? Did you perhaps shield at first but now that they are older do you talk about it?   I put so much thought into it before I shared with my daughter what I did but I still wonder if there is a better way I’m missing.  If you shared something with your child/children what did you say? Thanks for sharing and reading.

 

Helpful links

http://www.jesselewischooselove.org

http://www.remsahealth.com

 

 

 

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Resourcefulness

D4A9882E-062B-47BC-B025-86C2927AFCB1.jpegWhat’s resourceful mean to you?  How often do you depend on yourself to be resourceful?  Is it daily? Do your rely on someone else to help you get the important things done in your life while you sit back and watch someone complete the task for you?  Do you consider yourself being resourceful when asking for help? How do you feel after you find a solution to your problem or need?  How do you feel when you finished that project by yourself?

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t find myself in at least one situation where I have to rely on myself to be resourceful.  When I think of what resourceful means to me; I’d say it means that I find a solution to my problem/need in the most complete way without causing me financial  stress or feeling completely stressed out and overwhelmed by the problem.  As a single mom and home owner,  I need to keep all of those in mind to stay above water in my world or home.    I’m honest with myself however and  know there are always going to be things I won’t be able to solve right away or handle myself.  This past winter I had to assess my list and move some things around because I couldn’t go without heat and I could not go without my car being repaired.  Getting to work and picking my child up requires a mode of transportation other then my feet, sadly. I had to be resourceful to find a way to come up with what money I didn’t have in savings.  The tricky part  was I wanted/needed to do this without using a credit card.  I also  wanted to avoid a traditional loan.    I started searching on the internet and with some research I found my answer. A grant!  The grant I found would help me fix my boiler issue and leave me my savings to fix the car.  This solution would allow me to stick to my non stress and financial goals while still getting the complete repair done correctly for the boiler and my car. It was a bit of a chance but all I had to do was fill out the application and see what they would say.  I wouldn’t be out nothing but a little bit of time if they told me the answer was no.   I called that day asked all my questions and they asked me if I could do a interview with in a few hours.  I asked my boss for permission to leave work early and met with them in 2 hours.  My small investment of time worked! Before I left the office I had an application turned in, all the answers to the questions and a great shot of getting excepted.  If you are applying for a grant I recommend being ready to jump when the they say and be flexible.  It will benefit you I promise.   I still feel a bit of pride in my resourcefulness when I came up and worked though that solution on my own.

Lots of my friends and I talk about our needs, our goals and during those conversations I am often asked “How do you do all the things you do on your budget?” Second most asked question is “How do you find the time in your day to do everything that you do?” “All those activities I do with my daughter?”

First Tip: I prioritize all the things I really want to do in some type of visual form.  My preferred visual form is by making a list.  My list is key. Now you can bullet journal your day. You can write it all out in a list form that you post on your fridge.  It pictures work better for you maybe make a motivational board.  You can even post on Facebook. Maybe you knowing that your friends have seen your list you’ll have to follow though, hold you accountable.     Take the time to really stop and think about what form of list making works best for you and try it out for just a daily goals if your unsure for a week.

5081542D-BBA8-41F8-A8DA-814319CA9E1FI personally also have a 1 year to now goal list that I cross off and add to.  It’s nothing fancy, just a post it note with things written in pencil.  This list makes me feel pretty good about my goals because I can visually  see what I have accomplished and still working on.  I have learned that seeing something done motivates me and keeps me positive by seeing what I have done and knowing that I have reached goals and  will reach other goals.  I then keep this list in  spot where I see it often.  My spot for  this list is on my work my desk. Seeing it at work where I make my money helps me to  remember that my time spent at work enables me to do the things I want to be doing. It’s also another way to help keep me positive at work on tough days.

image.jpgFor my house goals I have a little 99 cent spiral note pad that I write what needs to be done or repaired as I find them.   I then find estimates so I have a realistic idea on what I need to be saving towards to get those items done.  I try to use large sums of money I receive, like my tax return. By budgeting my tax return for these items I can usually plan the repair to happen about a year out giving me time to prepare and save a little so the finical hit of the repair doesn’t hurt as bad. Planning means I can find the best deals too.  When I finish something on the list I just cross it off so the next time I open that notepad up I can see all the things I have completed and not just what I need to do.  This keeps me from feeling overwhelmed and in a sense, a proud responsible home owner.  That’s adulting at its finest right?

My I will lose my freaking mind list is what I consider my (time management) is my daily list.   I start my morning with jointing down the things I need to do like work, take my daughter to dance, write a blog, text my friend hi.

I begin with writing the important things on my list. I’ll put things down like work.  I put down classes like Lunch and Learn which is a free class my work offers at lunch time that I enjoy . The bonus for me here is that this class usually also  provides a lunch to the attendees.  That class and making the time for it translates to me in being resourceful by saving time from making a lunch for me on those nights before or mornings of and I learn something new for free which keeps my job interesting and fun.  Keeping the brain alive is a must people!  Check to see if you work offers something like that.  If you have a flexible schedule at work  see what goes on in your community in regards to free classes and or lunch meet and greets. Networking is also very helpful and is a useful tool in being resourceful.

I as a mom don’t want my child spending hours in front of a tablet or a TV so I prefer to have her do some type of extra activity.  She likes dance and soccer.  This can be very expensive to pay for in my one income home.  With a little time spent researching the activities websites and/or just asking people in charge of the activities you may be able to find out if there are any type of sponsorships or grants available for your child, like I do.  For me this could be the difference if my child may participate in a sport or not.  Even if there isn’t an established grant, scholarship or reduced fee, just by asking you might be able to arrange a payment plan so you can break the cost down to more manageable payments.   I ask often because it’s important to me to keep my daughter active and I believe she learns a lot though these activities. I have been asked in return to help with volunteering in different aspects with the activity or to sit though some type of educational forum in return. I’m more then happy to give back time or energy to groups that give to our community and or help my family.   Always be prepared to give back in some way or another when your blessed to received something even though they might not ask for it. I don’t just mean money.  A  positive review of the program or encouraging others to sign their kids up for programs and spreading the word is just as supportive as money. Volunteering usally doesn’t take much time out of your day it you plan it right.  You have to be at your child’s practices anyways so just offer to volunteer during the practice. Killing two birds with one stone. Being resourceful with your time management is a beautiful thing!  Trust me.  Another idea might be when a family member asks you what your or your child might want for Christmas, Birthday or something else suggest one dance class or an experience other then a toy.   It’s one less thing to clean up and it helps open up the world to your child that you might not have been able to do.  I’m sure the family member would love hearing about it later from your child.   I know my family does.  Don’t forget to have your child write that thank you card.

Let’s say working out is an important goal of yours but you can’t seem to find the time.  Try working out with other people at your child’s sports practice or while they are in dance.  I run around my daughter’s soccer field while she practices. I’m close enough to still watch and I’m not mindlessly wasting time on Facebook. I also make it social by inviting other people there to join.  What about your friend that you have been meaning to see.  Instead of going out to lunch and spending money and scarifing your waist line on meals you could go for a walk or run. Hey you could even sign up for a free yoga class.  This could give you the time to try out something new without wasting money, getting healthy, and seeing your friends. It’s the perfect trifecta. In this example you are being resourceful in your time, budget and building strong friendships. I feel so much better when I see a friend and we do some type of healthy activity other then just sitting on our butts.

Are you being resourceful at home?  Is you house clean are you living in chaos.  Chaos causes stress.  If you come home and your house is a disaster are you more likely to not cook dinner and just pick something up because you don’t want to clean dishes?  Can you find the shirt you need or is it hidden in a mess of unfolded laundry so you buy another one.  Are you busy yelling in the morning trying to find homework and you can’t because it got mixed in with all the unopened mail?  Keeping you house in order  that works for you and making it a priority to finish projects and or clean can be very resourceful.  I bet you will say money and  your stress level drops because you are not seeing all the things you need to do. You will be able to see what you have done not what you need to do and freak out which leads to avoidance and shutting down.   I have found many resources that help me keep my home nice.  I have had food delivered to my home like local fresh veggie companies, or dinners from Hello Fresh.  These companies always have some type of deal to get a discount. Your saving time for the things on your list that are more important to you instead of having to go to the store.  They can also be easy to make and healthy to eat.  All done in a small amount of time.  These meals while designed for feeding two  often in my house will feed my daughter and I and  I’ll have one meal left over for my lunch the next day.  Keep in mind I’m trying to lose weight so I’m eating smaller portions.

If your budget allows; hire someone to clean base boards and floors once a  month.   For the love of god if  you don’t really need something in your home or your office get rid of it. Either donate, sell, recycle, or toss. No one needs 50 bags.  You don’t need to print everything out and hold on to it forever. Your kids don’t need 50 toys.   Your fridge doesn’t need that condiment you used one time and haven’t touched again.  If you don’t know how to fix that broken door on the cabinet higher someone to fix it now not later.   Make sure they are reliable company that knows what they are doing and their work has some type of warranty.  The best deal or free doesn’t always translate to the most resourceful and could cost you more time, stress or money in the long run.  Trust me I know!

Reno has some great resources for just about anything.  You just have to ask or do a little research.   Here are a few of the places I have found helpful myself.

You can pass stuff on or look for free stuff you might need here.  https://www.freecycle.org/

Need help with after school care with your child  check this page out for options/scholarships https://www.reno.gov/government/departments/parks-recreation-community-services/youth-and-teens/sierra-kids

Need help or an app for budgeting? Intuit has this. https://www.mint.com

To close I believe that sometimes the most resourceful thing you as a person can do is to ask for help. Even if what you’re asking is for someone to point you in the right direction so you can learn to help yourself in being resourceful. Remember when you ask for help don’t just stand around a boss around anyone helping you.  Work with them in any way since they are being kind to you and it helps you learn something.    Hopefully this has caused a little spark in your brain to help you concur some goals and make you feel resourceful. As always I’m super thankful to anyone that has taken the time to read to the end and share their ideas as well.   Many thanks to you beautiful people.

What have you done lately that has made you feel good and very resourceful?

 

 

 

 

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Food, Friendship and some Laughs: SIETE style

1345CCB4-8068-4A84-B370-CD3CFF216AF3When I sit around a dinner table with family and friends I feel content.  If I’m in the kitchen preparing the meal that will go on that table, I’m on cloud nine.   I love to cook and the healthier the meal the better.

One day recently when I was mindlessly wondering the world of Instagram on my cell  I stubble upon a story about  Almond Flour Tortillas  .  I found the company Siete on IG and sent them a message asking if I could buy them in the Reno area.  I love finding new food items to try and I have several friends with allergies so the  grain free tortilla caught my attention.  Now SIETE answered my question with in the hour.  We messaged back and forth a bit.  I was very please with their customer service.   Fast forward 4 days and I have a big box full of SIETE’s products to try.  I have always thought if I’m blessed with something I try to share it with people. Share the love.  This meant it was time for me to throw a dinner party with some randomly selected friends to try out the Siete food.

I planned a dinner on a Tuesday night because; well really why not Tuesday, it’s just as fun as any other day of the week if not more.  I then posted a link to the SIETE website on my Facebook page and said first to RSVP is invited and I texted a few people that never make it on social media.  How they manage to avoid social media I have no idea.   I immediately  had responses from people that wanted to come. I began doing my happy dance.     This made me feel like the product was just as exciting to them as it was to me or it could be I guess, that all my friends are smart and know you never turn down a free home cooked meal.

Now that I had some SIETE ingredients, a guest list and some free time I headed over to their website https://sietefoods.com/pages/story.  This website is fun, check out the products, read the open job positions (trust me, hilarious)  and look at all the recipes.

I planned to showcase all the ingredients so I stated planning my menu using some of the recipes I found on the site.  I was pleased that there were several easy yet yummy looking recipes to choose from.  After all, I knew that I would be preparing a meal for 6 after I got off of work on Tuesday.    Easy, tasty and family/friends is key to a successful meal in my book.  Less stress about finding time to do it was  even better for me.

1136550F-26A3-46BF-901B-855EABD57E92While guests were arriving I had all the flavors of  Siete toritta chips out for taste testing.  Sea Salt, Nacho Cheese and Lime to be exact. Check them out here. https://sietefoods.com/collections/tortilla-chips  To be honest it was really hard for me to choose a favorite flavor of tortilla chips.   “The Nacho Cheese was like no other nacho cheese chip I had ever tasted” to quote one of my guest and I had to agree with her.   It tasted like real cheese but with a chili favoring as well. Not artificial at all.   It was unique and flavorable.  Now the lime had a really fresh citrus lime taste that I personally enjoyed just as much as the nacho cheese ones.  I found myself going back and forth between these two the most.  Paired with the two different types of guacloma to dip the chips in. Thanks to my  friends for sharing their dips there was zero chips left except for the few Sea Salt ones I had stashed aside to use in the  main course.  I was thankful I had thought ahead to do that.   I would also like to mention that I found myself quite drawn to the packaging. It was very colorful and as weird as this may sound I liked the feel of the chip bags.

Now when I throw first to RSVP dinner parties I’m never sure which guest I’m going to have together.  This time I felt like the guest list worked really well.  Some of them had met at least each other briefly but didn’t know to much more about each other.  This worked to my benefit because as I was preparing the first course they were having what appeared to be easy and fun conversations.  I had a mix of personalities from traveling types to a foodie and all very well educated along with my 8 year old daughter and myself.

D2D87C69-E6D3-4329-929B-2EBFEEE4196DFor the first course I could not have been more happy in my choice.  Which is funny because I haven’t had a ton of luck finding a ceviche that I’ve enjoyed.   My thinking was, what if I made it? Maybe I would like it more and I knew it definitely couldn’t hurt to try. I made sure to get only the freshest of  ingredients from store such as Trader Joes, Whole foods and Safeway.  The recipe called for the use of the Siete almond flour tortillas.  Wow!  They were good. Bonus is  I didn’t burn them in the oven.  They held up and stayed crispy with the ceviche’s juice and gave a nice crunch.  Before I was concerned how the flavor of the tortilla would be being almond but I honestly didn’t notice a strong almond flavor at all.  My plan for left over ceviche for lunch the next day failed.  The guest enjoyed it so much that everyone had seconds and I was left with and empty bowl.  I was thrilled that everyone enjoyed it. Here’s the super easy recipe. https://sietefoods.com/blogs/siete-stories/shrimp-ceviche-tostadas

AE7D5247-DC95-4250-9377-EF30806B85BBFor the main course I made the Siete Crusted Black Drum recipe.  I had some difficulty finding the black drum here in the desert so I substituted it out for cod instead.  I also could not find the cherry peppers fresh so I found some in a jar at Whole Foods, this substitute worked great.  Now I searched high and low all over the town of Reno for duck fat.   No where in this city carried it anymore.  Well I lie, one butcher did have it if I wanted to buy a 7Lbs block of it.  I passed.  I did some searching on the internet and choose to use olive oil in place of the duck fat. It worked just fine however  I was a bit disappointed as I had never cooked with duck fat and was curious of the taste.  This entrée was a hit as well. Siete has me looking like a chef. My fear of under cooking the fish did not happen and to quote one of my dinner guest “I can tell this was cooked with love.” Another was thrilled by the orange zest used in the slaw. I was pleased with the texture of the fish and the tortilla chips as a crust on my cod.    A little side note;  I’m on a single income tight as hell budget; since I was serving some of the other food items I cut my cod filets in half  to stretch the meal a bit further.  It didn’t appear that my guest went home hungry and the splitting in half likely made the severing a true single 4oz serving.  By doing this I stretched my dollar a bit further and had left overs for lunch for two days following. The leftovers were delicious.  This also helped in covering the extra cost of shopping for crazy fresh and organic items with my grocery budget. The orange slaw was unique and complemented the fish coated in the crumbled Siete Sea Salt tortilla chips.  I used my hand to crush these chips but I think next time I will use a rolling pin. I tried and tired but couldn’t get crumbs size I wanted by hand.

A04950CD-D44E-4478-82FE-4FE39E316EBBThe dinner atmosphere was a hoot.  We were enjoying wine, bubbly, and an orange cider as our drinks of choice and the food was being thoughly enjoyed.  My heart was full and warm.  I love having a full table at meal time and it was special to say the least.  My daughter and I will eat at our table but our little home of 2 can be quiet at times.   This night my daughter had just come home from school with a report card worth bragging about and my friends took the time to involve her in conversation about it and boost her up at bit.  She was so excited she pulled out a math book and started working on it at the table.  Seriously I was stoked.   I know that the simple act of bringing great friends together at our table meant just as much to her as it did to me.  She is already asking when we will be doing it again.  There where many funny stories shared and even what felt like a brief IG meet up when everyone took their cell phones out to shine their flash light down on a plate so I could get a good photo to share on the blog and IG.  Team work is great.  I also caught them taking photos to share as well.  We had a picture of the meal, picture of me taking a picture and a picture of me taking a photo with everyone holding their lights just right.

9FEE526A-3AB5-41FE-91B4-B90B7789B30FTo end the meal, we finished with the Almond Berry Dessert Tortilla.    I choose to use almond butter.  I was not trilled with this recipe but it was still good.  The texture bothered me mostly. My daughter on the other hand had ate it up and she also made one for her breakfast the next morning.  We used the Coconut Cassava tortilla.  I loved the taste of this tortilla and will be buying these again very soon.  The next time I try this recipe I think I will try it with a nutella spread and maybe strawberries and bananas.  I did let my daughter help make these and that was a priceless moment for us in the kitchen.  Building memories though cooking.  Random fact I’m throwing in.  My little Love Bug loves cooking and even has her own YouTube channel Chef Love Bug so check it out. She said she wanted to make this recipe again for her channel. While I don’t think the recipe was a fail I think I wasn’t trilled with my cooking of the tortillas.  All my guest finished theirs so give it a try yourself.  I highly recommend making it with a child.   https://sietefoods.com/blogs/siete-stories/almond-berry-dessert-tortillas

9FEE526A-3AB5-41FE-91B4-B90B7789B30FAt the end of the night when all the pictures had been snapped, the food enjoyed empty chip bags tossed and my guest and I deciding to start our own Supper Club I know that Siete had help bring together friends for a beautiful evening of love and food.  I will be buying Siete again and I feel good in knowing that I’m supporting a business that strives for family values, healthy and tasty food.

91D449F3-EA2D-48E1-A031-3B5CB72DCAD6

You have now heard about my fun dinner party.  What is a memory you cherish from a meal you’ve hosted?

 

As always thanks for reading!

Disclosure:  I was given the products from Siete at no cost to me.  While these items were provided for free to me, my thoughts and words are those of my own and from my own experience with the products or comment made by my friends on that evening.  I do not work for Siete.

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Hike to Monkey Rock

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Well it has been a interesting couple of weeks.  From soccer games, hiking, passing my EKG class, running, cleaning, dinner parties and such I really have no idea where to start.

My mind has kind of been all over the place.   I have had many emotional topics on my mind and I keep saying “Cheryl you need to blog this right now yet the emotion at the moment was to intense sometimes to cope with let alone put into words. Hopefully soon I will be ready to type those out. Until then however  I have found that it is easier maybe to just get out side and move.  Don’t address the feeling immediately but to let it process a bit, you know feel it, recognize it’s there and try to understand what is going on in my head later.

So that’s what I did.  Living in Reno is nice.  You can find several fun hikes in the area or with in an hour drive that aren’t to hard to do but you end with an amazing view, an elevated heart rate and a smile on your face.

In search of that I moment; one were your need to turn your fucking brain off,  I called a good friend and asked him if he wanted to go on a quick and easy hike.  At least I was hoping it was it was easy.  I saw a friend post on Facebook that she went on a hike that I heard about a year ago and had really wanted to do since then.  I quickly messaged her and asked about it and she promised it was easy.  I had no idea though, to some their easy is an ass kicking for me.   My friend responded crazy fast for him and before I knew it we were off on the road to get Port of Subs, gas and a quick adventure in Incline, NV.

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First my friend had this adorable little Lego mariachi man on his dash. Every time we turned it would slide left or right almost like it was dancing.  If made me laugh. As we drove up towards Tahoe I pictured this little Lego dude as the navigator.  I’m a terrible navigator so I needed something to blame in case I got us lost, ha-ha.   Now my friend and I have both been single for a very long time and it only seemed right that on the 45 min road trip to the trail head that we listen to the audio book Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari.  Several friends had  highly recommended it to me this last Valentine’s day and I now it finally had a copy to listen to it too. I waited two months to check it out from my local library though Overdrive!  I may have made the choice to listen to this at that moment to since I had such a long wait and was very eager to finally see what all the raves were about.   While we listened; we laughed and joked with each other.  We joke about pick up lines based on the advice we were hearing.   We wondered out loud who we would be with if we just happened to live a few generations ago instead of now and married the neighbor across the street. Some might think I have a negative view on guys but really I’m just very cautious, rightly so with my past and it was nice to share in a conversation with a male that felt the same way about the dating scene as I.  After a large amount of laughter and zero incidents of me getting us lost on the way we arrived at the trail head to begin our hike up to Monkey Rock.

C8222F15-E4DB-4467-A5FD-B9742BF7912DThis hike seriously required hardly any work.  It was easy!    The trail was simple enough that my 8 year old managed just fine with only a couple of whining for fo0d moments.  To be fair though, my child is always whining for food, even while eating her dinner at times.  She is currently growing like a weed.  I will warn you that you should expect it to be an uphill climb.  The trail was nicely maintained.  (Tip: remember to bring a few bucks in cash to drop in the box to pay your trail toll).  As for views it was just like any other view of Tahoe.   It was stunning, especially on this nice sunny and clear day that we went up.

71B4F261-F487-4F93-A259-51DB08D4C310When we arrived to the top  and found ourselves looking down on Monkey Rock we were not disappointed. Over time people have added to the making of this “monkey shaped looking rock) to give it even more of a monkey likeness. Rumor has it that gentleman going though a hard divorce carved the monkey face while taking his stress relief hikes up this trail.  I could totally relate with that kind therapy but who knows if it’s true.  Now that it was 1:00 PM we decide to have lunch up at the top.  There are plenty of places to sit up there even on a busy trail day.  We picked a big boulder to sit on and enjoyed our lunch, the view and each others company.

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My child practiced bouldering and what it would take to freak me out with her brave attempts to get a “better view”.  While your up there I recommend that you make sure to snag an inappropriate picture with the rock that looks like a giant butt too.  Your friends will thank you or you will embarrass your child.  Both worth it!  The trail is not over crowded but there is going to be other people around you.   If you’re into people watching you will enjoy it more.  My friend and I laughed as we watched girls stand on the money rock in different yoga poses to get the perfect IG picture, all the dangerously risking their safety from injury.  We then watched my daughter try to mimic them on lower ground.  Don’t worry my friend laughed with me as I did the same for my won IG page later too, however safety first here.

If your in the area and want a quick easy hike here is the link that was forwarded to me to get up there.   http://moosehikes.com/2016/06/27/monkey-rock-and-hidden-beach/  If your into finding a nude beach you can go to this link as well.  I personally have been to hidden beach and had a very calm peaceful time where it makes it easy if you’re working on your full body summer tan.

What do you do in the great outdoors to decompress?  Do you have any hidden gem trails you care to share with me?

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