Monday, March 10, 2014

Little Lambs

I went on an adventure this past weekend to go see some 3 day old lambs on a friends farm!
A little bleary eyed Ralf and I bundled into the car and away we went! It was a lovely day for a drive with the sun making an occasional appearance and in true upstate fashion we passed through the occasional snow burst. Over and around we went down country roads and after about an hour of beautiful countryside we arrived at Galmor Farms run by our friends Robert and Gail. After a brief hello and quick tour of their awesome farm house out to the barn we went!
I have never had the chance to really be up close and interact with sheep. These were babydoll sheep (I believe) and the first thing you notice is how different they each look! They all had distinct faces and expressions. Large and wooly you just want to hug them (but they wouldn't like that)! They all had such inquisitive eyes as they sized you up as soon as they realized we weren't Mom or Dad or another member of the flock. But if you held out your hand they would wander over a give you a snuff, look at you for a moment, decide you were ok people, and then wander on but keep a watch just in case. 
Then out of no where comes a lamb! Then another! Trundling along on their spindly little legs and bleating happy noises as they wander between the group of Moms and making sure theirs hasn't gone too far. Bounding up to you they give you a snuffle and a snort and the opportunity to scoop them up for a moment. They are soft and warm and full of wrinkles waiting to be filled out. I learned that they like chin scratches much like cats! They also have adorable tufts of hair where eyebrows would be that give them the best facial expressions.
I can't wait to go back later in the spring to see them all jumping around the pasture! This is the kind of farm you wish they could all be. The husband and wife team who run it all have such care for their charges. The sheep have a lovely barn which they can come and go from as they please. They have hay for the winter and in the summer they have plenty of free range grazing and rotating fields they visit each day to find the tasty foods they prefer the most. 
What a wonderful day on the farm!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Winds of Change

We finally had a small glimpse of spring!
Finally after a unusually cold January and early February we caught a glimpse of warmer weather and sunshine! Its supposed to get cold again this week but just that little bit of sun is enough to start the dream of spring and camping rolling once again. Its amazing how much a good weekend and some sun can make you feel so much better!
As I sit here writing I am preparing for our upcoming camp house meeting here shortly. There is much to talk about to plan the upcoming season and its full of promise and excitement! I always look forward to this time of year. Although I look forward to the time when spring and summer actually get here more, the promise that this time of year holds is so exciting. Project ideas start to roll, I start browsing gear on sale that we might want, and projects that never got finished last year start coming back out to be finished.
My life is full of love, and good friends, and wonderful family. I feel the winter funk losing its grip and freeing up my mind once again to remember the joy I have all around me.
Spring holds so many possibilities and I am ready to receive each and every moment of wonder!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Deep Freeze

January is always cold here in Upstate, NY but this year has been exceptionally frozen. We haven't had the snow or ice that some places have had this year but we have had below average temps (and extreme windchill) most of the month. When its this cold you just don't want to do anything at all! In my drafty house all you want to do after work is sit down under a blanket and stay there. Everything seems to have fallen behind because of the chill. I haven't cleaned the house in far too long, there isn't a whole lot of food in the fridge, and I haven't even done much cooking.
This month has been a hard one. So many people I know have been struggling physically and mentally this January (myself included). I don't know what the universe has been up too but it can stop any time now! This month for me has been an endless series of trials it seems. From frozen pipes in the house, to my car going into the shop twice, a broken vacuum, little things that seem to roll themselves up in to a ball of frustration. On top of this of course comes the winter blues.
I always get some sort of seasonal depression it seems. This year hit me really hard. Along with normal everyday frustration I found myself asking some hard life questions for which I have no answers. Things like "what the heck am I really doing?", "I need a new career but what?", "Am I really a useful human being?". Questions that after a while start to really bother you deep down. You find yourself questioning everything you have ever done as you wash your hair in the shower before getting ready for another long day at a desk. Coupled with the winter blues it slammed me hard and nothing really helped for over two weeks. I didn't sleep well, didn't want to eat, and didn't want to move. I'm slowly pulling out of the funk, but many of the same questions still linger. I have no idea what I want to do for a job, but I know I need to find something new. I find myself feeling like I have no actual skills that anyone wants. I am good at many things, but not the best at anything. I have a four year degree that seems to do nothing for me, but I have no desire to go back to school. If I did I would have no idea what it would be for so it would be a waste of money. I'm trying to get out of debt, not put myself deeper. It seems like I have had so many ideas of things I have wanted to be over the years but now nothing seems possible. Like I have run out of options.
I have applied for a few jobs here and there, for one of them I made it through 3 rounds of interviews. I was so excited at the idea of a new chance, something I have never done before for a company that seemed great. After that 3rd interview communication went cold. No thank you, no "you are not what we want", just nothing at all. Emails and phone calls went unanswered. All I really wanted was someone to say yes or no, and maybe why. Alas, it was not to be. I still don't know why they decided to tell me nothing at all.
January is coming to a close soon and I find myself no closer to any answers then when then month began. I have to keep telling myself I am not a moron and that someone, somewhere out there wants a skill that I just happen to have.
Chin up right? Just keep pushing along. I have had many motivational suggestions and ideas put to me recently as well by friends who want nothing but the best for me. These are all well and good, but just jumping into the unknown is not an option. Nor is all this "positive thinking" going to help me discover what in the hell I can do with my life that will make enough money, I will enjoy, but I wont be tied to work 24/7.
I am turning 30 this May. This scares the absolute SHIT out of me.

If you have been keeping up with the blog (or reading some of the taglines on various pages)  my original "big life plan" was to pay some bills, save some money, and go on the road with the Ren Faire full time. This dream has been put on indefinite hold. Finances got a little better but not really enough, bills still eat most of my income, and savings are still non-existent. So for now traveling shall remain a nice dream but nothing for the near future.
Thanks for believing in me though. I do appreciate the encouragement.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Resolution for the New Year

2013 felt like the year that just slipped past without notice. I remember it being just after New Years and then all of the sudden the summer was over and fall was upon us once again. The Spring was wet, the Summer cool, and the fall was short. When you enjoy the sun and being outside as much as I do this made the year seem short and rushed. It wasn't a bad year, it just rushed by too fast.
I hope 2014 isn't in such a hurry. A little more relaxing in the sun and a little more time for fun would be perfect. 
One of my resolutions this year is to try and take my blogging and writing more seriously again. I miss having the creative outlet and I feel bad for leaving the blog so lonely. 
I struggle in the winter to keep my spirits up and keep a positive outlook. I guess this is really an all year thing but it is certainly more intense in the winter when I don't have as many things to help keep my mind busy. Some days everything seems so hopeless. I truly hate this feeling but it follows me around some days no matter if I like it or not. It gets even more intense when I think about what I want to do with my life and where I want to go with my career. It seems I have been a secretary (and hating every day of it) forever! In reality its been about 8 years which is far longer then I intended to stay in such a job position.
The really hard part is when I think about what I might actually want to do and come up with no answers. I have no idea what I might enjoy more for work. Or what else I might qualify to do. I try not to dwell on it too much, but I do have to begin searching for something new. I know I can't keep this up forever. 

I suppose that is all for now. This year I am really going to try and keep to at least the writing more often resolution. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Grieving Over a Vacation Lost

If you keep up with my blog you will know that I was planning a trip to Dallas Texas to watch some awesome girls completing in Halo4 at MLG (Major League Gaming) Dallas. However thanks to Hurricane Sandy my flight was cancelled and no other flights were available. Only 24 hours out from a vacation I had been so excited for and planned for months I found out the whole thing was off. I was crushed.
It felt almost like going through the stages of grief. I was sad, angry, in denial that the whole thing was just simply not going to happen. It was hard and it still feels pretty crappy. These opportunities don't come along very often. All the factors were aligned. I knew tons of people going, I had the vacation time, I had a cheap plane ticket, I had enough people to share the hotel with to make it affordable.
Once again my wonderful friends came through for me to help soften the sad. Giving advice, offering help, coming to visit to help take my mind off of things. You feel so blessed knowing you have such awesome people in your life.
I'll watch the girls game live online, I'll look out the window and wish it was sunny and 80 instead of raining with a chance of snow, and I'll keep moving on. Its all you can do in the face of disappointment. You keep moving, hoping, dreaming, and getting up in the morning. Its all you can do!
I only wish there was a vacation on the horizon I could plan for, I just have to hope for the best and that the stars align once again sometime soon.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Personal Post

      I discovered this cooperative art project while I was browsing around the Tumblr page for Wil Wheaton. Its a body project kind of idea. Exploring how we as women feel in different ways about our bodies really isn't something super new, but I think the collaborative idea of it really draws me in. Something I have been more perceptive of lately is discovering just how many other people can share a similar experience you have had. Its not until you finally open your mouth to talk to someone about something personal do you realize just how many people you know have experienced something similar. Its such a relief when you realize other people just like you have an idea of exactly how you feel. It might not change your situation, but it sure as hell takes the weight of feeling alienated off your shoulders.
     Back to the project. Its a project about how often at some point in time every one of us (this project is more women centered) struggles with some sort of body image, eating disorder, or self esteem problem. It seems like its the kind of thing we all know other people struggle with, but until you get down to the nitty gritty and REALLY hash it out with someone, it always feels like your floating in your own little corner of self hatred hell. I have known people with serious eating disorders and self destructive habits and I am very grateful I managed to avoid them. The body image problems though I can certainly relate too.
     I've always been on the short side and I've never been very thin (although looking back at pictures I was much thinner then I remember, but I guess thats part of the image problem). Those of you for a long time have known I have always struggled to just accept who I am and how I look. The only way I can describe the feeling is that you are never "right" or you never look "how you should". Its a constant, ongoing thought that invades your day, your mind when your trying to sleep, your dreams. It rattles around in your head constantly and you don't know what to make of it. Constantly telling yourself you need to do better, bet better, diet more, exercise more, look more like this person or that person. Once this is done then you think you will finally be successful and feel "right". Of course you have set yourself up some almost impossible goals and for all the wrong reasons.
     It's only recently have I discovered that myself and other people I know (friends for example) have begun to discuss these ideas in a more distinct manner. Maybe distinct isn't the right word. In a way I guess its almost a discussion in a more abstract manner. Gone are the middle school days of just complaining about being fat, or that your legs touch, or your arms jiggle. Now we have moved on to being able to discuss more of the inner feeling of the beast, and being able to connect WHY this makes us feel the way it does. It sure doesn't make the emotional train wreak days go away, but it does seem to help make them less frequent.
     You become more confidant in who you are, not just the body you inhabit. You learn to be gracious when people tell you to "not worry because your beautiful" where as before this would just make your mind yell "LIAR!". You start to pin point specific things in your life that may have triggered these feelings other then just stars on TV or in a magazine. Times like when you were young (maybe 1st grade) and the ballet teacher told you to "suck in your fat". Not you specifically and it was a school that hoped everyone would go on to be a real ballerina, but still it stayed in your mind. Or how about the time when someone (probably a boy) made a comment about your "fat hips" or "jiggly arms" or how "you were just so short". You noticed that no boy ever told you that you looked pretty. They hurt, you brush them off since you know most of the time they weren't meant to be mean, but it made you realize you were not like the popular star, or the popular girls. You were just you, and suddenly that wasn't ok anymore.
     I won't lie, this was and is absolutely me (if there was any question). No amount of people telling me I looked fine would ever sway my mind. No amount of feel good text set on some flowery image would change my mind. I always felt like an ogre stuck in a body. Then I realized women (and girls) of all shapes and sizes, who were all beautiful, unique, wonderful people who I looked up too, had similar feelings. Some more then others. Even some of my closest friends had these feelings, we had just never been able to articulate them in a way to make us really know that we all felt kind of the same way.
      I had to buy jeans the other day and if you know me this is a once every few years torturous affair that ALWAYS ends in tears. Once again it ended with me sobbing in a dressing room after trying on about 25 pairs of pants none of which fit. Not even close. That feeling creeps in that you must be a freak because you can't even buy a pair of jeans. You fear it will be sweat pants and elastic waistbands forever. You pick yourself off the floor and head home defeated. You go to sleep vowing to diet more, exercise more, and of course not to just be healthier but for all the wrong reasons.
     After this whole ordeal I got some great feed back about where else to look for jeans which was encouraging. Once again I found that I wasn't the only one who really struggled. Its just nice to know you aren't alone. Its just a feeling, no matter how many times you tell yourself how cool you are, how many skills you have, what you are good at, its how you look that seems to overtake everything else. Its all you can focus on.
    Recently I have become a more confidant person. I feel better about who I am, the way I look, liking myself for just being me. I have a wonderful group of people who surround me in amazing things every day. I am so eternally grateful to the part every single one of them plays in my life. They bring me little bits of confidance and willpower if they know it or not. They will listen and not judge, offer advice if needed, or just help me take my mind off of things. So I have learned to take a deep breath and learn to relax a little. Tell yourself things you know you are good at, try to push the negative thought just out of your mind and replace it with something else.
     Now that my long winded rambling is done we will return to our regular blogging. If there is only one thing you take away from this its to be mindful to tell those people you care about that they are a beautiful person. Tell them often. Be specific, be vague, talk about their skills, talk about how much you love their eyelashes. I don't care! Connect with them, love the people in your life, boost each other up, and keep walking the path.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Gaming Season!

Since summer is such a busy time for me I consider fall and winter gaming season. Its that time when I get to catch up on those summer games I never got to play and the fall releases that I just can't wait to get my hands on.
I found myself returning to my roots and breaking out my SNES. Mario 2 and Super Mario World are some of my favorite ways to pass an afternoon. I don't know if it takes me back to my younger years, or if its just that I know the games so well I can play and just relax while I do so, but these two games really allow me to enjoy game time without any of the pressure of needing to beat something I haven't yet.
Then of course there is always the "pile of shame". This is the pile of games you have that you haven't finished yet. Of course something new always comes out and you move on, but you always feel guilty about those games you haven't finished yet. So to dig into my pile of shame I find myself back to working on finishing Skyrim. I'm getting closer but I haven't quite beaten it yet. While I love the game its the kind of thing that I like to dig into for several hours and not just a quick gaming stint. So it waits for those particular Saturdays when I have the time to sit back and relax and really put some time into it.
Also on the pile of shame list is Portal 2. I LOOOOVE puzzle games and most people who know me are well aware of this fact. I have beaten Portal 2 before but on a different system, so of course I have to beat it again. I really like Portal 2 and while I think I like the first one just a bit more, I really love the story and diverse locations in Portal 2.
I've also gotten to try Boarderlands recently. While I really love the art style this game has only reaffirmed how horrible I really am at shooter type games. I find myself struggling to get through even the first few hours despite my best efforts. I have had a few people make some suggestions at trying a different style of character so sometime soon I'll have to take a revisit and see if I have any better luck.
I am also looking forward to the release of Lego Lord of the Rings. The Lego series always provides some good gaming fun and I can't wait to play this one with some friends! We have been waiting for its release with great anticipation all summer and the time is almost here. Although it will have to wait until I get back from Dallas as it release just a few days before I take off and I know I will be too busy to get to it right away.

On that note I'm off to get some gaming in. I think I hear some dragons in Skyrim that need defeating!