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Denver, Colorado, United States

Monday, December 26, 2011

Cowgirl Takes A Tumble

"You better believe there will be times in your life when you'll be feeling like a stumbling fool.  So take it from me: you'll learn more from your accident than anything that you could ever learn in school." --- Billy Joel

It's been quite a while since I've done any posting, and for that I apologize...but I have a really good excuse this time.  On Saturday, November 19th, this cowgirl took a pretty serious tumble (see my car above/below) and learned some lessons "the hard way" which I will share with you through a letter I wrote to the Cheyenne Tribune Eagle shortly after my accident.

  I felt compelled to write this letter to thank those who, I am sure, saved my life on Saturday November 19th
  I was driving eastbound on the I80 Frontage road, about 1-2 miles south of TA, when I received an incoming text message.    I, as I’m sure many others do, took just a moment to check the incoming message.  It was just a moment but during that time my SUV began to veer off the road.  Once I noticed what was happening I panicked, overcorrected, and my vehicle tipped and slid, the driver’s side window broke, my left arm dragged approximately 30ft across the pavement before I hit the end of the road and began to roll.  When the vehicle finally stopped it was face up and my waist was stuck between the front seats with my head resting in the back seat (I was not wearing my seatbelt).    I looked over at the blood coming from my left arm and thought to myself “someone better get here soon, or I may not make it”.  Moments later I heard a woman’s voice and she said she used to be an EMT.  She kept me talking and conscious the whole time, and when a male witness approached, she asked him to cut a scarf I had in the vehicle and to tie around my arm to slow the bleeding,   I didn’t see either of their faces or learn their names but they were both with me until the ambulance arrived.  The woman always talking to calm and comfort me and the man holding my right hand, at that moment I felt safe.
  When the ambulance arrived I was removed from the vehicle. The woman briefed them on what she had witnessed and what she had done while we waited.  I was then whisked to Cheyenne Medical Center’s ER before being sent by Life Flight to Swedish Medical Center in Denver.  Upon arriving in Denver I was told that they would do what they could to save my left arm but that the chances of saving it were slim.  As I expected (after all, I had seen my arm for a few brief moments in the vehicle, screamed…and turned my head) the arm could not be saved and had to be amputated just below the shoulder.  The surgeon said I was very lucky, is spite of the severity of the accident I had no other injuries, no head trauma, no back or neck injuries and no internal injuries…just some bruises and road rash.
  I do feel lucky, in spite of losing my arm, and I have learned some very valuable lessons that I would like to pass on. 
     #1  NEVER think that checking/sending a text will just take a moment and won’t hurt anyone.  All I can say is “Thank God”, in my case, no other vehicles were involved and no one else was hurt.
     #2 Always wear a seatbelt.  I was very lucky!  My injuries could have been much more severe, or worse, I could have lost my life.
     #3  There are still kind and selfless people in this world that will do what it takes to help others.  To these people I am eternally grateful.  Thank you for taking time out of your Saturday to help someone else and possibly saving a life.  I can’t thank you enough!
 If either of the people mentioned in this letter would like to contact me, I would be honored to thank you personally. 

A local news station (CBS Channel 5, Cheyenne) saw my letter and asked if I would mind telling my story on January 5th.  My reply was "yes, of course"...if that story results in saving even one life I will consider it a success AND most importantly (to me) I hope that those who stopped to help will finally get their personal "thank you".

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What I'm Looking For....

"Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched, and those who have tried for only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives." --- Unknown

What I'm looking for...

A few years ago I bought my property in Wyoming and documented the whole thing with photos.  When I returned home my sister made a video of the adventure and set it to music.  What I'm looking for can pretty much be summed up in the titles and words to some of those songs.  To this day, when I hear one of those songs on the radio, my heart skips a beat...or I cry.  Happened just two weeks ago when I was making one of my many trips to move my things out of Colorado and into Wyoming.  I swear "someone" was trying to tell me something.  The road trip cry fest began with "Where The Green Grass Grows".  A few lines always do to it to me..."I wanna live where the green grass grows / every night be tucked in close to you / plant our dreams where the peaceful river flows.  (Three things I'm looking for right there).  I've obtained the place where the green grass grows, working on planting my dreams there...but the other line..."every night be tucked in close to you"...unless it is referring to my dogs...doesn't look too promising for me yet.  It's a little difficult to find someone with a similar dream or, even harder, willing to share in yours. 

After my short bout of leaky eyes, the next tune came on and, suddenly, I felt empowered.  "Should Have Been A Cowboy"..."should have learned to rope and ride, wearing my six shooter, riding my pony on a cattle drive".  I imagine my self standing tall, holster hanging from my hips and a gun strapped to my thigh...tell me...THAT doesn't make a girl feel ready to take on anything.  OK, I'm starting to feel a little better now.  Even begin to think that if I do learn to rope I might be able to tie someone up and tuck them in close to me.  Just kidding ;)  Kind of....

This post was going somewhere and was going to be serious...I promise...but I seem to be stuck on someone tied up next to me and can no longer concentrate on anything else.  I'm pretty sure I know what I'm looking for now :) ;) !!!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Pirates Life Is Not For Me & Cancer 101

Since I have been too busy to take photos and write lately, I've decided to have a guest writer.  My angel, Sara. 

I was re-reading some of her blog posts on MySpace and had to laugh at how someone, who had been through as much as she had, still kept her sense of humor.  I hope you find them as entertaining as I do.  Maybe you'll also see the lessons in them as well.

These are all her own words...and if her mom can forgive the occasional four letter word...I hope you can too.

damn i miss my short hair, i was a sexy beast!  D

***A Pirates Life Is Not For Me***

So I realized on Nov. 2nd 2005 that I am NOT pirate material.  Although I do enjoy rum, rape and looting....sailing the Atlantic is not for me!!
How it started:  me and my cousin Greg set sail on his new 42' sailboat from St. Augustine and we headed to Fort Pierce.  It was an easy going start thru the intercoastal, as i waved good-bye to my mom who was standing on the dock.  Then, the minute we hit the inlet where i first set sail on the great wide Atlantic with it's 6' seas.... VOMIT!!   followed by vomit, vomit, vomit, and yes, more vomit! 

That was the worst day of my life!! I have gone thru chemo, surgeries, life threatening diseases and get this... SAILING WAS FAR WORSE!  at least open sea sailing!  Intercoastal waterways are more up my alley.
I spent the entire night slamming into the bunk below because I had no balance, vomitting constantly.  At times around 3-4 a.m. the seas were so rough that they felt like they knocked the boat on it's side. I thought I was going to die!!   All I could see were the stars above my head spinning around and around.  Which indeed made it worse.  The next morning I got dropped off at port canaveral, where my mom came and picked my sorry pirate ass up and took me back home. I was completely dehydrated and the whole world was a spinnin'... and i wasn't even in college!!  teeheehee. 
I was very pissed off that my goal of completing this trip had failed.  That I didn't get to accomplish much because I spent all my time being sick.  I will try again in January, smaller trip though, of course.

Motto:  I will be the best damn pirate I can be! 

***Cancer 101***

I was diagonsed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) back on October 8th, 2001 (9th grade).  I'm still battling that up to this day.  Since 2001 I've had it in 5 different locations.  My right knee, my right hip, my right pelvic bone, and both my left and right lung.  (If any one wonders what i refer to as my "bad side" I obviously mean my right side lol.)  I have had chemotherapy and surgery: 13 total as far as August 2005... (a port, 3 biopsies, a knee replacement, 5 lung surgeries, a hematoma, 1 hip surgery and a femur replacement (Number 13 in the world to have that, LUCKY EH? haha) it seems that i never make it past my 6 month check up before another spot appears!  It's always on the 8th of the month it seems like!  Which was supposed to be my "lucky number" when i was little.  haha.  Yeaaa, not anymore... neways I still can do almost all the basic things...I am a normal teenager.... well as normal as i am going to get!  haha.  I am not supposed to run or jump but I do,  not well,  but I do. Just don't tell my doctors!  hehe.  but um, if i get chased by a murdurer then um yea, I'm screwed!!  LOL.  I find my strength, faith and courage in my family and friends and a positive outlook on life.  Without those things i would be lost.  I'm not afraid of dying now. I want to live a fulfilled life and that's exactly what I am going to do!! So watch out cuz i'm coming bitches yeaha!  LOL.  I'm going to college to study marine medicine and try to find a cure for cancer  and in my free time I volunteer and donate to all cancer research and projects.  After being a camper at BOGGY CREEK gang camp (a camp for kids with cancer) I  was a leader in training for a year.  I do bake sales and such to raise money for Relay For Life (I raised the most money for our area in 2004 cuz I kick ass! and I have a really ugly (cough, cough) I mean beautiful trophy made with a Bratz doll, some fake money and a can of gold spray paint that Mrs Joli made for me!)  For Relay for Life 2006 I hope to reach my new goal of $1,500.  SO DONATE!!!  Anyways I also delievered candy to Wolfson's Childrens Hospital on Halloween 2004 and helped Nemour's Childrens Clinic with their Halloween Party for the Little kids.

In my eyes I don't see that cancer will kill me...if I'm going to go,  I'm going to go by bungee jumping to my death from the  Grand Canyon!!  hehe.  Or most likely alcohol poisoning in college.

So basically what this blog is about is to make U realize that when U complain about stupid little shit...like "oh my boy/girlfriend dumped me"... FUCKING GET OVER IT!  You don't know real troubles!  I'm not saying "oh, poor me" cuz I'm not...I've seen people that have it worse... and even though my story seems...not so great...I believe it was the best thing that ever happened to me because I'm a better person and I'm lucky to be where am I in this point in time and have great people by my side.  So just think next time before U open your mouth to complain!  PLEASE!  Or just don't come to me cuz I don't wanna hear it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gotta Get Mooooovin'

"When you face your fear, most of the time you will discover that it was not really such a big threat after all. We all need some form of deeply rooted, powerful motivation / it empowers us to overcome obstacles so we can live our dreams." -- Les Brown

See the look on that cows face lying in the water?  That look, sums up how I feel right now.  She/he (can't tell...private parts are underwater) looks a little overwhelmed!  I've been very busy the past few weeks, things seem to be happening so fast, and I'm beginning to feel that way too. 

It always seems to be that way for me.  I'm either bored because I have nothing to do OR I have so much to do that I freak out a little bit.  Freaking out a little bit right now...

I really think I need that though.  Fear and panic are great motivators.  I find myself almost creating situations to keep myself motivated and moving.  For example, I told my apartment complex that I would be out by the end of October.  My lease isn't up until the end of November but, I know, I do not want to commute 62 miles to work, in the snow, and on a road that frequently closes.  So, to make sure I don't procrastinate, I tell them that I'll be out by the end of October and if they find a new tenant (and will let me out of paying November rent) it's all theirs!   

Another huge motivator for me is recognition.  I will work myself to death, never asking for help, panicking the whole time, and near the point of tears just to hear the words "I don't know how you do it...you're amazing" and to which I reply "Oh, it was nothing".  Is that sick or what???????

Today is Saturday October 1st.  I have exactly 7 (weekend) days off to complete the following...figure out where I'm going to be living, pack up all my "worldly possessions" and begin moving them into storage, clean the entire apartment in hopes of getting my deposit back, turn a 24 lb. block of glycerin into decorative goats milk soap, make several dozen fragrant bath fizzies, and spend quality time with my two canine children.  "I'll do it too" because "I'm motivated, I am amazing, it was nothing, and yes...I am sick!!!!!"

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Channeling My Inner John Wayne

"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway." --- John Wayne

This is one of my favorite quotes.  I even have a refrigerator magnet that says it.  Of course, I also have one that says "Does this saddle make my ass look fat". So, for me, pretty much all the answers to life's problems can be found on my fridge. 

This weekend mild panic began to set in.  Things that I had been hoping and praying for have finally started to happen.  Friday evening I was offered a job in Cheyenne and couldn't have been more excited.  Saturday and Sunday evening, however, were a different story.  Things always start to worry me in the evening, most likely, because I have a tendency to think too much when I don't have distractions to stop me.  

A conversation, on Sunday evening, with a friend (she a mixture of John Wayne & the Dalai Lama) eased my mind, set me straight, and gave me the confidence to say "I can do this!"  She asked a very good question that redirected my thinking.  "This is something you asked for, right?"  It was...a new beginning in Cheyenne, Santa Sara Ranch, a job that made me happy, and with people I enjoyed being around...these were all things that I had asked for.  The Dalai Lama in her called it Karma and said I had been given a gift.  She was right.  Then the John Wayne in her appeared and said..."A man's got to do what a man's got to do."  Not exactly in those words, but I think that was the gist of it.

That conversation was the spiritual kick in the ass I needed.  I woke up on Monday morning, read my refrigerator magnets, and was ready to take on all that life had to offer me.  Went and got four new tires and an oil change for my commute, looked at homes to place on the ranch, completed several applications for financing a new home (OK, this one still kind of scares me) and finally, drove by my new office to remember why I chose it in the first place.

I think next time I start to panic, I'll channel my inner John Wayne, put on my cowboy boots and hat, and say out loud..."I AM THE STUFF THAT MEN ARE MADE OF".

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Life Imagined

"If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."  --- Henry David Thoreau

For almost 2 weeks now I have been reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau.  I know, I know...it shouldn't take that long to read a book...let's just say..."I've been busy and I'm savoring it!"  It has been a little hard to read (the old timey language is difficult to follow sometimes) but I've found myself marking pages that hold particular meaning for me.  I feel like Thoreau and I are kindred spirits.  Both of us long for a quite place to call our own and to observe the world around us.  The chapter titles even excite me a little and set my mind wandering.  Where I Lived, and What I Lived For, Sounds, Solitude, House Warming and Higher Laws.  He wouldn't have even needed to write anything in those chapters, and I would have known exactly what was meant to be there. 

I think this book has inspired me to move ahead with the plan for my Walden.  I've started to look for small cabins and garden sheds that can be turned into a very modest home.  One day, I may have my dream home there but, for now, I can't wait for one day to come.  Each day that I wait, is a day that I'm sacrificing my happiness for someone else's.  I also find that I really enjoy a challenge...and want to prove all those that say
"it's not possible or wise" wrong.  A little bit of that pioneer spirit is coming out in me again.  Plus, if nothing else, it will make for wildly entertaining blog posts!

"Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live."  --- Henry David Thoreau

"Our life is frittered away by detail ... simplify, simplify." --- Henry David Thoreau

"I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion."  -- Henry David Thoreau

"Live the life you've dreamed." --- Henry David Thoreau

"Never look back unless you are planning to go that way." --- Henry David Thoreau


"You know about a person who deeply interests you more than you can be told. A look, a gesture, an act, which to everybody else is insignificant tells you more about that one than words can." --- Henry David Thoreau

LOVE THAT ONE!                                     

HOPE you all find at least one that speaks to you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Simple Life

"To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring" ----- John Burroughs

I've noticed something these past few days...my writing has been more prolific, my creativity more fertile, and my dreams more focused.  Best of all, I know why.  The past four days, for me, have been a return to the simple life. 

I took a mini vacation this past week and the timing could not have been better.  Even though the time off was planned more than a month ago, I didn't realize the need until it actually got here.  It started out as many of my vacations do, with a transitional day.  I have a hard time winding down and usually spend that day cleaning house, doing laundry, and grocery shopping followed by a little self pampering.  The added bonus...I enjoy my time off even more when I come home to a clean house, stocked pantry, and can crawl into bed with fresh clean sheets.

Friday was my "official" first day of vacation.  I woke up a little later than usual (5:00am) and after polishing off a few cups of coffee, taking a hot shower, and throwing on my favorite clothes (jeans, tshirt and cowboy boots) I took my beloved furry companions out for a walk.  It was still cool out, the grass was damp, the birds were singing and most everyone else was still asleep.  The best time of day as far as I'm concerned!  After kissing my dogs goodbye (on the forehead to avoid Patch's tongue) I headed up to Cheyenne. 

I always take "the slow way" up there....Highway 85.  It's mostly two lane and inhabited only by a few small towns (that resemble Mayberry), corn fields, pronghorn antelope, prairie dogs and oil field trucks.  To me, this area is beautiful. Nothing on this road looks like it has changed in 50 years, it's almost like stepping back in time.  I think that's why it makes me laugh when I read the writing on the Nunn, Co. water tower as I drive past that says "Watch Nunn Grow". 

When I arrive in Cheyenne I head straight for my weekends main attraction, Cheyenne Frontier Days.  I spent the day wandering around the exhibits surrounded by "my peeps"...nice people, similarly dressed and with common interests.  By the end of the day my body was exhausted from the heat but my mind was refreshed and ready for day two.  Saturday started out much like Friday but even more relaxed.  I spent much of the day at home, finished blog posts, returned emails and took a nap before heading back up Highway 85 to see Eric Church and Toby Keith perform an amazing concert.  I was a little apprehensive at first (I went alone because of a last minute invite and cancellation) but was soon at ease.  It's hard to be nervous when you've just knocked back a couple of cold ones and are singing along to "Get Out Of Your Clothes or Get Out Of My Car" with your new concert "row buddies"!

Yesterday was the perfect "simple life" day.  Again, up before dawn, coffee, hot shower, dog walk and drive up Highway 85 but this time taking a right when I got to Cheyenne and heading to Santa Sara Ranch.  I like to head out there every few weeks to be sure it's still there, wave to my neighbors, and soak up some peace and quite.  I did all of that plus picked wildflowers, took photos for the blog, sat and watched my neighbor plow their field, and wondered "what will they be planting".   Last stop for my weekend was Pine Ranch for a riding lesson and some good conversation.  It had been almost six weeks since my last lesson and I had a lot of catching up to do, both in riding and in gossip...I'm happy to say "mission accomplished" to both.

The drive home was a little sad, as it usually is.  The simple life is coming to a close.  My hope is that, one day, all there will be is the simple life...but for now...It's back to work with fond memories and a  farmers tan to remember it by!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Be Who You Are

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ----- Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss, what a genius! Children may love his books but, I'm convinced that, if more adults read them it would be a much better world. 

Be who you are! 

Last weekend I had something very unexpected happen, not just once, but a couple of times.  My first instinct was to wonder "what did I do" .  Later, when reflecting back, I discovered it wasn't what I did, it was what I didn't do!  Be myself. 

I have so many parts of who I am that I'm very proud of.  I also have a few others that I'd just as soon forget.  All together it makes me...well...me.  The problem ocurred because I took one of my parts and magnified it until it seemed there was nothing else to me.  Why did I do it?  I thought that's what the other person wanted.  If they're happy, I'm happy...right? 

Right...for a little while.

It's extremely hard to be who you're not.  It is possible to fake it for a while but, ultimately, who you are is going to come out and someone's likely to get hurt.  In this case, that someone was me.  If only I would have found that quote sooner.  Dr. Suess, where were you when I needed you? 

Be who you are...what a genius!

Friday, July 29, 2011

When You Least Expect It

"Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you." ----- Nathaniel Hawthorne

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  Happiness shouldn't be this much work!   I've noticed, however, that just when I'm ready to give up the pursuit...it always seems to find me and brings some fantastic friends along with it. 

It has been exactly eight months since I arrived in Colorado and I've made some wonderful discoveries and  friends.  All of which I did not set out to make but, more or less, fell into my lap.   My riding instructor for one...she's an incredible teacher, a wonderful listener and so much fun to be around.  Whenever I visit her ranch I never feel like an outsider and I always feel welcome.  I know, I know...I pay her...but I think we'd be friends even if I weren't.  (I can hear her laughing as she reads this!)  My belly dance teacher is another, she's very supportive and always encouraging, even though I know I have a long way to go before what I'm doing looks even remotely sexy.  (OK, I know, I pay her too!)  I really do have friends here that I don't pay (and still like me) but I prefer to keep them to myself.  My point is, not one of these people did I set out to make my friend.  It just happened and it's been amazing.  Happiness isn't a lot of work...it comes in the form of friends, and it happens when you least expect it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Come Sit With Me

"Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose"
 ---Kevin Arnold

"Come sit with me".  Four little words that make me happy and sad at the same time.  Four little words that Snow Angel would often say to me, and too often, I ignored while proceeding with my mindless tasks.  She was asking me to spend time with her, and looking back, I wished I would have listened more often.

Our time on this planet is extremely short and filled with so many distractions that it's easy to lose sight of what's really important.  Every day people are asking you to "come sit with me".   My advice...listen!  I know it's impossible to honor every request, all I'm asking is that you think first before responding.  What if this person were gone tomorrow?  Would it matter that the laundry wasn't done?  That there were dirty dishes in the sink? Or that the bathtub grout was a little dingy?  From personal experience, I can tell you "HELL NO!" 

That's the sad part....now for the happy : )

I remember, vividly, one request to "come sit with me".  We were in the hospital and Snow Angel was sitting in her bed watching TV while I was pacing around and packing things up for our trip home later that night.  I don't know whether she was sick of watching me rush around in a frenzy or simply wanted me to relax but I got the request..."come sit with me"...and this time I listened.  I sat down on the bed next to her as she held my hand, leaned her head against mine and kissed my cheek.  We sat there for a long time, quite, except for the sound of the television.  It's a memory that brings me so much comfort.  I only wish I would have done it more often.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Skinny Dippin'

"If somebody's looking at pictures of naked people and you go, "Oh I don't want to see that," you're lying. Cause naked people are always interesting. Always. Whether they're beautiful, or naked or 500 pounds." --- Andy Richter

OK, I promised lighthearted every once in a while...now you're going to get it! 

I usually start all my posts the same way.  I spend my weekend and days off exploring the area and taking photos of places and things that inspire me.  I come home, crop, edit and view my pictures and see what kind of emotions they invoke.  I love this picture (above) and the feeling I get from it, however, the feeling I get and the feeling you get can be something totally different. While you may see a a beautiful picture and imagine a quiet walk on it's banks.  I see a semi-remote place, a fresh warm breeze, chilly mountain water and an AWESOME place to skinny dip.  Just so you know, I didn't do it......yet.

I know what you all are thinking.  "Dang....didn't she just talk about rolling around naked in bluegrass a couple of posts ago?"  Yes I did.  I think this Facebook comment from a good friend will explain why.  (Any of you women out there in your 40's will understand)    

"It was time the old wild gal showed up. Life is short baby girl and they have always told us a "woman in her 40's is in the prime of her life"...so let's continue to test that theory!!!!" ---Thanks Alicia, I will!

This may not be my most articulate or thought provoking post (or maybe, for some of you, it is) but it has provoked me to put a lot more thought into that skinny dipping idea.  ; )  Carpe Diem!

Monday, July 11, 2011

What Lies Ahead

"Each man has his own vocation; his talent is his call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him" --- Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is my vocation, my talent, my call?  It's hard to say. It's changed so many times...and every time I think I have it all figured out something unexpected happens and I'm back at square one.  Today is Monday, July 11th, AKA (Also Know As) the cusp of a new square one.

When I moved to Colorado last December I had a plan.  I had the next two years all laid out...job, apartment, plans for the ranch, and an estimated completion date.  Now, nearly 8 months later, I'm getting ready to reevaluate the whole strategy.  As Emerson said,  "Each man has his own vocation; his talent is his call....".  Well, this woman, feels like she has been ignoring her calling simply because it wasn't in the plan.  That's about to change.  "There is one direction in which all space is open to him" and in my case, that direction is North, to Wyoming

The plan this time is not so hard and fast.  I've decided that things don't usually work out that way and it's better to just have a rough draft (from the heart) instead of a formal plan (from the head).  It will require some sacrifice but I've discovered, when it's something you really want, the sacrifice is nothing compared to reward that lies ahead. 

What lies ahead for me?  I'm not exactly sure right now.  I am sure, however, that I'm headed in the right direction. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Touching A Soul

"Peoples dreams are made out of what they do all day.  The same way a dog that runs after rabbits will dream of rabbits.  It's what you do that makes your soul, not the other way around."  ---Barbara Kingsolver

I spent the last couple of days walking various trails near my house.  I had a three day weekend and decided that, unlike other weekends, I was not going to make any plans and just take it easy.  It's amazing the things you notice when you take the time to look.  I found this adorable baby rabbit curled up in a hole at the base of a tree.  He couldn't have been more than six inches long and blended almost perfectly with the dirt and dried grass.  What was truly amazing was how close he allowed me to get before running and hiding in the nearest prairie dog burrow.

Ever since I was a child I had fantasies of being like Snow White, and no, not because she lived in the woods with seven men.  Although.........sorry couldn't resist!  The fantasy came from the part where she was out it the woods singing, all the animals gathered around and a bird came down and landed on her finger.  I've always loved animals and, call me crazy,  I swear that we share a special bond.  Kind of an unspoken understanding of each other.  I, by no means, think that I am the only one who has this ability.  I believe that eveyone has it, but many either don't care to experience it, or are too busy to notice it.

I can give so many examples of why I believe this is true but this is the the most memorable...

I have a dog named Freckles that Snow Angel purchased shortly before she began her "New Life".    I wasn't too sure about her decision to buy a dog, we had so much going on in our lives, but I'm thankful every day that she did.  It was with Freckles that I had my first Snow White experience.  I was crying (one of those Snow Angel moments) and Freckles was sitting down by my feet.  She then stared up at me, as if she were looking into my soul, jumped up on the sofa and but her paw on my heart.  The whole time looking into my eyes and wagging her tail a 100 mph.  Freckles knew what I needed and she told me, through her actions, "I'm here with you, everything is going to be OK".

Maybe that's why the rabbit let me get so close, through my actions, I told him "I'm here with you, everything is going to be OK"....and it was.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Barefoot In Bluegrass

“The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”  ---  Henry Miller

Call me a dork, if you must, but every day when I head out to work I am drawn to the grass on the hill near my front door.  It calls to me...and I have a hard time resisting.   One day I'm tempted to listen to it's call to take of my shoes, strip off my clothes and roll in the cool, sweet, soft grass.  Although, shortly afterwards, I will probably be arrested and taken into custody for indecent exposure.  Oh, the price we pay for happiness!  

The grass here in Colorado takes me back to my childhood in Kansas.  It reminds me of rolling down hills at the park, running barefoot chasing fireflies at night, sitting on the porch eating homemade peach ice-cream and listening to the locust sing.  It reminds me of the summer when Grandma put a quilt over a clothesline to make a tent for me in the backyard, next to the garden, and eating ice-cycle radishes fresh from the earth. 

All of the sudden life seems so simple...we just make it hard.  Today I walked outside barefoot and sat on the hill, it was just as I imagined it would be "indescribably magnificent"!                                                  

* Note to self:  When I get to Santa Sara Ranch plant a patch of bluegrass and roll naked in the privacy of my own backyard where the risk of arrest is slim to none.  Gotta try it!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Don't Fence Me In

"There are three kinds of men.  The one who learns by reading.  The few who learn by observation.  The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and see for themselves."  -------- Will Rogers

I have always taken pride in my ability to make decisions. Even when the decisions I have made weren’t quite right, I’ve managed to turn them into a learning experience (hate to waste anything). I mention this because I am at a point where I am facing yet another life altering choice. I have thought a lot about it, I have researched my options and I have decided to ignore my head, listen to my heart and as Will Rogers so eloquently said it “pee on the electric fence”. It may not be one of my wisest choices, but it’s mine, and maybe I’ll learn something.

The last few months I have felt a restlessness that can’t be avoided. I spent the evening at Santa Sara Ranch a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful night, the sun was setting, a fresh cool breeze was blowing, birds were singing and I was in my lawn chair enjoying an ice cold beer. “Life could not be any better” I thought to myself, then suddenly, I was moved to tears. The ranch of my dreams was so close and yet still seemed so far away. When I’m there, the restlessness fades away and is replaced by a quite calm that overwhelms me. Why am I putting off this pleasure??? Money? Stability? If I died tomorrow what good would those things do me? Besides who wants to be remembered at stable? Not me. I want to be remembered as a woman who followed her dreams and lived her life…without fences!

Life Without Fences

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hot Stuff and Cowboy Butts

Don't even know where to begin with this post...my heart is racing, my eyes dilated, can't think straight and my knees are weak. I also think it's contagious! Don't worry, half of you are safe...it only affects the ladies and there is no cure. The affliction, cowboys!

I spent all day yesterday in the most amazing place...Grover, Co. Before you laugh, hear me out. Grover is a VERY small town (only .6 square miles), located in the middle of the Pawnee National Grasslands, has a population of 157, and the home of the "Biggest Little Rodeo In The West". Nearly 1000 people flock to Grover each year to attend this wonderful two day event, which is now in it's 88th year. This was my first time and I can tell you...it won't be my last.

Now, back to the meat and potatoes of this post, the cowboys. What is it about these guys that drives me (and many other women) so wild? Can't speak for all women but here are a few of my theories.

Number One: They are fearless. How many people will think "Huh, that bull or bucking bronco looks pretty pissed! I think I'll jump on it's back and ride it". They get tossed off, gored, kicked and have a 1000 lb. animal roll on top of them but still get up, dust themselves off and do it again!

Number Two: One of the most obvious. CHAPS! How can anyone deny the appeal of the cowboy's ensemble? Boots to make them look taller and give them a more commanding presence, chaps that nicely frame the cowboy's "assets", the hat that causes the cutest little curls to appear beneath the band and finally that big shiny buckle that might as well be a neon sign saying "Hey ladies, look here!". (blush)

Number Three: My favorite. The way they can spit, get in bar fights, tame wild beasts but still show respect to the older generation and the ladies. Something about a big tough guy calling me "mam" and diverting his stare that is very endearing, especially when you've just witnessed what he's capable of!

If you weren't infected before I'm afraid you are now! 

Enjoy the photos.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Still Looking

"A person is only complete when she has a true friend to understand her, to share all her passions and sorrows with, and to stand by her throughout her life."  (sent by Jennifer L. to The Friendship Page)

I'm still looking for the male version of this person, and at times, think I may never find him.  Maybe it's just me, maybe what I'm looking for doesn't exist.  He's a perfect person, that I have concocted in my head, that no one has the chance of living up to.  In no way am I suggesting that I am searching for someone who's perfect.  I am realistic.  The person I'm searching for is perfect for me! He makes me laugh until I cry, has a great relationship with his family and mine, works hard but with limits, has fun without limits (OK, maybe some), he will be handy, surprisingly romantic, ruggedly handsome and when he kisses me my knees buckle.  Is that too much to ask?

I'm in no means complaining.  I never want to be one of those people.  You know the ones I'm talking about...the ones that say "MEN, they're all alike".  How is that going to help?  If anything it will send anyone even remotely resembling Mr. Perfect running.  No one likes a cranky pants.

For the time being, I'll keep looking.  He's got to be out there somewhere. Oh, and I WILL have fun while trying to find him!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Paths We Choose To Take

“All of life is a journey which paths we take, what we look back on, and what we look forward to is up to us. We determine our destination, what kind of road we will take to get there, and how happy we are when we get there.”

What a great quote...only wish I knew who said it. 

I am asked all the time how I keep such a positive attitude with all that I have been through during the past several years.  My reply, "I can curl up in the fetal position and cry or I can take what I've learned and use it to make my life, and all the lives I touch, better".  Given the choice I'll choose the later.
Don't get me wrong, occasionally a pity party is in order and can be quite therapeutic, but in the long run laughter and selective memory make for a much happier existence.  When I do find myself starting to host another pity party I just think of Snow Angels 7 final words to me (though not all together)..."Mom, get over yourself" and "I love you".  PARTY CRASHER!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Beginning

  I spent days contemplating my first post.  I wanted something that would set the tone for this journey that I am now beginning.  The first thought that came to mind was "New Life" but there was something about that title that disturbed me.  "New Life", to me, suggested that there was something wrong with my "Old Life" and that it was to be left behind and forgotten.  I will never forget my "Old Life" nor do I want too.  "Old Life" is what's given me the drive to pursue my dream and the dream of an amazing young woman whom I was honored to spend most of my "Old Life" with. 
  Allow me to explain...The young woman was my daughter Sara and she became the center of my life from the day she entered it in 1987.  I was a single mother with no parenting skills and no job, a college junior who chose to discontinue her formal education to pursue an education in life and love.  As with many parents, every decision I made from that point on was for her and because of her.  The banking career because of the hours, weekends and holidays off.  Remaining single because I could never find someone that was the perfect mix of partner for me and father for her.  Finally, the hardest decision of all letting
her go.
  For nineteen years, she and I were not only mother and daughter but best friends, roommates and confidantes.  You would never see one of us without the other nearby. 
  In 2001, a visit to the doctors changed our lives in ways that we could never imagine.  Sara had been complaining that her knee hurt for a few weeks.  There was no injury, no swelling and the pain was only on occasion but never the less we got it checked.  The doctor too, was baffled and almost passed it off as "growing pains" but said "to be on the safe side, go get an xray" and we immediately did.  Later that afternoon he called me at work and asked me if I could come back into his office.  I was not prepared for what came next, the diagnosis, osteosarcoma...bone cancer!  It was now my job to go home and explain to my 14 year old daughter, who was so excited about just starting high school, that she had cancer, she was going to have surgery, a years worth of chemotherapy and lose her hair.
  As to be expected, there were tears pouring down both of our faces as I explained the path our lives were taking for the next year.  What I didn't expect was the strength we both found in each other and that led us
through the next five years!  What should have been one year of chemo and a knee replacement turned into four relapses, sixteen surgeries, four rounds of chemotherapy and all together approximately  two years of hospital stays.  Without each other, the support of all our family and friends and our twisted sense of humor we would have never made it through. We also found that during the most trying times, when any day could be your last, is when you make some of the most wonderful discoveries. 
  The trip to Wyoming during her senior year of high school was just one of our most memorable.  I'll always remember our snowmobile trip to Granite Hot Springs when Sara, before stepping into the springs, in only her wig and bathing suit plopped herself down in the snow and made a snow angel!  She loved it there and on the way home said that someday she wanted to have a ranch in Wyoming.  She wanted to invite kids with cancer to come stay with us, forget about their problems and be a cowboy/cowgirl for a little while.
  On December 14, 2006 at 5:45 pm, Sara began her "New Life".  She passed away quietly surrounded by the people she loved and who loved her more than anyone could imagine.  I promised her that day that she would have her ranch in Wyoming and that I would make sure that no one ever forgot her (like they ever could) and that anyone who didn't know her, would, by the time I was done with them!
  In June 2007, I purchased 40 acres in Carpenter, Wyoming and I believe Sara led me there.  I spent months researching properties for sale near Cheyenne & Laramie, Wy., narrowed it down to about 10-15 places to visit and just when I was ready to give up, drove up to the Carpenter property.  It had rained most of the day and when I drove up the clouds in the sky opened up and sun streamed through right above the property...it was beautiful...and I think Sara smiled.  I purchased it the next day.   "Santa Sara Ranch" was born and now WyoCowgirl and her snow angel have found their home...and a "New Beginning".

Who I Am

  My Name is Christine and I work in banking, however, I am a NOT a banker.  I may be dressed in my "professional business attire" and carry a furrowed brow, brought on by the years of drudgery in the corporate world, but that is NOT who I am.  Beneath this cold exterior lies my true self...I have a heart, I am an adventurer, I am a dreamer,  I am a pioneer, I am....WyoCowgirl.