Thursday, June 19, 2014

Chasing the sun

Today I head out for the long drive to Las Vegas to stay with a friend, and then we get to drive up to the mountains for the weekend for a fun girl’s getaway. This I really look forward to since I don’t even know the last time I’ve done a girl’s anything; especially with girls who have kids! Virtually unheard of.

So as I’m listening to an audio book to pass the time driving through the desert, I’ll leave you with some photos I took while chasing the sun last Saturday evening. I almost thought it would be a wash, being unable to find a nice field, but I came across this barn and had to stop.

California really has some great sunsets. Have a great weekend everyone!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Clearing my conscience

I have a confession. One that’s really hard for me to admit and put out there because everyone will now know the truth

Someway somehow many many people got the impression that I know about every single gun that’s been made. People come to me, asking about guns, telling me about THEIR guns and look to me for advice, tips, pointers and thoughts when in all actuality, I know about 4 gun types. 4.

Remington 870 shotgun
Smith and Wesson 38 revolver
Ruger Mini 14 rifle
H&K P2000 sk 40cal handgun

There you have it. Let’s get more honest. I only {expertly} know about the mini 14 and revolver, and that’s because I was trained extensively on them both. I know them inside and out. I know the shotgun one step down from expertly and the handgun…my own, I just “know”.
Here’s another thing. Guns…specifically handguns, make my palms sweat. Without fail. I have to wear gloves when I’m qualifying mine. The shooting range thought I was crazy, even saying they had never seen anyone having to wear gloves, but guys, as much of a gun enthusiast as I am, they make me nervous. You never point your gun at anything unless you intend to shoot it, right?? That’s what you’re told over and over again, and thankfully, I’ve never pointed my guns at a person.

I’ve come close. Had it in my hands ready to raise, but never had to fully commit. But just the thought of it, even when shooting at a target, has my palms sweat.

But I feel bad. I feel bad when people (and its several) reach out to me asking which guns to buy, or asking if the gun they just bought was a good one. They tell me the type and I say, ‘oh yeah, sure, that’s a great one!’ when heck, I’ve never heard of it before. And I really just wanna say… ‘you got a gun.. that’s great enough! go out and have you some responsible fun!’

People have suggested I start my own business where I train, teach, give classes to women on gun safety, shooting, and run a weekend ‘retreat’ of sorts for women focusing on all things guns and I stare blankly at them and think how did they ever come up with that!?

I’m flattered. I am. Could I train women (or anyone) on how to properly shoot? Of course. I was certified to do just that, but I feel like such a fake when everyone seeks me out and excitedly hands me their gun to check out.

So, there you have it. It’s with a lot of trepidation that I’m even admitting this. Maybe it’s silly to some, but it’s the equivalent to someone being sought after for medical advice when they never actually completed med school…but feel obligated to keep answering everyone’s questions.

So, if you’re one who’s emailed, called, texted, talked or showed me your guns, I’m flattered. But seriously, unless it’s about those 4 guns above, I got nothin’ for ya.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Halters and pinchers

Its Monday and a lot is coming up this week that I’m looking forward to. A little (big) road trip and then some weekend condo mountain time with the girlfriends, followed by some family time with by brother’s lovable family. I certainly can’t wait.

These past few days have been pretty nice. Father’s Day proved successful with Chinese food, cards, and a gift; and Saturday I thought I’d do some sun chasing in order to capture a pretty sunset. I half thought I wasn’t going to get it, but managed to find a pretty barn and tree in a corn field. em1

More to come, stay tuned!

As evidence in last week’s post, my parents have a plum tree that was filled with plums. I realized very quickly that pincher bugs lived in this tree and when I say lived, I mean infested. They’re under the leaves, burrowing into the tips of the plums, and this girl stayed away from the plums at all costs. I began wondering how any of them would get picked, and almost resorted to grabbing tongs to use, when my dad, the man that he is, who has no feeling in a lot of his fingers, began picking them one after another after another. Over 100 plums later (and his claim to seeing zero pinchers, (go figure)), the tree was picked.

What we’ll do with all of those, I have no idea. But its fun having juicy fresh plums at the ready to eat whenever I want.

You know that scene in A League of Their Own where Madonna says ‘what if I go for a ball and my bosoms come flying out’? Well, I almost had that moment yesterday. I wore my halter dress and (thankfully) had a silk blouse over it, and the moment I stood in front of my chair at church, my halter For a second I thought my belt had come undone but no, it was my halter falling. I was shocked, and just the thought of it happening minus the blouse, had me all sorts of befuddled. I found it more amusing, thanks only to the top covering the catastrophe but all day long, no matter how much I hoisted it back up, it would slip on down again. This also will show the obvious-that there’s not “much” upstairs to keep it in place.

Another major event that happened this weekend was eating the new Ben and Jerry’s Core ice cream. Have you had this?? They are absolutely delicious, and this one is my favorite! I could have eaten it all in one sitting, but made myself take two days to finish. You have to go out and get it, because its sold out at a lot of stores and you neeeed to get it before everyone else does. I promise you’ll thank me for buying it.

How was your weekend?

Tomorrow I’m revealing a bit of a secret. A confession of sorts that may be silly, but it might burst some bubbles, so come back tomorrow and be gentle.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Back to my {fruit} roots

The day after I took my final exam I was a bit lost. I had no idea what to do with all the hours in my day, and couldn’t decide if I wanted to sleep them away or be productive. …and by productive I mean sitting outside doing next to nothing. To my surprise, I ended up going on a crazy cleaning spree and having a crazy desire to take pictures of the pretty plants in the backyard. Especially the plum tree that has copious amounts of plums growing.

Its been too long since I took a picture of a fruit tree and I started to think how much I used to do it in the beginning of me learning to shoot in manual, and I wanted to get back to that feeling. I started late in the morning, which meant the sun was high in the sky, so I had to get in the silliest squatted positions to get these, but I had a lot of fun.

With the one flower photo, I had to lay flat on my back on the patio in order to get the sun in the shot, which ended up giving it the unique effect it did. I think next time I do this, I’ll be smarter and get an earlier start. Regardless of all the neck and back strain, it was enjoyable to do. Here’s only a few of what I got that day.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My tell

Is there one thing you do that is your obvious sign you’re stressed? Your tell? Mine would be picking and biting my cuticles. (gross, I know) Its my worst habit, and no matter how many times I’ve fought the urges, I haven’t been successful. Especially when I’m  really stressed; they’re shredded and there’s no stopping me. I can pretend all day long nothing is bothering me, but one look at my cuticles will reveal all.

Though I’m considerably less stressed at this {current} moment, I still have to fight attacking them. Its like they’re calling my name, taunting me, it’s the weirdest urge and even with every pause I take writing this, my fingers automatically go to them.

I’ve been dealing with an enormous amount of stress lately, and its safe to say my cuticles have suffered dearly because of it. I’ve considered putting band-aids on a couple fingers to block them, but haven’t taken that drastic plunge just yet. What are some ways you cope with your stress? I’m hoping, praying things can level out soon enough but in the meantime, I have to stop this craziness. My fingers are far from pretty.

What’s your ‘tell’?

How do you fight your little stress urges?

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Around here

Last week since not having to keep my nose in the computer for school, I got to help out with my sister’s church’s VBS. If you’re not familiar with VBS its Vacation Bible School that lasts a week and is at many different churches throughout the summer. My sister’s husband is a pastor, and they asked me to help out at their church, so I did.

I ended up having a lot of fun since I helped out with volleyball-my most favorite sport. The girls were great especially since they all agreed to call me Coach Awesome. Anyone who willingly calls me awesome gets an A in my book. It was exhausting though. Not having played in a long time, or being so active around a bunch of kids, left me beat every night. Regardless of that, I’m really glad I got to do it.

For the first time in a long time, I’ve picked up a book. I’m actually reading, for fun, and not listening to an audio book. Feels good, but I can tell I’m so rusty. I’m reading Shogun, and I thought it seemed appropriate given all my trips to Japan, and finding out the little town I stay in is the actual town the white shogun (who the book is about) lived! And is buried. What are the odds?

Have you read Shogun? I’m only a couple chapters in, but I’m finally getting to the point where I want to read it vs forcing myself to read it for the sake of doing something.

Since I haven’t officially stated it yet, and I’ve had quite a few people ask me, I’m back in California again. I got back over two weeks ago and it feels like an eternity. Mainly because I worked day and night the first week on the math class, and the second week at the church that each day felt like three. I admit, when I realized I had only been back for a week at one point, I was so discouraged, it really felt like three.

That’s been my emotions lately; up and down, which I’ll divulge in another post at some point, but its been a roller coaster over here. Some happy though, if not comical, is my crazy hair experiences continue to happen, though I had yet another happy ending.

Stopping in Los Angeles at a hair salon before driving home, I had a stylist trim my bangs. That’s all I wanted, was a bang trim (and a dye job), and she did this. (I won’t even tell you how much she charged me either!)
Yes, that would be only half my bangs being trimmed. It was bad. What was worse was her not even seeing she only cut half of them (badly at that), so I kept my mouth shut, waited a few days and found another stylist who made them perfect. At some point, I’ll stop having horrible hair experiences. It’s a wonder I’m bothering keeping these bangs.em156
My mom picked her first carrot of the season. We were so excited and thought it was the cutest.
photo 4 (6)
I babysat my sister’s kids and while her son and his friend were hiding out in his room, I took the opportunity to have a girls secret ice cream treat. This is what being a girl is all about, in my opinion. They were quite excited to have something, just for them, and this was my first experience with Its It ice cream sandwiches. If you’ve never had one, I highly recommend them, they’re delicious!

So, a little snapshot sampling of what’s been going on here. There was one day I had some fun with my camera. Another thing I haven’t gotten to enjoy in a very long time, and it was nice going back to what I used to do-take pictures of fruit trees, and I have to say I loved it. I should be sharing those later this week.

I hope your weekends were nice! Happy Monday!

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Coming up for air

em150                                                                                   my happy place (circa 2012)

I survived! I actually survived the dreaded, horrific, terrible, (and dare I say) plain ol’ stupid math class. Of course not before it gave me a fast and painful kick in the rear at the very end just to remind me how much I really truly hate it.

Math has been the reason why I’ve been absent lately.
Math: the thing that has had me glued to my computer every day for several (and I mean several) hours.
Math: the thing that has kept me from eating, showering, and working out.
Math: I have a place for you…

The class started on May 19th and if you do the math, its only been about two weeks since that date. But I’m done…? Last Monday, my professor decided to email the entire class (the class where 85% of us admitted to hating math) a bit of a challenge. If we were able to finish our entire six week course in two weeks, we wouldn’t be given the rest of the homework for the remaining weeks. We’d be done!

You can bet I took that challenge. Finish math as fast as humanly possible AND have less work than originally planned? Where do I sign?? The thing is, math does not come easily for me. Its one of my worst subjects. It was the subject in school that had me cheat….yes I cheated. I was the one standing at the front of the class reading out of the teacher’s answer book (that he left open on his desk) calling out the answers to the other students. I didn’t get it then and I just barely get it now. So, knowing this I was nervous.

I ended up devoting every single day to this class. I spent from 7-12 hours every day for the past 7 days on this silly subject. I didn’t know any of the formulas, equations, or words prior to this class, so I had to take it slow slow slow. It was exhausting and boy was I pooped each and every day. After week 3’s workload (the most difficult workload), I actually went outside and twirled in the sun, I was so happy. It took three full days to complete that week and its safe to say I will never be a gambler since clearly I can’t figure out the odds or the probability of something. And here I thought it was easy…

On the 7th day, yesterday, I took the final exam, and I bombed it..bad. I couldn’t use my notes explaining all of the crazy formulas (like the other exams) and it showed with each answer I got wrong, but you know what? I don’t care because I’m done. I finished my six week class in two, and I don’t have to ever have another math class again in my life. ever!

Now I have the next four weeks completely off until my next Summer class and this makes me so happy. Complete freedom! I can finally relax and be just a little bit less stressed than I have been these past few weeks, and I really look forward to that. One less weight off my shoulders will feel nice.

Tell me, how much do you love math? You can admit if you love it.

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