Moving. (AKA: Where the F%$* did I put the tape???)

Oh. My. God.

Well Soupers, I can officially share with you that I am a home owner!  With my partner of course.

It happened on May 25th.  Close of escrow.

Our one year anniversary came on the 28th, one day before my birthday.  Which, was almost eclipsed by our new official situation, but, not entirely.

Yeah, yeah, I see the dust too, I live on a dirt road, I can’t wash my car without coming home and being completely undone in that arena.

So hush. LOL.

I didn’t pack a thing.  Not a thing.  Because, I didn’t want to ‘jinx’ anything. (I lived to regret that.)

We’ve done runs up and down, and, let me share now that it will be a 40 minute commute to work each way – but, well worth it!

I didn’t completely understand the gravity of this situation until … today.

My honey is out-of-town to be with his kidlets, (who arrive on this month for 3 weeks! 🙂 ) and I went up today to water the trees and set up a shower curtain and take up my kitchen island.  Ah.  How relaxing.  And, it was!  While I was there.

Past week was spent juggling work, initializing utilities, cancelling current ones in the future …

Here’s us, the ‘public view’ of this experience.

(Obviously taken before he left town)

Aaaand, here’s me now.

I have learned that … A) I am getting what I deserve after dropping so many things on my parents after I moved!

This is my son’s room …

We have what is called a Quonset hut which is HUGE!  And almost all of the shelving is currently occupied by ‘Nic Barn’.

I’m sorry mom.

B) I kept too much stuff!

I am the Queen of nostalgia.  Every card, every note, every memorabilia of an event I participated in!  Because why?  Is any one going to care after I pass?  Is it the Holy Grail?  NO!  My sentimental things are bordering on MENTAL!

I had a hard time throwing these out!  These are old food containers people!  But, because my son wrote such sweet things on them, I kept them!  I took a photo, because I’m still not over such things, then tossed.  (With a little whimper.)  You can understand what I’m up against.

C) This shit.  And, I swear I said out loud to my DOG, “Where the fuck did I put the tape????” at least 20 times today.

I haven’t even started on my bedroom, which, of course, contains my ‘most special things’ AKA: pouring over stuff for too long and reminiscing and not getting anything done!

There needs to be a service.  Someone who will literally just sit there and crack a whip when you’re getting tired, or taking too many breaks.

D) I will be SO happy when this is over and I get to read THIS and laugh.  I so hope for that moment, while my back is killing me and my space is a disaster.

There WILL be a time, in the future when I’m reading this and will tell myself, “You did it!”

 

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Cold Feet in 100 Degree Weather

Well!  Big news.

1) I’m in escrow

2) I’m in escrow with that guy I hike with

3) I have a ring on my finger

4) I’m having a nervous breakdown

 

And I swear to God, if one more person tells me ‘worrying won’t fix anything’ I’m going to end up in the news.  Yes, yes I AM aware that worrying will not help anything.  I however, AM a worrier.  Kinda had to be raising a son completely, physically and financially alone.   I’m also that person who you share a sad story with and I’ll cry FOR you.  An empath through and through – so, imagine being alone in my own head unattended!

I am stressing the hell out.  And I would be lying if I said that there is a small part of me hoping the house does not appraise.  Horrible, I know.  But, I’m nothing but honest.

This is a HUGE commitment!

It all began because my guy and I have some distance between us.  This month will be a year since we met – we needed to find a solution to our 45 minute drive.  That solution was apparently moving somewhere where I’ll have a twice daily 35 minute drive.

“I don’t mind.”  Said cheerful, dreamy, smitten me.  “I’ll commute as long as we’re together.”  (Insert fingers down throat and go ahead and gag now.)

 

Now, I’ll have to hop in here and interrupt myself by pointing out that in fact, the ONLY thing I’m certain of right now is my unwavering love for this man.  No, not the guy in the pic above, my guy.  So yeah, I am willing to have a tedious commute in trade for sharing a home with my future husband.  (Gulp.  Hold on.  Dizzy.)

 

“Tell us Amanda!  How did you get engaged?!”

Well.

We went looking at a house that actually happened to have EVERYTHING we both wrote on our ‘wish list’.  Acreage, HUGE ‘hangar’ ‘shed’ whatever.  Completely fenced.  In the area my honey is in love with.  (Me, not so much.  I could leave the desert tomorrow and be just fine.)  AND, an actual house with a wood burning stove and in need of LOTS of projects and fixing up.

We checked it out – stopped at a local place for a beer and a chat deciding whether we make an offer or not.

We both knew we loved it.  We both knew what our answer would be – but I had knots in my stomach.  Share a mortgage with someone and then what?  Can’t just walk away if you have an argument from a 30 year loan.

Well, not without serious repercussions.

So I asked the most important question:

“Most importantly, are you sure you want to do this with me?”

Him: “Yes, I’m never going to meet  anyone like you.  Maybe we need to go to Vegas.”

We went to my place and his response kept ringing in my ear.  He’d dropped other hints.  Like, when he bought into a claim put me down as ‘spouse’ and told me that.  No guy who doesn’t want to put any thoughts in his girlfriends head would say that.  Nor would they mention marriage at ALL or discuss anything close to the topic.  LOL!

So after the Vegas comment – I just straight up said, “Look, you keep mentioning things, and I’ll tell you right now, I’m not doing Vegas. IF that’s what you meant.”

(I hurt my parents once before by eloping – so that wasn’t going to be an option.)

I then approached him, got down on one knee and I popped the question.

Romantic as hell huh?

So that was out of the way.

We’ll most likely do it at a courthouse.  No guests, (except my parents).  Just quick nuptials and onto life.  We’ve both HAD the fancy, flouncy, over the top weddings.  We don’t need all that again.

So here we are.

Then on Mother’s Day, I learned that my parents are moving.  Leaving the area totally.  And, doing it very soon.  I NEED my ‘mummy’.  Truly.  There is just SO much going on and the last thing I thought could add itself to that pile would be the departure of my rock.  My number one fan.  We’ve never lived far from one another.  This was a huge blow for me.

I’ve downed an entire box of M & M’s today – yes, a box.  I’ve been spontaneously weeping.  I haven’t packed a f$%#ing thing (our close of escrow is the 25th).

My stress level is at an eleven.

Am I going to be that girl at the altar, or more fittingly, the signing table that blurts out, “I’m sorry – I just can’t do this!”  and runs dramatically out of the building?  Probably not.  I’ve got this ‘love’ thing going on with the other party.

But I needed everyone to know that it is TERRIFYING!!!  And this is with a guy I love more than any other guy!  This is with the person I WANT to spend the rest of my life with.  It’s not all smiles, handshakes and keys being handed to you ya know!  It’s “Oh shit, this is big.”  It’s “What if my car breaks down now I have this insane uphill desert commute?”  It’s “What if we move in together and hate it?”  It’s “Does he truly love me?”  It’s insecurities and fear and taking a leap when you’re sure there’s nothing to break your fall.

And being willing to regardless, because life has handed you something amazing.

 

Defining Forgiveness

Ah, Eva

Debauchery Soup

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Forgiveness.

Through processing how to authentically achieve this, I became so stuck on the definition I had in my head, I all but decided there were some people I could never forgive!

I knew I had to change my definition.

It’s easy for me to forgive someone when they’ve owned their responsibility,  changed their behavior and are not repeating the same patterns and ceased to harm.

It’s also easy for me to forgive when I can understand that something in someone is broken.

And to be honest, it’s easy for me to forgive when what they have done reflects my own past indiscretions.

If I am guilty of having once caused the same harm to another, I have empathy which goes a long way to my original definition of forgiving.

Or perhaps, if I’m really being honest – forgiving those who have perpetrated a wrong doing that I have been…

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Trekking Poles and Guilt – also, ‘leg day’

To say our hike Saturday had its ups and downs would be a pretty fair assessment of the adventure.

I was excited about where we were going for a few reasons, one of them being it was the place I saw my first tarantulas over 15 years ago.  (Still very hard to believe this fair English native, then Central Coast California transplant has been in the desert that long!)

And if I’m being truly honest, I’ve only just started to appreciate it since I’ve begun hiking.

We’ll touch back on that in a while.

Anyway,  I’ve been chomping at the bit to capture wildlife on my camera.  So far, lizards, butterflies, burros, cattle and long-horned sheep – but my secret deep down wish was to snap a close up of a scorpion or an arachnid and yes, even a snake.  Oh, trust me, the zoom lens would be the key there!  I’m wishful but would also not like to trust my snake guards that we wear to such an extent.

We arrived at Grapevine Canyon and my first mistake?  I wore a cotton t-shirt.  (Why oh why do they give those away at 5K events?  Cotton is not conducive to a comfy hike or run.)  I am usually sporting wicking wear, and I’ll have you know that I’ve successfully completed all previous hikes sans sweat.  So, that either means that I didn’t push myself hard enough or … seriously, cotton is not the ideal choice.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’m the Queen of Tangents, you’ll have to bear with me.

We arrive.

I don my pack and my snake guards and … my gift from my guy, trekking poles.

Another tangent.  When we return from hiking, he’s sore. He, with the Popeye calves.  He who can not only put his hands on the ground in a straight legged position, but also touch his forehead to his legs.  I, on the other hand, feel no pain upon return – nor the following day.  (Also can’t do any of those things.)

This weekend?  It hurt to squat to reach the toilet seat lol!  ‘Leg day’ happened.

We started out past the tourists who were there for the petroglyphs and the waterfall.

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Surpassed them and began our trek.

Me, clumsy  and awkward with my poles.  My honey a little frustrated because he’d put so much thought into buying them for me.  And, no, it does not escape me that he bought them for me because he wants to spend time with me.  It also doesn’t escape me that he bought them because he loves them and wants me to have the same experience.  So, I felt like an asshole and here’s why.

The terrain he fell in love with them for was the Pacific Crest Trail, so not only was that ideal for that, but he had MILES to become acquainted until they were like additional limbs.  Me?  I’m trying to snap pictures, which meant holding them in one hand or putting them down, and it seemed every time I did that, he happened to turn around.  I felt awful.  A gift not being utilized as intended.

We carried on.

Now might be a great time to mention that my guy also has experience rock climbing.  Serious rock climbing.  And, after the birth of my son I was suddenly scared of heights.  And we were high.

I say this because he was like a freaking mountain goat and I kept being told, “Stay perpendicular!” This, after a particular steep rock with nothing to cling to.  Thing is about such a rock, once you’re half way up, you’re kinda screwed.

It’s either, A) Have faith in  the experts and just keep scaling without looking down and pray you don’t fall to your death or B) Get chastised for wanted to be on all fours.  OR C) F#@* this, I know my limits and THIS isn’t happening today.

Well, it happened.

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I am not going to lie (again) I was terrified.  Literally.  What I wanted to do was that dramatic, “Go on without me … save yourself with this hike and I’ll wait.”  What I did?  I kept going.

And the psychosomatic part of it is that if a hand is held out, you tend to suddenly become invincible without putting too much weight on said hand.  It’s just the knowledge that someone has your back and is there to assist that tends to erase a majority of the worry.

Okay, so now I’m up.  And ‘height’ phobia cracks in.  I swear, I couldn’t even count how many times I heard, “This part is steep, but after this!  It evens out.”

I always want to impress my guy, I also always want to live.

We kept going.

And, OH. MY. GAWD.

The day was perfect.  The juxtaposition of desert meets … rustling trees … meets water?  lol, was awesome!

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An egg … I didn’t touch.

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Crunching on leaves was bizarre!

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Look easier than they were to navigate – but I nailed it.  Thought of the Olympics and wanted to do a back flip and land it – then remembered I couldn’t even touch my hands to the floor straight legged lol.

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The rustling tree.  Was breezy for a bit. (Thank goodness for my pits lol!  Remember, cotton … not conducive.)

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Just … beauty in everything.

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Zoomed in – this was my elephant rock.

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This was my heavy-headed person resting their forehead on the peak.

 

This was freaking AWESOME!  The curves get slimmer and slimmer to the point that yes, (OH, Yay!) You have to climb out of it.  I think this, and the slides back down due to complete water smoothing (imagine a rock slide!) were my favorite parts.

We ended our hike on a flat rock and chatted.

Here’s where I touch on the beginning.

“And if I’m being truly honest, I’ve only just started to appreciate it since I’ve begun hiking.”

Begun.

I said to my honey at one point, “You’re really good at a lot of things, but I’m just a beginner.”

And as we sat on that rock, he apologized for any impatience.   But, the truth of it was that he was NOT impatient.  Or, I didn’t read it that way.

He pushed me for sure – seeing things in me I didn’t.  Seeing me capable and cheering me on the whole time.  Mostly during our exit when I took a total (on purpose) slide down a steep rock – and it was fun!!!!!

He doesn’t coddle me.  But, he does pay attention, even with his back to me.  (Dad eyes in the back of his head lol!)  And always has just the RIGHT way to encourage me to be a better version of myself.

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Extras!  Me the next day with my burros!  (With the right gear on, but we ended up napping at his home. lol!)

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This was Sunday, and we violated a mine – NOT ON PURPOSE!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s for sale!  And, um, saw this a little too late.

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Lastly, some fun pics.

Wait!! Wouldn’t be complete without those trekking poles. xxxx

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Thanks Soupers for continuing to read my journey through life!  I love each and every subscriber and reader!

Let me know what you want to see more of!

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Patrick’s Day Hike!

Started the day out with pancakes at ‘our’ restaurant.  It’s riddled with black and white photos of Laurel and Hardy, Shirley Temple, old movie sets and Charlie Chaplin.  Plus, evidently, very large cups of orange juice.  I didn’t hear my guy’s drink order, but when a ginormous odd-looking cup arrived at our table I asked what it was.  Turns out it was O.J.  Remember ordering orange juice and it came in a thimble?   That justifies my confusion and I immediately coveted it.  I know, I know, ‘Thou shall not covet …” But, I think that only applied to a neighbor’s wife?  Maybe not, but I coveted all over his drink and into a straw and away from my iced tea.

HIKE TIME!

We are so lucky to have SO many locations at our disposal.  Almost makes up for those 120 degree summers.

I’ll just start sharing photos and mumble on about them eh?

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First pic – (and I took my ‘good camera’ which, while quality was better, I couldn’t really see what I was capturing due to sun on my preview)  We had a storm ahead (and a part of me hoped it arrived, although, I don’t think my backpack is water proof and I had my phone in my pocket tracking the hike).

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Me trying to be ‘artsy’ even with a good camera, nothing compares to the actual view.

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I was truly hoping for ‘wildlife’.  And to be honest, if I heard a rattle, I’d be grabbing my camera versus carefully avoiding the source of the serpent sound.  Also waiting the moment I turn over a beautiful rock, and find a scorpion under it that will stay still for a National Geographic worthy pic!  I mean c’mon!  I’ve had them in my home a dozen times, WHEN am I going to see one in the wild?

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Pi or Stonehenge?  You decide.  But, as you’ll see in the next pic, was located right next to a mining excavation.

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We didn’t go in this one.  My guy had already explored it on another hike and there wasn’t much to be seen.

 

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Now comes my favorite part!  Went down into a river bed that is obviously a water source for desert animal dwellers.  Plenty of scat and prints to prove that.  Yes, it did dawn on me that we were literally delicious things walking through an area that many predators visit for protein.  But, the naturally washed rocks and amazing terrain trumped those thoughts.

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Mini waterfall.

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This rock reminded me of a fish.  A fish that evidently has a stick up its nostril. LOL!

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Snake stick, attacking a rock.  We did have to jump down into some brush from quite  a height and MY rock was checking all brush for snakes.  I had snake guards on (he didn’t this time) so I so unselfishly said, “Just go!”  I know.  I’m a giver.

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A storm was threatening the entire time – but, did not come to fruition.

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A vein!  With vugs.

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Just gorgeous!

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“Life, uh, finds a way”  Said in my best Jeff Goldblum voice.

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Okay, he stops for rocks, I stop for close up shots of flora and fauna.

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The colors in this rock was unreal!  Again, better in person.

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Where we came from to flat land.

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Hoof proof.

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A wall that once contained something to do with mining.

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This guy continued to watch us for what seemed like forever, protecting his family. Bless his Burro heart. x

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The family.  When I took this photo, I only saw the darker burros.  Was happy to discover the other two after downloading.

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A thick stringer!

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Almost back to the car.

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The local gold mine.  It’s for sale for $2,500,000.  We were going to offer 2. lol.

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We did not disturb.

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Pay dirt!  Sitting RIGHT THERE!  We still did not disturb.  Although, during the hike, one side of my jacket may or may not have been hanging VERY low due to there certainly NOT being any rocks in my pocket. 😉

We ended the day with a stop at a pub after burning over 1,300 calories on the hike!

AND!  That ended in a Snakebite. The only kind you want!

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HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’S DAY ALL MY ‘SOUPER’S’

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