Category Archives: Love

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.

 

Mother /Daughter Hike (without my better half *AKA Compass*

My love is currently hiking the Warner section of the Pacific Crest Trail.  Me?  I had plans with my mum to hike a route previously done with him to show her a mine hole.  Yeah, okay, probably a better word for it, but that’s what I’m calling it.

I woke up to his photo of where they slept last night.

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Yeah, OK hearty hiker and Naked and Afraid contender.  I do NOT want to dig a hole to um, ‘do my business’ and what the heck would be crawling off that rock in the night?   I’m just jealous lol.  But, also kinda serious.  Would love to camp anywhere if there was at least the amenities of a toilet and running water.  Whimp right?  I don’t need much. But, splashing water on my face, brushing my teeth and hair with a mirror is the last of the vanity things I care about.

ANYWAY!

SO!  Mum and I were going hiking.   I wanted to show her an easy hike that culminated in a mine shaft.  (AKA: Mine hole. lol)

I forgot that my tiny car was a tiny car and once we got to the turn off I was a little worried about making it to the spot to park. Guess how I knew we were there?

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The C+A I left behind when I went last.  Can’t believe it was still there!  Had to park carefully, a lot of soft sand.  (Whole other story, but first time I came out to my guys house, had to have them tow me due to THEIR soft sand.)

Parked and ready to go!  I totally knew where to start.

What I didn’t factor in was that when hiking with my gold mining guy, a hike takes 10 times longer due to “See that?”  “Do you see this vein?”  And constant and adorable samples taken.

As for my mum and I?  We just hiked.  So … got thrown a little off course.

Began normally.

Oh! And I now have a new rule!  If you aren’t seeing Burro shit on your hike, you have no business going that route!  (IE:  the fucking mountain we went up last hike.)

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So, clearly on the right path here.  LOL.

We got to a point when we could circle back, but, didn’t seem right.  I mean, when my honey and I went, it was hours … so we kept going. (I was not factoring in the geological stops and lessons and samples.)

We kept going to the point we found ourselves in what we labeled a ‘residential area’.  Very over grown, and lots of nooks and crannies, we went back.

My mum has now multiple times asked me, “Do you know where you’re going?”  Yes, I knew.  But, wasn’t entirely sure how lol.  I was looking for that ‘mine hole’.  We tracked back – we took other routes – because, I was CERTAIN the first time my guy and I went out, we walked FOREVER.  We had not.

We eventually found a place I thought was my original grotto, and was certain we were on the right path.

Um, Was NOT original grotto. Spoiler alert – we found that later.

We were having too much fun to care.  Just being out there – together.

We tracked back a bit and decided that we should mount a mountain to get to the trail we were looking for.

Found it.  BUT!  unfortunately, passed the mine hole in doing so.

This happened instead.

First time my guy and I did this route, there was ONLY the boat.  My mum said, “There’s a car?”

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Sure was – and apparently an old police car.

The closer we got, I dug into my backpack for my knife and pepper spray.  The car was tagged with graffiti on the hood and I have NO clue how it got there in such a short time since my last hike there.  This became more of a concern when we passed it and it had clothes inside.  (My mums words, “Hope there isn’t a body in there” didn’t go unnoticed.  I was more concerned with a walking talking one.)

Wanted to take a pic of the inside of the car, but honestly had that ‘gut feeling’ we needed to keep moving on.  Someone was obviously living in that car.  We had my mum’s steel toed hiking boots and my knife and pepper spray.

Wind was blowing so I would have been like, “Keep kicking mum!  Keep kicking!  I’ll slice him and when the wind dies down spray him.”   Dramarama imagination.

We pass the car and keep going … all the way home.

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And, for a joke, here is me finding THE golden nugget!

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Sent that to my guy lol!  The golden nugget of today was actually getting to spend one on one time with my mum and that exceeded the hike.  So great to go out.  So great to be with her.  So great, ANY day to wake up and get to do anything.

 

 

Of Mountains (and Men who make me climb them)

Was discussing something I’d misplaced with my boyfriend and suggested it might still be in his car the other night.  He replied with one of the funniest sentences of the weekend.  “Yeah, well, you did jump up and run into the house.”

Blatant lie.  I turned to him with a very straight face as I pointed out to him, (like a seasoned defense attorney having trapped the witness with solid evidence), #1, I do NOT jump.   And #2, I do not ‘run’.  Pfffft.  I rest my case your honor.

But, I DO hike.

It’s become a ‘thing’.  A thing I never used to do yet, after Christmas revealed, a thing I’m evidently going to be doing a lot more of.  Hiking boots, backpack, headlamp etc. came in cheery holiday packages.  Ho! Ho! Ho!  Mer-ry Walkin’!

Have to say though, that I truly do enjoy being out there.  Especially like it because it pleases my guy to no end.  I love seeing him smile.  Treasure watching him find a vein or possible ore on the ground and love it when he excitedly shows it to me or teaches me some geological ‘thing’.

And we ‘meander’.  It’s not like we’re marching at some wild pace.  We take in the surroundings and sometimes I’ll pass him up and vice-versa.  We do stay out for hours though, so a lot of ground gets covered.

Our latest hike started out like that:

 

Then … took a turn.  Or, rather, an INCLINE.

Him: “I really want to check out that rock – I see it from the road and pretty sure something is up there.”

Me: “I don’t think I can climb that …”

Him: “There’s a fence, see?”

Me: (Hallucinating a fence for the hell of it and putting my complete trust in him that it exists) “O.K.”

He’s navigating this mountain like a champ.  Me?  I’m praying each rock I grab is in fact anchored in some fashion and I’m repeating a mantra in my head that went a little something like this:  “Please don’t let me fall off of this mountain.”

Got to that point where I was half way up and screwed.  Because as much trouble as I was having going UP, I knew down would be worse.  My guy had assured me there was a way to cut around once we’d reached the top and circle back around to the car.  Much like that fence fable, I believed him.  There was no fence.  The fence that had been my deciding factor in even attempting to scale this beast, because once reached, I was going to cling to it as I went higher.

Might be a good time to mention I’m afraid of heights, so, there’s that.

A couple of times he turned around to lend a hand.  A couple of times he turned around to see me in the oh so flattering position of crawling on my hands and knees with brow knotted in fear.

Not entirely sure how, because there were a few times I was literally frozen in fear and couldn’t move without his encouragement, BUT, we made it.  (“We” made it, like there were any doubt he was going to.)

This was the view – and I ASSURE you, the pictures do not do the height or the fear justice.  It’s like trying to take a photo of a full moon on a phone.

 

Well, you be the judge.  This is the view from the top.

 

 

Oh, see that board?  That’s a ‘don’t step over me’ board.  Note next pic.

Right after this happened, I heard, “I KNEW it!”

He had found the mine he suspected was up there.

I found the nerve (after an extended visit with the sturdiest rock I could find)  to get up and peek at what he spied.  Um, to the left of him in that picture, guess what’s there?  Go ahead.  Guess.

NOTHING!!!  A sheer freaking drop.

This was the mine entrance … (would have been a better picture, only, I didn’t want to die).

I sat back down while he collected soil samples and picked at various rocks.  While I sat I wondered a) How we were going to get down because that sheer drop sure as hell wasn’t an option.  b) how much a helivac might cost and would I have to be injured or would they just collect me?  c) If I prayed really hard, would my friend put in a good word for me in case there IS an afterlife.

I eventually was able to stand and don my backpack again.  And, wouldn’t you know it?  There was a way to descend in a criss-crossy manner down the same flipping mountain that was 75 times less scary than the ascension.  Where was this route going up?   Seriously??  Cheese and Rice!

I did feel very happy once we were on semi-flat earth again.  Had that adrenaline rush of accomplishment and near-death.

Back to non-life threatening hiking.

We made it to the car and decided to check out an area further down that had mines to explore.

Now, THESE I am not afraid of.   I get to wear my head lamp and barbed wire be damned, plunge into the unknown.  Only thing that’s a little disconcerting is the fact that there’s usually bedding for a 4 legged variety resident.  We’ve yet to meet up with any occupants though.

 

The best part (other than being outside with nature and my guy) is the delicious exhaustion once back in civilization.

I always feel like I could keep going forever once I’m out there, but we were both nodding off on the couch once home.  Time well spent.

And –  AND!  I didn’t fall off of a mountain.  Halle-flipping-lujah!

 

Of Love and Uncertainty

I haven’t mused from the laundromat for a while – and that’s been odd.  My weekends have been filled, to my delight.

When I DO go, I do try to be there when my laundry lady is there also.  She told me I was missed.

I believe her, because I miss her too.  The routine – the ‘regulars’.  But I wouldn’t trade another Sunday there for what I have now.

 

I’ll start with this, I’ve been so happy lately that even my son, (who has moved again across country and who I haven’t seen since January 6th of this year) has commented on it.

Keep in mind, our chats have been minimal and our communications brief.  So, it’s a pretty big deal that he sees a change in me.

My heart is more peaceful, my anxiety lessened.  I smile more – I treasure moments no matter how fleeting.  I’ve been exploring, forcing myself out of my comfort zone.  Doing things to make someone else happy and in making the effort, found myself happier too.

Life has taken a turn and whether it’s for a reason, a season or a lifetime – I’m just very glad it happened.

And yet, I still find myself waiting for the ‘other shoe to drop’.

As if I’m not worthy of a happy ending.  Or, just so used to not expecting one that the possibility is absurd.

I think the more I let go and the more I trust that I can pinch myself and not wake up, the less I’ll be waiting for things to go wrong.

I’m still also painfully aware at how brief and unpredictable life can be.

I’ll be participating in a 3K walk to benefit my sweet friend with stage 4 cancer on Saturday.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I do not think of her.

Every visit is cherished.

I find myself wanting to curl up next to her and just … be.  Of course, it hurts her too much to move or be bumped or even to hug.  So, her toes are mine.  I gently rub her feet in some attempt to offer comfort where I know I can’t.

I think I’ve been living for her lately too.

Pushing myself with the ever-present thought, ‘She would LOVE to be able to do this!’  I’m not just talking about adventures.  It’s the little things like,  getting out of bed, standing in the shower, dressing myself.  Standing in line at a store!  (I WILL give you the lecture if I hear you complain you know – “You realize there are some people who would give ANYTHING to be in this line?!”)

I  especially thought of her when it was finally cool enough to join the man who has my heart in the desert.  She would have given anything to sit where I sat after navigating a climb.  She would have been in just as much awe of the view as I was and welcoming the sweet sleepiness that was sure to follow that night.

So there it is.

My life at the moment.

Filled with hope and also with impending sadness.

Certainty and uncertainty.

Immense joy knowing that I am capable of such love now and willing to offer it with no expectations.

To them both.

Knowing that losing either of them is going to break my heart.  And yet, knowing them for however long I have makes it most definitely worth it.