Grateful, thankful

I haven’t written anything for awhile. I guess I’ve been feeling pretty blank when it comes to writing anything down. But since we are entering Thanksgiving, I thought I’d at least write down what I’m grateful and thankful for.

I’m grateful for a patient husband who believes in me. We have a lot of ups and downs, but he believes in me and I believe in him and this makes us hold on in this crazy whirlwind world of ours.

I’m thankful for friends who are willing to watch our dogs while we are both out of town. Not that many people would take two crazy pups into their homes.

I’m grateful for my upbringing. I am who I am today because of my history. I have lots of faults and problems, like all people do, but that’s what makes me see the world as I do. We can learn from each other, how we each look at the world, by our history.

I’m thankful for a job. I complain sometimes about it (mostly about how bored I get) but I’m thankful to have one, to be able to purchase what I need, have a home, treat friends to food, take care of animals, all because I’m employed.

I’m grateful for my dogs. They bring me solace, comfort and laughter and remind me to simplify (although I’m not always so good at it).

I hope people reflect on what they’re grateful for and take it to heart. So many of us say what they’re thankful for and turn around and destroy their own words. Take comfort in what you have and who you are with.

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Trying something new

My NaNoWriMo has come to a halt. Yesterday was my best day in a few at a whopping 588 words. Part of my problem (I think) is that I have enough material now, that it’s layout is starting to confuse me. I have some in third person and some in first person. Some of it’s written chronologically and some is written more like flash backs. It’s a giant mess so right now, I feel like I don’t know where to go.

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SO – I’m going to try to lay it all out on Scrivener. They’re offering a free trial right now for a whole 30 days. Well isn’t that convenient since there’s less than 30 days left of NaNoWriMo? I’ve done about half of the tutorial so far – there’s a lot of info, but he lays it out nicely. I’m excited to upload what I have and start organizing. I think I’m really going to get  a lot of use out of the cork board layout, but we’ll see.

Has anyone used Scrivener? Do you own it? Do you feel like it was worth it (I think it’s $40)?

Let me know what you think

Day 10 and I’m already losing it

How is everyone else doing on their NaNoWriMo work? I was doing pretty awesome and then the weekend hit. We had a BBQ/gathering of friends on Saturday so I was prepping a few days before and I slacked off on writing. I could have gotten some words in today as well but I just didn’t. I don’t know what it is but it’s like if I stop at all, I come derailed and just stop. I’m hoping I can get back on track this week and continue.

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Anyone out there have any advice to help keep this gal on track?

Made it a month and a half….

We’ve been a one-car clan now for about a month and a half. I won’t lie – it’s been tough. There’s been times I wanted to go somewhere but Dylan had the car, and vise versa. Especially when we had different weekend schedules. And while it can have its frustrations, there’s been some good about having the one car. We have to commute together in the morning, and although we both aren’t much for getting up at 4:30 in the morning, I enjoy the 20 minutes to work with him. We talk which I think helps wake both of us up. Before, we never really talked until later in the day or in the evening since we had different schedules.
But all in all, we realize that it’s time to look into getting another vehicle. Our schedules are different enough that it can be difficult to plan things. Just recently Dylan was invited out to play soccer-frisbee, but the location would make it difficult and inconvenient for someone to drop him off back home as his friends live nowhere near us and driving across town during rush hour in Austin is something to avoid if possible. So all in all, he decided not to go. There is a meetup group here dedicated to teaching tech/IT stuff to us newbies but again, classes are close to downtown so I would need a vehicle, or spend four hours on a bus. My choice. So extra vehicle it is.
We’re planning on some sort of sporty SUV/hatchback type deal that we can haul the dogs around in and use as our main camping/hiking/dog hauling/home improvement store runner, so the other car can stay nice and shiny and smelling good for when we are carting friends around. I have a couple vehicles in mind that we’re going to look at soon.
…I saved this as a draft a couple days ago and am now updating. I planned on checking out the one vehicle on Thursday but Arthur (dog) had to take a trip to the doc. He had a cyst in his foot that wasn’t going away. Turned out to be an interdigital cyst. No big deal. Sounds worse than it is. Long story short, he’s stuck with the cone of shame. Poor pup.

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Back to the vehicle: I did go see it on Friday instead. It’s a decent price with relatively low miles for it’s age and based on reviews it should have at least another 100K miles left on it. There’s more wear and tear on it than originally thought but it’s still in good shape. Hopefully the dealer is a good guy and will go down a bit on the price if that’s the one we go with.
I got a phone call about an hour after I test drove the car. The dealer forgot to give me back my license. Woops. SO, instead of me driving an hour back, he’s going to mail it to me. No big deal, but I had planned on test driving the other vehicle Saturday morning. No license, no drive. Oh well. Next week.

So in the meantime…NaNoWriMo started…today. No words yet except for this extra long blog. Woops again. I’ll start in a few minutes….

A much needed camping trip that almost didn’t happen…again

Dylan and I have had the worst time trying to go camping in the last few months. We’ve tried two other times but they never worked out due to extenuating circumstances. We’d had the two completely planned out and unexpected, like a car breaking down, decided to thwart our efforts. This third time almost looked like we were going to be stalled on camping again. We had planned on camping in the primitive site at Pedernales with our two pups. When we got to Pedernales the form to fill out stated that dogs could not camp overnight at the primitive sites. Somehow we’d missed that warning, most likely because camping with dogs overnight has never been a problem before. So we were about to leave and just do some day hiking when the office worker came out and told Dylan that an electric site had canceled and we could take that site for a few dollars more. So we took it!  We happily paid the extra $6 to camp that night. We drove to our camp spot, set up our tent and threw in the sleeping bags as quickly as we could so we could get a hike in before sun down.

We grabbed the dogs and headed out. We picked a medium-difficulty path and set forward. It was beautiful. Much of the path was shaded with tall Live Oaks and various shady trees. The terrain changed from a shaded path to rocky steps, and open areas with a small waterfall and a great view of the river. At one point, when Dylan was hiking in front, he ran into a giant spider web that stretched across the entire pathway. It took some time to get all the webbing off (or at least it felt like it). We found the spider on the ground (thank God). It looked like a giant tick. I still haven’t identified it yet, but we did see another one later on so they are at least somewhat common, not that that really makes me feel better. Later on though, we came across a path that looked like it was supposed to be blocked off, or cut off. Naturally we decided to seek that path. Luckily we did. We walked down a slight hill and found a beautiful view of fall trees, along with a vulture, taking in the view, just like us. He/she stayed in his/her spot the entire time and let me take some pictures.

Parts of the hike, had us do a little climbing to scale up and down, which made the hike challenging and fun. Even our Basset Hound loved the challenge. He fools you with his little legs. You’d think he can’t jump up much but he can prove you wrong. He was a regular billy goat on the rocky terrain. But of course when we come home he’ll stick his paws on the edge of a bench and look at you, expecting you to bend over and pull his feet up.

After the hike, I fed the dogs and Dylan started on dinner. Due to the convenience, especially when primitive hiking, we started buying Mountain House freeze dried foods. This way we only have to bring a few of these pouches plus the items for boiling water. You throw the boiling water into the big, wait a few minutes and BAM! You have an amazing meal in a bag. This weekend we had Turkey Tetrazzini, and Apple Cobbler. It was some of the best cobbler we’d eaten. So good! Dylan loved it so much he plans on writing them to thank them for their glorious meals. We’ve eaten dozens of their dinners, breakfasts and had a few of their desserts and they’re always phenomenal. It makes our camping trips quick and easy. We love it and we both recommend.

After dinner we laid out with the dogs under the stars, the warmth of the fire at our sides, staring up at the wonder that is our world.

Overall the trip was relaxing and much needed. I’m so grateful we were still able to camp, even with the (almost) setback. (Pictures to come later-sorry!)

Going to try again

Last year I tried, for the first time, to participate in NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month. I didn’t do all that great. I maybe added a couple thousand words to my story/novel/whatever it is. But I guess you can still count that as progress. Lately I’ve gone no where on it. Not that this is an excuse, but I let things get in the way and didn’t take time to sit down and write. I was at a full-time school for six months straight, with only weekend breaks. Then it seems like ever since getting back home, it’s been a whirlwind of things to do and people to see and places to go. Bad excuses, I know. There’s always room for a few words everyday.
So I’m going to give it another stab. Here’s to writing because I enjoy it, because I don’t want to forget to enjoy the things in life that make you feel okay.

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Vacation = stress + recharge

There’s always a certain amount of stress that goes along with a vacation. Especially one that involves 21 hours of driving and a wedding reception.
We are headed up to my brother-in-law’s wedding reception in Minnesota next week (wait…what?!). It came upon us so quickly. It was one of those things that we had planned a few months out but life got a little crazy along the way(both cars broke down within a month, bought a new one and got rid of the other, almost lost my job but it came back), that time swirled and dipped and pulled the rug from under us so that we are just a day and a week out from our drive.
I know that there will be some stressors along the way, like what to pack, what to bring for the dogs, how in the world are we going to pack the crate…I’m excited for the trip. Dylan and I have both been back home since we moved away a couple of years ago, but we’ve always been back separately. It just never works that we can both come back at the same time, so this will be the first time coming back together. And for a good cause. I’m excited for a vacation of any sort. We need a recharge. A way to get away from everything we have going on. We’ve only had weekends off, and even those don’t count because Dylan usually works on weekends. We haven’t had any more than a couple days to hang out for more than…oh I don’t even know…a couple of years? At least? I’ve lost track.
And even though this trip will be short, I’m still so excited. I’m excited to road trip, excited to be in the car with Dylan, listening to music, getting philosophical with the dogs, seeing friends and family, exploring our old college town, or heading to a park for some climbing. Whatever the adventures turn out to be, I’m welcoming them with open arms.