Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Friday, April 2, 2010

Long Overdue

So, I haven't updated since October? youch. Was considering things that have changed in the last 6 months. I bought the condo. Crazy me decided to get a new job, buy a new condo, paint a new condo, and do it between Thanksgiving and New Years...Not recommended. Wee bit of high stress, but as a side car bonus, I lost a few dress sizes. Whoop! Things that have changed? My hair is now unquestionably red, my teeth are whiter, my waist is smaller, my patience is frazzled, my game face passes muster 75% of the time now, my pool game has improved dramatically...all in all, life is in the plus side of the board.

I realized living in my last city, I was getting lonely. Lonely in a little town and bored. Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored. I moved into downtown Louisville and pretty much love it. I have an amazing bakery across the street. My church is 4 minutes away. My favorite restaurant is 6. I'm within 30 minutes of my family and within 15 minutes of most of my friends. It's lovely. Dinner with live music in 3 blocks, drop in visitors at least twice a week. Friends to cook for and more purpose than I've had in a while. I like this. Two fish, one kitten, and one all at once whacky sweet roommate. It's nice.

Oh, and I started singing. Yep, singing. Somewhere other than in the shower. Five of us have been practicing once a week for about 6 months. Dolly Parton, Foo Fighters, Neil Young, Lit, Guns n'Roses, Mellencamp, Indigo Girls, Rod Stewart, Janis Joplin, Breaking Benjamin, Dixie Chicks, CCR, The Killers, Pearl Jam, Seven Mary Three, Soundgarden, Stone Temple get the idea. I unabashedly love it. I finally told my Mom and her question, "Did I know you wanted to do that?" was genuine. Nope. She likely didn't. It's one of those 'Wow, I really wish I was talented enough to do this, but since I'm not there's no reason to publicize my inadequacies' things. Who knew all I needed was to find an acoustic guitar player that's loud enough to drowned out my unmiked pitchy alto backup voice and I'd be set? lol. Yes, I internally (and on occasion externally or so I've been told) wince when I have to tell someone my plans for the night include 'band practice'. It feels like I'm claiming a competency I don't possess. I love it though and would sincerely miss it if it were gone.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Crossing my fingers...and toes...and eyes

So I’m buying a condo at long last. I’ve been house hungry for so longgggg….I keep looking for the rug to get ripped out from under me. I’ve wanted a house of my own since I was 16. The offer has been accepted, the home inspection is back, and now I just have to make it through underwriting. There are some potential hiccups when trying to convince another person (a banker no less) that purchasing anything that is 110 years old is a grand idea, so please keep your fingers crossed for me.

It’s a 110 year old Victorian duplex with one unit up and one unit down. Pretty small, 900 sf with 12 foot ceilings and dental molding and I have the entire second floor. The kitchen is miniscule, but the master bedroom has two full sized closets just for me. The washer and dryer are front loading high efficiency units. The second bedroom is a logistical puzzle I’m looking forward to figuring out and I can see long hours of pouring over the Ikea catalogue in my future. (If you like Ikea, try , they rule! You buy standard Ikea furniture and they give you ideas and plans on how to make it into something completely different and often much more useful.) There are skylights in the foyer and the bathroom. It’s downtown and is part of the largest still standing Victorian home neighborhood in the United States. There’s a bakery 30 feet from my front door and a jazz club 30 yards beyond that. I have a black jet glass chandelier that has been sitting in storage for 3 years that will be the first thing I put up in my new foyer.

I tried to do this last year, to buy something of my own, and I’m a little gun shy to get my hopes up again, but I’m really excited. Although I’ve done my homework, I know the market, I can spout off neighborhood statistics like a pro, my family make for great cheerleaders, AND I’ve made a prayerful decision, I still worry. As a side note, today I put in my two weeks notice at my current job to take a position with a new company. Combine these two happenings in the same week and you have a recipe for stomach churning sleeplessness. I’ve really appreciated that I can get down on my knees and that I can ask again and again for peace with my decisions and it’s granted so quickly. If this doesn’t work, I’m resolved that I did everything in my power and it just wasn’t meant to be. On a positive note, if it does work, I’ve already asked the Santas for one of my childhood dreams. A kitten for Christmas. :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

4 AM : Awake and frustrated...

For the last two years I’ve had the same choice raise it’s frustrating head over and over again. I kept making the same decision, giving the same answer, and each time the choice faded into the background for a while. I regretted my decision more and more each time, thinking ‘this is 80% of a good thing’. A good thing I really, really want. Frequently enough to notice, each time I declined, circumstances tended to cough up a concrete example of why it was still not a good idea. Those examples helped, but didn't completely quiet those persistent whispers somewhere behind my eyes that I might be making a mistake. It felt like a duel. I kept standing, with my back to the decision, not walking away, but not turning to face it and take the chance either. I kept telling myself that the 20% that was left was definitely made up of deal breakers, that if I did an about-face and turned around, that the result would be a bullet to the chest. I’d come to the conclusion that all I could do was to walk away from it, completely, and that it is going to hurt to leave it behind…a LOT. I’d muttered to myself. I’d reassessed priorities. I’d doubted and questioned things I thought were rock solid. I told myself I was done screaming my frustrations into my pillow.

Suddenly it looks like the choice will be a non-issue and will likely be closing the door all on its own. I had gotten to the point that I was angry I hadn’t been able to let the idea of ‘maybe’ go. I had also gotten to the point that I wondered if that 20% wasn’t made up more of my fears than real deal breakers. For the last two weeks ‘What might have been’ has kept popping its head in the door and asking if I’m sure… until I want to gag it, weight it with a cinderblock, and walk it off the nearest short pier. I furiously and quite suddenly wanted to think, that if given the choice again, I’d have trussed up that choice right along with my doubts when prepping that cinder block. I wanted to believe that I might have just stood there, reveled in the splash, and gleefully watch for the last bubbles to surface. Instead the last few weeks have hammered home that its more likely that I will stand there all right, still clinging to ‘I think it’s a bad idea’, watching it disappear, and will probably want to sob. Dirt, I hate this feeling.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ridiculously trivial, but I love it

So I was sitting next to someone last week and they mentioned they were wearing Drakkar cologne. I used to love Drakkar. Yes, it was the ‘it’ scent for a few years, just like Cool Waters by Davidoff was before, and Polo before that. I don’t know what it is about scents, but when a man walks by wearing something that smells good (in an appropriate quantity) I swear my head gets dragged by my nose into following his progress through a room.

I remember being little, 3-4-5ish, and loving the smell of my Dad’s suits on Sunday. He was a farmer, there were plenty of other smells throughout the week, but on Sunday he just smelled good. I remember walking into his closet and his suit coats on their wide padded hangers were just long enough to touch the tops of my shoulders. I’d tug open one lapel and step into the space, folding the other lapel around me and just stand there in my self made ‘suit tent’ and sniff. It smelled soooo good. I laugh now because now I know the only things my Dad ever wore were Brutt and he shaved with an old fashioned shaving mug, brush, and an Old Spice lather bar. They may have been cliché, but even now they evoke fond memories and good feelings. Safety, comfort, quiet, wonder.

My Mom, when I was little, wore Lady Vanderbilt. A little powdery, but it was always the smell of her. When I was a teenager and we were living in Alabama she started wearing Tea Rose and even now, I connect the scent not so much to her as to that place and that time. It started me running though my own catalogue of scents.

My first fragrance obsession of my very own, Eternity. Next Baby Soft’s Love, then Alyssa-Ashley Musk (more for the name than the scent), Teen Spirit, Curve, Clinique’s Happy, Cacharel’s Anais Anais, Warm Sugared Vanilla or Apple body spray, and the list goes on. At some point as a teenage I realized I REALLY liked the smells of things. I started buying small samples of scents, to be worn once and only once, for special occasions. An example, I wore Incognito to my senior prom, and even now the smell of it brings back that nervous happy feeling. The first few years of college were filled with the smell of Lucky. There was a 6 month period in there were I loved Cherry Vanilla (which smells a lot like a cherry Swisher Sweets cigar), but I pinky swear, people kept asking if I’d started smoking, so that one went fast. Long standing favorite of my internship in New York, Sonia Kashuk’s Tuberose. My first years back in Kentucky always smelled like Cacharel’s Amor Amor; then to Bath and Body Work’s Japanese Cherry Blossom and finally Victoria Secret’s Mood.

Through the years I’ve often bought scents in small quantities as my tastes change, I move on, or my mood shifts and I want to make new memories. After all that thinking about good smelling things I was feeling a little inspired. I reasoned, I’m an adult now, I don’t have to keep my fragrance purchases under $20 any more, and I kid you not a smile lit my face. I trolled the isles of Ulta and Sephora picking up every pretty bottle that caught my fancy. There were things I liked, but once they were on me for more than 10 minutes, nothing that I loved. I decide to branch out. I went online looking for niche perfumeries that wouldn’t be caught dead selling to a boutique in Kentucky. I ordered inexpensive grab bag samples of scents I could never afford to purchase ($495 for .75 ounce, shudder) and my nose was in heaven, but I hadn’t found anything that fit.

I had just 45 minutes last night between leaving work and picking up a friend for softball and I stopped to check my mail which included an envelope of perfume samples I’d forgotten I’d ordered. Eureka. This year’s new scent? A company name that makes me laugh, Juliet Has Got a Gun, and the scent is Lady Vengeance. It’s a side company for the fashion designer Romano Ricci, whose mother was perfumer and fashion designer Nina Ricci of L'Air Du Temps acclaim. Something that smells so good to me, I’m channeling my cat with catnip, and the urge to roll in it came out of left field. Something that dredges up food words like – Yummmm. Is my head saying this was a ridiculous amount of time spent on something really trivial? Oh yeah. My nose is telling me it was totally worth it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


(Disclaimer: I’m single and pretty darn self centered, but I’ll blame it on the footloose and fancy free and cross my fingers and hope it’s not a more permanent character flaw. I reread my own entries on this blog and sigh. I’m working on it I promise. I wanna be a real girl and someday I’ll change from wood to a grown up.)

I’m so excited for Kristen, Adam, & Connor. Connor got his first electric wheelchair this week. It was a kind of telescoping seat that leans forward and can get just a few inches off the ground. This is close enough that Connor can crawl onto the seat and then return to the normal position and take off! From all reports he’s a speed demon. J

I was considering the other day how my perceptions have changed since Connor’s diagnosis. I was reading my cousin Carrie’s description of something similar and then Kristen’s too, and I though I’d add my two cheap cents. I catch myself noticing someone in a chair and I look at the brand name. What started last year as, to be blunt, ‘Smile uncomfortably because you just got caught potentially staring’ is now a heck of a lot more natural. I catch myself smiling and am much better at actually saying hello. I was walking next to a really cute little girl this spring that had a ‘Jazzy brand’ chair that was electric purple. It just so happened that it’s a favorite color of mine, we struck up a conversation, and I just so happened to have the matching nail polish in my purse. So before last year I likely wouldn’t have struck up a conversation, but this year she zoomed away with a new bottle of nail polish. ‘Cause as we discussed, ‘a girl’s toes should always match her chair’, lol.

In the last year or so I’ve read up on all kinds of random things like actual helper monkeys, handicapped horseback riding, and the guide dog etiquette. (This was new information for me: don’t commonly approach a guide dog and pet them or ask if they can be petted. When they’re in harness they’re ‘on the clock’ and know that they need to be alert, attentive, and working. Strangers petting them can be confusing as this is a ‘fun time’ activity and not a ‘working time’ activity.) I’ve been working on my attitude (I worry about us loosing him). I know I’ll always be on the periphery of Connor’s life and not the main stage, but I never want my thinking to get in his way. I want him to know that he can do anything! He can be anything! Maybe the order of operations might not be the same as you or I do something, but that just means he gets to be creative like it’s goin’ out of style.

Wow, do I love that kid. I discovered a new skill this month. If I tell him a long enough, boring enough story AND tell him I won’t keep telling the story unless his eyes are closed, he falls asleep for me. I’m covertly campaigning to give Jenna a run for her money for the title of “Most Useful Aunt”. I’d love to make the world sit down, roll over, and beg to make him happy. Since, however, that would make for a rather spoiled ‘almost three year old’, I’ll go with just getting out of his way and improving my jogging skills to keep up with him. I think it’s either that, or be mowed down. He’s already noticed that I make fun squawking noises when he runs into me with his manual mobile stander, I can only imagine what will happen now with something with some actual horsepower.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


In an exchange between his secretary and Brigham Young, the young man asked Pres. Young why God wasn't constantly at our side promoting universal happiness and easing the path of those that choose to obey his commandments. Essentially why when we're doing as we feel we should does life continue to be difficult. The answer: "Because man is destined to be a God, and he must be able to demonstrate that he is for God and to develop his own resources so that he can act independently and yet humbly." Then he added, "It is the way it is because we must learn to be righteous in the dark." (President's Office Journal, 28 January 1857, Brigham Young Papers)

I read this the other day and rolled that phrase around in my head for days. Learn to be righteous in the dark. When you're alone, when no one is watching, who do you choose to be? When circumstance presses and when opportunity begs, who will you be? When you're sure of what you want, but you're sure... it's not what you need, what leashes your desires? "Bridle your passions" was always a very visual phrase to me. Religiously, I always imagined I was more the horse with the bit between her teeth, taking the jump with or without my riders urging, unsure just who was riding whom. We just seemed to be going in the same direction for a while so there was no need to define the relationship. Somewhere back there in my history, I chose to be counted as I am. I'm an active participant, but I hold back, determined to stand on my own feet. To hold myself stiff, to give no quarter to the reflex to relax my guard, to not lean into the comfort that I crave. I tell myself it's because I don't trust it, but I lie. More frequently than I'd like, I find myself clinging to my faith by my fingertips and they're white tipped and shaking from the strain, BUT I KNOW IT'S BY MY OWN CHOICE.

So often I find myself asking for the desire to want to be the person I think I should be. Blame tangential thinking, but I've always loved wolf stories, to be just what instinct drives you to be. To forget reason, to be so sure, without equivocation. I wish I was that instinct driven but instead of warmth/food/breath, I long for a knee-jerk goodness, a willingness to give all, and to simply know like it was muscle memory. What to say, what to do...

To be righteous in the dark, to walk a path led by inspiration, to be oh so sure that there is solid stone beneath your feet, that while you can't see in the pitch black, you trust your guide has the vantage point to keep you safe and whole. I was listening to a friend talk about their view on 'faith' a while ago and I diagrammed my response in my head, what I'd wished I could say if he wasn't boozy and quixotically determined to sway me, if it weren't 2 am, and we weren't in a crowd. It'd have told him, "No, I believe because it keeps me alive. If this life were all there were, if there was nothing better, I'd rather have died at 14. The two proceeding years in my life would have gutted me and left me hollow without it. While that may smack of blind faith to you, it's not now and it wasn't then. I wasn't left alone to do it by myself. When I was doggedly getting lost, feeling like I was 90' miles from nowhere, just where I'd put myself, there were signposts. Sometimes they came in the form of people, sometimes answers to prayer I abso-freaking-lutely had to have, and sometimes statistically implausible events that dropped me, loose limbed and amazed, in a heap back smack in the middle of the path I'd lost. Something saved me again and again 'cause there was no way I was saving myself. No matter what I do in my life, no matter what stupid mistakes ---and potentially idiotic choices --- I make. I cannot ever say anything other than there is a God, he knows me, he watches, he listens, and good grief he's trying his best to bring me home."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I went kayaking on the 3rd to kick off my holiday weekend and loved it as usual...but! I've never ended up in the water so much. I was with the same group of friends that go every year and I don't know what the heck happened, but canoes were swamped 5 times in 7 miles. First one, totally poor planning, two tallest guys, the heaviest cooler and what does that spell? A swamped canoe 60 feet from the dock at the beggining of the trip. 2nd one? same two guys...3rd one? same two guys in which point I gave up my kayak to the guy of the pair I thought was the likely 'canoe swamping culprit', wrong. 4th one? the girls swamped their in the same rapids. 5th one? Me and 6'3" guy who likes to talk with his hands. Ah, so we have a winner! It was really fun and I needed to cool off anyway. I was sad to loose my sunglasses, but he lost his perscription glasses so I didn't think I could really complain. I wish I lived on/in/by/adjacent to that river. My first major of three was recreation management if that tells you just how much I love this kind of thing, but since I would potentially have graduated with a degree and have been gainfully employed as a river guide at $10/hr for the forseeable future I decided to try something else. It still sounds like a fun life though. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


So I went on my first kayaking trip of the year last weekend. Again on the Blue River, which to be more accurate is green to brownish. Out of the group, I'm the only one who's been on this trip before and out of the group, I'm the only one to swamp her/his canoe/kayak. LOL. In my defense, it had been raining all week and the river was just a few inches under 'No Go' stage when they close the outfitters down for safety reasons. This trip is always listed as a class II, but I'd never seen ANY white water. You're luck if you don't have to get out and walk it's so shallow in sections in the summer. I have a bruise the size of a grapefruit to show for it in the middle of my lower back. Yummy.
It was so fun though. I'm glad we got together a good sized group to go. I loved it. I would go every weekend if I could get away with it. I'm not the most athletic person by any stretch, but in a kayak I can rock! Its nice now to feel like I've had a nice workout at the end and not be completely exhausted. (My last trip I forgot to check that the drain plug was in the kayak until two miles downstream when I started floating 2 1/2" under the water, I wasn't a happy camper.) We decided to stop to try out a rope swing and I tucked into a tree root ball to get anchored. In the process I bumpbed into a branch, which immediately deposited it's 3" long shelled occupant into my lap. I've never seen a baby turtle look more frantic. He was really cute. I started drifting back into the current and had to drop him back in the water. If you're intersted in going, I'm always going to say YES!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Movie Watching Mantra

Ok, so last month I watched the movie 'Seven Pounds' and just sat there for 3 minutes when it was over, with tears rolling down my face. I hate crying over movies. HATE IT. Life has enough unfun moments not to pay to cry other fictional people's unfun moments. No paying to cry! Nope. Dont' wanna.
Situational Comedies make me cringe, I hate watching people be embarrassed, let alone watch when you were told its going to happen right there on the outside of the box. Romantic Comedies make me grind my teeth (....mainly because I don't have enough in my own life...cue teeth grinding). I unabashedly tend to stick strickly to the action genre. It's relatively safe. Yes, I am the target audience of very big budget, all fluff and guts, no plot, action movie each summer. I can admit to having seem just about every 'car movie' and number quite a few in my all time favorites. Fast & the Furious, Gone in 60 seconds, The Italian Job, Transformers (still a car movie under the sci fi), et cetre, et cetre... I like them. I watch them all on my lonesome without a the influence of a male..cough.. friend helping me choose. I'm not looking for a cathartic 'get into my head' experience. I want out of it, my head that is, like its on fire! Just let me not think, have a fictional problem to resolve in under 2 hours, and have a concrete resolution, often with the good guys winning.

Sigh...Vehicle blowing up make my punctured tires on the interstate look like cake walks. Maybe that's what I'm doing. Buildings exploding Die Hard style just make my 'need to replace the siding over the loading dock door' problems look small. Perfect! I am checking the box labeled 'Rationalization' with gusto! (grin) I was listening to a speaker last week in church who read a quote discussing the dumbing down of society through the numbing influence of media and the weakening of the fibers of our moral code'....He's right by the way. It does. This is not advocation, its more like a mantra. I refuse to pay to cry. Nough said. :)