Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hiking the Shenandoah

Today will be filled with the beautiful scenery that is found at White Oak Canyon in the Shenandoah. This shot was taken the last time I was there, just about a year ago. I won't show the picture of the one particular species of wildlife I literally stumbled across. An Eastern Timber Rattlesnake was sunning on a rock on the trail. Thank goodness my daughter wasn't with me- she has a tendancy to scoot on ahead of me and who knows what would have happened.
I like going to White Oak Canyon for the waterfalls. Seven of them total, if one takes the long route. There is something just serene about watching the power of waterfalls. The beauty and power to behold in the sight. This time of the year is very pretty viewing- spring time in the Shenandoah. Old Rag is pretty popular, but White Oak notsomuch- so we get some peaceful viewing.
While some people may call the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountain ranges just hills, they are still gorgeous sights to see and experience. Besides, they're home to me and the Appalachians have a special bond for me- it's where I re-discovered myself 20 months ago.
Off to the mountains....

Friday, April 30, 2010

True Friends

Wowsers- two days in a row.. can you believe it? 4 months off and now a two-fer this week. Wake the kids and phone the neighbors.

I know the burning question in all of your minds is- that the HECK brings her to blog again so soon? Well.. I’ve recently fully come to understand the value of true friendship and how needed it is. True friends are hard to find. Some are ones you’ve known almost your whole life and others are ones you’ve known for a relatively short period.

What classifies one as a true friend? Just a few characteristics- clearly the list is not exhaustive.

Always there for you: Everyone deals with heartache in their lives. Anyone that tells you differently is living a sadly alternate reality. True friends are ones that hold you as you cry (either physically or virtually)- offering their shoulder to lean on to help you through your rough time. This ia a very difficult task to accomplish as it can be emotionally draining on a person. True friends do it because they actually give a darn about you and your feelings.

Stand by you: No matter what bonehead move one makes, true friends understand fully that was a bonehead move and not who you really are. In other words, they know the real you. Of course, this is not to say they’ll blindly stand by you if you are cruel or obnoxious and hurt people. In such a case, true friends will exhibit the next characteristic

Hit you with a clue-by-four: This is by far the hardest characteristic to achieve as a person. Telling someone you care about the cold hard truth of the matter. Sure, for the receiver of the smack of truth, it can sting- but hopefully one is wise enough to realize this is being done for you and not to you. If you don’t, then clearly, you don’t understand the concept of true friends.

Why am I blogging about this? The start to this year has been very interesting – events in my life took many different turns. I had so many changes of emotions in the first 3 months of this year. All of that changed in the first half of April. At that time, I had the great fortune to take a trek through the Andes of Peru (with a couple of true friends- thank you G, M, R, D and J). The Salkantay Trek was a very life changing trip for me. The experiences and the self discovery because of them have had a permanent effect on me. (I do promise to blog about the trek soon). The picture on my last blog entry shows such empowerment and strength.

A very astute new true friend sensed I was slipping back to my old self by allowing certain feelings to creep back in to my life. This wise person said “Look at your picture again, you have changed and have taken a different route in life. Going back will just take you back down the mountain.” (referring to aforementioned photo) “You are not the weak woman ** knew before but a strong woman who will not take *** crap anymore”

There was a true friend wielding a clue X 4 and whacked me right across the head with it. This friend is absolutely correct. I am blogging this to memorialize these words, to ensure I remain on that mountain- or climb higher even, and not go “back down the mountain”. I will remain strong and keep looking forward and not back.

To all of my true friends who have exhibited even one of characteristics I’ve mentioned, I owe you more than I can ever repay. You have my utmost gratitude and respect. I care for each and every one of you.

Keep looking forward and don't let others pull you backwards.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

If Today Was Your Last Day

Ever listen to the lyrics of a song - I mean really listen.. and think- wow - for a ____ (fill in the blank) song- those are very appropriate. I've had such an epiphany with Nickelback's - "If Today Was Your Last Day". Very powerful words. Chad- you rawk! (I'll write more about the source of this picture in another blog)

If Today Was Your Last Day
written by Chad Kroeger

My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day's a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had, if today was your last day?
What if, what if, if today was your last day?

Against the grain should be a way of life
What's worth the price is always worth the fight
Every second counts 'cause there's no second try
So live like you're never living twice
Don't take the free ride in your own life

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had?

And would you call those friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories?
Would you forgive your enemies?
And would you find that one you're dreaming of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you'd finally fall in love if today was your last day?

If today was your last day
Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart?
You know it's never too late to shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are

So do whatever it takes
'Cause you can't rewind a moment in this life
Let nothing stand in your way
'Cause the hands of time are never on your side

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had?

And would you call those friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories?
Would you forgive your enemies?
And would you find that one you're dreaming of
Swear up and down to God above
That you'd finally fall in love if today was your last day?

"What's worth the price is always worth the fight"

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ipod- A Four Letter Word, But One This Mother Loves

What a great invention. Remember the days of the Sony Walkman or the follow on- the Discman? They were considered revolutionary for the time since music then became portable without a clunky boombox rockin’ on your shoulders. Now- they seem – oh – so old. Ipods or mp3 players are da shiznit, man.

My ipod was a gift along with a set of Bose noise cancelling headphones. Since I first loaded music on that thang- I have been rockin’ out and dancing while zoned out to the tunes I’ve loaded.

I started with ripping (that word still cracks me up as it applies to ipods) CDs. Wow- I can have multiple CDs on one little device without changing discs. Another benefit is they’re not getting all scratched up and swapped out of CD players. Even with the 2GB nano that I have, I can get a boatload of CDs on it.

Recently I’ve discovered how to download mp3s and import into itunes and then – poof – put them on the ipod. Now I’ve got even more of an eclectic mix of music to bee-bop along to.

What’s even more comical – is the fact that somehow I can actually zone out while having the ipod going and using these noise cancelling headphones. I’ll mow the lawn with it (making sure to shuffle songs since it takes a while to mow). I’ll dance around the halls at work (yah- I do – and it’s funny to watch people’s reactions when I am). I’ll zone out while waiting for people (I remember one time I didn’t hear one friend knock at the door to let them in- Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” was blarring). I’ll zone out while on a pressure cooker project (I typically pick a CD to wear out while on certain projects.. rather weird- I know)

Right now, I’m cycling between the hits of today – “Replay”, “Down”, “I Gotta Feeling”, “Tik Tok”, “3”, etc – my faves – anything by Bon Jovi, Gin Blossoms, Barenaked Ladies, Def Leppard, Nickelback, New Radicals, etc – and hits from a few years ago – “Train”, “Life in a Northern Town”, “Blurry”, etc. I can zone out for hours on end and never get bored. My kids laugh at me as to my taste in music – mostly since it can mirror theirs, and that fact alone scares them. Especially because I’ll dance along – yeah- that’s pretty skeery.

Someone’s taste in music reveals a great deal about them. Ipods and their content via Itunes can be a glimpse into people. When visiting someone recently I was blissfully surprised at finding the mix of music on this person’s itune library. I thought I was alone in putting Bon Jovi’s “This Left Must Be Right” CD on my ipod. I thought I was alone in trying to put every.little.bit. of Def Leppard on my ipod. How cool is that? Even better was reading a facebook status message from my friend stating how she was doing the very same thing I was doing.

Who knew ipods could be so darned social?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Later 2009. Like a Fine Wine, You've Been a Good Year.

Wow- what a year

I won't be like others and say - I'm so glad this year is over. The new year, 2010, has a hard act to follow. The year 2009 actually been a pretty good year and it's been pretty good to me.

Let's see. Highlights include

Reaching a quarter, eep- yes quarter - century at the work place. wow- did I start working when I was 12?
My eldest reached legal drinking age
My second son getting his driver's license - and havin' swimmers eat his bubbles in the water- wowswers
My elder daughter starting high school- making JV basketball team - and surpassing me in height
My younger daughter starting middle school- GREAT grades - and almost my height
Reconnected with many cousins of mine
Visited said cousins (save one - whom I am going to visit in 2010- promise, Ro)
Attending an HHS class reunion and met up with friends whom I haven't seen in years- and made some new ones
Completed my first century ride

overall- 2009 has been a great year of discovery for me. I've learned a great deal about myself and am finding myself ending this year in a very happy place. New friendships have been forged that will last a very long time. I am fortunate to have met some wonderful people. At the same time, I have been saddened by the loss of some friendships - some I know the reasons for, and some I do not- the losses still sadden me- but I'm learning from the loss.

Upcoming in 2010

my high school reunion
the start of my second son's final HS year
more century rides

just to name what I can think of at the moment.

who really knows for sure at the beginning of the year, what is truly in store? All I know is that 2009 is ending on a good note and that is carrying forward into 2010.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Friday, December 4, 2009

I Just Can't Believe It's December Already!


This has really snuck up on me. I love the Christmas holiday season. Really love it. Decorating the house. Making goodies. Crafting. Decorating the office. Wearing the Christmas clothes and jewelry.

Why am I just not feeling it this year?

Perhaps because Thanksgiving was so late? Perhaps because I wasn't around for the day after Thanksgiving when I typically decorate? Perhaps because of other things concerning the house?

I just do.not.know.. and it's bugging me.

I am committed to at least decorating the house this weekend. Sunday that is. Saturday is being spent with a special someone and the evening is being spent dancin' the night away- with C - yet again! So- according to my busy calendar- Sunday looks like the first available opportunity

hey- that's it, kids.. that's why the house isn't decorated and I'm not feeling it.. I'm just too busy doing other stuff!

Happy holidays!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bull Roast - it's a Maryland Thang

Anyone who's ever spent any time in Maryland has heard of these things. They're fundraisers for organizations. They serve DELISH foods and are a GREAT time.

A couple of us are going to one tonight for another friend's school. The last time the three of us got together, it was a complete blast. Dancin' and having a good ole time.

We're going to do that tonight too.

Before hand, though- we're going to ESPN zone to chillax.

Watch out Baltimore- we're on the loose again. Watch out facebook- more fun pics from the three of us!