Friday, August 30, 2013

Lake Country Ride - photo dump

I don't have time to write much lately. Not even in my private journal blog.

But... here's a few pictures from our ride yesterday. We rode in to Island Lake to go fishing. We didn't catch a dang thing, but it was beautiful. I love horses.

I know the colors of this tree mean it is probably dying, but it is really pretty while it dies... and even after it is dead... Does that mean there's something wrong with me?

It was a tough ride for the horses. They are not fans of big, slippery rocks like these.

Not sure which lake this was. Let's say it was Duck Lake?? One of the neatest things about this trail is passing ten lakes in five miles, plus the other lakes I saw in the distance.

You can't go fly fishing with a hat and boots on. (Funny that I have a picture of the hat and boots, but not of me standing on the shore in my socks...)

Sometimes I see my shadow, and I think, 'THAT girl looks like she belongs on a horse.' and then I realize, 'THAT girl is me!'
As we approached this bridge, I asked BJ, "If I can convince Sunny to go across this, will you take our picture?" I wasn't so sure I could do it... even with BJ walking Bo across first. If I'd gotten off and lead him with a rope, it would have been no problem.
We're talking about what I want him to do. At this point, I'm pretty sure he is saying, "Not gonna happen!"
HA! We did it!!!

Piece of cake. And I'm still super duper proud about it.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Books! (A Q&A)

Questions about books? I would LOVE to answer all the questions you never knew you had (and most likely never actually had) about my reading habits.
(I got the questions from Jessica at Faith Permeating Life. Thanks Jessica!)
Favorite book cover?

I can't say that I have one. I really don't pay attention to the covers... There's that old saying, and I've heard it way too many times.

What are you reading right now?
I'm listening to No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt; The Homefront in WWII by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Fascinating to learn about the history of the country at that time. I have read a lot of stuff about the Jewish people in Europe, and a few books about the Japanese internment camps, but nothing about the Roosevelt's or the rest of this country at that time.
On my Kindle, I'm reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. (Mind you - I have been reading this for six months. I love the story, and get slowed down by the French history. I enjoy the history, it just takes a lot longer for me to read it.)
I am also reading The Man Who Listens to Horses by Monty Roberts. When I want to mess with my brain, I'm reading The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns. (I love what it says. It basically says that the gospel of Christ is all about compassion, empathy and serving and taking care of others. I have long felt that anyone NOT willing to take care of those less fortunate can't claim to be followers of Christ's teachings, but... I also feel guilty that I have food to eat and I drive a car and there are people who don't have either... so it messes with my brain, because I feel guilt that I have so much and live such an amazing life. Anyway, his story is interesting. He went from being a big corporate CEO to running a Christian non-profit that helps bring food and clean water to people in third world countries.)

Do you have any idea what you'll read when you're done with that?
Not a clue...
I'll probably get back to Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell, but other than that, who knows until I am reading it?

What five books have you always wanted to read but haven't got round to?
Shy Boy by Monty Roberts
Maybe one of Dan Brown's books.
And there's currently 174 books on my Goodreads that I want to read, but haven't gotten to yet.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now?
Trout magazine.

What's the worst book you've ever read?
I can't think of anything right now.

What book seemed really popular but you didn't like it?
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Ugh. Generalizations that didn't fit me, or any of my relationships, but claimed to be about everyone. I did not like it AT ALL.

What's the one book you always recommend to just about anyone?
There isn't a book I could recommend to everyone... but there are a few books that I found to be SUPER helpful in my own life journey.
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
The Four Agreements and The Mastery of Love and The Voice of Knowledge by don Miguel Ruiz
What to do when you don't know what to do: Common Horse Sense by Wyatt Webb

What are your three favorite poems?
I'm not a big poem person... I don't have any favorites.

Where do you usually get your books?

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits?
Devour books. I would read until 2 or 3 in the morning... my parents once told me to, "Just go watch TV or something," because I asked for more books. I loved to read. My favorites were historical fiction.

What's the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was too good to put down?
Me Before You by JoJo Mayes

Have you ever "faked" reading a book?
Yeah. When I was in fifth grade, there was a lot of reading, and I couldn't get through the required books (and my fun books) fast enough. I read most of all of the books, but there were a couple that I didn't finish... My mom read the end and helped me with the assignments.

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?
Not that I can think of.

What was your favorite book when you were a child?
Calico Captive, Babysitter's Club, Boxcar Children

What book changed your life?
Too many to name them all, but Tao of Equus by Linda Kohanov really helped me figure myself out. It made sense of my PTSD. It made dissociation, seizures, flashbacks, and my fears seem more natural and healthy. It also helped me find other books that helped (Wyatt Webb's books, Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine, Mark Rashid's books, etc.) That book opened up a whole new world for me, and I am forever grateful for the things she taught me and the path that book started me on.

What is your favorite passage from a book?
I don't have a favorite. Most recently, the exchange between the Bishop and Jean Valjean in Les Mis. Or the exchange between the two main characters in Me Before You, when she realizes she's in love with him... and she realizes how long she has been in love with him... I liked a lot of things in Confessions of a Molly Mormon. But even those are just the ones currently in my memory.

Who are your top five favorite authors?
Wyatt Webb
J.K. Rowling
Lois Lowry
Susan Richards
Brene Brown
John Gierach

What books are you an "evangelist" for?
None. I'm not an evangelist for anything. Evangelism seems egotistical to me.

What are your favorite books by a first-time author?
Let's Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards
Dancing with Crazy by Emily Pearson

What is your favorite classic book?
I haven't read Gone with the Wind in a million years, but I loved it back then.
I enjoyed the twisted humor of Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.

Five other notable mentions?
The Worlds of Lois Lowry: (The Giver, Gathering Blue, The Messenger) and now Son
The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the Wilds of Africa by Lawrence Anthony
Fuck it: The Ultimate Spiritual Way by John C. Parkin
The Horse Boy: A Father's Quest to Heal his Son by Rupert Isaacson

What do you think about any of the books mentioned here? If you answer the Q&A, leave a link in comments!

Monday, August 5, 2013

A rather organic and incredibly perfect process

Here's a completely non-hypothetical question, but can we just pretend it's hypothetical for a few minutes?

Two people are really good friends. They live in the same house, but have separate bedrooms.
They spend time together - no one is really sure when they "fell in love" with each other, because they have loved each other deeply for a long time.

Both people needed time to sort out themselves, and living in the same house, but not being "together" was very conducive to the individual work they each had to do. In the process of the individual work, it became a work on their relationship... a rather organic and incredibly perfect process if you ask me.

Then they went camping together and on a cruise together and other vacations where they shared the same space. And it just seemed natural to sleep together.

So, when they got home and kept sleeping in the same space, does that mean they "moved in together"? And if you start sharing a room with someone, do you need to announce to the world that you are sleeping in the same bed? Is that anyone's business?

Well... anyway... if there needs to be an announcement made, consider this my announcement.
And if there doesn't need to be an announcement made, then this is just about the silliest post I have ever written.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Alaska photo dump

I went to Alaska!
When we got back, there was so much work to do, I haven't had time to do much of anything.
My horses are getting fat; we haven't been out on the trails, and all they do is eat on the pasture all day. I haven't been fishing. BJ and I have spent a lot of time with his kids and grand kids.

There's so much I want to write about... I miss blogging, but for now... I am just going to dump some pictures on you. Between BJ and I we took more than 500 pictures, so I'm not sharing even close to what we have: Just a few, so that I can feel like I have shared some of this amazing trip with you. I often say, "I'll come back and write about it later," but I rarely do, so don't count on it.

Just know: The trip was amazing. The scenery was gorgeous. The time spent with Todd and the family that went too was better than anything I could have ever imagined. Time spent with Todd's family was fun. Words don't do any of the experience justice.

And now: The picture dump. 

We rode in a dog sled. Or a dog cart. 16 dogs running at 20mph dragging the six of us (and a musher) behind them. BJ has the same giggle when he's behind a dog sled as when he has a fish on. I love that giggle!

BJ was the only one that caught a salmon in our group. The rest of us all caught little Dolly Varden. Just fly fishing in Alaskan wilderness was awesome for me. I need to go back JUST to go fly fishing and exploring.

BJ's Pink Salmon

I'm smiling in this picture, but I was really upset. I just realized I had lost my camera. After already dropping my phone in the ocean. I thought I had lost every picture I had taken thus far, and the ability to take more. I was horribly bummed... but my phone (and everything saved on it) survived, and someone found my camera. HUGE sigh of relief.

Just me, standing in front of our plane as we get ready to go back to Juneau, and then get back on the cruise ship.

Coming in for a landing.

Some of the scenery in Tracy Arm Fjord.
Dawes Glacier

I love going to art museums and such with BJ. He is a sculptor himself, so he has a better understanding of what it takes to do what these artists have done. It amazes him, and I love watching him be amazed. (I also have a better appreciation of it all, and feel my own feelings of amazement now too.)

So... In Oregon, there is a street called Mellen Street. I really wanted to take a picture of the street sign. I was practicing on the signs coming up to the Mellen Street sign, just to be sure I got the picture. I have several practice pictures, but when it came to the actual sign, the camera just didn't go off... Therefore I didn't get the Mellen Street picture. I still wanted Mellen (my sister's nickname) to know I was thinking about her, so I took a lame picture of a freeway exit sign... Do you feel loved yet Mel?

This is where we had dinner on our way from Portland (to visit BJ's brother and his family) to Seattle (to get on the cruise ship).

Waiting for my parents to come find us at the car rental place. It looks like I'm slobbering or something...

Everyone waiting in line. BJ and I got through the line first. We hadn't printed out our boarding passes in advance, and we didn't know how much that would delay us, so we didn't wait for everyone else... Turns out it was no big deal, so BJ flashed his "Sea Pass Card" at all of them, I took their picture, and we got on the boat without the rest of the fam.

Just us... in front of our cruise ship.

REAL LIVE HORSE RACES. So much cheesy stuff happening on the ship, but I enjoyed it.

Bowser... from Sha-Na-Na. I actually owned a few Sha-Na-Na CD's, so I was pretty excited to see this concert. It was even more fun than I expected.

Everyone with their cameras out.

BJ and I with future mushing champions.

All the swag we bought. Mostly for BJ's kids. A few things for my brother and sister that didn't come, and a few things for friends. (That reminds me. I haven't given it all away yet. Sorry for the spoiler to the two people that haven't seen what I got them yet...)

Empress hotel in Canada... Mostly, I was really excited to be back on land. Two days at sea was a long time.

Weird looking, but fairly tasty, dessert

Playing combat croquet with BJ's brother (and his son). BJ and his brother have a lot in common, and it was fun to see the two of them together.

Mi Madre

I look like I'm trying to model or something... I don't know what was going through my head...

Some scenery

The tide had come in...


Our guide decided we needed a picture of both of us... which I appreciate. I forget to do things like that.

BJ in front of our plane

The Mendenhall Glacier from our plane. The rest of my family hiked here while we were fly fishing.

Zack taking pictures


BJ, myself, and Zack in the rain in Alaska

Towel animals

We spent lots of time just reading and chilling

Fly fishing with BJ's uncle in Washington. I felt like at any moment, a dinosaur should just walk out and greet us... the forest just felt pre-historic.

I never encountered any dinosaurs though.

Just BJ, Brad, and Ben.

This is the sign in front of the river we were fishing in... comforting, eh?

I didn't realize we were making the exact same face... but we were...

We could totally be cruise entertainers.

David Jake was our waiter. He took good care of us.

BJ's brother Matt, his wife Donna and BJ and I.

They totally look like brothers, huh?

I played with the shutter speed on my camera to get this effect.

Welcome to Skagway!

On our way to Musher's camp.


He got sick. This is his effort to look especially pathetic. I was there, and still his eyes break my heart.

This bird liked BJ's leg and foot. It just climbed right up...

This dog reminded me of my sister's dog, Sadie, so I took his picture.