Well what to do? 

When things got rough… when I was upset, exhausted, miserable… I always had a coping mechanism. I would escape everything through the written word. I would leave this world and all of its troubles behind to face a universe of new problems. But they were problems I could control. Issues I could solve and come out on top of. 

But now… now I’m happy. I’m busy but not overwhelmed. I’m contented enough to the point that I while I want to write for nostalgia’s sake, but I can’t. I’ve hit a wall. I’ve got a few ideas, things that I want to do and accomplish… but no longer the desire and need to lose myself somewhere far far away. 

So now for the task is retraining my mental associations. I will be working on writing prompts going forward. I think every other week to keep it manageable. I need to teach my brain that writing isn’t ONLY an escape, but one more adventure to look forward to. 

I know I take on too much. I have big plans and monumental dreams and I don’t always think them through. The website was one. I’ll be suspending that for a little while. Reserve the name and properly prepare for everything before relaunching. I’ll keep the Facebook page and pay to it when I can. It’s a good community page to build a following with.

ACE Adventures

Allow me to introduce you to the American Conservation Experience. The ACE Conservation Corps. It is a program designed to teach youth how to love, respect, conserve and explore nature. There are multiple programs that are offered through different age groups.

These programs, take members and volunteers into our National and State Parks to build hiking trails, make repairs, clear debris, maintain campgrounds. It teaches them the basics of Leave No Trace and many of the hands on skills required to move forward in the conservation or Park Ranger world.

If you’ve ever considered getting into conservation. If you’re an avid hiker, if you love the outdoors, if you like adventure and travel… Then check them out. Share them with someone you know who is just out or contemplating college. It’s an amazing opportunity.

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The man in the red socks

I got to see the old man this weekend. He will never change. And at this point in his life, I hope he never does. I’ve accepted the crazy old bat that he is and love him for it.

My father flew down for a long weekend to visit with my brother. We drove down and had dinner with them. It was a nice evening, though my dad isn’t happy unless he’s insulting someone. It doesn’t have to be to their faces, it can be behind their backs. Though I was pleasantly surprised to see him bheave this time. 

I keep staring at the calendar to try and figure out a long weekend or something to take a little trip up to TN to see him again and my sister. I know Ethan would love to go up. We have A LOT to plan around though. A friend’s wedding, a friend’s party, Halloween, board meetings, mailout schedules… but I think Ethan and I can spare a weekend. If we go the middle week, I can take Ethan to the Woolly Worm Festival. 

The universe is talking, if you’d only listen

I woke up feeling grumpy. It happens. I probably didn’t sleep well, or I just couldn’t get motivated. I had dreamed of mom, and that always makes me sad. I was down because I’m still in Florida and it’s been so atrociously hot that I can barely breathe. I’m stomping through the house trying to get myself ready, feed the animals, contemplate lunch.

I let out a huff. I don’t want to be grumpy all day. It makes the day miserable.

I take my first sip of coffee and relax a bit. It tasted good. Sometimes you nail that perfect amount of creamer and sugar and the coffee just tastes amazing. I grab my purse and step outside… and can breathe… It’s amazing outside, only about seventy degrees. The last few weeks had brought oppressively hot temperatures so even at eight in the morning, it’s in the eighties.

I stand there for a moment, my bad mood has lifted. I remember someone talking previously about how it was supposed to be a one day reprieve because of the storm North of us. I glance up at the sky and smile and get in my car.

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I pull up to the stop light that will take me toward work when I see her. She’s a hundred feet away, frolicking in the tall grasses beyond the school. She popped her head up and looked my way and began dancing in the grass again before vanishing beyond the building. Now you can take seeing a red fox in the morning any way you like… I chose to take as the universe reaching out to me. You see, they’re one of my favorite animal. And the only time that I’ve ever seen one in the wild… was on Curtis Creek road in Old Fort, North Carolina.

“Okay Universe, I’m listening.”

I’ve started listening to a podcast called Park Leaders, hosted by John Maberry. It’s a wonderful program, and I started it from the very beginning. You see I’ve been thinking over these few years how much I love the mountains. How I’d give anything to spend my days eyeballs deep in the Blue Ridge. And how the park ranger program might actually be something for me. I had actually emailed the Park Leaders website the night before asking for any suggestions.

The problem with getting into the program – is one – you have to be there. But you have to have experience or a degree, or be able to volunteer your time. Currently – I’ve got none of this. When they emailed me back in the late morning, they confirmed everything that I’ve been reading about these last few years. So I file away the desire as something to follow up on once I make it to the mountains.

As I sat and listened to the podcast this morning, the guest speaker they had on was a member of the Conservation Corps based out of California. He was pretty much saying how the corps teaches these young adults all the skills they need to work hand and hand with the park rangers. It caught my attention and I decided to look up what he was talking about. It didn’t really appear that I qualified for the program, but if nothing else, I have three young nephews and a handful of young friends that might enjoy the opportunity.

The website was not very mobile friendly. So I emailed them some questions. I received a response by the next day.

To my surprise, not only did I qualify for the corps program, but there were some openings that fell in the perfect time frame for me.

We are just moving in with Terry’s grandma to save some money to move. What this means is that our current expenses fall drastically. Enough so that if I take this opportunity, we’d be able to make it on one income – which ISN’T something we could have done in the past, or likely again in the next couple of years.

It’s six months of the exact experience that I need for the park rangers, it provides me with the volunteer criteria, issues an education award at the end so that I can obtain further certifications – and the best part is that it’s based right in the heart of Asheville. My heart skipped a beat. I actually cried when I was reading the email. The thought that something so perfect could have fallen into my lap at JUST such a time…. I sobbed for a few moments, blubbering my thanks to the universe for stalling everything else out so that I would be available for this chance.

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New chairs 

Since we moved in with Terry’s grandma, she’s been talking about how she hated her white dining room chairs. They were the basic wooden chairs with padded seats. She wanted them recovered. 

I told her I’d pick out a fabric and get them done. She left the fabric choice to my discretion. 

Well I’ve had the fabric for a couple weeks now, but I finally had the time to get them done. 

So here’s the before shot. See the stains? Kind of obvious why she didn’t like it. 

It was simple enough to find the screws to detached the seat. I precut a bunch of covers. 

Next came playing with the stapler. 

The corners were a pain and they’re not perfect. I’m not professional though. Gis enough for our little house. 

We’re all happy with the finished product. 

Treading the fibers of fate

I’d like to assure that things have calmed down. That we’re moved and settled and back to school and work and setting up a routine, but the whole notion makes me chuckle. I can’t imagine what a calm and manageable life would be like. I imagine a touch boring.

I’m sure for those few steadfast followers of my blog, you often find yourselves sitting back and chuckling at how often I change my plans, or how wishy-washy I must seem. I don’t blame you. At one point in time I would have blamed it on my astrological sign. I’m a Cancer you see with a Capricorn ascendant, which means I am ruled by 2 cardinal signs. I’m great at starting things, GUNG HO!!  But the follow through? Weeeelllll….. If I don’t see results, I need a new plan.

The goals have at least stayed the same.

Get to the mountains. Move to the Blue Ridge. Make it home.

And sometimes… those other plans aren’t abandoned…. just postponed until I see how the next step turns out.

Well I just found my next step, and it’s a doozy. I’m standing at the edge of it with my heart pounding. It’s thrilling, terrifying, and fell into my lap as though designed specifically for me at this point in time.

If I never believed in fate, this would be enough to change my mind.