The Wanderer

Road Tripping | California to Utah

Road Trip | Nevada Wastelands

Road Trip | Nevada Wastelands

Road Trip | Wendover Rest Stop

Road Trip | Wendover Rest Stop

Road Trip | Salt Flats in Utah

Road Trip | Salt Flats in Utah

Late last night Pumpkin and I finally arrived back home after a 13-day trip to Utah.  The drive there seemed easy and quick – we made it in a record ten and a half hours after starting early in the morning, with clear skies and roads.  Yesterday we got a late start coming home and we were both very sleepy, needing to switch driving duties often.

Because of the late start, that meant driving through the Sierra Nevadas in the dark, which always stresses me out. Our headlights, I realized, are way too dim, and the only way I even made it without driving 25 miles per hour through the pass, was by following someone else.  It had clearly stormed in the prior days, as the banks of snow on either side ranged from four to ten feet high – covering any reflective light from signs or reflectors, making it nearly impossible to see.  It was an hour of torture.

So I did what I had to to get me through it and blasted 80’s hair band music – Tesla, Damn Yankees, Boston, Poison, Guns & Roses, even Nelson.  Yeah.  It. was. awesome!  Pumpkin slept through all the noise.  It’s a good thing.  He kind of wonders who I am when I rock it out like that. :-)

There is something magical about being out on the open road.  Driving through wastelands and beautiful skies. Seeing little cities like Battle Mountain and Elko, NV, and wondering if anyone actually moves in, or if they are all just born there.  And how did the people get there to begin with?  What is their history?

We stopped in Elko to eat and noted how absolutely happy one of the servers was.  He greeted every patron like a long lost friend and joked with them jovially.  I revered him for being a man be so happy living in this wasteland of tumbleweed and hopelessness.  I thought about what I could learn from him.  A lot, I figured.

Today is a gorgeous, warm, sunny day in Northern California – a welcome relief from the bitter cold, snowy and wet Utah weather we lived for almost two weeks.  Both places feel home to me, and inevitably when I’m in one, I miss the other… California for the green and gold rolling hills, beautiful weather, and my paternal family, and Utah for my step family, the affordable rural lifestyle possibilities, and the bubble of good natured, Christian people everywhere.  Sigh… decisions, decisions.

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Measure of Man | A Poem
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A Simple Kind of Life

Farm Life

My heart just wants to jump into this image and live inside of it.  The country.  A farm.  A simple life (full of hard work).  Horses, a barn, chickens, perhaps a cute little miniature goat grazing in the pasture.  (And a milking cow for my honey – while I’d like the benefits, I don’t think I’m ready for that responsibility.)  And tall, tall trees. Majestic Willow Trees.

I yearn for long nights sitting on porch swings with my honey, watching the sun set across the edge of our acreage, sipping lavender lemonade.  We would retire for the evening in an early 1900’s restored refuge, complete with wood burning fireplaces, wood floors, vintage chandeliers, and stand alone bathtubs.

This picture is all around me in Utah.  I’m seeing the landscape with new eyes and my heart feels at home.

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Who Are You?
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I Want God, Not My Idea of God.

First Vlog | Thank You Blog Friends!

And, um, and um, and um… yeah, consider it my mantra for this vlog ;-) Okay, it’s my first one and I’m dying over all of my ‘and um’s’!!! Also, about a minute into the video I’m not getting emotional, I’m just slightly choking after swallowing wrong. Yeah, it’s awesome. Hopefully in time I’ll get more graceful!

Needless to say, I so envy all the lovelies out there delivering beautiful vlogs.

One such is the lovely Denise Andrade, aka Boho Girl, who has been my main inspiration in creating my own blog and finding my way through vlogging. I’m grateful that she has shared her journey through infertility and been a source of strength and inspiration in my own infertility struggles.

Thank you so much for your support, blog friends.


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Views From the Train

Views From the Traintaken this morning at the Amtrak Station {Hipstamatic for iPhone}

Yesterday I enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with my parental family.  We kicked things off the night before at a church service, which was so aesthetically warm with dim lights and candlelight, and very intimate and connecting.  The pastor had us all get within small groups of family members or friends, share the things we are grateful for, and partake of the Sacrament.  As I was a little overcome with emotion, I shared that I was so grateful for family, and friends as good as family, that always give me a soft place to land, showing up in many forms.  Also, that I was grateful for my Savior, who has us all in the palm of His hand, and who gives reason to our trials.

This morning Mark and I got on a train bound for Utah to continue the Thanksgiving celebration with his kids and grandkids.  The train pulls in around 4am, tomorrow morning.  It’s about a 16-hour ride.  Soon we’ll be pulling out our pillows and blankets, hoping to get a good nights sleep for the short hours that we’ll have.

There must be something in the air today on the train.  Everyone is being so… nice.  Couples are in love, holding each other close.  Parents are smiling and playing with their children.  Grandchildren are kissing all over their grandmas.  In a world where so many couples are distant and cold toward each other, it does my soul good to see women tucked under the shoulder of their men.

My Pumpkin

One thing I love about trains is that once it starts moving, you are here.  For good.  Until you reach your destination.  I’m easily distracted, so the chance to just sit and ‘be’ is welcome.  There is no feeling of ‘I should be doing this or that’, because I know that I simply cannot go or do anything other than ‘be’ on the train.  I have my honey to talk to, my laptop, my book, my knitting.  That’s it.

New Knitting Project

So, since 10am, it’s been nothing but good conversation, fun observations, beautiful site-seeing, knitting, and writing (no reading yet).  We’ve been sitting in the Observatory all day – with large windows lining the whole cabin for optimal views.  Imagine hours and hours of  untrod wilderness, full of snow and trees.  When the sun was in just the right place, there was a whole field of snow, sparkling like diamonds.  Breathtaking.  I told Mark it looked like Edward Cullen’s (from Twilight) face.  :-)  But much more beautiful.

From time-to-time we would see a completely random house all alone, totally hidden away from the rest of the world.  There was a time I wondered, what kind of people would choose to live like that? Now I understand that they are my kind of people.  They are likely the kind of people who yearn for solace, peace, and tranquility.  A kind of people that want to live purposefully, without being bombarded with media and influenced by imagery from a very busy world.  A kind of people that want to keep sacred very special values for themselves and for their children.  There was a time I regarded that ‘kind’ as freakish.  If they are freaks, count me as one of them.  I totally get it.

Beauty After the Stormtaken from inside the train

Tomorrow at 11am we are meeting everyone to continue the feast.  The feast on food.  The feast on connection, love, and family.  I’m so excited to see the kids,  and our three grand-babies.  There will be lots of hugs, kisses, laughter, and cuddling going around.

“Be Here Now” by Mason Jennings is my song anthem for this post.  Listen, and take in the lyrics.  There’s no other place to be…

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Art, Heart and Healing. Week 1.

Negative Thoughts

I am going through Tamara Laporte’s Art, Heart and Healing mixed media workshop.  If you’ve never checked out her art, website, etsy store, ning community… you must.  She’s adorable and amazingly talented.

I’ve searched high and low for the right workshop for me to get started in mixed media.  There are so many choices.  Many require well-deserved money, but I don’t have much extra these days.  I decided to search on YouTube for some tutorials just to get going.  And then I found her.  The quirky, fun, sincere, generous, and talented Tamara Laporte.  Her work just resonates with my soul and is the outlet my heart has been aching for.  The best news?  She is offering a free internet workshop RIGHT NOW!

I got all of my supplies today.  Not feeling too certain about what I chose… I’m such a newbie.  Oh well, we’ve all got to start somewhere, right?

I’m about thirty minutes into the week 1 lesson and completed the first several steps.  I’m doing this on my bed.  Yes, my bed.  I have no place to work – no place to spread out.  (Another story for another time.)  And yes, I managed to get a glob of gesso all over my white down comforter.  Oh well – good thing the gesso is also white.

As you can guess by the title, this workshop has a healing element to it.  One of the first things we were to do was to write down all of our negative thoughts or the thoughts that hold us back – to later symbolically release them by covering them up (with gesso).

I wrote my negative thoughts in different colored pencils and I see that they are showing through the gesso – not supposed to happen.  Oh, well.  I surrender to the process and believe it is just perfect for my first piece.  Hm, what can I learn from my life about this…

My piece is drying now… I’ll keep posting my progress :-)

Covering Negative ThoughtsCovering Negative ThoughtsCovering Negative Thoughts

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