Archive | January, 2016

Sounds

23 Jan

Lately I can’t sleep.  Again.  Between residual caffeine and my brain waking up with Cool in the early morning, I find myself tossing a lot.  I can also hear our next door neighbors coughing at night.  And they cough a lot.  Because they’re heavy smokers and they probably have COPD.  And there’s a retch on the end of the cough, which is gross.  So the coughing wakes me periodically-or precludes sleep all-together.  I was restless Thursday night for all those reasons–and the fact work sucks right now (I won’t go into that–it’s a whole other long story).

And while I was trying to go to sleep, I could hear the rustling of a creature up behind my head.  On the floor to my upper left.  Normally I would assume it was one of the cats messing around.  But I knew it wasn’t on Thursday, because I’d shut them out of the room.  Side-note:  I love nothing more then a cat sleeping on the bed with me.  It’s one of life’s greatest joys.  But Goose won’t let Choco-Luv on the bed anymore.  It’s some sort of deal only they know about that they worked out.  And no amount of coaxing will make her ignore their rules.  And Goose will nap real good during the day.  But at night he wants to play “under the covers.”  Or he meow-meow-meows for food.  Or scratches on the closed curtains trying to get on the sill to look out his window.  Generally he’s a nuisance.  And since I already haven’t been sleeping well, they’ve been getting shut out.  So I knew it wasn’t a cat.  But I also knew it was something alive.  It was rustling in the way only a live creature can.

suckers

Obviously I’m freaking out.  What could it be?!  Mice/rats?  That’s the only thing that I could think of.  And that’s super-creepy for many reasons.  1]  There was a small or possibly nest of small creatures in the house–in our room no less.  2]  The sound was coming from under my clothes rack near a corner.  So possibly said-rodents were nesting in my clothes/shoes-eww.  3]  Cool was out of state at her Mom’s funeral, so I would have to deal with the problem by myself in the middle of the night.  4]  But the biggest worry of all is that our bed is a futon mattress–that is directly on the floor.  The creatures–whatever they were–might run over me in my sleep/wake (terrible in either scenario).  Or I’d find them IN the bed at some point.  Needless to say, no sleep was going to be had–I was majorly squigged out.

mouse baby

Don’t get me wrong–I’m an animal-lover.  But not wild, pesty animals, in my house–outside of a cage.  Pet-store animals are different.  They’re bred to be pets, handled, sweet.  You pick them and prepare the place you want them to be.  They are invited guests.  Wild animals, are intruders.  They walk around as they will.  They make a mess in your stuff.  And aren’t things in groups so much more creepy/gross?!  I mouse in the wild isn’t a thing.  Wild pesty mice breed.  They have creepy little nests and make colonies and their numbers quickly get out of control.  Then they’re in you bed and in your kitchen.  These are the things I was thinking of as I laid in my bed on the floor. . .

mouse infestation

Then, I’m not sure how I came upon the realization, but I knew the sounds were my neighbor.  I could hear them rolling over in their sleep!  The sound was not on the floor of our room at all-it was through the wall.  I could hear my neighbors turn over in their bed.  Which is not as creepy as mice/rats nesting near my head–but still very creepy.  I was esentially sleeping in the same bed as my smoker-neighbors.  And if I could hear them cough and ROLL OVER in their sleep, that meant they could hear every sound I/we made too.  Very sketchy.  And I’m sure they HATED the week Cool and I tried to move our treadmill/circuits for when I got home from work.  At 1:30AM.  The treadmill is in our bedroom, and we tried that for a week-oops.

After the realization that I can hear every move my neighbors made (and vice cersa), I really couldn’t sleep.  And I didn’t really want to.  Last night when I got home from work at 1:36 AM, I wasn’t tired anymore.  I was mad–at work.  I thought I might wind down by watching a show.  But after one episode of “Private Practice” I still wasn’t tired.  I knew I would just toss and turn if I tried, so I just didn’t.  I didn’t want another horrible night of not being comfortable, counting hours I needed to get good rest, and hearing every noise in the world.  I decided to watch until I did feel tired.  Which wasn’t until 4:44AM.  And naturally, as it does every day my brain suddenly and irreversibly, work up and I popped up at 9:50AM.  My body doesn’t care what time I go to bed–I wake up and can’t go back to sleep in the mornings.

I bought a white noise machine from Amazon and luckily, it happened to arrive today.  I put it behind my head, between me and the neighbors, so hopefully it will drown out any noises from them and give me privacy.  Also, I didn’t have any caffeine today.  I really hope I’ll be able to sleep!

 

Sidewalk Runners

6 Jan

Every time I’m driving around a see someone running down the sidewalk my first thought is, “oh they’re hard-core!”

running on sidewalk 1

But they are not–not hardly.  

First, every REAL runner knows that running on concrete is one of the worst things you could do.  It’s terribly unforgiving on your feet and legs (and back and rest of your body) because it is so hard.  Out of running surfaces, concrete would probably rank LAST.  It would go (in my opinion, which I guess this whole post is, so why specify) it would go:  all-weather track, treadmill, asphalt, beach, dirt, fresh snow, grass (with it’s pot holes it’s a guaranteed flat-tire situation, hard on my ankles), mud, icy conditions = concrete.  Even mud ranks above it, because it’s so bad for you.  Only thing as bad is ice, which is self-explanatory.  Concrete is so hard of a surface that it almost immediately gives me shin-splints.  I know this because our high school’s practice pole-vault runway had concrete under the runway padding, and it was AWFUL on my legs.  I’m not sure of all the running surfaces that are out there, but I know concrete is the WORST.

2nd, running on the sidewalk puts you with traffic.  Safety becomes an issue, because you make yourself a pedestrian.  And what about the other pedestrians walking or waiting on the sidewalk?  People on actual trails are notoriously bad at sharing it (especially here in Utah) so you’d have to awkwardly squeeze past.  You have to wait at intersections, which means you frequently stop running.  It’s loud.  And it wouldn’t be super-safe to be up in the street with ear buds in, and who wants to run even a short distance without their tunes?  There’s smog.  People are looking at you–nobody actually running looks cute doing it.  REAL runners would have a favorite spot.  Trail, gym, loop at the park, whatever–road would be last.  Like, put some effort into your new habit and find a good spot to run.  I’m in a brand new state, and already I know at least 2 different places that are good to run, and a third that’s better to hike, but I could run there in a pinch.

2 of my pet-peeves: running on concrete AND spandex

2 of my pet-peeves: running on concrete AND spandex

So in my head, I’ve decided that sidewalk runners are the very newest of new-bees to running.  What are they trying to do?  Show off?  All they’re doing is a mediocre run where everyone can SEE them-lame.  Sidewalk runners, consider yourselves my newest pet-peeve.

 

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=1029

http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/general/top-10-running-surfaces/152.html

 

2016 Goal-Plan

5 Jan

I have to be in a certain mood to really write, and though I want to be–today I’m just not.  Tuesday is my most tired day of the week, so maybe that had everything to do with it.  I’ll try though, because I do see the new year as a perfect time for new beginnings, and per the usual I want to grow as a person and be better.  I’ve catagorized my goals and plan to MAKE plans of actions to attack them.

element fairy

BODY

things I’m already doing, or kind of doing

-running.  I’ve certainly been running and it’s a good stabilizing force, and probably the most healthful thing I do.  Though I’m not going to lie–nearly every single day (and this is day 733 in a row) I want to lazy out.  At this point it would take a LOT to make me break the chain, because that many days in a row is spectacular, but it’s pretty hard to get the motivation to put on that sports bra.  I’ll continue on, for who knows how long.  [time-line:  daily]

-water.  I’ve been drinking it daily like I never used to.  I’m trying to get all 12 cups per day (to account for sweating in heat/working out/eating salt/drinking caffeine) and it’s hard.  They key is drinking as much as I can early in the day.   [time-line:  daily, and early in the day]

-flossing.  It seems a constant battle.  Obviously, I want to do it, but it’s just a matter of DOING it, which is often easier said then done.  I think I’ve been pretty successful at doing it before I brush my teeth for work.  In the afternoon, before I’m really tired.   [time-line:  daily, and before I brush my teeth for work]

-Appearance is just one of those things that isn’t SUPER important to me.  I’m a very low-maintenance gal when it comes to grooming and beauty.  But, in the interest of just feeling more motivated for work and looking mature and everything, I’d like to continue wearing makeup on work days (except Sunday, when nobody really sees me and I’m there for 10+ hours).   [time-line:  daily, before work]

things to start

-Going to the dentist!  And this is for sure happening this year.  I’ll get insurance through my work, so just as soon as it kicks in, I’m making the call.  I’ve already research dentists here, and plan on getting the full cleaning, and all x-rays, then setting up a regular 6 month schedule.  What a relief!   [time-line:  call Tuesday, the 12th of January]

-I need to pain my nails more.  It’s an easy thing to do and I have a lot of pretty colors.   [time-line:  Fridays, during the day]

-And I should wear my beautiful jewelry more.  Those are really easy things that add an extra touch of niceness.   [time-line:  Monday, Wednesday, +/- Thursday]

-I’d also like to take more care fixing my hair.  Instead of a pony-tail, maybe a braid or rows, or a nice barrette.  And, as a more expensive, and long-term thing, this year I’d like to start permanently dying my hair.  To cover all those grays cropping up.  I need to schedule a consult to see what the EASIEST color would be so I can just go as far apart as possible and get my roots touched-up after the initial appointment.  Which won’t necessarily be a color I like, but it will get the job done and be cheaper and lower maintenance.   [time-line:  Monday, Thursday to start]

Erin_Hanson_The_Path

MIND

things I’m already doing, or kind of doing

-I am such a different person than I used to be.  I have learned not to make work my life.  I’m not centering everything around it, or letting myself get stressed out over it.  I don’t even check what color tasks I will be responsible for the next week when I’m there on Sundays.   [time-line:  daily]

things to start

-reading more for pleasure.  I want to do the book challenge that specifies different types of books.  The trouble will be finding the time in the week to just sit and read.  I think on a daily basis, between work, tiredness, it’s difficult just to get my run in.  But on my days off and especially on Sundays I think I can make time.  And three days a week of reading is still more then I’m doing now.   [time-line:  Friday, Saturday, Sunday]

-read/outline my undergrad textbooks and notebooks.  This will serve 2 purposes:  1)  it will utilize some of that money I’m paying in school-loans and not make my degree seem quite so pointless.  I feel like I’m paying all this money back, yet I never USED my education for anything.  2)  I might learn the material better without the pressure of multiple classes, regurgitating info for tests, and papers and projects.  I can learn the stuff at my pace and the stuff I find interesting/important.  And a surprise 3rd advantage–I might be able to clean some of it out and get rid of it once I’ve looked at it.   [time-line:  Thursdays during the day?  Try it and see if this day works, then reevaluate]

Erin_Hanson_Crystal_Light

SPIRIT

things I’m already doing, or kind of doing

-be more consistent about adding a weekly item to my positivity jar.  I do it, but not that frequency.   [time-line:  Sunday night]

things to start

-I newed to re-start thinking of all the things I’m thankful for daily.  I really liked it, and it was an easy thing to do, which also had the benefit of re-focusing my attention from worrk to gratitude.  I just sort of fell out of the habit the less stressed and the happier I got.   [time-line:  daily, before sleeping]

-painting for enjoyment.  It’s a nice hobby that Cool and I can do together.  I want to paint light switch covers and finish my totem painting series.   [time-line:  Friday or Saturday, twice a month]

erinhanson4

CLEAN/ORGANIZE

things I’m already doing, or kind of doing

-keep up on apartment cleaning schedule.  This should be OK and easy, because I can’t live with the mess.  Also, I have calender reminders set up in a routine I like.  This will be helpful to keep on everything around home so there need not be any huge cleaning days and at move out we hopefully will not have a Riverton Terrace clean-up/fine situation.   [time-line:  follow calender]

-make a shopping list.  I always do this, but lately it’s been more of a long-term list then is really helpful.  I need to buy the items at least twice a month and start a new list.   [time-line:  as needed]

 

things to start

-scan all my photos and back them up on my external hard-drive to cut down on albums.   [time-line:  tomorrow–get it done ASAP]

-Also consolidate my scrapbooks, and make power-points or DVDs of some of the materials to save space (and future moving hassle).   [time-line:  next Wednesday, January 13th]

-set a consistent grocery shopping day!  Problem is I hate it.  But in order to cook, I need ingredients on hand, so this has to happen.  I think every other Sunday after work will be a less-busy convenient day (relatively) to go.   [time-line:  every other Sunday, starting January 17th]

erinhanson5

SOCIAL

things I’m already doing, or kind of doing

-I have also learned not to place the expectations I have for myself on people at work.  Through experience, I realized that only creates social problems and makes me stressed and resentful.  People aren’t going to have my drive or dedication, and it’s not my problem.  So a huge goal is to keep that up, because I really am bunches happier for it.   [time-line:  continuous]

-make a firm cooking date with Cool.  We love to cook together and it makes the following week a lot smoother.  Friday or Saturday depending on what else is going on will work well.   [time-line:  Saturday, January 9th]

 

things to start

-2015 was AWFUL for blogging!  I didn’t do it, when I did it felt like an obligation, and it wasn’t too technically great of writing either–much like that last sentence.  Partially, it was because 2015 was such a transitional year.  Partially, I was too tired and adjusting to a new work schedule.  And it didn’t happen a lot, because I was happy hanging out with Cool, and didn’t want to “step away” to write by myself.  This year, I aim to be better than that, though I don’t know if I will go so far as to impose deadlines or post-numbers on myself.  After all, it supposed to be fun.   [time-line:  write again Thursday or Friday this week]

Joel K tree

2016 Resolutions

2 Jan

Upkeep:

-Keep running at least 1 mile every day

-drink 12 cups of water daily

-floss daily

-keep up on apartment cleaning schedule

-read more

-blog more

Medical/Hygiene:

-wear makeup to work every day except Sun

-wear jewelry

-paint nails more

-actually fix hair

-dye hair routinely

-dentist every 6 months

-do all physicals

Projects:

-scan all photos to computer, then back-up on external hard drive

-consolidate scrap-books

-read textbooks, write/copy interesting things, get rid of them

-go through class notes, put on computer, and get rid of some

-paint light switches

-finish totem paintings

Attitude:

-don’t let work get you down or make you stressed

-keep contributing to positivity jar

-list things to be thankful for again

Cooking:

-make shopping list

-maybe make a binder of easily-made foods to flip through

-make a grocery shopping day

-get Bountiful Baskets

-cook with Cool

Logistics:

-be better about car maint.

-fill Rusty’s oil more often

-save on utilities again

Moments of 2015-Good

1 Jan

I usually like to post all my reflections by December 31st and all my aspirations on January 1st.  Because of a full-time work schedule, and a holiday visit–it didn’t happen this year.  I’m setting aside more time tomorrow to write, but I did want to get something up on the actual 1st.  Even though I really didn’t have time because I spent the day rearranging the whole living room, organizing all the books, textbooks, class notes, and scrapbook items, and cleaning.  And that was a huge project, which was worth it because it looks so much nicer in here, there is more space (somehow, even though we added a bunch), and it’s less cluttered.  Anyway, so you’ll see the most important items in the countdown are unfinished.  But the post has to be posted on this date, I’m hungry, and times a tickin.  So I’ll edit it after dinner and after Cool goes to sleep, but for now–bare with me.

15-the relief of staying at the Missoula hotel at a halfway point in our move.

We hadn’t planned on spending the money.  Plus, the cats are generally horrible in hotels, and no sleep is had anyway.  But we finished packing, and loaded the Pensky in record time–like it was noon or something equally early.  So we decided why stay in a dusty, empty apartment when we could just shave off some miles.  We made a spur-of-the-moment reservation at our lucky hotel (lucky because they had an opening WITHOUT a reservation on Independence Day and saved me from a major allergy attack.  And from camping at pow-wow in the dust (and allergens).  The cats even slept a little that night and it made it a more bearable two day trip rather than one long haul.

14-getting a full-time position with a schedule that still allowed me to see Cool

You never know when homophobia will rear it’s ugly head.  I wasn’t sure if any work or housing protections are in place for LGBT people.  Besides, this is Utah–known for Mormons more than tolerance.  Also, work has a policy against spouses working in the same department.  Even though we’re not legal or married or domestically partnered in any way, if they want to make a case against you, they can usually find a way.  In short, asking for an alternative schedule to SEE Cool was a touchy subject.  With driving time, her job keeps her away from home from 8:15AM to 3:30PM and mine was supposed to be 4:30PM to 1:30AM.  We would see each other for 1 hour each day–while getting undressed from work (Cool) ready for work (me), and eating dinner.  It just wasn’t going to be enough.  And especially with bipolar in the mix and needing to stay apprised of the situation, it was going to be a major hardship.  I got brave and negotiated a good schedule, then it was promptly reneged (see bad moments blog).  In the end, work couldn’t give that other bitch Sundays, because that left Saturdays empty.  I was still not trained enough to take that day, and the other kid who could take it (and didn’t want Saturday, of course) is a lead–so he MUST work M-F.  So because they couldn’t move the lead, I did end up getting my schedule.  But not because they were doing me any favors.  Still, I’ll take what I can get.  And now I LOVE my schedule.  It’s really ideal.

13-Temple Square at Christmas

temple square christmas

Who knew Mormon Christmas festivity would make my top-of-the-year list?!  No, I haven’t been drinking the Utah koolade, it’s just that spectacular.  Around the temple, every tree, bush, and pond is saturated with lights.  There’s music and wreaths, and a really nice atmosphere.  Both malls have decorations, and all of downtown is dressed up for Christmas.  We took pictures, Cool stood in the middle of someone else’s marriage proposal, and we saw a fountain/light show to Christmas songs.  The best part?  We live within walking distance.  We did not have to fight for parking or make our way through the heavy traffic to enjoy it.  It’s so nice, people come from all over the state to partake.

12-exploring SLC, especially walking around the city

green haze

We didn’t move into this apartment complex to be downtown.  It just so happened that the ONLY apartment in our price range that accepted pets, AND actually called us back was practilly downtown.  We can walk less than a mile and be at both malls, the planetarium, the sports/concert arena, farmer’s market, the rapid transit–all downtown has to offer.  We took full advantage on the warm days, and even some of the freezing ones, walking everywhere this year.  And we’ve explored and taken pictures, and genuinely enjoyed this new city.  I can’t wait to explore more areas while increasing our step counts.

11-getting true weekends off of work

My whole working life I worked weekends.  Kennel work, of course, requires cleaning and feeding the animals.  As an assistant, I had to medicate animals as well.  In janitorial, those are the off-hours available to deep-clean.  I’ve never had a true entire Saturday, entire Sunday off.  Every weekend.  So when I went to a corporate job it was a really nice treat being in sync with the rest of the world (and Cool).  This only lasted for 3 months, but it was MY choice to work Sundays, and I exchanged it for Friday and Saturdays off and a late-start on Wednesday, so I’m still winning.

10-having a larger, brighter, more functional kitchen

kitchen

I knew I didn’t love the galley kitchen in Spokompton.  It was dark and unventilated and there was very little storage.  But I didn’t really how much I hated it until I got a huge, bright, super-storage kitchen that was more open.  All the kitchen stuff fits in it, AND there’s counter space!

9-getting a job in another state, before we moved

Moving is horribly stressful.  And it’s expensive.  I feel like it’s 2015, you should be able to secure jobs and housing online–but we are not there yet.  You pretty much have to be IN the state you’re moving to in order to get the job and housing.  Which is a major problme when you’re not made of money.  Because where do you stay in the meantime?  And how do you pay deposit and rent if you are not working (and you don’t know when you will be)?  It’s very scary and logistically almost impossible.  But, luckily, Cool’s Spokane company had openings within different departments in Utah.  So she couldn’t tansfer, but she was pretty well guarenteed a position in the company.  So she got a job.  Then, they had another opening in her company, and since I have a medical background and a minor in chemistry (and knew Cool), I got a job.  It was one of the greatest moments of my life because I was hired over the phone!  And it was a big relief because it gave some answers to questions and a safety net.

8-the entire Christmas visit to my parents’ house–especially the owl painting.

our owls--mine, Cools, Dad, Mom

We saw my parents a third time–a record–over Christmas.  It was special, because I’ve rarely gotten time off of work to go anywhere.  Especially over a holiday.  And Cool could come again.  So it would be the biggest Christmas I’ve ever had.  When I was growing up, it was just my parents and I because extended family lives in Montana where winter weather makes travel dangerous.  And after I moved out, vet hospitals got busy because everyone else was on vacation so where either boarding pets or using that time to catch up on their appointments, or bringing them in for Christmas-related emergencies.  So I always had to work, and be by myself over the holidays.  So it was special just having the 4 of us together.  But my parents had got Cool and I a surprise.  And they were so excited about  it.  And really building up the anticipation.  We were really worked up into a frenzy about what it could be.  At the very end, I guessed it was a painting session, and I was right!  So we were excited to try it because my parents had a good time with it previously–and you get to keep what you paint.  And my dad especially was all weird when we got there, because he was actually excited to paint, and for us to paint.  It’s a big deal, because he’s usually stoic.  The painting process was fun, and seeing all of our creations was a pleasure that lasted and lasted.  We gazed upon them, commented on their different personalities and styles, and looked some more.  We rearranged them and rearranged them again.  The whole thing was really the best from start to finish!

7-running on the trail with Cool

Aquarium with parents 134

Historically Cool HATES running.  And she’s not fun to run with because she slacks off, complains, and just doesn’t want to be there.  But this summer the stars aligned, she was in generally better shape, the weather was nice, and the trail new and beautiful.  We ran almost every day together.  She (mostly) actually ran, mostly without complaint too.  It was a time we could work on our fitness, then we walked back to the car together.  It was a really good time, being out and nature and having no distractions or screens, so we just caught up and talked to each other.  It was really nice times and now that our schedules are opposite, I miss it terribly.

6-Getting to see Brandi Carlile in concert

brandi and twins onstage

Duh!  Brandi always puts on an outstanding show.  Even though I wasn’t in love with the new album, I loved the way she performed the songs live.  She makes the crowd feel like family.  She gets me jazzed up and also moves my heart.  We weren’t stressed about standing in line or getting a good seat, so I was just able to relax and enjoy myself–unheard of for me.

5-Hope:  Moving to a better, cleaner city with better job prospects and working a job that might offer future (non-veterinary) prospects for me.

Spokane only offered so much.  We had sort of burned through what few prospects it had and were reaching a dead-end.  We didn’t want to get a Spokompton mentality or get stuck and be unable to move out, and unable to move UP in life.  So coming to Utah was amazing.  It opened doors and gave us options again.  Plus it’s a really clean, safe, walkable city where Spokane is not.

4-getting a washer/dryer

11739557_10207005138825348_509593602_n

This was a long time coming!  I had been doing coin-op since I moved out of my parents house in 2003.  And it sucked pretty much the whole time.  Taking your laundry out of your house is a burdan.  No matter the sute dorm bags, you still have to haul it.  And not just out to the washer.  You then have to leave the comfort of your house to change it to the dryer.  That’s if you trusted enough to leave it unattended in the first place.  Then you have to make a third trip to collect it from the dryer.  And good luck getting it dry–it’s never dry!  That costs a boat-load of money and forget any special care instructions or color-sorting.  That’s just not practical.  Also, think about if the cat pees on something.  Or you spill something.  Or after camping when everything is all icky.  You can’t always go to the laundry facilities at 4AM or midnight, so you then have to store that ultra-dirty stuff.  And it’s ick.  So getting a washer/dryer was AMAZING!  Now we are real people, and I love it pretty much every time I throw something into the laundry basket.

3-when my parents visited over the summer-especially the aviary day

11667304_10207126634868756_7426331088971295069_n

It took my parents 5 years to visit me in Missouri.  And we hadn’t seen them since 2010.  So when they came to Salt Lake City almost immediately after we moved here, I was really excited.  Even better, I had a training schedule at work that was only 25 hours per week–so I actually had time to see them.  We visited the aquarium and went to Cheesecake Factory, and showed them a lot of the same sights we had just barely discovered.  Nobody fought the whole time, which was a record!  That hadn’t happened in forever–we had gone through such tumultuous times.  So it was all really special and really fun.  The best was when the 4 of us visited the Aviary.  We got to feed Sun Canards by hand, watch a show, and just look at all the bird exhibits.  I love going to animal places normally, and including my parents and Cool was optimal!

2-when Cool and I had the exact same schedule, and worked together

It seems like Cool and I are always ending up on opposite schedules.  In Spokompton, I worked days, weekends, went to school, and pretty much studied the rest of the time.  While she worked swing shift.  We barely saw each other.  Then, when we got here, we suddenly had the same job, in the same department, and we worked the exact same hours.  We had the same sleep schedule, got to hang out together all day, then worked in the same room.  I loved those few months!  We could do all the errands together instead of 1 person having to suffer through it alone.  We could both clean the apartment at the same time, so it was faster and equal responsibility.  Our runs could happen together.  We had time to talk and hang out. . .  Then at work, it’s independent, but we could take our breaks together.  But then, Cool got an job offer doing billing in a cubicle upstairs which is more tailored to her personality, so in July or August, she went to the day shift and a different part of the building.  But being together was sure nice while it lasted.

1-DMB/Hot air balloons

Reno Balloon Races 065

We visited Nevada and had a great time with my parents!  My mom and I went in some historic railroad cars and got lost in Tahoe.  We were both very scared (we’ve seen the helicopters searching for unprepared stupids on TV many times) and despite that, we never fought!  Which is unheard of for us.  Especially when there’s no buffer person with us.  And very especially when we’re stressed.  So that was a milestone.  We also, on that trip, got to see Dave Matthews Band in Tahoe.  Which our seats were in the perfect spot, and it was fun to have my mom along–since she hadn’t been to a real concert in forever.  And DMB is always one of the best times.  But, the very, very best time was the balloons.  My mom and I had gone in 1994.  And it was miserable.  3 AM is too early, especially when you’re 9 yaesr old.  Even though it’s September, Nevada is COLD at that time in the morning, and we hadn’t dressed for it.  Also, back then, they didn’t sell blankets or sweatshirts, or warm beverages.  We got starving, and they didn’t sell food back then either.  My mom and I didn’t have a blanket to sit on, let alone chairs.  So the whole time we were tired, cold, hungry, cold, uncomfortable, cold, dusty, and cold.  It’s difficult to enjoy even the best things when you’re so physically uncomfortable–and I did not.  So ever since then I wanted a do-over.  I’d be prepared THIS time!  But September and college in no way work together.  Every time the Great Reno Balloon Race came around I was just starting school.  Or in Missouri, and getting ready for the first round of exams.  Or working at vet hospitals and unable to take a busy weekend off.  This year, I was only working a training schedule–and they had screwed me over on that PRN deal, so I didn’t feel guilty at all taking a week off.  I wasn’t in any kind of school for the first time in TEN years.  We could stay with my parents so it didn’t cost a bunch of money to visit.  I packed winter layers knowing I would be cold.  We made our own snacks and took hot coffee in thermoses.  We didn’t have chairs or remember a blanket, but everything else fell into place.  I was ready to enjoy myself this time!  We got a good parking spot and walked to the event, then stood/sat in one of the only empty areas.  We got to see the dueling balloons in the dark, and dawn patrol as the sun was rising.  I got great pictures.  Then, the BEST part was mass ascention.  We had unknowingly sat right down in the middle of the field, so all the balloons were blown up all the way around us.  We were right in the middle of the action!  And I got more good pictures.  It was even greater because my parents and Cool were there and everyone was in good spirits having a good time.  I had anticipated the event so much, and had previously been so disappointed, that this was AMAZING!  Now, I can’t wait to do it again.

our DMB posters

 

Overall, 2015 was a time of doubt and uncertainty.  But it was a very family-focused year and that salvaged things a lot.