Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Strength not lose my mind by Friday!

Patience is a virtue, we all know this. Patience, coupled with the need for sanity, motivation, creativity, and health is all sort of...hard. I suppose that sums up my current life situation. I have also been enjoying Portland on the weekends and balancing caretaker/unemployed job seeker/friend roles during the week.

These might keep me going during the week, maybe?

“We have not journeyed all this way because we are made of sugar candy.” ― Winston Churchill

“You never know how strong you are... until being strong is the only choice you have.” ― Cayla Mills

“I'd never been a good damsel in distress. I was a "hands-on" damsel.” ― Jennifer Armintrout, Possession

“...but even strong women need an arm to lean on now and then. (Anna Whitney in Glory in Death)” ― J.D. Robb

“Flexibility makes buildings to be stronger, imagine what it can do to your soul.” ― Carlos Barrios

“Focus on faith and grow your roots strong and deep so no one can make you believe in something that is not good for your soul.” ― Molly Friedenfeld

“She was strong and stubborn but loving. She was an untouchable angel with a devil’s mark. She was beautiful.” ― Shannon A. Thompson, November Snow

Thursday, July 25, 2013

East to West: Day Four Recap

Day One Recap
Day Two Recap
Day Three Recap

I almost forgot that I went to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico! Let's break this down then, shall we?

6:00 am Head to Carlsbad Caverns, a two hour drive from Hobbs, NM
8:00 am Carlsbad Caverns tour of one of the larger caves then go exploring
11:30 am Lunch and souvenir shopping
12:00 pm On the road to Sierra Vista, AZ
8:30 pm Arrive at my friend's house!

I was considering stopping in the Redwoods in northern California as one of my outdoor exploration activities but that ended up being almost an eight hour detour and at the end of the trip so I used Road Trippers to look around for interesting places on my route. I was so SO excited to see that Carlsbad, NM wasn't too far off from my trip (the reason I stayed in Hobbs was because it was cheaper than the options right near Carlsbad). I signed up for one of the tours, had a wonderful time, and then explored a bit on my own so I had time to take pictures. Note to potential visitors: It is a CHALLENGE to get a good picture!

King's Palace--Absolutely stunning
At one point, they turn the lights of in a section of the cave so you can imagine what it was like for those that first explored the caves. This is pure blackness; you cannot see your hand in front of your face but you can hear the dripping of water from the ceiling. This wiki is actually a great summary of everything. 

After this, it was hard to want to get back in the car and on the road but it meant that I got to see my friend so after lunch, I went back into Texas via El Paso then back into New Mexico and then, finally, Arizona! Nothing terribly exciting on my trip except for a border patrol crossing...
Some state signs... 

And a really pretty train with vibrant colors...

And, finally, a gorgeous sunset as I take the exit off the freeway...

Oh! And one last funny thing to share....

Apparently when you are 800 feet below in a cave, your phone thinks it's 1980. Who would have thunk? (It was also 8:45 am and a Sunday, if I remember correctly)

Up next: Arizona & California (Cue the TuPac & Dre!)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

East to West: Day Three

Day One Recap 
Day Two Recap

Day Three! I think I may finally get these finished this week while I have some stability in both schedule and attention span.

Day three goes a little something like this:
8:30 AM Breakfast with the friends at Furr's Fresh Buffet 
9:30 AM Head to Fort Worth Stockyards and arrive just in time for the cattle drive
12:00 PM Start the longest drive ever into New Mexico 
.....feel like it's the end of the world.....
5:00 PM Arrive in Hobbs, NM
5:30 PM Shower, eat a meal of tuna & olives on crackers
8:30 PM Sweet sleep

This was the longest stretch of the trip where there really wasn't much to see. Texas is big. Like, you realize that is a huge state and where the bigger cities are located but you really feel as though west Texas may never end. When I saw the New Mexico sign, I just about cried! I was so relieved to finally be in the SW and closer to civilization.

Oh! And the breakfast buffet at Furr's that morning? Amazing! You never know what you will get with buffets but this had everything and I was able to get some delicious grits, eggs, and bacon which held me over until I needed a restroom/stretch leg/wake up/coffee break a few hours later.

The stop at the Fort Worth Stockyards was similar to Graceland in that I figured I probably would never be  in the area again and I can stop and see some cattle and cowboys (done and done). It was a very hot day so I didn't stay too long but I think I was able to get in a sufficient experience. The cattle drive, occurs twice each day, was very cool to see! These are truly beautiful, strong animals.

After walking around town and seeing a few more big sights, I hit the road.
There was a lot of highway and dry grass.

New Mexico! 

Upon getting into Hobbs, NM, my stop for the night, I got super turned around. People, this is a SMALL TOWN! I couldn't figure out how I could miss a gigantic hotel so I stopped into a gas station and asked the attendant who gave me directions in Spanish. Thankfully, I remembered my directional Spanish words from 9th grade and was able to verify and finally arrive at Fairfield Inn & Suites Hobbs right at dinner time. Gorgeous hotel! Although I was surrounded by food places, the only thing I cared about was a hot shower and a comfortable bed.
Again, this was the most exhausting and cranky day of the entire trip (although my parking ticket later made me cranky, too) so I was happy to have survived!

Up next: Getting to see my best friend and her new baby!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday Affirmations

The days are zooming by and we are already firmly into July.  

Here are my July goals:
1 (Professional). Get a full time position. I have been blessed to have had some consulting work in the meantime but I miss the consistent schedule and working with students.

2 (Body). Go to two yoga classes. My body is getting all crazy and I need to find a release.

3 (Soul). Volunteer somewhere, anywhere.

4 (Heart). Meet a new friend.

5 (Family). Spend quality time with my mom and show her Portland.

And a great little article I found on Huffington Post about affirmations that will change your life. CHANGE YOUR LIFE! I don't know about that but there are a few that strengthen the will and demand confidence and courage.

1.) I am the architect of my life; I build its foundation and choose its contents.

6.) I forgive those who have harmed me in my past and peacefully detach from them.

8.) I am guided in my every step by Spirit who leads me towards what I must know and do.

28.) I radiate beauty, charm, and grace.

31.) I wake up today with strength in my heart and clarity in my mind.

Any affirmations especially uplifting? Do you have any affirmations that you say to yourself?