I FEEL _________________________.

I thought about what makes us feel certain ways.  There are most definitely things that we know how we will feel as a result of; a kiss, a kind word, a compliment, loss, hurtful words, unmet expectations, a long day of work, watching a sad movie, holding a newborn baby, tinkering on a classic car, going for a spin on the motorcycle, our favorite sports team wins, Thanksgiving with those we love, watching one of our kids get married, saying goodbye to our family.

Our emotions, our feelings, can be predictable with much of what we encounter.   That doesn't mean at all that they are blasé or common.  They are rich and deep, but the cause of them of is known, understood, experienced and expected.

Then there are vague feelings, non-directional emotions that are just not very definable.  We don't know why we feel them, what caused them, or how to understand what to do with them.  They are cloud cover feelings.

We say we are out of sync, out of sorts, in a funk, punk, blue, grumpy, unsettled, off kilter, disagreeable.  They come and usually go like a cloudy day in Arizona.  But, they come from no where it seems.  Why I wonder?  Physiologically there are probably some contributing factors.  But even those contributors are vague, unscientific, not predictable or even legitimate much of the time. 

Maybe it's like why we dream the things we dream about - we just don't know.  Is it the last thought in our head mixed with our subconscious thoughts which churn out some strange dream?  Did we eat something that causes our system to be in flux instead of restoration mode while we sleep?  Probably somewhere someone thinks they know why we dream the things we do.  I think they are full of crap.  Some things aren't explainable, definable or able to be fully processed this side of heaven.

My boss graciously gave me his sore throat and cold.  That's what happens when I leave my pen on his desk!  I hate feeling not physically 100%.  It's uncomfortable, but mostly having congestion and a sore throat is just inconvenient and highly temporary.

There is no real point to this picture other
than it made me laugh.  There is probably
no real point to those emotionally vague or
grouchy days.  We as humans though
do have wieners, and emotions!

That is my best explanation of those days when feelings and emotions cause us to be a bit off for no real definable reason.  Though highly inconvenient, annoying to us and probably those closest to us, they are very transient.  We are emotional creations of God.  We get to feel all kinds of things, including some vague grouchy out of sync days. 
Maybe the coo-coo clock just needs to be re-wound. Mostly I think it's because we were not created to be robots.  It's just part of our human design like it or not sometimes.



We live in an information overload society.  Bombarded on every side by constant noise, media, technology, apps, emails, texts, tweets, Instagram, games, RSS feeds, even fantasy sports teams.  We are onslaughted daily with stuff to inform, educate, shock, entertain, and notify. 

Its original intent was probably not chaos, a constant cacophony of stimulation, but more likely a quest for simplicity or easy accessibility to things that used to be done the long way, the hard way, the more involved way.  The by-product of that is we are all very, very connected and over stimulated as a culture as well.  That blurs the line at times of over indulgence of information, breaches of privacy, and divulgence of intimate things.  It erases the line of modesty and sometimes morality crossing at the every least into TMI [too much information].  It creates this weird mix of reality and non-reality that is hard to separate.  It has eliminated barriers, some of which I think are good to have.

I wondered the past few days about what that type of wide open over stimulated culture does to the ways in which we communicate with other people in non-computer, non-technology sorts of ways.  Does that constant shelling to our neurons and systems with information have anything to do with what people share easily with others now?  Is this just a Nancy thing that people, perfect strangers, will tell things to with no regard to their audience or relationship to them?  I'm not so sure it is.

People do tell me the damnedest things.  This week I started thinking maybe it goes beyond the fact that I give people a sort of unspoken permission to let down, to be themselves.  Maybe, on top of the Nancy phenomena, there is a cultural connection here.  This freedom of information has led most people to be more free in their speech.

Today I thought about everything, sort of personal or off color things, that people [people I do not have a relationship with ] have told me in the past few days. I decided to write a few of them down . . .

Darling, I still have something hard on me. [ew! A stranger's response to my comment that notarizing a document and helping him understand the paperwork wasn't hard.]
I didn't want her to have chemo, but I never told her that.
It would appear I am holding you hostage, but I never have anyone to show these things to.
I didn't want to go out with a woman after my wife of 51 years died.  It felt like
I was betraying her.
I lost my 22 year old son and had to move because there were just too many
triggers to stay there.
At 77 years of age I thought we were getting along great going to dinner from time to time, till I went to her house.  It was the best night of my life in more ways than one.  She broke up with me the next day.
My bowel was obstructed.  I was in the hospital 7 days, 5 of which
were in intensive care.
I rode my bike down the hill and it was a thrill.  Getting back up
tore me up though.
I used to weigh 103 pounds but have had to take prednisone for the past
40 years.  I used to be skinny like you.
When I was a young man she was my lover.
I look far older than my 68 years.
I didn't have the courage or the means to get a divorce even though
my husband of 30 years was abusive until I knew my kids were all ok in life.
I know you can't tell now at 74 years old, but I did TV commercials when I was young.
I lost my wife to cancer after 37 years.  She was the love of my life.
I never knew how spoiled I was with my husband until he was gone.
I was a hippie once.  It was the 60's and life was a big joint.



It was a perfect Saturday morning.  It began with cardio.  A heart-pumping great way to start the day as I always tell our dear friend Jerry.

Saturday mornings are meant for nothingness. A change in pace, routine, activities. To those of you who have kids and are now whining about responsibilities, sports, etc.... I have already been there and done that.  I have put in my parenting kids in the house kinds of Saturdays, so get off my back about my new Saturday life.  Your day will come e v e n t u a l l y.  But until it does, quit whining about where you are on the line of life and acting like us empty-nesters don't have a clue about raising kids, responsibilities and weekends with kids home from school. 

I have to purposefully slow myself down on the weekends - put myself out of I gotta get this done mode and just experience a day without have to's, must do's, and gotta be there's.  I'm not entirely wired that way, so it takes some effort for me to not be in a conquerish Pac-Man sort of mode.  When you work full-time, Saturdays become catch up for everything from cooking, shopping, cleaning, to home improvement projects, etc.  

This past Saturday I let the have-to-get-caught-up-with-regular-things pass.  In fact, on Sunday I did a repeat performance of neglecting every last must do task there was.  I rolled into Monday morning satiated with a deep sense of fulfilling and playing in the avenues that refresh me deeply.  I also rolled into Monday morning with a very dirty house, all of my favorite underwear dirty, the bathrooms so disgusting I didn't even want to get ready in them, dishes in the sink, the trash overflowing, nothing ready for lunches or dinner, no blog post ideas, the cars still filthy, the bushes teeming with new growth begging to be trimmed, bills and paper stacks undone and Doug's hair still not trimmed up.  But, I felt great!

Two cups of coffee and a piece of peanut butter toast later, the small hiking back pack was crammed full.  Off we went to adventure a new hiking trail.  The weather was 75 degrees, crystal blue sky, a swift breeze and no humidity.  I was literally lost in the moment that was nature.  Since being outside is my secret Zen, my love language, my run-home-Jack place, I was in literal internal ecstasy. 

The new sights, sounds, and wind created such a euphoric experience I thought I might die of too much stimulation to my senses and emotions. That's not something I have not experienced before, but powerful none-the-less. I suppose that's how people feel who use drugs and why they keep using them. I so get it. That feeling is so powerful you don't want to leave it.  You want to repeat it over and over again. 

I commented to Doug that I should have put my hair up since the wind was fairly significant.  The wind is one of the things I love about where we live in Arizona.  I had missed it for the past 6 weeks or so during Monsoon season and welcomed it back about a week ago!  That wild wind fits the wild west here in Arizona, and it spoke to my own wild and strong streak that runs in me.

We walked, ran a bit, the 8 miles with my hair blowing every which way.  I just didn't care.  In fact, it was a feeling of absolute freedom to let it blow wild, to feel the power of the wind, the warmth of the sun and the beauty of the surroundings.  It was 8 miles of no bathrooms though.  I mean, at least of no man-made bathrooms.

My digestive track decided to rear its ugly head of course. There were the occasional group of bikers, a walker here and there, a few runners. Soon though finding a place in nature to go to where you have a bit of privacy from others also out enjoying nature became imperative. This is Arizona as well. There are creatures here that don't abide in the Midwest - tarantulas, scorpions, rattlesnakes and every other kind of large bug you can imagine. And, I was in their environment! 

As Doug stood atop the bridge, I gingerly made my way through the bramble-ish stuff to underneath the bridge, carefully studying the ground around me with each step. My usual fearlessness was riddled with apprehension of where I was walking and where I knew my nature bathroom would be - under the bridge, thick in weeds and brush.  Visions of snakes and spiders, poison ivy or oak or whatever the hell they have in Arizona were pushed back in my effort to get my business over with before it was too late!

I grew up on a farm.  My mom literally locked me and my two sisters outside during the day most of the entire summer.  We learned to go to the bathroom (yes, number 1 and 2) quite expertly out behind the barn.  We knew better than to knock on the locked screen door and ask for anything, sort of needing a blood transfusion.  I knew how to skillfully go to the bathroom in the wild - just not under a pedestrian bridge with bikes over head, in knee high brush with great risk of snakes.

I emerged from my bathroom under the bridge giggling at yet another digestive adventure, the fact that I wasn't a kid doing it either and that I could actually hear the group of bikers pedal right above me as I was squatting.  It all seemed ironically funny to me.  

Today after work, I ran that same trail.  As I ran across the bridge I laughed out loud at my revisitation to the scene of my bathroom crime. 

I learned something new Saturday; always carry wet wipes and that I could still pee without getting anything on my shoes or clothes.



We grow with age.  Kind of like a box of cereal states, "contents may have settled in shipping", we too get shook down some in both body and mind over time. The fluff gets pushed away.  The air gets removed for better vacuum sealing.

We shed some of our insecurities, make a bit of peace with where we know we missed the mark, finally realize how fast life really goes, come to be more familiar with how we are wired and who we are, don't take ourselves or even others quite as serious, finally have the time to just be who we are, the distractions lessen, we savor people more than things more readily, come to grips that nothing is really in our control, understand that the somedays are far less in numbers than they used to be, and the bottom begins to drop out of our bodies and there isn't one damn thing can be done to halt it. 

Ultimately the physical perplexities and unwelcomeness of age then refers us back to the fact that we aren't in control of anything and there are less somedays than there used to be!

If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I would ever have plastic surgery of any kind - a nip, a tuck, a peel, a procedure to plump, pull, smooth, make something smaller or bigger - I would have said NO!  Today, though I have no desire to have Lisa Rinna's lips, Joan River's face, or Dolly Parton's anything, I would most definitely entertain the non-invasive anything to quell the tide of decline. 

I don't like that I think like that.  How vain is that!  I have always thought that my waters run very deep, that I am not a shallow person.  Based on this issue alone I guess I am only one inch deep. Do I think I am only physical?  Is my physical appearance all that defines who I see myself as or who I think others see me as?  If there were a fountain of youth for beauty I would possibly sell my soul for it some days! [Please note the ridiculousness of that statement and take it for such!]

I went to the dermatologist today.  When I called a couple of weeks ago to set the appointment the woman on the other end asked,  "What do you want to see the doctor about?"  My mind whirled [oh geez how to say what I really want!]  "Well, I have things on my body that I don't want there!  I hate age."

The doctor walked in the room introduced himself and asked what I was there to see him about.  I don't like to waste time, energy or talk around the barn.  I launched into a small list of things on my body that I either wanted his opinion on what it was or his expertise to remove it.  He laughed at my direct approach to my skin age issues.

He checked the small white bony piece just at the inside edge of my nostril with his superhero magnifying Star Trek glasses.  I had to push down a huge laugh.  His too close proximity to me, and the fact that he was studying my nostril in high definition, just about made me get hysterically giggly.  From far away no one's nostrils are beautiful, but up close I could only imagine what he was seeing!  If I was overly self-conscious I best get over it fast!

After my jokes, his ambiguous reasons on why I had this or that, I asked where he went to medical school and did his residency.  We talked about his kids, wife, that he chose dermatology because he just didn't like most other parts of medicine - some grossed him out.  Well, that was it.  His blunt honesty caused a roar from me!  He told me about a professor he had in med school and that he was going to try a small procedure he had learned from him on me.  I told him, in a very sarcastic tone,  I was glad he could utilize something he had learned.  He caught it.

We got back to discussing the white bony thing at the edge of my nostril.  He declared it a very, very small cyst.  I said, "Take it off!"  He smiled as he responded, "It will hurt like hell.  No one can really notice it.  They only see your beauty."  I explained with responses to patients like that he wasn't going to make any money but would be well liked. 

I told him I was extremely tough, even going so far as to tell him to remove it without numbing it.  He numbed it anyway.  Two shots into the cartilage of the end of your nostril does indeed hurt like hell.  He worked his little tool and eventually extracted a small minuscule cyst which he held out to me on a piece of gauze. 

It bled like crazy.  I didn't care.  I didn't care that it hurt like hell either.  I was though grateful that yet another small battle with some strange growth that happens with aging had been extracted. 

Did I look younger yet?  Well, at least people would stop telling me I had something on my nose. That is part of what I hate about aging - things grow all on their own - ear hairs, nose hairs, chin hairs, eyebrow hairs, moles, skin tags, age spots, wrinkles.

As the doctor got ready to leave the room he asked if I would be coming back for another appointment or if I wanted to just come as needed.  I assured him I would no doubt be back when something else grew in my magical and fertile aging garden.



Don't tell me you're going to do something. I don't need to hear it. Just do it. 

I'm not sure why some people feel it a requirement, need the affirmation, have to be noticed or desperately want to be validated by telling you over and over again their intentions through declarations.  I like some things in my life to be kept quiet.  I get all the satisfaction I need from simply doing them, not telling you I am going to them or even that I did them.  My intentions and declarations do not fulfill the need for conquering and completing in my life.  Fulfilling them brings a sense of completion, a sense of satisfaction, a huge win to my conquering spirit.

Sometimes I think the more a person declares, the less likely they are to follow through. Who am I ultimately trying to convince by declaring. There is definitely something to be said for accountability though. You would think that saying, declaring, and intending with all our might what we know we should be doing out loud would create some sort of spoken to the universe promise.  It seems to, in the category of great intenders that is, to do the opposite.  Though they say it boldly, loudly, knowingly and often with great conviction, that is the step they never get past.

Human nature lends itself easily to procrastination - knowing what needs to be done at a certain time but putting it off as long as possible or forever if there is no solid must do end date.  It's a culturally acceptable piece to being undisciplined. 

Don't tell me you're going to start dieting, change your lifestyle of chaos, slow down, eat more vegetables, actually use the gym membership you pay for every month, quit watching so much TV, go to bed earlier, get up earlier, stop drinking diet pop, go to the dentist more often, take vitamins, stop perusing porn, run a marathon, start running, do more sales calls, go to church regularly, quit drinking coffee, drink more water, quit smoking, stop drinking so much beer, spend more time with the family, be more patient, stand up for yourself, let go of the past, forgive that person who caused you great pain, take better care of your body, get your priorities in order, visit your relatives more, finish the half done remodel job started in the bathroom, start saving, get out of debt, write a book, get a song recorded, quit worrying. 

How much time do we spend declaring and not doing?  How much energy do we redirect just to procrastinate doing the things we know we should do, really want to do but seem a bit hard or just out of reach or need to stop doing?

Maybe it's my realist, minimalistic, think anything can be done ways, but those intenders, declarers and informers of every last thing they want or are doing wear me out.  I don't want to hold your hand to prod you, encourage you, convince you, coax your or affirm your every step in life.  Great intentions stand still. 



I am not a clothes hound by any means.  Probably much like yourself, I have far more clothes than I actually wear.  It seems I gravitate to the same handful of things in my closet no matter how many others silently hang there rotting on the hanger from no wear time.  Occasionally I clean out those almost-never worn clothes.  I scale back the amount of second string clothes that merely sit the bench endlessly, though I can't seem to eradicate them totally.

The clothes I do possess are a mix of; I've had this forever, I bought it at Goodwill, I bought this at a store that doesn't sell previously worn anything, or I need to get rid of this.  Personally I do not care where the article of clothing might originate from as long as it fits my criteria for style, flatter-ability, definition of who I am and price. 

About three months ago, on a shopping trip to an outlet mall, I purchased a pair of pants and a coordinating wide strapped sleeveless shirt for work.  It hung in my closet, tags still attached, until several weeks ago when I decided to pair the top (a brand new purchase) with a Goodwill skirt (a used clothing item) I had recently scored.  The skirt and shirt looked great together.  It was a clothing peanut butter and jelly pairing.

Doug commented on my combined used and new ensemble that morning with exclamations of how great I looked in it.  I say that loosely because Doug really thinks everything is beautiful on me.  There is no doubt whatsoever that love colors his fashion sense in regards to me anyway.  It makes me both laugh with disbelief and smile with a deep sense of being loved.

This new top was a print material - way outside my normal pattern and oaths of solids only. It was also a style I don't typically wear.  Right there were two strikes against my typical style. Doug's compliment gave me the boost I needed to feel more confident in my brand spanking new shirt.  I wore the shirt and skirt that day and started to feel a bit more comfortable in them than I would have imagined possible when one steps outside of personal fashion boundaries.

Last week I wore that pairing again (remember I wear the same group of clothes over and over and over.)  I'm pretty sure my boss thinks I own only 5 outfits. 

Leaving work early that day for the anticipated arrival of my daughter, son-in-law and his parents, I stopped at the grocery store.  I sprinted through the store picking up last minute items, feeling confident in my outfit and excited for my family's soon arrival.  Pulling into the garage I hurriedly carried in the bags of groceries, put them away and went to change out of my wonderful work outfit into my shorts and a tank top.

I was in a hurry to change my clothes to get in a quick bike ride before my family arrived.  It was about a 15 mile journey round trip to Nipple Mountain and I only had 30-40 minutes to spare.  As I looked down to peel my shirt off, the wide strapped sleeveless one that I had worn for the first time a week ago, there it was.  The vertical size sticker was still stuck to the front of my shirt.  It was displayed proudly running about 6 inches in length stuck between the very large 4-lane highway of my breasts.  How in the hell had I missed something right in plain sight - twice!! 

This was the second time I had worn this shirt. I had not only worn it for a 9 hour work day with no one saying politely, "Um excuse me ma'am, but you have a vertical size s/p sticker still attached to the front of your shirt.  BTW, it's a great shirt, new?" but had grocery shopped as well.

Had no one noticed I was practically visually screaming my size and the newness of what I was wearing to everyone person who looked at my chest?!!  Right there was the answer to my own thoughts and questions,  no one noticed because there really wasn't much of anything to look  at - no real crests or even small rolling hills.  

I ripped the S/P vertical sticker off my new shirt. Safer it was I decided, for me to wear Goodwill clothes - all new manufacturer stickers had already been removed in previous wearings by previous owners. 



I hate when people have to take credit for things.  Understandably books have a credited author, movies have a credited director, inventions have an inventor, discoveries have a discoverer, music has a song writer, ideas have a thinker upper.  There is usually someone who is credited for the product or piece or resolution - a creator of sorts. 

Created is used loosely in that context because it's really re-created.  There really is nothing "new" that hasn't been thought before, done before to some level, said, penned, etc.  We merely are conduits of what has already been created and we re-create, re-discover, re-explore, and re-declare it to the world. 

I giggle sometimes over our pompous selves.  Me included.  I coin a witty way of saying something and feel smug that I nailed it.  But what it really boils down to is I say what you already think and feel.  I don't create something new, I re-create what's in your head and heart.  My words merely put your thoughts into spellable definable words. 

Maybe partly I hate when people have to take credit for something in a very public show-boaty sort of way because it inserts self ahead of even the idea, the product, the end result.  It's usually some altruistic not needing to be human-man-handled solution, idea or thing that someone wants to claim ownership and original creation for.  I want to slug them.

Peace is not a new concept in our world.  It's a hard fought one at times, but the desire for it is as old as time itself.  I giggled a bit this week over President Obama (I would say the same if President Bush had said it too.  This isn't a political party thing but a human thing.).  At Russia's urging and suggesting that Syria should turn in their nuclear weapons to the U.N., President Obama said that he and Mr. Putin had discussed that plan in many previous meetings.  I should hope PEACE is always a topic but to take credit for it is a bit ridiculous.

Whether we want credit to boost our ego, need outward affirmation for a lack we have inside, are fully narcissistic in our thinking or are covering or deflecting for a gaping insecurity we have, we don't need to take credit for suggesting PEACE!  The end result is what matters in our altruisticness, not who gets credited as brokering or authoring it.  We don't create peace, we hope for it, suggest it, facilitate it and pray for it.  God created it long ago.



If you don't know by now, or aren't privy to knowing me in real life outside the words in this blog, I hate stores.  I do not like to shop for anything really at any time, even groceries.  Stuff, things and even necessities of life [ie, toilet paper, Kleenex, soap, food, etc] are a drain to my energy.  Since I operate on a lower supply than some, I get frustrated over having to shop and waste what I do have on that. 

If you ask me to go to the store with you, I will tell you no.  I don't want to run to the store with you.  It's like fingernails on a chalkboard, the relentless screams of a colicky baby, feet in the stirrups of my yearly OBGYN appointment, getting a root canal sort of I DON'T WANT TO GO TO THE STORE WITH YOU!  Going to the store with a shopper when they are in charge of driving is like having the border patrol finding drugs on you - you are going to be detained indefinitely!

Energy to me is like a precious metal, a priceless painting - I guard what I do have with great defensiveness.  What I do have I want to use for things that get me from the point I am now, to the things that I have a great desire to get to.  Shopping is a roadblock, it's lag time.  It's a waste of the energy I need to move forward in my relentless pursuit of things I have passion for.  Shopping for anything is not my idea of time and energy well spent.  I am open to the possibility that it might be yours.  Though that just seems so illogical to me.

If I do have to shop, I want it done quickly.  That is a little harder to do living where we do now.  As our youngest daughter said, "It takes forever to get anywhere and then when you get there where is the stuff!"  She is very correct.  So on top of the dreaded shopping that has to be done from time to time, the time involved is multiplied by the drive and the hunt for the items you need in a limited supply market.

Some of you are thinking, "Why doesn't she order stuff online?"  Online is still shopping.  It's a store on my computer screen that involves me perusing online STORES for the item needed, comparing prices, filling out mailing and billing information, and then running the risk of it not being what I really thought it was since I didn't hold it with my hands before I ordered it.  Online shopping sucks time away too, just minus the drive!

Shopping is painful enough for me but it is compounded immensely if something has to be returned.  I desperately want the product, the thing I've purchased, to work as it is intended - to fit the environment or purpose I need it to the first time I bring it home. 

The off brand sandwich ziplock bags I recently purchased do not work as intended.  The thought of having to take them back for poor quality feels like walking uphill carrying a 70 pound boat anchor.  I believe a company should be held responsible for the shoddy products they produce.  I so hate stores though that I am probably going to let them off the hook for their sub-par product.  Instead, I will continue to fly through the box of 100 with every other bag ripping when they are unzipped.  [Note to self:  spend the extra cents and buy name brand in the world of zippered sandwich bags or be prepared to return the crappy ones or throw your money away]. 

There is such a lack of shopping and stores here that I resorted to entering a K-Mart.  That is where I believe I purchased the now sub-par zippered sandwich bags.  Yet another reason that K-Mart is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and is out of touch with the culture!  It is the second product I have purchased there since arriving in the wild west that was malfunctioning.  The first item I returned.  But then again it cost more than the $2.29 bag of 100 zippered sandwich bags.  What is my dollar return minimum?

Stores are my own form of Superman's kryptonite.  I can feel them sucking the life, the energy, the ability to accomplish the stuff I really want to do every time I have to shop for some item.  Maybe I was born in the wrong period in time.  Possibly I would have done well being an early settler where going to town was a rarity and supplies were bought in bulk, bartered for or just gone without.

I'm trying to think of things I can go without.  Toilet paper is not one of those things!



It was a good day.  Let me count the ways....

1.  I slept for 4 solid hours without waking up.
2.  I was able to save my hair, do a doo for work with it without having to wash it.
3.  The sky remained relatively blue with no rain today (it's monsoon season in Arizona).
4.  I ate something slightly different for lunch and it agreed with my finicky digestive system - pb on a tortilla shell with agave nectar barely drizzled on it.
5.  I laughed more than my normal amounts of laughing today.  Everything and everyone around me was on and funny today. Of course, I was the funniest:)
6.  I only said two swear words at drivers on my way to work today and raged at a much lower level than normal. 
7.  I forgot my running shoes in my gym bag for after work which forced me not to run which probably helped my two sore knees have a hiatus from my biking craziness last night.
8.  I didn't have to stop and put gas in the car today (I hate pausing to pump gas!).
9.  I didn't have to make a run to the grocery store for even one ingredient for the food I was making for company tomorrow night.
10. I talked to my daughter on the phone.
11. I texted my daughter today - she too was witty:)
12. I talked about God with someone today.
13. I didn't have to make dinner tonight - leftovers were just enough.
14. I got an envelope in the mail from my mom with both hometown newspapers in it and 3 pictures of the home place, the farm I grew up on and my parents still live on.  It made my heart soar to see it visually.
15.  I got a check in the mail I wasn't expecting.
16.  Doug cleaned up the kitchen after I made a mess cooking.
17.  I went for a walk holding hands with Doug after work (way better than running!).
18.  My friend sent me a belated birthday package today with her signature novel written in a circular pattern around the entire interior of the card.  It made me roar in laughter and reminded me how she came into my life and why I love her so much! It had her yearly illustrations in it  - us on our smart planet (population 2 she said), her with boobs and me lifting weights.  She also sent me a book entitled, Dear Asshole - 101 tear out letter to the morons who muck up your life.  She knows what makes me tick.
19.  I talked to my oldest sister after not hearing her voice for awhile.  I miss her and love her.
20.  I talked to my middle sister for a brief moment.  I miss her and love her.
21.  I caught my fresh pineapple upside down cake bubbling over on the oven and cleaned it up before I had a monster mess.
22.  I watered my new patio table plant which was wilted low and a few minutes later I witnessed the wonderful healing perky power of water.
23.  I did not see a spider in the house alive today.
24.  I got junk mail from a place I have never gotten junk mail from before and it was actually a site I perused online to check out their products.
25.  Doug stopped in at my office and I got to peer into his steely blue eyes, long eyelashes and take in his beautiful silver hair.
26.  The plum in my lunch was just the perfect ripeness and sweetness.
27.  I was able to get yet another tooth brushing out of that squished tube of Tom's toothpaste.
28.  I ate peanut butter twice today.
29.  I drove to work sun roof all the way back, early morning air blowing my unwashed hair, sunlight cast in the blue sky with mountains framing it all.
30.  I was able to work and function, unlike other rough physical times in my life.
31.  Someone said I had a great smile today with great teeth (I have a very crooked smile and a Lauren Bacall gap in my front teeth!).
32.  Three people called me sweetie or sweetheart today (excluding Doug) and I didn't want to eat them alive for dinner.
33.  I wore my favorite shoes today.
34.  I asked God to be present in our kids' lives and knew overwhelmingly He was and would be.
35.  I talked to my Aunt Dee today.  She makes me smile deep inside.

36.  My Aunt thought I was 44 and when I told her I was 47 she said, "You don't
look 47!".
37.  Doug said I was beautiful yet again today and that he loved being married to me.
38.  I get to be married to Doug.
39.  We have three great daughters.
40.  I drank coffee tinted a light tan.



There are mountains all around where I live.  Not being originally from here, I'm trying to learn their names.  My favorites are the Bradshaw Mountains which have been renamed simply Nancy's Mountains.  Doug renamed them that in honor of my love for them, my wild spirit that connects to them.

There is all types of beauty.  In just about every place that beauty can be found there is a subjective view of it.  I think that is the magic of beauty - it is both universal and very personal.  Nancy's Mountains are both of those things.

If you drove by my mountains you would probably find some beauty in them. I though find a charismatic pull toward them. And, when in them, my insides literally buzz and hum - I come alive.   Beauty is even more beautiful when it calls to our hearts.  When it speaks to those quiet unworded spots inside that sense, feel and know with our spirits and emotions.  They speak right to that spot for me.

We moved a  few miles further away from Nancy's mountains when we bought our house here.  The mountains in close proximity to me now are Mingus Mountains.  They are beautiful, but in a different way - less green, more shades of brown.   They are a stark contrast to the 5100 feet above sea level plain I now live on.  Just picture the old west - cowboys riding across scrub brushy plains towards mountains - that's where I live.  My daughter doesn't find it nearly as beautiful as I do.

5:30 a.m. is my natural circadium rhythm to wake up.  It's magic time for me.  The sun is just coming up behind the Mingus Mountains as I run out of our subdivision toward them.  My run takes me north with the mountains on my right.  No matter how many times I witness the colors, the dark turning slowly to light, the sky big and wide, I feel grateful to see such amazing beauty daily.  It is a soul awakening sight every time. I soak it in like a sponge.

Some mountains I haven't quite figured out if they have a name or not.  There are a few distinct single mountains nearby that I haven't heard locals refer to with any specific name.  One in particular protrudes prominently above the plains.  Doug and I were out for a walk one night several weeks ago, headed toward that unnamed single mountain peak.  We decided that it looked like a breast.  It has since been dubbed by us as Nipple Mountain.  Our walks cover quite the riveting subject matters.

I texted Doug on my way home from work, "Heading out on my bike.  Riding to Nipple Mountain."   He knew exactly where I was pedaling to.  Quite sure I am that Rand McNally probably doesn't  have that particular mountain labeled as such.  I just call em like I see em!

Riding there on my white Fuji race bike is an exhillerating experience.  There are some smaller hills mixed in with long open stretches.  Speed is easy to achieve, and I do.  I feel a bit lost in the strange sort of beauty around me tonight.  Rain and lightening were gathering on Mingus Mountains to my right and rain was falling to my left behind Granite mountain. 

I shouldn't have been out.   A normal person would not have started the miles toward Nipple Mountain with lightening and rain in sight.  It became a race or sorts - can I make  it to Nipple Mountain before I get rained on or struck by lightening?  There is definitely something wild to where I live and I wanted to be in it.  

In my haste to switch to a higher gear heading down a hill, I shifted two gears up too fast.  My chain slipped and lodged off track.  As I stopped to maneuver it back on, I glanced at the menancing weather fronts to the east and west of me, how could there be beauty in those mountains with gray and rain?  Why did it feel right in my soul to be out in this rugged beauty?

I like to think I beat the rain and lightening home.  Really I think God just held it off for me.