Let’s Catch Up, Shall We?

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Lake Powell from near my RV about an hour before sunset. Yes, I’ve edited the pic for color but it gives you an idea of just how beautiful it is. 

So it’s been a busy few weeks since I last posted. I finished up the job at the animal sanctuary and then moved a few days ago to the small (but still bigger than where I just left) town of Page, AZ. You might not have heard of the town’s name, but it’s home to a huge lake (2nd largest reservoir) called Lake Powell. Simply put, it’s gorgeous. I don’t care what the naysayers say about “oh the lake’s level is down so far right now, it’s just a pond compared to what it once was… blah, blah, blah.” You know what? I’m not gonna let them rain on my parade because the view I see every morning and every evening makes it all worthwhile.

The move here was a bit rough at first – some downed trees, and the campsite I wanted didn’t have water running to it. So I ended up taking the site next to it, and am now just hoping the downed trees get cleaned up sooner rather than later. There are also some problems with the water at the new site, but they are workable. I also can’t wait to make my space more inviting – it will have to wait until I get a paycheck as I’ve used the credit card too much lately. But more inviting, it will definitely be! Luckily, the animals seem to have adjusted to the move rather quickly. For the first day, Callie and HoneyBun hid a lot and were clearly freaked out, but they seem to have recovered just fine by now, as you can tell from the photo below.

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HoneyBun appears to have settled in comfortably.

So I also just started my new job this week.  I will be supervising and yes, it’s been a while since i did that in any official capacity, so I’m a bit nervous, but think I’ve learned  a lot over the years from my supervisors, both bad and good. Going to try to discard all the bad habits and things I saw, and do my best to keep the good, plus tweak those things with my own personal style. And you all know me, I like to research the hell out of anything so I’ve been reading some self-help/teach-yourself books on management, and will be trying to hone my people skills as well. I know it won’t all be easy but I hope to not disappoint the ones who believed in me enough to offer me the job.

When it comes to managing, in the past, I’ve tried to always lead by example and make it very clear to folks that I will never ask them to do something I’ve not done or won’t do myself. I hope that will come through loud and clear. And God knows, for 6 months, I took care of a lot of animal poop so I think it’s safe to say there isn’t much I won’t do, if it needs to be done. From what I hear, we get extremely busy in the summer and there will probably be some overtime in my future. If that’s the case, I’ve already decided I will be trying to save as much $ as I possibly can. If it works out for me here, I could see myself trying to buy a small house or condo.

I finally got to take a tour of the Glen Canyon Dam. It’s the second largest, and also Lake Powell is the second largest reservoir in the country, trailing just behind Lake Mead in terms of capacity. I will also be attending a fundraiser for the local animal shelter/adoption agency, known as PAAA (Page Animal Adoption Agency). Hoping to meet other like minded people there – something tells me I will!

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One of the most gentle dogs I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. After his initial shyness, he and I are buddies now. I’ve been licked on the face several times to prove it. 🙂

I just started pet sitting for a good friend, and will be for the next week or so in the evenings. He has the most awesome, old-souled (yes, “souled” is a word, I’ve just created it!) dog that I swear is part Australian Shepard and Lab by the looks of him, shy but super-loving dog. (In the pic, he has a dog treat on his head. I was trying to bond with him at the time by lying next to him on the floor in the closet where he went and hid when I tried to take his pic. I think the treat convinced him enough to sit still for this one pic.)  He also has a very handsome and talkative Siamese who has epilepsy and thus requires medication twice a day. I’ve never seen a cat take a pill so easily in my entire life. You just pop his mouth open and shove it in, and you’re done. Awesome! If I go to Lone Rock tomorrow (as  you all know, one of my favorite places to be out here), I may be taking his dog along for the ride and an involved game of Fetch. (In case you are all wondering, yes, Baby O is doing just fine and she’s snoring next to me as I type this, in fact.)

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Balloon coming in for a soft landing on the third and final day of the Kanab Balloons and Tunes festival. That was a perfect weather morning and as the balloon landed, I could hear the birds singing. 

Before I left UT last week, I was able to take in a balloon festival with a new, but very good friend of mine. For three days, the balloons were able to get into the air, which is just awesome. They also had a Balloon Glow portion to the weekend where they had all the balloons set up on the street and at certain times, all would light up their balloons with the propane-powered hot air. It was a pretty amazing sight to see, and it just felt good to be leaving Kanab on an up, rather than down note.

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It was so difficult to snap a photo at just the right time as the balloons were lit up! 

In case any of you are wondering, yes it’s been two weeks since I’m completely Prozac free as I mentioned in my last post. I’m feeling great. I’ve been getting up and running in the mornings, and went to the local gym for the first time today. Had a great workout that left me feeling tired and famished, and a bit sore, which is just the way I like to feel at the end of a great workout. It’s a feeling I’ve not had in a long while, so I think things are looking up in that department and in so many others as well.

And on that note, I think I will end this post. Thanks as always for reading.

 

Feeling blessed

Reservoir unfrozen!
Reservoir unfrozen!

Sometimes it’s the simple things that set you up for having a good day and a good mood. For me, this morning, it was running before sunrise. My beloved reservoir has finally completely unfrozen, and if you start running early enough, you can have it all to yourself. On Saturday mornings, I need to open the gym by 8 a.m. so if I’m going to work out before then, it’s going to have to be pretty early! So this morning, I got my butt up and got running by around 5:45. Sunrise was set for about 6:13 a.m. There is just something about being able to run while the moon is still out and the sun is starting to come up.

I run to music but I kept my loudness level down for the first loop around, just so I could hear the geese calling to each other, and also for safety reasons, in case anyone was to sneak up  on me. Right now, the vegetation around the reservoir has yet to fill in (our spring explosion of color has not happened yet, but I suspect it might start this week as the temperatures are slowly starting to creep upward.) It was just a short run – probably about 3.3 or 3.5 miles in total but it was all I knew I had time for and it was just enough to wake me up and feel blessed for being able to run.

I know that after my surgery, I won’t be able to run for about 6 weeks. I’ll only be able to ride a stationary bike or walk which is going to be hard for someone as active as me. I also can’t lift any weights more than 8 pounds for 6 weeks. I usually dumbbell press 30 pounds in each hand right now, so I hope to not lose too much of my fitness. I know this surgery is necessary if I want to get rid of these fibroids and start feeling more like myself when I look in the mirror.

To explain what I mean about my stomach — the doc told me the other day that my uterus is about the size of a woman who is 20 weeks into her pregnancy. So you can imagine how depressing and disheartening it has been for someone who normally works out 4-5 times per week to look in the mirror and see that. However, in the last month as I have changed my diet, I’ve seen the stomach I used to know come back, slowly. Parts of my abs are becoming more defined as I’ve been trying to work them hard in advance of the surgery. The middle bulge is still there, but I know its days are limited and that makes me extremely happy.

Again, I’m not a vain person but I do pride myself on being able to push myself harder than a lot of folks who are my age. I like being the girl dressed in pink at the gym, standing next to the guys in the free weights section and being able to use some of the same size weights as them for some exercises! The hard work pays off as most people think I’m a lot younger than I really am. And the change in my diet to being vegan has also done a great deal for my self-esteem or morale. I used to think of how little will power I had when I would walk by cookies or cakes, etc., and now I can look at something and if it has “milk” or dairy in it, I just think of the animals that have suffered for it, and it’s amazing how that urge goes away.

The sun has started to shine a lot more in the northeast after several days of drizzle and rain. It is so freeing to no longer be a slave to the bus schedule! When I’m riding along in the rain and beginning to feel miserable about the weather, I just think to myself how much money I’m saving by using  my own two legs to get back and forth to places, rather than driving a car. That, and the fact that my rain jacket and rain pants were SO worth the money I spent on them. 🙂

The weather really does affect how I feel about my day to day life, and so I am glad I am going to be someplace warmer by next year. You can see the differences in Bostonian’s faces as the weather warms – we’re still “tough” on the outside, but you can tell people are feeling better with the warmth. During that period of February when we got almost 9 feet of snow, I cannot tell you how miserable and exhausted everyone was, but I’m sure your imagination can fill in the gaps. I’ve never heard so many car horns with so much frequency, and that’s saying something in this town, known for its rude drivers!

I was also able to see a good friend yesterday that I had not seen in a while. She’s part of our animal loving “tribe.” She said that when she came into my apartment she felt like she was looking at one of those pictures that asks “how many cats do you count in this picture?!” She held Osito for a little while and Osito worked her usual magic, licking her hands as her way of giving kisses. It’s impossible to not love that little girl when she does that or plays “hard to catch” and runs back and forth in the living room with me. (I’m telling you, for an almost completely blind dog, she gets around pretty well!)

Anyway, this is all my long-winded way of saying how blessed and grateful I feel on days like today. I know in my heart that I’m on the right path. As I found myself picking out kitchen cabinets the other day, I thought to myself, “wow, this is so surreal.” After so many months of planning, things are starting to fall into place. I watched another movie the other day that had profound effects on me – I’ll write more about it in a separate post, and started reading a book called Farm Sanctuary by Gene Baur. With every page I read, I think my future is becoming clearer and clearer. It’s a great feeling, one I wish for all of you.

Have a great weekend! If you’ve liked this post, please hit like or subscribe or drop me a line below and let me know for what reasons you feel blessed some days!