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Like a Fine Artisan Cheese

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” -Sophia Loren

I put on a dress tonight. I covered it up with a long black coat. I put on mascara before covering my eyes with glasses. I ran a comb through my hair, that I decided not to wash today, before releasing an angst filled sigh to my reflection and dashing out of my home.

I had a 6pm dinner planned with a soul sister tonight. It was important for me to be with her as it was an anniversary of the loss of someone very dear to her. I got to the restaurant with a minute to spare, but she texted me that she had just left her home and was running behind. The hostess informed me that there was a long wait… unless I wanted to dine on their heated patio, and I hurriedly agreed. The rain had just started but the patio was covered and the soft chill breeze would occasionally send subtle shivers down my spine. My friend arrived and I rose up to greet her. A group of three young gentleman seated at the table to my left, tried to steal glances, which was a boost to my ego. We cozied in on opposite sides of the booth and had just acquainted ourselves with the menu when another group of women, probably about twenty years our senior, took a booth next to ours. They were radiant. The way they held themselves and laughed, without regard to anyone else, you could tell their bonds ran deep; they were strong, fierce friends. My eyes kept darting between my friend and the group of friends behind her, and the more glances I stole, the more parallels I was able to draw. It was like looking through a time machine and feeling at peace because everything in your future turned out beautifully.

I may not have movie star looks, runway model weight, bikini competitor figure. Time is taking my eyesight. Time is creasing lines deeper into my skin, and time has scarred my bod. Time has given me experience, stories, character, education, wisdom, family, and friendship. So here I am, not sharing my physical progress or recipe, but something much more meaningful. I stand here before you, getting old, accepting it, loving it, gracefully kicking ass while doing it.

I hope you are too.

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Emotions

Quantum Consciousness: We’re All Gonna Die (but not really)

I’ve been thinking a lot about life and death lately. These are the kinds of conversations I usually have with my husband, but since he is not here, I’m just putting it out into the world.

In my daily readings I came across an article with an attached video (I’ve embedded below) that made me pause for thought. This idea is not new to me, but today, for some reason, I rolled it around my brain a little longer than I normally do.

There isn’t enough evidence in this article to PROVE “life after death” for me, but there is quite a lot of information here that leads to consciousness existing in a quantum state, not only after what we perceive as death, but also now, forming our individual realities.
This, paired with the first law of thermodynamics specifying that the total amount of energy in a closed system can’t be created or destroyed, but it can change forms, puts me at peace with the notion that none of us simply cease to exist. Our human experience may cease, but we, in some form or another, continue on.

Some days, when I think I can not possibly continue on, I choose to anyway. Some days it’s harder than others, tonight is one of them. I do not believe we have a fated destiny or some greater purpose in life. That’s a hard pill to swallow for someone like me who was taught to believe we do. When you look at life through religion, it’s easy to feel significant, you’re a miracle created by a higher being for a specific purpose. When you look at life as a scientist, well… everything is a miracle too, there’s just no end game. We get to derive our meaning, and create our own purpose, and that makes it a much richer experience than playing out pre-written scripts for the amusement of an omniscient almighty.

The thing is, I’m what some consider mid life, or close to it, and I’m starting from scratch. It scares the shit out of me. I have so much potential and not enough time left to try everything I want to. What do I want to be when I grow up is the least of my worries right now, but there is so much pressure to figure that out first. Why? I don’t want to rush this launch of Human Experience 2.0.

It’s a tough night and I miss my husband.
Parenting

Over the River and Through the Woods

When my husband and I married, he made a couple promises to me. Of course there was the usual, “To love and honor, to have and to hold” bit, but there were a few extras he threw in too.

I am a mountain girl. I grew up in a tiny home on the base of Galbraith. Galbraith is world renowned in the mountain biking community and is rated as “difficult” but that didn’t mean squat to a kid who didn’t know any other terrain. Hikes and mountain bike rides meant dodging trees and sometimes creating your own path. The forests back home are thick with evergreens, lots of shade, pines and leaves. The air is fresh and cool, even in summer.

I came to California with my first husband, who had joined the Marines three years into our marriage without so much as talking with me about it. I was a supportive wife, but the move devastated me. I had a young child and was pregnant, without any family, friends, or community. I eventually made friends, I eventually became a part of the community and I did my best to acclimate to the heat as I tried to work on saving my marriage. The “Golden State” was overshadowed by my darkening mental health. I would have never admitted it to anyone back then, I wanted to be strong and push on and talking about it just seemed like a waste of my efforts.

My ex and I gave up on our marriage in 2011 and finally separated early in 2012. I had every intention of leaving California and raising my children in Washington, but my divorce took longer to process than it should have and I was forced to stay until it was finalized. It was during that agonizing time that I met a remarkable man. I didn’t know he was remarkable right away. I certainly wasn’t looking for a relationship, but a couple years later, we were raising our babies together, holding hands, making promises to have and to hold… and to take road trips to the mountains I love so much.

My husband takes his promises seriously, as one should, and we usually take two big mountain trips a year: one with all the kids, and one romantic one with just us. This trip was our annual fall family trip. It was a superb getaway, so relaxing for us all, mixed with the usual hiking adventures and baking. Our cabin was situated right on a cliff, with a perfect view of the popular paragliding/hang-gliding takeoff spot.

Saturday: Hanging out on a cliffside

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I was able to teach my boys some basic finger grips (for rock climbing) and beamed with pride as they bouldered with me for nearly an hour.

These amazing adventurists are a part of Crestline Soaring Society. They had an appreciation event the day we happened to be there; free shuttle, free food, free drinks & free flying. That’s one hell of a give-back!

We came back to the cabin for a late lunch. The kids played on their phones and computers and J laid down on the sectional with his head resting comfortably in my lap while I put on ‘Home Alone’. It wasn’t long before a bright orange haze appeared through the window to my right. The colors were so saturated that the sunset stole my attention from the movie. I maneuvered out from under my sleeping husband, grabbed my camera off the table, and tiptoed outside to attempt to capture the gorgeous sunset. My youngest came with and was also in awe of the beautiful color. Silhouetted in the sky, was a lone paraglider, out for one last ride, with the best seat in the house. IMG_6812IMG_6818IMG_6839

Sunday: Hiking to Heart Rock

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My oldest sons took the lead, scouting ahead and making funny remarks to one another. My youngest son stayed just ahead of his sisters, making sure to stop and assist them over more difficult terrain. He is such a sweetheart.

The colors were stunning. Perfect fall weather.

One of the kids’ favorite traditions is our final stop coming home from San Bernardino: Inn and Out. The girls always load up on the stickers and hats. Of course, when I ask my boys to put on their hats for a group photo, THIS is the response I get. I laughed, and over-exaggerated an exasperated eye-roll. They giggled over how clever they were and said, “What mom? You asked us to put on our hats, so we put ON our hats!”

“Distance changes utterly when you take the world on foot. A mile becomes a long way, two miles literally considerable, ten miles whopping, fifty miles at the very limits of conception. The world, you realize, is enormous in a way that only you and a small community of fellow hikers know. Planetary scale is your little secret.”
― Bill BrysonA Walk in the Woods

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An Officer & A Gentleman

This mountain girl can clean up nice, but I always feel under dressed next to Chesty over here. It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing, when my husband is in his blues, I will forever feel as though he is my arm candy. I Love it!

My babe always thanks me for being his date, he’s impossibly charming. This year, he managed to top all our other prior years. This year, he made a special iTunes playlist to listen to on the way there. I didn’t even catch on until about four songs in. It’s unusual for my hubby to know all the lyrics to the songs, let alone all the songs that happen to be playing. It was a good mix of songs and they were all romantic, so I had to ask him what station he was playing. He told me that it wasn’t a station, rather, a playlist and that I should look at the name of it. Curiously, I sought out the name; 🎶“Songs that make me think about Heather”.🎶

I married a romantic

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We’re Gonna Party Like It’s Your Birthday

… Because it is.

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Siggy became a year closer to forty this past week, and I decided to surprise him with a little something he’s been talking about doing for a couple months.

So, What in the world did my honey want? A night out? A special dance from his lady love? New tools? Nope. I’ll give you a clue:

Yeah. That’s right. My dude wanted to go on a dinner cruise. However, I was able to convince him that we should buy him some nice new shoes as well.   IMG_4458Scan-EditIMG_4465IMG_4882
We enjoyed a vibrant sunset, ate a decent meal, danced, and drank champagne. Pretty low key and thoroughly enjoyable.
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Happy Birthday Siggy!
I love you to the moon.