Taking “it” for Granted…Patience and Lessons Learned

When it comes to life the critical thing is
whether you take things for granted or take them with
gratitude
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– Gilbert Keith Chesterton

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    June 1st! Are we already getting to the halfway point of the year? This month marks the start of crazy for us. Birthdays, holidays, baseball, and a new element: marching band. Andrew started baseball this week. I love it! They have practices 4-5 days a week. The coach said at least 4 days. He is working them hard on conditioning. At this point they all know how to throw the ball, catch it, and hit it; time to get conditioned. I did not think he would like it, but he does. Last night he came home and was really sore. He almost an entire pizza and crawled on to the couch and went to sleep. Next Tuesday, Amanda starts marching band practice. On the second to last day of school, she got her Chamber’s music and marching band music. It was strongly suggested that she got her music memorized so she could learn and focus on marching. It will be interesting!

    I’m trying to work things out with my sister about exchanging or just taking kids. Her kids have a lot going on this summer. There’s traveling to see their other family, camps, and other things going on (sounds familiar). Amanda really wants to make money this summer. I can remember being 14 and wanting to make money. Not old enough to get a job, yet. I’m thinking about meeting my sister in Cheyenne so she can go to my Dad’s house the week he has his surgery. This would give him the chance to have someone around while mom is working. Someone to keep him out of trouble! Amanda also wants to go see her best friend. I can relate. I know at some point this month I will get to see my best friend. I’ve missed her so much!

So I have a question…. What is the “it” you’ve taken for granted?

    Have you ever stopped and thought about or experienced the “it” and realized how much you took it for granted? As summer rolls out it’s carpet I realized my “it” is Washington. There were so many opportunities as a photographer! I get mad at myself that so much drama and crap got into our lives that it really cut off being and doing the things that we loved so much! I have truly been uninspired. I guess my challenge here is to find that same beauty and mystery. I like tiptoeing through the dark misty forests and sitting on the beach listening to the ocean waves crash against the shore. There was something magical about it. Something that would awaken my senses and the challenge to me was showing and sharing it through the lens of a camera. Here… I’m struggling to find that inspiration and excitement.

    I have joined a facebook group that has some truly talented photographers. I think it’s awesome that they put together outings to not only give people a chance to dabble in a particular genre, but also to share their knowledge. I’ve scrolled through all the events, but the biggest problem is this stupid messed up leg. I so badly want to hike through the Rocky Mountain National Forest next weekend, but I know I’d just be holding people back and the last thing I want is people to feel sorry for me. I guess I should just admit, that patience I so delicately learned…is wearing thin. I know it isn’t the will power. I could go with them and keep up, but when the weekend was over me and my physical therapy team would be shaking their heads. I also still run that risk of dumb fractures, and that would just ruin not only my weekend, but those around me. So I will wait….and grumble about it….

    OH! I know another “it”. WALKING!! Isn’t it crazy? You’d think that walking is the most natural thing we learn to do. How do we learn as babies? This old woman can’t seem to figure it out. SO many things have to happen from the brain to your legs… I feel like half of my body is not communicating! It’s rather frustrating. My muscle memory is so messed up and getting it fixed is daunting. I’m so thankful I have a team of people working with me to get it fixed. It goes back into patience. One slow step at a time.

    Anything else going on? OH! Camping was really awesome! It really went without any major hiccups. I did forget a few things: dish soap, chapstick, and ketchup. It was a good belly laugh at times. When we showed up Thursday night we were not sure if it was a good idea or not. The wind was howling and it was getting cold fast. The wind was blowing so hard we almost could not keep one tent standing. So Dan moved the truck behind the tent and it helped. I am not sure we got any real sleep that night. The next morning was fun! The wind was still stirring the pot, but it wasn’t as bad as during the night. It was just enough to keep the little propane stove from staying lit. So we used the next best thing, a camp fire. Quite interesting to cook fried potatoes, sausage, and bacon on the stove; ok it took forever! My most favorite part was coffee!! I’ve been waiting for camp fire coffee for years! So warm and yummy!

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The kids were playing with my camera…lol like my oversize hat? Can’t wait for my hair to grow longer so my head stays warmer!

    After we cleaned up breakfast, things could have really turned for the bad. Dan and I decided to go down and soak a few worms in the lake. Well, the third ranger drove up and parked next to our camping spot. Mind you this is the third ranger we had already seen that morning. He got out and asked the kids where the adult was. So Dan started heading up that way. Needless to say he gave us a ticket for not staying parked in the parking area. This is one of those lessons you teach your kids about rules are rules…no matter how much you have good intentions, if you break a rule you break it. We got to talking to the ranger and I was a bit mad. It wasn’t like we were our four wheeling. I was mad on the inside. All I could think about was this guy was telling my husband they were going to have to send someone out to “repair” the damaged we caused (by the way when he moved his truck you couldn’t even see tire tracks). Dan was very careful not to spin his. I mean I get the rangers point. Well, I blurted out how I felt sorry for the rangers because of all the litter that was lining the lake and campsites. Honestly, it’s the worst I’ve seen next to seeing Fountain Creek.

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nom,nom!

He explained that there was 20 miles of beach and not enough volunteers or rangers to keep things clean. I can understand that, but it’s a cardinal rule for us; what you pack in you pack out. You just assume that rule of thumb goes to all people using or visiting the lake. Well he went on his way and we resumed fishing. Dan and I were talking when he stopped in the public parking area and got out of his truck. He pulled a bright orange bag out and my heart sunk. All I could think was I possibly did something wrong with my crawdad trap. The ranger started walking down the beach and picking up trash. When he got to us I told him that if he wanted to leave his trash bag the kids and I would do some trash picking up. I knew that afternoon everyone would get board and why not do a good deed for the environment. He nodded and kept walking down the bank. On his way back he stopped and gave us a spinner. Oh, the amount of “fishing” trash was awesome! We got so many hooks and sinkers! There were all sorts of treasures lying around. Any who, the ranger stopped as he was walking away and turned to say, “In all my 27 years of being a ranger I’ve never made a deal with anyone. If you get your kids involved and pick up litter, I’ll void your husband’s ticket.” Know what I said? “Oh you don’t have to do that, I’m just passionate about trash.” (lol moment) He smiled and told me to have Dan meet him at his truck.

    I wasn’t trying to get Dan out of a ticket; I was just so darn mad about how inconsiderate people are. The rest of the trip went uneventful until late in the evening. I had my line in the water and was brewing a hell of a headache. Too much sunshine and not enough air to breath? So I propped my pole against a rock and ran up to get something to make it go away. While I was in camp I head Amber hooting and hollering. I was so excited! I thought she had finally got her fish she had been so patience in getting. So I grabbed my camera and “ran” back to the shore. Come to find out My pole had fallen over, so Dan told her to reel it in. The cutthroat on the other end had swallowed hook and all. So we say we tag teamed that fish. It got exciting! We thought that it was fish time. Nothing. No bites. Nothing until about 1:00 in the morning.

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Amber named our “fish” and she wouldn’t stop playing with him. 🙂

    Now I was exhausted, so I went to bed early. So did my bear. The boys (Amanda’s boyfriend came with us) and little Bee stayed up to fish with Dan. He said several times they had something on their line, but it spit the hook. What was so exciting was Brandon caught a fish for the first time in his life. He even took care of it after Dan showed him. This is my final “it”. You know sometimes I just assume that people have done these things. I am starting to wonder if we are unique. It’s important to us to not only get away from “city” life, but also to show our kids some survival things. You never know where you might need to use a slip knot or how to cook with fire. It was great that we could share these things with Brandon. When Dan crawled into the tent he said, “You know, sometimes you take the things that you have done and know for granted.”

Got me to thinking about all the “its” that I take for granted.

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Saturday in the Sun

“Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
― Apple Inc.

    I’ve always loved that quote! If you really think about it, it is those people, for better or worse, who have changed the world. Through invention or a social idea, they are the ones who stand outside of the box and make a difference. I met a lady like that yesterday. Forgive me, I can’t remember her name, but she has all my respect. It’s not because she’s a bus driver (lord knows they are special to begin with). No, this lady has a heart of gold. She drives the fun bus in the summer. The fun bus is a program that gives kids something to do. Most often the kids enrolled are kids that aren’t bad, just need a little inspiration to stay out of trouble. The kind of kids I decided, yesterday I wasn’t going to deal with.

    Talk about making a person feel guilty. She had no idea what had taken place, but the conversation we had stirred me up a bit. I knew I was going to chaperone yesterday. I just didn’t want “those” kids. Part of me was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them and the other part saw the look on my daughter’s face when we were asked if we wanted to help out and chaperone them. They are the “popular” group (interesting that none of their parents showed up) an they pretty much don’t feel that the rules apply to them. They are a special group and everyone below them is just trash. So it wasn’t a surprise to the teachers that none of us parents wanted to deal with them. Isn’t that a sad place to be? We didn’t want to deal with them and I can’t imagine being on the other side. Although I doubt they gave any consideration to the situation.

    Any who, the conversation I had with the bus driver was spiritually stirring, but I also felt greedy and quite frankly I didn’t care about those kids. Being honest here. Normally I would have seen it as some sort of lesson to my daughter about swallowing pride and doing something you don’t want to do… but not yesterday. Perhaps the lesson she got is the way you act and talk goes along way. You can be a social imp or you can give respect to your authorities and fellow peers and follow the rules. Both paths have consequences.

    Yesterday was an awesome day for me. I hope my Bear had just as much fun as I did. We got to Elitches at just before 8:00a.m. The kids got their instruments and we marched into the pavilion to warm up. The choir sand first, followed by the band, and then the orchestra played. All three groups got awarded gold for excellence! I can honestly say that the band played the best I’ve heard them all year! What a real treat! After that we marched back to the buses and got into our group. At just after 10:00am we started riding rides.

    Of course, the first one we went on was the Tower of Doom! Someone before us described it as something better than a shot of coffee in the morning… yeah maybe coffee after one hell of a night of drinking. It was one of those rides that goes high up in the air and drops you down fast. I think I’m still peeling my stomach off the walls of my throat. Not barf feeling, but yeah…you just have to try it out. From there we went on the Half Pipe. It looked like a giant half pipe. On the skate board were to sections of seats that spun in a circle as you go up one side of the half pipe and back down. It was a bit comical because just before we got on it, they had to do some tests runs. Perhaps that added a bit more of adrenaline to the ride. We road just about every ride except the Mind Eraser. Not because of fear…but because of the long line. People were saying they were waiting almost an hour in line to ride it. I would say this: DON’T RIDE THE TWISTER! That rollercoaster sucks!! Talk about jerking you around. The cool part was the tunnel, but I think my neck and back hurt from that ride.

    We were a bit smart. As the heat started climbing up, we decided to go on the log ride. This is one where you go down a steep slope and slam into water at the bottom. We were in the very front so, we got SOAKED! It was awesome!! After that, things started to kind of fizzle out. It was 2:30pm in the afternoon and both of us were tired. We had been riding rides for close to five hours. We still had three more hours til we were scheduled to leave. Eventually we found a shaded bench and Amanda snoozed for a bit. I kept getting conflicting information about where we were supposed to meet. One teacher said the busses and another said the Ferris Wheel. We knew we had water at the busses (wasn’t going to pay 4.00 for a bottle of water) so we went to the busses. Which is where I got to talking with our driver.

    The drive home was insane. You’d have thought after getting a full belly some of the kids would have gone to sleep…nope, they were wired to an amp. They weren’t being obnoxious, just surprised that more of them didn’t fall asleep like us. We had to make one little side line stop. One of the dads wasn’t feeling well, so we pulled over. What a good Saturday! Still sad we didn’t win the big huge bear, but this day is filed under my favorites!

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Ever Wonder?

“For Attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. 
People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember,
if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.” 

― Sam Levenson

 

It’s no secret. The parking lot at my kids’ middle school is….(trying to think of a non explicit word). HUNGER GAMES!! That’s what it’s like!! This morning, with snow and ice, it was unusually worse than the norm. I like to go to the very end of the lot, turn to the left and drop my kids along the sidewalk on that end of the school. Sixth graders line up on that end and Amanda goes straight to band (her first hour class.) SO we do our usual. As they jump out I put my left blinker on telling other drivers I’d like to merge over so you can have my spot and drop your kiddos off. There are three cars ahead of me following this same thing. About five cars drive by us and stop to drop their kids, next to our vehicles. Really? Couldn’t give us three a chance to get out of the way. Well the vehicle in front got tired of waiting so they forced their way over. That leaves me and the car in front of us. Someone decided to pull in front of her….side ways. So now we are trapped unless someone lets me out. At this point my blood starts boiling. Why in the am I so damn nice and let people over? Eventually traffic slows, and we are finally able to get over…. I thought on the way home about how many times I could have jumped in between cars and made someone slam on their brakes or piss someone off. I guess at 7:30 in the morning my mean bone hasn’t woken up and I wasn’t in the mood.

So here’s my question: do you ever wonder if your acts of kindness makes a difference or are all those cute sayings a bunch of bull?

 

    Sometimes it feels like every step forward is two steps backwards. We are still in the same place. How do we finally start taking two steps forward? I don’t always mind falling back. Gives you something to learn from. If we never messed up or fell on hard times, would we ever know what our full potential was? I like what my oldest daughter said, “Mom, I don’t always have to be first or I’d never have anything to shoot for.” Very wise words from a young heart. I’ve never really wanted to be on top, just in a place in the middle. A place where goodness mattered and your heart was open for all to see. A place where people didn’t take advantage of your goodness or kindness. Instead they passed it on. Now isn’t that a fantasy. I feel like I have a mountain of kindness to share. An overwhelming amount of positive energy. It all came from others who took the time to stop and write a note, email or text to say hey I’m thinking of you. I want to share my good energy with others. But, this dark thought of not wanting to waste it on others who don’t care….. Guess that’s the faith. When you do something kind, you just have to trust that it will touch them in a positive way.

Ok too much deep thought….

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Not for the Faint at Heart

We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.
-Henry Ward Beecher

You know that old cliché, “Parenting isn’t for the faint at heart.” I got it, but never got it until my kids turned into teenagers. I know Dan and I have agreed that if we knew 14 years ago how awful this world was going to become, we’d never have had kids. That’s an awful thing to say, but true. Man, we had it great as kids. We could just be kids growing up. Not so true these days. I’d have to say the last few months, being a mom; I’ve had to dig up extra patience and understanding.

So, if there’s one thing I do know, it’s to keep them busy. Not busy to the point of exhaustion, but busy to keep their hands idle free. Get rid of boredom to limit getting into trouble. SO we encourage the kids to find something they like to do. I don’t care if it’s underwater basket weaving. If they like it, we’ll support them. Thursday this last week we got to go to Bear’s first track meet. A good meet. She got either first or second place in her events. You could tell she was a bit rusty, but she is starting ahead of where she finished last year.

WAY TO GO BEAR!!

Have you inspected poop lately?

Every person is like a book. Judging people is like judging a book by its cover.

When we read, we know the intricacies of that book and then like it, whatever the cover may be like.

That’s why being judgmental is a very narrow minded approach of limiting your intellect.

Once you turn over a new leaf and start to form your own opinion without overanalyzing situations and people, you’ll see the difference.”
-Unknown

    WOW!! What is up with the poop inspector’s lately? And honestly…who ever wanted that job to begin with? Why can’t people learn to accept that everyone’s poop stinks?

I’ve been on this soap box before…so here It goes again….

 

I don’t believe in an “eye for an eye.”

It simply would make us a blind world.

I also seem to recall that in history class, people came to the new world to:

TO HAVE FREEDOM!

Freedom from tyrant rulers.

Freedom of religion.

Freedom from economic hardship.

 

Ok we could list a million reasons, but in reality, the true reason was to do whatever the hell they wanted to do without persecution.

So when any AMERICAN becomes a poop inspector…it makes me cringe.

No one in this country has the right to judge another based on religious belief, sexual orientation, race, or gender.

Pure and simple.

I don’t care what your religious philosophy is…

What cracks me up and baffles me more…even inside the same circles people do not believe the same things.

When someone offends another person by their indifferences…the throw them out of the circle. Make examples of them.

Why? What purpose would that serve….except to make you feel better?

Can someone please explain it to me?

I’m not getting the full picture in my mind…or my mind is so simple I can’t wrap my mind around it?

I like to share what I believe with others…

I like to hear what others believe.

We can be different and that’s ok.

In the end it’s who we believe our maker is that will judge us for our actions.

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Nervous Energy

Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths.”
― Charles H. Spurgeon

I am a good victim of anxiety. I suppose it is that, “I can’t control the outcome” part of me. If it was my way, everything would end with rainbows and unicorns with glitter. Today I see my oncologist. I had my scans last Thursday and Monday. I know deep down that there is nothing there. Yet, there is a little dark spot that whispers…there might be. It’s going to be a sigh of relief to hear him say everything is ok. Then the true road of remission can start. I know that it will ease Dan’s mind. I think this nervous energy is why I’ve stayed busy all week. If you stay busy you don’t have time to stop and let your mind wander.

Yesterday, surprisingly, my mind got an unexpected break. I have decided that every Thursday is my day. I was going to go visit the zoo, but the Garden of the God’s called my name.

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I like how I can see the park from my house. Yesterday, it really stood out from the mountains. I was actually anxious going by myself. Not so much being alone, rather asking myself, What if I fall? What if I step in a hole and break my foot? At first I just decided to stay in the main park area. Walking down into the park I felt a sense of calmness. I knew I had to keep my eyes and ears open. Most of the birds have returned from their winter vacation. I know there are three kinds of birds unique to the park and I wanted to take pictures of all three. There’s a bend to the trail that stopped me in my tracks.

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There are just times when you see something that is just neat. I don’t know why the opening in the park, with the view of the snowy mountains calmed my anxious mind. From there I didn’t think about anything. I just let my ears hear and my eyes wonder.

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I decided to get brave and try one of the loop trails. It was a bit painful as most of it was stairs going up and down. It was really neat! It took you up above the main park. The sun was still waking, so I thought the shadows and highlights were awesome. After the loop, I finally found where all the chatter was coming from.

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I even got to watch a couple bunny rabbits frolic in the snow.

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Leaving the main park, I wasn’t ready to go home. SO I took a right turn towards a trail head. I think it was called Cabin Canon trail. I started park way down it, and got to a point where it looked like we would be going up…a lot… so I turned back and went down the Siamese Trail. Glad I did. It wasn’t too bad. I did spot a Mountain blue bird. I love these birds! They are so beautiful. I tried to get a picture, but the sun was behind the bird. This trail lead to the rock formation called the “Siamese Twins.” From what I could read it is among the most famous places for pictures. Mainly because of the “hole” at the bottom. You can see Pikes Peak. Except, today, Pikes Peak was sleeping in and hiding under the covers of clouds.

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AS I walked back down towards the blazer I decided that I was going to go home and print up a map of the trails. I think my goal will be to get down all of them. Each trail leads to a rock formation. I know the Kissing Camels and Balanced Rock. So it’s time to work on the other 16 formations.

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When did going to school cost so much?

“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”
― Walter Cronkite

    I’m not speaking about college. I’m talking about elementary and above education. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like every time we turn around we are passing out 10.00 bills to the kids for this or that activity. It’s not upsetting in the way I’m complaining. After having spent a few years in the fifth worst school district in the nation, I understand all too well how underfunded schools are. I guess since we were in school, educations have been placed on the bottom of the funding list. We must live in some sort of screwed up society. We put researching meaningless things above the needs of our school systems. Should educating the next generation be at the top of the list? By any and all means? Be it technology updates or school maintenance? Why are so many districts getting their funding cut short? That to me, is about as dumb as cutting Meals on Wheels.

I am super proud to be in the school district we are in. We have some great teachers and administrators working hard and it shows in my kids. When we moved here both Amanda and Andrew were struggling. Not because they have a learning issue, but because these schools were so far ahead of Washington schools. Amanda was still struggling to read at her level. The awesome part is being able to recognize these issues and have a team of teachers work with the kids to get them caught up. It helps that the kids themselves could adjust their attitudes and focus on learning. With Andrew it took a while, but he came around. His self esteem used to be in the dirt when it came to school. I also really like how they are making learning interesting. This is where the 10.00 bills come into play. Just this month we spent money on kite materials and model rockets. This was part of Amanda’s science class. Amanda also was a part of an 8th grade social project in which they spit the 8th grade up into three categories: German Nationals, Nazi, and Jewish people. They kids got to experience what it was like during World War Two. They are also reading The Diary of Anne Frank. It really impacted the kids. They got to experience discrimination and how it felt to discriminate. Amanda had a hard time with it. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. I think the project left a great impression on her.

I feel fortunate that we moved here and I shouldn’t take for granted what we have. It’s hard to live here. There are some “neat” tourist activities here, but other than that it’s a desert with a mountain view. It’s really an uninspiring place to be. I guess you can say that this is not my genre. The only way to really change my view is to get out there and discover more of what is available. I’m ready to go. Most of the festivals and events I want to attend are on the other side of the state…the pretty side of the state. I am, however, going to find the wild flowers this year. That is my number one Spring goal. Anyways, enough yammering this morning. I just thought I’d complain/praise the school district.

Just Got this alert on my phone… Here’s to hoping we actually get something other than wind out of this…

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