Monday, September 29, 2008

Folks, it's Monday

It's Monday already. I woke up this morning ready for work, something I usually do every morning once I get past the initial "I don't want to get out of bed" mode.

I opened my eyes and looked straight into two golden brown ones that were fixated on mine. From the look on her face, I knew she'd been waiting for me to wake up for awhile. She was stretched out beside me; I was surprised she'd laid there all night but I guess that's the beauty of a bigger bed - I don't kick her out.

Her name's Jada and she's my 3-year-old Aussie. She knows me, if that makes sense. She knows I'm going to hit the snooze two or three times so she doesn't get excited when it first goes off. She knows I don't mind running my fingers through her coat first thing in the morning so she lays there waiting for it. She knows I'm not likely to jump out of bed when my feet first hit the floor so she waits beside me until I've actually committed to standing.

Marley, on the other hand, knows none of this. As soon as my head shifts on the pillow and my hand sneaks up to grab the alarm, he thinks it's time to roll. He bounces on the bed, rooting for my hand, lays on top of me and claws my head when he doesn't get the response he wants. Total.annoying.boy.

Anyway, my weekend was boring. I missed my sister, my niece, my friends, my comfort zone. I went to the bull riding and the dance and that only solidified how I missed everyone.

I didn't dance. Mostly because I didn't want to pay to get in when I got enough pleasure sitting on the other side of the fence listening to the music and watching the dancers. I stayed and watched for about 30 minutes and then embarked on my hour-drive home.

Yes, I drove an hour to get to this thing. But here, that doesn't really mean anything. I'll tell you a secret: most everything out here is in the middle of nowhere.

On Sunday I went to church - the first one I've visited since I've been here. I mostly thought about how I miss my old church and the people in it. After that I went home, talked to my mom for awhile, took a nap, read some of a freaky book, and went to bed where I laid for 2 hours before going to sleep.

So I was actually glad when my alarm went off this summer and I had something to DO.

Here's a question: if God were to appear to you in human form, what would you expect Him to appear as?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

When the shower head falls off, it pours

You all remember the post about the dribbling shower.

I was cleaning the bathroom Saturday afternoon after the carpet guy came and laid carpet in the office, which is adjacent to the bathroom. While I was stocking the cupboard under the sink with toilet paper, I found a shower head.

Exciting! Maybe now I wouldn't suffer from Shower-Dribble. I screwed it on and tested it; wah-la! It worked.

After multiple hours of laundry, cleaning and rearranging, I decided to hop in the shower and get ready for my Saturday night of bull-riding and dancing.

The shower head, though old, was much better then the previous dribble.

I had my back to the water and was thinking about taking pictures at the fair, when I heard what sounded like a gun shot and then stinging spray hitting my back.

I screamed.
And hugged the back shower wall until moments later I figured out what had happened.

My Wah-la! shower head had been blown off. But it wasn't the whole shower head, it was just the face of it.

So I finished my shower with amazing water pressure, though it slightly stung, but no more dribble.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lizard love?

Thanks to the now-deaf whatever-kind-of-lizard he was who decided to hide in my dresser drawer this morning, I know what's wrong with me.

I have a syndrome. Well, now I have a syndrome AND paranoia as I wonder when and where another reptile-resembling creature will jump in my face.

Ya'll, I about died. Before I get into the deep thoughts the lizard provoked, I have to tell you what happened. I still have the shudders.

Perfectly peaceful morning - I slept great in my own bed in my finished room. I laid there till late this morning (heaven!), talked to my mom, did a load of laundry and decided to begin the process of moving my bedroom furniture from the laundry room to my bedroom. I drug the dresser with two drawers in it and got it set up.

I went back to the laundry room and grabbed the two remaining drawers that were stacked on top of each other on their sides. I carried them by their handles to my room, set them on the floor and grabbed one to put it in and came face-to-face with my intruder.

My mind exploded. I think I even saw fireworks.

I started screaming short little gasps and waving my hands by my face. Still screaming I stumbled to the bed and sat as far away from it as I could.

In the middle of screaming and shuddering and waving my hands, I thought, "God, why did you make things like that?"

Shortly after that thought, I was struck with what I've been searching for for the last 3 weeks.

My eye never left the drawer where the lizard lay, dazed and confused, I'm sure. But in the middle of me reckoning the fact that a lizard was in my house (A LIZARD WAS IN MY HOUSE!!) and the thoughts that come with that (how'd it get in? where was I when it came in? does it have babies? are there more? where?) a much calmer thought descended over me.

"I have the Get Over Here Now syndrome."

I knew it was a deep thought but I had bigger issues to deal with. The lizard - still in my house. Me - still on my bed.

I tried calling home. I knew mom was gone but maybe, just maybe the guys were in from gathering cattle. No luck.

"Somebody Get Over Here Now!"

I picked up the drawer; the little burger started right towards me. I retreated to my bed.

How do I get rid of this thing? I decided to get some fresh air but then the thought of the thing getting loose in my bedroom drove me to peek over the edge of the drawer until I saw a slithery tail.

I called Brooke. Not that she has skills in disposing of a lizard but she's good moral support. Naturally, no answer.

"Call me back," I said. "I need you to walk me through something."

So I sat there, like in many situations, alone.

The rational side of me started to take over.

"Holly, the lizard can't stay there forever."

Understood. But I don't want to deal with it. Somebody, Get Over Here Now.

It was THAT thought again and I realized it's not the first time I've heard it. There was that time on the side of the road when I'd blown up my engine.

Somebody, come to me NOW.

Or the time I thought someone had broken into the house.

Somebody, get here now.

Or the time I fell off a chair and twisted my ankle. Or the time I ran my car out of diesel. Or the time a stink bug was crawling up my leg. Or the time Jada got stepped on by a horse. Or all the times Ev's been in the hospital and we don't know what the matter is.

Mom, get here now. Please.

Somebody stronger then me, please hurry.

I don't know why I doubt myself in those situations. When life comes rolling at me way too fast or nature decides to taunt me with lizards and stink bugs, I resort to that 4-year old mindset: My mommy's gonna get you.

Only, my mommy isn't in the next room or the next street over or the next town even. There's no one to open up all the closets and make sure the monsters are gone. Or comb through the kitchen cabinets to make sure no lizard off-spring are nesting in my bowls or cups.

Nope. It's me. And while usually I like me, me is the last person I want to be with when confronted with my fears.

So the longer I sat on the bed thinking about my options which honestly didn't create that big of a spread, I felt it again.

Grace. Like rain.

I know. You're thinking, "It was a lizard. Why did you need grace?"

Um. Without grace the lizard would still be sitting in the drawer in my bedroom with maybe Saran wrap over it to keep it from coming out. Without grace I wouldn't have gone back to the laundry room and finished unpacking and moving stuff. Without grace I wouldn't have finished my laundry.

Going back a few weeks to the day when I was hyperventilating on the side of a mountain road, I knew there would be something cool to talk about later. I mean, there had to be. And I think, three weeks later, when faced with a smaller problem like a lizard in my dresser drawer, I began to realize what it was.

I have the Somebody, Get Over Here Now syndrome. And the cure for that is Grace. Like Rain.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Shower vs. Dribble

I made an observation to myself this morning as I showered at 1 a.m. trying to scrub off the paint and stain from my midnight project. It's not a complaint, I told myself, cupping the dribbling water and splashing it on my face. It's an observation.

I like showers. And I like showers that SHOWER. Not dribble.

But I have a dribbling shower. Oh well, looking on the bright side of things, it makes me slow down and enjoy my showers being that I have to wait 10 minutes for the hot water to turn hot and another 10 for the dribbles to saturate my hair.

I painted my living room last night. And stained the hardwood floor.
Then this morning I moved all the living room material that had been kept in the kitchen to the living room.
And I stood back and smiled. And sat on the couch. And admired my work.

I moved onto my bedroom; got the painting done and will do the floor tonight between work and well, work. Tomorrow that means I can unload all my bedroom stuff that has been kept in the laundry room to the bedroom.

Did I tell you I have a French door from my bedroom to the living room? I like it.

Also tomorrow the carpet people are coming to lay carpet in the office. Between them and the exterminator today, we should be bug-free, cat-pee-smell-free and the dogs and I can enjoy our long life there together.

I do have other painting projects I want to do but they can wait. The bathroom will probably be my next project being that my mirror is like this (-) big and my face/hair area is like this (---) big. And I need shelves. And a rug.

Can you believe I actually cleaned the house because the exterminator people were coming? I think that means I need more company...something. That's just sad.

In other news, the county fair is this weekend and I think I'm going tomorrow night to the bull riding and the dance afterwards. I can usually weather movies and well, most things alone but that seems a little daunting to me. I mean, it's a dance. But my alternative is sitting home with my dogs being old. So I think I'll venture out, go take some pictures, enjoy looking at the cowboys and tell you about it later.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Strength to Strength (and hiding in the mountains)

I am not a very brave person. Eighty percent of the time I want to hide. And I want to preface that hiding by running.

I'm not strong. Eighty percent of the time I feel like I have to rely on someone else's strength, optimism and courage to get me through daring escapades.

I have a lot of fears. Fear of failure. Fear of not making it. Fear of "going under" financially. Fear of bills. Fear of people being angry at me. I see a number on my caller ID - I don't answer it. I see a subject line in my e-mail inbox - I don't open it. I see somebody's name on a text message - I don't read it.

I want to run and hide.

But life is not conducive to running and hiding (all the time.) At least mine isn't. I don't have much choice but to answer the phone, open the e-mail, read the text, pay the bills.

And when I do that, I'm embalmed with grace. Grace like rain.

Somebody once told me a long time ago that you are given the grace to deal with circumstances as they come. But until you get it, the situation, circumstance seems insurmountable.

I wonder if I've gotten it yet. Grace.

Because on a day like today when I'm scared and my engine's blown up and a new one's expensive and I don't have the money and I'm driving a rental car and we're not sure if insurance can cover it...I want to run. And hide.

But I can't. I have to face it. And face it strong.

Then, as if angels are singing in the background, I feel this glow, this Presence in the room. I know Who it is. I've felt It before.

He's the voice that says it's going to be fine. He's the Person I really want to run and hide to only, He's right here. I turn around and bump into Him. He's my strength, my insurance agent, my fix-it Man. He has been for a long time; so long that sometimes I take Him for granted.

I call Him my trump card sometimes. When I feel desperate, shaken, lonely, scared, alone, poor, confused. And all the times I feel happy too. He's my Trump. He can beat anything.

This past weekend I went and hid. I ran, yeah, I'll admit it. It won't be the last time; it's certainly not the first.

I went home, to the place where I am me and loved for that reason. Somehow when I'm there I'm me...more me. Mom makes me feel safe.

Surprisingly we are both at this place in our lives of being alone. Traditionally, moms are supposed to be a few steps ahead of their daughters in marriage, children, life. But when my mom and I sit at the kitchen table with our coffee we are the same.

Two women. Alone. Surviving.

When I look at her, I see my strength reflected in her and I'm proud. I'm proud to be her daughter; I'm proud to be her friend. I'm proud to be made of that toughness, endurance, faith.

So we talk about being alone. And yeah, we talk about awesome we are and "how could any man NOT want what we have to offer?" But then our conversation circles back to the fact that we are alone, we're surviving and we're living every day pursuing these callings, these dreams.

I believe with all my heart that God made woman to survive. He gave us a will, a passion for life, a strength that can't be tamped down, a gritty determination to make it. And make it well.

He also gave us the desire to love and be loved. Some people don't understand why I love my dogs the way I do. It's because they're mine; I take care of them. They depend on me.

Sure, when I come home at the end of the day, I want someone there. I hate living alone. I hate being alone. I want to drive down the road holding someone's hand. I want to share dinner with someone every night. I want someone stronger then me to worry about the fleas in the carpet or the trash every week. I want babies. I want someone to tell me I can stay home with them all day if I want to. I want a companion, a friend.

But I don't have that. I go home alone. I go to bed alone. I eat alone. I watch a movie alone.

Yet somehow despite my desires, I'm happy. I'm content. I find pleasure in simple things like cooking an elaborate meal for myself. Or cuddling on the couch with the dogs. Or welcoming puppies into the world one at a time. Or flirting cautiously with someone just because. Or having the best girlfriends in the world.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


This is my piece of New Mexican heaven on earth.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

On a Lonely Wilderness Road...

Meet my car:
a silver 2001 Jetta who, since being in my possession merely a year has endured a lot.
I mean - a lot.
I drove it 900 miles from Texas to Kentucky.
My sister backed into it and dented the passenger door.
I hit somebody with her in July, causing over $3,000 worth of damage.
Her battery died.
I outfitted her to pull 2,000 pounds of weight.
I asked her to pull that weight 2,500 miles.
Her tire went flat; she got new ones.

Just when her life was looking up and I'm sure she was thinking she might be getting a break, she finds herself stuck on the side of a wilderness road, bleeding, almost dead with a panicked driver.

It was around 6 a.m. Monday when her and I were driving from Mom's house to my house, a four-hour drive but one I was going to make to get to work on time. The back-story is slightly complicated but I'll sum it up in a sentence: my mom wasn't ready for me to move into and I needed a place to stay over the weekend so I went to Mom's.

At 6 a.m. the sun has barely risen over the New Mexico mountains, it's cold, the elk are moving and the cows that are given free range of the wilderness are grazing alongside the road and crossing it occasionally.

I think I was listening to one of my little brother's CDs given the fact that when you hit SCAN on the radio, it starts at one Mexican music station and ends up there 10 seconds later.

I'd already been driving for an hour. Thirty minutes was spent getting down the driveway to my car, which we'd left at the end of it due to the rain and the inability for a non-4-wheel drive to navigate the mud and clay. Another 30 minutes was driving down the mountain to another mountain and making my way to Cloudcroft, the nearest town to my Mom's.

At 6:15 I was still driving on this lonesome road when I saw a buck standing in the ditch to my left and a rock in the middle of my lane.

I ran over the rock.
And heard what sounded like popcorn under my car.
I knew something was probably wrong but I kept driving.

About 45 seconds later, my oil light started flashing and the alarm went off.
I asked her to please wait until we got to Cloudcroft.
She didn't.

The oil light kept blinking and about 30 seconds after that, I lost power to everything.
No gas, nothing.

I steered her over as far as I could before everything came to a halt.
I freaked.

For some reason, which I still don't know why, I popped my hood, jumped out of the car and looked at the engine. I grabbed my phone and camera, shut the hood and started walking.
I wanted to cry but knew that wasn't going to get me anywhere.

I had no cellphone service, I was stuck between two gigantic mountains in the very early-morning light, I was dressed in jeans, a short-sleeved shirt and flip-flops.

At the top of a slight hill, I looked at my phone and saw enough service to possibly make a call. I tried Mom. No answer. She was taking the kids to the school bus.
I called 911 and between breaking up with her multiple times, relayed the message that I needed a tow truck, I was on Hwy. 130 and I wasn't hurt.

I called Katie, got the ranch foreman's number, called him and asked him to meet Mom on the driveway and tell her what had happened.
"I think I hit a deer and it did something to my engine."

Several people stopped and asked if I needed help. One guy suggested I stand on the other side of my car and flag people as they came around the corner. I did.
It didn't really work, though. They saw a random girl waving at people alongside the road, slowed down temporarily but then sped up again until they saw my car broke down in their lane.

An hour later, a state police officer arrived. We sat in his car. He had just come back from a Disneyland cruise with his son the night before so I learned about that. He was ex-military, tired of the police force, from New York, divorced, wanted to move but his ex-wife wouldn't let him. It's amazing what you can learn about people.

Forty-five minutes after he arrived, a sheriff's deputy pulled up. The three of us stood on the side of the road and talked about how my whole engine could have possibly blown up but that hopefully it was just the oil pan.


An hour later the tow truck came.
He loaded up my poor car, I got in the passenger seat and we rode to the only garage in Cloudcroft.

Still no sign of mom.

At the garage, I was left alone. No tow truck, no state officer, no deputy. I told the garage man what had happened and he said he could fix it.

Then I started walking. I was heading toward the highschool where my brother was. By this time, it was nearly 3 hours since the original incident happened.
I needed a hug. Something.

I didn't make it very far walking when Mom, my little brother and the ranch foreman pulled up. They had been unsure as to what part of Hwy. 130 I was on.
We went and sat in a restaurant for breakfast and they listened to me rant about my experiences in the dawn hours on a wilderness road.

I was really afraid, there was no doubt.
Mountain lion?
Car explosion?

You name it - I thought of it.

But in the end, nothing like that happened.
I was 4 hours late for work but everyone survived.

So right now I'm driving my mom's truck and my car, my poor car, is four hours away waiting for an oil pan.
And I'm impatiently awaiting its return.
She's probably glad for the break.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Mexico Landscape

This is a picture I took at my mom's house last weekend. We were working a horse in the roundpen and I looked over and saw this scenery and snapped the picture quickly, which is why you will see phone lines to the left and an ugly thing to the right.I thought I'd add a few pictures I've taken of the New Mexico scenery. These next few shots are ones I snagged while driving to my mom's house this past weekend. There are two staples I have when phone and camera are always handy.

Delayed Gratification

First, I must just say how very glad I will be when I am no longer sleeping on a floor but rather in my house in my bed with my dogs, which leads me into today's topic of delayed gratification.

I was supposed to move into my house this past weekend but on Friday at 6 p.m., my property manager called and said there was a delay. Her carpet cleaner had gone out to the house and said he could not shampoo the carpets because he was covered in fleas. He reported that the fleas had infested the carpets all the way down to the padding.

My PM said she called the owners and they were going to re-floor the house with tile. Since I had the cabin until Saturday morning, I spent Friday night there and went home for the weekend. The PM gave me a key to an empty apartment and told me I could stay there until the house was finished.

The status as of last night was that they are not going to re-floor the house, there are no fleas and the carpet cleaner just didn't want to shampoo the old carpets.

My move-in date is now tomorrow, hopefully. Laying on the floor in an empty apartment with rowdy neighbors and barking dogs is not conducive to sleeping. In addition to that, I've been living out of my car for two weeks now and I really, really, really want my house.

I really want my house.

Which leads me to today's topic of delayed gratification, something I've tried to live most of my life by. If you just go by emotion and the need to have something RIGHT NOW when you want it, you get it, you enjoy it for a minute and then that feeling is gone.

In my case, when I am able to move into my house, it is going to feel so good. I've been without a home for two weeks now. I want to nest. I want to decorate. I want to clean. I want to be home. I want my own bed. I want my dogs.

So when I am able to have all of those things, I will revel in them, enjoy them, savor them and remember the days when I didn't have them, which will make having them all the more sweeter.