graduated

three years ago this may, i made the decision to act on a dream that i’ve had since i was 12 (that’s a long time ago, just in case you were wondering!).  i had no idea what i was in for.  determination and a whole lot of prayers was about the only things that got me through all of those hours of sitting through lectures, hundreds of hours of clinical time, and studying.  nursing, and nursing school was nothing like i thought it would be.

during all of this, i also made a lot of changes in my personal life.  again, not an easy (or comfortable) process at times.  in looking back over the past 3 years, i can honestly say that the choices made were good ones and only proved to improve the person i am becoming.  all of this sure has made me tired though!

now that i have a whole lot of extra time on my hands while i await taking my state boards, i’ve had time to do things that has been neglected for way too long:  lunch dates, reading just for the heck of it, facials with friends.   my creative brain has kicked into overdrive;  i can’t get enough of fabric and brainstorming and working with needle and thread.  i’m gorging myself on the domestic arts that i love so dearly but had to take a back seat for a time…and i’m not feeling even the slightest hint of guilt. 🙂

yes, it was a long road…a very long and sometimes rough road.  i’m a better person for it all though, and i’m so glad that i found the courage to do it.  30 years of dreaming about it and 3 years of working my tail off, but i can now finally say “i’m a nurse”. 8)

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joy, joy, joy!

few words are needed to express how i’m feeling about events that transpired yesterday…..

a picture is worth a thousand, you know.

finally, we broke ground.  i may just get my christmas wish afterall (a foundation). 🙂

living fall

here in the northeast last weekend, we got our first little taste of winter.  it wasn’t pretty.  cold, windy, snow, freezing rain, ice…blah.  so, when the weather made an abrupt change these past few days, i knew that we had to get out and really soak it in before winter comes back around and set up camp.  care to come along and crunch through the leaves with us?

an autumn walk

fall treasures

can you smell fall in the air?  that musty, crisp scent that makes me think of pumpkin pie, apple dumplings and coffee.  okay…now i’m hungry.  but really, it’s a comforting scent to me.  makes me think of snuggling under quilts in front of a fire with a plate of gingersnaps (there’s the food again!).

back to the bridge

as the girls and i made our way through the crunchy, carpeted woods and came upon the footbridge, something seemed familiar.  it has been a couple of years, and there were less leaves though.  i thought about how my life has changed in the past 2 years.  change can be tough, but this has been a good change, and i know that i’m heading in the right direction.

i couldn’t help but relate this autumn walk to our human walk.  we ventured out yesterday in hopes of soaking in the beautiful day…just to enjoy it while we still could.  we need to soak in every day as if it is our last…live it to its fullest and savor every last drop.

here’s hoping that you get out and soak in today. 🙂

in the kitchen with the grandmas

peach by you.

this morning, i felt the need to spend time with some wise women that have been such a huge influence in my life.  since none of these women are the type to let grass grow under their feet, we gathered supplies and got to work.

peaches by you.

as i peeled the sweet fruits of summer, we went on about simpler times…when people held tightly to values and when paths weren’t so muddled.  right was right and wrong was wrong;  priorities were put in their proper place and kept there.  when someone gave you their word, you knew that the job was as good as done. 

grandma's bowl and pastry blender by you.

i sighed heavily, and then they reminded me gently that things only change when you allow them to.  as we rolled out the pie crusts together, they reminded me of who i am and what i’m made of.  i was reminded that the ‘old ways’ are still of great value, no matter what society says.

grandma's rolling pin by you.

as i was putting the top ‘lids’ on the pies we created, i felt that sense of well-being and comfort return.  determination and gumption soon followed.

one to give, one to have by you.

even though these 3 women have long ago passed from this world, i still find comfort in their words spoken to me so long ago and am so thankful for their tools that they left in my care-a rolling pin, a pastry blender and a mixing bowl.  reminders of some amazing, hard-working, insightful and intelligent women that i was so blessed to call ‘grandma’.

miles to go

many of you have written, asking if i’ve had a chance to try out my new bike.  as a matter-of-fact, i have put quite a few miles on it already.  the last time we went trail riding (about 2 weeks ago), i took along my camera so i could capture the beauty we get to enjoy.

several years ago, the abandoned railways were donated to different counties. just like so many different parts of appalachia, this area was once booming with numerous coal towns.  once the supplies were exhausted, those big companies picked up and left, leaving the residents to figure out how to go about making a living.  many of those old coal towns are now nothing but ghost towns, and the railroads just accumulated rust.  somewhere along the line, the counties got a wonderful idea and made these old railways into bike trails.  the scenery is amazing and it is so peaceful while you pedal along through the wilderness.  i think i’ve found 4 different places that i’d love to have a house built…out in the middle of nowhere, of course.  here is just a small sampling of the views we experienced during our 12 mile trip.

furnace by you.

river by you.

rock wall by you.

house by you.

coal miner memorial by you.

coal miner memorial wall

down the trail by you.

river by you.

we have many more trails to hit yet, hopefully as early as this weekend.  my bike is as comfortable as i had hoped, and obviously much more so than the rest of my crew…i’m the only one that isn’t complaining about my behind at the end of the day. 😀