Sunday, May 29, 2016

Brief update - things are fantastic! - thanks for checking!

I recently received two comments from blogfriends asking if things were OK.  I cannot believe how quickly time flies and that it's been over a year (!) since I've updated.  (And thanks for still caring about me -- I think of the people I met through here often, even if my actions don't reflect that!)

I still plan to start updating this blog more frequently, and will write a lot more after Saturday, June 4.

The past year has been the absolute best year of my entire life.  I still shake my head in amazement sometimes that this life has happened to me, especially when I consider how sad and shocked I was when (what I assumed would be my) lifetime marriage came to an abrupt end.  The me of 4 years ago had no idea that that would be the best thing that ever could have happened!

After going on more than 60 disappointing first dates, last February (2015), I decided to entirely give up on dating and just focus on creating an amazing life.  I became much closer with my friends and family.  My mom and I took a trip to Europe -- a trip she'd been dreaming of for years -- so that she could see where I lived as a high school exchange student 20 years prior.  I decided to pursue an extremely challenging work designation that will skyrocket my career (level 2's exam is on Saturday, June 4, so that's why more extensive updates will have to wait until after that date), which led to a promotion and huge raise.  I ran marathons in more states (12 down, with Maryland, Nevada, and Hawaii coming up later this year.)

Max, Calypso, and Andreas are thriving.  We've been in our house for almost three years now, so they have the routine down and are very happy animals.

While I was out living my life and not dating for over half the year, I met an incredible man and we've been dating for 8 months.  Isn't that so cliche? -- you find what you need when you're not looking for it.  As I'd met my ex-husband so young, I hadn't really had any real dating experience; certainly not as an adult.  What a difference being with an emotionally healthy man makes!  He celebrates my accomplishments, compliments me frequently, and loves baseball -- three things I had no experience with in a partner.

And, he loves the parrots!  Being prey animals, they are necessarily wary of intruders, especially as they've had me to themselves for so many years.  And my boyfriend is 6'3" -- not sure they knew people that tall even existed!  But he is so patient and kind.  He asks to spend time with them without me, finds their favorite types of music and has dance parties with them, and makes sure to give them plenty of praise and treats.  He doesn't get frustrated when it takes them longer to warm up to him, and delights in small progress, like when Max will perch on his hand instead of flying away.

Once I am through with this test, I will have 6 months or so until I have to start studying for the next test (hopefully level 3, the final level, assuming I pass level 2) and I will definitely be blogging much more regularly!  I have had some really fun experiences over the past few years of limited blogging, and would like to have committed them down so I can reread at some point!

Love and miss you!  More soon! XOXO

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November

How did the year fly by so quickly?

Before I knew it, it's November, there's snow on the ground, and I'm wishing that when my life imploded, I had chosen to move somewhere warm.  Although then I'd have to deal with killer snakes, so I guess I just have to deal with the snow.

All of my pictures reside on my phone, and I have not yet transferred them to my computer, but I felt the need to write tonight.

Today, I went with my mom, one of my best friends, and her mom, to a food and alcohol festival.  We ate so much delicious food, and had so many interesting beers, wines, and spirits.

Things are going so well for me.  Last week, I acquired a piano, and I am teaching myself how to play.

Additionally, I have a great friend from Costa Rica, and he is teaching me Spanish!  He is an expert bird watcher, so we go out and he is able to help me learn bird calls.

I've been thinking about fostering someone, in Beeps's memory.  I haven't spoken to the lady who runs the rescue where I volunteer, but hopefully she'd be on board.  I still miss him every day and wish there were something I could have done to keep him alive and happy

More soon!

Friday, October 24, 2014

What's next?

I brought a parrot stand into my upstairs bedroom with my TV, so that on the occasions that I watch TV, Max and Calypso can be with me.

As always, Max is not content to explore.  She must fly around and cause trouble.

She tried to land on the door frame, but was shocked to see that it was only 1/4 inch or so, and therefore needed to be rescued.  Unfortunately, it took her several times to realize this!

Birdwatching!

While dating, I met a wonderful man from Costa Rica. We are not meant to be, romantically, but we make great friends.  He was a tour guide in Costa Rica, and knows so much about birds and birding.  A few weeks back, we went out birding  Unfortunately, I was stuck with the camera on my iphone, but we saw a Cooper's Hawk just lounging in the water!  It's about 1/3 of the way from the left and in the middle.  You can see its reflection in the water.

I went to grab my scope, and we watched her for quite a long time.  She bathed a bit; then she flew from branch to branch.  It was just magnificent.
When I was trying to figure out how to draw an arrow on the picture (obviously, unsuccessfully), I instead found a button that would intensify the colors in my picture:
More beauty:
We're hoping to get out a few more times this fall, and will take my scope out this winter to look for migrating ducks and other waterfowl.  I can't wait!

View

I took this picture out of my office window last week. My boss had bought me a lemon tea drink, and it seemed so much like summer.  Except it is starting to get cold!  If I squint a bit, I can pretend that I am looking at the Mediterranean.


Woodcarving!

Part of my post-divorce life is actually experiencing different things that life has to offer.  This fall, one of those things was taking a wood carving class through the rec department.  I learned how to make an owl:
Before and after:
She is now part of my owl collection at my office.  I'm trying to decide if I liked wood carving enough to take another class in it this winter.  The teacher was amazing, but I did get a blister on my finger from pushing the knife into the hard wood.  Even if I never carve another piece of wood again in my life, I have the memory and experience of doing so.

End of summer

I am so not ready for summer to come to an end yet.  I had such an amazing summer - a road trip with my sisters, concerts, movies, friends, etc.  I am slowly trying to wrap my head around the impending fall and winter.

I got this note in my fortune cookie, which my coworkers joked was place especially for me:
Made me happy that things are going so well at work.

Last month, I ran a 50K and wound up finishing 3rd in my age group.  Super pumped, and I received some nice prizes from that.  But perhaps the best prize was soaking my feet in an ice bucket while eating a cookie.
I volunteer at a nature center as the Treasurer, which means I spend way too much of my volunteer time inside!  Earlier this month, I was there to help with the financials, but finished early enough to take a hike.  Nature is so calming and beautiful:



Friday, September 19, 2014

Until August

Almost caught up! My city is just so much fun, especially in the summer. Our local parks department puts on shows so you can go and listen to music in several city parks. I went quite frequently with friends this summer.

Here is photographic evidence of my car hitting 100,000 miles.  I actually hate my car.  It was a terrible choice.  It only has two door so is inconvenient, is super low to the ground, the check engine light is always on; I could go on and on.  It does have a great stereo!  In any case, I've thought about replacing my car (it's a 2002; purchased in 2001) but I hardly ever drive, so it makes financial sense to drive it as long as possible.  I hit 100,000 miles while going down the freeway.  I'm hoping to keep it for another few years while I make improvements to my house and save money.
I was making a dish of Thai peanut sauce with roasted broccoli.  Max kept saying, "want some!" I thought she wanted broccoli, but she had her eye on the peanut butter.  Once I figured that out and complied, all was right in our house again:
 I kept giving her broccoli, and she kept throwing it on the counter!

My best friend does Scottish Highland dancing, so I went to a festival to watch her.  Because I was with the talent, I got to sit backstage.  It was so much fun!
And a baseball game.  I am sponsored by a local running store; mostly because I am really good friends with the lady who is in charge of the sponsorship program.  Every year, they do an employee outing to our local MLB team.  And, even though I do not work there, I have been adopted as one of their own.
One of my friends is an amazing cook.  He had me over to their house a few weeks ago, and he served individual pizzas for everyone.  He used naan as the crust, and then you top as desired.  What a fantastic idea!  I have stated making these for myself:
And that pretty much brings me up to speed on what happened this summer.  I am still in denial that fall is coming, but I need to face reality.

I hope that everyone reading had a great summer and continues to do well!

Boating, with dogs

I may have mentioned this earlier, but, quite by accident, I have recently become friends with people who like to take me out on their boat. Yay for me!

Over July 4, I went out on my friends' boat to watch the fireworks.  I invited two married friends to go with me (my best friend and her husband.)  They reciprocated by having us all out on their boat a month or so later.  With their dogs.

This is Hans.  He is my surrogate dog.  He absolutely loves me.  When I run with my best friend (who owns Hans and his sister), I hold his leash.  When he sees me, he jumps up and down; turning in circles with excitement.  It is so fun to see.  And he'll do it every time, even if he just saw me three hours earlier.  He is willed to me, though that should not come into play since his owners are just 40!
We had a great afternoon and have plans to do this more often in 2015.