Tuesday, May 16, 2017

When You Just Want to Sleep, You Keep Going

  Last time I posted (too long ago) I was writing about it being too easy to forget our little victories. Even our big ones. Just the last few weeks since I've posted has been stressful. I have certain goals that I want to meet, by the end of this year, and over the course of the next four years. There is so much to do every day, it's so easy to get overwhelmed. Especially on the days when you're so freaking sore and worn out from the hellish work day before. Where's energy when you need it? And why can't heaven just smile down and make everyday an energetic day? Gah!!

  Honestly I want to call this post "I Just Want to Sleep". I can barely think I'm still so tired. And I have to go to work in a few minutes. Thank the Lord it's supposed to be an easy day at work.

  I can only keep believing that the little steps we take will get us to our goals in the end. They get us to the weekend, surely they can get us to our goals. Just takes a bit of determination--and lots of coffee.

  Maybe in my next post I'll be more coherent.


  ~Nikki


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Monday, April 24, 2017

The Everyday Go-Getter That We Forget

 This Monday I have no madness to report, and no Modern Go-Getter that I want to share today. Actually just in a moment's thought, just a few minutes ago, I knew what I wanted to write about. It struck me how quickly I forget what I've accomplished just in the few hours previous. As I've said before, I'm the type that measures the value of my day by what I've accomplished. Except for those few times I really need a break and I set aside a day to by lazy, and genuinely rest. (Not often, I get bored easily, and I love the feeling of a to-do list accomplished).

  What happened just a little while ago was that I looked at my clock, and realized how much time I had left before I had to go to work. And I thought, "I really should get back to getting some things done." (Currently watching 13 Reasons Why, I heard so much hype about it that decided I needed to watch it. Well worth it). Because I felt like I'd feel guilty if I didn't before I had to leave for work. Then I remembered how much I had already gotten done. Tidied, folded laundry, ran errands, made calls, took care of my man's lunch, fed the pets. It's been a good day so far. There's no reason to feel guilty. It's been a productive morning, and early afternoon. Sure I'd be even happier if I got more done. I'm a glutton for accomplishment. I love feeling like Wonder Woman.

  When I was reminding myself how much I'd already gotten done, I realized how I always do that. Always forget exactly what I've accomplished already. I tend to feel like I'm not giving my best, because things aren't flying forward. Time passes so quickly, and I feel like I have to keep running just to keep up, so it won't leave me behind. I have a goal in sight, and I want to see it through. But the tendency to feel like I'm underachieving all the time doesn't help. I need to remember what I've accomplished already in life. Keep my eyes on the goal, but don't forget my victories, along with my losses. It's too easy to focus on our shortcomings. Too easy to forget how far we've come, even in the past few hours. The goal looks so far away still, that where we've been looks small. We keep running so fast that we leave them behind without a thought at times. We forget to leave markers, beacons to remind us that we actually continue to kick butt, even though we fall on our ass a lot of the time too.

  So I just wanted to share that. Share the everyday go-getter that we forget. Ourselves.


  ~Nikki


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Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday Morning Madness

  Mondays. We can spend the weekend thinking Monday will be terrific, it's the beginning of the week, we'll start off at an awesome pace. Or we know that it will be a MONDAY and be so jam packed with to-dos (because the weekend was inevitably spent catching up with family and other things) that it starts off with us turning off the alarm, staring out the window at the brightening light, and feeling like someone hit us over the head. And we haven't even gotten out of bed yet.

monday quotes
  Yep, Mondays...gotta love them, right? I had a hectic weekend, but I am hopeful for this week--yet I was also stressed about it. Because I got my first commission for my garden care business (Nikki's Garden, more on that later), and I was so excited to start Monday--then I remembered later that I had JURY DUTY first thing in the morning! Good grief! And I couldn't get ahold of my client, because we didn't have time for her to give me her number. Ants were crawling all over our feet. (No joke).  But she had all my info from the flyer, so I could hope for the best. Ends up that she won't answer the door so I left a note. Hopefully she'll give me a call. On a good note, all jurors were released today. Just had to give them an hour of my time and heck of a drive. At least I saw an area I'd never seen before. I'm convinced that I must have crossed into a neighboring town. It did not look like Amarillo. Going to have to investigate later because now I'm curious. Amarillo does always end up being bigger than I expect and I've lived here for over 20 years. Go figure.

  So this is how my morning went: got up at 7:20am, got ready with my boyfriend (me for jury duty him for work), and then discovered that his car still wasn't working so I hurried up and dropped him off at work, came back home and finished getting ready, and zoomed off to answer for jury duty in time. I was four minutes late. I hate being late. Turned out it was no problem. Sat there for an hour anyway, and got a text from my boyfriend asking if I could return his card. I'd forgotten I still had it from when I had to go get gas and jumper cables the day before. So thank the Lord all jurors were released. I hurried home, got together all the stuff I needed (packages to be sent out--selling videogames and movies on ebay for the fam right now) and got Lupitas burritos and JiggleBerry smoothies for lunch. My man was happy. Then I tried to talk to my client, but she still wouldn't answer the door, so I left a note and went and mailed all my packages. Ate lunch with lovely boyfriend, commented on how tired we were. Came back home and tried to get things done, before I have to go to work after all. What I wouldn't give for a guilt-free nap.

  I'm repeating certain things, so I'm obviously tired. I'm not used to going to bed "early" anymore. I gt off at midnight and usually fall asleep by 2. So yep. Heck of a morning. Perhaps tomorrow will be easier, and more things will be accomplished. For me, being the "accomplishment-junkie", I never truly seem to sleep. I happen to fall asleep thinking about what all needs to be done the next day. Especially Mondays.

  What about yours?

  More on my new garden service soon. Haven't been so excited in awhile. ;)

~Nikki


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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Palo Duro Canyon ~ Part 2

  Well! What an adventure. Even though I'd been still getting over being sick, last week I decided to go on a little hike with Jaciel and my friend. Heaven help me my body was not ready for it--and it turned into a NOT little hike. Should have expected that. I think we spent 4-5 hours out there? Nope. My body was not happy with me. All the resting I had done to make myself feel better went out the window. Within an hour I was done. But--one step in front of another. There were still pretty sights to be seen. There was at least that. The little trail we chose was to see a little cave, which was awesome--but we kinda got turned around and couldn't find the right entrance back. So Jaciel and I ended up going in the wrong one. Stupidest thing I've ever done. I didn't like it one bit, it was such a tiny crawlspace--and by time I came out on the other side (thank the Lord!!) I was one pissed off woman. I was just thanking God that we were back on the trail (we found the right cave after that) and would get back to the truck before it got really dark.

  We are not going in another cave like that again without a ranger. I'm just saying. And I had a word with said wonderful boyfriend the day after. STUPIDEST THING EVER DONE.

  But back to my first hike! Still plenty of pictures from that trip. This current trip my phone was too full to take a lot, and my other camera still is damaged from my first hike. Lens jammed. Go figure.

  But anyway. Here's the rest of the pictures from my first trip to Palo Duro Canyon. What a heck of a hike! And the best part was this dune-like area that was so gravelly we were able to slide down the side! Sure you got dusty pants and tiny rocks in certain places but oh well. Wonderful ride! We found out later that there was actually a name for it--the Devil's Slide. Certainly isn't the safest thing, if you make a wrong tumble that would be very unfortunate. But our time is definitely a fun memory! 

palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon


palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon


palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon
The Devil's Slide! Definitely put your phone in your backpack for this one.

palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon
About to go home. This will always be one of my favorite memories. Meaning the hike--not necessarily the going home. Although I was certainly tired!
  I didn't realize it took me so long to show the rest of the photos. I'm trying to post 2-3 times a week but I've been researching new projects that really can't be put off, and I just lost track of time. The plan is to post some pics of my Lake Meredith trip--I couldn't believe it had taken me 20 years of living here to finally go and see it. Hope you enjoyed these pictures!

  ~Nikki


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Friday, March 17, 2017

Palo Duro Canyon ~ My First Adventure

  Hiking is one of the best ways to get away from the daily grind and unwind. Just being out in nature is a special relief. With some National Park free entrance days coming up (April 15-23), I'd like to share my favorite park, Palo Duro Canyon. Granted it's no surprise, considering it's the one nearest home--buy hey, it is the second biggest canyon in the US. And honestly...those views! It's no wonder so many western artists have found inspiration here.

  Last year I actually went on two hiking trips with my friend Veronica, first time also with my boyfriend, second time with her sister and two daughters. Let me tell you, keeping up with little girls--whoo! What a workout! Who needs crossfit? Just chase them up a steep incline. You'll never feel the same.  But I'm actually, for this post, going to share my first trip. A lot of photos were taken from my iphone, and they turned out pretty spectacular. Many just take my breath away--and make me want to go back. Which it half the purpose, I think!

palo duro canyon
These first two were taken from a lookout point a short way past the entrance.

palo duro canyon
palo duro canyon
Mr. Handsome

palo duro canyon
Back in Veronica's truck, heading for the trail.
palo duro canyon
The first thing we ended up heading to--the cave!

palo duro canyon
Headed there in a round-about way, if I recall....
palo duro canyon
Come on, y'all!

palo duro canyon
I can't help myself. Flowers!! Reminds me of a bluebonnet, but I'm not sure if they sometimes come in this color...the leaves look the same though.

palo duro canyon
Inside the cave of wonders!

palo duro canyon
Ooh my gosh I need to get this one framed....

palo duro canyon
Taken up high, once we hiked around and got to the top portion of the cave.

palo duro canyon
Looking down to where we were.

palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon
Where we came from. The lighting was really awesome, and peaceful. I so wanted to just get out a book and relax. Would have been beautiful.

palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon

palo duro canyon


  This really was an awesome day. I'm going to share the other half of the hike later. There's just so many things to cover! I'm hoping we can go back soon, if our schedules allow. We are way overdue for another hike!

 Also, in honor of National Parks 100th anniversary, Cotopaxi, an outdoor wear company with products that include backpacks and jackets, wanted to share the love of the outdoors and giving back. I'd randomly heard of Cotopaxi before but was inspired to learn more for myself. I was very touched by the level of outreach they have. They work with other outreach organizations to team up with local communities to further grow local economies, education, and provide health care. More companies need to reach out like this. It's truly wonderful.

via Cotopaxi Instagram ~
These children cheer because of how children with disabilities are being included in the classroom.
via Cotopaxi Instagram ~
In Rajasthan  a lot of girls end up staying home to tend the family animal (and subsequently their income) while the boys go to school. This is slowly changing.

  I hope I can accomplish that level of outreach in the future. Cotopaxi also has a pretty cool graphic pointing out popular parks and hidden gems-- and it also reminded me that hey, I still haven't seen the Guadalupe Mountains yet. For shame.

  I will be posting more pictures of my first Palo Duro Canyon visit later next week. One other happy thing, today is the first anniversary of me and Jaciel (Mr. Handsome) dating! Whoohoo! Yes, I have a whole day planned. Well not the whole day but a couple definite things to do. ;)


  ~Nikki


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Monday, February 20, 2017

Modern Go-Getter Monday ~ Ann Hyatt Huntington, the Artist Who Gave Us The Youthful Diana



the youthful diana
The Youthful Diana
People who love art always talk about that one piece that started it for them--that embodies what they adore. It never stops inspiring them, never ceases to make them catch their breath when they see it again. My moment was at the San Diego Museum of Art, when I saw Ann Hyatt Huntington's The Youthful Diana. I was blown away--I couldn't take my eyes off of her. Never have I coveted something so much. Wanted to be able to see that sculpture every day. I have seen Diana twice.

  I think what captured me most was that nostalgia, and the stamp of the divine. That childlike, wild freedom that struck me so intensely. It's the main thing I miss from my childhood. That wild abandon, the purity of just being yourself, a young power in a new world. Removed from ideas of what girls and boys should be. Removed from dogma. Just completely, powerfully natural. I remember the time when I had no idea that girls "where supposed" to act a certain way. My happiest years where my youngest ones. Sure I got into a lot of trouble. But it was just from me being my wandering self. The idea that I was supposed to act like a certain type of person came years later. And I'm sure there's plenty out there who know how heartbreaking that is. To change yourself,  and not for improvement, but just to be something else other than what you are. We all have our reasons. And sometimes, we discover we were lying to ourselves, and slowly we find our way back. Back to authenticity. Those who have done that, know the purity of that joy. That release. Back to the wild things.

san diego museum of art
Shoot for the stars.
  Ann Hyatt Huntington is the one who crafted The Youthful Diana. I was fascinated that this sculpture that so immediately captured my affections, was created by a woman. In a time when it was hard to do anything, be anything other than domestic. That takes guts, determination, and authenticity. Only those who are strong in who they are, (that does not mean we are free from doubt) and refuse to accept the yoke of unnatural expectations, make a step forward. Attain success, even if it isn't complete. Challenge the status quo, pave the way for others.

  Huntington discovered her talent for sculpting as a young adult, but she already had a love the anatomy of animals and a great affection for horses. Honestly I was so thrilled when I saw pictures of her other art--I have a very naturalistic taste for sculpture, and she brought to life what I thought perfect art looked like. The animals were so alive--the warriors so passionate. You could sense the ripple of the muscles beneath their skin, sense the tension of the cat ready to spring. Huntington was a genius. She continues to inspire me, as does Diana. (More on that another time--a story is brewing).

el cid, san diego
El Cid, also done by Huntington. San Diego, California.
  Huntington accomplished what few were able even decades later. She became famous for her work, was commissioned by high and low, was well recognized by many peers and received many honors. And all this through early to mid 1900's. Can you imagine how many she must have inspired? And not only was she an artist who pursued her art and accomplished many things, but she had the incredible blessing of a husband who supported her in everything. How many can say that? One can accomplish a great deal on one's own--but having your best friend stand by you all the way? Now that is a blessing few can boast.

  Huntington died on Oct 4, 1973. Same year as Tolkien. (The nerd rears its head). I would love to be able to travel and see all her works--and it'll be a heck of an endeavor. They are all around the world. Gracing zoos, parks, private collections. Memorials. Now The Youthful Diana--still in San Diego Museum of Art--I will visit time and time again, whenever I get a chance. She reminds me to never let go of the magic and youthful power we are born with. To shoot for the stars. And Huntington reminds me to never give up on what you were meant to do.


  ~Nikki


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Monday, February 6, 2017

Modern Go-Getter Monday ~ Constance Leathart, Soaring Ahead of Our Time

constance leathart ww2 pilots
bbc.comhttp://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34473589

Awhile back I read an article on Constance Leathart, a woman who was one of the first in WW2 to fly spitfires. As part of my Modern Go-Getter Monday, I wanted to share her story. I'm trying to keep with my goal of sharing people who inspire me every Monday, and I'm ashamed that it has taken me this long to share Constance Leathart. She has a special spot in my heart, simply because I have a desire to learn to fly a plane. I'm not necessarily talking about jets or big ones, but personal, smaller planes. I guess in the end it doesn't really matter--I just want to learn. I think it would be so rewarding, and a heck of a skill to have.

  One of the things that gets me is how this was almost a hundred years ago, Constance getting her first lesson. Times flies. No pun intended. But really, life moves at such a fast pace. It's eager to get on with things. And we always have to run fast enough to keep up. Go after our aspirations. No matter what stands in our way.


  ~Nikki



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