Thursday, August 23, 2007

Winds of Change

The winds of change are blowing...

Some days I feel it as a light breeze, softly brushing my skin, almost undetectable.

Other days, it's as if I'm in the midst of a tempest. It hits me with such force that it knocks me to the ground, rocks me to the very core of my being and drenches me to the bone. I am left shuddering, clinging for dear life to whatever immovable object I can find.

But then there are days when it comes in these invigorating gusts, energizing me, blowing away all the surface crap and leaving me feeling refreshed and excited.

Today is one of those days.

I have made a few decisions lately, one of which is to look for a new church. I love the people in the church I've been going to, but I just feel like it's not where I am supposed to be - at least for a season. It's a time for refreshment, encouragement and spiritual growth. I'm excited to see what this new chapter will bring.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Not Again!

Someone just broke into my car... AGAIN! This happened earlier this year in front of my apartment and it just happened again this morning in my office parking lot in broad daylight. They busted in my front passenger window and took my gym bag. I never leave anything in plain view in my car when I am parked at home or anywhere overnight. But I was going to hit the gym at lunch and in 2 1/2 years of working here, no one has ever had any problems in our parking lot. Guess there is a first time for everything. They also broke into April's car (I'm sorry, April!), but thankfully, they didn't take anything from her.

I'm frustrated, but not nearly as upset as I was the first time. It does kind of suck that I just bought new gym clothes recently and my running shoes are NOT cheap. I'll be out close to $400 when it's all said and done for new window, tinting, running shoes and gym clothes. But on the bright side, at least I took my iPod out of my gym bag the other day.

Ugh! I'm having a tough time keeping a good attitude... keep me in your prayers. Peace!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


My Sturgis Trip:

We left late Friday night (8/3/07) after waiting for 2 hours after the already postponed time we set to accomodate our friends so that had the boys in quite the mood. The road construction for the first 10 miles on the freeway didn't help. Finally, we were on the road, Mike (Otis) was drunk and wasn't slowing down on the drinking, KariLynn didn't feel comfortable driving such a big truck hauling such a big trailer so Mike C. and I took turns at the wheel. We picked up Otis' sister on Saturday morning and rolled into Sturgis Saturday afternoon.

So, originally, it was just supposed to be Mike & KariLynn and me & Otis. Then about a week before we left, Otis tells me we are picking up his sister on the way, but that she had friends to ride with once we were there. Well, her riding partner couldn't make it and she didn't spend much time with her other friends so she was pretty much the 5th wheel the whole week. And talk about attitude. This woman is rough... very abrasive. She is the most selfish and unpleasant person I have met in a long time and she was really the biggest downer of my trip. At one point, it took every ounce of self-control and grace I had to stop me from punching her in the kisser! Thankfully though, KariLynn was there and I absolutely love, love, love hanging out with her. She was so much fun all week. It was nice to see her let loose a little without her kids around.

But, on the bright side, the place was amazing. I've never seen so many bikes in one place. The people were so... colorful, entertaining and fun-loving. They were just average people, out to have a good time and let loose for a week and I loved it! The rides were incredible! Breath-taking views, historic landmarks, winding roads, great little hole-in-the-wall dive bars filled with smiles, laughter and camaraderie amongst strangers. And then there were the concerts. So many - in our campsite, other camps and some of the local venues. It would have been impossible tosee all of them. We made it to Tanya Tucker, .38 Special, Fuel, Ted Nugent and Godsmack. We also could hear Smashmouth and Joan Jett from our campsite. We also caught a few tribute bands. My favorite concert was the Nuge! Course, that night it was just me, Mike C. and KariLynn and I'll just say, we were all feeling pretty darned good.

The weather was crazy! It was hot as heck during the day, but lots of thunderstorms and wind! Our tents all but blew away. One night we came back to find one tent blown on its side, mine was still staked to the ground, but the frame was collapsed and our awning was flipped up over the trailer - all the rods bent or broken. It was even double-staked AND tied down, but the wind still got it. That sucked!

Wednesday was our last full day there before splitting up to go our separate ways on Thursday. Otis and I both got tattoos. His was a banner under his Harley tat that said "'06 Sturgis '07".... And I'm sure you will all just be shocked to know what I got... it's on my foot... check it out. This was before he did some highlighting with white, but it's pretty darn close to the finished product...

Thursday morning was rough. Mike and KariLynn went to see Devil's Tower and were planning to meet up with the rest of us in a particular town for lunch before taking the truck and trailer so Otis and I could ride back. But, while I napped in the back seat of the truck, Otis and Michelle managed to get us lost. Way the heck out in BFE!!! And they were not happy about it... but then they found a horrible map and decided that we could take a short cut back to where we needed to be. Well, the short cut put us on a dirt road that brought us back to the place that I fell asleep.

We were late meeting up with M&K and since we didn't have cell coverage out in BFE, they were frustrated that they couldn't get ahold of us, thought we were ahead of them and rode like mad to catch up - all the while, we were about an hour behind them. It was pretty funny to me, but I am more laid back and these things don't generally get to me. Otis and Mike and Michelle were all livid though! They were all mad at each other, none of them accepting any blame for the longest time... oh boy... none of them were pleasant to be around. Finally, we met up with the M&K and realized the trailer, all of our luggage and the bikes were covered a thick layer of dust from the dirt road, which pissed everyone off even more so we had to stop by a car wash, unload everything spray out the trailer and bikes, dust off the luggage and re-pack. What a fiasco!!! I was so relieved when we all got on the road again, this time with Michelle, Mike & KariLynn in the truck and me and Otis on the bike.

The ride back to Spokane was incredible. Otis and I stayed with his parents in Absorokee, MT on Thursday night, then drove through Beartooth Pass to Cook City and through Yellowstone on Friday. The ride and the views were amazing. I loved it. Friday night we camped at a KOA in West Yellowstone. We froze our butts off and didn't get a lot of sleep on that hard, rocky ground. Saturday, we drove up through Montana, stopped in Virginia City and met an old cowboy named T. Ray Becker. He fell in love with me, told me stories and cited some of his poetry before selling us one of his CDs and buying us drinks with the proceeds. He told me I was a gypsy (before seeing my tattoo) and kindred spirit and if only he were 30 years younger... :) Great man, though. I loved that city. We then headed up to Butte and then took the scenic byway through Anaconda, Phillipsburg (where we stopped for lunch) and Drummond where we got back on I-90. After that, it was Missoula, Rock Creek and St. Regis, where we planned to camp for the night. However, after not getting much sleep the night before, we decided to bite the bullet and ride the rest of the way home so we could get a good sleep and hot showers. Then Sunday, we took off again and did Thompson Pass. That was a lot of riding, my friends. By butt hurt like nobody's business!

All in all, it was a great trip, but I can tell you this... next time, I ride alone. Yes, that means learning to ride and buying a bike - but it'll be worth it!!!

And that's all for now, folks. Thanks for reading. More pictures will be posted eventually.