Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer Vacation?

With only a few days left in the month of June, I am wondering what is happening to my summer vacation.  You know, that thing that teachers all get where they get to sit around and do nothing all day.  I honestly don't remember the last time I had a "summer vacation" that was spent sitting around doing nothing all day.  In fact, have I ever?  My summer vacations are usually spent trying desperately to catch up on all the things I can't get done during the school year.  And, for the last four or five years, I have had something major to deal with over the summer:  cancer, ending a six-year relationship with my boyfriend, estate sale, moving, hysterectomy.  This summer it is moving....again.

The first week of this summer vacation, Caroline and I traveled to Colorado.  We were thinking of moving to the Centennial State and this trip was mainly to scout out locations.  We ended up spending the majority of our time in the Boulder/Ft. Collins area.  We both loved both places but still weren't sure if this was something we really wanted to do, but we were certainly leaning towards it.   As we drove home, I thought about all the places I would try to find a job in Colorado, what I might be interested in, how nice it would be to live in a gorgeous state with majestic mountains and breathable air. 

After spending a beautiful week in Colorado, Caroline and I came home to a notice from my apartment complex that they were raising the rent.  After reading the notice, I went into panic mode.  If I didn't sign a one year lease by July 1, my rent (with garage) would go up to $1,034 a month.  I could barely afford what I was already paying.  So, I immediately started looking for another option.  Apartments were too high or too crappy to live in.  Maybe a house?  Damn, houses were going for $1,100 a month or higher!

Then, I stumbled across a small two bedroom house with a Florida room.  Despite the fact that it is one street south of my ex-mother-in-law, and was fairly small, it was the right price.  It was cheaper than my apartment before the rent increase and it had space for my studio in the Florida room. 

The owners had just closed on the house a few days prior to my seeing it.  It was in a state of chaos as they were in the process of renovating.  But this house, built in the mid 1950's, had charm.  I knew immediately that this was the place for us. 

For the last few weeks, we've been stopping by periodically to check on the progress of the house.  It is coming along beautifully.  I have also been making all the preparations necessary to move again....transferring service, packing, getting rid of stuff we don't need.  At night, curled up in bed, my mind envisions our new home, how we will decorate it, how nice it will be to be out of the apartment. 

My mind also fixates on my studio.  It will be small but it will be bigger than anything I have ever had.  It will be a perfect space to work in.  I can close the doors and drift off into my own creative world.  I imagine how I will lay out the space, where my drafting table will go, what supplies I will keep in the studio, which ones I will store in the garage.  New ideas are swimming in my head and I am so anxious to start tackling them.  I'm working on a sign to hang inside that says "Laughing Horse Studio".  I even had new business cards made:  Laughing Horse Studio - Art/Photography.

So even though my summer is almost half over and I haven't really had any time to just kick back and relax, I'm happier than I've been in a long time.  I'm stressed and tripping over boxes, cranky and tired of everything being in a mess, but I'm happy.  Really happy.  I'm looking forward to what my future holds.  I finally feel as if I am on the right track, right where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.  And it feels really good.

Now, if I can just get moved into the new house and relax for a bit....ahhhhhh.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Pros and Cons of Kelli

Caroline and I arrived home tonight after spending many days on the road together.  Hour after hour we spent in the car, traveling Colorado and New Mexico, even sweeping into Wyoming for a few minutes.  After the beautiful scenery we had seen while enjoying absolutely perfect weather, I dreaded coming home to the heat and humidity of Oklahoma.  Driving east on I-40 across the barren wasteland of a landscape that is the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma, I found myself getting quite bitchy.  With each passing mile, it got worse.  Everything annoyed me.  Finally, we arrived home.  Arms heavy with luggage, sweating from the humidity, I walked into my apartment door and was greeted by the trailings of an eighteen year old boy home alone for the last week.  Well, now I was just in a very bad mood. 

It got me to thinking....overall I like myself pretty well.  I think I have lots of good qualities.  But there are some not so good qualities too.  I decided to make a list of the "Pros and Cons of Kelli".  This might come in handy should I ever actually start to date again.  I can refer the potential date to my blog and have him read this and decide if he thinks I am really worth the pursuit.  Maybe.  Maybe not.

Anyway, here it goes, in no particular order (and I don't know why I wrote it in third person):

Pros:
1.  Picks up her neighbors cigarette butts that they have carelessly thrown into the lawn (after a nine hour drive with her teenage daughter)
2.  Can be very refined and elegant or get down and dirty in a cave - a woman of contrast
3.  Likes a very neat and clean home - not perfect, but relaxing and calm (that may be a "con" for some)
4.  Lets others with fewer items get in front of her at Walmart
5.  Always tries to make people smile
6.  Always seeks solution to problems
7.  Can usually see both sides of an issue and see validity in both sides
8.  Loves her kids tremendously, even when she is irritated with them
9.  Is learning to be patient with people that irritate the hell out of her
10.  Is very honest, except for the occasional white lie told so people don't get their feelings hurt
11.  Truly wants to see people succeed and be happy
12.  Spends $50.00 on a stuffed wolf because she loves wolves so much (no, this is NOT a "Con")
13.  Tries to keep the peace with others even though she would love to see them fall off the face of the earth (no, not you)
14.  Has been told she is an excellent cook
15.  Loves deeply and passionately
16.  Feels horrible when she's been bitchy to someone and always apologizes to them and truly means it.
17.  Dances and sings in the car and doesn't care who sees her
18.   Likes to take the back roads in New Mexico where she knows the cops who pass her when she is speeding will just wave to her.  Happens every time :)
19.  Still believes in true love, soul mates, all the icky love stuff
20.  Has been told she has a pure heart

Cons:
1.  Bitches loudly about picking up the neighbors cigarette butts that they have carelessly thrown into the lawn
2.  Has been known to cuss like a sailor
3.  Gets bitchy after hours in the car and coming home to heat and humidity and a messy apartment
4.  Takes a photo of a large man, wearing a green tank top, riding a green motorcycle and posts it on Facebook and makes fun of him.
5.  Has been known to call rude drivers names - see Cons #2
6.  Gets really bad hat hair after wearing a hat all day.
7.   Can usually see both sides of an issue and see validity in both sides (yes, I know this was a "Pro" too but it can cause problems.  I sit on the fence on many issues)
8.  Hasn't quite learned to be completely patient with people who irritate the hell out of her.  For example, right now she wants to refer to Con #2 and shout at her neighbors in the apartment above her who sound like they weigh 300 pounds and jump every time they walk across the floor.  Maybe one of them is the guy in the green tank top???
9.  Has a hard time letting go - whether it is love, a behavior issue with a student, or something she believes in passionately
10.  Feels trapped sometimes and gets "itchy" - needs to get out, alone, away from everyone and everything, into wide open spaces

Ok, this is enough for one night.  The bitchiness is gone.  I have showered and unpacked most of my things from the trip while popping over to the laptop to write the Pros and Cons of me.  I do think there are many more pros than cons.  Some days are better than others.  Some years are better than others.  But with each passing day, or year, I learn more and learn to do better, to be better, but to still be me.  And that is definitely a "pro".

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