Wednesday, May 30, 2007

long weekends - out of town visitors

Wow. I never thought I'd be happy to be back at work after a long weekend. It's be a full 4 days, with friends staying with us from out of town - trying to make the most of the holiday weekend and show them around... it's fun, and exhausting. They arrived late thursday evening, and spent the day to themselves Friday. We hung out in Boulder before heading home to grill and play cornhole. It was fun, relaxing, and I should have savored it more - little did I know that the rest of the weekend would require me to take care of people. I wish that I could just let go, not feel responsible for others, but that's just not the type of person I am. I'm always wanting to be the good hostess, maing breakfast everyday, making sure people are having a good time...constantly worrying about others. It's really tiring to do that :)

We went to 11 Mile Lake, rented a pontoon and froze our tushies off :) and had a blast doing it! It was really nice to get out on the water, see the snow capped mountains in the distance and feel the wind on my face. (Pictures to come later). We drove back through Colorado Springs and had an amazing view of Pike's Peak.

Sunday we barbequed at the house. Keg and all, it was fun. But exhausting. There came a point in time where I didn't have the energy to try to make small talk with anyone :)

Rockies kicked some Cardinal tail on Monday, and there were 3 homerun hits that came really close to where we were sitting! It was definitely exciting to watch their winning streak continue :)

Now, back to reality, work and all. I found out today that I'm in the running for a division job that I really want. Phone interview next week, wish me luck!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Picture post

Bourgas - the town on the Black Sea Coast near Karnobat - the town in Bulgaria I lived in. I loved visiting the Black Sea - this was in the fall - October I think , right after I arrived. It was a windy, cool day, and was also the day I went to the movie theater (saw something in Engligh!!) and found a store that sold cheddar. I had the greatest time exploring that city by myself. A 40 minute bus ride from home, and I was at the beach. I lvoe to hear the sound of waves lapping at the sand. The crashing water, seagulls and peacefullness of the beach. I am much more of a water person than anything else. I thrive on water - love it immensely. I don't even need to swim in it to love it as much as I do. Maybe it's the uncertainty of it all - what the oceans hold that we know nothing about...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

trying to stay afloat

I love my job, what I do, who I get to help. Outside of my office, when I'm out in the communities I work in...that's when it's great.

When I actually have to come into the office and deal with all the BS - that's when I want to walk out. I think my boss is the laziest, most deceitful, promoted way beyond her means type of boss. Even some of the most basic things are beyond her capabilites. What's frustrating the most is that she plays favorites, and I'm not one of them. No matter how much I excel at my job, there is one person here she always compares me to, and I never match up. It's frustrating. I've been looking for something - anything - to get out from under her. Finally something came up that would be more of a lateral move, but it would be a bigger job, more challenging etc. I brought it up to her and was told I had her "full support to pursue this". Yeah, well, she's now promoting this job to that coworker of mine who she adores. Unfortunately she doesn't know that the coworker is resigning in a few months to move cross-country to go to grad school. Tough luck sweetie - you'll have to find a new favorite. I feel like nothing I do will ever be good enough - not that I care too much about what she thinks of me, I know that I am doing a good job, but what I don't feel like dealing with is when she prohibits me from doing my job properly because she can't follow through with things. She is abusing the system here, and it frustrates the daylights out of me. I don't really know how much longer I can take it. I'm at my wits end. It's gotten so bad that I'm blogging about it! I've been keeping track of everything - dates and times she's out of the office, things she's dropped the ball on..... I can only hope that eventually it will come back to bite her in the a$$...

Monday, May 21, 2007


Whew. I finally completed my sister's 30th birthday present. Too bad her birthday was yesterday, and it will take a few days for the package to reach her...but it's done!!! I feel like this was the ultimate accomplishment as I've never tried to sew a diaper bag before. I used a tutorial from Craftster and modified it a bit... I've been playing around with the patter in my head for a few months now. I finally found the perfect fabric - a beautiful upolstery fabric for the outside, and then a fun palm tree print on the inside. Which is perfect since my sis and her hubby got had a second wedding in Figi, and also honeymooned there. What do you think?

It has two elastic bottle-pockets on the outside along with a large flap pocket on the back. Inside has another side-long flap pocket on the back, and two elastic diaper pockets on the inside. It is fully lined and I used a fusible fleece to make it extra soft... I know that I want to do a changing pad to match, but that will take more time since friends are coming in town, and all my sewing is done on the kitchen table right now (it's only a one bedroom apartment...) I know it's not perfect, but I really think she'll love it-I hope she does anyway!!

On another note, we took the Harley up Clear Creek Canyon this weekend and the scenery reminded me why I love living in Colorado:

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I love to run. Can't do it outside due to bad joints, arthritis and an injury (wow, that makes me sound so old) but I love the treadmill. I hop on one at the gym when I can drag my butt there, and 3 miles later I feel like I'm 15 again. I love how alive my body feels after I run. I don't get that same rush from any other cardio workout. There's just something about setting my itunes to the "workout" playlist and running without a care in the world. Sometimes the run is hard, and I really have to push myself to get where I'm trying to go, and other days, the cooldown starts before I even get started. I want to start upping my mileage, but knowing how sporatic my runs have been lately I just don't want to get hurt more. I'm already needing to add a knee brace on the left knee, in addition to the one on the right. I'd love to get my joints in a better place, but maxing them out when I'm working long hours and don't know how often I have the energy to drag my butt to they gym.....

Anyway, I made it last night. Finally. It was one of those tough runs, that makes me hate it. Never want to run again. Too hard. Don't wanna.

Then this morning. My legs reminded me why I do this. They feel alive, and useful and strong again. And all I can think about is getting back there tonight.

Monday, May 14, 2007

T - 0 hours

D Day. Finally here. The 91st day of waiting. Something that has been going on for almost one whole year has come to a close. My divorce is final today. after 10 months, I'm finally able to close that chapter of my life. I'm still waiting on the house to sell, but with the market the way that it is, I know that might be a long wait. Either way, that part is over - I'm able to change my name back, which will take some paperwork, but is something I'm looking forward to. Even though the city I live it is pretty large, it's still a small town feel - with many people who recognize my unusual married name. They ask if I'm related - and I never know how to respond, because frankly it's none of their business. I never wanted to change my name in the first place. I was proud of who I was - it's the name I've done so many things with - my degree is in that name, I travelled the world with that name :). Luckily my initials never changed, but I can tell you that I'm truly looking forward to getting back my name. I almost wrote identity there, but is a name really "who you are"?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mother's Day...

With mother's day looming, I thought I would share my wonderful mom:
Not only are we scarily alike, but everyone says I look just like her (I don't see it - but then, I never do, I think everyone looks like themself). She has always been there for me, just like a mom should, but she's so much more than that. She supported me when I chose to be an Italian major in college. I was passionate about it, and she saw that and therefore didn't try to talk me out of it. Thanks Mom. It might not be the most useful degree, but man I enjoyed those four years :) When I left for the summer to study abroad in Florence, my mom FINALLY learned to get online and send emails. It took many "training sessions" to get her comfortable on my computer, and even a "how-to" cheat sheet; but by the time I arrived home again after being gone, she was an internet-addict. It's been hard to tear her away from the internet even now, 8 years later.
She has supported me through so many ups and downs in life, and so many major decisions could not be made without her go-ahead. She let me make my own mistakes and my own path in life, giving advice when asked, but also stepping back and allowing me to find out what worked, and what didn't. When I found those things that didn't work, and my heart was broken or my spirit beaten down, she has always been there for me. Looking out for me, and my best interest, has always been at the top of her priority list. My mom rarely puts herself first; she cares so much about everyone around her.
After college I did something that made me feel even closer to my mom though it took me farther away from home. I joined the Peace Corps. My Peace Corps experience took me overseas to Eastern Europe, Bulgaria to be exact. (See the website I created for my experience HERE.) Like I said, it took me farther away from home, but I was more connected to my mom than ever. She is an incredible person, liberal in many ways, a Kennedy kid, who grew up in the Peace Corps era. She remembers it being created, and I believe she would have joined herself had she not had us kids. She still may join someday - it's right up her alley.
When mom came to visit me in Bulgaria about 9 months in, we had a heck of a time. I got to show her "my Bulgaria" which meant mom sleeping in the same cruddy hotels that I stayed in, ride the same rickety buses that I rode in, use the same turkish toilets, and see the same amazing things. She still says one of her favorite days is when she came to school with me, attended some classes and got to meet my kids. I loved that class 8G - 26 students who were so eager to meet the mom of that "crazy american teacher that sits on the desk, talks to us like we are equals, and has to look up every bulgarian word in the dictionary still and if she can't find the word she'll draw a picture of it..." She brought an entire bag of stuff just for those kids. Pens, pencils, notebooks, was such a great class. We had lunch together in the city center square, and then I left to go teach some more, and left Mom to wander town on her own. I was soooooo nervous that she'd get lost, or set her wallet down, or something bad would happen. It was a Monday, so the Bazaar was in town, one of my favorite things, so I sent her off in that direction and made her promise she'd meet me back RIGHT HERE in one hour! I was shocked to see that she didn't get lost :).
When I took her back to the airport after three great weeks of showing her my life, we cried. She thanked me for taking her around, and said that now she knew that no matter how much I told her about my experiences, or showed her pictures, she never would have understood without coming to see it herself. You see, my mom didn't get a passport until I left for Bulgaria. Her first visit overseas was to see me, in a developing country, full of history and beauty. It was a phenomenal three weeks and probably my favorite time while I was there. Here are some of the pictures from her visit:
So now here we are, present day. Almost Mother's Day. My mom, selfless as always, isn't at home. She's with my sister, taking care of my baby niece while my sister finishes up work before summer break.
I hope she knows just how much I appreciate her for who she is; a loving, caring, giving Mom, who supports me through all my ups and downs. You know what they are Mom. I don't need to share them here. But thank you. Your support and love through the hard times is what gets me through it, and when good things happen, I want to share them with you. I love you.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Mother's Day

I've been thinking lately what I would like to do for Mother's Day. I have two moms really, and sisters who are moms. I'd like to do something for everyone, but how? I didn't plan enough in advance, and now, I feel overwhelmed. How is it that I do that each year?? I'm still not sure, but I'd love to figure that one out. All my gifts this year will be homemade, which puts even more pressure on me. It's not like I am able to whip it up quickly in enough time to mail out...I'm sure that I'll be usual :) - Apparently that's something my family has come to understand and expect from me. One of these days I'm going to surprise them...maybe not this mother's day, but one day.
R- Bag, completed - card, done
B- Photographs, completed (frame not purchased) - card, not done
M/D- Photographs, completed (frame not purchased) - GC not purchased - card, not done
C- Bag, almost complete - card, not done

Obviously a slacker :)

Monday, May 7, 2007


This weekend was packed FULL. I couldn't have stuck more in there if I tried - and I think I did :). Friday I finished a tote bag for my sis -'s a surprise!

Saturday was spent celebrating Cinco de Mayo with friends. We ate, drank, chatted, learned about and played with Cascarones, and had an impromptu poker tournament. Here are some pics from that fun day:

Seriously, check it out - it's me and the boys left, then, heads-up. I couldn't lose- I just kept getting the cards! Yay! I still can't believe I won!! $40 in my pocket - sweeeeet!

After that we went to watch the uneventful De la Hoya - Mayweather boxing match. Boring. It certainly did not live up to any expectations of reviving boxing. 12 rounds of complete boringness.

Sunday was awesome. Lazy day spent gardening and sewing. Planted zucchini, small sugar pumpkins (perfect for pies this summer and fall), spinach and radishes behind the onions that are doing real well. Also transplanted something that appeared to be strawberry plants, so cross your fingers on that one. The rest of the afternoon was spent piecing together a new hobo bag. It's this really cool bluey-purpley color, and I can't wait to see the finished result. Tonight I need to seam the tops together and topstich - that's it.

I also figured out my mothers day gifts - not a moment too soon :) gotta get those out in the mail today or tomorrow!

Friday, May 4, 2007


I just re-read my post of yesterday, and feel the need to expand on that original thought - mainly because I left out a huge part of why I feel lonely (or more accurate, why I feel like I don't keep in contact with friends or people in my life). The reason is this: I'm horrible at staying in contact with others. There. I said it. I admit it wholeheartedly. I used to think this made me a bad person, and sometimes I still think that. But I've also come to realize that those who are most important to me in the whole world are still in my life. I either (secretly) read their blog, think about, look through old photos etc. It's not that I don't have conversations with these folks in my head (though now that I write that it seems a bit strange...nevermind, let's not think about that). What is most important to realize is that I take part of the blame too. I'm horrible at writing letters, or emails. And I REFUSE to respond personally to mass emails. I won't feel bad about it either. I won't feel guilty for not responding - I do feel guilty for not sending something, anything of my own.

Unfortunately, I let enough time go by that I don't know how to dig myself out of whatever hole I've managed to get myself into. There are many people that I do miss, and I wish that I could call em up and tell them. But instead, I write on here about it. And hope that someday they stumble upon this blog eas I've stumbled upon theirs. For now, I live in the moment. Enjoy everyday that I am happy, healthy, loved and fulfilled by what is in my life right now.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Old friends

I've been reminiscing lately about old friends. Many of them were mutual, met while I was with my soon-to-be-ex-husband. It's hard during a break-up to separate "things" (see post below about that if you don't really believe me) when you are together for a significant amount of time. Lines get blurry and you don't think in turns of "what's yours, and what's mine"... It's "ours". At least that's how it was for me. I was in it for the long haul, so I didn't worry about writing my name on cd's, or books or silly things like that. Souveniers were not purchased in twos anymore... you don't think about needing/wanting extras like that down the road. Well, it's even harder to figure that out with mutual friends.

Who really wants to think in terms of who is "more" friends with someone?

Nobody expects people to "take sides" or "choose". That's awful. But, truth be told, that's what happens. You know in your heart, that when break-ups happen, people take sides. I'm not saying they do it intentionally, or to hurt, but perhaps somewhere in their subconscious, it happens, and it hurts. You never expect to wake up and realize that some is not the friend you thought they were - that maybe they are closer to the other person. I know I'm rambling, but I also know nobody reads this, so it's a good vent for me...

I've spent the last 10 months realizing who my "real" friends are. It's humbling, and sad. I miss them, of course. The easy banter. I don't blame them. They don't know the whole story, other than I look like the "bad" guy. It's also probably hard. They don't know what to say, so they don't say anything. My mom told me that divorce is like a death. It really is. But she also told me long ago about what she learned when her mom died. It's not what you say to someone who is hurting or dealing with a loss, it's the fact that you say anything at all. She doesn't remember all the condolensces from family and friends, or the people who came by with a casserole - but she does remember those that said or did nothing at all.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


The western slope of Colorado is so unlike the front range. It's arrid, dry, deserty (I know that's not a real word) and reminds me a lot of Arizona where I grew up. Check it out for yourself:

It was a fantastic weekend - It started out with a grueling 5 hour drive through some of the most breathtaking scenery - this is why I love the Rockies! Had a great surf and turf dinner at a place called The Trough - Chris even took one of the menu's when we left (yes, he had permission!). Saturday was spent fishing Blue Mesa Rez where enough native trout was caught to provide a yummy dinner later that night. Sunday before heading out we hit a really cool mountain-biking area to test that out. I'm a complete noob.... only been out in the mountains on it a handfull of times, but I enjoyed it. My lungs reminded me that I was trying to do all that at 9,000 feet, but my legs enjoyed the ride. I got some good color, not burnt, but a little brown, which is nice. I certainly wasn't worried about showing up red at my job on Monday (where it would not have been looked nicely upon considering the org I work for...)

Overall, my first real trip to the Western Slope, and Gunnison, was noteworthy. Summer is finally feeling like it's here (yes, technically it's spring, but since I'm an AZ girl at heart, there is only one real season- warm = summer in my book :) - it's wonderful).