Welcome 2016

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 was a year of cheers and tears. After thinking about it all day yesterday and today....I am not sure if I am glad or sad to see it go. So I am settling on not thinking about last year too much and instead focusing on what I hope to accomplish this year instead!

I have been dreadfully sick this past week (and had to use two cherished days of PTO to lay like a lump in bed) and chose to pass on offers from friends and family for New Year's Eve plans and instead went to bed embarrassingly early, slept for about 11 hours, and then abused the hell out of cough medication and nasal spray to get myself to a functioning enough state for a First Day Hike in the Kettle Moraine State Forest.


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I love being outside. I feel like nothing is better for the soul (or your mental health for that matter) than being outside. I felt better almost immediately! Granted now that I am writing this the cold medication has all worn off and I am back to where I was last night when I was reduced to sharing a rotisserie chicken with my cat while sitting on my couch and feeling sorry for myself while everyone else was out having fun....but that was cold-induced so the end is in sight for that bit of misery at least. Overall I can't think of a better way to start the year!

Random moments of being thankful

Saturday, December 20, 2014

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Big changes are coming to my life in 2015. After 5 years of working second shift in the lab, I am finally moving to day shift! Technically, I have already started working a few day shifts, but I will have no more second shifts at all starting January 3rd. It is something I have been longing for ever since I started working at the hospital. I am already finding that while it took me almost two whole years to get used to 2nd shift, after only one week I am already used to being a morning person again (hello 4am). While I am very tired lately and slightly bummed that I am not feeling too ambitious this year for Christmas stuff, I know that things will all settle out soon and I will be used to it again. The going back and forth between the two shifts is confusing my body a little right now.

Today my sister and I had a cookie-making day. Lots of laughs and lots of mess, as usual. When I took the dog out for a bathroom break I brought my camera out with us. I love cold and grey days. The starkness of it always struck me as beautiful somehow. While out tromping through the long grass by the train tracks I was suddenly stuck with how glad I was that my mom and sister lived in such a place. It isn't the country at all, not nearly as far out as I want to be, but there is more space and more fields than many other people have, especially when they are renting, like my mom and sister are.

Part of the reason I am thankful is also because, up in that last picture, behind those trees, is our old house. It is the house I lived for most of my life. It is the house we lost when my dad died. It is hard and it hurts, and I have not actually driven on that road in over two years and hope to never have to again, and I am glad I can't see the house, and when I am feeling beaten down and at my worst, my thoughts are, "I want to go home." Even though I am an adult and my dad is gone and nobody can ever go back in time, part of me will always think of that place and those days as "home." And I am thankful because even though we lost so much and have gone through a lot, I can sill look around and see how much I still have. It is so easy to get wrapped up in one's own hurt and forget that there are others out there that are hurting even worse. It doesn't take away your own pain, but I think it makes you so much more grateful for what you DO have.

It was but a moment, but it struck me greatly, and I am glad for what I do have today, in this life.

I try to take a page from Kira's book: no matter what, when you are with the pack and can run around outside, life is good.

Old World Wisconsin

Monday, October 13, 2014

Now, anybody who knows me will know that despite my desire to travel and my aching urge to see the west (well, Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Colorado, the south west, and the "nature-y" parts of Oregon and Washington, sorry California), I will loudly and proudly declare that Wisconsin is the best state in the nation, and thus the greatest place in the entire world (and all this even though it is only family that keeps me in my city...). We have rolling farmlands; dark, dense North Woods (always gets a capitol N and W in my mind); water everywhere, from the big ole' Lake Michigan to tons of beautiful inland lakes of all sizes; cows everywhere, providing me with my life blood: milk and cheese; and beer. Our cities are pretty great too I guess, but I am in love with nature, so that is what determines to me if a place is awesome or not!

Anybody who knows me also knows that history is my great passion. Therefore it is amazing that I have not been to Old World Wisconsin since I was in grade school. We won't even get into how long that really is...

Old World Wisconsin is an open air museum and a Wisconsin historic site. It is made up of old houses, buildings, and farmsteads that were moved from their originals spots from all over Wisconsin for preservation and to re-enact the sights and sounds of the history of this great state. Wisconsin had many different ethnic groups settle it, but the Germans were by far the most numerous. Hence all the great breweries this state has (and why people from Illinois are always driving up here to by beer...we just do it better here). But there were also large Scandinavian groups too. I myself am of German and Norwegian decent, so I liked those areas the best, although all the areas were very cool. We actually didn't make it to all the parts because the site was closing early that day to prepare for a Halloween event going on that evening (which we were sadly unable to attended do to previous plans...AKA rushing home to feed and let out pets and plans to grill out), me taking too long to take pictures, and rumbling tummies. Many stops to pet animals and a quick dig for potatoes at the German village also contributed. While me, my sister and her boyfriend are all technically adults, we get grouchy like little children when not feed regularly!

YANKEE VILLAGE
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GERMAN AREA
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NORWEGIAN AREA
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FINNISH AREA
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