Catching Up

Hey Readers!

Long time no… anything. Sorry about that. It’s been, what, two years?

I figured this post would be a good one to catch all y’all up one what’s happened since the car overheating in Virginia. So, here we go.

Virginia: My car was stupid and ended up taking its last breaths there. RIP Trixie. You did good things for me. Then you sucked. The End. BUT!!! Because you sucked, I ended up taking a vacation to San Francisco for the 4th of July in 2010. That vacation turned into me getting a job and living there for two and a half years. WHAT?! I know.

California: I went there for a week-long vacation before moving back to Utah. Ended up having a job interview at Stanford University (Thanks Traci!! You’re the best wife ever!) and ended up being offered the job the day before I was supposed to hop back on a plane and wing my way back to the mountains.  I moved in with the Wife and her husband in Vallejo for six months then landed myself in Palo Alto (where Stanford is located) until I moved again in November of 2012 and landed myself back in Utah. We’ll get to the Utah thing in a bit.

A lot happened in that time. I worked at Stanford University in a HIV Clinic. My sister passed away. I was able to have my mom come out to visit me in San Francisco for her birthday present. I learned I am loved. I went to Disneyland. I learned to ask for help when I need it and to allow people to help me. I went to my first gay bar and kissed a gay man. I went to Gay Pride and saw a few Drag shows. I danced. I became a baseball fan. I talked to a Nobel Prize recipient and didn’t even know it. I went to the beach, rode a few rollercoasters, and almost got caught in a riot in Oakland. All in all, I grew up. If you’re curious about any of the events above and would like more explanation, I’d be happy to oblige. Just not during this post. But be sure to ask! I’d love to tell you all about it.🙂

Utah: I moved back to Salt Lake thanks to knowing that my time in the Bay was coming to and end because I needed a change and because my roommate was getting married and keeping the apartment. (Erin was an incredible roommate and I’m lucky to have lived with her for almost two years.😀 She’s the best!!!) I ended up getting a job in Murray and moved back about 3 weeks later. I packed up my car on November 1st and drove my happy little self back to my mountains. So, here I am! Back in Salt Lake. I feel just like my old self and completely different at the same time.

A lot has happened since I’ve been back, too.

That's Taka. I took him to Th Utah Symphony at Abravanel Hall for his Christmas present. Aren't we cute?

That’s Taka. I took him to the Utah Symphony at Abravanel Hall. It was his Christmas present. Aren’t we cute?

I fell in love. I’m still in love. And he loves me, too. I played my first April Fool’s prank and pretended to be engaged. People really fell for it and were sooooooo mad at me (It was AWESOME!). I am looking for a new job. I went to Hawaii. I still know that people love me. I’m still asking for help and trying to allow myself to accept the generosity of amazing people. I’m working on being ok with having my picture taken (NOTE: This does not give anyone the right to use this knowledge against me. I’m WORKING on it. It is still going to take time so don’t push or I’ll revert back to the camera ninja. You’ve been warned.). I’ve been rock climbing. Twice. Ish. I’m still dancing. And djing. And thinking of starting up a wedding DJ business sometime in the future. And I think I want to be a psychologist when I grow up. We shall see!

Well, now you’re all pretty much caught up. Any questions, concerns, or comments?

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Virginia…and How We Don’t Get Along

Virginia is a great state. We just don’t play nice together.

This wasn’t my first attempt at trying live in the place. The last time I was there was also the last time I had seen my father and his family until this move. Over a decade ago (yes, I’m old. Ok, not really. But that made me sound old. I’m really not old though. Seriously. Shut up.) I moved from my mountains to go to the beach. It was under not good circumstances that I ended up there so we won’t talk about that here. (If you really want to know that story, leave me a comment and I’ll tell you. Otherwise, let’s just say I am who I am now in spite of bad decisions made for me out of anger by other people.) Yay for starting off on a depressing note!

So, Virginia. Had lived in Hampton Roads once before. Now living there (by choice this time) again. This time, there was hope. This time, there was a plan. This time, I was supposed to grow up and start really living my life. This was the real deal. I mean, I gave up everything I knew for the complete opposite. Mountains for a beach, the west for the east, blissful dry climate for killer humidity, high altitudes for sea level, a Mormon mommy for a non-denominational daddy, everyone I loved for strangers… the complete opposite of what I had. I also gave up stagnation for progression. I wanted something different. I wanted a life of meaning and purpose and I felt that I was going nowhere fast in Utah. So, I gave it all up. And I was really excited. I was like, “Bring it!”

But first, why not take another huge driving trip to New Orleans??

The Big Easy!Yay! New Orleans! I had never been there before. I hadn’t been that close to the place since we moved from Pensacola, FL when I was 7. (That’s right y’all. Originally from the trailer park with roots in the deep South. And y’all wonder why I’m so adorable.😀 ) It was time to visit The Big Easy.

When my best friend, Arae, heard I was going to be going to New Orleans because “it was the closest I had been to the place and, well, why not,” she laughed at me. She said, “It’s like going to Utah and saying, ‘Wow! I might as well go to Seattle since I’m so close.'” She was right. It was a bit more of a trek than I was expecting. 18 hours down. 19 hours back. 2,000 miles round-trip. In my car. All. By. My. Self. I am hardcore like that. I almost didn’t end up going because my phone fried itself the day before. I wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere without it because it had my GPS navigator on it and, well, I wasn’t in Utah anymore where the roads make complete sense. 100% grid beauty was no longer an option for me. It was pure chaos back east and I would have been lost forever in the first 5 minutes of being anywhere if I didn’t have GPS. Anyhoo, my daddy saved the day by letting me use his phone (which had GPS and important phone numbers of people I would need to be in touch with that I didn’t have anymore because my phone decided having fried guts was a good idea) and off I went. I got lost in Suffolk, VA, almost died due to a monsoon just outside of Atlanta, GA, and got hit on by some random dude at 1 am in Mobile, AL (and trust me when I say I looked like death warmed over by that point.) All in all, an adventure.

Made it NOLA all safe and sound. My host was fantastic and had the biggest, cutest, sweetest puppy ever! I would have suggested that I should take him home with me (the puppy, not my host) but he was too big to fit in my car. (I really want a puppy. And now you know.) The next day, Fleur De Lindy began!

New Orleans is an amazing place. Full of history and pizzaz and voodoo and debauchery. Amazing people and FANTASTIC music playing in the streets. It was a sight to behold. And I couldn’t ever live there. But that’s just me and I’m a big wuss so, there ya go. I’m glad I got to visit and I’m hoping to visit again in the near future but a weekend is about it for me.🙂 Awesome parts of the weekend include: meeting up with Dabney and Karen (whom I love), seeing someone pick up a hooker right in front of me, DANCING DANCING DANCING!!!!!, meeting up with Johnny Redshirt, meeting a bunch of amazing people who I’ve never met before and instantly fell in love with, dancing to bands like Tuba Skinny, The Loose Marbles, and The Palmetto Bug Stompers and running across the street between DBA and The Spotted Cat to hear them because they were playing at the same time, shopping with Birdy, dancing at the Wax Museum and Karen and I getting freaked out by the creepy looking figures in the tour thing on the first floor, everyone and their llama buying me Shirley Temples because I don’t drink (and one of the bartenders being so excited that he got to make one that he did a dance behind the bar and gave it to me for free), the drag queens telling us to get the party started at 3 am (they were really pretty and just getting started themselves), and dancing at One-Eyed Jacks to Meschiya Lake and The Cyclowns and being star-struck when I met Lenny!Steve Zahn and Tim Robbins came strolling in.

I know, right?? It was a great trip. So happy I got to go.

Then I went back to my new home. Time to really begin my new life on the East Coast. My Branch for Church was amazing. The people there were some of the most genuine and kind-hearted people I’d had met. They cared for me so much. I was blessed to have them in my life guiding me along my way. The Relief Society was so enveloping and loving. I’ve never felt so included in a group of women like that before. I had incredible people surrounding me all the time with that bunch. I know I’m a better person because of their presence in my life. (Thanks Tidewater YSA Branch!!!)

The Swing Dancers there were pure gold. I love them dearly. They were a small group but, man, did they have fun. I thought it was hilarious that I moved there on a Saturday and by the next Thursday I was already teaching. There were a lot there who had a lot to learn. They didn’t even know what a Shorty George was. (Every swing dancer of any time ever should have learned this within their first year in my opinion.) Anyhoo, I almost fell over in shock on that one.

I really miss Thursday Nights after the dance at the Attuck’s going to Tortilla West and just loving life. I felt the most at home with them. They felt like family and were one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to stay there. If things had been any different and I had a way of being able to take care of myself and making it there, I would have learned to LOVE it there. And as hard as everyone tried to help me (my family, my church, the dancers) it just wasn’t quite right. Even after Mark moved to Elizabeth City, NC (about an hour south of Norfolk) and came to visit, I knew that I wouldn’t be there long.

I was miserable.

No ones fault. It just wasn’t the right place for me to be. I had been looking for a job, going on interviews, applied with a temp agency even, and got nothing. The funny thing is, I went to VA to start a life. Go grow up. To go to school, get married, be an adult. That was the plan. And it never came to be. I’ve never cried so much in my life. Every day. It’s just how it was.

I did learn some valuable lessons from Mark though. We he came back to stay with me before the official move to Elizabeth City, he came in, saw me, and (pretty much) the first things out of his mouth were, “What’s the matter?” I lied and told him I was ok and didn’t want to talk about it. He then told me I wasn’t being a good friend. I didn’t take that hard at all. Nope. Not one bit. I’m pretty good at listening. I have a harder time being on the other end. Apparently, being a friend means allowing other people to help you too. I’m not very good at that. So, finally, I broke down and told him everything. And he just held me and let me cry. I’ve never had a man around for such a thing. It was nice. And, all the sudden, it made sense as to why we need other people in our lives. Not just to be there for others but to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and letter others help us. To let them hold us and share our lives. It was hard not to be Super Girl but I’m glad I finally understood that concept. (Now to put it to use…)

See? Isn’t Mark just the greatest thing since ever? Whoever gets him is THE LUCKIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD.

So, a couple of weeks later, I decided I would move back to Utah. I would go back to school and get a better job and be the woman I thought I was going to become in VA. I just had to go to VBLX (Virginia Beach Lindy Exchange) first and have Johnny Redshirt and Mark come and stay with me one last time before I left. And it was good times. Until my car started overheating…

And that concludes this part of the story. (Ooh! I just cliffhangered your booty.)

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Are You Dizzy Yet? Pt. 4

Yeah, nothing really special in this post. Just tying up loose ends.

So, as I was just reviewing all that I’ve written the past little bit, I’ve realized that none of this is dizzying at all. The dizzying bit that I’ve been referring to is how I got to where I am today. Which is not where I thought I would be. Ever. But here I am.

Don’t know where that is? Don’t worry. I’ll get to that. Eventually. Hopefully sooner than later.

But this post is going to be the finishing up of the cross-country-roadtrip with Mark. Then I’ll do another post telling you about life in Virginia and some of the insanity that ensued. And then you’ll learn about all that happened to get me here. And THEN I’ll get you up to speed on life in the now. Good game plan? Sweet. Game on!

So, where were we? Oh yeah. Baxter, TN. With Uncle Lawrence and girlfriend Sherry. Awesome peoples btw. They don’t do much but camp a lot and cook a bunch over the open fire. They dig that. All-in-all, it was good to re-meet my Uncle. I’ve figured out the uncontrollable giggling comes from my Dad’s side of the family. I’m glad to know I have genetics to blame for that one.

Breakfast was had. Hugs were given. Goodbyes shared. On the road again. This time, we were headed to New Tazewell, TN to go visit my friends Missie and Jared. I hadn’t seen them since I had DJ’d their wedding. It was great to see them. Jared even fixed my lighter in my car. I had my car for 6 years and that stupid lighter/power outlet thingy never worked. Jared makes mention of it probably being a blown fuse and BAM! Problem fixed. If only he had been around 3 days earlier at the start of the roadtrip. But then, Mark wouldn’t have introduced me to the awesomeness of Graphic Audio: A movie in your MIND. They did get a little (A LOT) racy here and there though. Fair warning for the innocent ones. Definitely not rated G.

Tennessee is a BEAUTIFUL state. I think it was my favorite place on this road trip. And I didn’t even get to see the big towns at all. It was all country. If I were rustic, I would want to live there.

Anyway, after our visit with the Robert’s, we were headed to Walmart (to get stuff for the car now that it had external power) and back on the road to our final destination. Norfolk, VA. Mark and I had some serious talk time, which I had been waiting for. It was nice. I really missed having him around. He had to go and move to San Diego and stuff. And now, here I am, moving all the way across the continent. Good plan for keeping good friend close, right? It was nice to know that he was going to be coming back out to the area for school in the near future. It’s always nice having familiarity in strange places. Makes you feel more comfortable.

And, well, we drove through Virginia. Then we made it into Norfolk. It was about 2 am or so when we got there. I woke everyone up so they could say Hi to me and that was that. Took me a while to come down from the 5 Hour Energy thingy that I had swigged about 3 hours before but that was about it. We had made it.

I guess that’s it for this portion of story time with Mishimmy. Until next time Kids!

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Are you dizzy yet? Pt. 3

Ok. When we last got together for story time, we were in Kansas City in the room with the bathroom with no door. Luckily, no peek-a-boo moments in the potty.

Morning was morning. Nothing too terribly special. Got up, got cleaned up, ate breakfast, said many Thank You’s and Good Bye’s, and went on our merry little way. Many many many thanks to Amber and her family for being so fantastic and letting so many strangers pass through their home.

Next stop: Baxter, Tennessee.

We were headed to stay with my Uncle Lawrence. I hadn’t seen him since I was 5 years old. 23 years of my life had passed by. The last time I saw him was around the time my Paw-paw (that’s “grandpa” for all those who don’t know southern 5 year old lingo)  passed away. So, this was going to be a family reunion.

Driving along, la la la, nothing to fantastical. Missouri was rather reminiscent of Kansas with a few minor details. Like the drivers suck. A lot. I’m pretty sure they’re worse than drivers in Utah. And that’s saying something. And their slow. Not my favorite. AND their cranky. AND they don’t have postcards. I figured they must have real self-loathing issues if they don’t have postcards. What state doesn’t have postcards?  Even Rhode Island has postcards (I think) and they’re barely visible on the map.

Google maps hates Missouri too. Or me. Either way, it hated something on that trip. And thanks to my phone battery dying so quickly all the time (don’t get a blackberry. They aren’t all that great. Actually, the suck.) and my poor car power supply cigarette lighter thingy never having worked, I couldn’t use my GPS. I mean, I had way too many things I had to tweet about along the way. Priorities. I’ve get them straight. So, no GPS usage. Google maps print off’s were how we decided to go. Ok, how I decided to go. I take full responsibility. So, driving along in St. Louis, in a tsunami, and waiting for some phantom road to take us onto another interstate to take us to another interstate to take us into Tennessee. And the phantom road never came because it was a ghost and only showed up on electronics. That’s how that works, right? Long story short (hahahahahaha! Yeah, right.), we got a little lost. But we found our way to where we were supposed to go (that road really doesn’t exist except in Google Maps’ head) and headed into Kentucky and the tiniest bit of Illinois.

You know what’s in Illinois??? Superman’s HOME!! Yep, we found METROPOLIS!!!!! For reals. Like, really reals. Mark has a friend who is a HUGE Superman fan so we had to stop and take pictures and the like. Not to mention get gas in the car, go to the potty and eat some dinner. And take pictures as Superman. I had one as Supergirl but that was on one of the Blackberry’s that burned up so the picture went with it. That’s another part of the story for a later time.

After all our fun and games in Metropolis, we got back on the road and headed on into Tennessee. It was getting really late and dark and sleepy. Not to mention my uncle is old and goes to bed at 8 pm. No joke. I guess that’s what happens when you get old. I’m well on my way to that now. Ugh. BUT not there just yet. So that’s good.

I saw a possum for the first time on my Uncle’s street. They are ugly suckers, aren’t they?

We got into Baxter, TN around midnight or something and chatted with Uncle Lawrence for a bit. He loved Mark. Who doesn’t though, right? I’m sure all of you do too just by reading these posts and hearing how great he is. And I’m not exaggerating about him either. He really is as fantastic as I’m telling you. Maybe even more. So my uncle decided he’s part of the family, “even though he is a puddle pirate.”

And so we slept again. This is the night that started my 7+ months of sleeping on couches. If you are ever grateful for anything in life, be grateful for your bed. Just trust me on this one.

And so ends the third day on my adventure to Hampton Roads, VA. I know, so exciting, huh? The next time we get together for story time will be the last day of our cross-country drive. And, may I just say, if you’ve never done a cross-country roadtrip, remedy that. Quickly.

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Are you dizzy yet? Pt. 2

Circles are round.

Yep. They sure are. That’s what I feel like I’ve been going in for the past 6 months or so. Circles. Or just one really big circle that keeps me off center. Or maybe there have been a lot of them that have been interconnecting, taking me all over the place just to see how dizzy I get before I puke.

I just need a quick moment to re-orient myself and jump up and down. (Have you ever tried that? It works! The next time you get dizzy, instead of turning yourself in circles going the other direction, stop and jump up and down. You’ll be good as new. Just give it a try. You can thank me later.)

Anyway, back to my rambling from my tangent. I started telling you a story that started about 6 months ago… (in case you need a reminder, just click on the blue words.)

Mark and I got a room. Only because we had to! Goodness, you people and your minds! We got snowed off the freeway, remember? Anyway, we stayed in Dillon for the night. We were sad that we weren’t able to go dancing and see everyone in CO but at least we were, you know, alive and all that. So that’s something.

The next day, we got all cleaned up and ready to go for the next leg of the trip. (Mark listens to funny Scottish rock music in the morning to get pumped and ready for the day. It was silly. I made fun like I do. But it was pretty good music so he gets points for taste.) Kansas City, Here we come! Woo!

So, out to the car we go. The snow had stopped (thank everything good in the heavens) and the freeway was open again. I thought that maybe we could at least get to see Kenny and have brunch with him once we got to Denver but no such luck. The freeway was still a complete ice mess. We were maybe 60 miles outside of Denver and it took us an hour and 45 minutes to get there. I cancelled plans with Kenny (sorry Kenny! We need to get together sometime really soon. Miss your face!) and decided to just keep on going. We had to make up for the lost time of the night before. So, into Kansas we went. And the ice melted. But the rains came a tumblin’ down. Pretty much the whole way through Kansas. All Mark wanted was to see a Tornado. I mean, Kansas, tornado, it seemed like a perfect fit, right? Only, I didn’t have any ruby slippers and I’m pretty sure we would have died if we saw a tornado. At the very least, I would have peed myself and that’s no fun for anyone. Let’s just say that I said a prayer (or a few) that we wouldn’t see a tornado and that we’d actually get to where we were supposed to be staying that night and get to dance a bit with the sweethearts in the KC scene.

So we drove…

and drove…

and drove…

Kansas is flat. It seemed like a really long drive (it was 12 hours to get to the other side of Kansas from the other side of Denver). Especially when you have to go slower than normal because the roads are icy. Which Mark did. Because he’s a good driver. And wanted to still be alive. And for that, I am grateful. But this be said for Kansasians (what do you people call yourselves?), they love them some Jesus.

I’ll get some pictures up as soon as I can. We took some great ones as we were driving along and when we stopped at different rest stops. Ok, actually I took the pictures of Mark as we were stopped at rest stops because I hate having my picture taken and, apparently, I have a phobia of the camera all together. Mark took the best pictures of the signs as we drove along because, evidently, I’m camera stupid. I’ll prove it when I get the pictures up. None are of me.🙂

Anyway, we made it through the flat, raininess that was Kansas but not before I almost ran us off the road. It was dark and rainy and my poor poor Trixie had stupid headlights that pointed at the ground pretty much directly in front of the car so seeing ahead of you more than 5 feet was practically impossible. Add that to the fact that you can’t see the lines anyway because all the light is reflecting off the water on the road and you get almost dead us. But I corrected and we didn’t die, hence why this blog post is be written now. (Because I couldn’t write it if I was dead because I would be dead.) Anyway, we stopped off at a rest stop about an hour or so outside of Kansas City and found a t-shirt that was perfect for Mark (I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t get it for him). It was something about a little tornado chaser. I’m hoping I still have a picture of that somewhere… HERE IT IS! Isn’t he just so cute??

Well, our drive was coming to an end and we made it safely to Kansas City. And we danced with the cutie-patooties there. Much thanks to Amber, our hostess with the mostest. Not only were she and her family playing host to two random strangers from Utah on their way to Virginia, but hosting two other people from I-don’t-even-know-where-exactly that were on their way to Denver for Mile High Blues. Strangers passing in the night. But we all became friends. And Mark almost got himself molested by the girl who was headed to Denver. She thought he was a tasty treat that she wanted to nibble on for a bit. Hehehehehehe! It was pretty funny. I still make fun of him for that. Mostly because she was NOT shy about it at all. I would say she was a bit aggressive. Like a sledgehammer to the head is subtle.

And so the night ended. Mark and I in one guest room (he let me have the bed. Sweetheart.) with the door shut and the other two guests in another down the hall. The only awkward thought going through our heads was, “I hope neither of us has to pee during the night because the bathroom in here doesn’t have a door.”

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New Post! Eventually.

Hi Everyone!

I know, I know. It’s been forever. But I want you to know that I’m working on a new post. For really reals I am. It’s all about how my life has gone over the last 5 months.

As a matter of fact, there’s so much that has happened, I may have to write it in installments. So, yay! More than one post on the way! Woohoo! Because I know how much you all love me (all 5 of you that read this) and want to know all about what’s been going on. And I haven’t been able to tell everyone everything yet so this will be a good way to get the whole story. Plus, I have some ideas for my other blog (the serious one) and on the other other blog (the one that will have awesomeness about my crazy family and my redneck beginnings). There isn’t much (almost nothing) on my other other blog right now, but I’m hoping that will change in the near future. 🙂

Have anything you want me to write about?? PLEASE TELL ME!!!! I love knowing what you want to hear/know about me. Maybe I’ll even spill some deep, dark secrets about myself. Maybe. You can always ask. You never know how much of a sharing mood I’ll be in.

So, until next time (which will be soon. Promise. No, really. I do!), HUGS!!!

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Are you dizzy yet? Pt. 1

I know I sure am.

So. Here’s the deal.

I moved to Virginia 3 months ago with a plan of growing up. Good plan, right? It was genius! And I really felt like this was the right and best thing for me to do. So I packed up my car, said some very watery goodbyes to everyone I love most and made the journey across the country to be a good girl and turn into a good, growed up woman.

But, on June 29th, after 95 days in the state for lovers, I was to make my grand return to the tops of the mountains…….

Or so I thought. Dun-dun-duuuhhhhnnnn

Let me give you some back story really quick. Go ahead and groan but some of this info is kinda important (to me at least). And since this is my blog I get to say whatever I want, however I want. Neener-neener!

Our story starts in a land full of mountains, desert, and a big, salty, stinky lake. There was a girl (that’s me!) who had decided that she was going to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was doing what she could to get ready to go. One day, her daddy called her up and told her that he had a way of helping her get her education (this was her next goal after her mission) paid for but she only had a very limited time to be able to take full advantage of this offer AND she had to move to the opposite side of the country. There was an age limit of 30 and, as it always does, time was sneaking up on her WAY too fast. It was a long, hard decision (especially since she really really really wanted to go on a mission) but she FINALLY decided that she had to jump on the chance to get the most she could out of this free education. Let’s face it, it’s ridiculously expensive to be learned and also 100% imperative to be able to make it in this world. And the moving thing? Well, she was already planning on taking an extended period of time away from Utah anyway, so, this just kinda falls into place with that.

OK. Now leaving the third person narrative behind.

I left Utah on March 23rd and drove for 4 days (approx. 2,415 miles) to Norfolk, Virginia. It was a good trip with only a few traumatic moments along the way. I was planning on driving out by my lonesome but my friend, Mark, (who is one of the greatest people on the earth, ever) flew into Utah from San Diego to make the cross-country drive with me. He’s an absolute angel.

We started our drive on Tuesday with the goal of getting to Denver in time to dance at the Mercury Cafe and to stay at my friend Lee’s house. It was a beautiful plan. Even decided taking I-70 was the way to go because I-80 was closed due to a snow storm and I-70 is quite a bit farther south. Safe. Right?

We get on our merry way (I did have to stop at In-N-Out before we left though. Never thought I’d ever have it ever again. It was a sad moment in time. Good-bye animal style!) and have a beautiful drive though Utah and the beginning parts of Colorado. If you ever get to drive through Colorado, I highly suggest I-70. It’s amazing. Anyway, we’re driving and it gets rainy and cloudy but there’s nothing to worry about. Until just before Vail, CO. It starts snowing. Of course. Because my story wouldn’t be any fun without some sort of crazy hinderance right at the beginning of the trip, right? (Most people tell me it was a sign that I shouldn’t have left Utah in the first place and that I should’ve just turned around and went home. Believe me, I almost did.) Know that all I wanted to do was make it to Denver. Vail is about an hour and 30 minutes away from Denver when you’re going freeway speeds. We were almost there. It was so close. Then they closed the freeway in Vail and made us exit. DOH!!!!

We parked and decided that all we needed to do was wait out the storm. Easy-peasy. No harm, no foul. All would work out in the end (the end being no more than a couple of hours) and we would get back on the road, get to Denver, and dance our little hearts out with some of the most fantastic dancers around and I’d get to see some good friends that I wouldn’t see again for quite some time. It would’ve been bitter sweet. But the snow kept tumbling down.

We decided to grab dinner at a pizza place that wasn’t all that great but fed us for pretty cheap non-the-less and Mark pulled out his laptop and found us an alternate route to take to get us back onto I-70 and back enroute to our plans of fun. We knew staying in Vail wasn’t an option. As we looked around to see if we should just stay the night there, we realized that all of the hotels were going to be charging around $350 a night and, well, I know I didn’t have that much to spend for a hotel and I wasn’t going to make Mark pay that. So we opted for the detour. It was only an extra 50 miles. Totally doable.

Little did we know that the detour was through a canyon in the middle of nowhere Colorado with a blizzard going on the entire way. I am just SOOOOOOOOO grateful to Mark for being amazing like he always is. He drove the whole thing calmly and, somehow, my sweet Trixie made it through the up-down-round-ice-covered-50-mile-detour-that-took-us-2-hours-to-drive-because-we-couldn’t-go-more-than-25-mph-or-we-would’ve-died-but-it-still-got-us-there-because-Mark-is-my-hero detour. We finally made it back onto I-70!! Yay!! I was so happy.🙂

The night is still snowy but we’re on the right road now! Life is good.


The big barriers are down again shooing us off the freeway for the 2nd time. UGH! I just wanted Mark to be able to dance with some great follows. He was looking forward to it. We drove around Dillon and Keystone, CO (I guess that’s where they make the world’s most nasty beer.) and found that it just looped around back to I-70. There was no escape this time. We decided calling it a night was our only option so we started looking for places to stay.


Just or luck.

So we stopped to see if anywhere had some free wifi we could steal borrow to see if there was a place we’d missed. Mark pulled over at the Arapahoe Inn in Keystone and found they had some we could use. We also walked in to see what they had available and their pricing and the like. There wasn’t any one there but they had room keys available. Just sitting there. So inviting and looking at us longingly saying, “Come on, Michelle. You’re tired and cold and had a tough drive just now. Why don’t you just take me and go into one of the rooms and find a nice warm bed and not worry about anything more until tomorrow. Doesn’t that sound nice? No need to worry about the cost. We’ll deal with that in the morning.” I was centimeters from grabbing that key when Mark said we should at least look up how much it would cost us. Smart cookie.

We found out it was going to be more than either of us wanted to spend ($150/night + taxes. Those sneaky, enticing little devils) and decided to call around to see if there was even one space anywhere cheaper. By some miracle of miracles, there was one room left right next to the freeway and we happened to snag it. We were so lucky. Good thing Mark is so resourceful and charming. I was really lucky to have him as my traveling companion for this trip.

God really blessed me with that one.

To be continued…

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2 weeks

That’s right kids. Only 13 days and a wake up until I start my new BIG adventure back East.

I’m really gonna miss Utah. I know, crazy, right?

Y’all gonna miss me?

Virginia, are you ready for me?

Self, are you ready to be a growed up?

Posted in Just to let you know, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments


Yep! It’s that time of year again when Catholics give something up in the name of Jesus. I think it’s kinda genius. So I’m gonna do it. Again. And I’m not even Catholic.😀

I gave up sweets last year for 45 days (it would have been 46 but I didn’t find out Lent was Lent until the day Lent started so I started the next day. But, trust me, I still gave it up for that amount of time.)

It was harder than I thought. I didn’t realize how much I really did crave them until I decided to give them up. Or maybe it was just the fact that I was telling myself that I couldn’t have them. Either way, harder than I thought.

This year I’m doing the sweets thing again. Just because I know I can and it will help me drop 5-10 lbs. This year I’m also adding in working out 6 days a week. Working out Monday – Thursday at 7 am and at 9 am on Friday and Saturday. Monday, Wednesday and Friday will be cardio for 30 minutes  & strength training for 30 minutes. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will be cardio for an hour. Totally doable, right?

What all of this entails giving up is some socializing and staying up late. It also includes being overindulgent on trying to sleep in. It means waking up at 6:45 am during the week and 8:45 on the weekends. And, believe you me, I love me some sleep.

What’s really going to suck and be hard is when I’m doing my cross-country drive when I move from Utah to Virginia. I’ll have to figure that out somehow. Maybe I’ll just do cardio on those days as my weights will be packed away. But hey, I’m keeping with the spirit of it all, right? AND I promise I won’t eat any sweets on my long long long drive. I’ll stick to salty bad for you stuff.🙂

So, the next thing to do is find out if anyone wants to do Lent with me. You can give up whatever you want. But are you in it with me for the 46 days? It’s for a good cause! You’re giving up something bad for God. You kinda can’t get much more worthwhile than that.

You with me? Huh? Are ya? Come on. You know you want to!

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When the Trailer Park Moves to Suburbia

Welcome to my world!

I don’t know how many of you know that I am originally from the South. I hail from the great state of Florida, (Go Gators!) from a little area called Pensacola. Its in the panhandle right underneath Mississippi and Alabama.

When most people think of Florida they think of sunshine, warm beaches, bathing suits, Disney World and pristine oceans.

Not me. (This is where you start reading in a southern accent for the full affect.)

I think of front porch sittin’, flea markets, gas station hang outs, dead cars torn to bits in the front yard, ladies in curlers smokin’ a cigarette and homes you can take with you when you decide it’s time for a change of scenery.

That’s right. I come from the trailer park. Surprised? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

I’ve lived in Utah most of my life but there’s a sayin’ that says “You can take the girl out of the honky-tonk but you can’t take the honky-tonk out of the girl.” Well, this rings true not just for this girl but for my entire family. Now I want you to know that I love my family. I do, Heaven help me. But just because I love them doesn’t mean I can’t make light of the crazy drama they create and decide to share with the world.

Like last night for instance….

Here’s a mini back story to catch y’all up really quick: My little sister has 2 little girls and has no desire to do anything to better her or her children’s lives. She likes to see how much she can get from people before they get sick of it. Apparently, it’s been my mom’s turn to get pushed for the past, pshhhh….month or so. Mama finally got tired of it and told my sister she needs to start being a mom and blah blah blah.

Now you’re caught up. Anyway, my sister decides that “she’s a good mama and doesn’t need this anymore,” then starts getting all riled up and eggin’ my mama on. And my poor mama, not always knowin’ when to walk away, starts gettin’ riled up herself and  returning the terms of endearment that were already being exchanged in her own special, colorful way. It was too cold outside durin’ all this or else I’m sure they would have taken this outside to let the neighbors know how much affection they have for each other at this particular moment.

Well, my sister, by this time, has decided now that the audience in the house is too small and wants a little more testosterone present. She starts telling my mama “why don’t you hit me so I can call the cops and get you arrested.” Then she said something else and mama snapped and punched her in the shoulder. I know. I groaned when I heard that too.

Now Dawn decides to add some salt to the wound and says she’s gonna call the cops and mama will be arrested for domestic violence. Mama, however, preempts Dawn’s threat and calls the cops herself and tells them, “I just got into a fight with my daughter and I hit her in the shoulder. Come and arrest me.” Mama sure showed Dawn! She called ’em first just to say that Dawn didn’t.

The cops show up and try and find out what happened. From mama’s report, “they sure did look like they were having a hard time keepin’ a straight face.” (I’m just really glad she was telling me this over the phone because I was havin’ a little giggle fit myself.) Well, neither of them file any sort of  official report but the cops said that if they got called out again then mama was gonna have to go to jail. Spooked mama somethin’ fierce by them sayin’ that. And my poor step-daddy just doesn’t know what to do in all of this. He finally tells Dawn to leave and she gets all up on her high horse and gets all “Oh no you didn’t!” on him and tells him “she ain’t leaving until she’s good and ready.” So mama decides to leave and not tell anyone where she’s goin’. Always a good idea when she’s not exactly in the most happy of places. *eyeroll

Mama ends up going to her sister’s house in SLC and hides out there for a bit. Next day, she’s still fumin’ hot and decides that my step-daddy and my sister are in cahoots together and that she just won’t take that. She got herself “my other sister” an apartment in SLC to show them that she’s an independent woman who don’t need nobody. She can do it all herself! (Just a bit of an over reaction if you ask me.)

Well, now we come to now. Mama and the step-daddy are talkin’ again but the crazy sister is still at the house and no one knows about the secret “my other sister’s” apartment. (Shhh! Don’t tell her I told you.) I’m sure we’ll get Dawn out of the house one of these days. I’m think. Maybe. The babies are always welcome. She, however, only gets a limited time offer, you know, if she actually ever leaves. I wonder if mama is ever gonna be able to live in her own house again? I guess that’s what I get for thinkin’, huh?

I’m not lying about this. I’m not clever enough to make anything like this up. This is my family.

Aren’t you glad you know me?

Posted in Family, My Roots, Pet Peeves, Ramblings... | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments