Thursday, June 29, 2006

Blogging Chicks and Scary Things

I put this little counter thing on the bottom of my blog page - well, I had someone else do it b/c it involved complicated and weird computer language - anyway, a few people are actually reading "Litterbox".

Welcome to new readers - most of whom are probably fellow Blogging Chicks. I have joined the Blogging Chicks blogroll (you can see it on the right side - scroll down a bit and there is a looonnnnggg list of blogsites to explore). One of these days I'll have an "official" graphic and intro, but alack and alas, it requires html coding. I just write. Programming and coding are more foreign to me than the Indonesian language.

What are you afraid of? I'm terrified of thunder, lightning, and anything with more than four legs. Even more debilitating is my fear of failure. I'm trying to confront myself on my fear of failure because I use it as an excuse to NOT do what God wants me to do - finish my novel and write articles. I call myself a writer. I love to write, heck, I'm blogging aren't I? But my fear comes in when I know my work must be evaluated by an editor type person for worthiness.

Part of the problem is that I don't know any editors personally. Can't say I've ever met one. Right now when I hear the word "editor", my imagination paints a picture of a tall, menacing, drooling, hairy-faced beast with canines to rival those of a pre-historic hairy elephant thingy. The eyeballs are extra large for reading thousands of pages of 12 pt font, and their fingers are strong enough to rend in half the thickest of unworthy manuscripts. Editors at some of the largest pub houses probably think virgin pine forests in the Northwest are a form of pretzel farm...

No offense to anyone reading who is an editor. Please correct my bizzarre assumptions!

I've querried a few publications for articles and have recieved the mass-printed rejection letter. I know, I know, the best of the best get HUNDREDS of rejections - even AFTER they are well-known. It's a rough world. Not a place for a person with rejection issues. So why has God gifted me with writing (and singing) - talents that are put out there for evaluation and targets for certain criticism and rejection?

I say all this b/c I've been sitting on my novel ms for about a year and a half. My fear prevents me from working on it for months at a time. I want it to be "just right" immediately. I'm my own worse critic. Additionally, I have heaps of article ideas, but am terrified to write the querry letter. Would you believe that one letter I wrote, I revised about 10 times and was still not happy with it when I sent it in? (It was turned down).

So my dilema: God gifted me to write. I loathe rejection and go way out of my way to avoid it. I'd rather break my nose... God called me to write. How do I ultimately overcome my fear enough to obey Him?

Here is the perfect oportunity for you to comment. I'm kinda stuck in the litter box of life right now and it stinks!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Ahhh, Colorado!

John and I are determined to get OUT of the city at least once a week to not only stretch our legs, but to experience the General Revelation of our God.

Life has not been easy for us for a LONG time and it's too easy to dismiss the very existance of God in our lives.

For me, personally, getting into the mountains surrounds me with beauty that only a Creator could design. One look at the complicated shape of a Colorado columbine flower shatteres the belief in random evolution.

So, on Saturday we hopped onto highway 285 and headed south, through Baily, to Kenosha Pass. Kenosha pass has an access point to the Colorado trail which runs from Waterton Canyon in the Littleton/Roxborough area all the way down to Durango. It's a trail that showcases the best scenery in the Colorado Rockies.

The segment we hiked was fairly mild as far as extertion, but it was intense in beauty.
We stepped onto the trail in a thick grove of aspen trees shading a carpet of purple columbine flowers. The columbine is the state flower. About 3/4 of a mile into the woods, we entered coniferous forest with branches woven so thick, the sun struggled to cast it's glow on the soft needled floor.

That's not all. 45 minutes later, we emerged from the pines onto a ridge with a panoramic view of South Park Valley and some glacier - graced mountains. I've lived in Colorado for over 11 years now, and I could not pick my jaw off the ground. John and I stared and stared. We could not take our eyes off the incredible view before us. I tried to capture the moment on the camera, but the lense limited the panorama and doesn't do it justice.

Continuing onward, we passed through the "pencil forest" - Aspens growing together so closely that the trail was the only way through (see the picture above). There were some groves of aspen we dubbed "trees with knees" b/c most of them had the strangest "knee" bend in the middle of the trunk. Did you know that aspen trees can clone themselves from the genetic material in their root systems? This "trees with knees" section gave more evidence to the case of intelligent design.

We hiked for nearly three hours and as we descended into the dusty parking lot along 285, trail-worn young man in dreadlocks and heavy Kelty pack approached us, asking if we were headed to Denver. My eyes grew wide in fear as John waved him over to the Vue and he began to take off his pack. What was my hubby doing??? We had a baby and a dog with us. This guy could be a serial killer on the loose!
As we dashed across the highway, avoiding cars and truck screaming along at 70mph, I yelled, "You aren't wanted for murder or any other crime against humanity are you?"
The young man shook his head.
I felt a check in my heart. God is soverign. I just worshiped in His cathedral for three hours. Besides, this guy looked like Jesus, or so I thought. "What you do for the least of these, you do for Me." I'm a backpacker. This guy was a through-hiker. Hiked all the way from Kenosha to Breckinridge and back. Backpackers are nice people.
We had a great time talking in the car. Thru-hiker's name was Daniel. He's a student at Metro State, studying music comp. He was so appreiciative of our kindness. He said he understood how scary it is to give a hitch-hiker a ride. John simply replied, planting a seed. "I prayed about it when you asked me, and God gave me peace that it was okay."

I don't plan on picking up hitch-hikers any time soon, but this experience made me aware of how quickly I jump to conclusions about strangers. Poor, bedraggled looking people. I have come to the point where I assume they are all criminals. Sure, in this world, caution can't be ignored, but John's example of praying for widom and getting a split-second response... well, that was a pretty convicting sermon preached "on the mount" of Kenosha pass.

Monday, June 19, 2006

A whole new world...

John celebrated his first father's day this weekend. We decided to do some hiking with the Wee One (it costs next to nothing - well gas, and you can't beat the views!)

On Saturday we drove about 40 minutes west on I-70 to Herman Gultch Trailhead which starts are around 10,000 ft. The gultch trail which we have done many times and is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful, takes you up to a glacial tundra with glacial ponds and brilliant wildflowers close to 13,000 ft in elevation. A whole day is needed for that hike.

We decided to take the road less traveled and hiked the Waterford (?) trail which climbed and climbed up over a foothill, away from the interstate leading us into one of the most verdant valleys I've ever seen! We hiked to the top of the valley (not enough daylight to climb the mountain at the end) and made our way back. The valley is a broad valley surrounded by glacier - trickled peaks. A powerful stream shoots through the valley, the bubbling water echoing off the rocky mountain sides. Yellow butter-cup like flowers along with brilliant red Indian paint brush and vivid blue Forget-me nots peppered the lush green alpine ground covers. I didn't want to leave.


We forgot the camera! Grrrr.

On the way back down I-70 we were hungry and decided to stop at McDonalds. I'm on this gluten-free diet now. I was told that most restruants should, by request, provide consumers with a list of foods and allergens contained (now required by law since 1/06). I fugured for sure that someone there could guide me in the right direction.

At the counter, the associate asked if she could help me. I told her I needed a list of gluten-free options. She looked at me with squinched eyes. Her mouth quivered, and she yelled, "WHAT???!" Part of the problem is that she spoke VERY broken English. So I changed my strategy. She probably had never heard the word "gluten" before.

"Do you have a list of foods and the allergens? You know, things that people are allergic to?"

"Huh? We have dees," she said pointing to the menu.

"No, I need to know if you have a list of ingrediants people are allergic to - things that make them sick."

"Ve haf sveet and sour, barbeeQ, and honey mutard."

I asked for a manager. He waved me off saying he never heard of such a thing. I ordered a salad thinking I'd be safe. I doused my salad with some dressing THEN read the ingrediant list. Soy. Wheat germ. UGH! Note to self: read labels BEFORE ingesting. I bombed.

I was only on the diet for two days at that point, and would you believe I started to feel sick and bloated within MINUTES of eating the stuff? That night I suffered with a bad case of fire hydrant bun. No fun!

By the way, I checked McD's website - they DO have a list of foods. The safest thing to eat would have been...

are you ready for this?

The FRIES!!!!!

Go figure.

Hope you like the pictures. The upload worked today. Some of Kyle and John on Father's day at Three Sisters Adlefer in Evergreen. Had to put one up of my backyard since for once, it's actually pretty!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Glutton for convienience

(I tried to post a Kyle pic, but it never showed up... grrr)

(I also wrote this once, tried to post a pic, but when I tired to find the pic, I lost the post! Double GrrrrRRR!)

Yesterday a really big bomb was dropped on my already smelly litterbox world: I have to jump in to a completely gluten free diet FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

This means that finding foods I CAN eat will be hard work. I can't have anything with wheat, barley, oats or rye OR anything that has come in contact with the afforementioned grains.

No more eating out pizza. My absolute favorite food. McDonald's french fries are out too b/c of the coating they put on them. I have to shop Vitamin Cottage, Whole Foods - specialty grocery stores that cost more money. It even looks like I will be foreced to cook more. I LOATHE cooking. It requires following an outline of directions and measuring. Worse, it requires waiting! When I want food, I want it now. I like frozen things that take minutes in the microwave. I like fast food. Restraunt food. Pre-packaged processed food. (No wonder I struggel with weight). No more. Gotta ask for the gluten free menus in restraunts. Gotta maybe even tell people who've invited me for dinner what I can and can't have. I'm going to be a royal pain in the butt for not only myself, but anyone who desires to feed me!

So yesterday I discovered gluten sensitivity may be the root cause for multiple chronic ailments that are progressively getting worse and interfereing with my ability to care for Kyle and do ANYTHING. I should be jumping for joy! But I'm not. I'm shocked. I wanted a simple fix. I'm a glutton for convienience. An American epidemic. My world has been rocked, and inwardly I'm wanting to go on a pizza eating frenzy! My whole diet revolved around wheat, barley, oats and rye. Pizza with RICE crust? You're kidding me right? I doubt MC's in Denver, or Victory Pig in Wyoming, PA have gluten free crust.

Sigh. I've made it through two meals. They weren't all that bad. I'm just gonna miss my pizza, fries, and most of all... convienience.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Computers are NOT my friend

Computers in my opinion, are oftentimes the substance found in litter boxes that make them so unpleasant. In case you've been wondering where in the world I've been, I can blame it all on this stupid computer! Every time I try to write a post, or I write some really cool profound thoughts that would make New York Times columnists jealous (okay, so I'm exaggerating a little bit), the comptuer freezes up and spits my poetic prose out into la-la-cyber land.

Don't even get me started on the agony of uploading images...

I would use my laptop-


the power chord is burried under a heap of camping equipment in the middle of our living room. We had to move it out of Kyle's closet, and so many turdy things have happened to us recently to distract us from getting the storage units built in the garage.

After spending days re-hanging all of the racks in the closet - they fell down again a few minutes ago! GRRR!

That's where I've been. Hopefully for my sanity and yours - if there are any of you left after all this time - I can get things up and running soon.

I miss you all. I miss blogging.