Monday, June 29, 2015

Update on What's to be

I'm quite excited today.. not only is it my birthday but I think I figured out what was wrong with the last post. hahaha If you couldn't read it you can try again here.

I also have the rest of my summer planned out and I can't wait to hit the road next week.  It is quite a bit different than what I had originally planned but I will make it everywhere I said I would before 2016. 

I am about to head into work... blah... would rather be riding but the people I work for, my Montana family, bakes a cake for me and we have dinner together after work.  It is always quite nice... and exciting to get my own cake.  My little brother's birthday is 2 days after mine so we shared cakes often especially when we got older. :) 

Only one more week of working with tourists!!!  I am sooooo excited!!!!  Yay!!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

15 year anniversary

15 years seems like a different lifetime but can feel like yesterday.  15 years ago I was being checked into the Renfrew Center of Florida (an Earing Disorder Treatment Center).  I lived in Nashville TN at the time and my parents and little brother came from Nebraska picked me up and we drove down to Coconut Creek Florida.  We spent the weekend at the beach and on Monday they left and I stayed for the next 32 days.

A misconception with inpatient treatment is that after a month or two... For the more wealthy could be 6+ months... one should be cured... No more problems should exist.  The problem with that misconception is it makes recovery that much harder for the person... Coming back into life trying to be what they have learned in a world that can only see them as someone they are not.

I did not come out of a 32 day stay cured... I probably came out worse off than when I went in.  Even though it was hard it was the breeding ground to the life I live today.

32 days with a group of women can be the most nurturing and secure place... Probably one of the most home like places I have ever been.  I met women who were patients who were friends for a few years.  I met women who worked there who are friends and empowerment for a lifetime.

While inpatient I lost everyone I knew on the outside.  I didn't hear from friends and people in my life who were supportive of the idea of me being inpatient. Not one post card, letter, or phone call.  I did however receive a post card from a family I knew from church... I sang with them in choir a handful of times but didn't know them all that well... But yet, they took the time to write.  It meant the world to me.

During family therapy my parents disowned me and left me without a way home.  They told me if I wasn't going to listen to them... Pretty much do what they wanted me to do... They wouldn't be in my life.  Being an adult at 22 with the ability to make my own decisions I did just that.  I hadn't worked in 32 days so I had no money and my roommate, inpatient, bought my plane ticket back to Nashville.

This would be the start of a spiral that could of completely taken me out.  I came back to Nashville to next to nothing.  I called everyone I knew to pick me up from the airport and no one wanted to come.  Finally, a family I knew from church picked me up and stayed with me for a couple of hours... Was sure I had some food and was settled in.

The weeks after I realized one by one I had no one.  People who I was close to disappeared... Told me we couldn't be friends.  Families who I worked with their children for years would avoid me or hide their children from me like I was a monster.  After a couple months I got a call from the associate pastor at church and was told I didn't belong there anymore.  I guess I was such a horrible person God didn't want me.

I was in the ER every month or two for fluids because of all the things I was doing to myself. A lot of days I couldn't make it to work.  Life was all about my Eating Disorder.  Exercising, purging, how not to eat, self injury.  Nothing else mattered... Well, I had nothing else.

A year of this took it's toll.  It got to the point I would have chest pains walking to the mail box.  I didn't recognize myself in the mirror.  I would spend days in a dark room.  I would crawl from the bathroom to my bed.

14 years ago on my birthday... 2 days from now... I saw myself in the mirror.  I was two big black circles for eyes and a bag of bones.  I realized if I didn't change I was going to die.  The spark was ignited.  My roommate inpatient told me about a group she went to in Miami Florida at the Outpatient Renfrew Center there.  I decided I was moving to Miami.  I found a job after a few months of looking and moved to Florida.  Of course, against my parents, who decided to come back into my life... At an arms distance where I keep them.

I went to the group which lead to a therapist I spent almost 9 years with and a nutritionist I spent close to the same amount of time with.  Somehow this also lead to me singing songs about my recovery in Eating Disorder Awareness events to conferences for professionals.

It didn't take 32 days for recovery... It took years of therapy twice a week, nutrition once a week and a group once a week.  Not to mention the thousands of dollars a year that I didn't have.  It took years for me to have the courage to do what I wanted with my life.  It took years to be happy, to eat when I was hungry and to not care what others thought about my body.  It took years to begin to love myself and years to be able to trust and bring people into my life again.  

When you have been completely alone and now live a life where I seem to matter... Where people want to be a part of my adventure... It truly means the world to me.  When people use to tell me I was never alone I would roll my eyes... Today, I am truly never alone.

I like to share my story in some way every year on this anniversary so I don't forget how I became who I am and most important the people who encouraged me to do so.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Shopping in Bozeman

The nearest town that has almost everything would be Bozeman... Almost 70 miles from Virginia City.  I rarely go and haven't been since I have been here in Montana.  Yoska and I finally took a road trip up there and did a little shopping.

Of course Petco and PetSmart were in the list.  Yoska loves to ride in the cart.... And he looks so cute!

Finally got him some bling and a coat.

We also went to World Market where I got some beer and a little bit of food.  I like their Asian foods that heat up quickly.  There are a couple of different types but this is what I had for dinner when we got home.

High in sodium of course but it has good flavor.  I can't remember the name of the other entrees off the top of my head so I will share later.  What is great are I can keep these in TicTac.  They don't need to be refrigerated and you can either microwave or put the package in boiling water for a few minutes.  Something with a bit more flavor that spam and mashed potatoes. 

I also got some beer.  Lucky Buddha is a China beer... Not too bad taste wise but I love the bottles... I got a 6 pack and I think I will reuse with some solar lights in them to out around TicTac when camping.

Yoska and I had a great ride home and stopped a few times to take in the view and get some pictures.

Yoska is turning out to be a great rider.  He does bark on occasion... Usually at deer, cows, horses on the side of the road... Great at looking out for us even though the random bark usually startles me.  We stop and wander a little so that he can stretch his legs so we will see a lot more on the road than I have before.  Quite excited to see how he does when we leave here.

We finished the day with the most pink sunset... Truly amazing.  It turned everything pink.

No filter on that photo... It was truly pink and even more pink than the picture shows.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Why I prefer to be a hermit

I have worked retail and hospitality for many years... I don't mind it when the customers are nice and sometimes even fun to see.  I do mind when customers feel like they can leave their manners and common sense at home.

Sunday was one of those days and I think one of the last days I will have working with tourists.  One is not paid enough to deal with rude people or to be treated badly because someone feels they can because they have no humanity.  Maybe too drunk to know they are being completely inappropriate.  I have never understood why people want to be drunk in public... What are they trying to prove?  I rarely have more than one beer out and about... I'm one who prefers to be home where I don't have to drive anywhere if I plan on having more than one drink.

Anywhos... We had a large group of people who had been drinking quite a lot.  Drunk #1 was so drunk I thought he was going to throw up everywhere... He couldn't keep his head up for the picture and was inappropriately touching one of his female friends who was also quite intoxicated.  She (drunk #2) couldn't even take off her own clothes and could barely walk to be seated for the photo.  You had to repeat everything 3 or 4 times.  Half way thru taking photos I took out drunk #1, got him out of costume and had his friend take him outside... Then drunk #2 fell and almost broke our table and took down my camera man.  I was so done.  We took their last photo and got them back to their normal clothes when drunk #1 came back in the shop with a drink in an open glass.  I asked him to take the drink outside since he could barely hold it without splashing it.  He went crazy and started yelling at me.  I very firmly told him to leave and he wasn't welcome back in the shop.  I told his friends to get him out as he was yelling at me from the boardwalk.

After that group finally left and the next family had watched this whole thing transpire the father of the new group felt he needed to make a jackass comment after everything I said... Like he was trying to fulfill a quota.  I just ignored and walked away while his wife was quite embarrassed.

Then the next group was a set of grandparents, their daughter and their granddaughter.  The daughter chose to be a saloon girl while her dad called her chunky and pointed to where he thought she had fat... This was not a fat woman by any means.

People truly disgust me sometimes.  When we have a day of jerks it is a stream of them that feels never ending.  I decided I don't want to work like this and am definitely hitting the road July 6th.  I was in debate wondering if I wanted to work the whole summer but I don't want to.  My anxiety level shoots up so bad I can't sleep, my blood pressure is high and I don't feel comfortable... So moving on.

This day reminded me when I worked at a store on Lincoln Road in South Beach.  It was a store of expensive junk.  A little bit of everything... Like a thrift store but new and expensive stuff.  I was in my early 20s and was hired as the cashier.  They had sales people that pressured everyone who walked thru the door because they worked on commission.  One afternoon the boss and other manager were out of town so we were kind of keeping things together ourselves.  I was sitting by the register off in space thinking about other things when one of the sales people came to me in a panic telling me a guy had a knife.  She thought we were going to be robbed.  I turned around to see this man who looked homeless with one of our knives that were worth a few thousand dollars.  It was gold and had jewels on it.  He was waving it around and all the sales people were in panic.  I asked how he got the knife and a sales person gave it to him thinking he was going to buy it... Again a man who looked homeless.

Quite irritated by the stupidity of the sales people and the man looked the other way... I grabbed the knife from him... Called him a few choice names... Grabbed his arm and dragged him out of the store.  The next day when I came to work I was promoted to assistant manager.  Hahaha... With the pay I should of stayed the cashier... Would of made more money.

I unfortunately have many stories like this .... I had a 40 pound bag of dog food thrown at me because a woman thought she got a free bag even though she had no coupon.  I had a family who was upset they didn't get flowers that were different from what they had at home when working for Mohonk Mountain House... They had to call the management to complain....Mohonk grows their own flowers there so I had only so much to choose from.  When I used the same flowers and just added some weeds they thought it was the most beautiful arrangement.  

I have been sexually harassed by fellow employees when working retail and hospitality.  In high school when I worked at Walmart I was put in a headlock by a fellow male employee. I was kissed by some random employee when working at the Opryland Hotel.  The men I worked with at Pet Supermarket in Miami were putting away dog food while I ran the register and when I went down the isle next to them to help a customer I overheard them discussing if they would have sex with me... I was the only woman employee at that shop.  Along with many other stories.

Almost every job in retail and hospitality I have dealt with horrible customers and sexual harassment.  At the photo shop we deal with jerks but I don't have to worry about being treated badly by the people I work with... Well... My bosses... The other workamper they had last year had to tell me what a horrible person I was and was quite rude.  But, I am normally the only employee.

The people I work for here in Montana have become family.  We celebrate my birthday every summer, I have meals with them and know a lot of their extended family.  They treat me good but I'm just not up to dealing with people.  I think my time in customer service has come to an end.  A little under 2 weeks and I'll be back home on the road.

My goal is to go a little further into the life on the road... Finding 1 day to 1 week gigs along my journey.  Helping people with yard work, computer work or whatever I can find.  My plan is to head east to South Dakota, head down to Nebraska to see my nephews and friends, then to Kansas City area and gradually make my way to Kentucky to visit my parents and friends.  No hurry and will probably take many detours along the way.  Going to let life lead... Let whatever will be be.... Truly live life on the road.

To end on a smile...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Friends, article and long ride for Yoska

Last week was pretty exciting.  MOTORESS (worldwide Women Motorcycle Enthusiast Magazine) did an article about my travels.  Whoop!  Always excited to have my journey shared with others... Makes the world a little smaller.

Saturday Yoska and I got up bright and early to ride almost 90 miles to West Yellowstone.  We met up with my friend Becky, who came over to Virginia City a few weeks ago.  We wandered around town a few times.  I was waiting for my friend Kathy to get across Yellowstone from the east gate.  Kathy I met in Kentucky this last fall and has been my bestest friend ever since.  She has been on a motorcycle road trip for a week and I was very excited to see her!

I was super bad about pictures but here is one. 

I tried to get Yoska to take a picture with the bear statues while Becky took the picture... A bit unsuccessful but funny.

We finally just gave up. Hahaha

Kathy and her friend showed up while Becky and I were having lunch at the bus with Mexican food.  Quite yummy.

I was very happy to see her!!

Then Yoska and I had to get back to Virginia City for work.  Becky went on her way to work and Kathy, her friend and I rode to the Idaho boarder then we said our goodbyes and I headed back to work.  It was a beautiful morning for a ride.  Yoska was quite pooped.  180 miles, wandering around for 4 hours and the had 4 hours of work.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Afternoon in Ennis

Last week Yoska and I went over the hill to Ennis for the afternoon.  We wandered around, had lunch and took a few pictures.

Yoska is such a good picture taker. He is ready to hit the road in his own rig. 

Ennis has a nice little park on the way towards Yellowstone at the edge of town.  A great walking path by the river and a kids fishing pond.

We wandered over to the Ranger Station to get some maps and such to find free camping in the area.

Downtown Ennis

In the evening we went back to Virginia City to see the play Box and Cox by the Virginia City Players.

Yoska did a great job!

The evening ended with a beautiful sunset.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Short ride with Yoska

Went out on a short ride to get Yoska more use to riding.  We were heading towards Ennis but the wind was quite strong and Ennis is the windy town... The say worse than Chicago.  So we stopped at the lookout for a bit.

Then we headed the other way and ended up in Twin Bridges.  We had a nice lunch outside and wandered thru town.

Yoska did really well but got a little impatient... Like me... At the waiting for the pilot car to get thru Sheridan.  I don't think that street will ever be done.

Was a great day over all and we made it home right before the rain and we were both pooped.  My kind of day. :)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Irish Days

Saturday was Irish day in Virginia City.  We had a parade and a day full of events... I, of course, was working but got to see the parade.

The season is beginning to come full swing.  Had some great people this weekend stop in the shop.  A 95 year old man who instead of saying cheese would say bullshit with a big smile on his face.  He was great!

I told some adults they were not behaving and owed me a beer and they actually brought one back for me.

Had a kid ask me where we get all of our clothes and I told him the cemetery... that one stopped the whole family. :)

I thought I was beginning to teach Yoska to sit.. he did it twice.  I would rub his belly as a treat... ooops... now when I say sit he rolls over and plays dead.  Need to work on that one... but now he sometimes plays dead on command.

Another week is upon us and I'm quite excited.  A friend of mine should be coming by the end of the week and I can't wait to see her!!  She is riding her motorcycle with a friend from Kentucky.

Hoping the weather is good in the early week so I can take Yoska on a day ride somewhere... maybe just over the hill one day and then a longer ride another.  We will see.

Still haven't decided what I am doing at the end of the month... I figure I will know when it is time to know.  So, no stress, no worries just going to enjoy myself.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Blue is fixed, Yoska is a biker and where to go next

So excited to have Blue back up and running.  I found a guy in town who works on bikes and he got the new rear rotor and rear wheel bearing on.  Now I just need to do the oil change.  He said the brake pads have a bit left so no need to rush on that but will probably change them out before I leave Montana.

When he took off the rear wheel bearing it fell off in a bout 7 pieces with missing ball bearing... ooops... keeping my guardian angels on their toes, I guess.

As soon as I got Blue back I strapped the crate on and took Yoska for a ride into town.  We have made the mile ride into town a few times now and will probably go over the hill to Ennis in the next few days.  He seems to enjoy himself.  The crate is a little small but helps keep him calm so it will do for now.

Yoska has been going with me everywhere... everyone in town has met him and adore him.  He has even come to work with me a few times.  He is still a bit barky when I leave him in the crate in the back of the shop while having customers but he is doing better.

Waiting for customers
Yoska is also really great in TicTac.  I can have the door open and he sits right by me and looks out.  There is a lot of birds, bunnies and gophers to look at and want to chase.

This week I have been trying to figure out where we are going next.  I will either stay the summer here in Montana, go to South Dakota in July until Labor Day for another job or go to Kansas City for a few weeks.  I guess we will see.  I have pretty much given up planning this year... everything I have planned hasn't happened and I really hate disappointing people... so we will see.

My favorite picture of Yoska so far... chilling in TicTac.
Yoska and I are enjoying our time... going to the library and hanging out around the area.  Nothing too exciting but quite nice for now.

 Last night's sunset. 6/11/15

Monday, June 8, 2015

Fabulous week in Montana

I had a really great week here in Montana.  Yoska is doing great and we have been together for 10 days.  He loves our TicTac home and I can't wait to get Blue all ready for a ride with Yoska.  Got all the parts today so I just need to find someone to put them on for me.  Woohoo!!!

Yoska keeping an eye on things
Yoska and I went to the library a few times.  He had a great time.  They are very welcoming of 4 legged family members.  Even have a bowl of toys to play with.

We had many great walks since Blue is out of commission for the moment.

Yoska even came to work with me one day.  Still need a bit of work in that area.  He barks a lot every time a big dog comes by and I can't get him to stop... something to work on but he is doing great for being in a new surrounding.  It will all take some time.

I also had 2 friends come and visit this last week.  A very good friend of mine stopped by on her way to her workamping job in South Dakota.  She has 2 doggies and Yoska loved being around them and it is always great to have a friend visit especially when you are staying in the middle of nowhere.  We had a great walk... even walking thru the rain on the way home.  We had dinner and it was great to have someone to talk to about everything.  Made my week!

Then I had a new friend come and visit for an evening.  She is working in Yellowstone and came up for the day.  She took me to get groceries and we had dinner.  She hung out for a bit with Yoska and I before heading back home.  

What a great week!  I can never stress that I am never alone.  I now have Yoska but I have many friends who will stop by when they are in the area and I feel very blessed to have wonderful people in my life.  Excited for another week and hoping Blue is up and running in a few days.