Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Art of Giving Thanks

On this day, that the calendar says is Thanksgiving, being alone and with family being 750+ miles away, I have time to ponder things. (This is ALWAYS SCARY)!

What I am pondering today is the Art of Giving Thanks. So many people just take this day (which is sadly a day celebrating the beginning of genocide for Native American peoples - but that's a whole other can of worms), just to celebrate being thankful. Just this one day - TODAY.

But there is so much to be thankful for every day. I have never understood why just this one day we celebrate being thankful. (Yes I was one of those kids that never passed the Terrible Two's  WHY? WHY? WHY?)

Why are we not thankful every single day of the year?

In 2010, after a huge upheaval in my life, I started doing daily gratefuls on my Facebook page. Posting each day what I was grateful (thankful) for. Some days, when the darkness closed in, it was very hard to come up with something. Then there were the days that I had 20 things and had to choose just a few. I still do this today, and it has changed my perspective on being thankful.

I find that being thankful is an art form. So many people do not really know HOW to be thankful for what they have. In my current situation, I am between jobs, what am I thankful for?

My mom, step-dad, my mom's friends, my friends, my landlord, my kitty Gabby, having a cabin to live in (shelter from the cold), my old truck (though the snow kicks her butt she still drives at 15 and gets me where I need to go) and so much more.

Yes, being between jobs is scary, but there is so much to be thankful for that it helps keep fear from overpowering me. I truly wish others could see this too.

So often I read on Facebook all the bad things going on in people's lives. How they don't have this or that or this happened and their life is incomplete or they are mad at this and that. It makes me sad. No, I am not saying to be jolly all the time and forget the bad things, but don't dwell on them. In my current situation, if I did that, I would be curled in a ball on the floor and catatonic.

What I am asking is that people practice the art of being thankful. So this bad thing happened, is it the end of the world - No. Does it suck for right now - Yes. Do you have something to be grateful for that can help you over that suck - Yes - you woke up today. You have another chance.

My great-grandmother and my mom taught me about being thankful for everything. Gifts (even if it's something you don't want) - send a thank you card. People's time - gift them a gift or a thank you card. Family (even if they piss you off) - be grateful for them as they were your first teachers. Friends and enemies - again, they have come and gone and some have stayed the test of time - be grateful even if you can only send them a message on Facebook and say Hi.

I have been applying for several positions and had several interviews. I have sent or given Thank You cards to everyone that has taken the time to interview me.  Some people look like I gave them a snake and others have never heard of such a thing. For me, I am thankful for their time and consideration, even if they didn't or don't hire me. They will remember me.

You might try it. A personal note of thanks, there is something about a handwritten note, could make someone else's day. While we all center on our own lives, we forget others are suffering silently too.

The holiday seasons tend to make people more emotional and it's easier to be thankful, I think. But imagine a world where we were thankful all year round and not just one day.

Perhaps if we were more thankful for what we have and not for what we think we need to have, Black Friday wouldn't exist. And perhaps we would be closer to peace. I might be a dreamer (I have been told that several times), but being thankful takes so much less energy than being unhappy. Try it everyday, not just on Thanksgiving.

For those of you that have read this whole blog. Thank you. I hope your life is filled with so much to be thankful for every day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November Painting

November has been a busy month for some of my art!

I have been hit by the art bug again and have completed a few models and have several in primer and in the middle of painting.

Here are a few of the completed projects - fantasy and realistic models.

Collecta 1:16 scale Hannoverian Horse done in bay with pastels, earth pigments and acrylics. 
Commission Piece

Breyer Stablemate 1:32 scale Mule done in bay Appaloosa with pastels, earth pigments and acrylics.
For Sale $45 PPD USA/Canada

Breyer Stablemate 1:32 scale Quarter Horse in blue roan done with acrylics
Personal Piece

Breyer Stablemate 1:32 scale Quarter Horse mold painted as a Fantasy Appaloosa for something fun and funky - just because - pink bay Appaloosa done in acrylics.
Personal Piece.

There are several more in the works and if I complete them this month I will update this - if not - there is always December!

Happy Painting. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Estes Park 2015 Tree Lighting

So I braved the cold and wind and headed to downtown Estes Park for the 5th annual Tree Lighting.

There were a lot of other people out and about this evening bundled up and enjoying the free hot chocolate and cookies, s'mores and of course Santa Claus!

There were other celebrities too - Mr. and Mrs. Frosty the Snowman

And Blue Santa - here in Estes Park - Blue Santa helps the Estes Park Auxiliary Police Department deliver food and gifts to the elderly and infirm during the Christmas season, while Red Santa of course takes care of the children. 

There were Christmas Carols sung by Mountain Echoes (a local youth choir) and The Mountain View Church Choir and an honoring by the Estes Park Non Profit Resource Center of the Philanthropists of the Year for Estes Park - Youth, Business, Katie Speer Individual Award and Enduring Service Award. 

Then there was the Tree Lighting. 

This is what truly makes Estes Park look like a picture postcard  - there is supposed to be snow this week - that will just add to it. 

Welcome to the beginning of the Holiday Season in Estes Park. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Estes Park Travel Blog – Thanksgiving Weekend

It’s that time of year! Your family has been planning this for a long time and Thanksgiving weekend is upon us. This is your first time to Estes Park. You saw a friend’s blog on their great summer vacation and the family decided that spending Thanksgiving weekend in the mountain town was a great idea. But what do you do to make it great for your family and when you post your blog, make all of your friends go, “Ooo, Ahh?”

Here’s a little taste of a Thanksgiving weekend in Estes Park sure to fill the family with a ton of great memories and make all of your friends jealous (you know that’s what you really want!)

Thanksgiving Day in Estes Park, Colorado. What a way to wake up with elk and deer in the yard outside of the cabin; a virtual wildlife parade while you sit and enjoy your coffee. It’s just amazing that these creatures seem to have no fear of humans.  You are responsible and don’t try to pet them; they are wild animals after all; who have just adapted to human habitation. The camera is loaded with some great photographs!

Photo Courtesy of Melissa Addison

The family is ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. There are many choices to eat Thanksgiving dinner in town. You decide on the Mountain View Bible Fellowship Church Community Thanksgiving Dinner where you can sit with locals and other visitors, talk and be served by the Mayor of Estes Park and other community members, and buy homemade treats of all kinds. You walk away completely stuffed. But what else is there to do?

Reel Mountain Theater is open seven days a week, 365 days a year. A movie is the perfect ending to your Thanksgiving day and they are playing the one you wanted to see!

The day after Thanksgiving (that day some retailers call Black Friday, but here in Estes we call just another beautiful day in paradise), you decide to go into town and shop. There is something for everyone in Estes Park and you are a little afraid your wallet might not handle the strain of hiking stores, bookstores, gifts and trinkets, and great food.

But it’s not over with a day of shopping., You have staked your place along Elkhorn Ave. With your hot chocolate and blankets, the family is set to watch the Estes Park Catch The Glow Christmas Parade. It’s chilly and as the sun sets flakes begin to fall but the parade goes on. With the street lit buy hundreds of lights on the trees, there is a plethora of floats celebrating Estes Park, Christmas and Rocky Mountain National Park and the favorite float of all – SANTA!

Photo Courtesy of John Cordsen

Saturday you brave the clear but chilly weather to take the horse crazy family member on an hour ride at one of the stables open all year round. It’s cold, but you see some beautiful views, that you follow up by a nice breakfast in town to warm you up, some shopping at a local holiday market and a ghost tour at the Stanley Hotel. A ghost tour –this isn’t Halloween – it’s Thanksgiving and the beginning of the Christmas Holiday. Well if you remember, there are three Christmas ghosts – perhaps they are at the Stanley!

After your tour (where you are pretty certain you saw at least ONE of the Stanley’s many ghosts), you join local celebrity Cowboy Brad for his annual Christmas Concert. The hall is packed and you are glad you bought the tickets online before the event, because it’s sold out. With his band, Cowboy Brad gets everyone in the Christmas spirit and the children are asking to come back to Estes Park on Christmas!

                                                                             Photo Courtesy Country Roads LLC

One more day, and that is spent in none other than Rocky Mountain National Park.  While Trail Ridge Road is closed for the season over to Grand Lake, it is open to Many Parks Curves and the sites are beautiful. Words can’t describe it, but you know every picture is worth a thousand words and you have plenty of pictures.

Photo Courtesy of Melissa Addison

On the way home, the children are still asking about an Estes Park Christmas and you are trying to figure out how to break your blog down; otherwise it will be a one-hundred-page essay! Thanks for coming – Estes Park hopes to leave you with such great problems again!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Affairs of the Heart

No I am not going to talk about relationships – I am the last person that needs to be doing that.
What I am talking about is the actual heart.

On November 12, 2015 I was admitted to Estes Park Medical ER with every one of these symptoms:

1) Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.

Mine woke me from a sound sleep.

2) Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Mine was neck, back and stomach

3) Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

Mine was without chest discomfort.

4) Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Mine was cold sweat and stomach though not completely nauseous.

I also had a horribly high blood pressure (and I had taken my blood pressure medicine 2 hours prior) and a pulse rate that was very high.

I am not one to go to the doctor unless I absolutely have too. This scared me.

The two nurses and the doctor on call were excellent and after EKG and everything else (I had a lot of things stuck to me!) I was told the old ticker was a work horse and fine.

So what was all of this?

It was a massive panic attack. :(

Now, I have had attacks in the past (none in the last 3 years), but mine always had substantial triggers and had never EVER awakened me from a sound sleep. This one was different. And a whole new, and not so exciting, experience for me.

I felt I needed to share this with other people, especially other women, because it’s no joke. While I am glad it wasn’t a heart attack, panic attacks are not something to joke about or trifle with. It’s your body letting you know something is amiss and it's best to let the professionals help you out!

Please ladies, and gents, go get checked out, even if you think it’s nothing. It’s better to be broke and safe, than sorry.

Sunday, November 15, 2015