Sunday, January 30, 2011

Portland, Oregon - Never know!

On 1/13/11, I flew to Portland, OR for the first time. The purpose of the trip was to visit the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM). If I were to go to this school, it would be a 4-5 year program to become a Naturopathic Doctor (ND). My current plan is to apply for the Fall 2012 semester. Yes, that seems like a long time from now, but this is a pretty major decision and would cost quite a bit so I feel like the year and a half gap is essential. In the meantime, I am going to contact a local ND to ask for the opportunity to shadow her and learn more about the field. I mean, it seems smart to gain a little insight into the career I'm hoping to have for the next 40+ years, right? :)

Enough of all the medical school chatter...I would like to share a few photos I took of Portland and the bed and breakfast I stayed in while there!

Hawthorne Bridge. Looking out from OMSI on a very dreary day. Go figure!

Beautiful Bellaterra Bed and Breakfast in SW Portland.

The Borealis Room. My little sanctuary for five lovely days.

Heaven. I'm in Heaven. And I seem to find the happiness I seek...each time I bathe in yooooou.....

Fly me to the moon...

Wandering somewhere downtown.
(It wasn't really this grey. But almost.)

Moss grows on everything...and I L.O.V.E. it!

Coolest Coffee Shop + Nicest Owner + Deeeelish Coffee = Mudd Works
(And only a five minute walk from the BnB...Score!)

I saw so many interesting houses/dwellings in the neighborhood I stayed in.

Admiring the beautiful statues while walking to the bus.
Portland, by the way, has the best transportation system!

My morning walk to Mudd Works. :)

So, there you have it...a few pictures from my trip. Strangely enough, I did not get any pictures of the school. I think I was too distracted by the herbal elixirs!

Bottom line: I'm still unsure as to whether or not I will ever live in this city, but if I do I believe it will be a wonderful experience. ALL of the people I met were more than fantastic. Everyone was extremely down-to-earth and real. If you are unaware of this, real people are quite pleasant to be around. ;) 

"When there is no turning back, then we should concern ourselves only with the best way of going forward." -The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

Cabin Building Tip: Thanks to Mike, who I met at Flying Star, I'm going to give a very broad tip and tell you to Youtube Dick Proenneke "Alone in the Wilderness." Go now. :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wisdom from Paulo Coelho

At a time when it was needed the most, this short story appeared. I read this today in Paulo Coelho's book Eleven Minutes.

From Maria's diary:

Once upon a time, there was a bird. He was adorned with two perfect wings and with glossy, colorful, marvelous feathers. In short, he was a creature made to fly about freely in the sky, bringing joy to everyone who saw him.

One day, a woman saw this bird and fell in love with him. She watched his flight, her mouth wide in amazement, her heart pounding, her eyes shining with excitement. She invited the bird to fly with her, and the two travelled across the sky in perfect harmony. She admired and venerated and celebrated that bird.
But then she thought: He might want to visit far-off mountains! And she was afraid, afraid that she would never feel the same way about any other bird. And she felt envy, envy for the bird’s ability to fly.
And she felt alone.
And she thought: “I’m going to set a trap. The next time the bird appears, he will never leave again.”
The bird, who was also in love, returned the following day, fell into the trap and was put in a cage.
She looked at the bird every day. There he was, the object of her passion, and she showed him to her friends, who said: “Now you have everything you could possibly want.” However, a strange transformation began to take place: now that she had the bird and no longer needed to woo him, she began to lose interest. The bird, unable to fly and express the true meaning of his life, began to waste away and his feathers to lose their gloss; he grew ugly; and the woman no longer paid him any attention, except by feeding him and cleaning out his cage.
One day, the bird died. The woman felt terribly sad and spent all her time thinking about him. But she did not remember the cage, she thought only of the day when she had seen him for the first time, flying contentedly amongst the clouds.
If she had looked more deeply into herself, she would have realized that what had thrilled her about the bird was his freedom, the energy of his wings in motion, not his physical body.
Without the bird, her life too lost all meaning, and Death came knocking at her door. “Why have you come?” she asked Death. “So that you can fly once more with him across the sky,” Death replied. “If you had allowed him to come and go, you would have loved and admired him ever more; alas, you now need me in order to find him again.”
I will not go into why this story is important to me, but I will say that it resonated deep in my soul. From this book, I have learned that you can never really lose someone, because you never owned them to begin with. The beauty is that when we love someone and when that person loves us back, freely and without obligation, it is then that we experience true love and freedom.
I wanted to share that with whoever frequents this blog. Paulo Coelho has been my saving grace for the last few months...and beyond. My favorite book is The Alchemist, a story about following your heart. I encourage everyone to read it and I hope that it touches your heart and soul in the way it did mine.


New paths. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Much to Share II

Listening to: Rhonda Vincent, one of my favorite bluegrass artists. I love her song "I Gotta Start Somewhere." Boy, have I been there.

Well, as for what's going in my life... (First, I want to say that this one introductory sentence made me think of how minuscule our lives are. Important to us, those who love us, and important to a "Higher Being," but so small in comparison to the whole world.)

After Bluegrass this year, I starting thinking about what it would be like to live on my own again. I was living with a wonderful lady, Margaret, up in the NE Heights...nice neighborhood, nice neighbors, gorgeous backyard, etc, but was starting to feel the walls closing in on me in that tiny bedroom. Well, it turned out that the ranch owner (our cousin by marriage) was looking to rent out the apartment above his house...which, by the way, is in the North Valley and sits on 2.5 gated acres with three hound dogs to stand guard (friggin' awesome!) So, I drove down and took a look one afternoon and decided that I wanted to try it out. Well....I LOVE living here! I'm the only person living on the property at this time. He and his family live in a newer house on the NW side of town and his plans are to renovate the original house and the newer, downstairs additions. But, due to his extremely hectic schedule, I know this will not be happening any time soon. Until then, it's me and the hound dogs enjoying the peace and quiet (and sometimes too dang quiet!) The only thing I'm not too fond of anymore is this:
A freaking centipede just hanging out on my kitchen floor, doing God only knows what...probably just waiting until I bent down to clean the floor so it could wriggle like a snake (or worse, like a centipede!) and scare me out of my skin. I suppose it's one of the only downsides to living in this gorgeous house. Gotta stay positive even when you know there are terrors lurking around every corner. :)

Otis. I just love this dog.
When he gives me those hound dog eyes and that lonely whine, I just can't help
but walk over to him and pet his snotty nose.

Otis and Dixie, fighting for my love.
The only time I allow that. ;)

Next up, "What in the heck am I going to do after graduation?!" Well, I have decided to stay in Albuquerque and continue to work as a personal trainer while taking one or two classes, likely prerequisite classes for a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) degree. (Crys, if you read this before we talk on the phone again, give me a call so we can chat...I have ideas for a "Wedding Plans" trip, even though I won't be living out there!) Last week I purchased an airline ticket to Portland, Oregon in hopes of having all the important questions answered about a college I am very interested in attending. It's called the National College of Natural Medicine ( and I am looking into the ND degree, which is a 4-5 year program. I'm finally starting to realize that I will achieve nothing in life without taking action. Buying the ticket was somewhat spontaneous and maybe not the smartest idea financially, but it has given me the motivation I've been searching for to head down a path I want to travel. I'm not 100% sure that this is the path I am meant to travel, but you never know until you know. Right?

In addition to taking classes this spring semester and traveling to Oregon, I am looking to enhance my photography skills, as mentioned in the last post. My stepmom and confidant, Jacinda, thinks that I should design a calendar and sell it at the Santa Fe market. This is something I'm seriously considering, but need to find the time to sit down and start! (Hmmm...maybe as a substitue for blogging-slash-not-doing-homework time!) I also want to learn how to build wooden frames and play my geetar.

...and shoot a gun, effectively.
...and speak Spanish.
...and spend more time rock climbing.
Gosh dang...I need more hours in the day!

Truthfully, I have no idea where my next decision(s) will lead me. I just love the fact that the world is at my fingertips. I'd like to travel for awhile, maybe live like a broke gypsy, do the whole odd-job gig for some time. No ties. No obligations. But at the same time, there's half of me that wants to stay on the "straight and narrow." Meaning: start and finish graduate school, start a career and eventually a family. Although, I wouldn't mind meeting someone who has the same dreams of traveling as I do, same goals and beliefs. Who said you can't start a family and live like gypsies for awhile, anyway? (Note: not that I'm ready to start a family!)

Tip for Cabin Building: well, I've got nothing right now because I'm waiting on someone who supposedly knows how to build a cabin to offer up some knowledge. More tips to come! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Much to Share!

Hello All,

I have finally decided to write another post (how many months later?!). It is sometimes disappointing how much I allow "life" to get in the way of the things I really want to do. more of that attitude on this blog!

The last time I wrote I was still in summer school at a community college here in ABQ. I took Anatomy and Physiology II, lab and lecture...demanding courses, indeed. Thanks to the wonderful professors and my (last minute) study habits, I earned A's in both classes. Hip hip hooray! I am now into the LAST (let me say it again, please....LAST) semester of my undergraduate degree at UNM. This has been a fairly enjoyable semester thus far...mainly elective courses. Music Appreciation, included! Unfortunately though, I dropped the Photography class. It turned out to be a class that frustrated me more than it helped/inspired me to learn. I always feel like a quitter when I drop a class, but I made the right decision. I found that soon after the class started, I stopped enjoying taking pictures...and that is just no bueno! for an aspiring photographer! I've been looking into a camera club here in Albuquerque, called the Enchanted Lens Photography Club. It seems laid back and I've heard great things about it, so I'm considering becoming a member very soon. I am so interested in photography and I feel like I have potential, so pursuing it is something I really want to take seriously. Is it silly to say that one of my dreams is to become a photographer for National Geographic? :)

As for what has been going on in my life, in chronological order...

Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival 2010! Folks, this was the best (out of 3, haha) BG that I have ever been to! The company was amazing, the music was delectable, and the weather was...well, it was the same as always for Kansas in September (aside from a near death experience with a twister!) Okay, I am exaggerating a bit with the whole "near death experience," but the tornado was very exciting! It graced us with its presence the first night I arrived (Wednesday) and ripped through our campsite. Luckily for us, it did very little damage and the show went on! So originally, I had planned on having company on this 11 hour roadtrip, but it turned out to be just me and the road. This, by the way, was one of my favorite features of the whole trip. I love driving down, radio up, scenery passing me by, nothing to pay attention to but the road and my thoughts. Lovely. Basically, it was an extended weekend of nothing but fun with people I adore and music that gets my soul a'singin! I now invite you to check out a few of the pictures from this knee-slappin' event:
Camp Midnight Tater Soup: Jeff, me, Layn, Jamie, Megan, Tonya, Dave, Bill, Laura, and Justin
This was on one of the our famous "walkabouts" in the middle of the night...or very early morning, not too sure. We still look decent in this photo, so I'm guessing it was earlier in the night. :)

Now, that is a wall cloud! I took this on our way back to camp after a very rushed dinner with Tonya, our camp mom, telling us that we needed to get back "like now!" We made it back just in time to jump into Justin and Laura's car, head to their parents, and sprint into their outdoor storm shelter. Like I said, very exciting! 

The story of the Little Red Flag and the Blonde who could not figure out that it said "We Crack Ourselves Up" and not "Ticket Egg Clock Elves Upwards Arrow...WTF?!"

Our lovely little campsite and all the folks I miss like the dickens!
From the left...Dave, Justin, Jamie, Bill (likely grabbing a beer) and the amazing Laura.

This, folks, is Tonya...the previously mentioned Camp Mom. I just had to post this photo because it makes me smile and I love this lady. Tonya is Loretta Lynn's biggest fan and when she found this shirt she lit up like a Christmas tree. It was basically one of the cutest things I've ever seen and I just had to share it with you. :)

This photo really captures the essence of Bluegrass.
Yes sir, it sure does. does this one.
What would you bet that these two individuals will meet, procreate, and live happily ever after?

Goooood times at Stage 5!

(I'm starting to think that I should have created a whole post for Bluegrass pictures!)

Those hippies love their bluegrass.
Stage 7 Heaven.

Those hillbillies love their hippie cutouts.
Jamie and favorite camp entertainers!

They are laughing at the scene in the previous picture and I love their smiles. :)

Justin and Laura. Sweetest couple ever.
This is literally the last picture I took at BG this year and I think it tells the perfect story of "Babe, I'm ready to pack up and go home." I think everyone who's been knows what I mean by this. On the last day of the festival, you're just plain ready to go home, even if it was the best time ever. It's always kind of sad when Sunday rolls around and you have to pack up your tent and the little nest you've made for yourself...but, alas, reality has to set back in eventually!

Well, I hope you've enjoyed these pictures...there are many, many more. But, if you're friends with me on Facebook, you can find them in the "I Survived the Tornado of '10" album. :)

I've decided that this is a very long post so far. So, I am going to end now and begin a "Much to Share II" post soon! (Maybe even right now!)

Oh, I almost forgot!...Tip to Build a Log Cabin: most log cabins are built of coniferous trees, such as firs and pines. This is mainly due to their softness and malleable characteristics.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Welcome to My Humble Ablog!

So, I figured it was about time I g0t to work on this thing. Between a new job as a personal trainer and studying for summer school finals, I have found that writing this first post has been challenging!

Why did I decide to start a blog? Well, I love the idea of being able to share pieces of my life with my friends and family in a more "personal" fashion. Mostly, I want to be able to share my little adventures and the photography that accompanies them. I will likely post some of the pictures that are already up on Facebook, so it may seem like a re-run...but some of my favorites need mentioning! I have no plan or order as to how I am going to write or post pictures, I'm just going to go with the flow (which is something I am slowly learning to do). 

What's with the title? "She Builds Her Own Cabin" represents a part of me that longs for The Simple Life (No, not the one with Paris Hilton). Since moving to New Mexico in 2007, I have grown very fond of the idea that one day I will live in a cabin that I built (hopefully with the help of some hunky man), have a vegetable garden, a creek running by, and a clothes line drying the clothes that I made. Sounds perfectly quaint, doesn't it? It may be unrealistic right now, seeing as how I'm a college student who is just as much in the "rat race" as everyone else but where there's a will, there's a way.

So folks, visit my blog anytime your little hearts desire. I'll be posting what's going on in my life, events I'm looking forward to (BG!), people I'm spending time with, ramblings on what-in-the-heck I'm going to do after I graduate, favorite photos, adventures, and the list goes on! Also, to build a cabin, one needs to know certain, I've decided that every time I write a new post I am going to include a "Cabin Building Tip." We'll see how this goes! :-)


Just to see how the picture uploading thing worked, I decided to share one of my all-time favorites. I took this photo two Easters ago, waiting for my car to warm up. At the time, I was using a Sony Cyber-shot 7.2 megapixels that had amazing Macro capabilities. Since then, I've moved up in the photographer's world and currently use a Nikon D5000 (a lovely gift from my Madre this past Christmas!). I am enrolled in a photography class at UNM this fall and my main goal is to understand how my new camera works...even though I've had it for 8 months! I have high hopes for this. :-)

Thanks for stopping by!