Welcome to my little ol' blog. I'll be upfront about it: I don't blog very often any more. If you found your way here because you read my book "Trailer Life," have a gander! But it's easier to keep up with me on Instagram or on my Facebook page. I have this long, drawn out theory on why I'm a terrible blogger, but that is a story for another day. Enjoy the ramblings of my life from the last 8 years or so.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I Play Nurse, and Live to Tell the Tale

Wow! I did this post the other day from my phone via email, which usually works really well. Good thing I decided to write today and check it out...what a lame post without all the words and commentary! Minus 10 points from Blogger!

I did not edit the photos from my phone. As you can see I was in a place that had both WiFi AND cell reception, which is NOT the norm for me. Neither is a charged battery at that time of night. 

We were at the church setting up for the talent show. We moved the piano to the gym and Will decided to sit down. He slid his skinny bum onto the bench, and this lovely piece of bench impaled itself into his thigh. In the first picture, you can see where it is poking out, and if you look carefully, you can also see where I could FEEL IT UNDER HIS SKIN which was totally nasty.

I got the lame plastic tweezers from the first aid kit and they did NOTHING except cause me more fear that I was going to need a scalpel. I knew Jenny was coming, so I texted her to bring real tweezers and a scalpel. (She works in dental and I thought she might have one laying around.) That sucker was HARD to pull out. It did not want to come. I had texted Ryan at work to show him, and he said to grab some pliers. Jenny's husband told her to bring pliers as well. Men! They were all practical and their first reaction is "Get the right tool for the job!" and we girls were like, "But what about the germs?" See? We balance each other out. Clean pliers would have worked perfectly!

Will was a trooper. He asked me for tweezers at first, saying he got a splinter in his leg. He said it stung a little when I asked him if it hurt. The funny part (now...it wasn't then) was when I pointed out how far down it went into his skin and said something like, "Dude! That thing is WAY in there!" He felt it and then freaked out, in Will fashion. His eyes welled with tears, and he looked away. He started to cry, then laugh, then cry...he was panicked.

 So was I. I got a little sick to my stomach. 

Because I thought I was going to have to cut it out of him, at least a little, and I don't do that kind of thing. 

After I pulled it out (oh, I hope I got all of it!) he wanted to save it as a souvenir, but Jessie accidentally lost it. 

Reminds me of that time Kacy got some arrow fletching stuck on her knuckle and six months later I was pulling the quill of a feather out of her hand. *shivers*

"Trailer Life" is FREE on Kindle for Three Days

It's true. I have come out of the shadows of Bar Review Studying (aka "slow death by exploding brain cells and high anxiety") to honor my very own birthday. I have been looking forward to this birthday for FOUR years!


Because that is when I would be finished with school! YIPEE!

I am giving away my first book for free on Kindle. The freeness (not a real word) ends at midnight on June 26.  If this is yet again another repeat because we are Facebook friends or you follow me on Instagram...sorry. This was my last place to notify my small little world about the freeness.

PS: If you bought a hard copy (Amazon) before I caught a typo, consider yourself the lucky owner of a rare first edition?!? The typo was SO LAME, too. On the back cover, I transposes two letters in the word "journey." How embarrassing! I edited my own back cover and seriously, my brain fixed that for me every time I read it so that I didn't notice it! I loathe typos and misspellings. I know they happen and all that, but in a published work especially...*shudders*. Oh well. I'm taking the positive route and thinking of it as a "first edition." It has been fixed.

Now, off to my regularly scheduled program of bar review. Gag! (That's another post for another time. I think it is safe to say that I had my mental breakdown and I was told I will likely have another, and I have just come to terms with the fact that I am nuts. I'm fine with that. Really. After I take the Bar, in order to clear my brain, I will write another book.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

R.I.P Little Mazda 5

If you are going to die, you might as well go out with a bang.
It is with a sense of closure that I announce the passing of our Mazda.

Over the weekend, we had a bit of flash flooding near our home. This was thanks to some of the coolest weather I have ever seen, which produced buckets and buckets of downpour in the mountains around our house in just a short time. 

Later that night, Ryan needed to go to work. He took the Mazda, and there were several spots within several miles that were kind of bad by most people's definition. The firemen were on scene, working to clear up the road to make is passable. The extreme danger of flash flooding had already subsided. He got through the first part after talking to the firemen, and the road was as slick as could be. Farther down the road, on his way through the mountains, was a spot (pictured above) that was unexpected, as it is a dip right after a hill that you can't see over the top of. This kind of "dip" is normal out here. What is NOT normal is to have the dip filled with a MUD SLIDE. Not a flash flood with water and debris, but an actual mud or land slide. That dirt is at least two and a half feet thick, and as solid as can be.

Never a good sign when your husband, who is supposed to be on his way to work, comes home 30 minutes later. Luckily, a fireman gave him a ride home. 

Let's just say that the Mazda, as much as I took it off roading, is NOT a true rally car. 

When we went to get it on Monday, there were some pieces of "stuff" in the road. In the dark of the night it happened, Ryan thought maybe the CV joint was busted, and a $40 part would fix that.


In the day, we popped the hood, and this is why I LOVE MY HUSBAND because he instantly saw the damage but made it funny. I lift the hood and prop it up, and did my head tilt with scrunchy eyebrows because the ENGINE looked like it was listing. And, sure enough, Ryan said, "Does it look like the engine is leaning to the left over there to you?" 

Basically, for a car worth very little, it has been totaled. 

It looks "okay" from the outside. The tow hook is still connected on the front from the last time I had to help Ryan tow the Bronco home (on the same road...that took 4.5 hours in the middle of the night...up hill...). My little grill on the front was smashed out a few years ago when I hit a coyote and drug his carcass about a quarter mile. The front bumper is bent a little and flares on the sides because of that time explosives were "found" on the side of the road and I had to take an alternate route to get the the kids' school to pick them up...and the alternate route was all dirt and I had a little too much fun with it. (Basically, I got a little off roady and when my front end came down, it sort of hit the earth.) The back bumper has rope burns and cracks from all the times we used this car as a towing vehicle in the mountains. It has been very reliable. So reliable.

The Mazda has over 210,000 miles on it, all of which are our miles in the last 7 years. I recently evicted 9 mice out of it. It also recently had a blower fan go out, due to a small fire of a mouse nest in the fan. 

This car has served us well. We were outgrowing it and have recently purchased a new to me replacement car.  

I always wondered what it was like to drive a car until it literally gives out on you. Now I know. 

Here's the zinger though: I literally paid the registration with the DMV one hour before its death.  

So long, farewell, auf Weidersehen, adieu.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Welcome to My Nervous Breakdown

It's true. I may, in fact, be on the precipice of having a nervous breakdown. I just now had to double check the spelling of "precipice" because my spell checker didn't underline it in those nice red squiggly lines, and I just knew I didn't spell it right the first time.

Turns out, I did. See? I don't even trust myself.

The source of my nervous breakdown is self inflicted. And it all just really hit me this week: WHO THE HECK THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO STUDY FOR THE CALIFORNIA BAR WHILE SHE HAD FOUR KIDS AT HOME ALL DAY???

I simply cannot ignore my children for the time required. Yes, I skated through law school, doing the minimal amount of study time required, always putting my family first, with a very close second to all things gospel and church related (because the two are really intertwined, after all) and then my community commitments came third. And I made it just fine. But still.

I am feeling completely overwhelmed by the fact that I absolutely will not do well on this test in July. I made out my calendar, and I have to cut out a week for Girl's Camp, which is RIGHT BEFORE the test. The week before the test I will be in the mountains. I'm trying to tell myself it will be fine. That somehow, time will work out, and that my brain will remember every detail of the 15 subjects I need to know.

And then I look at my calendar again, and my children's faces. I refuse to ship them out and away. I want them here with me.

I can't get the voices out of my head of three really smart guys who said they studied 8 hours a day. Or, they went away from their families for a month. Those aren't options for me. (The 8 hour a day thing SOUNDS reasonable, until you realize kids need to eat lunch and need supervision lest they set the house aflame. This is also a reminder that I absolutely do not WANT to work 8 hours a day even when I am finished. I'm aiming for the part time schedule! haha)

If Ryan were here, he could talk me down off my mental ledge. He would reassure me that he knows I can do it, that "So what if you don't pass? Take it again in February, no big deal." And he would mean it. And honestly, at this point, I'm thinking waiting until February might have been a wiser idea. The kids would be in school doing their thing.

The other part that totally, completely, 100% freaks me out right now is that I have a little voice in the back of my head saying "You went to law school online. It's not Stanford, UCLA, or Pepperdine. It's not "real" law school. They probably just gave you grades to make you feel good." I used a back door way to sit for the Bar, and while I study all over here by myself (because I never had time to use the online portions anyway), much like Abraham Lincoln did, I don't trust myself. I don't have an honest comparison of my abilities in relation to others.

Oh, well. If you see me sucking my thumb in the corner of a room, forgetting my own mother's name, or generally looking like I might burst into tears at any moment, you know the reason why. I'm totally having a nervous breakdown over how I am supposed to remember every detail of what I've learned over the last 4 years, with one subject being my very worst subject (like, so bad that I'll need to relearn it and hope that I can), and fighting the little voice in my head that says I'm going to fail, and what an expensive thing to fail at. Even if I decide to call July my "practice" test, and do it again in February, that is still a VERY expensive test and hotel and food cost that would have to come out of our already tight budget. I just can't stand the thought of that.

I need to remind myself of the following:

I passed the FYLSX the first time I took it, while studying 2L subjects and one month after Ryan got shot. Yes, I nearly threw-up and I did cry a little at the beginning with stress because I knew I wasn't prepared. But I did pass. (First Year Law Student Exam, essentially 1/3 of the Bar, required by the state of CA for non ABA accredited schools.) This should comfort me. (It doesn't.)

I passed the NCBE ethics test the first time this last fall. I was totally wigged out being in a "real" law school, seeing people much younger than me, and much more confident than me, all talking about this professor or that assignment, or how well they were doing...how their law clerking was going...and I was just sitting there making the Deathly Hollows sign out of my four allotted pencils and eraser, while wondering what Mindi and I would teach the next Friday in music class. I was calculating that I needed to be better than 70% of the people in that lecture hall. But how could I be, having never interacted with other law students? This should comfort me. (It doesn't.)

This was easier when no one knew what I was doing, and the only people I would let down if I failed was myself and Ryan. The pressure to succeed may kill me. Well, not literally. I'll likely just gain 5 pounds from stress eating.

Off to studying I go. Not that I think I know better than my bar review course or anything, but I'm going to change it up a bit so I can get through all the classes a touch faster. That may help my state of mind. Maybe.

Pass the donuts and some anti-cortisol meds, would you?