Sorry for being a stranger!

Hey everyone! I still exist and I really hope you haven’t forgotten about me! It’s been a busy few months and I’ll tell you all about it throughout the next few weeks. I’m going to start with something that I’m super proud of and excited to have completed.

 

 

I won NaNoWriMo 2014! That’s right, folks. I wrote a book! It’s a very rough first draft and I haven’t even named it yet, but there’s slightly over 50,000 words on paper (Scrivener) that’s done. The first draft is the hardest part, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. Like I said, there’s no title yet, but here’s the short synopsis.

Katie would often loose herself in cheesy romance stories, but she never thought that one night at work would sweep her into a paranormal world of her own. The clock is ticking, and Katie has just inadvertently placed herself in the middle of a war with a race she didn’t know existed. Now she must discover who her absent parents were before she becomes collateral damage.

Nigel simply wanted to visit a friend after a small accident, and ended up witnessing his murder instead. It seems this war will find him no matter where he is. Now he needs to find the people responsible for his friend’s murder and find out why they appeared in this sleepy town. He must also unravel the secret behind the girl who keeps placing herself in harms way before the enemy kills her. She’s just a human, so why do they seem so interested in her past?

I’m very excited to get settled into a place where I can set up a little writing station that’s comfy and cozy so I can finish this book up and publish it. Being a transient is not very compatible with writing at this point. Luckily, I’ve decided to stay here in Missoula and become a permanent resident again. Now all I need to do is find a home and I’m set.

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Oh, The Places This Blind Dog Goes!

Today is National Dog Day and I’m taking this opportunity to showcase all the fantastic places my poor blind dog has gone in the last few months. Being blind hasn’t stopped her from enjoying hikes, national parks, and camping. I bought one of those doggie carrier backpack things a few months back so that she could come on all of my hikes with me and I wouldn’t have to hold her if she got tired or the terrain was rough. Yes, I’m one of those people now. She didn’t like it at first but once she wore herself out she decided it was the best thing ever!

Miya in her backpack.

Miya in her backpack.

Her first hike that involved the pack was huckleberry picking in Pattee Canyon. The path was nice and even with very few obstacles so she was able to walk all the way to our berry picking location. Once there I placed her in the pack since we were going off-trail and the bushes were about shin high. She wasn’t having that and completely wore herself out trampling all the bushes in sight, including the ones I was trying to pull berries off of.

She made it to the trail and that's as far as she goes.

She made it back to the trail and that’s as far as she went.

Next I met my mom for a quick weekend camping trip near Bighorn National Park. She was completely worn out by the end even though she spent most of the time either riding in the car or hanging out at the campsite. I was still able to get a good picture of her before she stumbled into the tent and crashed.

Cheese!

Cheese!

And scene.

And scene.

Finally, I took her to Morrell Falls by Seeley Lake. First of all, if you ever get the chance to visit Salmon Lake, do so. We simply drove by it on our way to the falls and it was absolutely stunning! I’m hoping I get the chance to spend time there before winter. Morrell Falls was not ideal for my blind dog as there were many tree roots sticking up and large rocks to step around. Miya spent 90% of the time in the backpack which she was fine with after stumbling along the path for the first quarter mile.

The noise didn't impress her in the least.

The noise didn’t impress her in the least.

This coming weekend I plan on hiking back up to the “M” on Mount Sentinel then continuing on to the summit and Miya will be tagging along the entire way, either by foot or by pack. It’s been three years since I adopted her and I love that she’s still willing to come with me on adventures even though she can’t see. Not only does she impress me but I’m usually stopped by at least three people asking about her and giving her loads of attention.

I hope all of you out there with pups of your own found some way to celebrate them today. Me? I bought mine a small fry for dinner.

A Change in Lifestyle

A few years back I put on quite a bit of weight in response to a large amount of stress. I’m sure many people out there can relate. I’ve always hated being one of those people that eats when stressed, and yet I can’t seem to stop. Now I’m actively trying to remove said weight and I find that it’s a much harder task than it used to be.

I’m in a position now where I can adjust my eating habits and I even joined a local gym. My plan is to (mostly) follow the clean eating lifestyle while getting off my bum and working out. This seems like a fool-proof plan until I get one of those stupid cravings for things like cookies. Or brownies. Or McDonalds. This happens more than I care to admit, though I am pleased to report that the cravings seem to be dwindling.

With this new fancy lifestyle, I’m having to learn how to prepare, cook, and eat new foods. For example, tonight I tried quinoa. Pronounced not at all like it looks, I was pretty sure it was going to be gross and weird and feel like eating bugs. If you haven’t seen cooked quinoa before, google it. It looks like little curly bugs. Anyways, from all of the research I’ve done it’s actually quite healthy and recommended over rice and pasta so I thought I’d give it a go. After cooking it, which was surprising easy, I tried it with a chicken and black bean concoction. It was actually pretty good, although I may have been a little too excited when using the sriracha sauce.

There are plenty of other things on the clean eating list that I’ll be trying for the first time. I’m excited to get started and I’m hoping they all are just as tasty. I will have to make time between working, writing, and exercising to actually prepare these meals from scratch, though. If anyone has any meal-planning experience or advice, please let me know!

I’m going to leave you with this cute picture of my poor blind dog because it would be selfish of me not to.

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