lame fortune always overthinking it

a list of things

We’re in Bakersfield again this week and there are really only so many times you can write about being in Bakersfield, really. Lately I’ve been walking Gypsy to the park and hiding in the shade because Bakersfield seems to think that people enjoy being really hot, all the time. Anyway, a list of some random things:

That fortune up there is not a fortune. That’s called good advice. What the hell, fortune cookie? [Of course, B got a really good one about good things coming his way]. Also, can we talk about nail polish? I hardly ever paint my nails because I don’t like the feeling of polish on my nails (weird…) but now I have another reason: It’s so distracting!! Do you stare at your nail polish when you’re doing things like typing, or am I just a total weirdo?

I loved this post’s discussion on Ferguson.

A four-year-old reviews the French Laundry and it’s hilarious. All of the reviews are, actually.

I’ve been listening to Tracy from Shutterbean and Joy from Joy the Baker‘s playlists and the music has inspired some really fantastic dancing. Also, I just recently discovered their podcasts and am having so much fun listening to them!

Would you unschool your kids?

I really want a pair of these beach pants, but the color I want is out of stock in my size. Do you ever have a hard time shopping online? I’m horrible at it. I open tabs and then leave them there, too afraid to actually purchase them.

PS: I have some exciting news I can’t wait to announce, but I can’t quite yet. Sorry, I know that’s mean and I hate when people do things like that. I’ll give you a hint: I’m NOT pregnant.

kind of a tough mudder repeat

Do you guys remember when we ran the Tough Mudder? Our friend, Mitch Kramer, who ran it with us last time is doing one this weekend in Tahoe. He asked if we wanted to come hang out for the weekend in the rental house he’s getting and cheer him on. Um, duh. Tahoe and cheering someone else on while they get shocked by wires? Yes, please.

We spent this past week in Bakersfield where it was back to hotel and restaurant food. Although, I did find a Thai restaurant that gives one free refill on Thai iced teas. Which is pretty much the best thing ever. However, last weekend we were in San Diego and every night we cooked up a feast, so I’m hoping we can repeat that this weekend. Or at least just fresh food. I’m so sick of eating horribly-cooked eggs. Blech. I would like to eat some more caprese salad like this for dinner:

caprese salad always overthinking it

Do you have any fun weekend plans?

robin-williams-we-miss-you

my heart is broken for robin williams

I wasn’t going to write a post about Robin Williams, not because he doesn’t deserve one, but because I wouldn’t do him justice. I was going to write about our weekend in San Diego, but pictures of the beach and sunny days just seemed so false when I’m feeling the opposite — and I needed to write about how I’m feeling.

I keep reading and watching news articles and everything just makes my heart heavier. I can’t stop thinking about what his last thoughts were. Did he feel alone and scared? Were there any signs? Did he want to ask for help? How long had he been planning to go through with his decision? I can’t stop thinking about his family and how they’re feeling. Picking up the pieces and putting one foot in front of the other is so hard and takes so much strength and courage. I wish there were something I could do to help make things easier for them. I’m so heartbroken that we lost a wonderful human being, someone who took pain away from others because he made them happy. On top of that, I’m heartbroken that someone who made others so happy was so unhappy and decided it would be easier to leave this world now, on his own terms.

I get it. Life is hard. And I don’t mean that in the sense that there are errands to run and bills to pay that we can’t afford and I’m not a good enough daughter or sister or wife. I mean that in the sense that there are some days I’ve woken up and wished I could just go back to bed, or I’ve stared at the ceiling at night and wished my heart would just stop beating. Depression sucks. It’s debilitating and alienating and awful. Depression tricks you into thinking you’re alone and nobody cares and nobody has time to listen to your problems. It tricks you into thinking that everything you’ve ever done or thought is stupid and wrong and worthless and you’ll never be good enough for anything. And sometimes the only way out feels like a great solution.

I don’t know what my beliefs in heaven or afterlife or death are. But I do like to think that if there is a heaven, Robin is up there looking down and feeling all the love we have for him and that he is comforted. I hope wherever he is he is pain free and happy. And I hope he knows how much he will be missed, by strangers and family alike.

punch a baby always overthinking it

10 things i wouldn’t try once

Do you want to know what expression I hate (please say yes)? “I’d try anything once.” This expression is such bullshit. Have the people saying this expression thought through every possible scenario and decided that there’s really literally nothing they wouldn’t try? Because I highly doubt it. In fact, I can think of at least 10 things that I wouldn’t even try once and the next time someone uses this expression, I’m going to go through this checklist. Feel free to take it in case you know someone who uses this expression.

10 Things I Wouldn’t Even Try Once:

1. Heroin.
2. Have sex with someone who knowingly has Ebola.
3. Punch a baby in the face. Or just intentionally try to hurt a baby in any way.
4. Drown a kitten.
5. Taste poop.
6. See if I can withstand getting hit by a moving car.
7. Bring a bomb/gigantic bag of cocaine to an airport to see if I could make it through security.
8. Go to a really dangerous part of town and try to start a fight by being racist or offensive.
9. Let a tarantula crawl on my face.
10. Close my eyes while driving on the 405 for a full minute and see what happens.

I’m sure you’re probably reading these and thinking “Well maybe I’d do that for the right price,” and to that I say that’s not how the game works. The expression is not “I’d try anything once for the right amount of money.” Plus, the fact that you would punch a baby in the face for the right price means you’re a horrible human being and really you probably have been secretly wanting to punch a baby in the face and what is wrong with you??

my MRI results because you totally care

I’m sure you all have been holding your breath waiting to find out my MRI results, right? I wouldn’t want to leave you hanging. The good news from the MRI results: I’m not crazy and there is actually something wrong with my knees. The bad news from the MRI results: There’s something wrong with my knees.

I went to a doctor when I was 14 and they recommended physical therapy and there wasn’t much of a follow up and that was pretty much it. The physical therapy kind of helped, but the MRI showed that even if I do physical therapy, my patella cartilage is deteriorating so I still need to fix the damage. Technically I have chondromalacia patella and the symptoms describe exactly the kind of pain I’ve been having. My knee pops and cracks when I walk, sometimes my knees will just totally go out on me, eventually the pain just kind of feels numb. Oh and because the cartilage is deteriorating, it causes my kneecap to track incorrectly. Instead of going up and down on my knee, it likes to go side to side, causing further damage. Fun times.

My doctor recommended two possible treatment options (in addition to physical therapy to make the muscles stronger so this doesn’t continue to happen). One of them involves injecting my knee area with blood plasma (the procedure is called PRP), the other with stem cells from my stomach fat. When I heard the second option, the way I interpreted it was “We’ll give you liposuction and use that fat to fix your knees” and I was like hell yes, sign me up. Wouldn’t that be amazing? All those chicken wings and ice cream cones I’ve been eating was really just because I was trying to heal my knees, you guys, duh. Unfortunately, not only do you not get liposuction, but that procedure costs $5000 and insurance doesn’t cover it so HA HA HA HA not going to happen.

I did get to have a DVD of my MRI images which was pretty cool. Maybe I’ll turn it into an art piece. “DIY canvas of your MRI images” is bound to become popular, right? It’ll be on Pinterest right up there with some sonogram art. I would love to see that on a “Would You Rather,” Lisa and Ashley!

Have any of you guys ever heard of PRP or the stem cell option or had it done? I think it sounds pretty cool, but I just wish insurance covered it. Womp womp.

how to wash a puff down jacket always overthinking it

how to wash a puff jacket

A few weeks ago, B and I went for a day hike to climb Mt. Bierstadt. I have a backpack I like to use for these types of trips and I started packing the backpack, something I’m normally pretty good at. However, for whatever reason, this time I totally completely failed. Because I made a very crucial mistake: I put bananas at the bottom of the bag. And then I put my white puff jacket in the middle and added three heavy Nalgene water bottles to the top. By the time we got to the top of the mountain where I needed my puff jacket, it was covered in banana mush. I wore it anyway, as you can see, because it was really cold and banana mush be damned. When I went to wash my jacket, the tag on it just said to “dry with two tennis balls.” Thanks for being super unhelpful, jacket tag. Here’s what to do:

1. Wash your down jacket in cold water with just a little bit of soap. (I only used a little bit of soap because I was afraid of ending up with soapy feathers.)

2. When you pull your puff jacket out of the wash and all the feathers are bunched up and part of your jacket is see through because all the feathers are bunched up at the corner of your jacket, don’t worry. You didn’t ruin your jacket. Proceed to step three.

3. This is the most critical step (aka don’t air-dry your jacket). On the lightest heat setting (I used “fluff”), dry your jacket with a tennis ball or two. (I know the tag said two, but who has two clean tennis balls lying around? If you have two, use them. If not, one will do.) I would not recommend using any other types of balls because I’m pretty sure a basketball, golf ball or soccer ball would break your dryer. A whiffle ball would probably melt. Just use a tennis ball. I ended up drying my jacket for about 20 minutes on the fluff setting. I stood in front of the dryer with my fingers crossed, praying the tennis balls would do their job, until my 6-year-old nephew discovered me and asked for a shoulder ride, impatiently hitting the dryer buttons until I gave in.

4. Admire your perfectly-fluffed jacket! If you notice that certain parts of the jacket still have bunched up areas of feathers (check the sleeves), just put your jacket back in the dryer with the tennis balls and give it some more time.

Have you ever washed a down jacket/pillow/sleeping bag? Have any tips to add?

i really need a picnic blanket

B and I have officially been on the road for almost two full months now. Glamour camping aka glamping is a thing and we are making glamour homeless aka glomeless a thing. We’ve ended up camping about three times on the weekend, which is actually a lot less often than we thought we’d be camping, considering we’re homeless. We’re lucky that we have nice friends and family who are willing to take us in or let us camp in their backyard. We figured out about one week in that we’d over packed and brought too many clothes, but we had the room in the car, so it wasn’t a big deal. One thing we totally and completely failed to pack or even consider to pack, though? A picnic blanket. We don’t have camp chairs, or a blanket, or anything for sitting around in when we are actually camping. And maybe that’s because we were firmly in denial about how often we’d be camping or decided that we’re tough enough to go backpacking without chairs, so we don’t need them.But sometimes, when you wake up at 6 a.m. and it’s already 80 degrees outside and you don’t get to just sleepily climb into your car and drive home to your couch and air conditioning, not having something comfortable to sit in like chairs feels different.

we need a picnic blanket always overthinking it

Especially when you attempt to drive to a park to find shade and have to lie on the grass sans blanket. It’s nostalgic and kind of fun to lie on your back with grass poking you and ants crawling on you while you stare at the clouds. For about five minutes. After your butt gets wet from damp grass and the ants start biting you and your husband is somehow snoring peacefully away next to you on the grass ignoring the ants, you start to contemplate dragging your sleeping bag and sleeping pad from the car. But sitting in a park on your sleeping bag screams I’m-actually-homeless-and-cops-might-make-us-move as opposed to my-husband-and-I-opted-to-travel-and-are-homeless-on-the-weekends-but-live-in-a-hotel-most-of-the-time-homeless. We’ve ended up at a few parks in the middle of the day on the weekend, me with a book or my phone and B asleep beside me. Gypsy plays fetch for about 10 minutes and then decides lying in the grass sounds nice, too. Except for that one time we sat on a picnic table to avoid the ants and brutally hot sun and there was glass all around the picnic table so B made Gypsy sit with me on top of the picnic table. Which was totally fine until Gypsy started stretching and accidentally rolled over sideways off the edge of the picnic table and onto the ground. [She was fine, by the way, but we both felt like horrible dog owners and couldn't really laugh at the time. Right now, I'm picturing it, though -- and it was really funny. She bounced perfectly off of the bench underneath the table top and ended up landing on her feet.]

So, a picnic blanket. We need one.

I started looking at cute picnic blankets and they’re all $50 and up. Which, honestly, sounded like a lot to me. I mean, $50 for a picnic blanket?? I’m going to use it a few times a year, maybe five, which means I’d have to use it 10 times to get my money’s worth. Ugh. I’m not even going to use them for their actual purpose of having a picnic, at least not anytime soon. I mean, I guess if I had one, maybe we’d eat our lunch on it? I don’t know.

beg bicycles wool picnic blankets

beg bicycles picnic

This photo (from Beg Bicycles) is really cute, but almost TOO cute, you know? I love it, but my bike doesn’t look like that and my bike is currently in storage, along with my car that now has a dead battery because B and I didn’t really think the whole leaving a car in storage for a month thing through. We’re geniuses, clearly.

travel picnic blanket
travel picnic blanket open
This picnic blanket DIY from Tried and True is awesome and I could probably even manage to make it on a weekend at a craft-friendly house. In the DIY she says she used a canvas from Home Depot for $10, which is right up my price range but also sounds not so fun to sit on. It’s less “picnic” and more “drop cloth for painting.”

tote picnic blanket brit.co

I love this convertible tote bag picnic blanket from Brit.Co. It’s my favorite picnic blanket option, but it would be much more time consuming to make and would involve finding my sewing machine which isn’t likely to happen, but I love how stowable this blanket is. I’d probably just end up using it as a purse because I like having everything handy. I stockpile napkins in the glovebox and announce every time B needs one how convenient it is that SOMEONE was thoughtful enough to keep napkins on hand just in case. I also would like to carry a fold up camp fork in my purse because you just never know when you need to eat something right this second like ice cream. So far I’ve refrained from the fork, but only because I’m almost always in the car, along with my camp fork.

pendleton picnic blanket

OK, these Pendleton blankets are pretty much the picnic blanket of all picnic blankets. Like the Louboutin is to expensive heels, the Pendleton is to picnic blankets. They look nice and comfy, but since I’m already balking at paying $50 for a picnic blanket, you can bet your ass there is no way I’m going to spend $150. But I’d take one as a gift. I would picnic the shit out of that blanket. I’d wine and dine that blanket. I would order room service and sit on our picnic blanket in the hotel room (jk, that’s just wasteful).

Mexican picnic blanket

I love these Mexican blankets for picnic blankets because they’re relatively sturdy and grass doesn’t typically poke through (isn’t that the worst?). Plus, they’re a steal for $13. However, they’re usually weird dimensions and longer than they are wider, instead of square… the way a picnic blanket should be, right? They’re the type of blanket that seems made for a solo picnic and you can only lie up and down, not sideways, the only way to accurately look at clouds. So maybe I could buy two and sew them together? Or just put them side by side, fine. [You want to hear something funny? I actually have one of these blankets in storage. Somewhere. I bought one to use as a yoga blanket for shoulder stands and I packed it up. Oops.]

Maybe I’ll just steal a hotel sheet. What do you use for picnics? Do you have a designated blanket, or do you just take whatever’s artfully draped over the back of the couch? Do people drape blankets over couch backs anymore? Is that still a thing? Please advise.

the coolest cooler

Oooooh sorry, but have you seen the Coolest cooler? It comes with a blender! So you can make margaritas and store beer and drinks and food (it has a divider) and you can charge your phone and play music! I want one. We have no room in the car, but I want one.

sand dunes colorado always overthinking it

sand dunes in colorado and we’re home again

Did you know that in the southern part of Colorado there’s a very confused beach with no ocean? There are sand dunes right in the middle of mountains. Talk about an identity crisis.

sand dunes always overthinking it

sand dunes meets sky always overthinking it

Gypsy likes sand as much as she likes snow (a lot). She ran down this dune and I made her run back up so I could get a better picture (she was happy to oblige, as far as I could tell).

sand dunes sign always overthinking it

B let me borrow his shirt because mine was dirty and this may or may not be day two of me wearing this exact same oufit.

sand dunes with mountains always overthinking it

hoover dam always overthinking it

This would be day three wearing this outfit…

hoover dam from bridge always overthinking it

The first time I drove across the Hoover Dam was seven years ago and I had no idea they’d built another bridge. When I drove across it, you had to slow down for a bunch of pedestrians, but you got a sweet view of the dam. Now, you have to drive down to the viewing area. Which is safer, I guess, but also lame.

B and I are back home in California, though saying “home” sounds weird when we don’t actually have a home. I’m still in vacation mode and keep doing handstands and falling over onto the bed, hoping for inspiration. Because handstands bring inspiration, duh.

crested butte aspen wildflowers always overthinking it

vacation, all i ever wanted

My family and I spent this past week vacationing in Crested Butte. My oldest sister lived and worked in Crested Butte for a few years and my older sister went to school in Gunnison at Western State, so I used to go to Crested Butte/Gunnison all the time when I was younger, but our family hadn’t been back in years. Crested Butte is so beautiful, especially in the summer. There are mountains all around and lakes and wildflowers and holy crap I wish we could move there.

The minute we walked in the door of the rental house my dad was generous enough to rent, my older sister announced she and the rest of her family, including my niece and nephew, was having a no-screens vacation. I was immediately game and set my phone down for the rest of the trip. I was secretly grateful for our no-screen vacation because it meant I had more time to go mountain biking, rafting, hiking, fishing, reading and just being on vacation.

b and gypsy always overthinking it

These two.

crested butte mountains always overthinking it

I’m pretty sure I could have this be my backyard.

emerald lake temporary snow cave crested butte

One day, we drove up to Emerald Lake to look for crystals and explored a temporary snow cave.

dollar lake crested butte always overthinking it

Another day, we drove to Lost Lake to hike and fish.

fishing lost lake always overthinking it

I didn’t catch anything.

mountains crested butte always overthinking it

These mountains, though.

poppies crested butte always overthinking it

How do these poppies get so big? They look fake.

This was the first vacation besides Christmas that my whole family has been together and it was so much fun. We played cards, listened to music, traded books and drank a lot. I’m sad to be driving back to our non-existent home. I wish Colorado were closer so we could visit more often.

Where’s your favorite place to vacation?

mt. bierstadt summit always overthinking it

climbing mt. bierstadt

This week, B and I are on vacation with my family in Colorado! We’re currently in Denver waiting for the rest of the family to arrive before we all head down to Crested Butte. B and I got here a few days early so we could have more time to visit Colorado. Two nights ago, we drove up Guanella Pass to go camping and climbing.

rekindling a fire 2 always overthinking it

The spot we camped in had a fire ring with a smoldering fire (um… dangerous) so B rekindled it. We made sure to put it out because hello, safety. Also, Smokey the Bear would be upset if we hadn’t.

rekindling a fire always overthinking it

I helped.

camp food can be good always overthinking it

B and I have been doing a lot of camping — and have mostly used it as an excuse to eat Top Ramen. But the other night, I was in the mood for real food. We bought crackers, goat cheese, smoked salmon and green olives from the new Whole Foods in Frisco and it was one of the best camp meals I’ve had in a long time.

view of mt. bierstadt from parking lot always overthinking it

The next morning, we woke up at 5 a.m. to climb Mt. Bierstadt.

mt. bierstadt always overthinking it

Mt. Bierstadt is a relatively easy climb, as far as 14ers go. There is some scrambling near the top, but other than that, the trail is well maintained and the views are pretty unbeatable.

view from mt. bierstadt always overthinking it

Like I said, the views are unbeatable.

mt. bierstadt summit always overthinking it

Somebody brought a sign with them and let us borrow it to take a picture.

mt. bierstadt summit view always overthinking it

Gypsy had fun and bagged her second 14er (her first was Mt. Elbert, the tallest 14er in Colorado).

mt. bierstadt wildflowers always overthinking it

Unfortunately, on my way down my knee started hurting. I figured it would, but didn’t care because I’m clearly a moron. I kept having to take stretch breaks. The wildflowers were so pretty, though, I didn’t mind.

The book that we had said Mt. Bierstadt was 9.7 miles, but our book is old so it might be less. We originally planned to hike Mt. Evans from Mt. Bierstadt (it’s only 1.4 miles extra), but the clouds were rolling in pretty fast, so we changed our mind. It started raining as soon as we got back to the parking lot, so I’m really glad we didn’t push on. If you live in the Denver area (or are visiting), I highly recommend this hike. If you can, I would recommend going on a weekday because we were there on a Monday and it was surprisingly crowded.

Pretty sweet way to start vacation.

PS: If I go missing, send out a search party. My family may have killed me.