Friday, December 30, 2016

Upgraded! #surprise #ilovetravel #unitedair

I am the last one on the plane but when I scanned my boarding pass,  it made a terrible noise.

Turns out I was upgraded to 1st class!

Monday, December 26, 2016

My first house #lookingback #newmemorieswithdad #Christmas2016

It is Christmas Day Night. I'm in Austin watching football in the living room with my dad. The scene is familiar. We both have our computers out. My mom is in bed. My brother is downstairs. The tree is lit, Christmas present debris is scattered about. Every now and then someone makes a trip to the kitchen. Earlier, my dad's nap overlapped mine by about a half hour. Despite some anxiety about spending a week here, I am so relaxed that I slept over 10 hours last night.

Clicking through pictures, I discovered these from October when my parents and I went to Dallas for my cousin's wedding. Between the wedding and the reception we stopped at the very first house my parents bought and where they lived when I was born.

When we stopped Dad decided to knock on the next-door-neighbors' door and see if they were still living there. Mom and I stayed in the car (I felt too self-conscious) but he was gone so long talking to the woman that opened the door, I eventually went up. The woman was the daughter-in-law of the couple that lived next door to my parents. She was delightful and my father was ecstatic (if you know my dad, you know this means he smiled a lot).

He introduced me and we finally let her go back inside. Before we left I really wanted to take a picture of us at their first house, but I was afraid to mention it. Strange and useless fear comes over me at times but I've learned to be objective. I'd regret it if I didn't. I said something and now I could see my father was kinda uncomfortable. But we got ourselves arranged, snapped a couple of pics and  got on our way to the reception.

Daddy was so excited we stopped. He talked about it the rest of the way to the wedding. He mentioned regretting not knocking on the next door neighbor's a few years ago when they had driven by. It clearly made him very happy and it warmed my heart in a place that is rarely open for my father. 
Joy demonstrating how NOT to hold the camera when facing the sun.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A different view on Peter Pan #npr #KBSX915 #justtomakeyousmile

I heard this story on NPR this morning. I laughed out loud, I smiled as I made breakfast and I cried.
Treat yourself to a heartening story today and have a listen!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Vegan pumpkin sugar cookies & a new stove!!! #itsabouttime #cookiesareback #minimalistbaker

After limping along with a half-hearted oven and sketchy burners, I finally got willing to let go and got myself a new stove! I kept the old one, thinking I'll save money, or there are so many other things I should spend money on instead, or really, Joy? Shouldn't you do 10 other things before you do this? 

Thanks to the marvel of internet shopping and Consumer Reports, I ordered myself a brand new stove, [upgraded, in fact!] and it arrived yesterday. Not only does it look better, but I got to clean behind it. I need not say more about that.

Goodbye old stove!!
Hello, Beautiful!
Today I went to work!

I made vegan pumpkin sugar cookies (except I used gluten free flour and coconut millk instead of almond), which are absolutely delicious (I promise, you can't tell!).

Going in...

Everybody set?

Check up during baking

Fresh out of the oven (on my new baking mats)

This is all that's left...I just keep eating!

Monday, August 29, 2016

All the good that comes out of the bad, or "If you're going to get hit by a car, this is the way to do it"

I was so proud that I rode my bike to school the first two days! I love not using my car, knowing I am polluting just a little bit less, getting exercise, and enjoying the sights and sounds I miss when I'm stuck inside a vehicle.

While riding my bike home on Thursday, however, I was hit by a car as I crossed a street near the hospital [thankfully!] I was riding the sidewalks but came to a crosswalk where a car was stopped while waiting to turn left. Suddenly the car went and we collided. I was hit on my left side and watched the hood of the car go around me as I rolled over in the air and landed on my left side on the pavement. I just lay there stunned. I remember the entire accident including thinking, this doesn't hurt as much as I thought it would. Then I heard the driver (let's call him Steve, which is not his real name) cursing and at first I thought he was cursing at me, but he got out, leaned over me and said, "are you okay?" several times.  

We eventually moved out of the road and I sat on a curb nearby. Then a woman was talking to me who used to be a medic in the army. As it happens, Steve used to be a medic in the air force. Then an ambulance came, which had just finished dropping someone at the hospital across the street, saw us, and came over.  

The paramedics looked me over, and I didn't fight and I wasn't obstinate. Twelve years ago I was in a bad wreck in Utah and so distrustful and afraid that I didn't let those paramedics give me any medications. I was a park ranger at the time and one of the medics in the park had scolded me later for not letting them do their job. He reminded me that though a person might feel fine at first, their status can change quickly and being able to administer drugs quickly becomes super important. So Thursday I went along with everything people suggested. Which happened to be relatively easy as I was busy crying non-stop. I felt silly and embarrassed, but more about that later.

Photo from
I started seeing little rainbows, but now that I know that it was what people call "seeing stars". When I think about it I just see Wile E. Coyote after the Road Runner has beaten him one more time! The paramedics said it was a good thing I was wearing a helmet and strongly suggested a trip to the emergency room to get checked out, and I agreed.

As the paramedics helped me out of the back, my vision got wrong. Not black or faded, but not correct. Not good. They helped me inside, put my bike in a safe spot near the door and got me checked in. These men were wonderful and kind and funny, which was super helpful because I was so self-conscious when I hobbled into the waiting room (not due to injury but because one of my flip flops broke).

One paramedic asked if he could call anyone for me. I thought of how far away my family was and said "no" as a wave of sadness washed over me. I sat down in the waiting room just crying. I prepared to sit there alone for a few hours. then I caught myself and realized that my old habit of trying to do things alone needs to go. But then I realized one of my best friends works near the hospital. I texted and she called and of course she came over, despite the fact that she didn't have a car at work. She stayed with me until I got home.

Calling her was the best thing I did. She counteracted the voices in my head that said, this is no big deal, Joy, get over it. She reminded me that the crying was not only appropriate but my body's way of dealing with the trauma of what happened. She helped me keep my mouth shut when one of the nurses wrapped my shoulder so much it looked like the Michelin Man. Instead of being cold and rude, I just stared at my friend and we laughed with our eyes.

The doctors and nurses were funny and helpful and I was only at the hospital for just over 2 hours. They cleaned and dressed the abrasions, asked me lots of questions, gave me a Tetanus shot [note: I did NOT like that] and did a CAT scan which didn't show any damage. I got pushed the scan in a hospital bed and so pretended I was a queen and waved to everyone I passed as we went! I started to get nauseous the last few minutes we were there, so the doctor prescribed an anti-nausea medication that I could fill if it persists. After half a dozen calls for a ride, a good reminded that I have many people in my life to help, my next door neighbor answered and retrieved us and my bike.

Friday when I woke I was only mildly nauseous so I went to school. I felt mostly good all day. Saturday, however, the nausea was bad. Here's more good out of this: It was the day my church hosts a monthly meal for the hungry in Boise. I knew I wouldn't stay to help, but I showed up to settle who would cover for me. I didn't want to tell people what happened because I still felt embarrassed about it. When I got to church and told them, though, I cracked open and everyone jumped in to care for me. I was overwhelmed by the kindness and love these people showered on me! Someone took care of my position. Another friend who is also a nurse took me home and went to fill my prescription. Later, people brought my car home. I got a few emails when people had gotten back home. This morning the priest at church called to check on me. 

There is one more thing. Wednesday night, the night before the accident, my friend Doug, who passed away two weeks ago from cancer, visited me in a dream. He was so happy to see me and gave me a huge bear hug. He looked wonderful and happy. I imagine it was not a coincidence his visit was the night before this happened. I know that somehow Elmo (Doug) stepped in and helped me out. Maybe he stood in between me and the car, or maybe he gave everyone involved a cheerful disposition. Whatever he did, it worked.

Not only am I whole, with nothing broken, walking and talking and getting better each day, I know that I am loved, in a way I never would have known if this hadn't happened. It brings me so much joy to know that I am not alone, and joy to realize I don't feel alone. Though my family is in Texas, I am know without a doubt that I have an equally loving family here in Boise. Thank you to everyone and may God bless "Steve". It was terrible for me, but I bet it was worse for him.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Catching up! #Belfast #reunited #missyoualready

I got to catch up with friends in Belfast today! We met in Dublin two summers ago when I sat next to them in a pub, and we got along so well we hooked up later that summer when I went to Belfast.

Today they met me at my hotel and took me to a fabulous pub called The Duke of York where we talked for a few hours. How wonderful to see them again--and to think I was afraid they wouldn't remember me and I found out they had kept up with my graduation this summer!

Miss you already and can't wait to see you next year!

Goodbye Europe from the Europa! #EuropaHotel #Belfast #seeyoulater #MAET #summerofalifetime

This is my last night in Ireland/the UK, and I'm staying at my favorite hotel ever: the Europa. I can't think of a better way to end my 7-week journey!

The view from my room

The welcome committee in my bathroom...

Staying at the end of the rainbow #Scotland #hfholidays #walkaboutscotland

My last night on the West Highland Way, my hotel was end the end of the rainbow! Not only that, I had a personalized welcome letter...

The view out the back of the hotel...

The view out my room window! 

After the rain blew away and the sun reappeared I was greeted with a stunning view on the back patio:

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Late, late, late sunsets

I went on a run last night at 10:30. It was so light outside that I was able to capture some pretty amazing pictures on my phone.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A morning run in Munich #Munich #runningisbetterthantherapy #touristrunnerI #almostthereMAET

I slept in and went on a run through Munich. It's a great way to see some sights, get the overview and start the day with some exercise.

Just look in what you can see in 6 miles:

I ended near a cool fountain.
My goal: to get the the English Garden. It's Europe's largest city park.

Getting ready for something in Old Town.
I have no idea what this is, but it's by a palace. And lovely.

Surfers practicing in the park!
More park- a lovely "lake".
Wildlife. Reminds me of Boise.

The Residenz, a former royal palace.
This is a memorial to the horrors of National Socialism

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

ELMO! #beatcancer #Godisgood

I got to see this guy before I leave for the summer, my friend who's waging a war against cancer. He was looking and feeling great today. Thanks be to God! Keep praying for Elmo!

HandyWoman Joy #handywoman #Igotthis

I didn't know changing a doorknob was so easy!! After I came home and this happened...

I complained on Facebook, watched a YouTube video and took a trip to Home Depot and....
New doorknob!!
the inside
the outside
I can do more than I think!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sawtooth Relay and so much more #SawtoothRelay #relax #keeponlearning #stthomassunvalley

The Sawtooth Relay is a 12 leg, 62-mile race in which teams of 6 runners each run 2 legs. The race begins in beautiful Stanley, ID and ends in Ketchum. I've run it 5 or 6 times but this year did not get on a team. However, the night of Robie Creek I was listening to Irish music at Shangri-la Tea Room I shared a table with the couple that puts on the Sawtooth Relay. He mentioned they needed help with the race and I asked specifically what that might be. 

Russ & Joy on Friday at 11. 
When he said he needed an announcer, I said, "oh that sounds fun but what else you got?" He replied, "well, we need some people to run the exchanges, but we really need someone to be an announcer." I started to pay attention as it dawned on me that perhaps he was asking me to consider this--that maybe this was an answer to one of my prayers of late: to get out and do new things. So, pending approval from Russ, the main announcer whom I know from skiing, I agreed. Russ approved!

Russ & Joy Saturday morning after a long night of race starts.
I was so nervous Friday night I couldn't sleep. I lay in bed for hours anxiously awaiting my 2:45 a.m. alarm. Finally sleep came at 1 I arrived for my training session at 3:30. All went super well and I had more and more fun as I relaxed. We finished at about 6 on Saturday night and I went to bed at 8. Then slept until 9 on Sunday [yay!] after which I had the best day: I went to church, saw some friends, made a new one, and spent the afternoon with an old friend. My weekend concluded with a long run along the Wood River Trail

Here's where I really started to see how much I've changed in the last year:

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Friends who know I love grapes #goodfriendsknowyourfood

Some people came over for dinner and many, many were concerned about bringing something I can eat. I appears about half of them brought grapes! Who knew people noticed what I bring to potlucks!

Friday, June 3, 2016

A Free Ticket to Tony Bennett! #kindnessofstrangers #itstonybennett

On my walk over to meet people near Table Rock tonight a guy gave me a free ticket to see Tony Bennett, who was playing at the Idaho Botanical Garden tonight!

When I got done with my meeting I went in and heard the last 20 minutes of the concert! I heard him sing I left my heart in San Francisco. What a great bonus to the last day of school!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

First Shakespeare of the Season! #idahoshakespeare #traditions

Another great season opener by the Idaho Shakespeare Festival with my "culture and arts" buddy and great friend!

Busted water heaters! #deadwaterheater

My water heater went out today!! When my shower went cold this morning I just went to work and decided to deal with it later. About 12 hours later I discovered the water in my laundry room. Which I then cleaned up after I realized that it would not evaporate and would begin to smell if I ignored it and left it alone. I asked for help from my neighbor. I called my dad.
The point is that, however ridiculous it sounds, I have to say that I get a very deep sense of satisfaction when I get to take care of grown-up stuff like water heaters and sprinklers and landscaping. 

When I got divorced I finally lived alone, it soon became apparent that I didn't know how to take care of myself at all. I could get to work and home, but I didn't cook or clean or do the yard or the laundry or water the grass or know who to call when appliances went down.

So these days when I get these opportunities to take care of myself and my stuff I may grumble and complain but underneath all that is gratitude that I know how to do more life today than ever before. 
More before
After - it doesn't look it, but it's dry...-er

Check out the date - 1991! It lasted 25 years!