Gentle

Sometimes, we push ourselves too much too fast. Sometimes, we need to be gentle.

I noticed that I step too hard on the ground. I speak harshly to myself sometimes. I try rushing my tasks. I expect to recover and heal too quickly.

I forget to be patient with myself. I am allowed to take breaks. I can walk gently over the rocks and sand. My body decides, not my mind, when to rest. The mind only has to listen. Sometimes, I forget to be gentle.

Going barefoot, I remember to step lightly. I tell myself to ease back into exercising. Write a little and slowly increase the volume. Learn more to progress. Everything takes time. It’s okay to be gentle with yourself.

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Playing FarmVille Again

I remember, on Facebook, that I used to play a game where you had your own aquarium and decorated it. You also had different fish to choose. Somehow, I lost that account and started a new Facebook. I then found CityVille. My sister played it, too. Then some time passed, and I started playing FarmVille.

Last month, I decided to see what type of games were in the app store and saw FarmVille 2: Country Escape. I immediately started playing and building my farm. It’s different than I remember which is probably for the better. There are many improvements. I like all the different ways you can craft items to sell or collect. Even watching the characters work is interesting. So far I’ve been a part of two events, one ongoing, and its fun.

I haven’t played games in a while, other than word games when I’m waiting in lobbies. I show my family my farm when I get something new. I talk about all the animals I have and the progress I made. I kind of feel like a kid again.

A Few Bookshelf Favorites

As I dusted my bookshelf last week, I remembered some of my favorite stories. I looked at the book covers and flipped through the pages. Today, I collected five fiction books and shared why I enjoyed them.

1. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

I started this series as a child. I finally finished it last year. I got back into it since the Netflix show aired. These books remind me of going to the library and checking out books. I liked that this story was different from other middle grade books. The story was dark and didn’t sugar coat the events.

2. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

I read this one in high school when I was into fairy tales so of course this became a favorite.

3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I actually didn’t like this book at first because of the reference to Native cultures. However, I see now that the themes resonate with me. I think about how something like soma could easily become popular today and how we repress our emotions. There’s a lot to think about with this one.

4. Horns by Joe Hill

I think he did such a good job at tying all his ideas together. The movie does not come close at giving us all the nuances of the book.

5. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

This was one of the first books I had to analyze and learned more about art. It made me question if art should be enjoyed for the beauty or the meaning that can be ugly. I have to reread this one soon.

The Day the Universe Gave Me a Goat

On July 4th, my family woke up then packed for the parade. We watched all the floats go by then ate lunch together. As we arrived home, we saw a jeep. It was our grandpas in the yard. My mom talked with them and noticed something. There was a goat in the back of their vehicle. I couldn’t believe it, so my dad and I started laughing.

My mom tried asking how long the goat was back there but was unsuccessful at getting an answer. We decided to take the goat out and give her some water.

By the time I got water for the goat my grandpas left. My mom told me to keep the goat and if they come back not to let them take her. I thought to myself really.

In the 8th grade, another one of my grandpas gave us two baby goats. I learned how to raise them, but winter was coming and my family couldn’t support them. They decided to butcher them which was difficult for me to process since I liked to feed them every day.

From that time forward I wanted to raise a goat, but it wasn’t the right time. I was either out of town or didn’t have the resources.

I’ve had the goat for four weeks now and named her Gabby Gabby after a character from Toy Story 4. I like bringing her food because she pops her head out to see who comes out the door. In the afternoon, she lets me feed her apples. It took a few years to get my goat, but I’m happy that it all worked out.

A Simple Way to Stay Active

What can I do to relax, recover, and refresh?

Being active, I know I should warmup and stretch regularly. However, there are times when I don’t. Those are the days I want to work out and get on with the rest of my day. Knowing I should stretch, I found an app for that.

The app is simple to use. You can choose a routine and start. I like that. All I have to do is follow along, and I’m done in a few minutes.

I noticed some things along the way. By stretching I make my body feel good, my mind focused, and spend quality time with myself. I help take care of my little sister and nieces, so time to myself is important to recharge.

Stretching helps me stay active even when I need to recover from a long run or workout. If I feel like moving on a rest day I can stretch and keep my body fit. This is how I stay active, relax, and refresh my mind and body.

My Favorite 10K

I first heard about Narbona Pass Classic from the newspaper. At the time, I thought that would be cool to do, but six miles is far. In 2016, I decided early in the year to run a half marathon. I took my training seriously, so when I saw the ad for Narbona Pass I knew I would be ready for it.

I registered and felt nervous all the way up to start time. This was my first running event. My goal was to finish the 10k. I achieved this goal with a smile across the finish line. The whole way up the mountain I smiled and thought about how beautiful it was up there: the fresh morning dew on pine, sun beams on the trail, and all the views. I finished wanting to do it all again.

In 2017, I signed up and completed the mountain run. I had another great experience with the support of my family. The kids ran in their race and received a medal that they are still proud of today.

I missed last year but of course this year I looked forward to going. It did not disappoint. The whole experience from waking up before sunrise to watching all the runners finish is amazing. That’s why this is my favorite run of the year.

Complications with Composting

I first built a compost for my family’s home about two years ago. I used pallets to construct our compost. I was excited to try composting to reduce our waste and also use it for the garden instead of purchasing soil.

It quickly filled up to my surprise. I didn’t think that was possible. Since I live in Arizona, I noticed that I needed to cover the compost better. The heat dried up all the material, so I added more boards and cardboard.

The first pile filled up, and I went on to build a second. This also filled up quickly. Problems arose. The neighbors’ cats and dogs, as well as strays, dug in the compost even with scraps of metal fences over it.

I’ve seen tumbler compost bins and thought that would be easier to manage, but I didn’t want to spend money on it. I looked around the yard and noticed an old trash bin. My dad brought home a lid for it, and we’ve been using it to compost. This has been working to keep the animals away, moisture in the bin, and I can roll it around.