January 1, 2017

2017 & An Announcement

As others share their 2016 recaps, I'm antsy to look towards the possibilities of this tabula rasa of a new year. But I don't want to entirely ignore all of the many wonderful things that did occur during the Year Who Must Not Be Named, so I'll take a few moments to reflect on a few of those:

  • Left my life-sucking job for a far more fulfilling one (that also happened to pay better!)
  • Went on many trips: from NYC to Asheville & the Smokies to Kansas City to Colorado to New Orleans & Orlando, as I sat envious next to a co-worker who went on multiple international trips, I have to admit it's been a decent year of travel for this little social worker, too. 
  • Went on many hikes! Can't wait to revisit them and find new ones to add to the list this year as well as utilize my camping gear and kayak more often. 
  • Made new friends and rekindled old relationships as well - 2016 may have been a downer, but I had the most thoughtful friends a gal could ask for to help me through it. 
  • Spent invaluable, substantial family time; though still not as much as I would have liked, I visited with my grandmother multiple times and have strengthened a weakened relationship with my eldest brother - not to mention my other brother visiting me here in Fayetteville or how I spent winter break almost solely with my mother (both a test ;) as well as a cherished reward). 
  • Was told my Crohn's was not currently in a state of inflammation (no moon face in my immediate future!) after the hiccup this time last year. 
  • Brewed my first beer on my own without another brewer physically present (well, sort of, I did get a little help after the initial brew day, which was much appreciated). Also tried many other new kitchen endeavors, and rekindled my love with fermentations and from-scratch cooking. 
  • Attended local events like Last Night Fayetteville, Frost/Foam Fest, the Little Craft Show, Wampus Wonderland, themed parties at my favorite brewery, etc., which others had previously held me back from - no more depending on other people to go with me to events - I'm buying tickets regardless!
  • Continued to have the best dog a human can be #blessed with (someone's got a birthday coming up...).
  • Started living on my own, sans roommates, which has been so relieving (though I miss the bucks). 
  • Tried new things, like bouldering gyms (which was ultimately embarrassing after an early hard fall but also cool).
  • Attended a Bernie Sanders rally, transitioning from someone who once thought politics were boring and irrelevant to stepping on the path of becoming an informed and participating citizen.

December 6, 2016


You've noticed I've taken a break from blogging. 

The reason may be obvious to some. 

I'm trying to take this experience as a positive one, instead of heartbreak, because despite forced positivity here, things were not always so positive behind closed doors, and this shall be a blessing in disguise. I have a difficult time writing here now because I have to see past posts, and I don't have the heart to delete the memories pertaining to the last four years of my life. 

But I'll be back, don't you worry. Until then, the Ozarks call. 

October 11, 2016

Wrap-Up for the Week

So I literally have 10+ post drafts right now ready to finish & publish (some may make the cut, some may not), but I just wanted to assure everyone I'm still here and fine. It's been a week or so since my last post, but things have been hectic...

I had literally never gone to a college football game.

1. My brother visited and it was a (mildly awkward) success! The Razorbacks lost the big Alabama game (as predicted) but I called the Hogs for the first time and stayed out at Willie D's Piano Bar until two(ish?) in the morning... I can't remember the last time I partied on Dickson, much less stayed up that late or went into that bar. My brother may have 10 years on me but you wouldn't know it. 

2. Because of #1, Pete & I had to spend Sunday laying around on the couch eating Cuban pork nachos and watching Doctor Who (I know, "had to," right?). After I felt like eating, that is. 

October 3, 2016

Look at these babies...

So Pete's had some pictures on his camera for ages that haven't been able to be transferred to a computer until now, and I found a few random ones that were pretty adorable. I'm not sure when the few blurry selfies were taken but my guess is around the successful completion of year one, I should think. We look so young! I've been feeling like I haven't looked any older for a long time but I can definitely see the difference (other than the weight fluctuation, ha!) even though it must've just been around three years ago. The ones I took of Peter at the corn maze are something else... and in honor of October! A fitting time to have found them.

September 27, 2016

Bikes Give You That Get Outta Town Blues

Around the end of every September, Fayetteville plays host to Bikes, Blues, and BBQ, an enormous biker rally. And while motorcycles don't get me hot and heavy, in theory, I love the latter. I'm all about some blues and BBQ - unfortunately it's cheap festival barbecue (not that slow, southern lovin' variety) and typically a high quantity of mediocre Journey cover bands. It's great for the bikers having fun, the local businesses earning additional revenue, and whatever charity is being sponsored that year (the Children's Safety Center was this year's so, obviously, I'm a big fan). Having said that, there's always at least one biker that gets hurt in a(n easily avoidable) wreck. Some businesses actually experience a decline in revenue. And despite being billed as the US's largest charity rally, it's not uncommon for the event to earn as little as $0.15 per attendee. Perhaps the choice word "largest" merely represents the thousands upon thousands of attendees, and not how much charitable giving they're actually doing.

Worst of all, our little Arkansan town gets a taste of what living in a tourist city is like. The locals hate this festival. The traffic is so congested; it's evident that the rally has outgrown all of Northwest Arkansas as the bikes purr up and down even the smallest of streets, all the north to Eureka Springs and south to Fort Smith. The noise is deafening; if not the revving of a hundred thousand bikes alone then it's the sound of aforementioned Journey cover bands blaring through closed windows into houses miles away.

You just can't escape it if you stay in town. You either board up your windows, blare your own decent blues and slow cook your own BBQ, or you join them, for better or for worst. I moved to Fayetteville only a week after BBBBQ my first year, and I attempted to have fun at the festival the next couple of years. I'm not even a claustrophobic type of person but that's precisely how I felt when I joined in, suffocating in denim and leather and watery drinks at my favorite bars, unable to hold a conversation with whoever I was with over the roaring sounds on Dickson. But it does make you think about the potential our town has to hold a real charitable rally, without the confederate flags waving about.

So this year we escaped.
But not before shooting a few rounds with his neglected bow first.