Gold Panning like it's 1849

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Here's something else you don't know about me: I've panned for gold once or twice in my lifetime. Super random, right? I don't know about you, but when I think of California and its rich history, one of the bigger events I think of is the 1849 Gold Rush when everyone and their next door neighbor's chihuahua was coming to California in search of gold.

Though I'm by no means a 49er (I think you have to have a beard for that), I like to dabble in the art of gold panning every so often. It's pretty fun going out into the mountains (that is, when I'm not busy fretting about all the rattle snakes) and sitting on the rocks while wiggling the gold pan around in search of a gold nugget (which I have yet to find by the way). Believe it or not, there are so many little gold specks about the size of glitter floating around in the sandy waters and even if they're not actual nuggets, it only adds to the excitement.

Initially I wasn't really going to turn this into a post/or talk about it because I know most of my readers are young and hip and gold panning just...isn't (unless you were born in 1829) but when I thought about it more, I realized it'd be something a little bit different and well, this is yet another adventure I, well, adventured in. Also, I am in the process of organizing all my California related posts together so that they will be easily accessible through the sidebar - hopefully that's something some of you are interested in.

Oh, and by the way, if I ever find a gold nugget, I'll never tell. ;) 


The best little buddy

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The other day I started realizing that something just wasn't right with Djinn Djinn. I took him to the Vet and it turns out he has some sort of infection. We're still in the process of having him thoroughly examined especially hoping that it won't turn out to be kidney stones or anything worse. The day I took him in, it was quite traumatic for him and at one point I even heard him yelp out in pain in the back room where the Vet was working on him. It made me feel horrible. But it would've made me feel even more horrible if I hadn't taken him to get checked out at all. Later that day, after the Vet visit, I came home and felt so scared and worried. I couldn't stop crying because I just wasn't sure (and am still not entirely sure) what is the exact problem. I won't know for sure until he gets his X-ray next week. I feel like everything is going to be okay because he is definitely showing signs of recovery. But I just can't imagine- well, I don't even want to think about it -but I can't imagine life without Djinn Djinn. He is the best little furry friend in the world. I can't even describe in comprehensible words how glad I am that he is in my life (I'm sure most of you with 4 legged pals know exactly what I mean). I know one day he won't be with me anymore (far far far away in the future) but he's still so young (he's only 5) and I am trying so hard to have him lead the healthiest life possible (minus a sneaky little chicken flavored treat here and there). Literally every chance I get I take time to love him even if it's just a quick little belly rub (even when he's been a sneaky little brat). I'll never be able to give enough love to my best little buddy.


Life as an only child

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Growing up, being an only child felt pretty normal. I actually never thought much about it because it was pretty easy to make short-term friends and my parents showered me with attention 24/7. I was always spoiled with toys but never a spoiled brat (though I had my moments, duh). I knew how to share and how to be polite and I was generally smart in school. I had the best parents who knew not to give into my every demand and who taught me that learning and exploring was more important than material items. I was always painfully shy from the start and to this day, I'm not sure if that stems simply from being an only child (I'm gonna go ahead and say it does). I was a baby and an adult rolled into one. I knew that most kids could be nice but some were just mean and I didn't know how to handle them (I think back on it now and hate myself for always being such a dumb little pushover). I never quite fit in with my peers most definitely due to being so shy and overprotected. I was always the kid who never said a word especially around adults who were generally so big and scary and I was abnormally intimidated by them. Subconsciously, I became a bit of a hermit and as I've gotten older I've become only too aware of how much being an only child has affected me. 

These days, I often struggle. It's 10x as difficult to strike up a conversation with strangers (or even people I haven't seen in a while) but not so much because I'm painfully shy (I'm happy to report I am only shy now, not painfully so) but probably mostly because I just don't feel that people are going to stick around long enough and definitely not forever (as horrible as that sounds). I can't just pick up the phone and rant about my day to someone. There's no one who I could call and tell my happy news to who would be equally happy for me. I have no one who I could call up at 3am if I felt distressed about something (other than my parents, of course- I'd be so lost without them). Friends seem to come and go. Even most family members keep their distance probably because they all have their own siblings and kids to be with.

I've become so independent and so self-reliant and I can't really relate to people when they speak of their best friend and how much they rely on them emotionally or how much fun they have around them. These days, I realize more than ever that mostly everyone has a sibling and those that do are someday going to have nieces and nephews. I can't relate to anything like that. I mean, I try to. But when it comes down to it, I'm an only child and I'm always going to feel a little bit different. 

Don't get me wrong, I honestly wouldn't change my being an only child. I am mostly confident, determined and ambitious because of it. Thankfully, no one was ever really around to bring me down (except for the bullies in 3rd grade) or compete with me so really, as far as I'm concerned, anything I want to achieve is possible. I don't feel special or entitled. I mostly feel alone, empowered and capable. I am super weak but almost just as strong. I think I'm going to be okay. 


Please feel free to share your only child or sibling related experiences below...


The windy forest

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There isn't too many different interesting ways that I can think of in which to say that this is the type of outfit I wear regularly (minus the Bearpaw boots- I usually wear more interesting shoes, I promise) especially on windy days (like we've had for the past 3 weeks- what's up with that?).

I wonder if I could ask you all something? Do you prefer to read posts that are chatty (a.k.a. long but "helpful" or "inspiring") or do you just prefer photo posts with a few words thrown in? Or perhaps a mix of both? I ask myself this question all the time and I think depending on the blogger, I prefer a mix (unless that person is better at photos than they are at writing or vice versa). I can't decide what is best for this blog and I guess I could use a bit of input. I'm all ears (err, eyes).


10 things my mom taught me

In honor of Mother's day this Sunday, without getting too mushy, I want to share 10 things that my mom, the greatest female I will ever know, has taught me throughout my life. While she pretty much has taught me everything, I had to narrow it down as much as I could so you wouldn't end up reading a novel. She doesn't know I'm writing this (still working on explaining what a blog is to her)  and to be honest, I'd burst into mushy tears if she'd ever read this. Also, I would love to post a picture of she and I but I seriously doubt she'd appreciate the internet "fame".

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1. Education is the most important thing- you can't go wrong with a good education (seriously, she's been telling me this since before I even knew what education meant)

2. Keep your elbows off the table (this one has become a little less enforced since I've grown up but I remember as a child my mom would constantly remind me and I'd always be a little sass about it and exaggerate the fact that I couldn't reach anything without using my elbows to which she'd always reply "Very funny").

3. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself and never let anyone push you aside (still working on this one- I hope to conquer it by the time I'm 80 at least).

4. Don't just dress classy, BE classy.

5. It's better to be alone than in bad company.

6. It doesn't matter if you don't have a lot of expensive clothes or a lot of clothes in general. It doesn't matter what you wear as long as you're clean (a.k.a change your underwear every day).

7. Girls can do ANYTHING just as good as boys or often, even better- never hold back.

8. Finish what you start (I blame her for my ridiculous habit of never giving up- I seriously never give up- it's sort of a problem).

9. Don't chew gum in public (oops, I'm totally failing this one- I chew it like I'm Violet Beauregarde).

10. Don't try to please everyone- you're not a gold nugget and not everyone's going to like you. And even if you were a gold nugget, not everyone likes gold...



What has your mother/aunt/grandmother (etc) taught you?  



Prairie

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"Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat." 

Laura Ingalls Wilder