Adventures at Pensacola Beach

On Wednesday, September 4th, my family and I drove the remaining distance to Pensacola Beach, Florida! We saw our first palm trees of the year just across the Florida border. To get to Pensacola Beach, which is along the Gulf of Mexico, we had to cross two bridges onto the “water stick” as we call it.

Water stick—a long, narrow area of land surrounded completely by water but sitting only a short distance away from the rest of the country, accessible by one or more bridges

I don’t know where the term “water stick” came from, but we have always called them that and we have been to three of them: Pensacola Beach water stick, Daytona Beach water stick, and the Outer Banks water stick.


We were excited to have finally reached our first real destination, and to spend more than one night there! We stayed at the lovely Hampton Beachside Resort, which was complete with a swimming pool, easy access to the ocean, and our very own balcony! And a tiki bar! Before deciding on Pensacola, we considered Panama City Beach and Destin, but Pensacola was said to be very nice and the quietest of the three beaches, so we settled on this one. We were very glad of our choice, because the three days we spent there were perfect! (The whole time, however, I could not remember the word “Pensacola” for the life of me! I either called it “Pentacola” or “Pestacola”.)

We spent lots of time swimming every day. The water felt almost hot compared to what we are used to at the beaches in Canada. At first glance, the water looks calm, blue-green and almost crystal clear, and the sand is so white it’s almost blinding! While walking to the beach, every time we reached a certain section of the sand, it would make these funny squeaky sounds when we walked, and I think we laughed every time.

When we waded into the water, we realized that there were fuzzy yellow bits of algae floating in it. Apparently, the water is usually clear of these, so we just so happened to be there at the wrong time, but we got used to them pretty quickly. There were a few small white jellyfish in the water too, which spooked me at first, but most of them had little or no tentacles so they didn’t sting when touched. What was harder for me to get used to were the fish swimming around my feet! In even the shallow parts of the water, these cute little fish swam around our feet almost constantly, brushing up against our legs and eating whatever was in the sand our feet stirred up. After a while, though, I came to really like them. They were so much fun to try to capture on my GoPro! We had a blast just relaxing and floating around in the water, videotaping the fish, and later chilling on shaded chairs beside the pool as we dried.

For supper that first night, we tried Red Fish Blue Fish, and from our seats on the outside covered deck, we watched the sun set over the water. When we returned to our room, we played some games and ate snacks. Then we went to bed early. Being outside in the sun all day is exhausting, but so much fun!

The following morning, I was awoken by a cry of, “Guys! There’s dolphins out here!!” I jumped out of bed and ran to the balcony, where Mom and Dad were pointing out in the water—and I saw a splash! We were able to witness dolphins jumping around beside the pier, and it was really cool. By the time I grabbed a camera, though, they were swimming east.


We spent the morning and afternoon swimming some more, and we ventured a little bit west to explore around the pier. Then we decided it was time for some lunch. Unfortunately, I think I might have spent a bit too much time in the sun. You see, we Canadians are not used to the tropical Florida heat. On the way back to our room, I tried to carry my shoes, but the dry sand further from the water felt really hot, so I ran for the stairs but they were black and were even hotter. I yanked my shoes on, but while the others were rinsing the sand off their feet, I began to feel very faint and was gasping for breath, so I had to lie under the stream of foot-rinsing water until I felt well enough to stand again. In the hotel, I drank some water as we prepared to go get lunch at Rotolo’s. But I couldn’t stand or even sit without feeling dizzy and weak, so Mom and I stayed behind while Mal and my dad went to pick up our food. While they were gone, I tried eating some doritos and drinking some more water, and finally began to feel a bit better. After eating most of my penne alfredo, I felt completely fine.

A bit later, when we decided we were all fully recovered from the heat, we returned to the beach. First, I almost forgot my chair. Next, just outside our room, I accidentally dropped my glasses on the floor. Then we got on the elevator, and I suddenly realized I wasn’t wearing shoes! So I had to go back to the room to get my shoes…I wasn’t going to be running across that hot sand again!

On the beach, the wind had picked up, so there were some small waves, but nothing like Daytona Beach or the Outer Banks. We swam for a while, watched the sunset from the beach, then returned to our room and went to Marble Slabs for our first ice cream of the trip! I wasn’t too fond of the raspberry ice cream, but the strawberry was good, especially with cookie dough and Reese’s pieces mixed in. They were all laughing at me though, because they said they all tried to do themes—Mom had a pina colada theme with banana and coconut; Mal had a chocolate theme with chocolate and oreo cookies; and then there was me, just throwing everything I like into my ice cream!

Friday morning, we all got up at 7am to walk down the beach to see the dolphins. We saw a few, but didn’t get any good photos. We went swimming, this time bringing some salty doritos and water with us so I could stay hydrated and electrolyted (my newly invented word, I like it), and when we decided we were exhausted and sunburnt enough, went to Whataburger for supper. I ordered chicken strips, but they all got burgers and received them…all without patties so we were all laughing hysterically! Their customer service was excellent, however, and we got new burgers in no time, so we were very pleased with the service. Then we went to Marble Slabs for the second time.

Since it was our last night at Pensacola, we stood on the balcony overlooking the beach, listening to the laughing of the few people still outside and the gentle lapping of the waves; watching the moonlight shimmer softly off the pier as it cast long reflections into the calm water; and remembering the feeling of the glimmering turquoise water sliding softly through our hands. It was the perfect final night.

On Saturday morning, we awoke early again, this time headed to the pier in another attempt to see some dolphins. This one paid off, because we saw the dolphins and got to hear them blow out air as they surfaced in the water! Then we had our final breakfast in Pensacola. In the breakfast area, Mal told us that a guy walked up to him and said, “My friend told me that we have the same hair. But I don’t think so.” It was hilarious, because we’re always laughing at Mal’s hair. It’s long, thick, bouncy, and sometimes ends up sticking up somehow in places, and he’s always telling us, “There’s nothing wrong with my hair!” 

When we left the hotel, we drove east toward our second real destination: Daytona Beach! We had kept west until then because we wanted to avoid Hurricane Dorian, which was passing through Daytona while we were enjoying the sunny weather at Pensacola. We were able to actually follow the hurricane north, staying behind it, so we had sunny days every. single. day! It was great!

I missed Florida. Writing this, I miss it again, but I’m sure we will be back someday!

Exploring Nashville

On the third day of September, we made it to Nashville, Tennessee! It’s quite a busy city, but not as bad as some places we have been. It wasn’t quite what we expected, but we only had a few hours to spend there.

We started with the Parthenon building. We walked among the pillars, but decided not to venture inside as we didn’t have a large amount of time. There was a lake sitting near it, so we walked the perimeter and saw some squirrels, Canadian geese, and cyprus trees. I really liked the funky trees and their reflections in the water.

20190903_131935_editA short way down the road on our way to the Parthenon, we had seen a place called No Baked Cookie Dough, so we had to check it out! They give big scoops of cookie dough, kind of like ice cream in a dish but with cookie dough instead. I tried peanut butter, chocolate chip, and confetti sugar, and they were all delicious! There is also a strawberry shortcake and chocolate brownie, which were also good. Unfortunately, I looked them up online and they don’t ship to Canada, but they definitely made it onto our List of Awesome Places! (Upcoming blog post to be written about the awesome places.)

Then we drove to Broadway Street and visited the Country Music Walk of Fame. We walked around the streets a bit, ventured into a couple of stores, I found some postcards, and then we walked down the street to a bridge over the river. By that time, we were pretty much melting in the southern heat, so we had supper at a place called Rock Bottom. My chicken strips came to me organized very fancily in a nice little chicken strip mound on my plate—fancy chicken strips! They were good too. :D

After supper, we left the city and drove south toward our first real destination: Pensacola, Florida! We stopped in Montgomery, Alabama—another new state for us. Our journey will continue from there.

The Smoky Mountains

On the last day of August, as the sun had just begun to rise over the shadowy tops of the trees, my family and I departed for a two-week adventure: our second ever road trip to Florida!

Unfortunately, Day One of our adventure did not go quite as planned. We tried to get a prepaid phone plan in the US, but it was a four-hour ordeal that ended in two of our phones unable to be unlocked; we were unable to call Canada despite being told we could; and we quickly discovered that although we could text to Canada, no one from Canada could text us without being charged. The good thing was that, even though only two of our four American SIM cards could be used at a time, we did have 4GB of data to last us the duration of the trip (spent mainly on navigating and finding food and ice cream through Google Maps), so it worked out in the end. Mostly.

With our spirits still high, we managed to travel through four states that day: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Mom and Dad fell asleep in the backseat while I drove, and Mal and I made some joke about watching out for caterpillars when we saw a sign that said “Keep your eyes on the road.” Then we started actually seeing lots of little fuzzy black and orange caterpillars crossing the highway! I tried to steer away from the little blobs inching across the road. So, then of course we had to joke around about if I were to accidentally swerve off the road into the ditch trying not to hit the caterpillars, and that when Mom and Dad woke up, the conversation would go something like this:


My thoughts exactly! We went to the Olive Garden for supper. Their “forks” only had 3 prongs!

Them: What happened?
Mal: There was a wildlife and we swerved to avoid it.
Them: What kind of wildlife? How big was it?
Mal: Uh…not that big. It was…a caterpillar…

We didn’t swerve by the way. I’m not that dumb. But then we ended up having a 23km range left on the gas tank, with (according to the GPS) 27 km to the nearest gas station. It’s not my fault!!! My mom’s car has some sort of fancy technology that I don’t know how to use. xD We made it though.

We spent our first night in Connecticut at a lovely Holiday Inn. They had the most amazing cinnamon buns for breakfast! We drove all day on Day Two, passing through five more states–New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. We went to one of our favorite American restaurants, Denny’s, for supper, and it was attached to a little convenience store. I started talking to Mal about the taffy sitting on one of the shelves, but when I turned around it was someone else standing behind me, and he had wandered away. xD So I guess I talk to myself now, and people think I’m crazy. Oh well, I always wanted to be a fruit loop in a bowl of cheerios!

On Day Three, September 2nd, we crossed the Tennessee border for the first time ever! We drove to Gatlinburg and stopped at an information center, where I bought a Smoky Mountains postcard and decided to start a collection of postcards; I’ll get one everywhere we go and put them all in a book!

We drove along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail toward the Smoky Mountains. It was a beautiful road, surrounded by trees with little glimmers of sunlight flickering through the bright green leaves. We stopped at a walking trail called the Rainbow Falls trail. We contemplated whether we had enough time before dark to walk the trail, because it was 5.2 miles round trip and it was getting late, but in the end we decided to do it. We saw some lovely views of waterfalls, the mountains through the trees, and paths that went along the edges of hills. It turned out that we were actually climbing the whole way up the trail, but the waterfall at the top was beautiful and shimmered in the glow of the departing sun, and the climb was really fun and definitely worth it! We made it back to the car just as the sun was setting—I think it took us 2.5 hours total.

From there, we drove toward Nashville but stopped for the night about an hour away in Cookeville. We decided that Mom must be really tired, because we had this conversation on the way and she almost died laughing!

Mom: Shouldn’t you be in the other lane?
Mal: Well, I was passing that guy.
Mom: What guy? That guy way up there, directly in front of you?
Mal: Yeah, but then he noticed me. You have to be sneaky when you pass people, or they’re like ‘Oh no, I’m gonna lose the race! I better floor it. Then I’ll put my brakes on when I’m ahead because I don’t want to go TOO fast!’

The worst thing is, that happened way too often!! I am starting to appreciate Canadian drivers, and we all know what goes on on Canadian roads from watching Canada’s Worst Driver…right? Well, American drivers might be worse…yee. (No offense if you are a driver in either of our countries. I’m sure all you guys out there are awesome drivers who would never intentionally go faster while someone is trying to pass you, move over into the passing lane right in front of him, and then brake while staying in the passing lane, even though there are no other vehicles around for miles!)

And there ends the first chapter of our perfect trip. Road trips with family are the best—tons of road trip snacks, listening to good music, laughing about dumb stuff, and getting so tired you laugh about even more dumb stuff! What more could one ask for?

Hody/Potalo Dictionary of Phrases

TAEZ6793Mal (that would be Mr. Potalo) and I (a.k.a. Hody Pody) have come up with pretty much a whole system of words and phrases. We often use incorrect spelling while texting each other, and we say things in a way that sounds like we’re three years old sometimes, but that’s us and it’s fun. xD

I decided to write up a list of some of the recent words we’ve either invented or use often (sometimes out of the proper context), so you can join in on the fun! So, without further ado, here is the Hody/Potalo Dictionary of Commonly Used Words and Phrases!

Awesomesauce – adj. amazing or really fun
Awesomesausage – n. something that is amazing or really fun
Cool beans – a statement similar to “that’s great”
Dense – adj. dumb or ignorant, as in when a person doesn’t seem to know something
Disturbation – n. something that is disturbing
Epicalistical – adj. a longer, funner term for “epic,” as in amazing, really fun, or the best ever
Glitchy spaz – n. This is when your game is spazzing your character all over the place, usually caused by a bad Internet connection
Glug – 1. n. a drink, usually a blue one 2. v. to drink something
Gluggity chug – n. a very good drink
Hoingadoing – an exclamation usually spoken when doing something that requires effort, such as jumping over something or throwing something heavy
Laggy spaz – n. Similar to a glitchy spaz, this is when your game is very laggy and an action is completed on the game several seconds after you press the button for that action, usually caused by a bad Internet connection
Leedleedleedleedlee – the sound made when one sticks out his tongue and blows, usually a sassy gesture
Lopoloo – like “lololol” but terribly misspelled
Nifty – adj. cool or useful
Nondumpy-lookin’ – adj. fancy
Oi – an exclamation usually uttered after laughing a lot, kind of like an ashamed sigh or sometimes used instead of “lol”
Pikker – n. picture
Phlome – n. phone
Sack of bologna – n. something that is completely wrong or annoying
Scheeeeooooop – a slurping sound made when one is really hungry or sees food that is really good
Scrub – n. a person who doesn’t know what he is doing or is very dumb
Scrubby – adj. used to describe something bad or annoying
Scum – n. an extremely annoying person or one who acts mean or breaks rules
Shifty – adj. suspicious, as in when something or someone seems off
Slueueuleuleuueuuleup – a slurping sound, usually a response to “scheeeeooooop”
Smear – n. a mark left by something or someone sliding across the ground or a surface, or when a cat rubs its face against you
Smeared – adj. the state in which one is slid across the ground or a surface and usually leaves a mark, or the state in which a cat has rubbed its face against you
Smudge – n. on Fortnite, an SMG
Snip – 1. n. on Fortnite, a sniper 2. v. to snipe someone
Spaz – 1. n. something that is spazzing 2. v. when something or someone is moving or flailing awkwardly or moving all over the place, often in a game when your character is appearing in random different places due to a bad Internet connection
Spooked – adj. a state in which one is worried, scared, or hyperaware
Spooksy – adj. something that is extremely scary
Spooky – adj. something that is very scary or causes worry or hyperawareness
The “let me do what I wanna do” button – usually on a computer, the “Not now” or “I have read and agreed with the terms of service” button, or whichever option makes the questions go away so you can do whatever it is you went on the computer to do in the first place
Veddy – adj. very
What do – a question meaning either “What are you doing” or “what should we do,” depending on context
Wo – a statement meaning “Whoa,” giving the impression of amazement or pride
Yee – the sound one makes when they come across something large, squishy, green, and/or gross, similar to “ew” but nobody actually says “ew” unless they’re trying to so it usually comes out more like “yee”
Yerp – a word meaning “yes” but which is more fun to say

Okay, so I might not win an award for the best dictionary ever, but this is just for fun so enjoy! And who knows, I might have some more words to add in the future. ;D

Do you use any of these words or phrases? What are some words or phrases that you commonly use either out of context or that most people don’t use much? Come on, let me in on some of your fancy words!

Flowers and Mountains

So like, my brother is really good with computers. …and phones. And all electronical devices, really (I declare that electronical is now a word). In fact, he had to explain to me what a virtual box was a few weeks ago when he put one on our computer so we could use our old PC games that were only compatible with old versions of Windows like XP (we then had to activate our Windows XP online, so we proceeded to have to figure out how to get service pack 3 so we could do that, but we thought we needed Internet Explorer 8 to download SP3, but to get IE8 we needed SP3, so that was fun. He ended up downloading SP3 on the actual computer and putting it in a shareable folder to run the file on the virtual box, which finally worked). If you’re like me and you don’t know what a virtual box is, basically, we now have the computer (running Windows 10), but we can use the virtual box (Windows XP) almost like a separate computer system on that computer to play XP-compatible games!

So, yeah, he’s really good with computers, but cameras are kind of my thing. xD

I need a new phone because mine has a permanent smudge on the rear camera, and being the ‘photographer’ of the family, I can’t live without a camera on me at all times! So we were talking about phone cameras and comparing different ones. One of them had three different cameras: the normal camera, a wide camera, and a zoom camera, and I said that the zoom on any phone is going to suck because my DSLR doesn’t lose quality when it zooms like a phone camera or a regular point-and-shoot camera does. Then we started comparing his phone’s camera specs with my DSLR, starting with shutter speed and ISO, and then I mentioned aperture.

Mal: Oh yeah, what does your aperture go to? Mine goes all the way from flower to mountain! *sounding very proud, but obviously joking*
Me: 4.5 to 32.
Mal: *hesitating* …What is that in flowers and mountains?

I almost died laughing because it was so funny the way he said it! Then I started looking at the pictures for the different modes on my camera (I usually just use the full-manual mode, or auto if I don’t have much time to play with the exposure settings), and I announced, “Oh, I do have a flower mode though! And another one looks like a portrait…and in between, it looks like a guy with a log sticking out of his chest!” Looking at it more closely, we deduced that the log was actually his leg, and that particular mode was for action shots, so we’ll just say I was really tired when I thought I saw a log!

My camera is a slightly-ancient Canon EOS Rebel T3, by the way, and is still a great camera! I do need a new phone though…in case I’m in a situation where I don’t want to be carrying a heavy DSLR around or risk hurting it. But no matter what camera I get, it’s going to be bigger than my little 4″ iPhone 5S, and even that one just barely fits in my pocket! Oh noes!


Photo from 2015. Please don’t ask why I’m wearing sunglasses while trying to look through the viewfinder. I really don’t have an answer. xD

How do I overcome my fear of cashiers?

While browsing the internet, I came across an interesting question: “How do I overcome my fear of cashiers?”

Some people might not understand this, but I do.

Checking out at the grocery store used to be a scary thing for me, and forget ordering a donut at Tim Hortons! I would avoid it, even if that meant I didn’t get a donut. I would have to psych myself up to go to the checkout at a store, sometimes discreetly walking by a few times to make sure I knew exactly which lane I was going to go to, how many people were around, and that no one was headed to the same place at the same time. I dreaded the moment the cashier finished with the customer ahead of me and would look at me, but I also felt very much like all eyes were on me while waiting for the other customers to pay. I always worried that something bad would happen: my card would be declined, or I wouldn’t have enough money, or I wouldn’t understand how to use the debit machine, and I wouldn’t be able to figure out what to do, and it would be the end of the world. And worse, I was worried I wouldn’t hear what the cashier said to me, or would misunderstand or hear incorrectly. To me, the cashier was the authority figure at that moment in time and it terrified me.

But my answer to the question was simple: become one.

When I thought about working in high school, I wanted to be anything but a cashier. The thought of standing there checking people out all day terrified me. How awkward it would be to stand there, and what was I supposed to do while the customer was paying for their groceries or while I was ringing everything in? Thinking about customers watching me made me so nervous, I could hardly sleep thinking about it. I thought I wanted to stock shelves. That would be less social interaction. My mom insisted that I would like working cash better though, so I conquered my fears and when I applied for my job, I specified that I would like to work cash.

I did have some experience working cash before my current job. My first job was a 6-month position at a library, and while it was pretty quiet most of the time, I did have to scan books out to a few customers per day. After that, I volunteered for some experience at a drug store, where a good part of my job involved working the cash. It was still not even close to being as busy as a grocery store though.

Even with that experience, being a cashier at the grocery store was scary to me. I did all right, but it was a lot to learn all at once. The things I worried about weren’t actually so bad, but other things came up, things I never thought about before because I used to imagine that being a cashier was literally just standing there, ringing in groceries, and pushing a few buttons. I actually preferred facing for a while – being out in the aisles, tidying up the shelves. But I was determined to give it all a fair chance, at least for a month, and sometime during that month I started to feel better about it. And actually, it’s made me feel less stressed in other everyday situations.

By working as a cashier, I met so many people, had to learn to have small conversations with them, and I saw that everybody feels the same way. Maybe not quite like I did, but pretty much everybody worries about doing something stupid in public. But everyone makes mistakes or does the little things I would dwell on so much, things that I thought were horrible when I did them. I realized that the cashier doesn’t care if I don’t understand how a debit machine works, or if I’m a little slow finding my money, or if I misheard what they said; when I see people do these things, they’re not the only one I’ve ever seen do it. Everybody makes those mistakes. I’m not unique just for that. And if someone does care— oh well. Everyone makes mistakes, and we are all human; I have seen it for myself. I have a greater appreciation for myself because I know that if I make a mistake or do something stupid, I won’t be the only one to ever do it in this world. That gives me so much confidence.

Sure, I still feel a little awkward going through checkouts. It’s actually kind of funny how I’m more comfortable being the cashier than the customer. But I appreciate my awkwardness and I wish every one could! If we were all exactly the same, life would be very boring!

This maybe wouldn’t work for everyone. I know social anxiety is a real thing, and sometimes so severe that working cash could be pretty near impossible for some, but it sure did help me. I can order takeout now, throw out my own garbage without running away as fast as I can, make small talk. I don’t put off getting groceries anymore. I can eat in peace in front of people in the break room–or, at least, I can as long as no one is talking to me or looking in my direction. I’m still working on that one. But most social interactions seem easier.

Some days, I see something happen to someone that happens ALL THE TIME. The kinds of things I used to worry about. Maybe their card was declined, or they entered their PIN incorrectly, or hit the wrong button on the machine, or they didn’t know what cashback was (I didn’t know what cashback was before I started working here…), or the machine simply didn’t read the chip on their card correctly the first time they inserted it. And they apologize and I see them get really nervous, and they don’t know what to do. As if this had NEVER happened before to anyone, as if it was something horrible that happened, when often it isn’t even their fault! And what do I, the cashier, feel? I don’t feel angry at them, or think that they are naive or incompetent, or any less of a person than I am! I feel bad and because I understand, I try my best to make it seem like it’s no big deal, because honestly, it isn’t!! These things happen every day, to everyone! Understanding that makes me far less nervous when anything like this happens to me.

It wasn’t a quick fix, and I still have moments when someone is watching me that makes me nervous and I hit the wrong button on the keyboard (or have to slow down so I don’t hit the wrong button), and it seems like I lose my peripheral vision, and become hyper-aware of every move I make and every syllable I utter. I still struggle to speak clearly when I am asked a direct question sometimes. But I’m improving still, and I’m far from where I started. I can enjoy my life – go to restaurants, order my own food and pay, go to stores without pre-planning every single thing, stand comfortably in the checkout line, and I feel like part of this world. And because of everything I struggled with before, I have a greater appreciation for all of these little things! Buying groceries, going to restaurants or going through drivethrus at the takeout – it’s even kind of fun now.

Now, while I say this, I don’t want to imply that working in a social setting “fixed” me. What I find hilarious is that people thought I was “unsocial” because I was homeschooled. But I was the same way when I went to public school as I was when I was homeschooled, and I’ve known of public school kids who felt the same way I did. I didn’t worry about things because I never had to socialize, I worried because every time I socialized, I went home worrying about every single word I said, going over it again and again in my head, wondering if something I said could have offended someone. This happened when I was in public school, it happened when I was homeschooled, it happened if I said two words to a friend or if I spent hours in a classroom. It was just the way I was. Anyone can feel this way, and it’s not necessarily caused by anything. Being homeschooled actually allowed me to learn independence and tackle my fears willingly, at my own pace. Whether I was in public school or not, I would have tried to avoid these things. While being a cashier has helped me to open up and see that nobody is perfect (including me), and while I do believe that experience in the world helps calm these worries, being homeschooled did not prevent me from achieving this social experience. It changed the way I received that experience, but it certainly did NOT cause me to be “unsocial.” Every person is different, and what works for one may not work for another.

Potentially, being homeschooled actually gave me MORE chances to be social and more time in different kinds of social settings (not just a classroom setting). I have to specify that, because I think that being homeschooled was important to me being the person I am today as well. But that isn’t what this post is about.

So really, I just want to say something to anyone who feels self-conscious in any social setting: try not to think that way. Just be yourself, because you are pretty awesome. Mistakes happen, we all make them. Any mistake you make has most definitely been made before. And most mistakes are reversible. So live your life, persevere always, and do the things that scare you the most, because the more you do them, the easier they will become. I’m glad I had the opportunity to be a cashier, because it has taught me some important life lessons and, I believe, helped me to be a better person overall. :)



I don’t know if this is going to make much sense. Maybe it’ll all just be a jumble of writing from my confused mind that seems to be getting everything mixed up lately (that “purple” thing I mentioned earlier was actually gray), but here goes…


I stand here tonight, trying to find my escape. Phantom Stallion, Chestnut Hill, Heartland – these are all the series I read and loved as a kid; and, more recently, Twilight, Divergent, The Hunger Games. In the last few years, especially since after high school, I haven’t had much time or interest in reading. Partly because I don’t have time, and partly because I read so much in school and university that the idea simply wasn’t quite so appealing to me anymore. But now, I seem to be getting back into it a little more.

What am I trying to escape from? Well, nothing really. I have nothing to escape from, at least nothing that would make sense. My life is awesome. I have an incredibly amazing, supportive family that I hang out with every day, a wonderful boyfriend who makes me want to be a better version of myself. My horse is proof that dreams do come true; she has stood by my side through thick and thin and I can’t imagine my life without her – she makes me who I am and I love her more than words can express. I have a sweet, lovable dog and a cat who has chosen me as his human. I live in a beautiful house with my beautiful family, surrounded by family and friends, with a barn in my backyard, a four wheeler, trails everywhere to explore new and old places. And am starting to take jumping lessons this year, something I’ve considered since I first started riding and have wanted to do for a while now. I am happy with my life, and I could not want anything more than what I already have. But that doesn’t mean I am always feeling happy. Sometimes life has a way of bringing you down and wearing you out, and that’s okay, you’ll get through it, you always do, but what should you do in the meantime?

I haven’t had much interest in reading lately, but when I’m feeling down, there are few things that will perk my mood up. Today, I did not feel like riding Destiny. I didn’t feel like going for a walk or a drive or to go get ice cream. Mal and I played Fortnite duos for much of the day, which was enough to distract me. But tonight, since he left to go back to university for the week, and Jacob went home, I have no escape, which is why I am searching my book shelves. Mustang Mountain, Pony Pals (wow now we’re really going back through the years)… what do I feel like reading tonight?

I recently read a piece of advice… it says “Rest. Be ok with not constantly going somewhere. Society, media, Facebook all have us believing we must seize the day and do it all. [We] have worked hard and [we] need to rest…Boredom gives way to creativity. Rest renews our bodies and our minds.” -Mrs. Eggart (originally about children resting during the summer) That really spoke to me, because for the last few months, I have felt exhausted. Of course, recovering from mono was one thing, but even now, I feel like I’m suffocating. I’ve been focusing on work, trying to get back into riding, and walking, and four wheeling, and posting videos on youtube and keeping up with social media; I’ve been trying to do it all and even if I succeed, I know that it will never be enough for me. So yes, it is important to work hard and never give up. But not at the cost of never giving yourself time to recover or have some fun, and REST. What would a day of rest mean for you? For me, I enjoy playing video games – like Fortnite, with my brother – or reading, maybe doing some writing (only creative writing though, and not forced), watching TV shows I know and love, or making some cookies. I think we all need to take the time to recuperate from our busy lives. And busy doesn’t even need to mean hectic – for some of us, just a week of plain old working, or even just going to the barn and riding, can be exhausting some days. So take the time to relax. Let that be enough for today. You need to come first – because, yes, life is life and work is important, and we need to try our best, but some days, it really is important to take a break from that and just be.