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Posts Tagged ‘ramblings’

A Slight Rant

I try not to rant very often on this blog, because I believe in positivity and making the world a better place.

However.

Even I have to shake my head sometimes and take a moment to say, “What the *bleep* were they THINKING?”

Today’s moment of stupidity comes directly from my home state. It’s one of the states that happens to be on fire at the moment. (Half the country is flooded, the other half wishes we could pipeline that water directly onto our forests.) Every year, Oregon gets a few wildfires. It’s just what happens. We’re a part of the high desert, which means that it’s extremely hot and dry. We get very little rain here, unlike the small pocket of our state up by Portland. Most of us have common sense when it comes to that. You take proper precautions when you go camping, always use safety when dealing with any sort of fires, and don’t go driving on grassy lands.

And up until a few days ago, all of the major fires that happened here were of natural causes. We had some decent thunderstorms come rolling through, and dry lightning sparked the huge ol’ wildfires that quickly took control of our beautiful state.

Then this happened. (Pardon the bits of language in it. Unfortunately, in this case I’m inclined to agree with the author.) Yeah. Some teenager decided to set off fireworks in the middle of the forest. FIREWORKS.

In. The. FOREST.

I feel like there’s a life lesson in this somewhere. Our words (and actions) do affect other people, whether we realize it or not. One person caused 153 hikers to be put into danger because they became stranded due to the sudden flames. (Thankfully, all hikers were accounted for and able to make it to safety.) Our poor firefighters, who are already so tired from trying to contain the other thousands of acres of burning forest now have another fire to wrestle.

People’s homes are being evacuated and threatened. And the trickle-down effect continues to even people like me. Not only are we having to deal with ash and smoke choking us, but actions like this still can cause damage to people in my new line of work. I’m focusing on becoming a landscape and nature photographer. I rely on being able to get out and get pictures in order to have an income. Sure, it’s small change compared to the poor people who are losing their homes, but the point is that it affects everyone and there are a ton of people who have to deal with the aftermath of this.

Now, I’m sure the kid who started this whole thing feels pretty darn bad about it. At least, I would HOPE he does. That’s a tough way to learn life right there. Yes, son, your actions do cause a reaction. Because science.

However, getting back to my other point, I kind of feel like our words and how we live are the same way. One negative comment or action can cause a wildfire of emotions in someone else. One spark was all it took for the forest to burn. A few words might be all it takes to send someone over the edge. We need to stay positive. Speak life. The world is already full of death. Bring it to life instead.

See? I managed to make it a mostly positive post after all. 😀

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So if you live in the United States, chances are pretty good that you heard about the Big Thing that happened earlier this week. That’s right. I’m talking about that fan-flipping-tastic eclipse.

Or, as we here in Central Oregon like to call it, the ApocEclipse.

Funny thing? It kind of ended up being Y2K all over again. You remember that, right? It was that moment where all the computers and electronics all over the world were going to die because the year was turning 2000 and suddenly life as we knew it was going to end. So everyone stock-piled their food, water and other rations like they would need to survive for months on end because the stores were going to be unavailable and … yeah. Nothing shut down, life went on as normal and we thought we learned our lesson. Well, this was pretty much the same thing.

We Central Oregonians were told to expect as many as 1 million people coming our way because we just so happened to be in the path of totality. So I dutifully did my shopping ahead of time, filled up my car before all the stations ran out of gas, got a couple of cases of water and felt pretty prepared. Only my little city ended up getting bypassed by most of the traffic, so we pretty much prepared for a bunch of nothing. Everyone hunkered down, expecting the worst, so stores were empty, restaurants sat open doing nothing, and the highways were clear apart from a few flurries.

We got a little traffic around the main days of the event, but nothing compared to my little hometown just a few miles away. Turns out, that’s where everyone was going, not here.

So to give a little visual of my area, my current city, Redmond, is surrounded by several other towns and one large-ish city. The town that I was raised in (and where most of my family still lives) is an easy 18 miles away. The population of that town, Prineville, is less than 10,000 people. (What, did you think I was kidding when I said it was small?) The cool thing about Prineville is that it’s just an hour or so away from some of the most beautiful forest Oregon has to offer, the Ochoco Mountains. While most of the forest is BLM property, there’s still some privately owned ranches out that direction. One of those ranches contains a HUGE grassland called Big Summit Prairie.

It’s beautiful out there. When the wildflowers are in bloom, it’s a sea of purple and yellow. Well, the owner of the ranch at Big Summit Prairie decided to make a bit of a profit from this whole eclipse thing, and got a permit that allowed him to rent out his property to an event called Symbiosis. I really don’t know much about Symbiosis other than it looks like basically a modern-day Woodstock. They planned for roughly 30,000 people to show up, and last I heard, the final numbers were closer to 50,000. What does that look like? This:

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That’s a lot of people. And unfortunately, there is literally only one way to get to the Ochocos – straight through Prineville. The good news is that most everyone coming through seemed to be pretty respectful, and it did help local businesses boost their profits a bit. It also provided for some hilarious memes:

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I could link to some of the pictures of random cars and buses that were rolling through my hometown, but there are too many to choose from. And while traffic in my neck of the woods wasn’t bad at all, Prineville was a whole different story.

As for me? Well, I suppose the photographer in me really wanted to get an epic shot of the eclipse. But I don’t have that kind of equipment yet, and quite frankly, I wanted to just enjoy the experience. So I sat in my backyard, put on my eclipse glasses and joined the cheers of my neighbors when the moment of totality was reached.

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Super cool.

And it really was amazing. I’d never gotten to experience anything like it before, so I felt privileged that I could just walk outside my house and get to see something like that. It is most certainly something that you never forget. I think one of the most important things that I’m learning is when to capture a moment and when to enjoy it. Sometimes it’s okay to put down the camera or cell phone and just be content with life. So yes, I didn’t get an epic shot of the eclipse. That’s okay. I still have memories of it, and I probably enjoyed it a lot more because I wasn’t stressed about getting it just right.

Enjoy life, friends. You only get one here on earth.

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I told you that you all would get sick of me once I quit my day job. Now I’m like, “Woohoo! I can actually write down all the random crap that’s in my head!” Sorry, friends. You were warned.

So keeping with a bit of a music theme, I’m posting one of my all-time favorite songs EVAR. When I walk in the mornings, I like to listen to music. Spotify has become my main music source, and I recently was introduced to this song (and singer). Not only do I love Laura Brehm’s voice, but this song sort of became my anthem over the last year or so. It’s been a series of ups and downs emotionally, some of which I’m still working through.

The heart of this song and the positive message behind it often ran through my mind when I made the decision to finally pursue my passion instead of forcing myself to fit into a job that I just didn’t enjoy. I knew that if I didn’t take the plunge now, I probably never would.

It’s scary and exciting all at once, but ultimately, I know that this is what I was called to do. Things have felt more “final” these last few months, allowing me to break off some of the last pieces of hurt and brokenness that had remained.

I’m still working on some final decisions before I reveal what I’ve been playing around with for the last…well, couple of years if I’m honest. Financially I have to make sure I’m doing I think is going to be best, which involves a lot of research. *le sigh* Obviously you just never know until you actually get started, but I feel like being somewhat prepared never really hurt anyway. And I’m a natural born planner, so…yeah. I’m gonna research and probably over-research.

But I’ll keep you guys posted as I do! As the song says, “The story has not come to an end, it now begins.”

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Happy late Birthday to me! New year, new direction, and thankfully, some new music!

I’ve probably mentioned it before, but I’m one of those people who can’t really write anything unless I have music playing. I know some people have to have total silence to concentrate, but I’m not wired that way. Oh sure, I can make it happen if I need to, but music is what drives me, fuels my imagination. It gives me energy. I’m very fortunate, because Brother is a huge fan of Spotify and upgraded to a family plan about a year ago. Thus Parents and I are able to listen to music ad-free and create tons of playlists and radio stations. I have fallen in love with those features, let me tell you. Color me spoiled.

When I’m getting ready in the morning or sitting down to write something, I usually have Spotify up and running on either my computer or my phone. (Seriously, what did we ever do without technology?) I kept hearing these songs that I liked on one particular radio station that I had created, and every time I looked, I laughed because the name of the artist that I kept liking was “Sizzle Bird.”

Yup, that’s the name all right. However, don’t let his title fool you. If you’re looking for a mellow Lindsey Stirling alternate, Sizzle Bird is your man. Same electronic feel, with violin and sometimes piano overtones. While Stirling has been one of my favorite musicians for a while, it’s nice to hear something new, and I dare say that Sizzle might just give Stirling a run for her money in my book.

If you want to know what I mean, check him out here. My personal favorites so far are Imagine and Warm Heart. I’m stupidly excited about it. Of course, I’m always excited about new music of any sort. I’ll come back later with the two other new-to-me bands that I’ve recently discovered that have just blown me away with their abilities. However, they’re just about as polar opposite of this as you can get, so I’ll let them have a post all of their own. Just keeping the mood the same here, you know.

And now if you’ll excuse me, there are very clearly several songs of his that I’ve never heard, so I’d best correct that.

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Exciting and Scary

I made a big decision today. Like, a life-changing, this-could-be-really-stupid decision. Ultimately, I think it’s going to end up being the best for me mentally, emotionally and even physically, but it still seems crazy.

In a nutshell? Well, I quit my day job.

Actually, I resigned, so I still have a couple of weeks left. And I know, I know, it makes no sense whatsoever. While I *am* looking for part-time work to have a little bit of a supplemental income, I’m also going to be focusing the majority of my energy and efforts to something really spectacular. Honestly, I can’t wait to share it even here, because even though it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with writing, it does have to do with creativity. Basically, I’m taking the plunge and starting my own business.

I’ve had a love of photography and graphic design for a long time now, and I’ve finally decided that now is the time. This season is a golden opportunity for me, because I’m at a point where I have no other obligations and I finally have a main idea of what I want to focus on photography-wise.

I’ve always enjoyed nature and landscape photography, but never thought to pursue it as a career until recently. However, there is a TON of competition in my gorgeous state. That’s fantastic on the one hand, because it means a lot of people to glean information from, but it also means that it’s difficult to get started. Once I realized that my real passion was home decor, suddenly a whole new level of photography was opened up to me. I’m keeping most of the details more on the secretive side of things for now, but once the site is up and running, I will most definitely be sharing it here.

Keep an eye out! (And expect a lot more random posts from me. Since I’ll actually have time to do so.)

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A Long Hiatus…

Hello, Blog-World. It’s been a while.

It’s one of those moments where I’m not entirely sure where to begin, because a lot has changed in the last year. While I’ve tried to keep this blog a positive place, because I firmly believe that the world needs as many positive things in it as possible, it doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been rather absent lately. Well, unfortunately that absence was due to some negative situations that needed to be ironed out.

However.

I have learned many things while walking this journey. I’ve learned that sometimes we are given challenges that will shape us into the best people we could possibly be. I’ve learned how to say no. I’ve learned that there is always a lesson to be taught, whether it’s easy or not. I’ve learned that having dreams and desires isn’t easy for everyone else to understand. But most importantly?

I finally found my voice, and I learned how to forgive myself.

It’s really hard to stand up for yourself without feeling like you’re being selfish. (Especially when there are negative influences in your life that might tell you just how selfish you’re being.) But how are we supposed to love others if we have nothing to give them because we’ve no idea how to love ourselves? I don’t mean empowering self-centered mindsets, because it’s also rewarding (and good!) to put others before yourself. But I firmly believe that you must still be kind to yourself.

I beat myself up inside because I made some mistakes, some poor choices. I look back and see what I should have seen the first time around. I can either continue to chastise myself for going down that path, or I can remember that I was young and naive and grant myself some grace.

I know I’m being somewhat cryptic, and for that I apologize. I’m not quite ready to share my full story just yet. But I also know there are people out there who will understand. Remember, negatives can be turned into positives if you know how to look for it.

Last year ended in a way that was seen as very bad for many of the people looking in from the outside. I choose to see it as necessary. It brought about freedom and the chance to start over.

My hope is to continue blogging regularly again. I’ve missed it. Thank you to those who have remained faithful to this little piece of internet in a vast cyberspace. I hope to keep up this journey.

Blessings,

K.C.

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I don’t post political entries on purpose. My opinion is my own, and I don’t feel that it’s my job to change someone else’s mind. Not only that, but I’m not nearly as educated in politics as others are, so I leave the explanation and persuasion to the many diverse blogs and authors who can articulate far better than I.

However.

I feel compelled to write something, simply because my heart hurts at just how much hatred is going on the USA right now, on BOTH sides. Regardless of how you voted, regardless of how you feel, what’s happened has happened.

I saw a meme floating around FB that said something along the lines of hoping for Trump to fail as President is like hoping the pilot will crash the plane we’re all flying aboard.

That just about covers it, in my opinion. Yes, I truly hope that Trump does well as President, just as I would have for Clinton. Not because I necessarily like either of them, but because I want this country to do well. I know I might push some buttons by saying this, but STOP IT.

To the Democrats: Your nominee lost. Move forward and stop being jerks about it.

To the Republicans: Your nominee won. Move forward and stop being jerks about it.

Seriously, people, this is the exact opposite of what this country stands for. We are the UNITED States of America. I have many friends that I disagree with who I still manage to love. It doesn’t mean that your voice doesn’t count. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t believe what you do. It doesn’t even mean that you can’t say exactly how you feel. It just means we need to at least be civil with one another. Try to keep the other person’s feelings in mind when you speak.

In the long run, we’re still all in this together.

So please, EVERYONE…be kind.

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