Monday, February 3, 2014


As I was driving home from work this evening, I was crossing Lake Hartwell and glanced over and the sunset was so pretty so I couldn't help but stop and capture it on my phone.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

nothing is impossible....

I'm sharing my story about my adventurous vacation on July 21-27 to western Massachusetts as I learned to not only whitewater kayak and whitewater raft but to also do anything I set my mind to even though I was literally in tears and scared out of my wits and getting out of my comfort zone. You have seen my pictures of my bruises "battle wounds (trophies)" that I received from flipping and hitting rocks as I swam to shore. Monday, July 22, we arrived at the reservoir with Zoar Outdoor to learn about flipping in kayaks and the rescue procedure. I was very nervous and also excited; it didn't sink in until we were in our boats and out in the water and some are flipping. I got scared because first off I can't swim and secondly not crazy about being submerged under water even though I and everyone else has on PFD (personal floatation device aka life jacket). T-Rex and Pine Cone were with me talking to me trying to encourage me that it's ok to be nervous and I'm all in tears. So I decided get out of my boat, me and Pine Cone take a few dips in the lake. I'm like that wasn't so bad! Next, we work on me try to float and totally trusting in the PFD. I'm still scared/nervous but I do eventually collect myself and lay back and kick up my feet while somewhat relaxing but still tense. It's finally lunch time, yay!! After lunch, I try another kind of boat, its called a deck kayak - you just sit on it. I felt more comfortable on it versus the kind you sit down it. On a deck boat when you flip you immediately come off versus having to pull a strap and then push the boat off your hips. Me and Mrs. Robinson were hanging out after lunch practicing on my forward and backward strokes and eye focus and trying not to get ran over by the others as the play games! As we head towards the group, they all start cheering, etc for ME! I had my own personal cheerleaders, sweet! It meant a lot having their support. Monday ends and I wasn't as scared and nervous as before. Tuesday, July 23, we go back to the river for the first half of the day until lunch. Mrs. Robinson wants me floating by myself without holding her hand or Pine Cone's. I finally trusted completely in the PFD and floated and became more relaxed. So, she says we going to hop in your boat and work on flipping. Yep, that's right the nerves kick back in! Mrs. Robinson and Pine Cone talking to me and I'm trying to collect myself. I'm leaning to the right to flip then I sit back up. Mrs. Robinson says, You got it just finish it! So, I lean back to the right and over I go. I come up, they both tell me to just relax and float. Mrs. Robinson paddles over to me, I grab hold back of her boat and swim as she's pulling me in (rescuing me). Laughing once I'm back at the boat ramp and dock, I'm like that wasn't so bad, what the heck was I thinking? We continue doing this couple more times and I'm getting more comfortable and then it's lunch time! By then, I'm starving lol. We load up everything and go to the river. I'm thinking I'll try it then I'll just hang out with Dang in the raft. Did I nope! I did all 5 miles! With a couple flips along the way. When I flipped in the river and was swimming, it seemed that I'd flip right before the swallow part. I swear I'd hit every rock lol. We stopped on the river for a break and I got my first current flip (the water/current flipping me) and was swimming in and "my cheerleaders" cheered me on as I swam in. If you've never been kayaking, going for a swim is just flipping and then having someone come to you for you to grab hold back of their boat and they pull you to shore. We finish the rest of the day and have another flip or two. I won the most flips of the day award lol, not really! Wednesday, July 24, we went to Shelbourne Falls that morning for shopping and then after lunch we went rafting. Now that my friends was AWESOME!!!! Thursday, July 25, me, Mrs. Robinson, and Pine Cone became "Team Awesome" and kayaked the river together. We did the same portion that we did on Wednesday in the raft. We had class I & class ll rapids and lots of wave trains. It was nice having them two with me during much of the day. Mrs. Robinson: see that rapid under that tree limb? Me: yeah. Mrs. Robinson: We going through it. Me: um, ok!?!?? Me & Mrs. Robinson went over that rapid - I don't remember if it was class l or ll. I just knew that I was about to flip, I was prepared. I was literally laying all the way back on my boat and I do some kind of number with kicking my right foot up and waving both arms and saving myself from flipping. It was awesome! We had a good laugh because we have no idea how I saved myself. I apparently shifted my weight just right. I could never had done it again if I'd tried. I wished Wombat had gotten that on video or a picture, but sadly he was behind us and didn't see it. I learned how to focus on where I want to go and just keep paddling and guess get there! It's crazy how that works. We all took lots of spins turning around as we floated down stream and took in the breath taking view of the mountains. Western Massachusetts is such a beautiful place!! We were almost at the take out point. Me and Mrs. Robinson were relaxing just coasting down with the current. Ginger Snap and Dang were in the raft. As we pass them, Ginger Snap says, "Jewels, you've done so good today without flipping." I smiled and said I know, thanks. I didn't get completely past them and guess what?!?? I flipped! Ginger Snap jinxed me! Thanks Ginger Snap!! She said, "l'll keep her mouth shut from now on." I came up I had my boat on top on me and raft right beside me so l pushed my boat over and grabbed hold of side the raft. Dang asked if I wanted him to "save me" meaning pull me into the raft. I declined. I grabbed back of Mrs. Robinson's boat and realized its a bumpy ride to shore, lol. I was proud of myself; l did all 5 miles again. I think that morning after breakfast talking with Sparkles, I told her I was probably just going to do a few minutes then hang out in the raft. My few minutes turned into all day!! Friday, July 26, Graduation Day! I hung out in the raft with Dang. When we were almost done and about to take out, we graduated meaning instead of going together as a group on the last wave train and class ll rapid, we did it by ourself one at a time. Of course we had folks at the end of the rapid in various parts incase we did swim. I went last. I knew in back of my mine that I'd probably flip. So, Pine Cone goes with me a little ways helping me get started. She backs off, I'm looking down stream at Clutch. Next thing I know I see a rock. I tried to get around it but l wasn't fast enough. I got stuck - just my luck. Whenever you get on a rock, you lend into it and that helps counteract you from flipping. Luckily, I remembered to do that. I'm just hanging out on this rock and Pine Cone comes to the rescue and pulls me off. As I'm hanging out, I throw my right arm up in the air and I'm holding my paddle and holler "wooooo." And I do have proof of that lol thanks to Wombat, our photographer! After couple attempts, Pine Cone pulls me around and off this rock. I wobble some and lean the opposite way so I don't flip but that didn't last long. I flipped! Mrs. Robinson comes over I grab hold of her boat but I can't flip over to my back because guess what...It's shallow once again! So, I'm on my back with my feet up so they don't get caught in the rocks as we go throw this wave train. Now that time I literally did feel every single rock and even tried to hold me butt up because of a rock but wasn't to successful I felt it and went Oh god! Cherry Garcia said she saw me as I went over it and said, that'll bruise - it did. I had 3 big ones on my tail. I finally get to deep water where I can let go and float through the rapid. Once through it, Pine Cone picks me up and we go to shore. I receive my necklace of luau flowers. Now that was one heck of a graduation! I got back in the raft. I deserved it!! Just past the take off area, there's a class lll rapid that was optional. 6 people did it in their boat and all of them swam but 1. Dang went down it in the raft. Me and 4 others were also in it. When we went rafting on Wednesday, both rafts went down it. And that was the finale of the week going down the class lll rapid whether in a kayak or raft! 
#teamawesome #nottoproud #beingbrave #overcomingfears #gettingoutofmycomfortzone

Thanks for reading!


I have finally found a few minutes to sit down and share pictures from my vacation to western Massachusetts the end of July. I had a great time. I went on my third cancer survivors retreat - this one was with First Descent in Denver; we met in Albany, NY at the airport and commuted to Plainfield, MA about 1.5 hour away. During the week, we learned to whitewater kayak and we also went whitewater rafting. We went down the Deerfield river in Charlemont, MA with Zoar Outdoor as our kayak instructors. We visited a little town called Shelburne Falls, Ma; it was a neat historic little artsy town. It is nice to meet new people and make new friends with those who have faced cancer too.

 flying to Detroit from Greenville-Spartanburg

 getting ready to land in Detroit

 one of the great lakes

landing in Albany

 river bound

 inside "campfire" on Monday night due to rain

 monday night winners L to R:
Pipes-sunshine award, Tilley-helpers award, and Jewels (me)-most improved award

 chefs and house moms

 sushi - tuna and vegetable! it was good!! my first time
having sushi and I like it!

 tuesday night campfire

 L to R: Sparkles, Jewels (me), Mufasa, T-Rex, Pipes, Bam-Bam, Tilley, Blue, and Mrs. Robinson
Back: Hon and Cherry Garcia

 flower bridge in Shelburne Falls

 Shelburne Falls, MA

 Fudge & Ice Cream Shop

 getting ready to hop in at the reservoir


 hammers and barefeet - not a smart!
did I catch the hammer? yes! on the rubber handle? most of the time

 went for a swim! Mrs. Robinson giving me a ride to shore.

 heading down to go through class III rapid

 WOO HOO!! super soaker class III rapid

 FD family with Zoar

 peeling out of an eddie

 happy faces after a week of play in the river with awesome instructors

 break on the river

 swimming "floating" through class II rapid for graduation!
I thought it'd be more fun out of the boat, ha!
 stuck on a rock! graduation friday

 Mrs. Robinson and I - team awesome!
This woman is incredible! We were PIC the entire week along with Pine Cone (Zoar instructor)
I couldn't have done it without the encouragement and push from them every morning!
can't swim? no problem, PFD - personal flotation device is your best friend!

 uh oh! caught making a splash! I got flipped.
Julie - 0   River - 1

 class II rapid swim - graduation ceremony!

 Team Awesome!

 Charlie's Angels! haha

 caught in action!

catching the eddie!

Monday, August 19, 2013


It has been some time since my last post.
Life has been a bumpy ride over the past several months.
I have posted a photo of Jewels (julie) and Sparkles (julie).
I went on vacation the end of July to western Massachusetts
on a kayaking trip and I met Julie!

I have lots actually tons of photos to edit and post from March-August.
I plan to begin tackling them soon as I found a few moments.

Friday, March 1, 2013

number 28

I bought myself an early birthday present something I'd been looking for a long time....
I found a really great deal that couldn't pass it up.
I can't wait to try it out.......

 Canon EOS Rebel XSI 450 D w/18-55mm lens

 55-250mm lens

 lens filter that makes lights "twinkle"

 lens filters

 more lens filters

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fabulous Friday

I just wanted to write real quick. It has been one crazy week. I am enjoying my time off from both jobs for the first time in a long time. It is a beautiful, sunny day here in North-East Georgia with temps in the lo 60s, just my kind of weather. This cold weather has really slowed down the healing process of my knee from the accident 6 months ago, so I am very much ready for warmer weather. The knee discomfort is also affecting my back with some mild discomfort, but overall I feel great compared to 4 months ago. School is going as well as it can go for the medical field, ha! The end of the month I will have completed my first year which is unbelievable! Mom is doing good, she had her last treatment for the first round last Thursday, February 7. She starts her weekly treatment for 12 weeks on February 21, it will be another kind of chemo and a lower dose so the doctor has predicted that she shouldn't be as sick. Once she finishes these 12 weeks, then surgery will be planned. She is keeping a positive attitude about this whole ordeal. She's such a stronger person and an inspiration to me! She has said regardless of the outcome, she is ready to go that she's a winner either way; whether she beats it or goes to see Jesus.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Winter 2013

So much has happened since my last blog. Mom has had 3 chemo treatments and the last one was rough for her. She was sick last Saturday and felt like working Wednesday - Friday this week. She goes back next Thursday for her last 4 round treatment, then wait 2 weeks and will have weekly treatment for 12 weeks and then will discuss surgery. She is keeping a positive attitude! God is really helping her and I'm so thankful for that.

It is been crazy weather in January and now on the first day of February which is hard to believe. I would like to see some snow, but it doesn't like we will get any. It doesn't seem like it should already be February 1, wasn't yesterday Christmas? Time seems to just zoom by faster and faster each year. II hope everyone stays warm and safe the rest of this winter season. I hope spring comes sooner than later.

Good night!