Currently living/working in: We finished teaching the kids at Fenton Ranch Oct. 12, so from now through March, we wear the main hat of property caretakers. This entails greeting weekend guests (faculty/staff of the school who can reserve the main house as a benefit), doing maintenance projects and general upkeep, along with a few bigger projects. For example, this week, we are overseeing a large plumbing overhaul in the main house, which is actually turning out to be more work for us than we anticipated, but such is life! Of course Justin and I are always also“working” other contract jobs, like gear testing, freelance writing projects (for me) and other random ways to piece together income. Another example from this weekend: we are teaching a Leave No Trace Trainer course. Busy week, for sure!
Current mood: A little frustrated with our medical system. Justin is a complicated patient with 3 different speciality doctors making decisions about his care. And while they are awesome and do talk to each other, no one has a definitive answer for the future. Which means, we are ping ponging back and forth from test to appointment to test to appointment, slowed down often by insurance prior authorizations. On top of that, everyone—including his doctors—want him to get a second opinion. Give me a virtual nod if you can attest to how hard it is to get into specialists’ offices as a new patient these days. You have to backflip through fiery hoops, then transition right into the moonwalk when you land. No fault to the doctors out there, just the way our medical system is set up!
Currently proud of: With all that medical frustration being said, it’s been one year since Justin’s surgery. He rocked his recovery (even though it was WAAAAAY slower than he wished). He is FAR from being out of the woods, obviously still battling a chronic condition, occasionally encounters weird comorbidities/side effects and lives with pain daily, but you would hardly know! Justin tries not to let the disease control his life. Even his doctors continue to say one of the reasons he is doing as well as he is can be attributed to his incredible level of physical activity and positive attitude. We are still trying to live our life less ordinary as much as we can. Sometimes tweaks and sacrifices need to be made, but so far so good.
Currently worried about: Hate to keep harping on the medical stuff, but we really are in limbo right now for Justin! And will most likely be back and forth to Denver a lot more than we would like …
Currently excited about: Upcoming visitors!! You all know I love having visitors … wherever we live. Justin’s sister’s family and mom are coming for Thanksgiving, then his other sister and wife are coming a few weeks later. I can’t wait to show off Fenton Ranch to all of them (his mom is the only one who’s already been here).
Currently not excited about: Our snail mail up here stops Oct. 31 for the winter!! I realize most people couldn’t care less about the pony express, but it is something people easily take for granted. During the winter, we have to drive 15 miles down the mountain to retrieve our mail. Not really a big deal, aside from the fact this will slow down our Netflix DVD delivery and pickup!
Currently thankful for: I finally made it through a season teaching kids without getting sick!! It took 4 seasons, but I think I finally have developed immunity against kid germs???
Currently amazed by: I already mentioned that Justin is the category manager of Knives/Multitools and Trekking Poles for Backpacker Magazine, as well as the holiday gift guide. Maybe someday I’ll do a blog post about gear testing and what goes into it (if you all are interested???), but holy cannoli, it’s a lot of work.
Narrowed down the knives from a zillion choices to 6 so far …
Currently regretting: Not sure if this is a regret, but more of a wishful thinking. We cannot get our rinky dink antenna to work this year! Last year, we pretty consistently got Fox and NBC. This year, sporadic, choppy NBC and that’s all! Soooo … football watching has pretty much been non-existent. We can sometimes go watch it at the State Park rangers’ house, but we just have not done that much.
Current guilty pleasure: We participated in our first Murder Mystery dinner this past weekend!!! It’s always been on our bucket list, so when the invite came in from Justin’s sister and it happened to be a time when we were in Denver for doctor appointments, we jumped on the opportunity. We even splurged a total of $25 on Thrift Store costumes!!! (Missing in the picture is Justin’s genie bottle and my bow & arrow).
Current confession: I’m supposed to be picking up medical writing assignments, but have felt unbelievably busy and distracted by other projects! Oh, and still avoiding talking about/moving forward on plans for my book …
Currently reading: I’ve been really good about reading right before bed instead of scrolling through Instagram, so I finished 1.5 books this month (that’s good for me!). I wrapped up Big Little Lies, which had a fantastic ending even though I sort of muddled through the first part of the book. Well worth the wait! Then I read Inn Sane, a memoir by June Belfie about owning an inn in Pennsylvania for 11 years. I was so curious about this book because there aren’t many innkeeping stories out there. I hesitate to be too much of a critic, but you could tell this one was self published, as it lacked some editing and read a little like a journal. Still, it was an easy read and brought back our own memories of the long hours and hard work that go into innkeeping.
Currently watching on Netflix: We haven’t gotten into a new series, just cycling through some movies. Some that stand out this month: Why Him?, Now You See Me 2 and Zodiac.