Currently living/working in: Still property caretaking the school’s property, Fenton Ranch, in the Jemez Mountains. More than property caretaking, though, we have spent most of the month chin deep in product specs, tester quotes and creative adjectives to describe “lightweight” to meet our magazine deadlines for our gear testing submissions.
Current mood: Mentally exhausted with a drawn-out bit of stress. There are still multiple outcomes for Justin’s medical condition, so we continue to live in limbo, but we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Currently proud of: My photo on a billboard!!! Here’s the backstory. Last month, I posted a photo on Instagram from our backpacking trip in Calaveras Canyon and “tagged” New Mexico True. They contacted me to share the photo on their IG feed, which is not unusual, but then said they were running a tourism campaign on Albuquerque billboards and asked if I wouldn’t mind ifthey used my photo as one of the chosen 8!!! We visited one of the digital billboards in the city and I enjoyed my 8 seconds of fame as my photo appeared!
Currently excited about: IF we ever get snow here, there are some new cross-country ski routes we’ve discovered and are stoked to hit. Last year, we stayed local and mostly did snowshoeing, which I do love. But I’d like to mix it up with some XC skiing this winter. Watch, we won’t get any snow at all.
Currently not excited about: It looks like it will be a winter full of “medical vacations” to Denver.
Currently thankful for: November is the month of gratitude and I’ve made it a point to count all of my blessings in my mind. But I think the thing that stands out right now is being grateful for Fenton Ranch. It’s such a beautiful place to live and we are so, so, so lucky to have such a flexible working situation!
Currently amazed by: Last month, I complained about how slow the medical system is with referrals, but in the past few weeks, things seemed to start moving at warp speed. We are still in the “every doctor has their own opinion” phase, but hopefully getting closer to “this is the best thing for Justin!”
Currently regretting: Where is all the snow???? By this time last year, we had feet of snow and so far, not one single snowflake has fallen here at 8,000 feet in the mountains of New Mexico!
Current guilty pleasure: Pumpkin Pie Spice Creamer (the Pie is the key word)! I am not a regular coffee drinker, and as Justin would put it, it’s more like I’m drinking creamer than coffee, but there’s nothing I like more than a morning ritual of sitting by a fire, drinking coffee and futzing on my computer/phone.
Current confession: I’m running out of ingredients to cook with! Justin’s diet has changed DRASTICALLY in the past 2 years. I mean, we chose to eliminate dairy and gluten, staples in our diets for the past 15 years. In any case, we are still experimenting with different combinations that will agree with him the best and more often than not, something quickly gets knocked off the list. And while I shouldn’t complain because he is the one making the major sacrifices, I am the one trying to come up with tasty dinners that are still exciting!
Currently worried about: Indulging on too much cheese this holiday. Since Justin went dairy-free, that means I pretty much have too. I still love me some cheese and can’t resist when it makes an appearance on a holiday buffet table, but man does it do no bueno things to my body when I eat it …
Currently reading: Jeff Alt’s A Walk for Sunshine. I read this book back in 2012 or so, but the publisher contacted me and asked if I would like an updated copy (Alt added an epilogue) to read again. It had always been one of my favorites of the AT books, so I was not surprised when I enjoyed it the second time. I am a sucker for trail stories that transport me back to the trail … the names of the shelters, the names of the mountains … The content is a little dated since his hike is in 1998, but the story is easy to devour in under a week.
I have since started a second book, A Little Life by Hanya Nagihara. A parent gave it to us and while I am not normally into fiction, the description sounded intriguing. However, it is extremely daunting because it is 800 pages long!!!
Currently watching on Netflix: Still haven’t picked up a TV series to watch (not for lack of suggestions), but are on a roll with some great “based on true story” movies. Here are our favorites from this month: “The Founder,” “True Story,” and “Truth.”