For the first time in a long time, I feel certain that I’m exactly where I should be. I’m not antsy to be moving somewhere new, or making huge changes. I’m just content doing what I’m doing, and it feels really good.

For a long while, I was in a state of transition. Having so many good feelings about how I spent the last year has given me the strength to draw upon to feel like I’m standing on solid ground again. It’s crazy how much difference a year can make. Not only that, it’s crazy what a difference two months can make!

I have so much coming up in the next month to look forward to. I almost feel guilty about it. I’m going to Palm Springs, Silverwood amusement park in Idaho, a surprise birthday trip for a special someone, and then it’s the Fourth of July, which is always pretty amazing around here. I’m really grateful just to be able to do all of these things, and to have a job that has a vacation policy!

I was looking back through some of my posts from the last year and a half or so, and found some old favorites to re-read. It’s nice to be able to read what I was thinking, and see how I’ve changed even in this little bit of time. In my first post I called my little home town all sorts of names, and wanted to leave so badly. I hated it here! But that was because I felt overwhelmed by my past and needed some space to start over for a while. Even when I first moved back in December I wrote about how I didn’t think I’d be able to stay, but here I am, feeling like I could stay forever. I guess we will just have to see.

Here are a few of my favorite posts from last year:



Happy Earth Day

Max Ehrmann 

      Go placidly amid the noise and haste,


      and remember what peace there may be in silence.


      As far as possible without surrender


      be on good terms with all persons.


      Speak your truth quietly and clearly;


      and listen to others,


      even the dull and the ignorant;


      they too have their story. 


Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. 

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism. 

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass. 

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself. 

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. 

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. 

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy. 

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

A Country Girl’s Guide to Creative Date Ideas

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you are probably familiar with some of my first date stories from when I lived in Washington, DC. Moonlit walks around monuments, soccer games, exuberant 10 am brunches, art museums, and the Cherry Blossom festival are all examples of dates that come to mind. One nice thing about living in a city was that there was always some new trendy restaurant to try, or some landmark yet to be explored, which made for a lot of fresh options. Since being back home, I’ve felt like it is much harder to come up with creative ideas for things to go do, and it got me thinking. There must be a ton of things to do here that you couldn’t necessarily do, or at least couldn’t do as well, in DC. Here are some date ideas for those of us who don’t live near any large Metropolis areas, and are not ready to succumb to the basic dinner and a movie routine:




  • Star Gazing. Grab a blanket, a flashlight, and a thermos of something warm and head out to a clearing. Make this more fun by bringing along a constellation map.


  • Go fishing! This takes a bit of preparation, as you will each need a fishing license and pole. It helps a lot to have someone who knows what they are doing for tying hooks, casting, and gutting the fish (ew), but I suppose if neither person did it would be something to laugh about.


  • Take a Ferry Ride. This is particularly relevant in Western Washington, but you could improvise anywhere with bodies of water and recreational boats. Walk onto the ferry, spend a couple hours exploring your destination or grabbing something to eat, and then enjoy the relaxing ride back home.


  • Hiking. This seems to be an old standby around where I live, and it can be fun if it’s more like a stroll than a strenuous hike. Not trying to get all sweaty on a date, BUT getting outdoors and being moderately active in some gorgeous scenery is always a good idea.


  • Go swimming! On a hot summer day, meet up after work and find a body of water to splash around in. Bring floatys and show off your cannon ball skills.


  • The search for the best (fill in the blank) date. This isn’t a good first date option, or even second or third probably since it implies future dates without knowing that the one you are on is going to go well, but designate a day weekly to try out new places in search of the best tacos in your hometown. Or burgers, or pizza, or beer. Whatever you feel like conquering. Give each meal a score on a scale from one to ten, and then tally the points after trying a few places.


  • Try a dance class. We have this place in my hometown called “The Grange” and they offer weekly partner dance classes, with a two hour DJ afterwards. Knowing how to swing dance or line dance can actual be useful information in our neck of the woods, so it’s educational, romantic and a good time. See if your community has something similar.



  • Visit a farm and do a “you pick” date. Think fresh berries or apples, visiting the on farm store, taking a few pictures, and then going home to pile on whipped cream or bake something delicious.


  • Countryside drives. This is actually a really nice way to get to know someone. There’s no awkward eating or bill paying, and there is plenty of time to just talk, roll the windows down, or listen to your favorite songs.


  • Speaking of favorite songs, spend a few hours going back and forth and playing those at home one day. You can learn a lot about a person from their taste in music, and it’s fun to talk about what songs make you think of or what memories are associated with them.


  • Visit a shooting range. Shooting guns is surprisingly exhilarating if you haven’t tried it before. If you are both already pros, challenge each other to see who is the best aim.


  • Have a campfire in your yard, roast marshmallows, drink beer, play cards. Basically act like your camping, but you’re kind of not, because you’re at home.


  • Play truth or dare. This could either be really fun, or expose the true unpleasant nature of your date, which either way is a good thing right?


  • So you both have busy schedules? Do something boring that you normally do solo together. Go to the library to return those books that are almost over-due and make out in a hidden corner for a couple minutes. Cruise through the grocery store to get the weeks’ worth of shopping out of the way, or wash your cars together. If you have to do chores, you might as well do them with someone that you think makes everything more fun. Just don’t make your date do your chores for you.


When you think about it, there really are a lot of fun date ideas that you can take advantage of in small towns. I could go on and on, but I think these are my favorite ideas. Have fun!






Also, what do you think about online dating?  I’m pretty iffy about that in a small town so far haha, but I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has experiences with it.