One of my favorite things about working for resorts is getting to utilize the spa! So when Adventure Man asked if I wanted a facial I was like, "Hell yeah!"
I used to work as the office manager for a resort spa. Because we were in a remote town, our therapists would have to commute. And sometimes they would be running late. So we all decided it might be a good idea if I knew how to set up for their treatments. And to really be good at this, it would be good to experience the treatments. (You see where I'm going with this…) And because I was saving their butts, they were more than willing to offer services. Plus, I was just really cool and they liked me.
This past experience has kind of made me a bit of a spa snob. But the spa here in our Wyoming town is awesome. We have a new manager who is changing things up. Change is always good. Especially when it means they have to practice. And that's where I come in!
This morning I got to enjoy an hour long therapeutic facial. We don't have an esthetician so we are limited on some services. But really, this is my favorite spa service. All our stress and emotions end in our faces and to have someone focus on detoxification, hydration and massage, well, it's just an amazingly relaxing thing.
If you've never experienced it, you really do need to give it a try!
About a year ago I started to realize that there was a change coming. In this the hospitality industry, when you are experienced with what is called a specialty property, you can find yourself being approached by other employers. The average general manager only stays in one place for about four or five years.
So we had had enough contacts just through LinkedIn to know the winds of change where starting to blow.
That's when I realized that this blog, though I love it so, may not fit our life's description much longer. I may still be the Innkeeper's wife. But how long would we still be on the property? We lived on two different guest ranch properties for a total of eight years. But that's not as common as my kids seem to think.
This line of thinking bright me to the conclusion that I either needed to change the name of my blog, or start a new one. Or maybe both. And then there is the fact that I'm out of photo space. So, the desition was practically made for me!
I started a new blog. It's not meant to replace this one. It's just an extinction of my life. I went with a blog that I could talk about my other love, or passion, or, well self. It's my place to talk about my health, my fitness, my spirit, my soul. That is how Mermaid on the Mountain was born. I added it to the links up top almost a year ago, but never formally introduced it till now.
I was waiting. I needed to let it evolve a little bit. I needed to see where we as a family where going. I needed to see how my life would play out. Now I've found that most of what I have to write about fits better over there. For example, I started to write about my thoughts on body Imige and public nudity in this post HERE. I will finish that series with the Mermaid. I may never finish it, it's kind of my life's philosophy. You'll have to stay tuned. So head on over and follow my mermaid self.
Oh, one of the reasons I didn't share it until now is because my parents follow the City Girl Gone Ranch Mama blog. I was afraid of the shock factor. I'm over that. So just a little warning, I'm a lot more myself over there. And since it's a blog mostly about my health, I may talk a lot more openly about things that some might deem TMI. Just saying.
Don't worry, I do have lots more stories about resorts and hotel life, so don't give up on Ranch Mama either! Really! The new resort is also a bar with a brewery. Let me tell you, there are already tales to tell!
I've heard that those who are artistic can be eccentric. Dramatic? A little crazy?
Living on the guest ranch in the off season is a very different experience. One day it's a busy little valley with people coming and going. The next day it's a ghost town. A cold ghost town. And just as the summer nights meant hours of sun, the winter brings the endless darkness. Sunsets at 4:30 anyone?
Then comes the wind. Howling like a lonely wolf lost from it's pack. Whipping through the roof and the trees and the canyon. We get winter storm warnings that state 90 mile an hour winds in the mountain passes. Uh, yeah, that's our mountain by the way! Adventure Man would take the kids to the bus stop. During one wind storm the bus was having a hard time keeping the door open. When Adventure Man lunged to save a little girl from getting hit with the flapping door he let go of Bear. Bear was picked up and flew three feet before Adventure Man grabbed him again! Granted, Bears not too big, but still!
Then there where times when the wind would blow the snow in drifts into the road of our mountain pass and we'd be snowed in. Up here in the north, we don't have snow days. The schools don't cancel! But the two families who live up on the mountain? Well we had snow days! Sometimes for days and days!
What did I do with my time while sitting atop that beautiful, dark, cold mountain?
I started this blog, of course!
And what did my kids do while the wind blew and the power flickered?
Yeah, you get the idea...
All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl. All work and no play makes Kristen a dull girl.........
Photo credit to: Top: Adventure Man Bottom two: screen shot of movie The Shining All edited by me on Snapseed
I stood at the window, holding my sweet newborn baby. I studied these majestic mountains in my new back yard. So close I could walk right out the door and up into them, I would one day, hike these trails. But for now I knew. I knew this new home would be a home of healing. For all of us.
Postpartum depression hit me just a day or two after Bunny, our youngest, was born. I remember standing in the hotel room with all my kids around me and just bursting into tears. I couldn't stop it. I couldn't hide it. The joy that I felt after each of my other kids was replaced with a sorrow as deep and as black as the ocean.
One of the most common questions in the blogosphere is, "why did you start your blog?"
This is a question I have avoided for the past two years. I've tried to write about it, but then I would decide I wasn't ready. For some reason, however, I keep coming back to it. Like it's just got to be out there for me to move on. On to big things that I'm really excited about. But, ok like, then there seems even more stuff that's got to be said to make even that stuff make since.
(Ok, my California City Girl just came out big time in that last sentence.)
But just as Charles Dickens relates in A Christmas Carol, “There is no doubt that Marley was dead. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.”
Except there really isn't all that much about my story that's wonderful. Well, not to me, anyway.
There were many events that led up to the start of this blog.
• First we were given a book. I will share the title of this book. But not today.
The original owner of this Guest Ranch liked to write. And when she past away, the ranch managers found a box of her journals and stories. She read them, and then had some of them published into a book.
We arrived here just over two and a half years ago. I read the book that was left for us, as a little history lesson, and felt my calling. I had to continue the stories. I had to continue to share the adventure, the beauty and wonder of this special place.
But there was more. I needed to heal.
• I had to find a way to fight Postpartum Depression.
When we arrived here at the ranch, our youngest child was 21 days old. Moving is hard. Moving with small children is harder. Moving with a newborn is even harder. But that is not where this story began.
Before we came here, my husband worked for another resort. He works hard, he is patient, he is likable. At this resort, we found that not all the people he worked with, or for, shared these qualities. My husband found that many of the upper management (of which he was a part) would get fired if certain people were unhappy with various outcomes. He found himself outlasting all of them. Still, as we saw people come and go, we realized that it really was just a matter of time before our number was up.
Our number did come up. On October 31, 2010. I was five months pregnant.
I handled it well. Oh sure, we cried. But emotionally I handled everything very well. Of course I wouldn't have if my amazing mother-in-law hadn't come and spent two months with us. She was an amazing packer! She moved faster than anyone I had ever seen, getting us boxed up and ready to go. Go where? We had no idea.
We lived in employee housing on the property and HR had told us we could stay past the usual 30 days. In fact, as time ticked on, and baby got bigger, we were told we could stay until baby came. We had one more month to go.
Then, certain people heard about it. Certain people said no. We had to go by the end of the week or we would be charged by the day.
We went. With no offers in sight, we put our stuff in a storage unit and got a hotel room in town.
I tend to deliver my babies quickly. I also go a week or two early. My doctor advised me not to leave town.
The wonderful story of how this remarkable person came into this world is another story. And she deserves to have it all to herself. But job offers did come. And so did the baby. And with her came my PPD.
It has been a scary thing. It's been hard on all of us. I am so sorry for the torment my family has gone through. I haven't been the mother I once was. I get angry faster. This results in me hating myself more. This left me with thoughts of suicide. This escalated to a plan.
I am medicated now. Along with PPD, people with MS have a higher rate of depression than any other chronic illnesses.
But I'm doing much better. And so is my family. We've all grown. And this litte valley in the mountains has done just what I knew it would. It has given us a place to rest and recover.