Inside each and every one of us is more power and capability than we know. The last few years have been ones of incredible personal growth for me on this front and simultaneously society as a whole seems to be going through this same transition. My goal here at Damsel NOT in Distress is for you (yes, you) to realize just how powerful you are, how capable you can be, and how expansive life can feel when you move beyond your limits.

Welcome to Team Damsel NOT in Distress

I’d mudded sheetrock before. I’d hung it before with help. The whole house needed to be done, flooring needed to be laid, and cabinets painted. I held my brand new drill and told myself that I could, in fact, do this.

I was in a drive through at a bank, 350 miles from home, and heard a clunk. I could turn left but I couldn’t turn right. I pulled into a parking spot, shook the wheel and heard a much bigger clunk. Armed with Youtube and basic tools and a surplus of stubbornness I decided to get myself back on the road.

In the midst of divorcing, while much of my life felt out of my control, I seized that control in projects, vehicle maintenance, and long term plans. I dropped some plates and balanced many more. I began to use the hashtag, #damselNOTindistress on Instagram. Owning that seemed to give me a place to be bold, to do things that I had been pretty regularly told that I couldn’t do. I did more and that only inspired me to push myself to do even more.

Several of my friends have picked up the hashtag and used it for everything from hanging curtain rods to unclogging dishwashers, and tackling travel trailer renovation projects. However, the idea of “Damsel NOT in Distress” feels larger to me than that. It is women taking ownership of their lives, and perhaps even more so, the world around then in all sorts of ways and harnessing their inner power and strength to make that happen.

I originally launched my blog in 2011 to document my life as a partnered woman, and in retrospect, I let that partnership define me. My journey to embracing my own being and strengths (and weaknesses becoming strengths) has been halting at times but life changing and bracing. While I plan to continue to document my own #damselNOTindistress moments in this space, I also want to use this space to amplify the voices of other women living their damn lives to the fullest.

To that end, use the hashtag to share your #damselNOTindistress moments and those that you find in this vast internet space. Tweet stories you read to me so I can share them with you all. I’m toying with a link-round up once a week to share things I’ve found with my readers but I’m open to other suggestions and totally welcome input from the world of other damsels (or dames, if you prefer) who are NOT in distress.

You, yes, you, are part of Team #damselNOTinDistress. What will you do?


Happy 8th Birthday Sprocky

Sprocket turned eight on Sunday. We woke up to snow gently drifting around the house and a couple of inches on the ground. I soaked up the loveliness of the light, some coffee, and the comfort of the couch for awhile before I remembered it was my sweet boy’s birthday.

There is little that my pupper loves more than to frolic in the snow. I knew the next move was to get dressed and head out for a run with him; especially since I had to head out for work shortly.

Guys, I forgot my phone.

That means there are no pictures. Which is probably fine. The weather was not particularly photogenic. The clouds were low and the snow was continually falling softly. The quiet, could not be captured on camera (even if it was occasionally punctuated by a plow on 550 below the trail).

But that also means there are no pictures of Sprocket running full out for a block and turning to look at me completely delighted.

There are no pictures of him standing in water just over his paws looking shocked I let him.

There’s no photos of me grinning in the perfect falling snow as I followed his wiggle-butt up the trail to the summit of Boot Hill.

I don’t have pictures of how perfect the little yuccas looked under their blanket of snow and how SP came to check them out with me.

There’s no video of him doing his best mountain bike impression zooming down hills to catch me after deer scents distracted him so I could get ahead.

There’s no capture of him nudging my hand before trying to get me to chase him on the path beside the river.

We put in almost five slow, snowy miles and I think I grinned the entire time. Back home, I ran in the house to capture this shot of me and my boy on his birthday. I’m a ridiculous dog owner but there’s nothing ridiculous really about loving a pup that loves life and helping me love life as much as he does.

Women Who Inspire: Launching Damsel NOT in Distress

Starting today, it’s time to bid adeu to 3Up Adventures.*

A lot has changed in my life, and more and more often, the world around me seems to be changing just as fast. I have grown substantially by embracing my ability to do things—I’ve worked on renovations, become passable at maintaining my vehicle, and feel pretty empowered to tackle projects and experiences of all kinds.

This blog will largely continue to be a record of my own activities and projects. One of the things that has always motivated me to write here is to create a record of places I’ve gone and things I’ve done first and foremost for myself. On the other hand, I do have some wonderful readers of this blog. It is a new goal of mine to bring you stories of other women doing inspiring things. I am not entirely sure what form that will take but I am excited to build that space.

Thank you so much to you all for following my adventures. I find the feedback that I get from readers who are inspired by *me* super inspiring.


What’s Changed? Where do I follow along?
  • Update your RSS feeds/readers to follow http://damselnotindistress.com/blog/. All new blog posts will be made only on Damsel NOT in Distress, although I’m attempting redirect 3Up traffic and links to the appropriate posts here.
  • Facebook made me start an entirely new page claiming my name was misleading to readers so you can find me there under “Damsel NOT in Distress.”
  • My Twitter and Instagram handles have simply been updated to the new name.

*3Up was named for my ex, Sprocket, and I all riding on our quad together. 3Up, the corollary for a couple and their dog instead of “2 Up” on a motorcycle.

Cochise County Highpoint: Chiricahua Peak

After hanging out in Tombstone, I was ready to do some hiking. It was time after a long fall full of working!

The hike to the summit of Chiricahua was exactly what I needed. I made a foray up Peak 9308 with some off trail travel but aside from that summiting Chiricahua and Flys was seriously just a beautiful ridge walk in the park. Considering my low level of fitness and activity, this was highly appropriate.

In the 12 mile hike, I didn’t quite hit 3,000′ of gain but I did check off another Arizona County Highpoint taking me to 80% on the list!