Monday, October 13, 2014

Past clinging to things.....

After my little tiny quick hit post yesterday, I had a memory of an even more horrifying moment in time perched on the ledge.

Those people were MEAN!

I'd like to especially thank my sister for inviting me and Penny for holding my hand as I walked down a terrifyingly steep ravine.  And then they all conspired to get me to do this...

Ah the good memories when they weren't shaming me into doing dangerous things for the sake of photography and "fun"......  

That was such a great week.

Definitely one of the joyful memories I hold dear.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

clinging to trees in unusual places

This is apparently going to be a new feature here on the Mad blog.  Because I seem to be doing a lot of that lately.

If not clinging to the tree, then to a building or wall or any solid object when I am higher than my comfort zone.  Which is approximately 6 feet.

So my first example, though by this time I wasn't really clinging--

who am I kidding- looking at this picture makes me nervous.  Lol

Here is clinging to trees on the top of the Sea/Ice caves.

Until next time- find  your joy and be brave!

You'd think we'd know better by now!

But no.....  we apparently don't- two supposedly intelligent, educated people...  

Sea Caves- People I walked over there 6 months ago.... 
It's not serious, but let me digress.

Don't worry- I did!
I have been on a hiking kick lately.  A couple weeks ago, I went on an apple run to Bayfield and I REALLY wanted to stop at St. Peter's Dome and take some fall pictures.  I had heard about this place a few years ago, and now finally I got the opportunity to see it.  Only issue was-- it was 80 degrees that day! It was freaking HOT for September.  But the leaves were perfect.  I can't even show you any pix of myself because I took no selfies that are suitable for viewing. I was red and sweaty and very much spent.  It was lovely with color, but that hike up the dome- holy smokers.  It was a couple miles of uneven terrain, roots and streams and stones and a lot of climbing!  And then it opens up into a terrifying, though glorious. view of the northern half of Ashland county, and if you use your imagination- you can see Lake Superior!  :)  I spent some time clinging to the trees and the edge of this overlook- ugh- it gives me anxiety to think about it.  THANK heaven we had the presence of mind to take water with us.

My hiking buddy and partner in crime is the Mad English Teacher who enjoys a bit of adventure and Bayfield, just like me. Our other partner in these journeys- the Mad-Science teacher, Laurie was occupied with company both days. Bummer!!!  We missed her!

NOT an easy trail
While we had had a great breakfast that day (A frittata at Coco's?? Why yes I think I will!) but by the time we got through our final jaunt on the ferry **sniffle** and our standing on the dock staring at the water and me getting coffee and all the other things that go with these trips, we were wishing that we had had a little more to eat.  That is one tiring walk.

AND this is why I wanted to go there- Beauty!
Let me quickly interject here the CRAZY foot wear I saw people in for hiking up this thing!  FLIP FLOPS are NOT for hiking!!  Goodness.  I also saw one group in bare feet- we discussed the possibility of whether they had "interesting refreshments" shall we say.....  you can imagine whatever you want in that particular statement.
Part of the trail

Not part of the trail, but those roots continued through the trail
The creek that flows from Morgan Falls

More of the view!

Morgan Falls- the Morgan Falls route at this particular place is pretty easy and fun.  It is not very far and is really an awesome thing to see.  It's like a little fairy land there, really dark and fascinating.  The St. Peter's Dome route is NOT easy.
Fast forward to this past weekend----

A nice little clearing for the powerline that gives a great view

I am considering working on a special project with some of my students and so I wanted to check out some good hiking areas.  2 of the places suggested to me were Mount Ashwabay and I thought of Meyer's Beach, as well!!  

Bayfield, Lake Superior and Madeline Island in the distance

Our day began at Mount Ashwabay (our day actually began at Coco's North in Washburn, but that is just a fabulous bonus

) where we hiked around the trails around the ski hill.  I am not sure if this is really much of a ski hill, or maybe it is a tubing hill.....  It's not all that huge, but there is a tow rope, so there is that.

NO FILTER on these leaves- no edit, straight from the camera- there were amazing colors
A phantom self portrait in an old abandoned shack on top of the ski hill

The map and the trails were a bit confusing- we ended up never going where we thought.  Which was fine- we hiked a bit over 3 miles and it was not SUPER tiring.  There are ways to hike that aren't real steep, but we did hike up the hill...... which was tiring and steep.  Going up was not bad, but once up there my fear of heights kicked in, and things were slightly more terrifying than I anticipated.   It isn't really dangerous at all, just the appearance of a cliff which is an illusion.

Commercial break: enjoy the sights of Bayfield......

The Madeline docked, waiting for it's passengers

Beautiful downtown Bayfield as seen from the dock

Flapping flags and lovely trees- fall at it's finest

Our next stop, after some fine coffee and a scone (THANK YOU Big Water Coffee Roasters), we drove up through the orchards and got some yummy apples again  (remember this later) and headed up to the northern shore of Wisconsin.  Last January we had been on this beach, frozen as it was, and I must say, this was a bit more comfortable.  

Another season

colder days

The first thing order of business was to walk the beach pretty much as far we could before the beach disappeared and the caves began.  Our goal, though, was to walk the trail above the Sea Caves.  This trail begins deceptively easily- with a board walk for heavens sakes.  It was pretty awesome.
Map of the sea caves  hiking area

Well after .7 miles, you lose the board walk and things get serious.  It was very much like the Dome walk.  Lots of BIG steps up, rocks, roots, up hills and down hills, over streams and wet areas...  yep, hiking at it's best.  I don't mind it, it is pretty fun in reality, but when you don't know what you are in for- well then it is interesting.

Ok, so remember that last trip?  It was 80 that day, and we had some water??  It was about 45 Saturday- perfect hiking weather.  And wouldn't one think that when you are hiking at not one but two different places that you would have some sort of liquid with??  Anything??  And maybe a snack??Especially since there was not only 2 water bottles in the car but also say there was- say here's an idea- APPLES FROM BAYFIELD.  Now wouldn't that have been a portable wonderful thirst quencher??  My goodness.  You'd think we were 12 year olds or something.

 So we were a mite thirsty by the time we returned from our little journey.

  Ah, yes, this was probably  my last trip to Bayfield until the Book Across the Bay in February.  It will be a different sight then, that is for sure.

Some of the caves

A jut out over the lake
This is just a glorious place to hike, but it takes a while!  Not quite as tricky as St. Peter's Dome,  but challenging all the same.

The weather is going to be getting colder and soon it will be snowing and icy. It is so nice to have gotten in another look at fall.  Fall is so lovely and ours came fast and didn't stay too long.   Apparently the lake moderates the weather and the leaves don't turn so fast in the farthest northern counties.  Very good thing to know to make your autumn joys last longer.

Until next time, find your joys in unexpected ways!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mid-autumn update

Don't you think that I would have written in this blog since the middle of September??  I tell ya, its been hopping in my life as of late.  And man, I'm tired.

Old Maple tree

The last several weeks have been a blur of stuff.

School:  I am not sure how or why, but I have been feeling like I've been doing so much prep work for my classes this year, have been staying late and arriving earlier than last year and STILL I feel like I have been falling a tiny bit more behind every day.  I have a stack of ungraded artwork sitting on my desk from 2 weeks ago!  EEEEK.  The middle of the quarter has come and gone and progress reports have been posted. NOW I have 35 or so PLPs to fill out (personal learning plans for the freshman and sophomores).  Wut??  Art is in one display case at least, and thanks to my awesome work-study girl some is in the elementary, too.  I went on a field trip, have another one with the advanced English students coming up, and have managed to flip a classroom and work cooperatively on a unit.  Oy.

Family:  I had company last weekend!  The mad sons and Sarahs and my grand kiddos were  up here for a visit. It was WONDERFUL.  The babies are getting so big!

Going for a walk!


Fitness: People, my gym closed.  :(  This has made for a sad SAD Debi.  I have a kettlebell ordered and I have been walking for MILES and I am hoping for the best as far as a facility being available again in the next year or so.  Maybe the school gym??  Idk.  Like I said hoping for the best.  But there is always body weight exercises and I will be getting out of town soon for shopping, so more weights may be in my future for home.  Oh life, you can be a meanie sometimes.

Friends:  I have awesome friends. There is always someone who will listen to me and like me in spite of my ranting and whining!  :)  You all rock!  I've had a person or two reemerge from the past and that has been delightful.  People sort of step in and out of your life, and it is interesting to see how things have changed when someone reconnects.  It makes me smile.

I am not sure why we didn't get little Greggy and  Ella together for a photo! 
Personally:  I've been working on some stuff, and I have found a lot of peace in my life.  Though I get cranky when I am tired and stressed out from allllll the school stuff and the emotional rollercoaster one goes through when one teaches children.... I still have found ways of coping with these things that encourage peace and acceptance and love.  I am happy knowing that what pleases me is good enough. That sounds sort of self centered and I am totally ok with that too!  It's been a wonderful journey that I have traveled the last 6 months.  Life is indeed as good as you perceive it!

Home- I have been doing some garden preservation things: read freezing food and stuff.  Also included is some fall planting, a little garden maintenance and soon I will have to pack up my beautiful deck full of plants and put them to bed.  It has been cold lately and it is almost time.  Of course with company comes cleaning and groceries and cooking....  sigh.  But we get done the things that are important and anything else is just fine.

Mr. Photo bomber

Greggy on the little bed that Grandpa made for the little ones

I'm sure that I am missing something, but I can't think what.  Maybe the occasional trips to Bayfield that are part of the fall must dos, or the renewal of my reading habit, or sometimes I have to zone out and watch the Big Bang Theory or Project Runway alllllll evening and go to bed with absolutely zero guilt and zero other things accomplished.

Anyway, that is a brief summary of life since school started- at least I seem to have kicked the Lymes to the curb!  There is that!  Friday tomorrow!!!  WOO HOO!  And that's all for now- this is Miss Inspiring Joy Seeker (this is apparently my positive energy name- lol) signing off!

Hope you find the joy you are seeking!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Travelin' light

I had an interesting and amusing observation this morning.  I was up at my usual time, 5 am, and the MA gets up as well, as he is on his way to the greater Eau Claire area for one of his income tax seminars.  Now this sounds somewhat dreadful to me, and I am quite sure that he is NOT indulging in the wonderful shopping opportunities, which is just unthinkable, but this is not really pertinent to the story, other than to possibly enhance the idea that this man is waaaay different than his dearest spouse.  Anyway, let's stay with the story line, he got up and got ready, had his cheerios, picked up his one single bag (small) and left for his overnight seminar.

Let's analyze this statement.  His ONE small bag.  He took a complete change of clothes, placed in my little overnight bag with his toothbrush and toothpaste, and possibly he remembered his dental floss. And likely a comb.  That is literally ALL. HE. TOOK.

I am not sure that I can even comprehend being able to pick up one small bag  for an over night stay. Because first of all, I am a pillow taker.  I take my own pillows everywhere, just because I must.  Then there is the fact that what if I want to wear something different than that one shirt and pair of pants, and what if its raining and what if I need different socks?  Not to mention, I will on a similar trip need to take my running shoes and some sort of workout clothes, and so that means I am pretty much up to a small suitcase, an extra bag with shoes, a book, my computer or iPad, phone charger, other appropriate cords, my makeup bag with a little makeup, and all the things that go with a shower in the morning.  Like my favorite soap, coconut oil, own shampoo, conditioner and then there is the advil, bandaids, hand lotion and a protein bar.  Plus a sweatshirt.  OH and my pillows.  I will have you know I could carry all that in one trip!

In one way I am a little jealous of the ease of his departure, but on the other hand, I would be entertaining myself on my computer, texting my friends with my fully charged phone and having a nice small selection of clothes to be comfy in the next day.  And who knows what treasures I would have found at the local department stores!!

Yeah, well, at any rate, I have the house to myself tonight, which might be a little lonely, but alone in the house can be a joy too!

Hope you have a good night and sleep well!  

Monday, September 1, 2014

A bundle of contradictions


(Wow, I let that last depressing post sit on top of my blog WAY longer than I meant to.  OOPS.)

I'd like to say that I am not a whole lot better than the last time I wrote, but I am starting to relax.  Labor Day is a ball of contradictions, with people coming and leaving, people not coming when they were going to and that secret delight of silence that replaces it- especially after a busy busy 4 days.  There is the joy of the last huge sink full  of dishes that are complete and minimal cooking in the foreseeable future, coupled with a long stretch of no kiddos for company. An old friend showed up in a new way- quite unexpected.  School is starting- and you can say that in SEVERAL ways, go ahead and try some of those out!  There is the mini disasters that occurred and were fixed and the one fix that didn't happen.  ON and on it goes, and I am drained.  However, the sun is out and I think that I will get in a walk, and who knows, maybe the MA will go with me.

The sun magically likes to come out when I enter the school building, and I am sure that it will be out tomorrow when the school year begins again.  It usually is.  This past week was quite lovely whilst I was stuck inside....  Ah yes.

I have my rooms ready, but no clue what to wear.  I have my first few lessons prepared, but have not printed class lists yet.  I am super tired, but anticipate a cruddy nights sleep.  a bundle of contradictions as per usual.  I've been feeling cranky at times today, but then feel bad that I was having ill-will towards a fairly harmless person.  I am happy about one thing, but see the drawbacks in other ways.  I need to quit over thinking. Always.

Anyway, I think I will just publish this fairly disjointed post and go on with my day.  I do want a walk, but I needed this hour of goofing off. After all, it is my last afternoon of quiet for a while.  Maybe I will paint my summer fingernail one last time!

I hope your Labor Day was a good one, whether you were picnicking or partying or sulking or resting or working or loafing or best of all, joyful.

Happy Monday, and now you can spend the rest of the week wondering what day it is anyway!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Don't bother....

Alright, I am writing this to dislodge a whole bunch of angry and upset feelings, so if you don't want to be brought down- move along.  I am really not sorry to say that, because it seems I either end up apologizing for my feelings or feeling bad about them.  So, you've been warned

This is not a typical joyful post, because frankly people, I am not that way all the time.  I am crabby occasionally, I am selfish at times and I allow myself to be hurt. I say allow because really, you have a choice to feel bad about things or not.  So therefore, I am unreasonable and whiny and I occasionally indulge in pouting and self-pity.  And this is starting off to be a pity post.

I will not indulge myself in a laundry list of complaints, because first of all, no one needs to know the specifics and seriously I don't need to be told how lucky I am that those are my worst problems, or some other line of bull.

Basically, I am tired today and I feel gypped out of a goodly section of my summer.  I know that is the way life goes, tick bites happen and I was smart to be aware of what was happening and I acted on it the best I could. So I resent the 2 weeks of afternoons spent on a couch.  Aside from that, I was ambushed by someone's anger, and it really was unreasonable. Though I freely admit and did admit and apologize for the mistake I made.  However, it does not change the fact that I am again being taken advantage of because I do not enjoy conflict.  So here I am the coward that I appear to be- writing my anger instead of verbalizing it.  I do see the wisdom, though, of not addressing this right at this moment.  I will wait until cooler heads prevail. I have had a few people take advantage of my good nature lately, and like adding stones to a bucket- the bucket gets full and over flows.

I know that I am having a tough time transitioning back into school mode, because God knows it isn't looking any easier this year than it was last.  Anyone who think teachers have it easy is delusional.  I do not say we have the toughest job in the world, but it is right up there.  I feel the weight of the little bits of things starting to add up already and I haven't even opened up my room yet.

I wish I was a person that could deflect the monkeys that other people try to give me, and I am working on that.  But I find myself trying to please people way too much.  I found myself feeling badly about myself because I don't have the same taste in food that another person does.  Why would it be a negative because my taste buds do not agree with someone else's??  That is seriously not the way it should be.  You are not less of a person or an inferior person because your taste buds are a certain way. Again, this person did not try to do that to me, but this is how I felt.  It was good for me to realize that, as now I see it for what it is.  A difference between people.

I think much of my mood is a combination of events- a perfect storm if you will.  So I am assuming that my mood will pass.  But it did not let up over night, and so this is one that is going to hold a while.  I hate that.  And there isn't a hell of a lot I can do about it right now- except write my irritations and reassure all of you or any of you who might read this, this is not a deal breaker, and trust me- it most likely isn't you to whom I am referring.

Maybe I will publish this and maybe I will not, but I knew that the conversation I was having with myself was not helping at all.  So I do well working things out on the proverbial paper.  Such as it is.  I guess that it is a moment of discontent with life, though for the most part I wouldn't trade mine.  I just need to reboot and decompress.  And bitch for a few moments.