Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Just a quick Happy New Year to you all!!

May your year be filled with joy!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

What to do, what to do

I am in a state of suspension today.  I am here at my son's getting ready to start the day and the New Year is almost upon me.  I have always had that "lose weight" resolution looming, even though I have never been a big resolution person.  I didn't want to set myself up to fail.  So THIS year is different. It is not typical of other years and I am sort of feeling the lack of a clear goal right now!

I have changed so many things in the last year.  I have changed my eating - my food choices are so different than a year ago, and SOOO changed from 2 years ago.  I have things I choose to eat and things that I never plan to eat again, or at least not for an extended period of time.  I have proven to myself that I can indeed resist foods that I have no power to deny, unless I never taste them again.  Hard to start, but once you change your mindset- it really is pretty simple.  NOT easy, but simple!!!

I know what I have to do in the food department, sort of, but am very much floundering over other parts of my life.  Last year I had both my boundary waters trip and the Dirty Girl run to do and that was an amazing pair of physical challenges to do.  My sore knee affected both things, but it turned into a massive learning experience and gave me satisfaction in ways that weren't anticipated!  Life is full of things like that- you go into something thinking one thing and then things surprise the heck out of you.  You can plan all you want- to feel a certain way, to "never " do a particular thing, to be able to accomplish a goal in a specific way- and then things and people will affect you, touch you, appear to you in unusual formats or with unexpected results.

So what am I going to do?  What is going to surpise me?  What physical thing can I be planning to do, but may turn around into something a little different?  I am not sure, but I need to at least thing of which direction to go in.  It is something I am struggling with right now and I need to at least begin to walk some way!  Or maybe run, or possibly canoe, or kayak???  swim???  Idk. 

But I am anxious to find out.  And I need a start.

I will definitely find some joy along the way!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


It was sunny enough and snowy enough to be charming over the Christmas long weekend.  Definitely a good time for those of us who enjoy our photography and outdoor activities!  I have a bunch of pretty nice pix here.  I hope you can sit back and enjoy the view!  If you are in a non-snow area of the country, you can be a snow bunny without actually having to get cold.  There are a few non-scenery shots, but I didn't think you would mind!

Stone house

For Sarah


This is a REALLY good book, I have read some of it and it was a great purchase!

Branch patterns

Sunrise in December

Sun and shadows

Clay pigeon shooting

One of several daylight moon pix

Remnants of an old root cellar or garage across from the Stone House

Butternut Creek

Tough old oak leaves-  I like their tenacity!  
 It is always a pleasure to review and post my most recent pictures.  I hope you found some joy in them as well!

Fears, flaws, challenges, and walking on water

Look, I'm walking on water!

I went for a walk today to try and overcome the sugar coma that was threatening to engulf me.  It was stupidly cold out, too, and I just didn't WANT to go.  But I did because I was so lethargic and tired that I knew getting out was the thing to do, but it took a LONG time to talk myself into it.

So after dressing myself in multiple layers, I decided to head on down to Smith Lake, one of my favorite thinking places.  I think about summer, about canoeing and I don't know why, but it is conducive to just mulling over life.

Self portrait in shadow with moon

As I have implied, Christmas is hard for me in many ways- most of them kind of personal and I really don't think need to be aired out in public.  Let's just say, like many of us, Christmas seems to point out our flaws, our unresolved childhood conflicts and issues, our insecurities and our dissatisfactions with parts of our lives.  That I think sort of sums it all up.  People make it out to be the most ideal part of life, and we all just know that isn't the truth.  If you even begin to think about all the songs that are being sung about it being the most wonderful time of the year and all that- well one can't help but think that one is doing something terribly wrong.  So, I always have to have a talk with myself on Christmas day to remind me to be grateful for what I have, but still go for what I want....  if that makes sense.  Well it did at the time!

So this is where I was going down to the lake in a serious effort to negate the effects of cookies, and candy and all sorts of things I haven't really eaten for a few years and I will not be letting myself get into THAT habit, let me tell you!  I had listened to all that depressing Christmas music the past few weeks (lol like Home for the Holidays and Let it Snow!) so I knew that I had to find something else.  I just acquired a new "unused" playlist and that was the ticket!

Moon rise

It is interesting how music affects me while walking.  A very wise friend mentioned (when I told her that there are a few pieces of music that I simply can not listen to any more while working out, as it makes me too sad) that when you pair up music and the endorphins released by running/walking/activity you get some powerful memory/emotion triggers!  That is undoubtedly the truth- there are about 3 songs that can literally bring me to my knees.  I try to avoid those songs, even though they are certainly a few of my favorites, or at least used to be.....  but if I can't listen to them, can they still be my favorites?  idk.  At any rate, it was very nice to be walking along with many songs that have no associations at all, it really made achieving my goal of clearing my head and my arteries quite enjoyable.  Exercise (along with the music) is an incredibly powerful thing.  The worst of moods can be eased by a 2 hour walk (sometimes less!  :) ) and all my irritations from a long day of work can be left on the floor of the gym.  I have had people tell me I am addicted to exercise- and that is an addiction I can live with. Unlike my apparent addiction to cookies.  Not sure I can live with that one anymore..... People who actually "know" will agree with me that exercise is a wonderful thing to be addicted to- the benefits are huge, the drawbacks are few.  And the good feeling that I get when I really lift some heavy weights or push myself to walk faster or if my knee can take it, to run longer- is almost unbeatable.  Almost!!
The dock at Smith Lake

So scroll forward to Smith Lake and there I am at approaching the edge of the boat landing.  If you remember back to last winter, I was afraid to walk on the ice.  Well, no one is going to be surprised to know that I still am afraid to walk out there, but I did.  I didn't even stop, I started my pep talk to the scared Debi about 1/2 mile before I even got there, and I walked right out onto the ice!  I wasn't happy about it, but I did it. Of course the little narrative that went on in my mind was quite an adventure!

"So you can walk out there,  no problem! Just go!"

"what if I get out there and I hear the ice start to crackle?"

"There are vehicle tracks out onto the ice. A 4 wheeler weighs more than you do, girl"

"But their weight is spread out over 4 wheels, mine is all concentrated on my two feet.  Even if I didn't go through the ice, all the way and drown, my foot could still go through!"

"We can call someone on the phone"

"Who am I going to call???? The MA has no cell phone, who knows where Mike is and it is Christmas for heavens sakes. Who is even HOME??  It is so cold out, I'd have frost bite so fast and that would suck.  AGH - I am so going to be in trouble.......  I think if I got myself to shore, covered up my wet feet with my coat and call EVERYONE on my contact list I might be able to save my feet.  I could yell for the ice fishermen to help me......."

"You are now out on the ice, so relax!  For heaven's sakes."

There are obviously several people who inhabit my brain.  It all gets a bit cluttered sometimes.

So I was walking on water again today, and it was ok.  I will always be afraid of the ice cracking under me, but I can do it if I want.

Think they could have heard me?  Are there even people out there???

And there is the dock- WAAAAY back there

I am a sucker for a challenge!  And I usually am the one who does the challenging- which usually turns into a bit of a joy for me.  Because if challenged, I will not be easily defeated!  Especially by myself!

My next challenge is to go out even FURTHER on the ice- oy.  I am sure I will be fine if I stay on the path, but  you KNOW that I will veer off for a few good pictures.  Maybe I should wear a life jacket!  ;) And always try to be a joy-giver!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas everyone

I want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas.

It has been a pretty amazing year for me so far, and I am so grateful for all the people who helped make it that.

I am so lucky to have such a caring network of family and friends, both near and far away.

It only seems fitting to put in a few Christmasy, wintery pictures....  It is my gig, you know!

You have an apple for me, right??

Long shadows on a sunny day


I know you will enjoy the quaint Christmas scene with the shotguns stacked
with care in the corner....

Jonny in Kindergarten

Greggy in Kindergarten

Mikey in Kindergarten


Attempting to walk off the morning of cookies and treats  with Ruger, Toby and Sarah Jane

Railings on the loft

um, yeah

Grandma's gift to babygirl!

Little cabin in the woods
And of course the stone house makes an appe

frosty december 
 It is HARD to stay steady when one has had some chocolate "refreshments" before going lights looking!!
Christmas lights

More Christmas lights

Merry Christmas from me to you

Find your joy!