Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all my wonderful friends and family!

Oswald Christmas tree!

Hanging out and waiting for the kiddos

Unfortunately, Greg and Sarah and Greggy won't be here today, but soon they will.  Time to go make some Christmas goodies for later today.  Have a great day, no matter who you are with! 

Today is the ultimate "be a joy giver" day!  Have fun

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pictures, baby!

I am feeling the need to post some pix, so here is a little fall and winter update!  It's been a long while since I posted here, though I have been making calendars and other (secret) things with pictures- so it isn't like I haven't been doing things.
A dusting of snow on the roping and ribbon

Here are a few favorites from the past few months
Look at how big this little girl is getting


Oh, fall, how we miss you

First snow of the year...




On the woods road

The beehives- they now have black tar paper for wind break

Little Greggy having breakfast

The doggies are looking for something- find the tennis ball!


The way back field, big and little trees in flux
Find the joy in your everyday, not just the Holidays.  It is all around you!

A weight lifting hiatus that needs to end

Today was the first day that I got back upstairs to do some weightlifting- such as it is- since I was sick almost 2 weeks ago.  I feel exhausted from both the day and the extra bit of energy you can give to lifting when you haven't for a while.  These last 2 days before Christmas break are killers. NO ONE wants to be there, and let me tell you, contrary to what the kids say, we ARE doing something at school.  Don't believe them if the say that they didn't do anything all day.  That is bogus.

Anywho, I have a lead on a semi acceptable gym that I sort of forgot about at one of the motels in town.  I am going to go and check it out, but I plan to continue using my home gym, as the convenience of being home is hard to beat.

I have to say that there are some good things that I have discovered being without a gym for a while.  First, my hand and arm numbness is pretty much gone- so no waking up not able to feel my hands.  Next, knee pain I had been having is gone, too.  I have been able to do some good low squats using the big kettle bell for extra challenge.  Another plus is I have been able to really pack a lot of workout into a short period of time, so I've been able to get a few more things done at home during the week.

BUT I miss the people, I miss the challenge and I miss the workout.  I NEED to do some hard core bench pressing, some lat pull-downs, and bar work.  I need to get back to it.

Unless something else opens up here (note to anyone interested: there is a void here and it needs to be filled!) I will have to make due with my own little setup and hopefully can fill in the gaps with the equipment that the motel has.  Better than nothing, let me tell you.

On that note~ look hard for the joy that has been missing in your life!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

December musings

Well, hasn't it been a long time since I wrote on here??

A quick catchup-
(HAHA- I call catch up days ketchup and mustard days in the elementary school.  They think I am hilarious)

Hunting season happened and winter hit with a vengeance.  Like so much freaking snow you wouldn't believe it, unless of course you live here, and you can.

Hunting season was not good for the hunters this year, but it did allow lots of time spent with the boys and later on in the week, little Greg and Sarah Jane.  Unfortunately, Jon and Sarah did not make it up here for Thanksgiving because of a bit of illness!  That was a bummer.  However, it was a nice week.

I have my Christmas decs up- yay- and now have to spend time wrapping to add to the festive look of the house.  I so enjoy Christmas time and the music and the silly movies and the colors.

I also had an unfortunate bout with a stomach ailment that is taking it's sweet time going completely away.  I after 4 days my coffee still isn't tasting too hot this morning, so that isn't too wonderful.  Booo.

I am not adjusting very well to no gym- it makes me still sad. I have picked up some kettle bells and dumbbells and will get a few more things yet and rock on with it.  I can still pick up the 50 lb horse feed bags with no issue, so I must not be back to square one yet.  :)

IN other news, I have been doing my Lola a day pictures for almost a year now, and I am secretly relieved to almost be finished.  It will be nice to NOT have to take a pic of Lola every day, though it has been an interesting thing to do.  I will do some sort of movie with those photos!

I got a few good snowshoes in at the beginning of December, but NOW it has been warm and when the sun comes up I am afraid that the snow will be virtually gone.  AND it will be a stupid skating rink out in the driveway and it will look really ugly.  Let's cross our fingers for a refresher of snow soon.  I mean if it has to be cold, there should be snow.

So there is a week and some change left of school before an ALMOST 2 week break, which is so seriously needed.  Gathering our resources in the teaching world and digging in baby!

I have one other piece of exciting news, that I will talk about separately at another time.  :)

Pictures will follow.  I want to do more picture posts again, since I do not like having a neglected blog.

Hope you are finding Joy in your December!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A REALLY good day

Today is that "fall back" day of Daylight Savings Time.  With all the whining about the time change in the spring, few people complain about today.  Apparently they are grateful to have an "extra" hour in the day and have nothing to say about it!  HA!

Similar to the analogy that in order to have amazing sunsets, you have to have clouds (I guess the traditional statement is rain and rainbows, but I like sunsets much better than rainbows), in order to have this fantastic, leisurely day of extra time, you have to lose that hour in the spring.  So quit whining and enjoy a little delayed gratification!

I LOVE this day!  LOVE IT.  And that is what I told the MA right now when I went to see if he was alive yet- he works hard on these weekends, so he's a little sleepy.  I said the clock says 7:35 but it is really 6:35.....  and I LOVE this day.  Lol  In that moment he told me he was tired I think that meant- get out!

I look a the time and I know that it will be a day where it seems like you should be doing something particular SOON but you don't have to yet.  Where  you feel like you can leisurely have more coffee, even if the horsie outside is staring at the house waiting for his breakfast.  Where the possibilities seem endless and time is going slow.  I savor the feelings because I know I won't have another day like this for a whole year.

And even better, it looks like the day is going to be dry and at least partly sunny.  And not as cold as it was yesterday.   I guess the only sort of drawback is the fact that it will be dark super early now but on the other hand, it is nice to have a little light in the morning.  My Lolaaday pictures will be way better for a while!  I enjoy being optimistic, it really makes the little things in life fun.

And it is awesome to be able to find the little joys in life!

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!