Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bad news for favorite tree....

I took these photos a week or so ago.  I had noticed that my favorite tree was looking slightly wonky. There was that protrusion that makes the tree look like it has a face in profile. So I took a little walk up to the tree to see what was going on.

It is so sad- the tree is rotting on the North/Northwest side of the tree.  It has a giant hole in the side of it.  I am sorry to say that I expect it to go down in a big windstorm, soon.  But maybe not, you never know I guess!!  There is always hope.

The upper branches look alive yet

Hope this guy will be here for a long time yet....
Things die, things change, but the familiar, the strong, the flexible and reliable give a person something to  depend on.  Maybe you only noticed them recently, or maybe they have been in your life a number of years- but you know what and who they are.  They are the way you stay grounded, a point on which to notice changes.  And consistency.  I mourn for my favorite tree well in advance.  Kind of like my favorite horse.

The simplest things become so vividly important.  Find them and hold onto them and always enjoy them while they are with you.

Clinging to trees in unusual places- Spring edition

Yesterday my fear-of-heights alarm was pinging quite regularly!  Weirdly, during the trip down to Lost Creek Falls I actually had very few alerts from the interior portions of me.  Even though we were on some fairly narrow paths, and *MAY* have been making some of our own little trails, I mostly felt really fine.  The whole pine needle thing was sometimes an issue, they were a little slick.  I actually had a lot more pings over the ice *DANGERDANGERDANGER* there.
I wish the background wasn't so over exposed, but I would have been in darkness then.  Lol  This gives me the creeps, I was really close to the edge here.....

No, where it all kicked in was at Houghton Falls and there were so many descents to sheer dropoffs.  shudder.

A shot of the rocky outcropping I slid down onto
It was beautiful, though.  Behind me was the really neat cave where I could have gone, and I will another time.  But frankly I had had enough at that point.  Which is laughable because further down the path was this beautiful rock outcropping that, sure enough, was a slight downhill to a sharp drop off into Lake Superior.  But the pictures I took were worth the pings and moments of discomfort.  I am finding myself to become more of a fear junkie- this could be interesting.

Such a beautiful view.

It is fun to get myself into these spots and then turn around and wonder how/if I can make my way out!  I always do it seems.  Have a joyful day!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Road trip north!

What a perfectly lovely, albeit cold, day this was!  If we have to have cold temperatures, the sun makes all the difference in the world.

Lost Creek Falls
The Mad-English teacher and I have decided that we need to get back into hiking and biking shape for the year (damn you elbows) and he discovered a waterfall that needed investigating.  So we decided to head on up to Cornucopia via Washburn and Bayfield (I know, shocking, right?) After our requisite stop for bread at Coco's, and then for a scone and coffee/hot chocolate in Bayfield, we headed up north on Highway 13.  
Bayfield docks

The weather was quite chilly today, but the sun was out and that was all we needed.  It was fun to walk out onto the Bayfield city dock and watch a little boat cut through the ice between Madeline Island and Bayfield.  The ice was crunching and it was just so fun to watch.  There were all sorts of little vessels around that you never see during the summer.  Love seeing the differences in the seasons like that.  We were fortified with an exquisite chocolate chip and lavender scone with crunchy sugar chunks on top, and our preferred hot beverage and off we went to the north.

Lost Creek
After a little driving around, we found the entrance to the path to Lost Creek waterfall- and it isn't much of an entrance.  It is an ATV trail that is marked with a yellow gate across it.  No real indication that it leads anywhere at all.  It was pretty easy walking for the most part.  Rough with stones and later tree roots and the dreaded ice patches, but overall it was not heavy hiking.  We may have gone a little too far **coughahalfmileahem** but I checked the internet when I actually got a bar or two, and we realized the trail that we looked at longingly was indeed the one we were looking for.  So back we went, avoiding holes and slippery pine needles as we journeyed.  Once we got off the ATV trail, the hiking actually began.  It was covered with the afore mentioned pine-needles and got narrow and rocky and rough- but regardless once we discovered that lovely thing, we picked out way down the  ravine.

Lost Creek Falls
That water fall is divine!  And we were there at just the right time- there was running water and ice in different shapes and forms.  It was beautiful!  We did some rock hopping and I managed to get across without falling into the water, so that was good!!

Meyers Beach
Ice Caves in the distance

Next stop in the journey, you know because we were driving right past it, was a stop at Meyers Beach.  We walked down the beach towards where the ice caves are, enjoying the really different look of the Lake in the early spring.  It is still frozen, but there is so much wood and snow and ice piled up.... sandy colored in places, many layers of white and blue and tan.  It was just gorgeous.  It is interesting hiking on the beach in hiking boots- especially when a lot of it is frozen.  

Meyers Beach
By this time, the ME and I are getting a tad tired, but we had planned to stop at Houghton Falls as well.  You know, sometimes you drive by something that seems interesting but you never stop- and that is one of those places. It is just north of Washburn a few miles and we have driven past many times.  Originally we were going to go there only, until we discovered that it isn't a very long walk. Less than a mile one way!  So, we stopped here on the way out.  While the falls aren't all that much to see- at least for us - still frozen, not that great, there is a dells and then the end point is an outlook above Lake Superior and that was worth the walk!  Tired as we were.....  

Beautiful reflections in Lake Superior

Houghton Falls area- Lake Superior

Houghton Falls 
So this all finds us at 2 pm and starving so of COURSE we stopped at Coco's for lunch.  I mean, what else could be done??  After a delicious lunch- I had the dal with pickled cabbage and raita sauce wrapped in flatbread with a wonderful sweet potato and pecan salad, AND we may have had a cookie to go... we then headed down to Ashland to shop a little here and there.  After which we collapsed into the car and drove home.  Whew!

The pictures speak for themselves, it was a great day for hiking and photography!  And finding my joy!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Another week in the books

Today marks the end of the 3rd quarter at school and it is almost the end of March in my life outside of the classroom.  I am glad to divest myself of THAT quarter, too many weird, crazy things have happened and I need my usual crazy.

I am breathing a giant sigh of relief as I did manage to get a LOT of grading done in the last few days and today I will finish it up.  Monday begins the giant clean sweep of the art room.  I will save a lot of things for  the art show I am having at the credit union in a few weeks, but the rest will be handed back.  I have a bunch of stuff left (I recently discovered) from the first semester, imagine that!!  Lol.  I WILL change the displays at the front of the school next week- that is the next item to cross off the list.  After that, I will be able to get some more organizing done in my rooms.  This will make the Mad-Artteacher very happy.

I am thrilled to say I got in several miles of walking in this week.  I am going to probably go again tonight as well.  My times are getting quicker again and it is so necessary for me to be outside and in the sun.  I am not all that thrilled with the temperature turn of events the last few days- WOW it is cold again, but that won't last.  Easter comes in a week and with that I will begin my weight lifting routine again.

So how is my arm, you  might ask?  The left one is just dandy.  The right one has it's moments.  It can get very stiff and I still have a hard time writing neatly for long periods of time. It is really weird.  But overall, it is pretty good.  I get little aches and pains but not bad.  I have to decide this coming week if I need to go see the Orthopedic doctor again.  I am going to see what happens by Wednesday.  The orthopod will be in town the week after Easter so I will have to make an appt. before Friday.  I think I just have to let it heal, I don't foresee an appointment being necessary.

So the weekend!!  YAY!!  There will be a trip to the north for coffee and Coco's and hiking on Saturday.  I am SO EXCITED!!  Why are we going??  Because my friend in all things Bayfield and hiking and I made it through the 3rd quarter unscathed (HAHA- well some of us were scathed and both of us may carry a bit of emotional baggage, but we are alive and sassy!) and  because we WANT TO!  AND of course there is a small matter of a bunch of coffee that I need to purchase. Don't judge me!  Then a quiet Sunday and 3 days of school before Easter break.

Since I apparently will not have company on Easter this year, I have decided that Thursday I will go shopping somewhere out of town- all by my lonesome.  Kind of a celebration of sorts- of spring and no school and why ever shouldn't I?? Otherwise only a plan or two, most of which will involve possibly a book and a couch and who knows what else.  Oh, perhaps a walk or 4.

As this cold and sunny day begins, it is a good feeling to have progress at school, which is where my life was really affected from this accident.  Speaking of which, I was discussing that whole accident thing from almost 8 weeks out.  I had an interesting realization of what massive denial I was in, thinking that I could go back to school after being out for only a week. I laughed for a while over that one.  It seems clear now, but I remember needing to get back to work so much.  I knew that the kids wanted me back, heaven knows the subs were happy I was back, and I just couldn't take watching stupid tv for one more day.  Ah well.  I am glad I provided some amusement to those around me.  Or maybe it was consternation, I really don't know.

So make this a wonderful, sunny, joyful day!!  Be the joy giver that I know each of you can be-- and hang on baby, the weekend is almost here!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Dear Life,

Dear Life That is Supposed to Be Mine,

I am just writing to tentatively find out if it is ok for me to go ahead and pretend that I have some say over what happens to you.  Do you suppose you could find it in your heart to let me go ahead and make some plans to, oh, I don't know, teach my 4th quarter here like I usually would??  Um,  maybe be able to do my favorite activities that I haven't been able to since January? I know it is a lot to ask, but I promise I will proceed slowly.

Now, for instance last night, I was able to sleep without advanced use of chemicals or anything! THANK YOU!! Breathing through ones nose is something you shouldn't really take for granted, and I swear I never will again. Also, after using this week to clean and plan and catch up, I think it will be fabulous to be able to throw on the potter's wheel again.  I didn't think that was such a big deal, but wow it is.  I am a little worried about being able to center the clay, but I will muddle through.

I have been super duper careful on the walks I have begun to take since all that ice has gone. I understand now that my accident has been instructive to others, as I have had a NUMBER of people tell me that they quit walking outside during that icy time period. Gee, I am so glad to have saved the radial heads of so many.  Why just yesterday, when I walked down to the lake I gave the ice puddles SUCH a wide berth that someone watching me would have thought I was a lunatic. But we all  know that isn't true, right Life???  RIGHT???

I managed to get through the play without having irritated any part of my arm, but I did get the message about over-extending one's self when you gave me that lovely virus!!  That was so special.  I really liked the part where I couldn't eat anything sweet because it hurt my tummy.  That was great- oh and the hot and cold fever thing.  Wow.  Point taken. So, if you wouldn't mind, I'd like to try improving my general health again.  K K??

I hope that this isn't asking too much, and I hope that I don't sound angry or bitter or irritated, because really this morning I am full of the most zen-like calm.  You know me, I am usually pretty nice and I just want to say that I think I get your point!!  Live in the moment, don't take ANYTHING for granted, and always be thankful for the simplest things, because you just never know!

Soon I will get dressed and be on my way, and I will get my plans together for the last part of the school year.  I will enjoy my students, put up an art show,  get my exercise, laugh with my friends, Bayfield like a champ, and generally live life with some gusto!  (Which by the way, I thought I was doing!!!)  I am thinking that this will be ok with you!  Right??

So, now that we are clear on this, I will just pretend that I am somehow in charge again.  If that is ok with you! And yes, you know darn well that I will be pushing the envelope and doing too much, because that is what Debi, the Mad-Artteacher is all about.  The person who only recently learned that doing the things that terrify her are some of the best moments in life, so she has some catching up to do!  If you find that unacceptable, please notify me in writing.  Those action plans of yours are just a bridge too far- NOT that I am complaining or anything!!  :)

Happy Monday, Life, and I promise we will be looking for all the joy that we can endure!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Desperately seeking sleep, and spring and other elusive things.....

I am sitting here (when I started this that is) at 6:30 in the am wondering how in the heck I find myself checking my powerball numbers (no bueno) and sitting in the dark instead of sleeping.  Sort of the story of my sleep life lately, either I am awake a long time (which is fairly typical) or I wake up by one means or another early in the morning (sigh), or a more recent occurrence-  become awake at 3 in the am and then not get back to sleep.  I really do need someone to lock me in a room with sedatives and/or margaritas and a pillow and keep me there for a few days.  Shove some food under the door but don't for heavens sakes wake me up at 6 am.  Ah well.

So the play is almost complete, and it has been a really good one.  A few minor glitches here and there that ALWAYS happen, but it has been a powerful synergy of fun.  The costumes are gorgeous (rented specialty costumes are the way to go!) and the lighting is spot on!  (HAHAHA)  We have been really working together so so well, and that doesn't always happen.  It has been a special group of kids to work with!  

My stagecrew members are almost all first timers with a couple putting in their second year.  This is somewhat unusual, as most years I have a few 3 or 4 years experienced kids.  This causes a small set of problems that involve them worrying all around me while I continuously tell them that this is an easy play to change.  Don't worry, it'll be fine!! They do believe me now.  They get so worked up about things sometimes.  And then they miss some of my best jokes!!   Not yesterday though!  Last night when intermission hit we had to get the ship off stage.  There are a lot of pieces/parts to it, so it takes a lot of the kids to do it.   We safely got all the sea-life off stage,  and I walked out into the middle (these things pop into my head, no fore-planning) turned and looked and said ok, we need to move the ship- ALL HANDS ON DECK! HAHAHA! Oh I was on fire last night!!  There were more but that one was fun.  Most of them laughed, but I may have seen an eyeroll.  I guess you had to be there. I told them that is what they get when the art teacher gets to take a nap!! 

Sunday performance is the most relaxed and sometimes a little unscripted.  It used to really worry me  because people have been known to get carried away.  Since I feel responsible for what goes on during the performances, for the most part, I remind them that there are people seeing it for the first time.  We don't want to ruin the integrity of the play, I feel sometimes like I am no fun in that regard.  Some visual jokes are ok, but......   You know what I mean.  So they have fun and I spend a lot of time monitoring the undertones.  And speaking with some prime suspects during makeup sessions.  I think we will be good, though.

So, I would like to say that spring has unnecessarily teased us with her warmth and now- what gives here Missy!  I have a spring weekend to enjoy and the high yesterday was like 31*.  COME ON!!!  You can do better than that.  I wanted to go for a walk this morning and it is 21.  Seriously.  I'll probably go anyway, but I refuse to wear multiple layers.  SPEAKING of spring- a certain partner in all things hiking and Bayfield and Washburn and photography and I just MAY be planning a day trip- soon very very soon.  And we don't care what the temperature is or if it wants to snow or whatever.  Take that spring!

In spring's defense, though, for the time being the snow is almost gone, and my daffodils have peeked their little heads up to see if it is safe.  I told them to hunker down for a little bit, not quite warm enough for them.  It is so nice to see bits of green!  I need to go out and chat with Lola too- I miss taking her photo every day.

With the end of the play upon me, I suddenly have time after school.  The 3rd quarter is up on Friday, so I will have a lot of things to do for that.  AND I certainly need to spend time in my art rooms catching up.  I may go as far as to go home, walk and then go back to school like I did in years gone by....  We shall see.  But I need to spend time in my room organizing and (pretend your aren't reading this anyone of you who feels the need to tell me no all the time) climbing around and putting things away on all the  high shelves that I haven't been able to get to.  I need a minimum of 3 sessions, one for each of the rooms I have.  Then I have to change the display cases and probably prepare for an art show or two.  SO much to do in my rooms.  I have kept up with the necessities, but now I need to dig in deeper.

It would be nice to sleep before all of that is accomplished tho!  I see some amazing cloud formations outside, the pictures are asking to be captured.  I can feel a need that has to be satisfied here and pronto.  I quick walk to the flowage might just be in order- 21 degrees or not.  Because I can, and I know that simple things like walks are not always guaranteed.

Take advantage of your opportunities when you can and alway always be a joy giver!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mid-week bleh

I knew this would happen!  I knew that with all the stress my body has been under that I would obtain some gremlin virus in my system, and of course it comes during play week because that IS how it goes.  Ah yes.

While I am not rendered bedridden, I am not feeling my usual perky self either.  I'm thinking it is a cold, but it has occurred to me that last year I had about a month of some allergy things. I generally do not get that sort of allergy reaction, so I am a bit uneducated about it.  Frankly, I will take the cold virus.  CAN'T be as bad as 2 years ago during the play week, when my livingroom was being renoed and I had the stomach flu from hell and I missed out on the school performances.  That was a very sad Debi that year.

The real sads this morning is that I was really in no shape to go outside late last night and I see all sorts of people got fantastic Northern Lights photos!!  I was cold and hot at the same time and in bed before 10.  BOOOOO!  I would totally have gone out for that.  I live in a nicely dark area and undoubtedly could have seen them well....  another night I guess.

Well enough of the whining already.  So, the play is coming together nicely.  It is amazing how smoothly everything is going, the kids know their lines, the stage crew is coming together well.  Everyone thinks this is such a big play to stage, but it really isn't.  (The Sound of Music and Grease- that's all I need to say)  There isn't much down time, as the scenes are pretty short, so no one has time to get bored or fool around, which is good-  however, once we change one scene, we are planning the next one.  So we are blasting through it quickly during rehearsals, which is awesome.  I come home so dehydrated, as we seriously don't have the time to even think about find water.....

Tonight is rehearsal and then tomorrow is part of the play for the student body- elementary, MS, St. Anthony's, HS.  When each one is I am not sure- except the HS is at 11:20 or some such thing.  Early dismissal and then a little inservice in the afternoon (:/) and then Friday the performances begin.

I've been dousing myself with Zicam and aleve hoping to beat back the symptoms of this particular fun event, as I need to be on my A game.

It's Wednesday everyone, we can do this!! Be a joy giver and make the week go well.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Play week, 2015

Another play week is upon us here and the cast and crew of the Little Mermaid will make their first concerted effort to work and bring this all together tonight.  It is going to be a busy busy week for me, and I am beginning it a little tired.  Not an ideal situation, but am hoping it passes.

After a WONDERFUL weekend with Jon, Sarah and Ella, I spent the day yesterday sort of lounging about.  I did manage a 4.5 mile walk and made some curried lentils and sweet potatoes, so there was that!  **A quick aside to say, this recipe is sublime.  I alter it all the time, so don't worry too much about it.  I never have cilantro, and rarely jalapeno.  I put in red pepper flakes and last night used lemon juice instead of lime.  DO use some citrus at the end.  SO good.  Also, take the time to find the garam marsala! ** I even went to bed a little early, and fell asleep so fast.  YAY.

The first day of play week usually proves to be pretty tough on all of us.  First off after a full day of teaching (kindergarten, anyone??) I will jump right into dragging all the makeup out of the backstage and hop into making the kids up in the library beginning immediately after school.  I tend to the boys and their cute fluttery eyes and usually do the make up for a majority of the specialized faces.  Besides the fact I like to mess around with makeup, I love the bonding time with the cast.  And I can keep tabs on how they are feeling and do some calming and complimenting and give them a little boost if they need it.  After photos for the  newspaper, we will then begin the somewhat arduous task of beginning the scenery and props dance.  The sets will be marked for their final destinations, assignments will be given, curtains will be pulled, cast members will be tossed off stage. Lol We have some major pieces of scenery to move, and they will have to be attentive.  Fortunately, we have a slightly shorter play than normal, so perhaps I will be home before 9!  I hope so, as I MUST be home to watch Better Call Saul!  I'm hooked.

Tuesday and Wednesday is full dress rehearsal, but no makeup, so that takes a lot of work for me off the table for those 2 days.  Rehearsals will take less and less time each night, as we will hit our stride and begin to all work together as a team.   Mental note just made to buy extra batteries for flashlights and refreshments for my stage crew people.

Thursday is a half day of school and so we are going to jam our performances for the student body into the morning.  We will perform part of the play for each school and finish the second act after for no one.  The school performance can be a scary thing.  But they will shine- everything is going well.

Friday and Saturday will find me back at school by 6 pm and then Sunday the matinee is at 2.  This will be a full week, but that is how it all goes.  We may still have a few things to touch up later today, but as a whole the scenery is in good shape.  I feel the tension rising, tho, I always have so many little things to attend to this week.  I'll be on edge until I see how everything is going to go.

So I better get up and get myself going for the first day of play week.  I am glad that the early morning meeting I was supposed to have has been moved to a read the agenda meeting.  I will have plenty to attend to this morning.  Next week is already the last week of the 3rd quarter...... now where did THAT GO???  Oh wait, I know-- broken elbows.  sheesh.

Happy almost spring and be a giver of the joys today!  :)  MUAH!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Say WHAT???

I don't know what forces of the universe have decided to interfere in my life lately, but I am not really amused.  Seriously, I have shit to do and I have no time for this "take it easy stuff."

Ok, so I was actually delighted to go to the Dr. yesterday with X-rays first, because I thought I would pretty much get the all clear....  the go ahead and lift and pull and push all the stuff that you want, because you are as good as you are going to get message.  Rock on with your bad-ass self.  (Yes, I say that kind of thing to myself, and if you don't, you should).  I went to X-ray, had a nice chat with my former student Val- who, btw, was my technician 6 weeks ago - and headed over to Orthopedics.  I must interject that melting snow and 56 degree temps had my spirit soaring!  SO NICE OUT!!

Anyway, I got in immediately to see  my PA and we had a great time chatting about all sorts of things before we took a look at the X-rays.  She is impressed with my recovery, and I will be getting through the range of motion issue through more stretching things, etc, and all that sort of thing.  I got to look with her at the films on the computer, and the left arm had a nice white line where everything was healing nicely.  My more troublesome right arm was a different story.  This is hard to describe, but the little piece where the fracture had been intact- a little triangle between the crack and the outside edge of the radial head- had some time in the last 4 weeks slipped down a smidge.  The sucker had moved!  WHAT IN THE EVER LIVING HELL?????

You could see at the top where there cells are regrowing and beginning to smooth over the little dip and it is over all ok, but you know what she said of course.  You have to "take it easy".  No, you should probably not lift 50 lb boxes of clay, or 50 lb feed bags and if you feel pain or a lot of pressure, you shouldn't do that either.  Until Easterish.  I don't know if anyone is listening to me, but I have a play to put on and it involves doing things.  I am so annoyed.

I, of course, started WRACKING my brain trying to think of what I could possibly have done??  I swear that I was being careful.  The Mad-Science teacher sheepishly interjected that I probably have not been taking it as easy as I thought I was.  Of course she's probably right, but I felt like I WAS taking it easy.  It was also pointed out to me that sometimes that is just the way life goes...  ugh.  sigh. It isn't how I had planned for it to go though...

I got through scenery painting with fairly good humor, got tons done, painted with my left hand a lot because, guess what!!  My previously not sore right arm decided that those x-rays were one thing too much for the day, and btw, Debi, now that you mention it, I think I am going to hurt and be stiff, you know because you managed to mess up this fairly simple injury, so go take an Aleve and get over yourself---  that arm needs a stern talking to for being so lippy.  When I got home I dissolved into a heap for a while and thought through my next 3 weeks.  Good thing I have amazing friends who virtually patted my head and dried my tears and told me I'll be fine.  HAHA and eventually the MA showed up, and was somewhat reassuring as well! Ah, tax season.

So this morning, I am feeling pretty optimistic and happy again, which I knew I would be.  I just can't be bothered to wallow in self pity, because it drives me insane.  And I have shit to do, so I need to focus.  I can't let this alter my drive to get somewhere near caught up on a few   on alllll the things.  So the next two days are  dedicated to get the scenery FINISHED for the play.  Friday, I get to have my kids here for the weekend, then Monday begins with a Charter meeting early and play practice, with full dress and makeup until late.  And on it goes.

What lesson is this universe trying to teach?  I know what it is, I just don't have time for it.  And there in lies the answer.  If you don't think you have the time, you might just be forced to alter your path a little.  Ask for a little more help for just a little while longer.  Even if it makes you want to bang your head against the nearest wall.  I am going to be digging deep for my zen, for my center, for my inner peace.

And always always, where ever I can get it, seek out my joy.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

6 weeks

6 weeks ago, I was innocently thinking that I would be starting a new semester the next day- new kids, new schedule, new start.  6 weeks ago I had plans, big plans, for Booking Across the Bay, snow shoeing, walking, lifting at the ghetto gym,  keeping ahead of my school work, since I, at that time, was sort of caught up.  6 weeks ago, I planned my walk for early afternoon, so I could putz around in the house and generally set myself up for the week.  I, as I recall, had a ton of food cooked, house was cleaned up, laundry was done and I was getting exercise in spite of the ridiculous cold and ice, yes, it was looking good baby.

Sometime early this afternoon will be the 6 week mark.  I don't know the exact time, but if I cared to scroll back a good deal through my texts, I know I fired off a string of decidedly nasty expletives to a friend of mine concerning what I had done.  And that was after I had "walked it off" for a mile.  Good grief.  Looking back, I perhaps should have taken the ride home from the nice man in the truck.  But in reality, it wouldn't have really mattered.  I did no further harm to either my radial heads or my ankle.  No use second guessing yourself about things like that anyway.  You do the best you can with the information you have at the time.

Even though I felt fairly awake and lucid during this whole recovery, I really don't remember too much about that first week.  And parts of the second week.  Pain meds do that to me, but I wonder if the brain doesn't protect you from the stresses of healing in some way. What I do know is I have awesome and amazing friends who checked on me often and came to stay with me.  I know that the people in the ER and clinic were fantastic.  I know that I have a hubby who did more than he ever imagined he would ever be doing for me.  And he did it well!  I literally do not know what I would have done without him.  I have a seriously wonderful sister who came to be with me!!  I know that I am lucky it wasn't worse, but that doesn't take away from the fact that I still have some recovery to do.  That still bothers me a little, that whole- OH it could have been so much worse, you are lucky.  Really?  I know I discussed this before, but why do people want to diminish the facts, when I am having a hard enough time finding the legitimacy of my own injury??  Oh well- what evs.  I'll tell you, when Feb 14 came and that 10K came and went without me, I was not happy about anything.

6 weeks later, my previously sorer left arms is doing great.  It has fabulous range of motion and I barely notice it.  My right arm is a little more problematic- much more stiff.  Much less range of motion, even though I am working on it.  The things I do with that arm from beginning of the day to the end is undoubtedly the reason it is a little twitchy.  I need about a week of light duty.  But the play is almost here and that will not be happening.  I will be working on stage stuff from today through Thursday, frequently, and then I have a different workout!  My Ella Bella and her mom and dad are coming soon!  YAY!  Then it will be play week and I will talk to you after the 22nd.  Or you can find me in a heap back stage, somewhere behind my throne! Or maybe behind the ship!  :)  (Musical teaser alert)

So what is instructive about all this?  NEVER EVER think your life is going to go in the direction you expect.  And when it veers wildly, all you can do is pay attention to the things that are going on.  What is the universe trying to give you/tell you?  What is really important, what isn't and what things will surprise you?  2 plus weeks of time at home not being sick, but not being able, gives you a lot of time to understand messages that have been lurking about.  Or more accurately ignore them, and then have a total meltdown when no one is around and you think no one cares....  and then you can pull yourself together and see that nothing is as it seems.

It seems nothing is ever set in stone, you always have time to change your mind, you can shock the hell out of people by not taking the easy way out and always by doing things that you love.  For me, for my recovery- the musical was everything.  I had to do it, I had to be there, I had to be tougher than people thought.  I couldn't disappoint myself, my friend Mark or the kids by having 2 broken elbows.  And we will rock that play, performance after performance.

I walked on the ice yesterday- down by Smith Lake.  I almost didn't go.  I was afraid to walk on the snowy/slushy roads that had that possibility of ice.  I was worried I would fall.  I was afraid to try again.  But the warmth of the sun and the water on the pavement and call of the road was too strong to resist.  And I am not a quitter.  Seems really trite to be saying this, but you have no idea how afraid I was.  But once I got out and started walking the hills to the lake, hearing the birds, seeing the water and then finally walking on the ice, I was fine.  I was healing, I was again brave.  Even though  I literally had to force myself to walk out on that lake, I did walk on it.  The same one that will hold me in a canoe or kayak this summer. I know things change all the time, yet danger does not lurk around every corner and every step of the way.  I can feel safe again.  It was my symbolic Book Across the Bay, where I completed my mission, even if this event happened in a different form than the original.  Turning around and looking back, I saw how far I had come.   In just 6 weeks.  I smiled and took a picture, and headed home.

Have a joyful day.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Bags and Manicotti

To say I am tired this morning is one of those understatements that really you shouldn't bother with at all.  Like, "Dang, it is cold up here in northern Wisconsin" or "The weekend sure goes fast!". I woke up, looked in the mirror and thought of that saying (where it came from I have no idea) I have bags under my eyes down to my knees.  My week is catching up with me, guys.  I suddenly woke up at 5:40, which is almost an hour later than usual, and yet here I still sit and I decided to write a blog post??? You figure it out, I am not sure what is going on.

It has been a full week!  After my escapades of last weekend, I jumped with both feet into high octane art teaching and painting scenery until 6:30 at night.  My poor horse can't believe that I am feeding him at 7 pm, and he is really hungry with this stupid COLD weather.  Anyway, they are promising warmer days and nights, and I CAN'T WAIT!!!  I will be outside in the 40 degree temps- barefoot.  I am feeling that this year!!  Right after school, next Tuesday or Wednesday.  The thing I am feeling I believe is that proverbial spring fever- so much promise.

So yeah, the school musical scenery is making pretty good progress- We have begun everything that needs to be worked on. We have finished or almost finished a few things, and we will have a weekend workday in the hopes that we don't have to kill ourselves next week.  Who am I kidding, I am hoping not to kill myself next week, the kids all seem to be fine!  They are awesome!

School is going ok, I am beginning to catchup with my gradebook and projects- kind of, but my rooms are a wreck.  I have so much I need to do, and a lot involves lifting and climbing and I am not quite there yet.  But it is coming.  I have massive amounts of anxiety over this though, I have put off my clay units because of this and I am still revising lesson plans. Stupid elbows.

Speaking of that, my used-to-be worse elbow, the left smush, is way way better and it is my right arm that is still giving me issues.  But better than it was for sure!  It wakes me up every morning unhappy but seems to gain ground during the day.  The NSAIDS I am taking are surely taking a toll on my tummy, but I have cut those back dramatically.  I am deadly tired every night when I get home and I barely have the energy to change into my robe and make avocado toast for supper and collapse on the couch.  I have forgotten to do my stretching exercise now for a few days, so I better get that done asap!

SOOOOO GLAD for Friday!  So the Manicotti  reference??  I am fortunate enough to be having some brought to me for lunch today and I am SO EXCITED!!!!  Doesn't take much, let me tell you, but this will be sublime!

So, since I should go and prep myself for school, and make my breakfast and take my Aleve, because - arm- and get ready to go, I better close up here. (Wow, wasn't that a run-on sentence.)

So it is Daylight savings this weekend- I expect to be incoherent on Monday morning and probably the rest of the week as well, but that won't keep me from finding my joy......especially since one of my little joys is expected to arrive at my house next Friday!! YAY!

Be a joy giver people!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

clinging to trees- the winter edition

Here is a perfect example of what I said in my last post.  My life is infinitely more exciting when I am doing things that scare me.  I was not too worried here- it felt safe and stable, but I would not have gone one step closer to the edge.  Not a centimeter.

Clinging on Madeline Island

THIS, however, at Copper Falls, on really snow, slippy, platforms and sheer drops and other sorts of horrifying, height related terrors was a cling.  Maybe not to a tree, but my hand is hooked on the railing.  And it was cold!  But mostly, heights.

Clinging at Copper Falls!

Ok, NOW I have to finish a project.  I have been avoiding it and/or working sporadically on it and I just need to finish it.  There are all SORTS of things I would rather be doing- and I can come up with so many things to entertain myself. SO, off I go. I mean it really this time.  Really.

Be a joy giver and be brave!

Oh what a day it was!

As you could probably tell from yesterday's post- I needed to get the hell out of Dodge.  And I was not disappointed with my day from beginning to end.  It was sunny, even if cold.  I was properly dressed, I had the right amount of cameras with me- that would be 3.  We had good traffic, and I think I only blew by 1 or 2 slow drivers!  We chose the exact right trip, at the exact right times in the exact right places to avoid crowds and clutter and snow (it is snowing today) and we got the seats we wanted at the coffee shop and the cafe!

Yesterday's adventure began with me scooping up the Mad-English teacher, my partner in all things travel north and photo taking!  And turns out to be alternate driver extraordinaire, because I needed the help.  COULD I have driven all over (except not over the ice road)??  Yes. Was I happier to be resting the elbow that I said I would not complain about, and for the most part did not until we were driving home?  OH MY GOSH yes.  But we are not complaining, so....  I can NOT thank him enough for having mercy on my soul- or at least my- um, never mind.  You get the idea.  :)

Copper Falls

There is a story to this...... Lol another time 

View of the side of the falls

We headed north and our first stop was Copper Falls State Park.  By the time I got there I was giddy with excitement.   We drove into the very familiar driveway to me, except everything looks sooo different in the snow.  And somehow we ended up in a place that eventually made sense to me, but the MET, who had only been there once, seemed to know right what we were doing.  Of course paths led to where we needed, but there have been more than one time I drove or walked the wrong direction.  And there was no cell service.  Lol. If you ever go somewhere new with me, be prepared to be the person to tell me what to do!  HAHAHA  I am no longer embarrassed by this!  It is my way of perceiving things and that is the way it is.  Thank heaven for my map functions on my phone!  But that is another story.
Part of the river bed

Copper Falls was COLD, y'all.  SO VERY COLD. 0 in the sun- way colder in the shadows of those evergreens.  But it was still beautiful and breathtaking.  The falls are frozen and covered with snow, so you can't see them super well.  We were there a smidge too late for the good warm morning light, but that is ok. The trip there was worth it.  We strapped on our Yaktrax and I had a snowshoe pole (I forgot mine on the kitchen table.  **eyeroll** But we only really needed one)  It was a great hike and up and down hills and it felt so damn good to get outside and in my element.  So that was awesome, and then I was STARVING.


Gulp down a banana and a piece of dark chocolate and we set our sights on Bayfield.  We, of course, drove through Ashland, which was fetchingly beautiful.  We reiterated that we probably would have come up and partied for the Book Across the Bay, but in reality would NOT have done it since it was a negative double digit windchill.  We may be crazy, but we are not stupid!  (My apologies to anyone who did the BATB)  After making ourselves feel better about THAT subject, onto the north we went.
First quick stop was round one of Coco's to pick up bread.  We have a littttttle problem with the Cheddar Potato bread and the Rosemary asaigo bread and their SOURDOUGH, so we always get it fresh on the way through so it isn't gone when we get back.  We may have pressed our noses against the dessert case and left some drool marks, but that could all be a vicious rumor, too.  Then we headed up to the bestest little coffee shop ever- the Big Water Coffee Roasters coffee shop where I literally raised my hands in the air as I walked in and exclaimed a big old YAY I"M HERE!!!  I did and I am not ashamed and the baristas were amused!  We had the last 2 blueberry scones of awesomeness and some coffee/hotchocolate and sat by the window and watched the world go by- and probably posted stuff on twitter and facebook.  Had we been there 2 hours earlier, it would have been packed. So yeah, perfect timing.

Latte and scone in the sun
Our favorite spot to sit!  We missed you Laurie!

So my nervous excitement was about to come to a fever pitch as the MET took over the wheel and drove ourselves to Madeline Island.  The thought of driving over there when we take the ferry all summer still freaks me out.  And LAKE SUPERIOR!  I can't help it and I do not know if I will ever drive it myself.  Maybe. FREAKY clear ice, little snow cover but it was a gorgeous day.  We headed to the Parks, because I had been clued in about this from photos my FaceBook friend, Linda, had been posting online.  It did not disappoint!

Ice ROAD!!!

The first park was the Big Bay Town Park, and that is flat on the water.  I had walked up these beaches a few times this past summer.  It is so beautiful and a wonderful beach with really good grounds.  And eventually I will be sea kayaking there, because- well- kayaking.  Anyway, the ice was fabulous.  I will let the pictures speak.

Canoes and kayaks in repose

Love the starkness of this

Big Bay Town Park- beach

NEVER saw anything like it before.  I was stunned.  It was SO windy at times, and just biting cold when one has on one's flip top mitten/gloves and one takes so many pictures that the fingers don't get a chance to warm up.  THAT did  not keep us from walking on the ice chunks a good long way down the beach. The elbows NEVER entered my head- for good or for bad.  LOL.  In other words, I was walking around on all that slippery without the cleats and mostly paid little attention in my excitement.  Until I turned around to go back and then there were all these oh shit moments.  This is pretty typical for the Mad Art Teacher!  Part of my charm, ya know?

Blue shelf Ice

Blue Ice
After getting our fill of that magnificence, we headed over and around to the Big Bay State Park. We had already paid our state park fee for the day, so we were good.  The look of that Park is way different and we hadn't been in that one before.  I mean, during the summer, you don't need anything more than the 2 miles of beach.....  This one had cliffs of red stone- maybe sand stone?  Anyway, it was breathtakingly beautiful.  The set up was such that I didn't get too many waves of fear of height terrors.  Unlike Copper Falls, where I got lots of them.  I said to Adam on the way out of Copper Falls how my life has gotten way more fun since I started doing things that scare me to death. SO true!

English teacher in his element

Big Bay State Park
Like a puzzle of ice

Again, amazing photos, a great little walk, recharge our selves with a piece of chocolate and off we drove down the Island to the Ice road and over again.....

Bayfield from the frozen lake

We were THRILLED to get to Coco's as starvation had set in.  We had their outstanding dal and roasted potatoes and did not even have room for dessert.  If you have never been to Coco's while in the north, do it.  There are so many options for everyone, and the food is fresh and homemade and downright awesome.

I could eat this for lunch almost every day!  YAY FOR COCO'S!
The last step of the trip was to hit up the Chequamegon food coop and we picked up a few yummy things that can't be found in Park Falls.  Whew!!  We had to try to keep the conversation going and the radio loud, as we were so tired on that drive home.  We did fine, fussing around with the radio station, cussing out slow drivers  (oh wait, I think that was me- lol) and generally zoning out until we got  back to Park Falls.

Still bundled up from the day!  And so tired
When I got home I began editing these pictures, I just couldn't stop myself.  I left a lot of photos on the SD card, it is so hard to choose. I need to clear a lot of pix off my computer and free up space as well.  I posted some to facebook and to the Wisconsin Photographers facebook page and had a fun time talking about the day through the pictures.  I was so surprised to see over 200 like on the Photographers page last night!  That is truly an honor, as the talent in that group is spectacular.  I am a rank amateur next to some of the things that they do.

AND I sent some pix into Channel 9 and after a 5 week hiatus I had a pic on the weather again last night!  YAY!!  What a nice way to end the day.

clinging to the overlook at Copper Falls

More ice road ice!  eeek

SEESTER ROSE!!!  We walked on this beach- right here!!!!

I needed that day to be normal again.  I needed that to begin to trust myself again, without some one watching me all the time.  Asking me if I should be doing that.  Not that I don't appreciate and really like the fact that people are worried about me, but I need to be in control and in charge.  To make my own decisions, decide on my limitations and do really stupid things if it makes me happy.  Which it frequently does. And to spread my joy in the best way I know how.  And then go outside and go for a hike!  Happy Sunday everyone!