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.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Late August sighs

I have discovered that somewhere along the way here, it is still dark at 5 am now!  When the heck did this happen??  Oh yeah, that would be during the almost 3 weeks of semi wasted summer due to that stupid tick bite.  Sigh
Wild waves on the big Lake

I am in the process of transitioning myself to school hours, so that involves getting up at 5 instead of 6.  I don't really use an alarm, since I wake up frequently at night anyway, so it is pretty easy just to get up when it is time.  I have not been sleeping particularly well, either, a combination of a somewhat warm bedroom (been a little humid lately), snoring (it is allergy season in the northwoods for the MA), a jumpy brain (lack of good exercise and school thoughts) and heaven knows what else is going on there. So I just get up and get myself moving.  I am hoping that by shifting my day's schedule I will be desperately tired at night and will be able to fall asleep BEFORE 11:30 or 12.  AND I feel well enough now to hit the gym harder and get out for walks and bike rides again.  Now if only the rain would cooperate.

So the north is turning towards fall- some of the weaker trees are beginning to turn a little, there is fog in the mornings, the skunks are out digging around in the yard (oh goodie), and the subtle smells and sounds of the outside are changing. And of course I am visiting my tomatoes daily, willing them to hurry up and ripen. My inservices begin next week and then the day after Labor Day, school will begin.

It is always exciting to have the beginning of a  brand new school session, especially against the contrast of nature heading towards the end of its current life cycle.  It is a good way to go into the fall.  I am energized this year by the  really good class that I sort of half missed. But enough filtered through for me to have a mind set of positivity and keeping the eye on the REAL prize.  Which is teaching my students through art, encouraging their growth as people by expressing themselves with pictures and other media.  Not with the incredibly intrusive, and irrelevant in many cases, over load of educational pedagogy that is being thrust on all teachers in our state.  When did the methods become more important than the students?  I am not sure.  sigh

But that is what it is, and I will do my best to fulfill the true needs of the students and the wants of those who are "in charge" at many levels.  Therefore, of course, instead of spending the last week at school busily preparing for the school year ahead, I have been indulging in last minute summer immersion. (No one said I was logical!!  :) ) I returned Monday from visiting the kids in southern WI.  Tuesday, I was fortunate enough to spend a late birthday journey with my sweet friend Jane up to the Lake Superior shores of Wisconsin and Michigan.  Wednesday, I did some necessary errands and then had a fabulous birthday massage (finally), and then yesterday, I spent a lovely afternoon with my dear friend Cat- again a late birthday event- up in Ashland.  AHHHHHH  it has been a lovely week.  

It was a beautiful day- no, really!
Today is involving my last summer Bayfielding for the year.  I am sure we will be getting up there again during the fall, because, you know- apples.  (It was a tough winter for the apple trees here) AND I am seeing another Book Across the Bay happen, because that was just fabulous.  I foresee a day of  berry picking in some form, lunch, coffee,  standing on the dock and weeping er, admiring the view, no matter what the weather, and hopefully some hiking about the area.  Yes, summer is awesome.  sigh.

And I would  imagine that pictures will follow!  I have a lot of editing to do and frankly, my photo taking has let up a little because I am trying to take everything in and truly be present with my friends.  Connecting with people, enjoying the sights, taking a few photos, eating some truly fine food and dipping my feet in the lake- these are the things that refresh, satisfy and bring true joy!

Don't forget to share some joy today!  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

On the road yet again...

WHY?  Why oh why why why WHY must I make the day before I leave on a mini trip so full of jobs and tasks that I end up stressed out and exhausted by the end of the day??  Good grief.

Seriously, was it necessary for me to reorganize parts of my closet on the day that I needed to do laundry, pack, go to the bank, the grocery store and the feed store?  Not to mention, cook up the last few fresh veggies in my frig, throw out the few scraps of yuck under those veggies, bake the MA a cake, make sugar water for the bees, wash the kitchen floor and then, clean up after myself multiple times.

And naturally I have not learned my limitations yet with the remnants of the tick disease that I got.  After being busy all morning, managing to find the MA for lunch, then getting to the bank/feedstore/grocerystore, I had to lay down for an hour...... And then another half hour..... Of course I kept hopping up to do things, like bake that cake - oh and I made a batch of bread and butter pickles for Greg and Sarah, because I had 4 huge cukes left and Greg likes them....oy.

But I did get it all done and I'm so tired I think I should sleep well.

If any of you were wondering, the Dirty Girl is off the schedule for the weekend.  I decided not to land myself in bed for the rest of the weekend, so that will have to just go by the wayside.  I will be able to spend more time with Greg and Sarah and Greggy, so that is a win at any rate.  Will probably also see my mom again, and of course I'll be hanging out with Jon and Sarah and Ella as well.  Fun times for Grandma!  OH and my seesterrose is going to be there too!

I will have to hit up the mall, too, as soon I will have to go back to school.  I know I need a few things. And since I did NOT get to go shopping in Eau Claire- grrrrr- I have a little catching up to do.

Even though I had made the grand statement to myself, OH I don't have that much to do today, indeed I was hallucinating.  Or else I was so confident that I kept adding more things in, not taking into account my current lack of staying power.  Only 7 more days on this horrible antibiotic and maybe I will feel like myself again.....  Let's hope.

BUT good news for the joyfully inclined!!!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Garden shed update!!

Maybe you are curious about the state of affairs with my garden shed, these are not THE most up to date photos, but there have only been a couple little things beyond this.  

First of all I am loving my Mr. Ed doors, which really must be painted white sometime in the next year or two. The wood looks totally incongruous with the rest of the building.  It bugs me, but I am giving it a year.  I have to have different hardware too, I hate the ones on there.  Patience, Debi.....

Mr. Ed doors-
And I have my ceiling fan in and it fits just fine above those rafters.  This will be a really good thing.  And btw all that crap that you know who is stashing up there will be going buh bye as well.
YAY for ceiling fans
Here is the large work table that was built for me- in a big moment of creativity, I told the MA to have the sign side up.  I kind of like it.

I think this is a really good size work table and it is on a wheels.
Things are being straightened up now and put away, some of the shelves are built-

Much of this is going into the garage again.

Hidden behind some wood is another work area - and shelves
I do want to paint the press board on the walls, I have not decided what exactly yet, but I will start with a coat of white and then get a color from there.  I have ideas for making this a convenient and well organized work space.

And then we have this one..... 
It is really nice to be poised at the point of being able to organize and clean out this building and make it mine!

That will definitely be a joy!

Summer vacations at Lake May

I got a picture from my brother a few days ago- of Lake May near Walker, MN.  He is vacationing up there, the lucky duck.  Anyway, the picture made my eyes sting a little, with tears of remembering.  The very sight of Lake May brings back fond, fond memories of summer vacations.

Little Debi with Grandpa Oberley
We used to load up the car most every summer and drive up to Walker, MN from our home between Beloit and Janesville. We had to wait until mid to late summer so my dad could come with us.  He had to stay home a few times, but usually he was with us. It was such an exciting time- we would spend several days planning what books we were going to bring, what activities and games we might bring, begging mom to buy us a few snacks for the road.  As I recall, we didn't usually have too many snacks, though.  Of course any sibling of mine remembering things differently, this is totally through my eyes, ya know??   There were 4 of us kids, plus mom and dad- a bit of a crowded car- so Rose always sat in the front seat between them.  I remember thinking that it was because they liked her best, but I am thinking in the cold light of adulthood that she managed to get in trouble with everyone, so it was probably safest for her to up there!!  (sorry Rose! :) )  

My Great Grandma Dickinson with me and I assume brother Ed.  (nice face there Debi) I must have been 3
We packed our clothes, when we were old enough, with special attention to the fact that we spent most of our time in the lake.  We would take along nose plugs and those face mask things and of course a swim suit.  We could NOT wait to get up there to that lake.  Even packing the car was exciting, my dad would cram all the suitcases in and the fishing equipment and then they would stuff as much food from the garden in as they could.  We would frequently stay for 2 weeks, so we undoubtedly ate them out of house and home.  But I am pretty sure they enjoyed having us there.

Rose and Debi on a tube in Lake May
It was a 9 hour drive to get up there.  How in the world my parents put up with 4 little kids in the car for that long is beyond me.  I do remember stopping for lunch up in Hudson at a little A&W for burgers, and then driving through downtown St. Paul.  I loved it!  I still love cities.  Later when the Twin cities bypass went through, we went to a Burger King somewhere on the north side of the cities.  We rarely went out to eat as a family, so this was a very special event.  One of the many things that made the trip something we looked forward to every year.  Then we passed by the prison somewhere in the middle of Minnesota, the Paul Bunyan statue in Bemidji (or was it Brainerd??  Lol) and all the land marks that came up as we traveled.  When we finally turned on Lake May road and were almost there, we craned our necks and argued about who saw the lake first.... 

Grandma and Grandpa Oberley's house.  My mom and most of her siblings were born there
We did our best to get into that lake at least 2 times a day- after lunch and then after dinner, and once in a while we managed to get a before lunch swim.  For some odd-ball reason, they would not let us go into the lake for a minimum of 30 minutes after lunch, it could have been an hour, but I don't remember that for sure.  I know they couldn't have really believed that old adage,  but I suppose it is possible. Talk about exquisite torture!!  The anticipation was horrible!  Kind of like putting on a wet cold swimming suit after supper!  Yikes. There had to be a darn good reason for us not to be in there as long and as often as possible.  We would get out only when our lips were blue and we were shivering.  It was great. 

Rose, foster child, Penny,  me, Russ Ed and Alice, also a foster child.
There was more to going to Walker than just swimming in the lake, though.  My dad loved to fish and it was one of the few truly recreational things that he did.  He never, as far as I know, fished anywhere else besides in Walker.  We would go out pan-fishing in the early evenings and sit out in the boat as the mosquitos descended and the fish started to bite.  Lake May and Long Lake had a good crappie and sunnie population and it was pretty fun to catch those fish.  Grandpa usually went too, and he was always so fun to have around.  If we were being reasonable and we wanted to, we would go Northern fishing at least once every summer.  That involved sitting and not doing much else.  You needed to be patient to sit and fish like that, and I am surprised in retrospect that he would sometimes take all 4 of us. I, at least, did not go a lot.  Not my cup of tea.  I am not sure about my youngest brother, but my brother Ed, who is one year younger, liked to fish and definitely still does.  He went fishing in a row boat one year, with my cousin Mike, and caught a BIG northern. I do not remember the size but it was a beast.  My Grandpa was spying on them through the monocular from their house and saw it happen.  The story is best told by Ed, but in essence, Mike had to row them back to the dock (probably a half mile or so) and Mike sucked at rowing.  I imagine he was pretty worked up when Ed caught that thing, and he ended up having to sit on the fish while Ed paddled home.  I saw some of the paddling that Mike did- it was pretty funny.  That fish was a proud moment for my brother!

Mike on the left and Ed with the BIG one that he caught in a row boat- and cousin Mike almost missed it with the net.  Oops!  
We also did a lot of day trips and camping as well- I really don't remember all the places we would go over the years, but the one really low point was having to leave Minnesota and go see my aunt and uncle and cousins in God Forsaken North Dakota.  That is all I need to say about that.  We went several times to Lake Itasca where the Mississippi begins.  There are so many memories of campfires and sleeping in the front seat of Grandpa's truck or the back seat of a car.  Of Grandma making those pie things out of bread and pie filling and picking berries and so many outdoor adventures.  We would have been happy never leaving the lake, but in retrospect there are a lot of great memories in those events.

When I got a little older I spent a lot of time with Grandma, baking and cooking.  There are some stories to this, too, but I don't think everyone needs to know about rolling the molasses cookies in salt instead of sugar.  Grandma was a very sweet little lady, and very frugal- she'd tell us if we didn't finish up some little left over from supper, that we would have to have it the next morning in a bowl with milk and sugar on it.  I have her old cookbook and I treasure the memories that I have when I  look at it.

Some years we would be there alone and some times some of the other cousins would be there as well. It was always the best when the Seversons would be there- the family of my mom's oldest sister.  I loved hanging out with my cousin Connie and the rest of them were just fun to have around.  The other cousins sometimes showed up as well, which was not always as welcome.  We hated sharing Grandma and Grandpa and the lake and most importantly the bedrooms in the basement.  One of the most vivid memories I have is that basement. Mom and Dad slept upstairs in the other bedroom up there, and we were in the basement.  There was a big room that had two double beds in it and a smaller room that had one.  There was also a dark back room that sometimes had a bed in it, plus a little functional bathroom with a pull string where we would change to get into our swimsuits.  When other people showed up, we had to then sleep in other places.  Like cars and campers and I think once in a tent when there was a ton of us there.  

Even though this is in Florida, here is my aunt and uncle- the Seversons, Grandma Oberley and mom and dad
So many things have surfaced while writing this, and it is impossible to get it all in one spot.  The rootbeer from the rootbeer stand for floats, being on a pontoon on Leech Lake, walking to town to buy souvenirs, picking the raspberries that would ripen in the late summer that Grandma would give us with cream. So many fun times, so much love in that little house.

As time went on, we quit going as a family.  We grew up, we went to college or started jobs.  One of the last times I went, my sister and youngest brother and I went "nature camping" as in Rose did not want to take any food along, and just catch fish.  Mom and Grandma made us take potatoes and a few candy bars.  Rose was resentful!  Lol  We had the potatoes that night, but the candy was off limits until we got home.  Anyway,  we canoed through Lake May and Long Lake to get to 3rd, 4th and 5th lakes- maybe there was a 6th, I really don't remember now.  And we camped on an island off of one of them. It was sort of a creepy night, lots of noises in the night.  I got the hints of my claustrophobia when I  couldn't BEAR to have my feet caught in that sleeping bag- you know one of those mummy kinds?  It didn't zip down all the way and so I ended up trying to sleep with the thing on top of me, with my sides getting cold.  That was quite a night.  While we felt totally alone, it was a bit annoying when my mom and Grandma and Grandpa drove around the lakes and found us.  We were on the island, so they couldn't actually get to us, but they found out where we were in case we needed to be rescued apparently. 

My brothers and I sitting on the road looking down at the creek that went through Grandma's yard
I believe after Grandpa died,  Grandma's house was sold to one of my Grandpa's cousins.  I have no idea who owns it now, but I think it is still in the family.  I am glad that it is being well taken care of, and no matter what has happened to it, I will always remember it as it was when I was little.  Before the remodeling downstairs and the plain little bathroom with the pull chain was renovated and the downstair was turned into Grandma and Grandpa's summer home.  They headed to Florida for the winter!  

An old picture of the lake, looking at Grandpa's boat from the hill where the garden and the raspberries were
My Grandma and Grandpa lived to good old ages.  My Grandpa was in his mid 80s and Grandma was into her 90's.  Unfortunately, my poor Grandma was stricken with the same thing that has its evil grip on my mom.  We only saw them a couple of times a year, but we felt so close to them. The summers in Walker were magical.  I can only hope to give my little grandkids as special memories as I have of my Gramma and Grandpa.  They were certainly some of the biggest joy givers in my life.

Thanks so much to my brother for giving me the gift of reliving some of the best times of my childhood.  Muah!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

annoying update, plus....

So, this Lymes thing is annoying as all get-out.  (what does that even mean?? all get out?) I have been laying pretty low trying to basically recover, but I was just outside for an hour.  Merely carrying some watering cans to the tomatoes and I feel like I've been out for a 5 mile walk. EXHAUSTION!!!  BOOOOOO  What is this nonsense???

I seriously don't appreciate the crimp this is putting in my ability to accomplish things that I want to.  Yes I am being impatient, but times a ticking away toward the end of August.  Oh well.  At least the tomatoes are tended to.  I am going to sit here for a little while and rest and then go out and do a little bit of flower gardening before the sun gets too warm and miss sissy skin here might get sunburned from the antibiotic making her sun sensitive.  Yeah, that is a hoot as well.  

Then there is my appetite which I have no idea what is with that.  I still do not find much joy in eating anything sweet, aside from fruit.  I eat a little and get full fast and then feel hungry and then not.   I feel funny yet, which I am going to chalk up to the antibiotics again. I can't place my finger on it, but it started before the Doxycline.  Funny taste in my mouth, can't do sweet things at all, overall sort of bleh feeling.  Its weird, I usually feel great. 

Makes me wonder a few things, such as, can I go to the gym by Monday which is my plan, AND how the heck am I going to do the Dirty Girl obstacle course next Saturday??  I guess I'll walk and do my best.  

I know there are worse things in the world, but hey, I've said it before.  It's my blog and I'll whine if I want to!  :)

  •  I just had a bowl of some of the most sublime cantaloupe EVAH!!!   
  •  I made refrigerator bread and butter pickles last night, and made a small batch of dilly beans Thursday night!  
  • We now have at least 5 packages of WILD raspberries in the freezer.  We knew all that rain in the spring and early summer would be good for something!
  • We have NEW RED POTATOES, and garlic mashed potatoes will happen tonight!  YAY
  • I went for a road trip yesterday with the Mad-English teacher and we hit up the Minocqua Farmers Market, a thrift store where I got 3 pairs of jeans for less that 30 dollars, AND we went to the new Golden Harvest Market in Rhinelander- they opened a new store front and it is FANTABULOUS!!  
  • I got more Hodag bread at Golden Harvest- my favorite kind of bread ever, besides the Asaigo Jalapeno Bread from a little goat cheese lady at the Farmers Market.  
So there is all that.  The grandchildren are on the radar soon, so I just ignore the negatives, do what I can and press on to the fun stuff.

And that is sure to be a joy!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I don't want to write a Bucket List

I was at a really good class last week, unfortunately interrupted by a hurricane inside my body, that was basically about achieving balance in one's personal, professional and  family life. It was geared towards teaching, so there was a lot of teaching specific content.  I would have really enjoyed it.  Lol

So I am sitting here writing a blogpost instead of finishing up my class work, because I am stuck on the next part and that is writing my Bucket List.  Now, I have always thought a Bucket List is a quaint idea, and sure, "everyone" buys into that idea that there are things you want to do before you die.  Well I am not so sure I want to actually do that.

First of all, I will say that of course I will write up some sort of list for the class, because it is a requirement.  So don't worry, I will do it.  I spent some time straightening up the house in an effort to avoid sitting down at the computer, but I am trying to overcome my procrastination tendencies (oooo, #1 on the list) so here I am.  During this time I had an extensive conversation with myself over what the hang up is here. Aside from the procrastination, I always do this when I have to write something that is difficult for me.  I have to let my brain percolate ideas before I begin, and I agonize more than a little. Then, sometimes I do other things (write a blog post) in order to let my brain settle into what I am going to write.  So the writing/creating process is at work here, too.  I then have a project to do  that could include an element of creativity.  It is my nature to go overboard on this, so I've decided to just write it.  With no bells and whistles or concrete mosaic (oh theres another one for the list) or fiber arts or photography (yep, there is #3).  I sort of hate that I am going simple, but in the greater scheme of things, the teachers I had (they were fabulous, btw) don't mind how I do it.  And there are MANY things I want to do this summer, including piddling in my garden (#4)  and enjoying the summer mornings.

The next element of this issue for me is, as I have said to my family:  I plan to live forever...... (usually followed by BWAHAHAHAHA)  OOOOH #5  I guess that isn't an option.  Ok, so that won't happen, but the point is that I am definitely a live in the moment person.  I genuinely love to go where the wind blows me.  I do plan my days at times, but I prefer spontaneity.  Structure is comforting and easy to live in day to day, but I am not a big planner.   It sounds like maybe I am trying to avoid coming face to face with my mortality or something, but I am kind of comfortable with this.  If you want to argue with me and tell me why I am wrong, I would like to say- really?  And how do you know what I want or dream or feel?

I have sort of an odd tick or reaction to being forced into certain things.  I refuse to weed the vegetable garden, unless I really want to because of my father forcing us to when I was a child.  I also refuse to can food, because of having to do it on my birthday in the summer (I can be a child if I want, shut up).  I occasionally have these things crop up that I for whatever reason do NOT want to do and this is one of them.  I don't like to do things just because everybody is doing it.  It is to the point of this being a cliché. It bugs me because it is not authentic for Debi.  But I will get past that reaction.

So, I found when I was thinking about a traditional bucket list, a lot of the things I thought of were travel.  I'd like to get to Europe, I'd like to go out to the west coast and definitely get out east again.  So there is that!  But you know, that takes money and there are so many things to spend it on.  Like a new kayak! (am I up to #5 or #6??)  And buying things for the kids and grandkids, and buying new clothes and did I mention shoes??  So, yeah, there is that.

You know what I find annoying?  How there are some people who make fun of you if they find out that you haven't been  **insert any given place**.  Or not make fun, but look at you with JUUUUUST that little bit of pity.  Poor thing, lives so far up north and never goes anywhere.....  sits in the middle of the woods and has winter most of the time.  Part of the whole travel thing, is that we live in vacationland USA.  Other than going to see mountains and the ocean (that is part of #6) we sort of have it all up here.  I don't have to camp, because we live in the middle of the woods- camping with a better bed.  I take my canoe a mile down the road and can paddle for hours.  I can bike all over my own personal woods or drive to the National Forest which is a few miles away.  You get the idea. I do love going to new places, and I absolutely plan to do traveling....

Before I die.  That is the issue right there.  I don't want to write a bucket list that I have to feel semi panicked about trying to finish.  When I make lists, I like to finish them.  So what if I have all these things written down and I look back at the end of my life and I didn't do a LOT of them?  That list will be there to make me feel like I couldn't attain my goals.  Like I am a failure on one level.  Like I am something to be pitied.  Instead, what if instead of traveling to Europe, I stayed with some of my grandchildren for a week while their parents vacationed.  Will this be something to be regretted?  Loving the grandkiddos and letting their parents have some time alone?  What if instead of seeing an ocean or climbing a mountain, I spent time with the hubs in the garden and piddling with the bees and going for a drive and finding a perfectly awesome sunset through a broken down barn? Will I wish I never spent that time with him?  What if instead of trying to do a specific thing, I discover a whole new thing that I can do or see because I was receptive and not worried about what was next on the list. I refuse to be held to a list that might not be anywhere near relevant tomorrow, let alone in 30 years.  I guess it is my abstract, random way of thinking that resists these lists that demand to be crossed off, it feels like a stifling of my soul.  This might seem overly dramatic, but it is an essential truth.

I wrote my list and here it is:

Bucket list

  1. Learn to overcome my procrastinating tendencies and learn some techniques to stay more organized.
  2. Do more concrete mosaic sculptures- 1 per year -more or less
  3. Continue to improve my photography skills and take a class on Madeline Island
  4. Maintain my gardens
  5. Travel – including seeing mountains and the Pacific ocean, unless I have a better offer
  6. Get a kayak
  7. Continue to strength train and get fun exercise as often as possible
  8. Spend more time with my family
  9. Retire as soon as I can afford it
  10. Always keep learning new things.
  11. Find joy/be a joy giver in my life day to day
I copy/pasted from my doc.  And I'm sending my teachers a link to my blog post.  Because they are awesome enough to get what I am saying!  :)

Whatever you do, be a joy giver (#11) today!  

Monday, August 4, 2014

My Seester Rose and I

Canoer selfie!!

My seester Rose came up to see me a week or so ago. (It seems like such a long time ago now) We had such a great time together.  I was first planning to go to Minneapolis to see her right before my class, but I realized that she might like to be involved in the Bayfielding that happens up here, and then when I played the canoeing card, she was in!  YAY!!
The seagulls in the surf of The Big Lake

After an unexpected issue at home, she came in at night and that was a relief!  Whew. 
Ferry selfie!

Instead of doing a blow by blow of the trip, lets say we just look at the pretty pictures....

A favorite breakfast and lunch spot!


We of course (after having breakfast at Coco's) had to get ourselves over to Madeline Island and I got my brave on and we went to the Island on the ferry with my car!!  Having been to the Town Park over there, it seems a shame not to show off that beautiful beach.

The area that the town park is located has this unique sand bar that curves around, but there is a lagoon in between that sand bar and the rest of the island.  Looks like a perfect place to canoe and kayak!  

So much beauty to be found
So the back story on the above pic- Rose and I walked down this beach and we were finding pictures.  This particular stick was pretty cool and I of course ended up on the sand with the camera, attempting to not get a wave directly over my legs.  Nailed it!  Lol, but I may have gotten a little wet!  And sandy...

Of course we also went shopping in Bayfield, and had a little to eat and I had to drag her into the Big Water Coffee Shop and then we had to walk down to the end of the dock and stare at the water, because you know- Bayfielding.  But we also explored a really cool little area that led us down a trail, after seeing an old storage dungeon for apples,  and there was a path after you got off the trail, then you could jump around on rocks and puddle in the water and if you keep going you are rewarded with a waterfall!  That was a cool little path worth finding again.  It was a good good day!
The storage for apples that is not in use anymore

The next day, because it was PERFECT weather, we went canoeing.  We loaded up the MA's truck the night before (like right when we got home from Bayfield) and set off in the morning.  Rose hasn't canoed since we went to the Boundary waters.

Perfect day
We went on a couple hour paddle, down the flowage of the creek, and then down to the first bridge on the Flambeau River.  Fred wants Rose to know (because we canoed just a day later) that it was not her fault that the canoe had a mind of its own.  It is a canoe with a flatter bottom, no keel, and so it likes to float around sideways.  Of course he at first attempted to blame the other paddler in the boat- ahem- but it was decided it was the boats fault.  Now we know that and are adjusting the way we paddle a little.  Live and learn.

Heading down the Smith Creek Flowage

Lovely skies above this barn
The last day that we were together we actually drove over to Minocqua and went out for lunch and to the little farmers market and did some more shopping.  It was nice to have that time too.

It was such a wonderful way to spend a few days with little sister!!  And such a joy!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Well, that was unexpected...

Last Sunday I was scurrying around the house getting ready for my latest adventure.  I was packing to go to a 4 day class that was being held in Osseo.  This was looking to be a good class, maximum bang for the proverbial buck and all.  I had been pretty busy in the weeks leading up to this, so I downloaded a bunch of pictures and prenamed a couple blog posts and was planning to do some blogging.  AND some shopping, hiking, photography, meditating, going to class, going out to eat, and generally enjoying myself for a few days.  YES, I had a lot that I was going to do (and a few things were accomplished) and so I was set until of course MY BIRTHDAY, which was Thursday.  WOO HOO!

Sunday, I set off right after dinner and left the poor old MA again (he is FINE, don't worry.  Frig is always stocked with his special brand of yummies) and off I drove to Osseo.  I hadn't driven quite that route before and it was enjoyable.  That is really different land than we have up here, we are hilly but not like that area is.  It's interesting to see.  Arrived, no problem, in less time than I thought.  Unpacked, and set to accomplishing a couple things that I was going to do, but no hurry, you know?  Note to self: do the things you want to MOST FIRST!!!!

Monday was not an issue, either.  I had a really good time at class, it was very good and there was a GREAT group of people.  Teachers tend to be very relaxed during the summer.  Anyway, got to go to the Norske Nook for lunch and brought some pie back for later!!!  YUUUUUMMMMM- Peaches and cream or some such thing like that.  Monday night I attempted to find a place to hike, which was not going to happen in Osseo and took a couple pictures and then went up to Eau Claire and wandered through Menards for a few minutes and then went to Target.  YAY.  That was delightful.  It had been several weeks since I was in a shopping area.  My plan for the week was to SHOP in Eau Claire on Tuesday and find some GOOD hiking/photo ops on Wednesday. So life was good and I went back to the Super 8 (which would get a good solid 2.5 out of 5 stars from me- room was fine, but lukewarm coffee Monday morning, rippled carpets, not the best of beds....  SUPER nice people tho)  and hung out until bed.  When I got up from my WWF marathon and brushed my teeth, I was overcome with some severe shivers.  Hmmmm, that's weird.  I didn't feel anything but cold, so off I went to bed.

Fast forward to 2:30 Tuesday am and I woke up to a viciously hot back and abdomen.   Like, holy crap, the sheets are steaming, I had to get up and let the bed cool off hot.  Hotter than any hotflash thought about being.  I stumbled over to the sink and got a drink of water and sort of checked myself over.  I was not feeling sick, but what the HECK was that??? For a few moments I was set to blame the second half of the pie piece that I had scarfed right before bed, but nah.  Meh, I'm fine and off to sleep I went.  Then next day, the now hot but pathetic coffee didn't taste all that good, but I thought it was because of the coffee.  A SAD aside, that is beside the point in retrospect, I had taken a mini french press along with my GOOD coffee and had forgotten one of the important parts of it.....  ARGH.  And, I haven't had coffee since.  SO SAD   Anywho, I was ok, maybe a little tired, but off I was in class.  I had another good session in the morning but I was finding it increasingly hard to concentrate, getting achy and headachy and when we got to the afternoon session, I was having a hard time staying awake. And it wasn't the teachers who presented OR the subject matter, let me tell you.  I could tell by lunch time that power shopping in Eau Claire was NOT going to happen (sob), so I barely held on until 5:00 and I got back to the room and laid down and fell asleep.  AT 5 PM!! I do not nap!  I had eaten lunch, an omelet, and was sort of ok with food, but wow I lost my appetite, my energy, my will to shop.....  and I woke up about 8 pm.  I am so glad I had that bottle of Ibuprofen in my purse, because that was ugly.  I had the whole cold and hot at the same time thing and body aches were beginning and somewhere deeeeep inside I said- hey, remember that tick that you found on you a week or two ago?  I think that might be a problem.  DAMN IT 

Wednesday morning found me still laying around at 7 am and I forced myself up to get some cereal and milk just because I knew that I needed something.  And no coffee.  In class, I ate none of the lovely snacks that were provided, I was sooo achy and sick, but I stuck it out through lunch.  Our two teachers, Dan and Tom, had been informed of my suspicion right after lunch and they were so good.  I went back and sat for an hour, but then I just had to go lay down.  I slept for 2 hours and went back for about a half hour which was perfect because we discussed our final projects.  One of the teachers came up to me when we were supposed to go start on the projects and told me (nicely) to leave.  Lol.  I went back to the room for a while and called the MA.  Guys, I was so sick it was crazy.  So he and I talked (well I cried and complained and whined and he talked) and I decided to stay there for the night and then if I could, I'd drive home.  I had been feeling better in the mornings, and thought I could.  Otherwise he was coming with a posse to drive me and my car home.  I sort of got up once in a while and packed a few things up as I went.  And laid down and felt like crap and had rogue moving joint aches.  DO YOU KNOW how much it hurts when your toe joints hurt???  and my stupid neck still hurts how many days later.

Can we talk a moment about my dear friend Jane, who is the most giving, caring wonderful person ever to share a class with???  I am so grateful that someone like Jane was there, because I am not sure what I would have done without her.  She checked on me and bought me a cheese sandwich because it was LITERALLY the only thing I could imagine eating.  And she is bringing me stuff to finish the class in a couple days and wow.  A guardian "Jane-gel"- say it out loud, it's pretty catchy!!  :)

Thursday, which I am going to say was NOT the best birthday ever, I got up after a rough night of sleep.  It was to the point that laying so much was hurting, but being up was worse.  I did work at keeping my pain reliever intake to every 4 hours, so by the end of that time, I needed it.  I waited to leave until the teachers got there and told them my plan.  They had Jane text me through the morning to make sure that I got home and then to the doctor!!  They were great and I will get things to finish up the class.  So I drove home, which was fine but I was uncomfortable- to say the least.  I did NOT want to get out of bed - which is where I went directly- in time to go to the clinic, which I had made an appt. on the way home.  But I did, and I do not know yet which of the tick borne diseases I have, but its one of those!  And of course I had to wait a bit while the doctor was doing a procedure, and then a while for the lab tech and then not too long for the drugs.  I say of course because when I am feeling less like dying I have about a 2 minute wait anywhere lately.  Thursday was not the bestest of days, I felt WAY worse that afternoon and evening, but I got in the doxycycline and I did feel some better in the morning.  And I got to FaceTime my Ella Friday night!

I do have to say that I understand that I do NOT have it as bad as some people do, as some undiagnosed folks have HORRIBLE things happen. I do understand that I am lucky to have gotten home safely and to have had someone here to do things for me, lol.  I get that!  BUT STILL!!!!!  NO FAIR!

On the good side, because we all know that I am bringing it, I have an awesome friend who checked on me a lot during those few days before anyone much knew about it. THANK you so much Cheri!!!  xoxo  AND the amazing FaceBook and texting and messaging and emailed birthday greetings were SO touching.  XOXO  I was greeted at my door with a beautiful bouquet from one of the boys and I HAVE TO SAY, the elusive Mike was the FIRST one to text me that morning.  Before anyone else did.  I think.  PLUS, yesterday when I ordinarily would have been running around like a maniac, I was forced to sit in my beautiful yellow chair and listened to the birds, saw a family of hummingbirds running around, and watched the bees in my flowers.  It was a gorgeous day and I sat outside for a long time.  And so, that was an unexpected positive!  And the MA has fed the horse without complaining now for almost a week!!

I have to say briefly that getting better from this has not been a direct upward process.  This is holding on and even going to the grocery store today was exhausting and the sun made my eyes hurt.  After like a minute of driving.  I had to lie down for an HOUR after getting home.  I guess the gym won't be on the schedule tomorrow.

I guess we should always be counting our blessings in some way, as you just never know what is going to happen.  And while sometimes that can be pretty miserable, sometimes it will give you some little bit of joy.