Back to Nature

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We met up with The Scout over the weekend. He’s making good progress and, more importantly, he is content and looks happy and healthy.

DSCN1316 The Hiker with owl feather in cap and Mt. Shasta in background, WEBSIZED

 

Oh, to travel! My hiking days may be over, it’s too soon to tell, but to be able to go… to see… to experience!

DSCN1439 Mom and hiker, WEBSIZED

I’m truly grateful for the chance to see him mid-hike. (This was about 20 yards from the parked vehicle where we brought him back to access the trail again.)

He’s off now, back to solitude and daily epic views. He promises to be home for Thanksgiving.

hiker off again, websized

 

Three Years Later

As I write this, it’s been 3 years and 3 hours since The Scout fell 23 feet from a broken branch to the hard ground beneath. Miraculously, he wasn’t killed instantly and while we don’t know if he only blacked out from having the wind knocked out of him or if he was unconscious for more than that brief time, he did manage to get up and walk home with great effort.  His back held the greatest pain felt at first, but the wicked headache made itself known within 36 hours; with no other name to give it, his symptoms have been labeled as post-concussion syndrome and he lives with chronic headache untouched by medication (we tried) somewhere around a level of 4 out of 10 on the pain scale (on a good day).  He graduated from high school more than a year ago and we are grateful that we did not have to fight for appropriate accommodations — a stellar scholastic reputation prior to his injury and compassionate staff made a big difference. Since then he has worked part-time, spending the best hours he can give to his employer during the busy season and enjoying occasional good days with family and friends. But like all of us, he wanted something more; unlike many of us, The Scout has made that something more happen.

Hart's Pass

Last week he began hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. 

His first 30 miles were spent hiking north to the Canadian border — the northern terminus of the PCT — and from there he turned around and headed south. If all goes well, he plans to hike all the way to the southern terminus of the PCT at the Mexican border.

Friendship Friday

Karen and Diana, Pali Overlook, WEBSIZED

When we first met 15 years ago, there was time spent trying to figure out where we had met before, because each of us felt that other was familiar.  It wouldn’t have been impossible to have run into one another; both of our husbands were in the medical field and Army life often means we run into people more than once over the course of a career. But no, we were meeting for the first time.
Eventually the two of us decided we were simply “Sisters from another Mister.”

DSCN7855 (2) FRIENDS, WEBSIZED

Over the years we have played many rounds of card games and gone camping together. We had the honor and privilege of attending their oldest son’s wedding in September of 2017, and at that time they asked when we were going to come to visit them in Hawaii. SuperDad was still recovering from his brain bleed so we were noncommittal on a date.

They were cold at the beach, WEBSIZED

This past fall, they let us know that they had less than a year left before they would be moving back to the other side of our state. The clock was ticking.

Taukea and Diana, WEBSIZED

I cannot begin to express what a priceless gift it was to stay with them and have them as our tour guides.  MAHALO, dear friends!

DSCN8834 FRIENDS at PCC, WEBSIZED

 

 

Life’s a Beach

No one person can own a beach in Hawai’i, nor can a hotel or a corporation buy up the beaches. There are a plethora of parks — some owned by the city of Honolulu, some owned by the State of Hawaii — and of course many hotels perched alongside the beaches, but the beaches are for the enjoyment of everyone.

DSCN8342 (2) Blowhole, WEBSHARE

DSCN8325 Hike to spitting cave, WEBSHARE

I did not traipse down this steep path, but SuperDad and our hostess took the trail between million-dollar homes to check out the “spitting cave” and a memorial marker for those who had lost their lives jumping from the rocks (it’s not a good place for cliff diving).  Beach access is part of keeping the beaches open to all. 

Day 1, Hickam beach, Honolulu airport, WEBSHARE

Bellows Beach boogie board, WEBSIZED

Bellows Beach Rainbow

Bellows Beach, getting tanned WEBSIZED

Paradise at Bellows Beach, WEBSHARE

Truly Paradise.  *sigh*

 

For the Love

red leaf HEART 4x6 October 2010

Wedding picture

Whoosh! That’s the sound of February zooming past us. The adage about time passing more quickly as we age must be true. How does one otherwise explain these gray-haired people? We were young so recently! (Wedding picture on the right –> was taken 31 years ago.)

SuperDad and I took the trip of a lifetime a few weeks ago. We flew to Hawaii on February 4th and spent 10 nights/9 days exploring the island of Oahu with our friends who have been living there for the past few years. I honestly can’t say enough about how wonderful the entire experience was, from flying first class (!!) to the beauty of Hawai’i and time spent with beloved friends. It was incredible.

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Photo taken at the very windy Nu’Uanu Pali Lookout on Oahu

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Waikiki Sunset on our first full day

Here are a few pictures from the more than 1,200 photos I took.DSCN7925 (2) WEBSHARE

The USS Arizona Memorial is still closed due to needed dock repairs, but we were taken out on a boat to view it as closely as was safe. That sunken battleship is the tomb of many people and since the memorial is situated at a perpendicular angle over the top of the USS Arizona, it isn’t a simple job to repair the loading dock.

DSCN7969The process of going through my too many pictures to weed out the bad ones and decide which others to keep, along with the necessary editing for printing and/or sharing (putting here on the blog requires resizing) is taking an inordinate amount of time.  So here’s a few to whet your viewing appetite and hold me accountable for more in the coming days and weeks.

DSCN7927 Mighty Mo 4x6 of the USS Missouri

The USS Missouri, also known as “Mighty Mo” and BB-63, wasn’t built when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. However, this battleship was where the surrender was signed in the Tokyo bay on September 2, 1945., and is now located close to the USS Arizona, representing the beginning and the end of the United States’ involvement in World War II.  

DSCN8233 Honolulu overlook WEBSHARE

Despite fantasies that probably every visitor to the Aloha State entertains, we knew we couldn’t stay. Our hearts belong here at home with our family, including these two Valentine cuties. We hadn’t seen them since the beginning of the month and my heart melted when I saw this photograph. Chomper is now 8 months old!

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photo credit: Forever Photos

We flew back into Seattle and spent the February long weekend there, relaxing in a humble & cozy Airbnb and attending a wedding. It simply didn’t make sense to drive home on a Friday, then turn around and drive back across the mountain pass the next day (nearly 600 miles round-trip), and staying put in the temperate zone likely helped with our re-acclimation to winter. Seattle high temps were around 40 degrees — a nice middle ground after leaving a place where 65 degrees means folks bundle up in winter coats and before returning home where it was 15 degrees.

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This is one of two 8′ tall “Soulless Snow Sentinels”

Our resident young men “held down the fort” in our absence. Amazingly, the fridge wasn’t empty when we returned this time, even though we left them with fewer eggs. My mention of their ability to grocery shop might have had something to do with it.  Even better, the house was clean and the driveway had been regularly shoveled.

In the 2 weeks we were away, approximately 2 feet of snow fell and so did the temperatures (into the single digits Fahrenheit). I’m just crazy enough to be sorry to have missed the excitement although there’s still plenty of snow on the ground, including residential roads. There might be an igloo in our back yard.

Yes, there is an igloo in our backyard, but it’s too cold to go out and photograph it. Sorry.

Icicles IMG_20190219_155739213_HDRDaytime temperatures warmed up to just above freezing for a few days, which has made for some epic icicles. The icicles are sticking around because we’ve plunged back down to single digits.

I’m so grateful to have had a respite from February’s never-ending winter weather.

Happy New Year 2019

We spent a lot of time driving in December, seeing the grandsons and their parents every weekend for various activities (some babysitting, some special holiday events, and a certain 3-year-old’s birthday). As I write this post, Christmas has come to a close with the passing of Epiphany; the new year is one week old and I’m still slowly addressing envelopes for the annual Christmas letter between attempts to pack away tree ornaments and other decorations. Sometimes I suspect I drag it all out because I am sorry to see it all gone.

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These two boys ♥♥

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Little Foot is now 3 years old.

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We’re calling it the T.S. Enterprise. It’s awesome! #goingboldly

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Home improvement gifts was a theme this year.   #grateful

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Post-Christmas visit to extended family while Mama and Daddy went to work.

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My BFF knows me and loves me. ♥

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Not everyone can receive a magical flying unicorn onesie and pull it off with aplomb, but SuperDad most definitely can and did. The video is awesome and slightly horrifying.

dscn7456 (2) websized family pic christmas 2018

Me, my ankle brace, and my great loves ♥                                                              Standing (L-R): The Barefooter, Humorous-Juniorous, The Scout, The Engineer & The Author

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Chomper and I sent everyone else to bed and had a late-night party. Then we rock-a-byed to sleep.  H-E-A-V-E-N.

It’s pretty much a done deal.

SuperDad and I did something yesterday.  It’s something we’ve been working up to doing for weeks (him) (for me it had been many, many months) with increasing use of time and brain power. A top choice had been hemmed and hawed over, numbers crunched, and we were finally ready to make the big decision… and then someone else beat us to it.

Disappointed? A bit. But perhaps it wasn’t the right one — after all, we had to think so long and hard about it, trying to decide if it was it.

And then we checked out this one:

2013 Trailer

It’s not perfect, and it’s not new — but it did check nearly all the boxes* and the price was right.  If all goes well, we’ll be bringing it home within the month.

Counter space*Counter space was one of the boxes.

bunk beds and wardrobe**Many thanks to Jaime who walked me through the many steps of trailer shopping, giving much-needed advice — and apologies because I didn’t follow all of it, buying a bunkhouse anyway!
(And you’re probably right.  I may regret the lost bathroom space.)

 

 

That went by quickly!

July is over and I’ve hardly written. We had Little Foot here one weekend while his parents had an adult weekend with baby brother, and then all 4 of them were here this past weekend. The Engineer and the Author have purchased an investment property/rental home and he’s been cleaning and preparing while she hangs out here with Little Foot and Chomper. I miss having the extra time with my son but nothing beats snuggling grandbabies!
In fact, that snuggle-time helped me come to a decision: I’ve given notice at work and will be done by October 1st. Because how can I miss out on this?

DSCN5447 Sweet baby boy 4x6

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Little Foot, age 2.5 years, with Chomper, age 3 weeks

DSCN5469 (2) with big brother in background

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We’ve hit peak heat and more this summer: mid- to upper-90s and we’re supposed to reach 100 degrees tomorrow while I’m at work in an old brick building (the office portion was built in 1926) with a wall of southern facing windows. There’s a single wall/window air conditioner unit far from my desk but by 3pm it cannot keep up on a 92 degree day even with additional fans blowing the air my direction.

Normally we have perhaps one or two weeks in August where it is too hot for those of us without air conditioned houses — and even then it cools down sufficiently at night to sleep comfortably with the windows open. The cost of installing A/C is probably equal to replacing our 6-inch high deck, and the deck is more crucial to fix (yes, we’ve repaired it once already, but thanks to apparently second-rate composite decking, the previous owner’s DIY job is disintegrating badly). Next will come the convincing ourselves to spend the money.

Anyhoodle, we’re hanging out with our family and trying to beat the heat.

What’s up in your end of the world?

 

 

 

Summer mileposts

Spokane RIver view from dining room window of TRAILER, websized

glamping bed
My private glamping tent set up inside my friends’ trailer.

Last week SuperDad and I finally had our first trailer camping experience together. I’ve trailer-camped with friends, enjoying my own little glamping hideout, but this was our first time as husband and wife.

We don’t yet agree on what size of trailer or layout so this is going to be a process of discovery and discussion.  We’re renting from the local military installation’s outdoor recreation store while we weigh the pros and cons of trailer camping.  I am personally a big fan of indoor plumbing, coffee pots on timers, and pillows. I’m also a big fan of fresh air and seeing the stars at night, so that rules out traveling via motels 100% of the time.  After all, I traded in my beloved minivan for a big SUV last winter in order to tow a trailer, so I’m obviously committed to doing this.

Plesiosaur and the Beast, websized
SuperDad told me he was being tailgated by a giant trailer.

Trail Runner 21-foot trailer from AFB, camping at Riverside State Park, WEBSIZED

While I agree it was intimidating, it was also close to being what I want in a travel trailer. It had a walk-around queen bed (“trailer queen” so a bit short in length but still 60 inches wide), a full bath mid-trailer with a good sized shower, a fridge with separate freezer, and a u-shaped dinette in back that gave us the window view at the top of this post . Not bad!
The campsite was near home, so I went to work from here and my better half stayed and played. SuperDad brought along his kayak (which rode in the truck) and mountain bike (trailer) and is now thinking about a toyhauler as compromise (“Think of all the TOYS we could bring inside it!”) while I am sure that would ruin the glamping vibe. Kayaks and bikes don’t need to ride inside the trailer.  I want a cute space for my crafting supplies. After all, I need to have something to do while he’s out being outdoorsy.

Happy Camper, websized

Once upon a time, I would have thought this was all ridiculous. I was a committed tent camper. But now that we are getting older and I cannot get up off the ground easily (understatement) thanks to my Frankenstein ankle, this is where we are at.  How about you, dear Reader? How do you feel about camping?