Kayaking

Since Lia came to visit her brothers, there were things that they did together that I didn’t take pardon. Kayaking was one of those. The kids all got into the rental car, and took off towards Where they were going to rent kayaks at. Rod and I followed in the truck, because I wanted to take pictures. This was the first time the boys had ever been kayaking.  They rented the kayaks, and everything seem to be going off without a hitch. I got some great pictures of them paddling out for the first time, and then, I used the lawn lands and I saw that my children had taken off their lifejackets. I was not a happy camper! By this time, they are so far from shore, that I can’t just yell at them. So, Rod and I got into the truck, and drove down the shoreline and I motioned for them to come in. Once they got close to shore I started a tirade.  Needless to say, they ended up putting lifejackets back on. Something then I’m very sure that came in pretty handy later.

Rod and I got some good pictures, and then we headed back to the house. That’s approximately 20 minutes away. Sometime during their adventure, I kind of got a funny feeling. So I text Spencer, because I knew that they all had their phones. Eventually, I got an answer. And then they told me that they were going out to go to dinner. OK, I figured that was fine. Little did I know, that they were calling their nervous as well as eating.

They arrived home, and they were happy and joking, but a little reserved. So when I asked how it went, my daughter looks at me and says, “well, I do want to say right now that I did bring them all home safely”. With a statement like that, there had to be a story. And by gosh I was going to get it. I do have to say, that everything that follows I got secondhand.

Apparently once they got their little butts chewed by me, they paddle down the shoreline in general he had a great time. There were no issues. I have set a timer, so that they knew when they had to turn around, because they only had The kayaks rented for five hours I think. And any rate, they generally had an amazing time. And then, they turned around. What they told me, is that going out had been no big deal because the waves were in slapping against the kayak. However, when they turned around for some reason the way the water was Spencer’s Kayak began to take on water. Whoever had rented it before them, had neglected to tell the owners that there was a very small black plug missing from the kayak. Come to find out, that this plug was a very important feature on the kayak. So, now Spencer’s kayak has began to take on water. And they’re in Lake superior. The temperature of the water in Lake Superior last week was probably in the 40s. If you’ve looked at my personal Facebook, I’m sure you’ve seen that the kids jumped in. However they jumped in and they jumped right back out. The water is cold. They had quite a ways to paddle. And they got decently close to the shore where they were going to take the kayaks out, and Spencer’s kayak all of a sudden starts two, in his words do a wheelie. He has no idea what’s going on. He’s paddled in the thing all day, and no problems so he would never begin to imagine that it could possibly be taking on water. He yelled out his brother, but they were some distance apart, and his brother just continue to paddle. He killed his brother a second time and told him that he needed help, and Sterling turned around and started to paddle towards him and then turned around again, because he thought his brother was just messing with him. After Spencer yelled for help a third time, Sterling turned around and really saw what was going on and then began to paddle with all his might to get to his brother before his brother went into Lake superior. By this time, everyone has seen what’s going on, and they are all making a mad dash back to Spencer. Keep in mind, that by now they’ve been paddling for almost five hours and they’re all tired. Sterling almost made it to Spencer, and Spencer and it up in the lake. They grab the kayak, and Spencer came up and began to tread water, with the lifejacket on thank goodness. He was cold, and they had to figure out someway to get the kayak and Spencer to shore.

They ended up, getting Spencer on to lianas kayak, and there happens to be someone on a boat that was very close to them and so they managed to get him to come over and haul them back into shore. By this time, everyone is wet, and everyone is very cold. Especially Spencer. They end up going and telling the owner of the kayak rental place, and he ends up refunding their money but asked that they please spend the refund in the store. So, they all get clean dry clothes.  Apparently, the owner of the kayak rental place was actually pretty nice about the whole thing. He said, that people often neglect to tell them when something is wrong with one of the kayaks, because they don’t want to lose their deposit. He said that he understands that things happen, let little things can lead to big things like what happened to my family. I don’t really care about any of that, I understand where he’s coming from I’m just happy that my entire family made it home safely.

At the end of the day, my kids had an adventure together that they will never forget. Every time they put those clothes on, Bill thanks Spencer for ending up in Lake superior. They pull together they worked it out, and everyone made it home safely. I know that Lia was very shaken, once it was all over. Once the reality of it set in, she said to me, “I could’ve lost my brother” not how she wanted to spend her vacation.  But, like I said  it did end well.

That night, sitting on my deck, I made a Facebook post about how I was especially thankful to have all my children around me. I was thinking about what could’ve happened what didn’t happen and what did happen. If you live your life by what could happen, you’ll never do anything. If you live your life thinking about all of the bad things that could happen, you’ll miss all the good things that do happen. I hope, that you don’t think too much about what could happen and just enjoy what does happen. I’ll talk to you again soon, and here’s a couple photos to tide you over till next time. Have a great day everyone!

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Home again

Well, here we are back in Mississippi. That’s both good and bad. I’ve missed my friends, and the people I work with, and I missed my shower!  But at the same time, I really really long to return to my little house up in the great White North. We had an amazing vacation!

I got to see my daughter, my oldest son was actually there, and he wasn’t angry or mean or disengaged. He was actually fully present. My husband and I even though we had mechanical failures, and other things we had to take care of, we had an amazing time with our family. We got to meet my daughters guy, Brock, and we laughed, and just enjoyed one another’s company.

There were things that went wrong. Sterling’s brand-new Polaris broke down, and so we traded it for a brand-new Yamaha because apparently they have issues. Spencer and the rest of the kids went kayaking in Lake superior, and Spencer’s kayak was missing a piece that kept the water out of the bottom of the kayak. So Spencer nearly drowned in Lake Superior. In the end, that ended well thank goodness. And of course Felix was on the hunt for Chipmunks. What he’ll do is sit on the back of the couch in the sunroom, look across the yard at the abandoned house there, and bark. I personally think that he’s trying to warn me that the ground squirrels and the chipmunks and squirrels are trying to take over the world. And, he was proven right when we got a glimpse into the basement of that abandoned house. I don’t think that they’ve ever seen so many chipmunks living in one location!

While we were in Michigan, people came and looked at our house. Who knows how that’s going to go, apparently they love our house but, they need more closets. I husband does construction, he can build any want to closet. So, who knows what’s going to happen there. Maybe they’ll buy the house, and maybe I’ll start off on a brand-new adventure. Or, maybe they won’t and my adventure here Will continue. Either way, today, I’ve had approximately four hours of sleep, and I’m heading into work to do what I know how to do.

Oh, and that face that you see in the picture below, that’s me realizing that Chelsea and Anna are going to be happy to see me because I left most of my workshirts up in Michigan. So now I have to buy new ones. They’re going to love me today. Oh well, that’s the way it is. You always forget something on vacation. All in all, it’s good to be home. Even though I am not quite sure what tomorrow’s going to bring. I guess that’s how life is. I’ll talk to you again soon, and tell you about the adventures that we had in Michigan. Have a great day everyone!

The Bigfoot Hole

I love my husband very much, I just wanted to get that out of the way before I begin this tale.  Sometimes he gets us into the most interesting situations that you can imagine and today was one of those days.

We finally have a day when we could all ride and so we took off this morning.  I assumed that since we had gotten stuck in this really large hole the day before that we would stay away from the whole getting the machines buried kind of thing.  I should have known better.  Most of the day was good riding.  There were a couple of places that were dicey, but we muscled through them and all the machines were doing great.  Then we turned down the trail to Rockland.  When we got to the highway I asked him “We are going to go on that other trail right?”  I mean, it was right up the highway and was actually pretty.  Nope, he goes right across the highway and proceeds to get stuck in the same mud hole that he got stuck in the day before.  When I looked out my door I saw that I was in a deeper hole than before and I just turned and looked at him knowing that I had to get out in it.  I stepped out into the deepest, slimiest mud that you can imagine.  You know the kind.  The kind that tries with all it’s might to suck off your tied boot and almost succeeds.  The kind that the dinosaurs disappeared into.  The kind that mothers warn their children about.  That kind of mud, and I had to wade out into it to pull the winch out and hook it to a tree.  After nearly disappearing forever into the murky depths of the mud, I got us all hooked up and Rod winched us out easily.  Sterling made it through and I thought, “Good, we are done with this hole”.  Boy was I wrong.

Now, I should mention that there was a warning sign of sorts at the beginning of the hole.  It was a sign with a Sasquatch on it, kind of like those deer crossing signs.  I can only surmise that someone meant to say that this is a Big Foot Hole.  At any rate, we made it to the top of the trail, after Sterling got stuck in another location, and decided that we would head into town to eat.

After eating we headed back towards home.  I should have known something was up when the boys were laughing, but I didn’t really think anything about it.  When we didn’t turn on the trail I said, “Where are you going, the trail is over there” at that point, my husband says, “I know a short cut.”  I now realize that I am in trouble.  I take time to point out that we got stuck not that long ago and my husband replies, “But we will be going down.”  This is the logic of men.

We made it down the hill.  Maybe we were going to get through this…I could see the big hole right in front of us and I swear that my husband stopped and then, if I am not mistaken, took aim and deliberately drove nose first into the deepest and darkest part of the hole.  We were now stuck in the mud nose first.  WOW, I turned and looked at my husband and as I punched him in the arm I said, “Really Rodney?  Really?”  He turned and smirked at me.  I knew we were so stuck that there was no getting out by ourselves.  My phone was about dead and I was hoping that Sterling would answer his phone.  I called both boys and there was no answer.  I was beginning to worry and then, Sterling called me back.  Thank goodness!!!

I exited the machine and sunk almost to my armpits in the mud, after my husband had tried to push me out the door as I stood on the rails.  (Well, actually I sank to my shin, but it was trying to pull me in deeper.)  I began to look for the winch, only to discover that is was buried under a ton of mud.  Meanwhile, my husband is sitting in the RZR and telling me what I need to be doing.   I am grumbling under my breath and then Sterling and his friend Blake arrive.  Blake gets out to help me and after some digging and pulling and grumbling and barely escaping the mud we winch Rod out.

Lesson for the day: If you see a Sasquatch crossing sign, the mud hole that is there must be very deep!

All in all, the day was amazing and this is one memory that I will not forget!!


 

Home Improvements

Today Rod decided that since we can’t all ride we should build the railing around the back deck and put together the patio furniture.  The only thing was I was elected to go back to Menards for 10 more 2x4s.  The closest Menards is 1 1/2 hours away.   Sterling and I set off and an adventure was born.

There is a waterfall that I have been trying to get to for 2 years now.  It is on the way to Menards so I thought we would just slip in there and run up to the waterfall, snap a few shots and be on our way…well, it didn’t quite work that way. We made it to Menards and had to wait in line for another person getting lumber.  Once we finally got the lumber we headed back toward home.  As we passed through rain multiple times I began to think that maybe we should not stop.  Then Rod called and told us that we shouldn’t “lollygag” and that he needed our help with the deck.  The waterfall was still calling us though.  So, we pulled into the parking area.  The waterfall was a 1.3 miles from the parking area and we only had a short time but we overestimated our hiking speed and tried it anyway.  We got about half way and decided to turn around, the trail was muck and it was slowing us down.  Maybe next time, when we are not pressed for time.

We finally made it home with the lumber and the guys had one side of the railing done.  So, we helped them with a large section of the second side and once that was done, Sterling and I started putting the furniture together.

After a long day of working together we ended with an almost finished deck and patio furniture that we could enjoy.  It reminds me how nice it can be to complete a project as a family.  Working with them is one of the greatest joys of my life.  Even when I disagree with them I never tire of spending time with all my guys.  That is something that we don’t get to do nearly enough of any more.  As they get older the boys have begun their own lives and these moments are precious to me.

At any rate, the deck is mostly done, Sterling and I got the furniture together and today can be marked as a big check mark in the accomplished column.  Hopefully tomorrow I will have  some awesome photos for you.  See you all soon!

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Technical Difficulties

Here we are back in the UP.  It is a well needed vacation, I was getting a bit frazzled in my day to day.  My heart longs for this place when I am not here.  Sometimes a little, and sometimes a lot.  So, we are back!  Wednesday night around midnight I woke my husband up and we took off.  I had not been to bed because my husband said that I could sleep the rest of the night.  Well, we got all loaded up in the truck, and you must keep in mind that I had wrenched my back cleaning my chicken coop so I was not moving very well at all and I had 18 hours to ride in the truck.  But, it would be worth it.  We get in the truck and my husband sees me starting to think about going to sleep and he says; “I need you to stay awake until 5:30 and then you can sleep all day.”  This is different than what he had said before, but I understood so I downed a 5 hour energy and began to chatter to him.  (When I am think he is sleepy that is what I do.)  5:30 rolled around and the sun was starting to rise and he said he “hoped” he would be okay to drive.  So, I fixed the pillow and closed my eyes.  Within 15 minutes the sunroof was open, the music was blaring and he was talking to Felix, the dog.  I knew I was not going to be able to sleep.  So, I gave up any pretense of sleep and sat back to try and enjoy the ride.

We finally arrived and our home was just as we had left it with 2 exceptions…there was no hot water and the heat was not turning on because of the ADT thermostat again.  So, there were no showers before bed.  Luckily we have back up electric head that we can turn up.  Finally I headed to bed, happy to have arrived.

The next day I spent installing the new Smart Home stuff to replace ADT, which does not work very well in my home.  I personally installed the thermostat, the cameras, the smoke detector and the doorbell…although Rod did help with that one.  They all seem to be working so that is a step in the right direction.  The guys came and checked out the hot water heater, it was fuses, so showers could be had!!  I ended the day with Rod taking me down to the Lake and I got to play with my camera a bit.

Finally on Saturday we were going riding!  This was what everyone had been waiting for.  We left the house, went down 2 trails and Rod got stuck.  He got really stuck.  We got out but then he discovered that the winch was not working.  We finally found the right fuse and off we went again.  We got gas, went down a couple more trails and Rod got stuck again…then Sterling got stuck…then the belt on Sterling’s rig broke.  Now we were in trouble.  You see, without the belt, you don’t go anywhere.  We pulled Sterling to a little better location and Rod and Spencer took off to go and buy a belt.  So, Sterling, Blake and I sat in the middle of nowhere waiting for them to return.  All in all we spent 2 1/2 hours sitting in the woods today.  I was hoping the entire time that the local wildlife, (bears and wolves) would not be in that area.  I do know that the Ring doorbell works very well though.  Rod and Spencer pulled up in front of the house and the doorbell let me know that someone was there.  So, when I saw them on the camera I started talking to them.  It gave Rod a little start at first but after he figured it out it was quite funny.

After we got it all fixed we thought we were finally going to get some good riding in.  We were heading down a very pretty trail in the middle of nowhere when Sterling’s rig stopped again.  By now Pat’s Motorsports was closed and we were a little stuck.  So, we pulled it down the road to the highway and went back after it with the truck and trailer.  It will be heading to the shop on Tuesday.

The first couple of days were filled with technical difficulties, but then life wouldn’t be the same without days that seem like they will never end.  I know that the rest of the trip will most likely be awesome since we have gotten the bad or aggravating things out of the way early.  And, Monday my daughter is coming to stay for a bit so the trip is bound to be awesome.  At any rate, I have not gotten a lot of photos just yet, but here are a couple from today.  Talk to you again soon.

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Addendum

It has just come to my attention, that perhaps when I wrote the last blog I gave the impression that I only ever give people three chances. I apologize for that misconception, and would like to state publicly what I really meant.

What I try and do  when I meet someone, is avoid forming an opinion during the first impression. I give people three chances and then I formed my initial opinion of what I think of that person. Now, in my dealings with that person my initial opinion will change over time. And it should, because life is not A static environment. Things change. So during my dealings with that person, whoever it is, my opinion will either be reinforced, negated or changed. Now, as far as forgiving people, or judging people, I try not to do the judging thing. I do forgive people. I forgive people probably more than I should. If someone intentionally hurts me, I always end up forgiving them for it. I think people should be held accountable for their own actions, but it’s not my place to hold anyone accountable, so I end up forgiving them. Anyone who truly knows me knows that I hold no grudges, and I get over things that are done to me. Sometimes it takes time but I do get over it. 

I apologize if I gave anyone the impression that they should only give someone three chances. That is not what I meant, although it is perhaps the way it came across. I give people three chances when I  form my initial opinion of them, and we work from there. Because any relationship you have with any other person on this earth is just that, it’s work. If my view of things does not agree with your view of things, then we will have to agreed to disagree. I apologize if I have offended anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings. I’m human just like everyone else.

People

In the grand scheme of things, I have not really been alive all that long. 46 years is really just a blink of an eye. However, during my time here on this earth I have seen some changes. Some of the changes were good, and some of them just make me scratch my head and wonder what people are thinking. The other day, I was having a conversation with someone and the subject of gay people came up. Well, I have a sister who is happily married to a transsexual. She is gay, always has been. And I have never had a problem with it. I myself, I’m strictly heterosexual. And I thought that was how I presented myself. And then the person that I was talking to told me that I look gay.

OK, hold up. First off how do gay people even look. And secondly, why would she even begin to think that I should be lumped in with one certain group or another. Not that I care, but it got me to thinking. She said that I looked gay. I’m assuming that she didn’t mean happy, because I do try and look happy most of the time. However, apparently there is some certain way that gay women look. I was previously unaware of this fact, but according to this person I will enlighten us all. Apparently, because I choose to wear jeans and T-shirts and tennis shoes a lot of the time I look at. And further along her train of thought, is the fact that I wear my hair short. Apparently, that also makes me look at. Now, here’s the funny part. My sister, the one who is really gay, loves dresses. She’s a very pretty girl, loves doing hair and make up, and has long hair. So, that is one example of this whole stereotype being wrong.

At the end of the day, that’s really what it is a stereotype. When I was younger, I like to wear this crazy black leather jacket with fringe on it. I thought it was so cool. However, when I went into department stores, the security guard automatically seem to think that I was going to steal something. I had more than enough money in my pocket to purchase whatever I wanted, however, the security guard in at least one store that I caught onto felt the need to follow me and watch me. Simply because I was wearing jeans tennis shoes and a leather jacket with French on it. Another example, I am a woman, I think we’ve established that, and therefore a lot of times people think that I really don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to things of a mechanical nature.  That is another stereotype that sadly has been thrust upon me and is also wrong. I can take my chainsaw part and sharpen the blade and clean it, oh yeah by the way I can actually use a chainsaw properly. I can change my own oil, I choose not to. I can and have constructed things. And I know how certain things on motors work, and I can help you pick out the perfect motorcycle for you. So, I am a little mechanical.  My point with this little diatribe is that people are just people. Judging people based on their appearance, is a very very bad mistake to make. I have known people that were worth millions of dollars, and they dressed in the dirtiest clothes that I’ve ever seen.

At the end of the day, if you simply treat other people the way you want to be treated, and try not to judge them until you get to know them, you might actually be surprised at who you find. Again, people are just people. There are some that are bad, there are some that are good, there are some that are trashy, there are some that are snobby, there are some that are struggling, there are some that are gay, there are some that are straight, and there are some that haven’t got them selves all figured out yet. I think that last bit is where most of us Paul. Give everyone a chance, I try to give people three chances. Everyone I meet has three chances to show me what kind of person they are.  And no, I don’t wear dresses all the time, it would be kind of silly to try and sell someone a motorcycle wearing a dress. Or, wearing a dress and feeding my chickens just doesn’t seem to go together in my mind. I like to be comfortable. If that makes me look gay, then I have to say the gay people must be pretty damn practical.  I know that the stereotype that I got from this person is simply because she’s young. She hasn’t got everything figured out yet. She is actually really cool person, and if people judge her by the impression that she leaves they’d be missing out. I hope, that sooner rather than later she will learn that people are so much more than how they appear.

I hope each and everyone of you have a great day today. I’m going to leave you with a couple of photos that I know you haven’t seen before. I’m actually getting out more with my camera. I have missed it oh so much. And, pretty soon I will be in Michigan, and the pictures will be flowing!