Mornings

I am on the way to work as usual, and I just finished up my morning round of phone calls. Since my family is all off working, the only way I can really stay in touch with them is by phone. So every morning I try to make sure and call each one of them, and I try and do the same thing as soon as I get off work each night. Even though they’re together, that way I get to talk to each and everyone of them. Well, except for Sterling because his phone is not the greatest. But, I do try.

I hope, that when they’re bigger and they’re off doing their own thing that this is a tradition that we can continue. I try to talk to my mother at least once or twice a month. I tried to call Lia at least once or twice a month. I wish that I talked to her more, but she’s busy with her life and I understand that. I’m afraid, that that is what’s going to happen with the boys as well. They will get busy with their lives, And I will be stuck with phone calls once or twice a month. I guess that thought makes me think about family more  And how hard it can be to keep everyone close when the world is trying to pull them apart. So often everyone moves and goes their own way, and then they don’t realize how much they’ve missed of one another’s lives until it’s too late. I don’t want my family to be like that.

Yesterday, at work, I met a couple that are kind of like Rod and I. They had three children, one was 25, one had graduated recently from high school, and the other one was a senior this year. They were getting ready to begin the second phase of their lives. The phase that I’m getting ready to begin with Rod, the part where there are no children at home. It’s a scary thing, Because really, that means that I am kind of redefining who I am. I’ll always be a mom, but now I will be a mom in a different way. Luckily for me, I never lost touch with my husband. I see so many people that end up getting a divorce once the kids are grown because they really don’t know who the person is that they are married to. I’m lucky in that way. I know exactly who my husband is. Sometimes he annoys me, sometimes he is sweet as he can be, but he is always Rod, the one that I married 20 some years ago. We still like to do things together, and he still annoys the tar out of me, and I’m sure I annoy the tar out of him. So, When this next phase comes and it’s just he and I in the house I don’t think I’ll have such a hard time transitioning. I will always love and always miss having my children around, however the only thing I can do is hope that we remain as close as we are now. I guess that’s all you can do. I have to let them go so that they can live their own lives and I will begin mine again with just my husband. It’s kind of exciting really. It’s the chance for Rod and I to do the things that we always wanted to do but either we were too young and immature to do them, or we had children to worry about. Well, you never really stop worrying about your kids I don’t think, I just won’t have any living in my house.

As far as new phases go, I think this one’s going to be pretty exciting. I am kind of looking forward to it. I know that I will be sad, and I know that the house will get lonely. But all in all, it’s just life. We go through so many different phases in our lives  Life changes, sometimes by the minute, and the only thing you can do is adapt, roll with the punches, and continue to enjoy this awesome journey that we’re all on. So, I hope each and everyone of you have an amazing day today and continue to enjoy your journey.  Talk to you soon. 

By the way, you know it’s going to be in amazing day when one of your favorite 80s songs comes on the radio as you’re driving into work. ūüėāūüėĀ

Goals

It’s been some time since I’ve written. It’s not that I have not had anything to write about, I guess maybe it’s because I was trying to figure out exactly what direction I want this blog to go. I haven’t even taken any fresh pictures in weeks. It seems like I got back from vacation, and just trying to get back in the swing of things there was always something that seem to come up. And, I guess sometimes that happens in life. You know, that point when you have to decide whether or not you continue down the path that you’re on, or you let things go and just do what you have to do.  I guess for the past couple weeks that’s what I’ve been doing, just what I have to do.  

Today is 3 July. That means it’s a whole new month. And a new month for me means a new start. So, here’s the goals for this month. And these goals, are kind of wide reaching, but I think everybody needs to have goals; it helps people keep on track.  So, my first goal is to take at least one picture a day. And in addition to one picture a day, one blog post every day. It can be anything. It can be just a quick picture saying hey here’s my post for the day. But, that should get me back into habits that I enjoy. Because frankly, these past few weeks it’s just seemed like something has been missing. Now, my family is gone all week long, they’re working in another state, but it’s more than that. So, one picture every day, and one blog post every day.

The second goal has to do with working out. As I have gotten older, and especially since I quit smoking, I have gained weight. I weigh more now than I probably ever have in my life and it really really bothers me. All the time people say, “oh you look great,” but unless you’re happy with yourself, it doesn’t matter really what other people think. And right now, I don’t like my weight. So, goal number two is to lose half a percent to 1 percent of body fat this month.  I’m not going to chronicle how I am getting there, because if you want to see that, you can find my personal Instagram page. This page, is really for my photography and life in general. And I don’t want to bore you with my trials and tribulations as I work out. And right now that’s really not something everybody wants to see probably.  Lol. But, at the end of this month I will let you know whether I met my goal or not. Here’s to hoping that I do.

And I guess my third goal for this month is to not take one day for granted. Every day we live is packed full of experiences, and every day is a gift. I don’t want to waste one gift. So, that means starting to go back on adventures and starting to experience things fully again. There’s plenty of places to experience here in Mississippi just like there is in Michigan, or Iowa, or Arkansas, Louisiana, pretty much any state you live in has plenty of things for you to experience and ways for you to experience your life fully.

So there you have it, simple goals from, a probably crazy person (that’s me by the way :))for this month. Hopefully I’ll get there, and if I don’t it’s not the end of the world. But, gives me something to shoot for and might brighten one person’s day with a picture or two. I hope so.  And really, to give credit where credit is due, my friend Gene wrote me the other day that he has been missing my pictures and my posts. So, there is at least one person out there that did look forward to seeing what I see and hearing what I have to say. So, that makes everything worthwhile. For today, here are a couple of photos that you may or may not have seen before. I hope you like them, and I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Have a great day everyone!   

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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