Tag Archives: Sanity

The Woods, the Hike and the Writer

writing rock

Hiking in the woods.

It’s something I do.

It’s something I love.

It might be hard-wired into my DNA because walking in the woods, or just being outside, has always been a constant in my life as both a child and as an adult.  It’s kind of like food – my body needs it or I get weak without it.

Recently, I had a great day hiking – well, truthfully, I’ve never had a bad day hiking – but a few weeks ago I had to force myself to get out and go to our local mountain so it was GOOD that I did it.

I chose a path that I’ve used many times, so I could just think and breathe and relax and not have to worry about the color of the paint markers on the trees.  Heaven knows I was not in the mood for a barely blazed trail with only its plastic flags, and a leaf-covered and barely-trodden path.  I really needed a no-brainer day to clear my cluttered mind because it was in chaos.

I had my ipod along for some music – that day the mood was James Taylor, Carole King, and some Carly Simon.  I knew when I got down the path to my favorite area, there would be a rock edge to sit on and time to write down some thoughts – and that’s what I was really in the mood for that day.  Sitting on a rock and writing.

The wind blew cold and pretty strong, but thankfully the sun was out because I was in need of its rays.  I was bundled up, with a scarf and gloves and I looked in the back of the truck and realized I left my rugged hiking boots at home.  No big deal –  I knew the path was well-worn and pretty smooth in most places – so I used the hiking shoes.  It wasn’t like I was going to turn around and go home, ya know?

By the time I got to the bluff I couldn’t write down fast enough all the things I noticed on my way in.

1st – Someone closed the bathrooms … Re-direct to a different parking area

2nd – I had to trek along the blue trail to get to my white trail

3rd – This meant, I would be going the opposite direction on the white trail

4th – Hey, wow, the paint on this side of the trees is REALLY bright

5th – Hey, it gets really muddy up here in spots!

6th – How about those secondary paths around the mud?  That’s convenient!

Re-directed, over and over…that’s what the day felt like.  Even when I had started the drive, I was reminded that I would have to take a kid to the University in order to use the car.  And at the base of the mountain, I realized I forgot to drop by the church to leave some papers there.

It was just one of those days …

Redirection is like change.  It can be irritating, or it can make you notice aspects of the trail that you would normally tune out.  It can make you more aware of what you normally do not see.

This day of hiking and re-direction was not lost on me.  I spend too much time lost in the everyday stuff which can get mundane.  It causes me to lose focus or my ability to notice wonderful things.

Two days later I was enjoying a really warm day that stood in stark contrast to the day I went hiking.  It finally reached 70 degrees.  I was again, very aware of what I normally do not see… It’s been a long winter!  I welcomed the warmth!

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Posted by on April 2, 2013 in Life, in general


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The Year of the Circus

cropped porch

{It felt like a war zone}

In the last week, our pool fence was built and I celebrated my birthday.  Not too monumental for the average week … it was just an aluminum fence and a special date on the calendar that happens to be my birthday.  Most of my birthdays have been great, and I spent this one with my husband and kids and we had a quiet dinner and a little dessert.  It didn’t need to be a grand occasion this year, although I do enjoy a good party or a nice tandem parachute jump out of an airplane to celebrate.

It seemed like an audible sigh hung in the air Monday – the day of my actual birthday.  What are birthdays for if not for a little retrospection?  Especially when your years are pushing closer to 50 than they are to 40?  All I can really say is that the last year has been like a 3-ring circus.  And I was the featured performer … it was a juggling act …

It all began last March with a colossal hail storm.  It was  {Really. Big. Hail.}

The hail storm hit long before dark on March 2nd and in some places near the house, it piled up almost 2 1/2 feet deep.  Most of the hail was at least as big as baseballs, and some close to softball-size.  I have NEVER seen, nor do I EVER want to see, hail that big again!

We surveyed the damage – cars dinged up under the carport, holes in the vinyl siding, a broken glass pane, and quite a few plants and bushes that looked like they received a buzz cut.  Eventually we would learn that our new roof took 70% damage as well.

So, about that 3-ring circus… I was about to leave for a fabulous trip to Vegas to visit some high school friends when this all hit.  I did take my trip – and spent my birthday hiking, skydiving, dining out at a fancy restaurant, and getting re-acquainted with my friends that I hadn’t seen in almost 30 years.  I came home and the next day the roofers came with the insurance man and somewhere in there we took delivery and set-up of our new unpainted portable building.

That week they re-did the roof, and another contracting team started ripping off all the siding and we were going to pay the extra money to have a the whole house done – so it would match!  And I began spending the long days painting the new building and supervising the subcontractors.  Did I mention the pneumonia that had manifested in me along with the flu that first week?  Or the workers that were ONLY supervised by me and not their boss?  Or the windows that had to be re-wrapped 4 times to get it right?  Or how about the TERMITES that we found????

When most of this craziness was over, I had a spur-of-the-moment idea – “Let’s put in a pool!”  Well, that went very well actually and I was very thankful for good workers because I was worn out.  I can only imagine if a tornado had hit… I think I would have lost my mind!

So, the pool fence is finished and I think there was a collective *sigh* between the house and the family.  I’m going to put up a sign that says “No More Contractors!”  I think I should put it on the bathroom mirror to remind myself not to ask for so much on my plate at once.

It was quite a year, and looking back, I’m VERY GLAD IT’S OVER!  There were many lessons learned, laughs to be had, and a few painful days where my anger grew way too large and my compassion grew Waaayyyy teeny tiny.  We are ALL looking forward to using the pool this summer and getting the grass to grow.  I think I’ll leave any ideas from Pinterest OFF my list of things to do though.  This year, I want to enjoy all that work that was accomplished…. and see if I can regain just a LITTLE bit of my sanity.

Next month I intend to take a short vacation to Arizona for some hiking and visiting of high school friends.  That will probably help my family get THEIR sanity back!

small fence picture

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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Life, in general


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The Cupboard, The Freezer, and The Taxes


My cupboard and I had a slight disagreement this morning. Apparently it didn’t want to be the freezer. See, I wanted to grab food to microwave for lunch, but the dish cupboard refused to yield anything food-like … cold or otherwise. I believe it may have been smirking at me behind my back too as I made an about-face and headed to the white “thingy” that contains cold and frozen stuff. Food namely – and thankfully no ice build-up like the old days.

I go to this white box many times a day to drink refreshing, cold, filtered water from its dispenser. I also occasionally visit it for frozen foods to toss out on the counter to defrost for dinner – usually. The other side is helpful for keeping my yogurt cold and all the eggs and cheese and juices. Somehow, I know where and when to put these items when I come home from the grocery store, but retrieving something from here has become an issue.

I do, on occasion, attempt to grab the handle of the frig when looking for a pencil…or my glasses. I don’t actually have to open it though to know I’m in the wrong place. Apparently I had it scarred into my head at a very young age – “Don’t stand there with the refrigerator door open all day” – so I don’t open it.

I appear confused more than usual today as I’m trying to track down paperwork from the entire YEAR to get ready for doing the tax forms. I feel like a complete failure today as a perfectionist.

There, I said it. I’m a failure.

My paperwork has been gathering in piles and wouldn’t you know… I need it now. Because if I wait any longer, I’m going to lose whatever is left of my sanity.  I’m also, at this moment, running some laundry, dictating housecleaning instructions and I’m nutrionally deprived and over-stimulated with caffeine!

I’m 46 years old and I need help. There, I said it, I’m 46.

On a positive note …
I did eat lunch
I have an “organized” mess – meaning it’s all in one room
I acquired something resembling a laugh out of the situation
I hired an adult child to write a sticky for me with blogs notes on it
Oh, and I told her thank you and that her handwriting is improving

I have been reading a book about brains and memory that is quite interesting.  I highly reccommend it because it’s written in layman’s terms by some really fun and nerdy people – complete with a Ph.D. at the end of their names.  It’s called “Welcome To Your Brain.”  Subtitled appropriately “Why You Lose Your Car Keys but Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life.”  Now, I haven’t read ALL of it, but it’s written in an excellent format that you can just pick it up and continue whenever it’s convenient.  It’s good enough too, that you can re-read the parts over again if you forgot what the blazes you read last!

Well, I’m done playing on the blog for the day… I believe I’m going to rediscover my pile of papers and take the family out for a movie.  Thankfully, I know where my car keys are AND I remember how to drive … Whew!

{Really cool book – Non Fiction}

welcome to your brain


Posted by on February 16, 2013 in Life, in general, Random Silliness


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Washers and Fleas

maytag washer

I lost it this morning.  My sanity to be exact.  I almost lost it last night when I had to get into the bed knowing my cats had been on the comforter.

After arriving home from book club I found a piece of tape on my counter that my husband pointed out to me.  REALLY?????  You HAD to CATCH a FLEA to SHOW me????  What was I supposed to do about that?  At 9 o’clock at night?

Apparently, if I were a good parent, I would have danced my way into my daughter’s room and properly praised my 21-year-old-with-a-magnifying-glass-in-her-hand who saved us all from the FLEA!  But, NO… I got a case of the heebie-jeebies and resolved myself to feeling guilty for not having my own vet check the new kitten for the little bugs!  Bad Pet Parent…

Now, I know this sounds ridiculous but this is a true story.  And in any story where I lose my sanity, it has to involve water – especially in THIS particular house.

I awoke WAY before the alarm ever hinted at playing music and with steady resolve, I headed towards the kitchen for my coffee and my washing machine.

Truly, in my book, nothing cures or fixes a problem like the first cup of Folgers and my somewhat weak and cheap washing machine.  I had barely downed all the coffee before I was throwing all the fleece blankets and afghans in the washer for the first load.  I was looking up the Vet’s number to cry for help… and I was kissing my sweet high schooler as she headed off to the bus.

All was well, and I was ready to do battle with fleas!

Yeah, um, “Why is the washer making that noise?”

Um, shouldn’t I lift the lid and “see it moving?”

Yes, it should be moving, and you shouldn’t look down and see water on the floor.

There was no retreating.  I made arrangements to remove the 4 legged beasts and their vermin to the Vet’s office where they would take some magic pills and be kept for a few days.  Then I hauled all my bedding and blankets to the laundromat and paid $29.50 to wash and dry everything.   Then we went and bought a new machine.

Oh, back up… I lost my sanity and called my husband.  “Water on the Floor” is pretty much all he heard and he headed home to hold my hand and listen to my attitude and have a few arguments with me, because that ALWAYS works…

Now, I have finished the day.  And wrote it all down.

But, who’s going to bring my sanity back?  Well, I think this steaming mug of hot chocolate will do just fine!

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Posted by on January 10, 2013 in Life, in general


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