Lost on the Trail

This story is based on real events.

Since Hubby and I moved, we’ve been hiking at Brukner Nature Center to get some exercise. Usually, we hike for about 30 minutes. It’s nice because we get to view nature, have some talk time, and exercise. Even better is that, even though the nature center closes at 5pm, the trails are open until sunset.

And thank God for that.

Today, Hubby and I decided that we needed some exercise and to unwind a bit. What to do? Brukners!

We headed down the closest trail from where we parked. No worries. We talked a bit, I stopped to take pictures, and we enjoyed the green starting to show.  We headed down “Pioneer Trail” which I dubbed “The Green Path Between the Trees”. We suddenly came to a stop as the trail ended without warning. Oh well. We turned around and headed the other direction, snapping photos of some pretty purple flowers along the way.

Brukners032916TreePath

Pioneer Trail The Green Path Between the Trees

Brukners032916Flowers

Purple flowers poking through.

We continued on, trying our best to find ways around the muddy areas, until we couldn’t talk anymore because we were out of breath. What do you know? Outlook Point was straight ahead.

Brukners032916View2

Outlook Point

There were benches where we could catch our breath, and a wonderful view where we could lose it, again.
At one point, an argumentative group of people walked past on one of the paths below. I tried to get Hubby to yell “Hello,” with me, but I was the only one who did. Alas, no one played along and the group ended up going their separate ways, yelling at one another.
“Why aren’t people sociable, anymore?” I asked Hubby.
“Socializing would be actually going down there and introducing yourself,” he claimed.
“I prefer distanced socializing,” I informed him.

We headed back to the trails after getting one last view from Outlook Point.

Brukners032916View3

The View

We decided to go down some trails we had never tried before. Now, mind you, we had left the convenient map at home. The one we paid $0.25 for in the gift shop the first time we were at Brukners. We didn’t let this thwart our adventures! Off we went, selecting trails based solely on how they looked at the time.
As per usual, this became somewhat of a problem. We had ventured so far on unfamiliar trails that we began to wonder whether we would make it back to the parking lot before the sun set.

It didn’t help that the trail markers were usually of no use or, sometimes, outright wrong.

A helicopter flew overhead and I asked Hubby if we should set up a smoke signal.
“Maybe they’ll hear me if I shout HELLO! really loudly,” I quipped.
“Just keep walking,” Hubby sighed.

Walk we did. Right into a trail called the Buckeye Loop. I figured it meant “loop” as in, “Hi, I’m the Buckeye Loop Trail and I will eventually loop back around to the parking lot.”
Nope. It meant loop as in, “Hi, I’m the mother fucking Buckeye Loop Trail and I’m going to tease you into thinking you’re headed back to your car for some much needed rest and relief. Jokes on you, though! We’re going to go waaaaaay out this way and then loop back around to the super steep hill you think you’re avoiding by taking me. HAHA!”

Bitch.

Partway through the Bitcheye Loop Trail, we spotted stairs. Oh sweet mercy, there is a god! Stairs!

Brukners032916Stairs

Stairs never look so damn good!

Unfortunately, we seemed to get further from the stairs. Neither Hubby nor I could figure out how to get to them short of swimming a very cold creek. I considered it, but Hubby was able to talk me into simply continuing down the trail.

Brukners032916Stairs2

Goodbye sweet stairs!  I’ll always remember you!

We ventured up and down, and up and down some more hills.
“We came this way to avoid that super steep hill, right?” I asked Hubby.His sigh and quickened pace was the only answer I needed.

We were fortunate enough to avoid the mud and actually found some more benches! We figured that was the only break we were going to get as we watched the sun slip lower into the sky. But lo! Just around the curve….

Brukners032916Stairs3.jpg

And a choir of angels sang..

Oh sweet stairs!

Maybe the Bitch.. er.. I mean, Buckeye Loop Trail didn’t hate us afterall. It was all just to prove to ourselves how much we could.. wait.. say what?!

Brukners032916Bridge.jpg

The “bridge”

I looked down the path and then at Hubby.
“That is NOT a bridge.”
He just shrugged and said something upbeat and optimistic that I couldn’t hear because the trail was laughing at me and telling me that I was, in fact, it’s personal bitch now.

I went first.

I approached the “bridge” from the side and bypassed the first stone. It looked characteristically wobbly and unstable.
“I’ll just step on this sturdy looking square stone, instead,” I thought to myself.

Woops! It was the wobbly one. Thankfully, there were low-hanging branches that I was able to brace myself on.

The rest of the stones were pretty stable and I was able to make it to the other side without falling in the very cold looking water.

“Ha! Take that you Bitch Loop!” I said, as I pointed to the stones.
The only response I got from Hubby was a quizzical look that no doubt meant he was asking himself if he did, in fact, marry this woman.

As we continued down the trail and back towards the parking lot, or so we hoped, we noticed a strange sound. Well, I suppose not strange as in unusual.. We had been hearing squirrels and snakes rustle through the leaves the entire time.
But this time, it sound more like.. large strides – like large bipedal strides. I thought of yelling, “Hello!” but I was captivated by the sound. It was slow and moving closer.
Hubby and I stopped and craned our necks and eyes.

Nothing. The sound stopped. A few squirrels ran by, but not the thing that was making the noise on the other side of the steep hill.

“Probably just a teenager that wandered off the path,” I said, trying to reassure us.
Hubby gave me a look that said what I was thinking, “Nope, it’s Bigfoot.”

Brukners032916ViewFromAbove.jpg

Come on out, Bigfoot! We won’t hurt you!

Alas, our adventure ended when we finally spied the super steep hill.
I was panting and exhausted at this point, and not much looking forward to the climb, so I didn’t snap a picture of the monstrosity.
I’ll have to do that when we go back. *shudders*

We were able to make it back to the parking lot, after hitting the outside bathrooms, and Brukners rewarded us for our efforts with a lovely field of daffodils.. and one oddball hyacinth.

Brukners032916Daffodils.jpg

Okay.. two oddball hyacinths.

All in all, it was a good hike. Hubby came home tired “in a good way” and shortly went to bed.
I, on the other hand, am plotting my revenge for that stupid Loop Trail. . .

Dynamite. That’s it! I’ll blow it out of the sky!  HAHAHA!  *ahem*

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Bronchial Blues

So, it’s Winter here in the good ole Midwest. That means many things. First and foremost, the MidWest is Mother Nature’s PMS belt. It’s Spring one day, fuck-me Winter the next, and then Fall or Summer. Who knows? Not Mother Nature!

When it does finally decide to act like Winter and get cold, it gets colder than the tit of a witch soaking in an ice bath. I dunno, I have a fever. Just roll with it.

Anywhoo, it has been doing this all January and February long: Cold one week, warm the next. Blowing and cold for a few days, blowing and warm for a few days. This, as you can guess, has caused a lot of sickness to occur. Unfortunately, when you already have immune system and respiratory issues, it causes a non-stop sickness to occur that only worsens with each of Mother Nature’s mood swings.

This is how I have gotten into my current health predicament. I am in the throes of bronchitis. Granted, I’ve had far worse upper respiratory illnesses. The thing is, I’ve been fighting this thing for going on 5 or 6 weeks, now. I first got it when I had to go stay with Mom for her surgery. Damn you, hospitals!
I would start to feel better once the weather changed, and then worse once it got cold, again. At one point, eating really became a problem. This is a serious problem for me as my body is accustomed to having copious amounts of food pounded into it on a regular basis. I swear I’m going to be Diabetic if I can’t start eating like I usually do (read: if I can’t start shoving more food into my fat face).

I digress.

I was getting better. I thought my days of calling into work sick were over. I was looking forward to getting the next couple weeks out of the way so I could get to my three day weekend. Woohoo!

Haha, no.

Winter decided to rear it’s ugly head and threw such a terribly cold bite into the air, that being out in it for short periods of time (and with a scarf and hood) threw my upper respiratory issues into full blown bronchitis. I was not simply coughing, I was hardly doing anything else.

I finally called into work and Hubby coerced me into seeing a doctor. I got the medications I needed to get well and looked forward to not having to spend my days cooped up in the apartment.  I was starting to feel a little better in some ways: I no longer hurt all over as if I had the flu and my breathing seemed to be less labor intensive. I was still coughing nonstop, however, and couldn’t seem to catch my breath. Dizziness and fatigue set in and I wanted to go to the ER. I discussed it with Hubby and we decided to go to a different Urgent Care, instead. I’m glad we did.

Turns out that the afore prescribed dosage of breathing treatments was a little too much. It was like using a wrecking ball to kill a spider. It was making me hyperventilate and causing me to actually cough more.

Go figure.

The good news is that I’m actually starting to feel better. The latest doctor prescribed lots of fluids, 24/7 humidifiers and air purifiers, and a new cough syrup that should help expectorate any nasties still lurking in the cavernous depths of my lungs. And I’m not just talking cleavage.

Uh, sorry.. fever and all. Ahem.

At any rate, I went to the Pharmacy to get my cough syrup. Keep in mind, cough syrup that you can get over the counter is already seemingly pricey, disgusting, and you have to take far too much of it.

This crap was more expensive than date night, worse than the nuclear-waste-like syrup from earlier this week, and I had to take enough to down 1200ml in 6 days. That’s 240 teaspoons of this vile concoction. How vile is it?

It is bright pink and has a flavor to it that does not resemble bubble gum or berry in any way, shape, or form. Rather, I liken it to the vomit of a nuclear-blasted, sparkly pink, My Little Pony.

And I have to take 240 teaspoons in 6 days.

So, that’s the worst of it, right? I mean, just man up and take the damn stuff! Right?

Oh, it gets better.

It causes drowsiness, dizziness, and blurred vision. I’m used to seeing the first two, but blurred vision?! How much alcohol is in this?
Meh, turns out not enough. I am not having any side effects and Hubby can fully attest to why. I mean, there’s a reason I don’t drink anymore. Right.

So, things are getting better *knock on particle board* and I should be able to return to work on Monday. Not that they’ll be happy to have me there considering what happened this past Tuesday.. but that’s another story for another time.

 

 

Family Outing

As luck would have it, Hubby had to drive out to Ohio in order to get the ball rolling on the hiring process. Well, that’s not entirely accurate.. he’s been hired: he just had to go get all the screening things done. You know, physical, tax forms, finger printing. Finger printing? Oh yea, it’s a Gov’ment job, so he had to get finger printed. He’s in the system now! *evil laughter*

*cough*hack*

Well, at any rate, he had to go to Ohio. In fact, his trip would be very close to the cemetery where my father and his parents are buried.  Mom, Hubby and I decided to make a day of it.  I asked Brother, but he has stable work right now, and that is very important. So, I promised him that he and I would make a special trip next Summer. I can’t wait!

I know, I know. I just went, but it’s fun and I want to go again. Some of you may think that is a little morbid, but visiting dead relatives for me is like visiting living ones. All of the good memories and vibes come back. If it’s as sunny out as it was today, it’s even better.  Of course, the cemetery was just the destination, getting there was quite an ordeal. I guess I’m not the only one who finds humor in these things:

Click picture for an hilarious animated short!

Click picture for an hilarious animated short!

First of all, we had to get to all of Hubby’s appointments. It was a good thing that Hubby printed a map out wrote all of the directions down because we didn’t get lost once. Okay, maybe once.. or twice. Oh bother, we we got lost all day long. We had a hard time finding the right highway to get onto, and then the parts we needed were closed for construction so we had detours. Long detours. On the way to the cemetery, the detour took us halfway back home before bringing us around again. It was kind of funny.  Good thing we had a full tank of gas!

Ah, but we did finally make it to the cemetery. Only, we couldn’t find the marker. Mom kept saying it was by the flagpole, but that was a Vietnam Memorial site. We were a little perplexed until I knocked on the office door. After searching through the card catalog of markers, the cemetery groundskeeper had one thing to say, “Wrong cemetery.”

Yea, we went to the wrong one. Hey, it’s not our fault, we hadn’t been in almost 10 years.  It’s hard finding time, scheduling agreements, and resources to travel so far to visit dead relatives. Still, we should do it more often.

I digress, we found the right cemetery. It was about a mile down the road. We had to visit the office to find out where the marker was because they were all flat to the ground. It made it impossible to read any of them from a distance.  The office lady was helpful, although a might terse. She was probably used to dealing with dead people. Us living can be so trying, sometimes. To ease her pain, her office was totally tricked out. She had an olden timey desk, filing cabinet, and even an old phone. BUT! She had a very nice computer with a flat screen monitor, a printer on steroids, a portable flat screen tv, and a satellite radio receiver. Wow! Grandma must get a lot of work done at the cemetery office!
At any rate, she was kind enough to give us several maps so we wouldn’t get lost and then come back and bother her again. We found the marker and took some lovely photos!  However, I’m not showing up close photos of the actual markers because names and privacy.
A picture of a stone statue of a giant bible open to the ten commandments

Giant Bible

Their markers were by the giant Bible statue, which was open to the Ten Commandments. The carving work was really impressive when you got up close to read it:

BibleStatue

The whole cemetery was split into various sections, and each one had a statue or marker of sorts that it was named after. There was one across the way with a beautiful statue of, I’m presuming, the Virgin Mary because it was titled “Immaculate Conception”.

A picture of  a statue of the Virgin Mary

Immaculate Conception

I was a little bummed out when we found the right spot. The office lady told me it was between two trees, but she failed to mention that one of the trees was now a stump.

A picture of a tall tree stump

Stumpy

Then again, Dad would have thought it funny that the only dead tree in the whole place was next to his grave. Not to fret, he had a beautiful bush/tree growing right next to his marker.

A picture of a bush

Bushy Grave

It almost looks like someone buried him with seeds in his hands. The bush is actually a combination of three different leaf types.  Sweet.  He was also facing inwards, and had a nice view of a lovely old shag bark tree.

A picture of a tree

Shag Bark Tree

All was not lost, afterall.  The ride home was uneventful and I got much further along on my “Weekend” Blanket. I hope to have it done by next week. It was great to spend time with Mom and Hubby, though we were all a little out of spirits having had to get up so early in the morning. Still, I would do it all over again. It was great fun!

 

A Getaway to a Far Away Place

Well, actually, we only traveled two hours, one way. BUT, it felt like a far away place. That counts, right? Right.

Hubby and I splurged this weekend and decided to go visit some friends that live in the big city. We don’t get to visit people there as much as we would like. In fact, if we had our way, we wouldn’t live two hours away and would be able to visit someone every weekend. Alas, reality is quite the opposite. It’s not so bad, though.. we don’t live *too* far away.

At any rate, Hubby and I went to visit friends this past weekend. We had such fun that we decided to stay another day. It was well worth it. Both Hubby and I were able to unwind and forget about or worries for a few days. I may have had help from wine, beer, and rum.. but those three friends never let me down before.  It’s good to have dependable friends *wink*.

Clipart picture of rum and crossed pirate swords.

I don’t care if the rum is red, just bring it over here!

It’s even better to have a friend that enjoys the same crafts I do!  We were able to show off our current, past, and on hold projects. We talked about patterns, dream projects, and discussed the difficulty with certain stitches. It was heavenly. Well, for us. Whenever we even mentioned those bad, four letter words (yarn, hook, etc.) the guys would roll their eyes and protest. “But you don’t need anymore yarn!” or “Don’t you think you should finish this project before you start another one?” or my personal favorite: “I wish you’d just burn all the yarn.”

It just doesn’t work that way, fellas. Believe me, I wish it did. Once you are bitten by the crochet bug, there is no relief except more crochet. It’s nearly as bad as being bitten by the cowbell bug. MORE COWBELL!

Ahem.  Put the cowbell down and walk away slowly. Hardly anyone will be hurt.

Along with lovely crafts, we played some fun games: Forbidden Desert Cards Against Humanity (another personal favorite),  and Power Grid.   Of course, it always helps when you have good company. And food. Good food doesn’t hurt either.

After a night of staying up too late, drinking too much, and having just too much gosh darn fun, we all (eventually) made it to sleep.  And it’s a good thing we did because we had a fair to go to. Not just any fair, mind you, the state fair!

I had never been to the state fair so it was kind of an adventure for me. There were more than enough animals to see (seriously, if you’ve seen one goat you’ve seen them all, right?), lots of neat projects with pretty ribbons (first, second, third, etc..), and wondrous fair food!  Elephant ears, rib eye steaks, pork sandwiches, corn on the cob, kettle corn, ice cream – – You name it! We ended up eating some delicious corn on the cob with buffalo burgers. Mmm, buffalo.

Bisonbaby

Mmm, walking baby burger

There were beautiful gardens, educational exhibits, and plentiful shops. We ended up buying some delicious smelling, hand made soaps from Earth Drops.  I got the Indian Summer and the Rosy Ann’s Garden. Mmm.. soap.  Seriously, it smells wonderful. It’s not too overpowering, yet still pleasantly present. My bathroom now smells like a subtle flower garden outside a kitchen window where someone is baking cinnamon rolls. Mmmm.. soap. *inhales deeply*

Yes, well. I was able to take a few pictures, but not nearly as many as I would have liked. I did not have the presence of mind to bring the digital camera. Although Hubby did have a better memory to grab the camera, we both of us forgot to put the memory card in said camera. I was able to take two pictures before being told that camera was also now out of memory. It would have had more, but there were pictures on the camera that I had forgotten to move over to the memory card. So, to recap: the memory card that I forgot to fill with pictures from the camera was forgotten at home. Although the camera was forgotten by myself, it was remembered by Hubby who also forgot the memory card. Confused yet? No? I must try harder.

I did get some lovely pictures of very interesting flowers:

A picture of an hibiscus flower

Hibiscus flower

Apparently, there are several varieties of the Hibiscus flower, which became a point of discussion at the fair. Fortunately, I was able to find an informative website which … well.. informed me of the variety in this particular plant (just click the picture of the flower).

There were also some lovely Passion Vine flowers near the butterfly enclosure. I have always loved these flowers because they look like something out of a science fiction movie.

A picture of a blooming passion vine

Passion vine flower

The picture is a little blurry because I didn’t want to lean any closer to the gentleman sitting next to the plant. I was afraid he might think I was rude. Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t care if people think I am rude. I just didn’t want to get that close to another human being.

At any rate, we brought home some goodies (mmm.. soap), spent quality time with quality people, and got to enjoy good food. All in all, it was a successful fair trip.  Oh, and they had monster trucks. Monster trucks make everything better. Except demolition cars.. they tend to make those flatter.

All in all, it was a great trip! The only downside was that I did not finish my “weekend” blanket. Big shocker, I know. However, it is not entirely my fault. I think the pattern may have been cursed. We plan on burning the completed blanket to exorcise the demon from within the strands of yarn. *shudders*  But seriously, it has been a learning experience. Mainly, I’ve learned that the picture that comes along with the pattern does not always reflect an accurate depiction of said pattern. Even if it is a picture taken by the pattern writer of the so-called finished product. It’s really alright because my blanket is going to end up being larger than the pattern made it out to be. This means I will be able to now call the once “lap blanket” an actual “throw”. Ie: I can put it on the couch and it will look larger than my keyboard. Yay!

Crafting, drinking, gaming, and outdoor fun. Who could ask for more?  (oh wait, chocolate.. always ask for more chocolate!)

Quabache

No, that is not a typo. That is the English misspelled version of a French translation of a Native American word.  I know, right? I swear it’s the truth, I couldn’t make this stuff up. Okay.. well I could, but I didn’t. I swear.  Apparently, it is known as Ouabache, which is the correct spelling, but most people say it like Quabache. Kwah-bahh-chie.  It’s supposed to be pronounced Wah-Bash. Look HERE for etymology.  HERE is the park’s website. See? I wouldn’t lie to you.. about this.. right now.  Ahem, anyways.

So Hubby and I took a little day trip and went to Quabache. . . Ouabache . . Wabash, whatever. We went there. It was fun. I took lots of pictures to share so get ready for some nature eye candy.

First off, I didn’t know they had bison there but they do! There’s a tiny nature preserve where they have about 7 bison, all ages and both genders, apparently.

Bison1    Bison2

There were two, younger bison scraping their horns against a few trees. I guess they were coming in.

bisonhorns

The tree was completely stripped of it’s bark from about halfway down.  There was also a much younger bison. A calf!

Bisonbaby

He was a cutie and stayed pretty close to Mom. The enclosure was very large, but was split down about halfway. On the other side of the split, there was one, solitary (and very large) bison. We assumed he was an older (maybe aggressive?) bull.

bisonbig  Whatever his story, he seemed to be enjoying just lying in the shade.

We walked halfway around the whole enclosure and then ventured off into the trails. We opted to start on the short leg of the longest trail, to see how we’d do. We had forgotten to put on (or even bring) any bug spray. By this point, neither one of us had noticed many bugs and weren’t too worried.

trail2

The trails were wide and mostly sunlit. It was gorgeous. We just walked in silence, taking in all the stress busting that nature had to offer. Every now and again, we would stop and point at mushrooms, strangely shaped trees, and funny looking insects and spiders. It was nice. We were starting to notice the bugs at this point, and I was swatting a lot. But it was still fun and we didn’t pay much heed.

The trail veered off and we decided to continue on the shorter route. Some of the trees had been cut down recently, and for good reason. A couple of trees hung precariously over the trail.

trail

By now, I was swatting at the bugs so frantically that I ended up clawing Hubby.  I “borrowed” his hat and spent the rest of the walk constantly fanning my head to keep the buggers away. It wasn’t just mosquitoes, it was also flies, bees, and butterflies. I don’t know why flying insects like me so much, but as soon as I’m outside, I’m usually getting buzzed at.  Anyways, I did get some good shots of flowers. Of course I have to take pictures of flowers when I’m hiking! Mmm, flowers.

lace whiteflower flowerpurple flower

When we finished our hike and the bugs were done feasting on my flesh and blood, we came out by the fire tower.

Firetower1 Firetower

The fire tower is used to keep an eye out for smoke (and fires starting) during the dry season. Hubby was surprised no one was manning it, but it’s been raining a lot lately, so maybe they don’t have to right now.  At any rate, I decided to climb it. Yes, you can climb it. However, there is a sign that says you do so at your own risk. Oh well, here goes nothing!

Firetowerstart

The stairs and landings are wooden, but the rest of the structure is thin, light metal.  It looked pretty sturdy, but once I started to get up higher, it started to sway with my movements. Yikes.  Oh well, yodo!

ermie

Hubby has a ghastly fear of heights, so he stayed on the ground and waited, very patiently.  I took pictures of him at each level, just to see how high up I was getting. It was pretty fun!

Firetowerermie Firetowerfirstlevel Firetowerermie1 firetowerermietop

Yes, that is him in the middle of the third picture. He’s doing the same thing he was doing in the first picture. During his long wait, he went from the tree, to the sign; from checking his phone to looking around. He was such a great sport to let me have my fun.  In the final picture, he’s standing at the base of the tree. I was scary high, but it was cool!

The top of the fire tower had metal walls full of graffiti from sharpie markers. It looked like it got painted over every season because nothing looked very old. Still, it was cool to see the names of all the people that had made it to the top.  There was writing on the first step after each landing, also. It usually said something like “Keep going!” or “You’re almost there!”  I didn’t stop to take a picture of these because I was desperately holding onto the railing.

At the top, there was a grid of metal to act as a support but still let people see out. There wasn’t any glass, nor sign of there ever being any, so I could stick my camera out and get a good shot of the view.

firetowertop  firetowerview Firetowerlevel2

From way up here, I could still see the bison. There was just one difference: they looked like ants. I had to zoom the camera in all the way to get a shot of them.

firetowerbison

I stayed up for only a few minutes because it was getting hot and I was starting to feel the ramifications of climbing four or so stories on rickety stairs.  The way back down looked a little less promising than the way back up, but I swallowed hard and took the first flight in stride.  By the time I had gotten to the top, other people had gotten the idea to climb as well. I passed two couples and a few groups of kids on the way down. Thank goodness those landings had a little room on them!  I also got a better look at the actual construction of the tower on my way down.

firetowergoingdown ermiewaiting

After that, Hubby and I both needed a good rest. We grabbed our packed lunches and headed to the nearest picnic table, under some trees.  I was extra precautious with the sandwiches and packed them between two ice packs. Don’t do this. The meat was totally frozen. We both only ate half our sandwiches and decided to let the rest of them thaw. It’s a good thing we packed crackers.

I was ready to pack up and leave, or go find a shorter trial to hit, but Hubby had a surprise. Canoeing!  The park has a smaller lake on it with canoes and paddle boats, so we walked down there.  The sky had started to rumble a little and a few, stray drops of rain fell, but we decided to see what it was like once we made it to the lake. Afterall, this is Indiana: you drive five miles or wait five minutes and the weather will change.

lake3

At first, we were going to do paddle boats because we didn’t bring a change of clothes. We didn’t want to flip in the canoe and then have to drive home in soaking clothes and shoes.  Still, as we both sat in the shade looking out at the lake, we decided that our legs were just too tired for a paddle boat. Canoe, yes!

lakecanoes

As we set out, the sky was starting to get a little darker. We weren’t worried, though, it was moving away from us. We had initially planned that Hubby take the rear and steer, but as he tried to get in the boat almost flipped. So I became the rudder and Hubby the navigator. It worked out pretty well.  The rental was less than $5 and it came with two life jackets and two oars. Awesome.

lakejackets2

The lady said we didn’t absolutely need the life jackets if we knew how to swim. I tried mine on and found it was really in the way of my arms movements, so I took it back off.

Finally in the boat, we headed out around the lake. There were spots where the seaweed was so high and thick, I thought it would get us stuck. It didn’t. It just gently brushed the bottom of the canoe. A lot of little minnows kept popping up as the jumped around the stalks of seaweed, it was neat.

lake lake1 lakeseaweed

We took our time and piddle-paddled around the lake a few times. It.Was.Awesome. It was so relaxing to be out on the water, paddling around. There was a large family there that had rented several of the canoes and we had fun watching them joke around. A couple of them raced, a few of them bumped into one another. It made me want to bring my own family next time.  I took a ton of shots of the view, but they all pretty much look the same, so I’ll spare you.

lakedark Except for this one.

It looked like the dark, thunder clouds were starting to inch closer so we opted to get off the lake. There were still quite a few people having fun in canoes and paddle boats, but we didn’t want to be a fricasseed paddler, so we headed for the shore.  Let me just say that Hubby and I completely understand why people use kayaks, now. We both enjoy canoes, but it isn’t the best team work workshop for marriages. We were able to laugh at ourselves, but I can see people getting upset at one another. It’s nothing major, everyone just paddles differently.  A few times, though, I thought it was good we brought along those life vests – I was eying them and the water. Was it worth it?

lakejackets lakeermie lakeermie2

We found out that the same shack that rents out the boats also rents out bicycles. We eyed a tandem bicycle and I thought it was a good idea, but Hubby had a convincing argument: “We would kill eachother.”  There’s no arguing with sound reasoning.

We headed home and picked up some ice cream in a little town called Berne. It was great to just sit back, relax, and spend quality time with Hubby.  We even beat the rain home! Who woulda thunk it?

MIdwestern Skies

“Midwest” is such a vague term considering there are 12 states that make up that region.  Still, I wanted to share some snapshots I took of the sky a couple of weeks ago. It was just starting to warm up on a regular basis and we were getting winds and front clouds moving through the area. The quality of the photos could be better, but I took them through my windshield. Don’t worry, I was parked outside my house at the time.

I had just gotten off of work and was going to the store, I think, when I snapped these. I know it was in the morning because I was shocked at just how dark the sky still was.  To prevent confusion, or add to it, I’m a third shifter so I get off of work in the morning.

Church and Lights

Church and Lights

You can see that the street lights are still on because the sky is still dark, even though it’s morning. I was amazed at the dark blue color and the pockets of shadow and light that were passing by so quickly.

Neighbor

Neighbor

I’ve always thought that the house across the street was spooky yet fascinating. It kind of makes me think of Boo Radley from “To Kill a Mockingbird”. It’s made even spookier by the awesome front of clouds passing by.

Not to worry, the storm passed and all was well. It even made my crocuses bloom a little brighter.

Crocus Flowers

Blooming Crocus

Ignore the dead leaves.. if possible. I still haven’t cleaned out the garden from last Fall. I know, shame on me. I guess life has just kept me too busy. It’s difficult to find the right time to do it when working third shift, as well. I can wait until morning but then I am tired and ready to go to sleep. I can try to get it done when I get up, but I have so many other things to do at that time, before it gets too dark. Ah well, I may not have much of a garden this year.

And that’s it. I just wanted to share a glimpse of the wonderful skies that exist here in Ye Olde Timey Towne.  Maybe I can catch some mammatus clouds this Summer!

Just Another Day..

..in Ye Olde Timey Towne.

Hubby and I decided it was time for a change, so we did some major Spring cleaning. I mean major.  We tore the bedroom apart, first, and holy crap! I think we killed a sprawling dust bunny metropolis. Under the bed, no less. The room itself just feels cleaner now and falling asleep is less of an allergy-induced nightmare. Ahh.

It was such a hit, that we decided to Spring clean the living room. Again, this was a major cleaning. I think we mopped the floor five or six times and you still can’t tell, but! We did completely revamp the place. It’s amazing how moving furniture around can make such a huge difference and now you can actually walk around. Wow! In the process, we discovered some old particle board .. uh.. boards from a bookcase a few years ago.  Now, I’m not sure if this is a testament to how poorly mass produced craftsmanship has become, or a reflection of how little books are used now-a-days, but said bookcase did not last long because we put books on it. That’s right, we used it for its intended purpose so it broke. Granted, we have quite a few heavy books.. but still. It’s a bookcase for crying out loud. I could understand if it was something like a tower of milk crates.. but it was designed and built to hold books.

I digress. We found the particle board boards from this bookcase and decided to try and upcycle them into two, small computer tower shelving units. The plans were sound, the brackets and screws were new, and the appreciatively loaned tools worked great. It should have come as no surprise to us when things did not go as planned, however, because these boards have already fallen apart. I guess we never learn.

Did I mention that we had to paint them, first? Before we discovered (again) that the boards were useless and couldn’t even hold up their own weight let alone anything else, we painted them for prep.  Even that one backfired. I present to you Exhibit A:

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Now, I know what you’re thinking.. “Why did you keep spraying with the paint if you saw it was getting on your fingers?” Because I am stupid, that is why. You see, the nozzle was defective and it was not only leaking paint, but also a vast amount of compressed air. This made it difficult to actually paint the boards and froze my index finger in the process. AGAIN.. an object that is created for a specific purpose that cannot perform said purpose. For shame. And just in case you missed how much this pissed me off, I present to you Exhibit B:

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I figured I could get away with that picture because my finger is the same color as my hoodie. And no, I am not wearing a peach colored hoodie.  At least you can’t tell that I pretty much got a fine mist of paint all over my clothes, shoes, and self. Clean up wasn’t the most pleasant thing I have ever been through, but it gave me some amusing pictures.

The day wasn’t a total loss. While helping the Mom-In-Law with yard work, Hubby and I found a really neat creature:

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This little guy was about the size of a quarter and was almost stepped on by us. I’m sure he would have survived with that tough shell, but we put him someplace where he wouldn’t be bird food: in the pond. He promptly ran down a snake hole on the edge.. so at least he won’t be bird food, right? Unless one of the herons eats him.. Well, at least we didn’t step on him.

We finished up our weekend by finding out that our car has officially taken a crap on us. Walking all over town to get groceries and price other cars has been quite a workout. Poor Hubby has to find a car tomorrow and I hope it works out because he works about 20 miles away. We have a bike but let’s be reasonable: If walking 5 miles in one day makes us feel like extras on The Walking Dead, I think a 40 mile round trip bicycle excursion will actually kill us.  So, another car it is. Stay tuned because I have a feeling that the ball of bad luck has just started rolling. Ah well, at least we’ll get some good pictures out of it.