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These are my random thoughts and adventures. I post photos I take, drawings I complete, and everything from progress on my new years resolutions to the places I've been.
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Nov. 30th, 2015 @ 11:09 pm Thanksgiving Reflections
Current Mood: goodgood
This weekend was really really great. Maybe one of the best holiday weekends I can remember. Everybody was in a good mood - lots of laughing, lots of appreciation on both sides of the family.

I think that grandma E's near-death experience has changed things in the family. Grandpa didn't feel well enough to come over for dinner (at the last minute, unfortunately) but grandma spent a lot of the weekend with us, even going for a walk on the beach with everybody (a first!)

Meanwhile, visiting grandma S was also a lot of fun. Dad was in a great mood, he didn't try to pick any fights with me (tho his wife had a Trump bumper sticker), and visiting grandma and Aunt Sharon was full of laughs, too. I haven't seen Grandma so happy in a very long time, probably not since grandpa died. Cora was being so sweet, it was pretty touching. Even when it was past nap-time and she was getting a little emotionally unstable.

On the way back into town Nick, Andy and I went to the shooting range with dad and I fired my first gun. Despite the fact that it was cold, it was a very interesting experience. Fun, too. I was surprised to see how easy it was to hit the targets. I watched my breath expel itself in a fog as I practiced the same breathing I do when shooting a photo with low shutter speed. I figured I'd be bored after 20 minutes but we were out there until it was getting too dark to see.

It was really nice. It's been forever since I've properly appreciated my family, I think, and it felt good to do so. It made me feel quite blessed and it was easy to be thankful.
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happy godzilla
Aug. 20th, 2015 @ 08:16 pm Honeymoon Day 9 - Returning Home
It's been a great trip, but we miss our bunnies and look forward to hot showers so decided to head home a little earlier than planned. I would personally like to stay out a little longer, but with the forest fires and high temperatures I have to accept that maybe this trip isn't going to be quite as rejuvenating as others we've had in the past.
Camping isn't a glamorous honeymoon - some people made faces when I said where we were going, but it really is our style. I wish we could take the bunnies with us like a couple of dogs! I really do miss them when we're gone. <3
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Aug. 19th, 2015 @ 08:09 pm Honeymoon Day 8 - Sawtooth Lake
Current Mood: goodgood
I rested my neck for a solid 19-20 hours yesterday and it's feeling significantly better, though I still have limited movement. I said screw it and we hiked up to Sawtooth Lake. It was an 11 mile round trip hike with 1,700 foot elevation gain. It really tuckered us out.

It was a gorgeous hike - every few feet the view changed thanks to the elevation gain - we had sweeping views of the sawtooths, and some high-up views of a lake on the mountainside. We had a few resting spots with smaller lakes, and came across the massive and sweeping Sawtooth Lake. We stopped there for snacks and a couple of older couples caught up with us. We talked about different adventures and places to camp, as well as the ways camping changes as you age and you decide what level of comfort is acceptable. It was a great hike.

Afterward I napped for 2 hours while resting my neck, and Andy and I had great dinner conversation. I met my first goals in talking about the things I needed to. We lay down in the twighlight, listening to a podcast and making out a bit. He's fallen asleep but because of my nap I'm wide awake. Sheesh.
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Aug. 17th, 2015 @ 07:45 pm Honeymoon Day 7 - Neck Pain and Resting.
My neck still hurts so bad I am very limited in what I can do - so we spent the day on the waller. Lots of reading on the spit by the creek... lots of thinking, too. That evening we finished the podcast "Serial" about Adnon, and I finished my book. Both endings were pretty unsatisfying.
The day, however, was nice. The sun was warm, and I got to spend the day relaxing with Andy. While he went for a run I had a lot of time to think and journal (see private entry) and to take time to unravel my thoughts and feelings, something I rarely take the time to do anymore. That really should change, because this is not a sitcom and my feelings cannot be sorted out in a 23 minute episode.
I wish my neck felt better. I wish there was something I could do about it!
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Aug. 16th, 2015 @ 07:29 pm Honeymoon, Day 6 - Neck Tweak
Woke up and tweaked my neck super bad. We drove to the Stanley Ranger Station - saw a sweet moth, talked to a handsome ranger, and got good recommendations for our next camping spots.
We made camp at Iron Creek, in some of the best free/dispersed camping yet. Unfortunately, my neck locked up badly and by the time we got to camp I had to immediately lay down to rest it. So lame.
The site itself is beautiful, however. It's right next to a happy little creek, with our own private sitting bank. I hope to make good use of it tomorrow.
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Aug. 15th, 2015 @ 05:48 pm Honeymoon, Day 5
Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
Saw a fox this morning! She was really something, hunting across the dirt road in another field. She missed her prey, but hopped around merrily before coming into the open and spotting us. She was long-legged and faded from red on top to her jet black feet. <3
Today's hike was Baker Lake, and tough for me with the altitude change. Old people and children were passing us left and right (or so it felt). It's beautiful up here, but thoughts weighed heavily on my mind, making me quiet.
We spent some time sitting on rocks and sunning ourselves in the chill air.
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Fairy
Aug. 14th, 2015 @ 01:58 pm Honeymoon, Day 4 - Craters of the Moon
We decided to go to Craters of the Moon National Park and would go to the doctor to remove the moth from Andy's ear in Hailey that afternoon. It was pretty crazy. Lots of black rock that sparkled when you looked at it closely and it was very light to pick up.
We hiked up fun-sounding places like "Inferno Cone" (a big hill of tiny black rocks to a beautiful viewpoint) "spatter cones," and "snow cone" and ended the visit with a trip through "Indian Tunnel." The tunnel was the coolest - we explored a dark drippy cave that then opened up into a lava tube with sections of the ceiling collapsed. This created this airy, colorful half-cave that went on for about 800 feet and ended in an archway that climbs out from a hole in the ceiling. We then followed metal poles back to the main trail. Lots of fun. We had to skip a visit to the ice cave, however, because the day was getting along and we had to get to Hailey to visit the doctor, and his ear was starting to ache.
I charged my dead phone up while a group of nurses and a doctor flocked to this curious medical issue. We even overheard a nurse calling him "The moth guy" since I didn't give his name when we called to ask about it. They all agreed it should be flushed out and thankfully the olive oil didn't cause any issues. First they tried a water pic kinda thing but that didn't get very far. Then they tried this eye-dropper + suction device combo that eventually dissolved the bug into enough pieces they got it out. The whole thing took like an hour, and Andy's ear was pretty beat up by the end of it.
We learned that the doctor, however, loves camping and told us about these amazing campsites along Baker Creek just outside of town. We found a site that was not only free but stunning and had a fire ring. Evidently it's a local favorite that the tourists don't know about because even though it was the weekend there were plenty of free sites. On the dirt road there was a lot of bike, trailer, horse, and ATV traffic on the way to the Norton and Baker Lakes trailhead but it wasn't too disturbing. I was making some top-notch stir-fry hastened by very threatening clouds that started to drop rain on us after just enough time to dive into the car and eat while a small rainstorm passed over us. End the evening snuggled up in the tent early, listening to our podcast, and I was asleep by 10pm with the creek babbling pleasantly in the background.
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Aug. 13th, 2015 @ 01:23 pm Honeymoon, Day 3 - Silver Creek
We shuffled up to Lillypad Lake, a truly short hike to a truly adorable, aptly-named lake. I also got nasty cramps and started my period. Joy.
We got packed up (so were the still-noisy neighbors, being especially obnoxious) and made our way on the long drive toward Boise. The air was thick with smoke from forest fires (the most I've ever seen) and it was very hot and windy travel. We drove by a sign that said the temp was 108... so we said "fuck Boise!" and kept going until we reached the Silver Creek Nature Preserve where Andy used to work. We stopped at the visitor center where I munched IB profin, drank water, and read while Andy went for a run. I took photos and enjoyed a massive deck until he returned. We then took this sweet little nature hike and saw deer, lizards, birds, pygmy rabbits (squee!), and huge bumble-bees. Evidently the preserve is a world-class fly-fishing site with super smart fish. Hemingway liked to fish there and he was part of the preservation. Andy thinks he's buried in the town Picabo nearby.
We ran some errands and finally settled in at a little campsite. A weird little dog was barking at us but I got him running around like crazy in a playful way. Random but cute.
The bugs were a little insane and I was getting frustrated trying to deal with my period between hoarding flies, obnoxious mosquitoes, and moths flocking to my face. GOD I hate my uterus!!
As we were getting ready for bed, however, Andy got the worst of it. While the moths were going nuts over the headlamps a small headlamp actually flew right into Andy's ear. It was so deep I couldn't see it and the wings were beating up against his eardrum. After about 40 seconds of understandable panic, I used his phone to find an article on wikihow that suggested smothering the moth in oil and then irrigating it with water. Andy laid on his side and I poured olive oil in his ear. While the moth didn't come out, it DID stop beating on his eardrum and Andy was at least calm enough for us to lay in the tent with the fly off watching heat lightning as we listened to the next Serial podcast. Other than concern over Andy's ear it was a really beautiful evening. When Andy decided to try to sleep, I propped my camera on the car (cursing my missing tripod) and captured lightning shots. Got lots of great photos, though when a camper rolled in late I stopped for about a minute and a half and the most AMAZING lightning strike I've ever seen struck. The one that "got away." How apt, at a fishing site.
I shot until midnight, battened down the hatches, and laid down. 20 minutes later the storm hit. Maybe both of them at the same time. It was very windy and for the first time, lightning made me nervous. Not just getting struck by it, but my biggest fear was that it'd start a fire right next to us.
I snuggled with Andy for comfort and a little assurance. Some hours after the storm passed, a noteworthy wind storm came through. Rough sleeping!
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Aug. 12th, 2015 @ 12:35 pm Honeymoon, Day 2
Current Location: Anthony Lake, Oregon
We woke up nice and early, and while I was laying cozy in the tent, we heard thunder rolling. After some frantic running around we got the fly on and Andy dove into the tent just in time. We then spent the next hour or so snuggled up together, listening to the rain and thunder while I dozed off. We took our time getting ready, settled on a second night, and went out to hike Van Patton Lake, only a couple of miles from camp. The altitude is high - around 6,000 feet and the air is dry and full of forest fire smoke so a 4 mi round trip hike with significant elevation gain was not an easy hike. The lake itself was pretty - we perched on some boulders while Andy got in the water and sunned himself on a rock like a lizard. We went back to camp and had some lunch, then I read while Andy went for a run.
An old couple who regularly camps at the site suggested another hike - Hoffer Lake. It was a bit more of a hike than expected but followed a charming creek the entire way. I forgot my fucking tripod (so mad!) so it's really taken away a lot of my photographic creativity. Sucks to be so dependant on a single tool but silky water, panoramas, HDRs, and shots with both of us are SO much more difficult, and not in a fun challenging way. It's just limiting.
The second lake was also cool - we climbed up this big pile of boulders that overlooks the lake and did more reading while Andy went in the water again. Since nobody was around he did some nude sunbathing.
That evening, however, the campsite lost its charm. We got new noisy neighbors with dogs and the whole campground sounded like a damn kannel. They shut up by 10 at least, but at about 4 the next morning some beagle or something started screaming and howling for several minutes, waking everyone up. It was time to move along!
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Planet Blue
Aug. 11th, 2015 @ 12:14 pm Honeymoon Trip, Day 1
The morning was a bit chaotic as we didn't do a very good job preparing for this trip. Also, the house is kinda like a farm so deep watering plants, bunny chores, cooling down the house, etc. always takes time. Meanwhile, late last week I put us on this path to explore going solar (I didn't realize how much work on the front end would be required)so Andy was also reading the contract and drafted a list of questions. Between all that, packing, and one last trip to the store for bunny greens, we didn't leave until noon!
On the road we continued to talk to Jake, our SolarCity rep, who walked us through contract details... then we signed contracts electronically via the phone. Oh, technology.
With that out of the way, we listened to podcasts and reached Anthony Lake in the Wallowas in time to explore a bit after a tasty meal. We walked to Anthony Lake after sunset. It was beautiful. A smallish lake surrounded by pines and large granite(?) rocks. In the water is an island of rocks with a small cluster of trees growing on them. The sky was pink and the air was full of sounds - birds, bugs, and frogs. Osprey were hunting, fish jumping, bats and swallows hunting and dipping down for a drink. It really felt good to stand in a healthy, thriving biosphere. I needed that. That evening the campground was a little noisy - dogs and babies - but dead silent by 10. We slept with the fly off and I woke up to such bright starlight I thought the moon was out. The milky way was brilliant right above us and the absolute silence of the night gave everything a surreal quality. Awesome.
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Planet Blue