Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Lists! and 24/52

Today I was supposed to be off hiking, but Karen has a foot issue-that's 3 now.  Friends with mangled feet/ankles.  This month!

So I am home instead getting a jump on planning for a camping trip in May.  So far, I have laundry pellets, which is what I call detergent in tablet form, and toothpaste on my shopping list.

That's good enough. No need to overprepare.

I have not updated in a while, and since I use this blog much like a diary, I don't like to go toooo long between posts or it leaves gaps when I look back later on.  And I have no idea what I was doing.  The whole 'where were you the night of the 5th?' gives me hives.  And people that can answer-so suspicious!!  They have a manufactured alibi!  No one knows that.  Also, that book I read something like 2-3 years ago where the cops did not suspect the mother of foul play because she kept the space behind the toilet clean.  That haunts me.

got behind these guys the other day, we tried to go see the cranes take off several times this past winter, but never did make it.  They call it off due to weather at the last minute or, if the weather clears, they will leave out ahead of plan.  They take off at sunrise, so it's hard to get up and get 2 hours away with no notice!

Sunday, I managed to get Matt and Ben and Chan to go on a walk with me.

We walked past the bridges and then backtracked to add more mileage.

seed pods floating in the sky, as high as we could see.

Buttercup is highly toxic.  It can blister the skin if picked and causes internal bleeding if eaten.
Affects livestock, dogs and humans.


On Monday, we went to B'ham and did the Golden Flake tour
Afterward, we went for a picnic, but the kids were really...not into hanging out.
So we left after half an hour and made a quick thrift store stop to get shorts for Ben.  He is HARD to fit.

Chan took this one.

My thrift store find!

I have lined up several field trips for next fall.  I will be infinitely glad to be DONE with field trip planning.  Like, so glad that I may never take more than one person with me ever ever again. hahahaha!!  Can you imagine?  "I am going hiking. Only ONE person can be there at the same time. Please draw lots to see who it has to be.  If it is you, dress according to the weather and don't try to fake sick."  At least with just one person, they can't bail because of a puking kid.  If homeschoolers threw up as often as their moms claim they throw up, we'd be put in tents and poked by the CDC.  It really IS an epidemic!  hahahaha!  Or heck, breaking feet among hikers.  I have been having sympathy pangs all day.  A friend's photo of her foot with THREE broken bones keeps popping up making me queasy.  Oh, I don't ever want to be without my good sturdy self again.

So, that's all the news.  Same old, same old around here.  Oh, the neighbor has started shooting guns ALL DAY LONG, 7 shots at a time for hours on end.  You think it's done, start to relax and BLAM BLAM BLAM. It's his new thing when the chickens are not here. (because the noise would scare them and cause a stampede, which sounds hilarious, but not for the chickens on the bottom) I swear, the man thinks he is the only person on the planet.  Ugh, there it goes again.  Like I said, same old, same old.  Penis trumps brain, common sense and common courtesy in a southerner once again!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


This is how close that guy on his 4 wheeler was to the house!  Who comes that close to a house, sees a mowed path to the gate and thinks, "this is so totally public property, wheee!"?

The north loop is COVERED in poison oak along one stretch.  UGH!

I don't know what this is!

squaw root

I walked out to lounge Sunday afternoon.  It was lovely!

Matt wandered out to join me!

A tick, they are SO BAD out there, we are thinking about just keeping the trail to the cliff open and letting the rest go for the summer because the poison oak and ticks are both thick.
Murphy Jones has 'hair' and not fur, plus it's white, both are tick magnets.  We picked 100 ticks off his 20 pound body 2 weeks ago and he has regular doses of Advantix. the other dogs had 4-5 ticks each, which is WAY more than usual.  The ticks were nearly all dead, but still attached.  It was bad in a few spots on MurJo, like his little arm pits.  He cried and cried and I felt horrible I just did not think about checking them!  Now we check him every single time and are usually able to get them off him before they attach.  As you can see, the ticks are TINY, it wasn't like he was covered in lumpy black things.  :(

It's summer on the bluff!

I finally got Matt to hang right next to me.  WOW, what a ordeal and I am over that little fantasy of cuddling in our pods.  He's a bit of a drama queen about hanging the hammock, though I did buy him much easier to use straps.
still not easy enough!

We hung out until sunset

The last of the light hitting the treetops, so pretty!

We have had a gorgeous run of weather.  It's been cool, sunny, light breeze.  The flowers are amazing, it's rained enough to keep the creeks going but not enough to keep the trails muddy, April has been perfect!

Today I am home on my own.  I have been singing, reading, piddling with a few organizing things.

 We have a trip coming up in a few weeks, camping in Virginia.  Katy is organizing the stay, we just have to show up!  Before that is Matt's week off and I am planning a pretty epic-if-short trip.  We had planned a backpacking week at Shenandoah and the AT is closed through there due to forest fires.  ACK!  So time for plan B. But on the super cheap because our original trip was driving there, parking for the week and eating food we already have while sleeping for free every night!  At least I can still bring lots of easy to prepare meals!

23/52 Land Trust

Met Karen at the land trust on Monday just after 9 and we put in a good 8 miles of hiking.  We stopped by a noisy little creek and hung hammocks and had lunch, finished up about 2:30.  Ben hung out at Katy's with Alex and Emma the whole day, it worked out beautifully!

We zipped home and picked up Chan, dropped them with Amanda and now I am on my own for 2 days!  I was up at 5:30 to get the house stuff out of the way early so I could do nothing, but the dryer is not heating and so the laundry is piled.  UGH.  I really don't like having dirty clothes around.  It's comically simple to have clean things-barely any actual work.  I don't understand why so many people let it pile up and up, then it becomes a real chore.  But I hate mopping and it's presumably just as easy, so I guess everyone has their thing.  Ugh, mopping. It's only one load behind, so I guess driving to the laundromat is not looming...yet. Matt thinks he can fix it tonight.

And I do know why people hate laundry.  They have too many clothes-the piles get huge and there's no room to put it all away.  Cull, people.  Don't keep stuff that does not fit, doesn't get worn, is only needed 'in case' of some event or isn't loved!  Useful items only.  Suddenly-plenty of space!  And laundry is necessary because there won't be anything to wear after a few days.  *exits soap box*

We hopped on the trail system at the Wildflower trail trailhead at the end of Cleermont.

barred owl!

The dappled light made for some really bad photography, but I loved it anyway.

Tree fort and rope swing.

I call these testicle berries.  But don't google the term, that's not what anyone is talking about.

We took the 3 Cave Quarry Loop

Then the Water Line Trail-it follows the water line straight up Monte Sano mountain.

That really is going uphill

The actual water line!

We took the Annadale Trail off to the left which quickly became the Bluffline Trail.
We took that across the mountain, stopping for lunch near the next junction.

Love the open woods!

The camera was only picking up purple!
I love cocconing myself in the hammock, closing it off and stretching out.  My back pops and my muscles relax and I feel totally refreshed after just a little break.

We hooked up with the old railroad bed trail for a while.

Then we took Alms House and made or way back to the Wildflower Trail 

Saw a really pretty, really big snake!

Back at the wildflower trail again!

At Katy's:

Luna moth nearly unfurled and dry

toad eggs