Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Life Stages

We are visiting with several generations of family this week. I'm enjoying all the stages of life, from my grandson at 22 months, who is just learning to communicate, my daughter and son-in-law with all of the stresses and fun of a new family, and my youngest, fresh out of college. We are in the mix, grandparents who are semi-retired due to the worst economy in our lifetime.

My grandson is the glue. He keeps everyone entertained and always hopeful. He is a joy to be around. We all adore him, and he responds in kind. My youngest is looking for new roommates, more in line with the things she likes to do. We bore her with our staying home at night and lack of enthusiasm for music festivals and bluegrass.

My older daughter and son-in-law, on the other hand, find grandparents very useful. Having a built-in babysitter, and others willing to entertain said grandson is valuable. Never to be underestimated. Freeing.

We are also visiting my mother-in-law, recently widowed and 97 years old. She lives in a lovely retirement home, but as she becomes more fragile, we are waiting for that time when we will move her from her small apartment to assisted living. That time may be very soon.

We are in the post-mid part of our life. Young enough to enjoy it, and old enough to know better than to take it for granted. We watch friends our own age struggle with life-threatening illnesses, and we know that for this moment in time we are blessed. Our family intact, our health stable. But we are also sandwiched, like so many of you. Aging parents, children struggling to get a foothold in life.

All the life stages. All with beauty and uncertainty.

I guess that's what it's all about. Enjoying the ride. It careens right along, sweeping us up, moving us along, and eventually it puts us down. It's the sweet moments, the sunsets, the laughs, the kisses, that make it all worthwhile. A good reminder to pay attention to those moments. When all is said and done, it's our memories and the things we paid attention to that will determine a life well-lived ... or not.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Misery of a Different Kind

(New York Times)

It seems families in Jakarta, Indonesia have problems this week. It is Ramadan, and household help including nannies, maids, and chauffeurs are all heading home, in mass, to their hometowns. This has left the wealthy to deal with their own problems. Many of these families use this time to travel, but some are actually checking into hotels as the stress of dealing with their own children, meals, and driving is more than they can manage. One mother said she thought it was good for her children when their maids left, as it forced her children to get their own glass of water, for instance. After all, they might live somewhere like the US, and won't have the help to which they are accustomed.

The household help, who make between $5 and $8 per week, probably count the hours until Ramadan, don't you think?

This is not a challenge most of us understand, I'm afraid.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

On a lighter note...

The weather is absolutely beautiful here in the mountains. The temperatures are in the high 70's and we have had perfectly clear blue skies. It's Street Vibrations in Reno so the area is full of the sound of gravelly pipes. My husband is off, as we speak, to check out the Harley dealership (a meeting spot) to ogle bikes and talk motorcycles. My brother is on his way, and my cousins are joining the pack. Friends are coming to spend the night Saturday and I am busy planning menus. Life is good.

Lucy on the other hand is enjoying some "end of summer" swims:

She comes out clean and refreshed:

No baths during the summer. The lake takes care of that:

How is your weekend looking?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sometimes it works...


Sometimes our criminal justice system works. We have been in the throes of a very serious situation as a family. My ex-sister-in-law moved a tier-3, (the highest level), sex offender into her home with our niece, who is ten years old. A detective visited my brother to inform him of this situation less than a week ago. My family immediately came together and filed a temporary order to give my brother full custody of our niece. Today was the hearing.

I am happy to report the judge took my brother's side in this and gave him another five weeks to file for full custody. He informed my ex-SIL that our niece was to have absolutely no contact with this dangerous man, or she could lose her rights as a mother. Permanently. He has been in prison more than once, killed a man in a vehicular homicide, been arrested for spousal abuse, and had an incestuous relationship with his then 9 year old daughter. That relationship included digital penetration, fellatio, full penetration, and had occurred over a period of time. He pleaded guilty rather than go before a jury. He told my ex-SIL that he had only put cream on his daughter because she was chafed. He went to prison and was out in three years. Unbelievable.

What is frightening? This can happen to anyone at anytime. An at-risk family member putting children in danger by believing the lies these predators are uniquely qualified to tell. They insinuate themselves into single-parent families and then wait for their chance. We have absolutely no doubt this was the case with our darling little girl. She had already been asked to shave his back! Can you imagine?

I'm telling you all of this because we have to put some teeth into the laws to protect our children from these predators. Please press your local lawmakers to insist these creeps serve their full sentence, make them wear ankle bracelets, and keep the pressure on them at all times. Be aware of your own family members that could be at risk. If in doubt, call the authorities.

In this case the system worked. The police, judge, lawyers, social services, and family came together and, hopefully, averted a terrible crime against an innocent child. But they are everywhere. In Washoe County alone there are 1100 sex offenders. Check the websites. Be aware at all times. Because, believe me, they are watching for an opportunity.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Children's Past Lives

I mentioned before that I will be giving a brief review of those books that I think might be of interest to some of you. I just finished Children's Past Lives by Carol Bowman. A densely-spaced book, it not only explores past-lives, but how we have been led away from belief in reincarnation through such events as the Second Council of Constantinople in A.D. 553. It was at this time all ideas under the banner of "pre-existence of the soul," along with other concepts and ideas, were decreed a crime worthy of excommunication and damnation.

Her book examines the healing that takes place when children, who are often dealing with specific issues unrelated to anything they have experienced in this life, can remember past life events that are affecting quality of life in this one. She uses quantitative, qualitative, first-person and anecdotal evidence to back her claims. Her book is interesting and well-written.

This book could be of interest to those exploring the idea of reincarnation, past-life regression, unexplained phobias, anxieties, night terrors, or disturbing dreams. It could be helpful for those searching for the meaning of life, and why bad things happen to good people.

She has a second book out about children reincarnating into same families that I will read another time. For now, she has given me plenty to think about.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Extinct Bridezillas

Has anyone seen the reality television program "Bridezillas"? It's about the total obnoxiousness of some brides. These young women wreak total hell havoc with their outlandish demands and desire to outdo other brides on their "big day." Many end up screaming and crying and not enjoying any of the preparations, not to mention breaking their parent's bank accounts in the process. I have only watched the program a couple of times, and I'm not even sure why. Maybe because human nature, in all its extremes, is always interesting to me. Anyway, on one episode I watched a bride-to-be scream that she hated the groom! Just hours before the wedding. If I was that guy, I'd have run for my life!

We attended a wedding tonight where the bride and bridegroom had exchanged vows on a mountain top, after climbing and rappelling a rock, earlier this week. Her mother had fashioned a veil on her helmet. Tonight they exchanged vows in front of family and friends and had a wonderful and simple evening. Pictures of their mountain top wedding flashed on a giant screen. The centerpieces were vases with rice and pictures of them in various activities and travels. They are very athletic, and their wedding mirrored their values.

Her mother told me her daughter had done all the planning. Absent were all the expensive trappings. It was very modest, but still very nice. She was stunning in her dress that was under $300, and the groomsmen wore flip flops. The parents of the bride were having a great time the whole evening.

It reminded me of my daughter's wedding two years ago. My daughter was adamant that only people who really cared about her be there. Without all the guests that are invited because it's obligatory. It ended up being just beautiful, with 65 guests.

Perhaps it is becoming unfashionable to have the Bridezilla weddings. Maybe all the pomp and circumstance that was so popular just a few years ago, is becoming passe. The celebrations we have attended have all been lovely, but not outrageous. Maybe we are getting back to a more realistic view of what is the most important aspect of a wedding - love and respect for everyone involved.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Soda Springs Lodge

We hiked above Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake last Wednesday and came across a very old lodge/camp that had been there since the 1870's. Many of the buildings still exist, kept standing with the help of donors and the Forest Service. It appears that they still use the main building for fundraisers, on occasion. They posted the clothes worn to hike to the lodge from then until now. Women hiked in long skirts. I imagined them walking with their umbrellas, laughing, talking with friends or family. Or straining. It was uphill for a mile:

The clothes worn now are shorts:

What struck me was the fact that high in these mountains there once was a thriving vacation spot for those lucky people wealthy enough to get there from San Francisco, Virginia City, etc. This was one of the outbuildings:

They accessed the area by boat from Tahoe (which couldn't have been easy in itself!) Then by road, then by boat again, walking the last mile to the lodge. There was a hot springs, which Lucy tried out, but there wasn't much left of it:

I'm always amazed at the spots people used to vacation back in the olden days. They really were hearty spirits. You would think life was hard enough without going to such extremes for a little R&R.

Fall is creeping into the mountains:

And the sky is so blue, you could swim in it. On second thought, maybe we humans are drawn by the same things generation after generation. The same desire to experience nature at its finest:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fingerling Potatoes

I thought these potatoes turned out well. I used fingerling potatoes from the farmers market, green pepper, fresh garlic, and leeks. I cut everything lengthwise and sauteed in olive oil. Kosher salt to taste and fresh ground pepper. Just before serving I added about 2tsp of butter for a richer flavor. Easy, and goes well with just about anything.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pain Body

Have you ever noticed how some people will touch something off in you, and before you know it, "pain bodies" are colliding? Family members are really good at this.

"Pain body" is Eckhart Tolle's description of "remnants of pain left behind by every strong, negative emotion that is not fully faced, accepted, and then let go of, join together to form an energy field that lives in the very cells of your body. It consists not just of childhood pain, but also painful emotions that were added to it later in adolescence and during your adult life, much of it created by the voice of the ego. It is the emotional pain that is your unavoidable companion when a false sense of self is the basis of your life."

He goes on to say "If there are other people around, preferably your partner or a close family member, the pain-body will attempt to provoke them - push their buttons, as the expression goes - so it can feed on the ensuing drama." Tolle sees the ego as a gobbler of drama. "Instinctively it knows your weakest, most vulnerable points. If it doesn't succeed the first time, it will try again and again. It is raw emotion looking for more emotion. The other person's pain-body wants to awaken yours so that both pain-bodies can mutually energize each other."

I don't know about you, but this week has been a demolition derby for my pain-body. I think I'll take a break from all the crazy emotions stirred up out there. Avoid everyone for a few days. Maybe the energy will shift back, and my pain-body can go back to napping.

Now where are my headphones and that OM cd...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Change of Blanket

The fall is early to the Sierra Nevada mountains. We are only in the low 60's today, and it dipped last night to the low 40's. I think I'll bring the plants in from the deck. You never know when an overnight freeze might might drop by for a visit. The little animals are heading underground early, a sign of an El Nino winter?

Of course, as soon as we change our blanket (we froze last night), it will warm up again. We are only a week away from the official start of the new season, however. The blanket change would take place soon, if not now. I suppose some of you are considering the opposite. Are you considering changing to a lighter blanket where you live?

So out with the light cotton,

and in with the soft and warm.

For now we can fold the quilt at the bottom. But before you know it, we'll be pulling it up and over, as well. The skis will be coming out, and we will be making holiday arrangements. Time marches right along.

How about you? Are you considering a change?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Five Year Plan

Do you have a five-year plan? Have you thought about where you would like to be and what you would like to be doing in five years?

I have never been very good at planning. I'm a sort of "go with the flow" sort of person. But I starting thinking - how can we get where we want to be, if we don't know where that is? In other words, maybe we should have a plan.

I believe in the power of attraction. Like attracts like. So maybe we need to be very clear about what we want to have happen in our lives. Set a schedule, so to speak. Clearly define our goals, and more importantly, how to achieve them. Be open when opportunity presents itself. But know what we want to have happen. Then be flexible.

I don't know. What do you think? Are you clear about what you want to happen in your life? Do you have a clear plan to achieve what you want? Or are you happy with whatever comes your way?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Diamonds are a girl's best friend?

Umm, I don't think so. I guess I'm one of those girls that must have come from peasant stock, because for some reason, I have never cared much for expensive jewelry. My hands are small, so rings just look bulky, and diamonds around my neck really don't look any better than something that sparkles, but costs thousands less. My husband was probably relieved when I said I didn't want an engagement ring, that I was happy with a simple gold wedding band. So diamonds aren't my BFF.

It doesn't stop me from admiring other women with beautiful rings, however. One of my friends refuses to buy "conflict" diamonds and has many beautiful rings that are man-made diamonds. They look perfect. You really can't tell the difference by just looking at them.

In fact, I love the jewelry in the Sundance Catalog, which is made by artisans. Especially those that include spiritual quotes. One of my daughters still wears one that has a sign for "protection". I bought it for her when she was much younger, and I was worried about her driving.

I have found two necklaces at the Farmer's Market, from the same vendor, that I just love. The prices were extremely reasonable for something hand-made, and unique. The one on the right says "trust in your dreams." I like the leather that runs through them. It calls to the latent hippie in me. A side that is becoming more and more pronounced, I might add.

Besides, where else can you have a conversation about your astrology chart, before breakfast, while trying on necklaces and shopping for veggies? (And what is it about me that people wonder what my sign is?)

What about you? Do you like real jewelry, or costume? Artisan or department store? And if you're a man - do you wear jewelry?

Friday, September 11, 2009

How far did you say he was from that building?

I was following my regular routine that morning, eight years ago. Watching something on television while I walked on the treadmill before going to work. The phone rang, and it was my husband. He said he was okay, that a plane had hit a building close by, and he didn't want me to worry. Hmmm - better turn on the news while I walk on the treadmill.

Next call - he's been evacuated - had to leave everything in the hotel room and start walking. It was a big plane that hit the World Trade Center. Uh-oh, another plane hit! Next call was from his office. His boss saying he had been in contact with him, he is okay, but was being evacuated. He said his hotel was across the street and a hundred feet from the WTC. Just as he said that I watched on TV as the first tower came crashing down. HOW FAR DID YOU SAY HE WAS FROM THAT BUILDING?

We all know the rest of the story.

My husband, and his fellow employees walked up Madison Avenue, without purses, laptops, clothes. Without a place to sleep, without medications. But people they knew that lived in NYC rallied. They ended up finding a room at what turned out to be a very posh hotel. They were able to find some clothes, food, alcohol. Lots of alcohol. American Express was able to get my husband's medication, and their boss was able to eventually get them home by flying them out of New Jersey, at a time when no planes were flying. My husband calls him on this anniversary every year to thank him.

It took six months to get his things from that hotel across the street where so many innocent lives were lost. He had to sign a release stating he would not hold the hotel responsible for what may be on and in his things. He signed the release.

The evil perpetrated on that day will never be forgotten. Not by me, my husband, our family, or our country. Never.

But my hope is that we will eventually see that hating will never change the world. And we so need to change the world. Maybe, one day we will all realize that we are One. When we harm another, we are really harming ourselves. That violence begets violence, but so does empathy, love, kindness, and generosity. We have a choice.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Moonlight Award

I am often very bad at acknowledging awards. For this I apologize, because I am always appreciative of your thoughtfulness in giving them to me. I forget because I'm off on some tangent, or I misplace them, which happened with the last one (Heart Award). Sorry!

With that being said, I received one from a new blog I've been following that is filled with wonderful peeks into the lives of those living sophisticated European lifestyles. A beautiful and unusual blog, Celeste of Into The Moonlight is a painter, and created an award with the blogs that she enjoys in mind. I have also received this one from Harrad of Access denied - living with MS, who passed it along to me. Herrad is a thoroughly intelligent, thoughtful blogger, dealing with a devastating illness with courage and love. Thank you, both.

The award is very unusual and beautiful. It is the culmination of several sketches that were inspired by the blogs she has enjoyed since she began blogging, three months ago.


"Moonlight in this case represents the glorious brain-sharpening, mood-enhancing experience one feels when reading or seeing something inspirational in other blogs. Something that sets the tone for the rest of your day, puts a smile on your face, stimulates your work, or makes you feels awesome about life. It is not often one feels wonderful. But some days, some blogs do just that.

I want to give “moonlights” to all the special blogs I encounter.

There are no obligations attached to the recognition. But if you feel like it, you can pass it on to whoever has also given you that something special, what in Spanish they call “eso”, or “it”. Whatever “it” is that lifts your spirits and helps you to up your mental game."

Since I can never choose between the blogs I read, I would like to pass it along to all of you. You inspire me, every single one of you, to grow, learn, appreciate, love, forgive, and most of all to keep writing. To keep following my dream, even on days when it seems impossible. It's your comments that motivate, that makes the impossible seem doable. And for that I thank you, all of you. We are One in this world, and no where is that more so than the blogging community.

I know exactly what Celeste meant when she said "eso" or "it", and believe me, you all have it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Julie & Julia

I updated, finally, my movie widget. I guess you can tell we haven't been watching many movies lately. I downgraded my netflix to two-at-a-time from a high of five, during the deep white of winter. But even those two have sat, gathering dust. The fact is we are feeling edgy, not wanting to watch anything that requires too much thought, entails violence, or anger. But the upset with my neighbor, over his squirrel hunting, sent us out yesterday for some light entertainment. Enter Julie and Julia.

It resonated with me on so many levels. For one, I adore Meryl Streep. What a joy to see her beautifully aging face actually move, and have expression. She is so real. The story was full of love, laughter, tenderness, and fun.

We both came away, holding hands, and wishing life were less complicated. We are a nation of people on the edge. It feels like a feather could topple us right now. There is a concerted effort by the folks at Fox News - especially Glenn Beck - to do as much damage as possible, without ever coming up with a solution to anything. Instead of a nation coming together to solve these gigantic problems, we are being torn apart, by "entertainers."

So we need to take our happiness where we can get it, and this movie gives it. Take a moment of your time and go see it. We are writers here in the blog world, and it's all about us. Our hopes and dreams, our connections. It's also about food, love, and sharing.

Does it get any better than that?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Snow Birds & Squirrels

I am trying hard not to come unglued on one of my neighbors. But he is really on my last nerve.

One of the things that I enjoy most about living in the mountains is the wildlife. That includes birds, squirrels, chipmunks, etc. We used to feed them, occasionally, on our deck, but the neighbor said to quit doing that, as they were a nuisance, so we quit doing that a few years ago. For a while this summer I enjoyed sitting in my favorite chair on the second floor and watching two little squirrels chase and play on the tree outside my window. They were tiny, and had a great time running over the rocks, across the bridge and up and down the trees.

That was before my neighbor decided to shoot them with his air gun. The other day I was shocked to hear a gun go off and the bark of the tree in front of my window flew off as he attempted to kill a squirrel behind our unit! I ran outside and asked him if he was shooting again. He said no. He denied it! I said someone was shooting again (we have had this discussion in the past), and he said he hoped they got a squirrel. (I see him hunting in the bushes all the time.) Discharging a firearm in an incorporated area is illegal, and he knows it. Every time I hear a gun retort, my heart starts hammering. It scares the $#%@ out of me!

I haven't seen the two tiny squirrels, or any other creatures in weeks. The nasty old bat is cleaning out the area. Now the birds are avoiding our trees. And the really strange thing? He is the only one with the problem. None of the other people in the complex ever complain about having squirrels anywhere near their units, nor have they had any damage. He is irritated that they drop the sugar-pine cones and eat the seeds. Isn't that what nature intended? I might add that it is all natural habitat behind our condos, it isn't manicured in any way. One lady, down the way, also used to feed them, and has been asked not to. It's like he is attracting them, with his negative squirrel energy.

I can't wait until he heads back to Florida in a month.

I wonder how many people there are looking forward to his return?


Monday, September 7, 2009

The Creative

There are people that I visit daily in the blog world that stun me with their creativity. I am so entertained, while I actually learn something. And occasionally you find that same combination of skills elsewhere.

Have a very happy Labor Day - I hope you are not laboring.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Last Big Weekend

I'm feeling the end of summer, the beginning of fall, here in the mountains. With it comes a pensive feeling for the start of winter. I always seem to feel this way at this time of the year. It's not that I don't like winter, I actually love it. No, it has more to do with the isolation that winter will bring. Snow, icy roads, a 25 mile drive on winding roads to Reno, and a mountain pass to get to Sacramento, where my brother lives. So, we will not head out as often. My husband will buy a season pass to his favorite ski resort, but I will need to find my own release from cabin fever. I quit skiing several years ago, after a particularly bad fall. I realized I was never a good skier, and I had actually become downright dangerous.

There is a new Pilate's studio nearby, so between that and the big indoor pool for swimming, I will keep going with my goal of losing weight, and getting fit.

We are enjoying this last big weekend. Dinner with friends from Arizona last night, a lunch-party with my cousin this afternoon, followed by a friend's birthday party in another part of Reno this evening. He is from New York and is having cold cuts flown in for his party. Evidently Reno lacks in the cold-cut department.

We feel blessed to have friends and family this weekend. We feel blessed to have a home, and enough of everything. We'll pass on thinking about our problems for the day. Instead we will live in the moment, and be thankful for all that we have that is so wonderful in our lives.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fulfilling Destiny

Have you had something that you know you need to accomplish, but so far have not? Maybe something that you starting thinking about as a child? Maybe this thing is something you have thought about writing, inventing, designing, producing, creating, but it remains unfocused, a challenge not met.

Maybe that's the mission/life purpose you were meant to accomplish. That hidden, niggly little idea that seems so far fetched, so out of reach. Maybe it's a piece of the puzzle not only of your own life, but of the whole.

Mazlow's Hierarchy of Needs ends in self-actualization. So maybe it is nothing more than a psychological stage, but what if it's more than that? What if somehow it's connected to a larger "whole" and is needed to fill in a blank spot. Which in turn then triggers someone else to find and accomplish their piece of the puzzle.

Does this resonate with anyone? What do you think?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

When Enough is Perfect

(one of McAfee's five homes, Colorado)

I watched a Nightline episode last night on John McAfee, of anti-virus software and instant messaging fame, and it highlighted something I had been thinking about for several days. And that is the thought that enough is perfect, too much is stultifying. We lose something in ourselves when we have too much. We lose our creative desire to achieve. Why look for your unique purpose in life if you have whatever you want, without the struggle. McAfee made the comment that people always want, but what they need is very little.

In his case, he was just auctioning off the last of his five homes, antique cars and air-stream trailers, planes, toys, art, all of his belongings. He had lost around ninety million dollars in this economic downturn, having most of his holdings in luxury real estate and the stock market. Luxury real estate is down, in case you haven't noticed. In fact, his multi-million dollar estate in New Mexico was auctioned off for around $525,000. He said it was less than he had spent on landscaping for the place.

But he wasn't upset, in fact he was relieved. It was all gone, and he and his pick-up were heading to Central America to work on a venture having to do with natural medicines. Had he a spiritual awakening? Maybe. Or maybe, like many of us, he realized too much stuff is like a ball and chain. It needs to be managed, cared for, maintained, cleaned. If it involves people to do it for us, it requires managing people, which is like herding cats sometimes.

He will walk away with a "fistful of millions", so he won't be worrying about having enough food, or shelter, or anything else that really matters. And that is the crux of the thing, having enough is imperative. We need a home, enough food for our family and animals, clothes on our backs. But it doesn't have to be wildly expensive meals in restaurants, five houses, and designer labels. Too much just bogs and weighs us down, sapping our innate desire to find our purpose. Which may not have anything to do with money or things, but something else, something imperative to us, hidden, waiting to be needed.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A marathon and rubber bats...

I feel like I have run a marathon, and everyone hit me with rubber bats, instead of offering me nice cold water, and encouragement.

My husband and I, and Lucy of course, hit the trail yesterday for what was supposed to be an "easy" rated four-mile hike. At least that's what the book said. In reality, it was a 5-mile hike, rated "moderate", at about 7,500 - 7,800 ft. But the only reason it was rated "moderate" was because it did have some parts of the trail that was level, otherwise it was "difficult" in my book. Of course my book would be for women who spend entirely too much time blogging.

We were absolutely amazed at the hikers carrying their dogs up that trail! The last one, a little Scottie, was so cute, but come on! If you're going to hike at these altitudes the dog needs to do its own walking:

My husband and I had to laugh at a young, cute couple in the parking lot who were preparing to hike in and spend the night - she had a big pack and a little dog with a pink jacket. If they were married it would be okay, but if this was a date - my husband was thinking it might be the last. She was asking how far, and was relieved when we said only 2.5 miles to the lake, but we were thinking it was going to be hard hanging on to rocks and your dog, too, in some places.

We had attempted this hike a couple of months ago and had to turn back. I had tennis shoes, and the rocks are just not negotiable with soft soles. So we didn't make it to the little alpine lake named Lake Margaret, high in the Sierras. This was the second attempt, and this time I had great boots - Keene - which I love.

But the hike was really hard - big boulders, lots of treacherous terrain. Hard climbing, for sure, especially for me. Lucy ran circles around us the entire time. Took many swims, complaining only when we refused to throw her ball anymore. Munching on bear poop, she had some issues going home!

But back to the hike. I can honestly say I would have gladly hired a helicopter to scoop me up and out, that last mile - which was mostly up, of course. I really don't care how much it would have cost - sell something! How can such a beautiful hike feel so wonderful going in? I was daydreaming about maybe backpacking again, certainly hiking again on Wednesday...


Well, at least that's how I feel right now. Who knows how I will feel tomorrow. I do know that I won't push that hard again, just yet. Maybe turn around when you've had enough, you know you have to hike back out, and the GPS says at least another mile to the lake. Just turn around for heavens sake -

We did see some amazing country, however. Here's what I was so determined to see:

We decided to go back in the Spring, when the creeks are full. Next time, however, Lucy will have her own pack! I think she will come in handy...