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in defense of car camping

in defense of car camping

it recently came to my attention that my childhood camping expeditions were not instigated by my dad, as i assumed, but by my mom. (the long days in the van, on the other hand, were definitely instigated by my dad.)

that aside, let’s talk about the benefits of car camping. first, spending a week in your RV or pull-behind is not camping. that is glamping. you may be in a “campground” but there is nothing about the RV that says roughing it.

so you’ve got to have a tent and a sleeping bag at the very least. i don’t know anyone who doesn’t have some sort of sleeping pad. and there are some tenters who would argue that the only way to tent is by hiking it in. but i would disagree!

here’s what’s great about car camping.

  1. you can throw everything in one vehicle, head out without something on a hitch, and not worry about hauling stuff around on your back. (if you’re specifically planning a hike or canoe trip, that’s a different matter.)
  2. you’ve got your car with you – you can set up camp and then drive to various places to explore.
  3. in case of emergency or severe weather in the night, you can wait it out and see what happens.
  4. you don’t have to super duper rough it. just moderately rough it. because you’re hauling in your car, you can sleep on an air mattress or cot and not have to worry about weight you have to carry around.
  5. you can go either way: set up in a campground right next to the loud, obnoxious RVs or do a cart in site or carry-in site (generally all tents there, and your car is right down the lane in a parking spot).
  6. it’s a pretty inexpensive way to travel if you want it to be. getting a middle of the road tent is just fine (no keltys for me – i’m fine with coleman hahaha), and it’ll last you a while. sure, there’s some up front cost with the gear – cot, sleeping bag, stove, etc., but it’s a much less expensive up-front cost than an RV or staying in a hotel for 6 nights.
  7. people are impressed when you tell them that camping is tenting for you. and you don’t know why, because you think everyone should be tenting when they go camping. (like i said, RVs are glamping, not camping.)
  8. it’s probably much better for the environment. (gotta do the research.)
  9. it builds character. nothing builds character like having to pop a squat behind your tent because the bathrooms are half a mile away. also, brushing your teeth outdoors is liberating.
  10. it’s fun. just do it!
a little late

a little late

i was going to write a long blog post the day before my birthday about the decades flying by, but i was too busy… (how ironic).

so 40 came and went a couple weeks ago. it was a good week: jenee and john came to visit me and have lunch and brought presents, i got a masterclass subscription from my sisters, went to itasca directly after the birthday, and overall had a decent time. much better than turning 30, though i couldn’t tell you why i wasn’t feeling turning 30. overall, i’d have to give my 30s a high five for the effort that i went though!

  1. i started running at 32. i was tired of being uncomfortable, and i felt a bit of a challenge with the running. i’m actually really impressed with myself for doing it continuously for 8 years! sure, there were a couple times when i was out for 2 weeks due to injury, but overall i have been a running maniac.
  2. oh man, i owned 3 houses in my 30s!! what a time to be alive.
  3. decided to a chance on a job in rochester and moved down there for that.
  4. decided the job was good, but the heart wants what the heart wants, and apparently it wants lakes. so back to central mn!
  5. said goodbye to chasey cat 🙁 but acquired 3 others in the past decade!
  6. i have so many tattoos now.
  7. somewhere along the line, i became a traveling fool. i’ve been on a plane more in the past 5 years than i had in all the years previous to then. hope that continues!
  8. somewhere along the line, i think i became more comfortable with myself and what life is. i’ve become more certain about things and able to see something in myself and just let it be. now, granted, most days i still feel like i’m 8 years old and i wonder why on earth people think i know what i’m doing. but i’m getting better at that.
  9. i still use a ps3 for watching everything. i think that’s slightly weird. my technology has stayed the same for the past 11 years. (i’m like, half luddite at this point. my phone is small, my laptops are old, i refuse to get an ereader, my TV is a plasma. hmmm.)
  10. let’s round this out with 10 to make it equal a decade. i’ve become a more active practitioner of yoga in the past 10 years (i dabbled in it before then), and maybe that’s contributing to #8. but it’s helped me relax and become less anxious about things. that a definite plus.

OK 40 LET’S DO THIS! it can only go uphill from here, right??? plans for 40: travel more. run more. yoga more. just be.

a haiku – wait nope. wait yes.

a haiku – wait nope. wait yes.

i was going to write you a springtime haiku to go along with a photo i took today, but wordpress isn’t letting me upload the photo.

instead, i’ll tell you about my brilliantly productive memorial day weekend so far.

saturday:

  1. pulled all the minitrees and weeds out of my flower bed. this took 3-4 hours.
  2. sprayed the weeds around my house.
  3. cleaned up around the edging near my entry way.
  4. cut down the dying shrubbery trees out of my flower bed
  5. supervised as nate yanked the stumps out with the truck
  6. clapped in delight when it worked
  7. spread 20 bags of mulch in the flowerbed
  8. took brush, trees, and stumps to the avon compost site
  9. went to walmart and bought 2 hydrangeas to replace the gross (now dead) shrubs
  10. planted them
  11. admired my work. i was out there from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. with a lunch and supper break!
  12. watched john wick

sunday:

  1. went for a 3 mile run at 10 a.m. (i know; surprisingly early!)
  2. picked up a geranium on the way to pick up mom from st. johns
  3. met rae at the cemetery and visited grandma and grandpa
  4. went to red lobster for lunch
  5. went to target with mom
  6. dropped off mom at st. john’s
  7. took a nap
  8. mowed the lawn
  9. went SUPping
  10. stalked a loon
  11. went for a 2nd 3-mile run (training for ragnar sunset)
  12. drank a margarita while i tried to get a fire going. it didn’t go.
  13. now it’s too late to watch john wick II. maybe tomorrow

tomorrow i clean the house (it’s supposed to rain) and make some millionaire shortbread.

well, whaddya know! my image uploaded. took this on my run this evening.

light reflected back

no crops yet; but frogs and birds

ruts hold the story

current life list update

current life list update

oh, hello. long time no see. life in list form:

  1. current house is good to go and has a closing date of sept. 8. the only thing the buyer wanted fixed was the window latch in the bedroom, which i totally forgot about but knew needed to be fixed. i went to the andersen window website and bought a replacement latch for $20, and it’s now good as new. not so good that i’m going to not move, but good enough for the new guy. i’ve been trying to pack, but my ambition has been pretty nil lately. sept. 8 will close in quickly, so i’d better get some ambition pretty quick.
  2. future house (!!!) has just had the inspection contingency taken off; the only thing we wanted fixed was the screen door out to the patio (it’s all scratched up due to their dog). other than that, it’ll be good to go. i’m excited to live on that property and in that log home plan feel living room with the fireplace. (yes! fireplace!) so, that means i have to find more ambition to pack because i need to move all my stuff over there. ugh. ambition, why you gotta be so elusive. 
  3. my garden is so sad looking. i have tomatoes up the wazoo, and the cucumbers are sort of trying to grow something, i think. my gourds are going nuts, and that’s only because i just let them go. otherwise, it’s pretty weedy and gross and i’m sad it got to this point. i’m guessing i’ll be able to make one batch of pickles and some tomato sauce. maybe there will be one pumpkin for halloween, and i hope there will be some pie pumpkins. we’ll see what happens i guess. booo. BUT. there’s always next year, when i will till up a chunk of my yard and make a giant veggie garden. it’ll be staring me in my face so there’ll be no way to ignore it.
  4. charlie’s party is in two weeks!! 😮 time flies! next week he and i will have to go to the meat market and pick up the pork for the party, and i’m hoping liz and jane can still make it the friday before to help cook food. better start thinking about a menu, i guess!
  5. OLYMPICS. i love the olympics. bob costas. gymnastics. community. all those good-feels. 
what i miss

what i miss

when i took this job, i knew that i would be leaving something i really would miss. i was leaving a job i truly enjoyed, people i really enjoyed working with, and a place i could probably have worked at for a long time. that pesky sense of place though.
so here’s what i know i miss:

  1. my coworkers. aahh i miss how irreverent we were and how the banter could just happen without worrying if we were going to offend anyone. boo. for an inkling of how we worked together, a common saying was “yes, i’m 12.”
  2. knowing everyone. it takes a long time for me to feel comfortable enough and get to know everyone at a workplace. i just keep telling myself, “yes, i’ll get there. just give me time. i’ll get to know everyone.”
  3. the coffee. we had coffee every morning. brewed a pot, poured in half a cup of creamer, and called it good. i need to talk with the foundation director and see if she wants to start doing that (she’s the closest permanent employee who likes coffee.)
  4. knowing what i’m doing. ok, granted, this job was a MUCH easier transition than any of my other jobs. it is almost the same job in the same kind of institution. it was a smooth transition. but there are little differences and processes that are different that make me do a double take.
  5. my coworkers. can i say this again? 🙁
  6. baked goods! i have yet to bring in baked goods for the few people near me, but i hope they go over well.

ok, i’ve got to stop writing this list or else i’m going to get depressed.

begin summer

begin summer

and so i enter my 38th summer. what are my summer vacation plans? 

  1. despite the upheaval, i want to be able to relax. i feel like i’ve been running around to no real end for the past month, and i’d like to have a moment to just be a normal weekend person for a bit. (my weeks will pretty much be upheaval; i realize that much). after my deck is finished, i’m hoping that this will be able just be a thing. i want a little peace.
  2. despite the upheaval, i want my garden to be a thing. so far, so good. my tomatoes are in, the peppers are in, cucumbers, dill, basil, and cilantro planted. this weekend i’m renting a tiller, and charlie and i are finishing up the back forty with sunflowers, and i’ve got to get the green beans in the ground. then some zinnias here and there. i still want to see things grow.
  3. despite the upheaval, i am going to my family reunion! i’m not going to let this be the summer that i don’t go (i have a 100% attendance record to maintain, after all). BIG LAKE. SUN. RELAXATION STATION. << especially that, haha
  4. despite the upheaval, i still love summer. i will take advantage of the warmth and the daylight and the greenery and the flowers and the growth and the frogs croaking and the birds chirping away. not the junebugs though. those things can die in a fire.
  5. despite the upheaval, i want MORE upheaval and someone to buy my house down south so i can commence the living like normal up northerly. it will be work, but it will be worth it. 

let’s go, summer!

released!

released!

today i was visiting charlie, and the RN came in just as i was about to leave and announced that he was going to be released tomorrow! woo!
here’s a list of things we’ll need to think about:

  1. showers! bars and stools and where to put his clothes while he’s getting clean
  2. keep that helmet on, boy!
  3. his jaw still hurts when he chews. will this go away with time? will his face figure itself out when the doc does surgery to fix his face bones?
  4. keep the cat away from the top of his head…
  5. living with his parents again for a while
  6. and in that vein, never being alone for a while
  7. …and spending days with dad 🙂
  8. …and then running to my house when he needs a break!
  9. new car??
  10. etc.

we’ll see how this goes!

let's take a quick break

let's take a quick break

we’re taking a break from the charlie posts for a night because a) life update bullet time and b) i can’t think of anything charlie-related at the moment, and bedtime is fast approaching.
BULLET MONDAY…

  • thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK. how did that happen. this is my time to shine, and this year’s t-day may be a mess due to unforeseen circumstances (pregnancy, cancer, head injuries). at the same time, it all just might work out. and if we eat food on friday or saturday, that’s fine too. COME TO ME, SPATCHCOCK TURKEY
  • i installed a ceiling fan in my bedroom. do you know how easy electrical work is as long as you have instructions? in fact, instructions make life projects in general a lot easier. because when stuff doesn’t come with instructions? well, let’s just say that nate and i call that stuff “rustic as f—“. in fact, i just made a RAF little crafty box and stained it tonight. i told nate that as long as it’s full of stuff, it doesn’t matter. (same reason my entry bench has some crooked inserts. NO ONE WILL KNOW.)
  • apparently i can’t print from photoshop with my new printer. i think that’s weird. photos print great from iphoto, but it has lines in it when i print from pshop. what gives, adobe/canon?
  • i have to get everything completely out of my garden tomorrow. i think it’s finally going to decide to be winter-ish around these parts. i still have some leeks, onions, and carrots hanging out in my backyard. 
  • HALF MARATHON. yes. you heard that right. next may, liz and i will attempt a HALF MARATHON. i have 6 months. i think i can do this. 
top ten reasons why you should not live in the city

top ten reasons why you should not live in the city

1. it’s quiet (when charlie isn’t marble running)
2. you can go out at night and not be afraid of dying
3. you can see the stars
4. the lack of every resource at your fingertips makes you…resourceful
5. golf carts and gators everywhere (is that a positive? i don’t know)
6. your neighbor’s sex den isn’t two inches from your sex den
7. the employees in the stores know you
8. small-town bars
9. fewer emergency vehicles
10. it’s quiet (still)

i could write about…

i could write about…

elysiani could write about 50 shades of grey, but i didn’t read the books and don’t plan on seeing the movie, so i really can’t have an opinion.
i could write about my bedroom makeover, but it’s not done yet so i don’t want to spoil the surprise.
i could write about the ice cream waiting to be churned in my fridge, but i’ve written too much about ice cream already.
i could write about a fancy pants mythical fairy tale land filled with princesses and evil unicorns and midgets who hide coins under mushrooms, but i don’t want to delve into that.
i could write about the fantastic book i’m reading right now, but i’m going to wait and write a full review when i’m finished.
i could write about how charlie is ruining my home life, but he’s really not, so that’s a libel suite waiting to happen.
i could write about the measles outbreak, but i really don’t want to contribute to an already saturated blogosphere on that.
i could write about how people don’t know how to use a stupid search bar on a website, but i’m still annoyed about that and it would not end well.
i could write about the keystone pipeline, but that would require a lot of research i really am not in the mood for right now.
i could write about how kevin sorbo’s going to be at wizard world in may! yeah! so that’s happening!