Category Archives: Hiking
My life when COVID began …
How dare I even begin with that? There are so many who have been affected. Affected FAR more than I have been. I should mention though, that I am high risk.
But! That’s where my story, (sort of) began.
I was laid off in October. Laid off from a job I loved. I helped create it, and for five and a half years, I loved being part of it.
Broke my leg in November. Was ‘gifted’ (how horrible – I’d rather they still be on the earth and spend it!) a small inheritance late that month due to a family member passing.
I was still, however, looking for work.
It wasn’t until February that I was out of my ‘immobility’ mechanism. But hey, I was still prepared to catch a ride or work from home.
Then March came. But wait,
Holidays came and went
My kidlet came!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, my husband’s kidlets were here.
Here some of us are, plus, my ‘Nic 2.0’. I ‘adopted’ him years ago lol.
Obviously prior to COVID.
But, the first of the year, I was very ill.
Not only a fever, but a continuing dry cough for six months. Other symptoms included complete and utter exhaustion. I was not exhausting myself. I literally (and yes, I mean that, not figuratively) couldn’t keep my eyes open lying down.
I wonder now if I had it.
There’s a part of me that hopes that I did. That it’s over. And, I clearly haven’t passed it to anyone as I hadn’t left the house.
Funny thing is …
My husband is in tune to events prior to me as a ‘pedestrian’.
We had already begun gathering the basics. No, no rush for toilet paper, but, water, non-perishable foods etc. went into our cellar. We had previously been purchasing necessities in bulk regardless.
Life going forward
My husband began working from home.
I stayed in the bedroom to not interrupt him.
I was not working, obviously.
I spent the majority of the time either napping or watching Netflix, THEN napping during it.
I would search for work, stress about when the ‘inheritance’ mortgage payments would run out and I was turning off summer coolants off left and right. (We don’t have A/C, we have ONE wall cooler and a ‘swamp cooler’. If you’re familiar with the swamper, you know it doesn’t work if there is any humidity in the air. Funny you should ask, because, (and I know you didn’t) We HAVEN’T YET HAD A MONSOON!
To the point of ants coming in for a drink in the bathroom.
I’m skipping the ants, because, fuck them.
And I say that kindly. Because, I’m the type of gal who doesn’t harm another creature.
I’ll tap back into this later.
What I did do in between
I spent my waking hours on the porch.
I’ve met, Meatloaf, Pacey, Eyelashes, Feather and Broken Wing. In that order. So, I think I may be killing them actually. 😦
I found a job in town!
I get to talk to actual customers (which I love).
Trust me when I say, the chance of getting a job ‘in town’ where I live has VERY, VERY, VERY low odds.
Still in my my first 120 days probation.
Now, for what you’re waiting for, maybe, if you are a fan. If you’re a souper …
She’s hanging in. Let’s see, she ‘found’ me in 2011. Must have been one back then. So, here she is at 11.
We don’t let her hang out in the outer perimeter so much these days. Too many cacti, too many snakes etc.
She still has a great life.
Yes, she gives the roadrunners a hard time lol. I tell her to knock it off.
They don’t have a roof over their head, consistent meals and lovin’s.
We still don’t speak the same language evidently. (I’m secretively glad when she chases them with her bad hips and stiff legs. She gets her exercise.)
I said I’d get back to the ants.
We had SO many in the bathroom. I will NOT harm a scorpion, spider, snake etc. etc. But, I’m sorry, if you are an ant and have 2.15 acres to BE an ant, you have no business in my home! I know you’re looking for a drink, but get more creative! Live near the dripping outside taps! There was one night I got up to pee and was badly bitten just by having my feet on the floor, that’s when I drew the line in the metaphorical sand.)
TERRO! And, since they’re determined to be on my porch at night, AMDRO stakes outside near to the house.
If I were to be judged.
The ants of my past would say, at my funeral, “She always went out of her way to not step on us.”
The spiders would say, “She always put us outside.”
The tarantula would say, “She pet my leg and hung out with me outside.”
Even the scorpion would say, “I got dizzy, but, then was released.” (bagless vacuum.)
Hope you are all doing well, being kind and staying safe.
My Central Coast is burning. I’m incredibly distressed for those I care for.
2020 seems like an awful meme about now.
My First Experience
I vividly remember the first time I shot a gun. It was in England, lakeside, and I got to say “pull!”. To my utter delight, I actually hit a clay pigeon. FIRST. TIME. OUT!
I was so proud. Not only was I unharmed by the recoil, but, I actually hit a target in the air!
Well, not hooked, but, I enjoyed the experience.
I’ve always had respect for guns.
Always believed that I should need to know how to take one apart, keep it clean, keep it safe from others should I ever possess one.
I didn’t own one so, I didn’t have the opportunity to practice that.
A little background here
After my first opportunity to learn how to handle a firearm, it was pretty much my last, other than a BB or pellet gun.
When school shootings and mass public shootings started to become prevalent, I was angry.
“Who needs that kind of fire power?????!!!”
“If you can’t hunt without an assault rifle, you have no business hunting!”
“The right to bear arms didn’t factor in the progress of weapons!”
“No one has business having assault weapons if they’re not in the military or law enforcement!”
“Of course they’re mentally ill! No one ‘mentally healthy’ would do such a thing!”
“Why are there no laws to stop people who shouldn’t have guns??”
“Keep them away from kids!!!!!!”
What is still true to me
People with violent pasts and/or mental illness should not have access to a machine that can mow down a mass of people.
(Do Not Compare Knife Attacks To Guns! Apples and oranges. Yes, if someone has an intention of hurting/killing people, they WILL find a way. However, someone with a knife can be taken down with minimal casualties and a much larger survival rate than someone who has just fired upon a crowd with a gun. Although, yeah, they have access to vehicles, which, can’t be contained and have also taken mass amount of people out in a single swipe. Look, I’m still working this out in my head.)
Keep your firearms away from children! Lock them up! (Not the children.)
And yeah, if you need ‘rapid fire’ to take down something to eat, probably you shouldn’t be putting them through torture trying to do so with a single shot. (Hypocritical animal lover here … I eat meat, yet, there is no way I could shoot an animal. I OWN that hypocrisy.)
What I did
It was always a plan to learn how to operate a firearm responsibly. What you see above is me, in a pathetic stance and loose-handed using the .38 special .
After that, we moved onto other weapons. I was eager.
My husband actually got frustrated with me – and rightfully so.
He was trying to teach me about a particular piece I had ZERO experience with and it was a LOT of information. Too much for me.
After all, I was there to have fun and shoot!!
He was right, and I didn’t get to ‘play’ with the gun (well, after a discussion, I did get to later).
I deserved that scolding!
Yet, there were several guns, and I had already learned a few things about them (as much as I could) – there is SO much to learn! All so different.
Is the safety on?
Is it off?
Is it racked?
Is it clear?
Are you sure it’s clear?
Why are you sure it’s clear?
I should mention that his friend had been low key training me for a while with a revolver.
I would eject the clip (magazine) and check the chamber. Reload, do again. Repeat.
Going to digress again.
My husband told me several times that day, “You have to know this! If he kills me, you have to kill him!”
Me: “Well, wait … what did you do?”
Not so funny to my husband, but I got a few other laughs.
After I earned the trust back
I felt a lot better with this weapon.
If my back was against the wall in my outer perimeter, I would feel more secure holding and firing this than the .38 special. I had ZERO talent at aim with the .38. I need to practice.
Racking was hard at first, but, worth it.
This is why I need to learn how to clean/oil etc. Make that maneuver seamless.
My favorite however … and I was as shocked as you will be!
The weapon I had been the most against.
I had more control, better aim and it felt more comfortable in my hand.
We own over 2 acres. Should people be in the outer-perimeter that I mentioned earlier, with bad intentions, I would be useless with a .38. And, I for sure wouldn’t deter them. (Although, honestly, after that first shot it rang my bell!!! BIG time. Yes, I’m still talking about the .38, which, is why you see me wearing the ear protection afterwards.)
Here, in all it’s glory, is the honor to RESPECT and fire the AR 15.
I have so much to learn
I truly do.
I would love to be in a position to master all of these weapons.
I have such respect, always have.
I love that everyone with me was encouraging, patient, and responsible.
You should know that we hike a lot. At one point in time, we had to leave immediately because bullets were whizzing past out heads. Literally. It was terrifying.
The spot we were practicing shooting was no where near hikers or homes. We were between TWO huge buffers of dirt. No person was at risk. (Well, if you count me pointing the gun down there was one.)
I also would like to make a personal point.
While I respect and will always maintain the right to bear arms … tangent again … here ARE my bare arms after that day lol!
Bottom line, the only person I hurt in anyway was myself (and maybe my honey’s feelings with my joke). And that’s a learning curve.
I want to be a responsible gun user.
I have learned that AR originated from Armalite Rifle.
I have learned that I was willing to stop, accept help, and only proceed when the environment was safe.
And, as for that AR – I’m not mad at it. I’m mad that awful people have ruined it’s reputation.
P.S. If there was one thing I COULD change? (Other than being called a ‘snowflake’) The whole, ‘Red Dot’ means ‘go’ is SO confusing! We’re hardwired with the traffic light scenario. I was thrown off a lot with that. Safety on, is green. Safety OFF? Red.
Oh what a week!
I’ll just get this out of the way – I turned 50 on Wednesday.
To be honest, I didn’t see myself getting out of my 20’s. So, this milestone was met with a handshake, which graduated to a hug and then a laugh between friends who knew too much about one another.
My work family treated me like a queen. My husband spoiled me. My family covered me in love.
I’m excited for what is to come.
ANYWAY! The older I get, the less it is about me and more about … well, me gardening. LOL!
After my last post, my potato plant suffered. Big time.
I decided to be kind and put it down.
I was very surprised by the results!
I’m determined to see my garden to fruition, yet, summer is upon us here and we’ll be seeing triple digits soon.
One of the gifts I received was a trio of fledgling plants – tomato, squash and hot peppers. I have put the squash out in the garden knowing they’re hearty and in an area they can climb. I’ve also turned my laundry room into a green house for the tomatoes and peppers.
Look at me go!
Ms. Black thumb is having the time of her life. Her FIVE DECADES of life (lol).
Used to be, gardening was not soothing for me, but after a surprise manicure and pedicure from work, I found myself wanting to reimburse them for the fingers – because they soon found dirt and ruin.
And, I don’t think I’d want it any other way.
It would have been so easy to stay in bed today. No obligations. No husband. No motivation.
Yet, YET! I got up and did so very much.
We have a lot of catching up to do.
So, today, I went against my best instinct, which was to stay in bed, watch Netflix and snack.
I forced myself out of the house for some things we needed from Home Depot and provisions.
The provisions thing didn’t go too well and pretty sure I’m headed back into town tomorrow.
In fact, the provisions excursion was terrifying!
I was looking for the prepped salad and a few other things. I found myself like a deer in headlights. That huge cart, navigating it – a few times, I was behind someone and they apologized. I told them, “I don’t know where I’m going, there is no rush.”
I literally left with two things. TWO! Noodles and chicken sandwiches.
I AM proud I left the house though.
When I returned, I had a plan.
Not such a great plan. lol
But, I did work on the garden, the house (OH! That’s where Home Depot comes in. I replaced god awful eggplant fixtures in the bathroom with lovely ones.)
My ultimate moment though …
Here are my babies.
The one to the very right was the experimental plant It’s in it’s new spot, Can’t imagine what’s in the flourishing ones!
My little potato next to a penny.
Should I bake it? A thimble full of sour cream and cheese? lol
My onions are doing well also … plus a fun(gi) friend. 😉
Looks like a little alien with it’s hands on it’s face thinking, “Oh, no!” (To me)
Time to milk the last of my time in the garden and contemplate whether or not to renew that Sam’s Club membership.
Hope everyone is having a productive weekend – better yet, I hope you’re not, there is nothing wrong with self care! So if you’re not glove deep in a potato bag, open up a bottle of something and just enjoy your view.
Well, it was a long week. And, I reached out a few times and many posts were not posted.
I’ll start with this so you may understand my absence.
And in the words of Mr. Gump. That’s all I have to say about that.
The weekend she passed … here’s what I was doing.
A hike to Richardson Ranch. This was the beginning of our adventure. A friends dog stayed with me, probably because she knew I was the weakest link.
The ‘noose tree’ – We found it like that a long time ago. I truly hope it wasn’t used for it’s intention. I truly hope it was designed to haul folks out of the dirt road.
Part Three: I explore Richardsons’ Ranch.
Moved on from there and …
Then this happened. You know, they say ‘Don’t hike alone’ for a reason. You could sprain an ankle, be struck by a snake, lose yourself. Which, in this case, happened. The lose yourself part.
We got home.
One more thing. I’m watching ‘A Beautiful Mind’ and the doctor is telling John, “You can’t reason your way out of this!”. Almost verbatim to my doctor telling me “You can’t smart your way out of this.” Meaning, the anxiety.
But, I’ve made so much progress.
I can drive home.
I can drive to work.
I still do the rituals – my OCD is not going to leave me soon, but will.
I ask myself, things like: How many times have you HIT a coyote?
How many times have you been in a crash?
How many times has a steer or rock fell off of the pass onto the road (yes, I thought about those things.)
I used logic, even while panicking.
I still acknowledge the unknown, as well as the very known – every cross on that road I take twice a day – but, now I make things practical in my head.
I don’t know what my friend went through in her last days, but I’m betting she didn’t see a light. I’m betting no phone call or visit would have changed her state of mind.
I am here.
I want to be here.
I am making strives without medicinal help.
And – Bye for NOW.