Okay! Well, this is a turn. WordPress went and changed on me. Has it really been that long since I posted? I am faced with a screen (literally) telling me they welcome me to the ‘wonderful world of blocks!’ WTF? Alright, I’ll bite. We’ll try this. (I didn’t read the directions – and evidently, ‘see next tip’ might be part of a direction. I have not clicked on it.) I’ll pout for about a minute, then click it.
Evidently the tip was ‘Add title’. Wasn’t it just easier before when I had that at the top?
This whole blog is going a different direction. LOL!
Want to share my past week with y’all, as we never say in rural desert land.
Damn. There are more plus signs on this version than any of my school tests. I’m giggling. This thing is writing itself.
Okay, pressed enter and we seem safe enough to begin what I intended to write.
Oh, no. ‘start writing or type/to choose a block.
What is a block?????
Shall I try it?
Okay, so, a ‘block’ is either another paragraph, media or … a bunch of other stuff.
I truly had this down, didn’t need remedial directions. But, thanks I guess?
Let’s being shall we?
That, my friends, was a block. I’m literally laughing out loud now. Sorry, I can’t get over this. When did this happen??????????????????????? Why was it needed?
I wanted to chat about my rural adventures. And, I shall.
So, last weekend, my brother-in-law was in town visiting.
Here’s us. Me, “look guys! It’s our last name!” Them: We shall look off into the distance and be majestic.
Truth be told, my long underwear was pink and I looked like a hermit crab without a shell. Have you ever seen that?? I have. My son used to have some and anytime they shed their shell, they wouldn’t make it into the plethora of ‘new choices’ and end up all crabby and shriveled and pinkish – kinda like a toe that had been in the bath too long and, yeah. Then, they died. I survived obviously, but did change this pic to black and white. Because, ew, shriveled hermit crab legs.
Let’s get back to rural living eh?
My guy went shopping and brought home some new plants.
Butters checked them out, approved and moved along.
Then came the day I lost any kind of ‘girly’ I had remaining on my hands. We gardened.
Wait! FIRST! I had cleaned the kitchen and cleaned. Let’s talk about this ‘life hack’. Fabric softener sheets on grease.
I took the oven top completely apart. Then soaked the um, thingies, in the sheets.
Worked fine for the ones that had seen less combat. But, after pouring boiling water on the other ones, still had remnants, so, I’m giving that experiment a 5 out of 10. Oh, and about the boiling, yes, I had to be creative because, after all, my stove was in fact ‘apart’.
But! Here’s a very clean oven and some quiches I made.
Plus, a Mexican lasagna.
So, I was Ms. Clean and cook. THEN the plants needed attention.
I know how to plant a tree. And, easy peel navel orange tree needed introducing into our world.
I wanted to do it – after successful trees at my other home, but, my guy is a go-getter and my non-girly hands had already suffered many blows. Go ahead.
Prior to all of this – you’re probably not going to be able to sleep wondering how my phalanges lost their decorative claws. So, here are the planters that were meticulously made by (not me.)
I added the flowers. I’m nothing if not a team player. (insert squinting laughing emoji here).
We also (he) planted more potatoes.
And we added to our seedlings.
I’d like to share now, after (unsuccessfully searc;hing for the spell check feature) that you can flip back and forth from ‘Block’ to ‘Document’. So – there’s a thing I learned.
In between writing this thrilling post, I bathed Butters. Which, brings me to my next set of pics.
I am trying to get her out and about more. Because I hadn’t already done enough yesterday, I decided to hike with her into what we call ‘the square’.
She did very good at ‘wait’. (Mostly when she was navigating areas like a freaking mountain goat, and I was trying not to lose my balance/teeth/in tact bones.)
Okay! Let’s go!
Very deep hoof imprints! Must have been muddy when that happened.
Always something captures my attention – this was hard to take with Butters excited about moving on.
A moment of “Wait!”. (This was before I fell on my arse because she was mountain goating.)
Another pretty spot – still don’t know how I managed this shot either. I think she was being very good at “Wait!”
It was only after getting home and reviewing pictures that I found this amusing and was a tad confused. I think it’s a feather? But, by happenstance, looks like – well, um, anything you can conjure up lol!
She handled it regardless.
I let her lead the way – and she was sure to mark plenty of territory. Hopefully won’t be long before she can be off leash, at least there. But, with coyotes, steer, burros and snakes – not sure I want her to have that much freedom.
She’s definitely living her ‘best life’ out here though.
Not living on a ‘block’ anymore.
(See how I tied that in? Brilliant.)
In the past 4 days we’ve been through such a variance of weather. From flooding to fog to a ‘nice’ day to … snow.
To say our hike Saturday had its ups and downs would be a pretty fair assessment of the adventure.
I was excited about where we were going for a few reasons, one of them being it was the place I saw my first tarantulas over 15 years ago. (Still very hard to believe this fair English native, then Central Coast California transplant has been in the desert that long!)
And if I’m being truly honest, I’ve only just started to appreciate it since I’ve begun hiking.
We’ll touch back on that in a while.
Anyway, I’ve been chomping at the bit to capture wildlife on my camera. So far, lizards, butterflies, burros, cattle and long-horned sheep – but my secret deep down wish was to snap a close up of a scorpion or an arachnid and yes, even a snake. Oh, trust me, the zoom lens would be the key there! I’m wishful but would also not like to trust my snake guards that we wear to such an extent.
We arrived at Grapevine Canyon and my first mistake? I wore a cotton t-shirt. (Why oh why do they give those away at 5K events? Cotton is not conducive to a comfy hike or run.) I am usually sporting wicking wear, and I’ll have you know that I’ve successfully completed all previous hikes sans sweat. So, that either means that I didn’t push myself hard enough or … seriously, cotton is not the ideal choice.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’m the Queen of Tangents, you’ll have to bear with me.
I don my pack and my snake guards and … my gift from my guy, trekking poles.
Another tangent. When we return from hiking, he’s sore. He, with the Popeye calves. He who can not only put his hands on the ground in a straight legged position, but also touch his forehead to his legs. I, on the other hand, feel no pain upon return – nor the following day. (Also can’t do any of those things.)
This weekend? It hurt to squat to reach the toilet seat lol! ‘Leg day’ happened.
We started out past the tourists who were there for the petroglyphs and the waterfall.
Surpassed them and began our trek.
Me, clumsy and awkward with my poles. My honey a little frustrated because he’d put so much thought into buying them for me. And, no, it does not escape me that he bought them for me because he wants to spend time with me. It also doesn’t escape me that he bought them because he loves them and wants me to have the same experience. So, I felt like an asshole and here’s why.
The terrain he fell in love with them for was the Pacific Crest Trail, so not only was that ideal for that, but he had MILES to become acquainted until they were like additional limbs. Me? I’m trying to snap pictures, which meant holding them in one hand or putting them down, and it seemed every time I did that, he happened to turn around. I felt awful. A gift not being utilized as intended.
We carried on.
Now might be a great time to mention that my guy also has experience rock climbing. Serious rock climbing. And, after the birth of my son I was suddenly scared of heights. And we were high.
I say this because he was like a freaking mountain goat and I kept being told, “Stay perpendicular!” This, after a particular steep rock with nothing to cling to. Thing is about such a rock, once you’re half way up, you’re kinda screwed.
It’s either, A) Have faith in the experts and just keep scaling without looking down and pray you don’t fall to your death or B) Get chastised for wanted to be on all fours. OR C) F#@* this, I know my limits and THIS isn’t happening today.
Well, it happened.
I am not going to lie (again) I was terrified. Literally. What I wanted to do was that dramatic, “Go on without me … save yourself with this hike and I’ll wait.” What I did? I kept going.
And the psychosomatic part of it is that if a hand is held out, you tend to suddenly become invincible without putting too much weight on said hand. It’s just the knowledge that someone has your back and is there to assist that tends to erase a majority of the worry.
Okay, so now I’m up. And ‘height’ phobia cracks in. I swear, I couldn’t even count how many times I heard, “This part is steep, but after this! It evens out.”
I always want to impress my guy, I also always want to live.
We kept going.
And, OH. MY. GAWD.
The day was perfect. The juxtaposition of desert meets … rustling trees … meets water? lol, was awesome!
An egg … I didn’t touch.
Crunching on leaves was bizarre!
Look easier than they were to navigate – but I nailed it. Thought of the Olympics and wanted to do a back flip and land it – then remembered I couldn’t even touch my hands to the floor straight legged lol.
The rustling tree. Was breezy for a bit. (Thank goodness for my pits lol! Remember, cotton … not conducive.)
Just … beauty in everything.
Zoomed in – this was my elephant rock.
This was my heavy-headed person resting their forehead on the peak.
This was freaking AWESOME! The curves get slimmer and slimmer to the point that yes, (OH, Yay!) You have to climb out of it. I think this, and the slides back down due to complete water smoothing (imagine a rock slide!) were my favorite parts.
We ended our hike on a flat rock and chatted.
Here’s where I touch on the beginning.
“And if I’m being truly honest, I’ve only just started to appreciate it since I’ve begun hiking.”
I said to my honey at one point, “You’re really good at a lot of things, but I’m just a beginner.”
And as we sat on that rock, he apologized for any impatience. But, the truth of it was that he was NOT impatient. Or, I didn’t read it that way.
He pushed me for sure – seeing things in me I didn’t. Seeing me capable and cheering me on the whole time. Mostly during our exit when I took a total (on purpose) slide down a steep rock – and it was fun!!!!!
He doesn’t coddle me. But, he does pay attention, even with his back to me. (Dad eyes in the back of his head lol!) And always has just the RIGHT way to encourage me to be a better version of myself.
Extras! Me the next day with my burros! (With the right gear on, but we ended up napping at his home. lol!)
This was Sunday, and we violated a mine – NOT ON PURPOSE!!!!!!!!!!!
It’s for sale! And, um, saw this a little too late.
Lastly, some fun pics.
Wait!! Wouldn’t be complete without those trekking poles. xxxx
Thanks Soupers for continuing to read my journey through life! I love each and every subscriber and reader!
Let me know what you want to see more of!
Started the day out with pancakes at ‘our’ restaurant. It’s riddled with black and white photos of Laurel and Hardy, Shirley Temple, old movie sets and Charlie Chaplin. Plus, evidently, very large cups of orange juice. I didn’t hear my guy’s drink order, but when a ginormous odd-looking cup arrived at our table I asked what it was. Turns out it was O.J. Remember ordering orange juice and it came in a thimble? That justifies my confusion and I immediately coveted it. I know, I know, ‘Thou shall not covet …” But, I think that only applied to a neighbor’s wife? Maybe not, but I coveted all over his drink and into a straw and away from my iced tea.
We are so lucky to have SO many locations at our disposal. Almost makes up for those 120 degree summers.
I’ll just start sharing photos and mumble on about them eh?
First pic – (and I took my ‘good camera’ which, while quality was better, I couldn’t really see what I was capturing due to sun on my preview) We had a storm ahead (and a part of me hoped it arrived, although, I don’t think my backpack is water proof and I had my phone in my pocket tracking the hike).
Me trying to be ‘artsy’ even with a good camera, nothing compares to the actual view.
I was truly hoping for ‘wildlife’. And to be honest, if I heard a rattle, I’d be grabbing my camera versus carefully avoiding the source of the serpent sound. Also waiting the moment I turn over a beautiful rock, and find a scorpion under it that will stay still for a National Geographic worthy pic! I mean c’mon! I’ve had them in my home a dozen times, WHEN am I going to see one in the wild?
Pi or Stonehenge? You decide. But, as you’ll see in the next pic, was located right next to a mining excavation.
We didn’t go in this one. My guy had already explored it on another hike and there wasn’t much to be seen.
Now comes my favorite part! Went down into a river bed that is obviously a water source for desert animal dwellers. Plenty of scat and prints to prove that. Yes, it did dawn on me that we were literally delicious things walking through an area that many predators visit for protein. But, the naturally washed rocks and amazing terrain trumped those thoughts.
This rock reminded me of a fish. A fish that evidently has a stick up its nostril. LOL!
Snake stick, attacking a rock. We did have to jump down into some brush from quite a height and MY rock was checking all brush for snakes. I had snake guards on (he didn’t this time) so I so unselfishly said, “Just go!” I know. I’m a giver.
A storm was threatening the entire time – but, did not come to fruition.
A vein! With vugs.
“Life, uh, finds a way” Said in my best Jeff Goldblum voice.
Okay, he stops for rocks, I stop for close up shots of flora and fauna.
The colors in this rock was unreal! Again, better in person.
Where we came from to flat land.
A wall that once contained something to do with mining.
This guy continued to watch us for what seemed like forever, protecting his family. Bless his Burro heart. x
The family. When I took this photo, I only saw the darker burros. Was happy to discover the other two after downloading.
A thick stringer!
Almost back to the car.
The local gold mine. It’s for sale for $2,500,000. We were going to offer 2. lol.
We did not disturb.
Pay dirt! Sitting RIGHT THERE! We still did not disturb. Although, during the hike, one side of my jacket may or may not have been hanging VERY low due to there certainly NOT being any rocks in my pocket. 😉
We ended the day with a stop at a pub after burning over 1,300 calories on the hike!
AND! That ended in a Snakebite. The only kind you want!
HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’S DAY ALL MY ‘SOUPER’S’
“Honey if I get restless
Baby you’re not that kind”
Turns out – I’m a very restless person. I took an ENTIRE day off from work to just BE.
To be a human being instead of a human doing‘ and … survey says …
I got bored.
It didn’t pan out. (Miner joke)
Speaking of … here’s us FINDING gold.
Well, I wasn’t the entire time.
I got up at 5 with my honey and gave him a lunch I had made for him the previous night.
Then, I had the luxury of ‘sleeping in’. I am not one to usually be able to sleep after waking, but after countless nights of nightmares and tossing and turning, I slept. I slept hard. It was scrumptious.
That Saturday had consisted of us panning pay dirt AND me braving Karaoke!
I was awful. And Christopher didn’t know the song – thus the handing over the mic.
But, awful in a way that you were proud you displayed yourself and lived through it.
I DO warn you, I can NOT sing. So, go there with that knowledge.
AND stepped off of the stage and got a full applause because I just DID IT and knew I was awful but kept going and kept dancing and didn’t care. lol! (Thought of you Betty – and how much you’d have given anything to be alive and sing badly)
I can sing in the shower and the car. 😉
Next morning, I was so tired. We stayed up way past our bedtimes after being home and he sang (better than I ever will) and played guitar (better than I’ll ever try to). But, I got up, and got hiking. Feels SO good to be out there. Especially good to share it with someone I love.
Here’s a few pics, and honestly, they’re getting less and less the more we go because I’m focusing on us and not capturing ‘us’.
After yesterday’s hike, we went to a buffet and I gorged myself into having what I call a ‘food baby’ lol.
I’m thin – when I ‘gorge’ I look like a tick. Not THAT thin, ‘healthy’ but, ‘need to quit eating buffets or my existing clothes will not fit and I can’t afford a new wardrobe’ We then went home and napped – because – Walking Dead premiere!!!!!!!
The nap was more delicious than the food! We both slept, full as could be and spent! Woke refreshed and ready to go back to bed if that makes any sense.
Bottom line, I had an amazing weekend and it’s always hard to say ‘bye for now’.
I wished, at some point today, between horror movies, snacks and washing the dog that I was hiking with my guy.
I remembered the moment he put his arm around my waist while we were walking, I remember going off into another direction of our path because something interested me.
AND! Bonus. Here’s the gold we found, plus an amazing sunset that I didn’t get around to posting.
Overall, honestly? One of the best weekends of my life. I not only over-indulged, but completely under-indulged and I have decided, life is amazing. Period. I could be out in a shack and chopping wood and panning for gold and singing AWFULLY forever lol!
“And nobody told us
‘Cause nobody showed us
And now it’s up to us babe
I think we can make it”