Tag Archives: Recreation

All Dressed Up And…


Boodle at Borders

The Universe keeps leaving me messages lately.  Not great message either.

Frankly, I think I need to change my number, or at least find a way off its speed dial.

For the moment though, I’d really like to know why the Universe seems so opposed to us going camping.  I mean, it’s not as if we’re higher (or sadly much lower) impact than most people who spend time up on Lower Saranac Lake.  We use a rowboat equipped with a little 2-cycle motor to zip between the ranger station and our camp site instead of a canoe (though I’d be content enough to canoe most of the time, it’s nice to have that motor for the initial setup and break down periods); we tend to do most of our cooking via a campstove instead of the fire pit; and I do use dish detergent to wash the dishes in the lake.

Old Litter found in a scap pit on Halfway Island, Saranac Lake NY

Old Litter in Bright Green

I have even been guilty of bringing soap bubbles for my son to play with at the camp site.

However, the few plastics we bring always get brought home and either recycled or disposed off in a more conscientious manner.  We do not leave broken glass or litter in the wood as some have done.   Our choice has always been to leave the campsite a little nicer for the next people than we ourselves had found it.

Which, btw, means we like to leave it as close to pristine as possible on a State Camp Ground.

So why has everything interfered in our camping this year?

  • The first disaster was a minor one–my husband somehow booked the wrong campsite.  This would normally not be a horrible issue, save that we have a child who is still learning about the outdoors, what is safe, what is not and there are several sites on the lake that have huge rocks that just drop off into the lake without warning.    We know very little about the section of the lake we’re going to be at this time.  Could be good, could be bad…  The mystery is enough to make me cautious, but not enough to cancel the trip.
  • The second “disaster” has been the timing of the head cold of the year.  I’m just starting to get over it, but the Boodle is getting sick now and there are odd hints that the Leader of the Opposition Party (that is, my husband–now known as the LOP) is working on getting it too.  Being sick where the quickest route to a hospital is seaplane doesn’t really appeal to me.
  • The major disasters however happened last night when the LOP started doing an inventory of all our camping gear…


Need I say more?  Well, I probably do, since it might now seem that drastic, but these guys were both huge and everywhere.  And they’d eaten their way through our $400 tent, our air mattress and our rubber raft. 

This isn’t stopping us since the LOP has “connections” nearby (his father was already loaning us the boat and just threw in a tent for us to use), but sometimes one really does have to wonder why the Universe is so adverse to us camping.

ROW80 Check-in

This hasn’t (as the above might show) been the best week.  I was completely down and out on Sunday and Monday with the cold.  My word count was stifled, but it’s back on track now, and I’m even back to getting my 750 done on 750words.  It’s all part of a process I guess.

The biggest killer at the moment is the brain drain.  Too many other things have been taking their toll and leaving my mind to scattered to actually work on my story ideas.  Today was the first day that I didn’t have to force feed words to the paper, and because I had too many things that needed to be done “right now” I could only jot down notes for writing out in detail later.

I’m both dreading and looking forward to that camping trip just for the end of the “right now” period.  I do know that this was the absolutely wrong month to take up a WriMo challenge.  But I’m here now, and I will do what I can.  I guess it’s much like my karate experiences.  Even in losing, I will win something.

Speaking of which…  Must leave you now so I can do that part.  Hai!


This will be my last post for almost two weeks, if things go well.  If things keep going the way they have been going though….  Well, stay tuned for further developments and enjoy these images I took during our camping trip last year:

Bees Knees! Taken at our favorite swimming spot

Bees Knees

Reflections on the water


Ending day

Ending Day


Disjointed: a ROW80 check-in


Spring Break Cookies from above.Spring Break for my son’s (and many other children’s) school(s) ends today.  As usual, a private chaos overtakes the house, and me especially, when this happens.

There are, of course, all the preparations that suddenly need to be made.  Is the homework done?  Did I remember pack an extra set of play pants for the muddy playground times?  Signature on the Friday Folder?  Lunches planned for the week?  Did I remember to buy enough fresh fruit and veggies?

The last one doesn’t just affect us during school time, of course.  The Boodle is an impressive veggie eater, and usually it’s hard for me to get any fresh fruit if he knows that it’s in the house.    It’s just that when we aren’t trying to juggle the 45 minute (one way) commute to take him to school and are able to focus our energy on our needs as a family better.  Of course, that doesn’t mean I remember to buy the mustard my husband asks me to pick up any time.  Grocery lists are not my forté, but I do manage to buy tasty sushi that my son loves to share with me.

No, the end of Spring Break always feels wrong, and it has since we’ve started this school experiment (Winter Break or any kind of long weekend even have similar effects).  So many thoughts…  Is this right for our family?  Why do I miss the Boodle so much when he’s in school (I’m usually the one driving him, so it’s not as if I don’t have more time than my husband does with him)?  Am I throwing him to the wolves (he worries about wearing his pink stuff around other kids now after an incident at the school)?

Yes, yes, Mama Drama.

Fruit Breakfast

Fruit Breakfast (Photo credit: jaredkuper)

It’s my life.

It’s also part of why this week ended up falling somewhat flat for the check-in.

Simply put,  I fell almost flat since Wednesday.  Between fighting the forever rebooting PC (I have many reasons to love my computer; stability is not one of them) and the curse of migraines, I left out a lot of new writing.  I got my sponsor duties done; I wrote my 750 words; I even managed a fair amount of typing and editing.  But the creative spark?  Oh, that was on Spring Break too.

I did find some amazing stuff online to read, and the Mash-Up I could pull out of this week’s virtual journey could easily fill several blog posts.  I’m going to save most of those links for later.  Nothing is so news-worthy that it needs to be passed on this instant.  The truth is, it’s probably better to pass along these tidbits after the original posts have faded from their spotlight.  It’s nice to know that the things we write don’t fade from the ether after the week or month is gone.  (Yes, I know there is an amazing archive of everything posted on the internet out there, but unless you know what you are looking for, posts can stay lost forever.)

So for my “mini Mash-Up” I picked a few pieces that tweaked my creative side:

  • first we have Askers vs. Guessers from Wendy Cheng a.k.a. Xiaxue which inspired a whole bunch of story ideas.  Wendy really is an amazing blogger (there’s no wonder she gets the numbers she gets, although I’m sure a number of people will not like her style as much as I do), and I love her choices of hair color.  Really feeling inspired to make something a blu-ish green lately...
  • following that something that has been stirring in my mind since I started asking for opinions regarding people’s favorite character in the Tuesday Snippets:   Why are we drawn so much to Darkness?  I have to wonder, especially given the characters that I always hear are people’s favorites in my stories.  ‘Listii?  He’s an assassin.  Andy?  He betrays everyone he lives with.  Even in myself, I find I prefer to explore my “bad guys” (who are often my protagonists).  In last November’s NaNoWriMo project, my favorite secondary character was a prostitute who knowingly manipulates Alanii for  her son’s social standing.
  • And, because this is a check-in where the majority of the news was “No News“, I wanted to share this piece about Persistence.  Yes, Joanna  Penn’s focus is more on standing strong in the face of external rejection, but even that comes in more than one form.  Because, sometimes, like last Friday when the computer crashed (actually it just rebooted itself) in the middle of working, bad things happen–I lost three days worth of notes.  What did I do about it?
    1. I did not spend a few hours typing back in the story ideas that were still in my head, or finishing the blog post I’d planned, or so many other things…
    2. I did give myself about four hours of “pity time” and played Neverwinter Nights.  I played the game without any intention of playing well.   I cheat-decked my character by using the game editor to created some ‘extra powerful items for her so she could go beat up the bad guys in her “Teflon bikini’…  I just wanted to bash my way through the mission and not think about the stuff I lost, at least for a little while.
    3. And only after I had wearried of my depression and the house was quiet did I bother to reopen my browser and editors and try to recover anything I could.  I did still lose stuff, but I was able to accept it better then; and I was able to move on and create something different.

Question Mark

I still hate it when my computer acts up, but things like vehicle inspections, trips to see friends who need company, trips to Hoffman’s Playland with the Boodle…. Those are far more important than a few missing paragraphs on a harddrive.

If there is one thing that this week really taught me, it is that I cannot allow myself to be ruled by this machine (or even my wonderful laptop that never has a problem except that it is getting old and slow).

If there is one thing to regret not accomplishing this break, it would be the fact I did not take my day off from working on the computer.  I had all the excuses: with the Boodle home, I wasn’t going to get as much time as normal; I missed a full two days from feeling sick; I needed to look up something and since I ‘was already online”…  The truth?  I just wasn’t making time for me.  And that has to change.