Wednesday, October 30, 2013

43:52 Looking Down

It is late in the morning
and the sun has just peeked out from behind the clouds
melting the light dusting of snow and making the roads shimmer.
A train's light blinks in the distance, then the whistle blows
as it comes curving through town on it's way to who knows where.

43:52 Looking Down

I am content to watch it pass through as I keep my perch here, high above my mountain town.  I am happy here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Preparing for the hike of my life

Unlike me, my hubby has no hankerings for spontaneous adventures, touristy attractions, new cities, and beaches.

He prefers the tried-and-true quiet retreats that do not involve mobs of people.
Like our overnight trip down to beautiful Fossil Springs three years ago (I can't believe I didn't blog about that).

Like his almost-annual hikes down to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.

Every year he's hiked the Grand Canyon, I've briefly imagined rattle snake bites, falls, and heat stroke which make my heart beat too fast.  After which I promptly remind myself that he is healthy and smart and competent.  Then I imagine myself with him.  At the bottom.
Because something keeps drawing him back there year after year, and I want to know what it is.

I never try to imagine what it takes to get down there, or get back out, because...well, I kind of imagine it will be like wishing I were anywhere else in the world but there on the redwall. Kind of like wishing I were just dead.

Maybe I'm being dramatic, I don't know. But remember this - you have to carry all your water, food, gear, and clothing on your back!  Because Dean and his brother's don't do touristy places and mobs of people. That means no corridor trails with pack mules.

This year he is going again.  I get to imagine all the potential disasters that will momentarily make my heart beat too fast.  I get to remind myself, yet again, that my hubby is experienced and will come out in one piece.
But this year I don't have to lie in bed at night, wishing I were there with him in his little tent, because...
I will be going too!
Yes, the thought is causing some nervous heart palpitations.  But....I. Am. Excited!!!!!
I'm thrilled to be going.  I'm terrified that I'm actually going.  I'm ecstatic.

My plan was to be 100% physically prepared for this hike so that I could fully enjoy the experience (in other words, no thoughts of "just call the helicopters" or "I can't do it, let the rattle snakes finish me off").

While I haven't been able to log nearly as many hours hiking and lunging as I would have liked, I'm as ready as I'll ever be.  I guess.  With nine days till the hike of my life, I don't think I have any other choice but to keep on doing what I've been doing, pack my bags, and pray my legs will support me the entire way.

A few weeks ago, Dean and I filled our packs and hit the mountain for a "test run".  At least that was how he termed it as he will be wearing a new pack.  I called it training.

We hiked the Weatherford trail on the south side of the San Francisco Peaks.

The hike was exhilarating and the views were absolutely stunning.

I have a feeling that if this is even one-third as grand as the Grand Canyon, I will have absolutely no regrets about having signed on for such a hike.
Ten miles down.  Ten miles up.  Unparalleled beauty the whole way.
No sweat, right?
It will be totally worth it.

Um, right??

Monday, October 21, 2013

visitor stickers and paint projects

I have a week of 60+ degree weather coming up.
What am I doing blogging?

I have a honey oak hutch in the garage and raw wood siding on the guest house, both awaiting paint.
What am I doing blogging?

I have an art print and a packet of information as well as a kindergarten class expecting me tomorrow.
What am I doing on the computer again?

Oh, that's right, I was blogging!
Because I have to go pick up one child from school in 20 minutes and that's not enough time to dive into any of my projects.
And because I am having blogging withdrawals.  All these post ideas in my head, and no time to bring any of them to fruition.

Do any of you feel a sense of urgency to complete projects when it's a beautiful end of October like I do?
I have this urge to refinish furniture, redo my kitchen, paint my bedroom walls, and who knows what else I'll dream up, because it's gorgeous weather and I should be enjoying the opportunity to piddle in the garage, or throw open windows to let the paint fumes out.

Oh, but I should be outdoors too!  Fall is the best time of year to hike, run, and bike!
Plus, I'm getting ready for a daunting, sure to be amazing, once in my lifetime, 20 something mile long hike!  Eeee!
I'll try find the time to share with you later this week. Huh? I said try. It was no promise.

Okay, what was I saying again?  Oh yeah, I was going through withdrawals.
I've been busy as a beaver at the kids' school.

Sometimes I don a volunteer lanyard, and other times a visitor sticker (Donovan likes to wear one too).
Sometimes I help the Kindergartners finding their sight words in books.  Sometimes I make journals or cut paper in the copy room. Sometimes I help the 2nd graders with a map activity, or working on spelling workbooks.  Once I got to read the class my favorite kids book.  We also baked apple tarts.  And this coming week will be the first of nine Masterpiece Art lessons that I do in my kid's classrooms this school year.
So yeah, I've been kind of busy.  And it's not going to get a whole lot better soon.
But I love it!!  For the first time ever, I've been able to be actively involved in my kid's classrooms.

Sooo, what else have I been up to?  Painting bathroom cabinets, laying out the floor plan for our sauna room, squeezing in a hike or run when I can, piddling here and there.

A clean white pot, some sample paint, and half an hour of my time resulted in this fun pot in my kitchen window.
It makes me smile.

And now I am out of time.  Off to school I go.
Till next time!

Friday, October 18, 2013

42:52 Storyboard

Yesterday morning I was glad to discover that I had left my camera on the kitchen counter.
Because this is what I was able to document while I flipped french toast 
and while the kids came, one by one, out of their rooms.

42:52 Storyboard

Take a big guess which of the kids is the most comfortable with the dog?!
And yes, every morning looks a lot like this.
She (the dog) sure lives a hard life, huh?

Can I go curl up for a morning nap now?

Head Leann's way for more storyboard fun!

Friday, October 11, 2013

41:52 Wrinkles

I have no *new* photo to share.  Terrible, I know.
But it's the cutest photo ever, so perhaps you'll forget the fact that you've seen this little love before...

41:52 Wrinkles

I'm linking up to Leann again...

Friday, October 4, 2013

40:52 Movement

Be aware: If you start tossing and swinging her around, she'll never let you quit. This girl will keep you moving!

This week I'm linking up to Leann.  Happy Fall, ya'll!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It must be the eyes

I recently purchased a new camera, and even more recently a new lens, and even more recently... the newest version of Photoshop Elements.

I can now take images with a pretty good portrait lens, the 50mm.
I can now open and edit images in RAW format (a file that is minimally processed).
I am floored by the results.
And I am addicted.

I love the photos I took this past weekend (at least the ones I took before it got too dark), but I forgot to shoot in RAW. It worked out fine though, because I was able to open them in RAW (way cool feature!) and adjust the exposure, lightening them up a bit.

Since I'm driven by results, I love me some photoshop!

I'm no professional.  I'm having fun learning though, and my pictures are good enough for me.
These photos...they are priceless.

This girl of mine...
she literally takes my breath away.  
She's gentle and sweet with just enough spice, and I can see it here.
I love, love, love the photo.  

This boy of mine...
he wins me with that smile, with those big blue eyes.
He's thoughtful, dynamic, and bright.
I love, love, love him.

I am so thankful I have a camera and the ability to take photos for hanging in our home.
I am in awe of my five beautiful children and seeing their faces every day on our walls fills me to the brim.

Thanks for letting me share a couple pairs of smiling eyes with you.
I love, love, love them.