• Ramblings

    Do You Want to Live in a Pretty World

    I know this isn’t the best picture. Sorry. It’s somewhere close to 145°F outside right now and I didn’t feel much like standing out in the sky oven to take a nice picture. Anyway, this is Phyllis. I don’t know why I named her, or call her “her.” Never mind me, I have a lot of quirks. She’s a poinsettia Brian surprised me with around Christmas last year. What are you supposed to do with a poinsettia after the holidays? If I have something that’s alive, I feel it’s my duty to keep it alive, no matter what. I once purchased a cactus from the hardware store and found a mysterious new plant growing in the pot a few days later. Not wanting to kill it, I transplanted the possible weed into a pot of its own. It grew into a beautiful purple basil plant. So, look at that, a story that doesn’t really belong. Who’d a thunk? Phyllis is thriving, sprouting new green bunches every time I look at her. I have to think it’s the encouraging way I talk to her every day, telling her how pretty she is. Some might argue that it’s the water I continue to provide for…

  • Geocaching,  Ramblings

    You Keep Spinning on Your Compass Spoke

    For most of my childhood we didn’t have a television. My mom would spend evenings reading poems and stories to my sister and I, as we sat, picking at the splintering wood, on our old front porch. She encouraged summer reading programs and the money she splurged on us was usually spent at Scholastic Book fairs. Later, when I hit my unfortunate rebellious phase and began skipping school, I would go to the library. I don’t think my mom even knows that. She undoubtedly thought I was hanging out with a Bad Crowd, smoking in alleyways, sketching my first tattoo. Nope. Library. Thanks to an early exposure to the beauty of poetry and the adventures offered in books, I love reading. It doesn’t matter what it is. If someone is blogging about the power of their mage in World of Warcraft, or how they’ve just created the very best homemade auger sealant, I’ll read and enjoy what they have to say. However, I realize not everyone enjoys very specific topics that don’t relate to them, so here’s where I give you a warning: I’m about to write about geocaching. Geocaching has been explained like this, “I use multi-million dollar satellites to find Tupperware in the woods.” That’s pretty…

  • Ramblings

    It Makes No Difference If the Sky Is Blue

    I started this post yesterday, the one year anniversary of the evening we drove away from our home in Connecticut, but then life got in the way, as it sometimes does. Anyway, here we go. I was the one to suggest going homeless, “We have enough money to buy a cap for the truck. We could put everything in storage and just go.” I’ve always been one to “buck the tide,” as they say, but it was a wild idea, even for me. Brian didn’t hesitate before agreeing, but I don’t think he took the suggestion as entirely serious. However, over the next few days, as we started talking about our options more and more, homelessness stopped being a harebrained suggestion and became the plan. The majority of my family lives in Pennsylvania while the majority of Brian’s family lives in Louisiana. Staying with either side would have relegated Brian’s job search to areas where we didn’t want to live. There are exceptions, of course, but most companies don’t entertain interviewees from across the country, especially in Brian’s line of work, with their penchant for multiple interviews before making a decision. Staying with family meant we’d have to settle. I am not much for settling. I try to…

  • Ramblings

    And I’ll Never Get Too Old to Get Around

    Today we made the last payment on our truck, McGillicutty. Now we’ll have some extra money each month to spend on really important things like toilet paper and deodorant. I can’t even express in a sane way how much having deodorant and toilet paper makes me happy because it’s probably not very sane to get as excited as I do. McGillicutty has been through a lot over the past five years. He’s driven us over 127,000 miles, travelling all over the country. He’s plowed through some roads that probably shouldn’t have been roads (and possibly weren’t roads), up the mountains of Montana, through the forests of Vermont, to the end of America at the Gulf of Mexico, across streams, bridges, and lands too many to list. He’s gotten stuck in the mud (multiple times), in pig poop, and in a blizzard. He’s been our sole mode of transportation and, for a few months last year, he was our home. If I could love a truck it would be this one, because this is the only truck we have. Title From: Ramblin’ Fever by Merle Haggard

  • Ramblings

    Oh the Desert Dreams of a River

    Our camping trip ended early last Thursday. We had rain every day we were there but the last night was storm after storm after storm, which turned the soft dirt roads back to our campsite into deceptive mud pits. Luckily we had been monitoring the weather and had packed up and headed to gravel just before the sky broke. I don’t have any great pictures to share because I was trying some new settings on my camera that didn’t work out. This picture was taken on the way back to camp the evening we called it quits. It was taken from inside the truck because I’m terrified of lightning. I’m also terrified of moths. There’s no reasoning with my fears. Many people have tried to explain my chances of being hit by lightning or eaten by sharks but my brain screams back, “You might only have a 1 in 175,000,000 chance to win the lottery but someone does!” I just don’t want to be that someone who is touched by a moth, okay? We’ll be making a few more weekend trips down again this summer. I’ll be sure to take better pictures then. I can’t wait! Title From: From This Valley…