Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
Right now I'm parked on the couch and the smell of turkey is floating in the air. We got a late start today and probably still have a couple hours to go before it's turkey-time. I started my day with my buddy Allison and a trip to the local Value Village where they were having a 1/2 off sale. Wahoo! Normally, I'm anti-shopping on holidays, but they promised that the people working volunteered, so I made an exception. (We zipped past Starbucks on the way and I really, really, wanted a delicious latte, but I remembered my friend Cat telling me about when she worked there and cried all the way to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas because she was forced to work. That stinks.)
Value Village is always a good time and Allison and I have much fun doing nothing at all. We perused the aisles, inspecting all the knick-nacks and vintage dishes. She scored a sweet set of vintage dishes and I practiced trying not to buy kitchen stuff. My kitchen is approximately the size of a small closet and I have an, unfortunate, deep and abiding love for all gadgets and appliances. I need to find my inner minimalist -- so far no luck. After gadgets we visited all the sad and lonely abandoned afghans and quilts. Ever since I started crocheting and realized how much time something like that actually takes, I can't help but want to buy every orphaned blanket I see. I was sincerely tempted by several well-worn blankies, but my fear of bed bugs won out. Every time I touch the bed linens in the thrift store I get the heebie jeebies. I've watched too many damned 20/20 exposes. In addition to my fear of sports, there is the fear of creepy crawlies. Oddly, this phobia does not extend itself to clothing which is also fabric, but somehow different. What can I say, I'm an odd duck. Both Allison and I picked up a few new goodies for our closets. I got a scrumptious green cardigan and a couple long sleeve t-shirts for hiking. Nothing beats a soft t-shirt and a cozy sweater. I was briefly tempted by a velour sweater because it reminded me of the footie pajamas I used to have as a kid, but I figured that probably wasn't the best reason to make a purchase. All in all, I spent a whole 6.50. I'm grateful for low prices that aren't the result of someone being exploited. Yay! I'm grateful for good friends, who make every day a little more delightful.
After shopping, I came home and hung out with my girl for a while. I am suddenly acutely aware that it won't be very long at all before she's off to college. Less than a year. The thought terrifies me and I hope she doesn't forget to call her mama every day. She might be getting grown up, but she's always going to be my baby! I'm so grateful to be her mama. She's a really awesome person and is so much fun to be with. I'm especially grateful for days like today when I get to soak up her laughter while she chats with her friends. She has always had the best laugh - hearty, full, and bubbly; it's completely contagious. I am so grateful that I have had the gift of being this awesome girl's mom.
The rest of the day has been business as usual, a little cleaning and a little reading. My trusty doggy bff has been by my side all day and my special-needs kitty, Mr. Wobbles, has been in my arms as much as possible. Right now, he's laying on the cushion behind me, with his paws on my shoulder. I swear he tries to spoon me like I'm his lady friend. Sometimes when I wake in the morning, he's next to me, with one arm stretched across my chest. Swear. I've got a few more fuzzballs in the house, but these two are my besties. Oh, and my chicken Rontaco, but she lives outside. She's a snuggler. I'm grateful for my pets today, who unceassingly give me love and affection and so much entertainment.
My mom has been working hard on the turkey, cornbread stuffing, and next on the hit list are the carbolicious mashed potatoes. I did a little chopping and dicing, but she did all the scary stuff (like take the neck and giblet pack out of the turkey) while I hid my eyes in the other room. Really, I'd rather not get too close to the bird either. Nice white slices on a plate, please so I can maintain my thinly-veiled delusion that all meat comes from a magical place having nothing to do with animals. I am grateful for my mother who has put up with my ridiculous ass for more than thirty eight years and is always such a sweet and thoughtful person.
Have a great holiday everybody, I hope that the turkey (or tofurkey) is perfect and you have a wonderful weekend where you don't have to get out of your pj's unless you want to.
P.S. I'm really grateful for Jeremy at the New Balance shoe store who helped me pick out new hiking boots and insoles so my feet won't hurt so dang bad when I hike. Apparently, I have been buying my shoes a whole size too small!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
You would think since I'm sort of a clumsy chic, that I would avoid activities where the likelihood of injury is high, but as soon as the weather got cooler, all I could think about was hiking. What's even more strange about that is, historically speaking, I'm hardly athletic. I was ALWAYS picked last in gym class and I'm not even an iota resentful about it; I wouldn't have picked me either. I'm terrified of the ball and I hate running so much I hold my breath. Plus, all my brain seems to do in situations where I'm supposed to perform athletically is freak out and panic. I have the coordination of a drunken monkey and no depth perception. Don't get me wrong, I love the outdoors and do enjoy a leisurely hike, but lately my desire has been for something on the physically challenging end of the spectrum.
I considered just going solo and taking my trusty companion, Mackie the Wonder Dog, to keep me company. Then I wouldn't have to worry about people laughing and pointing, "look at chubby go!", and I could set the pace. However, since I am a klutz and the only thing he does on command is shake, I figured that plan would net me a night alone in the wilderness huddled with my dog, a broken ankle, and a lot of whimpering - me and him. Besides his lack of opposable thumbs and knowledge of first aid, he's a wuss. Frankly, so am I. Anyway, my fantasies of braving the wilderness with my favorite pooch were quickly dashed, so I did the slightly more sane thing and found a group of strangers on the internet to go with.
The destination was Mina Sauk Falls at Taum Sauk mountain. I've been there a couple times before and hiked the trail once several years ago. I remembered it being pretty rocky and a somewhat challenging hike, but nothing super hard. The thing is, apparently, my memory isn't the greatest. I read the description of the hike and when I stumbled across the part that said it was strenuous and challenging I assumed they were being a little overly dramatic. You know, liability and such.
|Pardon the crappy cell phone pics, but this will give you an idea of the terrain. Note: It's uphill.|
I'm not saying I emerged fresh-faced and glowing by any means. By the time I got off the trail, I had sweat through my t-shirt and my sweatshirt and my hair looked like rats had been galavanting around on top of my head all afternoon. Both my big toes are bruised from getting jammed inside my boots, I'm pretty sure one of my nails is going to fall off, and my right knee is pretty unhappy with me right now, but it's okay. I'll be right as rain in a day or two. This is going to sound kinda odd, but I actually had fun. There's something really satisfying about meeting a challenge, even if it's done without even an ounce of grace. Plus, the people were super nice and nobody laughed at me once. I liked it so much, I'm going again this Friday to a different trail.
|In the summer, there's water in this part. Some of the hikers climbed down the rocks to explore.|
|This is me taking a break. I made this my FB profile pic briefly, but everyone kept telling me I looked angry. I wasn't angry, just a wee bit pooped!|