I Went Camping

I really should have taken along my big camera instead of just my cell phone this weekend, but I didn’t. I thought about it because it is fall and the leaves are so pretty right now, but I knew that where we were going was notorious for wind and the weather was calling for cold and rain. We missed out on the rain, but man was it cold! The little pop-up did good, though! It has a furnace, but instead of using our propane, we run a small electric heater and it stayed nice and toasty the whole time.

Most of the weekend was spent sitting as close to the campfire as I could get without getting a lung full of smoke. Some of the guys we were camping with decided to throw up some tarps between the trees for a windbreak, and that did help with the cold, but we needed a smoke stack to divert the smoke from our eyes. Or an oxygen tank. Just sayin’.

All in all it was a great weekend with some great people! And the campground wasn’t bad. There were some negatives, like no showers and a flushing toilet for those of us who were not in a big camper with a bathroom. The trek to the bathroom was short, but filled with sticker bushes. I spent 30 minutes after using the restroom just picking stickers off my pant legs. After the first trip I just decided to drive the Jeep around the long way to avoid the headache.

It was a beautiful campground, though. Crabtree Cove on Stockton Lake is a peninsula with a view of the Stockton Dam on one side and a quiet cove on the other. The campsites were big and spread out to give ample room. We camped with three other campers and our group was 13 people. We had plenty of room to sit around the campfire and “chill”.

Of course, no camping trip would be complete without cooking over an open fire, right? Most of the time the cooking was done in electric skillets outside. No one really wants to cook in the fancy camper kitchens. This pot of green beans and bacon made it to the fire, though. It was a special request of my brother for his birthday dinner at the campground.

Tomorrow is a Monday and I will head back to work, but I did have a great weekend after a long, stressful week in the classroom. There is just nothing better than spending time with those you love, making memories and enjoying the fresh air. The camping season for us is over, and that makes me sad, but there are lots of things to do around the farm before the snow starts flying. Next weekend we are cutting wood. I’m already tired just thinking about it.



I’m up early today. Not as early as I should have been because I wanted to get some writing done this morning, but I did manage to get around at a pretty good clip, so that helped. Then when I was grabbing my flash drive to save to (I always do this just in case I want to write where there is no wifi—I like the peaceful country setting) I saw my mom’s flash drive setting on the table and remembered that I was supposed to download some pictures on there for her. I did that, and now my fingers don’t seem to want to type as fast as I’d like them to.

Another “perk” from cancer treatment is that sometimes now I can’t spell to save my life. That’s huge for me because I used to be amazing at spelling, and now I’m not. And sometimes I lose my words. I know what I want to say, but can’t think of the word I need. I’d say that chemo brain and what it does to you has been the hardest struggle of this whole journey for me.

Anyway, I wanted to write this morning. I had an urge to do it last night, but not until I laid down in bed and I knew that if I got out of bed and started it last night, I would never go to sleep and it would be impossible to get up for work this morning. So I told myself I would make time for it in the morning and I went to sleep instead.

I don’t know what I want to write about. Something. Everything. That’s the pull on a writer’s soul. You want to write about absolutely everything. Big things. Small things. A writer can write a whole chapter on the tiniest of details. Not me…I can’t do that yet. I’d like to do that, but my brain doesn’t analyze like that quite yet. I’m rolling an idea over in my head this morning of taking a creative writing course. I hate homework, though, so that’s what is holding me back at present. I love to write, but I love to write what I want and not what someone tells me I need to write. And certainly not on someone else’s timeframe. I work a full-time job as a preschool teacher…some days I don’t have any words left by the time I get home. I don’t want to be graded on that.

But surely there is something out there that I could do to hone my skills at creative writing. A “club” or something online…

There goes my alarm telling me that it’s time to feed the animals and get my butt in gear. I dream of the day when I can sit here as long as I want, crafting a story that people can’t wait to be released, much like the new John Grisham novel that just showed up in my Kindle library this morning…


Productively Unproductive

I had ice cream for dinner tonight. Yes, I did. Not a bowl of ice cream after dinner. Not a little bit of ice cream with my dinner. I had a BIG bowl of peanut butter cup ice cream FOR dinner tonight. It’s been that kind of week.

But it’s the beginning of a three-day weekend for me. I don’t foresee having ice cream for dinner for at least another three days. What I do see in my near future is a lot of rest and relaxation, and also a little work around the farm. The weather will be turning colder soon and there are a few things I need to do to prepare for it. My chickens need a fresh layer of bedding put down in their coop. The garden is done and needs a layer of mulch put down. There are walnuts all over my yard that I am not picking up, even though I should. And the house needs some more de-cluttering. Always more de-cluttering. How do we end up with so much junk?

But that’s a post for another day.

What I am going to try to focus on this weekend while the husband is working and I’m home with the cat is self-care. Self-care so the next time I have one of “those” weeks, I will not feel the need to eat a big bowl of peanut butter cup ice cream for dinner. Self-care so that I don’t feel so tired and run-down next week when I go back to work. Self-care so I don’t have a headache for two days next week. Yes, I am going to be productive in a few things over the long weekend; but I’m also going to be productively unproductive in the things that matter.

I’m going to linger over my cup of coffee in the morning. I’m going to finish the book I’ve been reading, but have been too tired to open when I sit down in the evenings. I’m going to sit outside and pet the dogs. I might take an afternoon nap with the cat. I’m going to get out my guitar and sing as loud as I can and I don’t care if the neighbors hear me. I am going to get my camera out and chase a sunset or two. I’m going to soak in a bubble bath, burn a candle, and just be. Why? Because these are things that get pushed to the side during the work week. Life still moves forward without these things, so I neglect them…until I feel the need to have a big bowl of ice cream for dinner. What have you been neglecting? What are things that refuel your passion and heal your soul? Music? Crafts? A hike? Shopping? Go do something for you today.