To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Shades of Grey

I know, I know, I know, when you leave work early because you're really not over the flu, you're supposed to come inside and rest. I know that, but the fog, there is so much fog, and it's 57 degrees outside and I just had to go to the park. I simply couldn't live with myself if I hadn't (she said dramatically). Besides, I missed a phenomenal winter camping trip over the weekend on account of this wretched flu, so I think it's okay that I was out walking in the park, 'cause I was all bundled up and carrying an umbrella (in truth it was to keep the camera dry, but don't tell anyone).
Now I'm sitting on my porch under a feather comforter posting some pretty great pictures for you and watching rivulets of water run down the window panes.
Just so you know, that's not rain, that's how foggy it is outside. Everything is soaking wet and dripping because of the fog and you know what? For once I'm not coughing. All that mist must have helped with the respiration issues too. The moisture certainly put the curls back in my hair. Alright, enough talking, it will just make me start coughing again. Here's what you came for...Shades of Grey:
Pretty cool, huh?

Monday, January 21, 2013

It wasn't my fault.

I mean the lack of posting this time. Darned blogger wouldn't let me upload photos unless I loaded them onto Picasa first. Heck, I didn't even know my photos were saved on Picasa, did you?

Anyway, when I left you last (haha) I was headed to the woods for a winter backpacking trip. You know I'm no stranger to hiking in the snow, but it crossed my mind that I could be cold while camping in the woods and I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to carry the gear I would need to prevent that. Cold weather gear can take up a lot of space and my backpack only holds so much, but lucky for me there was enough snow that I was able to pull a sled with me. I'll tell you what, a sleeping bag rated to -25 degrees is absolutely heaven in the woods and having a roaring fire to warm up by makes life in the woods downright pleasant. Take a peak...
The trail to our campsight. We set out early morning on Saturday, hiked about an hour out to the lake and once camp was set up, we ventured out in different directions to explore the surrounding area. 
I went with a group who headed North along the beach. That kept the wind at our back and we were able to enjoy the sunshine and the beautiful scenery along the lakeshore. In spite of the sunshine, it was cold, cold enough that the spray from the waves was freezing wherever it landed on the beach and we huddled deeper into our scarves and neck gaiters. Eventually, we would leave the beach and hike up into the woods to follow the ridgeline back to camp, ever so grateful for the protection of the trees which give us sanctuary from the wind.
I said before that I wanted to build a snowman, track a Red-tailed Fox and make tea from a Douglas Fir. As you can see, I made the snowman, and I did see a Red-tailed fox, but I wasn't able to track it, nor I wasn't able to locate a Douglas Fir to make tea. I'll keep looking for that one. I guess that means I was able to accomplish 1.5 out of three? Hmmm...
It was a glorious day for exploring in the woods and later, we would share dinner and laughter around a blazing fire as we marveled that we knew at least 12 crazy people in Michigan who actually enjoyed winter camping. No one wanted to leave the fire, but a cold drizzle began to fall about 8:30 and it forced us to the safety of our tents. I heard the wind pick up overnight and we woke to ice covered tents and gale force winds blowing in off the lake. We were sheltered somewhat from the wind, but we didn't linger in camp afer breakfast. No, it was time to head inland, time to leave the woods, time to go back to that other world.
Until the next time.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I think I'll build a snowman...

in the forest, in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps I'll make tea using needles from a Douglas Fir. Maybe I'll even get to track a Red-tailed Fox. You know, as some of my 'do something new' projects. Wait, I didn't tell you about that because I went absolutely AWOL. Ah, heck, I just needed a break I guess.

Anyway, I have a winter backpacking trip on the agenda and right now my living room floor is covered in gear. I need to make absolutely sure that I have proper gear for this trip since being out in the woods in snowfall is not the time to discover I left a crucial piece at home. I'm excited! This will be my first time winter backpacking. I know, I know, it's really just a long walk in the woods, but I'll be sleeping in a the snow! How cool is that?

Yes, I'm bringing my camera so I'll be able to post pictures. Giddy!