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On Monday I made a last minute decision and went camping~the first camping trip of the season.  The dogs and I ended up here, a little reservoir in Pueblo, CO.  As camping trips go it was uneventful, quiet with a meteor shower thrown in for good measure.

 

We got to watch shooting stars while the baby coyotes called for their parents while enjoying burgers (yes, I cooked small burgers for the dogs) that had been cooked over a camp fire and some steamed green beans and an ice cold beer. We sat together watching the fire burn down and relaxed enjoying the kind of quiet you can only find in far off places away from cities, cars and trucks.  The only mechanical, man made thing we heard was an occasional, far off train whistle and the clacking of the train wheels on the track.

 

Seriously, does life get any better than this?  I love the feeling of sleeping on the ground with my dogs snuggled in~one curled up at the bottom of the sleeping bag keeping my feet warm and the other pushing up against my back with his head next to mine on the pillow (yeah, he’s a big dog that stands taller than me when standing on his hind legs).

 

It was a nice break from real life as I’ve come to know over this past year.

 

On my way home I noticed a young couple walking down the side of the road which is pretty unusual for the road and the area but the thing that really caught my eye was the dog they had with them.  He was your average looking dog but he was so painfully thin.  I remember when I found my big dog and how thin he was then and I knew I had to turn around.  I gave them the rest of the dog food I had with me from camping….maybe a couple of bowls worth and the rest of the money I had in my wallet along with a business card.  I told this young couple that if they ever needed anything, a ride, a meal or a bag of food for the dog and something for themselves to call me.  I don’t know why I felt compelled to do this but I just felt it was what I needed to do for them.

 

Now, if any of you actually read this you know that I really have nothing.  I have lost my house, left my kids and my friends in Northern Wisconsin as well as everything I own.  I don’t dwell on this fact very often but for me to have done this says a lot about how this young couple and their dog affected me.  It made me realize that without the help and support of my family and friends I would not have been able to take care of my 2 dogs or myself.  It also made me remember to never take important people in your life for granted and that we should always pay it forward.

So far this year all I can say is ….. JEEZ! It has been nothing short of crazy.  I think it is time for me to re-group and re-coup.  Now, I could bullet point all the items that have happened~some good, some bad, but most of it is all history and although it shapes me, it does not define me.  I can chose to let it be a problem and consume me or I can use it as a learning tool.  Since looking back has really never done anything for me other than to cause me to make the same mistakes I made before I think that I shall look forward and forward looks pretty good.

Since my last post I have done quite a bit of research regarding how to maintain optimum health and although HIV is some scary shit my daughter and I have found a number of alternative health programs that will help to keep her off of medication for as long as possible.  With my doing the research for her she is able to keep her stress level down and she can concentrate on her spiritual health.  Since I’m not good at sitting still and allowing something like HIV to win doing research helps me.  Kind of a win~win situation for my daughter and me.

Although I might still miss Mark his timing couldn’t have been better to launch me under the bus.  I don’t really have time to be involved with someone so I am now able to direct my energies where they need to be.  Could you see dating someone when you knew that your child needed you? Not me!

The best part of re-group/re-coup is that I get to go whole hog on this paleo diet and see where it can actually take me.  Good healthy food, exercise and getting outside to play in the sun.  So simple and yet we really don’t do it enough.  We get so involved with all of our little gadgets and technology and we forget the basics.  I’m thinking a little time doing the basics things in life will be a great break from all this technology and a break I need.  I think I see a camping trip in my very near future.

It’s good to look forward.

I can honestly say that I hate the last couple of days before I leave for a trip that I am really excited to go on.  I get so antsy and I keep forgetting what day it actually is because I want to leave so badly.  Today as I was driving from one job to the next I kept thinking it was Thursday.  Then I realized it is only Wednesday and I still have one more day of work and swim lessons (I might not have mentioned that I teach swimming as well as my other jobs) before I can pack the car and get the heck out of town.

If you were to walk into my house today you would see nothing but camping gear spread out all over the house along with snorkeling equipment, rain gear, dry bags for the kayak.  I swear it looks like Gander Mountain exploded in my living room!  Once I get home tonight I will go through the entire mass of gear and decide what I really need to take with me. 

Tonight will be consumed with not only going through the gear but getting the food ready to go and pre-cooking what I can for lunches.  With my doing the paleo diet I can’t just walk into any old gas station and grab something so I have to think about the food I am taking and how well it will travel.  My friend decided that she wouldn’t mind eating the same as I do so she is bringing all the fresh veggies and fruit and I am bringing the protein end of things.  I decided to take some chicken breasts and freeze them in marinade for Saturday’s dinner with enough for lunch the next day.  I am also going to make some feta stuffed burgers for lunch on Friday while on the water.  

Now since it is Wisconsin, I don’t care what part of the state you’re in, Friday night is fish fry night~it’s a religion here.  So we will be going out for fresh caught (that day!) White Fish and since I can have what is called “poor man’s lobster” which is fish that is boiled without breading and stick with fresh veggies and a salad I will be good for Friday night dinner out.  Sunday’s breakfast will be the only tough day as everyone wants to go to the Egg Toss restaurant in Bayfield.  Not much on their menu I can eat but I’m sure I can figure something out.

Now, if you will excuse me, I find that I need to duct tape my ass into my chair and get some work done!

This weekend I am heading north (yes, there is something North of where I live!) to do some kayaking and camping.  To some this might not seem all that exciting or interesting but for me this is a well needed break from my real life.  A fairly large group of us are going to kayak the sea caves on Lake Superior and then check out the ship wrecks with a ferry ride out to Madeline Island for an evening of fun at Tom’s Burnt Down Cafe.  I will be camping overlooking Lake Superior, cooking out and enjoying the simpler things in life.  And right now this is something that I really feel I need.

This was supposed to be a trip that Mark and I were going to do together but literally within 24 hours of him breaking things off a friend asked if I would be interested in going with her on the trip.  Initially I said no as I still felt down  but after having thought about how I shouldn’t give up on seeing something I really wanted to see because I couldn’t go with Mark I called her and said yes.  Although I can’t share this with Mark I think it is more of something that I need to do for me.  I have always wanted to see the sea caves in the summer months as I have seen them in the winter and they are amazing.  I have only seen pictures of the sea caves during the summer months and I really want to experience them during the summer.  I have also always wanted to see the ship wrecks located outside of Bayfield as well so how could I turn down the chance to do something that I have wanted to do for so many years.  Besides, it’s on my bucket list.

So, I’m off to play on the Big Lake with some wonderful people and see things that I have always wanted to see.  The picture you see is of the sea caves in winter.  I was with some of my favorite friends and my youngest.  ImageImageImage