5 Things I Learned on Our First Camping Trip

The Hubs in Our New Camper

The Hubs in Our New Camper

  • Make a List. No matter how much stuff you take with you, you’re going to need more stuff. The hubs and I have camped before. We felt pretty confident in what we would need. We just bought this new-to-us camper and have been gradually filling it. Put the stuff from our old pop up camper in the new camper. Bought new sheets and made the bed. Got plates. Got cups. Got towels. But we got there and realized we didn’t have a thing to drink. So, we ran to a convenience store and grabbed some sodas. Crisis averted.
  • Space Is Underrated. Don’t know if you caught it or not, but we used to camp in a pop-up camper. That’s little. Really little. Like, on top of each other little. And not in a good way. Our wish list for a new camper included floor space. This camper’s got it in spades and it made our little weekend excursion so much more enjoyable. I love my hubs dearly, but I gotta have my space.
  • Coffee. We stopped on the way to the campground to buy a coffee maker and coffee. We’re trying to save money. I told the hubs I could do without coffee. He disagreed.
  • Electricity is a Plus. We hooked up to shore power (yeah, I’m learning the lingo. At least I sound like I know what I’m doing, right?). Thought all was good. Until the hubs started the water pump to flush the toilet and the lights went dim. We had to run to Wal-Mart at 10:30 to buy a new battery. We gotta get that situation figured out before we go again.
  • Pets Matter. Seriously, our dogs are the reason I wanted a camper. I love to travel. It’s a basic need for me. Life is all about experiences. But when I go someplace and have to leave my puppies at home, it is not enjoyable. I miss my dogs. Sasha is 14 and Gracie is 9. I want to cherish every minute with them. Besides, I like them better than most people.

Empty Nest: First Easter

Peeps - Star Trek Style

Peeps – Star Trek Style

This was our first Easter as empty nesters. It seems like I’ve gone through the entire year marking the holidays, marking the firsts, feeling melancholy about the change in our status. Instead of looking backwards, I prefer to look forward. It is a conscious thing. Being happy is a choice. I chose to:

  • Remember the Easter baskets I gave the girls.
  • Remember the time I got the Easter Bunny to visit Jodi at school.
  • Enjoy spending time with my husband.
  • Enjoy the new freedom of being an Empty Nester.

 

5 Things I Learned From The Following

While playing around on Netflix one day, I noticed The Following. I’d heard a little about it. Main reason I turned it on was because the image was compelling. And I have a thing for Kevin Bacon, being the child of the 80’s that I am. So, I watched an episode. And was HOOKED. Well acted, well written, interesting premise. So I watched another episode. And another. Pretty soon I was in full-blown marathon mode, much to my hubby’s chagrin.

I’ve always thought of myself as a lifelong learner. No matter what I’m doing, I want a takeaway. What can you possibly learn from a fictional show about a serial killer and the man who hunts him? As it turns out, a few things:

Mandy - surrounded

Mandy – surrounded

Trust No One. I have one word for you: Mandy.

Ryan and Max - family

Ryan and Max – family

Blood is Thicker Than Water. Ryan and Max. They’ve got each other’s backs. Lily’s International House of Psychos, though . . . those loonies could turn on each other in a heartbeat. It’s gonna happen. Trust me.

Joe's Teacher

Joe’s Teacher

Never Stop Learning. Even serial killers need to keep learning.

Tilda

Tilda

Be Nice. I recently saw a post about a “fatty” running. I despise that term, largely because I look in the mirror and am disgusted. And I must admit to pumping my fist when Lucas took offense at the frat boy referring to his girlfriend Tilda as a “fatty.” And if you don’t know HOW Lucas took offense, watch The Following, Betrayal.

Hanging out on the couch

Hanging out on the couch

Doing the Right Thing Can Be Hard. In Season 1, the Followers would’ve been happy to hang out in the fancy mansion. I’m sure Ryan and Mike and Max would like to just curl up on the couch and watch reruns of Footloose and Warehouse 13, but they don’t. They go after the bad guys. And there are real life heroes (cops, firefighters, FBI, etc.) who go out there and fight the good fight every day when they’d rather just go home to their families. Take that lesson and make it part of your life. It’d be easy to be a couch potato every night. Instead, I am sitting here writing at 10:16 pm when I’d rather be in bed. For me, this is right.

 

5 Things I Learned From My Old Dog

Shelby, our yellow Lab, is nearing the end of her life. Late yesterday afternoon, she fell three times during our walk and just wasn’t right. She’s losing weight and showing her age. We know that last trip to the vet is drawing very near, which breaks my heart. As I held her and stroked her yesterday, I reflected on all she has taught me.

Shelby

Shelby

Exercise Daily. Shelby is 13 years old. Quickly coming up on 14. In spite of her advanced age & arthritis, her tail still wags and she perks up when she sees me carrying her purple leash.

Greet Those You Love With Enthusiasm. She sees me every day, yet every time she sees me she wags like crazy. It never ceases to make me feel special in her eyes.

Don’t Judge by Appearances. A cat was dumped on our road during a snow storm a couple of years ago. We got him neutered & got his shots, and he now sorta answers to the name Patches. When Shelby and I go for a walk through the fields, Patches goes, too. Shelby is so gentle with him, and he winds through her legs, rubbing and loving on her. Whodathunk a battleworn tom cat and an elderly Lab would be such good friends?

Be curious. As you can see from the pic above, Shelby is a curious girl. Our walks include frequent side trips to check out a quivering rabbit, a covey of quail or something dead (I’m not sure why stinky dead things are so interesting, but apparently, they are).

Enjoy. Whatever you are doing, enjoy it. Whatever you are eating, enjoy it. Shelby’s face has an expression of total bliss when I rub her ears. She loses herself in the moment and simply enjoys. How often do we rush through life without stopping to simply enjoy the moment?