The Choices We Make

Someone once said we are who we are because of the choices we make.   Just about an hour ago I made a choice that will bring me closer to becoming fit in fifty.  I was sitting on my couch watching TV, when it occurred to me that:

  • #1. I had not exercised at all today.
  • #2. That is was still light outside and a very nice summer evening.
  • #3.  I couldn’t really say that I didn’t have time to exercise if I had time to watch TV.

So I turned off the TV, put on my tennies, and went for a walk.  It wasn’t a long walk but a very enjoyable one and it did include one hill.

Afterwards my hubby and I sat outside and enjoyed watching our garden.

So turning off the TV led to 2 good things happening!

If Today Was Your Last Day

A good friend called me today and told me that her son had died. Just 20 years old, he died of a rare form of cancer. At the end, he said no to the hospital and the breathing tube that would have given him a few more days of life and went home to die on his own terms with his parents and loved ones by his side.

His illness, and his death, reminds me that we really don’t know what the future holds for us. We do our best to try and predict what comes next, but life has a way of throwing us curve balls.

Not all of life’s surprises are bad. Some are very, very good. My recent life plan was to enjoy being single. Enjoy being able to make any decision I wanted to without consulting anyone. I was as surprised as anyone to fall crazy in love with an amazing man who is crazy about me. We got married! So much for me being single.

So my advice to you is, if life throws you some happiness, grab it and hold onto it, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Here is a song by Nickelback that has been playing a lot on my iPod:

If Today Was Your Last Day

My best friend gave me the best advice, he said each day’s a gift and not a given right. Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind, and try to take the path less traveled by. That first step you take is the longest stride.

If today was your last day, and tomorrow was too late, could you say goodbye to yesterday? Would you live each moment like your last? Leave old pictures in the past, donate every dime you have? If today was your last day.

Against the grain should be a way of life. What’s worth the prize is always worth the fight. Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try. So live like you’ll never live it twice. Don’t take the free ride in your own life.

If today was your last day, and tomorrow was too late, could you say goodbye to yesterday? Would you live each moment like your last? Leave old pictures in the past, donate every dime you have? Would you call old friends you never see? Reminisce of memories, would you forgive your enemies? Would you find that one you’re dreamin’ of, swear up and down to God above, That you finally fall in love. If today was your last day.

If today was your last day, would you make your mark, by mending a broken heart? You know it’s never too late to shoot for the stars, regardless of who you are. So do whatever it takes, ’cause you can’t rewind a moment in this life. Let nothin’ stand in your way, cause the hands of time are never on your side.

If today was your last day, and tomorrow was too late, could you say goodbye to yesterday? Would you live each moment like your last, leave old pictures in the past, donate every dime you have? Would you call old friends you never see, reminisce of memories, would you forgive your enemies? Would you find the one you’re dreamin’ of, swear up and down to God above, that you finally fall in love. If today was your last day.

Rest in peace Michael. Your short life and courageous death made a big impact on me and many other people. We love you.

More WaterFalls

Last weekend I went on another waterfall hike with my Venture Crew. We were a small group this time, just 2 kids and 2 adults. The other kids didn’t want to go, saying they had to do things like study for the SAT. We now have over 20 kids in our group, so to have such a small group was a treat, there was plenty of room in the truck!

The plan was to drive about an hour to a dirt road, then drive 4 miles on the dirt road and check out a campground for future camping trips. Then we were going to continue on the dirt road for about another 4 miles until we got to the path for the waterfall. Then a hike down to the falls, hang out there for awhile, hike out. Continue on the same direction for another 4 miles on the dirt road, which would loop us back to the paved road we started on.

Now there is a little something you should know about me. I get a lot of kidding, because even when I am going on a short day hike, I pack as though I am going to spend the night. You just never know! I always bring extra food, extra water, a knife, a lighter (better than matches for starting a fire) and a set of polypro underwear. Polypro underwear is long underwear that is warm, yet unlike cotton long underwear, it stays warm when wet and it packs real small. I also bring a rain jacket. This way I figure that no matter what happens I’ll be warm and dry and not hungry!

The day started out beautiful. We have been having lots of rainy days so to have a nice sunny day was a real treat. We made good time getting to the dirt road. Because of all the rain the dirt road was soon a mud road and we put the truck into 4 wheel drive. The 4 miles to the campground was slow going, but eventually we got there and were pleased to find a beautiful campground complete with water and pit toilets. (Absolute luxury for this group!) Hiking around the campground we found that it had it’s very own waterfall. We stayed and had lunch and just marveled at the power of the waterfall.

The sad thing is, I didn’t have my camera with me this trip. The battery is dead and I can’t find the charger. So if you would like to see pictures click on the links to Leon Turnbull’s waterfall site. His site is where we find out about many of the waterfalls that we visit.
Click here to see a picture of the campground waterfall.
Edit: It turns out my phone takes OK pictures. I’ll include some of the pictures that I took.

As we are eating out lunch, and the sun is beginning to warm up the rocks, thousands and thousands of lady bugs start to emerge from all the cracks. Soon we are surrounded, and I am sorry to say quite a few ladybugs were crunched as we made our way back to the truck.

Back on the dirt road again and it is getting more than a little rough. At one point we have to drive around a huge boulder that is in the road. Later we drive around a tree that has fallen. And then we arrive at the slight widening in the road that is the trailhead to our hike to the waterfall.

Well the kids hiked and I went down on my well padded behind. It wasn’t really a trail as much as a faint deer path that went straight down for almost a mile! Quite a few times I told the other adult that I didn’t think this was such a good idea. How would we ever get back up? What if we lost the trail? What if, what if. I didn’t want to get left behind in the woods, so I just kept sliding on my backside and before I knew it we were at the falls.

These are the 2nd and 3rd of 7 waterfalls
These are the 2nd and 3rd of 7 waterfalls

There are not words to describe how wonderful these falls were. Thanks to all the recent rain, the water was thundering. There are a total of 7 waterfalls, each about 40 feet high pouring water through granite rocks.
More pictures and a better description here.

The guys looking at the 3rd waterfall.
The guys looking at the 4th waterfall.

Sitting, watching the waterfalls, it was suddenly totally worth the literal pain in the a** it took to get down to the falls, and I knew it was well worth the trek back up. These were waterfalls that not many people would get to see. Boy I wish I’d had my camera!

I made it to the falls!  Can you see how steep those cliffs are!
I made it to the falls! Can you see how steep those cliffs are!

Going back up was not as bad as I had anticipated. It was very tiring, but I took lots of breaks. I was very happy to see the truck!

Back in the truck we headed out a different way than we had come in. As the road climbed up the side of the mountain we began to see snow. We stopped for awhile and the kids had a snowball fight just so they could say that they hiked to a waterfall and played in the snow, all on the same trip.

Then there was the tree… across the road. Darn, at this point it would be 11 miles back on the dirt road and we didn’t want to do that. The GPS told us that paved road was only about 1 mile ahead.
So the two guys decide to try and pull the tree out of the road using the truck and the tow rope. Us girls decide to get out of the way and scout up ahead on the road. We find a few more trees across the road, but they are small so we move them by hand. A little further up the road, another large tree down.

We go back and I tell the adult in charge about this new tree across the road. He says he doesn’t want to back track, and he will just use the truck to pull it off the road. It turns out there are lots of trees across the road, but we make slow progress with the guys using the truck to move the big trees, and the girls pulling the smaller trees off the road by hand. Altogether I think we moved at least 10 trees with the truck and at least that many by hand.

And then we get to the monster tree. At this point we have spent about an hour clearing the road, and have gone less than a mile. This tree is huge, and unlike the other trees that have broken off, this one is totally uprooted with a huge root ball. (I really wish I’d had my camera.) I say, now we have to turn back, he says, no I think we can pull it out of the way. The guys attach the tow strap, hit the gas, and the truck goes nowhere. They try again and again.

This is when I am happy that I bring my extra food and clothes. I am thinking that if the truck breaks, we are spending the night. There is no cell phone reception where we are, and soon it will be dark. I really hope he doesn’t break the truck. Finally, to my surprise, he admits defeat. We are turning back. It is very painful knowing the paved road is so close, but we can’t get to it.

An hour later we are back on pavement and it is very dark. As soon as we get cell phone reception we call the parents and let them know that the kids are safe, we are just running late. (Did I mention that my kid didn’t come, but I went anyway!)

All in all it was a great trip. Once again I did a hike that I didn’t think I could do, and we had a great adventure moving the trees. And the waterfalls were awesome!

Why You Should Keep Blogging

I have learned that you need to keep blogging, because weird things happen while you are away, like all of your pictures dissapearing!

Like I said in my last post, I haven’t been blogging for awhile, or even paying attention to any of my many blogs. Of course, the first thing I want to do is change the theme, and I have spent the last hour or so looking at new themes. I finally find what I think is a great site, they have a lot of themes that I like, and are original. I download a few, install the first one, and it crashes my blog! How annoying. To fix it I have to go into my cpanel to delete the theme. Finally get that straightened out, try another theme, same result. Arggg.
So much for that site.
So I have just switched to an older theme that I had. Later I will seach again for the perfect theme.

But then I notice that my pictures are missing.
All my great hiking and kayaking pictures.
Well, right before I quit blogging I changed hosts. I thought I transferred over all the files.
Apparently I forgot my images file.
I can’t go back and get it! Arggg!
The pictures are on my computer, but I would have to go into each post and find the missing pictures and upload each one individually. I’ll have to think about that one.

I was going to post about my new house, but that will have to wait for next time. Because I need to update my WordPress and a bunch of my plugins. Then I should check my other blogs….
Sigh.