Monday, October 27, 2008

So Fioretta has linked an interesting article on advice from the Dying to the living, and one snippet in particular has caught my attention;

"There are some things about my cancer that are a gift and that may seem really odd to some people," says Mr Ransom, who was 32 when he was first diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer that affects the whole lymphatic system. He's now 46.

"It's aroused something in me that's made me more aware. You can do the same things for 20 years, running back and forth to work, or have five years where you process more about your life. I don't know which one is the best, but maybe the latter is a much richer way to live. "

I like this, the philosophy is sound (IMNSHO). I mean, why do we run ourselves ragged all the time? What do we get out of it that is so rewarding? A couple of extra dollars? Maybe some shares of a company whose future cant even be assured? I mean, I understand taking care of family, taking care of bills, etc, and I'm not saying that we should shirk those responsibilities, but maybe, just maybe, "someone" is trying to tell us something.

We need to slow down and look at the sunset, smell the smoke from a fireplace on a cold autumn night, reflect on your wifes laughter as she talks to an old friend on the phone.
We are presented with great opportunities every day to just.....stop, and do we take them, or move to the next task we think is so important?

I have found a release in camping and hiking, it gives me an outlet that runs tandem with my faith, and with the passing of every day, with every step I take thru the woods, with every turn of the next rosary bead, I feel myself becoming less and less angry, and more human/humane.

Mountains may rise, and mountains may fall, but we will probably not live long enough to see the completion of such work on this mortal coil, so we may as well slow down and watch the small part of the show that we can.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The great outdoors.....

OK, my anti-social mood has waned somewhat from my last post, so I can talk about our camping experiences at greater length now....I still want to move to the mountains, but at least I am not loathing my present locale nearly as much today.

Anyway, I suppose I ought to start with last years Christmas gift from my parents, which is which was the impetus for the whole "lets go camping!" epiphany we collectively had as a family.

This my friends, is the family tent.... It has become known to one and all in our Cubscout pack as "the Taj Mahal" because it is so horking huge. Seriously folks, this is a BIG tent. This is what is called the LL Bean King Pine Dome Tent, Six-Person model. I have to admit, I thought it was going to be a little bit too big for my family, but it actually seems as if it's going to be just the right size.
The Cajun princess has not been camping with us yet, but myself, Boudreaux and Thibadeaux slept very comfortably together on a queen size air matress, with the most minimal of discomfort being a slight chill on the face in the morning...Discomfort for Thibadeaux, but for me it was wonderful. Instead of sleeping in sleeping bags, we made a bed with an alternating base of 2 blankets and 2 sleeping bags (unzipped and spread out), and covers done in the same fashion. We put Thibadeaux in the middle (little nuclear generator that he is), and it was really quite warm and cozy.
So all in all, our first run with the tent was a success, and I think my family has taken a liking to the camping experience. I'm not sure about camping in the summer time though; too many bugs for my taste, but the other three seasons seem to be just fine.
Hopefully, I'll be posting more pictures later tonight or tomorrow, plus a much more thorough report on the weekend. It's just that it's been so long since I wrote anything, I wanted to go ahead and post something, try to stir the creative juices as it were.
Your camping recipe of the week from BackPacking
3 eggs1 1/2 cups sugar2 tsp. vanilla1/4 cup butter, melted2 cups all-purpose flour1/2 tsp. salt1/4 cup instant coffee crystals1/4 cup milk or heavy cream1 cup pecans, chopped1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

At home: preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease a 13 by 9 inch pan. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, vanilla and butter, beating to combine. Stir in the flour and salt. Set aside 1 � cups of batter. Stir the coffee crystals and cream and add to the remaining batter. Spread the coffee batter into the prepared pan. Add chocolate chips to the reserved batter and spoon over the coffee batter. Run a knife through the two batters to marble them. Sprinkle the pecans over the top. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the center is firm and set. Cool before cutting into bars. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

In camp: unwrap and enjoy! Makes about 2 dozen.

Note: These firm up as they cool. They are not like a granola bar. More like a dense coffee cake or brownie.
This recipe courtesy of One Pan Wonders

Sunday, October 19, 2008


So, here I am, in front of my keyboard again.

6 hours ago I was above 6,000 feet, on top of Mt. Mitchell, walking
the trail thru the dense scrub and pine trees,showing my two sons
signs of bears in the area, taking pictures of the color below us,
spread out across the blue ridge, with mountains as far as you could
see.....No McCain,or Palin No Obama or Biden,no stock market woes,
just me, and my boys, walking a trail, being pals.........Words fail
me right now, I cant stand living in the city, I cant stand all the
petty crap; politics,celebrities, chintzy newscasters standing in
parking lots covering the most banal of stories....Honestly? I don't
want it anymore. Every time I head up into the mountains, I don't want
to come back, and when I do, it depresses me so.....

Anyway, I'll post pictures later, right now I just want to
sleep....Maybe if I wish hard enough, I'll wake up in our tent.....