Archive for the ‘Hikes’ Category

Birds, Bees, and the little things.

It’s the small things in life that bring the most joy.

When taking a shower this morning I noticed two small green frogs that have taken residence in the stall. Thanking them for all the mosquitos they eat, good job frogs.

 

Hiking through this park and enjoying the small flowers, the tiny insects that scurry through the trees and bushes, stalking their next meal. The green and black gecko that scurry on the path, hunting a bit of sun to warm themselves, and the aforementioned bugs for their next meal.

 

The birds are plentiful, finding this tree filled with black vultures, watching two of them fight and fuss over a dead fish on the shore.

 

Still waiting to see a gator, the best way to see them is by kayak, but I can’t leave Stanley and Edgar in the tent. Those two raided their treat bag, and my food bag this morning. I guess dog food is not as tempting.

As we close 2018 and open a New Year enjoy the small things in life, taking to time to remember our time here is limited, and you can’t take it with you.

Cathy, and Edgar, and Stan the Man

 

 

The Complaint Book

As I sat here this morning in my RV watching the hummingbirds six inches out my window, the sun shining, Edgar sleeping, I thought about my “old life”.

I kept a journal called the “Complaint Book”. The two things I did every morning were check my sales numbers from the day before and deal with Customer Complaints. I kept it separate from all my other paperwork and never carried it into a customer’s office, any meeting, it was a handwritten, stand alone, one of a kind living journal for my eyes only.

I believe complaints are the most important factor to happiness for yourself and a happy customer. You know a complaint… any sentence that starts with “This sucks” or your version thereof. Complaints are sacred in sales and life, writing them down gives you a good indicator of how your life, or sales, are going.

Along with customer complaints, I would write down my own daily complaints. When I found myself complaining enough about one certain thing – it was time for a change. If there were enough complaints to fill a book, you really got to look at your life…..

Customer complaints were usually easy to rectify. Some took a good explanation of the realities of supply and demand especially when a customer wanted a small supply of a paper that needed to be ordered by the big expensive case 🙂  I used to order in sample sheets for customers if they needed to do an order of business cards on a specialty sheet – I still hate business cards from a printers and paper suppliers point of view.

So this morning I thought about cleaning out my locker and finding the “Complaint Book” among my stored belongings. I left it at home when I started my journey, it was shredded, along with my other paperwork from xpedx and Clean Copy when the locker was emptied and I moved my entire life into the RV.

I no longer need a “Complaint Book”, I transformed my life into one where each day alive is certainly a good day on earth. Time to wake up Edgar, we are walking to Manzanita – about a 4 mile round trip, to drop off some mail at the post office and grab a nice coffee.

CathyImage

Money is NOT everything!

Well, it has been far too long since my fingers and brain coordinated and decided to sit and write.
I had a really horrible day yesterday, my car needs repairs and, quite frankly, I just don’t know where I am going to find the funds. I cried for a while feeling sorry for myself, if you know me, that didn’t last long 🙂
I decided to take a long walk through the wonderful landscape at Ecola State Park. It is amazing how your perspective can change when you quit dwelling on the bad and dwell on the good.
My view is of the beautiful Pacific Ocean, elk come visit me, sitting in my back yard chewing their cud, grey whales swim by putting on a wonderful display, the pelicans, oyster catchers, puffins, and hundreds of other sea birds entertain me with their comings and goings. I get up every day to a volunteer job that brings me joy, meeting people from all over the world who come here to learn, picnic or just enjoy the view.
My health is terrific, I can easily hike 10 miles and still have the ability to climb steep terrain and scramble over rock and downed trees. Eating and cooking mostly vegetarian for myself and enjoying the simple pleasures of cutting an onion, breaking lettuce adding some seeds and cheese and relishing each bite. Fast food is a thing of the past along with soda, chips and the mindless eating in front of a tv.
The library brings me great pleasures, books about far away lands and times, books about self-improvement and just fun books like Harry Potter.
I have hundreds of friends, some close with who I can discuss my heart, some who engage me in mindful debate, some who drive me crazy. I cherish my family, my nieces, my sisters and brother, and am grateful my mom is in great health and mind at 82 years young.
I don’t have lots of “stuff” or clothes or shoes or all those other things that we are told will make us happy.
What I do have is a wonderful life, my life. It is raining today, and I am going to go out and dance in it!!

Cathy

Inspiration

Writing, for me, is a combination of heart and head put to paper. Finding the right words to express what my heart feels is always a struggle. There are times that the words come freely and easily taking their places on the page, sentences flowing across the sheet creating descriptions that take readers to new places, thoughts, and feelings. Other times the words sit at the spot between heart, head, and fingertips refusing to flow, dammed behind a logjam of unconnected ideas.

Overwhelmed by the beauty of Ecola State Park, my first thought was to write about it, the struggle for words began. How do you possibly describe the beauty of our natural world?

The informational board at Ecola tells us this was once a homestead, donated to the State of Oregon and preserved for all to enjoy. A young boy commented to his Dad he was glad no one lived there, his Dad replying with “it’s sacred” and agreed with his son.

Still at a loss for words, Ecola State Park, in pictures.

On the Road Again

I love to drive.  The rhythm of the tires on the road, changing vistas and the sound of the wind with the windows down.

Driving across America on I-90 takes you through Ohio toward Chicago.  I stopped about an hour east of Chicago in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and tented at the State Park, a bargain at $17.50 per night.  The park was beautiful and clean and just a stones throw from the sand dunes created by Lake Michigan.

Indiana Dunes has several beautiful hikes that overlook Lake Michigan and the sand dunes.  Trail 10 is rated one of the best hikes in America.  Unfortunately, I twisted my ankle on an apple, go figure, before I left and had to settle for the 2 mile trail.  The trails are sand so wear appropriate footwear if you decide to try the hikes.

There is a beautiful beach along Lake Michigan.  Edgar was not welcome on the beach.

Cathy

 

 

 

Kinzua Dam

The Allegheny River starts in New York and meanders its way through Pennsylvania ending in downtown Pittsburgh at the golden triangle where it meets the Monongahela and forms the mighty Ohio.

The Kinzua Dam creates a lake that stretches 100 miles through both states.

Cathy

The Natural Beauty of Age

My Mom’s property in Pennsylvania sits on the Allegheny River on top of the original homestead foundation.  In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s this land was occupied by a family who planted apple trees.  They made apple butter and floated to Pittsburgh on a raft, selling their wares and walking back the 100 or so miles to home.

There are still some of the original apple trees on the property including July, Golden Delicious and Mackintosh.


This tree has been living since before television and she was producing apples and feeding families for decades before, well, Apple.

Her trunk is decayed by years of small animals and insects making homes and raising families of their own. Yet, she still is producing apples, oxygen, shade and compost.

I hope to age as gracefully.

Cathy