Sunday, April 20, 2014

First outing(s) of the year.

Goddamn this late winter.

That being said, this has been a pretty darn decent Easter weekend.  I had the day off on Friday, so I got to chill out around the house with the children and the Well-Travelled One.  Since he and my youngest were busy tearing down and rebuilding a computer (He guided her through the rebuild after which she was apparently able to install Linux on her own. I'm not particularly techie, but that sounds pretty impressive to me), I spent some extra quality time with the eldest.  

I engaged her in a vaguely uncomfortable talk about various "grown-up" topics (read: sex, birth control, consent), which although she was hesitant to open up, I hope she thanks me for later.  This basically came about because I finished reading Jessica Valenti's "The Purity Myth" and some of the chapters on abstinence-only sex Ed made me curious about what the schools are teaching the kids.

Not much, apparently.  It could also be my daughter's selective memory combined with a strong desire not to have this conversation with her mother, but it sounds like they pretty much touch on the basic logistics and cover a little bit about birth control, but not much else.  I guess it's not as bad as the "Just Don't Ever Unless You Are Ensconced In A Fully Procreative Heteronormative Marriage" approach that the abstinence-only programs in the U.S. seem to use, but it leaves a lot of gaps to fill for us parents who wish their kids to be fully informed on such subjects, including but not limited to sexual identity, pregnancy and STIs and consent.

But anyway, that's a post for another day.  Back to my weekend, after making my daughter cringe at least 27 times in the span of an hour, I let her off the hook, and suggested we take a walk around the block and discuss lighter topics (such as the Comicon that she was going to the following day). Usually the eldest is loathe to do much that involved physical activity so I was quite surprised and pleased when she joined me with little to no heavy sighing or eye-rolling, and we had a lovely walk around our neighborhood.

Upon our return, The Well-Travelled One and my youngest were off on their own walk to get a coffee and a treat for successful completion of the computer project, so T and I went to her room to move the wardrobe that had until now been used for storage in the basement into her bedroom, as the girl is getting older and her clothes take up more space and my poor house sorely lacks closet space.

The girls were to go to their dad's house this weekend, so after dropping them off, we decided to head up north for a bit of a drive and to scout out some locations for hiking and checking out waterfalls this spring and summer.  The idea is to try and hit some of these places while they are still at their spring high-water mark, as by part-way through the summer, they often dry up somewhat losing some of their majesty. We walked down to the canoe launch at McRae lake, which was challenging as there was still a lot of snow and walking in half-melted snow can be a lot like walking in sand, only more slippery.  My calves and ankles, even with decent footwear, were not liking me much.

With the cancer and the surgery this year, I have backslid quite a bit from the fitness level I was at two years ago, or even last year (even though last year my energy levels were already deteriorating).  For a while I was able to walk or hike fair distances but now, depending on how I've been eating and drinking, a walk from work to the bank can be exhausting.

Taking baby steps, we're trying to revisit some of the less challenging trails and taking shorter walks so I can build back up to the fitness level I was at.  It's going to take some work.

At any rate, we made it over to White's Falls where even dammed, the water was in full force, and then over to Big Chute, where I got to revisit the fun that is peeing outdoors since a great need for hydration also means I have to pee a lot more, in places where bathrooms are not readily available.

White's Falls
Me, back-lit. Later in the summer I can sit on the rocks about 3 feet to my right here.
Saturday was more of the same, after the laundry was done.  We drove as far north as Huntsville, before taking some fun sketchy roads back towards home.  We made a couple of stops, once again at McRae Lake and another stop on the Sequin Trail, which lies atop an old rail bed.  Because, I am told, trains do not like going up and down hills, these rail-bed trails are handy for me because I too, do not like going up and down hills.

View of the rail-bridge from the bank of the Seguin River
Sequin Trail.  Newish foot bridge.  The giant concrete pillar signifies where the rail bridge would have existed.
Seguin River
Stand clear.
I am sore today.  Mind you, after we got home I forced myself, against social anxiety and general exhaustion, to go out to my friend Lori's 40th birthday.  My attempts at dancing after tromping around bush and rocks two days straight were probably not the greatest idea, but I had a good time and was glad I made myself go.  But I am paying for it today.  I know this is part of getting myself back to the shape I was in, so it's worth it, but ow.


  1. Now I remember why I stayed longer in Florida this year - geesh is there still that much snow near Huntsville! - Beautiful pictures though, myself I would much tackle those trails when the weather is a lot warmer, however then I would be carried off by the bugs !
    Glad to hear you are getting back to enjoying the simple things in life - walks in nature are a very good way of healing the inner soul.

  2. I thought we had a lot of snow in Grey and Bruce Counties but it seems you have us beat. Wasn't this past winter a brute? Anyway, a couple of comments - I really liked the 'consent' part of the mother/daughter talk - that so often gets overlooked - and the pictures were gorgeous.

  3. Those pictures are beautiful. Some times it takes winter months to help us appreciate the beauty of our surroundings. Of course, my statement comes from a person living in Miami.

  4. Well done on forcing yourself to get out there. Hard to do when you're in recovery, and when you know you'll pay for it the next day. Sounds like a nice heating pad is in order today. Fabulous pictures. My goodness the scenery is amazing.Be well.

  5. Snow is not my friend. Great pictures.

  6. pretty nice blog, following :)

  7. I left Chicago for California in time to miss this last winter; and the one before. I don't envy you the cabin fever but applaud you getting out. I love snow but only when I go to it, not when it comes to me.

  8. Lovely photos. I think its a general thing among teenagers to cringe whenever the awkward discussion of sex and pregnancy comes up with their mum. Its a good thing you took the bold step to try to educate her. Some of us were not fortunate to have that. Keep it up

  9. Lovely clicks!! The ambience of the places seem so soothing!!

  10. Wow, thank you all for coming and commenting! Thanks for visiting!

  11. Interesting first outing. I am many years cured but remember the wonder and novelty as though it were yesterday That said, I am ready for Spring !

  12. Photos want to make me get out from behind this desk, take the day off, and hike. Has any parent ever NOT made their children uncomfortable having "the talk" conversations. Never understood why it was called "the talk" since just touching on the subjects once really isn't enough. It should be plural.

  13. You already did some justice to the cringing topic there, you will just be finishing it off, and I can imagine but it has to be done. White's falls is very beautiful. Lovely photo.

  14. You took some great pictures. I'm not much for hiking but i do like to fish and I saw a few spots that I wouldn't mind casting into. Just take it slow and easy and before you know it your fitness level will be back to normal.

  15. I'm so glad that your energy level is slowly returning and that you are making plans for lovely outdoor activities this spring and summer while spending quality time with your family. Your photos are great.

  16. I have enjoyed all the pictures and trails they remind me of my childhood when we use to enjoy snow in Kashmir but now weather have changed a lot. It is hard to enjoy such harsh weather when you know that you have to pay for this enjoyment and outing soon. But I am happy that your fitness level is raising and for sure one have to work for this.
    Season have changed and now we are welcoming spring.
    I am happy to learn that you have enjoyed birthday of your friend. I like going up and down hill and used to walk such paths from my childhood.

  17. I've installed Linux. It's not hard but I'm still impressed when people do it. Just the idea of it scares most people.


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