Monday, August 25, 2014

Goodbye, but not yet farewell . . .

I woke up at 5:30 am this morning in order to make it to my new teaching job on time. Most of this past year, I was a night owl, so it was a difficult task.

Also difficult is saying goodbye to this blog. I have written every day since I started sometime last June. It's been an incredible experience and I'm not quite ready for it to end.

Especially since I haven't written all the blog posts that I wanted. I still need to share the results of the survey for my new blog's name, as well as our largest heirloom, my plans for a local writing group, a recap of the month and year, and so on and so on and so on.

So, today's post is my last  regular daily one. I have to admit that I'm not ready to give it up mostly because I'm not yet ready to start my new blog. I'm hoping to post a couple of days this week and then by next weekend have the new blog up and running. By then I should have figured out the schedule as well.

So have a good day today and I'll write to you sometime soon.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Teaching Work

The leave has been over for a while. But after getting back from canoe camping up North on Wednesday, and being in training or at my new school for the past two days, I know my mind has made the jump back to seeing teaching as my main job.

It's become harder and harder for me to concentrate long enough to write this daily blog. After today's post, there are only two more before it all comes crashing to an end.

But, I still have the dilemma of how to continue writing while the majority of my brain is trying to figure out how to teach English to sixth, seventh and eighth graders. There's still a room in my house that I would like to convert to an office. I plan on taking a short class in September focussing on a special software for writing.

But all of those topics are for the new blog, which will start next week. This weekend, I have to go shopping at the teacher store for supplies, search in my files for some papers I know I will find helpful, and figure out which sappy inspirational posters to hang in my room.

Maybe one of those "hang in there, baby!" cats? 'Cause that represents my life at the moment!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Air conditioning

What I wouldn't give for just one small window unit up in my bedroom, cooling everything off to a modest 78 degrees, making it easy to sleep through the night.

Instead, I drape blue ice packs across my wrists and neck, take a cold shower and then try to use evaporative cooling by standing in front of a fan. After that, I make sure that the two fans in the bedroom (one bringing air in the window and the other blowing on my feet) are on the proper speed.

And finally, I drift to bed, unable to sleep for much of the night due to the heat and humidity of this upper midwest.

And I wake very, very cranky . . .

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mosquito Bites

Well, we're back home from canoe camping, a little bit sunburnt and with about 100 mosquito bites. More details tomorrow. . .

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hiking Trails

Often we choose campsites that are nearby hiking trails. There are a number of backpacking trails in the Boundary Waters. Although you can spend your non-traveling days exploring whatever lake you're on, going for a hike is a nice change of pace.

From one of our favorite campsites, there is a spur trail which connects with the Border Route Trail. It's a fair climb, but when you get to the top you get an awesome view.

Those are the border lakes I'm overlooking, which means that's Canada in the distance. It's a good spot to eat lunch.

For the three or four times we have hiked this trail, we've never seen anyone else on it. In fact, the only people we've seen have been far, far below in a teeny, tiny canoe. We have, however, surprised grouse, and we saw a baby eagle in an eagle's nest in a tree next to the trail.

This trip we'll be travelling next to the Kekakabic Trail, affectionately known as the Kek. I don't know if it has any vistas like the Border Route Trail, but I look forward to finding out.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


We don't like freeze-dried food. So we carry in Tasty Bites Indian food, rice and veggies. It's bulky and heavier, but worth it. Besides, we're not backpacking, we're canoe camping. I know people who bring in boxes of wine, and I've heard of a group that brought in a keg!

If my honey has had luck fishing, then we have a little more protein in our evening meal. If not, enjoy Palak Paneer, Jaipur Vegetables or one of their many other choices. Round it off with water and it's a feast.

Our dishes consist of two bowls, two forks, two spoons and four cups. (We each need two cups in the morning, one for oatmeal and one for a hot beverage.)

The best spot to eat is always a rock overlooking the lake, and we use our life jackets to make the rock a little more comfortable. The sunset could be this beautiful.

After dinner and before it gets too dark, we do the dishes by digging a small hole. Then we use leaves and dirt to loosen the food scraps, rinse it all with hot water into the hole and cover it all again. We're told that the bugs will enjoy the treats we leave them.

Then it's time to brush our teeth, hoist the bear bag and crawl inside the tent for the night. Another good day in the wilderness.