Sinking Is All I Had Planned*

Took a day off from all the things. Looking ahead to May, I can see some stressful events and lots of meetings (three in one day? Really?), so I wanted to do a hike before all that. We originally were looking at a short one, but the weather was right and I had this hike that had been bugging me. Last June, I tried to do a hike with the boychild, but I had recently started taking a new medication, and it fucked with me…so I ended up having to get helicoptered off the mountain (that was a fun experience actually). The situation was scary, though, in that when that happens, you get paranoid that it will happen again, where you’ll feel like you can’t control or trust your body and do the things you want to do. So it’s been on my list since then to do the hike again (it’s one I’ve actually done 5 or 6 times anyway), just to prove to myself that (a) I can do it and (b) it was the meds, not me.

We go out Sunset Trail, then pick up Big Laguna back…pretty simple, not too much climbing, gorgeous views and a meadow.

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It was a gorgeous day, weather was warm but breezy, not too bad. Probably better than last June, which was hot. The fires came through here however many years ago, so there are always new trees that have finally succumbed and are lying around.

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This was a perfect time to go…lots of meadow and mountain flowers, plus the oaks have all their new pinkish growth coming in.

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Seriously, there were flowers everywhere…

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We didn’t see any animals, except lizards and birds…not even the cows that are usually in the meadows!

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Looking down at Water of the Woods, which had quite a bit of water in it. There were only about 4 hikers on Sunset Trail, but a lot more (mostly bikers) on the Laguna trail. Bikes aren’t allowed on Sunset…that’s a plus.

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This bird is loud and weird. Pretty sure it’s a
Red-winged Blackbird.

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You can listen to one here…but the one I was listening to seemed to have been listening to a bunch of electronic music. He had a definite electronic twang to his song.

Walking up from the pond, that tree was just leaning there, most of its bark gone, just perched on its stump.

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Some dead trees, some burned trees…

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A view of Cuyamaca Peak, Middle Peak (to the right), and Stonewall.

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Then we come to where I sat for about 20 minutes or so last June, waiting for the helicopter to show up. They had sent out the Forest Service guys who were already out there to check on me, and then the official rescue people hiked in from Penny Pines. Boychild and I had debated if I could hike another mile, mile and a half, to Penny Pines, but I was barely able to walk more than 10 steps without feeling like I was gonna pass out by then.

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So the helicopter landed there. I had plenty of water, had drunk, had eaten. And yesterday, I was fine. No problems at all.

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So we kept hiking.

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A view of the meadow from Sunset Trail…

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There were pinecones all over the place.

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We kept going around the meadow, avoiding the mountain bikers…

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Nature at its best…

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And there’s water in the lake!

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I’ve actually never seen this much water…then again, I didn’t hike there right after the rains last year…I’m sure there was more than this.

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But it was nice to see this much anyway, along with the swathes of color across the meadows.

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No cows. Girlchild would have been disappointed.

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Heading back…

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A little over 8 miles. Definitely tiring…I zoned out most of the afternoon, but it was good. It felt good. I’m glad to have conquered that.

Meanwhile, I did buy fabrics for the background of the new quilt. There’s a contrast challenge between bodies and fireplace and floor and background wall. The left is part of the fireplace, the middle is the wall, and the right is the floor.

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I got these too. Maybe if my kids ever have kids, they will realize what all the alien fabrics are for. Or not.

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These two are still nervous about each other…

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Friday night I finished cutting out all the Wonder Under with Simba’s help…

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This mermaid with two tails was in the Starbucks in the morning…

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I finally got off the couch yesterday afternoon and sorted the Wonder Under…it didn’t take long.

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We got dinner at the new Mexican place in town. I don’t believe that Frida actually said that.

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And then I started ironing.

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I didn’t get very far, because I was tired and it was late and standing hurt my feet at that point, but it’s a start.

Some blues for a backpack…

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I’m expecting the ironing to take at least 10-12 hours…so all week, really. Hopefully I’ll be cutting pieces out by next weekend. That’s the plan anyway. Stay on task. I might need to grade some stuff sometime soon though. Sigh.

Today has a long to-do list, as always. Better get on it…

*Aimee Mann, Humpty Dumpty

I Don’t Get What They Do It For…

I think I’m officially in panic mode…and it’s because we were proactive Wednesday and started planning the first science unit of the school year. But then you start thinking about what you need to do, what needs to be set up, what changes you want to make from last year. And you start to panic. You think about how many hours a day you will have to be grading and planning, on top of the hours at school, plus meetings etc. And how are you going to get everything else done? And new schedules and students and realizing you’re getting ALL the little brothers and sisters of the kids you happily said goodbye to in previous years. And then yesterday (I didn’t even have time to write yesterday), you have a nice luncheon with teacher friends, and it gets worse. I know I do this every year. I freak out about a week or two before school starts, because I realize how little I got done and how much is left to do, and I’m losing days left and right to school crap. Plus the kids will be leaving for college at about the same time, and that sucks too.

And the art stuff has been difficult to get done this summer, between working another job and having machine issues. And today I found out I have another project that has to get slotted in there. I mean, it’s a good thing, it’s something I wanted to do, but I’m hyperventilating.

Stop. Deep breaths. Manage.

Thankfully, all the construction noise that surrounds me at the moment didn’t start up until 9 AM this morning. They actually let me sleep a little. It’s been a sleepless summer.

Yeah. Gotta get my head out of this crazy.

So Wednesday, we hiked, and then I quilted a little bit Wednesday and Thursday nights…I’m up to 10 hours in. And I’m hoping to get it done sometime tomorrow.

I originally hoped to be done today, but it’s already 10 AM and I have errands, plus gaming tonight, so that ain’t happening. But hopefully I can get significantly into the background today.

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There’s a lot of detail on this thing, and some fussy little stuff for quilting, like those passion flowers, but they look awesome now that they’re done.

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I got the whole lower torso done Wednesday night…

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And even moved on to the heart…

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Then Thursday night, I did the right breast, covered with cat…

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Strategically placed flower for nipple…and then did the tiger (hid the nipple in the fur pattern) and the cactus and the seaweed to finish up the left breast and arm, except for the octopus. It was midnight. I was tired.

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So today, I’m going to do the head and the right arm, plus the very top of the torso. And then start the hours of background. This one has a lot of it.

So I had been wanting to do either a Cuyamaca or Lagunas hike all summer, but it takes a while to get out there, plus weather, so this last Wednesday was the first one I felt organized enough to pull it off. I have to make dinner ahead of time and figure out the leaving time based on sunset and hike times, etc. I wanted to repeat a hike I did in January 2015, but that was full snow. I read the organizer’s description, but there was one section I couldn’t figure out, so I emailed him and he sent the GPS map, which actually turned out to be way more useful than all the Afoot and Afield pages I photographed. In the end, it was a well-marked trail and we only had one minor crisis of direction. It lasted about 2 minutes.

It was a gorgeous day for it…nice and cool for most of it. They threatened thunderstorms in the early afternoon, and the clouds definitely looked like they could pull that off, but we didn’t start hiking until 5 PM.

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I love the mountain vistas, the pines, even the dead grass.

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And the views. Smartass.

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There was some minor bouldering, just because.

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I like hiking with my kids. It’s gonna suck when they’re gone. We did see a deer, but I couldn’t get a photo of it in time. We thought we’d see more when we got to the meadows, but the cows were out and so were the mountain bikers, so just the one. And girlchild didn’t see it, so she was pissed.

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There’s something about climbing up…

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Lots of bugs and grasses on the back end of the trail, the Sunset Trail portion.

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And then we came out into the cows…and the Water of the Woods, which still has water. Last time I saw it, it was mostly frozen over.

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The meadows are gorgeous, even without water in the lakes.

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We came back via the Big Laguna Trail…there weren’t any other hikers that we saw…just one pair of bikers on this end, and then a group of about 15 of them near the end, and we could outwalk them on the slopes.

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Big beautiful pines that survived the fires. You can see the burn marks on the trunks.

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The sun was definitely on its way down. We had a couple of really slow miles due to…um…chaos. Let’s just call it that. But we sped up on these last miles (and we had headlamps, worst case).

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We figure some virus or something causes these giant ball-shaped things on the old oaks…

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And this has to be woodpeckers…or something. Such perfectly placed holes, all the way up and down the trunk.

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This low-lying plant (not the grasses) had all these weird giant pods all over it.

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We saw morteros galore in this rock…would have been a nice place to hang out in the summer. Much cooler than East County is at the moment.

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I think this was officially sunset. We did think we should have gone BACK the Sunset Trail, so we could have seen the actual sunset, but this worked…

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These tiny flowers were everywhere…

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This was watching sunset hit the trees to the east…

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And the last bit of the path, as dusk fell around us.

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We drove off in the dark, 8 miles, a good hike…probably the last long one before they leave. We’ll see.

And yesterday, while talking to the garden guy who came out to help me figure out my yard, we watched the raccoon who has been hanging out in our yard walk right across in broad daylight and climb the tree…about 30 feet up. He’s sleeping in a fork of the tree up there…

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If you can’t figure it out, the left circle is one of his feet and the right circle is his head.

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I didn’t have my phone when he walked across the yard, unfortunately.

So I’m quilting today. Lots of hours. Need to get done. Construction noise has started up again. So distracting. Oh well. Turn up the noise.

*Amanda Palmer, The Killing Type