Blazing a New Trail


We’re really fortunate to have the property that we own.  Mr. Excellent’s great-grandfather knew he was standing on a special piece of land when he acquired it a long lost century ago.  Over the course of many years and a few generations it has seen use as a traditional farm and a Christmas tree farm.  Mostly, though, this land that we call our home has been left to follow the course of change that nature provided.  In the almost sixteen years since my last name became that which represents the stewardship of this property, I’ve witnessed the growth of everything around me and have seen the many changes that only time can bring.  Recently, though, we’ve questioned how we can enjoy the land more wholly.  We’ve explored options for making the land work for us as Mr. E’s paternal predecessors had done.  Those opportunities will continue to lure us in the direction of taking a more agricultural approach to maintaining ownership of this property.  In the meantime, we’ve decided that since the great outdoors lies within steps of our front door that we should savor the benefit and go outside into our own wilderness more often.  The temperate forest is thick and supports life of countless species of plants and animals; and though we have to remove a small amount of it to form a path, the pleasure of seeing our property from a new perspective has made blazing new trails in all its corners most delightful.

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Spinning a Web



I am a city girl living in the country.  Or, at least that’s what I’m told.  City girl probably isn’t very accurate as I spent my growing up years in the comfy suburbs.  As a result, navigating the crowded urban streets of downtown throws me into a nervous panic.  But even though I have spent many years residing in a place with wide open spaces, wooded acres, and a shimmering shoreline, I have not yet earned the title of country girl.  I suppose I’m somewhere in the middle (which, incidentally, is where I’ve spent most of my life, but that probably deserves its own story).  My husband enjoys teasing me – I assure you, in a most loving and compassionate way – about this fact and I’m certain that it mostly stems from me not being ashamed to admit that I don’t like creepy crawly things.  I’m terrified of slithering snakes.  A scurrying mouse sends tingles down my spine.  Darting spiders can make me jump.  But, strangely, I’m somewhat fascinated by these frightful creations of nature.  Take, for example, the spider’s web.  A web is truly an engineering marvel and can be downright beautiful.

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The other night I kind of lost my cool.  Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and overworked; after combining that with being miserably sick with a nasty cold and being met with nothing but flimsy excuses for not helping, my capacity for calm broke.  It was my poor, innocent, sweet little 7 month old puppy (who seems to have an addiction to chewing on items that shouldn’t ever touch her mouth – she’s currently seeking treatment and the toy replacement therapy program seems to be helping) that set my frustration over the edge by repeatedly trying to steal a dirty fork from the dishwasher as I loaded the dinner dishes.  My tantrum wasn’t directed at her, or at anyone in particular.  Still, I found myself jumping up and down letting out a few grrrs as my feet smacked the floor while saying: Why (smack) can’t (smack) you (smack) just (smack) stop?! (jump up and smack down hard again).  I immediately felt guilty, irrational, a bit absurd, and just plain tired.  I snuggled my puppy and told her I was sorry I acted like a crazy person.  I held my kids and told them that I shouldn’t have let my frustrations get the best of me and asked for their forgiveness for blaming their non-actions for my unnecessary freak out session.  It wasn’t my kids or my dog making me feel frustrated, it was my own actions.  I needed a timeout.

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Touching the Sun


Yesterday scientists from NASA officially announced their plans for launching the Parker Solar Probe next summer.  I’m a bit of a space geek so I found the information nothing short of fascinating.  This mission will bring us closer to the sun than we’ve ever been before.  Just the mere fact that we can build something that will withstand the extreme temperatures of the sun’s outer atmosphere is amazing enough (and by the way, the interior of the probe will have to remain at room temperature to protect its instruments); but this probe won’t just fly by for fun, it will collect data that hopefully will provide answers to questions regarding our life sustaining star and Earth’s connection to it that we’ve previously only dreamed about.  We will, for the first time ever, touch the sun.

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