balance

Mayhem

The month of May this year is summed up to me in one word: chaos or mayhem as the post is titled.

End of year banquets for school-related programs. Warmer weather. Busy business month. Graduations. Lots of graduations both in state and out of state. Summer-itis which is defined as almost summer but not quite. Vacations on the horizon but only anticipated at the moment.

Many extra duties to plan ahead for the chaos. Lots of extra budget dollars spent on gifts, travel and necessities like bathing suits. Wink wink. Not to mention gas prices are through the roof and groceries are equally painful on the price scale.

Mayhem. Chaos. Both words seem to sum up my month of May. I didn’t even mention the crazy news headlines of violence near and far. Insanity on the home front with guns in school and parents going crazy over this that and the other.

What was more celebratory in May? I circled back to reading my few pages a day of my current book that was put to the side temporarily. I caught up on some much needed rest. My sick dog made a miraculous recovery when odds were against her. I spent time with some of my favorite crazies. I took a dance lesson. I made time for fancy show downtown with friends. Many other fun and spontaneous events took place that created memories and happiness for me.

Despite the mayhem of May, I found my joy. I rededicated time to myself. I made the most of May. It was very important to settle amidst the mayhem of May as June and July are full-blown travel months for me. Gone more days than most. Living life to the fullest but knowing the homefront is handled while absent is equally important. The gentle balancing act.

What is hot and happening for you this summer? A new vacation spot? A new mode of travel? A staycation? A budgetcation? A new adventure? A big purchase?

Will you try anything new this summer? A hot new dance class? A theatre show? A comedy act? A farm experience? Skydiving? Learning a new hobby like knitting?

If you survived the mayhem in May, what can you challenge yourself with for June and July to make your summer memorable? Get your thinking cap on. I gave you plenty of ideas above. Share your stories of you do soemthing spectacular. I know I plan to dip my toes in the sand and ocean at least once this summer.

Happy summer to all our readers in blog land.

challenges, dare to be different, Teddie Bear Adventures

RV Life Episode 1

The day finally came. Spring break 2022. The RV was loaded or hopefully loaded with all the essentials for a successful maiden voyage.

It started out shaky when the new driver (me) had about 1.5 hours of traffic due to road construction and accidents on the road. A lot of stop and go was good practice but I won’t lie when I say I was a bit claustrophobic at times trying to stay in my lane when tractor trailers were on each side of me. Nothing like trial by fire.

Although the start was rocky, the vehicle performed well on the road trip. About 7 hours total crossing one time zone and three states total. We did it. So many firsts. New experience for the pups. First time in an RV as a family. First time traveling to this particular state for a trip. The list could go on and on.

Electronics worked such as the wifi, the tv and radio. Although we didn’t use them all the time we had access which was good for many reasons. Weather was in our favor the first two days. Sunbathing and napping seemed be a good fit for me. Having all day to do nothing seemed okay with me for a few days off the grid.

We met some friends. We chatted with people from Wisconsin to California to Michigan and a few other states. We got to see how people traveled. Did they pull a trailer behind a truck or did they tow a tiny car behind an RV? So many options. We saw golf carts, bikes, trikes, motorcyles, jeeps and other side cars toted with each campsite.

Oh and how different each outside campsite was. From neon palm tree decorations to custom flags marking the spot. From simple to elaborate with everything in between. At night you could see the glow of green up high in the trees. The trees were adorned with internet boosters to enhance the WiFi coverage area. An interesting glow of sorts at night.

There were big grills, tabletop grills, and charcoal grills. Fire pits or solo stoves would light the night with the scent of toasted marshmallows. When one dog barked the others joined in. From near to far the barks varied in sound. From tiny schnauzer to the big Great Dane. The golden retrievers seemed to mostly listen but every other dog joined in the symphony of dogs. No cats in sight.

The RV resort was on the bay with beautiful views by day and night. Mid day there was a dolphin or two putting on a show poolside for those who wanted to watch them rise and dive again. Something I don’t see everyday thus I enjoyed it. Sunshine. Relaxation. No have tos. The perfect getaway. 

Meals outside on the picnic table. Movies under the stars. Music jamming at lunch outside. Time with friends and family. This reminded me of our lake days but this time on solid ground instead of by water. 

The first trip has come and gone. Many more states to visit. 900 miles on the odometer to break in the new house on wheels. Next up summer adventures near and far. Until then, I’ll leave you with some could have done without moments:

The water hose broke. Thank goodness for a friend saving the day with a loaner.

The grill connector didn’t fit. Good thing a neighbor let us grill with them.

The creepy gas attendant in Alabama who asked for a hug and kiss upon checkout. Random but I wonder how many takers he gets on a given day?

The winds that rolled in one day that gave me a hint of what it’s like to be rattled in a big storm if I lived full time on a trailer.

adventure

24 Hours

I had a small window of time to do a lot. Would I get it all in? Should I try to fit it all in? Do I focus on the need to’s or want to’s? I just said fuck it, and rolled with the punches.

I started out solo by car. I was pretty excited so I got up extra early. I totally miscalculated my arrival time as I changed time zones. Oops! First diversion in place unintentionally.

Visited a military installation. That was not a new experience, but something I hadn’t done in 10 years or so. Brief visit was good for me. Grabbed a coffee and snack with a buddy. Did some apartment shopping in the town I was visiting. Interesting to see old vs. new and how one mile one way you get one quality of life and the other way is completely different. Hence the purpose of shopping around.

Took a scenic route to visit the big city by car. Did some walking. Then some window shopping. Popped into a cozy bar for some punch in bucket and some good ole boy music. Not planned and not my normal environment, but in the end the lack of planning was good and so was the the punch bucket. I guess I sucked it from the bucket.

Time to kill before a dinner reservation. Time to sneak into a tattoo shop to get small piece of art to commemorate the 24 hour stint with my buddy. One for me two for the other. Inked up in no time. Feeling a little tired but time to fuel up to endure the time clock.

Refueling station (aka meal time) was again unplanned but a unique experience nonetheless. A supper club with 3 floors and a roof top. We sat on the main floor but could observe everyone coming and going from the main door. This of course made for good people watching while the food was prepped. Smash burger and turkey pastrami sammie for the win. Not five star but maybe a three for the food quality, but the substance was enough to level up in the time category.

Just when I thought I packed in enough we booked tickets to the hockey game. What are we thinking? Already pooped but we made it. A win for the home team and some great drunk people watching. An unexpected/unplanned adventure that exceeded my expectations.

A quick trip to the hotel to crash. Just a few hours to spare for rest. I didn’t want to get up. It was so early the coffee wasn’t even done brewing in the lobby. Such a tragedy. My route back home involved a plane. Solo again. A full flight. A mask which I almost forgot about. I couldn’t sleep. My mind was racing over what I just did in a short 24 hour period.

The year of 2022 has brought so much new to me. New ways to look at life. New experiences. New adventures that lack my normal plan– gram style. There are some days where I think life is an absolute shit storm while other days I think are just amazing as they can be.

Sometimes I write to have memories for later. Sometimes I write for therapy. Today I write to say today is a gift and tomorrow is never guaranteed. Take 24 hours and spin it your way. Lose the worry of tomorrow and be present in today.

Tomorrow may look different for you. You never know. Therefore embracing what is today is a true gift. My 24 hours with my buddy was a gift. One I will treasure for years to come. 24 hours. Your gift. Spend those hours your way. Enjoy!

adventure

Bricks & Alpacas

Bricks remind me of strength. Bricks are the basic foundation for many buildings and / or empires. Bricks would be the last thing I thought about carrying around today yet I am so excited I had such a great opportunity with a brick.

You see, the brick is representative of a challenge from my adventure book. As odd as the instructions appear when read, the more fun that can be had ahead. How one interprets the assignment leads to the adventure itself. We started by naming our bricks. Mine was named Flash as a brick doesn’t move fast. Another was named Richard or Dick for short. Chase was named as well as Ash. Little Ash has a backstory. She could be short for Ashley or Asher making her gender neutral. Also bricks are represented in fireplaces as is ash. Brittani with an I was named in honor of Brittney Spears and the brick she is. Below is the first outing with our brick family as we set out for the day of fun adventures.

The girl gang is loaded with bricks today. A weapon? A stepping stone? An item to build with? For today it’s about the adventure and memories we create with our bricks. A strengthening of our relationships. Our travels start by car so the bricks are packed in a bucket with tissue paper for protection as well as flair. Off to eat brunch we go. Will the restaurant give us a high chair for our little brick family?

The bricks were involved in photos ops and shenanigans as the day progressed. From poses at the restaurant to a visit to an Alpaca farm. There was never a dull moment.

The bricks will find their final resting place in a pasture on our family farm while we head off to make more memories without the weight of the bricks. The giggles will be present for years to come as we pass by the bricks in their new spots on the farm.

As I close out this brick post i’ll now leave you this smiling Alpaca who posed for me on our field trip. This gem of an animal smiled bright with its stained teeth and grass-colored face. It was so funny to share this creative pose. So soft and fluffy yet such a hot mess up close.

What started out as a brick adventure ended up including an educational agri-tourism component allowing me to learn about Alpacas. It was a pretty cool experience and I won’t ruin the surprise by giving away the details of my Alpaca experience but I will share some photos for fun.

Because who doesn’t like a creature with hair as cool as this?

challenges

Food Pong

Most people have heard, observed, or played beer pong at some point in their lives. Some may remember more details than others. I’m also sure there is a kids version of pong but today’s twist is food pong.

Same red solo cups. Same instructions. Only instead of beer there is a mystery snack or something that may have been liquid but is now frozen or jelled. Such a scary game to play when you don’t know what’s in the solo cup. Will you like it? Will you puke? Only time will tell.

First up I got Wickle Pickles. I had to eat a couple of these, but they had a nice zing of spice that lingered. Then came the nacho kale chips that were supposed to taste like Doritos but I’d say it was closer chalky dirt. Up next was vodka-soaked gummies which were pretty self-explanatory but not a good accent to the other items.

A little alcohol-infused gummies didn’t settle my tummy for what was next. Birthday cake flavored peeps. So much sugar sitting in my stomach on top of the mess already loaded in there. If I wasn’t already to quit, out came the wasabi peas. I don’t even eat wasabi with my sushi, making this a hard one to stomach.

Now that I have played food pong or pantry pong, I think I would recommend beer pong every time. It seems more logical to choose the simplicity of beer and get a hangover vs feeling like you want to vomit for the next few hours.

in the end, this was fun, gross, and adventurous all at once. Stay tuned for my next adventure post to see what kind of trouble will lurk on the months and weeks ahead.