Chronic Illness, Mental Health, Phase 3

Goal: 50 by 30

While I am no longer in DBT, during my period working through it I spent some time working on coming up with goals. This was in attempt to come up with reasons to stick around and not give up hope. We were meant to list all sorts of things, but my lists invariably comprised of travel. These kinds of goals are really helpful for me, because they are attainable, fun, and I can never run out of places to see. My main short-ish term goal is to visit, even just passing through, every one of the 50 US states. I’ve already been to 28, and we’re about to add another, with plans for 6 more in the nearish future.

A few days ago I had an urge. My girlfriend is amazing when I get these. They help me navigate what’s reasonable and what’s not. I wanted to just take off on a road trip right then, but they reminded me that while that would be fun, we had frozen groceries in the car. My car also needs some work before it’s roadtrip worthy. Did you know that if the hood latch fails on the interstate, the hood will fly up and not only shatter the windshield, but also bend the hood itself out of shape so much it can barely close? I do now. We’re still yet to fix the hood to be roadworthy, but it works to putter around town. Zip ties are amazing things when you use them right.

Anyway, we went home and began planning. Last year I discovered that I love backpacking and hammock camping, so we decided that getting a second hammock would be cheaper than a tent and that set up (we were barely right). It’s also more space efficient, seeing as we will have to carry everything the whole way, and a whole ass tent would not be fun to lug up and down the trail. Also, freakin’ hammocks. Come on.

There are several states right nearby that I haven’t been to, and figured this would be a great excuse to do so. However, after some research, I realized that it’s still cold in Michigan and Minnesota right now, so the original itinerary is going to be postponed. The original plan was about 30 hours of drive time, hitting, in order, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska, backpacking in Michigan.

Instead, we’re going to go backpacking in Arkansas, then going down through Louisiana (state number 29) to Florida, where we plan to go to the beach under the full moon.

With COVID isolation for almost 3 months and only working at home, I’ve lost a lot of muscle mass, so I’m apprehensive about how my stamina will be on this hike. The last time that I went on anywhere near this long of a trip was almost a year ago. We plan to make a slower pace. I found this to be incredibly important on my last long hike. There’s no destination, you’re just walking for the sake of walking, no reason to wear yourself out by booking it. We also got two different style and shape backpacks, so when one gets uncomfortable, we can swap. I made sure to get trek sticks that were tall enough for me, even though the trail isn’t all that rough. Trying to take into account my abilities and instabilities, experience with this kind of activity, and the general attitude I’m approaching the hike with has been really helpful in alleviating my anxiety.

Some time in the next month I will hopefully be posting about backpacking as a semi-disabled person.

Actions in Activities, Farm and Family, Short

New Beginnings

It was a big weekend  on the farm. It was super busy, but in the few spare moments I had on the computer, I found a new favorite band!

We had our first calf! Around noon on Friday (ok, not quite the weekend) Bunny calved. Around two on Friday it started sleeting. That would be just like Bunny. So guess what I did from around 2 to around 3? I tried to move a cow and her newborn calf.

I tried luring Bunny with her favorite feed treat, but she was not about to leave the calf, who wouldn’t follow, and she just wasn’t interested in it. I tried this for a while, and then called mom to see what she thought. We decided to try to move the calf. I was kind of worried about this, Bunny is pretty unpredictable. I picked up the calf and started walking up to the microbarn. The mama was the least of my trouble. Bunny didn’t really even seem to notice much. She followed a little and went back to eating. The calf, on the other hand, was very opposed to being picked up and moved. She flailed around, kneed me and whacked me in the face with her head. She is her mother’s daughter, that’s all I can say. I ended up carrying her a little and then herding her a little.

Once I finally got to the yard Mom helped me get the calf in the shed. By this time Dad was almost home from taking the kids to Co-op and I was pretty well soaked and freezing. Of course, Dad was able to get Bunny up to the shed right away. If she is capable of love, Dad is the only two-legged she has eyes for.

Bunny is actually a really good mama, despite how it might sound. Apparently cows can become attached to the place the calf in. It is so sweet to go out and hear mama and calf softly mooing to each other. A couple winters ago we got Bunny a molasses lick and she absolutely loved it. We decided that if she had a girl calf we would name her Molasses, because Bunny loves Molasses. Welcome to the world Lassie. Your name is very fitting, except you are anything but slow.

On Saturday Claire and I had a Bible Quiz. Neither of us placed as well this month as last. My team didn’t do as well as last month either, but Claire’s did quite better. This month we only have 3 weeks between quizzes. This will be interesting. I’m determined to get more memorized, even though there is less time to get it done.  Like my tag line in my email says:

Discipline is remembering what you want.

David Campbell


Farm and Family, Pictures

Snowflakes Keep Falling On My Head

I think it was a good thing to do, albeit somewhat cliché, but I’m glad Seasons of Thankfulness is over. After always having the same thing to post for the past two months, it’s nice to get to just write about what’s going on for a change! 🙂

On New Year’s Eve we got a nice little dump of snow. There was still some on the ground from the Christmas Eve Eve snow.DSCF8814 Since Dad had the day off, we had a lovely amount of snow and no hills whatsoever, Dad took us to the park to sled. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but I really love sledding. And snow. Snow forts. Snowflakes. Snowball fights (unless I’m wearing glasses, that just flat-out hurts). Basically, is the word “snow” is in it, assume I love it. I love how the snow is puffing up in this picture of Hannah. DSCF8813 Although we don’t have any hills on our property, the park in town has a couple of awesome ones. When we first got there around noon there was one little group of sledders on the big hill. As we drove up one of them was attempting to ride down on a snow board. She promptly wiped out. I’ve always found this twisted enjoyment in watching other teenagers trying to look cool, and failing miserably. That’s why I don’t even try. Of course, I don’t have to. 😉 Sorry, I just had to say that, totally joking. It’s kind of an inside joke with/about Dad. 🙂 DSCF8843 At first we went to the hill we rode two years ago, but quickly went over to the bigger hill. For a while the other guys stayed and we just sledded over where it wasn’t as steep (but still really awesome), but they soon left. We seem to have that effect when we go to the park. We then moved over to the steeper part, being careful not to go so far that we had to watch out for the creek. Soon other groups started coming. I think it was an extended family, they all seemed to know each other and they looked a like. Of course, this is a small town. Everyone pretty much looks the same anyway. 🙂 DSCF8812 I really love the look on Adam’s face in this picture! It’s pretty much how I feel when we sled. We all had such a fun time. It wasn’t too cold, but cold enough for the snow to be nice and fluffy. I missed the snow so much. Last winter we got maybe 2 inches total. We did get to make our traditional giant snowman, but that was it. It was good that we didn’t get much, Mom had at least one doctors appointment a week right there at the end with Josh.DSCF8809 It’s not what she’s doing in this picture, but Claire came up with a style called “The Sanguine Penguin.” Imagine a penguin sliding down with its wings back in an aerodynamic V. Pretty much just going face first. DSCF8792 Not sure if you can read it or not, if not, it’s your basic “no parking” sign. Why did I take a picture? Notice where it is. It is at the top of a fairly steep hill, leading up to a lake. I’m not sure why, but apparently it was needed. While the sign itself may be bleached out, the post was new. Reminds me of the spittoon in the court room with a new sign prohibiting spitting on the floor. As I said. It’s a small town. We had a couple of near run-ins with the big sycamores at the bottom of the hill, but I’m glad to say, no one got hurt! Well, Dad might have over-done it a bit on his shoulder, but no crashes. 🙂

Over all, it was a tremendous day. 🙂