Design Coding

Yeah bitches. fo sho.


Fishing? For Flies? What?

I have recently joined my church's fishing group: The Wounded Duck Fishing Club. It should be a fun time! April 5th I'll be joining them in learning to fly fish! Very excited about that. Then afterwards there will be a cookout (or we're "going to grill-out" as they say around these parts). I'm in charge of burgers and buns. Let's hope I don't get tangled up in the fishing line!

I have to say, every time I think of fly fishing I think of the movie poster for "A River Runs Through It" that was on the wall of my 7th grade shop class by the scroll saw. Never actually watched the movie though. Watching movies with Brad Pitt in them seemed so much cooler in middle school. I think he's lost his luster.


Laundromat Hell

I washed 3 weeks worth of laundry and suffered through 2 hours of Delilah and soft rock... and I lived to tell about it. I think I'm a much stronger human being now.



My dad just called me at work. He just had his high school class ring cut off. He's had that ring on his finger since 1970. It's seen the births of all my sisters and I, his marriage, his heart attack, many funerals, adventures in Mexico.. every good time, every bad time. He called me to tell me he's having it polished up and is sending to me. As the oldest daughter he wants me to have it. He's never once taken that ring off. Not ever. As a little girl, Morgan and I would pester him and he'd always say if he took it off his finger would fall off. And now, he's giving it to me (and his finger is still in tact).

It may sound silly, but I am so touched I can't even get over it. I've been tearing up since he called me. He says maybe it will bring me luck.

My dad is a sweetheart.


Saving Daylight (and my sanity) all in a Weekend!

Don't forget to turn the clocks ahead this weekend! YEAH!

You can't even begin to measure my level of excitement for extended daylight! Morning runs, hiking Radnor after work, gorgeous weather.. walking EVERYWHERE! I'm going to be outside every chance I get!


A pack on my back and the sun in my face

Went on my first big backpacking adventure last weekend. Definitely made for an awesome weekend! I've been a member of the Nashville Hiking Meetup Group for awhile, but hadn't gone on any hikes so I signed up for a beginners backpacking hike. I usually hike solo, but backpacking on my own was something I just couldn't muster up the guts to do, at least not the first time. I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to give backpacking a try and meet some potential hiking buddies. There were 3 other folks that went: Keeley, James and Peter. All new faces. The weather was perfect and hopes were high.

Originally the hike was planned to be a 20+ mile jaunt through the Soddy Daisy area of the Cumberland Trail. The thing with the Cumberland Trail though, is that it's not really finished. The Soddy Creek trail was carved out, only partially marked with paint, the rest with bands of tape, and fairly rough trail. Also, there are 2 "creek" (read: mini rivers) that have yet to be bridged. Throw on a 20 or so lb. pack and a mildly-in-shape, mostly-out-of-shape female and you've got some rough hiking!

We made it to the first "future bridge site" and thought "Oh shit!" We had to scramble over huge boulders, passing our packs up and over, then forming a chain across the river, holding on to each other as we crossed. Of course, the trail after that was a bit more on the rough side, being less travelled than the trail before the creek. We of course thought the next creek couldn't be as bad as this one. Yeah.. we were sadly mistaken.

Soon enough the second "future bridge site" was looming in front of us.. all raging, deep, and un-crossable. Peter hiked down a ways, couldn't find a passable section. Then we hiked up the other way, there were plenty of boulders and we though for sure we could find a section with enough to cross on, or at least a shallow spot to wade through. Wrong again. Every spot that looked shallow, swallowed up rocks and boulders and no bottom was to be seen. Every boulder that looked close to another boulder, upon closer inspection, was far away from the other. Eventually, after hauling ourselves over countless boulders we found a section we thought we could get over.

The Plan: we would tie cord around James and he would cross. Then we would pass our packs along the cord then wade across, holding on for support. Sounded good to us. So we went and got our packs, hauled them over boulders, tied cord around James and in the water he went. And just as fast the current swept him off his feet so we reeled him back in and that was that. After an hour of frustration, we were only 5 miles in to the hike and we had to turn back.

Of course, going back up the side of the mountain was killer and Keeley and I had to make a number of stops (I really need to get myself to the gym more often). Finding a spot to set up camp was tricky. The whole section was on the side of a mountain, much too steep for 4 people to set up tents. Finally, James found a spot off the trail, right on a cliff, where we set up the tent and even had a boulder as a table for cooking. It was a perfect spot. Got to see the sun set and everything. Amazing.

We made chicken wraps for dinner. Peter shared his adventure stories which were awesome! He's hiked 150 miles of the AT through PA!! And is big into caving and repelling. James made hot chocolate for everyone and I just took it all in. And the stars.. OH THE STARS! I've missed starry skies, living in the middle of Nashville, I don't get to see many of those. Especially not clear skies just full of so many stars. So beautiful.

Next morning, after a freezing night in the tent, we had oatmeal, banana bread, hot cocoa and tea then packed up and shoved off. We only had about 3 miles left back to the car so we hiked back, took a shortcut on the road. We saw a particularly disgusting no-dumping site, full of dumped garbage and a stray dog, whom I fed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to.

All in all I'd say the hike was great. Hiking with a pack is much harder than I thought, but I think I did ok. I only hiked 10 miles as opposed to the planned 20, but according to my thighs, 10 miles was more than enough. I really want to get myself in better shape, I think we're going to try again in April and I want to make it the whole way.

There's just something about hiking. It puts my body through the ringer and despite the burning in my calves and thighs, the potential blisters, and sore toes.. I just love it. Doesn't matter how much I hurt, how bad I smell, or how gross I look, being in the woods puts a smile on my face. On the next morning, after my muscles were tight and sore, hiking in the morning, James looked back and said "you look SO happy.. you have this little half-smile like you're just loving it" and, well, I was! I was in the woods, in the sun.. no computer, no phone, no bills, no headaches, just sun in my face. The smell of the earth and the trees. That is my heaven.

Sigh. I love the woods. Let's just say all day Monday I was Jonesin' for some nature. Going from a weekend of mountain to a day full of computers and clients is pretty rough. But at least I had some lovely thoughts to entertain me. New friends, new experiences and a new activity to enjoy. Perfect.