Friday, March 23, 2007


I was planning on finally treating my bees evening before last. The chilly rainy weather had moved in before I got to it last week, and Wednesday was the first warm sunny day. Bees don't like to be messed with when it's cloudy, chilly, and damp. I was even composing my journal post about it in my head as I got ready for work. I've been getting off work early lately because the call volume is down, so timing was good. At 8:30 am I got a call from Paul and Dan. Seems Dan had the same idea with his bees, and decided he would come over and do mine, too. I weighed my past history of putting off working the bees, as I'm sure the two of them already had. So, I said I would appreciate it. I took some good natured ribbing from Paul about needing to be taken care of, then I went down to the hive and put the supplies where Dan could get to them. My other two packages of bees are due April 14. I need to get over to Paul's and put together some equipment beforehand. I'm sure the fact that I hadn't called him to do that yet is part of what prompted the decision by Dan to just stop by and take care of my hive for me.

Yesterday was another short day at work, so I came home and changed into jeans and a tshirt and headed over to Beaman Park to hike. As usual, I hadn't eaten enough, but it was a nice upper 70's cloudy breezy day. I put my heavy wool socks on over my thin dress socks I'd been wearing all day for work, and hiked in my running shoes. I just took a day pack with some things in it to give it a bit of heft, and a little bit of water that I already had in my platypus bottle. There were several others there taking advantage of the nice weather.

Fist thing that happened is that the new hiking poles I had traded for at REI because one of my previous poles would slip randomly wouldn't open up. No matter what I tried (short of a wrench which I didn't have with me) I couldn't get the twist lock to open so I could extend the pole. So, I put the hiking poles back in the truck. I'll go back to REI and trade them in with some extra money and get a pair of Leiki poles. Next I remembered when I tried to fasten the hip belt on the day pack that I had caught the strap in the truck door and shattered the plastic buckle on it. I tried just tying the belt, but it didn't work well. So, I was just on the shoulder straps.

Soon I realized that the day pack sits heavy on my back. Now that the temperature is warmer, this means that my back was soon wet with sweat. So, that is the last hike with that pack. I will try to get the buckle fixed, and just use it as my gym bag. Next I realized that I really, really should have eaten. I was feeling the hike mostly in my abdominal and side muscles. This is a good thing if it is really working these muscles and not just that I was that hungry. I also was starting to get hot spots on my feet for the first time since wearing running shoes to hike. The jeans were hot, too. I need to get some inner soles for my shoes and stop wearing heavy socks for the padding effect I guess. And, I need to get over the need to hike in long pants, or at least dig out my nylon hiking pants. Since summer hiking concerns me more than issues with cold weather hiking this is a good time to shake down all of this.

I didn't do as much as I had planned in the hike. I maybe hiked 3 miles. But it was nice to get out in the woods. I need to figure out something to carry with me in the truck to eat besides the uncrustable peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I have got to start eating more...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Back On Straight?

I think my head is back on straight now. I started reading Michelle's trail journal, her year of preparation to hike the trail. Reading the preparation phase didn't depress me like reading about the folks who are actually starting their hikes now. She is going through finding answers to some of the same questions I am. Some of her answers are not the same as mine, but the process is interesting to read about. I no longer feel like my world is starting to tilt. Funny how some little thing makes that much difference. When the student is ready, and all that.

I am back to realizing that what is going on now is all part of the journey. And, I should enjoy the journey as it unfolds, wherever I happen to be in the process at the moment. The log jam has broken loose, and energy is flowing again.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Beginnings? Ends?

The outside of my life is going great. I had an interview for a job with a guy who wants to hire me, wanted to hire me back in October or so but the position fell through. I'll know later this week. I have caught up the vast majority of the paperwork I was behind on with my current job, and I completed all my calls today so I am hopefully on my way back to the good graces of my boss. I am feeling well again.

The flip side is that I am unsettled still. As I usually do when I'm unsettled, I went online and shopped. To my credit, the clothes I bought are things I definitely will wear, on sale, and cheap. My work wardrobe consists of casual pants and polo shirts. All of my shirts and most of my pants are showing signs of being washed every other week. So, I spent an average of $10 ea and got more than a week's worth of shirts and pants. I'm now set for summer. The other part of the bargain is that I have to get rid of at least as many things as I bought.

Reading on line journals isn't bringing me the pleasure it once did. The folks who are out hiking and writing about it on are making me antsy to get out there myself and hike my own hike. The one journal that almost always brought a smile to me, madcapmum on blogger, is all but dormant as she takes time off this winter to transform herself into herself. I understand. I want to crawl back into my cave. I get weary of dealing with people. I am apparently different. I see myself as independent. But, I was gently chided for being 'high maintenance' by a good friend who knows me. So, somewhere out there is my lost book of instructions on how to deal with people on a one to one basis. Seems that everyone else knows these things but I am clueless. How else can I be having so much trouble with basic interpersonal relationships. Everyone else Knows What To Do, and I stumble around either oblivious or too clingy, never finding the correct level of interaction. Must be a book I didn't get issued.

I have tossed out some more stuff. I have a pile of things to take to Mom's to make disappear. I don't care if she donates them, has a yard sale, or tosses them in the dumpster. I just want the stuff to disappear. It would be nice if once in my life I show someone my house and they don't look around and go 'Gee, you have a lot of stuff...' The fact that I have 1/3 of what I used to is a moot point. I still have too much. Why is it so hard to decide what to get rid of and what (little) I should keep? I half jokingly (only half) told someone that I was thinking of deciding what to keep by asking 'does it fit in my backpack?' They said I should probably not do that yet. Wait till I've hiked the AT at least once. Then I can come back and get rid of everything.

I keep making all these changes in my life, and all it seems to do is lead to more change. And more restlessness. I'm guessing that when my ashes are scattered I will be riding the wind and/or water and still trying to figure out if that is the right place to be or not.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Loosing It?

I feel like I'm loosing it. What 'it' is, I'm not sure. Everything on the surface of my life is going well. I have money for bills, the house stays sorta clean, work is ok. Somehow I feel like the base of my life has deep fissures in it, though, cracks that compromise the integrity of my very grounding. It's like I'm on a 4 legged stool, but one of the legs is getting ready to buckle. At some point the whole thing is going to tilt, and I'll be tossed off.

I keep trying to concentrate of those base activities that ground the rest of my life. I make myself eat, although I haven't been hungry for awhile now. Nothing tastes right, or has much taste at all. I don't know what I want to eat. But, I try to eat anyway and I try to eat more or less healthy things. I'm exercising. I'm sorta maintaining my weight. I'm catching up on the paperwork from work that I got behind on. I'm cleaning and unpacking around the house. I'm going through the motions.

These things aren't making me feel any more secure, though. I don't know if it is fallout from the year of having 2 mortgage payments and living on credit cards, not knowing if I was going to lose everything in a financial crash and having it out of my control. I don't know if there is something I'm missing and I have an intuitive feel that I should be looking for it. I just don't know.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I got done with work a bit early today and had my workout clothes with me. I wavered back and forth several times on whether to go to the gym or go home and 'do something useful'. The reason going to the gym seemed like an exercise in futility was that I could tell my body was running on empty already. I haven't been eating enough, nor have I been drinking enough water. It wasn't the best way to go workout. On the flip side, this is how I am the vast majority of the time. If that's going to be my excuse, I will never see the inside of the gym again.

Having decided that the muscle that needed exercise the most was the 'pull into the parking lot and go inside the gym' muscle, I drove over. When I'm at home, or hiking, or pretty much any place other than the gym it is easy to map out my future workouts. One thing that I was sure of was that I would do as much on the elliptical machine as I could, and finish out a half hour walking on the treadmill. The idea is that I work up the doing the 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. So, I dutifully headed up to where those machines are. I made my 5 minutes on the elliptical, which is what I was doing last time. I was definitely watching the timer that last minute. Then I went over to the treadmill. After 5 minutes I was bored. I never remember to take headphones to hear the TV screen that is in front of me. I don't watch TV anyway, so it's not like I'm missing something. I made it 10 minutes before the boredom got to me and I stopped.

I checked my weight and I'm down a bit, not enough to worry about. I need to start eating more. I just don't get hungry and so can't decide what I want to eat.

So that is my workout update. Not terribly exciting. I did no weight machines because I was really feeling empty by the time I got off the treadmill, and I didn't have any water with me. There must be some law that drinking fountains in gyms barely work so if you use them you are drinking after everyone else who has used them. I came home. Oh, and I ate some supper...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

To Bee or Not To Bee

When I was out hiking a couple of weekends ago I made some decisions about aspects of my life that weren't working the way I had thought they would. One of the decisions I came to was that I should give away my bee hives. I went into last fall with 3 hives, two starter hives and the swarm that adopted me a couple of years ago. I knew that it was iffy for even the swarm to make it through the winter without intervention, and that the two others would be gonners. Sure enough as the weather has warmed, two of the hives showed no signs of life. I feel very guilty about this. Their survival was in my hands and I botched it. Not due to lack knowledge or being a beginning beekeeper. I've been at this long enough now (3 years) that I can't really say I'm a beginner. No, I let the hives die out.

Because of my guilt I haven't gone to the county beekeeper's meetings in a very long time. I really enjoy those folks. Occasionally someone from the group would call me, and I made vague excuses. Since I had decided to give away my equipment I went to the meeting this morning. In the two weeks since the hiking trip I have had second and third thoughts about getting rid of the bees. Yes, there is a lot of equipment and it would be an easy way to feel like I was clearing out stuff. But, well, I do like the bees. And, my swarm was still alive, so I had one hive in some kind of condition other than dead. With all the talk of hive beetles, though, I figured that I had them now, too, and that I might well not be able to salvage much of anything after all.

At the meeting there was a talk on hive beetles. Yes, it is pretty much a given that hives in Middle Tennessee have hive beetles now. I was getting depressed cause I had reconsidered and decided to keep the bees at least one more season. Dan, one of the guys there, followed me home and we went through the hives. Yes, I starved the two weaker hives. At this point, though, the equipment is salvageable. The swarm hive is in really, really good shape, and I should get honey off it this year IF I TAKE CARE OF IT. He helped me clean up the equipment and gave me pointers on what I need to do. And, the amazing thing is, I don't have hive beetles! If I start treatments now I can keep that problem pest at bay.

So, I'm going to see about ordering 2 more packages of bees to have a total of 3 hives again. I have the equipment. This is my test year to see if I keep up with them. I may still get rid of them at the end of the season, but I'd like to go out after a successful season rather than feeling like a failure.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Minor Miscalculation

I decided while on my hiking weekend that a necessary step towards my goal of hiking in 3 years was to make a Three Year Goal list of things that had to happen. In doing so, I realized that somehow, I had started saying I would hike in '09, when 3 years is '10. Just putting the outlines in for the list of what needs to be done by when showed me that I will be hard-pressed to do it in 3 years, so looks like it will be 2010, not 2009, that I hike. Three years sounds short, 2010 sounds like an eternity away.