Monthly Archives: January 2013

January Hiking

As strange as it may seem, when the weather turned cold I found myself craving a good hike. Mind you I haven’t done as much hiking in the last year as I would have liked, but I made a start. So choosing a trail is big deal. Too hard and you worry that you may get stuck out in the woods sick or unable to go on. Not hard enough, then no challenge. Finally a hike that appeared to be just my speed. My friend and I went today to hike at the Jefferson Memorial Forest. This time we went with a group that took the Yost ridge trail from the Welcome Center to the Blue/Mitchel Hill Lake trail. The group added a little detour to get a full 3.5 miles.

Here is the lake…

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…and some scenery on the way…

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Above is an overlook where we stopped for a “halfway” break. Random guys arm, as everyone was taking photos from here.

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Today was actually a great day for a winter hike with temps between 36F and 43F and proper dress we were quite comfortable. The rain held off until after we finished the hike and had a light dinner so I couldn’t ask for better.

My friend, Stephanie, and I found the trail to be quite a challenge, but more serious hikers were way ahead of us. With an overall climb of 704 ft over the 3.5 miles of trail, I feel like we did pretty good. In fact the trail leader seemed pleasantly surprised that we finished the hike and weren’t too far behind. Although next time I think we won’t go with a group. I feel like we held them up a bit and although they were incredibly nice and never complained, I felt a little guilty about it. My friend is¬†definitively obese and I myself walk the line on that one, plus I still have a bit of a cough left over from being sick a few weeks ago, so the trail leader’s concern was obvious right from the start. Yet, again I say…we made it and under two hours too (the goal is 90 minutes, we were over by 20). ūüôā

So next Sunday, same trail, just Stephanie and me. By spring we should be in pretty good shape.

 

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Fridays With Frost

Asking for Roses

A house that lacks, seemingly, mistress and master, 
With doors that none but the wind ever closes, 
Its floor all littered with glass and with plaster; 
It stands in a garden of old-fashioned roses. 

I pass by that way in the gloaming with Mary; 
‘I wonder,’ I say, ‘who the owner of those is.’¬†
‘Oh, no one you know,’ she answers me airy,¬†
‘But one we must ask if we want any roses.’¬†

So we must join hands in the dew coming coldly 
There in the hush of the wood that reposes, 
And turn and go up to the open door boldly, 
And knock to the echoes as beggars for roses. 

‘Pray, are you within there, Mistress Who-were-you?’¬†
‘Tis Mary that speaks and our errand discloses.¬†
‘Pray, are you within there? Bestir you, bestir you!¬†
‘Tis summer again; there’s two come for roses.¬†

‘A word with you, that of the singer recalling–¬†
Old Herrick: a saying that every maid knows is 
A flower unplucked is but left to the falling, 
And nothing is gained by not gathering roses.’¬†

We do not loosen our hands’ intertwining¬†
(Not caring so very much what she supposes), 
There when she comes on us mistily shining 
And grants us by silence the boon of her roses. 

Robert Frost

 

Is It a Job or a Major Emotional Investment?

Yes. To both. At least in my job.

I don’t blog much about my job for this reason. My hobbies are an escape from the emotional drain and trauma of my work. Now don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but it takes a toll and self-care becomes very important. In fact the ability to escape daily is probably a massive contributing factor that has allowed me to do this work for so many years.

For nearly nine years I have had the pleasure to work with some amazing young women. Two years ago I met a young lady (we’ll call her Sally) who did not trust adults at all. Sally lied to everyone, she refused to participate in her therapy and worked very hard to push us all away, and in fact broke down crying one afternoon telling me that she not only did not want to trust any of us, she did not want us to trust her. It was the most honest statement that I had heard her make at that point. I was working in our school then and did not get to spend much in the way of “quality” time with my girls (I was assigned to a “dorm” with 14 girls that I was responsible for). ¬†Because it was clear that this particular young lady was going to require some real quality time in order for us to form a relationship, I began taking Sally to my office twice a week for an hour for one on one time. We would play games, or work on crafts, and eventually we were able to form a sound relationship.

It took a long time to earn Sally’s trust and when I had, a year later, she was transitioned to one of our outside homes. This was a more difficult transition than you may realize. She was only 13 years old. Her aunt and uncle, who had raised her due to the mother’s neglect, had informed her that they did not want her back in their home, ever. Then less than two months later we were moving her. Now this had been a part of her plan all along, but for her this made her feel like no one wanted her. So to help facilitate her move and ease her feelings of abandonment, I continued to visit her every week (this has been ongoing for nearly a year now). When we recently talked about her getting adopted, Sally said she didn’t want this. I asked her if she didn’t feel like she deserved to have someone in her life that would always be there for her and Sally said to me, “I have you.” (Needless to say, I almost cried.)

At the end of December I was on vacation for two weeks, and during this time, Sally’s social worker decided that Sally was not behaving well enough and she moved Sally to another facility, hours away. I was quite upset when I returned to work to find she was gone. What you have to know about this is that I cannot contact her without the worker’s permission, and I’ve struggled with whether maintaining contact with her at this point would violate professional boundaries.

…And now the best part…I was informed today that we (staff where I work) are allowed to contact her by phone on the weekends and they are trying to work out a visit, to which I have been invited.

Breath…now I can maintain contact and still maintain professional boundaries. I am really excited about this.

I could go on about this for hours, but I will end now on that happy note.

Fridays with Frost #19

An Old Man’s Winter Night

All out of doors looked darkly in at him
Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars,
That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.
What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze
Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand.
What kept him from remembering what it was
That brought him to that creaking room was age.
He stood with barrels round him — at a loss.
And having scared the cellar under him
In clomping there, he scared it once again
In clomping off; — and scared the outer night,
Which has its sounds, familiar, like the roar
Of trees and crack of branches, common things,
But nothing so like beating on a box.
A light he was to no one but himself
Where now he sat, concerned with he knew what,
A quiet light, and then not even that.
He consigned to the moon, such as she was,
So late-arising, to the broken moon
As better than the sun in any case
For such a charge, his snow upon the roof,
His icicles along the wall to keep;
And slept. The log that shifted with a jolt
Once in the stove, disturbed him and he shifted,
And eased his heavy breathing, but still slept.
One aged man — one man — can’t keep a house,
A farm, a countryside, or if he can,
It’s thus he does it of a winter night.¬†

Robert Frost

Happy Friday All!!! ūüôā

Fridays with Frost #18

…and now back to our regularly scheduled program.

 

Bond And Free

Love has earth to which she clings
With hills and circling arms about–
Wall within wall to shut fear out.
But Thought has need of no such things,
For Thought has a pair of dauntless wings.

On snow and sand and turn, I see
Where Love has left a printed trace
With straining in the world’s embrace.
And such is Love and glad to be
But Thought has shaken his ankles free.

Thought cleaves the interstellar gloom
And sits in Sirius’ disc all night,
Till day makes him retrace his flight
With smell of burning on every plume,
Back past the sun to an earthly room.

His gains in heaven are what they are.
Yet some say Love by being thrall
And simply staying possesses all
In several beauty that Thought fares far
To find fused in another star. 

Robert Frost

Promised Pics!

This is what I started with, MIL had done this much already.

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…and the finished product.

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Frost & Viral Illness….

First…I would like to apologize for missing the last Friday with Frost post. Not a good way to start the New Year. Unfortunately, I was ill most of last week and accomplished very little. One day I was too sick to even work on any of my crochet projects, or surf the internet. Blah. I’m finally on the upswing now, though my cough lingers, I am feeling much better. So I shall have a new Robert Frost installment this coming Friday.

Second…I’m still playing catch up on many of the blogs I follow, so I hope that the New Year found you all well and happy, or at least trying to get there.

I did finish another afghan though, and have moved on to a third. (Pictures coming soon.) The second one comes with a bit of a story, as these have all been unfinished projects that have waited patiently for me to get to them. This one in particular, however, was not my unfinished project, but rather one that I inherited.

This lovely baby blue and white afghan is really quite special. You see, my Mother-in-law made many gorgeous afghans and gifted them to others. I myself am the proud owner of one of her many projects. My MIL spent nearly 10 years fighting cancer. This was all of her youngest grandson’s life. A year or so ago (at the ripe old age of 6) he caught on to the fact that his Mamaw had made these things for everyone, yet he did not have one. Having no fear and lacking none in self-confidence, he brought this up to her and let her know that she should really do this for him. Being a great grandmother, she started on an afghan for him. My MIL passed away last February. When hubby and his sister found the bags of yarn and the start of the afghan, they asked if I would finish it. How could I say no?

They found no pattern, just the yarn and the beginning of the project. So it was moved to my craft room where it has languished for the better part of the last year waiting for me to find the determination to get to it. I admit, I put it off at first because I had so many unfinished projects of my own, but I also had a fear that I would struggle to figure out the pattern. A fear that I might fail, after my family had put their faith in me. As it turned out, the pattern was super easy to follow, and I finished in no time.

So mark anther unfinished project off my list, and a special one at that. My SIL and nephew were beside themselves to have this project done. I am told that the nephew has slept with this blanket every night since I sent it over.