Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nasal Rinse or "Are you going to need a spittoon?"

Since moving from Los Angeles, I've discovered I'm violently allergic to almost everything that grows in NC, particularly in the spring.  Oh pine trees, you are a bunch of spooging assholes.  I know, I hear you thinking, "but it's totally fall!".  I can't tell if I have a low level cold or yet another thing I'm allergic too.  Apparently goldenrod is blooming it's nasty little stamens off, so maybe it's that.  All I know is I've had a sinus headache for days, my skin aches and just under my skin there is a definitive 'I'm ill' feeling.
Sooo, I tried nasal irrigation for the first time.  I did not use a neti pot (although I have had one floating around the house, slightly freaking me out), but a 'sinus rinse' device recommended by my delightful health care practitioner, K.  She thinks it's a little easier to use than the crunchier neti pot, and really, it was pretty easy to use.  It's still one of the more unsettling sensations to run through my nasal cavities.  And I feel like no matter how many FAQs I read, I still have no idea if it rinses ALL my sinus cavities, or what.  But I squeezed nonnarcotic shit up my one side of my nose and felt it drip out the other, and hoped like hell it would at least give me a little relief.

Oh, and it turns out, you have, uhm 'nasal leakage' for 15-20 mins after, prompting Scott is ask me if I needed a spittoon.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A camping we have gone, Part Three

Statue honoring CCC
Where were we?  Ah, yes, blackberry ice cream! mmmm.  If you did not know, Shenandoah National Park was  basically built by the CCC during the Great Depression.  As with much of history, there is some unsavory shit involved in the creation of the park, which is kind of depressing, so I won't dwell on it right now.

So it's back to camp, as the sun starts to set.  We saw more deer and played with people's dogs.  I don't remember exactly what Scott and I were talking about, but you know he totally deserved it.  We ended up not getting great shots of it, but as it got dark, a buck wandered into our camp site.

We had a delicious dinner of tacos and grilled corn.  We huddled around the fire, making s'mores and watching my mom fall asleep.  I might have also drifted off, but there is no proof.

Scott played with solar powered LED twinkly lights, which actually worked pretty well at the campsite.  We took them into our tent to see how long they would last.  Plus they are pretty!

View from our tent

You really can't sleep in when you sleep in a tent.  Between the sunlight and the lack of any sound insulation, you wake up.  My folks did wake up before us though, and had water boiling.

I forgot coffee (and the means to make it), so instead, we enjoyed vanilla chai lattes.  My parents have camping HANDLED.  They do not mess around.  We had eggs and bagels and then started packing up.

Family camping!

Goodbye Big Meadows!  I think we'll be seeing you again soon.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A camping we have gone, Part Two

Holy crap, sun!
A new day dawns!  We played a little shadow puppets as the sun crept up.  We breakfasted (omelets with stuff in them), and have I mentioned that it gets cold much faster in the mountains?

Brrrrr.  Seriously, I did not really pack all that amazingly for the temperature, but thank goodness for the power of layers.

What does the day have in store for us?  Caterpillars!  This is probably my favorite picture of the entire weekend.  Behold, The Monarch Caterpillar.
Om nom nom nom.
Go look at it at the largest size.

So, we headed out to hike!  Our destination: Dark Hallow Falls (a childhood favorite).


Scott is attacked by a fuzzy caterpillar.

My dad takes his new knees up a rock.

The Falls.

My Mom and Marion, after oh, 25 years? finally climb the rock!
That's right, I'm heading up the rock too!

The rock's web...

Another completely insane looking caterpillar.

The group ona rock.

The end of the trail!  Of course, there is still the trail back to the cars.

So, we wandered back to the visitors center, where the cars were, and headed back to camp for lunch.  The group splits up.  M&A and their friends decide to do another hike, to a really lovely viewing spot.  We decide to do a low key hike from the campsite to the visitor center via 'butterfly alley'.

We stumbled upon a newly hatched monarch butterfly, laying on the path.  Since we'd nearly trampled it, my dad got it up on his finger, and we set it on a nearby rock.

Look at those crinkly wings!

You can still see the caterpillar fur on it's back.
The area we were walking through had lots of thistle in bloom, which the butterflies all go bonkers for.

We finally made it to the more wooded section, where we found...deer!  A small herd, with a buck and some does and fawns.  The buck was in heavy growth, much further out, so no good pictures of him.
We crossed over the Appalachian Trail

and made it back to the Visitor's Center

Where we stopped and had a delicious summer treat.  Blackberry ice cream! We ended up meeting with M&A at the same time. They had come prepared with chocolate sprinkles, which I totally rolled my cone in. Mmmmm.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A camping we have gone, Part One

Alrighty, this has only taken me forever to get around to.  It's totally worth it though.

So, as a wee bairn (well, technically probably around 4th grade) we lived in Virgina, and went to the Shenandoah National Park for vacations, typically with family friends Marion and Allen (M&A for the purpose of these posts).  We started staying at the Lodge and graduated to camping.  This last Labor Day weekend, Scott and I went camping there with my parents and M&A.  Scott took some really lovely photos.  He also took some photos of me (hah!).  Seriously, who looks like a fresh daisy when camping?  And if they do: assholes, you make the rest of us look bad (worse?).

So, we were seriously late getting on the road on Saturday.  We got to the park and headed up Skyline Drive to the campground, which was by Big Meadow.  They maintain the meadow, and it used to be about 10x the current size (well, when Teddy was prez).  As a kid, we would wander it, collect blueberries and scare deer who were also collecting blueberries.

View of the meadow from the visitor's center.  It looks totally fake doesn't it?  There used to be a big tree in the center, but it was apparently stuck by lightening, and thus, no big tree.

Scott also takes pictures of us in front of stuff.  People offer to take a pictures for us, but it kind of defeats the purpose.  It's kind of a thing now:

Hello camp and hello beer!  Well, a shandy, technically.


People decorate their sites.

So, since we got in so late (5ish, after we stopped at the Visitor's Center), my folks were working on dinner.  My dad had already set up our tent (yay!), so we got our bedding set up and what not, and we all just puttered around the camp.  We set shit on fire, had dinner (salmon, sweet potatoes, salad).

Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis
And then we went exploring the camp area.  It turns out, it was monarch butterfly season!  We searched out the chrysalises.  Scott took a ton of pics of them, but you'll have to be content with just this one (or you can go to his picasa stream and look at them all.  As they get closer to hatching (uncocooning?), they get more transparent, and you can see the lines in the wings.  The gold flecks get more metallic, and it just looks awesome.

We settled back at the site, waiting for 3 stars, and did the havdalah.  As we sat, burning more things, I leaned back in my chair and looked up.  HOLY CRAP!  I haven't seen so many stars since we stopped in the middle of the desert.  After some discussion, we decided to head over to the Big Meadow to look at the stars.

The Big Dipper

Using Jupiter to make a heart
So, there were other people there, with telescopes.  The dude with the 10incher couldn't get it to work (hah), so we had to settle for a 6in.  The very nice couple showed us M31, which is our nearest large neighbor galaxy, and Jupiter, which is, uhm, a planet you should already know about!  It was pretty freaking awesome.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's like heartburn, only worse

I'm painfully, wildly, full of anger.  Rage.  Every so often, I'm just filled with a bitter fire, choking on it.

The problem is not that I'm angry - shit happens, and it's ok to be angry about it.  But the problem is, that it's blocking me.  Keeping me from doing some things I need to do, maybe don't want to, but need to.  It's making me overwhelmed.  It's pushing me over the edge, again and again.

But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Monday, September 13, 2010

phone blogging!

If I post from my phone, is that too much like twittering?

I am having a total monday though. I feel kinda gross and am kinda really crabby.

I've been reading a friend's work, and it's really fun. I wanted to finish my commentary this weekend, but instead had the laziest weekend known to man. NO PANTS 4 LYFE!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Busy little bee

The problem with doing a bunch of stuff is that by the time I'm done with it, I'm too tired to actually blog about it!

We went camping in Shenandoah National Park last weekend, and it was just beautiful and amazing.  It's where I used to go camping/hiking with my family when we lived in VA and MD, and while my parents have been going back, it's been years and years since I'd been.  So it was a lot of fun seeing everything changes.  Scott took some truly amazing photos, so I'll have to do a photo post posthaste, since seriously, amazing.  

So that this isn't just a post about how eventually, I'm going to make a post, check out this article about ancient Greek and Roman sculptures.  Turns out they weren't lily white stone, they were painted!  The article is old, but I really want to find out if they will be exhibiting them elsewhere.  It is so easy to forget that what we see now of antiquities' treasures is after several millennia pounding away at them.  The pyramids were clad in blindingly polished, white limestone and capped with gold.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I like my dog better than I like you...

Crazy hectic week.  Jaunt to upstate NY to see Jo-Anne and Matt blissfully wed.  Work grinding me under it's heel.  But Scott took a zillion amazing photos of everything, and by gum, it's sharing time!

To your left, see the dog I like pretty much better than everything and everyone else on the planet.  Sorry, but she is just that awesome.

An awesome view of the church J&M got all hitched up.  Although I can't help but crack up at the name: St Bernards.  Although there was probably the least amount of drool that's ever come from a St Bernard.

Matt and Jo-Anne got hitched and escaped the church! (left)

Scott and I outside the barn where the reception was held.  How cute are we?  (right)

It's my super handsome ScottyPotty, in J&M's amazing field by their home. (left)

And a lovely macro shot of one of the flowers. (right)

And we will finish this up with one last shot of Scott's.  This is my favorite house in all of upstate NY.  If I could transplant it here, I would in a heartbeat.  I think this is on Rte 8 (or 12, I get them confused).  I tease Scott about his zillions of pictures, but I love how he manages to capture things.  One day, this house will finish falling apart, and it won't exist anymore.   But pictures of it will carry it's memory on and on and on.

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