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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

A Little Bit Back To Normal

I feel like I don't really have much to say since I last wrote!

Lexie, the dog, went home last night after 6 days and 7 nights here at Swamp River Ridge.  And, after she broke my nicest (but replaceable, fortunately!) Aladdin lamp on the 2nd day (with the help of Bonzi) and then, yesterday, chewed the cord* off a brand new lamp, it was time.  I would have thought that she'd have settled in fully by yesterday, perhaps thinking that this was her new home.  But instead, it was as though she said, "Hey!  You said Mom and Dad would be home LAST NIGHT and they're NOT, so I'm gonna be a brat!"  Oh, well.  :)

* I don't know HOW she didn't get shocked (or worse!) by eating that lamp cord!  It was plugged in, and she didn't just chew it in half.  She did that and then chewed off about a million more lengths of it AND then stripped the plastic off the copper wires!  Dumb dog.  But, THANK GOODNESS nothing bad happened to her!  As a fellow blogger commented when I posted the discovery on Facebook yesterday, "Obviously, she's well grounded!"  Yuk, yuk.  And true!

Back to the days around Christmas, I'd invited the ex out to Swamp River Ridge on Christmas Eve.  As I met him at the door, we both smiled wryly, and I said, "Who woulda thunk it, huh?" (meaning the irony of greeting him at MY house and us being divorced, not even a year after he left).  We had a nice visit, though, mostly talking about the upcoming expedition he left for on Sunday.

A friend of his (previously "friend of ours" but this guy is on my "short list" for various reasons, and I don't mean my GOOD "short list") is attempting the first-ever January solo ascent of Denali.  He is one of the other two fellows the ex climbed McKinley with back in June.  Only 16 individuals have tried this, some in groups and some solo, and 6 have died in the attempt.  I guess this is what explorers "DO":  try things previously unattainable, but, in my book, it's just STOOPID.  The risks are TOO high.  Anyway, the ex is his expedition manager and will be stationed in Talkeetna the whole time Explorer Guy is climbing.  Explorer Guy will check in every 12 hours, on the dot, with the ex.  That's how he'll get the word out that everything's A-OK.

When they climbed in the summertime, they gave themselves 21 days to do it, if memory serves, and it took only 14.  For this climb, though, Explorer Guy is allowing himself just over a month.  He hopes to be on the mountain by NYE, and he'll have to summit by the last day in January for this attempt to be successful (in the eyes of the record books, etc.).  Letting me know that they made it to Talkeetna safe and sound yesterday, the ex wrote that the sun rose at 10:38 AM, and I know they have an opening of only 4 hours of daylight today to fly to the base of the mountain . . . with a storm moving in.  If they don't get Explorer Guy in today, they may have to wait days.  Like I said, though, this is a dangerous mission . . . and that's an understatement!  And, for what?  Fame?  Ego?  "Why do you climb a mountain?  Because it's there."  Whatever.

Changing the subject . . . .

A dear iFriend, now actual friend, and her wonderful family (husband and two boys) are visiting Mama & Papa Pea and myself this week . . . all the way from Virginia state (although Mom is from southeastern MN where they spent the holiday)!  Yesterday, while I got some things done here at home, they went sledding, and I hear there were tears from the littlest one when it was time to leave.  But, I totally get it:  this being his first time REALLY sledding, who'd WANT to stop?!  ;)  (You can find pictures over at Mama Pea's blog.)

We all met up for YUMMY homemade pizza last night at the little marketplace that's located exactly half-way between town / my folks and me, here at Swamp River Ridge.  This morning, the hubby and Papa Pea and the oldest boy (7+) are going to clear the loop up behind my folks' house, chainsaws in hand.  Then, we'll all meet up after lunch to hike the trail together.  On NYE, they'll all come out to Swamp River Ridge for an afternoon of sledding (Papa Pea snowshoe-tracked the hill on Christmas Day) followed by dinner, Christmas presents, and some NYE celebrating!  A LOVELY way to ring in the New Year!

My Girl stayed overnight on Sunday after returning from celebrating Christmas with her family in the north central part of the state.  We had a lovely, low-key, catch-up visit (complete with Christmas presents, naturally) and even went to bed at a respectable time this sleepover:  about 1:30!

So, with all of the above, it's still a busy holiday season.  I hope to have enough done around here by everyone's arrival on NYE to feel good about the place, but, even if I don't, I will FOCUS on forgetting about that and ENJOY the fellowship of dear friends and family!  :)  Hear, hear!


  1. You know, I am very much an outdoors person, but I never understood the need to risk life and limb for --- self-aggrandizement. What is the point? Who's got the bigger whatever? I digress. It sounds as if you are having a wonderful holiday and I'm glad you're not beating yourself up over the details. Enjoy!!!

  2. I don't get the mountain climbing thing either - my male inlaws climbed Kilimanjaro last winter and just tried Everest this month - all of them came back sick, sick, sick. I'm happy with a nice trail in the woods with regular sized hills!

    So, I take it rewiring the lamp is a project for the new year?

  3. I wonder if the whole "explorer" is a male (ego) thing? I mean, there are definitely fantastic women explorers (Ann Bancroft & Liv Arnesen), but I wonder why THEY'RE not attempting these sorts of things. I could hazard a guess, but I'll be good. ;)

    And, Jen, your comment about your guys coming back sick, sick, sick made me think about some of the news clips I was watching of Explorer Guy yesterday, and he looked TERRIBLE. And that was before he left Minnesota! Hopefully, he'll be able to get a little rest up in Talkeetna before he's flown to the mountain. The second attempt to do so, weather-dependent, comes today.

    Oh, and yes, I think I'll go work on that lamp right now, before I forget! :)

  4. Storm delays Minn. explorer's Alaskan climb ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Weather has dealt a setback to a Minnesota explorer hoping to become the first person to scale Mount McKinley on a solo expedition in January ... etc etc.

    My sister lives in Juneau and sent me this AP clip and I see how it ties in perfectly with this post. Last week we watched the horrific story on TV about the Everest Climb that went so bad over a decade ago. I will not be one to lament over missing out on climbing some frozen, rock hard mountain in my lifetime! No sirree bub. Happy New Year to you by the way!


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