Once Upon an Enchanted Time

It was early afternoon and the birds were out with their delicate songs of beauty.  The air had a crispy nip and the sweet fragrance of pine danced upon the gentle breeze.  As I strolled along, I saw a forlorn and long forgotten road into what looked like an enchanted forest.  It was overgrown with foliage and had fallen trees blocking its path.  It appeared to me the trees had somehow downed themselves to deter humanity from entering.  Why would these tall timbers and little saplings want to keep this wonderland hidden?  Maybe because of the secret it was protecting. You see a long time ago a human with the ability to fly without feathers or wings hid a highly desired trove of riches. I not only wanted to experience the exquisiteness of this woodland area I was also after the elusive hidden treasure it cloaked.  It was hidden for only a select few to find… and I was hoping I would be one of them.

Beauty abounds in this little lost world.  I took my time gazing with dancing eyes into the Ponderosa pines and lingered among the colorful wildflowers.  The birds were fluttering around me in excitement and song.  I slowed to their melody of happiness. What a marvelous Shangri-La I had stumbled into.

I continued on my walk until I was halted by a fallen tree branch.  Ms. Offshoot had reached up and clutched my pants leg.  I am sure she only wanted to introduce herself to me.  However, the sun was disappearing. I had no time to stop and chat I had to find the hidden cache.   She must have been very lonely because in that brief moment she decided to introduce me to her closest and dearest friend Mr. Ground.  We had an engaging but brief chat then I was on my way again.

I found the treasure nestled at the bottom of a magnificent tree.  It was hidden within the exposed roots of a fallen tree.  Truly a splendid haven for such a monumental treasure filled with trinkets of silver, copper, pseudo gold, and synthetic dreams.  I took only a single object and bestow upon the vault a single gift in return.  I then thanked the tree for allowing me to spy its concealment. I returned the box and bid ado to this spellbinding Nirvana.

And as the story goes She lived happily ever after.

Now what really happened……………..

It was a beautiful morning.  Crisp air and a very steep uphill road was ahead of me.  There were so many birds squawking and talking it was almost deafening. The purpose of this day was to find the geocache and not come back without the find.  But still, I wish I would have had my NM bird book to identify some of the different songs and sounds. Sorry I sometimes stray off subject.  When I walked up to the entrance I saw a multitude of trees that had been felled.  They lay across the now non-existent road to prevent people from driving into the forest.    As stated before, I was absolutely determined to find this cache.  Earlier in the day I had walked over 6 miles for two caches and came up empty on both hunts.  The uphill climb was daunting but that would not deter me.  I had to find this one if for no other reason than to stroke my bruised ego.

In the storybook version, you might have imagined me in a long flowing dress… in reality; I was decked out in my camos, Indianan Jones hat, hiking boots and a walking stick.  In storybook land, I was practically floating on air in awe…in reality; I was laboring over forest debris and deliberately forcing my steps to get up and over the downed trees.  Remember Ms Offshoot gently clutching my pants leg?  She was actually entangled in the tie on my boot.  I was not going to let a little tiny branch slow me down so I gave a swift jerk while in full stride. Now this is where everything started going wrong!  My leg flung itself from the tangles of the branch only to find the end of my walking stick which was supporting almost all of my weight. The next thing I see was my stick flying through the air to gosh only knows where.  In that split second my brain starts to engage but it is seeing things in sssllloowww-mo.  In my head, I was screaming “YOU ARE FALLLINGG” and I was.  I was screaming “BRACE YOURSELF PUT YOUR HANDS UP STUPI…”  The thought never got a chance to finish.  Before the last syllable could be mentally formed, my face planted itself into her old buddy Mr. Ground.   I laid there face first and stunned. And when I said in the ground I meant it.

My front teeth were wedged in the dirt like a backhoe to a ditch.  After I freed my teeth, I laid there for a few moments collecting my thoughts then let out a meek and pathetic …”timber”.  I slowly rolled over to sit up then looked around for any observers.  Only the hundred or so birds were watching.  I must have been pretty entertaining because they were shocked into silence! Yep, not a peep.  I then noticed my boot and to my surprise it was still caught on Ms. Offshoot!  Don’t ask me how she could have hung on through all that! I then checked to make sure all my teeth were there.  To my delight, they were but they were sore, pushed back a little, and bleeding. I think I spit dirt for at least 10 minutes.  I checked my knees.  I knew there was a problem because my camo was sporting a brand new color.  RED.  Yep it was a doosy of a fall.

I then made a quick scan of my GPS to see how far away the prize was but the GPS had no signal.  I was not going home without this smiley! (that’s what they call a find)  I headed back up the hill and in short order found the grand treasure chest.  It was full of cool stuff.  I took a little something for the kid and dropped a travel bug. (that’s an item that travels the world from cache to cache with the help of geocachers like me)  Then I packed out of there and headed home to my own castle to nurse my wounds.  Next morning I COULD NOT MOVE.

As the ending goes. ”I lived happily ever after”

WHAT AN AWESOME DAY

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aMusing Mondays: Touch IT!!!

Update:  The other night, as I was changing shifts with my brother at the hospital, I thought I may never again hear my daddy say, “Happy Birthday, little girl.”, as he has for the past 50 plus, plus years.  But he surprised me yesterday.  He somehow managed to have enough strength to write.  Hap y B   gil.  It made me feel complete and broken hearted as the same time.  He is not able to open his eyes but he is still with us.  He can hear, understand and move his eyebrows.  The doctors say there is very little hope he will leave ICU.

On to the post: We had no rain for around 9 months which lead to the forest closure.  This story took place the first weekend that our forest reopened.

I had been waiting all summer to go hiking and do a little Geo Caching.  Hubs, daughter and I set out on a cache I had been eying for months.   As we rolled up, the GPS said the cache, “Rotten to the Core”, was to the left and straight up. Literally, like at a 110 degree angle. “No Way!” says Hubs. He points out the description said a gentle incline.  He insisted we turn around and go to a forest trail  entrance about a quarter of a mile back.  I thought, ‘This was going to take forever if we do it his way!’ And with that thought, I started complaining.

“This is not right.” I mumbled.

No one heard my skepticism, so… I said it LOUDER! Hubs kept on walking. Daughter had a slight look of doubt on her face but kept on walking too. We walked down a valley with the sound of thunder rolling on the mountain. We had great cloud coverage and a light sprinkle. The only good thing so far was the awesome day we picked for a treasure hunt.    We had walked about a quarter of the way in when it got a little eerie. The further we walked the darker and quieter it became. Bear poop was everywhere and the carcass of a half eaten elk was under a tree. EEEKKK.   Soon the only sound I heard was the sound of our own shoes on the forest floor, oh, and me still whining.


It felt like we walked for miles, until hub says, “I think this is it”. Sure enough, the clue for the cache was “next to a ghostly moss covered tree” and there it was.   Well I’ll be dang!  He was getting pretty good at this game and of course,  he loves it when he is right.   


We all head over to the discovery. Then I hear daughter start to complain of something biting her or maybe a plant poked her.

“Mom!” she says in a panic. ” Touch this plant and see if it pokes you.”

“NO! Are you crazy?” I asked her.

“NO MOM, TOUCH IT, TOUCH IT NOW . I HAVE TO KNOW! JUST TOUCH IT”  So…..I touched it.  

“D@m~ IT, Daughter!” I yelled. She started laughing uncontrollably. I think from relief that a snake had not bitten her or maybe it was the little OMG it hurts dance I was doing.  My hand started swelling up like a puffer fish. It was stinging so bad that I instinctively put it to my mouth to try to cool it down. Within seconds my tongue was on fire! I was scrambling for the first aid kit. Daughter and I had blisters all over our hands and they were getting bigger by the second. We were lost somewhere between sarcastic laughter and the reality of our pain, when I heard husband at the top of the hill asking what the hold up was.  I could not believe he asked that question.  I mean, he was watching the whole thing from above.  I felt a wave of furious envelope me and I preceded to yelled at him that we were stung.  But the words I heard coming out of my face were more like.

“Lee R tung!” My tongue was SWOLLEN! “Whaaa?” 

“Wha ist this tuff???” I beg in a panic to my husband.

“Stinging Nettles.” he says laughing from the top of the hill.

Upon hearing this, I lost all interest in yelling at Hubs, however, I did feel like reaching over and strangling the teen that stood before me, especially after she says, “Good, at least I was not bitten.” in the way that only a teen, who did not want to be there in the first place, could say it .  (again with the strangling)  I could not find anything in a First Aid kit for stings.   I did find a sterile wipe and Neosporin.  Daughter wiped off her hands and applied the medicine. It only helped enough to knock off the intense pain. I, on the other hand, had to wait until it wore off because neosporin is for topical use only. (I could have killed that kid) Before we knew what was happening, I start screaming “EEEEES, EEEES” and swatting like mad. BEES were every where. Not a swarm but enough to make me scream like a little girl. When I opened my eyes they were gone.

“Pobabe goin ta det the hibe!” I tell daughter.  

In my current state of pandemonium, I looked at my daughter and say as cool and as calm as I could, “Zets doe det da tedgger.”  I start up the hill with my hub’s and my backpack pulling a whining teenager by her shirt.  That was an extra 70 lb on a steep incline. Hub notices my discomfort but does nothing other than to tell me to drop the packs.  “NO!” I screeched with all the furiousness returning.  I reminded him the gun was in the pack and if that bear came back for his dinner we could be his dessert. I could just read it  now…”Geo Cachers killed by bear.  Their only protection in a pack AT THE BOTTOM OF THE HILL”  Here’s yer sign!


We finally made it up to the little treasure and put some bubbles and Neosporin back in for the next  victim player. As we start to leave, hubs says take a left. I head left.  Suddenly I was feeling all alone.   I looked up and found myself standing in the clearing all discombobulated, surrounded by bear poop and bones.  I then look behind me.  That is when I find Hubs and Daughter heading in the opposite direction.  With every step, they were laughing their heads off.  I gave one last look at my surroundings and for a brief moment imagined the  ‘EEES gone mad.”  returning.  I ran like crazy all the way back to the car.  EEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKK!

 


I loved every MINUTE of it!!!  What a ‘tan tatic day’ Nettles and all.



Until next time, happy gaming everyone,

aMusing Monday’s: Monkey Whisperer

I hesitated to write this entry because I have been told never write about politics, religion or grandkids.  Feel free to pass on this week’s story, if you would like.  I just had to blog about their visit……

They looked like two rag dolls when they crawled out of the back seat.  They’d been riding for two days and it showed.  They looked at me, raised a hand, walked to their bedroom and fell out on the bed.  They were hot, sweaty, and hungry.  I never got a hug from those grandbabies (7 and 8 years old) until they got a second wind.  Then all heck broke loose.  Lots of hugs, lots of kisses and one very important question,  where is Zooie, aka Lucy?  It almost broke their little hearts when I told of her passing.  GK1 loved that dog more than he loved people and that included me.  They would spend hours together just sitting on the couch.  It was tough for both him and me.

I wanted to take them Geo Caching but the forest was closed due to extreme fire danger, so I did the next best thing.  I wrote a story about a ghost knight, their aunt Cait wrote riddles to find the caches; Poppy and I hid stuff all over the neighborhood before they got here.

The knight was on a quest when something got him.  He asked the boys if they would complete his quest.  “Well, heck yeah!” they said.  I gave them a GPS and their first clue. I started up the old Speed Buggy (my tricked out golf cart) and turned them loose.  They loved following the coordinates to each destination.  They also loved the clues more than the treasures they were finding. In the end, they found a bag of army men to help in their quest, a full set of armor, a bow and arrow and a small but semi deadly –not really–sword.   They chatted with a trusty steed and found their reward of a treasure chest filled with nuggets of gold (chocolates) along with 20 crumpled up one dollar bills. My reward? Smiles from ear to ear!  Poppy enjoyed a few grins too.

When the quest was all said and done, I let each one of them do a little driving.  They did well with a relatively small learning curve.  The one problem they both had was turning the corners at a speed that would not leave a passenger or two along the road side.  We drove all day.  They were well on their way to becoming experts.  In fact, Gk1 was so comfortable with his driving skills he sit back relaxed and drove with only ONE hand.  This did not go unnoticed by Gk2.  Gk2 looked at me and asked,  “Doesn’t he look cool?”     He decided that brother was so good,  he could just do all the driving. GK2 had more important skills to work on – like turning this rolling cart into a jungle gym! Good lord, the little curtain climber was walking all over the sides and back of the buggy, all the while, his brother was keeping a steady pace.  Gk2 was so comfortable he was hanging off the edge with one hand. “Look MoMo, one hand!”  He started to get on the roof to fly.  I said no.  He wanted to walk on the bumper in the front of the cart.  I asked him what would happen if he fell off while we were rolling.  He thought for a minute and said, “hmm, I guess I would become a speed bump.”  That tickled me.  We rode until the sun started going down then headed home.  We were just about ready to turn the corner when all of a sudden Gk1’s driving foot got a little too heavy.  I heard a thud, gravel and an aaawwh!. I turned around just in time to see Gk2 in the gravel road spinning like a top on his belly.  Arms were stretched out far, like a cat heading for water and feet were flailing in the air… He spun twice.  I yelled stop.  He gets up without a tear.  I brought no attention to his scraps for fear of an all out melt down.  Bath time would reveal the boo boos and soap bubbles would take care of the rest.  After a few minutes of trying to keep his manhood intact, he crawls into the buggy.  We get to the driveway and he looks at me to say with a little quivering lip,  “Hey MoMo,  I have been told I am the Monkey Whisperer.”… The cart stopped at these words.  There was a few seconds of silence, then we all roared with laughter all the way up the driveway.  Just think, this was only day one.