Welcome to YAAK Adventures


Live Richly, Live Free. Embrace All The Blessings From Our Creator and Marvel in His Creation.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

spicy benefits

Here i am with baby in DENIAL about summer ending!!
Bike Ride with the Girls!!

My husband drawing me some flowers for our anniversary along with some corny quotes!!

Our Girls Bible Study at the Lake......

Our 19th Wedding Anniversary Dinner Date

Bringing in the winter wood supply

My life has been a blur. All I can remember is processing apples, constructing fat laden feasts for company and a special anniversary dinner involving a heavenly experience at a Mexican Restaurant featuring bacon wrapped prawns in a Mexican sauce topped with Monterrey Jack Cheese. The week before wasn't much better because a huckleberry cheese cake lurked in my refrigerator. In short, I notice I am being stalked by a fat gutt with co-horting love handles. I saw them spying on me from behind the couch. Just when I started to snooze instead of going running they went in for the kill. It was about then that I noticed my jeans were feeling tight and I changed into some pj bottoms. Oh the agony!! Well, I suppose this means that I need to get back out running on a more than semi-regular basis. Yesterday was a start - I ran 4 miles.

Recently, I've been studying herbal medicine. I'm planning to continue my studies and share what I learn with you every so often. You may want to try what I did today and dig some herbs up out of your garden for a window sill this fall. Here's a few fun facts I learned about the power of some simple household spices :

Though allspice should not be ingested in large quantities, in herbal medicine allspice is used in indigestion, flatulence and as a purgative. Topically it can be used as an analgesic for muscle pain or toothache and as an antiseptic for teeth and gums.

Basil should not be ingested in large quantities but it has been used as an anticarcinogenic, antiinflammatory, antihypertensive, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiseptic, diuretic and as an insect repellent. Besides all that it has been used to stimulate digestion, to treat halitosis and for hypoglycemia.

Bay helps lower blood glucose by helping the body use insulin more effectively. Essential oil has bactericidal and fungicidal properties. It has been used for muscle spasm relief, rheumatic conditions, for anti dandruff effect topically.

Garlic has been used to decrease cholesterol, triglyceride levels and to increase high density lipoprotein level. It can help prevent atherosclerosis because of effect on blood pressure and platelet aggregation. Decreases the risk of cancer (especially GI tract), as well as risks of CVA and MI. Used to treat cough, cold, fever and sore throats. It is used orally and topically to fight infection due to antibacterial and anti fungal effects. One adverse reaction I noticed was that it can decrease contraceptive effectiveness - bet you didn't know that!!

Okay one more!! Nutmeg can be used to treat diarrhea, indigestion, loss of appetite, colic, flatulence and insomnia. Its also used as a larvacidal and aphrodisiac. Be careful!! If you take too much it is also hallucinogenic!! Malcolm X wrote about his ability to get high with it. Prisons eventually had to bar its use due to inmates using it for recreational purposes.
* Almost all the spices and herbs I've been researching can become toxic and detrimental if used in large quantities so please use moderation.

************* info taken from "Nursing Drug and Herbal Handbook" along with some supplementary websites

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

L-O-S-T !!

Would you believe a superb woodswoman such as myself was eh - turned around - in the forest for several hours, alone? Drama - Suspense - Survival - this story has it all!!

My family was tired of picking huckleberries before they ever got out of bed that morning - REAL TIRED - but I dragged them up there anyway. Onward the weary troops trudged up into the depths of a remote mountain, scouring the ridges for those precious berries. The picking was slim and I decided to push further back leaving the kids near my husband. Figuring myself to be somewhat more mobile, I decided to form an imaginary half circle around the group and meet up with them on the other side of it. Nose to the ground, I followed the huckleberry patches deeper and deeper into the ominous woods. Up and down, up and down I climbed all the while thinking I would meet up with my family any time. After a while, I noticed I wasn't seeing anybody. This should have clued a normal person in, but huckleberry fever consumed me and I reasoned I would see them before too long.

I pushed on toward what I thought was where we'd come from. Further and further I hiked. Soon I was moving through clearings, then dense woods, then up and down ridges. After an hour or so I began to have some concern. I called out but nobody answered. I hiked faster and further toward the way out only to find I was becoming more and more disoriented. Panic seized me and I yelled out all the louder but the only answer came from the forest sounds. Wind roared upon high peaks, birds chirped, but nothing human was audible. After walking for another half an hour I was really concerned and decided to fire my pistol. Surely somebody would come or call or even shoot back. I fired once and heard nothing but my ears ringing.

The more I walked the less I seemed to be getting anywhere. Several times I sat down and thought and prayed. Several times terror began to grip me. Several times I got up again and just made myself keep moving. I thought about the book my friends and I have been reading "Hinds Feet on High Places" and the little maiden who was following the shepherd into the mountain. I wanted to be mad at myself but I couldn't afford that luxury. I had to have faith that I could find my way out before dark. I really didn't want to sleep up there by myself. Thoughts of a search and rescue team tormented me along with the bear track I'd just crossed over. I could just imagine all kinds of crazy and embarrassing scenarios unfolding. I kept pushing on in the direction I thought was out.

After two or three hours, and altering my course of direction slightly a few times I had to admit to myself that there was no way I could be heading the right direction. The idea of turning around after walking all that way was almost unbearable but I knew it had to be done. Against my sense of direction, I turned around. Every bit of me seemed to be screaming out but I did it anyway. I walked in what I thought was the wrong direction for a long time.

Eventually I emerged into a big open place. I decided it was a good place to go to the bathroom. Maybe some searcher would see the last of my toilet paper napkin and know I'd been there. Then another scenario unfolded. A search and rescue team was converged there discussing my bathroom habits and excrement as a professional tracker scratched his head pondering. This was almost too much to bear, though it kept me moving forward.

Soon I was descending into thick thick brush. It was so dense I almost couldn't push through it. I wanted to turn around but something made me keep moving. It was probably the trackers image burned into my mind. Just when I started having serious doubts about my direction, I thought I heard a car horn. I'd been imagining sounds all day long, but it was enough to keep me moving.

Then I stumbled upon a spring coming up out of the ground. I remembered that you are always supposed to follow water if you are lost and also that there was a creek not far from where we were parked. This was the most wonderful thing I'd observed all day. Beautiful green moss and just a tiny trickle of clear, pristine water. After hot, rocky dry terrain, this was such an oasis of hope. I washed my face and dry cracked lips in the water and even dared take a few sips. Then, with visions of sugar plums (or rather my children) dancing in my head I followed that beautiful spring. It wasn't easy. Sometimes it disappeared back underground. Sometimes it ran under gigantic tree roots. Thorny thimble berry bushes grew all along the way and thorns scraped against my legs with every step.

I was wearing a thin pair of carpi's and the misadventure had not fared them well. Besides the thorny bushes, the dense woods had ripped a large and rather indecent hole in the, ahem, back side. What a sight I must have been, wild eyed - legs scratched up and bleeding, ripped up clothes and these crazy milk jug huckleberry carriers one off each hip along with my big old bear gun hanging down. If ever I was a laughable sight, this was probably it, though my husband didn't find the sight one bit amusing. After following the creek a long ways, I found the road and then half a mile up was our car.

The whole event was rather disturbing me to say the least, though I do have some good thoughts about it. I once was lost but now I am found. I was going the wrong direction in life (the way I thought was right), but I needed to turn around and not do what seemed right. Going the right way was hard and uncomfortable, but it was allot better than the alternative. Gosh, something about living springs of water rings a bell too. Maybe somebody should turn that into an inspirational message or something - lol.
By the way, here is a cool link for a chance at $50 gift certificate give away.

19 Years and Counting

Happy 19th Anniversary to my wonderful husband. There is no man on this earth like you!! My best friend, wonderful father, passionate lover, strong and confident, brilliant and wise. I could travel across the world and never glimpse a single person who could possibly compare to you. You begin where I end and finish what I start. Steady and Dependable, a fortress of protection and a refuge from all storms. A gift of God like none other, fashioned invariably with much kindness and patience, having known ahead you would need it. I never cease to Thank God for the gift of you in my life and I treasure every day (even when I'm grouchy).

Today when I got to work, there was a vase of roses waiting for me there at the desk. Isn't that sweet?!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Help Me Plan a River Float Bachlorette Party!!

My Husband - Professional Packer!!
Mama and Baby Moose

You have to travel to find Northern Pike Around These Parts....

Hopefully this should end my mad picture campaign!! As you can see by the pics we have been quite busy trying to party the summer away with lots of playing. It's not looking like September is going to let up any either. I'm going to have my mom and dad here for a couple of weeks, hosting a bridal shower and baby shower and going on a camping trip. I'm not sure how i'm going to coordinate school starting in there, but it will have to happen as well. C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-I-O-N........

These pics are from yet another "Family Fun Day". It was supposed to originally be a camping trip, but went awry. On Friday we found out our friends weren't going to make the camping trip so we decided to postpone it till Monday when less people were out. Saturday we hiked among Rock Formations and picked Raspberries. Sunday we hiked along the Canadian Border for Art Dogs Bday. Monday we did this lake day trip as we found out The Archer has to work the rest of the week. Wow its a different world planning with adult children.

On Saturday I have arranged a "Bachlorette River Float Party" for my friend April. We will float the river down to the tavern and converge on burgers and volleyball with a bunch of her girlfriends. That should be quite a hoot. No one could guess that social activities give me the heebie jeebies and creep me out!! I'm just not a party animal. I will have to use my imagination and do some serious dreaming to pull this one off. Neither of us are drinking type girls, but we want it to be fun and in place of a Bachlorette party. Anybody have any good suggestions? I have a few ideas - Toilet Paper Wedding Dress - Possibly Ferdinand the Love Spider as a Floating Carriage? - I'm so open to suggestion!! Throw me a comment for a ludicrous good tyme ;-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Bunch of Pics!!

Moonbeam Crockett The younger kids "help" frost Artdogs cake. A few min before Moonbeam was hysterical because Super Catman told her the frosting was "poop"
Our Hike Along the Canadian Border for ArtDog's 13th Bday. My husband is at the edge of a 10 foot water cave. We took turns trying to touch bottom.....

Happy 13th Birthday!!

This is the Canadian Border - See the swath line after the river?

Art Dog receives a T-shirt from his grandmother that states " Expert Hunter and Chic Magnet in Training"

Below are all River Float pics with some friends.......

its all a BLUR!! Why oh why does summer have to go by so dog gone fast?!?! I'm soooo far behind on posting up pics!! I'm going to just put up a bunch so they'll be on here for friends and family to enjoy :-)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Wedding, A Baby, and Some Escaped Convicts

Seasons come and go, and with them just a little more life is lived. This season in particular is one of great joys and harvests ahead. Just ask my friend "April" who got engaged this past week. After years of dreaming about finding "Mr. Right", he finally showed up, as sure and true as can be. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that they met on eharmony a while back. After hours and hours of telephone conversations, he made his way up here to meet the woman of his dreams. Together, they hiked into a secluded water fall not far from here. He got down on one knee and asked her to spend the rest of her life with him.......
I got a call a few days later. She asked me to be the "Mistress of Ceremony". I'm not sure exactly what that is, but I happily and somewhat blindly agreed to it. I baked them a cake and added a bride and groom topper i'd recently come upon at a second hand store. The kids and I walked the corny engagement gift over along with a candle and job application for the hospital I work at (he's a CNA). Things are moving along fast and though the wedding is set for October 30th, he's moving up here in the next few weeks! It'd be hard not to like the guy. Every morning he prays and reads the Bible with her. He's just likable. It didn't take me long to decide that they're going to make a good match. Their household is in an excitable uproar of planning, wedding trinkets and joy. April herself is all aglow.
Mist's mom called me around the same time and we're making plans for her baby shower!! The little valley is so full of happy upcoming events :-)
Of course danger lurks around the corner as well (or so the locals are whispering). Escaped Murderous convicts have apparently come this direction and are being sought out by authorities. Since not much exciting goes on around here, its been the buzz word among the locals. The other day when the kids and I floated the river with some friends we were reminded to be careful! Of course all kinds of "River Wild" scenarios unfolded in my mind and I have to admit, I half expect the criminals to come hiking up the driveway at any moment.
I also recently attended a meeting about disaster crisis. It was rather unnerving having to eat lunch with so many important people. Its always a challenge to participate in such conversations. How does one add to the conversation without saying too little or talking too much?! Of course I was nervous as all get out and stuffed myself out of nervous eating....yes Miss Belly Fat indeed, did win that one! After finally surviving the encounter, I made my way over to the post office. I had lost my keys and my husband gave me a key to use. Its extremely hard to keep track of one key in case you've never tried. Add to that, my purse itself could be declared a national disaster if anybody ever glimpsed its chaotic disarrangement. Well anyway, the post person starts asking me why I'm wearing a name tag and so I tell them briefly what I was doing. That was just enough time to distract me from watching the lone key. The last time I'd remembered seeing it was when I threw my stack of letters into the mail slot! Suddenly fear struck me. Would I have to ask the post person to sort through the outgoing mail for my borrowed car key?! What kind of confidence (or lack thereof) would the post person feel about me being a temporary "Facility Incident Commander"? Haha..... Well anyway, I sat down on the steps rummaging through my purse in a mortified manner. My face had turned pale and passers by were beginning to stare. Just as the fate of the world (or maybe my pride) was about to be crushed, I stumbled upon the key....alls well that ends well in this chapter ;-)
We have the above animal all over up here. In fact, my oldest son has fed some kits. Can you tell what it is?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

my amazing superhuman feat of chick mojo - (actually i did an open water swim)

This is me with the orange cap, white shirt, black X on my back and brown shorts...... Watch the future pics to be AMAZED!!

Here I am again (notice the common theme)

Pay close attention to these two chicks. I am catching them!!!

Yeah i'm worken' it baby!!

Check it out - woohoo!! Here I am getting the edge to leave em behind.....

***** Five Star photo!!***** See the look of shock and horror as the lady looks up out of the water and sees I have passed her (haha)Finally a rare moment away from the pack.....

Me getting out of the water at the finish....

Blue Alice and I at the finish line

Today I swam 1.76 miles across a french sounding lake. It was a lot of fun!! Here's what happened :
0500 My husband awakened me and i began having second thoughts about doing the swim - lol!!
0600 I and my entourage were on the road (aka my husband and The Sock Fashion Expert).
0730 I arrived at the check in. I checked in. I went to the bathroom. Some poor little girl threw up in there and nobody knew who or where her mom was.... my entourage disembarked for the swim destination.
0800 Blue Alice and I sit in the grass waiting for the safety meeting to begin. I chat incessantly and do a strange variety of unusual looking stretches.
0830 We are bussed to the starting point of the swim. I almost board the "Elite Swimmers" bus. Blue Alice asks me if that's the one i really want to board - lol!!
0900 Blue Alice and I sit on rocks waiting for the bull horn start. I fumble with my swim cap. Some guy comes up to offer me advice on how best to dawn my cap..... Then we're off!!
An unknown period of time :
I swim hard, I swim fast, I swim swim swim!! Whew!! Then i notice i've only swam 1/4 of a mile - haha.. My husband found me right away. He teased that I swim "like a wounded frog" so there was no trouble locating me - ah what a kidder.- Actually, I noticed myself passing people more than i noticed being passed. Later in reflection i mention to my entourage "it felt like everybody was passing me last year". My entourage notifies me that last year most of the swimmers were, indeed, passing me.... haha such jesting..... This time, I know the thrill of victory as I swim past a couple of women. My husband also photographed this amazing feat. Notice especially the photo of the rather large woman with the scowl of shock and horror on her face as she sticks out her head and sees I have passed her - lol!!
More unknown time :
I begin getting tired but refuse to let myself slow down. Okay I slow down a little but only by alternating strokes the last 3/4 miles. Giant waves crashed around me. A current tried to suck me toward the bridge. I swallowed several gulps of tainted (likely to be peed in) water. Would I pull through?!? Yes, I couldn't let down my entourage and mentor friend. Onward Christian Soldiers.....
Soon I was at the finish line. Blue Alice greeted me with a hug and a pic. I was no 494 i think (that's more than 100 better than my 599 place last year). My husband and SFE greeted me. I bee lined to the ice cream and cookie table while my husband intercepted my special item bag. Then I lost Blue Alice some place between the chocolate and huckleberry ice cream ladies........ I am guessing she was kidnapped by a group of roving fans (or maybe terrorists) who heard she'd given me swimming advice...... Tune in next time to read this exciting conclusion.
1. who intercepted Blue Alice?! Lets hope she isn't instructing some terrorist in swim techniques off the coast of Aruba!
2. what was my time? obviously you are all shocked and stupified by this amazing feat of superhuman chick mojo..... just ponder these questions for a while until they post our times.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Secret Agent Baby and The Forbidden Waters....

These are from today's hike up into a higher altitude mountain lake....

These last three are from at the lake yesterday.....

Secret Agent Baby snuck into the dark, foreboding room. Silently, she closed the door behind her. She wasn't taking any chances this time. This would not be the first time she'd explored the forbidden area and she didn't want her mission compromised again. Yes, she knew she wasn't supposed to do it, but her family depended on her to protect them. Could it be that danger lurked in the place beyond? She turned the corner and rounded her way into the forbidden place. The white porcelain thing awaited her. Just like before, crystal clear water was perfectly at her reach. She couldn't help but to put her hands in there. Soon she was splashing. Next she unravelled a large white item of interest and it was all over the floor. Next she found her Mama person's favorite skirt. She placed it into the strange white water holder. Then she took it out. Next it was part of a box. After some time, she tired of playing in the forbidden room and decided to make her way back into civilization. Those adults and bigger persons must be watched at all times. They were a primitive sort and demanded her protection at all times. Some times she parroted their bizarre tongue and they'd all stand around "oohing and awing". Yes, they were a simple minded folk. Lucky for them, they had her around. Soon she had made her way back to the door and began knocking loudly as she couldn't seem to reach the strange gold thing that caused it to open.......
Around that time, i heard knocking on the door and a sinking feeling took hold of me. Immediately I knew that while I was scurrying around the house getting ready for the family outing, Moonbeam had fully seized her opportunity! Out she came wet from head to toe. Moaning, I pulled off her sleeper releasing with it small marble shaped brown objects rolling down the hall floor. That was about the time everybody was about to embark on our journey up to Bragging Badger Basin.
Other than that, it was a fun and uneventful hike. Except for a few items of interest..... After a strenuous hike in the high altitude, I dove into the crystal clear lake. Archer warned me not to try standing on the other side as he'd sunken in mud thigh deep. He said he had to dive in to avoid getting stuck up to his waist. With that in mind, I proceeded across cautiously. As I neared the other side, movement caught my eye beneath me!! Long dark snake like projections slithered beneath me!! I froze.... time stopped.... then I realized it was just the sun reflecting off my arms casting a shadow on the bottom as I swam - haha.
Sock Fashion Expert has been plagued with a terrible rash since picking huckleberries with the family the other day. Poor thing is miserable despite the anti allergy meds I've tried. The only thing that seems to help is the temporary coolness of a mountain creek. Send some healing prayers her way....
My apologies to every bodies blogs i've neglected as of late. Berries are on and its kind of consuming a lot of my time. Also my open water swim is this Saturday.... it never seems to end... Hope to catch up on reading yours soon :-)