Travis and I have been so busy since we moved back to Indiana! It’s been nuts! Actually, it’s been really nice to be able to see family without it being a major production/epic journey (seriously, have you driven US 30? It’s soul crushing). So we’ve been able to do family stuff, and have also gotten unpacked for the most part. My photography stuff is still a disaster since I have so. much. crap. – cameras, film, photo paper, chems, equipment, etc. But besides that, everything more or less has a home. I’ve got the sewing machine set up and have been making curtains left and right, using up some of my fabric stash, which is nice. We went to Ikea a few weeks back, and discovered what surely must be the missing 10th circle of hell, but got a bunch of new furniture that we love. For the first time, the majority of the furniture in our house is stuff we picked out, and actually reflects our tastes. Turns out we’re into squares. Modern, crisp squares.
So it feels like we’ve been busy non stop since May (before that, even, since we had to pack and get our old house ready to be sold, etc). We were both starting to burn out pretty seriously. The other week there was the heat wave and we just forted up in the house and put together a big Lego set, which was pretty zen, but with this week’s beautiful weather, we really wanted to take advantage of it, so we went camping this weekend for the first time in forever.
Last year we downsized from our shitty camper to an awesome REI tent. Having a camper in theory is nice, and if our camper had actually been assembled correctly and we had a dealership that would, you know, do repairs, that would have been great, but it just got too big too much of a pain in the butt for us to want to continue to own. Besides, I really love the mobility that tent camping gives you – you’re not locked into looking for spots that are big enough for a truck and a camper. A lot of spots that are designed for camper camping, frankly, are hideous. Most camper sites have electricity, and because of that, the camper spots are, many times, smaller and locked into rows with not very much privacy between them. Anyway, I wanted to get back to more spontaneous camping in random National Forest campgrounds, stuff like that – go places that are really neat and isolated, and that we maybe could not have gotten the camper into.
What’s nice is that the way Travis works now, he actually has scheduled days off – 2 of them a week! – so we can actually be all, “Hey, the weather looks nice this weekend. Let’s go camping!” and actually do it and not have it be a big deal. That’s so foreign to us. What else is foreign is actually living in a place that has a great state park system. Ohio’s was horrible. We went camping last fall to try out the new tent, and it wasn’t like, “Oh boy! Where can we go camping?!” It was more like, “Okay. We want to go camping. Where can we go that doesn’t suck?” The state park we wound up going look like it hadn’t been maintained in months, to the point where we couldn’t even hike since the trail was so overgrown.
Not so much in Indiana. Indiana’s DNR rocks, and I think everyone who is into camping around here knows it, because all of the state parks we wanted to camp at this weekend were pretty much booked solid. So we decided to try out Morgan Monroe State Forest, about 2 hours south of us. State forest lands normally don’t have as many amenities as state parks, but we didn’t care about that, as long as we had a decent place to camp. We lucked into getting the best spot in the campground and having a relaxing two day break, complete with fun hiking and tasty campfire food.
We did have a few moments of Derp, though. Like how we forgot our whole bag of clothes at home, and had to go to Walmart to buy emergency camping clothes… which would have been easier to do had Travis not also forgotten his wallet at home, too (luckily, I had mine with us, but no cash to pay for the campsite, so we had to set our tent up at the campsite, drive to Walmart, buy some clothes on the debit card, get cash back, and then run back to camp to pay for the campsite. Bela was not amused). Hopefully next time we’ll have our act a little more together. We did remember the important stuff, though, like my unicycle:
Yep. Travis got me a unicycle for my birthday since I’ve been talking about learning how to ride one for the past year. I figured it would be a fun way to improve my balance, which isn’t great. The unicycle has an insanely steep learning curve. After practicing on it for about an hour and a half straight, I can pedal about 6 or 7 feet before falling off. Sometimes. If I don’t fall off immediately, which is most times. So, I’ve been falling off a lot, and I sort of instinctively learned to grip my thighs together when doing so so that the unicycle doesn’t go flying. I did not realize that that was causing hideous bruising along my inner thighs, in addition to the miscellaneous other bruises on my legs and arms from general falling off. I am bruised to the point where, on wearing shorts, I would not be at all surprised if a social worker would see me, take me aside, and ask if I’ve been having problems at home. And then I’ll have to reply with all the swagger I can muster, “Nope! I’m learning how to ride a UNICYCLE!” Yeah. That’s my life now.
I did take knitting with me. It’s some superwash wool I dyed a few years ago and fell in love with, and therefore promptly did absolutely nothing with. I’m trying to get away from this whole “I love this yarn/fabric/fiber/film/etc, so I’m going to wait until I have the absolute perfect reason to use it before I get into it.” Screw that. All that gets me is a huge stash of awesome stuff that has taken on this mythic sense of importance, and then I’m too intimidated to use it. I can always dye more yarn that will be fantastic, I can always find supplies I’m going to fall in love with, so why not start using it? I’m sick of hoarding crap.
Anyway, the sock is turning out nicely. I’ll get a better pic once I have the first sock done. Funny thing, it was dusk and I was sitting in a camp chair by the fire knitting. I had accidentally started knitting the sock from the outside of the ball instead of the inside, so every once in a while I need to unwrap it. So, I’m just sitting there knitting, and suddenly I see this motion down the hill from me, like an animal just dropped from a tree and then curled up in a defensive position. It happened so fast, I was stunned and just pointed at it, asking Travis, “The hell was that?!” He got the camera out and waited for it to move, and when it didn’t, he went closer to it to see what it was.
“It’s your ball of yarn, dumbass.”
Anyway, camping! Indiana! I’m excited!