Scorpion Hunting

This is what we've been reduced to. Late night patrols around the perimeter of our house armed with a broom handle, masking tape, a bucket, a flashlight, a black-light, and a stick. We have a routine down. Tyler does the bulk of the dirty work. I stand at a distance with the flashlight mostly pointed at the ground directly below me (to ensure my own safety), and to also not interfere with the magic of the black-light.

My time is supposed to be spent "reloading" the broom (making new rolled up tape wads for the non-brushy side); but admittedly I spend an awful lot of time being distracted. I stare up at the sky. I shine the flashlight in the direction opposite of Tyler. And, in general I ignore the genocide.

But, I am just as much an accomplice to him in this hunt. I don't want to do stuff like this. Neither does Tyler. It doesn't make us feel good. I guess we just reached our breaking point.

The other night, I woke up having to use the bathroom. I must have put m…

Toolkit 25

At this point I've fully accepted that anxiety is part of my life. Sometimes I can feel the murmuring of a panic attack way before it comes to fruition and I can alter its path. Sometimes the situation won't allow me to, and I just have to ride it out. These last two years have taught me so much, and I've come to understand two absolutes for how I learned to function with the discomfort in a more proactive way:
I don't let anxiety be an excuse to avoid living. When I spent those months caught in a cycle of panic attack after panic attack, I attempted to protect myself from the cause (which I didn't know). Everything held risk and so I shielded myself from anything that caused even a twinge of discomfort. THIS ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT WORK! It feels like it does in the initial moment. There is even relief. But after some time, the need to protect builds. Places and activities that were once familiar no longer provide comfort. Anxiety works in your brain the same way any e…

Peaks & Treats

“The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”--John Muir
The temperature is warming. We saw our first scorpion the other night. I'm sure the snakes have left dormancy as well, and that means our hiking season is winding down. (See what I did there.) After Leah passed away, Tyler and I turned to the desert for solace. Mostly we needed to get out of the house and we didn't want to walk around the neighborhood bawling. So we cried in the desert instead. After a few weeks spent in our "backyard" park, we decided to try out some of the hikes we always hear about in the Phoenix Valley, but never made the effort to do.

Leah would go if she had the chance.

Our hiking club, "peaks & treats", specifically sought out the local "peaks" and top rated hikes in the area, including some beauties we visited before for comparison. Here is our top twelve (of 20) hikes in the valley based on effort and overall worth (and in…