Pee and Poo in the Woods Like a Lady

Two Baggie Roll

Hey ladies!  I get a lot of questions about what to use to wipe.  TO EACH THEIR OWN, of course. Occasionally I drip dry and I have used a pee rag.  But my preferred method is my Two Baggie Roll

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I personally like my toilet paper.  I take two ziplock bags.  I fill one ziplock with T.P. squares rolled up in a cylinder shape (about three squares each).  I then, put that bag inside the other ziplock, and store in my front left, dress pocket.  Out on the trail, after my first pee break, I store the used T.P. in the second ziplock bag.  At night, I will burn these in the fire or haul them out with the trash I pack out.  Alternatively, you can use an empty Gatorade bottle for your trash.  You wouldn’t believe the amount of trash that can be stuff into an empty Gatorade bottle.  Just use a stick to compact it down.

Now, for #TWO, I have a whole different system.  I keep an extra-small stuff bag with a full roll of toilet paper and hand sanitizer.  I keep this in one of the easily accessible pouches of my backpack, along with my trowel (Duece of Spades).  I do take my backpack off.  Ladies…it is SO MUCH easier and natural to squat without pants or underwear confining your legs.  Our Petals Panties unclip and offer you complete freedom.  You skirt or dress covers your backside and you will poop in peace, naturally.  I am very excited for you to try this clothing system.

I almost broke my promise...to myself.

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Do you feel busy in life?  Do you feel like life is flying by and all the things you WANT to do never get done because you are too busy?  With running my home, my business and being present for my husband and my sons, I sometimes feel like I don’t have any time left for me. 

I was reading an inspiring book, Girl, Wash your Face, by Rachel Hollis, last week (and when I say reading I mean I was listening to the audio version by the author as I drove across the state to check one more thing off my to-do-list).  She said something that stopped me in my tracks: “If you are not doing the things you want to do in life, you have no one to blame but yourself.”  Wow.  I have not made time for my painting, my ART, my free flowing creativity… something that truly makes me feel alive…me in over a year!!! 

It (my ART) is one of the many things that gets squeezed out by all the “other stuff.”  When we made our calendar for the year, I declared that I was going to finish one painting/creative piece a month this year!  Well, the monthly deadline rolled around last week…and I hadn’t completed January’s painting.  I told myself it was okay…that I was gone snowboarding and was crazy busy with our Kickstarter, now basketball, and purging the house and on and on.  But then, when listening to this book, her words haunted me.  She also said something along the lines of…we cannot keep breaking promises to ourselves.  If we do, soon we don’t TRUST or love ourselves because we constantly fail our true self. 

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This really made an impact on me.  So, this past weekend…I LOVED myself and finished a painting that had been on my heart for several months.  You guys…IT. FELT. SO. GOOD!  I want to encourage you to take a good look at a promise you have not been keeping to yourself.  What is that thing that makes you…YOU yet always seems to find it’s place on the back burner?  The world needs you at your fullest and brightest!  Make a new promise to yourself today and KEEP it!  You will be so happy you did!!!!

This is very special to me as it hung on my grandparents wall (Bill and Mary Dodd) all my life. I'm very excited to now hang it on my wall!

January’s finished painting.

January’s finished painting.

This creative piece is very special to me as it hung on my grandparents wall (Bill and Mary Dodd) all my life. Below you can see the original. My walls are filled with lots of color. Really! There is not one white wall anywhere in my home, and all the artwork is bright and happy. So I wanted to keep the family heirloom, but I didn’t really appreciate the pallet so I painted over it. It still my grandparent’s painting but my style. Every time I walk through my living room and see this it brings me joy and a sense of love…for myself.

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Please share your experiences with keeping promises you made to yourself below!

FISCAL FAST

We just got back from our retreat where we focused on our yearly family calendar. Wohoo!  I am so excited for the adventures that await us!

Did you have a chance to write your 20 things you want to do this year? Once again, I encourage you to put these on your calendar and see how much more you will get to experience in 2019!

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How about some ultra-light, well-made backpacking gear to go with all your adventures???

This is my old, but favorite jacket.

Years ago, we investing in ultra-light gear. My beloveds include my down sleeping bag, my comfy air mat, and my turquoise puffy jacket. I bought these back in 2014 and they are in great shape are still my favorite comfort items that go with me up and over every mountain. These items were a big expense.  I mean $398 for a sleeping bag??? And don’t even get me started on our tents!

Here is how to easily get your dream gear.

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Fiscal Fast

Don’t spend a penny…

F I S C A L    F A S T

As I mentioned, we just went on our annual retreat…but it was not like the other years…going to our favorite hot springs and indulging in fancy restaurants. We actually only spent about $20 dollars plus a little gas money. How did we do this?  We are currently engaged in a fiscal fast. This means we do our very best not to spend a penny. The goal is to get a paycheck or two or a few without spending any money with the acceptation of the normal reoccurring monthly bills (mortgage/rent, electricity, etc). This is a great way to boost your savings quickly. We attempt to cook all our meals and eat everything out of the pantry and freezer. We say “NO” to all our “wants” and try to use any and all gift cards and credit card points. This weekend’s hotel was paid for by credit card points. We brought food along with us and our one dinner date was paid for by Christmas gift cards. Our darling cousin was getting married this weekend, so we let her wedding be our destination, going early to get our planning in and ending with the beautiful ceremony and family filled reception. It was a perfect weekend retreat on the cheap filled with dreaming, planning and the beautiful added bonus of seeing lots of family. We will continue this fiscal fasting lifestyle for at least another two weeks. At that point we will have saved enough to buy any fancy gear we want for this year’s adventures. I have my eyes on a few lightweight tents as my tribe of boys are getting bigger and need a little more sleeping room in the family nest. We may just have to move to two tents for our backcountry adventures, which make me sad as one of my favorite things is us all waking up together in our cozy tent in a mountain cuddle.

There is one exception for the FISCAL FAST…and that is buying the NEW LADY SWIM DRESS! This is the first ever functional swimming suit that is made with a woman’s anatomy in mind. She will be available through Kickstarter on January 15th. The best SALE deals are within the first 48 hours, and then the price goes up, so mark the 15th on your calendar and head over to www.ladyhike.com to get yours.

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Lady Swim Dress

Available January 15, 2019

 

Put this ADVENTURE on your Calendar!!!!

You are invited to hike the Grand Canyon, Rim-to-Rim with the Lady Hike team!  Last year we hiked across the Grand Canyon as a day hike. This was an amazing adventure and I want you to share the experience with me this year. Introducing the first annual Lady Hike Rim-to-Rim. More details to come, including lodging and what to pack which will include Lady Hike! IF you are interested, please let me know and block off May 17th and 18th on your calendar and plan to meet me at the Grand Canyon!

First Annual Lady Hike Rim to Rim May 2019

First Annual Lady Hike Rim to Rim May 2019

2 0 T H I N G S

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We are so happy it’s a NEW YEAR!  Isn’t it nice to know we get to start over?  FRESH!  I am reading an amazing book right now and I want to share a passage I keep re-reading because I love it!

“The world will tell you how to live, if you let it. Don’t let it. Take up your space. Raise your voice. Sing your song.  This is your chance to make or remake a life that thrills you.” - Shauna Niequist, Present over Perfect

This is the BEST time of year to give yourself some time to plan.  Plan out your DREAM YEAR for you and those you love.  Instead of crashing after the holiday season, feed your dreams and let them live in ink on your calendar until the saved date arrives. 

You may have seen my recent video, 2 0 T H I N G S.  I challenge you now to make a list of 20 things you want to do this year. This personal exercise is a great way to fuel your passions and motivate yourself to be your best this year.  

My husband and I both make our lists separately and then come together after we are finished.  It is REALLY neat to read the goals of the one you share life with.

Plugging these 20 (or 40!) THINGS into the calendar is the next step.  This takes some time.  We actually go on our annual two night retreat to our favorite hot springs where relaxing, mediating, dreaming and filling our out calendar is the only goal.  We have learned this is a very healthy and vital part of our yearly routine. It makes us better individuals, parents and strengthens our marriage.  It is really refreshing to “remake” yourself each year.

Last year we planned and applied for permits to backpack the Grand Canyon, made a rough plan to hike the Wonderland Trail and spend a week in South America hiking Macha Picchu.  Guess what…none of this actually happened due to lots of different circumstances.  THAT IS LIFE!  We ended up hiking the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim in a day last May because we didn’t get the permit we applied for.  Wonderland Trail is still there waiting for us.  And we decided to add a beautiful deck to our mountain home instead of buying plane tickets to Macha Picchu.

So many more adventures await you IF you put them on you calendar.  Not all of them will work out, but we have learned that we go and do a lot more if we have a goal/direction for our family on the calendar.  We also have learned that we do better at executing these plans if we keep our calendar out where we all see it everyday, that way we are reminded daily of what adventure(s) we should be getting ready for next!

Step 1) Get your 20 things on paper

Step 2) Schedule your 20 things on the calendar

Step 3) Have the best year of your life being exactly who you want to be doing the things you want to do (in a dress, of course)!

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12 – Special Light Night

12 Days of Blessings

Okay, maybe I saved the best for last.  I think You are going to love this! 

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Pick a day and plan this ahead.  Plan a nice, yet simple dinner (make it easy on yourself and use the crockpot).  During the day gather candles (all shapes and sizes) and kerosene lanterns (if you have them) and place at least one in every room of your home.  Then be sure to set out a few of your family’s favorite games. 

As darkness approaches, light all the candles and lanterns.  Turn off all indoor lights except for Christmas lights such as the tree and decorations.  Serve the evening meal by candle light followed by games. 

We live in the beautiful mountains of southern New Mexico and several times a year we have power outages.  Our boys actually LOVE this because we get to live by the light of lanterns and candles for an evening.  When this happens, we don’t have lights, internet, phone boosters, or any of the modern conveniences this mountain family is used to.  It is actually a nice respite and a short look into the olden days when stars beckon people from their dark home and encouraged soulful conversations.  Phones and iPads are put down and children become the evening entertainers.  I’ve learned that a quiet night under the stars is far more enriching and well-remembered than any Netflix binge. 

I would love to hear your family’s experience with this!

Day 11 - QUIET Evening of Reading

12 DAYS OF BLESSINGS

Okay…there is no such thing as quiet at my house.  But I want to share this blessing with you.  Give yourself time to read a physical book. 

If your children are small like mine, then get a big stack of books (we have a sweet little collection of Christmas books) and spend the evening with your children cuddled around you, reading them story after story. 

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The pleasure of reading is like the old song, “Don’t know what you got til it’s gone…”

Last year for Christmas I bought my football-loving husband a T.V.  Now, this was a huge step for me.  You see we have never had a T.V. and honestly, I despised the idea of a T.V. in our family room.  So fast forward to today a year later and it is okay.  The rule is the T.V. can only be turned on for a few hours a few nights of the week and of course for any important football games (forced smile).  When we are here on the weekends, we will have a family movie night.  That being said, we still grow tired of the T.V and my husband and I long for a night of reading a good book.  It seems all my good intentions always come back to one of my staple quotes: “Not planning is planning to fail.”  So, my gift to you is to PLAN a night this month were all electronics, including phones are turned OFF and books or journals are pulled out and imaginations are encouraged.

Day 10 – No better way to start a cold winter day than with 20 gratitude burpees!!!

12 DAYS OF BLESSINGS

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For reals!  If you can say YES to starting your day with thankfulness combined with exercise…it is truly amazing.  It wakes you up, you are more invigorated for your morning quiet time and you are more aware of your family or other things you just said you are thankful for.  You truly do feel like you have already accomplished something good for the day…and you have only been awake for ten minutes!

Watch this video and she will show you how to properly execute a burpee.  I love the idea of listing my blessings as I challenge myself physically.  Honestly, I have to go much slower than she does but I kind of like this because it gives me more time to think about each of my 20 blessing.

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I have completed a few of the Betty Rocker plans and I think it is a great way to get toned and relieve your body of aches by strengthening your core with just 15-20 minutes a day.   I know this has increased my overall health, and made me a much better hiker.  I can run up my stairs without breathing hard.  I LOVE IT!  So, start today with 20 Gratitude burpees and be reminded of all that you are blessed with. 

Day 9 – OFFER GRACE

12 DAYS OF BLESSINGS

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I’m going to be bold and say, this is the answer to every problem or dealing with that problem person in your life.

We all have people that we are not particularly fond of, right?  Maybe they are even in your family.  We may be walking around with justified unforgiveness in our hearts. 

At this time of year when gift giving is the norm, I want to challenge you to give YOURSELF the gift of FORGIVENESS.  I encourage you to forgive the one or many individuals who have hurt or wounded you. 

“Harboring unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die…” - unknown

If you struggle with your own mistakes, I encourage you to forgive yourself. (Seriously though, if this is a thing for you please contact me and I will point you in the direction of some great resources that have helped me and my husband deal with this silent, subtle destroyer of happiness)

Offer. Grace.

Grace is being given what you don’t deserve.  These two little words, Offer Grace, can change your life.  It has been the answer to dealing with EVERY problem or problem person in my life.  Offering grace to people and frustrating situations has freed me of so much stress, anger and burdensome judgement.  It frees me of my many expectations of people AND MYSELF and allows me to practice the healthier, more humbling art of love. 

Be blessed this coming year and offer grace.

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Day 8 – Inhale some “OUTSIDE”

12 DAYS OF BLESSINGS


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Option 1: Go outside for a chilly hike.  INHALE deeply and feel that frozen air as it invigorates your body!

Option 2: If it is just too cold for a hike or if you are like me, swamped with your TO DO list today, then you will have to enjoy this blessing another way.  

So, several times throughout my day, my boys will come tromping in from their outside adventure and I will grab them and inhale their fresh outside smell.  I will happily say, “Oh, you smell like outside!”  It’s true!  I love the smell of “outside” on my boys.  Especially this time of year, the air is crisp and fresh and it hangs on a person as they walk in to a warm, cozy home and should be inhaled immediately before it vanishes.

So, my blessing for you today is to enjoy inhaling some “outside” however you can get it!

 

Day 7 – Pet and animal!

12 Days of Blessings

“You can always tell about somebody by the way they put their hands on an animal.” Betty White

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Connecting with creatures is a blessing.  Petting an animal can be very soothing.

“An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.” ― Martin Buber

I didn’t know there were so many wonderful quotes about animals and people until we enjoyed our family painting project to beautify some local garbage cans.  I used these beautiful quotes to accompany colorful portraits of the many animals we had lost.  As the paint flowed, so did the memories.  By far the animal I have loved the most was my boxer, Vasha.  She was our “first baby” and she went everywhere with me.  Hiking, biking, swimming…she would follow me anywhere. 

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Exploring the great outdoors with my faithful watch dog seemed so natural.  It was only after she was gone that I realized the security and level of companionship she had brought me, especially when I was stomping through the forest with my little ones.  This past summer we got each of our older boys a dog and it has been a sweet journey.  On one of our backpacking trips we quickly hiked out a day early as “Spot” was bitten in the face by a rattlesnake.  He survived…and in the end, we just thanked the Lord it wasn’t one of our boys.

 

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A boy and his dog make a glorious pair;

No better friendship is found anywhere.   – Edgar Guest

Take some time to sooth your soul by connecting with an animal through touch today.  Be thankful for the animals you have or have had. 

Day 6 – Make SNOW ICE CREAM!

LADY HIKE’S 12 DAYS OF BLESSINGS

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As I kid, I thought this was the most amazing thing!  I remember filling up a bowl of snow and my Dad would turn it into a delicious, sweet, creamy, whipped vanilla shake that I would slurp from my spoon!  But my favorite part of making snow ice cream was getting to make it whatever color I wanted.  Adding the food coloring was the BEST even though I usually ended up with gray from added too many colors. 

This is the first thing my boys want as a tiny bit of snow hits the ground.  I always have them collect a lot more snow than needed so I can use the “cleanest” snow!  Lol! 

This is our favorite recipe:

BEST SNOW ICE CREAM EVER:

·         1 cup cream

·         1/2 cup real maple syrup

·         1 teaspoon real vanilla extract 

·         Pinch of sea salt 

·         8 cups of fresh snow

·         Food coloring

Instructions:

1)       In a small bowl, whisk together the cream, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt.

2)      Quickly pour this mixture over the snow, and mix thoroughly.

3)      (Optional) Let children color as desired!

4)      Enjoy immediately, as snow ice cream melts fast. (It also doesn't refreeze well, so you'll want to eat the entire batch in one sitting.)

 

Day 5 – Enjoy a hot drink. Simple, I know, yet so many times we take for granted this comfort.

12 DAYS OF BLESSINGS

Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate…I love them all, especially after hiking in the wind or the cold.  I find a hot drink so very soothing. 

As I write this, the wind is howling outside.  As it rips itself around our little cabin walls, I am trying to decide what kind of tea I want to have.  I like the smell when I open the jar of mixed herbs or tea leaves.  I like the sound of pouring hot water into my favorite chipped mug.  My fingers playfully slice the hot steam curling its way out of the cup and infusing the air with the scent of health.  I’m comforted by the warmth as I hold this simple pleasure in my hands.  And finally, I sip.  The liquid heat moves down, down all the way to my stomach thawing me from the inside. 

Serenity can be found anywhere if we stop and look for it.  Let’s start with a simple hot drink. 

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Day 4 – Christmas Camping

12 Days of Blessings

Baby it’s cold outside so set up the camping tent in your living room.  (If it’s heavily used like ours you may want to put a big king-sized sheet down first😉)

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Gather some clothes pins, zip ties and pipe cleaners.  Pull out those Christmas lights you didn’t use to decorate with this year and let your kids decorate for some Christmas camping fun.  You can even serve their favorite backpacking meal that night (my boys love walking tacos).  Let them sleep in the sweet glow of memories made.  If the room is big enough, just leave it up until Christmas.   

Day 3 – Throwback Third Day

12 Days of Blessings

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My third blessing is for you to reach back in time and recreate something simple for someone special.  Think back to something kind you used to do for your spouse, family member or a close friend.  It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just something you used to do for them…something they enjoyed.

My husband takes his lunch to work every day.  Way back at the beginning of our marriage, each morning I made him this big turkey, spinach-stuffed sandwich with feta, sprouts and pepper jack cheese on hearty bread with seeds and nuts.  This was his standard lunch.  As the years rolled by, I began sending leftovers thinking a reheated, hot meal was better.  Last week, we bought this new delicious bread that reminded me of that famous sandwich I used to make daily.  So, instead of leftovers, I built the sandwich that was his staple for so many years and, of course, he loved this sweet surprise.

Remaking that sandwich was a simple task that brought both of us dear memories of when we were young, before our tribe of boys ruled our days and thoughts.  A spinach sandwich made us reconnect in a new, unexpected way.

What is your sandwich?  Who can you make it for?  What sweet re connections are waiting for you?

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Day 2 – Decorate an outdoor tree for all to see!

Lady Hike’s 12 Days of Blessings

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Each year, as I drive down our mountain highway to the “big city” I will find a decorated tree along the roadside.  Someone loaded up some decorations, headed out into the cold, stopped on the side of a narrow, winding mountain road and decorated a tree as a public gift.  Each time I drive by, I smile and think how awesome this act of love is.  My family is excited to decorate an outdoor tree this year.

So, my blessing to you is to bundle your family up, grab some extra decorations and find a nice tree where lots of people will see it every day of this festive month.  Think of the happy sighs, smiles and sparks of joy this will be for a plethora of strangers.  Then, after Christmas be sure to swing back by and gather your decorations for next year’s tree.

And if YOU are that someone that has brought me joy and inspiration through this act…thank you!  

 

Day 1 – Catch a case of “child’s delight!” Allow yourself to become a child again.

Lady Hike’s 12 Days of Blessings

Have you watched a child around Christmas time?  Oh, it is sweet…not just Christmas morning, but the sparkle in their eye when they talk about what they want for Christmas or the cookies they are going to eat.  Give yourself this precious gift and STOP and watch a child.  Notice how they naturally relish life…even silly little tasks. 

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Just the other day, my boys were carrying a bag of overripe apples to feed the deer and the bag ripped, dumping mush and dried leaves all over the floor.  Together the two of them began picking it up and soon they were laughing and grossing each other out with how disgusting the mess was.  As I watched, I though…wow…I need to change my attitude to JOY even when in the midst of a mundane or even disgusting task in life. 

Try to remember your favorite Christmas as a child.  Take a moment and think about how wonderful it was to be carefree and allow yourself to be this way again.