Tag Archives: hiking

Greetings from a happy traveler!

Let’s see, where do I start…

I’ve been enjoying my vacation very much. Lots of time for relaxation and rest – both of which are much needed.

My partner and I went for a nice hike yesterday in the valley near where we are staying. We saw a turkey vulture fly right by us! Very cool. Don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those before. We stopped at the visitors center on the way back to the car to see if she could tell us what kind of bird we had seen. That’s when she identified the turkey vulture for us. That was also when she took from me several of the feathers that I had so excitedly collected on our hike through the hills. She confiscated the coolest ones: the hawk feathers. Apparently you aren’t supposed to take them out of the park*…

For the most part it has been cold and foggy here. Today the sun has emerged though, which has made it a lovely and enjoyable day. Even with the sun out, it is still quite cool, which is a nice change from the sweltering heat of the summer where I live.

My pup has been enjoying herself. There’s a large grassy area where I take her for walks, with a beautiful view. She enjoys the grass; I enjoy the lovely view. She gets so excited that she’s off leash and free that she runs sprints around me. It’s great to see her so happy.

Thursday will be me and my partner’s five year anniversary. Five years. Wow how time flies. It’s quite amazing – each day with her seems to get better and better. What would I do without her in my life?

That’s all to report about so far. Not very exciting, eh?

Hope everyone out there in the blogger community is doing well. I’m thinking of you all, and I’m sending some of the cool breezy sunshine your way.

More soon.
x Brandic

*Next time I’ll be sure to stash my feathers safely away if I go into a visitors center or ranger station rather than holding them out in plain sight. Oops!



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Hike + Hair!

I had a fabulous hike today with a friend. For our lunch spot, we stopped at this lake (see pictures below) and my friend said she just had to go in. It was extremely hot today, so it didn’t take much to get me to go in too! We swam for a good 30-40 min.



Then afterward I treated my friend to a coffee at Starbucks, and we sat and had a nice chat. It’s nice that after five hours of hiking together, we still were enjoying each other’s conversation. 🙂


When I got home I asked my partner if she would shave my head. An impulse that overtook me last summer when I was feeling like a change and tired of my puffy thick head of hair. So this time around, she wasn’t quite as shocked at my request. 😉

I went from this:


To this:


I feel like a new person and my head actually feels ten pounds lighter! 😀


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Rambling updates and life musings

I just thought I would share how things are going generally in my life. Often I get caught up in a specific thought I want to share, or a specific experience, or a particular difficulty. But I want to talk to you all as I would a friend – since I see many of you as friends! – and ramble about what things are going on in my day-to-day life.

I feel I am getting back to “myself” more and more these days. My experience last year with therapist S really sucked me up into a huge nonfunctioning trauma vortex that has taken me now almost a year to climb out of. I’m too lazy to insert a link, but I wrote about it somewhere back lol.

I feel like I’m starting to get my sense of humor back. I’m starting to appreciate the humorous side of things, even when it isn’t so obvious. I’ve been much more goofy with my partner lately; I realize how being goofy is a big part of my personality, and something that I had lost with my traumatic therapy relationship with that woman who shouldn’t even call herself a therapist.

Enough about her! Out of sight, out of mind. And definitely out of my life!

Even though I’ve been smoking, and there’s been some feelings of guilt and judgment surrounding that, overall I’ve been able to be fairly kind to myself about the whole thing.

I’ve been hiking a lot more, and my back has been feeling much better. Before I couldn’t hike cause it would make the back pain worse, but now that it seems I’m over the hump in my healing, I think the hiking is actually helping my back. Yippee!

I am much less dissociated than I was even a few months ago. The dust is definitely starting to settle. The relationships that I have now in my life are stable, including with my therapist Bean. I am finally beginning to feel comfortable with her, and the trust is beginning to build. This and other stable relationships are helping me to become stable once again. I’m realizing the importance of this. Because if there was a word to describe my state this past year, it would be: volatile. And in order to calm the fluctuation between the triggered extremes, I needed the relationships in my life to be stable ones. It has helped tremendously to find my center, find the calmness that I know can exist inside – although this is challenged on a regular basis! – and get back to a solid foundation.

The one thing that’s quite frustrating at the moment is the situation with my psych meds. Having no psych insurance, I need to go through low-cost psych clinics in order to get my medication. I tried about a month ago to go to the Downtown Mental Health county clinic, but they sent me away, saying they only see “chronically mentally ill” patients. Apparently I was too “functional” to be helped. I went back to the clinic who had referred me there, and was then accused of lying when I explained what had happened at the downtown clinic. The woman was extremely nasty and openly hostile. She told me I was lying, and she had never heard of anyone being turned away from that clinic before. I told her that I was, and what did she expect me to do. Luckily two other women who worked there came to my defense – they had both apparently worked for the county and knew how unhelpful they could be – and they finally agreed to fill my prescription. For the last time. Now I’m left to my own devices to find a clinic that will help me. Joy!


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Smokey the bear and the mountain girls

My Trip!!

This backpacking adventure was a lot of fun, albeit short. It was a good introduction, and it showed me what my back is capable of. It also showed me that my back truly is healing, and that the worst of it is over.

I also slept really well, another thing I was worried about with my back. The sleeping pad provided plenty of support, and I slept like a baby out in those woods. It was nice because we had the whole campsite to ourselves!

The weather was really nice, especially on the second day. Scattered clouds, cool breezes, warm sun… Perfect!

The one thing I don’t like about backpacking is that you can’t carry all the food your heart desires. For example, it would have been really nice roasting marshmallows and making s’mores around the campfire, but there’s no way in Helga that you would want to carry all that in on your back. The big pack of marshmallows… The big pack of chocolate… The big pack of graham crackers… Basically when you’re backpacking, you take the bare minimum since you’re having to carry everything on your back.

But… We still had a good time – sans s’mores!

I’ll leave you with some pics.



That’s my partner with her big-ass backpack! (And just for the bragging factor, mine was just as big!)




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Off to the mountains!

I’m leaving shortly to drive up to the mountains for an overnight backpacking trip with my partner and some friends. I can’t wait! I love trips of any kind, and I love camping, so I’m really looking forward to trying backpacking for the first time. The only thing I’m nervous about is how my backs gonna do with carrying all that weigh, but I’ll be bringing some extra Advil gel-capsules just in case! I won’t be blogging while on this trip – being out in the wilderness and all – but I look forward to reading and responding to everyone when I get back.

I’m off to the mountains! Woohoo!!!



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The arrival of my dear friend…

… depression. As was expressed in my last post, this afternoon has been wrought with a numbness and shutting down of feeling upon going to the memorial service of a friend who committed suicide recently. And within the last hour, depression seems to have slipped in and taken a strong hold. I feel pinned under its weight.

No energy. My body feels like a lead weight and it takes tremendous effort even to move the slightest muscle.

No motivation. There are things I should be doing to get ready for the week but just can’t manage to get myself to do any of them. Arg.

No enjoyment. I can’t seem to enjoy anything right now. Not even my amazing and loving dog who is almost always a sure bet to cheer me up.

Lack of appetite. My partner is in the kitchen making me this delicious meal, but all I want to do is go to bed and sleep for eternity.

Okay enough moping. Let’s see if I can come up with at least one positive thought to end with.

I know: yesterday I went on a ten mile hike. Yes. Ten whole miles. And for those who know me and who’ve been following my blog for a while, this is a HUGE feat for me, since I’ve been quite limited by chronic back and hip pain the last several years that have prevented me from getting out and doing the things that I love to do – specifically hiking and bike riding. Being able to do a hike of this magnitude shows me that I’m over the hump in my healing process, and it opens up a wonderful and familiar world that I’ve been prevented from enjoying for years now. I cannot tell you how happy and relieved this makes me. My body is improving. My back and hip are getting better. I won’t have to live with this pain for the rest of my life. It won’t keep me from doing the things I love.

I think I’ll end it there, on a positive note. 🙂


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