Monday, October 28, 2013

MNML, wk 4

At the beginning of this month, I started the minimalist game with a few friends. Week four - in which I'm jettisoning from my life four items per day - has proven a bit more difficult than the previous three weeks: the low-hanging fruit is mostly gone, and now I'm getting to the things that I've had laying around but to which I haven't paid much attention:

Day 1: Netbook, Roku, TI-86, stack of Windows CDs
Day 2: Electric lawn trimmer, backup DVD from 2007, crutches and stabilizing boot from my foot break
Day 3: Balderdash, Scrabble, Awkward Family Photos, stray napkin ring
Day 4: Two undershirts, a pair of dress socks, and a pocketwatch box
Day 5: Bicycling backpack, motorcycle pants liner, two long-sleeved dress shirts
Day 6: short-sleeved dress shirt, another baseball glove, tent footprint, Windward Challenge medal
Day 7: Picture frame, Zombie Fluxx, motorcycle safety patch, decorative candle lantern

Why did I hold onto an almost six-year-old backup DVD of my hard drive? And a slew of Windows CDs? And the TI-86 from high school? And the Roku that we moved with us to Seattle but shortly thereafter lost the power supply? Mostly because it was all tucked away somewhere that we rarely thought about it.

Most of these items weren't even "just in case." I didn't hang onto them thinking, "Maybe I'll get use of it some day." Fluxx is perhaps the closest one; it was a Christmas gift last year, but I've played it twice in the last ten months.

As I start the last few days of this challenge, I expect I'll somehow find a few more items that I unconsciously kept. So far, nothing I've purged has really been difficult to part with -- maybe two carabiners from my rock climbing days. I am actually looking forward to hitting the point at which it becomes difficult for me to get rid of something, as I think that discomfort is a means by which I can grow.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hiking Wallace Falls

This weekend, the four of us went to Wallace Falls for an easy hike. We had planned on doing Mount Pilchuck, but as we were a bit off-course due to my lack of planning, I decided to reroute to the former since we had only briefly hiked it last winter when it was quite rainy.

Immediately upon hitting the trail, we were under the crackling transmission lines and our first photo op:

Quickly, we got away from the lines and into the woods:

And -- this being Washington -- the forests are inundated with mushrooms. As the weather gets cooler and the rain falls more frequently, the fruiting bodies of mycelium sprout.

Jacob thought there must be "one hundred... million... mushrooms here."

I couldn't hazard a guess at how many different species there were, but I was intrigued by how frequently different kinds popped up.

Pretty early into the 1.8mi one-way hike, we stumbled upon the Wallace River. Unfortunately for Jacob, he literally stumbled and fell in. His shoes and socks were drenched, and he was quite upset, though it was because he thought I was going to be mad. I had only moments earlier told him to be careful so he wouldn't slip. All was well, though, as I helped him out.

I also snapped this Photosynth of Wallace River, though the quality is a bit lacking.

One of the most exciting features of this hike was the abundance of tree stumps. They provided never-ending fun for climbing in, over and around. Occasionally, the boys would pose with the stumps. Here, the boys are pretending to be dead trees:

We even ran into The Lorax in his tree stump.

We made it to the Lower Falls, and while it was only 0.3mi farther to the Middle Falls, that's where the hike was getting more difficult (said in the context of hiking with a four- and six-year-old), and Andrea and I figured we should start heading back to Seattle.