Unintentionally, I spent almost the entire day away from the computer.
And I survived. Wow.
Seriously, I got up this morning and got Alex and Daniel ready to walk Alex to school. When Daniel and I got back here, it was time to quickly balance the checkbooks and pay the bills. I had less than an hour to get that done, so I whipped through it all and got it done. Then I did something that I really hardly ever do.
I shut the computer off. As in, totally shut it down. Powered off.
The house was strangely quiet as Daniel and I ran out the door to get him to playschool. There was no familiar hum of the computer just sitting at my desk idle. It was odd.
Anyway, I dropped Daniel off at school and then literally had to force myself to go walk. I was just so. totally. not. in. the. mood. to. go. But I told myself that I'd go for "just a little bit" and then quit.
I took off toward the walking path nearby, but decided this time to go explore a little bit more. There was a bridge over the dry creek bed, and I slid down the bank toward it, crossed it, chose turning right over turning left, and off I went.
"Amazing" doesn't even begin to describe what I saw. I can't even describe it. Thick, thick woods with sunlight filtering through the tops of the trees. Enormously huge trees, one with a hollowed-out trunk that left an opening big enough for me to stand upright within its walls. Steep climbs up and down hills on a footpath that was no wider than 18" at most. Logs propped across the creekbed to offer a crossing when there is actually water running through the area.
I circled back and opted to explore the left-hand turn that I passed over earlier. The scenery became even more amazing, as the path ran right along the edge of where the creek had obviously flooded in the past, with rushing water strong enough to wash fully-grown trees right out of the ground, root balls and all. The path's edge was even washed away in places, with a 30' drop straight down into parched dryness now - until the next downpours hit.
I was stunned by everything that I saw. I attempted to take a few pictures with my phone, but of course, it wouldn't work so I have no shots of this glorious place. But you had better believe that on Friday morning - the next time that I have an opportunity to go back - I will not be walking for speed. I will make sure that I have lots and lots of batteries and a blank memory card for my real camera, because there is no way that I can convey how gorgeous it truly was.
Oh yeah, back to the whole "unplugged" thing....
By the time I got done walking I had just enough time to run home and get a shower, so I did that and then I ran (drove) back to get Daniel. I ran to the dealership where I bought the van to get the "official" name for the piece that Alex broke, since the junkyard ended up not having one (just in case you were wondering, it's the "bracket with rollers"). Then we ran to WalHell (I hate that place) to pick up a few things, and then back to the house to grab his backpack and the grocery list, and then to school to drop him off for the afternoon.
Then I went to the grocery store. $200 and a little over an hour later, I was done...
Then the gas station. $74 later...
Then home to unload groceries and get things put away.
And then it was time to go get Alex. So I drove up to the school, tossed his bike in the back of the van, and thoroughly ticked him off by not letting him ride his bike home.
Then to someone's house to pick up some movies that she was selling.
Then to my insurance agent to pay the bill for my renter's insurance.
Then to the post office to get some stamps for the few bills that I can't pay online.
Then to the city building to drop off the water bill payment.
Then to Daniel's school to get him.
The other kids got home shortly after all of this, and I got supper started as we talked about their day and I made sure that they had the little bit of assigned homework done. Then the older 3 were back out the door for church with their stepmother, and they should be home shortly.
I didn't even turn the computer on until I sat down to write this. I hadn't even checked and moderated the comments on the blog until a little bit ago - oops!
So tonight's mission, after everyone is home and in bed, is to work on getting labels on all of the jars of everything that I made so that it is all ready to go this weekend. I really should have thought about that earlier, because there are a lot of jars to label.