So many adventures, so little time!

I just wanted to post a quick note that with the insane amount of travel and adventure followed by big changes, death in the family and even a Vision Quest thrown in the mix; I have a LOT of writing, picture posting and overall recounting of the last 2 1/2 months and counting (I still need to drive back to Seattle from Arizona and now have a second Dachshund (I’m taking Rosie home))! So this is simply a quick note to say, thanks for being patient and that the posts will come (maybe faster if you want to send positive writing thoughts). Many pictures and even more experiences to try to organize, but I haven’t yet finished collecting them, or even had more than a few hours here and there of internet. To give you a better idea, while in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey for the month of August, I had no electricity let alone internet. With all the driving and remote places I end up in, I can barely check email or pay my bills (Reuben was on the phone with me for over two hours trying to get everything paid to date since I was in the woods for much longer than I planned).

The challenge once I get back to Seattle will be to capture everything with words! I may even call upon the friends who were present during these adventures to help ūüôā

Safe travels to all in whatever form they are currently in ~ J

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A Sad September

I’m supposed to be arriving in CO, instead I am on my way to Suncity (greater Phoenix) Arizona for my Grammy Gail’s (Grandmother Roissier) memorial service. She died suddenly late Saturday/early Sunday (15th). She was in fair health, sound of mind and active so it’s a bit of a shock to the family. River & I are driving the Black Dragon (pet name for my Subaru) and are currently in New Mexico for the night. We got a hotel room, though last night we slept at a rest stop in Oklahoma. My aunts Suzi & Michele are already in Suncity with Rosie (Mom’s Dachshund that we gave to Grammy Gail so they could care for each other). River & I should arrive late some time tomorrow, and the service is on Friday.

It’s a sad change of plans, I am grateful that I’m in a position to be there during the service to remember Grammy Gail and her life.

I hope your September is without loss and that you remember to call upon your loved ones to tell them what they mean to you, because tomorrow might not be there.
~ J

*Finally Posted* End of August TN Farm visit – Summer 2012

*Finally Posted – another LONG overdue picture post from Summer 2012*

Tracker School done with, a long drive to the Canadian border to take Linda home and a quick visit in Maryland to see the extended family completed – I was back in Tennessee at the Farm. The kids were pretty excited to see me twice in one summer. River was eagerly awaiting my return, had a packed on a pound or two and was missing some fur from the bugs and other dogs chewing on her.. but still in one piece. I spent about 8-10 days at the farm. It was very hot and the kids in school, but still enjoyable.

The 5 Youngest Millers

The 5 Youngest Millers Jax (green shorts), Joey (redshorts), Janna (only girl..), Jerry (blueshorts), & Jason (on the far right)

The 5 youngest kids had GROWN. No longer little kids even. But in my mind they probably will be for at least another 10 years… Jason had gotten TALL. As in taller then me, about as tall as Jackie for the summer of 2012. Jason also put on muscle from wrestling and is looking quite fine. Joey grew too and was looking charming as ever. Ms. Janna, my beautiful sister was about as tall as me and is growing up quicker than my mind knows what to do with. Jerry is still his cute eccentric self, just taller (there is a theme here..) and more grown up. Jax – the youngest is neck in neck for height with the rest of them and is quite handsome. I had a good time listening to their adventures, we read books (they read to me most of the time) and talked about school.

The whole family (along with the older boy’s girlfriend’s and my friend Lorien more often then not) went to Citico Creek, out on the boat on the lake and other cooler activities around Eastern Tennessee. Dad still has the big green van – “Green Machine” I believe is what the kids call it (and the older boys, and their friends, etc) that we use. In usual Miller fashion we pile into (dogs included). Packed to the hilt with chairs, coolers, beer, water and dogs..so many dogs… I think all the dogs came to Citico Creek. 5 of them I believe.

Lorien & Jax with Shiloh in the Van

Lorien & Jax with Shiloh in the Van

The air conditioning (or fans) no longer really works in the Green Machine, the insides looks like its been through a war or two and the whole thing rattles as if its about to shake apart on the back country mountain roads… But it serves it purpose. ¬†Lorien – brave soul that she is – chooses to accompany me on my family adventures and is often roped into work along with the play. The boys like to cautiously (they never quite step over the line as I have threatened their very lives) tease Lorien about her phobia of fish and joke about putting minos in her water bottle. ¬†The dogs stomp around in the creek looking for fish, frogs and anything else they can chase down. The Huskies often run off and someone is sent to bring them back. Jackie tends to be loud and someone usually ends up crying (or everyone) before the day at the Creek is done. It’s hectic, sometimes insane and often way to loud for my tastes, but I enjoy the time spent with my family. And I still managed to get some nice pictures!

Janna & River in the Van

Janna & River in the Van

Janna proudly declaring that River likes her best! River at this point in the drive to the creek, is just trying not to get squashed by the other dogs, sat on by the kids or stepped on by the older boys…

Jesse modeling his famous look

Jesse modeling his famous look

Jesse in all his tan and lean muscled up glory – is modeling what is known as ‘his look’. No shirt, an almost smile and perfectly messed up hair.

Relaxing in the water

Relaxing in the water

In the above picture, we have Jeremy (closest), Jesse, Jason in the middle, El – Jeremy’s wonderful girlfriend petting her Husky Aspen whom you can barely see, Janna standing and Stormy – Jeremy’s dog hidden in the background fishing.

River trying to stay dry

River trying to stay dry

River is pretty hearty and fords across the creek, but she likes to get up out of the water and claim a lap or a chair for herself.

 

Yellow Butterfly at Citico Creek

Yellow Butterfly at Citico Creek

The Citico Creek is a wonderful place that has many campsites, even a horse campground ‘Young Branch’ and trails throughout the woods. My family has been going for years and goes often just for the day as well as camping, with or without the horses.

Kids jumping off of Big Rock

Kids jumping off of Big Rock

Way out there – you can see some of the kids jumping off of what they call ‘Big Rock’. A huge boulder that sits just under the surface (or sticks out during low water season) in a fairly deep area of the creek (6-9ft depend on the year). The kids dive, jump, cannon ball and such. I often go and stay till they leave and sit next to the running water (its pretty clear) and just think. Such a great spot.

Janna at Citico Creek

Janna

Janna in her colorful bathing suit (she is a much better girl than I ever was!) looking very strong and pretty. She is 13 here, and growing like a weed.

Janna & Joannie

Janna & Joannie – The J Sisters

Lorien took this picture for us – Janna is so tall! I’ve a feeling she will be taller than me before all is said and done. I’m a little red here form the sun (big surprise) and have my 50+ sunshirt on even though its 95F degrees out.

Stormy

Stormy

Stormy – Jeremy’s dog. Dad calls her the ‘East Tennessee Spotted Moron’. She is a Blue Heeler and god knows what mutt. She is very aloof, smart and be difficult around dogs she doesn’t know..so basically a perfect fit with Jeremy.

Riding in the Green Machine

Riding in the Green Machine

The Van ride back to the farm in the ‘Green Machine’. Jeremy drove (rather well considering we got dumped on by a Thunderstorm and the windshield wipers basically don’t work..), Jackie, El and Jesse claimed the front bench seat, Lorien and the kids along with the dogs were scattered about in the back. ¬†All in all, was a pretty good day. The camera didn’t get wet and all the dogs made it back!

Joannie & Jackie

Joannie & Jackie

Jackie and I a little sun burnt – Jesse took the picture.

My last day before heading out I managed to get some pictures of me with the 3 older boys! You can see just how darn big they are all next to little me. I may be a little biased, but my little brothers are great looking men‚ô•.

The 4 older Miller Kids - being goofy

The 4 older Miller Kids left to right Р Jeremy (being goofy), Joannie, Jackie & Jesse.

I believe Joey took these pictures of the 4 of us – I set the camera up and told him how to work the automatic focus. I think he did a pretty good job! Jeremy is goofing around in the first pic, and Jesse cracking up in the second..so between the two everyone gets an idea of what the Millers look like in 2012… Oldest to youngest – ¬†(you don’t need to know my age if you already don’t) Jackie is 22, Jeremy 20 and Jesse had just turned 16 in these pics.

SONY DSC

Jeremy, Joannie, Jackie & Jesse ‚ô•

As you can see..I clearly got the short genes. Jeremy is the tallest in the family, but Jason might just catch up. Looks like Jesse will be at least Jackie & Dad’s height. The rest of the kids will probably be at least an inch or two taller than me… Sigh. ¬†I Love these big idiots so much.

~ J