Do You Believe in Trolls?

Albert Einstein said,”Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” Imagination is a wonderful thing. My husband and I are in Seattle, traveling and exploring the Pacific Northwest. This is one of my favorite parts of the country. Today we went to Fremont and saw the troll under the bridge. It reminds me of my childhood.

 IMG_6874When I was a child, my grandmother used to tell me the story of 3 Billy Goats Gruff. I was always so nervous for the Billy Goats. Afraid that the troll would come out from under the bridge and eat them up. I was so relieved when they would outsmart him and get safely across the bridge. It was a great story to let you know, as a small child, that you could overcome things that seemed bigger and stronger than you with cunning and creative thinking. 

I find that traveling is a great way to embrace your creativity as well. You can imagine what it must be like to live in the area. Think about what it was like long years ago when only the indigenous people were here. I find myself wondering if perhaps Bigfoot really does lurk in the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest amongst the Hemlock, Douglas Firs, and Aspen trees. 

We decided that this trip really should be an adventure, so we booked several quirky places to stay that include an Airstream, yurt, and an little cabin in the woods. This is further sparking our imagination and allowing us to dream. What great originality our hosts had to offer such unique experiences. 

The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before. ~ Neil Gaiman

Imagination is not just for children. It is for all of us. It is fun, it gives life a spark that it just doesn’t have, if you don’t allow yourself to dream. Dream big, dream often, and dream in a way that might just change the future, even if it seems to be in a small way. Think about the artists that created the troll under the bridge in Seattle. This creative project has attracted people to the neighborhood to see the troll. Children look in awe and then with a gleam in their eye, run and climb all over him, while parents snap pictures with delight. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. Dream my friends. Dream in big ways and in small ways. Allow your imagination to sore. Blessings. 

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A Brand New Adventure

Thursday was a beautiful winter day in Northern Minnesota. The sky was a crystal blue and clear. The sun was bright and white against the blue of the sky. The ground was blanketed with a layer of sparkling white snow. It was 7 degrees above zero with an expected high of 31. This was as lovely a day as we could hope for on our first ever dog sledding adventure.

The dogs were friendly and happy. They excitedly greeted each one of us. We walked amongst the dogs giving them hugs and loves. They were as excited as we were about the days adventure. It was to be a day long experience that would cover 15-30 miles in Superior National Forest.

It started out with the guides teaching us how to drive the sled and mush the dogs. The most important lesson learned was how to stop the sled; the dogs needed no encouragement to go. They loved to run. Instruction halted for a bit when a dog came over looking for affection. Theo (one of our teachers) stopped what she was doing to give the pup what she was looking for. I was impressed by the love and respect the animals were treated with. Our guides taught us how to safely and kindly harness the team. Lead dogs in front, team dogs in the middle, and wheel dogs in the back. As we secured them to the line, all of the huskies started barking and howling, saying they too wanted to go on the excursion.

As we set off into the middle of the forest, the dogs were excited and wanting to run. Marty (my amazing husband) was driving the sled while I was tucked safely inside, ready for an experience unlike anything I have done before.

We glided through the crystalline world, encompassed completely by nature. Giant boulders, some as big as our house, stood as reminders of the glaciers that dropped them there long years ago. The uphill climbs were slow and steady, while on the downhills the canines poured on the speed. The sound of an occasional bark was the only noise other than the paws on the trail and that of the sled. It was breathtaking! Large pines and bare birch trees stood in alliance protecting this sacred space. We pulled out of the trees to journey across a frozen lake. As we first glided onto the lake, one of the sleds lost its balance and tipped, throwing its driver. The passenger continued on behind the enthusiastic team in the sled, on its side, for a good 20 feet before the team came to a stop. I thanked my lucky stars that Marty had kept us upright. We stopped for lunch on the lake. A fire was started and brats were cooked on sticks found in the woods. Homemade cookies and hot chocolate rounded out the meal. While we ate and chatted, the dogs lounged in the sun. One of the younger dogs barked excitedly but the older dogs took it easy or rolled and played in the snow. The crackle and smell of the fire, which I usually associate with summer, was in such contrast to this silent cold environment.

After a nice break, we loaded back up, tummies full of warm food. As soon as the teams saw us coming they got all lined up and start making a joyous sound, more than ready to get going again.

The trip back was faster and with tighter curves. There were times my shoulder brushed trees as we raced on. As we came around one turn, the end of a downed tree protruded from the snow into the trail. Marty tried to shift the sled to avoid it but it caught us just right and our sled was pushed over onto it right side. Luckily Marty held on and the team stopped after a somewhat short drag on my side. Marty pulled the sled back upright and the dogs immediately took off before he could get himself situated. This time we were thrown onto our left side. Marty got the sled upright and again, the dogs took off. The fact that I was not dragged away is because Marty threw himself on the brake and held the team back until he could get situated. Dan, our other excellent guide, had tied off his team and was running back to help us, but by now we were all set and ready to go again.

The rest of the trip was a wild ride through the evergreens and naked brush. I can not describe how exciting and fun it was to be zooming through this majestic forest, pulled onward by these amazing animals. I am so impressed with the dogs and their enthusiasm. As we neared the end of our trip, a large cast iron bell hung in a tree. I reached up and grabbed the rope and rang the bell as we glided under it to let them know of our return.

We pulled back into the dog yard. The dogs were happy to be home and only slightly winded. We thanked each dog with pets, hugs, and treats. We got to help unharness the team and get them safely back to their homes.

This was a great adventure. I was in need of some forest bathing time and this was a beautiful and fun way to get to experience northern Minnesota nature in March. I recommend, if you are looking for something different to do during the frozen months, to give it a try! You will learn a lot, have a new adventure, and maybe even discover some things about yourself.

Adventure on my friends! I wish you a life filled with fun and new experiences.

Thank you Theo, Dan, and White Wilderness Dog Sledding Adventures for the grand day!

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Mastering Manifesting: a series

Manifestation! You hear a lot about it these days. Emy and I have become practiced at it over the last several years. It was 2007 when I first stumbled across the book, The Secret. It changed my life, my thoughts, and my world. Suddenly anything was possible. I find that it is a subject that often comes up in my blogs, so I have decided to write a series about manifestation.

I remember hearing Louis L Hay say; she was getting green lights and the parking spots and thought she was pretty cool. That is a great place to start but there is so much more to manifesting, than just that, which Louis and many other spiritual teachers learned over the years. It is fun and very affirming when you see the little things work. You can manifest a lot of “stuff” too. Getting the “things” you want is very fun. How about making your dreams come true, healing the earth, and having a harmonious life? How does that sound? Would you like all of that? I too started with green lights and parking spots but my current work is on harmonious relationships.

I am living the life of my dreams. Which spurs me on to find bigger and better dreams. I also want to heal the earth! While my Adventure Sister, Emy, works to heal the earth through political activism, I intend to do it through positive thinking. One of the important things about manifesting is not to say “how” the result will appear. You place the intention and allow it to comes into being however the Universe decides to send it to you. Perhaps Emy’s activism will be how the Universe delivers healing to the earth or perhaps it will be some other way that I can not even begin to imagine. Luckily I don’t have to figure that out. I just have to set the intention and trust that it will be delivered!

I have written several blogs that address manifesting already. I want to share these with you along with more about what Emy and I have learned about manifesting.

One great way to start manifesting is to create a vision board. There are techniques you can use to make your vision board more powerful. A vision board is a great starting place for new manifesters and a way to increase your effectiveness for experienced manifesters. You can “see” what  you want.

On New Years, I do not write resolutions, instead I list what I want to manifest in the New Year. It takes the pressure away from setting the intention to have a wonderful, productive year of growth and improved life.

Gratitude is an important part of manifestation. The more we are grateful for, the more the Universe brings us to be grateful for! Gratitude carries a high vibration which the Universe loves to respond to with more and more blessings. There is so much in our lives to be grateful for. 

Manifesting was also a big part of finding love in my life again. You can read more about that journey here. I also had to work through my past and be ready for my perfect partner.

When manifesting, you act as if it is true…even if you do not believe it. “I have plenty of time and endless energy”. There may be a voice in your head that says; “no way”. Some times we do not even believe we are worthy of having our dreams coming true. As we chase happiness we have to trust that the Universe will only send us what is good and right for us right now. Be willing to reach out and take what the Universe offers. 

Setting goals is another type of manifesting. It is telling the Universe where you intend to get to.

I chose the picture of the Eiffel Tower for this blog because that was a manifestation too. My husband and I took our honeymoon in Italy. On the way home we had a layover in Paris. I remember thinking that I wished I could have a night in Paris on our honeymoon. Well the Universe delivered. Our plane out of Rome was late and we missed our connection in Paris. The Airline gave us a hotel room and credits for food. We found a taxi driver who spoke English and for a flat fee, took us to see and take pictures of all the most popular sites in Paris. It was a one night whirlwind tour and an amazing adventure. Never underestimate the power of the Universe to deliver your dreams to you. Keep your thoughts positive even in the face of missed and canceled flights or other such events and you will suddenly notice that you are living the life of your dreams.

What future topics would you like to see on Manifesting? What tips would you like to share? Do you have a blog on manifesting? Is there an important piece of information that I may have missed sharing? Feel free to add it to the comments. Let’s teach everyone to live the life of their dreams!

Happy manifesting friends! Thank you for reading my blog today. May you live the life of your dreams today and always!

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Laughter As Medicine

Laughter was a huge part of our BWCA trips. I think I saw it inside a Dove chocolate wrapper once; “laughter is inner jogging”. I love this idea and it is so true. We had so many fun and funny moments, while we were letting the summer days drift away with the natural rhythm of the wilderness.

One very funny moment was when we almost tipped the canoe. We were out fishing and got excited over a fish and both leaned to the same side of the canoe. Being the canoe novices that we were at that time and not having a good awareness on how far one could lean, without tipping the canoe, I decided to sacrificed myself and went head first into the lake. When it became obvious that the canoe was going to tip. Because of this, Emy was able to get the canoe balanced again. Luckily all of our stuff and the canoe did not also fall into the lake. The look of crazy concern on Emy’s face soon broke into laughter once she knew I was okay. Some people may have gotten angry or frustrated but we just laughed and laughed and did what we needed to do to get everything taken care of so we could continue our fishing. Another of the very funny moments, was when we got to shore and looked into the bottom of the canoe. There was a fair amount of water in the bottom. Swimming through the water, as if they could make their great escape, was our bait! The leaches container had over turned and the leaches were doing the backstroke in the bottom of the canoe. We simply giggled about this, scooped them up, and put them back into the container. My camera also got wet in this little mishap. I hung it from a tree to drip dry, while we emptied the water from the canoe and got everything else put back right. The camera,  continued to work for the rest of the trip, but it has never really been right since then.

Go ahead and laugh with us! Laughter is truly the best medicine. I much prefer to laugh my way through life, not taking myself too seriously. It feels good to laugh! When was the last time you had a deep belly laugh? We would return from our BWCA trips with sore abs from all the laughing we would do. I often have wondered if other campers heard the laughter coming from our campsite and wondered what we were up to.

When was your last deep belly laugh? How do you feel when you have a great big, tears running down your cheeks, belly laugh?

Keep laughing friends! Thank you for reading my blog today.

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Allowing Dreams to Come True

Too often in life we talk about what we want, but we are afraid to believe that we could really have it or are even worthy of it. We want to believe but we may feel we are just making a wish list of things/experience we want. In our heart of hearts we do not believe it will really happen or that it could even possibly really happen. Over the years I have made vision boards, done gratitude journals, employed techniques to keep my vibration high, and written manifestation lists for; New Years, New Moons, and other various events. I have used mantras such as “Money comes frequently and easily” and “I have endless energy and plenty of time”. In the beginning, it never seems true or possible.

I recently commented to my husband that I would really like to start participating in 5Ks again. I used to live in Florida and participated in many such events. When I moved to Minnesota, I had plans to continue, but I never really got into the groove of it there. Part of my problem was after years of running in Florida, where the running season starts in the fall, in Minnesota it was growing cooler or even cold and the running season was ending. This conflicted with my usual excitement/energy to start the season. Maybe this was just a cop out for not doing it. Whatever the reason, I have never done more than a few events since moving to Minnesota.

I think that manifesting at times is a bit like scales. On one side is the manifestation list. On the other side you have what you see as reality. As you start to see things on the manifestation side of the scale come into being, that side of the scale starts to drop and gets heavier and heavier. This is where the magic happens. All of a sudden you start to think, “Wow, this stuff really works!” Which brings more into being. Lets go back to the 5K story. When I told my husband I wished I could do more 5Ks, and told him my excuses/reasons why I just can’t seem to do it in Minnesota, he calmly said why don’t you go to Florida and do them with your friends. My job allows me the ability to travel and do this if I want, so this wasn’t really outside the realm of possibility for me.

The magic started to happen when my friend, Donna, called and asked if I would come to Florida in February to do a 5K with her. Wow, crazy right! Then an amazing opportunity showed up for Marty and I to buy a boat as a vacation home in Florida. This would mean we would be in the state more often, making the reality of participating in weekend 5K events more likely!
We completed a 5K yesterday, Marty’s first. It was as fun and exhilarating as I remember. At supper with friends last night we started making plans for future 5Ks.

Don’t give up on the dreams, my friends! You will see how those scales will start to tip until more and more of your dreams are coming true. As you see them appear in your life, you will believe even more strongly. Keep believing in the possibilities. Before long they will be a part of your life.

Do you have magical manifestation stories you would like to share? We would love to hear them!

What I Love About the BWCA!

What do I love about the BWCA? 
Have you heard of the Boundary Water Canoe Area (BWCA)? If you are a faithful follower of my blog you have. The BWCA is a magical place. There is so much about the BWCA that I love. Want to know what tops my list? 
  1. Quiet! – It is an area for canoeing; truthfully that is your only way in. There are no motorized vehicles, no noisy motors zipping around. You paddle your way through it. You have what you bring in and what nature provides, nothing else. When you get to land you pick up your stuff (including your canoe) and carry it till you get to land. All you hear is nature and the occasional paddles hitting water. It is shocking to come back to reality after so much isolation and quiet. 
  2. Nature– It is the only place I have been to where nature is really left alone. The camp sites consist of a pit toilet and a cooking grate, lots of trees, and critters. It is really you and nature. You hear the wolves howl. We saw a moose swimming across the lake, have been visited by ducks, and heard bears over on an island. It is beautiful!
  3. Privacy -The campsites are spread out; maybe 2 on a small lake and 5 on a bigger lake. You may go the whole time and see only the people you brought with you or see others on the paddle in and the paddle out. Emy and I skinny drip. It is so freeing! Why bother with a swimming suit when it is just you and the critters? 
  4. Beauty – The BWCA is one of the prettiest places I have ever been. Serene beauty is everywhere you look. Shimmering lakes, undisturbed forests, big skies, and wildlife. It is where I feel God! Nature is my church; nowhere (that I have been) is as undisturbed as the BWCA. 
  5. FUN – And a lot of work, but it is the kind of work you feel real proud of when you are done. You feel like “Hell ya! I just did that!”. You can fish if so inclined. Everything is cooked over an open campfire (or a camping stove). You sleep in a tent and spend the rest of your day outdoors. If it rains hang  out under a tarp. I am telling you – there is nothing like it! 
There are so many more reason I love the BWCA…. but for 7pm on Monday night this is a good start. I love you all and appreciate you for stopping by and reading my blog! I look forward to the next time. Have a wonderful rest of your Monday! 

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The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, like so many beautiful areas, may be at risk from exploitation. If you feel so moved please sign the petition below to save this amazing natural resource!

How I Became an Adventure Sister!

Hello, I am Stacy Crep, Adventure Sister! You may be asking yourself what is an adventure sister? You may be curious to find out how I became an Adventure Sister. You may want to know what kind of adventures I have gone on. I will tell you all of this as well as my Adventure sister goals.

It all started with a Groupon! I saw a Groupon for a 3 day canoe trip. It sounded so fun. I just couldn’t pass it up! And who doesn’t love a sale! I bought 2 and contacted my friend Emy to go with me. At the time I had no idea what the Boundary Water Canoe Area was. BWCA, is that a funky dance from the 70s? I really didn’t understand what I had gotten us into. People warned us that we would get carried off by mosquitos and eaten by bears. As we started doing research we discovered that there is this thing called portaging. It is the crazy concept that when you get to land you pick up your canoe and carry it, on top of your shoulders, by yourself, until you get to water again. Not to mention all your gear.

That first year we learned so much! 2 ordinary woman out there in the wilderness at a campsite that consisted of lots of trees, a cooking grate, and a pit toilet. It didn’t even have walls. We chopped wood and learned to build a fire in the rain. We caught and cleaned our own fish, never had I ever done that before, but we wanted to eat. Washing dishes in the forest became second nature. We persevered after we tipped our canoe and had a lovely time. When we were packing up and leaving the last day, the only day that was warm and sunny, by the way, we decided to leave note for the next campers about the beautiful campsite and the fun we had had there. We left a couple tea bags and the note in a plastic bag tied to some extra fire wood we had chopped. We signed it Adventure Sisters.

We have continued to go back to the boundary waters year after year. We have survived lighting storms. We have climbed and navigated difficult portages. We have never mastered packing lite. We have managed to stay a float in rough water. One time it was so rough that when I went to paddle my paddle did not make contact with the water because it was between the massive waves. Once we endured camping in the forest when we couldn’t make it to a campsite. We didn’t even have a pit toilet that year… just a shovel.

This year we went to Orlando and had a different kind of adventure which included a swarm of fireman and 2 sheriff deputies. But that story is for another time.

These continued adventure have built our confidence and have helped us learn about ourselves. By pushing ourselves in these physical and many times emotional ways we have grown so much personally. We want to share this with others and inspire them to live the life of their dreams. We have decided to write a book to share our experiences with others. The idea of a book has grown into not just one book, but three. Lessons Through Joy, Lessons Through Forgiveness, and Lessons Through Magic.

An impulsive purchase changed my life and from it the adventure sisters were born. We were not carried off by mosquitoes nor were we eaten by bears. We had struggles, we learned a lot, we saw amazing aspects of nature (to include a swimming moose), but most of all we learned who we are and who we want to be. I am Stacy Crep, Adventure Sister. We are already planning our next adventure! Want to come with?

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

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5 of My Favorite Places

I simply love to travel. My blessed life and amazing job has given me the opportunity to travel quite a bit. I have loved every trip and every new destination. There are, however, some that are my favorites. These are places I would like to go back to again and again. My husband and I were planning some new trips and this caused me to reflect on some of my favorite places.
1. The Pacific Northwest. I am enchanted with this part of the country. Its volcanic mountains and giant tree filled mossy forests make for stunning scenery. The area is a rain forest and so magical. You can imagine fairies and gnomes peaking at you from amongst the branches. The Portland Saturday Market is full of interesting and talented artisans. Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center provides a unique experience in the mountains and the opportunity to go within while there.
2. Ireland. This is another magical place. Here the gnomes are replaced by leprechauns. The people of Ireland are amazing. I felt so welcome while I was there. The Burren Perfumery has beautiful gardens where you are free to wander. They grow their own plants to make the perfume. The small windy roads of the Irish countryside pass by castle ruins with sheep grazing on the grounds. It was in Ireland that I saw my first real waterfall after a long delightful hike.
3. Florence Italy. It is stunning to be walking down the street and all of a sudden there are sculptures you saw in your art history text books. The history and the art is breathtaking. While there, we were able to see Michelangelo’s David. Words cannot describe how I felt when I saw this masterpiece. The food was also quite good. Affordable authentic Italian food was plentiful and we did not have one bad meal.
4. BWCA (Boundary Water Canoe Area). If you follow my blog you have heard of this before. Untamed wilderness, very few people, and the serene beauty of the area make this a yearly destination. I have a passion for the forest and when that forest involves camping, overlooking a quiet lake and paddling tranquil water ways, it makes for an even better experience. Sitting around the campfire at night listening to the wolves howl in the distance is a harmonious lullaby.
5. Cocoa Beach Florida. There is nothing quite like laying on the beach in the sun and listening to the waves lap the shore. It can be very meditative. I learned quickly to respect the sun’s powerful energy. Drinking lots of fluids and seek shade so as not to get burned. I lived in Florida for 10 years and it still feels like home to me. I enjoy the heat and humidity. It feels like being wrapped in a warm blanket to me. Traveling more inland the vegetation changes. When I see the Spanish Moss on the old Live Oaks it gives me a whimsical feeling.
There are so many places I loved visiting. To many trips to share all of them here today. I just wanted to share a few of my favorites with you. Perhaps they will inspire you to plan a trip in the New Year. Get out of your comfort zone and go someplace new. My bucket list is bursting at the seams with yet to be taken trips. New favorites await!
What are some of your favorite places? Why do they make the top of your list?