The Great Outdoors?

I’ll be really honest, here, my idea of a weekend camping trip is a nice Holiday Inn Express, somewhere.  It’s not that I don’t LIKE the “great outdoors,” exactly.  It’s just that it’s buggy, lumpy and dirty.  It’s either so hot that you are afraid to move, or so painfully cold that you are afraid to stop moving.  Sweat, ICK!  Decidedly unladylike.


I just want you to know that I’ve tried.  I have!  And there were witnesses.  I’m pretty certain that any one of the members of my Council of Advisors would whole-heatedly agree that Janelle only belongs in the woods for very limited (and highly supervised) periods of time.


I have one friend (we’ll call her LeAnn – which happens to be her actual name) who is nature personified.  She is a real camper.  As real as it gets, my friends.  Like in the mountains of Colorado camping, in this thing called a Yurt.  I didn’t even know such things existed!  No electricity.  No indoor plumbing.  Nada.  And, apparently people PAY to use them!


She claims that it was a fabulous experience.  I’m confident that she BELIEVES it was good fun.  But Dear God in Heaven…with no place to plug in your blow dryer, how are you supposed to survive?  I mean, really, can you run a Keurig off of a generator?  Is that even allowed?


I, along with three other Members of a Council of Advisors subcommittee, usually take an annual girlfriends trip somewhere, and we have done both Big City fun and, well…nature.  Interestingly enough, LeAnn functions very well in either environment.   While I can’t say the same for myself, I have allowed them to drag me – by boat – all over a lake in an inner tube, for example, all in the spirit of good fun.  ICK.  Lake water!


After said weekend trip, as I lay collapsed across my couch in full recovery mode, trying to work up the courage to drag my lake-battered carcass into a long, hot shower, I glance across the room to my as of yet unpacked suitcase – where my dog is having an absolute fit.  To my utter horror, a hitch-hiking scorpion is winding across my living room carpet, smirking at me with an “I’m your worst outdoors nightmare” expression!  This, THIS is my reward?


Sometimes, however, it’s not about the “outdoors.”  It’s not about ME, as painful as that might be for this Leo to admit.  It’s about something much bigger.  Yeah, yeah…I’m talking friendship.  The kind of friendship that transcends icky lake water, bugs and stinky socks.  (They’ve seen me without make-up, after all!). For these women, I would do almost anything.  Except the Yurt.  I don’t think I can do the Yurt.  (LeAnn, I’m sorry.  You KNOW I’m afraid of the dark!)

JanelleWith the help of her daughter/business manager/keeper – Lauren, Janelle Stafford indulges her love of bling and coffee at, where she also blogs about random observations (which almost always involve bling and ALWAYS involve coffee!).

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  1. Hahahaha! I’ve always wanted to stay in a yurt! Maybe when my boys are bigger I can convince the family it will be fun.
    Scorpions! Yikes! That is one bad thing about camping in OK (as opposed to CA or OR) there are all sorts of creepy crawlies that scare the bejesus out of me. no thanks.

  2. Adrienne says:

    I LOVE camping!!! I love camping in an air conditioned/heated cabin with bathrooms, showers, full kitchen, cable television, and Internet access. My family and I like to camp like that about once a year, usually on the White River in North Arkansas. That way, we have all the fishing, nature, cooking out, and just enjoying getting away from things while still having modern conveniences.

  3. Having lived in a tent for an entire summer, I can say I Yurt is a lot better than camping in a tent. But we go every summer, in the Rockies of Wyoming, in bear country and I love it. What I do love, scorpions… yeah I don’t love those. Thanks for sharing your story, the outdoors is not for everyone and that’s okay, more camping spots for the rest of us. :o)

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