Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Goal Review with Coach Josh

I've really had a hard time staying motivated for going to the gym lately. I need those workouts to keep my mobility and strength in good form.

There have been a few mornings that I haven't felt so great and others where I just decided I had too much going on. I feel guilty sometimes leaving Rich home to watch out the window and nap. I feel guilty on planning a short trip to see my son. 

Josh asked me pointedly "How does Rich feel about it?"

My answer enlightened me. "Unconcerned. He tells me to have fun."

What are my goals for this summer? 
Me: Do the KVR Trail Challenge again be the first to do it back to back. Take time to visit my son. Another goal was to camp out one night at KVR.

A goal next year was to hire someone to keep and eye Rich while I take a 4 day backpack/hiking luxury vacation in Arizona or perhaps the Pacific Northwest. Another goal was to do more photography for the local track team [I enjoyed IT that much!]

How does that have anything to do with being at the gym? 
Well, in my mind it has a lot to do with it.

Without  consistent workouts, I can lose the ability to do so many things I do around the farm. 
Like shoveling manure, pounding fence posts, or doing the easy things we don't even worry about. Like picking something up off the floor without the fear of falling.
Getting up from sitting on the ground without help.
Standing up from a chair without having to use the table for assistance.


Bone Strengthening.
The social aspect is incredible also. Working out with others makes for a great social gathering.
We sweat and laugh together.

So for the summer, I hope to be going to the gym for classes mostly at 6am. I'm up so early anyway. Why not beat the heat and go and get my day started.

That still leaves time for exploring KVR and gardening, caregiving, cattle rustling, mule riding, . ..

Coach Josh asked if I'd be at the Murph which is a CrossFit challenge done each Memorial Day as a fund raiser. You can read about it here: About the Murph 

The Murph

A word about the Murph. It can be scaled back so everyone can do some form of it. Our gym has this each Memorial Day along with a cookout in which the gym members and their families show up and bring a dish to pass. 

Josh asked if I was coming and I told him about my out of town company. He challenged me to make my action figures do a Murph. I laughed at that silly suggestion. ...

Well. Okay!

 Lil' Bear decided he'd have one for all of his friends just like one at the gym.

These guys chose to run 
through the gardens!

Air Squats on 
the porch.

Group push ups.

Post Murph pot luck dinner
with family and friends.

I plan on doing this next year with the modifications of course. 

After all, my action figures didn't seem to have a problem with it!

The money raised also goes to a great cause.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Do you wanna go out for coffee?

 ~~ and see an incredible sunrise?

Olive replied ~~ Coffee? Sunrise? I'm down with that!

I picked her up at 4 am and drove  through thick fog.  I parked on a dead end gravel road.

We snapped on our headlamps and I led the way. We chatted and hiked up and up and up the steep trail. When we got to another section, I turned through some trees. I found the footpath and said to Olive, "there you go, we just did the easy part."

She laughed.

15 minutes later, the sky had a predawn glow to it and we walked out on the bluff.

Behind me, Olive gasped. 

Yes. I do too, each time I go to this place.

You can't help it.

The sun began to come over the horizon and we watched a sun pillar. It remained in the sky for a long time.


we sat and had coffee and just listened to the Barred Owls calling and the birds awakening in the foggy forest below us.

We spent about an hour just watching the fog move and reflect the currents of air over the river and through the forests.

And here is a shot of the two of us...yeah, I look like a dork. But who cares???

I feel very odd without my signature baseball cap...

We parked at 900 feet according to the topo map. We had coffee at 1200 feet.

I asked Olive if it was worth getting up at that time.

Her answer: Totally.

Beware if I ever ask you to go 'out' for coffee to watch a sunrise!

We were back home before anyone in either of our households were awake!

Friday, May 26, 2023

Brrr! And happy Friday...

Brrrr on this Thursday morning! We have a heavy frost in the low lying areas. I'm happy that I didn't plant everything early and have all those poor little seedlings get frosted. 

But that is weather in Wisconsin!

It is the big summer kickoff weekend. People are putting out flowers at cemeteries. Campers are filling the highways. Detours are everywhere.

Generally we stay home for this weekend. In years past, we had Rich's mom and his daughter's family out for a cookout that was super simple. Roasted hotdogs and beans with chips on the side. 

We put out the old picnic table and I put a fitted sheet on it as a table cloth. I used to fill it with bowls of peonies and mason jars of iris flowers for decorations. The kids would roast wieners over a tiny fire and we'd all eat at the table.
Afterward the kids and Grandpa would do S'mores or Marshmallows. 

Since Rich's folks are no longer with us, that no longer happens. Time moves on doesn't it?

Speaking of campers and such...

It looks like Mickey and Minnie are setting off on a camping trip!

It sure doesn't look like a good road Mickey!

Uh Oh! Turn around, don't try it!

Well, they found a spot finally.

and...it looks like they have some friends that joined them to roast marshmallows.

We shall see what the weekend brings!

I know it will include climbing a bluff in the predawn and coffee overlooking a valley 100 feet below.


because I was feeling somewhat like a super hero all week, I had some fun with the gal who trims my hair....

All I need is a cape. But my Mickey Mouse jacket will do for the time being.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Spring Madness and fun

Nothing like feeling like a 'One Armed Wallpaper Hanger' in a rush to do a room!
That quote was something my Grandfather said when he felt busy and overwhelmed. Well, actually, he added a lot of cuss words to go along with that saying. I won't include any direct quotes here though.

Spring has been raging through the woods and it is fall in reverse. I try and find the trees leafing out and the blossoms that appear and disappear along with the urge to try and 'see' every ephemeral flower before it disappears.

Whew. The faster I go? The further behind-er I get?

Jacob's Ladder 
5 17 2023

Devil's Urn aka: 
5 18 2023

Charlie with 'Wish Sticks'
aka Dandelion Seeds on him.
5 20 2023

Morning Dew
Garden Phlox
5 19 2023

 Wild Geraniums
5 20 2023

Sweet Cicely
5 20 2023

5 20 2023

Trillium with Pink!
5 20 2023

Ajuga which gets such an ugly common
5 22 2023

I fenced off my meadow to try some rotational grazing. It may work or be an exercise in futility. However leaving the girls in one section at a time has so far made each section look a bit nicer. The draw back is that I have to walk them into the area and then late in the afternoon, bring them back to the front pasture for their minerals and water.

[That walk is about a quarter of a mile through some woods and gates to the meadow. But the girls understand this routine and follow until they hit the meadow.]

So far it is working. I get a lot of running, kicking, and farting from the girls in the morning as I lead them to their spot for the day.

But they quickly get down to business.

I had to make a list of to do's for each day this week as I have 'so' much going on. Don't laugh Miss Merry, you have a crazy busy life!
I crossed out the most of the work for Wednesday so Charlie and I can take a break and head out to KVR in the early morning to walk a trail known for its woodland flowers.

I have to be nice and sociable sometime this weekend too. So I need my down time. 
Apparently, so do the girls.

Update: :(
I have to put off the hike. Seems like once you make plans and look forward to them, things get messed up. Though it is no one's fault. I'll just go I 'hope' on Saturday??? 

Have a wonderful day...

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Could I, should I, I did.

I always liked to run... 

In the 1960's.

In college 1976. Photos by my father.
My mom and dad came to surprise me in a meet at Southern Illinois University at a college conference track meet.

This photo was sometime in 1980 after a 5 or 10k run. I am holding my son Eddie. I was smiling, I'd done what is called a PR or personal record and just was so tickled. My ex husband Larry took this shot.


In 1986 I tried a half marathon. I mean how hard could it be after doing 6.2 and 3.1 mile runs...right?

It was brutal. It was hot, I was tired, and I hated the last 4 miles. But I came across the finish line strong and then sat in the grass and vowed never to run that distance again unless it was a life or death matter.

I stopped running by the time I reached about 30. I was tired of always training and trying to get a trophy or better my time. It wasn't fun anymore.

I turned to distance bicycling and then to distance equine riding.

Sunday morning brought me back full circle to another 5k. It was the new Syttende Mai Event in Westby and a few of the gym members along with other friends decided to go ahead and do the fun run/walk 5k.
It was fun. It was challenging. 
I had no expectations and enjoyed myself. I ran with a young girl who is the daughter of a friend of mine for a while and encouraged her when she had a side stitch. 
The best part? Was just doing it.

I didn't even really care where I placed or what the end time was. 
Many people don't like jogging/running/ or as I was doing ~ pacing myself. But I had time to look deep into myself and see what I was still made of. 
My footfalls were nearly silent. 

I was 'meditation' in motion.

If that makes sense.

There was nothing on my mind but cadence and breathing and how it came together so nicely.

Maybe I'll do it again. 

No photos, no one there was taking pictures of me which was fine. In fact, I didn't have my cell phone with me nor do I have a fitbit or a watch. It was just me and the distance. But I did get a t shirt!

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Busy buzzy

Mornings of haze and smoke from the Canadian Fires.

 The Mini Split arrived and Dan the HVAC dude from 608 Plumbing and Heating came. When he backed the van up to offload the unit, I inquired if he need help getting it off the van and moved to its base.

He was surprised at first and then said "Sure!"

Inside the living room
where the indoor unit was to

Outside the house where the mini split unit 
was to go.

With two people the unit wasn't that hard to maneuver. He said he often has to do these things alone and sometimes the office sends out helpers, but he didn't get one.
Here he is installing the bracket inside where the indoor unit will sit.

I helped him unpack the unit and get it up on the wall. I even pulled the hoses through the hole that he drilled through the house. Dan is a pleasant guy and loves to chat as he works. He explained everything he was doing which was interesting.

Most of the work took place outside. I made Rich go out to take a look.
Rich is talking with Dan. 

What the mini split looked like when finished on the outside.

What it looks like on the inside.

The old heater on the right will be used when the temps outside get below zero as a heat assist. Otherwise the newer and very efficient min heat pump will provide us with both A/C in the summer and heat in the winter for much less than we paid for the LP fuel.

Since we have a tiny home, this will be super efficient. I sure am looking forward to having a nice cool house when things get hot and humid out!

My impressions so far? YES!

This was a huge plus for our place. The heater - A/C is so quiet you barely notice it! Was it pricey? Yes, but since we have never had both A/C and heat before [other than a window unit in a unused bedroom upstairs] this will work wonders.

Color me happy.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Seeding Frenzy

It is time for the annual planting frenzy.

This is part of the porch edge.
To those who like things in an orderly way, my gardening skills will offend.

The Ajuga aka Bugleweed, once covered most of this area. However, a winter with hardly any snow a couple of years ago demolished most of them. The rabbits, moles, and voles didn't help either. Last year I planted Nasturtiums in the bare spots.
The Nasturtiums are going to be back this year on the edges while  Forget Me Nots will be in the bare spots right next to the porch.

The Forget Me Nots aren't tall and won't overshadow the Ajuga allowing them to once again fill in the bare areas.

This is were the oriole and the hummingbird feeders are. We can eat our meals and watch the antics right outside the window.
Nasturtiums will come up through the mulch under the feeders to add color.

Hubby asked me why I didn't make straight borders. I replied
"Nature doesn't make her borders straight."
I may expand this a little next year depending on my moods...

I had to put up a temporary 'fence' made out of baling twine and spikes to keep Charlie out of the bare spots. He loves laying in the dirt in between plants.
He is staying out of the area now that I added mulch.

When he wants to stay outside and just observe the yard, he is attached to a boat anchor by a long light cable.

He can lay in the sunlight or chose to be on the bench in the porch. That is his outdoor furry pad. He dragged his blanket out on the porch so I tossed it on the bench.
This area is his preferred way of spending the warm months.

The east side is waiting patiently for the zinnias and 4 o'clock seeds to be dropped into the soil.

The west side where the pallet garden was last year, will get a mix of all sorts of seeds. We'll see what happens there. I had to wait until after the mini split is installed to do any more work.

I have a couple of other spots that I'm going to put wildflowers and other seeds in. This year, I will have to be patient for the annuals to color the area. I'm good with that.

Sunflowers, cosmos, and even [fingers crossed] some morning glories.

In the mule paddock near the house, I'm going to experiment with some sweet corn and squash. When the plants are done, I'll take down the single hot wire and let the critters clean 'the garden'. I don't know if it will work out well, but I am willing to try.

I've transplanted bee balm into three different places. I hope all the spots bring in the birds and hummingbird moths.

For giggles, I even planted sunflowers in one of the old cattle feeders. That should be interesting to say the least.

I only have to grab a couple of tomato plants to put in my rather unusual 'found' planters. More about them at another time.

Seed On!

And enjoy...