Cold…It’s Draining Both Mentally and Physically For Me

It has been below zero for 12 days. Seriously, some mornings are as low as -30 with the wind chills. It feels like months but according to the weather man this morning its been 12 days…..12 painful days.

A few mornings I have not even had it in me to drag myself out to go to the gym in the wee hours of the morning and we all know this is my happy place in the winter months. It’s simply astounding to me how it can get this cold.

I went out last night with my brother and walking back to my vehicle I could feel my inner core shaking….like when you are doing a plank and your near the end when your entire body starts to shake….yeh, that was me simply walking to my vehicle. Who needs to do planks, just step outside in Wisconsin during the winter.

My fingers are cracked and this is after putting lotion on numerous times a day.

I dread going to the grocery store since it takes a few minutes longer to load the packages into my vehicle.

Oh, and pumping gas. Yeh, this is not going to happen. I make sure my husband or son are with me and then I politely mention….maybe I aught to stop for gas, would you pump it please? Yup, I am THAT wife/mom!

I sit a pray every morning when 4:40a.m. rolls around that the garage goes all the way up and comes back down without coming off the track since garage doors hate the frigid temperature for some reason.

Thankfully two out of four of our vehicles are in the garage overnight. Although, so far all have started every morning at this point.

I already have my Christmas list started for next year….I want a heated mattress pad. There is nothing worse than climbing into bed after a long day and the sheets are freezing cold. I have resorted to turning on a heating pad a half hour before going to bed to “preheat” my side of the bed. Yeh, ridiculous isn’t it.

Apparently, the weather professionals say it is suppose to warm up as of Sunday. A balmy 30 degrees or there about….I am excited! Yes, you read that correctly…..I am EXCITED about 30 degrees.

I know its only January..but I am over winter. Anyone else feeling this way yet?

Advertisements

November=58 degrees…In Wisconsin…..Seriously??? Time To Trade In My Whisk For My Hiking Boots Once Again

As you can probably assume from the title, I am one VERY happy person. When I awoke Thanksgiving morning and saw the forecast prediction for the day after Thanksgiving was going to be in the mid 50’s I immediately put things into high gear. I simply looked across the room at my husband and he knew exactly what I was thinking……..he said calmly, “let’s get it all done today so we can hit the trail tomorrow.” I love how he understands me without me even saying a word.

As you can imagine I had a load of things on the to do list to accomplish with four days off for the holiday. We literally packed all our chores into one day, we got in our annual family hike for Thanksgiving morning, plus I made Thanksgiving dinner that same evening. Oh, I was so tired by evening but so happy to be free of the long list and just had a few things that needed tending to before we hit the long trail on Friday afternoon.

Thanksgiving family hike

 IMG_9976

Then Friday arrived and I was excited to get in some warm mileage on a dirt trail once again before the snow arrives full blast. We arrived at our chosen trail head to find just us. I did not mind this at all, I parked our lone vehicle and it awaited our return.

IMG_0002

The temp on my vehicle upon arrival was a balmy 58 degrees. Amazing!!!!

IMG_9984

And a few steps into our hike and I had to chuckle. Clearly, this lone dandelion was not ready to give up quite yet on summer either.

IMG_0001

The trail was wonderful. Leaves crunched beneath our feet,

IMG_9993

signs of deer were everywhere,

IMG_9996

nature could be heard and saw along the way. It was so good for my soul…to just walk, listen, and breathe the air around us.

IMG_9990

The only thing that could have caused me any worry was that we were hiking during the gun deer hunt season here in WI. We did see many different deer stands, thankfully no active hunters during our time on the trail . And yes, in case you are wondering, we did also wear blaze orange for our own protection on this hike.

IMG_9992

IMG_9991

With 3.3 miles Thanksgiving day and just over 4 miles Friday, we could all agree that summer is going to missed.

IMG_9999

Hiking, along with numerous other things we were able to pack into four days, left us all with a feeling of happiness. Add that to a fabulous Thanksgiving meal……along with my first ever homemade whipped cream (which turned out wonderful I may add) so my husband could enjoy whipped cream on his pumpkin pie along with everyone else…and I could not have been more thankful for anything else in the  world.

IMG_9982

Now, we all have to return to normal life once again and hopefully be ready for Christmas in a few short weeks. Sadly, I have a feeling I will not be hiking anywhere where that snow is not covering the trail come this time but who knows, maybe just maybe, wishes will come true.

Life Lately….

As you all know if you have been reading recently I have mainly posted new trails for you all to try. Well, that’s because a lot has been happening in the background of life that I have been trying to gather and sort through in my mind. So I thought I would give you a break from trails and hikes we have been enjoying and focus on other life topics today.

Starting with…..we just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been this long…seriously over half my life I have been married to this amazing man that puts up with my crazy ideas. It’s been fun so far….and we are far from finished. So as we begin another year of life together I can only hope the fun continues.Stay tuned….

IMG_3545

As the leaves start falling this means less sunshine and that for me is like a death sentence. Here in Wisconsin most people hibernate all winter long. I see my neighbors come and go but don’t talk with them for months since I very rarely step foot outside in the winter months by choice.  I don’t even walk to the end of the driveway to pick my own mail in the winter months. Sad but true….it is what it is. I am simply not a winter lover!!! So as of October I always begin taking my “sunshine vitamin” (Vitamin D) to help with the winter blues that typically hit me hard by January.

IMG_3807

On the brighter side of things….we have planned one last camping trip of the 2017 season before the snow flies here in a few days/weeks. You really never know when it will happen…..so hopefully we make it through this last trip without a light covering of white stuff on our picnic table. I am excited to get out one last weekend and enjoy nature before it all freezes over. I am a bit up in the air but I do believe we will be sleeping in our SUV this time around and using our new SUV curtains we made a few months back.

IMG_8582

Soon after all this happens,Thanksgiving arrives which we are planning once again to keep up with the tradition of a Thanksgiving morning hike. Many people do some type of turkey trot but we would rather hike a trail than be surrounded by a bunch of runners/walkers. Looking back to last year reminded me to dig out the blaze orange once again since its deer hunting season in our parts during Thanksgiving.

IMG_6264

And after Thanksgiving comes the big Christmas holiday. This year we plan to simplify and not be so stressed out by who wants what, where, and when. Christmas is always a big stresser in my life. Why does everyone put so much pressure into two days of the year….like honestly, its two days?To make this less stress, we already have decided on a few things, we have already discussed our family gatherings and thankfully all I have left to do is the menu planning. Well, and gift buying but that is fairly easy at this stage of life.

IMG_1870

I have been getting back to making some family style meals with the colder weather upon us now. Summers meals can be almost anything after a long hot day of playing outside for my job. Fall and winter offer me more time in the kitchen(often with the kids helping) to prepare more thought out meal plans. I have been concentrating on two meat free dinners during the week and one on the weekends. This soup blend I found has been changed up a variety of ways and so far they have all been winners.

IMG_9801

Casseroles are back in the rotation once again and are a family favorite.

IMG_9796

And our son even surprised us one night by making french onion soup which was so yummy.

IMG_9798

As for workouts…..this has been the biggest change recently. Yoga has been my “go to” to help strengthen and get some flexibility back in my thoracic spine area. Physical therapy was an option but both my MD and my chiropractor suggested trying yoga before physical therapy since this is suppose to offer more benefit. Without a doubt, I am feeling better already….so for now yoga is scheduled into every single day.

IMG_9802

And four days a week I am back at the gym. Walking has become difficult to do since the sun is leaving us faster every evening that passes by, so the gym is my “go to” for cardio. Plus, in my opinion, movement is medicine!!! I feel so much better after a gym workout than I do if I do not go. Which means there really is no question of whether or not I need to make this happen. So once again, until the days get longer, I am back at the gym on my trusty elliptical.

IMG_20161126_0802446_rewind

That should do it for today.

Anything your curious about….let me know?

Do you change up your workout routines as the seasons change?

 

 

Signs Of Autumn Are Everywhere

Oh my goodness…..are you feeling what I am feeling here in WI? Although, I am not by any means feeling the gloom and doom of winter quite yet, I sure am feeling the signs of autumn.

Leaves are beginning to change colors on the tree branches.

IMG_9187

Some have already fallen from trees.

IMG_9208

And some are just starting to change. Fall is quickly approaching for sure.

IMG_9186

This is the time of year where summer is trying so hard to last just a few weeks longer.

IMG_9191

Iced coffees are no longer my preferred morning beverage…it’s now a big cup of hot coffee to take the morning chill off.

Soups are making a come back on my weekly meal list with no complaints from my husband or son.

For us here, we are living everyday like its the last. Fall is a great time of year to hike here in the midwest with much less bugs. We spent the entire weekend hiking waterfalls and with camping plans right around the corner….blogging is really going to have to take the back burner for a bit until I have more time. So just know that I am collecting photos and fun outings to share with all of you when time permits. And I can only hope you use what I share to get out and try something new and be inspired to enjoy the great outdoors as much as I do.

IMG_9111

As for now, I will be back as soon as possible….first I have to savor every moment before the snow begins to fall.

 

 

 

 

A Big Spring Welcome

Spring has finally arrived and I am LOVING the extra daylight hour we now have. I can prepare dinner and still have time to enjoy sunshine….how wonderful is that. Anyone that suffers from seasonal depression is well aware of this I am sure, since it really is a game changer in how life is lived for me.

I plan to stop taking my “sunshine medicine” at the end of this week. Since I have seen more of the natural sunshine than I have seen in the past five months I think it’s time.

IMG_3807

My brain has been in overdrive at night when I lay down to sleep trying to think of new places to explore in the state. Since this is the only time I really have time to think without being interrupted, I typically will have a list of places to research by morning. Which then ends up taking me until the weekend to actually research…again, time is always a scarce factor during the week days.

I have also found my way back to some nearby trails for my nightly walks instead of city streets which offer boredom and sore ankles. Last week one evening it was suppose to be gym night but the sun was shining and the temps were tolerable so we changed up routine and ventured to one of my favorite trails.

IMG_7188

Birds were chirping all around us.

IMG_7174

I prayed all the way there the trail would be clear of snow and ice and my prayers were answered. It was clear of all winter leftovers and this made me even happier.

IMG_7192

The ice on the Bay of Green Bay is showing sever signs of stress which to our surprise we still saw 4 people not willing to give up ice fishing and making the most of what was left of winter. Crazy in my opinion, but more power to them if they feel a fish is worth risking there lives at this stage of winter.

IMG_7183

And let me just say, watching the sunset on this trail is exactly what I needed to end my day. It feels good to be feeling alive and enjoying time outdoors again. I am looking forward to so much more to come but for now, I will completely settle for this.

IMG_7185

IMG_7186

 

 

 

What??? 50 Degrees In February In Wisconsin….YeeeeHaaaa!!!!

How do I even try to explain how happy I was when I heard it was going to hit 50 degrees this week in Wisconsin. Explanation points, happy faces or just burst out with words like….yeeee haaaaa!!!!! This is completely a gift from up above and I will gladly except it with a big THANK YOU.

Something happens when it warms up over in our house. I become a happier human being, I find energy to cook, clean and make lists of things to cook and clean when I run out of time. Thoughts of vacations and places to visit start popping into my head and trails I want to hike become a date on the calendar and not just a thought. I send home reminders to all my daycare parents that we are headed outside FINALLY so prepare for muddy children. I go for walks outside instead of the local mall where we do laps…..so boring. All in all, things just become a bit brighter for everyone when I become a happier human being.

In my heart I know this is too good to be true, since it is Wisconsin and we could easily get one, if not more, snowstorms well into March, but for now I am taking it and loving every last minute. So take a look at what I did this week in the world of exercise. Not a single mall lap walk during the whole week and that I am so thankful for.

Sunday: gym: 30 minute elliptical and full body weights on the TRX suspension trainer

Monday: evening walk outside 3 miles

Tuesday: home: 30 minute recumbent bike

gym: 30 minute elliptical

Wednesday: evening walk outside 3 miles

Thursday: home: 30 minute recumbent bike and total body weight routine

Friday: rest

Saturday: trail hike of 2.5 miles…original plan was 3.1 miles but it was more like a skating rink so instead of falling and injuring myself, I cut it short and still had a wonderful time. Here are some pics from todays 50 degree hike in February.

IMG_7034

IMG_7038

IMG_7029

IMG_7030

IMG_7031

As for meals this week. I did not do very good at remembering to snap pictures but don’t think we did not eat…haha. I again tried two new recipes, this one which will be shared soon.

IMG_7009

and this one which turned out better than expected.

IMG_7014

And one night I rebounded to a family favorite of turkey fajita seasoned brats with veggies, and like always we enjoyed one dinner out on Friday evening.

IMG_7010

The highlight of my week next to the awesome weather we have had was when my son snagged some floor to ceiling mirrors from the gym he works at that they were going to toss out. One corner is a bit cracked and one is slightly chipped but hey, they will do just fine here at home. I have been wishing for mirrors for my workout area to keep an eye on my form when doing yoga and lifting weights but they cost a fortune to buy. Now we just need some time to install them….which until the temps turn back to freezing, this will not happen because WE WILL BE OUTSIDE……HURRRAAAYYYY!!!!

IMG_7017

Let’s Relive Summer Mid Winter…..

Who’s feeling like they have had enough of winter? I know I am.

As I often do at this time of year I thought I would take a look back at summer and all the fun that was had by us all. Let’s just say it’s something a bit more brighter, a bit more fun, and a bit more cheerful than looking outside my window at everything covered in WINTER!!!

Join me will you….

The view from atop Oberg Mountain.

IMG_4947

Water, sunshine, and two great friends…who could ask for more?

Clark Lake-4

Simply relaxing;-)

IMG_4530

Catch of the day.

IMG_4507

Yoga outside…..priceless!

IMG_4318

My second home.

IMG_3968

Freezing cold Lake Superior in July.

IMG_4630

Disc golf anyone?

IMG_4205

The bluest water in Wisconsin.

IMG_4469

Roses….oh, how I miss stopping to smell the roses.

IMG_4078

Homemade fly swatter constructed while sitting next to the campfire.

IMG_4749

It’s coming, summer is right around the corner. If you keep repeating this to yourself like I do we will all survive this winter. You gotta believe….