Recent Random Thoughts

Hi, how is your week going? Mine is good….and almost over, yeh!!! Just a few more hours to go.

With no great workouts to share with you all since I am mostly just walking area trails and riding my bike giving my body time to heal, I thought I would share some random things today. My brain is often like a never ending trail to nowhere and sharing it sometimes helps relieve some of the “pressure” shall we say.

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I’ve been up to a lot but at the same time not so much….is that possible? Makes no sense I know but that is how I feel lately. Summer has not been what I thought it would be and now we are into August and we all know what that means….it’s almost over! It’s weird to think my mind still runs on the school calendar when my son has not been in grade school for years already. How do us moms break out of this and just take every day as it is….I haven’t figured that out quite yet but I am working on it? Which is why, as of the end of August, I consider summer over. However, I know in my mind we have plenty of nice days left in September and even some in October but ultimately it comes to an end so quickly.

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Speaking of September and October, I do believe I have over booked all our weekends once again for these two months. Fall is the best time in my opinion to hike, camp, explore the area and enjoy harvest time. Bugs are dying down some, colors start to appear, veggies are plenty, and it’s cooler so camping and hiking are much more pleasurable. Now I just have to find a way to tell my husband I only left him two weekends for hunting in the fall months….he may not like this very much!

Anyhow, let me tell about some treasures I have found lately. First, I must give a big shout out to Fresh Thyme Farmers Market here in our area. We have fell in love with their meat department and if you know me, that is saying A LOT! I am not a meat lover but my husband is. I have a hard time buying it, preparing it and eating it but my attitude has changed a bit since this store has opened. We are loving their meats.

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I have also found an essential oil room freshener that I love and does not cost an arm and a leg. (I paid $7) I hate chemical fresheners and don’t want the overwhelming smell of a plug in oil freshener since I don’t want the aroma all the time. Which makes this spray perfect and I can use it when I wish and not gag when I spray it in my home like the chemical fresheners cause me to do. I know it says it can be used as a body mist also but I have not gone this route…I strictly use it for our home and vehicles.

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Once again I am attempting to grow my green thumb and I am going to try and grow a prickly pear plant or two. We fell in love with this fruit in Arizona and I recently kept the seeds from one we purchased here in WI. I would bet it’s not going to grow and if it does it may not survive but I have to give it a try. Here’s hoping for a touch of the southwest in good old Green Bay. On the flip side, if I do not succeed at growing one myself I can always plan another trip for fresh fruit. I know none of my family would object to returning to this area.

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Speaking of vacations, we are inching our way closer to our next one and I cannot wait to step foot on the A.T.( Appalachian Trail) once again. Back in January 2017 I made this dream come true and finally got to log some miles on the A.T. with my husband and son. Our next trip will bring us back to the A.T. only in a different state and I plan to log even more miles and hopefully make more wonderful memories. However, this time it will be just the two of us since our son recently started his new job and is not bale to join us for this adventure.

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That shall be it for today. Enjoy your weekend…..that’s my plan.

 

 

 

It Has Been Open Less Than A Week And….

It’s finally open and I have been there twice in less than a week…..Fresh Thyme Farmers Market in Ashwaubenon,WI had it’s grand opening last Wednesday and I was there!!!!

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A friend of mine joined me for the first visit here and to say it was packed with people would be putting it mildly. Our area (Ashwaubenon is minutes from our home and is where the store is located) has no organic healthy grocery at all. So for those of us that have always wished and hoped for a Whole Foods or a Trader’s Joe’s, this may be as good as it gets and in my opinion it’s pretty nice.

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I have never once braved the crowds and went to any grand opening of anything but this one was different. Upon arriving I knew it would be busy but wow, our area clearly needed a grocery store like this. I did not get to enjoy looking around as much as I would have liked but what I did see made me very happy. I found a few new items that my husband can enjoy since going to an artificial sweetener free diet.

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And I also found a kombucha flavor he has been searching for…win for him.

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I’ve already made another visit since this grand opening night and crowds are much more manageable. I love the meat/seafood, bakery, and fresh veggies/fruits selection. I have also found some other amazing items that we have all fell in love with. In my opinion, it’s a great addition to the Green Bay area.

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Talking about my husband being artificial sweetener free…..he is doing wonderful. He is feeling great and has surprisingly lost his big sweet tooth. He still enjoys candy here and there but before this he loved candy and could not live without it. He has also since lost his taste for coffee….go figure. How odd is that? Cooking is getting easier and I have been working on getting creative so everything he eats does not have to be so basic. Like one evening we had Korean BBQ pork sandwiches, zucchini, and corn on the cob.

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And another evening we had homemade BBQ chicken pizza. The only difficult thing about this meal was finding a store crust without artificial sweetener. Our normal grocery store had only one out of at least 10 different brands so we tried it. He loved it….win for me!

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This weeks menu has two new meals on it for us to try. Slowly but surely I am finding meals he enjoys and that are easy to prepare now that we have revamped our pantry. I am just so happy to see him happy again and not always so miserable with stomach aches.

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Girls Weekend At My First Bed And Breakfast

I had such a relaxing weekend. There is something to be said about no television, no phone, no internet, no laundry, no dishes, no meals to prepare, and no kids!!!! We all need it sometimes and for the first time ever I kissed my husband good bye for an overnight adventure with a good friend.

We spent our Weekend in Door County, WI, not too far from home but far enough to still be wonderful. We shopped at the many, many shops…everything from clothing to candy.

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We drank numerous lattes at various coffee shops along the way.

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Ate some fabulous meals at some of Door Counties numerous restaurants.

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Was not surprised to still find winter in full force since Door County is known to always be at least 10 degrees colder than where I live.

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We experienced a gorgeous sunset on our way to our bed and breakfast after a full day of shopping.

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And had our first experience ever with a bed and breakfast that really was the perfect place to relax.

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The best part was breakfast was prepared for us, brought to our door, and served with a smile…..no whisks to clean, no dishes to wash, and no crumbs for us to pick up. Simply wonderful!!!!

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I arrived home 28 hours later feeling refreshed and ready to face another year until next time.

 

Weekend Recap- Thai Cuisine, Happy Birthday, and Camping Trip Plans

As usual the weather forecast changed from warm and beautiful Saturday to cold and blustery so geocaching was once again put off a bit further. However, that does not mean we did not have fun along with a bit of work.

Let’s recap everything from the last few days….I found out I LOVE Thai cuisine. We tried it for the first time with my brother and it was fabulous. We all got different meals and we all tried each others and I think I picked the winner of the night. I went with what they called volcano chicken and OMG was it good. I, of course, forgot to take a picture but I do have a pic of the appetizer we all tried.

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Our first camping plans of the year have been made. We are finally headed to a new WI state park that I have been wanting to visit for a few years now. It kept getting put off with all our health issues (herniate discs, abdominal surgery etc.) the past few years, but we finally are making the trip to Interstate State Park in a few weeks and hopefully all this darn snow is gone by then.

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I also celebrated my birthday this weekend with a new treat my husband found while grocery shopping. My favorite candy bar of all time is Mounds and he stumbled across Mounds pudding in the store and I had to give it a try. Plus, he said birthday calories don’t count. Let’s hope so because it was wonderful.

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I also bought myself a birthday gift while out and about this weekend. Two pair of workout leggings for those chilly but active days outside. I am not a big fan of full length leggins at the gym but outside in the spring and fall they are a welcome addition to the trail. Plus, they were an awesome price so I just had to get them.

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Saturday I finally made a return to the gym. It had been two weeks since I had been there and it felt so great. I am finally over whatever virus I had and I felt I could handle a good sweaty workout with no big breathing issues.

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That sums up my weekend. Nothing too exciting but it was a nice quiet weekend which is sometimes a welcomed thing.

 

Currently….

Can you believe it’s the middle of August? I feel as if summer flew by this year.

In two weeks children in our area will be back to school and summer as many know it will be over. Which ultimately brings me sadness but at the same time great joy. Sadness, since I love summer, sunshine, heat and summertime activities which I hate to see all come to an end.  Although, on the flip side, great joy because fall is my next favorite season. We can begin geocaching again with less bugs, I can finally enjoy the windows open during the night again since the humidity will subside some, and we eventually store our paddles for the season and trade them for our hiking boots again. So, all in all, I am sad and happy all at the same time.

As we switch seasons here in WI and prepare for some long…..very long months….stuck in our homes, I take full advantage of packing the prewinter weekends with all kinds of things. I have been working diligently on this task and have every weekend in September booked, half of October, and some of November so far. (SHHHH…don’t tell my husband. I will break this to him when the time is right since he hates when I packed our weekends full of stuff with no down time)

Let’s see, currently we have one, but working on two, weekends that will need our tent.

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I have a dinner out with my brother coming up that I always look forward to. We just don’t have time to connect like we should unless it’s planned and put on the calendar. Sad, but life is just so busy…

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I have attempted to start a hiking group in our area and have had a few really promising responses. The first, meet and greet hike, has been planned and I am really looking forward to hitting the trail with fellow hikers. I am hoping this is a success.

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I have plans with a few friends to travel to a nearby Harvest Festival and then take them on a canal hike in the area. Neither are big hikers but both have reaped the benefits of being active and are stepping out of their comfort zones with me a little more each time. Which is exactly why I write this blog…..to inspire people to get out, live, explore and step out of that comfort zone and experience what the world has to offer. So I am pretty pumped about this date and the plan we have set.

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I also have another girls day out happening soon. You see, with hunting season right around the corner, my husband and I part ways for a few weekends and he hunts and I do my thing. I am not a hunter….I see nothing wrong with hunting…..it’s just not my thing. So he goes one way and I go another and we meet back up and share events after they happen. It all works out in the end. He has fun, I have fun, and we are both happy.

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We also will be celebrating our 23rd anniversary this year and I am so, so, so excited to be doing this in Sedona, Arizona. Which means we have begun training for this adventure and this takes a lot of time and discipline on our parts during the week. It makes our weekdays even longer than usual, but I know it will be so worth it in the end. I plan to share our training plan with you all soon.Hint: it involves a lot of these!!!

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And our last planned excursion before the snow forces me inside for the winter is my annual shopping trip to my favorite place to shop….Chicago! Actually, a very nearby suburb of Chicago. This is one day I splurge on things for me….whatever I see that I like I purchase with no guilt, no regret, and no worries. I can’t wait!

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Besides a few random outings throw in there between all this, we are pretty well booked solid till Thanksgiving.

Do you like relaxing weekends or busy weekends?

What’s your favorite fall activity?

 

Update….Trying To Get My Stamina Back

Stamina in definition says this: the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort.

This is what I have trying very hard to accomplish the last week. Not so much the mental effort as much as the physical effort. I make these small goals for myself every time I start something physical. Sometimes my body says yes and sometimes its screams NOOOOOOO! And the way it screams no is by inducing pain which then leads me to stop immediately. Although, for just short of four weeks post op, I am happy with where I am for the most part. Let’s take a look at what I have been up to the last two weeks.

Besides trying to build up stamina, I have finally started driving again after three long weeks. Not like I had anywhere important to go or felt like going anywhere for that matter during those three weeks. However, now that I am feeling better and I am in minimal pain, I have been getting out and walking the mall during the days. I am not yet up to my normal four laps but I am only one lap short of that at this point.

Speaking of walking, let me share with all of you this love/hate relationship I have with what is called an abdominal binder.

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I don’t remember a great deal of the recovery room after surgery but I clearly remember waking up feeling like I was being strangled to death by something wrapped way too tight around my stomach. I begged the recovery nurse to remove whatever this was(I could not see it because I was not able to raise my own head off the pillow). After sometime she did loosen it and I was a bit happier but I still felt like I could not breathe. So being medicated to the extreme, I tried removing it myself which eventually led to her taking it off completely……ah relief! Until the day I was discharged and it made a comeback with orders it needed to worn home and if I was up and around for any amount of time it had to be on. Ugggg, this did not thrill me at all. Well, today my feelings for this contraption have changed. I love it for walking since it allows me to walk farther before I have pain. With the abdominal binder I am up to 2.5 miles/ without the binder only .5 mile. Sleeping with it is horrible! I have since stopped wearing it to bed now that I can turn over and get up alone. Sitting with it is a pain in the ribs….literally. When I sit, it pushes up and smashes into my rib cage no matter how tight I wear it. So unless I know I will be walking for a long distance I don’t wear it for a quick meal out or a fast trip to the store. So right now, as it seems, it has made the packing list for our upcoming trip to hopefully assist in allowing me to hike a bit here and there. I am still not sure how much hiking we will even attempt being my condition and the stage of my recovery. However, I do know that without this abdominal binder being worn, there would be no reason to even bring my hiking boots along.

Which also meant, now that I am feeling able to get around some, I needed to go shopping and find some new pants. Yes, you would think I would have a smaller stomach without the pineapple sized tumor inside me anymore…..however, that is not quite the case. I still have swelling after I am up for more than an hour that is quite amazing even to me. And then when I need to wear the abdominal binder, that takes up room in my pants also. And let’s lust say after trying on my jeans a few days ago, until my incision is a bit more healed, I will be wearing no denim for awhile. Stretchy is the key to wearing pants. So shopping I went and found a few more yoga leggings to rotate into my daily attire. Yoga pants are great really, you can dress them up or down and you still feel like you are wearing pajamas. IMG_3370

I am happy to say I have started making meals again here and there. It was a challenge to stand long enough to prepare anything the first few weeks. So easy and fast was the key. I did make baked chicken with veggies one night which really helped saved my husband more work. IMG_3354

And I did accomplish a pot of soup one afternoon. Other than that, I have not spent much time in the kitchen. My meals have mostly all been prepared for me and served with loving touches like flowers made out of carrots and garlic(which I love).

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I have had all my daycare families stop in to visit and brighten my days with glitter flowers, smiles and hugs which I miss so much. I wish I could say I am ready to have them all back but I am just not quite ready yet. Lifting is painful and that is a main part of what I do.

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For now, I have a few more weeks off, a doctor appointment that hopefully has all good news, and a trip to have fun in the sun and maybe on the trail coming up. Before all this takes place, I need to keep walking and working on my stamina, which some days is better than others. All in good time they all tell me, so I am doing my best to not over do it and let it happen when it happens.

 

Has It Really Been A Month Since I Walked A Trail?

Our weekend started with dinner out on Friday night. Friday was a long day for me….so when my hubby said let’s just go out for dinner, I put up no argument at all. I love that he knows just when to suggest things like this.

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Which brought us next to Saturday morning. I had a list a mile long to do including a pharmacy stop, shoe shop, finish Christmas shopping, bank, and something active that did not include spending money….like more shopping. Unlike most women who love to shop, I am not one of them. Especially when it comes to shoes, since I have very difficult feet to keep happy. To say I was dreading today’s shopping trip, unlike last weekends shopping experience, was putting it mildly. Although, when my husband offered to join me and assist with gift buying I was a bit happier.

However, first things first, we started our day in 20 degree temps on a nearby trail for a 3 mile walk.

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After our trail walk, we hit the stores and malls full force along with every single other person in Green Bay or so it seemed!!! It was so crazy out there. We completed our list in a few hours and this made us very happy. After all that shopping I brought my very stressed husband home and made one last stop at a chocolate shop for some last minute gifts.

Sunday was our quiet day. I started a new job Sunday morning that I accepted earlier in the week. Let me just say, it sure felt odd to leave home to go to work since my “work” has come to me for the past 20 years. It’s a very minimal job opportunity that I felt can really benefit my future plans, so I accepted the offer and so far so good. We’ll see how it goes.

After working my husband and I made a trip to the gym for a workout and then we returned home for some quiet time. Our son had also started a new job last week and having him home during the day was a bit strange but nice. We actually had some time to talk instead of just passing by each other in the same house. All in all it was a great weekend.