Unplugged For Five Days….Amazing!

We just finished up five days off from both our jobs and spent the majority of it together…..we so needed this time. Never knowing when or if work travel plans will affect our lives has become a way of life for us. So spending time together when we can is crucial to our relationship. With the bonus of Independence Day falling mid week this year we decided to take the remainder of the week off and just be us. No work, no email, no schedule, no cell phones, no nothing. IT WAS SO NICE!

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Let’s start with the holiday….it was HOT once again. We actually all had off and had planned the night before to disc golf as a family. This quickly fell through when I woke up after a very long night of not feeling well. So I decided to stay home and let my husband and son go alone. They soon returned after only nine holes extremely hot and miserable. Gosh, was I happy I did not go with. The remainder of the day we hung out as a family indoors. It was nice and quiet.

Thursday my husband and I headed to Milwaukee, WI to check out a new mall I have been eyeing up for quiet some time now and of course make a Trader Joe’s trip.

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The mall was a bust…..just not impressed at all. Trader Joe’s was fabulous…..gosh, I wish we would get one closer to us here in Green Bay!!!!

Friday the humidity finally broke and that meant we could have some fun outdoors. Say no more, I was packed and ready to go in less than an hour. Snacks, hydration, tubes, hat, sunscreen, bug spray, and sunglasses.

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We chose to once again float our favorite nearby river in our tubes. I love doing this. It’s so relaxing listening to the birds and just floating along. It took us 4.5 hours to float from the starting point to our end point and it was exactly what I needed. It was hot and sunny the entire river. My husband actually spent more time out of his tube than in it since it was so nice.

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Him being outside of his tube offered lots of exploring of the river bottom.

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The dragon flies were very friendly also. They literally had no fear of us at all.

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The biggest bonus of the day is when we came upon these two beauties. I know the picture is blurry but I did the best I could from my tube on moving water.

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Saturday it was father and son time….which meant mom got some time alone to catch up on laundry, do some house chores, go to the gym.

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I also had time to prepare a meal that actually took a bit of thought instead of throwing something together fast after a long day. Pizza wonton cups (recipe here) and summer squash were a perfect summer dinner. IMG_1281

Sunday again was an early morning rise and shine event since fishing was not all that great Saturday they decided to take the boat this time to their favorite fishing lake and try again. With the heat expected by mid day to be once again high, they left super early in the morning. And since I am a morning person, I went for a 4 mile hike on a local trail before the heat of the day set in.

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Dinner was another cool and refreshing summer meal of Greek salads for everyone.

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We sure had a great few days….some alone time and some family time. Unfortunately, like most good things though, it had to end and it’s now back to work for everyone.

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Jacksonport, WI Disc Golf Course

We recently played disc golf for the first time at a new course located in Jacksonport, WI. If you are familiar with Door County, WI you know that they have it all….great food, drinks, water sports, unique shopping, great state parks, and now they even have disc golf.

The course is located on County Rd. V just off the main drag in Jacksonport. Easily to locate…just watch for the sports complex.

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The course is 9 baskets and is very easy to follow. All the baskets are very nicely marked which is great if you know anything about disc golf. Some courses are like a maze and you can only hope to be going in the right direction but not this one.

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At the beginning, near the building, you will find the map, a donation box if you wish to donate, and a box with score cards inside.

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The course itself leads through grass, a few small hills, some trees, a pine forest, and  some prairie grass also.

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It’s not a hard course by any means, but it still offers some challenging spots especially if you are like me and often throw it right into the trees and high grass. And then you beg your husband (like I did) to go find it since snakes live in the trees and high grasses…..ewwww!

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Ultimately, the course ends at hole 9 with you throwing right past the baseball/softball field back to where you began at the starting point.

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For me, this course was great. If you are a professional this course would not be any challenge I would think. Although, if your looking to have some family fun or just give this sport a try, I would think it would be perfect. On the plus side, you are very near Lake Michigan and the temperatures are cooler, so depending on when you plan to visit you may need a sweatshirt. The course itself is very well maintained and was not busy when we played on a Saturday during the mid morning hours. I myself, would recommend this to anyone looking to have some fun.

 

 

 

Weekend Adventures: It’s Just Too Hot To Stay Home

In Wisconsin you can usually count on a few days each summer that it gets hot….I mean really HOT!!!! Add some wicked humidity and that is a great combo for sickness and heat exhaustion if you do anything outside for an extended period of time. However, I am a summer lover and refuse to miss even one weekend inside. So I had to think fast and come up with a plan for this past weekend since it was hot…..added with the humidity levels we all had here and we were easily above 100 degrees. Thankfully we are surrounded by water and many times the lake shores are much cooler. So that is where we headed and believe it or not, the temps varied greatly from place to place all day.

First, we started our day at a new park we stumbled upon. Lakeside Park is located in Jacksonport, WI and right along Lake Michigan. The main reason for stopping was to use the facilities but often times these are the times we find the best spots with very little people.

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A nice area to park, great playground that is well kept for children to enjoy, bathrooms, and a short walk to a public beach(no lifeguards….swim at your own risk). If you can tolerate the water temperatures of Lake Michigan this would be perfect since it was not packed at all. Truthfully, it was us and one other lady. Not bad for a quick last minute stop.

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Next, we headed to our actual destination. Our whole goal of the day was to try two new disc golf courses in this area and also stop by a friends cabin if we had time before returning back to Green Bay. The first course being right in Jacksonport at the sports complex center. IMG_1239

We played the nine baskets here and then headed a bit further to Sister Bay to try the next new course I had located in the area.

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Both course were fun, cooler than back home temperature wise, and both offered us some time in the sun. I plan to blog about both courses in more detail soon so keep reading and maybe you will want to give them both a try if your in the area.

After two course of disc golf we were hungry. It was about noon and we had seen a wayside with some nice shaded areas to stop for a quick picnic lunch before stopping in by a friends cabin in the area. Apparently, we were exactly half way to the north pole where we were going to enjoy lunch….or at least this is what the plaque said that we found.

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We found the only picnic table empty which was perfect.

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After lunch we stopped in and enjoyed some float time with our friends. They have a cabin right on a lake in this area and its was great to catch up about their recent vacation and for my husband to finally have some down time from all his work travel he has had.

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It was a full day of fun outside. I could not have planned us a better day to escape the heat.

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Real Quick Pop In Post

This past week was a whirlwind. Once again my hubby was traveling, I was solo, every night had something in it I needed to tend to, and now I am really looking forward to some down time.

Food prep was basic since it was just me. Some cinnamon apples, veggies and homemade dip, and an quick cucumber salad to pair with any meal.

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I also blended some carrot puree for my little people to eat for meal time. I had it all cleaned up and then realized I dated the containers wrong….life goes on. No big deal!

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And the event that made the week was when I went with a friend to attend a food truck rally. Interesting how many food truck are coming about in this area.

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Truck of choice this evening was the King Of Philly’s. Our orders came quickly and both tasted wonderful.

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Next week I plan to share our weekend fun, two disc golf courses we recently visited and what I thought of each, and then it’s July 4th. Time to celebrate.

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Weekend Adventures and The Answer To A Recurring Question: No….We Are Not Getting A Dog!!!!

Becoming empty nesters has been an adventure. Some things I expected to happen….like a lot less food needed on the grocery list…..and some things I never expected to happen…..like being asked over and over again if we are now getting a dog. This question has come up so many times in the past three weeks since our son has moved out that I am simply amazed. Why would we get a dog???? If you know anything about us, we do not have time for a dog. If we had a dog we would never be able to pick up and go like I have been known to do. So here in our home there will be NO dog added to the family.

Let’s move on to our weekend. We finally had some fun on the water and it was exactly what we both needed. Minus the sunburn we are both suffering from since there is not a sunscreen protection high enough to protect us from four hours in the gorgeous rays of WI. The best part of WI to me is that within 10 minutes you can typically find water from any location in the state. My husband and I took advantage of this and drove to our favorite river and enjoyed a tube float.

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We started late Saturday morning and it took us four hours to reach our ending destination. Along the way we enjoyed the peacefulness and my favorite sight of all times….a bald eagle.

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We actually saw three bald eagles along the entire stretch of the river we floated. Although, this one, by far, was the bravest and just sat in the tree and watched us float by offering me the opportunity to take a few pictures.

It really was a gorgeous day on the river. Here are a few more pics from the day.

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Questions:

Are you empty nesters? If so what was the strangest thing you were asked after your kid/kids left home?

What was you hardest adjustment after your kid/kids moved out?

 

Feeling Almost Back To Normal

This week has been good. We are finally feeling almost back to normal. By this I mean, meals were shared together, exercise routine is back to an actual routine, and peaceful sleep was had all week long.

Let’s start with exercise shall we. Typically, I workout in the early morning hours at our local gym….by early I mean 5:00a.m.. With summer here my job gets much more physical when we can finally get outside and enjoy the outdoors instead of everything indoors like during the winter months. So during the summer I concentrate on making it to the gym twice a week in the early morning, I then bike on my stationary bike the other two mornings, and one day I take off for rest….not from work just from exercise. And then my husband and I have begun walking area trails for about 3 miles after dinner. Add this with many additional steps put on during the day while playing outside chasing daycare kids around and by 8p.m. I am typically falling asleep on the couch.

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As for meals, I finally feel like we are eating regular and not grabbing and going to the next thing on the agenda. If you have been a long time follower you will know that grabbing and going is not easy with my husbands artificial sweetener allergy so this has been a real struggle to keep juggling. Although, I am happy to report we are back to eating regular meals and enjoying the time to sit, eat, and chat about our day. One the menu this week was a new lentil ham soup and BBQ chicken quesadillas. Both turned out fabulous!

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That will be it for today. We actually have plans on the calendar for the weekend…..finally!!!!! Now I am just praying for no rain and sunshine so I don’t freeze since we will be enjoying some water play. It is summer after all, so that means it’s time to enjoy all the rivers and streams Wisconsin has to offer.

 

Balance….I Am Trying So Hard To Find It

Where to begin is often that hardest part of writing here. I feel like I have not shared much of what this blog was intended for lately since, to be brutally honest, I have not been out much enjoying the outdoors that I love so much. Believe me, I want to but time and weather and life have just not been cooperating to allow for this type of activity.

So, what have I been up to? A few things actually. Let’s see, I recently fell in love with riced cauliflower and although I think it is ungodly expensive to purchase, I have found it is super easy to prepare yourself if you have the right kitchen tools. So after purchasing one bag of frozen riced cauliflower to try, I now make my own with a head of clean cauliflower and my food processor. In a matter of minutes I have three times more for half the price.

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You may be wondering why life has not allowed me out much. Ultimately, it boils down to priorities. We own a house, three vehicles, I run a daycare out of my home for my job, and I also handle all the normal wifely matters from cleaning to cooking to budgeting….you name it and I do it. For the past few years my husband has really been pitching in and helping with the yard, bushes, cleaning, and so on but a few months ago his job took a turn and now he is traveling at least half, if not more, of the time. The change has been good in some instances and not so good in others.

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Yes, his employer typically flies him home on Friday evenings and then back out again Monday mornings. Although, this leaves us very little time to get everything done and still find time to enjoy life. So priorities have taken up much of my life. If I don’t do all what needs to be done during the week then that leaves us even less time to find fun time in the 48 hours he is home every week. We have ventured out on close by trails but nothing to far and no serious mileage has been accomplished yet this summer. Balance…we are still working on trying to find a balance.

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Speaking of balance, due to some last minute changes at work my husbands flight plans got changed for the Father’s Day weekend and this left him and our son the time to finally take out the boat and get in a few hours of fishing time. It was a very successful fishing trip and they both seemed to really have a great time.

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Father’s Day dinner was also a success since we once again had a nice family dinner together. Meal times have really changed since our son moved into his own apartment so this was quite the treat to share a meal together like old times. On the menu was baby red garlic mashed potatoes, BBQ ribs with homemade rib rub, and corn on the cob.

Those ribs look good but don’t let them fool you all. I am still sticking to my 50% meatless meals around here. By no means are we going vegetarian but eliminating meat and sticking to fish and veggie based meals has been a game changer for our health and how we feel.

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In the upcoming weeks I am really hoping to get in a river float or two, make a trip two hours south to our nearest Trader Joe’s, dust of my standup paddle board in the Bay of Green Bay, make a trip to a friends cabin for the day, and maybe even fit in a camping trip or two. Maybe these will all be solo trips or maybe they will be a couples outing….I do not know quite yet. For now I will leave you all guessing since that is also what I am doing.