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?

 

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Sunshine Is The Best Medicine

A little over a week ago I came down with some virus that has caused me to uproot everything normal in my life. I have not worked since last Wednesday, I have not seen the gym in over a week, and I have barely gotten any exercise at all since breathing is something you need to be able to do to exercise. And in the kitchen, well thank goodness for my husband and son or we would have been eating from a can for at least three nights this past week.

This past weekend I started feeling somewhat better finally and really felt the need to get out and suck up some of the wonderful Wisconsin weather we had. Sunshine for me is often the best medicine. Although, I knew it would not be a distance hike by any means I wanted to walk outside and feel the sun on my face. So we did and it felt so wonderful. We arrived at our favorite spring time trail and saw no snow, a few people who also felt the need to venture out, and still ice fishermen capturing what is left of the season.

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Like us, we saw one couple out looking for the eagles that frequent this area. Shortly after we began walking we located them. Usually they would be up in the trees but this time they were out on the ice enjoying a meal the fishermen left behind for them. They were quite a distance away but still fascinating. IMG_0735

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It was wonderful to be out again. Everything is beginning to come alive after a long winter.

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All in all our weekend was not bad. Yes, I am feeling a bit under the weather yet but so much better than a few days ago. Hopefully my energy level comes back quick enough that I can once again return to my early morning gym sessions and keep up with all my little tykes that return this morning.

 

 

Missing Summer

We are almost to the end of January and about this time every year I find myself really missing summer. Winters in Wisconsin are so long and seem to drag on forever. Shall we relive some summer moments together by looking back at sun filled summer activities? I say YES!

I miss floating on the lake covered in sunscreen and letting the birds fly above my head. (and hoping they don’t poop on me)

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I miss watching my husband catch fish while I paddle my kayak searching for turtles.

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I miss the beauty nature provides us for free.

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I miss camping and sitting around the campfire with good friends while someone else does the cooking.

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I miss seeing the most majestic creatures watch over us from above.

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I miss hitting the trail with my son.

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I miss relaxing on the river as my husband maneuvers us around boulders so I don’t have to get out of my tube.

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I miss finding big beautiful creatures that we literally stumble upon while hiking near the rivers edge.

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I miss sunsets that make you forget all the bad in the world.

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I simply miss feeling alive.

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Hag in there….summer is coming…we just have to all hang on a bit longer.

A Weekend Full Of Food And Fun

What an adventurous weekend I had in both the fun and food I was able to experience.Saturday I had plans with a friend to hit up a festival and a flee market both at two separate spots here in the area.

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One ended up being a bit of a flop and one ended up being a big garage sale. So needless to say we were done with both adventures in an hour and half. And at least 30 minutes of this time was spent eating breakfast from a BBQ food truck since our sandwiches were too messy to walk and enjoy at the same time.

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She had a bacon,egg, and cheese croissant and I had a pulled pork sandwich with a poached egg on top with cheese. Mine was good but super messy.

Then, since we both did not want to return home yet….it was only 9:45 in the morning after all…we decided to head to Appleton to hit up World Market an Penzey’s Spices. I love both these stores.

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We also hit up a new boutique back in DePere and found some very unique things. I however, bought nothing. I love knick knacks and stuff to decorate my home but at the same time I hate to dust. So the more I buy the more things I need to dust. Although, it was fun looking around.

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The highlight of our day ended up being lunch. I have been trying to get her here for some time but as usual, life always kept getting in the way. However, this time we made it and wow it was amazing. It’s a deli type restaurant where they serve sandwiches, soups, chips and usually a pasta/grain salad of sorts. Although, in my opinion, the sandwiches are so large that nothing extra is really needed.

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We both had the “Late Night” which is their version of a reuben sandwich. Only this one has pickled red cabbage with cranberries mixed in. It is so absolutely wonderful words can’t describe.

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And then Sunday arrived and I should have gotten out of bed as I did Saturday before anything else got in the way and went to the gym. However, this did not happen. I was tired, bed was warm, and my husband offered to make my favorite breakfast if I stayed home and skipped the gym. That was all I needed to hear and I happily stayed home.

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After breakfast we quickly did some chores and were on the road and headed to the river for a 4 hour float once again. The last time we did this it was so relaxing and refreshing. So we had to get it in one more time before the river turns too chilly for my liking. And without a doubt this time was just as wonderful as the last…..so relaxing!!!

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Following Doctors Orders…..Sort Of

As I mentioned last week, back on July 4th I pulled a muscle in my abdominal area and after suffering for two weeks went to see my doctor. He examined me and agreed at this point that I was right and it is what I said it is…a pulled muscle. And then he said to do the normal pulled muscle regimen…..rest, no lifting, ice/heat, and take an anti inflammatory. As always I left thinking yeh, whatever.

Which brings me to my gripe….I am sorry, but you know, medical professionals will ask you things like where it hurts, then what you do for a living, then examine you, and then tell you what to do without even thinking back to what they just asked and the patient then told them. In my case, I hurt here(showing him with my hand), I care for multiple children during the day telling him one does not walk yet, and that I have been taking an anti inflammatory med for two weeks! After hearing him say no lifting, ice/heat the area three times a day, and rest…..I simply left thinking ok whatever!!!! Clearly he has no clue!!!!

So my weekend arrived and I was bummed. It was gorgeous outside and I did my best not to lift, bend, strain and such the rest of the week. I even iced/heated the area in the evening for a bit before bedtime. Although, with the weekend here I could surly do as directed by the doc with no kids and all this extra time on my hands. However, I still was just bummed…who wants to sit home on a weekend with the sun shining and rest…ice…heat…and rest more. Not me and my wonderful husband could see it was killing me. He then made a suggestion and I was dressed and ready to go in minutes. I was still going to rest, get heat from above(sun), coolness from below(water), and I took meds before we left. He did all the work and we had a wonderful time.

We floated our first ever river in inner tubes instead of any other watercraft we own and it was FANTASTIC!!!!!

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My husband did everything. I just needed to board my tube and sit back and relax. Which is exactly what I did and I must admit, I did it fairly well.

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We saw eagles, fish jumping along side of us, turtles, and we even ran into some friends of ours on the river.

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I never once left my tube the entire 3 hour float. This was a first for me and I guarantee it will not be the last time I do this. It was so relaxing yet we were still outside doing something fun. I did exactly as my doctor ordered. I rested!

This is one of the nicest things about WI…..water is everywhere and it only takes a short drive to reach it. Plus, I am married to someone that knows almost everything about just about every body of water there is in the state. Thanks honey for making my dull Saturday much more fun.

Bonus Freezer Meals, Big Decisions, and Bad Luck For Someone All Rolled Into One Week

After a fabulous Easter dinner last Sunday with my husband and son we had, once again, tons of food left over for the week.

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Which meant I had to come up with ideas to use up the leftovers. From ham soup to ham and hash brown egg bake…we enjoyed ham for a few days.

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I also needed to concentrate on restocking our freezer meals so I planned the weekly menu around doing this. We enjoyed no boil lasagna one night and sloppy joes another. Both meals leaving plenty to package and freeze for fast lunches to send with my husband for work.

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Workouts this week were pretty good. I am still dealing with a sore middle back….but foam rolling has been offering some relief. I think some of it may be stress which I am trying to figure out and deal with.

Easter Sunday: 2.5 mile hike with my husband

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Monday: another 2.5 mile hike on the same trail….only much, much colder and windy today and upper body weights at home

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Tuesday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, abs and legs workout, and foam rolling my back muscles

Wednesday: 3 mile evening walk and upper body weights at home

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Thursday: gym : 30 minute elliptical and stretching

Friday: rest

Saturday: solo hike on two different trails for a total of 4 miles

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Some weeks it helps to try and find the positive and not focus on the negatives. Not that it was that bad of a week but there are some decisions I am struggling with and I know I have to deal with them soon. Losing sleep over things I cannot change is one thing but losing sleep over things I can change is another. It’s not good for anyone since I really need my sleep. So I need to get on this and soon.

On the positive side of things….at least I am not this guy with this dilemma!!!!! Mother Nature and her fury won again after a windy ride on the Bay of Green Bay, this guy had his sail ripped right from his hands and thrown up into a tree. Talk about bad luck….Yikes!!!!

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I Love Four Day Weekends….We Get So Much Done!

Here at our house the holidays are pretty laid back and casual. Typically, Thanksgiving morning I always hit up the gym first thing in the morning, my husband preps the smoker to smoke our turkey breast, and our son either works or sleeps in. This year things were a bit different…. we started out with a hike this year and a friend of mine joined in on the adventure. It was something our family has done the last few years on Christmas Day and this year I thought, why not go for a hike on Thanksgiving also. Our original planned hike was scrapped when we arrived at the trailhead and it was posted as “closed” for the gun deer hunt season.(FYI:This is why we are wearing blaze orange vests during todays hike) So after some fast thinking by my husband, we crossed town and headed to a new trail we had never hiked before but had drove past numerous times.

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After hiking we came home and prepared to cook Thanksgiving dinner. This is a few hour process when smoking a turkey breast so in between we did some chores.

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Earlier in the week, my husband finally caved to my my request to buy a new Christmas tree. So I went through our Christmas box and did some much needed tossing of old or unwanted decorations and threw a few in the donation bags I planned to drop off.

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After dinner was cleaned up and everyone was tired and full from a fabulous meal, we started our first jigsaw puzzle of the winter. If you don’t know from past winters, this is what we do to pass the long, cold, snowy months of winter here in our house. Jigsaw puzzles are, in my opinion, mind numbing and make time pass faster than just sitting watching the clock and waiting for Spring to arrive.

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Then Friday, the first thing on my list was a trip to the gym. I rarely have the opportunity to workout in the morning hours so every chance I get I take full advantage of.

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Then it was time to decorate for Christmas. I must say…we all love our new slim Christmas tree. We even put our old one in the drive way with a FREE sign on it for someone to utilize who may not have a tree for Christmas. It was picked up in 20 minutes…..this made us pretty happy.

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Saturday, again started out at the gym. Why not, right?

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When I returned  from the gym I washed and cut all our fruits and veggies needed for the week. I also hard boiled some eggs and made egg omelet cups for the week ahead to make breakfast easier on those hectic mornings. Doing this on the weekend saves me so much time during the week when time is always hard to find.

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My husband and son then went fishing together and I headed out for lunch with a friend and the goal of finishing my Christmas shopping. We had a wonderful lunch and great success shopping. I found everything on the list and then some.

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Sunday rolled around and we had discussed going for another hike to finish the trails we started on Thanksgiving day. So about mid morning we headed out and began our hike and ended up hiking for almost 4 miles and seeing some fabulous wildlife.

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I must say….I have been a resident of Green Bay for my entire life and have never known these trails existed…..and now I plan to hike them regularly they are so nice. I will blog more about these in an upcoming post, but wow, what a great place to hike. See for yourself.

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