Let’s Chat Over Some Tea….

Let’s chat a bit over a nice cup of hot tea.

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Hunting season is in full swing and this is a big stress topic for me. I am not fond of hunting…well not really hunting per say….just the part that includes the gun! So for me, when my husband says he is going hunting for the day…the busier I can keep myself the better I will be until I see him arrive home safe and sound. And hiking during hunting season offers a bit more stress since I often think the gun shots are closer than they actually are. Soon we will be adding blaze orange to our hiking attire to hopefully not be mistaken for an animal and shot at.

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Then you have the colors that are changing in the trees surrounding our state. Which is a photographers paradise….and our son is a photographer. Well, this also brings stress for this here mom since the same place my husband stumbled across a bear while hunting, just so happens is the same place my son says he is going to try and capture some fall photos. And let’s face it, a camera is far from carrying a gun for protection….so at least he asked dad to join him(with the gun) and he armed himself with the bear spray. I was a bit more at ease then.

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You all won’t believe what I received in the mail this past week. A “save the date” invitation for an upcoming wedding of one of the first children I ever cared for in my home. OMG, did this make me feel old. Even though I knew she had gotten engaged, had introduced me to her fiancee, and I even got to see the ring…..the invitation is what really made me think back and just say WOW….I have cared for children for a long time!!!!

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I am learning more and more every day how to live with my new limitations since going through major surgery 8 months ago. I am not going to say I like it by any means, but I am learning to live with it. I am still not up to what I weight lifted prior to surgery, which in all honesty, I don’t think I ever will be back to where I was. Although, I am ok with this since weight lifting was never my favorite anyhow. Yoga is a challenge….especially on my right side. However, I am not willing to give up yet on yoga since it brings me such calmness and peace. I do what I can and accept it for what it is. I am happy to say my cardio is back where I left it and even more on some days. This is awesome, since cardio is my favorite, stress relief.

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Even though fall officially just started….I really miss summer already. Like, REALLY miss summer!!!!!

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That being said, we are in full swing of some big home repairs and this makes me very happy. I hate summer home repairs, so we put them off until the fall and go crazy during the weekends.

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Have you all seen them….these mini 100 calorie bars of yumminess? I am by no means a chocoholic but when I am craving chocolate I will eat it no matter what the calorie count is and later feel guilty. I came across these in the store the other day and grabbed 4 bars just for me. Now, when that moment hits and I NEED chocolate, I can eat one of these with very little guilt.

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I have to say, since the weather has gotten cooler I have found myself rotating some of our favorite stove top and casserole type meals into our weekly meals plans. Summer is when we grill often and I rarely make casseroles.

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That’s it for me today. Got anything you want to share? Go ahead, I love hearing from you.

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Weekend Snapshots: A Bear Sighting…..Come On, Seriously????

This weekend started out very strangely to put it mildly. Friday I received a call from a friend that I should keep a look out because there was a reported bear sighting on the corner our house is located on. Now, even though I am an avid hiker and have always assumed I would come across a bear on a trail somewhere, I never thought living in an urban community I would have to deal with such a possibility. Not 30 minutes after hanging up from this phone call, local news stations started showing up and knocking on doors asking for interviews.

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I did not grant them any interview because first of all, I was busy with three kids, and second, I did not see any bear so I had nothing to say in regards to this sighting. However, this did not stop them from hanging around for hours searching and taping for upcoming news broadcasts throughout the day. It was quite an amusing Friday on our block;)

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Saturday then arrived and we were on the road bright and early headed for Milwaukee, WI for a visit to my two favorite stores. I had received an email about REI having a garage sale event for members only. And then also knew that nearby they had recently opened a Trader’s Joe’s which I will never pass up an opportunity to make a visit. First was REI, and upon arriving we were shocked to see how long the line was.

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This was our first time to a garage sale event so we were not sure what exactly to expect. Despite this announcement upon opening the doors, “that there will be NO RUNNING and NO FIGHTING because if two people fight neither person will be allowed to purchase said item,” neither of these two rules were followed. People ran and fought and honestly it reminded me of black Friday shoppers. These outdoor enthusiasts were fearless and on a mission for a deal. (I would not put it past any of them to have bear spray in their pockets to ward off others in their pursuit of a great item at a great price…HAHA) My husband and I were also hoping for a lucky find, but clearly not quite as desperate as some of these individuals. Don’t get me wrong, we did end up with our fair share of good buys since our hands were full while standing in the LONGGGGG checkout line.

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Although not all our items were garage sale deals we did fairly well. He found some boots, a pair of hiking pants, water bottle, and two new freeze dried meals for us to test. I needed rubber ends to put on my trekking poles for hiking rocks/mountains, a water bottle cleaning kit, and finally I found a replacement for my backpack that I needed to return after our Michigan hiking trip. I struggle with backpacks since many have wide bulky shoulder straps that I don’t care for. This time I am trying a Gregory pack which I bought a bit larger than my old pack since I seem to be carrying most of our supplies at the moment until my husband’s back is fully recovered. It very comfortable and hopefully will meet our needs well. I should find out in a week or so how it carries on the trail.

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Our next stop was a new Trader’s Joe’s. Milwaukee has two locations now, and let me tell you, this one is so much nicer in regards to the parking situation. Both stores a great but this is by far the location I will be back to. IMG_2740

We stocked up on all our favorites and are fully prepared for a winter of fabulous meals thanks to some of our favorite Trader Joe’s additions.

After this we headed home. We had spent enough money and were satisfied that the trip was worth the long drive. Idealy, it would have been in our best interest to keep driving until we passed by a new store right off the highway that we have never been to before. Grafton,WI has a Meijer now….which is pretty cool since Green Bay is also due to get one of these retailers soon. So of course we exited and had to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised although, it does remind me very much of a Walmart in some ways. I am not a fan of Walmart, or maybe I should say not any Green Bay Walmarts at least. However, this Meijer was not bad, prices seems good and it was nicely arranged and not overly packed with items. I think Green Bay will benefit when it makes it’s arrival here in the near future.

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With a bit more money spent here, it was really time to head home. No more stops and no more money to spend. We arrived home with a full trunk and tired from a full day of shopping.

Sunday was our “get it done day.” My husband and son worked outside storing the boat for winter, doing leaves(again), and other winter prep chores. I spent time indoors baking pumpkin muffins/bread, laundry and cleaning.

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Later in the afternoon my husband got away for some hunting, I made a trip to the gym for a workout, and our son did something with a friend. It was a great way for all of us to end our weekend.

What brand of backpack do you prefer?

Have you ever seen a bear hiking or in an urban environment?

 

 

Some Things Weighing On My Mind Lately

I have had some issues that have been weighing on my mind lately and I think I am getting a grip on them one by one. Here are a few and the solution I have taken to solve them.

*My afternoon workout routine is not happening with two infants! This for me is tragic to say the least. I live to exercise. It’s not an obsession by any means but more of a release and a way to relax. Recently I started caring for two infants and sleep schedules are all over the place.(As they should be with infants) Yes, I could workout while they are awake but then I don’t feel as if I am doing my job which is caring for them and entertaining their little minds. So I have decided to get in my normal afternoon routine of a half hour cardio and some weight lifting in the early morning before anyone arrives and right after my husband leaves for work. We are talking by 4:50 a.m. I am working out. Surprisingly it has not been too bad. It’s been quiet, relaxing, and honestly somewhat serene. I do hope eventually I can get everyone back on our normal afternoon schedule but for now I really think this is going to work best for all of us.

*Spending money on bear spray that could ultimately never be used. Recently I made a few calls about a back country hiking trip my husband and I have been planning. I received some really good tips and information from a park ranger that made us rethink what we needed to carry while hiking in this area. Typically we do carry a small hand held pepper spray for protection on the trails we hike. Ironically, not so much for animals but to be used on anything.(There are weirdos everywhere). After speaking with the park ranger he advised us to invest in a can of bear spray for this area we plan to hike. I told my husband and recently while shopping we located this type of protection. I (being the frugal person I am) almost sh*t when I saw the price tag. For $50 you can buy a can of bear spray with a holster to easily attach it to yourself or your backpack in the event you would come across a bear in the wilderness. I really had trouble spending this kind of cash for something that could literally never get used or could expire before it’s ever needed. Then my husband mentioned that he would rather carry this than a firearm (which I totally agree), and that $50 is cheap when it could save our lives. I had to agree with that too. After thinking about it for a while, it did make sense.

*Ankle pain is still bothering me. If you are a follower you know I have been dealing with a sore ankle for a very long time now. After kicking a rock in the river mid summer last year while portaging I have had this pain. It has gotten a lot better and the ankle swelling has actually subsided unless I spend hours on my feet, walk many miles or hike without my boots. Now the only real time I have pain is when it is bent in a certain direction. When this happens, the pain is horrendous……like tears in my eyes painful. After trying ice, heat, ankle wraps, water therapy, compression socks, and rest I have finally decided to see an orthopedic specialist this week. Enough is enough, I am done with this pain. I am not a doctor fan what so ever, but I feel in my mind it has been long enough and I have done all I can do. So hopefully by the end of the week I will have an answer and a plan to be pain free soon.

*My husbands birthday gift. It’s almost that time of year again, my husbands birthday. We are at the age now that when we want something we just go out and get it so I never know what to buy him for a gift. This year I searched hard and was coming up with nothing. Until I was actually given an idea from a friend and did some research and found the perfect gift. I would love to tell you all but sometimes he reads this so I can’t just yet. I can say, I think he’s really going to like it and I am happy I have another year before I need to search again:)

*Where to go for Easter? Every year we try and share Easter together somewhere special. This year we have not come up with a plan quite yet and we don’t even have any ideas.

*Section Hiking. I have been toying with the idea of trying to section hike the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail. I have been researching for weeks and really think this is going to be a goal in the near future. I mentioned it to my husband and to my surprise he is all for the idea. Does anyone have any advice for us? Do you like one trail more than the other? Let me know what you think.

 Is there anything weighing on your mind? Do you want to talk about it?