Recently….

Recently, I feel like so much has happened. We have been so busy with so many different things that I feel like we should do some catching up. So grab a cup of coffee and let’s do just that.

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We finally started constructing jig saw puzzles. This has been something that I found takes my mind of the never ending winters here in WI. Although, so far this winter has not been too bad, we did decide to still start one a few weeks ago. IMG_3032

Do you remember that travel bug we found a few weeks ago geocaching? Well, we finally placed it in a different location on Christmas day during our family outing. It was so cool to see that it was all the way from the Netherlands.

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As you all know, I try and add to my home gym around the holidays. This year my family was nice enough to get me three things on my list. I was gifted a 15lb. kettlebell, a 10 lb. weight plate and a thicker mat. All of which I have been using to come up with a few new routines to keep my home workouts fun and exciting.

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Even though date nights are pretty non existent in our lives right now, we are still finding time for the occasional meal out together. We recently stopped at my husbands favorite BBQ restaurant after a very long night of vehicle shopping. It was the perfect way to end a frustrating evening. IMG_3056

Speaking of vehicle shopping….we finally bought a third vehicle for ME!!! I have gone without my own vehicle for almost three years now and finally said enough was enough. It was not an easy choice however, since we were pretty limited on what had the towing capability to tow our boat and did not come in a pickup truck. Plus, I dislike many of the full size SUV’s that are out right now. However, after our last test drive we both knew this was the vehicle for us at this time. It even offers a bonus being it’s AWD, so now when the snow flies and the roads are treacherous my husband and son will both have a vehicle capable of getting them back and forth to their jobs. Which means I can worry a little less. So far I am quite happy with our choice.

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Something unbelievable happened recently also. I had a friend join me on a nature trail for a hike and we had the best time. She has just recently started to realize how wonderful exercise can make a person feel and when she mentioned maybe hitting a trail together I was all in for this plan. During our hike we came across this gorgeous snow owl. Amazing!

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Not many of our friends enjoy hiking so it was awful nice to enjoy this hike together.

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That will be it for today. Work (kiddos) are due to arrive any second and that means I need to go for now.

Have a great day:-)

 

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A Christmas Hike and A Big Birthday To Celebrate

Wow, these past few days have been so wonderful that for once I can honestly say I have enjoyed Christmas. Typically, the holiday is crazy nuts with places to go and people to see that there is hardly time to breathe in between. This year was so different and so pleasant in every way.

First, let me just say that the weather was gorgeous. We had no snow what so ever and I was one of the very few that was happy about this. Everyone claims they need snow for Christmas….everyone except me that is. I had to laugh when I received this in our mail box recently since this is exactly what I prefer to build a snowman out of also.

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Alright, back to why our holiday was so wonderful. We woke up bright and early Christmas morning to open gifts while breakfast made our house smell heavenly. Baking away in the oven was a gooey mess of yumminess we were going to enjoy before packing up to leave for a day of outdoor adventure. Here is the finished product before we devoured it without guilt since it was Christmas and all:-)   IMG_3135

We had plans to head out and do what our family loves to do on this gorgeous day…..hike. We packed up a quick Christmas lunch, threw our hiking boots in the back, grabbed our camera gear, made a thermos full of nutella hot chocolate and away we went.

IMG_3136A while later we arrived at one of our favorite parks, Cave Point. As we made our way to the trail we noticed that Mother Nature seemed to have decorated the lake side bushes and tress with icicles that were like diamonds hanging from the limbs. It was quite beautiful to see.  IMG_3137

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We hiked along the shoreline for quite a ways enjoying the beauty of the day and the area.

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After this it was time to have Christmas lunch as we have had many, many lunches in our family…..right from the back of our vehicles. Many of you will probably think this is an insane place to share a Christmas meal but in our family, some of the best meals have been shared on the tailgate of our truck or from the trunk of our car. Anyone who has kayaked with us will agree and know right where I am coming from. I could not have thought of a better place to share this meal on this day.IMG_3179Then we headed out to another trail on the way home.  IMG_3182

The main reason for stopping here was to search for a geocache we have been meaning to get for sometime now. Although, as you can see the area is mainly what I refer to as SNAKE GRASS covered. Which means the only time this is possibly with me along is when the snakes are are happily sleeping away winter.

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After this it was time to return home, watch a movie and just be together.

The next day, Christmas celebrations were officially over since we now had a big birthday to celebrate. Our son celebrated his 21st birthday the day after Christmas which meant a nice birthday lunch out at his favorite restaurant.

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And some birthday presents all wrapped in birthday paper. It’s very hard to not forget a birthday when its celebrated so close to a big holiday. As his mom, I have always had the rule that if your going to give him birthday gifts at Christmas time, they MUST be at least wrapped in birthday paper. Thankfully, to this day, everyone abides by this rule.  IMG_3134

That pretty much sums the past few days.

Do you prefer snow on Christmas?

 

 

Art Is Everywhere….Even Geocaching

This weekend my hubby and I logged a few miles of geocaching. And this happened to be the most artistic day on the trail I have ever experienced.

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Whoever constructed this section of geocaches added a fun flair to this activity. From caches made to look like snakes slithering up trees(which yes, I spotted first),

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to caches with goggly eyes that were hid behind small capes hung by wire bent art,

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to log animal caches strategically hid.

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I mentioned while hiking down the trail that maybe the deer hunter who put so much time and effort into this deer stand also had a hand in these geocaches. He did not think so, although, I still wonder if maybe it’s possible. Most deer stands are not nearly as nice and colorful as this one here in WI. Most look to be falling down and a hazard to climb up into. This was quite the sight to see deep in the wilderness. IMG_3001

While geocaching today we were lucky enough to come across a Geo Bug that we plan to move real soon to another location. We have the perfect spot and hope it travels far and wide. IMG_2988

We eventually came to a river crossing today and I was happy to see water still flowing and not much ice to be seen quite yet.

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We have been experiencing gorgeous weather here in WI so far this winter. Of course, that is if you are not a snow lover, cause there is none on the ground and none in the near future. That, right there, is a reason to celebrate the season in my eyes!!!

As you can see, with sun in my eyes and mud on my boots, I absolutely loved hiking today with my best friend.

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****In case your wondering why the blaze orange attire today…..here in WI it is deer hunting season. Better safe than sorry:)

 

Geocache #600 Found…..Have You Ever Tried Geocaching?

We did it. We have found 600 geocaches since starting this hobby a few years ago.

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If you know nothing about geocaching and you like a challenge and the outdoors, this would be a great hobby to try.

Basically you are treasure hunting while hiking…unless you do drive up geocaching which are located in street signs and such, along roadways which I personally feel are lame. Anyhow, you go to the geocaching website ( geocaching.com) and download the geocaches in the area you plan to hike. Then you grab a pen/pencil and start hiking. Along the way you watch your GPS, which tells you the wave points indicating where there is a cache to be found.

When your close you start searching. IMG_2680

Eventually you find the geocache container. These containers can be just about any shape, size or color. From tiny to large and anything in between.  IMG_2681

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IMG_2699Once you locate the cache, open it and locate the geocache log inside. This is what you sign and date with your code name indicating that you actually located this particular cache.  IMG_2700

It’s really fun to see the names of other members in our area. We often see some of the same names on numerous trails that we geocache on.

Next, if you so wish, you can take a trinket and leave a trinket. This is the fun part for children besides the hunt. Geocaches can be filled with almost anything and everything you can think of.

IMG_2697 IMG_4384 After you are finish finding all the caches you have downloaded or you are just done for the day, you return home and record the caches you have located on the website for others to know if they are still there or not. This is where you can also notify the owner of that particular cache that there is a problem with a cache or if it is no longer able to be located for some reason. (fallen tree, high water, someone took it, etc)

Geocaching is a fun way to spend some time outdoors, be active, get your children active and enjoy exploring trails.  IMG_2701

Give it a try, I really think you will find it fun.

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Our 22nd Wedding Anniversary

I still can’t believe my husband and I have been married 22 years. That’s almost half my life. By this time we know exactly what each other really enjoys, needs and wants which made this anniversary quite easy to plan. I took the reins this year and planned an overnight getaway for us that was more about just escaping life and all the drama rather than celebrating anything special. Although, we did make time for a bit of celebration also.

The past two months for my husband have been a roller coaster ride with all the health issues his father has been dealing with. So I knew a night away would be so beneficial for him. However, because of the seriousness of this matter, I knew it needed to be close to home for a quick return if need be. The first place I thought of was Door County which has everything we love from water, hiking, great food, and so on.

Saturday morning we left around 9:30 a.m and headed that direction. He had no idea what was on the agenda except that we would be spending the night somewhere in Door County.  I handled all the packing and details, all he had to do was drive.IMG_2801 Our first stop was Sturgeon Bay and we did something that I would have NEVER done when I was younger. We went antiquing…..not my favorite thing in the world but I knew he would LOVE this. We stopped at two antique shops here and headed to two more a ways up the road near Egg Harbor.  IMG_2804

After some shopping we headed a little more north to our next destination to have some dinner. I knew he would be very happy with a visit to his favorite pizza place but upon our arrival we ran into a race event happening throughout the area which meant there we tons of people waiting at all area restaurants. So instead of waiting forever, we headed north a bit more and came to a restaurant we had never been to and decided to try for dinner.

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We were very pleased with our meal choices at Summer Kitchen. Service was very fast, friendly and the food was really tasty. And the best part, they offer a soup bar with every meal which is always a plus for me.

With full bellies we headed to our overnight destination…..Birchwood Lodge in Sister Bay, WI. IMG_2824

I made sure our room would have everything he enjoyed to fully relax for the evening. A fireplace, hot tub, and television meant he was in heaven. And this lodge had it all. Plus, I even packed a few celebration treats to enjoy together.

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When morning rolled around we had hoped it was going to be a much nicer day since it rained all day Saturday. We woke and opened the blinds to find sunny skies on the horizon. IMG_2821

We quickly gathered our things and went to grab a quick, hardy breakfast before getting to the last part of our getaway, the trail we had planned to finish this weekend. We arrived at a little diner in Sister Bay called Carroll House Restaurant and had a fantastic meal on their last day of business before closing up for the winter months.

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Unlike most restaurants in the Door County area, this place offered a wide variety menu at wonderfully affordable prices. After breakfast it was time to hit the trail. Along the way we enjoyed the views of the area.  IMG_2839  IMG_2834

We ended the day by finishing the Ahnapee State Trail, finding our #600 geocache and enjoying the fall colors together. IMG_2847

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Weekend Snapshots: We Are Almost Done….

This weekend we completed another big chunk of the Ahnapee State Trail. We have been working on hiking this entire trail for two years now. It is 48 miles from Kewaunee, WI to downtown Sturgeon Bay, WI and since we always have to turn back to reach our vehicle we technically will have completed this trail twice. Our goal is to finish the last stretch before the snow flies….which if all goes well should be no problem.

Here is a look at our weekend

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Ahnapee State Trail bench

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A trail map I will never utilize….brrrr!   IMG_2688

Logging a few more geocachesIMG_2687

Fun on the trail

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Almost 6 miles today and not a single snake….yehhhh!

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It was a great weekend here in Green Bay. Weather was sunny and cool, great for hiking. Sunday our son went hiking with a friend, my husband lent a hand to his parents with fall cleanup, and I accomplished many things around the house that have been neglected over the summer months. I can’t believe the chores I can accomplish when I am home alone.

After all these things were completed, I ended my Sunday with a workout at the gym and some relaxing time on my porch. I know these moments are quickly coming to an end, so I have to savor every second of warmth I can to enjoy sitting outside.

 

 

 

Where Have I Been You Ask?

Ahhhh, I can’t believe it been a week since my last post. I apologize but life sort of got away from me for awhile.

Let’s update you all on what I’ve been up to. Last Friday I finally had my MRI of my ankle. It took forever but I actually enjoyed the 38 minutes I had to lay there peacefully listening to the machine bang away. I started feeling somewhat under the weather Friday morning so a little rest at the end of the day was quite nice.

Saturday I woke up feeling terrible. My head hurt, I had this nasty cough, and my entire body felt like I was run over by a semi. The sun was shining brightly and I did not even care. I did venture from bed to the couch but it did not take me long to venture back to bed.

Easter Sunday I seriously felt like I would have felt better to some extent. After spending Saturday sleeping all day, how could Sunday not be better? Well, it was not! I was the same if not a little worse. I tried to push through it, do some things around the house and finally just gave up. Back to the couch I went and that is where I stayed until the phone rang. This was part of our original plan for Easter Sunday and one I knew I would have to just get up and get through. Earlier in the week I had worked out a deal and a delivery time with a kayak outfitter in Ironwood, MI to purchase and deliver my husbands new kayak. When they offered to bring it to WI for us instead of us making the drive to MI on Saturday I was elated. One of the employees were traveling straight through and said she could just throw it atop her vehicle if we would meet her Sunday night and make the exchange. When the phone rang, I needed to get up and function for about 45 minutes. We arrived at the meeting spot and soon were the owners of yet another Jackson kayak! We drove home with my husband dying to paddle a nearby river and me just waiting to get back into my nice warm bed.

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Then Monday arrived and instead of life getting better, it didn’t take long to get just a little bit worse. By 8:15 in the morning I received the call stating the results of the MRI I had Friday. I have a tendon tear in my ankle. My doctor basically gave me two options:

#1: total immobilization for 4 weeks in a knee high boot 24 hrs a day.

#2: surgery and immobilization for 12 weeks in a boot with physical therapy to follow.

Ummmm, being the person I am and the plans I know I have on the calendar I knew before asking which one I wanted to hear. But I did ask him what he would recommend. He surprised me by saying, ” lets try the boot first for a month. If we can keep you still and off that ankle as much as possible, I think we have a good chance of it healing without surgery.” HURRAY!!!!!

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As you see, I agreed completely (well almost). I am determined to do my best to stay off that ankle. Which, if you follow this blog, you know this is not going to be a pleasant experience for me. We already discussed this as a family, and my son said,”mom it’s just a month.We can live with you crabby for a month better than three months.” This means, no hiking, exercising, walking, workouts, geocaching, disc golf, etc. This ought to be an interesting month.

I’ll let you all know how this works out as I progress through this journey.