From Sunscreen and Bug Spray To Chap Stick and Hand Warmers

Yes, summer is no doubt over here in WI. I have traded my sunscreen and bug spray out for chap stick and hand warmers and I don’t like it!!!! I know I know, I should be used to this by now but it’s no secret I dislike winter with a passion.

Anyhow, I thought I would share with you my first walk in over a month in a forest setting that was on my own free will, not meant for any sort of exercise, and it was simply just to get out, breathe, and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors before old man winter freezes everything into a solid state of miserable.

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We here had a rough week this past week. My husband had some nasty illness that really leveled him. He came home from work one day early to sleep, slept on the couch four nights in a row, ran a high fever with not much relief from any fever reducing medications, and hardly ate much all week. So finally, when he said he was feeling up to doing something, we took a walk. Fresh air never hurt anyone is my thought.

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It was gorgeous in the woods. Trees were all colors and the ground was just as colorful. Never have I seen a purple mushroom like I found on todays walk.

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It felt so good to get out and enjoy a few hours of nothing…..just nature.

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It makes me sad winter is right around the corner. Although, like most things, it will pass. I can just hope it passes by quickly and with not much snow and ice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An Offer I Could Not Pass Up

****Disclaimer: I was offered free product for an honest review of my thoughts on this company. All opinions are honest and in my own words.

After a horrible week of chaos before leaving for our Virginia hiking trip I must say life is getting back to a new normal. Is it normal for everything to break, for work to be super stressful, and for plans to change all in the week prior to vacation? Well, this is exactly what all happened here…there was even a point two days prior to leaving I wanted to just forget the entire trip. Thankfully, we did not and we had the best time with nothing….not one single thing going wrong. How wonderful is that?

Anyhow, about two weeks prior to leaving for this trip I was given a diagnosis of something I had a feeling was coming but was avoiding for quite some time. Well, now its time to face the facts and move on. Its nothing life threatening but will be life changing for me for sure. Then, ironically, a week after this I received an email from Swanson Health asking if I would like to take advantage of $50 in free product from their website to try. I took a quick look and noticed a few things that they offer that was on the list of things to try from my doctor. How is that for perfect timing?  So I decided why not give them a try and I placed my order.

That being said, I have been trying to take my doctors advise and learn how to meditate. No laughing now…..because if you know me personally, sitting and clearing my jam packed mind is a funny thought in itself for sure. So far I am not sure if its working or not but I am truly giving it my best shot. I bought some essential oil room/yoga mist and have been trying some sound therapy to help get me to “this place” where I should not be thinking of anything. Again…..trying not to think of anything…..really trying;-) I have also been doing yoga daily to help with joint and muscle pain I have daily which was also suggested. Happily, I am seeing improvement and the days where I forget to do it I find myself reminded by evening with my body talking back. Thankfully 10-15 minutes of yoga is easy and can be done literally anywhere. Along with massage (thanks to my husband) and daily exercise I have been feeling pretty good once again. This mist I bought is pretty nice in all honesty. I am not a big fake scent person so I really love that its an essential oil mist and can be used anywhere. There are many scents available and a little goes a long way for a small price.

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Around our house we have been preparing for winter. Like it or not I feel it coming and its never a good feeling but I am not dreading it quite as bad as other years yet. Our fall chore list is long but we are getting there. I can only dream of owning a home where the summer season stays around all year long and you never have to pack away patio tables, grills, close up windows to the frigid cold breeze, and swap out lawnmowers for snow blowers. I tell ya….its a big dream!!!! With winter always comes cold which means dry air and then comes dry skin and hair. For me, I have been using the same facial moisturizer for a few years and love it so much I purchased another container from this company when I found they offered it much cheaper than I buy it here on the store shelf.

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Speaking of joint health, I never really jumped on the cherry juice bandwagon since its so darn expensive but when I saw that they had a concentrated bottle and the reviews were really great, I gave it a try. So far we have used it in smoothies, taken it straight from a spoon, my son has flavored his homemade kombucha with it, and drizzled it over greek yogurt to add flavor. It’s pretty good but as for any joint health improvement, I can’t say I notice anything yet. Although, I am not sure how much or how long you need to consume it to be able to notice joint health relief either. So be what it may, its not bad used the way I have tried and I may possibly order more here and there.

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The last thing I ordered was something my husband swears by and something I have been taking for years also….Tumeric. I know everyone is talking about tumeric tea online lately but personally I can’t even imagine drinking this spice this way. We have tried a few different brands of capsules(our preferred method) and if you do not eat a bit of food with them you will surly taste tumeric shortly after ingesting it…and sometimes even puff orange powder like puff the magic dragon. Oh, so not tasty!!!! Anyhow, capsules are our way of reaping the benefits of this wonderful spice for inflammation relief and when I saw that Swanson Health offered this also at a better price than we normally purchase it from another company, I immediately knew I had to order some. Plus, at the time of my order they had a special going of buy one get one free. Bonus!!!

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All in all, I was thrilled with this company for a few reasons. Typically, I place and order for our tumeric and it could take anywhere from one to three weeks to arrive. Grrrrr, its never ever been on time. And like I said, even two days without this product and my husband can barely move his fingers since he has such bad arthritis from years of working with power tools for his profession. I also love that they really have reasonable prices and things did not seem be be sold out when I was shopping around the website. Again, an issue with our current vitamin/supplement company. Everything I ordered from Swanson Health showed up in 4 days, with exactly what I ordered, and in tacked. I was very happy and would highly recommend if you are shopping around for a healthy living company you may want to give them a try. Look around their website….they offer many, many different items for the health conscious consumer.

 

A Look Back At May And What’s To Come For June

Here is a little recap of the month of May 2015.

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Fishing in the boat for the first time in 2015

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Our first big hike of 2015

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Finally getting my lifestyle back after an injury

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Our first kayaking trip of 2015

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It’s been quite a whirlwind month for us. As for June, it’s even crazier. With a visit to a friends cabin, a weekend garage sale to clear out the growing pile in our basement of things we no longer need/want, kayaking, hopefully standup paddling depending on my ankle, and to the beginning of our training plan for our up coming vacation. Life is looking somewhat overwhelming although, it’s exactly how I like it to be.

Do you fill your summertime calendar with busy, fun activities?

Or are you one to leave the weekends for rest and relaxation?

 

A Quiz I Took and the Results

I recently was sent an email from REI outdoor gear retailer that asked me to take a quiz. The quiz was to find out what camp type person I was. This sounded fun so I went with it and was very happy with the results.

I was asked a total of nine questions with about 5 choices to pick from for each answer.

1. Pick a destination: Mountains

2. Camp drink of choice: energy drink (typically this would not be my drink of choice but it was the only one I would consider in the options given.)

3. Favorite Treat: chocolate

4. Pick a city: Denver (Out of all the choices it was the one closest to mountains so I went with it)

5. Pick a bird: Eagle

6. Favorite breakfast food: bagel

7. Age I am: I choose the answer “Not acting my age” because I normally don’t when I am out in nature

8. Woodland creature I am: Grizzly, because I can be quite the bear at times

9. Wake up time: crack of dawn

My results came back and listed me as “An Adventurer”- up before the sun you’re gone. There are trails to hike, rivers to raft, rock faces to climb. Your motto “Back By Dinner”

I was very happy with these results. I see myself as all this and yes, normally I am back by dinner.

This quiz really made me think hard about where I was less than 5 years ago. First of all, I would never camp, in a tent, without a flushing toilet within a few yards, and with no shower or running water. We should be in the phase of our lives where hotels and resorts look much more appealing to us, not roughing it out in the woods like when we were first married and had no money to do anything. Heck, even then I would not camp.

I sat an wondered to myself what happened in the last few years to change my mind so drastically…and I just could not answer that question exactly.  I just love being out in the woods, with no one to impress, no technology, no demands on my time, no need for my hair to be done, my clothes to match, and so forth. I could go on forever. When I leave home for a trail to hike or a river to paddle it’s like going to church for me. It’s my moment to be at peace with the world. Maybe, as I aged I started caring less about what people thought of me and more about what I wanted for myself. I am not quite sure, but something really changed a few years back and I am so thankful for that change. I am so much happier with my life and the activities I do now than I was a few years ago.

Do you ever feel the need to just escape from life? What do you find helps you escape?

 

Weekend Highlights: Rhubarb Jam and Getting Reunited With My Standup Paddle Board

What a spectacular weekend we had. It all started Friday night. We had the great pleasure of being invited to clear out an entire patch of rhubarb from one of my daycare families yard. I was beyond thrilled with this offer from them. Immediately the wheels started turning in my head. The cookbooks were out and I started adding to my grocery list the ingredients needed to make jam and rhubarb bread.

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Thankfully, after cutting a ton of stalks, my husband offered to do all the cleaning and chopping so I could get the rest of the grocery shopping done Friday night. I returned home to find it all chopped and packaged in the frig waiting for me to prepare. Although, this would all have to wait until Sunday.

Saturday was our day of play which really turned into a day of pure relaxation. I finally got reunited with my standup paddle board after many, many months of it hanging on the wall. We loaded it up on our new Thule roof rack system we purchased back in March and headed to a new lake we were told to check out from a friend.

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Let me just say, I was in HEAVEN! The lake was calm, quiet, and not a weed in sight.

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Weeds are always a big fear of mine especially if I fall into a patch of them…ewwww! However, no one fell in this time. I paddled for quite a few hours. My husband fished from one of our recreational kayaks while I simply enjoyed the calm lake. At one point I decided to lay back on the board, take in some sun and actually dozed off awakening to find that I had drifted into the lily pads on the edge of the lake. Now that is relaxed, I guess I needed some down time. Thankfully, I fell asleep with my PFD still on :/

Sunday brought the day to put all that rhubarb to good use. I made rhubarb sauce for pancake topping or it’s also great on ice cream. I also made rhubarb bread, mini muffins, and jam.

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I still have about three gallons of chopped rhubarb to use up  but I ran out of time. After all that cooking it was time to get a gym workout in before the stormy weather hit Sunday night.

I could not have asked for a better weekend. I hope you all enjoyed your as much as I did.

 

 

 

 

I Feel a Vacation Coming….

The winter of 2014 will be forever in our minds as the winter of below zero temperatures for 49 days straight. Lately, we have had temps up to 75 and now we are back down to the thirties in the morning hours. I simply can’t believe we have had to turn our heat back on!!! That being said, I really feel the need to do something about where we live.

I know what your all thinking. I just have spring fever. Although, I seriously think it’s more than that. I may have winter pneumonia. I have lived in this city for every single one of my 41 years of life. That’s 41 winters I have remarkably survived. Now, I admit maybe when I was young it was not so bad, but the last 10 years have truly been torture. So, I came up with this plan and ran it by my husband.  He always gets so worried when I say, “Honey, I have a plan…!” (I personally think he just needs to relax) Much to my surprise, he agreed to my plan after very little thought.

We are going to take our first winter vacation ever in 2015. We have decided (ok, so maybe I decided and let him know about it) to go back to the Southwest area where it is toasty warm and sunny.

We visited this same general area for the first time back in September 2013 when we traveled with REI to Zion National Park. This was by far the best vacation I had ever been on. We arrived in the REI van as passengers and it literally brought tears to my eyes at what I saw everywhere around me. I must admit, this was also the most emotional vacation I had ever taken. I cried three times in three days and for no reason other than I was so happy there. I was in my element with sun, hot temperatures and mountains all around me. Someday I have to believe I will live in this area, but until then, I plan to visit and explore every mile that I can.

This time we will be going at it on our own with no guides. We are also not visiting any national parks. Utah in winter has snow, so we plan to go a little more south to avoid the nasty white stuff. I hate to say it because winter 2014 is not that far behind us, but I am actually excited for winter 2015 to arrive. Now that’s a scary thought!

My hope is that by going on a warm vacation for a few days it will at least break up the endless days of freezing temperatures and make winter not seem so long and dreadful for me. It’s the best we can do at this point in our lives so I will take it as a blessing that I will have one week mid winter of glorious sunshine and warmth.

Do any of you vacation mid winter somewhere warm and sunny?

Does it help with the endless days of winter?