- Summer! The last couple of days the weather has been wonderful with warm days and cool nights.
- I just finished an excellent memoir of a girl that struggles with borderline, bipolar, and anorexia called Loud in the House of Myself. It was very personal, well written, and should’ve been a best seller. I just started a new memoir about a guy who struggles with extreme addiction to crack and alcohol. It’s been a hard book to read.
- Arabella still has her job. Her manager sent her home after she showed up late. Tardiness has been something she has struggled with for quite a long time. I’m so glad I don’t have to wake her up for school anymore.
- Yesterday my husband and I took some friends out sailing. Afterwards we went out to eat to celebrate the September birthdays including my husbands. Thankfully the weather was perfect.
- We are leaving for our trip in a couple days. I am excited to check a couple more states off my bucket list.
- I have an appointment for a hair cut and am going to get my nails done. I always look forward to a little pampering.
- Supper with my son and his new girlfriend got postponed until tomorrow. But she did come over with my son to do some laundry this past week. I think that’s the first time I’ve seen my son do laundry. I sat down and talked with them for about an hour and she seems really nice.
- I saw a wild turkey in our yard this morning. I’m grateful for our house and ample opportunities to see nature. I’ve seen turkeys now along with deer and foxes, plenty of birds, and even the 4 frogs that live in our decorative pond.
I lit a candle for you today.
I didn’t get the chance to know you very well.
Today was the day your family set aside to remember you.
But it has been cancelled now.
The rain falls to the ground in a downpour.
Soon it will melt the snow away.
Spring, they say.
But it is still so cold.
The water spills forth and floods the earth.
Will anyone cry that much for you?
I feel sad for you today.
I remember the little of your life you shown me.
Yours wasn’t the first death this year.
I fear it won’t be the last.
But today I lit a candle for you.
- And still more compliments about my hair from strangers.
- February is over! It was a really tough month and my husband was gone half the month.
- Spring is in the air. The sun is shining. The temps are above freezing. A fly just buzzed by me. I’m excited for what is to come.
- My daughter will be spending her college spring break here. I miss her so much.
- We will be taking our family road trip to Florida this month.
- I finished the book Complex PTSD and learned a lot about myself. I started a new book called Childhood Disrupted. I am now healing with mindfulness.
- My husband started reading Complex PTSD. He is working hard to be supportive.
- I am in a pretty good mood today.
- This morning my husband and I watched 7 deer walk through our yard.
- I feel like there are brief periods of time I have a reprieve from my stress.
I’m STILL waiting for a call from the doctor. I did get one call yesterday. It was from someone who barely spoke English trying to sell me final expense insurance. Did they somehow know I was worriedly waiting for test results?
At least all of this waiting gave me plenty of time to think. If I end up not having Celiac, I think I will go the allergy testing route. I was going to beg the doctor to put me back on Prilosec, but decided against it. When they did the scope, they found numerous polyps in my stomach that they think were caused by long term Prilosec use. It’s rare that they are cancerous, but they could be. They did a biopsy, but couldn’t remove them all.
In the meantime, I’m running out of time. My first 50k that I signed up for is a little more than a month away. I’m planning on running a marathon distance next week.
Training for this has been incredibly challenging. I really didn’t realize how awful I’d feel off of Prilosec. I have been feeling sick to my stomach a lot or having a stomachache. Several times I have been afraid to be far away from the bathroom. I’ve had to turn around and come back home. I’ve had to run into the woods. I’ve had no where I could go.
Being anemic, I feel exhausted, weak, and lightheaded without running. Running I feel like my legs are made of lead and I have a large weight on my back. Most days I need to take a nap.
I hurt my ankle last month and had to take some time off.
The weather hasn’t been cooperating either. We had a late start to the summer with record rainfall and cool days. My favorite trails were underwater. Some of the races in our area even had to be cancelled due to the weather. Then summer hit full force. Tomorrow will most likely be one of the top ten hottest days on record in our area. Followed by more rain and strong storms.
The storms have been hitting us unexpectedly at times. Just this week I drove my daughter to camp. It was sunny, hot, and humid. We passed a lady walking with her child on the way. By the time we got to camp, there was a continuous roar of thunder and heavy rain. On the way home, I saw the lady with her daughter who was about ten. It looked like the mom was huddled on the side of the road trying to protect her daughter. I know how terrifying it can be to get caught in an unexpected storm, so I pulled over and offered them a ride home.
I hollered at them to get into my car fast because a car was coming and I didn’t know if they could see me stopped in the torrential downpour. I was out in the middle of nowhere. I was almost out of gas. I was hydroplaning. Cars were driving slow or pulled over to the side of the road altogether. But it was exhilarating. I got someone home safe. But it grew exhausting driving about a half an hour through flash flooding in a torrential downpour.
You would think that all the rain would’ve washed all the mud off my car from trying to find a hiking trail that had its access dirt road under water. But no. Unfortunately, my car was unable to get through the washed out road. Instead it looked like I went mud running which regrettably didn’t earn me any bad ass mom points with my teenagers.
Needless to say, I have also wanted to stay close to home for fear of getting caught in a bad storm. Not to mention, I had a lady come up to me when running to tell me that a bear was spotted on my running route. Then there is the endless stream of drivers hellbent on trying to run me down with their cars.
I almost deserve more than a banana and medal if I can finish this race.
The good news is that I found a new running trail pictured above. It seems pretty safe and full of nature (and bathrooms). Despite my health and fears, I am determined to run this race. I might not finish, but I sure am going to do my best to try.
I just signed up for my first 50k.
There is no turning back now. Thankfully, I have until September to train. I will be running the ultra with my cousin.
It has been a cold spring here in Wisconsin. I have only been out to run a handful of times. Today’s high temps are in the mid-40’s and it is raining. Yuck! But at least it’s not snowing.
I was able to run with my new friend from the theater. I doubt we will ever run together again and I am okay with that. She is so much better than I am. What I didn’t know was that this new friend qualified for the Boston Marathon 6 times and ran it twice. She even ran something like 10 miles the day she gave birth. Talk about hard core!
She is a couple years younger than me as well which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is in the racing world. Maybe if I was 20 years younger than her, I would be able to keep up. That might even be pushing it.
Now that I am almost 45, I don’t have the stamina I used to.
I had a really bad run outside a couple weeks ago. I was several miles from home when I had to go to the bathroom really bad. I was in the suburbs and there was no where to go. I was so tempted to run up to a stranger’s house and ask if I could use their bathroom. How mortifying would that be! Every time I ran, the urge to go was stronger but walking prolonged the journey home. I called my husband to pick me up, but he didn’t answer. There were people everywhere. I finally made it home accident free.
Maybe I need to add Depends to my running supply list! That is the only thing I like about running on the treadmill at the gym. There is a bathroom close by if I need it. It is easier to stay hydrated as well. I finally broke down and bought a hydration belt with water bottles for the long runs outside.
Again, having to go to the bathroom is always an issue outside. Not to mention bugs, pop up thunderstorms, reckless drivers, adverse weather conditions, those horrible hills, chafing, injuries, dehydration, and animals. But that is what also makes for the best stories and adventures that won’t be forgotten. It’s the dirt and the grit. Determination. The testing of the limits. The long runs to think. Enjoying nature when it doesn’t call. The friendships, the camaraderie of strangers, the goodness of fellow travelers along the trail. I love it all!
I am hoping that the training goes a lot better once it warms up outside. Since I have a few marathons under my belt, what is a few more miles? Right?!??
Things have been a little rough around here the last couple weeks. So I thought I would lighten it up a little with a picture I took this past week.
Try not to overthink like I do…Why is there a field of pumpkins when Halloween is next week?? I guess that one is really not my problem…Instead I’ll enjoy the beauty of my second favorite season.
So enjoy this carefree post while it lasts… Stay tuned because next week might be a little dicey.
But as for today I am not slaying my demons. Tonight I’m going to a costume party. I can wear a mask and be someone else for awhile. Sometimes life can be frivolous and fun. My husband says that although there is no doubt I am crazy, I am the fun type of crazy.
Life is always an adventure! Enjoy the ride!
This past weekend we traveled to the farthest northern point of Wisconsin.
If you aren’t familiar with our state, we are located in the northern mid-west of the United States. We are surrounded by bodies of water on each border of our state, except our southern border which has Illinois. To the west, we have the Mississippi River. To the north, Lake Superior. To the east, Lake Michigan. With so many lakes, it is a wonderful place for fishing, sailing, and water sports of any kind. The diehards even go fishing on the lake’s ice on the coldest days of winter.
Most of our population lives near our biggest cities of Madison, Milwaukee, and Green Bay. It takes approximately 8 hours to drive from the southern most point to the northern and 5 hours from the farthest west to the east. A lot of our lakes are practically deserted…peaceful, serene, and quiet.
Wisconsinners are very hardy folk by nature. We have to be to survive our winters. We are known for the Green Bay Packers, the Great Lakes, brats, and beer. Unfortunately, we are also known for being one of the drunkest states hosting some of the drunkest cities in the nation, if not world. Drinking is a huge part of our culture.
The far northern portion of our state has a lot of wildlife not related to drinking. I captured a picture of Paul fishing. But in doing so, I may have gotten a little too close to an otter den. I was chased down in the water by hissing otters. I can’t say that ever happened to me before. We also saw deer that were too numerous to count. This part of our state tends to get the largest snowfalls and coolest temperatures.
I love taking pictures of our state’s beauty. The northernmost part of our state is rugged and wild with the lowest population.
On the way home, we stopped for brunch at what was rumored the best restaurant in the county. It was almost a 2 hour wait, so we decided to skip brunch and headed towards home. It took us over an hour to find another restaurant. Was it the only restaurant in the county?? Gas stations and restaurants are scarce. But even rarer is good cell reception. You might be in trouble if you run out of gas on a snowy winter night without cell reception. Even the highway traffic is minimal. I think we saw more deer than cars.
But I would have to say, even though I’ve been to many beautiful places, that Wisconsin is still on the top of the list. I wanted to share that beauty with you.
We started off day 6 by hiking through Hellfire Pass.
This was the actual location that the POW’s from WWII and general laborers from Burma worked day and night to build a railroad through rocks and jungle. They were forced to work very long hours with very little sleep or supplies. If the men were too sick to work, they did not get fed at all in the attempt to get them back to work. Many men got sick with various serious ailments due to the harsh conditions. Many died of starvation.
The workers were treated poorly and punished severely if they didn’t work fast enough. One hundred thousand people lost their lives building the railroad. The fires lit at night made the workers think of hell, hence the name Hellfire Pass.
We took a train ride on a part of the Death Railroad that was still in use. We left the train and explored a cave that was set up as a medical aid station during the war. A shrine is set up there now. If you explore the cave past the shrine, there are a lot of bats in it.
We stopped at a waterfall. It was a slippery climb, but I didn’t see anyone fall.
In the afternoon, we visited the elephants. This was not included in the trip. It used to be included as an option, but the tour company got flooded with complaints saying that it wasn’t humane to ride an elephant. Unfortunately, the elephants survival depends on tourists dollars.
Many years ago the elephants were not treated humanely. They were given amphetamines to work long hours clearing brush and doing heavy lifting. After this was outlawed, the elephants could not be released into the wild. They would die. They created a sanctuary for these elephants and their families. Tourists can go to the sanctuary and pay to feed the elephants. Or they can ride the elephants, go on a river cruise, and swim with the elephants.
I was very nervous about riding an elephant at first. Look at them! They are huge. I was worried about falling off. The little seat on top of the elephant was held up by a couple of ropes that I was concerned wouldn’t hold our combined weight. Going up and down hills, I felt like I was falling. It was big time out of my comfort zone, but I decided to do it anyway.
After riding the elephant, we took a ride on a bamboo raft up the River Kwai. On the way back down, we jumped in the water and floated down the river. I couldn’t see or feel the bottom with my feet. When we got back, the elephants were waiting for us in the river. I had a hard time standing up as the current was fairly strong and the rocks under our feet were sharp. The elephants themselves are very gentle but whiskery with rough skin. They were only soft on the tip of their trunk.
I was a little nervous in the water too just from the sheer size of the elephants. Paul had an elephant fall in love with him. The elephant kept touching his bald head with her trunk. They gazed into each other’s eyes. Animals love him. The elephant seemed to sense my nervousness.
It certainly was a remarkable experience. I’m really happy I decided to go there.
There are a few elephants that live in the wild. Some people on our tour bus saw one as we were driving through the jungle.
We stopped on the way back to see some wild monkeys that were fed leftover food from the market.
We were not allowed to touch the monkeys. The tour guide had to close the doors on the bus so they wouldn’t get inside and raid our food. It was unbelievable seeing hundreds of monkeys out in the open so close that I could touch them.
We arrived back at the hotel in the evening and decided to eat outdoors at the romantic table. It was gorgeous outside. The average high temps were in the 90’s and it didn’t rain once the whole time we were in Thailand.
Nearby was a table with a large extended family. Two little girls from their table danced to American music that played through the speakers. Either we didn’t hear any music at all or it was remade American hits from a few years back made into elevator music sung by a mediocre female singer. She even sang a song by Nine Inch Nails elevator style. I wonder if they even understood the words. I don’t specifically recall hearing any Thai music on our whole trip. I thought that was rather odd.
Today was our favorite day of the trip.
As you may have guessed, running and writing are two of my favorite hobbies.
I also love photography and traveling. Unfortunately, I can’t do the last two hobbies as often as the first two. I could take pictures of everyday mundane life and selfies galore. But that bores me. So why wouldn’t it bore you??
I didn’t have to travel far to get a few pictures of the ice shove on the bay of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. Even local friends asked where I was off to this time…Alaska? Antarctica?? No, just my beautiful home state.
You really should consider booking a visit. Summer is the best time. But as you can see, winter is beautiful here too. Today the wind chills are only in the single digits below zero. So it is warming up out there!
The ice shove is 20 feet high. This is the biggest ice shove I’ve seen in my lifetime. It took some really nasty weather conditions to make this. Thankfully the beauty that resulted lasted longer than the storm. Kind of like real life sometimes…
A couple of weeks back I became strangely fascinated by the trees in my yard. It was well into fall and some of my trees were bare and some of the leaves were yet to change color. How could this be??
I decided to go out on a limb. I traipsed around my yard with my phone in hand to snap a couple pics of my trees as the neighbor came out of her house. I think that she thought I was coming over for a visit. How odd to be hanging around the property line. Awkward!
I wondered how all of these trees could exist in the same environment of my yard but be so different..How could it be possible that some of the trees lost all of their leaves right away and some didn’t even change colors?
I spent a little too much time thinking about it…I thought, and thought, and thought…until I thought I figured it out.
Maybe it was because some of the trees were in the front of the yard and some of the trees were in the back. Maybe they had more water or less sun.
But, no, that wasn’t it.
How could it make sense?
Then I thought some more…
Maybe the trees were like my kids..They all grew up in the same environment, but turned out differently.
I wonder why that is…
I can understand why different types of trees are different…But how do you explain variations in the same kind of trees?
How can siblings that grew up with the same parents in the same environment be so different from each other??