- My mom and I were able to go snowshoeing this past week. We are having another snowstorm, so I see more snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the near future. It’s been a very snowy late winter.
- My daughter and her husband got a new kitten this past week. I’m grateful she is adding joy to their lives.
- Volunteer time; it was good to go back after taking a couple weeks off.
- I had an eye exam this past week and will be getting new glasses. I’ve been having some minor problems with my eyes, mainly sensitive, irritated eyes with blurry vision caused by a blocked tear gland. I can’t even cry right anymore. Seriously, at this point I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry. I’m grateful to find out what is going on and that it will be a long time before I have to go back again.
- I signed up for a motorcycle class at the local Harley Davidson. I’ve been thinking about it for years but have been nervous about signing up, so now I did.
- I saw my first robin this past week. Even though there is tons of snow on the ground and more coming…spring will be here soon…right??
- We had a volunteer night at the sailing club to put our summer sailing brochures in envelopes. Previously our friends Harv and Kate were doing it themselves and it took them 6 hours. With a large group, we got the job done in a half an hour.
- It was nice to see Harv and Kate again. They are somewhere around 90 years old and Harv has been in poor health. I’m grateful to have some wonderful older friends to look up to. They have been married for 62 years and are a great example of what marriage can be.
- As a Christmas gift, we had our pastor and his family over to grill out and swim. It was a lot of fun to see the little kids having fun in the pool.
- We also had our friends over for trip planning last night. Next month we are taking a road trip to Traverse City, Michigan. We had a good visit.
- While our friends were here last night, we saw a red fox walk right by the window. That’s not something we see very often.
Gratitude week 166
- I’m grateful to catch a break with a trip to the Caribbean.
- While we were gone, it snowed two feet. We were able to get out and go cross-country skiing for the first time this season.
- My brother Luke and his family spent the weekend at our house. We watched his daughter compete in a swim meet.
- Yesterday we went out to eat for Paul’s step-dad’s 70th birthday. It went a lot better than I expected it would.
- Arabella’s face is healed and she went in for her court assessment today.
- Paul and I had a good meeting with our couples therapist this morning.
- We were able to see Angel and her husband every day over the weekend.
Gratitude week 165
- We made it out before the big storm came.
- I checked the continent of South America off my bucket list.
- Nobody died while we were gone.
- It was refreshing to visit the Caribbean and sit on the beach for a few days.
- I’m grateful that February is gone and winter is almost over.
- It’s good to be back home and sleep in my own bed.
Gratitude week 163
- I’m grateful we didn’t go to the yurt and were able to get a lot of stuff done. Lisa said it took 4 hours for them to hike into the yurt on a snowy hilly path with wind chills of 20 below. Then they left early, only staying one night instead of two, because they couldn’t get it to warm up more than 60 degrees inside the yurt. We picked another weekend to get together.
- I’m grateful that we found Arabella a car and I got it all registered and insured. I let my daughter use my car until I got it registered. I ended up driving her car to get it registered at the DMV without plates. I thought for sure I would get pulled over especially after a squad car pulled up behind me at the gas station. He didn’t even bothering glancing my way more than once and didn’t follow me. Only proves I’m a middle aged lady not even a threat at all for committing a crime. I strike fear in no one. Sad! LOL.
- My mom took Paul and I out for hibachi/sushi to thank my husband for helping her with Matt’s bookkeeping. I had crab rangoon sushi which was amazing.
- Volunteer time.
- Paul and I went to see our couple’s therapist who is very insightful. I think she can help us. I actually made my therapist cry when I told her some of my childhood stories. She wants me to join a woman’s group she is having and I think I will give it a try.
- We were supposed to get a snowstorm on the night I was planning a girl’s night with Angel, Lexi, and Arabella. We had plans to go out to eat and thrifting. The 6 inches of snow turned out to be about 6 snowflakes, so I didn’t have to cancel.
- I had some good finds thrifting. I was able to replenish my supply of candles and I found a murder mystery party game. Angel found multiple Stephen King books she didn’t have.
- The guys were able to make a lot of headway fixing my son’s car.
- I spent some time working on my book and feel more organized about it.
- I just finished a really difficult puzzle.
- Angel and I are going to spend some time together this afternoon sorting donations at the place I volunteer at.
Gratitude week 162
- A spa day with my mom. We went out to eat before and the food was really good. (I had a veggie burger, and if that was very good!!!). I decided to take the extra survey for a chance to win a $250 gift card. I didn’t seem to win it yet though…Wouldn’t that be something?
- The longest and hardest month of the year, January, is finally over.
- I’m starting to work on my book again.
- Although we didn’t make it to the yurt, we found a car for Arabella.
- I’m grateful to be getting my car back. I let Arabella and Will borrow my car quite often.
- I’m glad the cold snap seems to be over. We are going to have a few days above freezing. The sun is shining too.
- I’m glad Angel has an appointment with the wellness clinic I went to a couple years back. I think she will be able to address some health concerns she is having. I was able to visit with her quite a bit this past week and will be seeing her a couple days in the week ahead.
- I’m grateful Dan helped in the process of finding Arabella a reliable car. We looked at a listing by a private owner and when we got there someone else was looking at it. I thought we were out of luck. I’m hoping the car will last a long time. It’s a 2008 Sonata with less than 100,000 miles on it in the exact price range. It was meant to be! What a deal!
- My favorite comedian is coming to the area next month…so guess who bought tickets??
- Fires in the fireplace on cold winter nights.
- Our friends still went to the yurt. It took them 4 hours to hike in with all their gear. They found it to be very challenging. They are younger than we are, almost 10 years younger than my husband. As hard as it is to admit we can’t do everything we want to do anymore, I think we made the right call about not going without a working snowmobile. It’s amazing the difference a couple years can make at our age. Funny story, I couldn’t open a jar yesterday so I asked my husband to help me. He pulled a muscle getting it open. That was confirmation. If we can’t handle opening a jar, how were we going to hike 5 miles through the snow with all our gear??
Yurt not trusting me
This weekend we had plans with friends to stay at a yurt. It seemed like a great idea after a few drinks while talking with Tom and Lisa at our daughter’s wedding. It still seemed like a good idea when Lisa booked the trip in February the next day.
The yurt is located in the middle of nowhere in some state park in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was going to take a couple hours to drive there. Apparently it does not have electricity nor does it have running water. Winter camping at its finest with a vault toilet nearby. The only amenities are a couple bunk beds, a table, and a wood stove with wood to keep a fire going so nobody freezes to death.
Freezing to death…it’s been a cold week here in Wisconsin. I’ve heard of several reports of people freezing to death within this past week. Will, without a car, was still planning on riding his bike to work. Not only is it cold, it is icy because salt doesn’t melt ice well when it’s 20 below. I don’t think I could live with myself if I saw a picture of him dead on the morning news. So I let my daughter borrow my car so he would have a way to work.
I gave my friend Lisa a call this week to plan the trip to the yurt. Lisa said their snowmobile wasn’t working. They ordered parts they thought might fix it which were supposed to show up on Tuesday but didn’t arrive until Wednesday. To get to the yurt, we would need to hike almost 5 miles on a snow covered path or breeze in on a snowmobile.
I reminded myself of the not so fond memory of the last time I ‘ran’ 5 miles over a year ago. It was the last race I ever did. I almost didn’t finish. Not too long before that, I finished my first 50k. Yes, a 50k! It was at that point I knew something was wrong. I ran about half the race then I had this horrible pain in my ankle where I could barely walk. I found out later that under exertion I have a bone spur which hits a nerve. At times I can barely walk and the next minute it’s fine. I also had a terrible backache.
Back in the day, Lisa and I used to run together. That was before her daughter died, before she moved away. Those days were some of the best times in my life. We trained together. She was a better runner than me but she kept me on my toes. Between the two of us, we could place in almost every small town race. I typically placed in the top 10% of my age group in 10k’s and half-marathons. I was finally able to achieve at a sport after always being picked last as a kid for teams in gym class. I even had to do extra credit in middle school to pass gym class. Turns out I was better at writing book reports than doing any kind of sport. But running I guess you could say I ran with it.
Now my daughter Angel is training for her first half-marathon. At times I see her hard on herself if she has a bad run. I too was very hard on myself on bad running days. Recently I told her that even a bad run, she is still able to run. What I wouldn’t give now for a bad run. These are things you can say once it’s gone. But it is truly not gone because I am able to enjoy the process through her.
The part for the snowmobile came in and it didn’t fix the problem. Today Tom bought a new battery and it still didn’t work. Now they are thinking the starter on the snowmobile needs fixing and they will need to take it in somewhere to be fixed.
Today I made the decision to not go to the yurt if the snowmobile wasn’t working. The high for tomorrow is 3 with lows below zero. Maybe I would’ve gone if I didn’t have to walk 5 miles through the snow in subzero temperatures with all our gear and try to get there before dark. A couple years ago nothing would’ve stopped me. But now I can’t even trust myself anymore. With spotty phone coverage, who knows? I might end up on the news and not in a good way. Although I’m a planner, I haven’t given too much thought to my funeral yet.
I feel bad for wimping out. But I also know my limitations. All the self-discipline in the world won’t change a thing when my body doesn’t listen to my mind anymore. Looks like I’ll have some time to take Arabella car shopping after all.
Gratitude week 161
- We met up with our best friends and new friends to plan a road trip to Traverse City, Michigan this spring. We ate supper together, played a game, and laughed a lot. It was a fun evening.
- Angel’s mole that was removed is benign.
- Angel just signed up for her first half-marathon. It’s pretty cool she is following in my footsteps.
- Volunteer time, it feels good to be able to help other people.
- Couples therapy, I think we are making a lot of headway.
- We hosted a planning committee for the summer sailing season.
- I did a lot of planning this week for work and for fun. I could literally sit and plan for hours and enjoy it.
- I’m grateful my son is spending his time when he works limited hours to work on the garage apartment remodeling project. There are two unfinished rooms upstairs. One that is very small which he wants to use as a recording studio. His buddies and him are putting up the wall and put in a door. Then there is a very large room which they are planning on making into a living room that they are drywalling.
- This seems to be a relative period of harmony where everyone is working together. I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.
- I was able to spend time with my kids this week and that is always a good thing.
- Paul, Dan, and Alex are working on my son’s car today as some parts came in. It is bitterly cold outside so the car wouldn’t start. It looks like my husband finally got it started.
- Fires in our fireplace on cold winter evenings.
Gratitude week 156
- Spending Christmas with my kids and their significant others.
- Spending three weekends in a row celebrating Christmas with my kids and their significant others. I am really blessed to have adult children living nearby.
- Spending Christmas Eve with my husband, best friend and her family.
- The candlelight Christmas Eve service.
- My son and his girlfriend got into a car accident on Christmas Eve. A lady blew a red light and hit them. I’m really grateful they were safe in the accident. I am really, really hoping and praying his car isn’t totaled as he has only had it for a month.
- My son Alex does not always wear his seatbelt which his girlfriend and I have been giving him a hard time about. He said previously if he thought he was going to get into an accident he would slip it on real quick. I asked him how that worked out for him. He said from now on he is going to wear a seatbelt.
- I gave and got some really cool gifts. Among my favorites are the Lake of Tears vinyl record, several books including A Father’s Story by Lionel Dahmer, and a magnet fishing kit.
- We had a white Christmas.
- The wind chills are finally above zero.
- We had a great night on Friday sampling beer, eating pizza, and watching the Bucks game with our employee and friend James plus Angel and Dan. Because it was incredibly cold and snowy not all the pizza places were open. When the delivery driver got here, she said she got stuck in someone’s driveway and was sorry she was late. I’m grateful for people who show up to work on a holiday weekend with bad weather conditions. I gave her a good tip.
- Volunteering at Christmastime. Seeing the joy of people in need receiving special gifts at Christmas time. There were a lot of clothes donations at Christmastime, so my mom, Angel and I helped with the sorting today.
- In addition to our own counselors, Paul and I started seeing a couples counselor familiar with our family history. Our marriage is not in trouble. We thought it would help us get through some difficult areas we need to work through mainly with family of origin issues. After one session, she has already been very insightful and I’m hoping it will enhance our relationship.
Christmas Eve Eve
Season’s greetings from blustery Wisconsin. We will surely have a white Christmas this year. It’s been snowing off and on for the last couple of days. It’s been windy and cold with sustained winds of 25mph and gusts up to 50mph bringing the wind chill between 25 and 35 below zero. This is our second named winter storm of the season. Last year apparently we only had one named winter storm. This is the third day this week my son has been doing snow removal. He has been gone for almost 12 hours now and I worry with the brutal cold. The wind is whistling through all the cracks in our house.
I like winter storms but I don’t like the thought of my son and other people working outside in these harsh conditions. I don’t like slippery roads. I don’t like the livestock and animals facing the cold. We are used to it though and life does not come to a grinding halt like you might think it would. If it did we wouldn’t get anything done in the winter. Paul is going to take Will to work tonight. It is too blustery to bike and he doesn’t have a car. He works second shift and I’m not sure how he is going to get back home. I’m trying not to worry too much.
Other than that, we have plans tonight. One of our employees from our previous company and who currently works with us on a limited basis now is coming over tonight. We are going to do some shop talk and then we will do some beer tasting, order pizza, and watch the Bucks game. Angel and Dan will be joining us.
The winter storm is supposed to end by tomorrow evening and we have plans to spend Christmas Eve with my best friend Cindy and her family. We started spending Christmas Eve with them a few years back. Then in the evening we will go to their church’s candlelight Christmas Eve service.
We will be spending Christmas day with our kids and their significant others. I’m starting to bake and prepare for that. Decades ago my MIL got me an ice cream maker. I haven’t used it in years and decided to dig it out and make some homemade ice cream. Today I made molasses cookies. There will be a lot of feasting over the next couple of days. I sure hope we don’t end up losing power with this storm. But the good news is that our freezer food should be just fine this time. We’ll have a lot of roaring fires in the fireplace. ‘Tis the season for dark, cold, and snowy days.
Warm wishes of a merry Christmas to you and yours. Yeah, my son just made it safely home from work!
Gratitude week 112
- This was totally unexpected…my daughter asked me to stand up in her wedding. I’m grateful that Angel and I get along so well. I am excited. It’s such an honor.
- I am back into planning mode…I put that on hold with COVID. I am planning a murder mystery party this spring and already found my costume at the thrift store.
- It has been so cold and we are expecting a snow storm tomorrow…so I thought I would make plans with my friend Lisa to cross-county ski next weekend. One of those life giving you lemons moments. I might as well embrace winter since it doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon.
- Arabella and Will came over this past week and we played the Mexican Train game.
- I was able to see all my kids within the past week and I am happy they are doing well at the moment. I am just going to enjoy that for a while.
- The other morning I saw a dozen deer resting under the pine trees in my yard. It’s great to live in a place where I can enjoy nature.
- I’m grateful that Kwik Trip has a machine where all you have to do is set the air pressure number and it fills up the tires to that exact setting for free.
- I’m grateful Paul and Dan were able to spend some time together fishing and had enough fish for a fish fry.