Sunday, August 28, 2011
Big run day yesterday, so I thought I would just go for a short bike ride this morning to loosen things up a little. Maybe out to the cemetary and back. Return trip, it's five miles, with a decent hill in there at the beginning. Just a nice easy pace, no rush, no time limit - just get out there and get the blood flowing a bit.
As I was biking, I started to think of all the things going on in my life right now. I was mad at what happened to a good friend of mine yesterday - she tries so hard every day, and I was so sad to hear of another injury. We are hosting my in-laws 50th anniversary tonight, so we've been getting ready for that all week. Harvest is in full roar, so the days are long (early and late). My garden is producing lots right now too, and I am trying to keep on top of the canning and processing of that. So lots to do, and little sleep to do it all on.
Before I knew it, I was well past the cemetary, and even past the three mile mark. Thinking of all these things made me feel in a rush, and pedalling hard.
Well, okay, I'm this far, I'll stop at four miles out. My legs actually didn't feel that bad, so I kept going. I kept thinking of people who had ran the Hood to Coast relay yesterday, and especially for Trish.
I was at 4.33 miles before I realized that I meant to stop and turn around. At this point, I could hear my Rookie Runner buddies telling me that this was a rest ride, and I should turn back. Nope. I promised myself that at mile five, I would stop.
And I rode on.
I thought to myself, "are you trying to run away"?
Twice this week, you have led a class called "Dealing with Stress". So why am I not dealing with it very well. Why am I so mad? And sad? Compared to some of the stress I heard others talk about this week, my troubles are so minimal. I know that it's lack of sleep that is bringing me down right now. That, and not seeing much of my hubby these days - since he is working long hours every day. Until it rains, that isn't likely to change, and we've been through that before. I grew up on a farm, so I've lived this all my life.
So now, I make myself stop before I hit mile seven, and go through the tips for dealing with stress.
1) Have a plan.
This is already in place. I do have a checklist to get me through my days, and I so appreciate it at this time of year. It really does help to see those things get crossed off.
2) Take time to breathe.
Off the bike, and do some deep yoga breathing. Keep breathing, do some other yoga poses. Yes right there on the side of the highway! Side bends, forward bends, various warrior poses. Ah, keep breathing. Yes it feels good.
3) Lean on others.
I really fall short here - superwoman and all that. My best friend is out of town at a funeral right now. My hubby is out in the field. I will be thinking of what I can do here.
4) Opportunity to learn.
What can I learn from all this? That I need to take time for me to rest (she says, still over six miles from home). Okay. I have a busy day today, and it will likely be late tonight with the anniversary party. But I will find some time in there to get my butt into my hammock today. It's been too long!
5) Find your gratitude.
This is already easy for me to do. I am so thankful so often throughout each day. But at that moment, looking across the fields, I was thankful for a wonderful harvest season so far, a terrific morning for a bike ride, and for that hawk I could see flying nearby.
And after making myself go through all those steps at the far reach of my bike ride, I did feel better. I got back on my bike, and spent two miles with tears rolling down my face. But yes, I think I am better prepared to handle the day today, and will get through it all.
Now, I am back home. The corn needs picking and processed. The onions need bundling and hung to dry. I have two more slices to make for tonight.
And I need to be ready for an anniversary party where we will celebrate the lives of two people who brought me my husband.
Life is good!
Saturday, August 27, 2011
I went out to the combines after work yesterday, and took some photos. We are almost finished combining the barley, but today moved over to do the wheat. These photos are of my hubby in the combine straight-cutting wheat, and then of him plus my nephew in the grain cart when the combine was unloaded.
And on another topic, this weekend is Hood To Coast, where we have several SparkPeople members actually running in the relay from the mountain to the coast (near Portland). Plus, there are several more SparkPeople members who are supporting them from home, and running the same distance as their partners doing the real thing.
My real runner is Trish (RACING4ME). I will be running leg #33 with her, starting just after lunch here. This will be her third run in two days, while just my first. I'm hoping that my fresh energy will transport through space to her, and give her fresh legs for her final journey!
It's a great event that one year I want to be a part of. But for now, I'll ghost-run my main girl, and cheer her on from afar!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Part of my weekly challenge (from the SparkPeople Live! EMeetings) this week, is to take a couple of minutes each day to think about a few little things in my life that I can be thankful for. And I just came from my friend's blog, who did the same thing and reminded me (thanks Carrie).
I'm extremely thankful for my Spark friends who are able to get together and run Hood to Coast this weekend. It's so much fun reading about their excitement, especially as it is getting so close now.
I have a great work environment, with people I respect and can work well with.
We had a bit of rain this afternoon, so my farmer hubby got a rest from harvest. We went in to our son's house (the one that just graduated and moved away at the end of June). We enjoyed a nice dinner together.
I had a blast walking the puppy to the post office on my lunch break. She is adorable, and I'm so thankful my other son has brought her into our lives.
I am thankful for my garden, and what it provides at this time of year.
And I'm ever so grateful for SparkPeople giving me the opportunity to lead some of the eMeeting classes. I have found them to be a wonderful extension of what I can give back to others. I was looking for something to fill my empty-nest time, and this just feels right.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Part of our recent camping trip included a day in the International Peace Gardens, located along the border of Manitoba Canada and North Dakota USA.
We started our tour on the West end, near the Peace Towers. I thought their simplicity was stunning.
We then went in to the Peace Chapel. It is the only building that is located on both sides of the border. There are weddings allowed inside, but special treaties must be in place first. The walls are slanted, and have stone squares with quotes written in them. They are all very inspirational, and we spent quite some time in here reading the walls.
The gardens are arranged with a walk way down both sides of the middle of the border. The Peace Towers are 1.5 miles from the garden's entrance. We started walking down the American side first. There was a monument to the September 11th terrorist attack, and had actual pieces of beams in it. There were several markers also, that gave lots of information as well as the names of the First Responders and Fire Fighters who died that day.
There were two triangular flower beds that were raised at the back, so you can see them from farther up in our walk. This one is the American flower bed, with the stars and stripes in flowers (well, one star anyway!).
There is a beautiful pond area in the centre of the walk, with fountains and flowing water. On the American side just off the pond area, is a Conservatory with a cactus garden inside, as well as a cafeteria. We stopped in for a drink, as it was very hot this day (you can see the clear blue sky in my pictures).
This shot is near the entrance way. You can see the line of water running down to the other centre fountain, and beyond. About half way to the Peace Towers, you can see the two triangularflag flower beds I mentioned earlier, one on either side of the water border. It's a gorgeous place, and my pictures don't do it justice, I'm afraid.
The gardens have a flower bed clock near the entrance. Bulova donated the workings of the clock many years ago (I remember seeing it in the 70's when I was there with my Aunt and Uncle). Each year they do a different floral pattern on the clock. I wasn't very impressed with the use of colors on this one, but here is a picture of it anyway.
This shot is right after the entrance to the gardens. See the stone cairn between the flags? It was built in 1932, the year the land was dedicated to the park. Over 50,000 people came out to the dedication, even though this cairn was all that was there at the time.
And here is the gorgeous use of color at the park entrance. Would you like to work here every day? You can see the line up to the right, for vehicles entering the USA.
On our way back on the Canadian side, we paused to take the picture of another couple that were there, and then they returned the favour.
Another shot of the beautiful centre garden, from a different angle this time.
Our beautiful Canadian triangular flower bed:
There is a Bell Tower, with 52 bells that chime every fifteen minutes. You can hear them throughout the park. The bells were originally donated by two sons to a church in memory of their mother. The church later donated them to the park, when the church was relocating.
After our walking tour, we drove our vehicle through the outer loops of the park. We stopped several times, but I didn't take my camera with me for the most part. This last shot is one of the border marker in behind the Peace Chapel. You can see the border for miles, with the trees cut out right to the horizon.
We ended the day with a trip to Bottineau ND for ice cream! Apparently, it is a snowmobilers paradise, but on this hot day, we didn't see any snow at all!!!
PS: the turtle is because the area is known as the Turtle Mountains.
Hope you enjoyed my little tour of the International Peace Gardens. We had a beautiful day there.
Monday, August 08, 2011
Yesterday was a long travel day, and we were happy to reach our destination, about 7:00PM. We got the camper settled, and went to the local golf course for dinner. I had a spinach salad with a rueben sandwich. It was so good, and it had been such a long time since lunch. No cardio for me but I did do some stretching both while traveling, plus every time we got out for gas or to look at something.
When we got back, we were hard into "relax-mode"' when we noticed a noise that sounded like an airplane far overhead, that wasn't passing. It kept going, and actually started getting louder and closer, but a continuous noise. Hubby guessed thunder, but I had never heard thunder that didn't have a start and end to it. This was continuous, so we finally had to get outside and see what it was. It definitely was thunder, with lots of lightening high in the dark clouds. It got closer and louder, til rain started - big drops that made lots of noise on the camper roof. This lasted about half an hour, and then it was all over. We later found out that there was a confirmed tornado about 30 miles from us, so that's likely what the hubbub was all about!
Today, we pretty much slept in, as we are both early morning people. So it wasn't until 6:30 before I got up! Made coffee, and had a quick cereal breakfast with Saskatoon berries on the side. Then it was back into the truck for more driving. We got to a farm machinery dealership to check out a piece of equipment, and then headed north to look at a tractor. Yes, these are the types of activities we bookmark our trips with! LOL
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