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The Path Not Taken

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Morning Mile route in Amsterdam took me right by this forest path....but I learned my lesson from my misadventures a few weeks ago and stayed on the paved & lighted route. No exploring for me!

And now I have an even better reason not to go exploring through the forest while running \9on a road through farmland) I heard shots fired; a few days ago in one of the fields behind my house I also saw a kid out with his dog and a gun shooting a rabbit.

So not wishing to accidentally wind up shot, stuffed and roasted on someone's dinner table I've decided to curtail my forest explorations, deliberate or accidental.

For today's run I remembered to take my personal phone to get some pics of the area I now get to run through (which is very unlike the subdivided strip malls and traffic of where I lived in MI).

This is the Jesus on the Hill I mentioned in a previous blog. It is across the from the local cemetery.

The view from the cemetery

The Wall of Straw I mentioned in that same previous blog is now gone to wherever straw walls go. Instead there are these giant piles of some sort of root crop that snake their way along the farm roads. They are mounded like some sort of ancient earthworks.

A horse pasture along the way. There were donkeys too.

A view of the road through the trees, just before leaving the farmland and entering my neighborhood.

A memorial for 2 people who died fighting the Germans in WWII. You see these memorials all over the the country. It is on a road that gets maybe a dozen cars a day, out in the middle of nowhere. You come around the curve and it is just there.

The river I tried to follow home a few weeks ago when I got lost.

Another memorial in Coudun, the village before mine (Coudun is at the bottom of the hill, Giraumont is at the top).

The main drag in Coudun.

Today's long run was 9.09 miles, I finished 3-4 minutes ahead of my target pace. And that included hills sprinkled throughout the run, and the Kill Me Now hill right at the end, which is the street next to mine. I am SO glad I live on my street and not that one! I thought the Never Ending Hill of Death was bad until I "ran" up Kill Me Now today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNER4LIFE08 11/12/2012 3:24PM


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ILOVEMALI 11/12/2012 12:59PM

    I want to be running with you!

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INIT2LIVEIT 11/12/2012 6:58AM

    It is beautiful! Might be a good idea to get one of those bright orange reflective vests for your runs in to the path/woods. That way you will never be mistaken for dinner... ;)

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FROSTY99 11/11/2012 11:33PM

    I so look forward to your blogs-you entertain me, amaze me and I just love seeing the pics. How beautiful the country is - I am sure you are enjoying the scenery.


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MCJULIEO 11/11/2012 11:25PM

    Potatoes?? Turnips? What are those things anyway???

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ALLISON145 11/11/2012 7:58PM

    Wow, so beautiful over there!

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GETSTRONGRRR 11/11/2012 3:47PM

    Very cool pictures!

So are you in Paris or Amsterdam....I've lost the bubble on that one

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ALIHIKES 11/11/2012 1:01PM

    Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing! Really enjoyed reading your blog.

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IMPROVINGME 11/11/2012 12:57PM

    I don't run, but that would "almost" make running enjoyable for me, too!
Thanks for giving us a photo view of all your beautiful places to see.

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DETERMINED_ME 11/11/2012 12:23PM

    Sounds like a great run (besides the gun fire). Love the pictures, thanks for sharing!

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DAWN14163 11/11/2012 12:16PM

    A beautiful route, well done on a good time too! My husband works in Haarlem - are you anywhere near?

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LODYANGEL 11/11/2012 11:36AM

    Stick to the paved routes!! It's deer season!!! Today would not be a good day to explore in the forest.

Beautiful pics. I often take my camera out on excursions with me too. emoticon

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KALIOPPE 11/11/2012 11:32AM

    Lovely walk! :) Glad you are having a great time and getting the exercise in too. emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 11/11/2012 11:17AM


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CODEMAULER 11/11/2012 11:08AM

    You are spoiling us with so many awesome photos; thank you!

The run sounds like it went well. I'm glad to see your routine fitting so well in the new surroundings!

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TEENY_BIKINI 11/11/2012 11:01AM

    You did GREAT!! These pictures are just awesome.

Go on with your bad self!


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SUNSHINE99999 11/11/2012 11:00AM

  Wow, nice pictures and well done. I wish safety for you. Blessings from Oregon.

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More Amsterdam Pics

Saturday, November 10, 2012

There is a big square in the center, Dam Square. As we were going through there was a bagpiper playing and a comedian starting a street show:

Some canal pictures :

My daughter :

The Pot Museum :

On our way home we stopped at a rest stop / McDonald's and so literally dozens of loaded down cars, all with "Amsterdam-Dakar" on them. Apparently this is some sort of challenge, to drive from Amsterdam to Dakar on 500 (I think, the web site did not translate well to English). This is one of the vehicles, I think it is the Team Bagels4Africa2. This year there are over 80 teams participating.

Highway art (this was actually quite some distance before reaching the city ) :

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GINIEMIE 11/13/2012 6:50PM

    I've been to Amsterdam airport, we drove in a horrendous rain storm from Bruxelles because the first leg of my trip was canceled. I did not get to see much. I enjoyed your pictures. Maybe next time I go to Belgium I'll make a trip there.

emoticon emoticon

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DAWN14163 11/11/2012 12:18PM

    I love Amsterdam - and I've seen that funny red statue!!! Great photos.

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SLIMMERJESSE 11/11/2012 10:20AM

    Beautiful pics. Thanks for posting. My fave places there were Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum. Your daughter is beautiful. What a fab adventure!

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DOODIE59 11/11/2012 1:19AM

    Wow! Lucky you:)

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MCJULIEO 11/10/2012 10:18PM


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FROSTY99 11/10/2012 9:57PM

    Thank you for sharing your photos. Makes me anxious to do some more traveling, except mine won't be in a foreign country-don't know if we will ever leave the country again with DH's multiple health issues-probably not the best idea. However, talking with friends about a trip out west this summer.

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ILOVEMALI 11/10/2012 8:38PM

    I've done so little traveling! How fortunate you are! Enjoy every second. xoxo

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SAFARIBABE 11/10/2012 7:41PM

    Amsterdam is a great city! The Dakar races are famous! There's a different one each year. Usually the cars get sold at the end for chairty. I've always wanted to do one but can't find anyone adventurous enough to drive with me that far! LOL

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IMPROVINGME 11/10/2012 5:52PM

    Great photos! Had to chuckle about the Pot Museum.

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CODEMAULER 11/10/2012 3:51PM

    I never get tired of seeing the canals; thanks for sharing these photos!!

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The Start of the Morning Mile

Friday, November 09, 2012

I mentioned before I signed up on Nerd Fitness for the Morning Mile Challenge.

Last week Thursday was a holiday in France and I had Friday off work to make it a long weekend so sort of on the spur of the moment I decided we could go on a short trip & we chose Amsterdam.

Here is what I got to see on my first few Morning Miles :

The Trees Have Eyes:

A Marina across from the hotel:

Flowers along the path:

The beach:

The water:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCJULIEO 11/12/2012 3:22PM

    Such great documentation of a terrific trip! You GO, girl!

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IMPROVINGME 11/10/2012 5:51PM

    How great to be able to visit Amsterdam!
Great views for your Morning Mile!

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ILOVEMALI 11/10/2012 4:11AM

    Love the photos!

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CODEMAULER 11/9/2012 8:30PM

    We've always stayed in town when visiting Amsterdam. Your photos are lovely and have me thinking about our next visit!

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SEXBOBOMB 11/9/2012 4:41PM

    My favorite city! Hope you didn't make it out of there without getting a shwarma fix -- nevermind rijstaffel -- Amsterdam's got the best shwarma in the whole wide world!

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FROSTY99 11/9/2012 3:53PM

    How wond-erful for you to be able to go to Amsterdam. Enjoy all the excursions you can while you are there. I know when my brother was in the military and stationed in Germany he was able to go and see a lot and even took our father for several days when he flew over to visit with he and his family.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 11/9/2012 3:53PM

    My dogs would love me if I did this...but it is in the 20's in the cold for me. Need to think about it!

Thanks for sharing!

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KALIOPPE 11/9/2012 3:44PM

    Looks like a great time! Have a wonderful weekend. :)

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DLDROST 11/9/2012 3:40PM


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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Today mine is "Dog", which in Cat speak is the equivalent of something unprintable.

Today was flea med day. They are allowing themselves to be bought off with a can of lamb & turkey food, but I'm not fooled. They are plotting revenge.

Not that they would enjoy having fleas, which they would most certainly get otherwise. I think they view the flea treatment as some sort of canine ritual which obviously does not apply to them. I made the mistake of putting the flea meds on Stupid Dog first way back when so obviously it is a Dog thing not meant for more highly evolved Cats.

Because I am the human and am therefore theoretically in charge...they get flea treatment regardless of their freely expressed opinions on the subject and on my parentage or lack thereof. Past revenge has included Gandalf (14 pounds of Kitteh) jumping from the top of the headboard onto my sleeping stomach in the middle of the night, puke in my slippers, shredding the last roll of toilet paper and (deliberately) knocking over my coffee cup with malice aforethought, looking me straight in the eyes while doing it and then slowly sauntering away.

In other news Stupid Dog's name is still Stupid Dog. Although this morning he didn't try getting his walk early but that is only because he spent the night locked in my daughter's room. She is not part of his pattern of pee / walk / poop somewhere he shouldn't.

He does seem to enjoy the morning walks so I hope they help trim him down a bit.

Although then I will have to find a new name for him. His other nickname is Fat Dog and if he gets skinny...well, Skinny Dog just doesn't have the same feeling to it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIANGLE-WOMAN 11/11/2012 9:25AM

    Too funny! I currently only have one cat smart enough to plot revenge with forethought and malice in her little black heart. The rest are pretty average and laid back. Lucky me.

Maybe you could call him Dumb Dog and then you can shorten it it "D Squared" or "DD"

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DOGSTARDADDY 11/9/2012 5:13PM

    "Stupid Dog" works no matter what size.

Comment edited on: 11/9/2012 5:14:24 PM

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MCJULIEO 11/9/2012 11:51AM

    If he slims down:
How about "Shadow Dog"?

Or "Slinky Dog"?

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TRI_BABE 11/9/2012 7:29AM

    LOL! I hope fat dog becomes skinny, though! emoticon

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FROSTY99 11/8/2012 11:57PM

    emoticon I always kook forward to your blogs.

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IMPROVINGME 11/8/2012 4:42PM

    You're too funny!

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ILOVEMALI 11/8/2012 4:29PM

    Lol!! Thanks for your blog today!

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CODEMAULER 11/8/2012 4:16PM

    There was a hot dog stand near my office that was called "Walkin' Dog." Would that work for a new nickname?

Our cats have never known the joy that is flea treatment. Maybe they need to appreciate how lucky they are?


ETA: Ugh, teeny keyboards!

Comment edited on: 11/8/2012 6:44:33 PM

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The Morning Mile

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A few weeks ago I signed up over at Nerd Fitness. He has some great tell it like it is blogs, which make a nice change from SP.

Don't get me wrong, SP is great too and very supportive but sometimes the hard truths have to be said without all the rah-rah-you can do it! and SP is not a great place for that.

So anyway, I signed up and at the beginning of the month received notice of The Morning Mile challenge for November. Basically you walk a mile first thing in the morning when you get out of bed, every day for the month.

Why not, I thought, it will give me a little bit of exercise on those no-running days. And I can take Stupid Dog with me.

I added my name to the list.

And then I doubled back and re-read the "fine print" the morning when you get out of bed.

I am the antithesis of a morning person. Once I learned what a snooze button was and how to use it mornings became doomed.

But I have managed to go for my Morning Mile every day so far. With Stupid Dog. He's fat, has always been fat (his original owners would give him hard candy as treats and he had almost no room to run in). I've fed him doggy diet food, we had a large yard for him to run around in...and he stayed fat. Although somehow he did lose 10 pounds before we moved; I made the vet weigh him 3 times because I didn't believe it. So now he is a "svelte" 85 pound black lab mix (mixed with what I don't know but probably with something likely to win a Darwin award). So he still needs to lose weight.

Anyway after 4 days of going with me he realizes there is a pattern.

No, this does not show that he is smart after all. It took him 4 days. If I do something ONCE for my cats it immediately and forevermore becomes an unchangeable lifelong written in titanium never to be altered obligation.

So after Stupid Dog recognizes a pattern...he gets it wrong. On Day 5 he wakes me up at 2:30 am because in his mind the pattern is go outside to pee and then go for a walk.

He tries this at 2:30 am

I change his nickname from Stupid Dog to something unprintable.

He tries again at 4...and at 4:45...and at 5:15...and again at 6.

My alarm finally goes off at 6:20, which is when we go.

Today, Day 6, he tried at 4:45 and again at 5:30. So he is learning slowly.

The cats laugh at him.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNER4LIFE08 11/8/2012 2:24PM

    Ha! One more reason why we shouldn't get a dog!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 11/8/2012 7:58AM

    Thanks for the laugh!

I have four cats and two dogs so I can relate!

emoticon emoticon

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FROSTY99 11/7/2012 9:30PM

    Ah, poor Stupid Dog is just eager to get out there and lose the weight-ha ha! Now, our little gal, Abbie, likes to walk too but she gets that beautiful long hair black if I walk her on the asphalt, so she rides in a stroller until we hit the concrete sidewalk. She is smart enough to know when we approach the sidewalk and then she goes crazy to get out until I release her.
I too do my walk early in the morning-I was out there at 6 am today and will be there again tomorrow! I prefer 7 but if we have appointments I have to go earlier so I can fit it all in.
Keep up the good work!


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MCJULIEO 11/7/2012 8:38PM

    Sounds like an "Odie" to me!

Nice going, FFK!

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KIMCOLLINGS 11/7/2012 6:24PM

    That was hilarious! Stupid dog will slowly get it, but the cats will never stop laughing! They're too smart for their own good. Way to go on the consistency. I signed up with nerdfitness too and love the articles. I'm trying to learn parkour because of an article I read on that site. I love his James Bond for a Day blog. Keep at it!! You're doing great!

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HOPEFULHIPPO 11/7/2012 6:07PM

    I can't stop laughing! I thought MY dog was a stupid dog!! LOLOLOLOL

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FANCY-PANTS 11/7/2012 3:26PM

    LOL That dog deserves a treat! emoticon

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CODEMAULER 11/7/2012 11:30AM

    At least the dog is eager and willing. If he was any smarter, he might hit that snooze button for you.

Glad to see another friend at Nerd Fitness!

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NAYPOOIE 11/7/2012 11:15AM

    I laugh at him too.

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SEXBOBOMB 11/7/2012 10:38AM

    Poor Stupid Dog! And poor sleepy you!

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MAJTMS 11/7/2012 10:15AM

    Yay Stupid Dog!


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INIT2LIVEIT 11/7/2012 3:59AM

    It's a good thing I am alone at work at the moment, because I am snorting and cracking up loudly!!!

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KALIOPPE 11/7/2012 1:59AM

    I think SDs name should be changed to Odie. Thanks for the laugh and good luck with the run. :)

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ILOVEMALI 11/7/2012 1:57AM

    Love this! You go, Dog!!

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    Loved your blog. Can't really love Stupid Dog though (grin).

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