Wednesday, June 08, 2011
It's been hot! Seems like the whole country's hot right now. Bring it on!!!
I have always loved summer. Growing up in Wisconsin, I suffered through those long, miserable winters for about 2 1/2 months of warmth. All of the things I enjoyed were summer activities: swimming, fishing, playing at the park, biking, picnics, laying in the sunshine....you get it.
After getting married, I lived in more cold places: Northern Maine, Northern Michigan, Germany and back to Wisconsin. That's just where life led us. Now, we moved to the south. We still have winter, but it's a lot shorter and milder.
I have also been cold my whole life. I remember, when I was a kid, lying in bed at night trying to get to sleep. I was bundled in flannel pj's, with 2 pairs of socks on and still couldn't warm up. Then, when I would get up in the morning, I would eat my breakfast and get ready for school right in front of the heat register. Things haven't changed much. I'm the person you see in restaurants in the middle of summer, wearing a jacket. I freeze in air conditioning.
Well, I've spent a lot of time in the yard the last couple days. We have a large garden and I planted and weeded. As I was working out there, I was so aware of everything around me. It's almost a euphoric feeling I get. We live in the country, so I could hear livestock in the distance, thousands of birds chirping, insects buzzing and the creek bubbling. I could smell the warm dirt and fresh cut grass. I flushed a blue heron from the creek when I walked over to cool off in the shade. I worked hard, sweat A LOT and had a great time. It's those simple things that matter in life.
Now, I'm sore, sunburned, WARM and happy! Hope it's a long, hot summer!!
Friday, June 03, 2011
Well, I'm back home now. It's been a busy, fun, cold two weeks. I didn't find much time to keep you all posted during the trip because living in a tent, without electricity, limits computer use. Here's a summary of the rest of my trip.
The weather was terrible most of the time. We were lucky to get a day in the 60's that was dry. It was good sleeping weather, though....most nights. One night, we did have to bail to my son's appartment floor because it was raining all day and it stayed in the 50's. The next night, we were back in the tent, even though it got down to 30 degrees that night! Brrr...
Warming my feet by the heater before bed.
It did warm up a couple days and I sqeezed in some bike rides. It was so fun to catch up with all of my friends.
It's a lot flatter than home, but still beautiful!
Riding on the Fox River Trail
On Sunday, May 29th, I got two treats. First, in honor of his birthday on May 31st, my oldest son threw a huge birthday party at a bar in DePere, WI. The place was packed. I got to touch base with a lot of both sons' friends, who I haven't seen in 3 years. The second treat was that my youngest son's band played at the bar that night. This is the first time I've heard them perform. It's not my kind of music (metal) but I was so impressed with that drummer!
My boys and me, at Keith's 25th birthday party.
Alex had one year of drum lessons at age 10 and then gave it up. Now, he's awesome! (Just a note...drumming would be a good exercise. He sweat as much as running on a treadmill!)
Our 26th anniversary was on June 1st. To celebrate, I surprised my husband with a night in his childhood home. He did not realize that is was turned into a bed and breakfast. His family lived there in the 1960's, until his father died. The owners were great people. They let him have free reign in the house. He explored every closet and attic. The memories were flooding back. We slept in his parents room (his was turned into a lounge room.) I was hoping his father would come visit him through the night, but it didn't happen.
Walking in for the first time in almost 50 years.
A picture on the porch.
We were served an excellent 4 course breakfast in the morning before heading back to Tennessee.
The BelleIsle Inn in Algoma, WI
After stopping to visit Alex's girlfriend in the hospital (that's another story in itself), we headed south on the interstate. We had to deal with 40+ mph winds in Wisconsin, Chicago traffic and exhausting southern heat, but made it home safely. My own bed never felt so good!
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Yesterday, I planned to do a bike ride with some friends. The scheduled ride was supposed to be at 2pm, riding to the Tesiticle Festival in Dundas, Wisconsin. (Yes, you read that correctly.)
Some of us decided to meet early to get some extra miles. We met at noon, got on our bikes and it started to sprinke. We rode anyway! By the time we got back it was pouring. We were soaked! But we got 14.5 miles in.
Some of us changed into dry clothes. Needles to say, the bicycle ride to the festival was cancelled, but we formed a caravan of cars and went anyway.
Here are the "Nut Cases" getting ready to go to the festival.
Now, you can just imagine what the featured dish is at this festival. Dundas is a farming community that has decided to honor the more..um..tender part of the bull. They are sliced, breaded, deep fried and served with ranch dressing for dipping.
Here they are!
I actually tried a little one. Didn't need any more than that!
Been there, done that, got the can Koozie!
It was pouring rain during the whole afternoon. It was a shame because they had a really good band and hardly anyone was there. We enjoyed the music and some of my friends danced around in the puddles in the big tent.
We had fun anyway!!
After the festival, my husband and I met my youngest son and his girlfriend for dinner. I haven't seen them since December, so it was a treat. He's 22 years old and really maturing into a nice young man. I think I had something to do with that!
Today, I had another nice bike ride with friends in the morning. Then, I came back to the campground to shower and do laundry. Right now, we're lying around in our tent while a few waves of thunderstorms come through. Unfortunately, we're finding a couple leaks that need to be fixed. At one point, our tent was wiggling all around in the wind. It's a fun time!
Sometimes, it's a matter of making a good time when things aren't perfect. Life is so much better that way. (Unless you're a bull who now sings soprano!)
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Just a quick blog to keep you up to date with my latest adventure.
I'm sitting here, in a tent, typing by the light of a flashlight, hoping my computer battery doesn't die before I finish. What fun!
We left yesterday morning, from our home near Chattanooga, on the motorcycle to come up to Green Bay, WI. We own a business up here and have to come periodically to make an appearance to our customers. It also gives me an opportunity to visit my boys, who I miss terribly.
Here we are, getting ready to leave. I bought all of my leather clothes a few years ago, when I was much bigger. Now, it's all huge. I had quite a few layers underneath and still drowned in it. My husband said I looked like the Michelin Man!
It misted most of the first day. Not enough to soak us, but enough to make us cold and miserable by the end of the day. We did about 400 miles on Wednesday and spent the night in Indiana. A hot shower never felt so good!
The second day was warmer and drier. We traveled about 500 miles, passing through Chicago and Milwaukee on our way.
I'm not a big fan of Chicago, but it does have a pretty skyline.
This is Milwaukee. My husband used to work in the blue Federal Building on the left hand side of the picure when we were first married. (26 years ago.)
Here are some neat turbines in Indiana. I can't get over how flat it is. I'm so used to hills everywhere.
This is home for the next 2 weeks! It beats the price of a hotel. We are saving about $800 by taking the motorcycle and tent instead of the truck and camper.
I have some fun stuff planned while I'm up here. I'll keep you all posted. But tomorrow, I have to go buy some healthy food to keep around here so I don't just eat junk!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Forecasted temperatures were supposed to be in the nineties. (I think they made it there!) Most people would hide in their air conditioning, but not me! I love the heat!! For me, there is nothing better than being outside in hot weather. (I'm one of those people who is freezing in the air conditioning.)
This coming Sunday, I'm leading a bike ride from Reliance, TN to Tellico Plains, TN, then up to Bald River Falls in the Cherokee National Forest. It's my favorite ride. I wanted to pre ride it to check the roads, so my husband and I jumped on his motorcycle for a trip up to the mountains. We didn't climb any mountains, just skirted them.
We started at Webb's store in Reliance. Basically, Webb's store IS Reliance. It's a gas station, grocery store, bait shop and a place to rent rafts. It's situated right along the Hiwassee River.
Oh! I forgot. It's also the post office!
A bridge across the Hiwassee.
The road to Tellico Plains is full of long hills. Funny...on the motorcycle it was a lot easier than on a bicycle. Once in Tellico, we turned off onto the River Road. It's a low grade climb of about 6 miles up to Bald River Falls. It's very doable on a bicycle with minimal effort. (Then you get a nice downhill when you return!) This road follows the Tellico River all the way up to the North Carolina border, where it turns into a gravel road.
Here we are! Buzzing along the river. No room for error on the side of the road!
Here we are at Bald River Falls. The spray from the falls felt good on a hot day.
Here's a 'senior picture' of me at the bottom of the falls:
After our photo session, we headed home. It was a beautiful day to catch a breeze on the cycle!
Now, if it doesn't rain on Sunday, I'll do it all again on a bicycle!
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