Life is a Highway

Life is a highway. It is also a gravel road. This time of year it can smooth or full of potholes, bumpy or pitted, squishy and soggy, or a washboard. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve put a few miles on my car. I don’t always enjoy windshield time but the weather has been fairly decent and I am getting a nice left arm tan.

My travels have taken me through the Twin Cities a couple of times for some classes at the UMN. I’ve also been continuing with Cross Fit which adds and extra 30 miles to my daily commute. I’m on week 12 and still loving it. Yesterday was my worst day thus far and I learned a valuable lesson – all that stuff they tell you about sleep, water, and nutrition is absolutely true and I need to pay better attention!

I am finished with my classes and earned a Certificate in Organizational Development and Change Management. They even played pomp and circumstance when they handed out the certificates. Nice touch.

I’m trying to be smart about my travels and time on the road. I could have been gone four weekends in a row but opted for two. That means that a lot of graduation cards went in the mail – and that’s ok. I can’t be everywhere in person all the time.

Staying home hasn’t been super fruitful. Weather hasn’t cooperated much for outdoor activities. This weekend brought rain and unseasonably cool weather. The plus side is I got meal prep done early for this week, and laundry is caught up. Last weekend was 95 degrees and this weekend is 55 degrees. Much different.

I thought time would feel slower this summer but really it is the opposite. It is probably because there are things I want done and haven’t gotten to them yet.

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the day we moved in and took the keys to our new home. It fly by! We have had some rocky moments but while cleaning today was really appreciative of what we have and what we have worked so hard to get.

Bitter Cold

I think the weather has been a part of many recent posts but there isn’t much else to talk about in winter in MN – except the Vikings. SKOL!

This past week was brutal and we have at least four more days of this crap. Besides the cold it seems to be exceptionally windy lately. Being outside is hard. The cold hurts your face. Everything takes longer too. Longer to warm your car, longer to get places (you have to drive slower) and longer to do things (more clothes in the way and we just move slower in this weather).

This morning it was my turn to move snow. Fortunately for us we have a plow on our ATV. I have my doubts that it was above zero when I ventured out mid morning. The machine started hard, but it did start. That’s a blessing. I’m short in stature. I have to stand up to plow otherwise I can’t see ahead over the front and I usually have to lean forward too. The cold air was making my eyes water and my lashes were instant icicles. Up and down the driveway I buzzed. It went pretty quick I guess. It could have been worse.

So for the rest of the day – a pot of chili and some wood in the fireplace.

This was what I dealt with on the way to work on Thursday – snow and ice.

Just Stay Home

As the kids get older the idea of shopping for gifts seems to go away. Two in college. Two finishing high school. Money, gift cards, gas cards. That’s where it’s at.

This past weekend was spent cleaning and doing random chores at home. We ran errands (on a very loose schedule), ate out and chilled. This low key thing is easy to adopt. Gone are the days of shopping at 4am on Black Friday and planning out every weekend trip to the mall. Things are slowly making their way into the stockings.

I have the food planned out for Christmas Eve. We will celebrate here at home. Looking forward to a calmer and quieter Christmas this year.

Winter Lazyland

So the cold is rolling in again. The last week has been balmy…40 to at time over 50 degrees. Tomorrow the forecasted high is 16 I think. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like winter. However, I don’t particularly like cold. I don’t snowmobile. I don’t ski. I have and I could but I choose not to. I don’t really ice fish. Again, I have and I could but that’s a weekend thing for me. It’s a weeknight.

I have a fire going in the fireplace. It will probably be a regular thing this week and likely for the rest of the winter. It’s cozy. Who wants to go outside in this weather? Well, that only lasts so long. I get bored. I can get stir crazy. I need activity. So tonight I started running up and down the stairs. I didn’t do it long. Just long enough to get the heart rate up and feel the burn in the thighs. I might have to make it part of my winter routine. Closest thing to a gym to me for 25 miles.

It’s Warm Inside

I love Autumn. It’s my favorite time of year. I struggle with winter. Granted, I live in Minnesota so that’s part of life but that doesn’t mean I like it much. It’s bearable. On the up- side we have a beautiful fireplace that cost us some blood, sweat and tears and it is now cold enough to enjoy it. We had a few days here that really belonged in January – they somehow ended up in November.

It’s hard not to love that smell – a roaring fire made of dried hardwood. That smell carries many memories for me. Lots of reflection. I grew up in a home with a wood burning fireplace. Not only does it warm the room it also warms the heart.

This will be an enjoyable feature for many years to come. Bring it on Mother Nature. We’re ready.

The Hunt is Over

I took firearms safety when I was 12 years old and have been coming to north central Minnesota to hunt well over 20 years.

It was so weird this year to not travel. I literally pulled out the tub of orange clothes the night before the opener. No packing the car. No planning to take off work or school early. I got a deer on day 1 so that changed up some plans. I had intended on taking off a few hours early later in the week but instead of hunting was cooking and butchering. By the time Thursday rolled around we were 7 of 10 with three full days to go. We were all filled out by 8:30 am Saturday morning. It was the best year we have ever had hunting. The most my dad could ever remember getting on any given year was six deer. The meat will be share across six families. It was a good feeling.

As the seasons change we are remembering again why we made the move. I love the serenity and the scenery. The camaraderie is always nice. We truly appreciate time with our friends when they make the trip up the visit. The annual Saturday pizza gathering at the neighbors was A LOT shorter drive this year!

No Place Like Home

So a couple of weeks ago I had some appointments back in my hometown. I scheduled a bunch of things and made a day of it, down and back. It’s between 7.5-8.0 hours on the road. It felt weird. This time I wasn’t commuting and going home for the weekend, and I wasn’t moving a carload of stuff. Being down there just for the day, I was ready to get home. The north central part of the state is my home now. 

I came to realize this summer that they just can’t grow sweet corn up here like they do in southern MN so I brought my cooler along on the trip. When I returned I had it filled with Anderson sweet corn and Zanz cheese chilitos.  You can’t find anything close to them up here and there are some things you just have to have once in a while. 

Over Labor Day my Sis and Bro-in-law visited. It gave us an excuse to take a break from our project and venture out. It was a fun night. Had some good food, drank some good beer, and listened to some good music. I definitely need to get out more!