Hay Bales

This past week my neighbor injured himself and had to have back surgery. It was unexpected and unplanned. There are a lot of things bad about the timing of this – he is a stone mason in the middle of a very large project, they recently bought into the family farm, raise cattle and its baling season, and he has three, young, energetic boys. Not only is this my neighbor, these are my friends, like family. My brother from another mother so to speak. He learned his trade as an apprentice with my dad.

Now flashback many years ago to when my dad used to help his friends on weekends with hogs and cattle, corn and soybeans. His brother from another mother. My mom was a nurse at the hospital so we were often with my dad on weekends. As a kid I spent a lot of time on the farm, riding in the tractor and playing in the hay loft. Those were the days of walking alongside the trailer throwing bales on and stacking as you go.

In farming you don’t get to decide timing and schedule. You follow the seasons and we are in the season of moving and stacking bales and getting ready for fall and winter. Some are doing a second cutting.

This past weekend we had gorgeous weather. We visited with our neighbors and decided that with nothing of our own pressing it would be a good time to move bales and so Sunday afternoon was spent moving hay. I had two trucks with trailers attached. My dad on one end loading and my friend’s wife on the other end unloading and stacking. It was like old times! My dad and I loading hay. I got to crawl up on the wagon a few times to adjust tie downs. I don’t remember repelling down the straps being that much fun though. It didn’t dawn on me until I was headed over with the first load that I haven’t backed up a trailer in probably the last 15 years. Good news, it comes back quick!

Even though I didn’t get a single thing done at home, and I’m allergic to grass, I had a blast! My neighbors are grateful for the help. I’m happy it’s done and off their list of things to do. I can’t believe I didn’t take a single picture.

Friends, family or whatever…when someone needs a hand, lend one! Giving – it does the body good. #PayItForward

Hot Chocolate

The Tuesday after Labor Day feels like the unofficial start to fall. Kids are back to school, the high temp is in the 70s all week and it started with a cold, rainy morning. I really wanted to wear an orange top to work today but it didn’t offer enough layering for adjusting to office temperatures. Guess that will have to wait until another day.

In our house we get one more thing around this time of year, fall allergies. They can beat up on us pretty bad. While I enjoyed two nights back to back of brewery patio music it was also a lot of fresh air to take in. For my son it’s football games and bonfire season. By Monday we were both miserable and sat around all day. It makes going back to work or school really hard when you have a Kleenex box in tow.

I made it thru the day with my stuffy head but immediately returned home (with my Kleenex box) for a nap. I was surprised when I woke to find that it is still day light outside. Today would be a great day to be waited on – hmm, that’s not going to happen. So I lay here thinking about what is quick and easy for supper. Instant oatmeal? Mac-n-cheese? Cereal? I guess I could be somewhat healthy and make chicken noodle soup. Yet it all sounds like work. I know one thing for sure, the Keurig has water in it and there is hot chocolate to be made! Enjoy supper. Fall is here!

Living the Dream

This morning’s post begged Mother Nature to knock it off with the crazy weather. I ran to town late morning to drop off my recycling, wash my car and get coffee. It was crazy in town! Lots of cars and lots of people. (Weather kept them off the lake til after lunch) I decided it was best to lay low at home for the afternoon given the chaos.

Fast forward to 6pm. I had been looking forward to listing to a local group play at the brewery. Thus, I ventured back into town. The weather is gorgeous tonight. Patrons spill out onto the deck and the sidewalk. Locals being lawn chairs and pull up a seat in the street. Having a cold one and enjoying both the music and the scene.

This is what makes living in a tourist town worth it. Never mind the cussing earlier about the traffic – cars and pedestrians everywhere slowing things down. Now I want it to slow down – enjoy the weather, the food, the beer and the people watching.

I could use a few more days like this…but as time flies, tomorrow is Labor Day. The official end of summer.

Living Life

Small town living is different than the city life I lived for more than 40 years. First, when you want to go “out” you should plan on 30-60 minutes just for driving. Everything is spread out in small towns around lakes.

I’m used to a lively night life and you can always find something to do. Here is takes more effort to find things and you have to plan ahead. That being said there are many upsides – like the food and entertainment in the summer. I had a local draft brew with my pail of steamed muscles and crusty bread (for dipping my in the garlic butter sauce). Now I’m sitting on a bench enjoying live music outside the brewery.

Because we have such a high influx of tourists in the summer there is a lot of randomness – dancing in the street, couples on park benches enjoying ice cream, classic cars in the streets, shops and boutiques that close whenever the last customer steps out and that might be an hour later than what the sign says.

Loving the new pace of life!

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.

The Urge To Try

In my last post I talked about my new adventure into Cross Fit. I have five weeks behind me and I’m headed into week six. I am finding it enjoyable and challenging. This initial six weeks is part of a challenge group. After that I’m on my own. The challenge group comes with some extra support and guidance, particularly around nutrition.

Well, I got fearless on Friday night and decided to venture outside my routine. HUMMUS. I love hummus. For most people it’s things like French Fries or Doritos, or Fritos with Top The Tator. It’s hard to stop at just one bite or one serving (which happens to be 2T of hummus).

Most of my meals during the week are prepped but the weekends can be a little rogue. I got carried away and the next thing I knew I had consumed half the container.

To be honest I haven’t followed my plan to the letter. A few things have made it in to my meals or snacks that weren’t recommended. Raspberries for example. Eh, there are worse things I could eat. I have packed hummus with celery as a snack before but this was a wide open container on my counter. Not a good idea. Needless to say, I did not make it to the gym on Saturday morning. Tummy ache. I learned my lesson – enjoy in moderation. So I stopped at the grocery store on Saturday afternoon and bought three more containers. Hey, at least it wasn’t cookie dough!Snaccident:

1. n. Eating an entire box/bag of something by mistake.

(Credit: found on Facebook)