Happy New Year!

So, okay.  We’re three days into 2009 already.  I’m a little late.  We’ll just have to celebrate all over again.

I decided one of my resolutions for this new year is to spend more time posting on this blog.  I suspect I’m not the only person making that resolution.  It’s probably pretty common in the blogosphere where most of us, at some point or another, start writing about how we’re not posting (perhaps because all we have to write about is how we’re not writing!).  I’ve noticed that the less I write, the less I feel inclined to write.  And then I miss writing and have to push myself to get started again.

2009.  I like the look of it.  New year, new journey.

I wanted to write up a fairly detailed post about our recent trip back east.  But the further I get away from the trip, the less I feel like writing about it.  I’m going to settle for a brief synopsis.

  • Went to PA to visit with M’s family, as well as some friends.  We encountered heavy fog on the way out and heavy snow on our way back.
  • Had a good time listening to the Boys in the Barroom at Bube’s on the 27th.  (Thank goodness the place is now smoke-free!!)
  • M the Younger and his fiancee, after taking a trip out to visit with my parents, stopped to have lunch with us in PA.  Lovely Fiancee had her very first cheesesteak.  She liked it.
  • Took a quick, overnight, trip to Washington, D.C.
  • Saw the Ansel Adams – Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit, Natural Affinities, at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum.  It was a very interesting exhibit although I would like to have seen the photographs and paintings of the same subjects or similar subject matter side-by-side rather than across the room from each other.  I think it would have made for a more interesting comparison.
  • Had dinner with friends.  M asked the concierge at our hotel for a recommendation for Chinese food.  She suggested Full Kee Restaurant.  Great suggestion!  It’s not a fancy restaurant, but the service was great and the food was excellent.
  • Had a good time for the most part.
  • Came home on New Year’s Eve and celebrated with M the Younger and Lovely Fiancee by playing games and eating the traditional pork and sauerkraut.

That about sums it up, I think.

2008 Goals

Last year I posted 3 goals.  Here’s how it all turned out:

  1. Walk 1,000 miles:  I did it!!!  Yay!!  My total for the year is 1,002.27 miles.  Do I rock or what?
  2. Lose one stone:  Nope, didn’t get there.  I made it halfway.  Then gained a little back.
  3. Eat 5-9 servings of fruit and veggies each day:  I didn’t keep a record, but I’d say I managed this about 98% of the year.  I have no trouble eating vegetables or fruit (although I do tend to lean more towards the veggies rather than the fruit).  It could be higher than 98%.  About the only time I don’t achieve this level of vegetation is when we’re traveling.

Not bad, all in all.

There was also the matter of the 50 Books Project.  I read 39.  Also not bad.  To be honest, I never expect to make 50.  It’s not that I couldn’t make 50, but that might involve reading nothing but junk.  While I enjoy junk from time to time, I don’t like to make a habit of it.   (Hmmm… a look at my list reveals that I may be making a habit of it.)

Now that I’ve taken care of last year’s business, here are (some of) my goals for 2009:

Goal #1:  Walk 1,100 miles.

Goal #2:  Lose one stone.

Goal #3:  Do a better job of eating local.  I’m not ready to take on the Eat Local challenge.  We do a fairly good job of eating locally and seasonally, but there is room for improvement.

Goal #4:  Continue to work on my 50 Goals Project (wherein I attempt to achieve 50 things in one year’s time because turning 50 made me crazy that way).

(Portage Footpath.  Photo © 2009 by Robin.)

They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  Today I began my next thousand with enough steps to add up to 2.5 miles.

This and that

I had a fantastic birthday weekend.  M and I went to visit with our granddaughter and her parents.  I don’t think I could have asked for a better gift.  I was feeling some angst about turning 50 (I didn’t realize how much angst until afterwards) and the Exquisite Emma was the perfect remedy, giving me a much needed attitude adjustment.

I came home filled with  joy and love.  There’s nothing like an Emma-fix to help me prioritize things in life.

In case anyone is looking for words of wisdom now that I’m half of a century old, I will tell you this:  Being 50 isn’t nearly as difficult as anticipating 50.

(Swim lessons.)

One of the things we got to do was watch Emma at her swim lessons.  She’s like a fish in the water!  I thought she was swimming quite well, and it’s good to see that she’s not afraid of the water.  It was nice, though, just to be a part, albeit small and just a watcher, of one of her activities.

(Touching bottom.)

I have better photos, but as you  may recall, I’m not posting clear images of Emma on the blog anymore (unless enough time has elapsed to have changed her a bit).

It snowed while we were away.  Not here at home, but where we were.  I think we must have brought the snow storm with us.  Or perhaps it’s true that I do have a superpower and that superpower is the power to bring on snow.  Either way, we got a few inches of the white stuff.  They aren’t as prepared to handle the snow there as they are here.  The roads were pretty bad for a while on Saturday afternoon, with cars slipping and sliding their way into accidents.

Besides spending time with Emma, we had drinks and dinner with friends on Friday evening.  It was fun and I came away with a great gift/book:  Fifty Things to Do When You Turn Fifty: Fifty Experts on the Subject of Turning Fifty.  The first essay in the book was written by Garrison Keillor and offers the best piece of advice:  Stop Complaining.  There are more bits of wisdom throughout that one essay, as well as in the others I’ve read.

A big thanks! to my friend for giving me the book.  I’ll be sure to return it when you turn 50.  (When is that, anyhow?)

Sunday morning, when I woke up, I felt much better than I had in ages.  Free, light, glad to be past the stress of anticipating such a big milestone.  I received some beautiful gifts from M, although really, just the trip itself and being with him and family was good enough.  Still, the earrings are very nice.  🙂

We had dinner at Lindey’s, a lovely restaurant in the German Village section of Columbus.  The food and service were excellent.  There was a small SNAFU with our entrees.  M had ordered the duck and it wasn’t ready when the rest of the food was prepared to be brought out so he had to wait while we started our meals.  A manager stopped by to check on us and to apologize for what happened.  I’d heard something going on in the kitchen just before our food was served (someone saying “the lesson for tonight is…!”).  M mentioned to the manager that the problem is we’ve all watched Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, and know that the food should be cooked so it’s all ready to be served at the same time.  The manager laughed and said it certainly was a kitchen nightmare for the cook staff.

We did all enjoy our food, and it should be noted (in case that woman from Harpers Ferry stops by again) that we neither asked for nor had any of our meals comped.  I’m such a slow eater, anyhow, that M was finished his dinner before I finished mine.  Even with a 5 minute or so head start, I can’t beat him to the clean-plate finish.  (Or to the put-the-rest-in-a-box finish.)

(Luminaries in German Village.)

After dinner we took a little stroll around German Village where they had luminaries lining the buildings.  There was even a band out on the street playing Christmas music.  The photos I took are all pretty terrible (it’s difficult to take night shots without a tripod), but they’ll give you a general idea.

Your eyes are ok.  It’s the pictures that are blurry.

The snow, the lights, and the music all combined to put us in a festive, very seasonal mood.  Some of the businesses had treats out (Lindey’s had s’mores and the chocolate shop had cookies and hot chocolate).  I was too full from dinner to partake, but Emma had a s’more and a cookie.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend, and a wonderful way to spend my 50th birthday.

If you don’t see much of me around here in the coming months, blame it on Emma’s parents.  They gave me 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die for a birthday gift.  I’ll be busy reading.  I’ve decided I can’t die until I’ve read all 1001 books so I expect I’ll be alive for a very long time to come.  I already have a start on them, having read some of the classics as well as the modern novels, but there are still plenty left for me to read.

It’s cold and gray and gloomy here in the Bogs today.  The sun was supposed to put in an appearance but I think someone forgot to book it.

A quick Move 2008 update and then I am outa’ here.

  • Total mileage for the year:  983.361

I’ll be at 1,000 very soon.  Yay!

Move 2008 Update


(Today’s view of the pond.)

It’s a dreary, cold, and damp day here in the Bogs.  Kind of suits my mood at the moment.  This year keeps throwing stuff at us.  The latest is something I can’t write about publicly.  I can say it sucks, but that’s about all I can or will say for the moment.

Best to put aside the suckiness of 2008 and get to the Move 2008 Update.

  • Total mileage for the year:  946.636 miles

I don’t have too much further to go.

Gray Sunday

(Today’s view of the pond.)

I missed my blog’s birthday back in September (the 8th).  I don’t know what made me think of it today.  Life in the Bogs is 2 years (and 2 months) old.

Happy birthday, blog!

Since I have the figures handy, here’s my Move 2008 update for the week:

  • This week’s mileage:  23+ miles
  • Total for the year:  934.636 miles

Gettin’ there.

M and I went to the outlet mall today.  I needed a few new articles of clothing to see me through the winter months.  Something other than the usual hoodies and long sleeve t-shirts.  I made out pretty well, all in all, with the various discounts and buying things that were on clearance.  Now all I need is a place to wear some of this stuff.  Nothing fancy, mind you, but someplace other than around the house.

We had a good time last night.  If you’re reading, thanks guys.  See you on Thanksgiving.

That’s about it from the Bogs for today.  I’m sure you don’t want to hear all about how M and I worked outside this morning, putting netting around the rhododendrons so the deer don’t eat them and then rolling up the netting we didn’t use.

It was chilly out there.  Feels almost like winter.  Brrrrr!

Late season gardening and a Move 2008 update

(Today’s view of the pond.)

The Wooly Bears may be right.  We may well have a mild winter this year.  Certainly autumn has been a mild one so far.  We’re having another burst of Indian Summer this week.  It’s very pretty and warm outside today.

The nice weather spurred me on to do something I should have done (and finished) a few weeks ago:  Get out in the garden and do this year’s final weeding of the asparagus bed.  I spent about an hour out there and got about half way through it.  Tomorrow is supposed to be just as nice (a little warmer, actually) so I think I should be able to finish it up then.  It depends on how long I have to stand in line to vote.

I’ll be so glad when this election is over.  I have had enough.  I can’t believe how obsessed I’ve been with all things related to the election.  I don’t think it’s a good obsession, either.  It’s quite stressful.  I’m torn between hope and something that almost resembles depression or, at least, resignation that there is no hope right now because people are still responding from a place of fear rather than a need for real change.

My goal when this election is called:  Take a long vacation from the news and all things political.  I need the break.

(Near the back of the pond.)

Here’s the Move 2008 update:

  • Total mileage for the year:  912.818 miles

Less than 100 miles to my goal.  Woo-hoo!

(The creek at the back of our property.)

After my session on the treadmill this morning I took a cool-down walk around the property.  Most of the leaves have fallen, but there are a few trees back in the woods that are still hanging on to their foliage.  They are fairly well protected from the wind, allowing them to hold on for a while.  The yellow one pictured above looks brilliant against the backdrop of grays and browns in the woods.

Move 2008 Update

Been a while, eh?

I’m still walking and still keeping track.  Just been too lazy to post about it.  Without further ado:

  • Total mileage for 2008:  886.737 miles

I had a couple of weeks where I took it easy (walked fewer miles), mostly because I haven’t been quite up to par lately.

The other day M was remarking that we haven’t seen the hawks around here lately.  Lo and behold, two of them showed up this morning.  I managed to catch one with the camera:

(Hawk in the elm tree.)

It’s not a great shot, but I took it through the living room window.  A better lens would have helped, too.  I’ve been wanting to buy a new lens for the camera for a while.  However, the camera is having some technical difficulties that may mean it’s dying.  If that’s the case, I’ll have to save up my pennies for a long while for a new camera.  Let’s hope this one hangs on for a few months.  Another year would  be really nice.

I’ve been pondering NaBloPoMo.  I kind of hate to miss it, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to post every day.  If I can get a few posts ready to go ahead of time, I’ll do it.

Today’s view of the pond:

Don’t tell M I was taking photos of the geese instead of chasing them off.



(Current view of the pond.)

It’s been a while, eh?  Poor blog.  I haven’t been doing a very good job of keeping it up to date.  Even my 50 Books Project list is way behind the times.  I also need to do a Move 2008 update.  That will happen after I sit down and do the math.  I’ve been recording my mileage.  I just haven’t bothered to add it up.

M and I went east for 2 weeks.  Way back in March we went to Atlantic City for a quick trip.  We stopped in Ocean City to have a look at the third floor apartment of a house we were thinking of renting.  It was small, with lots of stairs to get up there, but good enough for the two of us.  Plus it had an extra bedroom for any guests that might come along to spend some time with us.

So, we rented the place for two weeks, starting on September 6.  Less than a week or so before we left, I got some bad news from my parents (which I won’t go into in great detail).  The timing is pretty similar to our trip last December.  We were there in time for my mother’s surgery.

I’m glad we were there to see her both before and after the surgery.  I wish we lived closer so I could see more of both my parents, and all of my siblings.  But things are what they are, so there’s no point in dwelling on what they are not.

The beach part was nice.  We had lovely weather for most of our days at the Jersey shore.  We even had quite a few hot days which made swimming in the ocean quite pleasant.  The ocean temperature, so we were told, was warmer then it had been all summer.  It was in the lower 70’s.  Not bad, really.  Refreshing, especially on the hot days.

At the beginning of our second week we received word that Hurricane Ike had visited Ohio, leaving behind destruction from high winds and power outages due to that destruction.  Our area was one of those hit with power outages, downed trees and tree limbs, etc.  The power went out on Sunday.  Ohio Edison, our crappy power company, did not get it turned back on until sometime late Thursday night or early Friday morning.  Rumor has it that the reason it took so long is that some of the power company crews had gone south to Texas to help out there.  Gotta wonder if the people who made that decision were even thinking about what would happen when the storm moved up this way.  Idiots.

I wish we could sue their idiot butts.  I processed and froze a lot of veggies before we left home.

  • 17 lbs. of broccoli
  • 1/2 peck of yellow sweet hungarian peppers
  • 1 bushel of green peppers
  • Close to a bushel of yellow wax beans

I had also stocked up on some fish and meats that were on sale.  We occasionally eat meat and the kids always eat meat (neither of our sons have followed their parents lead when it comes to mostly vegetarian eating).

All that hard work, in an effort to save money, is going to end up in the trash.  I thought about pouring the vegetables into the compost pile so that I’ll get something from them, but I can’t bring myself to do the additional work that would entail.  Perhaps I’ll change my mind as I start tossing stuff into a trash bag.  We decided to wait on the tossing into the trash part.  The fridge is cleaned out (and sparkling), but I left the freezer items until garbage pickup day (which is Wednesday).  It didn’t make sense to have it sitting in the garage rotting since it refroze after the power came back on and before we arrived back home.

(Storm damage.)

The rest of the storm damage on our property is pretty minimal.  We lost one tree in the front yard (parts of it are pictured above).   Some kindly person with a chain saw already hacked up the bigger pieces for us.  We’ll be using the tree to keep us warm this winter.

The garden fared well.  The volunteer tomatoes (or freebies, as I now think of them) were loaded with green roma tomatoes when we left for our vacation.  The tomatoes ripened nicely while we were away.  I picked about a peck of tomatoes today.  I’m going to slow roast them and use them in soup.

Since I started writing this entry I made a trip down the road to the local farm where we buy most of our veggies.  Bell peppers, both red and green, are still coming in.  I’m going to buy a bushel and start over once I have the upstairs freezer emptied.  It’ll be a few days worth of work, but worth it.  It killed me to buy green bell peppers at the grocery store yesterday for $1.49/lb. when I had a whole bushel of them for $20.  Red peppers are $4.99/lb. at the store.  I can get those for $20/bushel, too.  Maybe I’ll go for broke and get a bushel of each.

I also plan to visit the Hartville Market this weekend in hopes of picking up a few more pecks or bushels of something to replace some of what we lost.  It depends on what’s in season and what looks good.

I’ll be back soon with a Move 2008 update.  I’ve been trying to get caught up with everyone, too, so I expect you’ll see me around here and there in the blogosphere.