Friday, August 31, 2012

Nature ride

I kept thinking I'd get to the actual computer to publish this post, bit haven't managed it. That's the way life goes; sometimes you have time to do things and some times things get pushed to the side.
Last Friday the Mike and I rode our bikes after work. The Mike is all about gravel and I haven't been on it in quite some time!
What a ride with nature! I thought the objects on the road were wild turkeys. Oh no, they were PEACOCKS! Not just one or two across the gravel road, but rather about ten. As we got closer they ran into the yard, dark colored ones and beautiful white. I've seen photos of white peacocks, but I always thought the photos were altered. Nope, there really are white ones.  Just past the farmhouse was an open barnyard area and more of these birds there, including juvenile ones!

This photo is from my HTC phone. It came with some photos preloaded, I'm not sure why.  I still thought this was a manipulated photo until I saw the yard full of these birds!

Later on the ride we went past a quarter-horse farm, which again, I didn't know even existed two miles north of town, past a field with deer (it was getting to be dusk, their favorite time to be out and about) and then a farm field with EMUs!  We've assumed they're being raised for the meat, but we have no idea. Here's the link for Wikipedia in case you're interested.  We had no idea peacocks were used for food (it makes sense historically) until we watched the time machine chef show recently on one of the main three television channels.  Apparently, they were a favorite of one of England's king Henrys. 

Saturday, we went to a nearby town and stopped at a roadside stand.  Found this "UFO" squash. I've never seen one before, and it will be a delight to bake this winter. 

Sunday I went for a bike ride.  Enjoyed seeing a beaver in its regular habitat.  He was just wading along the banks of the local river.  Fabulous to see. My grandfather was a trapper all his life, as well as a farmer, and he loved nature very much.  Seeing these animals brings back memories of G'pa B. 

Found myself a fun-guy along the trail,  

as well as a reminder of those who first were here. Lovely artwork, isn't it? There are several different themes  around the area signed by the same person. 

It's very sad for me to think of those who came before and that our country's ancestors kicked off the land, by metal weapon and by the weapon of word and pen via treaties that were continually broken.  Currently, Pe' Sla has been in the news. This is the holy land to the Sioux Nation people.  It is the center of their creation story. Here is a video about the story and it's meaning.  It's an area near Rapid City/Badlands of South Dakota that is very holy to the Sioux Nations.  The people who own this land put the land up for auction. Due to the worldwide outcry over such a sale, the people have backed down from the sale currently and the Nations are trying to raise money to purchase the land should it come for sale again.  If you're interested in learning more, has information. There is also a button on the page to click if you'd like to donate.  What is horribly sad is that all of this land once belonged to the various Nations. Over time, it was taken away through broken treaties.  About twenty years ago the US Gov't wanted to try to assert its rights to the minerals underneath the Pine Ridge Reservation in southern South Dakota.    

Not any pictures of food plates this week. However, Saturday, we did have "Thanksgiving" dinner. I baked a turkey breast with fresh garden herbs baked with some white wine, red potatoes and spaghetti squash. Served with some cranberries (I've managed to find a canned variety made with cane sugar rather than HFCS or splenda!).  We had some broccoli and cauliflower as well. I have to say that spaghetti squash isn't my favorite, but it is different.  I had lunch for a few days with the left overs :-)  YUM. . . 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fun weekend, horrible workout.

I am so sucking right now. I am hoping I'll feel better on Monday afternoon when I get my next medication dose. It is suppose to be every eight weeks; however, I was due for that two weeks ago, but had to postpone it due to a vaccine I had to get. Every work out seems to be a struggle for me to have the energy. This usually starts to happen two weeks before I'm do for the RX, so now I'm four weeks or more into feeling sluggish all the time. Ugh.  

Saturday: hot with a forecast of hotter. (see this Unsimple Living blog post to see how hot I think the day was) Up at 5:30am for Mike's event, to the small downtown area for his race meeting, and freebies (a packet of coffee beans and a gift card to the restaurant) and they were off at 7am, back to hotel, changed, spent an extra 20 minutes trying to figure out where the parking lot for the trail was. Asked at a gas station, the attendant and person pumping had no idea and were kind  of scary people. Plus, this part of the trail was right next to the paved highway road and it wove in and out of trees and overgrown shrubs. I wasn't sure how safe it was going to be. [I was envisioning lots of creepy weirdos hanging out in the woods].  I finally asked two fifty-something women walking on the path where the parking lot was (another mile down the road!). Thus when I finally found the parking lot, I ran in the other direction. . .which happened to be IN the sun the whole time. I did run with my flashlight/whistle that my mom got for me. It's thick plastic and angled, so I figure I would be able to hurt someone if they tried to hurt me ;-) 

Running at 8am was not smart this day!  I had my waist camelbak of water and about 20oz of cytomax. I was out of cytomax and had already had a GU by the time I entered the city I won't name, on the trail system. I started out running and then went to run/walk. I was ticked off in the city I won't name.  I was tired, cranky, getting dehydrated, and looking for H2O. There was NO place to get water--no gas station or convenient store or CVS or Walgreens or anything that I could see.There are NO gas stations near the bridge, even though there are plenty of hotels there. UGH. I actually contemplated walking into the hotel for the ice machine, but didn't know if I'd get a second look or not.  There I was: walking, walking, walking trying to find something. Finally, I found a gas station that was just reopening and was able to get some cold water and filled up the pack, then started to make the trek back to the car. I was hoping to get 10 miles one way and 10 the other, but by this time my body was not happy and I was trying to get rehydrated, thinking that was why I was cranky. I was only seven miles in by the time I found the oasis with good ol' H2O. 

I got started north, then stopped just about a mile into my return on the trail, with the need to call the animal shelter/humane society, neither were open, so I finally called police about an injured goose in the middle of the bike trail. I couldn't just leave without doing anything. They mate for life and its mate was trying to get it to move. The thing was right in the middle of the trail system. I'm surprised there hadn't been a people accident in this area with the goose  in the path, then I wondered if a recreational cyclist might have done this, on accident of course.  

This photo is after it had managed to move approximately two feet. It was like a seal on land, trying to move, floundering on its belly, trying to paddle it's feet and getting no purchase on anything with them.  There was blood under its right wing and it was such a sad sight to see. I was trying to stay far enough back so as to not stress it out. As its mate never charged at me, I can only assume I was far enough away.  The rest of the flock moved on after a few minutes though; they were not going to wait for the downed goose. I guess they have a code like pirates (a la the Pirates of the Caribbean.). 
As a farm girl I was torn. One one hand, the goose didn't need to be suffering and I wanted the humane society/police to do something for it and its mate. On the other hand, it's food at the basic level, though I have never knowingly ate a goose. 

Got that done, then started slowly running again. My motoactv says my run times were about about a minute to two minutes slower per mile than I wanted to be running, and then my walking times were obviously slower than that. I was thinking that if I got done with this run than I could go back to the hotel, clean up and do some running in the hotel swimming pool (in the cool water and the a/c of the hotel!). However, the weather started getting bad, just as another cycling wife said it might, so I drove to the second checkpoint of Mike's race in case he had to bail. Got to the small town just as the storm was rolling in. I missed him by six miles or so, but with texting found he was safe on a farmer's porch with a yellow lab for company. I was in town in case the storm didn't let up and he needed to bail on the ride/race. As I was in the gas station finding out if the cyclists had even been there yet, the car almost got hit by falling awning sign of the gas station. 
The missing red/white piece was in two sections, each about five feet by two feet. 

The car seriously was missed by about three inches and probably only saved due to the fact the strong wind gusts were from west to east and the car was on the west side of the awning, so it blew down and then slightly to the east.

Sometimes there's a lot of crazy and funny stuff that happens and other times it's like, 'why aren't I running more!". ugh. I am SO disappointed in myself for this run

Mike finished about half hour before he thought he would, even with waiting an hour on farmer guy's porch waiting out the rain and lightning (yes, the lightning is what made my hubby get off his bike). He got another gift card for finishing the race and we had a lovely dinner for half the out-of-pocket price!  

Sunday we went for a lovely stroll along the river. A gorgeous day in temperature and perfect  amount of fluffy cotton ball clouds in the atmosphere. We marveled at the different types of lilies. . . neither of us had any idea there were different varieties of these lovely flowers.  Most of these were the kind with eighteen inch diameter pads and flower stalks that were about two feet out of water. The ones we have near us are much smaller pads and the flowers sit right on the water with very long and slender flower petals.

I'm trying to be better about my food I'm ingesting and if I feel like I might put it on my blog then maybe I'll be a little more careful about what I eat? The Mike took me to The Machine Shed on Sunday for breakfast. I've never been to one of these places, though there are several in the Midwest. I wasn't going to put this picture in the blog, but love how Mike really could not resist the bacon candy on his plate while I was capturing the food. I was disappointed that a place that prides itself of having farm style foods has no way of communicating that the food is 'fried'  in vegetable oil.  It took several attempts for me to discover what they meant by 'fried' and I requested real butter for my food, as the soy oils don't agree with this body. I really wish the dairy board would come back with a REAL SEAL campaign. It is sadly amazing how many people think that 'butter' is a generic term.  'whipped margarine' is not equal in any way to real butter.  

Later we toured a farm implement area and then dined at a nice steakhouse.  I ordered the smaller sirloin and potato, then a side of veggies to be a little more healthy.  We actually didn't eat, and didn't box up, the veggies as they were swimming in whatever type of oil they used (probably olive) 

The last part of our day, before heading home, was spent at the dam site.  It was fun to watch the rail bridge swing open and then close when needed. Just as we were getting ready to leave, a barge was coming into the area, so we did stay to watch it get loaded in the lock.

Since I had no problem eating all my steak on Sunday (such a non-shocker!),  this was my lunch on Monday.  Ham, tomato, spinach, guacamole on toast, and two pieces of cheese.   

Friday, August 3, 2012

Food log

7/23/12 Today was a no run day, but I have decided to journal what I eat today.

1 Chobani Black Cherry yogurt, with chopped walnuts on top (enough to cover the top of the container), mixed in.
1 pint chocolate milk 

1 banana 

Ongoing throughout the morning, 1 20oz bottle of Throwback Pepsi, with ice to help me drink it slower. I had caffeine this weekend and need to help wean myself off it again so I don't have a migraine going on. 

A dozen or so baby carrots, dipped in some feta/dill salad dressing (no-soy). 
Left over baked potato from Applebee's with some butter and cheese (yeah, I know, I just made that an uphealthy baked potato!)
A small avocado for some good fats.
Some watermelon. Our store packs cubes of watermelon in small containers that probably would hold four cups of anything that would fill it like milk or sand, and I had half of this container.

I usually try to have protein at lunch, but I didn't want any lunch meat (had enough this weekend) and didn't have anything else readily available at the store, so just the potato, dairy, veggies and fruit.

Afternoon snack (3pm or so) a Tanka Bar-[Buffalo, cranberries, some seasoning]. These things are fabulous!, as well as a banana.

It's an evening at the night job today! (yeah?!)  Snack of Chobani, chocolate milk and then dinner. 

8/3/2012 I realized I never published the above post and, sadly, I have no idea what I ate for dinner when I got home at 8:30 that evening.  I also never realized how much dairy I really ingest.  Hmm, as I was raised a dairy farmer's daughter, I really shouldn't be surprised!

I did the Chicago Rock n Roll half marathon (July 21) as a walk with a friend.  When I got home that evening, the awesome Mike took me to Applebee's. It was sooooo good.  

Last weekend I went to my parents' to help them with some things and spend time with sisters who were home.  The dark photo is of storm clouds. It POURED in some places of the state and others not so much as a drop.  I know we really need rain in the state and most of the country, and while I LOVE seeing storms roll in, I really prefer they be when I'm not driving. . . 10pm at night, all dark and then bright white spears of lightning from the heavens. Oouch , the eyes, the eyes! 

 I went for a walk with a sister and 3 year old nephew we were watching for the day.  These cracks in the trail were about 1/3 of an inch wide. I can only sadly imagine what the earth base of the fertile fields of America looks like.  Below is a photo of some corn in my area.  It's near enough to the river, in 2008 it was four or five feet under water.  This year, it is suffering for a different reason. The first ten rows of corn are knocked over by weight of the stalk, I suppose, by the drought. The  rows in from that at least have tassels on the stalks, but they are so pathetic, the leaves are drawn in  so much they resemble a straw instead of a mighty and gorgeous leafed plant, such as corn. 

One thing I learned with nephews is to put up anything, including camelbaks holding 1.5 liters of water.  For being three, he's quite the engineer.  He flipped the value to 'open' and stuck  the squiggle straw into the opening.  The "saving grace" was that my workout clothes for the next day were on the floor next to this, otherwise, mom, in her wheelchair, may have done an ice skating routine! Not much water on the floor, my sister is relieved.  Note to self: never leave a camelbak near a child of any age!

Dad gave me some fresh garden tomatoes (which is good, since my three plants have produced *very* little).  This is my lunch at work this past Monday. I'm working on getting more veggies into my diet. The Mike is helping with this, as he wants more veggie tray veggies on hand in the fridge. 
Sadly, this isn't how I eat all the time. I wish it was. Last night we had home-made nachos with guacamole and fresh tomatoes. Wednesday we had take out from the local Mexican place that is similar to a Qdobo/Chipolte. It's close to Aveda salon and it's fairly good for us.(until you add the cheese and sour cream!).  Mike had the burrito, it weighed in at 1.2 pounds. I'm always amazed they can wrap these things up!  Last weekend he had one when I was out of town. He said it was about 2 pounds! and the woman couldn't get it wrapped up well.  I had the steak salad (lettuce, steak, some cheese, a little rice, and then I added guac and sour cream at home).  

 Wednesday I went for a run.  I went off the regular paved trail and to the mowed path.  Down a ways and then back, since I'm not sure where exactly it goes (I did the snowshoe event in January, but can't recall the exact path). On my return to the paved trail I noticed something that wasn't there before. FOUR deer. Two gorgeous creatures with full antlers and a couple others as well.  Normally these animals scatter before I can even get my cell phone camera out of the pouch. This day, I managed to snag a picture of an aging fawn (still had its spots, but not a baby by any means) and a mile down the path I found these beauties.  

 This morning I went for a bike ride. Oooh, it felt so good to get out and ride!  One of these days I need to take a picture of the river with its rocks showing.  Today I got this picture of backwater of the river. Last fall there were beavers felling trees. This spring there was water and fish and now, just at the beginning of August, we have vegetation growing.  It's amazing how this cycle happens, seemingly every twenty to twenty-five years.