Thursday, July 09, 2020


 Fireweed blooms have shown up this week in our area. I can no longer deny the blooms have begun.

The local wisdom says when the fireweed blooms all the way to the tip top one has 6 weeks left before winter....but surely fall comes first. I've also heard when the bloom completely dies you have 6 weeks left....but why talk about 6 weeks...let's just enjoy the OUTSIDE. 

BreZaak's Big News

BreZaak and CoRielle are both expecting new little ones the same week in November.  It is hilarious to me that they keep having their OB appointments on the same day, right after each other.

Monday was an exciting day in Alaska....

Via Bre's camera

Izaak dropped off some very special Oreos for each of us. The attached note read, "Pink or blue? We'll soon know, but here's what we know for sure: you will be adored."
Via Bre's camera

We eagerly sampled our cookies. 
Oreos - a part of every Gherkin celebration 

 It's green - that can only mean BOY! We are so excited.

Baby D4 is a BOY!  Gideon is thrilled with the promise of  "2 boys!
Via Bre's camera

Annie has no idea what excitement awaits! 
Via Bre's camera

Bella is becoming an old pro at welcoming new siblings. What fun! 
Via Bre's camera

For those who aren't 100% able to sort out the family....Bre is our eldest. She and her husband, Izaak, are about to welcome their 4th child. This will make 2 grils and 2 boys. Perfect.

Yes, this does mean we are expecting two new grandsons in November! Woot!

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Rainy Daze

I looked outside and it was drizzling. I work out inside all winter. I really did NOT want to walk on the treadmill, do the elliptical or walk with Leslie. I decided to grab a sweatshirt and wool socks and go for it.  I want to walk outside as long as I can and if I quit now.....

Ah, yes! Michael had bought me a rain coat and it fits this year....sorta big even. It worked well over my sweatshirt. Though it WAS a bit challenging to see. 

Worth a bit of discomfort to see these sights. 

An added benefit is the animals stayed home in their warm homes. I don't know if they always will - but there were NO moose or fox on this morning's walk. I didn't melt.

I leave my tennis shoes outside to dry....with the advent of Millie I may rethink the practice. 

It was a relaxing, rainy day for all.  I was happy not to have to water today. I did miss putzing in the garden. Sometimes Millie simply sits at our feet...before getting an urge to attack them. LOL 

Dad got hearing aids today! He seems pleased with them. It's amazing to be able to talk in a normal voice around here...and I see he's already happier to be able to participate in conversations....he has said the microwave is broken as it's loud and the rooster sounds like he is in his bedroom. LOL  I have an app on my phone which controls the volume and settings of his hearing.  We've been working together to find a good volume for him. He says we can't talk about him anymore. I remind him I can mute him at any time. LOL  I think this is the best spent money in years!

Rainy days are good for thinking and I pondered my wellness journey - realizing my thinking has been skewed.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

CoRielle's Big News

CoRielle have posted their news online and so I will cement the info here on our family blog.

Last night CoRielle and Benny surprised us with a visit.  We were thrilled as we knew they were having an ultrasound....they showed us these photos.  I saw the the 3D's first and I could see they said the gender was "boy"....I got to that top one there and said, "Wow - he's got quite the Gherkin nose on him already." ::snort::
Via Arielle's photos 

"Mom! That's his legs and bum and..."

"Oh!  Yep, definitely a boy!"

Arielle had been hoping for a girl (signs seemed to point that way) and they hadn't given a thought to a boy's name...but when she was told it was a boy she said, "Oh, you mean Daniel?"  Maybe a Daniel in the group. Until they say for SURE I will try various D names on for size....because they have an A, B and C.....Today I called him Dimitri.
Via Arielle's Photos
 She's a little shell-shocked at the idea of two boys,  but she's a great boy mom. Bennet is adventurous, loving, kind and brave.  She's got this....and Cory and Benny are over the moon excited. 
Via Arielle's photos 

Such an enthusiastic big brother. Benny says he will teach his brother how to pee on rocks, poop in the woods (a recent accomplishment of his 😅),  and fight bad guys (bugs)!  I suppose those really are the key tricks for an Alaskan boy. 

Via Arielle's photos

Benny tries to put the baby in HIS tummy. 
Via Arielle's photos 
Stay tuned. I'll share BreZaak's news when they've shared it online.

Just a Day

The blind in our room got left up last night. The fresh breeze was wonderful - the sunrise at 4:29 not so much. 

Stacia, Millie and I ventured forth for a walk. As is my practice, I kept walking after Millie and Stacia went home....I discovered a LOT of maro polos from my sister friends to listen to.  I had thought to go another 1 1/2 miles....down to the mailbox and back....but I decided to keep walking so I could listen to all the chats...and respond...and then listen to their response....and then chat a bit with my cousin, Lorri....and before I knew it I was in front of my favorite farm....and it is shorter to just press forward at that point....

I walked 7 miles this morning. Today was the first time I noticed cow parsnips in pink. Is this normal? Google tells me these are in the carrot family and you can eat them. 

These are lilies right at my front door....I don't think you can eat them. ::wink:: 

I CALLED and they wanted Dad to come to his appointment - even though he's been sick. I think Dad was happy to get OUT.  We masked up and went out.

Millie loves to torment the chickens....Honestly, Phoenix has tormented us all so much it doesn't bother me to see her make him sweat a bit.  She just lays there and stares at him....though she'd turned her back on him at this point...

I'm not sure if you can see the growth - but this puppy is GROWING. She is 9 weeks old today, born on May 5th.  We love her blossoming personality. Here she brings us a present....right to the door.  When no one responded she set pretty and waited - with the tiniest of barks.  

Looks guys - I brought you Nolan's priceless sandal.....isn't that worth a treat????

Michael planted an Aspen Tree. I scrubbed dehydrator trays. The boys worked long shifts. Stacia trained Millie. Dad kept busy preparing for his appointment.

Dad, Michael, Stacia and I played a round of Farkle;  Michael and Stacia had a piano lesson.  It feels like it has been a long day, but we sure didn't do much. LOL

Update - I needed to unwind. I went for a walk around the block....another 1.68 miles for the day. Who AM I? I used to unwind with chocolate and tea at bedtime - not a walk at 9 p.m. at night.  Total walking today - 8.68 miles.

Monday, July 06, 2020

Great Monday!

I sit down to blog and try to think of what I did today.....walk and garden. Sleep. Repeat. LOL

Millie wasn't feeling the walk thing  this morning. We remembered Zak George says to use the walks for training...Stacia went back and got the clicker and Millie managed a mile.

Would you believe we ran into another moose? This wasn't even up in the boonies. That makes 7 moose in the last 3 days. 

Stacia and Millie headed home after the first mile. I walked on for a total of 6 miles. The fireweed is showing up. I love to see it - and I hate to see it. I'm not ready for the summer to be anywhere NEAR ending....

Back at home Mike was heading out to meet with Alex for their father/son Bible study.  Stacia was practicing piano, Japanese and training Millie. Dad and I visited a bit and then he took a nap. DAD IS FEELING MUCH BETTER TODAY!!!!!

I made myself a brunch of sautéed mushrooms, kale, spinach, onions and eggs - all grown or raised by us! Michael has informed me not to eat any more mushrooms until Izaak checks them out. I guess I figured they were IN the garden - they were meant to be eaten. 

I went out to the garden again after brunch.  I picked chickweed, weeded the squash hills, and  thinned out beets and radishes. I knew the beets were too tiny to pick,  but the bed is overly crowded. I decided to just boil the beets even though they were tiny...and then I remembered some had said you can eat the tops.  Hmmm.... 

Most the radishes were tiny; a few were jumbo size. We are going to have a zillion radishes. I discovered, after planting, that most my crew do not like radishes. I'd only had them in salads and veggie trays.....We're going to have lots and lots of them so it's time to get creative. 

The first zucchini is on.

WHAT is this? The row over....what should I do? 

Woot! A blossom on the spaghetti squash! 

Yes, moose and chickweed - my workout tools for the summer! LOL 

I decided to make beet top pesto. It is surprisingly good. I'm not sure how I'll use it as I don't want to chow down with chips...but it is yummy. I did add twice the garlic, used pecans instead of walnuts (which tear up the roof of my mouth), and threw in some basil too. 

I thinned out spinach and so I have a bag of spinach and two of beet tops. How else do you use beet tops? Can I saute them like kale and spinach? Use them in smoothies?

Stacia liked the beet top pesto. 

I cut the radishes up and tossed them with a couple of Yukons and spices. I popped it all into the air fryer and they were really good! Really good.

Our little taste of beets...I KNOW they are small but I had to thin so either the chickens or us would eat them. LOL The kids can't stand them so this was good for Michael, Dad and I to have a taste.

I'm excited to start eating from the garden. I was jealous when some of you were eating from your gardens in May and June. We didn't even plant until the end of May/June....but with 3 days worth of sun every day - things grow fairly fast. The heat of the past few days really helped.

Both Bre and Arielle had ultrasounds today. But those are not my stories to share until I see them on Facebook. Check their timelines or keep watching here. ::snort::

Josiah went "facebook official" with a lovely gal.

CoRielle stopped over...Michael and Benny had a great time on the trampoline. I joined them as Benny wanted me to help him bounce papa.

He nabbed Papa's flashlight and proceeded to examine his eyes. I have no clue where he saw that done before, but he was quite sure what to do with the light. 

Michael and I ended the day with a walk down to the mailbox... I was able to add another 1.35 miles to my day's walking total. 7.41 miles! Go me!

It was a great Monday.

Adventurous Walks

The adventure continues.

I had just begun walking when we found the bear in our yard.  I walk with bear spray - and a know so I can call for help if being mauled?  Anyway - I was asked to walk with both - and I do....

Then, I wandered upon several homeless individuals coming out of the woods one day - and I added pepper spray to the arsenal.

It was still cold enough the first two months to walk with a sweatshirt. I had a big pocket to stash everything. It warmed up. I walk with full hands. It got old. I decided to get a fanny pack (or bum bag if you wish) carry safety essentials. Jamin said he'd bring me one. We haven't seen anyone since as we moved into a new period of isolation.

I found an old string AWANA back pack...I threw all the safety things in it, slung it on my back, and have continued walking.

It's worked.

I have been looking for a new goal to try exert myself. The hills around here which used to be a challenge are only mildly challenging now. I can easily go 5 miles and have added  distance, but I don't always have time to add distance. I decided one of my July Tries (#justtryjuly2020)  would be to walk up this street.

It doesn't look steep in the photo - I shared my goal with Krista and she said, "That's steep." In other words it's not just a "middle aged" woman saying it's steep. BTW when does middle age end and old age begin? I mean do I really think I'll live to be 112? I do believe so. ANYWAY..... July 3rd - I figured it would take several tries to make it to the top. My plan was to start up and then get further on the next try. Sound plan.... I was feeling strong at the end of my walk - why not give it a shot? Up I went....I was 2/3 of the way up the hill when I saw this....

Mama and a TEENY tiny baby. About the size of a lab. Um....I was glad she was in the bushes and I could turn around and walk off, briskly. It has been my experience  if  one simply moves away - they leave you alone. But I've heard stories....

I was committed and couldn't go forward....sometimes detours are odd that way....and so on July 3rd I walked 7 miles. Every little jog you see off the "square" is a result of animal encounters.

4th of July began early with a trip to McDonald's to deposit Alex.   On the way home, I decided to run up the hill and clock how far it  I could work it into a 3 mile walk.

What is that up ahead? Yep - two moose. These are NOT mama and baby. I slowly progressed and they moved into the woods on the side of the road.
They are much bigger up close. 

I decided to keep going - have never driven to the top - and just wind around home. I got to the top and realized it's a dead end. I got out and took a photo from the top of the hill. See the landing about midway in the photo....that's the road I turn off of to walk up this...

I started back down and ran into the moose again. One of them ran into the woods. This one turned and RAN AT MY CAR. What in the world. I know you do not want a moose to land on your car.  I sped up - she paced me. She ran beside my car down the road.

I decided several things all at once. Maybe I won't try to walk up this road...and having bear spray on my back may not be the best safety measure to take. Before someone suggests packing...yes, that's an option on the table. I have agreed I may need to learn to shoot....BUT....from what I hear a gun big enough to deal with bear and moose will have quite a kick back and I'm a wimp. I'd like a cute pink that doesn't kick.

Stacia and I went out to walk on the 5th of July. Would you believe as we came off a trail and into our neighborhood we saw the baby moose by a neighbor's car? Mama was right there....and that reminded me...moose don't STAY where you see maybe walking up the hill is o.k.?

Honestly, I'm blogging about this instead of walking...because I'm a tad bit unnerved...never knowing where a big animal may pop up....and I barely bother worrying about dogs these days.

BUT I am not going to cower inside...I am going to get out in the sun and enjoy summer.