Saturday, July 30, 2011

Recreation Gone Bad

I was so excited this morning to have my Handy Hubby home for the morning hours.  He agreed to hike with me, so I located a couple of geocache coordinates and told him I wanted to go to North Park.  The Red-Dot trail I’ve frequented lately has a cache along it that we have yet to look for.  It’s a multi-cache requiring approximately a 2-mile hike.  That sounded perfect given the fact that he would need to be home by lunchtime to get ready for work.


My walking sticks were worth their weight in gold today!  I slipped on the first hill. I almost landed on my butt; however, I caught myself with my walking stick.  Whew!  We opted to hike UP the hill on the Red-dot, as I usually do.  Well… I twisted my ankle about half way up the hill.  It was bad enough that the next few steps were extremely ouchy, and I needed to stop and regain my composure.  Keith was so concerned and supportive.  I love that about him.  I decided to walk it out, so up the hill we went. 


So we find the approximate spot where the first leg of the multi-cache is supposed to be.  We found a clue attached to a tree reading “You are close.  Keep looking.”  That was cute.  We didn’t find the actual cache with the coordinates though.  We gave up after scouring the area and finding nothing but a zip tie on a tree with nothing attached to it.  So much for our geocaching idea. 


We decided to go back down the trail towards where we parked, in search of another cache in that general direction about 3/4 of a mile.  Part way down we switched trails to the one that passes by the stone ruins I may have mentioned in another post


Of course Keith insisted on checking it out.  There is even a picnic table down there.  It’s at the bottom of a muddy hill, which I refused to tackle today because my ankle was still a little bit tender.  The problem was his getting back up the hill.  He had NO traction.  I watched him almost make it up, but then slide back down as if he was skiing backwards, probably THREE times!  I was laughing, but he didn’t think it was funny, especially when he wacked his ankle on a tree branch.  OUCH!  So he finally climbed up out of the pit, but at that point he was in pain.  So much for finding the other cache. 


We walked a little more slowly back to the car, dumbfounded about how this recreational opportunity panned out.  So we stopped at the grocery and got some good fresh fruit and vegetables and then headed for home.  We both ate lunch with our ankles elevated and iced.  How romantic…. NOT!!!


I want to be out and about tomorrow too.  I’m trying to think of something to enjoy in the outdoors after church.  I’m thinking hiking (if our ankles are up to it) or fishing or something like that.  I’ve been considering the possibility of canoeing again; however, I have not yet fully convinced myself of that.  It’s just a notion.  Although that would probably rest the ankles, right?  Hmmmm…

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Last Weekend’s Fun


Last weekend we made a little road trip to a fishing hole we hadn’t tried yet.  We went to Westmoreland Park.  It’s a lovely park with picnic tables everywhere, pavilions for parties, a beach area for swimming, camping, hiking, fishing, and boating.  There were kayaks and canoes constantly passing by. 


We didn’t catch a lot. It was HOT!  We did catch a couple small bass and some sunfish.  The water was surprisingly clear.  We could see fish coming close to shore.  I mostly fed them worms instead of actually hooking them. 


A couple times we caught our lines on the rocky bottom.  The first time Keith snagged his about 8 feet from shore, I offered to get in the water to free it for him.  An then as you can see… he was obliged to do the same for me. 


It was an enjoyable time.  It’s never long enough though.  We need to learn to plan ahead better.  I’d love to return to this park to do some more things….like hike!  I *might* be coerced into trying a boating activity since the water is so clear and seemingly calm.  No guarantees though.  

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Lovey


I love my new kitty.  I love my old kitties too, but this one is different.  She LOVES me back… like in a BIG WAY!!!  She wears a collar with a bell.  I can hear her come from afar when I call her.  She snuggles with me all the time.  She wants to be wherever I am.  She’s possessive.  She doesn’t like the other kitties to be near me.  She wakes me in the morning, which is annoying but so freaking cute that you can’t be mad.  She is precious!  She’s my LOVEY.  Smile

HOT Date!


Keith took me for a dinner date this evening.  We have been to this winery before; but, now they have a restaurant too.  We sat outside on the patio, under an umbrella, listening to live music.  The food was fantastic!  We both ordered the same thing, Pasta Vite.  It was pasta with grilled chicken, spinach, roasted plum tomatoes, and a light sauce.  YUMMO!  I was pleased that it was light and refreshing. 



Keith had red wine and I ordered Sangria.  It just seemed like a Sangria kind of a day.  It was very tasty!  Of course, we both drank full glasses of water too. 




When I said it was a HOT DATE… it was… Literally!!!!  It was 89 degrees outside!  Thank goodness for the umbrella!  There is a beautiful tiered fountain on the patio.  They have a special picnic area for people who buy a bottle of wine and bring their own food.  I would definitely recommend this place.  We will surely be back!


Afterwards he took me to Sincerely Yogurt.  It’s a new place where you serve yourself and pay by weight.  His was chocolate with peanut butter sauce and Reeses peanut butter cups.  I had blackberry with fresh strawberries, maraschino cherries, and a squirt of whipped cream.  YUMMA!!!


I’m not a big fan of the heat, especially when the humidity is high.  I have to say though, I really enjoyed my time with Keith tonight. 

Weekends Are Made for Hiking


I went for a short hike this morning at North Park.  The humidity is at 90%.  I parked on top of the hill on the Ridge Road, but as it goes, there was a pretty big hill about half way.  It dropped about 200 feet elevation in about a quarter mile.  Coming back up was HARD!!!


I saw a very pretty deer.  It was a young buck.  Then there were baby turkeys that I kicked up.  They scared the bejeebers out of me!  Perhaps I should have brought my Bear-Bell?  There was a snake, but it was dead.  It still startled me though.  There were bikers, hikers, chipmunks, squirrels, bunnies, and bugs… beautiful dragon flies and even a butterfly or two.  It’s interesting how much you will see when you are out there without making a lot of noise. 



Given the heat and humidity, I chose to keep it short today… only 80 minutes and 2.6 miles.  Better than nothing, but not long enough to be caught out in the hottest part of the day. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Few Pictures From Vacation

The Zombecks took these pictures of us at the Toledo Zoo. 



Sunday, July 10, 2011

Raccoon Creek State Park

We went to Raccoon to hike, fish, and boat.  We ended up fishing and boating.  Well… Nobody hiked.  Keith did not fish.  He forgot to bring his license.  Amanda and I did not boat.  It’s just not for us.  But it was FUN anyway!!!


Saturday, July 09, 2011



My reliable little Corolla rolled past 100000 miles this past week.  Wow!  It’s been a good car.  The most we’ve had to put into it has been tires, brakes, and oil changes… with the exception of the deductible I paid when the tree branch fell in front of me a couple years back.  The air conditioning died a little more than a year ago.  We had it recharged with dye last week when we took it in for inspection.  That lasted a whopping THREE days.  UGH!  Keith is taking it in next week to be re-assessed.  Nothing like a little summer heat for an hour long commute to get you thinking about trading it in on a new car.  We both agree… we’d rather save save save with hopes to buy a house someday.  Toyotas have longevity.  We hope to squeeze a good many more miles out of it. 

Solo Hike Today

Keith doesn’t like me to go out hiking alone.  On days like today the urge was just too much… I HAD to do it!  On the rare occasion when I do set out alone, I try to stay on trails that I’m sure are fairly well traveled. 



North Park was bustling with people today, mostly in the picnic areas.  I started out on the red-dot trail UPHILL.  I spooked Jake-the-Snake as I crossed the creek.  YIKES!  He was brown with darker brown markings on his back and about 2 feet long.  This is when I decided that it would be a good idea to wear my bear-bell when I hike.  Unfortunately, it’s clipped onto my saddle and an hour away.   So I clipped my keys on my hip so they’d jingle just loud enough to disturb the wildlife that may be lurking in my path.


After passing the point where we turned around last week, I hoofed it a good long ways past the spot.  I hit the red/green dot on the way uphill.  Note to self:  red/green dot uphill is a killer.  A pep-talk may be in order before doing it again. 




After finding my way much further on the red dot, I eventually turned around and tried the red/yellow dot, which is where I happened upon this cute little bridge.  The sun was hot but most of the trail in under the cover of the trees, so it wasn’t too bad.  I eventually ended up back on the red dot trail headed back towards home-base.




On the way back I picked up the red/black dot trail along the upper ridge.  I found some sort of stone structure up there.  Another note to self:  Must go back with Keith and check that out.  Great spot to hide a cache if there isn’t one already. 



Eventually I found myself on the Rachel Carson Trail and actually ended the hike near this sign which is just about where I crossed back over the creek… no snake this time.   All in all, it was about 4.5 miles, maybe slightly longer.  YAY!!!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Vacation Day #7: Loner But Not for Long

Today started bright and EARLY!!!  I went to the Farmer’s Market to help put up orders for Kennedy’s.  As always, it was refreshing to return to see old customers and friends.  It was a very busy and tiring morning.


I visited with Keith for a bit.  Took a nap.  Gave the kitties some attention.  Clipped my coupons.  Made the shopping list.  Clipped some internet coupons.  Did almost all the laundry.  Now I’m effectively putting off going to the store.  I just don’t feel like shopping today, but I must.  I’d like to hike, but have yet to find someone who wants to go with me.  Bummer.


Plans for tomorrow include attending church, putting my fruit-kabobs together, and heading to the Zom’s for a picnic birthday celebration for Joyce and David’s birthdays.  I already have something for Joyce.  I’m thinking of giving David cash this year.  That’s what I’m doing for Wendy’s kids.  

Friday, July 01, 2011

Vacation Day #6: I’m a Loner

Keith went back to work today.  Boo hoo!  Sad smile


The fun must not stop here!  Tammi & Caleb & I hit North Park for a fairly quick 2.5 mile hike.  It was mostly uphill on the way out so an easy downhill on the way back.  We saw squirrels, bunnies, chipmunks, and some deer, with a fawn still in spots!  The lake looks so much more inviting now that it’s being re-filled.  It was a good little hike followed by a stop at the ice cream stand. 




From there I went straight to the farm.  We loaded up our tack and precious equine cargo and went to Moraine State Park for a nice long ride.  I’m so proud of Penny.  She loads and hauls pretty easy, quite the contrast from her first trailer ride about 16 years ago this week.  Some of the trail was familiar and some was new.  I wish I would have taken a camera to snap photos of one particular portion.  There is a land-bridge type area, swampy on either side with heavy Lilli pads.  At the end was a fairly large wooden bridge.  Penny didn’t much care for the strange hollow sound of her hooves crossing the bridge, but she pressed on like the good little trooper she is.  We trotted most of the ride trying to leave the bugs behind.  No amount of fly spray truly repels deer flies.    They were HORRIBLE!!!  She led the way for the last leg of the trip.  Again… I’m so proud of her!!!  I think she moves out very well and is actually better matched with Rambo as a riding buddy this year.  He covers the ground faster and doesn’t try to race like Sir.  It was GRAND!!!


What a well rounded day of exercise and fun!  Vacation is SO AWESOME!!!!

Vacation Day #5: Valley Falls WV

We wanted to hike.  Keith suggested somewhere other than north of home, and I NEED to hike hills to boost my longevity, so… WV here we come!  Valley Falls State Park is just south of Morgantown.   We took the new GPS so we could cache along the way.


The drive was pretty.  Once you get off the main road you snake back into the foothills of West Virginia.  We happened upon a double-decker trailer, but were too wigged-out by the toothless wonders in front of it to stop for a photo.  Sorry!  It was very interesting to drive past though.  There was a confederate flag in the window of the door hanging wide-open exposing their mountainous pile of laundry.  On the other side was a clothes line and the lower level of the homestead.  I can’t truly even describe it.


The falls are so beautiful!  It makes you stop and appreciate the Creator! 


We hiked a couple of trails and could hear the roar of the falls most of the way.  The trail going out was an easy terrain.  The last was not so much.  It was pretty much straight up the mountainside and around enormous boulders the whole way to the top… and then back down the other side.  Some of them were like cliffs you could walk out to the edge and look WAY down!


We enjoyed the scenery and a little bit of wildlife.  There were several deer and some bunnies, squirrel, and chipmunks.  We photographed the Flinstones house…



I’m so proud to have completed it.  Anyone who hikes with me, knows I hate hills.  This was an exceptional hill.  The photos do not do it justice.  It’s steep enough that Keith doesn’t like to stop on the hill because the backpack pulls him back.  YIKES. It was a great hike!  I was really energized by it.  Day #5 really ROCKED!!!


Vacation Day #4 Fishing & Relaxing

On Wednesday, we slept in a little bit.  We had big plans to hike our hearts out, but as it goes we had a late start and then ended up making alternative plans to be lazy. 

1) we picked up my car, newly inspected, air-conditioning working.  (I hope it stays that way)

2) we shopped for a new GPS unit, a step up from the old one.  So anyone wanting to borrow the old one is welcome to do so.  I know several people who would like to borrow it, so don’t sit on it for long… share share share!

3) we hit a small fishing spot at Moraine near where we dropped our travel bug for geocaching.  Unfortunately, it is gone and nobody has claimed it.  Boo hoo!  Keith caught a blue-killer while I sat and read the manual for the new GPS.  Look how beautiful the day was!!!


4) we went to the barn and did the chores.  Drat!  We forgot long pants to go riding.  So bummed! 

5) we went fishing at the Oneida Valley Reservoir, along the back side.  I caught several blue-killers and a bass.  We saw some big ones jumping as the sun went down behind the trees.  Awesome!!!  Didn’t realize there were big fish in that pond!  We also spotted what we thought were an enormous line of tadpoles, but upon closer inspection, decided they were catfish-minnows!  Very cool!!! 


6) wrapped up the evening by planning a day-trip for Day #5.

Vacation Day #3: In Search of the Elusive Water Horse

I was reading in one of those cheesy brochures that you get at rest-stops about what fantastic attractions one might find in the area we were headed.  I found a HIPPOPATOMUS!!!!  About an hour from Sandusky is the Toledo Zoo.  Sign-me-up!!!  Both Amanda and I have a draw to such creatures… an awe for them!  The rest of the zoo was just a bonus.   I think it’s really cool that they have webcams set up for some of their exhibits.  I’m a little disappointed that the Hippoquarium is under construction.  We only got to see them inside… still really cool though. The Zom’s have much better photos than us.


Other favorite attractions was the polar bears, the aquarium, and having our caricature done.



Day #3 was a LONG hot day, but still very enjoyable!

Vacation Day #2 Waterpark

On Monday we packed up and headed out to Kalahari, in Sandusky, OH.  Oh WOW!  This place is overwhelming.  It’s enormous!  They have water rides, slides, rafting, wave pool, surf-pool, lazy river, regular pool, hot-tub, zip lines, mini-zoo, restaurants, bars, candy shop, boutiques, arcade, etc.  Our room (with a balcony) included waterpark access for Monday and Tuesday as well as a bottle of champagne and a box of chocolate covered cherries.  YUM!!!  It also included a buffet breakfast at one of the restaurants.  We were permitted to order room service, but chose the buffet. 




The slides were my favorite, the ones with the big rafts where Keith could ride along with me.  The Zom’s have a really cool camera that works under water, so they have some really fun pictures. The wave pool is what I thought I might like the best, but alas, I injured myself in the wave pool.  That stupid wave flipped me right over in less than 2 foot of water and I landed on my head.  I have an abrasion and a lump.  Ouchy!!!  Keith insisted on getting me an ice pack at the first aid station.  It was a good idea.  Thanks for taking care of me Keith.         


It was a really fun time!