Where did this COLD come from? Dang!
Lucy and I just went for the Short Walk today. Even though it was probably ‘only’ 5-10 below zero, it just cut straight through me. Lucy, in her fur coat, didn’t seem to care. We were only out for about 20 minutes and I was freeeeezing. I was glad to get home and thaw out.
I had an ulterior motive for taking her on a walk early in the morning – we went to the vet right afterwards and I had to bring along some poo. This is the glamorous side of dog ownership.
Well, Lucy was given some worm pills (yum) and had her toenails clipped. They put a hokey little bandanna around her neck…pink with black dots. I think I had a tunic of that color and pattern when I was in 7th grade.
We've had about six inches of snow today. It started out as sleet this morning. I decided that I would rather walk in snow than in sleet, so we waited until about 6pm before heading out. I put on my Sorels and my big coat and away we went.
We walked over to the Tot Lot, and I decided that it'd be okay to play around a little in the snow. It had melted a lot over the last week, so what had been huge snowdrifts last week should now be just small piles covered with fresh new snow.
At one point I kicked something with my foot. I used my toes to move the snow a bit, to discover the top edge of a trash can underfoot. Gulp! I came thisclose to stepping right into a 3-foot-tall trashcan. Apparently not all of the snowdrifts melted...I was standing on top of three feet of snow and didn't even know it. It's hard to tell when everything is white and you're surrounded by a blizzard.
We were only out for about 20 minutes before going back inside. She's had a lot of fun playing in the yard today, though.
Well, I've been having computer problems so I haven't had a chance to update. But rest assured that we have been going on a walk a day, even if I haven't been able to post about it.
DAY 6: Saturday
I got home from work, dealt with a little drama, and when the drama was over it was 8pm and all I wanted to do was go to sassylidge's house for some R&R. But I wasn't going to abandon my puppy without a walk, so we went around the block. It's a big block - it took 15 minutes - but a total cop-out and I felt like I was letting her down. Plus, all of the snow was melting and piles of previously frozen manure are beginning to thaw out. So it smelled like poop. Ah, rural Minnesota in the early spring.
DAY 7: Sunday
I got BACK from sassylidge's house - after having a great time - and wanted nothing more than to go directly to bed. (It was about 7pm, I hadn't slept much the night before, smoked a lot of cigarettes, etc...) So Lucy got to go around the block again. This time, we went the other way around. Gotta shake things up, you know.
DAY 8: Monday
To make up for the wimpiness of the previous two walks, I took Lucy to Quarry Park. We were out there for about an hour. It was a strange walk - there is a dog (and his owner) that neither Lucy nor I like very much, and we kept running into them. So we'd turn around and go down another path. At one point, we decided to follow a deer path through the (still-frozen) marsh in the center of the park. We wound up on a cross-country skiing trail. I usually steer clear of those because I personally despise it when people walk all over ski trails, but we didn't have too much of a choice. So I put Luce on a short leash and we high-tailed it back to the dog-walking path.
It was Lucy's favorite kind of trail condition at Quarry Park: MUDDY. LOTS of mud for her to walk through and track into my car. Oh well, that's why I have a blanket in the back seat. :)
Will we get a walk in today? It's raining right now, and it's supposed to cross over into about 8 inches of snow before tomorrow afternoon. I'd rather walk in the snow than in the rain, so I might put this walk off until later and not feel bad about doing so.
I didn't get a chance to take Luce for a walk before work. When I got home with a take-and-bake pizza (Friday night tradition of yore), I put the pizza in and took Lucy on up to the Post Office to get the mail. Paul joined us.
I'm not allowed to bring Lucy into the Post Office any more...at least, not when the Postmaster is working. Apparently "if your dog bit somebody, WE'D be responsible!!!" so we only bring her inside when there's nobody around. She doesn't really like it anyway, I think it reminds her of the veterinarian.
We moved quickly so it only took about half an hour to get there and back...the perfect amount of time to cook the pizza in the oven.
There are a couple of longer walks that Lucy gets to go on while we're still in town. We walk up to the Post Office, and then we have a choice: we can either go see the ghosts (at the graveyard) or the birdies (at the park). Lucy gets to pick. Last summer, she seemed to be a bigger fan of the birdies. Today, we went to see the ghosts.
We left at about 9:30. It is overcast today, and it was probably about 35 clammy degrees outside. We walked for about 45 minutes, some of that was spent just playing around in the graveyard.
The graveyard is not all that big, probably no more than an acre, tops. It has a chain-link fence around it with a little gate that is held shut with a hanger. I kind of worry about taking Lucy in there - what if she pees on somebody's grave? - but I figured we'd give it a try today.
The first thing you see when you walk in is the Mother of the Unborn monument. It's a huge gaudy thing with a picture of the Virgin Mary in the middle, and a long litany about the sins of abortion covering both sides of the giant black granite slab. Behind it are all of the gravestones. Lucy jumped merrily around through the gravestones, wagging her tail and her tongue hanging out.
I decided that, if I were dead and in a cemetery, I wouldn't mind a happy dog running around above me. I think I'd get a kick out of it. I wondered how many of the people buried there had dogs. Maybe one of them had a German Shepherd and was getting a kick out of Lucy running around on their grave.
The oldest gravestone commemorated a man who died in 1869.
There was a pile of dirt that looked pretty fresh with no gravestone.
Some of the married couples' gravestones have their children's names on the back. The most prolific family had twelve children.
One family had nine daughters and then a single son. I imagined that the mother, after giving birth to her tenth child and realizing that it was a boy, went "Thank God I'm done!!".
Some of the names were familiar - their families are still in town. Molitor, Hermanutz, Becker.
Then back home for breakfast.
Wednesdays are going to be the tough day. I leave for work at 8am and don't get home until quarter to 10...not much time in there for a lengthy walk.
But, it was bright and sunny and 20 degrees out, so we went for the Short Walk at 7:15.
The Short Walk is down the lane, over to the Tot Lot Park, turn left on Caroline Lane, and then take County Road 8 back home. It takes about 20 minutes. We didn't run into too many people on foot (most of the kids are still inside, their buses don't come until much later) but there were plenty of trucks on County Road 8 and people backing out of their driveways, heading to work.
I focused mainly on the walk and waking up for the day, and thought just a little bit about some of our more troublesome patrons at the library. I hope that there will be no difficult situations today or tomorrow.
Since I didn't have to go to work until 4pm today (and it's a balmy 27 degrees outside), I decided that it would be fun to drive Lucy to Lake Maria State Park for today's walk. I hope to revisit Lake Maria a few more times this March, to see how Spring is progressing.
We walked for an hour and a half, and it was not easy walking. Although the paths are more packed down than those at Quarry Park, Lake Maria is far more hilly. It was also almost completely silent. I heard a few woodpeckers in the distance, and Lucy's ears perked up a few times, but it felt like we were alone in a cold, empty forest.
That's not so bad, though. Lake Maria's trees are mainly birch and aspen - white trunks with golden leaves hanging on through the winter. The snow was blindingly white, as was the high overcast sky - the contrast between the stark white above and below with the black and brown of the trees and branches and the golden leaves? It was very cool.
My mind wandered a bit as we were walking. All of the brightness was messing with my eyes. Everything had a technicolor shadow, like a TV that doesn't have very good reception. I wondered if what I was seeing was a world within a world - where fairies and other mysterious creatures live - and what would happen if the fairy world suddenly took over and *bam* I was in the land of fairy. Or, if I was SEEING the land of fairy but still in the real world. I'd probably spend a lot of time crashing into things, seeing one world and being in another.
I'd been listening to Neil Diamond on the way in, so I had Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show in my head. I wondered what it would be like to be in the chorus of a Southern Evangelist preacher's traveling revival show. I've never really been to the deep south. I've skirted it - Tennessee, Florida - but never just plopped myself in the middle of it. I tried, once. I got accepted to Louisiana State University for Grad School - but decided to stay in MN at the last minute.
The walk was good, Lucy and I were both beat at the end of it. I have a long way to go to get in shape for all the hiking I want to do this summer.
Well, this year of self-improvement by monthly projects isn't going so well. I'll blame it on the fact that I've been really busy, taken an ill-timed vacation, and been too overwhelmed with life to take on extra projects.
This month I'm going to do something easy. I hope it's easy. I'm going to walk Lucy every day, and write about it. I need to get outside more, and being outdoors is one of Lucy's great loves in life.
Today we went to Quarry Park. We went at 2pm. It is about 15 degrees outside, sunny. We walked on the dog path for 30 minutes. I brought along my iPod and listened to Day One of a Couch to 5K podcast, but I don't think I'll do it again. I could see that the wind was moving through the pine trees, but I couldn't hear it. Bummer. I'd rather listen to the wind than techno.
There were no other people in the park (no other cars in the lot) but there was a snowmobiler that we enountered several times. He was very polite and stopped to let us by. I don't know if snowmobiling is legal in Quarry Park (the signs on the way in didn't say anything about it) but at least he was helping to smoosh down the snow a bit. My calves ached from having to break a path after just a few minutes.
Lucy was very happy to be in the park. She ran all over the path and buried her nose in the snow a few times (I think she is going after little critters that are scurring beneath the crusty top of the snow) and wagged her tail merrily.
Well, I was in Florida for a week. This obviously messed with my Sit-up and Push-up training schedule. I DID do some Sit-ups and Push-ups (seriously!) but since I didn't have the training plan with me, I didn't know how many to do.
I'm going to jump right back in. I'm picking up where I left off, on Week 1, Day 3.
Week 1 Day 3:
Rest 120 seconds between each set.
4, 5, 4, 4, 5.
I'm going to try to do the 4 in the middle on my toes, not on my knees. Here we go!
Well, I was able to do them all on my knees with my feet in the air, but none on my toes. Perhaps that will come with time.
Week 1 Day 3:
Rest 60 seconds between each set.
6, 7, 6, 6, 8
Here we go!
WHEW...that was tough. The last 8 were difficult (I had to take a short break in the middle) and now I feel winded and kind of light-headed.
The more I think about it, the more I realize how much I am in need of a Wardrobe Overhaul. I need to make some serious changes both in my wardrobe and the way I shop for my wardrobe. I'm not saying that I need to throw out all of my clothes and go on a crazy shopping spree. This would be a very specific, contained collection of clothes specifically for work. Of course, the clothes could be worn OUTSIDE the workplace, but the idea here is to build a two-week wardrobe of outfits appropriate for a professional position.
( Egads, can I ever talk about clothes!Collapse )