Monday, November 23, 2020

It's Official!

On Friday, Mom and Dad closed on their condo so they are now officially Maine home owners! πŸŽ‰πŸ‘ We are so excited for them, and so happy to have them only 2.5 miles down the road! πŸ’— The place looks great and I think it is going to be the perfect spot for them. 

But before that, back to the rest of the week... Monday was an intentional zero day, but I seriously have to work on the Tuesday morning run! Not sure why it is so hard to get out there... so yet another Tuesday morning run missed. Went into work for the morning and came home for lunch. With afternoon light fading fast these days, we decided to make a break for it and get in our walk after Sam had finished her school work and Ryan had eaten his (what I always call a late) lunch. Stuck to the roads and the looped around the deserted road up in the Canam neighborhood. Kinda creepy but interesting to see how nature has taken over. (2.7 miles walked)

Wednesday, I headed out just as the sky was beginning to lighten. Cold with iced over puddles, a pretty sky and a strong, chilly wind. Ran the powerlines. (7.1 miles)

Didn't warm up much all day, so our early afternoon walk was a cold one. Brrr! We were all bundled up but the wind was biting. Walked past the high school, where they are making fast work of the removing the remaining structure, and looped up into the woods on the way back to stay out of the wind. (2.3 miles walked)

Thursday, I headed out into the darkness to run the cart paths. Temps were hovering right at 20 degrees, but although it was colder than Wednesday, it was calm so it didn't seem that bad. And a pretty sunrise too! (6.1 miles)

I have my eye on 2,200 miles for this year, but I am also finding it hard to motivate right now. Lack of light, the greyness of November, what seems like so much time spent alone running this year without the lightness that running with friends brings, lack of variety in routes right now due to the hunting season, and so much time spent sticking close to home due to the pandemic. All of these things seem to be pushing against my will to get out the door and are making running a bit less joyful at the moment. I know I am better and happier and saner when I get out the door and run, so I just need to keep going, and not let my head get the better of me. Of course, I recognize that I am insanely lucky to be able to be running, to have beautiful places so close to me to run to and to not be injured, and I know that mileage doesn't really matter, but having some sort of goal does help keep me determined. As of the end of the week, 1,972 miles have been run. Can I get the other 228 miles before December 31st? It seems doable, but I'm going to have to stay on top of it and squash the dreariness! 

Friday morning, I dropped Sam at school, took the recycling to the dump and then headed out from home, clad it a lot of orange, onto the powerlines. So dreary, but nice and mild out at least. Over 20 degrees warmer than Thursday morning! Crazy weather. (8.0 miles)

Mom and Dad closed on the condo mid-morning πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰, which is so exciting. I know it has been sort of a tough 3 months for them after they moved up here not having their own place and being slightly unmoored, but I think this is going to be a great place for them. We are so happy it worked out! 

Saturday morning, Ryan was meeting my dad and the movers at the storage unit, so I headed out soon after the sky started to lighten to get my run in, and was rewarded with a colorful sky as I ran through the fairgrounds and a beautiful sunrise over the Androscoggin 😍 So pretty, and another balmy morning. (6.0 miles)

Got a few things done around the house and then Sam and I met up with Mom over at the new house to unpack the car before the movers arrived. Once they got there, it was several crazy hours of putting boxes in the right spot, helping get the beds set up and then finally, the last things were off the truck and it was done! Of course, then the real fun began! Nothing like being surrounded by boxes πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ“¦πŸ“¦

We got to work unpacking some of the important stuff for the kitchen and bedroom and then realized we were all exhausted 😴 and stopped for an early pizza dinner. Nothing like moving chaos!

Early to bed for everyone Saturday night! I was awoken by Ronnie doing circles around my head early on Sunday morning - sigh - but it took a while for me to actually get out of the house for my run. Decided to keep it short and sweet this week, and ran out into the Cathance to enjoy the woods. Pretty morning. Crisp and bright. (8.0 miles)

Then it was across the street for a family walk before lunch. Guessing the high school demolition is going to be complete in a day or two. It has been interesting to see how they've taken the structure apart. Not much left now. (2.0 miles walked)

Interesting milkweed 'sculpture' roadside

Then it was back to Mom and Dad's for the afternoon. There is a lot of unpacking and reorganizing to be done, but we still had a bit of fun and made some progress too πŸ˜‰πŸ˜Š

And just in case you need more photos... πŸ˜ƒ

Gigi was not quite sure about Sam's lap, but she was the one that jumped up there!

And an early morning scene of the two kitty cat vultures 😹😹

Monday, November 16, 2020

Grey November Days

The warm, almost spring-like weather continued for the start of the week. Monday, Sam and I got out for a late afternoon walk to check out the old high school demolition. The sound of scraping metal is definitely not high on my list of good sounds! But they are making serious progress over there. (1.6 miles walked)

Tuesday morning was another failed morning run. Eh. I'm fine with it. I've got 5 other days to get in my running πŸ˜‚πŸ˜πŸ˜œ But, it was too nice not to get out and enjoy the day, so the three of us got out right around 4:00 for a quick walk around the block. We beat the sunset, just barely, and the sky was looking quite lovely en route. (1.9 miles walked)

We found out later in the evening that the entire 6th grade was going fully remote due to a staff member having Covid-19 😰 The person was in the other cohort so Sam, while she won't go into school until next Thursday, does not have to quarantine. However, combine this with the fact that cases are going up exponentially throughout the state, and I will definitely say that my anxiety has started to skyrocket again... 😱 

Honestly I didn't sleep much on Tuesday night, but Wednesday was a holiday for Sam and I, so I didn't have to rush out in the morning and waited until the sky was light to head out for my run. A very balmy, foggy morning. Two deer seen. Would have loved to have gone further into the woods but hunting season puts a bit of a damper on forays on the trails at this time of year except on Sundays, so enjoyed a loop on the cart paths and around the Heath instead. (7.0 miles)

Later in the afternoon, the three of us got out for a walk on the powerlines, clad in orange. Overcast but still warm, and nice to get out! Even though November often seems so drab compared to the brilliance of October, there is still beauty out there. The winterberry are a lovely splash of color against all the browns and the asters gone to seed truly is beautiful as little puffs of white along the side of the trail. (2.5 miles walked)

With all of us working at home on Thursday, I was able to start my run a bit later than I normally would. Headed out with the headlamp at 5:50 am but only needed it for the first two miles. Cloud cover was very dense so there was no sunrise and not a lot of early morning light, but it was nice enough out on the powerlines. I stuck to the main trails out in the open, and with my reflective vest and orange hat I felt pretty safe and it was nice to get a bit of trail time mid-week. And in shorts and a t-shirt no less! (7.0 miles)

Friday I did a few errands around town and then headed over to the Commons for a run. It was overcast and rather dreary out, and temps had dropped about 20 degrees from Thursday morning's run! Back to more typical mid-November temps. Enjoyed a quiet meander on the trails. Did push it a little bit on the Westside section to get the CR so at least I worked a little bit out there πŸ˜‰ (8.1 miles)

Saturday was yet another road run during hunting season. Waited until temps warmed a bit to get out the door so that I wouldn't have to deal with slick pavement after Friday night's rain and temps hovering right around 30 when I woke up. Finally headed out around 8:00 am. It was a bright, crisp morning and I kept the running nice and easy. (8.0 miles)

Temps warmed up nicely later in the morning on Saturday, so we got out around 11:30 for a nice walk, looping on the powerlines and the lower stretch of the dirt back road. Lovely out there, and always good to get outside together! (3.3 miles walked)


Sunday I hit the trails for the morning's run. Thin layers of ice on the Heath, bright sunshine, orange witch's butter on a few logs trailside, and crunchy needle ice (I always called it hoar frost) underfoot. Feeling a bit tired and stressed so didn't run quite as many miles as I had planned, but did enjoy a nice, quiet few hours in the woods. (12.2 miles)

The rest of the day was pretty quiet. I made some blueberry muffins and did a few things around the house, Ryan was watching the Masters and Sam was relaxing, but I just did not want to sit around all day, so Ryan and Sam nicely humored me with a late afternoon walk. It was that typical November type of day, grey, chilly and overcast, but it was nice to get out and loop around through the Mt Ararat woods and get outside for a bit! (2.5 miles walked)

And just for fun... For months now, Gigi has been sitting in a cardboard beer box in the kitchen. We finally got rid of it a few weeks ago because she threw up in it - eww! 😩 - and she has definitely been missing that box, as Wednesday night after getting Otto's pizza for dinner - yum! πŸ˜‹πŸ• - we put the boxes on the floor so I could take them to the recycling the next day. She immediately jumped right on the boxes and was so happy! We took this as a sign that we should get her a more suitable place to rest than in a box or atop pizza boxes, but she is not having it. Here she is, moments after we put the nice, fluffy, soft cat bed on the floor in front of her 😹😹 Should have just gotten another cardboard box! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚

Lady, I don't need no stinkin' cat bed! I've squished these pizza boxes down just right 😹

Update: We did find her actually using the bed a few times over the weekend, but only after Ryan cut a circle of cardboard and put it in the bottom of the bed πŸ˜‚ Silly Gigi kitty!

Monday, November 9, 2020

Oh Man, It Has Been A Week!

Whew. What a week! 

Election day, full of hopes and dreams 😎

So many red states and the seemingly never ending vote tallying 😱 

An uptick in Covid case 😫

New mask mandates from Governor Mills 😷 

The cancellation of swim team practices for the next month (at least) due to the two prior items πŸ˜₯ 

Frankly, it's been exhausting and anxiety-producing. 

Thankfully, we did end the week on a high note, after several days of hardly daring to hope and look at the results, wondering if these final few key states were going to turn blue, and finally, the race was called, with Joe Biden as President and Kamala Harris, his running mate, the first woman to be named VP. Woohoo! 

Wishing it could have been less-drawn out and more decisive of a vote versus so much of the country voting red, but thank god! At least reason, and humanity, won out. There is a lot of work to do, inevitably, but for now, we can all take a deep breath and smile and celebrate that we don't have to endure four more years of idiocy and that we have someone in the role of President who will be thoughtful and metered and think of the country and not himself first. And with a kick-ass VP by his side. There is hope for a better tomorrow!

So, with that as the backdrop to the week...

The wind was whipping like crazy Monday afternoon and cold temps had settled in, but bundled up and got out for a walk anyway. Definitely chilly but the colors in the sky just before sunset were quite lovely. (1.8 miles walked)

And then finally, a Tuesday morning when I got out for a run! It helped that I knew I'd have light for the second half of the run. A chilly but windless morning with iced over puddles, spitting snow and one deer seen. Also saw a number of people lined up to vote well before the polls opened at 7:00. Yay democracy! (6.1 miles)

Sam had the day off for election day, as they were using the high school as the town polling place, so I went into work for the morning and enjoyed 5 productive hours in an empty office before coming home for lunch. From there, the three of us headed across the street for a road walk. Once again, chilly and windy but not quite as brisk as Monday. (2.0 miles walked)

After that, Sam and I headed out to Fielder's Choice to get ice cream because why not?! and they have a drive through so you can remain warm and toasty in your car while eating ice cream on a November day! πŸ˜‹πŸ¦Then it was on to Dollar Tree for slime ingredients. Sam was quite pleased with all her purchases πŸ˜ƒ and hey, she makes like three batches of slime a day, so why not get some $1 beads, glitter and paint to make things fun! 

Finished up the day with swim practice and a quiet evening not watching election results. Nice to be able to take the afternoon off. 

Woke up on Wednesday to no solid election results and no running. Too stressed, didn't sleep well, even though I went to bed early in an attempt to avoid both. Sigh. 

Thursday morning, I got up and out for a road run. Decided I really had to run across the connector bridge to take in the glow in the sky and was rewarded with a lovely view of fog rising off the still waters of the river and pastel colors on the horizon. Magical and calming. A nice, balmy, windless morning to be out. (6.0 miles)

Mom and Dad came over in the evening after swim practice to celebrate Dad's birthday with thai and wine and crazy cake. Yum! Happy Birthday, Dad! πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‰ We love you and so grateful to be able to celebrate with you in person!πŸ’— 

Headed over to the Commons on Friday morning after dropping Sam off at school and stopping at the farmer's market for some veggies. Definitely overdressed on what was a rather muggy, warm and overcast morning, but at least I was wearing enough orange to be safe in the woods! Added on a loop on Old Pennelville Road and the newer Westside Commons trail that is a fun addition for a bit more mileage. (8.5 miles)

Another warm morning on Saturday and back to shorts and t-shirt for the morning's road run. Nothing special, just rolling along. Really wanted to be out in the woods, but you know, hunting. (8.0 miles)

Met up with Mom and Dad later in the morning out at Woodward Point for a walk. It had warmed up a lot and was bright and sunny. Felt like spring, not November! Enjoyed a beautiful walk through the fields and out to the edge of the ocean, and came back to the car to discover that the AP had called the presidency for Biden! Hurray! There was much happiness, and what a gorgeous day to be outside! (1.6 miles walked)

Then it was home for lunch and leftover birthday cake and relief at the news for Biden and Harris, before baking some cookies and heading over to Anne's house for an evening of hanging out outside around a bonfire, the girls racing around the yard smashing squash and throwing glow sticks, and the joy of spending time with friends in an appropriately socially distanced way. It was a good day indeed! 😍

Roasting hot dogs over the fire

Glow stick fun!

Sunday morning dawned clear and bright. I headed out for a loop around the Heath and then down onto the powerlines. Quiet trails and warming temps. Definitely sweaty by the time I finished! Nice to be out enjoying this nice, if slightly unseasonable, weather. (12.1 miles)

Later in the afternoon, we headed over to Head of Tides with Mom and Dad for a nice walk in the woods, and then finished up the weekend with tacos and homemade chips and guac. Yum! (2.5 miles walked)