Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Another Productive Garden Day

This weekend, the kids and I spent some time digging in poop. I love how they just stick their hands in the garden and play in the dirt until I remind them that there's peat moss, vermiculite, and manure in there. The look of horror on their faces as they realize what they just did. Ha!

Anyway, they helped plant the first round of carrots, onions, and lettuce. I also planted some marigolds to help attract bees and deter wildlife. This year, instead of planting the marigolds around the outside of the garden, I'm planting them in the middle. Hopefully that will make harvesting and weeding easier. Of course that's assuming there's anything to harvest.

I also added some regular dirt from the scrap heap in an attempt to raise the level inside the planter a bit. It looked a little low with just the three ingredients so I figured some plain, old-fashioned dirt would help. I took a couple of loads with the bucket on the tractor and it seemed to go well.

Here's one box after the planting and watering. I'm also skipping the string between crops as it was just too complex and made weeding hard. Figured just some tiny berms/ditches would help define the areas just fine.

And here's a little side project I worked on. Thanks to some inspiration from Wranglerstar, I took one of the trees I cut down earlier and cut it to length. Then removed what little grass was there, added some of my starter soil mix, and planted some flowers and tall grass. I figured in a worst-case scenario, I'd at least have nothing there to cut with the weedeater. Best-case scenario would be some pretty flowers and grass that I wouldn't have to cut with the weedeater.

Next up will be another round of carrots, onions, and lettuce along with some corn. Woohoo!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Table for Two

First good run in a long time. I'm now in a much better mood mentally, feel better physically, and may have actually found my will to run again. I headed out to retrieve my last large trail camera so I can re-shuffle them to new spots. The newer cameras are much smaller and much easier to run with so I'll be using them as mobile units while the larger ones stay stationary. Like any of that matters, but I still felt the need to explain it.

Anyway, yesterday was a day full of hiking, walking, and a few, short bursts of running. We hit to parks and probably logged a good 5 miles on our feet. It felt nice to get out in the nice weather and spend time with the family outside. Today was my day to go run so I put in a nice, somewhat easy, certainly low-stress, run on the local trail. I was happy to see a full parking lot but it did make parking a bit tricky. Saw two dog walkers, one walker, one local runner, two more walkers, and a small group of Scouts putting in some service hours.

The run felt hard but easy. Hard physically since it's been a bit since I've gone that far but easy since my mind was in the right place the entire time.


I have no idea why these table-sized logs were here.

Temps were 60F to 65F. Winds were light. Sun was out in full.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was three waffles, one egg, yogurt, and coffee. During the run I had a bottle of plain water and an apple sauce. Recovery wasn't quite so good but it was a burger, fries, and iced coffee.

Aches and Pains:
I have some sores on the top of my foot that aren't healing as fast as they should. I'll need to check in with the doctor about that. Everything else felt fine.

Just took my handheld and not much else. Wore shorts, short sleeve shirt, BUFF, and that's it.

Heart Rate:
Did my best to keep it in Zone 2 but I know I was pushing that early on. So I just went into damage control early on and tried to stay as low as I could.

Mile 0.7 - 8:47 (AVG HR 146)
Mile 1 - 12:41 (AVG HR 150)
Mile 2 - 15:01 (AVG HR 151)
Mile 3 - 14:04 (AVG HR 149)
Mile 4 - 15:08 (AVG HR 150)
Mile 0.7 - 8:52 (AVG HR 154)
Finish - 1:14:36
AVG HR - 150
MIN HR - 112
MAX HR - 175

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Earth, Wind, and Fire

Managed to get some outside work done now that work has slowed down a bit. We've increased the size of the garden planters. So instead of last year's 4' x 4' box, we've added two boxes that are 4' x 10' each. So a good amount of extra space this year. I also had some help mixing all the dirt together and while it's a little lower than I want, it's at least a start. And no, it's not just "dirt." It's compost/manure, peat moss, and vermiculite. Although I ran out of peat moss for the one section and had to use regular potting soil. May go looking for some extra dirt in the back yard to help fill it up some.

Here's a view of the Earth portion of the post:

I also found the time to clean out the ditch up front. I had already raided it last fall for some leaves so I could use the leaf vac to grind them up a bit and add them to my compost. Little did I know that gumballs don't grind. Well, now I know. Which means I had to pretty much give up on the stuff in the ditch since it was loaded heavily with gumballs from the trees up there. Which means I decided to burn it all. I had no idea I had that much stuff in the ditch until I started cleaning it out. I thought things were pretty clean already but after nearly 20 bucket loads in the tractor and a 5 foot high pile on the burn pit, I realized I underestimated how much crap was there.

Here's the end result of the Fire:

Finally, I had to cut down some trees on my neighbor's property since he didn't seem to be in a big rush to do it. The heavy snow this winter bowed them over and a few times they were hanging low enough in the street to impede traffic. Since I was tired of having them hanging there just waiting to fall into the road and crush my mailbox, I just went over and chopped them down. It also gave me a chance to teach the kids a bit about using a hatchet and axe and what they needed to do to stay safe. William did pretty good since he wasn't quite strong enough to swing the hatchet. Elizabeth though was a little scary when she started swinging like a mad woman at the tree. Hopefully I caught them early enough to at least keep them semi safe around an axe.

Finally, here's the what the Wind (and snow) forced me to do (not that I minded):

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hang your hat up

Had to bail out early on this morning's run. I just didn't have enough go-juice to make it happen. But on the flip side, I did manage to hit 3 of the 5 cameras on the trail and swap out memory cards. Guess there's always room to be Pollyanna about things.

The run itself wasn't terrible, it just wasn't there. I wanted to do 4 miles but as I got closer to my halfway turn-around point, I realized I wouldn't make it that last mile so I cut it short. And sure enough, the last mile sucked and the last half-mile really sucked. So I guess I made the right call.

Sadly, the worst part was I eased my pain by eating some bad food. Still an emotional eater but I had an urge for junky food before my run so adding the stress/depression of not doing well on the run only fueled the fire. At least I knew the fire was coming.

Somebody left there hat on the trail. So I hung it up.

Temps were about 45F. No wind. Sky was cloudy.

Fluids and Fuel:
Before the run I had a little coffee. During the run I had a bottle of plain water and an applesauce. Recovery was two hashbrowns and a breakfast burrito. And an iced latte.

Aches and Pains:
Nothing really hurt but I felt even more sluggish than normal. Like trying to run on sand. Or quicksand.

No special gear but I did take along my camera gear and knife. Clothes were shorts, pants, thermal shirt, long sleeve shirt, BUFF, and gloves.

Heart Rate:
Ranged wildly between about 120 and over 150. Couldn't find a happy spot between them, it was just either way high or way low. I knew I went out too hard but even when I tried to dial it back, it kept swinging radically.

Mile 1 - 12:35 (AVG HR 133)
Mile 2 - 14:20 (AVG HR 134)
Mile 3 - 17:29 (AVG HR 133)
Finish - 44:24
AVG HR - 133
MIN HR - 78
MAX HR - 160
RHR - 62

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Belt Work

A horribly slow run but it felt awesome to actually get out (or in this case stay in) and run. And watching some TV was just icing on the cake.

Since I was inside, the run itself was fairly boring. No exciting animals or other runners to talk about. So with that, let's get into the stats.


Inside temp was 72F.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was two eggs, three waffles, and an iced coffee. During the run I had a banana and plain water. Recovery was coffee mixed with half a serving of Hammer Recoverite. That was followed a bit later by yogurt and Belvita cookies.

Aches and Pains:
Left hip hurt this morning when I woke up but it didn't hurt during the run.

Incline - 6
Speed - 2.0 to 4.0
Distance - 1.6 miles
Elevation - 491 feet
Entertainment - Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Finish - 30:39
RHR - 62 (higher than normal but still fairly low considering stress from work)
Weight - 225.6 (also higher than normal but expected with the lack of training)

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Elizabeth Turns 10

Here's a blast from the past, way back when Elizabeth turned 4. Scary how time flies. And even further back, we have my first blog post with Elizabeth. Wow.

Well, today is her 10th birthday and I'm feeling ancient. Last night Yvonne wanted to know how in the world we got a 10 year-old in our house. I said we didn't, she was still 9. At least for a few hours. Well, that time is up. She's 10 now and I don't know where the time went. Seems like only yesterday I was 10. Which lead me on a path to find some old photos. I don't have many handy but managed to find a couple. Not sure I'm exactly 10 in both of these but it's close enough. Close enough to bring up memories.

This photo was taken in 1986, likely in the spring. My guess is it was taken in Washington DC during Cherry Blossom season. I was wearing my favorite pair of camouflage pants and hat. Knowing me, I was probably also wearing a matching shirt. My jacket was from the USS Ticonderoga. I think. The logo was in yellow and on the upper left chest. It was green, kind of vinyl-like, and had snaps. I liked it too.

The second picture is full of more memories. It was taken in Williamsburg, VA on January 11, 1986. The background is my uncle's motorhome, probably a Foretravel brand. I vaguely remember it but I'm not sure if I remember this one or his newer one. Standing next to me is my father wearing some stylish brown and a mustache. My clothes aren't much better but I only remember my belt. It was made by my great-uncle and I still have it. Well, technically I still have it but I gave it to my son so he could wear it. The thing around my neck is a stuffed Loch Ness Monster from Busch Gardens. I never went but my uncle gave it to me since his company was working for the park making hats. Anyway, that about sums up this particular picture. I have a lot of other memories about our trips to Williamsburg but I'll save those for a later time.