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Month: May 2019

a haiku – wait nope. wait yes.

a haiku – wait nope. wait yes.

i was going to write you a springtime haiku to go along with a photo i took today, but wordpress isn’t letting me upload the photo.

instead, i’ll tell you about my brilliantly productive memorial day weekend so far.


  1. pulled all the minitrees and weeds out of my flower bed. this took 3-4 hours.
  2. sprayed the weeds around my house.
  3. cleaned up around the edging near my entry way.
  4. cut down the dying shrubbery trees out of my flower bed
  5. supervised as nate yanked the stumps out with the truck
  6. clapped in delight when it worked
  7. spread 20 bags of mulch in the flowerbed
  8. took brush, trees, and stumps to the avon compost site
  9. went to walmart and bought 2 hydrangeas to replace the gross (now dead) shrubs
  10. planted them
  11. admired my work. i was out there from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. with a lunch and supper break!
  12. watched john wick


  1. went for a 3 mile run at 10 a.m. (i know; surprisingly early!)
  2. picked up a geranium on the way to pick up mom from st. johns
  3. met rae at the cemetery and visited grandma and grandpa
  4. went to red lobster for lunch
  5. went to target with mom
  6. dropped off mom at st. john’s
  7. took a nap
  8. mowed the lawn
  9. went SUPping
  10. stalked a loon
  11. went for a 2nd 3-mile run (training for ragnar sunset)
  12. drank a margarita while i tried to get a fire going. it didn’t go.
  13. now it’s too late to watch john wick II. maybe tomorrow

tomorrow i clean the house (it’s supposed to rain) and make some millionaire shortbread.

well, whaddya know! my image uploaded. took this on my run this evening.

light reflected back

no crops yet; but frogs and birds

ruts hold the story

40’s looming!

40’s looming!

in a surprising turn of anticipated events, i’m feeling good about 40. much better than i was about 30! i don’t know if i’m entering the “i don’t give a hoot” stage of life and not caring is more of the norm than previously thought, but who cares! this might be ok.

the birthday week (NEXT WEEK) is already shaping up to be a nice one! jenee is coming to visit me for lunch on tuesday and bringing a surprise guest (OMG i can hardly wait for this visit! WHO IS THE SURPRISE GUEST and JENEE IS ONE OF MY FAVE PEEPS!). on wednesday and thursday i’ll be at a system office conference for work, but that should be ok (and informative!). when i get back on thursday (THE BIG DAY), nate and i are going out someplace fancy for supper. after that? not sure what’s going to happen!

then on the weekend, i’ll see my family for a trip to itasca, where i’ll get to spend time among the big trees and lakes and listen to springtime birds and frogs. i’ll bring chocolate cake and have birthday tea on my paddleboard out on the water.

all in all, i’d say i’m pretty happy with how things have turned out thus far. sure, life throws curveballs now and then, and you can’t be happy all the time. in fact, i’d argue that maybe we aren’t happy a lot of the time. but if you’re satisfied and okay a lot of the time, well, you’ve got a pretty decent life. happy, joyful moments make it just that much better.

LET’S DO IT, 40.

all hail the book nerd

all hail the book nerd

i did a cool thing today! the local libraries exchange was on campus to record 5-minute book reviews for their podcast, and i did TWO books! (unfortunately, i was the only one who signed up, so i guess it was a good thing i brought a second book!)

i had listened to a few of their podcasts before i headed into this foray, and i was worried about being able to spend enough time talking about my books. well, after i rambled on and on about the first book (“the dreamers”), the interviewer said that it was almost exactly 5 minutes. i was worried i wouldn’t be able to talk about it enough!

then i talked about “a walk in the woods” which one of the interviewers had also read (and loved the author), so we almost tag-teamed on the interview, and that one was really fun. hey, if you haven’t read that one and you enjoy memoirs and humor, this is the book for you.

THEN they invited me to come to their space over the summer sometime when they’re recording podcasts about specific genres of books! OMG. i asked if harry potter was considered a genre, and then we got excited about a podcast talking about HP.

book nerds are great.

stranger danger

stranger danger

when i run, i tend to stick to well populated places for the most part. it takes me two miles of running from my house to get to any sort of solitude. even then, on the lake wobegon trail, there are other runners and bikers, dog walkers, couples out for their evening stroll.

there is no regular vehicle traffic, which is nice.

when i go for trail runs, i drive to st john’s then take off on the dirt logging roads that wind through the woods. i rarely run across people, and when i do, it’s normally in the fall and in the first half mile or so of the trail. the back 40 of the trail is mine alone for many runs. (this is sometimes disconcerting because i wonder what would happen if i fell or hurt myself. i do have the security number in my phone, so don’t worry, mom.)

i enjoy the solitude while i’m running; the introvert’s life longs toward not meeting anyone on the trail. but i’m often warned or reminded through the media about what could happen. kidnappings, assaults, attacks of women who are out on a run. i do have pepper spray. i don’t bring it with me. is this foolish? i’m not sure. the chance of being murdered out on a run? 1 in 35,000. i have a better chance of dying in a car crash. and in rural mn? i feel like the chances are even slimmer. (harassment while out on a run is a different matter.)

let me tell you about two incidences.

one was last fall when i was training for ragnar trail out in the woods. i had to try at least one night run out in the woods so i was prepared for constant vigilance on the trail. i don’t generally run in the dark because it freaks me out, but i needed to do one. i was out for a 4-mile run at about 8:30 p.m., and i saw a light up in the distance, like it was another runner  or someone with a flashlight. i listened closely for anything that might be weird or out of place, but didn’t. eventually, it went away. then i saw another one. (know what this tells me? i wasn’t watching my feet very closely.)

after a few more instances of this, i realized my headlamp was reflecting animals’ eyes. i probably freaked out more than one deer or raccoon that evening.

more recently:

i was running a long run on the lake wobegon trail. it was a dreary day, mid 40s. i did not want to be out there, but i needed to be if i was going to be ready for my half marathon. i was huffing along at my relatively slow, mediocre pace, when i saw someone come toward me, maybe 1/4-1/3 mile down the trail. then i turned around and headed the same way i was heading, at just about the same pace i was going.

he was a little bit slower because i gradually, sort of caught up to him. finally, he slowed down and started running backwards, telling me that he thought i would have overtaken him by now. i laughed and said slow and steady runs the race.

he was an older gentleman, a retired newspaper columnist from new york who was also a vietnam vet. he told me about his life while we ran the next four miles together. it never once crossed my mind that he might be an attacker.

the weekend following this, i went to visit relatives, where my aunt asked if i ran alone and what would happen if i were attacked and i had to be careful. i relayed this story. she seemed to have an “i told you so what would have happened if he’d been bad” moment. but i think it’s the opposite – you have to hope for the best in people, and this is a perfect example of camaraderie among runners. if i’d turned around, that would’ve been giving in to fear; you can’t be afraid of everything – we can’t live lives of complete fear*.

* i do have a more heightened sense of what’s around me while i’m running trails (paved and dirt) than when i’m running on the road. (well, a different sense of what’s around me. i need to know what’s going on with the cars.) please don’t worry about me 🙂  also, read this article about running while female.

grey is women, black is men.