Friday, November 25, 2011

Gut Check

What an adventure the past 48 hours have been!

First, Terry was featured in an article written by Bill Ward of the Minneapolis Star Tribune about changing traditions for the holidays. How cool is that??!? We purchased a paper Thursday morning after our early morning walk at the farm...

(My loves! Doesn't Trooper look thrilled??)

...looking for the article but couldn't find it. Did I mention we never buy the paper? What a bummer! I did, however, find the article on the website today -- looks like it might have been in Wednesday's paper instead of Thursday's as we thought it was. Anyway, fun to see our names in print (well, on the web without us putting it there, anyway!).

As I mentioned, we had our early morning Thanksgiving walk -- our little tradition celebrating each other, Nature, the gift of Ritter Farm and time off doing what we love together. Who knew it would be nearly 50 degrees and the snow we received last weekend would be all but gone! Glorious! And gave us more to be grateful for.

Ah, to be so spoiled!

And talk about spoiled, look who showed up at the feeder to wish us a happy turkey day??!?

Looks to me like he was just grateful it wasn't him! (Hi buddy! Safe travels South!)

We picked up my grandma...

 ...and drove to my aunt's house near St. Cloud for Thanksgiving dinner.

Even Trooper got to come...and gladly took up more than her share of the backseat snoozing on my leg on the drive up and back!

After a fantastic dinner (Mark, how did you get that turkey so tender??!?), much festive catching up with my uncle's side of the family and one of my cousins (sorry we missed you Mandy!), we headed home to get my grandma home by dark. Why by dark? Let's face it, when you're on the cusp on your 87th birthday, you just get to want what you want...and get it, too!

I am so grateful after such a busy week to be so warmly offered the beautiful meal we had. Camaraderie, good wine (thanks, honey), great great food (thanks, m+n+all!).  Missed my brother's family as they were celebrating with my sister-in-law's side this turkey day, and my dad's family who live in Michigan, but we've learned over the years to simply enjoy who shows up when we're all taking turns.

After we got home, still stuffed to the brim, we hopped into our snugglies and did none other than go through those pesky ads in the twenty pound newspaper we didn't need to buy that morning.  I wrote out Christmas cards (I know, right??!? It's not even December!), T paged the ads and took notes, and Trooper snoozed the evening away.  We joked about how we'd get up in the middle of the night and go shopping.

Yeah, right.

And then woke up, both of us, without an alarm at 5am...the exact time Dick's sporting goods was to open full of sales on treadmills. So we did what any well-respecting capitalist would do.

We got up and went shopping!  And giggled all the way to...

 ...Best Buy. I mean, who does this??!? Middle of the night shopping...notice the police car? The cops were out in droves this morning! Crazy!

T was bound and determined to get a TV for the office so he can whistle watch while he works on his endless photo organization projects.

Happy boy! He saved nearly $300 on this little thing. I fear I'll never see him again...but at least his pictures will finally be organized...right? Right??!?

And then we meandered over to...

...Dick's to go treadmill shopping. And then came out having purchased an elliptical machine. Huh?

And I'll tell you why.

I was set on a treadmill even though I had been talking about an elliptical forever. We had picked out a treadmill (the sales on everything were incredible!) when T said, "Are you sure you don't want to check out the ellipticals? I only bring it up because that's what you were talking about before." Dear man!

But, of course I was sure.

Until I wasn't.

See, I took that smallest of moments to tune in, to check in with my gut -- I had been talking up the ellipticals like crazy after all -- and realized I had become hell-bent on the treadmill because at some point, my mind had conjured up this incredible idea of my beginning to run again. Oh, you know, just a few minutes here and there couldn't hurt.

Uh huh. Right.

Perhaps it's all the healthy living blogs I've been reading -- the vast majority of these women run, talking blissfully about their latest 5 miles around town or the neighborhood in the chill of the gorgeous fall morning. Idyllic! Perhaps it's my sister-in-law who, after the toll giving birth to three incredible children must make on one's body, has taken up running and is kicking butt, just having completed her first half-marathon, wearing a halloween costume no less. She rocks!

I want to run! My mind wants me to be cool just like them! My mind wants me to run!

But in light of my post a few days back about minding your body I am reminded that my mind likes it better than my body does. In fact, after I herniated two disks in my low back a year and a half ago, I was told that it is something I'll have to be mindful of for the rest of my life. While I'm not prone to believe everything the docs tell me -- I've developed a very healthy skepticism with medical professionals over the years -- even if I do manage to heal my way into complete back health, there's no doubt that my mind likes running better than my body does. Given my history, doing any regular physical activity that requires excessive amounts of impact is just asking for trouble.

And of course, my mind was trying to weasel its agenda into my thought processes again.

Rascally rabbit!

I am forever grateful for a hubby who can help remind me to tune in even when I forget to. And for my intuition who holds all of my right answers and never gives up.

So, an elliptical it was. A nicer one than I ever knew they made and very reasonably priced. We'll be calling this one an early Christmas present.

If I can ever get it put together...Trooper's already bored with the whole dang thing!

Doesn't look too complicated does it??


But we must have made the right choice because when we left Dick's, this is the magical sky we witnessed...

We had to pull over at a neighborhood lake to take this one...

Thank you, Mother Nature!

Who knew waking up so early and going shopping would pay off like this??!?

If that wasn't enough to make the day a winner already by 7am, as I was working on getting the treadmill together this afternoon, the mail came and delivered me this little box of goodies...

...from my very own soap-making guy, Scott, at Rock River Soap Company! I keep trying to remember where I found his products, but I can't for the life of me. A farmer's market somewhere? Regardless, it seems like it's been about 10 years since I've been ordering from him in nearby swissconnie (a.k.a. Wisconsin). I order about once per year, a selection of soaps and my favorite lotion, and have gotten my sis-in-law and her mom and a good friend hooked as well. I kid you is the best handmade stuff I've ever found (and man, I've tried a lot of it!) and is the only bar soap I use. Ever.

Wanna give it a go?

Scott handcrafts these incredible, all-natural soaps using only the best base ingredients and essential oils. He blends the most yummy smelling scent combinations, putting them to his soaps, lotion, oils and this time around, bath salts...I simply told him what scents I tend to like (lavender, mints, grapefruit, chamomile, orange, ylang ylang, cinnamon, to name a few...) and he created two different blends for me.

What a treat! Check out his website and send him an email ( with questions and/or your order. This is a guy who absolutely loves what he does and it shows. You won't be disappointed.

Thanks Scott, for following your passion! The rest of us are endlessly fortunate to benefit from your loving what you do!

Don't forget to tell him I sent you!

It feels like Christmas today...minus the snow and the tree. But worth every nutty, spontaneous, love and intuition-filled moment of it.//

What's For Dinner Tonight?
Turkey enchiladas, anyone? I'll be handcrafting my homemade guac to boot. Simple. Easy. Delicious. There's one way to use up some leftovers!

1 avocado, scooped into a bowl
2-3 green onions, chopped
6-8 grape tomatoes, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced into the bowl
lots of chopped cilantro (to taste)
s+p, to taste
a dash of cayenne
a few dashes of Penzy's Adobo seasoning
if you like-a-da-spice, a seeded, chopped serrano pepper will do the trick.

Mix it all up with a spoon, squashing the avocado as necessary. Serve with tortilla chips (my favorite local greats!) and a smile!

Have a great evening : )

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