Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Early in the Morning

I continue to find myself at a loss for words these days.  Lots going on - we've had five weeks in a row of family birthday, graduation, and other gatherings - but nothing I feel like writing about.

Maybe it's because I love summer so much that I just want to live it and not overthink it or write about it? In any case, I needed to show Debby something, so I'm doing another short picture-story blog.

I'm still getting up early in the morning to run and now that the heat/humidity/high dew points have set in, I can't imagine trying to run at 4:00 in the afternoon vs. 4:45 in the morning.  Besides, it's just so (comparatively) peaceful and I have gotten to see some spectacular sun rises!

I also seem to notice flowers a lot more when I'm out.  If I ever have a home where I need filler flowers (is that what they're called lol?) I'm going to get these pink ones.  They come in purple too, and seem like they're great for borders or anyplace where you don't necessarily want to grow grass to mow.

Here's a flower that was poking through an iron fence.  It was so perfect I had to stop and take a photo of it.

 Debby, this is for you as you're the one who made me realize I'd grown petunias from seed.  Remember how these looked just a couple weeks ago?!  I'm really enjoying them now.

I've put Frieda out to run amongst the day lilies.  I can't believe how much these have exploded since I planted those tiny baby plants a few years ago.

Since we're not taking a big vacation this year, I've started taking Fridays off for the rest of the summer.  Nice to have a four day work week. Last weekend was an extra long weekend because I took Friday off as well as having the Independence Day holiday.  I switched my long run to Friday so that I'd have the whole weekend completely free to go to the beach, plus we had another family gathering.  I slept in though and it was pretty warm by the time I started my run.  That was a tough, tough run but I managed 8.3 miles.  Once I got home and got cleaned up, I decided to take myself out to brunch as a treat.  I actually don't mind going out to eat alone - good thing because most of my free time I am alone!  I had a dish called Mavis' Medley which was hashbrowns with crumbled bacon, chopped red onion, and shredded cheddar cheese, topped with two over-easy eggs.  With sunflower toast on the side. This is actually a salad size plate and I ate every bite!

On Saturday, we had the family gathering in the afternoon but I wanted a few beach hours so I got up early and was there by 8 am.  It's so nice and peaceful.  I decided that I'd take a walk before the crowds came in.  We'd had a big storm Friday night and the beach was full of things that had washed up, including this pretty big log.

 Sunday, I slept in again then lazed around and read the newspaper.  Then I decided I want to run since I'd taken Saturday as a rest day.  By this time it was 9 am and pretty hot so I figured I'd run on the treadmill, then go grab a few hours at the beach.  Got on her and started it up and poof!  It stopped and gave the E11 error.  It started doing this a few months ago and we discovered that the speed sensor wire was jiggling loose.  Mr. Helen had done a 5 mile run on it on Saturday so I figured that was the problem.  I texted him and asked him what I needed to do and he called me and walked me through it.  Problem was, no matter what I did, she wouldn't start up again.  At this point it was 9:45 so, I made myself go out and get my run done.  I never regret a run afterward but dang it was a hot, hot run.  Later on Mr. Helen came home from work and tried to fix it himself, and no matter what HE did, she wouldn't start up again.  I ran the stats:  5000 hours, 952 miles, 13 years old.  RIP Tessie A. Treadmill. We definitely got our money's worth.

Mr. Helen can't regularly run on pavement anymore due to the three knee surgeries he's had but he likes to run a couple times a week.  On Monday morning he asked me if I'd been researching new treadmills.  I told him I had and gave him some info.  He said, "Go buy a new one."  I think he also said that because he'd forgotten it was Independence Day (Monday is his usual day off) and had set himself up to paint the house foundation and I was not a happy camper that yet again, I was going to spend another day alone. I took off to one of our local nature preserves and did a 5 mile hike.  Then I came home, showered, and went treadmill shopping.  The new one should be in place by Friday.  Honestly, I'm glad this happened during the summer so I'm all set before winter sets in and I don't have a choice about where to run and walk.

Tuesday, I got up and it was pouring rain.  Of course!  I wasn't in the mood to walk or run in that so I did a body weight workout then a 35 minute step aerobics routine.  My legs are sore - even as much as I run, that routine just uses different muscles.  I consider that good cross training.

This morning I woke up to 70 degrees, ridiculous humidity, high dew points, and an air quality alert.  Still, if you're going to run, 5 am is the time to do it.  I decided to do a bit of speed work and ran telephone pole sprints for one and half miles up the street, then ran two more miles to get home.  It was hard, especially doing those sprints, but I never regret a run once I'm done.  Here I am looking up the hardest part of the hill, then down it once I'd reached the top.  To get this done, you really can't look at the hill though, you just look at the next telephone pole and go for it.

That's about it for my catch up.  My "staycation" starts on Friday.  We have a bunch of things we are going to try to fit in: paddle boarding, kayaking, historical sites, beach, winery, and maybe a light house cruise, weather permitting.  I hope I'm able to actually rest and relax, though my confidence is not high in that.  I just think it's hard to "vacate" when you're still at home.  At least I won't be at work though, right?

Oh, and to end this not so short after all post, do any of you gardeners know what this is on my knockout rose?  I've tried all sorts of things and sprays but this happens every year.  It still blooms but boy do the leaves look awful!


  1. I don't know if that's what it is, but there's a couple things--black spot, rust. And you can get an all-purpose fertilizer/disease stuff that comes in pellets that you put in the dirt around the rose. I like that better than spray stuff.

    Love seeing your early morning pictures. I have started a new "habit" of taking my walk at 7:15, instead of waiting til after dinner. So nice to get it done early, plus, at that time, its still cool outside.

    I'm so impressed that you actually grew petunias from seeds!

    1. I'll have to find that pellet stuff and see if it helps. It's just so annoying to have beautiful roses and terrible leaves.

  2. Love the early morning sunrises you get to see as a result of running at that time; I've seen some spectacular pink ones lately, but I don't run with my phone so the pictures are just trapped in my brain - thanks for sharing yours! And ahh, the telephone pole speedwork. It's such a simple way to sneak it in...totally agree with you on not looking beyond the next pole, though.

    Your homegrown petunias look great! Proud mama moment right there, LOL.

    It's nice that there's so much to do in your area for your staycation - I hope you have fun and really get to unwind and relax. Of course, those free Fridays will help, I'm sure.

    RIP Tessie the Treadmill. Looking forward to seeing the newbie.

    1. I'm glad to see the sunrise too because the way our property sits we don't see sunsets, just the occasional pink cloud. I hope we can relax as well!

  3. Love the flowers!!!!!!

    No grass growing under your feet in terms of buying a new treadmill!!!!! :-).

    In the meantime...drink lots because I know it was humid as all get out this morning when I ran!!!!

    1. When I ran the 8 miler I wore my fuel belt and drank 32 oz. of water while I was out. Then I drank 16 oz. of Nuun when I got home and was STILL dehyrated!

  4. I'm pretty sure that's rose mosaic you've got there, but check for little inchworm looking things on the underside of the leaves (rose slugs).

    Both of these are really only cosmetic. You could prune out the worst of the branches just so it looks better.

    1. Ewwww! I don't want to look for slugs lol! But I guess I need to as someone elase told me it might be something called Bagworm, which is also a caterpillar thing.

    2. Ewww! slugs or worms :( I like thinking that it is an easily curable disease :)

  5. The best vacation is at home, if you wish to rest and relax. If you want to go and explore things and places, then far from home is the way to do it.

  6. Wow so many wonderful things in this post.

    You're a smart cookie to take your Fridays off during Summer! And you are doing so well with all your workouts. I sometimes go for my daily long walk with Bella early in the morning and it's so peaceful then.

    We are having a staycation too from July 18 for 2 weeks. R. needs to do some chores around the house and I have planned some long hikes with Bella while he does that. We are doing some day trips too these weeks.

    Enjoy your stacation and I enjoyed this post a lot.

  7. Nice photos Helen!!!! And big yay for the long weekends!!! What a nice thing to do over the summer!