February ‘Fessions

Hello, and welcome to the February installment of Runfessions. I have three running faux pas to runfess this month. Let’s step into the runfessional so I can shed my heavy burden of running sins.

I Should Know Better

In the winter, there is no urgency to run first thing in the morning. During the summer, my hubby and I make sure to get out the door to beat the heat and humidity that, by 10:00 a.m., are a significant issue.

Bill likes to have a cup of coffee before we run, so I sit in our family room, which is three steps down from the main floor of our house, and read the newspaper or work on this blog.

Unfortunately, cold air tends to settle in the family room. We are environmentally conscious (and by that, I mean cheap), so we keep our thermostat set fairly low. By the time we get dressed for running, a chill has penetrated my bones, and I have goosebumps.

When I am already cold, I tend to select an outfit that is much too warm for the conditions. I bundle up in a turtleneck, tech shirt, and windbreaker with long tights even if it is 35 degrees outside. By the time we get home, I am an overheated, sweaty, hot mess.

While I am not about to adopt Bill’s habit of wearing shorts for any run when the temperature tops 25 degrees, I do think I need to shed a few layers.

I am writing myself a note so I remember to dress colder. (Is dressing colder a thing?)

Photo by Adadrianns on Pixabay

A Sea of Dogs (My Idea of Heaven)

Bill and I have started trail running once a week with three other runners. One day last month, we ventured to nearby Blue Marsh Lake to run the trails which ring the lake.

The entire loop around the lake is over 29 miles, much longer than we wanted to run. We planned to go out for 45 minutes or so, then turn around and retrace our steps.

I love the trails at Blue Marsh. They do include the ever-present roots and rocks found on most Pennsylvania trails, but they are still highly runnable. There is just enough elevation change to keep it interesting, without making it a slog.

We had reached our turnaround point (where the men in the group mused about whether they could swim across the lake in the 30-degree weather and decided not to try it) and were running back to our starting point when we noticed an unleashed dog coming toward us. Then another dog. Then another and another and another.

Soon a sea of at least 50 dogs surrounded us. Many of them were wearing what looked like antennas, and all of them were extremely friendly.

Soon, a dozen riders on horseback came over a nearby rise. They were fox hunters.

Maybe you already know this – no foxes are harmed during a fox hunt. The riders do not carry weapons, and dogs are not allowed to catch the fox. The hunt ensues until the fox “goes to ground” and slips into his den. The hunters hope to catch a glimpse of the fox, then find another fox to chase. The antennas enable hunters to track the dogs and know their location at all times.

I got my dog fix, with dozens of dogs to pet and fuss over, then continued running back to the parking lot.

It’s All About the Sticky Buns

Bill and I are signed up for a real in-person trail race next month.

Our state allows outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people. Races that can stay under that limit (including race officials, timers, and volunteers) are allowed. COVID-mitigating procedures are strictly enforced.

The Fire on the Rocks 10K is scheduled for March 13 in northern Pennsylvania, so there is always a chance for dicey weather and snow covered trails.

To entice runners to sign-up, fresh, hot grilled sticky buns will be served to all finishers. I am on a no-added-sugar diet, but I may make an exception for a grilled sticky bun. The enticement must have worked – the race is sold out.

And the “Fire” in the title of the race? That refers to the Fireball shots available at the aid station. I think I will pass.

Thank you for sharing my Runfessions. I am cleaner, lighter, and grateful for the chance to confess my running sins. See you again in March for my next Runfession.

You can find the places I link up here.

129 comments

  1. I runfess that fireball shots sound very appealing, though I probably wouldn’t be able to stomach them during a race either. I remember vividly at my 2nd half marathon somewhere around the 11 mile mark someone was passing out margarita shots and I was so tempted…I still remember the smell. Enjoy your sticky bun!

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  2. I also way-overdress for a run when it’s cold out but I really hate being cold. I would a thousand times rather be hot than cold so even though I know it’s a bad idea, I’d rather sweat underneath all of my layers than be shivering because I’m too cold. My daughter is like your husband- she wears tank tops and shorts even if it’s 30 degrees out. If we’re running together, I like to get a photo of us side-by-side because it’s quite the juxtaposition.

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  3. I always dress “warmer” than I should, but I much prefer to be a sweaty mess than cold.

    A sea of dogs does sound like heaven, as long as they are all friendly, as these were. I’ve never witnessed a fox hunt in person. I would think it would be loud to have all of those dogs barking at once. We did use to rabbit hunt. My dad loved to hear the beagles when they got on a trail. I imagine it’s the same for the fox hunters.

    I think a post-race sticky bun is a great enticement. I hope the conditions for the race are good and you enjoy the experience.

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    • The older I get, the more I hate to be cold! This was the first fox hunt I ever saw too. It was pretty cool! I hope the race conditions are good too. Just hoping most of the snow melts before March 13!

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  4. I laughed that you keep your thermostat low. Yours is probably lower than ours, but I can get chilled quickly when sitting still. I have a new routine for getting warm to go walking and for getting into a cold bed. I use a resistance band for five minutes, and I’m good to go. It’s great to know that I don’t have to do more than that to be thoroughly warmed. Good luck dressing cold!

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  5. Dressing too warmly is my no. 1 running mistake in winter. And that’s with living in a warm apartment with floor heating… I hate to know what I’d be capable of if I felt chilly to begin with.

    Is there a place where you could dump your excess layers during the run?

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    • At least you don’t have to worry about running in the cold now in South Africa! Dumping my clothes is a good idea. When I ran from our rec center, I could always double back there. These days, I run from home. I will have to think about it.

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  6. Laurie, these posts always make me smile. How amazing to be surrounded by fifty friendly dogs! πŸ™‚ And sticky buns . . . oh, that sounds divine. I can’t remember the last time I actually ate one. Sigh. Enjoy one for me after your race, okay?

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  7. I had to go back and read this again, Laurie! People still have fox hunts, like in the movies? Who knew? (Obviously not me!) I had to laugh at your first runfession. I’ve been running inside lately because it’s too dark outside to run when I normally run. But I always wonder at people who run all bundled up in hoodies and sweatpants and what not … at the most, I’ll wear a long-sleeve, non-fleece half-zip and leggings. And even then I tend to get too hot. To each his or her own, I guess!

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    • Right – just like in the movies. I didn’t realize they still had fox hunts either! I tend to wonder about people who run in sweatshirts and sweatpants too, but my hubby runs in shorts all winter, so…! πŸ™‚

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  8. Winter running, and the subsequent layering, is always evolving with me. I detest being cold, and can’t even bring myself to start out β€œcold” (even with the knowledge I will warm-up within the first 1/2 mile. That said, I’m my body seems to acclimate quickly to cold but with the inconsistent wind & varying humidity it’s a daily guessing game. But, I’d rather be too warm than too cold LOL

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    • I have the same problem – in my head, I know that I will warm up, but I hate to start out cold too. The temperature was in the 50s yesterday and today. Spring is coming. Yay!

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  9. Sticky buns over fireball shots would be an easy choice for me. My name is Denny and I’m a chronic overdresser. I don’t like to be cold. I’m getting better, so there is hope. But I still slip into an unpleasant mid-run sweat because I wanted to be comfortable at the start.

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  10. You made me laugh–again: “(and by that, I mean cheap).” Because that sounds awfully familiar πŸ™‚ Those sticky buns?! I vote Yes to Exception! In fact, our kids are home on a snow day today. Your photo confirmed my inclination to bake a batch of cinnamon rolls. Right after I work out…of course.

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    • Glad I could bring a little laughter to your day! πŸ™‚ I agree. The sticky buns warrant an exception to the no-sugar rule. Mmmm…cinnamon rolls are my favorite!

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  11. I start my work day on the property in the same way, lol. Then I forget & half my jumpas & beanies will be somewhere out on the property as I have overheated. That would be some peoples idea of heaven wouldn’t it being greeted by so many dogs. They look yummy sticky buns, I’m not sure I could eat something that sweet after a long run or anytime really. lol.

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  12. Sticky Buns…I’d do it just for that!!

    I have really trying this year to NOT overdress. I do not wear a coat but a few layers. It’s better but now sometimes I am cold…can’t get it right but I would rather be cold than sweating.

    Good luck with your race.

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  13. I did not know any of that about fox hunts. Interesting! I would be bundling up to run in the cold, too (if I ran in the cold…:-D ), even knowing I’d shed some layers on the way. That sticky bun looks good. A good enticement to run!

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  14. Whoa I didn’t know fox hunts were a thing let alone in this country or state! Pretty sure that many unleashed dogs coming at me while running would’ve made me have a heart attack, I fear dogs on runs more than anything!

    I think Fire on the Rocks is a Rocksylvania event? Jason and I did their frostbite virtual series this winter.

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    • I was a little nervous at first. I just wrote a post (not published yet) about the time I got bitten by a dog while I was on a run.

      I don’t think they are having an actual Rocksylvania this year, are they? I always wanted to do that series, but we were always traveling and I would miss too many events. Fire on the Rocks is put on by PA Trail Dogs. I think you are right – they do the Rocksylvania series.

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  15. I have learned to dress a little lighter for the temps especially when the sun is out. The other day, I was all bundled up and it was cold and windy and this older guy trots by in shorts and a tank. It’s really funny how different we all are!

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  16. Oh wow a fox hunt! How cool is that? I lived in England for 2 years and never saw one. We would go on epic horseback riding hacks though where the horses would literally jump over bushes and such. It was terrifying in the best way. I’d be all over a race that promised sticky buns! Yum!

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  17. Mmmm, sticky buns. Grilled sticky buns? Never heard of that!

    I just made sourdough pancakes. Normally I would use a heartier grain, but Mr. Judy has a colonscopy next week. I runfess those white sourdough pancakes were really tasty. I am running today, but still not running that far!

    I have never seen a fox hunt. I can only imagine how happy (and maybe a bit wistful) all those dogs made you feel. That’s cool though!

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    • A lot of restaurants around here have grilled sticky buns on the menu. It must be a PA thing! πŸ™‚ Oh, sourdough pancakes sound wonderful! Happy and wistful is a good way to describe how I felt being around all those dogs. I am still debating about whether to adopt a dog again, but I don’t think I am going to. Good luck to Mr. Judy!

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      • I totally understand. I don’t think Mr. Judy could live without a dog β€” I really miss my cats, too. Even though Bandit didn’t really care about Lola I think he might benefit from the right companion. Except life with one dog is so much easier so not planning on that.

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    • Yes…you would think we would learn by now! The live event will have a staggered start and runners will wear masks. No gathering before or after the race. I feel pretty good about it!

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  18. Well… that’s something you don’t see everyday. A fox hunt in the middle of your trail run? I’m glad they don’t harm the foxes! I’m looking forward to hearing about your upcoming race and sticky bun! I’m also on a sugar-free diet so I’ll live vicariously through you. I want to hear every detail!

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  19. I’m happy that they don’t catch or shoot the fox. I did not know that. I would love to be in a sea of dogs. Actually I feel that way at home with my own dozen.

    I tend to overdress too, though to me 35F is extremely cold and I’d have to have several layers just to move my limbs.

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  20. OMG. I am here for Fireball and sticky buns! Holy moly!

    I would also love that sea of dogs. I had no idea that the hunters can’t shoot the fox! That’s wonderful! I like in a huge hunting area and while I don’t love the activity, people here mostly do it for the meat and not the sport.

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    • Ha! Maybe if they have Fireball AFTER the race, I will partake. I would probably get sick if I drank at an aid station with more race to run! I like the fact that the foxes aren’t hurt too.

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  21. When I was training for my first marathon it was over the winter and I can remember taking a hot shower before I went out on the run because already being hot before I went out was the only way I could motivate myself to get out in the cold…lol
    I had no idea about how fox hunting works? What breed of dogs do they use for that?
    I’ve been on a run several times where I’ve run into the search and rescue dogs while they were training!

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    • Wow! That is a good idea. I never thought of taking a shower before the run! Maybe I could just sit on my heated car seat for a while!
      These dogs were several different kinds of breeds. I think there were some beagles, some hounds, and some I could not identify. I think they were mutts. I have never run into search and rescue dogs. That would be interesting!

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  22. So, grilled sticky buns? Does that mean they’re placed on a bbq, or pan-fried on a griddle? You can see where my focus is. And fox hunting! I’m not sure the fox enjoys it much, but it’s a very romantic idea. A couple I know met on a fox hunt somewhere back East, and we have another friend who fox hunts (not in CA; it’s not a thing here). Did you know riders often wear special vests that inflate on impact to protect their spines in a fall? She’s detonated two already.

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    • So grilled sticky buns are sliced in half, both cut sides are slathered in butter, then cooked on a griddle (like a grilled cheese, only waaayyy better!) It must be a Pennsylvania thing. I did not know that about fox hunters. These hunters seemed to be pretty low-key. They were sauntering a few minutes behind the dogs and were not wearing what I pictured fox hunting gear to be.

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  23. I tend to over dress too, especially when it’s cold in my house.
    How cool to see all those dogs. Ive never heard of such an event. I think I’d pass on the Fireball too. I ran a half once where someone was giving out Tequila shots. I would puke.

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  24. We came across a group of fox hunters still on their horse while on a gravel ride in Middleburg (Middleburg is huge fox hunting country). The hunt had just ended and the hounds were already in the back of the trailer ready to go home, but we got to say hi to them through the wire doors on the back of the trailer. It was fabulous!

    I think I would be temped to take a fireball shot just to say I did. πŸ˜‰ They’re quite good.

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    • I loved being able to say hi to the dogs in the hunt. They were so friendly and well behaved! I have never had a fireball shot. Maybe if they have them AFTER the race, I will give it a try! πŸ™‚

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  25. I laughed about “dressing colder” because I have my moments when I think “Mom needs to be here to dress me as SHE used to get it right!” I often dress as if I anticipate being lost for hours on end in the elements, not the familiar route I take so many times a year, or if I am at a park where I could always warm up in the car if need be. The worse for getting dressed in the Winter is getting “all suited up” except for the footwear. I go downstairs and get the coat and invariably the heat comes on while I’m lacing up the boots or walking shoes, just enough to make me start to cook before I get outside. I have my house set at 72 degrees all Winter, but that’s because I am working and not moving much all day, then work ends, and I am still sitting in the same place.

    I didn’t know that info about the fox hunt – I’ve never seen one, though I’ve read about them in books. So it’s a faux fox hunt. πŸ™‚ And the antennaes on the dogs made me smile.

    I can’t fault you for signing up for that tasty sticky bun … motivation is high when there is something scrumptious involved!

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    • I dressed colder again this morning! Even after I wrote about it. In my defense, it was raining pretty hard and 39 degrees. But 39 is not that cold when you are running. I wore a raincoat and had to push up my sleeves! I am ready to not have to worry so much about bundling up when I go outside.

      That’s right – a faux fox hunt. I wish I had thought of that phrase! πŸ™‚

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      • [I replied to this comment last night and it would not “send” – my internet went out just as I pressed “send” – sigh.]
        I wear a polar vest with pockets and stuff everything in the pockets in the colder months, then wear a fanny pack in the warmer months when I’m not wearing a coat. I carry extra car/house keys on me as there is no one who has my key(s) if my keys would get lost while I was out. Plus my phone is in there too. So I feel bulky to begin with. The squall jacket has a zippered pocket in front where I keep the camera – that is handier than the cargo pockets. But that polarfleece vest traps heat and I am often warm walking home.

        Glad you liked the concept of a faux fox hunt. πŸ™‚

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      • Ugh!!! Isn’t that frustrating when you have to retype a comment? Now that Bill is not running, I also need to figure out a place to store stuff. He was usually the person who carried keys, etc. on our runs. I don’t often run with a phone because I don’t like being weighed down with “stuff” but I have to carry my keys. Women’s running gear is notoriously short on pockets. I have a tiny key “pocket” in the waistband of my tights. I am always afraid of my car key falling out. I have one of those electronic car keys that would cost hundreds of dollars to replace. My remedy is often to wear a windbreaker with pockets, then I get warm too.

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      • Yes and I couldn’t remember what I originally said – even more infuriating. I have that problem as I only have a flip phone but want to keep it on me as I walk through the neighborhood, plus an extra car and house key … I have no one to give an extra key too and won’t hide it in the yard. I used to use a lanyard with my house and car keys and a police-type whistle hanging on it, when I didn’t wear a jacket, but then it alerted the big dogs in the neighborhood who thought the jingle-jangle was the junkyard dog coming and they’d run to their fence and growl. I also figured someone could grab the lanyard off my neck. I’m such a doomsayer. I remember you had to get the new key before. I generally just walk to the park daily, but on weekends, you never know if you could misplace the keys or lock them in the car if you’re not paying attention (on a hot day is a good example).

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      • The friend Bill and I sometimes go trail running with always has a checklist he must go through before we set off on the trails…car key, phone, Epi-pen (he is allergic to wasp stings)…etc. He started wearing a kind of fanny pack to carry everything he needs. I used to carry a whistle when I ran in the dark before school. I don’t use it now, though.

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      • I do use a fanny pack in the Summer, but if it is hot, even though it is lightweight, it gets hot around my waist. That’s why I started wearing the vest with pockets, so I can eliminate doing that every morning. I only wear it in Winter though . For your friend, it is important he goes through that checklist in case of a wasp sting. I only locked my keys in the car once … I took the bus to work, but one Summer I drove as the bus company had labor disputes and the buses were not showing up or late. I got to work and took something in and laid the keys on the car seat, then shut the door. My boss had to drive me home to get the other set of car/house keys. Luckily, my mom was there to hand them to me at the door – now, there is no one, so I do that trick and I’d have a real problem.

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      • I can imagine a fanny pack gets hot. When it is really hot and we do a long run, I carry water in a belt around my waist. That gets hot too. When I take it off, I am usually soaked underneath. Our friend locked his keys in the car too. That was the beginning of the checklist for him! πŸ™‚ I can’t lock my car keys in the car. It’s impossible!

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      • That’s a good safeguard that you can’t lock your keys inside. Probably a first for your friend too and luckily it wasn’t running as it was Summertime and I would have for sure had the A/C on. I have a shoulder holder for my water bottle too, but I rarely use it unless I go on a long walk/hike that stretches into late morning, I prefer earlier in the day and then I am carrying the big camera that day, I am wrangling the camera bag, camera strap, shoulder strap for the water bottle … it’s all too much sometimes! It was 58 yesterday and today they said “a little colder” … there was no sun, and quite windy and 17 “real feel” … I went to the River as I figured no one was going to be there so I could take off the mask Yes, no one stupid enough to be down there as it started flurrying while down there.

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      • I never thought about that. He was lucky his car wasn’t running when he locked his keys inside. You do have a lot of items to carry when you go to the park. Taking all those great nature photos requires a lot of equipment! It was cold and very windy here today. I ran in town to be shielded from the wind, but I still got blown around. Bill said he saw snow flurries too.

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      • The weather’s crazy … it was cold this morning but sunny – should have gone today instead. We have a couple more cold days, then that 60-degree temp for three days, then rain and cold again. That’s too bad, but better Thursday and Friday than a weekend.

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      • I am looking forward to those 60-degree days. I ran this morning – it was cold and windy. I have started seeing crocus and daffodil leaves beginning to poke up out of the soil.

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      • We’re not that far along with our Spring blooms, just the snow drops. I am looking forward to Monday – today was sunny but a mite chilly, but at least it didn’t flurry like the other day.

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      • I heard them say in the sports report that several golf courses were taking reservations starting tomorrow. I hope Spring sticks around and doesn’t take a hike! A few years ago when we had a mild Winter, the meteorologist I follow on Twitter, went out on the golf course every month of that year. He took a cardboard sign and had someone take his photo on the golf course each month to prove he was out there. He said it was the first time he had golfed in every month.

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      • My son said it was so cold when he was golfing, his hands hurt when he hit the ball hard. He has plans to play golf 3 times in the next week! He really has spring fever! I will have to tell him about the meteorologist. I hope spring sticks around too. Although, I seem after this week, our temperatures are supposed to be mostly in the 40s. Pretty disappointing!

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      • Ha ha – yes Paul Gross Tweeted a picture each month with a cardboard with the name of the month and standing on a golf course.. It was the first and last time … he has not been able to do that since. We got to 68 today!

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      • Make hay while the sun shines for your running and my walking and your son getting his golf games in! It was cold but beautiful this morning – I hated to come into the house.

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      • Yes. Let’s make hay while the sun shines. I was sitting outside watching birds in my shirtsleeves this afternoon. I don’t want the warm weather to end!

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      • I am like you Laurie. We tied a record from 1925 by getting to 70 degrees this afternoon. We have a rainy day tomorrow, but today was just great. Shirtsleeves felt great I’ll bet. I was out this morning on my walk and it was already 44 at that time. If I wouldn’t have had to work, I’d have gone out a second time!

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      • Today was gorgeous, Linda. Our car thermometer said 79 degrees. We took our grandkids to the park. The little one wore shorts and a tank top! Isn’t it nice walking in this kind of weather? Although we know it’s just a tease, right? It’s gonna get cold again.

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      • Wow – 79 degrees! We were excited to have 70 degrees for the second day in a row here in Michigan. It was 30 mph wind though, but that’s gone and the cold has returned. Shorts and a tank top … he was thinking Summertime.

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      • He was good as long as he was playing. When he stopped, he got goosebumps and asked for his sweatshirt! I think tomorrow is supposed to be cool here too – in the 50s.

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      • He was a trooper for a while – Bill must’ve been in shorts. He wanted to be like Grandpa. πŸ™‚ It was downright cold today – sunny though but I think 24 or 25 when I left on my walk and I was down at the River at Elizabeth Park – brrr. Colder tomorrow and not much sun, then rain several days next week. Boo for that.

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      • That’s funny Laurie – your grandson wanted to be like his grandfather. It was just 20 this morning when I went out and a light layer of ice once again on the Creek. We have freezing rain tonight and possibly an inch of snow, but it will be 40 tomorrow, so it won’t stick, but ugh to that and we have rain later in the week too. Next weekend will be sunny – hope you have the same.

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      • Oh no!!! The dreaded “S” word! We had a cold rain today. Luckily, I got my run in before it rained. I hope it is nice on Saturday morning. We are doing a 5k with my son.

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      • We have that cold rain tomorrow – all day. Ugh! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for good weather for your 5K … glad your son is still enjoying running. I have two virtual 5K run/walk events this Spring. One is for a food pantry and the other to raise money to plant trees and is sponsored by the DNR. First time to do this last one. I was Googling for state parks to use my state park pass (I add on to my driver’s license fee) and found it.

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      • It’s raining here today. Bill and I ran in the rain this morning. I felt so good to get into a warm shower afterward! I think the weather is supposed to be fairly good for Saturday. Good luck with your 2 virtual races!

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      • We had an all day rain and high winds … I stayed in and finally went through all the wildlife sanctuary photos from last Fall before I started work – I went there three times from late October to early December … a ton of photos to sift through. Now to write a post. Our weekend is going to be good both days and warmer. Thank you Laurie – I’m looking forward to doing them.

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      • You must take a lot of photos. I like walking with a camera. It makes me notice things I normally wouldn’t./ I will look forward to those wildlife sanctuary posts. Or maybe it will just be one post? Our weather forecast for the next 10 days looks great – warm and mostly sunny. Yay!!! I am soooo ready.

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      • I do take a lot of photos and I went to the wildlife sanctuary three times so had to sort through a lot of photos. The second time I went was Halloween and the color was the best. They have a 300-year old forest there. I think I will divide it into two posts as it is so picture laden and have one along the marsh and fishing pier and the other inside the forest. They have a vernal pool there, so I thought of you telling me about hearing the Spring Peepers which I went looking for and didn’t hear/see. I will go again soon for that … they were long gone by Fall. Our weather forecast is pretty good the next 10 days too – I’m excited for that, just one rainy day in the bunch. They had a meteorologist that has done forecasts for all of Michigan along with a daily farm report for 30 years and he said we’re having a warm three months and very hot and dry before Summer. He didn’t say drought, but lots of heat. I see lots of walking if the weather is dry. I am soooo ready too. It was gorgeous here today, just 23 degrees, but sunshine galore.

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      • That is a good idea to divide your photos into 2 posts, Linda. It makes sense. I don’t like to post a really long post. I think people get tired of reading my words! πŸ™‚

        I think we may be a little too early for the peepers. They usually come out after the first warm spring rain. For us, it will probably be the end of this week. If there are vernal ponds, there are almost certainly some kind of frogs there that you should be able to hear calling. We sat outside after dinner tonight with my son and grandsons. Such a beautiful warm spring evening!

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      • I know some of my posts are overlong, especially since I went to just one long post a week … tomorrow’s is long. I will do it in two parts and probably use my heron shots on a Wordless Wednesday. I had some up-close Great Blue Heron shots there. I have to make my posts shorter as I know endless scrolling can be monotonous. We had a great weather weekend and today I went early to Lake Erie Metropark and then stopped at Humbug Marsh afterward for two reasons – the vernal pond and the frogs (nothing unfortunately) and there was a sighting of a screech owl at Humbug Marsh (nothing there either). I walked almost six miles. I am ready to hit the hay as my eyes have been at half mast for about a half hour. πŸ™‚

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      • You have so many more good photos than I do, Linda. I am not a good “natural” picture taker. I have to remind myself constantly to take pictures. I want to go to Middle Creek Wildlife Refuge (near my house) and try to find some migrating ducks. They will be too far away to get good photos, though. I think there will also be some frogs singing there later this week. We should be getting a warm rain in a few days. Hope you had a good sleep.

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      • Thank you Laurie and I got the bigger camera a few years ago and when retired I aim to learn how to take pictures off the automatic setting. I was lucky on Sunday with the big camera at Lake Erie Metropark – sheer luck to have the still waters, beautiful reflections and a goose sitting on a nest – first time to see that and was excited. That is the problem with birds/waterfowl – unless they are right on top of you, you come home with specks. That same day I saw a trio of swans in flight, perfectly synchronized and someone behind me had commented on an owl chasing seagulls and I turned to speak to them and missed it. I do 90% of my photos with the point-and-shoot 12X zoom camera. We have rain now every day through Sunday. Saturday morning maybe can be salvaged. I could barely keep my eyes open and had to go to bed early last night too. I started on the Alavert allergy OTC allergy meds as the warm weather has brought pollen and I have Spring allergies. I have not had shots since last November and I knew I could not go to get allergy shots prior to taking the COVID shots. Because I did not know what shot I’d get, or when I’d get it, I didn’t go to the allergist in March when the pollen comes out (I go once a month). You cannot have a vaccine or innoculation of any type 14 days before you get your COVID shot and I have to wait four weeks after my last COVID shot on April 20th. I e-mailed them today to say I was returning around May 18th and not to close out my file.

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      • I have come home with “specks” many times when I tried to take pictures of birds and waterfowl too far away. At least, we can just hit “delete”. We don’t have to wait to get film developed! πŸ™‚ I would love to see an owl chasing seagulls. That is something I have never seen! I did see a Cooper’s hawk chasing a red-tailed hawk yesterday. I think the red-tail got too close to the Cooper’s hawk’s nest.

        Sorry to hear about your allergies. I guess getting the COVID vaccine is worth it. I think I will feel somewhat liberated after getting both shots.

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      • Yes, I come home with what I think will be great shots and that was in my mind because they are not when I see them on the screen – it’s so much cheaper than the old way. I used to spend a small fortune on vacation taking photos with my 35mm or even the pocket camera then exchanging with other travel group members. The allergist office told me I can go and wait two days in between and I was given misinformation but to do what makes me most comfortable. Hmm. But being the overly cautious person that I am and my grandmother, who also had hay fever and similar allergies went for years for immunotherapy at a big hospital in Toronto. One day she got her shots, caught a streetcar right away and a few minutes later had some violent reaction … her tongue swelled up and on a streetcar, everyone’s a passenger and no live driver except in the front car. No cellphones then – this was a while ago, but they got the subway car stopped, and pulled her out and a store owner called for an ambulance. She never had another allergy shot. I’ll likely just wait it out and wear a mask to minimize pollen on my morning walks and rely on OTC Alavert. I know I over protective of myself, but ….

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      • Yes, digital photography has changed the way we take pictures. I think it is a change for the better. What a harrowing experience for your grandmother! I think your idea to wear a mask and rely on OTC medications is a good one.

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      • It sure is – I digitized all my trips, scrapbooks and family albums back in 2017 over Thanksgiving weekend, but a lot are just raw images and need to be tweaked, as in enlarged, as I used a flat bed scanner and it was difficult to shut the lid as I couldn’t take some photos out from the plastic overlay. In retrospect, I wish I had bought a hand-held scanner and used that instead.
        I did Google around today and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology says it is okay for allergy shots within 48 hours before/after a COVID shot, but I am still a little leery. So I guess my allergist was correct and the pharmacist was not. I think the pharmacist thought it was a vaccine.

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      • I should go through all my old photos and digitize them. I don’t know how I would do it, though. My 89-year-old mother-in-law has a lot of allergies. She is afraid to get the vaccine. She is checking with her doctor, but I wish she would get the shot. She is very confused since my father-in-law dies last summer.

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      • If your pictures are in albums, I would suggest a hand-held scanner. I just looked and it was on the Sharper Image – you don’t have to remove the photos. That’s what I should have bought as some photos are cut off in places as I could not put down the flatbed scanner lid. I will send you the link separately to it… it is $199.99. It took me the four-day Thanksgiving holiday to scan in the images – some are okay as is, but most of them I have to tweak a little to get them to normal size. There is a service where you send in your photos/slides/movies and they digitize them called Legacybox. They advertise all the time on my radio station. They send you the box and you send it back, can track along the way, but I would worry they’d get lost in the mail. I have a flash drive with one set of pictures in the safety deposit box. I wondered how your mother-in-law was doing as your father-in-law died so suddenly. It would have been quite a shock.

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      • Ha! I WISH my photos were in albums. The ones I got from my mom are in albums, but the ones of my family are just in shoe boxes. I think I would feel guilty spending money on a service that I could do myself. Thanks for the link. I checked it out. It looks easy to use, especially for my mom’s photos.

        We had lunch with my MIL this week. She is pretty shaky.

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      • I still have a shoebox under my bed. It is full of various pictures taken after I filled up the last album. I never thought to grab it when I did this project and by the end of scanning all those images, I never wanted to see another photo again. It took all four days of that Thanksgiving weekend, except for my walk and a coat of paint every day where the plumber broke up the concrete in the laundry room … not a big area. I will do the rest of the photos when I’m retired. The scanner is put away for now and a pain to get it out. Will you be looking at a assisted living facility or senior apartment for your MIL down the line?

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      • I can’t even imagine tackling all the photos we have stashed in an upstairs closet. But maybe I will make that a project for next winter.

        My MIL is still pretty feisty. I don’t know if he is ready for senior living yet, even though she is approaching 90! She will have to make that decision on her own. This is Bill’s step-mother (not his mother) and she does have one son.

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      • Definitely a Winter project, especially if you have a few big snowfalls like this year. I remember she was Bill’s step-mother, so that’s good that Bill won’t need to be the sole life-altering decisionmaker on her behalf.

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  26. I have definitely had a couple of runs where I’ve overdressed – it’s lately been when the temperatures are a little “warmer”! I think we made a drive up to the Blue Marsh Lake for a hike…I would love to try running there, but not with all the dogs and foxes about, lol!

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