Entries to Win Afghan

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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Seed Catalog Equivalents

You know what hikers do in the winter instead of looking at seed catalogs, right? They start planning the next hike.

I'm already getting excited about this, and I haven't even figured out dates yet. I knew there was one longish trail in southern Indiana, but I had no idea there were several. I either ordered or printed out maps of all those over 10 miles in length.

maps of Indiana trails

If I could hike every mile it would be about 210 miles. But some are loops with a trail across the middle, so to hike everything there would be have to be some duplication, resulting in additional miles. But I printed them all out to give myself options to look at.

Anyway, I'm not going to try to do them all. What I want to do is put together about 150 miles of backpacking, which will be pretty easy. In fact, since two of the trails are not loops, unless I can get some help with spotting my car I would need to do those trails in both directions.

For sure I'll do the Knobstone Trail, the Tecumseh Trail, and if possible the Adena Trace loop.

Then I can add on from the choices of the Adventure, Two Lakes, Shirley Creek, Mogan Ridge, Birdseye, and Young's Creek Trails.

These are all in the portion of this map shown in pinks and oranges. In other words, not the flat part of Indiana.

maps of Indiana topography
I'll need to study the smaller maps that I just printed more carefully. Actually, if I do the Knobstone and Tecumseh trails in both directions that would be almost 170 miles. That would mean I don't have to impose on anyone else to help me, but I'd kind of like to see more trails.

If I did Knobstone and Tecumseh one direction each, and added the Adena Loop with its extra spurs that gets me to about 137. Then I could just tack on one of the other loops to get over 150.

Let the serious planning begin!

We did get more snow, but not a ton. Maybe 4-5 inches.


In other news: I wrote all morning and formatted all afternoon. And I did the laundry. Enough for today!

See I Have Maps

Monday, December 30, 2019

Winter and Winter Cobbler

If I make banana bread tomorrow we can officially say that we have not wasted any of the fruit in that huge fruit basket Josh gave us. We gave him some to take home, and Dave helped eat a bit of it yesterday. Today, I made the winter cobbler we like so much. It's really hard to not overeat when we make this. It's really, really good, and not hugely overloaded with sugar. Even so, it's not free calories. I think the first time I ever made it we ate the whole pan in one sitting. Not too many foods we both like so much.

Winter cobbler

The return of winter is the other hot or cold topic. The snow began around noon.


This was all we'd gotten by dark. Not much. We'll see if the night produces anything significant.


In other news: I wrote all morning and did editing and formatting all afternoon. I'm fighting a sore throat. So far not much of a big deal, but I'm hoping to keep it that way.

See Winter Cobbler

Sunday, December 29, 2019

More Fun with Dave

Dave has lived in the big city for the past 20 years, so he doesn't get many chances to get out on a forest trail. We caught a small break in the rain and went for a little hike on the North Country Trail


The only real color item was fungi. Yellow.

yellow fungus

Brown or orange.

orange fungus

I particularly liked this one which is white if you look at it from one side, and dark brown from the other. It's almost hard to believe it's the same thing.

white fungus

brown fungus

This is the area where there was a big blowdown 2 falls ago. The logs have been salvaged, and now it's just open.

blowdown area

Then we went out to eat and stuffed ourselves. A little more visiting and then Dave had to leave, but it sure was neat to spend some time with him when we weren't dodging around the chaos of everyone visiting at his house for the Flower Show.

Beautiful blue dusk. I love it when I can catch a picture just at the right time to get the blue.

blue dusk

In other news: I managed a tiny bit of writing and editing, but it was mostly a day to spend with a friend.

North Country Trail, Lake County, MI, South from Timber Creek at US to Wingleton Road and back. 3 miles.

See Small Hike in the Sunshine

Saturday, December 28, 2019

We Found an Extra Kid

Surprise, surprise! David's family is visiting in Michigan, so he came up to say hi to us. How's this for a terrible selfie? We don't care. We're having a blast talking with him. Some kid... his own are in high school, but he's still like my extra son.

friends selfie

And I found a few cookies in the freezer that I frosted. So it's still marginally Christmas.

Christmas cookies

David's staying overnight, so who knows what we'll do tomorrow!

In other news: I wrote and formatted all day. Progress was made.

See Fun and Games

Friday, December 27, 2019

Greed, Gluttony, and Sloth

Today was largely a non-starter. Well, OK, I did manage to write a little bit in the morning, but after that my brain totally shut down. Of the last 12 nights, I have alternately slept and not slept. Today that all caught up with me. All I managed in the afternoon was to read a little for entertainment. So much for the sloth part.

And, I ate- possibly not too much- but the wrong things. Three of those sleepless nights were due to unhappy tummy from eating too much or too late. (Two were due to hyped-up brain that wanted to wrestle with projects and plans- and so I did just that). Last night... no idea why I couldn't sleep. Have I now created an every-other-night habit? I sure hope not. Gluttony. No more food today for sure.

Greed. OK, I'm just making it work with the deadly sins theme because I haven't yet shown you my Christmas loot. But, still, it's a nice pile.

From Omer, I got a better reading lamp, which I requested. Hooray! I can see so much better. And it fits with our vintage furniture pretty well.

floor lamp

Steve asked what else I wanted, and this was my choice. An air compressor. We now have two cars, the trailer, a snowblower and lawn tractor. It's really hard to keep all those tires up to pressure without powered aid. I am happy.

air compressor

Loretta sent me some cuties with my trailer theme: coasters, a little towel, and a key cover. Fun

gifts with travel trailer theme

Josh brought us a nice fruit basket, and Om also gave me a little cash which I will put toward camping equipment.

The only other news is that I'm going to bed early. This should be a night to sleep. Hope to wake full of energy and motivation tomorrow.

See Food with a Chance of Sun

Thursday, December 26, 2019

What a Weather Treat!

It's the big news among almost all my outdoor friends-- today's beautiful weather.

bank sign with temperature

Although I'm trying to be really good and not spend money to just go take a walk, I really had to visit a piece of trail today. It was simply too wonderful outside to do another too-familiar road piece. Well, this section of trail is awfully familiar too, but at least natural surfaces hurt the feet and legs less than pavement.

A green fairy ring?

stump with moss

There were some places where there was snow on the ground, but the trail was mostly bare. The snow did keep the air under the trees cool, but every once in a while, where the sun had penetrated longer, when I took a breath the air was warm!

trail in snowy woods

I didn't see anything unusual, but wintergreen is always a cheerful addition to a winter landscape.


In places where there was snow on a far hill but not nearby, it almost looked as if there was water ahead.

trail in winter woods

Best find? A clump of Indian Pipe seed heads, but these are pretty common too. If I ever find an unexpected plant on this section of trail, you'll be sure to hear about it. I've seen this piece an awful lot, and it's the typical dry upland forest of the region.

indian pipe seed heads

Total distance, 6 miles. 2 hours to the minute. Right on my usual pace for this section.

In other news: I wrote in the morning, and did formatting in the afternoon when I wasn't hiking.

North Country Trail, Lake County, MI. North from Timber Creek TH on US 10 to 3rd St and back again. 6 miles.

See A Beautiful Day for a Hike

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Food with a Chance of Sun

Om asked for only one menu item. He wanted these pecan rolls for breakfast. This is, of course, way more than a breakfast for us, but they will do fine for several days of breakfasts and desserts.

pecan rolls

We did cook a mid-day meal- serve yourself from the kitchen. Josh came over for that.

holiday meal

I've eaten way too much in the past two days. Doesn't even feel good. So I got out for a walk. It was sunny and glorious.

blue sky
You know I like the shapes of ice on water.

ice on a puddle

Best sighting was a bright flash of blue! Pointed the camera at the tree and hoped I caught it. Not a great picture, but I captured him. Bluebird! I've seen them overwinter sometimes.


I've done nothing meaningful except maybe the cooking. Just took the day off. (Except I couldn't sleep again last night, so I did do some formatting then.)

See Christmas 2018

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Food, Family, Friends, Faith

You could say this was mostly a repeat of exactly what we did last Christmas Eve, or you could say we have a nice tradition.

First, we went to the Community Dinner at Radiant Church.

community dinner

Joshua went with us.

community dinner

The highlight was that we saw friends, Ann and Gary, that we haven't seen for years and years. To be honest, I thought they had moved away. Shows how much I know!


And then we went to the service at the Methodist Church where the handbell choir played. It was a beautiful service with lots of music.

handbell choir

A perfect Christmas Eve.

In other news: I wrote in the morning, made rolls for tomorrow, walked to the library, and managed a teensy bit of formatting before we went to town for all these activities.

See Christmas Eve 2019

Monday, December 23, 2019

Five Miles with Cathy


I was hoping Cathy might be free to do a fast road walk this afternoon, and she was! This was great, because it makes the pavement miles seem to go much faster. You aren't thinking about your feet when you are visiting.


And I got to see some miles I don't walk as often because we went out from her house instead of mine.

I've showed you wild clematis seeds (Old Man's Beard) before, but not for a long time, so I guess you won't be tired of it.

wild clematis seeds

Next mile had a couple of handsome horses.


The geese were moving and honking overhead. Not sure if these are some late migrators or just a local bunch that stays.

V of geese

We didn't start walking till 4 pm, so it was getting on toward dark when we finished. I like the sun on the trees.

tree branches in sun

Same time as yesterday- 90 min for 5 miles, which is 18 minutes a mile. Not bad. It's a real treat to have these relatively mild days in December. I'm happy to get limbered up. Too much sitting this month.

In other news: I wrote in the morning and did more formatting in the afternoon. Went to the grocery store after we walked. Hopefully that is that last shopping before Christmas. You may remember that we pretty much celebrated at Thanksgiving when Steve was home. However, we got stuff for a nice meal on Wednesday, and have some activities tomorrow night. All will be calm, and that is FINE with me.

See Singin' Between the Rains

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Five Miles of Vitamin D

Today was even warmer, in the mid 40s and sunny. Had to walk. Went 5 miles and got a good dose of Vitamin D.

This is the frozen wetland around the corner from me. You can see my long shadow on the clump of cattails.


This old barn spoke to me.

weathered barn

Can you spot the creature with a white mustache? Maybe a lion.

discovered face in a tree

The sun makes ordinary things, like a stubbled field, pretty.

field of stubble

And another sunrise picture from this morning. I'm just a sucker for the ones where the sun is a ball.


In other news: I wrote and edited and formatted pretty much all day except for the walk. What a project this book is! I SO underestimated how long it would take. Much longer than the first one. No clue why.

See Trail Work Day
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