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Rated: 13+ · Book · Personal · #1921220
My thoughts released; a mind set free
These pages contain my thoughts, from meandering ideas and persuasions to deep cerebrations and serious mentations.

Why, for what purpose? To release my mind and set creativity free. Somewhere inside the constraints of my mind dwells a writer, a poet, an artist who paints with words. In here I release those constraints and set the artist free.

Perhaps, lost somewhere in the depths of thought, is a story or a poem, waiting to be written.

I'm docked at Talent Pond's Blog Harbor, a safe port for bloggers to connect.
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October 30, 2017 at 5:29pm
October 30, 2017 at 5:29pm
I decided to try growing out my beard again. I have let it grow out a few times over the years, but never very long and never with much success. Of course, years back, I was working in a sawmill, not the best environment for growing out facial hair. One problem is all the machinery, the other is the sawdust. Now, however, I work as a security guard at a home improvement center yard, so it's nice to have the face insulated with a beard, and it's not nearly as dangerous or dirty.

I have worn a short goatee for quite a few years now, and last fall decided to grow a full beard for the winter. Just like in the past, it was wild and gnarly, made my face itch, and had me looking like I just returned from the wilderness. Okay, maybe not that bad, I did keep it trimmed since it was so unruly.

This year I decided to try it again, but did some research on taming the wild-man look. I already had my goatee when I stopped shaving, so that part is a bit longer, the rest is about two weeks growth now, and beginning to bush out a bit while the mustache is now just over the top lip; a good start if I can get it tamed and trained.

I found a nice cleaner for my face and beard that doesn't dry it out and have started using a nice, light, woodsy scented beard oil. It seems to be helping to keep the hair softer and more subtle, and with a nice boar bristle brush, it's starting to lay better. I also purchased some beard balm to tame the wilder areas and the mustache. It matches the scent of the beard oil and has beeswax in it, so it holds pretty well.

I don't care for the feel of waxing my mustache, but the beard balm is much lighter and more comfortable. Neither product really leave my face feeling greasy, they are light and seem to absorb into the skin and hair nicely.

So far, so good, but I have a long way to go yet. The problem in the past, especially for my mustache, is letting it get long enough to train. Usually, by the time it reaches the current length, I'm irritated by the hair over my lip and end up trimming it back. The beard balm is helping to keep it brushed to the sides, but it's still kind of irritating. Even so, I think if I hang in there for another week or two, I will be able to manage it much better and get it to stay in place better.

The other problem area is my neck. The face hair grows downward so it's easy to manage except for the curliness. But, the hair on my neck grows outward, towards the side of my neck, which results in it getting very bushy. Again, I usually end up trimming it back or just shaving my neck, but this time I'm going to stick it out a while longer and see if the beard oil and balm will help manage it. Of course, once it's long enough, it won't be a problem -- I hope.

Of course, in time I will have to trim up some, but it's my understanding the best way to go is to just let it grow out for a while, then once it's established, trim it to the shape I want. That's another area I've done wrong in the past.

We'll see how it goes for another month, then reassess the situation and go from there. I want a nice, full, and well shaped beard and mustache. Once we reach that point, it will just be keeping it there and not going all out until I look like a hillbilly just down from the mountain.
October 29, 2017 at 3:40pm
October 29, 2017 at 3:40pm
Well, it's been almost a week since my last entry; just busy, nothing wrong. I do need to work on getting in here more, however. Over the last week we have seen some crazy weather, from highs in the sixties to snow and ice, from mild winds to gusts over fifty miles per hour, a little bit of everything.

Once again, the weather did not cooperate with days off to get any fun activities in, too windy for disc golf and kayaking, as well as too cold. Yesterday on my way to work, I seen there was a bit of ice forming on the shallower bodies of water. Not looking very good for getting the kayaks out anymore this season, but may still get some disc golf in, if the weather ever decides to cooperate on out days off.

Of course, this week we have a guy on vacation, so Rhonda and I will not get any days off together and both be putting in a bit longer work week. After he gets back from his week off, we need to schedule a Saturday off for a road trip to see a friend and help him celebrate his sixtieth birthday. We are also hoping to make a round trip through Minnesota visiting relatives in various parts of the state. I see from friends posts in Facebook, they already have a pretty good amount of snow in the northern part of the state, so we are hoping to get some good weather for this long road trip.

We have been busy getting ready for winter, both outside and in. We have new tires on the front of the Jimmy and will put new tires on the back in a few weeks. I still need to do a tune-up on my Dodge and change oil. Lawn and garden ornaments are put away till spring, the pond is drained, and once the leaves are about done falling, we should mow the grass one last time.

I also, to my pleasure, have learned that the store that we work at will be going to winter hours in another week. That means they will be closing an hour earlier. Working nights, this is great news, I get done an hour earlier. Also, yard traffic has begun to slow down, making my job easier and less time on my feet. Soon, I should be able to get some reading done at work again.
October 23, 2017 at 4:10pm
October 23, 2017 at 4:10pm
Fishing was a bust yesterday, I didn't get anything except for one fish teasing for a bit. The bite was there, but it just wouldn't take the bait. It followed for a while, nibbling and teasing, then just swam off to pursue other activities. My brother did get one nice sized small-mouth bass after we moved to another location, but that was it for the day. Even so, it was a fun day on the lake.

It was a bit cool out on the lake, but we had dressed warm and the sunshine was warm between the blasts of wind. That was a big factor in the fishing not being very good, it was terrible windy out there and we had a lot of difficulty trying to stay sheltered. With white caps on the water, I'm sure it had the bottom stirred up and the fish seeking shelter from the currents as we rocked and rolled above them.

It also made it difficult to troll, and my brother doesn't like still fishing much; not that we could have anchored the boat in the strong winds without drifting anyway. Also, we didn't hit our regular spot, the wind was causing too much drifting and we were having a difficult time fighting the waves with the trolling motor. Our speed was also affected, sometimes going over the area too fast with the wind pushing us, other times trolling too slow because the wind was driving against us.

In spite of the fish of the fish not biting, the white caps rocking and rolling us, and the cold bite of the wind, it was a beautiful day on the lake. The leaves fall colors provided a splendid backdrop to the shoreline and there wasn't anyone else out on the lake. Peaceful and relaxing, swaying to the rhythm of the waves, and enjoying some time together made it a great day. We stayed out past six in the evening even though we weren't catching anything.
October 22, 2017 at 12:55pm
October 22, 2017 at 12:55pm
We are having another nice fall day, sunny and in the sixties. It's a bit breezy, but not nearly as windy as yesterday was, but by the end of the week, we may see some snow. So, my brother wants to get the boat out at least one more time before he puts it in storage for the year. That means we are going to get in a little fishing this afternoon before I head to work.

Well, maybe head to work, depending on how late it is when we get off the lake. I have my shift covered if I don't make it, but the plan is to go out on the lake for a few hours and then head to work. The deciding factors will be how well the fish cooperate and how cold we get.

Last week, we had fish striking and managed to get two of them. The rest just spit out the bait when they got close to the boat. It was interesting to see them pulled right up to the boat, ready to net, then they open their mouth and let go, turn and swim away; even after putting up quite a fight. A person would think after all the tugging and fighting, they would be hooked or have already let go, but no, they held on to the last minute, then released just in time to avoid the net.

Even so, we ended up with one nice fish each. He had a huge perch and I landed a nice size small-mouth bass. With only two fish, he gave me his and between the two, they made a nice lunch for my wife and I the following day.

Hopefully we do a little better this afternoon and we can both enjoy some fresh fish from our adventure.
October 21, 2017 at 3:52pm
October 21, 2017 at 3:52pm
Today is my wife, Rhonda's, birthday. Unfortunately, we won't be spending much of it together, since she works this afternoon and I work this evening. Tonight will be a late night for me to get home, and since she has to be up early, she will be turning in early.

As for how her day is going? Well, it's a bit cool out, rainy, and windy. She just sent a text to me saying a guest took off with the work tablet; apparently thinking on stealing it when she handed it to the person to sign for their load. In other words, she's not having a very good day at all so far.

Of course, I do plan on making up for the day. I was actually hoping to celebrate her birthday yesterday with a surprise outing for some fun kayaking or disc golf, possibly both, followed with a nice dinner at her favorite restaurant. But, the weather didn't cooperate at all, it was way to windy to do either activity. As for going out to dinner, well everything was fine up to about noon, when I started feeling pretty ill.

So, since we work through the weekend as well as Monday and Tuesday, we won't have much time to celebrate until Wednesday. Hopefully the weather will be more accommodating for us. I do get done work early tomorrow evening, so I do plan on giving her a nice surprise after I get home. Oh, her gift? Yes, it's been held up a bit but should be her by Wednesday, Thursday at the latest, a belated birthday for her this year.
October 17, 2017 at 1:18pm
October 17, 2017 at 1:18pm
A beautiful fall day, lots of sunshine, mild winds, and warm out; will hit the lower seventies this afternoon. Growing up, when we had fall freezes and cold for a spell, then got warmer, summer like weather, my parents would call it an Indian Summer. I never understood why, or how the term came to be, but still think in this same terminology. I believe the term stems from the term Indian used for Native Americans, not because the weather is like the summer in India, but neither reason would make any sense.

Besides the nonsensical term, it's a beautiful day and I'm going to enjoy it. After finishing this post, I'll be heading over to my brother's house, from there we will take the boat and go enjoy some fall fishing. The only down side is I'm also supposed to work this evening.

If things work according to plans, I'll leave the lake, change into my work uniform, and head over to work, stay until closing, then come home. My wife, however, knows how things seldom go according to the plan, and has made arrangements to cover my shift in the event I'm running late or am unable to work tonight.

So, if the fish are biting, we can stay as late as we want. If I end up wet, I don't have to be concerned about trying to work in the cool evening with wet pants or shoes. I'll be wearing the same ones fishing and to work, only bringing in my work sweatshirt to put on over my shirt. Also, I could end up covered in fishy smells if we have a good catch, and that would not be the best way to go to work.

Either way, fishing or working this evening, it's going to be great day. I hope everyone else can say the same.
October 16, 2017 at 5:08pm
October 16, 2017 at 5:08pm
It's just about time to head off to work, another day of wondering about people. Sure, lots of the folks that come through are great people, and some are trying to finish things up, but I still can't understand some of them.

For instance, a person last evening pulled up to the enter gate and waited for me to open it. I was taking care of another customer that was exiting the yard, then once finished, let him out and opened the entrance gate. I'm standing right there, tablet in hand, ready to process him into the yard. He drives right past me.

I yell to him and he stops. I walk up to his vehicle and ask for his paperwork. He starts going off on me about the gate being open, and he doesn't have to put up with being talked to like this. What? I'm not sure how he thought I was talking to him, I just asked for his paperwork, the same as I do anyone else, except for having to yell stop so I can.

I explain everything is fine, I just need to scan your paperwork. He still upset and arguing over the gate being opened. I tell him I understand, he hadn't done anything wrong, I just need to see his paperwork before he enters the yard. He hands it to me, I scan it, and tell him he's good to go. He looks at me blankly and asks, "Where do I go for this item?"

If he didn't even know where he was going, why did he try and drive past me into the yard? For that matter, what did he think I was standing there for, some fresh air?

Of course, we see plenty of these kind, in hurry, and eager to go, but no idea where they are going. We also get a lot of people who chew us out about where the entrance to the yard is located. It's like they think we just moved it on them for a practical joke or something. There are also the ones who ask if someone is waiting there to load them; what part of self-serve yard do they not comprehend?

On the same order, we get complaints that no one was there to load them and they waited thirty minutes or so. For one thing, they have only been in the yard for ten minutes, not thirty or more. Another thing about this, it's posted all over that it's self-serve, including on their paperwork.

Of course, there are those customers who have ordered something and drive a long distance to get the item, without checking to see if it has arrived yet. They show up with their paperwork, tell me they ordered something and are wondering if it's there yet. Of course, I don't work for the store, I work for a security company and have no idea, and no way of finding out if their order is in or not.

I direct them to the proper place to check on their order, they find out it's not there yet, and then proceed to chew me out because they wasted a trip for nothing. I bite my tongue and just explain that there's a number on their paperwork they can call to check on their order, and the store policy is to send out an e-mail when the item arrives.

It's like a large amount of the general population no longer has the ability to think. I suppose, the brain is a muscle, and if it's not used, it's going to get weaker and weaker, until it cannot handle the simplest tasks anymore without help. I suppose this is why there are so many individuals that don't want a government that protects their freedoms, but instead want a government to make their decisions for them.
October 15, 2017 at 2:59pm
October 15, 2017 at 2:59pm
I was just working on an entry for Suddenly Sunday when it dawned on me how much interruption I'm dealing with. I was going strong with my idea for the entry, but seemed to be consistently pulled away by interruptions. I had a doozy of an idea and did manage to get it posted. I think it's quite good, anyway.

But, in the process of doing this short bit of writing and using my imagination, I was finding myself discouraged by the interruptions. One was Hannah, our dog. She was pestering me and jumping up because the dogs across the street are outside. She does this all the time, but some times she gets even more annoying with this. Also, I was getting texts on my phone, a call from an unknown number, and some kind of commotion across the road at the grain elevator.

I'm thinking, this could be part of why I'm finding it so difficult to write and find my creative mojo. Being interrupted really kills the creative process for me. My creativity flows from inside, but for me, I tend to slip inside with it and get kind of lost. Outside distractions pull me back out and then I have to focus to get back to that creative place. A couple of rounds of this and I'm frustrated and unable to get back to it.

I really need a good place to go write. I've said this for many years, and I've tried to work around things, but short of isolation, the distractions keep coming. Some talk of a man-cave, I really don't know what purpose it would be. Me, I need a writer's-cave!
October 14, 2017 at 4:21pm
October 14, 2017 at 4:21pm
Here it is, Saturday already, and it's back to work already. I didn't get in any kayaking or disc golf during my days off, but I did get quite a bit done around the home. My wife and I went through all the camping gear, cleaned things up and packed them away for next year. We also put up our new mailbox post, hopefully the snow plow doesn't bust this one. We also got some work done in the flower garden and planted some tulip bulbs.

It's getting late in the year, but I'm still hopeful to get in some disc golf and some more kayaking and fishing. We all know how much the weather can change, but our climate here is even more unpredictable. We could have quite a few more nice days to enjoy, and then again, we could see a wet, cold fall and an early winter. I think, from the past years I've lived here, we will still have some real nice days to enjoy.

It's kind of like the conversation I had earlier this morning with my wife over coffee; she was checking the weather for the day and told me it's supposed to rain all day, but be sunny and cool tomorrow.

"I'll take it." I replied with a smile, since I really don't have a choice anyway. What I was thinking was, if it's cold and raining today, it should be slower at work this afternoon and evening. If the forecast is wrong, it will be busier, but then, the day passes by quicker.

I checked the forecast again a short time ago, when Hannah was getting spooked by the thunder. It was raining hard, dark, and a lot of thunder overhead; not what had been forecast for early afternoon. The forecast had changed, instead of a slight chance of rain this afternoon, increasing into evening, it was no a good chance of rain all day, and more rain tomorrow.

Now, the rain has passed, no more thunder, and it looks like the sun could break through again. I haven't checked the forecast again, but I'm sure if I did, it would be different, again. That's the way the weather is around here, it often changes several times through the day.

Similarly, the seasons are much like this, too. This year has been especially uncertain. We have seen temperature differences of sixty degrees in a couple of days. A nice summer day followed by a blustery fall day. Hot and humid one day, cold and almost arid the next. Last week we had temperatures into the sixties and even lower seventies, this week we barely made it into the sixties and seen frost and freezing at night.

It can make it rather difficult to plan things, but whatever comes, I'll take it and make the most of it. I think of it as an exercise in spontaneity.

October 11, 2017 at 3:49pm
October 11, 2017 at 3:49pm
Wednesdays tend to be a lazy day for me, since it's my first day off. I still get things done, but tend to just work at an easy pace. This week, I have another person on vacation, so I will be working for him this evening. I think this is why I have no motivation today, I just can't seem to get started on anything. Of course, I was feeling pretty ill on Monday, and even though I'm still feeling better, I think I'm still fighting off whatever tried to take me down.

On top of this, the soybean harvest is going strong around us and this time of year always has me feeling under the weather. I don't seem to have any allergies or sensitivities to soybeans, but I do have allergy symptoms from their harvesting. I suppose a lot of it is the amount of dust produced and another may be spores, molds, and fungi stirred up from the harvesting process. Today is worse than the last few days because it's so much windier today. Forget hay-fever, I have bean-fever!

Hopefully the weather stays nice and all the farmers in the area can get their bean harvests done and over with. The rest of the harvesting doesn't seem to bother me, so once they finish this part, I'm good again. I also want some nice weather for my wife and I to enjoy, even though we have a lot of things needing doing around the house and yard, I want to get out and play a little more disc golf.

We were introduced to the sport by a couple of friends a short while ago while out camping and had a blast. Of course, we didn't play competitively, just for fun. No large amount of money invested in various discs, just a basic disc for all purpose. I can see, in time, getting more specialty discs as we learn the game and improve our performance. For now, we purchased a couple of general purpose discs and just want to go through the course to have fun and improve our aims.

Awhile back, I posted that I am trying to reduce my weight and get in better shape. I've put on some weight, but have still been pretty active, so my main goal is to drop some pounds. Of course, exercising will help with this, so things like kayaking and disc golf are great. But, my greatest problem is my love for food. I enjoy so many foods and I tend to eat way to much of them.

With this in mind, I have been working on my portion size for meals, trimmed back on snacking, and especially cut back on the amount of high fat/sugar foods I consume. Not dieting, just eating smarter with smaller portions, cutting out seconds (and thirds on occasion), and consuming small amounts of sweets and goodies, on occasion.

So far, it's been working. I got on the scale the day I started and again today, ten days later. The weight is dropping! Of course, being out camping for a few days helped a lot with all the kayaking and hiking, but I have also done well with my smarter eating. I found a second reward today, after the scale, during lunch. I had taken a serving size portion of chili, a couple of cornbread muffins, a side of cottage cheese, and a glass of milk.

It didn't look like much compared to my previous servings, but I stuck to my plan and my goals for smarter eating. I didn't butter the cornbread, since I was dipping it in my chili, a good way to remove a lot of calories from the meal. I ate one and a half of the smaller sized cornbread muffins, couldn't' finish my chili and cottage cheese, and was feeling very full with what I had consumed -- about half of what I would have consumed a couple weeks ago.

The next step is to start logging my food and counting the calories; I have an account in SparkPeople to do this as well as log exercise. I'm thinking Monday will be a good day to begin this next phase because I can set it for my weekly goals here on the site and get a bit more motivation. My biggest problem is the time taken to enter everything since we cook from scratch and seldom find listings for our recipes.

Well, there's a summary of Hump Day so far, the rest will be another typical evening at work.
October 10, 2017 at 1:23pm
October 10, 2017 at 1:23pm
Monday blahs, or coming down with something? The day started out fine and normal, but it began to deteriorate quite rapidly. I was up pretty early and enjoyed coffee with my wife before she left for work. Then, it was a bit of work to get done, with colder weather I needed to fax in some clothing orders for everyone. Once this was finished, it was time to do a Bible study.

Normally, once I finish my Bible study, I eat lunch and then work on various other things until it's time for work. One of the things I do is log into WdC and spend a little time around the site, then write in my blog. But yesterday things started going afoul shortly after my bible study.

My stomach was a bit upset and I didn't feel like eating, so I logged into WdC and started browsing about. That's when my head started aching. No problem, I took a couple of Tylenol and figured that would take care of things. Nope, the headache continued to increase to the point of not being able to do anything. Also, my slightly upset stomach became a very upset stomach. On top of that, I found myself cold and shivering.

Normally, I like it a bit cooler, being more comfortable with the air a little too chill instead of too warm. It was a chilly day, and it was cool in the house, just the way I like it. But not Monday; I put on a sweatshirt to overcome the chill and sat back in my recliner with a blanket over me. I sipped on a glass of fruit juice only to have it upset my stomach even more as I continued to shiver. Only one thing left to do, since I was feeling very ill and my head was pounding fiercely, take a nap.

I snuggled into a pile of blankets and closed my eyes, hoping the quiet and darkness would ease my throbbing head. I was also hoping that after a little snooze, I would wake to have my stomach settled and headache gone. Nope. I did fall asleep and slept for an hour and a half, but woke feeling just as miserable about the time I should be getting ready for work.

I got up, sipped on some coffee, covered up with a comforter and waited for the furnace to take the chill off. I sent a text off to my wife, at work, and told her I would be running a bit late, since I was feeling so miserable. Being the kind soul that she is, she offered to stay at work and cover my shift so I could rest and get feeling better.

Even with the heat on, the house at a nice toasty seventy degrees, me in a sweatshirt and covered with a heavy and very warm comforter, I was freezing and shivering. I had not eaten anything and I had not yet fed Hannah. Since I had a tuna-fish sandwich in the fridge for my lunch at work, I decided to eat a little of it and share with her. Only, she didn't want any and I ate the entire sandwich only to have it upset my stomach more.

I did suffer through fixing her something else to eat before getting a bottle of ginger-ale from the fridge and settling back into my chair. I watched a couple of videos until Rhonda got home from work, then was going to drag my miserable butt off to bed. she suggested a glass of 7-up with some brandy in it.

Now, with my head still pounding and my stomach rumbling and hurting, 7-up didn't sound all too good, even though I knew it could settle things down some. But to drink any brandy? No way was that going to settle on my upset gut. Of course, I did know that a little brandy is often good for the digestive system, but the way I was feeling, I wasn't sure. Rhonda, being of kind heart, also reminded me that little brandy may help, and the 7-up would do me good.

Well, feeling like crap anyway, I decided I would try it. You know, just a sip here and there and see how it goes. Surprise, surprise, it went down pretty well, and even though the first few sips didn't seem to help any, they didn't' make things any worse, either. By the time I had sipped down about half of my glass, my stomach was feeling a bit better. By the time I finished it, I was feeling a whole lot better.

My stomach was still upset, but it was no longer a sharp ache and my head seemed to be throbbing a little less. Rhonda poured us another glass and I sipped away on it until we finished watching our show. With a half another half a glass down, I was feeling even better. My stomach was still a bit uneasy and I didn't think eating anything would be good, but it was doing so much better. Also, my headache had let up to just a minor throbbing that I could pretty well ignore. By the time I finished my second drink I was getting too warm under the comforter and tossed it aside. The sweat shirt also had to go, just too many cloths on. I was finally not cold and no longer shivering as I got myself ready for bed.

I slept well and woke this morning without the headache and just a very slight bit of discomfort in my stomach. After I finish writing in here, I'm going to have a light lunch and see if it's just not due to the fact that I haven't eaten anything more than one sandwich since Sunday.

Officially approved Writing.Com Preferred Author logo.


"Reading soothes the soul, writing sets it free." T.J.

October 8, 2017 at 4:15pm
October 8, 2017 at 4:15pm
Not much to write about today, it's been a lazy Sunday. Last night was a crazy night at work and I was late getting out of there, so late getting home. Even so, I managed to get to bed by midnight just to get woke up at four-thirty this morning by a phone call from the Director of Operations at work.

I was sleeping sound and didn't hear the phone right away and by the time I did drag my groggy butt out of bed and got to the phone, he had hung up; no message. I thought about calling him back, but waited since there wasn't any message left. I checked my cell phone for any messages or emails, nothing. By now, it was time for Rhonda to get up and get ready for work, so the coffee was finishing up. I decided to enjoy a cup with her while I pondered why the Director would be calling me that early on a Sunday.

Rhonda left for work about five-thirty and I had another cup of coffee while I waited for her to call when she got there, just in case something had come up at the work site that he may have been calling about. Nothing. I decided to return to bed, since I have to work this evening again. I never did find out why he had called, and since he didn't leave a message or try to contact me again, can only assume he was calling someone else and got my number by mistake.

The second time around I woke to Hannah, our dog, licking my face; time to get up. This was a little after ten. From there it's been a quiet and peaceful day, very relaxing. Rhonda called a little while ago to say it was crazy busy at work again, so having a relaxing morning and afternoon will help out when I get there.
October 7, 2017 at 4:58pm
October 7, 2017 at 4:58pm
We returned from a short camping trip yesterday, likely the last time we will get out this year. Since we didn't get home until late last night, we just emptied out the vehicle and left most of the stuff to deal with today; that's what I've been doing up until now, putting some things away and drying out the wet stuff.

We camped in northern Minnesota, a state park by the name of Maplewood, by Pelican Rapids. The park is huge and we only had time to sample a little bit of it. But, what we did get to enjoy was awesome. We hit the park, full of Maple and other hardwoods at the peak of the fall colors. With the many hills, some quite large, and various lakes, the view was nothing short of spectacular.

We camped on the shore of Grass Lake in a tent. We also set up our screen tent, as a kitchen, since our tent isn't very big. the view from the screen tent overlooked the lake and the colorful hills behind. The temperatures were brisk, only getting into the sixties by day and down to the upper thirties and low forties by night; pretty chilly to sleep in a tent.

But, with our sleeping bags zipped together and an oversize quilt over top of them, we stayed comfortable through the cold nights. Hannah, our dog, also found her way into our sleeping bags during the night, to stay warm. We had a little light rain the first night, but nothing leaked and it was wonderful falling asleep to the sound of the rain drops against the tent.

We got to the park Wednesday afternoon and got things set up rather quickly. Enjoyed a wonderful meal cooked outdoors, then sat and enjoyed a campfire until about ten or eleven. We were all tucked into our bed before the rain came and since everything else was in the screen tent, nothing but our chairs got wet.

I woke early on Thursday, to the sounds of something trying to get into our food. We had seen what we thought was a cat the night before, it strolled right past us while we enjoyed the fire, but it turned out to be a raccoon. He had returned and was trying his best to get into our coolers and food container, but luckily everything was well stowed and he only managed to get away with two bananas.

I got up to the cold, brisk air about four-thirty, when I heard him attempting to open one of the containers. I had long sleeved pajamas on, so just needed to grab my jacket and slip my feet into my shoes, then I was out and heading to the screen tent to chase the little burglar away. He just looked at me from the screen tent, then moseyed across the grass to the edge of the lake, stopped and finished eating one of the bananas.

I shook my jacket at him and tried to shoe him away, but he just looked at me for a minute, like I was demented or something, then finished eating the banana. Once done, he picked up the second banana and strolled into the tall grass and was on his way to pack away his treasure for later.

We named him Ricky when he returned on Thursday night. We were enjoying the fire and he just strolled across our camp and headed for the screen tent, looking for his dinner. He could care less that we were right there, and if there had been anything available, I'm sure the little camp-robber would have just enjoyed his pilfered vittles right there while we watched. Unfortunately for Ricky, we had stowed all the food containers in the back of the vehicle except for the marshmallows and fudge cookies we had with us by the fire. With nothing to interest his appetite, he soon strolled away to look at other campsites for his dinner. He didn't return that night, as far as I know.

Besides Ricky entertaining us in the evenings, we got in some kayaking and hiking. We did what was supposed to be a two mile loop on Thursday afternoon, but I think it's quite a bit longer. The trails were well marked, but uneven and there were a lot of big hills; a pretty difficult and tiring hike by the time we returned to camp, but the scenery was definitely worth the workout. Besides the vivid fall colors, we seen quite a few swans enjoying the lakes. While kayaking, we were entertained by a loon and her young as they dove for food.

Friday was our last day and we had to be packed and out by four in the afternoon. It was another chilly night and cold morning as we sipped coffee and enjoyed the beautiful view from our screen tent. But, the forecast for rain around noon was off and by nine that morning we had a pretty good rain coming down. Rhonda packed up the items in the tent while I worked in the screen tent packing up our kitchen. Most of these items stayed dry, but the tent leaked and the screen tent was sopping when we rolled them up. Our chairs by the fire and Hannah's bedroll we had out by the fire were soaked, and our clothing, tarps, and a few other things got pretty wet.

Even so, we had things packed and stowed before noon and set out to explore more of the park. We decided on a shorter hike, up to a lookout on a big hill. It was a difficult hike up, but it was sure worth it when we reached the top and looked out upon the park, lakes, and surrounding country side. Once we hiked back down, we took a scenic drive through the park to check out other camping sites, observation blinds, and more of the breathtaking beauty of Maplewood park in the fall.

Now, we pack our camping gear away and wait for spring; we are eager to return to Maplewood State Park and see what it looks like in the spring. We may pick a more primitive campsite on Lake Lida and there are miles and miles of hiking trails to check out as well as numerous lakes to explore by kayak.
October 3, 2017 at 9:38pm
October 3, 2017 at 9:38pm
Well then, there it is.... All I can say is what a day! Things started out normal enough, was awake and up early enough to enjoy coffee with my love. Then she had to get ready to go to work from eleven until five. I was scheduled to work from five to closing, but had taken the day off to get everything packed up for our camping trip.

She was going to haul the garbage out on her way to work, but things started to go amuck. Somehow, time got away from us, so Rhonda didn't have time to take the trash with her before work. No problem, I could haul it to the landfill, then return home, pack things up, take care of a few items left on our to-do list, and load the Jimmy for an early start tomorrow.

But, by the time I got to the landfill, Rhonda had sent a text telling me to come in to the work site, new things had come to light. I knew we were being audited by the store's security team from their corporate headquarters, so I didn't hesitate, I drove to work to find out what was going on. Turns out, the stores corporate headquarters wants us to control yard access in accordance with their policy, despite the store manager wanting us to follow his policy.

Okay, I'm just a site supervisor and it's not in my pay-grade to get in a tug-o-war between corporate policy and store policy. It's a lose-lose situation, to say the least. Of course, the general manager is not in at this time, so I have to discuss this with an assistant manager. All went well, but now it's a matter of waiting to see if the general manager is going to follow policy or insist we do things his way. I'll find out when I get back from camping on Saturday.

Then, a couple hours later, I'm heading back home to try and pick up where I left off. Of course, there is no making up for lost time, so now I'm finally done packing, finishing up, and loading the vehicle. It's eight-thirty and I'm tired and out of time, but everything is ready to go in the morning, I managed to get in here and write in my blog while holding up dinner a bit.

Enjoy the rest of the week, I know I am. I was already looking forward to our camping trip, short as it is, but after today, I'm even more eager to go get lost in the woods away from everything.
October 2, 2017 at 5:14pm
October 2, 2017 at 5:14pm
Another cool and rainy day and soon I'll be heading to work, I was supposed to work tomorrow evening as well, but took the day off to finish getting things ready for camping. Rhonda will get home about six tomorrow evening, and I want everything ready to pack into the Jimmy except the food. I'm hoping to get an early start on Wednesday and should be arriving at the campsite early afternoon.

We had just reorganized our camping gear and this will give us a chance to try things out and see how well we did. It's also likely to be our last camp out of the year. We will be going to a state park in Minnesota, one we have never been to, with a lot of hiking trails and a couple of different lakes. I printed off maps of the hiking trails and the park earlier.

Being in the northern part of the state, the fall leaves should be in autumn colors and with all the maple trees, it's going to be a beautiful camping trip. The forecast is for sunny skies, dry, and cool days and cold nights. It's looking right now like upper fifties to lower sixties for the day and upper forties to lower fifties at night. I think this is the coldest weather we have camped in, except for our very first camping experience together.

That one turned out to be a flop, since we had gotten a bit wet in the evening of the first day out and that night the temperatures dropped below freezing. We didn't have any sleeping bags then, so we huddled and snuggled under a pile of blankets. We also didn't' have a mattress, so we slept on a few thick quilts.

The cold got us by about one in the morning. Actually, I had stayed covered pretty well, so I was doing pretty good, but poor Rhonda didn't have enough blankets and got even more chilled. Being a new couple, she didn't want to wake me and complain, so she tried to tough it out, but eventually the cold got to be too much for her. I was sleeping lightly, and soon became fully awake to her shivering and trying to snuggle closer.

Of course, I got her covered well and did my best to get her warmed up, but it was too little, too late. She couldn't get warmed up, so we ended up packing things up and heading back to her place. The car was close, so she sat inside with the engine running and the heater on while I took down the tent and got things ready to go. She helped pack things into the car and then we headed for her place. It took quite some time to get her warmed back up; she was likely beginning to suffer hypothermia.

This time around, we will have a nice air mattress under us to keep us off the cold ground. We also have a tarp for under the tent and then some outdoor carpet to put on the inside of the tent. We will be sleeping in two sleeping bags that zip together into one double sized bag, and we will have an extra large, heavy quilt along as well. We should be nice and cozy, but just in case, we will also have a propane tent heater with.

I should be in here for a bit tomorrow, then I'll likely not be able to log in until we return on Friday, or if it's late when we get back, Saturday before work.
October 1, 2017 at 2:27pm
October 1, 2017 at 2:27pm
It's a go for camping next week. Just a short trip, three days, two nights, but it should be fun. We are checking out a new state park in Minnesota, so a bit of a drive to get there. Reservations are made, I took Tuesday off to get things ready and packed, and we will leave sometime Wednesday morning.

We will be looking over the campgrounds, checking out some trails and sites, playing a little Frisbee golf, and enjoying the fall colors in the park. It is yet undecided if we will be taking the kayaks along or not; more than likely, we will.

I was a bit surprised at the cost of the campsites in Minnesota, they have gone up in the years I have been living out of state. I was also surprised to see an additional charge for reservations. I can understand this if the park is first come first serve, but in Minnesota, you have to make a reservation, even if it's the day you show up to camp. That means, there is no way around the reservation fee. We also have to be there by ten at night or lose the entire reservation, no refund on fees and only a percentage of the prepaid camping fees. Of course, this is true even if one cancels before the date of the camping trip.

They also prohibit intoxicating liquor, none at all allowed within the park. That's right, no cold beer after kayaking, hiking, or disc golf. No glass of wine with dinner, no intoxicating beverages at all. Why? This I don't understand. I could understand no public drunkenness or even drinking in any of the public areas, but at the campsite, in the tent or in the camper?

We enjoy sitting around the fire in the evenings and having a few drinks before retiring to our tent. We don't get staggering drunk, make a scene, or bother anyone, so why is this prohibited. In fact, the way it's stated, I can't even enjoy my wife while camping. What?

Well, she is my best friend as well as my wife, and we are deeply in love. I enjoy watching her move around the campsite, and I especially love to watch her in the flickering light of the campfire. I drink in her beauty and intoxicated by our sweet love. So, technically, if I'm drinking in her beauty and becoming intoxicated by it, am I not indulging in an intoxicating liquor? I could go on with more examples of this, such as her sweet as wine kisses, but I'll save all the real mushy stuff for her.

Anyway, since this will be our last camping outing for the year, we will likely not follow this rule. I have a suspicion that many other campers also do not follow this. I'm assuming it's kind of a don't show, don't tell policy within the campground. If we keep it out of site and don't go displaying any signs of drinking intoxicating beverages, who's to know?
September 30, 2017 at 1:59pm
September 30, 2017 at 1:59pm
And, along with the cookie, my goals as well. I had set a goal to log into WdC each day and to, at the least, make a blog entry. Things progressed well through the week until yesterday, when, as you can see, I did not make a blog entry, or even get logged into Wdc.

It was a busy day getting things done and ready for a short camping trip next week. Not overly busy, but kind of relaxed and just taking it easy while finishing things up. One of the tasks was to give our kayaks a good scrubbing and wash down tents and tarps from our last camping trip. This went well, but it was getting late by the time we had everything washed, dried, and put away. Rhonda started on our dinner while I got on the computer to spend some time in here.

But, I could not connect to the internet. I connected to the router network but it would not connect to the internet, so I did what I always do when this happens, I shut it down, waited a few minutes, and then restarted it. This fixes the problem, usually, but not this time. Still no connection to the internet. I tried everything to get connected, but it just would not connect.

I contacted the help center from our provider, thinking maybe they were doing something that interrupted the internet, but that was not the case, we should have been able to connect. They gave me detailed instructions on resetting the router, but it still would not connect to the internet. After several attempts to get connected, they determined that the old, outdated, unit we were renting, had just up and failed, they would send someone out to replace it.

But, since it was after business hours, they would not be here until this morning, so no internet and no getting logged into any sites. We have service protection we pay so when something like this happens, there is no cost to us, but if they come out after hours, that changes and we pay a pretty steep price. No choice then, we had to wait.

Now, the technician has finished, we have a new router and should see a little faster speed. I logged in and everything is fine again. Still, I missed one day of getting logged in, missed one day of writing in my blog, and missed my weekly goal. Oh well, that's the way the cookie crumbled...
September 28, 2017 at 9:29pm
September 28, 2017 at 9:29pm
Another day coming to a close and still no time to spend in WdC... It's just not fare, I tell ya.

We picked up so new containers last evening to reorganize our camping gear. Of course, it was getting late by the time we returned home, but even so, we managed to get everything packed back up before retiring for the night.

Today started with a little quiet time with Rhonda, enjoying coffee and talking. After brunch, we did a test fit of all the new camping containers in the Jimmy. Success, everything fit fine, and even a little room to spare. We usually use a luggage rack on the hitch to haul some of the items, but this time everything fit except for two folding chairs and the camping grill, which will easily fit on the rack.

After, we worked on mowing grass. It was very tall, since it did not get mowed last week while we here out camping. Also, with all the rain that came down over the weekend, it 's was not only tall, it was very wet. We have a big yard and it's not the easiest to mow, especially with push mowers, but that's what we are using.

the rider is broke, and it was cheaper to get a couple of nice push mowers, and I should add, we can definitely use the extra exercise. I can't say so much for Rhonda, she usually does the trim work and stuff with the push mower, anyway. But I usually ride around on the rider, which is nice, but push mowing is a lot more exercise and since I'm trying to loose, why not.

I still have tomorrow off, and even though there are things needing done, I am hoping to get a little more time in here. Next week, during our days off, we will be out camping again, and Saturday I'm back to work, so time is running short.
September 27, 2017 at 8:05pm
September 27, 2017 at 8:05pm
Where indeed? I had hoped to get in here earlier, but time slipped by as time tends to do. Of course, I didn't get up and moving much before noon, so there's half the day already. Then, the rest was spent going through camping gear, reorganizing and cleaning things up from our last camping trip.

We need to make more room and get things better organized, so we are looking at packing things differently, which means we need to run and buy a few new containers as well as a few other things. That will take the rest of today, and we will be off to town as soon as I finish this post.

It will be late when we get back, and we still need to pack our camp kitchen away, right now it's taking up most of the kitchen counter. Then, tomorrow, we need to set up our tent and screen tent to clean them up good, wash down some tarps, and pack the rest. Hopefully, next week we will be taking another camping trip.

We want to check out another state park and will likely only spend one night, but will prepare for two. We want to check this park our for a spring camping trip with friends, and what better way than to give it a visit. Besides checking it out, the park has a lot of maple trees and hardwoods and the fall colors should be beautiful.

Now, time to run...
September 26, 2017 at 4:25pm
September 26, 2017 at 4:25pm
Another cold and damp evening at work last night. That makes three days of working in the rain, and tonight will be four days in the cold and damp. At least it's not raining. Thinking I may be coming down with a cold, but trying to head it off before it gets too bad.

The bright side is, tonight is my last day of work before getting three days off. Of course, there's plenty to get caught up on since our last camping adventure. We returned to work the next day and only had one day off since. Even so, I'm hoping to get in here a bit more, and hoping also to get more done with my writing.

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