Sunday, August 04, 2013

Chasing the SUNSET with Riley.

We all worked hard yesterday on outside chores. John cut down some low hanging limbs from Walnut trees. They are so heavy with walnuts they were practically touching the ground. Riley's job was to pick up all the fallen walnuts and throw them as far as she could into the woods. Black Walnut trees grow like weeds around this area. They are fast growers too so you have to pull out a six inch tree as fast as you can, when you see it or the next day it's a foot tall! 

I also had to make a decision about a River Birch I had planted 13 years ago. It was growing right next to a volunteer Elm tree. Around these parts our Elms have been disappearing due to a Elm disease. Taylor, from the landscape company had casually mentioned, in passing that I needed to get rid of the River Birch and protect the Elm.

Moral dilemma.

I love Birches. I love River Birches.  I had also neglected this one since day one. It had not been trimmed, there were three feet of tall weeds in front of it and as far as anybody was concerned there wasn't even a tree there. 
Young Elms aren't particularly interesting to me. Not a particularly pretty leaf......sigh.....what to do?

Problem was solved as soon as I had cut my way back to the River Birch. A wild grape vine had been digging itself, into the bark of the tree for the past 13 years. They kill off more trees around here. The vine grows thick, keeps going up the tree and chokes the life out of the tree. I'm sure that's not the technical terminology for the process.

So, I whistled over my woodsman and his chainsaw and down came Rodney, River Birch. I always think it's good karma to name a tree, pay your respects to it before you take it down. John cut it up into logs and then I put Riley on bark stripping, a job she took to and thoroughly enjoyed.
When she had peeled off all she could she and John conferred about peeling off more.  He suggested that the logs should be soaked to make it easier.

I'm busy by the edge of the woods clipping back wild berry bushes and I see Riley carrying heavy logs down the driveway.  Apparently, she found a bucket big enough, got Grandpa to turn on the hose for her and she was taking this job on.

I have no idea, at this point, how I will use the birch bark but it really seemed like to special a thing to just ignore or throw away. And, that my friends is why, Mixed Media artists need space for their collections. You just don't know when you are going to need something.

After lunch by the pool we all jumped in and just cooled off. Riley has just taken to the water. I can't get over how fast she swims under water and how she dives repeatedly in the deep end to touch the bottom. Her mother was a good swimmer and on swim team for middle school but I don't remember her swimming like this at age 4.

After cleaning up our tools, carting away the limbs we decided that a nice nap for all of us was in order. Then off to dinner in New Glarus. We took the back roads again.
We were in the Swiss area of Wisconsin now. Orderly farms, well kept up. Hard to find a neglected barn to photograph.
You are in Guernsey country now. 
"The Guernsey is a breed of cattle used in dairy farming. It is fawn in colour with white markings, and is particularly renowned for the rich flavour of its milk, as well as its hardiness and docile disposition."

Such a beautiful cow, isn't she?

We couldn't have dinner in the little place that we had been to before. Way to crowded and a wait of an hour. Riley and I were starving so we walked across the street to the New Glarus Hotel and had a wonderful Swiss dinner.

I've got the hand of eating out now.  At the same time I place my dinner order I ask for a take home container. When my meal comes I simply put half of it in the clamshell and move it out of sight. It will make a nice lunch for John the next day.

I'm finally down another pound. That's officially 26 for my Sunday weigh in. It took a week to lose that pound, sticking to my 1200 calories a day life plan.

I realized that I am probably following the Hunter/Farmer Diet without even planning to do so. I've got out all dairy, except for an occasional Greek yogurt. I've finally realized that all pasta, even wheat pasta doesn't really help me lose weight. I basically eat what I could have found as a hunter, fowl, fish, pork, very little beef anymore, it doesn't seem to agree with me. What a shock for the steak lover! Seeds, nuts, fruits and root vegetables. 

Into my fourth month I really don't have any cravings anymore for sugar. Since I have stopped eating grains and they no longer turn to sugar in my system I seemed to have cleansed my system.

I joined a small little gym that just opened in downtown Verona. It's a 24/7, no frills, gym. I plan to start using the treadmill five days a week. After I get going on that and start logging in some decent miles and time I'll start adding the weight training circuit they have.

I know I need the exercise to raise my serotonin levels. When that's raised, any thought of cravings seems to disappear. 

Anyway, I was listening to the author of the book Hunter/Farmer Diet on PBS last night. It sounds like an interesting book. I think the next time I'm in Barnes & Noble having my tea I'll take a look at it.  I don't think I need to buy it. I'm already doing most of what he talked about but I would still be interested in seeing how he suggest people determine which one they are, the hunter or farmer.

My shoulder muscle still hurts. It's whatever muscle runs along the top of the shoulder and up the side of your neck to the base of your skull. I have found that sleeping in my recliner seems to take pressure off of it and give it the support it needs. I have to say, I would rather sleep in my bed but I slept for four straight hours in the chair, with Murphy of course, draped across my lap.  He keeps track of where I am and what I am doing.

Ok, off to get into my work clothes.  Another beautiful cool morning and a good day to get some more yard work done. I have to say the front yard looks so pretty. I'm glad we worked hard on it this spring. 


1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post........ I felt as if I were with you having an iced tea and listening to the tree spirits. We have a small birch in the back yard of the new home...they are so special...and I hope to make some paper with this once again. Ken is upstairs the small home we will be close to the family and....the hospitals. We are all waiting for verification from the insurance ...that we do have... so he can begin his 8 weeks at 5 days a week regiment! He is tired from the we have slowed quite a bit. Thank you for your loving support. Give Miss Riley a hug for me. Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart