This morning seemed like the perfect morning to do SOMETHING outside.

The Monkey is with her Nana, the foster dog seemed perfectly content in its crate so out into the wide world I went.

Nine Mile Creek in Bloomington seemed like a great spot. I would have brought Edie (our foster dog) but she's just a puppy and I wanted to go further than a mile. So I did.

I've wanted to go on a more serious hike than I normally do - normally it's with The Monkey and we pretty much walk to the docks down at the Westwood Hills Nature Center and then back to the car. It's really not much of anything except a "walk in the woods" with random squirrels. Although one day we encountered a flock of wild turkeys and had to completely turn around because they most definitely wouldn't let us pass them on the trail... Not that I would try with my 3 year old anyway.

So I walked along Nine Mile Creek for a few miles. Stopped to pee in a bush (and accidentally peed on my shoes... OOPS... luckily there's a stream so I walked through that). Saw a few butterflies - but not as many as I have seen in the past. Saw a HUGE tree that fell down.

And then realized that I had probably wandered down the trail a bit more than I planned.

So I turned around and walked back.

Normally when I bike I don't think of anything except biking - you have to pay attention to the road, cars, pedestrians, and busy streets. You seriously can't think of anything except biking.

When hiking... well, I could think a lot. Without hearing 4,987,532 questions from a 3 year old. Oy. It's been a lot of questions lately. Frustrating? Yes. But you have to remember that a 3 year old is brand new to this Earth. They've never been here before, they have no idea why things work or how things work or why the grass is green (or The Monkey asked me what pistons do inside of an engine the other day, that one was a bit tough!).

So I needed some peace and quiet.

And We Might Lose a Tree

Last year there were large branches that came down in our backyard from the Norway Maple that sits right outside The Monkey's window at the corner of our house. It's this weird (healthy, sort of...) tree that has some nasty scars from old branches that have been ripped off and fallen down. There's some scummy stuff on it.

I was thinking... just trim the heck out of it and get the branches off the tree.


And only one recommended keeping it - but by that he meant to keep it from falling on our house or our neighbor's house by putting rods into it and then tethering branches together. For "safety" reasons.



I really didn't like where the tree is anyway... but seriously? Put steel rods in my tree?

So 2/3 recommended tethering branches and trimming it - but STRONGLY recommended just a whole tree removal.


I need to get more estimates for a tree removal.

On the bright side... maybe I can have an actual veggie garden with rows instead of sticking veggies in between flowers. And even possibly some sort of outdoor storage for all of our crap.


More to come on this as the story unfolds...


Weekly Meal Planning

Taco Tuesday - Fish tacos with homemade guacamole 

Wednesday - Beef Stew

Thursday - One Pot Pasta with Veggies

Friday - Pizza or chicken with rice & veggies

And a picture of me wearing a clown nose.


Friday's Good Reads

Read any good books lately?

Because I just finished a really boring book. It got better at the end but... IT TOOK FOREVER to get through. I think this bitch of a book has been on my bedside table since... December? Maybe?

Drums of Autumn is the 4th in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. If you've seen the Showtime show, then this is the series the show is based on. It took me forever to get through the freaking middle of the book. Up next in the series is The Fiery Cross.

On my Kindle I have waiting for me The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I've only seen good reviews so far, so that's on my list to read next. I'm excited for a mystery novel, I haven't read a good one for awhile (I read Night Film but I just couldn't finish it - there were about 20 pages left and I thought the book had already ended at one part so I just thought "screw it, I'm leaving it and not wasting any more time!"). 

Got any books that you would recommend? Any that you wouldn't recommend? 


Next on my reading list is to catch up in Blogland. 

Currently I'm loving to read the following:


Asshole Squirrels

This past weekend I put up a bird feeder.

Well, 4 bird feeders that hand on a stake.

I had to call Bimmer Man at the race track and ask if we had any mallets lying around.

THAT was a little awkward.

I don't think he really heard me when I said, "Well, I bought a bird feeder."

But what I had meant was that I bought a pole that needed to be staked into the ground.


Those asshole squirrels were HANGING from my bird feeders. I used a baffle and everything. I had never seen squirrels walking on the dog-eared fence before so I thought it was fine.



That meant that I had to move the sandbox (which taking out 50 lbs of sand with one small cup and a three year old takes so much time), and dig out the stake and re-pound the damn thing into the ground.



My bird feeders are now no longer accosted by flying squirrels. The sandbox is now in the shade during the hottest parts of the day since the neighbors directly behind us had their tree cut down (OMG, I thought it would fall in the next rain storm!).

So our backyard is much improved, and I've filled a few pots in with annuals instead of vegetables so there will be a bit more color in the backyard. I'm thinking we'll get more wildlife this summer without THE MONSTER around (which I'm still a bit upset that he's dead but such is life). I put finch feed into one of the feeders so I'm hoping we'll get to use The Monkey's bird watching book a bit this summer.


I can't wait for summer! 90 degree days! Sunshine! Kiddie pools!