Sunday, June 26, 2022

Exercise Not Happening After Getting Sick… Time to Motivate and Get Back to Riding

My working out came to an abrupt halt after I got sick from Covid. Yes, after a few years of not getting sick, I came down with Covid after Carrie returned from Houston. I picked her up from the airport on June 13 and by June 15 I was feeling lousy and tested positive for Covid with a home kit. The last time I did the bike was June 12. I worked from home from June 14 - 20 and I was back into the office on June 21. During that time while not feeling great, I did not ride at all.

While I went back to work on June 21, I did not feel like getting back on the bike for my normal Tuesday or Thursday rides. I decided I would take the rest of the week and get back on the bike starting June 26. It will feel good to be back on the bike and get back into the routine of riding on a regular basis once again. While I was out sick I went probably two days without eating a thing which means I lost weight during my time with Covid. I dropped to the lowest I have been in years although after being able to start eating again, I have gained that back, but it was good to see those lower numbers for a few days anyway while I was not feeling well.

While both Carrie and I were sick, Oliver took care of us. We were both in different bedrooms and Oliver would go back-and-forth between the two rooms sleeping for a bit in each room with us and keeping an eye on us. He was so ready for us to go back to work as we had been cramping his style around the house. He took good care of us and was a good snuggle puppy while we were not feeling well.

Hoping this is our last and only time with Covid. On Thursday, June 16, I slept all day long. I had my last fever on Saturday, June 18 and yet a week later I still feel pretty tired. I have no other symptoms other than a slight cough from being sick, but I am ready to get back on the bike and get back to my routine.

It is so easy to get out of the habit of working out whether it is from getting sick or other events happening during the week. Once I get out of the habit, it usually takes me a little while to get motivated to get back in the saddle and start working out again. I normally would do a live ride on Sunday at 11 am, but I think I will do a solo ride to get my mind back in the mode of working out and then I will plan to ride Tuesday and Thursday this week too. Back to my routine will be good and get my head straight.

Until next time, stay healthy and I will see you on the bike…

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Happy Father’s Day 2022!

Happy Father’s Day
Happy Father’s Day! A beautiful, very warm, June day for 2022. 

I have been sick this past week and so I have been watching a lot of golf the past few days. It brings back memories of watching golf with my Dad. Some good snoozing has happened and I am sure more will occur today as I watch golf and wish a Happy Father’s Day to my Dad in heaven. Love you, Dad!

Happy Father’s Day to Dad Shirron! Sorry we will not see you today. We will see you soon! Love you!

Happy Father’s Day to all fathers on this day!

Weekend of Grilling Went Very Well While Carrie Was Out of Town

Carrie was going to be out of town to visit our friend Corrie in Houston June 8 - 13, so I planned to do a lot of grilling while she was away. I started preparing the menu before she left and had most everything picked out prior to her departure. Although, I had to make some changes as some of the items I wanted were not available at the local grocery store (i.e. mahi-mahi), but made an adjustment and I think overall, it was a successful time grilling. 

BGE and Meater Ready for First Night of GrillingThe first night, I did a simple pork tenderloin on the grill. I did not get any pictures of the night, but the picture to the left was my basic set up for the other nights I grilled. I decided on a pork tenderloin as it would give leftovers for dinner Thursday and lunch Friday. I did corn on the cob on the grill along with the pork. It turned out really well. Using the Meater and it was cooked to a perfect temperature. It did last me through Friday lunch, so it worked out as planned. I decided on this as I wanted to workout Thursday night after I got off of work and did not want to worry about cooking or going late around the grill. Oliver and I spent time outside even though I was not grilling listening to music and drinking some good beer.

Friday Night Porterhouse SteakI got off of work at noon on Friday and started running errands getting ready for cooking Friday night. I stopped by Blind Tiger to pick up some growlers of beer, went to the grocery store, and then to Herman’s Meat Market to pick up a porterhouse bone-in steak along with a twice baked potato. Nothing fancy, but simple and done on the grill for the porterhouse. Put the potato in the oven and let it go for about 40 minutes before putting the steak on the grill. I also started some mushrooms on the stove to sauté to go along with the steak and of course I opened a bottle of wine to add to the mushrooms. I then also had the rest of the bottle while I ate and relaxed for the evening.  

Steak, Potato, Mushrooms, Wine, Peppers, and Onions… Perfect!The goal for all of the planned cooking for the weekend involved wanting to use the Meater to see how well it worked. Maybe perfect how I use it so I can impress Carrie the next time I cook. Once again, the Meater worked great on the steak alerting me to take it off from the grill, letting it rest, and knowing when it was the perfect time to start eating. Not the greatest picture, but it sure tasted good. I picked up the onion and peppers at the store that afternoon. The pepper was too hot for me to eat. I had a few bites and could not taste a thing, so I kept it until the leftovers on Saturday for lunch to go with the leftover steak. It was still too much for me. Very hot! I was very happy with how everything turned out.

Rumcake on the GrillSaturday was a busy day for me while Carrie was a way. I had a lot planned for the day around the house and to cook. I mowed the lawn, trimmed, and got the exterior looking good. I had errands to run for cooking that night which included picking up swordfish and I wanted to clean up to get it ready for Carrie returning on Monday night. I also wanted to try a recipe for a rum cake on the Big Green Egg. My first time trying it and Carrie and I had talked about it, but had not tried it. I figured it was the perfect time to give it a try. The recipe which I found on the BGE web site (here) was pretty easy. I could not find the correct pan, so I found one that would work. It took about 50 minutes for it to finish cooking so that a toothpick inserted came out clean. I let it cool and started cooking dinner for the night.

Swordfish, Shrimp, and Asparagus on the BGEWhen I was at the store earlier in the day to get the swordfish and other items, while I was at the seafood counter, the HyVee associate suggested as I was grabbing the swordfish from her that I should get some Australian Jumbo Shrimp they had in their cooler. I almost did not get any as I was leaving and I am so glad that I did. they were delicious! Huge pieces of shrimp that I ended up eating by dipping in butter. They tasted just like lobster. So good! 

The swordfish I got two of them so I could have one for Sunday at lunch. This was only my second attempt at swordfish. I did a simple oil over them to coat, salt, and pepper which then went on the grill. My first bite tasted very fishy of the swordfish. I used the Meater to monitor the swordfish which did a good job, but I think I will try a different recipe for swordfish in the future. The rest of it was very good. Leftovers on Sunday, it was much better too. When I told Carrie about it, she thought it might have been the difference between the kind of meat in the swordfish which might be right. I will try them again as it was delicious once I got past the initial bite.

Pork Shoulder on BGE for Sunday DinnerSunday I changed my plans from doing mahi-mahi (which I could not find at the store) to doing a pork shoulder. I wanted something that was going to take a while to cook. I put it on the grill a little later than I had planned. The total amount of time it took to start to finish for the pork shoulder was about six hours. I once again used the Meater to monitor the cook. While it cooked, I tried to do some limb cleanup in our backyard, but the weather was a little odd on Sunday with what appeared to be a large storm heading our direction. As it turned out, the storm split right around Topeka and we did not even get any drops. I had two ears of corn on the cob that I had left over from the Wednesday night cook. I bought some buns at the store along with Joe’s BBQ sauce. Pulled the pork once it was done and had BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. I wanted enough to have leftovers on Monday and for Carrie to have some when she got home Monday night or Tuesday.

Oliver Enjoyed Our Time Outside Cooking and Relaxing
I was pleased with all of the cooks. I did keep some of the rum cake for Carrie to have when she returned and she had some BBQ too. I think we finally finished off the rum cake on Tuesday. I was happy with everything I cooked. I was proud that I was able to cook everything for my meal on the grill for Saturday even though the swordfish turned me off a little on the first bite, I thought it was good and I would try it again.

I will do the pork should again as well as the rum cake. Steak on the grill is a given. So, I cannot wait to grill again and hopefully it will be soon. Carrie thought it was funny how excited I was that she was going to be out of town when I started planning all of my nights of cooking. I think it was a successful time of cooking and hanging out with my boy, Oliver. 

Until next time, have a great week!

Sunday, June 12, 2022

May Stats for Working Out Was a Bit of a Struggle

Days Worked out in May
The month of May was not a great time for me and working out. I did manage to get at least two days in each week but they were not long workouts. I think I averaged 20 minute workouts. Still, good I am getting some exercise, but not as much as I had intended. Trying to keep the rides going even when busy with other events through the week is the tough part but it is also part of what drives me to make sure I get those rides scheduled. I need to do more when I know it is a busy week so that I get up early and ride or move the days around to get the three days a week workout done.

Consistently worked out on Tuesdays through the month of May except for the last Tuesday of the month, but we had just returned from camping that Monday and did not feel like getting on the bike. Sunday was consistent too for me. The Thursday workout was the toughest it would appear for May only working out one Thursday during the month which also happened to be my one week during May that I did get three workouts in for the week.

May Stats for Working Out
Interestingly enough I did work out three additional times in May then the prior month, but it does not look like it when I look at the report of dates I did a workout. My minutes at 283 total minutes working out is better too. So, even though I feel like it was a down month, the overall report for the month does not look too bad.
Miles traveled and calories burned were all up compared to the prior month. So, progress there even though it feels like it was a down month, I can see in the reports that I did better than I thought.
I do continue to see weight being lost. Since January 18, 2022, I have lost 11.6 lbs. So, not a lot, but it is gradual. As I have mentioned multiple times in past updates, I continue to drink beer or not eat very well. Although, eating better as Carrie and I are doing good with our eating at home and trying to eat healthier too. Eating healthy is a constant battle and it is so easy to let it slip where I eat a burger or something for lunch because it is easy. Happy to say it has been a while since I have been to McDonald’s during the week. We did get simple burgers when we went camping and when we returned that Monday.
Feeling good about my working out. Summer months will continue to be a struggle to get workouts in. I need to make sure that I keep working out and plan for when I am going to be busy with other things so i do the workout earlier or on other days. 
Have a great week and I will talk to you later….

Sunday, June 05, 2022

First Camping Trip of the 2022 Season We Went Back to Our Favorite Eisenhower State Park at Lake Melvern

Camp Site at Eisenhower State Park
Two Tents Ready to Camp
We are so excited to be out camping for the first time this year. Somewhat a last minute scheduling as we figured all the spots would already have been taken when we booked our site only a few weeks before the Memorial Day weekend. We booked three spots as Greg and Erin now have a tent and went with us. We had some other friends we were trying to convince to go with us, but it did not work out for them, so we kept the third camp site anyway. This will be our longest camping experience so far in our rather young camp life as we will camp for four nights. Prior to this weekend, we had only camped three nights in a row last year, so we are excited to be out for another day.
Car is Packed Tight and Carrie is Sitting on Sticks
 Packed a Lot!
The events of our weekend are written each day, or the day after, to track accounts of what we did those specific days. This post will not be published until the weekend after our weekend get away to give you a sense of timeline and how I was writing the memories of each day.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

I worked a half day this day so we could get out to the camp site earlier and start the weekend. We ended up leaving later than we had planned and I had a conference call to join while we were driving out to the site. We did manage to get out to the camp site by 4 pm. We took Oliver, so he rode in Carrie’s lap as there was not room to put his car seat anywhere in the car. Oliver was so excited to go in the car although he had no idea where we were headed.

Once again, our car was completely full and could not fit another item into the car. Carrie was sitting with a box at her legs full of wood and we had other boxes stuck in various places for firewood… we do not want to run out… Our car was stacked to the ceiling with everything we needed for our camping weekend. Of course, after we arrived at the camp site, we realized/remembered everything we forgot. Oh well, nothing we need immediately and we can live without those items, but it sure would have been nice to have them for this long weekend.
Once we got camp set up, we chilled for a while and enjoyed some adult beverages. It was a bit chilly with a good wind gust, but later in the evening the wind completely stopped and it was a beautiful night with stars as far as we could see down to the horizon. It was beautiful!
Our Meal on Thursday Evening
Firedisc Dinner is Served
We did fajitas the first night. Man they were so good! We did them in the Firedisc that we bought last year for camping. Good way to start our camping weekend with good food. We made short work of dinner and headed to the fire pit. As I mentioned, the wind died down once the sun went down, so the fire was nice to have going to warm things up a little as it was in the 50s or 60s, but sure nice to not have the wind blowing any longer.
Camp Fire Living for our First Night of Camping
Sitting Around Camp Fire
Erin got our fire roaring and we had a fun night listening to a playlist Carrie had us working on for original music scores. It was fun to hear what everyone selected and then try and think what movie the music was from. We stayed up late the first night listening to music, telling stories, and looking at the beautiful sky with all of the stars. 
Carrie did mention she wants to get up early one morning during this camping weekend to watch the sunrise. About 1 am, I asked her if Friday morning was that time and she said maybe Saturday morning. I think this might be difficult to accomplish as we enjoy staying up late, around the camp fire, and telling stories, so we will see if this happens.
Chairs Lined up to Relax and Enjoy the Day
Lake Was Calm Like Glass

Friday, May 27, 2022

Our first full day at the camp site was a good day. We slept a late and then had egg and bacon sandwiches to start the day. We spent time just relaxing, reading, listening to music, and talking. Such a relaxing day doing nothing. By mid-afternoon we were playing cornhole. We played teams that we changed around throughout the game. It was a lot of fun, but a few of us got a little burnt. I once again have my outlines of shoes on my feet without shoes. One item Carrie and I forgot was sunscreen, but we did end up picking it up on Saturday to we could keep safe.
We stayed up late listening to playlists we all submitted to Carrie ranging from songs we like to sing to songs we like to dance to while we listen. Oliver was enjoying himself sniffing all the smells and seeing people go by from their camp sites. We did let Oliver go leash-free while around the camp site which is something new for us and for him. He did great off of the leash. A few times he would start to wonder off and we would call his name, so he would come right back to camp. Good boy!
Sunrise on Saturday, May 27, 2022
Sunrise Coming up Over Lake

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Saturday morning we all got up early to watch the sunrise. It was an idea Carrie had that she wanted to see the sunrise from where we are camping. We all got up with no problem and took some pictures of the sun coming up over the lake. It was beautiful! We could have gotten up a little earlier as we missed some of the colors, but it was still breathtaking to see the sun climb in the sky.
Carrie Walking on a Trail
Walking Trails
Following watching the sunrise, we all went back to bed for a bit before we started the day. We had an easy breakfast with snacks and then headed out for the day. We then headed out to get some sunscreen, firewood, and to do some trails. Nice way to start the day. When we got back to camp, we relaxed and listened to the Royals playing in the afternoon. 
Sleeping at the Camp Site
A Few of Us Sleeping
Some of us might have taken naps following the Royals winning their game and of course Carrie snapped a picture of us all snoozing with some snoring happening too. Always fun to get a picture of sleepy heads after having a fun time camping.
For dinner Carrie and Erin went into Casey’s to pick up pizza. Tradition as this is the second time we have done this as our first time was last year when we stayed at this same camp site with Greg and Erin. Delicious and no one had to cook. Following dinner as the sun started to set, we played another round of cornhole mixing up the teams once again. Beautiful evening as we played our game and listened to music. Finally, we could not see any longer, so got ready for the evening which included taking showers before we settled around the camp fire to spend the evening.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

We awoke early this morning to our tent leaning in our heads as the wind picked up. Oliver was a little frightened and it was rather concerning to Carrie and I too. The south side of our tent was being blown in so much by the wind it was hitting my head and freaking Oliver out. Oliver was shivering so bad as he was scared, so Carrie put a blanket over him and held him which helped to calm him down. The sun was not up yet, but I am not sure what time the wind started although it did finally dwindle and we were able to sleep until about 8:30 or 9. 
Set up for Evening Camp Fire and Watching a Movie
Tent, Lake, Movie, and Fire
Greg and Erin left us on Sunday leaving just Carrie and I to be around camp. There were still a lot of campers down the way, but no one in our area. We spent the afternoon snoozing and I listened to the Royals game. By dinner time, we had leftovers we had made the other nights camping. Decided we would build a fire and settle in for watching a movie. We watched a movie from Netflix which was not very good, but entertained us enough that we did not stop watching. The movie we watched was “Senior Year”. Glad it was “free”.
We let the fire die out and decided to head to bed. We wanted to get an early start to Monday morning to get packed up and head back to Topeka. We both knew we would be tired once we got back home and likely needed to rest up Monday afternoon so we could prepare to be back to work on Tuesday.
Monday Morning Looking out at the Lake from Our Tent
View from Inside Tent to Lake

Monday, May 30, 2022

I woke up a few times overnight with some high winds once again. Not as bad as the other night, but it did wake me up a few times. I know Oliver woke up from the gusts too as I would wake up and look over and he would be looking at me. I am not sure Carrie heard a thing. As we began to break down our camp site, I thought the winds picked up again, so once we took the rain fly off of the tent, our tent almost completely collapsed in on itself. Disconnecting the lines and trying to fold up the tent was a challenge, but we managed to get it done and not lose the rain fly, tent, or our tarp.
Tent camping in high winds is not a lot of fun, but we survived. I am thankful we did have some good weather for one or two days. While the winds were high overnight, and some during the day, overall, it was a great camping trip.
Tired Puppy After Four Nights Camping
Sleepy Oliver
We were packed up and ready to leave about 10:30 or so. We were back in Topeka and had the car unpacked by 11:30. Oliver was exhausted as he sat in his pillow seat on Carrie’s last on the way home. He could not keep his eyes open and his tongue was out. So tired after protecting our camp site for four nights. I think he had a great time!
We had checked for ticks a few times and not found any on ourselves, or Oliver, but Monday evening, Carrie found one crawling off of Oliver. Later that night, we found one on me and one on Carrie that had locked into our skin. We got them removed and have not found any more on Oliver or us. Thankful the ticks were not too bad when we went. I read a Reddit camping post from someone saying they went camping in another state in the woods and found 115 tickets in 24 hours. I think we would check out and leave at that point. No thanks!


We had so much fun camping. So happy we were able to take Oliver camping with us and he did great! Had so much fun with Greg and Erin. We ate some amazing meals thanks to everyone involved (team effort). I hope we are able to go again soon. It is fun to put together amazing moments in nature. This was our third time for Carrie and I to camp at this exact spot and I imagine we will go back again sometime in the future to camp again. We hope to try out some new sites and other camp grounds in the future. For now, I use these blog postings and pictures to recall our time at these favorites spots as we continue to enjoy our camping adventures.
Until next time, enjoy your camping adventures and please feel free to comment and share your experiences. Note, clicking on any of the pictures on this post will link out to our Flickr page for all of our pictures.