Saturday, June 24, 2023

Camping trip to Council Grove Lake June 14 - 17 adventure with pictures and descriptions. Come experience Council Grove camping with us.

Camp Site at Council Grove, Kansas
Camp Site at Council Grove Lake

We were able to get our first camping trip of the season on June 14 - 17 at Council Grove Lake. The prior weekend we drove around looking at camp sites at various lakes, but decided on Council Grove camp site once we found this hidden gem right by the dam. No other camp sites nearby as it is at the end of the road and it was excellent!

We went camping with Erin and Greg for what I believe we discussed was our overall fourth time to camp altogether. We took Oliver with us on the camping trip and he had a great time. Greg and Erin took Charley for her first ever camping trip. I think she had a good time and also enjoyed some time in the water which I will share pictures of later in this post. Both dogs did well with only one instance where Oliver got aggressive as he thought Charley was going to take his bed. We kept the dogs up late each night we were camping around the campfire.

Sunset on Council Grove Lake
Sunset on Council Grove Lake

I took the picture to the left while walking Oliver on Thursday night. The reflection of the sun off of the water was impressive and the picture does display how brilliant the view was from the walk. I took Oliver on a number of walks although we let him wander around the camp site without being leashed. He enjoyed it and did a good job of sticking around the site as well as coming back when he would wander off to far.

Wednesday night we got to the camp site around 8 pm. I worked that Wednesday and then left for the camp site once I got home. We are about an hour from Council Grove Lake although we had our car packed and items on the roof, so we had to drive a little slower than normal with chairs and items on the roof. Greg and I had a golf draft to do at 8:30, so we quickly got our tent put up for Carrie and I. The ladies went to pick up Pizza Hut for us for dinner while Greg and I did our draft. It was some of the best Pizza Hut I have had in a long time. Cooked perfect, hot, and delicious. Worked out great as we had arrived at the camp site so late in the day and no time to cook anything ourselves. A perfect plan we had thought up leading up to our camping trip. We stayed up late around the fire Wednesday night and talking about our upcoming adventures. Fun first night!

Sleepy Oliver After Being Up Prior Night
Sleepy Oliver After Up Prior Night
Thursday morning Carrie and I slept a little late as Oliver did not sleep well Wednesday night. He was restless and running around the tent. Each time I was almost asleep, Oliver would get up and walk around the tent making noises. Finally, about 6 am Oliver finally found a spot to lay down and went to sleep. I am not sure what his issue was other than both Carrie and I usually do not sleep well the first night of camping so we are guessing that Oliver is the same and has problems sleeping the first night too.

Cornhole Tournament While Camping
Cornhole Tournament While Camping
After waking up, having a small breakfast, we relaxed around the camp site. I read a few chapters and dozed in my chair. Oliver of course slept from being up the night before. An enjoyable start to our first full day of camping. After a late lunch, we spent part of the afternoon playing Cornhole. We only played Cornhole the one day although we planned to play more we never got back to play. It was fun and took us to the early evening of playing before we started dinner.

Chicken Piccata on the Firedisc
Chicken Piccata on Firedisc
Thursday night for dinner, Carrie made chicken piccata for us on the Firedisc. It worked out great and it was delicious! First time making chicken piccata while camping. The chicken and green beans on the Firedisc were really good and then the pasta was one Carrie found that did not need to do boiling water, so we were able to warm those up on the Firedisc. Yum!
Finished Chicken Piccata for Dinner
Finished Chicken Piccata for Dinner

We ended up eating around 8 Thursday night and then spent the evening around the fire listening to music, talking, and enjoying the outdoors.

Each time we go camping, we try to plan a theme for a music list so we can listen while we are camping. This time we decided to come up with ten songs from the year we graduated high school that were released the year of our graduation year plus the year both couples were married with each person selecting ten songs from the year married that were released during that year. Makes for a fun time and then we try to guess who selected what songs. If you are interested, here is the playlist Carrie put together with all the songs titled Camping at Council Grove: June 2023

On a Boat Selfie
Boating on Council Grove Lake

While we were hanging out Thursday afternoon, we wandered about renting a boat. Sure enough, Council Grove Lake rents out boats, so we got one reserved for Friday. We had a blast! We took the dogs which was the first time boating for both Oliver and Charley. We went over to the beach where the marina recommended would be a good spot so we could easily get in the water. The dogs loved it and we all had a good time floating, drinking adult beverages, and enjoying the dogs in the water. At one point, we went back to the marina where they were making frozen margaritas that we took back out on the water. They were delicious!

Oliver Floating on Life Jackets

Charley Relaxing on the Boat
Charley Relaxing on the Boat

Oliver Relaxing on the Boat
Oliver Relaxing

Charley Swimming in Lake
Charley Swimming Like a Champ! (Video)

Floating on Life Jackets... Happy Dog!
Floating on Life Jackets... Happy Dog!

Sun, Boat, and Water... Good Life!
Sun, Water, and Boating. Good Life!

Polska Kiebasa and Fried Potatoes for Dinner
Polska Kielbasa and Fried Tators

After a full afternoon of boating, we were starving. Carrie did fried potatoes and Polska Kielbasa on the Firedisc. We made a lot of potatoes and I think we put a huge dent in what was cooked. While we cooked, the dogs slept and watched us, but never got up to come over to see what we were doing. They were both exhausted from floating/swimming they had done during the afternoon.

Around Camp Fire with Lights on and Music Going
Camp Site at Night

We all went around the campfire to relax for the evening. While Erin, Greg, and I were relaxing, Carrie snapped some pictures of our camp site capturing the lights. It is so perfect! The only issue we had our last night of camping were the gnats. They were everywhere and flying into our faces. We had not experienced this the other nights, so not sure if it was due to storms that were supposed to roll into the area the following day or not. We covered our drinks and enjoyed our time around the fire, drinking, and listening to music.

Nature Trail Hike Before Leaving the Site
Nature Trail Hike Before Leaving

Carrie and I had planned to camp Saturday night too but weather was scheduled to move into the area, so we decided with Oliver, it would be best to leave Saturday when Greg and Erin were leaving. We packed up our tent and some items from the camp site before we drove to the nature trail. It was a 1.25 mile hike we did with the dogs and it was perfect. We all talked about how it would be great do to the hike early in the morning when the sun was rising although it was beautiful mid-day as we did the hike.

I am so happy we were able to get our first camping trip completed. We had a wonderful time and plan to go back to Council Grove Lake in the future. Our spot was perfect and we liked the beach area where we swam off of the boat too. We do not have a next camping date set, but I hope we get one set soon.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Happy Father's Day 2023!

Dad and me from 2008
Dad and Me from 2008
Happy Father's Day to all fathers! I miss my Dad and it is hard it is coming up on it is coming up on ten years since his passing this next year. I have fond memories of Father's Day watching golf with Dad or being at the lake. I know he is having a great time today following the US Open.

Father's Day will always bring back memories of Lone Star Lake and spending the weekend there as that's where Dad liked to hang out. Actually, we would be out there on Saturday and then back home for Sunday so he could watch golf and of course for pizza nights. Good memories!

Eddie and me from 2009
Dad Shirron and Me from 2009

Happy Father's Day to my father-in-law. We have a lot of memories we have put together through the years with trips to the King Biscuit Blues Festival and other adventures we have gone on through the years.

Happy Father's Day to my brother-in-laws Jerry and Kent. Plus a Happy Father's Day to my brother, Tim. I trust Tim got a game of golf in today and is now enjoying watching the US Open as it runs into the evening hours.

Oliver Wishes you a Happy Father's Day
Oliver Wishes you a Happy Father's Day!
Happy Father's Day to all including those of us with fur babies like Oliver. I hope everyone has had a wonderful day. Enjoy the rest of day!

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Romeo & Juliet Production as part of Lady Shakes Theatre Company at Jayhawk Theatre June 9, 10, and 11

Selfie Behind the Stage During Rehearsals
Selfie Back Stage

Carrie finished up a play last weekend that she has been rehearsing for the past month or so. She did great! Carrie has been a part of Lady Shakes Theatre Company the past few years and last weekend finished the production of Romeo & Juliet. The cast was great and they did a wonderful job.

I attended the play on Friday, June 9 and had a great time. It was the second time seeing Lady Shakes Theatre Company perform at the Jayhawk Theatre. I believe it was my third or fourth time seeing a play by Lady Shakes.

Friday night had a good crowd and the theatre opened an hour early to give the audience a chance to eat at a food truck and have some drinks. I went with Eddie, Joan, Greg, and Erin. The theatre had it set up nicely with tables in the front section so that people could eat, have some drinks, and be comfortable for the performances. We had a great time!

Photos from the performance on Friday, June 9...

Carrie Performing on Stage
Carrie Performing at Jayhawk Theatre

Wide Shot of Cast Perming at Jayhawk Theatre
Wide Shot of Performance

Carrie Taking a Bow
Carrie Taking a Bow

Curtain Call for Everyone
Curtain Call End of the Night

It is so fun to see Carrie performing on stage. She does such a good job. I am not sure I would be able to say my name if I were performing let alone remember my lines. Carrie seems to have no problems and did not even seem nervous as we drove to the theatre that evening. I am so proud of Carrie for doing these productions and I take great pride in seeing her on stage.

I did tell Carrie Friday night following the performance I would do the other two nights too, but I ended up only going to the one performance. The Saturday and Sunday performances had fewer people in the audience, but Carrie said they were good shows. Following the Saturday night performance, Carrie went out with the cast for a drink. Even though the rehearsals were not a lot of fun, I think she had a great time performing and being with the cast members. She told me Sunday following the last performance she almost cried on her way home thinking that was it.

Friday Night Drinks Following Performance
Selfie Post Opening Night
Following the Friday night performance, we were able to get some food for Carrie and take a selfie. Carrie had spent most evenings rehearsing as it led up to the production and most nights she would get home around 10:30 - 11:30 and would finally eat dinner. It has been good to have Carrie back home and on a regular schedule. Plus, our dog, Oliver, likes having the routine back with both of us around. 

Congrats on a job well done and I cannot wait to see what you do next. I had fun listening to you rehearse although I do not think I helped you with your lines at all this time. You had a unique way to rehearse with the recording of all the other voices and you would use that to rehearse your lines. Worked like a charm! Great job!

Saturday, June 10, 2023

I Started Working Out Again Last Sunday and I am Feeling Motivated to Keep Working Out... Plus Oliver Likes Walks!

Started Running Again... Before First Run Picture
Before First Run

After a few months away from any type of exercise, I started running again on Sunday, June 4. I had a good first walk/jog to start off the process. My plan is to exercise three times a week although not sticking to strict days, but I do plan to work out at least three days each week. So far I have only been doing the running as I completed three runs last week. The picture to the left is before my first run. I felt pretty good considering I had not run, or done any type of exercise, in a few months. I looked it up and the last time I did any type of exercise was early November.

While I felt good following the run, I did have leg cramps on Monday. Calf pain that felt like shin splints but by Monday evening, those were gone. I was ready to run again on Tuesday evening although I did not run as long this time. 

Oliver Walking After My First Day Running
Happy Oliver on a Walk

When I returned home from my first run, little Oliver was waiting at the door and whining when I came into the kitchen. Even though it had been months since I last ran, or took Oliver on a walk, he knew what I was doing and that he would be going on a walk when I returned home. He was so excited! We had a great first walk post-run, so that helps to motivate me to want to exercise and then take him on walks. Oliver remained excited the other two days that I ran too although he was not whining at me when I came back home following my run, he was waiting at the door ready to get on his collar and head out for a walk.

My plan is to run most of the time and then I also want to get back on the bike and do that some weeks instead of running. I figure it will help my legs and keep me fresh doing an alternate workout instead of running all the time. I do enjoy running and it is a good time to listen to audio books too while I run, or bike, so that will help to motivate me to exercise each week. Everything little bit of motivation helps.

I plan to update on my status at least once a month, so let this be the start to many more posts on my exercise routine. I might not always feel motivated to workout, but I sure feel good after a workout. Not to mention Oliver likes the routine and doing a walk post-workout, so I plan to keep this going and get back into the routine even when other events happen to take me away from working out.

Until next time, have a great week and I will chat with you later.

Monday, June 05, 2023

Happy Birthday to Oliver! He turned 12 today.


Happy Birthday to Oliver!
Happy birthday to Oliver! He turned 12 today. It is hard to believe he is twelve years old. To read backstory of how Oliver became a part of our family twelve years ago, read the post from 2021 where he turned ten years old. Oliver has given us so many stories over the years and makes us laugh daily. He has a good personality and he knows he is the boss in our house. He knows that when Carrie and I are eating dinner that is his time to get chicken and if we forget, he throws a fit in the kitchen until we get him his chicken.

Oliver Watching Back Yard for People or Dogs
Oliver loves to sit in our back yard and watch for people or dogs so he can run to the back corner and bark at them. He is the lookout for the other neighbor dogs to alert them when something is happening. 

A short update for this morning to with our little Japanese Chin a Happy Birthday, Oliver, we love you so much! 

Sunday, June 04, 2023

Busy Saturday with NSO, Farmers Market, Mulvane Art Fair, and then Starting Working Out Again on Sunday... Good Weekend!

Mulvane Art Fair at Washburn University
Carrie at Mulvane Art Fair

We had a busy Saturday which had us up early this morning. Carrie took part at New Student Orientation (NSO) at Washburn University. Got us up early to get coffee at Circle Coffee Co where they are starting to know our names as we are there at least once a week and sometimes multiple times in a week when Carrie has NSO to attend. Good way to start the day as I had coffee and then went to read while Carrie was working her booth for Learning in the Community (LinC). I saw a number of people that I knew and Carrie said many told her they saw someone not usually there on a Saturday hanging out.

Following NSO, we headed to pick up Greg and Erin and we went to the Downtown Topeka Farmers Market which was fun. We bought a plant for the front porch and had a fun time walking around looking at the different booths. We also picked up some breakfast at one of the booths. 

After the Farmers Market, we headed back to Washburn for the Mulvane Art Fair which was a lot of fun. Went around to each of the booths, Carrie found some ear rings, and we bought a painting. It was better weather than we thought we would have today so that was good although it was warm. We try to make it to the Mulvane Art Fair every year and we always try to buy something while we are there which usually is not difficult. Always fun to run into people we know at attending too.

Following the morning events, we decided to go have some drinks and find someplace to have lunch. We ended up in Holton, KS at Wilcox Brewing Company & Taproom where we have been previously. We had a fun time talking to the bartender and we spoke to the brewmaster briefly too while we sat at the bar. After a few beers, I got a growler to go and we went around the corner to The Cockeyed Pig Dive Bar & Grille where we had appetizers and both couples split meals.

We headed back to Topeka and had a low key rest of the afternoon which was good. What a fun Saturday that had us up early and I got in a nap during the afternoon once we got back home. Low key evening grilling some chicken and watching movies.

Sunday, the start of my routine of working out. I plan to start running on today or riding the bike which will probably be a combination of both. I want to get back to riding the bike as I have completely stopped since November 2022. Ouch! Went on vacation and never got back to the routine. It is time to start the routine and I plan to run or ride three times a week. It all starts Sunday, so I plan to update here on a monthly basis again with this being the first update that I am starting this process again. It is so easy to get out of the habit and difficult to start again. Here we go!

Have a great week and wish me luck as I start this process again...