Whew, happy Friday!! What a great week this has been!
Since last I wrote, between and among all of our beautiful daily routines, several delicious little things have happened. Taking note of some of them feels really good. (When the exact opposite things might happen, the negative versions, we would complain, right? So let’s celebrate the small victories and pleasures.)
001 My first November fartlek run felt easy: 8 miles total at 9:31 average (1 up/1 down, 6 in the middle just casual intervals) Ahhhh you guys it felt really easy and I had so much fun. Had that day been less hectic I would gladly have started earlier and tried several more intervals. Anyway, it was kinda messy but overall a decent pace, and it didn’t tax me at all. The day before I had run 10 easy, so I was happy to be zero tired. Progress. Another type of progress, also kind of a surprise: I had to skip running two days in a row this week (Wednesday and Thursday) just due to life obligations, not a lack of motivation, and I was conspicuously un-bothered by it. At least, less bothered than I would have been not long ago, ha. Learning to keep the long view and keep running in balance with life is a sign of emotional progress. (And you can bet that getting out the door this morning to grab ten solitary miles was like pay-day, ha! Super refreshing.)
002 An unplanned visit from Jess! On Tuesday afternoon our youngest texted asking if she and her (very sweet) friend Mercedes could come to the farm for a visit. They arrived just as Handsome had pulled the truck and trailer in with a load of winter hay, and both young women jumped right up to help. They kicked and shoved with their strong legs four mammoth round bales onto the ground, all the while keeping Meh and the horses held off. Then we played with Klaus (of course) and caught up with each other. These girls are so smart and such fun conversationalists. We all four ate a dinner of baked chicken, roasted butternut squash soup (yes please let’s add a drizzle of coconut milk!), simple green salad, and buttery French bread, toasted. Jess and Mercedes stayed after dinner to play a board game, and we all had a blast. Such a happy surprise for us.
003 Lunch with Handsome at Lido in the Asian District, OKC. We used to eat here pretty frequently years ago but hadn’t been in so long. On Wednesday we found ourselves in town at the same time and he had just enough of a window to eat, so we ducked in and it was great. I had a bowl of vermicelli rice noodles with chicken. It was on top of a big pile of shredded lettuce and had carrots, mint, and crushed peanuts. Delicious. I love when unfamiliar restaurant food is flavorful and filling without a ton of syrupy sauce. And I love surprise lunch dates with my guy.
004 Water tank repaired two whole days early!! That is a very happy surprise when you are excited to get caught up on laundry, ha! The repairman was scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday), but earlier this week he advanced our appointment to get ahead of a possible snow this weekend. He spent most of Thursday replacing our ancient well pump and the house water tank, and throughout the day he taught me a lot about how our rural water system works. It was pretty interesting. Klaus assessed the situation as training for when he finally gets to attack an intruder. He used his big boy voice. A lot.
005 Our first true cold snap surprised me. We have already had some cool nights and chilly, breezy afternoons the past month or so, but yesterday and overnight into Friday morning we felt the first blast of truly cold air. That autumn air that is so cold is tastes sweet and almost smells like something else, and certainly, when you catch a whiff of wood smoke from someone’s chimney, that perfume is stronger in the cold. Our kaleidoscope-colored oak, pecan, and maple leaves are abandoning their branches and drying to a crisp on their way to the ground. Already I am raking or sweeping up great oceans of them twice a day. But there is beauty even in the trees’ increasing bareness, and the cold means more soups and thicker socks and that deep sense of rhythm that the winter holidays provide. I’m ready. Tonight our heaters are on and my flower pots are indoors.
Related: I saw the above tee shirt at Old Navy and it is my motto for a few days. Starting next weekend, our calendar is packed all the way through to the New Year, so this weekend I intend to crate and hold some space for breathing and stretching and being cozy. I want (NEED) to gear up for the season in some quiet ways. Soak up some details. There is some winter nesting to enjoy.
After I run. : )
Any surprises in your world this week? Are you fully invested in the season change now?
Thanks for checking in!!
“The moments of happiness we enjoy
take us by surprise.
It is not that we seize them
but that they seize us.”
Last weekend was a long one for us, four days of much needed deep refreshment, and this work week that wraps up today has been solid. It was solid, happy, productive, and good in many ways. Last week’s extended recharge has been put to good use. Here are some headlines from the Lazy W!
001 Dad’s Birthday!
My Dear Ol’ Dad turned 61 this week, and last night we all gathered at home for his requested dinner of, “ribeyes and hot fudge sundaes.” Yum! I took exactly zero photos because we were having so much fun and my hands were always full. My sister Angela and I shopped and cooked dinner, then seven of us (all adults this time, which is rare) sat around the dining room table talking about DNA testing, conspiracy theories, some wild family history, and more. Everything. We feasted on food and love and excellent conversation. Jessica drove over, too, and we all had such a great time. Laugh upon laugh upon laugh! Happiest of birthdays, Dad, we love you so much!
002 Batmobile Progress
This morning, between meetings and court and who knows what else at the Commish, Handsome stole some time at a very cool Oklahoma City business to help blow the “bubbles” that will crown the Batmobile. And he invited me last minute to watch! So I dropped everything at the farm and drove to town. I haven’t told you much about this project yet, but I will soon.
Short version: It’s a fun and labor-intensive old-car restoration that will play a big role in our community outreach hopes and dreams. And it becomes more fun and exciting every week. When I say “bubbles” and “Batmobile” in the same sentence, do you picture exactly what I’m talking about? Cool.
003 Halloween Vibes
Thanks to an attic full of Halloween decorations and some pumpkin fun with friends last Saturday night, our house is festooned with all the seasonal details. We love it. And we are living our best hide-pounce-scream-recover life, too, especially after dark. So fun. Even the gardens are in on the spooky mood, and I take every opportunity to walk around the farm in galoshes and sweaters.
004 Aprons & Organization
Domestically, I have been working steadily to empty drawers and closets, purge, reorder, clean, and hold space everywhere I can find a bit of congestion. I crave space physically and emotionally. It feels amazing, like the best precursor to nesting. It’s that deep-breathing, roll-your-shoulders kind of private survey I like to do just as the seasons really trade. It feels great, and every day I find new things to do around here.
This afternoon my plate was clear enough to sew two fun apron designs that have been swimming in my head. (This one is for a very special local podcaster!)
005 Fat, Fuzzy Horses
In keeping with the season change, our farm-ily is fattened up and beginning to retain a certain amount of fluff and fuzz. It’s definitely time. The horses are eating all the hay I offer them (so much), and the chickens are feasting on more than the usual amount of herbs, rose hips, and grass clippings, plus all the average fare. Fingers crossed that they soon decided to lay some eggs.
Okay, that’s our little sum up from the week. Approximately one million other things happened, too, because life is full and beautiful. If our internet cooperates, I’ll have a post up sometime Saturday about what I’ve been reading, watching, and listening to. Good stuff.
Redeem the Time
Even the Weird Days & Moments
Five Stories & Memories Worth Keeping from Labor Day Week, 2018:
We welcomed September with a Polish feast at our beloved Sperrys’ home.
Pierogis (first for me!), kielbasa, sauerkraut, a big crunchy green salad, and then dessert…
Dessert may not have been authentically Polish, but I guarantee nobody cared. It was called “Banoffee Pie,” and it has changed our lives.
It’s a prebaked pie shell filled with slices of banana, which are drowned in a sea of homemade caramel, and all of it is then topped with a thick cloud of homemade whipped cream, and then some grated dark chocolate because Kellie loves us a lot. I googled the recipe and discovered that sometimes they are made on a shortbread crust, which I am sure is delicious as well. We ate it fresh that night with Kellie and Mickey; then we nibbled leftovers greedily for two full days. It’s one of those desserts that gets better with a little time in the refrigerator. Yum!
Evenings with the Sperrys are so great. We always eat well, which is sharing a meal, which is different than just grabbing a bite with someone. We laugh a ton. And we have deep and meandering, free-form conversations about anything and everything, all four of us. It’s pretty great.
Complete with so many pup cuddles, too. We are in love with their three dogs. This time, after dinner we joined them for a walk around the block. Don’t you love it when your friendships begin to include not just the big, orchestrated events but also the simpler pleasures and routines in life?
#2 Season of Transition
Pool Season 2018 has been winding down. Every week, we have tried to spend as much time out there as possible. Whether we were in the thick of a tropical heat wave or hunkering down beneath more heavy rain, the pool has been surprisingly comfortable. But those temperature swings and the growing algae are making it all unmanageable. So Labor Day Week is very likely pool closing week at the W.
We are thankful to have been swimming for so many consecutive months this year. It’s been a lot of fun, especially with Bill the Rodeo Inflata-Bull. Ha! In fact, on Wednesday afternoon Jess (our youngest) brought a friend to the farm. They had a pretty entertaining competition over who could stay on longest. It seems there is a technique to not just staying on, but also to the getting on in the first place. If Summer 2019 includes more chlorine rodeo fun, we may have to agree upon a scoring system.
P.S. I often tell the kids when I snap photos of them visiting the farm, that I will not share the photos online, haha! This is really tragic because they are all gorgeous kids and always take such fun and interesting photos! Anyway. Please enjoy, instead, a photo of our dinner table garden bouquet and Jessica’s homemade pumpkin pie. Absolutely delicious! She altered the recipe in a few ways, and everyone loved it!
#3 Back to Work
Having enjoyed so much time off together in August, this first week of Septemeber, although slightly shortened thanks to Labor Day, felt weird without Handsome at home.
The shift in weather definitely enhanced the overall feeling of a new season. It’s almost like back to school, although those particular autumn routines are far in our household’s past. Each “workday” for me this week has been packed with productivity, and my energy has been good and steady. I am noticing that Virgo draw toward deep cleaning and lots of order. I just miss our late lunches and easy afternoons, chilling together. xoxo It was another very good staycation.
#4 Wet, Unfueled Run & God’s Timing
I had planned on a 12 mile run for early this morning. I ate a good dinner Thursday night and slept well. Unfortunately, we woke up to not just the predicted rain, but flash flood warnings. I normally would eat a bite of peanut butter toast or something before a run that long, but given the time crunch, I decided to just get to the trail asap and grab as many miles as possible, then see what the day might hold. (Treadmill finish is always an option.)
I ran and ran, giving thanks for the excellent glycogen stores from last night’s chicken and broccoli-rice, clicking off one mile at a time. The rain stayed soft and gentle, with lots of black clouds but no lightning and no floods. So I kept running. Eventually, I hit 9 miles at that easy pace then got really tired and really hungry, haha. Then the asphalt got slippery, so all of that together meant that I slowed down quite a bit. The morning finished with exactly 11 miles, injury free, ha!
This story is worth remembering because YES we can do more than we are prepared to do and because YES if God’s timing can be trusted with the big miracles in life, then surely His timing can also be trusted with little things. One mile at a time.
#5 Thoughts on Loop
I almost cannot stop thinking about a few topics:
- Adaptogens and adaptation, not just in health and fitness but in all areas of life. Humans are so adaptable!
- Will I ever be able to grow zucchini again without squash bugs making me crazy? (spoiler alert, unlikely)
- The fine line between prayer and meditation and how slow-paced running is definitely related
- The movie Interstellar (which I haven’t seen in a couple of years but the themes are always with me)
- Granola, mostly pumpkin infused with lots of coconut, nuts & seeds, and dark chocolate
- Exactly what to plant in the two big rubber troughs flanking the barn mural
Regarding those trough planters in the above photo: I have some ideas but would love your suggestions! They are both filled almost to the top with well rotted manure, they get eastern exposure, and they are some of the first things you see before parking your car along the gravel drive. I would love some ideas for year round liveliness or at least seasonal color. Thanks!!
Friends, we have a few huge miracles brewing, from several areas of life. We have for so many months asked for prayer, and we appreciate every single one.
Now we are in a season of giving thanks. Giving thanks for the present moment, for the hope that keeps us moving, and for the ever increasing evidence that God is working behind the scenes in supernatural ways.
Please keep it up! And please know that we are thrilled to send you Love and pray for you every time you need it. Just let me know.
Tomorrow is Jocelyn’s 23rd birthday. I am so happy and so grateful, I keep catching myself giggling and weeping over it all.
God is good. Life is beautiful. The whole adventure is just amazing.
Happy September!! Talk again soon!
Because, as always, life is bursting with long, deep, worthwhile stories but also, therefore, are my days too full to properly tell them all, how about a quick look at cell phone snapshots from the previous few days? I’ll hit the high points.
Oklahoma Weather: Depending on your perspective and chosen activity, our weather lately has been either gloriously cool and wet or murderously humid. You have to admit, though, it is wonderful to be a week and a half deep in August sunshine and see the ponds and lakes overflowing instead of burning up to cracked-apart mudholes as so often happens this time of year. And we could easily be in triple digits again. Yes, we have mosquitoes, and yes, running and working outdoors can be challenging; but the gardens are bonkers! The hay meadows are lush and heavy with big round bales, freshly cut. And the Lazy W chickens are sure happy, too. Egg production is up from 4 per day to 11 or 13. I’ll take it!
Nourishment: So much great food. Every day I am learning more details and themes about what my body needs to feel great and not only get the most from my workouts (so different right now) but also stay feeling amazing for the rest of the workday.
Except for Tuesday, when I ate one million and a half cashews (fail number one), and Wednesday, when I let myself get too hungry during the thunderstorms and ate a third of a box of Triscuits (fail number two), I have paid good attention to nutrients and the size of my meals and just overall stressing way less about stuff. I will write more about this in an upcoming health post, but the whole shift away from running has kind of messed with my mind a little.
The photo below was from Monday, our traditional weekly pasta meal. Whole wheat noodles (LOVE them) with fresh garden tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, and some shredded chicken breast. Add garden fresh basil, obviously. So filling and tasty! And I felt that ticklish, content feeling while eating it with no regrets later. Unlike the day I inhaled the truckload of cashews.
Shameless Sweaty Selfie: Taken after a particularly exhilarating 9-mile run, fasted but well hydrated. Behold the blotchy skin and copious amounts of sweat. This was only one of two times this week that running felt really great, so I had to capture the moment. The funny thing was that my pace was only about 20 seconds per mile off from the day before when I felt like I was literally going to die, but this run was like flight. Bouncy, strong, filled with that lemon-juice-and-trampoline energy, you know? Endorphin City. (My car was parked.)
New Farm Animal Alert: Oh I forgot to tell you guys we adopted a big strong gorgeous boxing kangaroo! Smiling is his favorite. We love him so much it hurts a little.
And for the grand finale…
Jessica Turns 21: This is certainly one of those milestones that begs a long, fully explored, detailed writing. And I have tried, believe me. While writing for a few hours twice lately, attempting to wrangle the emotion, most of the words got stuck somewhere between my ribcage and my hands. Finally, it seemed like the words that did make it out were meant more for her, privately, And that’s ok. I know most people will understand that. But here is a snapshot of the three of us at dinner this Thursday, a very happy moment in the midst of a very happy life. And look at the words above our heads!! We got our baby back.
And I know in my heart that soon Joc will be joining us in these special moments. I feel it. We believe it.
Okay, onward to the next interesting project!! Handsome is home early today spraying paint on his big behemoth Cadillac. Klaus (the kangaroo) is napping between bouts of fetch and llama chasing. I have a pile of excellent things to do.
What is new in your world? What snapshots from your cell phone could tell some pretty great stories?
Happy Friday!! Thanks as always for checking in!
Redeem the Time