Day 149: Garden

Tomato Plant

Basil Plants

Cucumber Plants

Bowl Turned Over

On Monday, I made a garden! I put in four tomato plants, a cucumber plant, an eggplant plant (hehe), and four basil plants. I also already have mint, chives, oregano and parsley growing profusely in my herb box, so I think that pretty much covers everything, excluding green beans, which we decided against in favor of having an extra tomato. Hopefully, that was the right decision.

p.s. On Monday, I also had friends over for dinner and afterwards I dropped a bowl full of veggies on the stairs on my back porch. Made for a depressing, but cool picture.

Day 148: Motel and/or Hike

Motel

Indoor Pool from Outside

On Sunday, you could either say I made very little or a whole lot.

I took three pictures of our motel in Wisconsin (two of them are above), which isn’t much since usually when I do a series of photos I take between 20 and 100 photos. This would count as the “very little.”

On the other hand, I also took a 12.5 mile hike along the Ice Trail in Kettle Moraine South in scalding 95 degree heat. I’d like to call this the “a lot.” In a way, you could say I “made a hike” or “made progress toward becoming more fit” or even “made strides in finishing my 32 before 33 list, since hiking the entire length of the Ice Age Trail through Kettle Moraine South in Wisconsin is on my list. Sure, it’s kind of a stretch, but I feel like it’s a stretch worth taking since the hike almost killed me.

We got a late start for lots of reasons–we ate a slow breakfast, had trouble finding the trailhead, and are generally slow movers in the morning . We got on the trail at 11:15 a.m. and started with a leisurely pace. It was really nice. The scenery was beautiful with big pine trees and oaks on a deeply forested trail. There were also lots of hills to climb up, a welcome change for an Illinois girl.

Around 2:15 we got to a break in the trail with a parking lot and a trail map. That’s when we found out we still had 7.5 miles to go (and we had already gone 5 miles).  See, we knew the trail was long, but because the state park website is pretty bad, we were having trouble figuring out just how long the trail was. We thought it would be somewhere between 8 and 12 miles, but we didn’t figure out it was 12.5 miles until we got to that parking lot and were already feeling kind of tired.

In any case, we filled up our 32 ounce water bottles and got back on the trail, which started through a patch of forest with tons of raspberry bushes (if only they were ripe!). Unfortunately, the forest quickly faded away and we were suddenly hiking through a giant open savannah. In intense heat. With only 32 ounces of water.

We hiked that way for three more hours. By the end, my heart was pounding so hard, not because I was physically exhausted, but because I was getting dehydrated. But I pushed on. I dragged myself up over hills and through deceiving patches of trees that opened up back onto the vast prairie.

Until we finally reached our final destination…and a water spigot. I must say the water was amazing and my aching feet felt amazing when I ripped my shoes off. After almost five and half hours of hiking my dogs were tired, and I was even more tired.

It was worth it though. That 12.5 mile hike was my longest ever, and I am really proud. I’ve had problems with my knees over that past few years, and I feel like being able to walk that much shows that I am finally recovering and have been building strength in my knees again.

I also feel like I proved something to myself that goes beyond my knee problems–I’m still fit, strong, and up for a challenge!

Day 147: Another Day in Wisconsin

Red Farm Building

Grape Vines

Hay Bales

Cloudy Sky

Toucan Park Toy

Hand Over Hand Bars

On Saturday, we drove up to Wisconsin for the first day of our mini-break (we stayed until Monday) and had another glorious day up north. We went to Stellar Vineyard and Northleaf Winery for wine tastings, played in a lovely public park that hadn’t been renovated since probably the 1980’s (it had excellent hand-over-hand bars), and then went for dinner at a supper club on the beautiful Lake Koshkonong.

Actually, the story with the lake is kind of sad. Apparently, back in the 1800’s the surface of this giant lake was entirely covered in wild rice, which was an important food source for the native Americans in the area. Then a dam was built, causing the lake to rise by about six feet and subsequently causing all of the rice to die. This also meant that the thousands and thousands of ducks that used to live on the lake also disappeared. Depressing!

Anyways, despite learning about this tragedy (on the first page of the supper club menu, which was kind of funny/weird) I still had an amazing day. Yay for Wisconsin!

Day 146: Bubbles

BubblesOn Friday, it was the last day of work with my co-worker of six years and my good friend’s brothers were in town. That meant happy hour after work, tacos at my beloved Taqueria Moran, and then a bit of a party back at my place. While everyone was over, I drew this simple doodle of overlapping circles. Kinda looks like bubbles.

 

Day 145: Lines and Shapes

Lines and ShapesThursday night was laundromat night so I brought my sketchbook and markers with while my laundry spun around in the dryer. It reminds me a bit of  the black and white pieces by Piet Mondrian, although less symmetric or parallel.

Day 144: Leaf

Leaf

Last night I made a little drawing of a leaf. Specifically, it’s a drawing of a leaf from a big ‘ol plant with lovely purple flowers that we have growing in our backyard. The plant is on my upstairs neighbors side of the yard (we have two plots for my two flat, one for each apartment), but since he just moved in and the plant was put in by my former neighbor, we had no idea what the plant was. This was problematic since my new neighbor wants to start a garden of his own. Is it squash? Watermelon? No clue!

Since I love a bit of detective work, I spent some time googling around last night for vegetable plants with purple flowers, and discovered that the plant is a common mallow. Apparently, the young common mallow plant is quite delicious and kind of like spinach, but as it gets older it gets tough and sort of gross.

After I discovered this, I left a note for my upstairs neighbor all about the plant. I even went as far as explaining that if he digs it up, he’s going to need a big shovel because common mallow plants set down huge tap roots. I’m such a dork!

Day 143: Bottles

BottlesLast night, I made a watercolor sketch of bottles as a way to practice overlapping paints. Actually, it’s the perfect thing to be posting tonight because, after our swing dance lesson this evening, Jim and I went to Webster’s Wine Bar and tried three of their wine flights. It was really great because we got to taste 9 different wines, including some really wonderful reds that tasted of things like brie, roses, barnyard, and lilacs. Cheers to a great experience at the wine bar!

Day 142: Thank You Card

Handmade Thank You Card

Yesterday, I tried again to make a nice thank you card for Jim’s parents for letting us vacation at their house in Arizona, and this time I think I succeeded!

To make this, I used pinking shears to cut out the card from watercolor paper. Then I did a rough sort of un-blended wash of blue watercolor paint on one side. Then I used the stamps I bought at a garage sale on Sunday to stamp out the words “Thank You.”

Not including my previous failed attempt on Sunday, it took about 20 minutes. Not bad!

Day 141: In the Garden

Feet in Grass

Climbing Plant

Flower

Yesterday, I attempted to make a thank you card for Jim’s parents (for letting us vacation at their lovely Arizona home a few months back), and the card was a miserable failure. Therefore, I am posting a few pictures I took while we were out in the garden weeding and otherwise getting ready for planting.

 

Day 140: Tiny Hand and Little Pig

Hand

Photographing a Pet Pig

Pig in the Currency Exchange

Walking the Currency Exchange Pig

Yesterday, two very important things happened. First, I met my new nephew for the first time ever (he’s adorable!). Second, I saw a woman with a pet pig go into a currency exchange. Naturally, I took some photos from both of these significant experiences.