TWIR #110: all of the walking and all of the beer and cider

Hello and happy Friday! I kicked off this week of workouts in Portland, where I did very little actual working out but a very lot of walking on the daily, and lifting glasses to my lips. Bicep curls, right? The rest of the week seemed to be a slow recovery from the excessive  beer/cider sampling and I’m fairly certain that I don’t need another beer for a very long time (although talk to me this weekend when temperatures are supposed to be close to 30 degrees…).  But if you are heading to Portland any time soon, I am sorry because I do not believe there is any sour ale or cider left in the city. I drank all of it.

Enough preamble, let’s get to it!

Saturday
Activity: all of the walking
Relevant Stats: about 16 km
Observations: We set off to explore Portland on foot, and did we ever succeed! We discovered you can walk anywhere if you’re willing to, you know, just suck it up and walk.  It helps when on the other side of walking there is a cold beer or cider waiting for you. And there was. There was so, so, so much cider and beer.  I believe we visited at least four breweries, but it could easily have been five or six, and I know we visited three cideries. In case you were wondering, yes that was a lot for one afternoon, particularly when coupled with hot sunshine, a lot of walking, and definitely not enough water. But was it also worth it? Hell yes. Also, Canada has a lot of work to do on the sour ale front. I was astounded by the number of sour ales and super interesting flavour profiles. Mmmm, sour ale…

Sunday
Activity: all of the walking again
Relevant Stats: 18 km
Observations: We didn’t have a full day so we had to maximize our time with an epic walk to a new neighborhood in search of the supposedly best ice cream (Salt & Straw). I did not feel fantastic, care of Saturday’s adventures, but also did not feel awful. The walking helped I think, and man were my feet and legs sore by the end of the day. Obvious suggestion: don’t walk 18km in flip flops. Perhaps not surprisingly after Saturday’s consumption, we drank absolutely no beer or cider on our adventures, but perhaps more surprisingly, I was not willing to stand in the ridiculous line for Salt and Straw. Maybe it was truly the best ice cream I would have had in my life, but I also tend to believe that places with the most hype aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be. In my mind, it wasn’t worth a one hour line up and I feel no regrets for taking a hard pass on it.

Monday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations:  Since I took an unplanned rest day on the weekend, I wanted to kick off the week with a solid workout. And did I ever. This workout was legs and glutes, and then more legs and glutes. I think I was just so excited that two days of walking in flip flops hadn’t thrown my SI into total disarray that I figured I might as well wage a full assault on my tired legs and glutes.

Tuesday
Activity: spin
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: I’d like to thank the Counting Crows for this spin session. I know, they don’t sound like a good upbeat spin music choice, but if you’re selective about the tracks I can promise you’ll get a good mix of sprints and hills out of it. This is exactly what I did and my lungs and legs were burning by the end, and I was also a sweaty disaster. Seriously, my face was red for at least an hour afterwards. It felt like good penance for a weekend of gluttony.

Wednesday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: My trainer has finally realized just how leg dominant I am. She was constantly astounded by my willingness to keep doing leg work and to find most of the leg work totally doable. When it came to my arms, however, I was all whining and complaining. At least this week she had a good mix of upper and lower body exercises, unlike last week’s arm-only ridiculousness.

Thursday
Activity: spin
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: I went back to some pretty bad 90s and early 2000s rock to make this spin workout a major success. I’m actually too embarrassed to admit my musical choices this time around. At any rate, I did so many hills and sprints that I was actually a bucket of sweat by the time I wrapped this one up. It felt like my best spin session in a long time, and like I might actually be starting to get some cardio fitness back.  Hurrah!

Friday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: I am beyond shocked that today’s workout was as fantastic as it was.  I had to go to the gym first thing in the morning to fit in my workout, which usually means sluggishness and a lacklustre effort. I have no idea what was going on for me today, but I killed this workout. I even added weight to my single leg squats and voluntarily did box jumps. Who am I?

Can I just say how absolutely pumped I am that it is Friday. Despite the positive, chipper tone on this TWIR, this was by far the longest and most exhausting work week that I can recall for a very long time. I have worked more and worked harder than I have had to in the last two years. My workouts have been the only thing to keep me sane. I am looking forward to some solid downtime this long weekend (sadly not all downtime, since I will still have to work. Ugh.), and hopefully a little more movement.  My workouts were great this week but, aside from the workouts, I’ve barely moved from my desk. There have been days when I’ve walked less than a kilometre. It is shameful and also just not good for me. Here’s to a weekend of walking…maybe just with less beer and cider.

Happy weekend y’all!

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Mid-Week(ish) Tangent: Wine Thursdays

Wine Thursdays just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Wine Wednesdays, but sometimes I just can’t get my act together on the right day, so this is what I have to offer you. But it’s a special one, because it’s about a varietal that’s lesser known and lesser made here in the Okanagan. How exciting! If you’ve missed previous Wine Wednesday posts, you can find them here, here and here.

Let’s get wining!

Region: Golden Mile

Winery: Stoneboat

Varietal: Pinotage

Price Point: $25 or $36 depending on whether you go with the regular or reserve (including tax).

Brief and non-technical Tasting Notes: It’s not very often that we get to sample completely new-to-us varietals here in the Okanagan, at least among red wines. There’s a pretty standard set of reds that are produced here. You know how it is: temperatures in a region tend to favour certain wines so that’s what gets produced. The pinotage, though, was totally new to me. Our tasting room host filled us in on its long history in South Africa, and there’s also a pretty great little article about the pinotage that you can find here.

Sorry, that was a lot of rambling that had nothing to do with the taste. The pinotage has similarities to pinot noir, which is a part of its grape make-up, but also has an interesting richness and depth that you don’t get from pinot noir alone.  It had a familiar taste to it, almost like drinking a meritage or perhaps a syrah blend, but also the lovely fruitiness of a pinot.  In a word, it was delicious. In several words, you should try it because it’s damn good.

Winery Vibes:  Winery vibes are super important yet underrated. This is the feeling that you get when you walk into a space, and is influenced by things such as: aesthetics, decor, set up, staff friendliness and knowledge, sampling protocol (free vs. fees, sampling variety, etc.), snobbiness vs. accessibility, etc.

Stoneboat is an unassuming little shop on the outside, but with a quaint and modern feel inside.  It doesn’t have the stunning vista views of some of its Okanagan counterparts. You won’t be up on a hillside staring down at a lake or miles of vines. But we are not really at the winery for the views, are we? That’s merely a plus.

Inside, you’ll find lots of stone, wood and glass, and even a grand piano that is sometimes put to use but (thankfully) not while we were there. It’s a small space and I imagine that it would be impossible to carry on a conversation with a piano playing in the background. Our wine room host was just setting up for the day when we arrived but, unlike a few of the wineries we’d visited, she still had everything opened for us to start tasting. Although they make sparkling and whites, she respected our desire to focus on reds. I also appreciate this as some wineries will essentially force you to taste their whites as well.

Overall the tasting experience was sound. We learned something about a new varietal, pours were reasonably sized, and there was a good selection of wines available for tasting (I believe we had a rose, two pinots and two pinotages, and there were additional whites open as well). There was no talk of a tasting fee, though it might exist, and it didn’t really matter since we walked away with five bottles and our fee would have been waved anyway.  Still, I appreciate the few wineries where it isn’t the first thing that gets mentioned to you when you arrive. I mean, we were greeted with a small pour of sparkling wine and that’s pretty much the way I want to be welcomed at any winery.

The long and the short of it is that you’ll find friendly and knowledgeable staff, and perhaps even a new variety you haven’t tasted elsewhere in the Okanagan. Check it out. And if you do, do not leave without tasting the pinotage. I promise you will not regret it.

 

*It probably goes without saying, but I have received no compensation for writing this. Stoneboat has no idea who I am, nor do I have a followership on this blog that would inspire anyway to pay me for writing nice things about them.

Training Tuesdays: celebrating small victories

I’ve been dealing with injury recovery cycles for over two years. Sometimes I am still shocked when I remind myself that it’s been that long. That’s two years of trying to build up strength, improve my form, deal with imbalances, trying to run then giving up running again, trying to hike then giving up hiking again, and dealing with way, way, way too many days when I’d wake up so sore and stiff that I’d wonder if I’d ever be ‘normal’ again.

Just this weekend I had this small moment that I consider a victory for my chronic injury: I realized that, more often than not now, I wake up without stiffness, soreness or pain. I remember, for the longest time, I’d get out of bed and the first thing I’d notice was that my sciatic was tight or that my SI was stiff.  It was like I had to warm up just to perform basic daily life functions like walking to the bathroom, taking a shower, or getting dressed for work. It became my new normal, and I always hated it. In my opinion, there are few things more frustrating than being told you are doing everything you should be doing to improve your injury and then still waking up sore every. single. day.

Lately, though, the days when I wake up with stiffness or soreness are fewer and farther between.  It happened so gradually that I just hadn’t noticed. I can swing my legs off the bed recklessly. I can get up and walk without hobbling. I can even kick my day off with a workout (though I rarely choose that time of day willingly).  It is both a small thing but also a pretty big thing for the chronically injured. So I’m going to celebrate it today, and I’m going to continue to express some serious gratitude for every pain free morning I notice.

For anyone out there who is suffering from a bad injury, or dealing with a chronic injury that you just can’t seem to kick, perhaps this will give you hope. After more than two years of doing the work, paying attention to what works and what doesn’t, constantly learning from successes and failures and, above all, being patient, I wake up pain-free like a normal person most mornings. It’s slow progress, but it’s progress nonetheless. You can find it too.

TWIR #109: Short Work Week for the Win!

I like my job. I really do. But even when I like my job, I am still excited by a short work week. This week is a three-day work week which makes everything just a little more tolerable, and even made me more motivated to fit in lots of decent workouts before we skip town for a mini-getaway. Let’s see what I got up to!

Saturday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: golf + roller shade shopping
Observations: I thought I would want to hike in the sunshine, but honestly I wanted to do nothing at all. That said, it was a gorgeous, sunny day so I had to get out there and do something. We opted for 9 holes of golf, and then spent several frustrating hours trying to track down roller shades for our patio, only to find everywhere had sold out already. Ugh.  We then drowned our sorrows in the sunshine (unfiltered by a screen, I might add) with lots and lots of chilled beverages.

Sunday
Activity: stairs!
Relevant Stats: 36 minutes
Observations: I claimed that extra minute beyond 35 minutes, because holy hell stairs suck. I remember a time when I used to run stairs weekly, when I used to drag my coworkers along and try to get them excited about running up and down stairs until we couldn’t feel our legs. What was wrong with me? I did not enjoy these stairs, but as you saw earlier this week, I’m trying to get back into them so I pushed myself as hard as I could for as long as I could. I also think I should get bonus points for doing stairs in the blazing sun.

Monday
Activity: cardio warm up + strength training
Relevant Stats: 10 min. spin + 40 min. strength training
Observations: You know when you totally feel like listening to certain songs and you can envision spinning to them? No? That’s just me? Well, whatever. I had 10 minutes worth of songs I just had to spin to, but then my legs were so tired from the stairs on Sunday that they had no more cardio in them. I switched to strength and hammered my legs with weight instead.

Tuesday
Activity: spin!
Relevant Stats: 42 min. (I think)
Observations: I said “I think” it was 42 minutes  because I stopped the timer on the bike when my Apple music was randomly pausing itself (and completely pissing me off in the process), and then I forgot to start the timer up again. Sometimes technology is more trouble than it’s worth. At any rate, it was a solid spin despite my legs being incredibly tired from weekend stairs and Monday’s leg and glute work.

Wednesday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: OMG, my arms. I firmly believe that trainers have been taught to pay attention to what you hate and throw 100 times more of it at you. I told my new trainer that I hate arm exercises, and sure enough she built an entire workout around my arms. Actually, that’s not true. The start of this workout was all glutes and legs, and holding weighted positions, which made my legs want to fall off, and I was just starting to wish for my poor legs to get a break. So really, I got what I wished for, but instantly realized that the grass is not always greener. I was certain I wouldn’t be able to move my arms by the end of the day.

Thursday
Activity: dog’s breakfast
Relevant Stats: 10 min. spin + 20 min. legs and arms + 10 min abs
Observations: This was one of those days where I felt like I was wandering aimlessly around the gym with no purpose, as sometimes happens when I have to work out first thing in the morning.  Nothing felt great, my SI was a bit tight and I was feeling pressured to fit in a good workout before leaving town. All in all it was a bad combo of mindset and tiredness, but any workout is better than no workout I suppose .

Friday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 35 min.
Observations: Ugh, bench hogs at the hotel gym. Okay, to be fair they were actually using them and they were there first.  But still…it messed up my plan. Regardless, I fit in a decent set of random exercises and I always consider any workout while on holidays a major win.  Especially when the rest of my day may or may not revolve around donuts and ice cream…

With that, the weekend is here (for all of you suckers…mine, on the other hand, started Wednesday night!). As you read this, I’m probably sampling donuts, or craft beer, or small-batch ice cream, or maybe all three at the same time, because why not when you’re on a mini vacay. Happy weekend! May you find fun and sun and whatever activities get you jazzed. Yeah, I said jazzed and I’m sorry for that. But still, have a great weekend!

Mid-Week Tangent: the gelato bar of my dreams

I have written about QB Gelato not once but twice. It is that good. Seriously, if you live in the Okanagan or are passing through the Okanagan at any point this summer, you must go.  We stop any time we are passing through town and I never regret shelling out inordinate amounts of money (full disclosure, a pint is $18) for a little bit of gelato joy.

On my last visit, I decided to branch out from my usual two flavour cup to test out their gelato bars. These are small-batch house made logs of heaven. Yikes, I’m sorry, using the term “logs” doesn’t make these sound appealing in the slightest…but to me they look more like a log than a bar.  Semantics aside, they are the best gelato bar/logs that you will ever eat in your entire life, bar none (come on, that was a good pun).

Anatomy of a Life-Changing Gelato Bar

Like most of my food photos, this picture just does not do justice to the bar itself. For one, it makes it seem like the smallest bar ever. I also fear it looks ultra boring. Let me spare you those concerns: this gelato bar is sizeable and spectacular. Now let me tell you why:

1. Life Changing Ultra Thick Chocolate Coating: In my opinion, most ice cream bars have woefully thin chocolate coatings. Even worse, many don’t use actual chocolate. Ever notice products that say “chocolatey coating”?That’s your sign that it’s not even real chocolate. Not so for this bar. This bar is drenched in Valrhona milk chocolate. Like drenched. It provides a satisfying snap to the bar, and provides the ultimate balance to the gelato center and salted peanut caramel. Trust me when I say the first and last bites (where you’ll get the maximum chocolate coating) will be your best.

2. Life changing vanilla gelato centre: Vanilla gelato would never be my first flavour choice. Ever. This is actually fior di latte gelato, which is even more neutral than something like a vanilla bean gelato. Lest you think this makes the centre boring, let me assure you it does not. With the richness of the chocolate and the boldness of the salted peanut caramel, this simple yet perfectly smooth and creamy gelato is exactly the centrepiece this bar needs to shine. This gelato bar doesn’t need a fancy flavoured centre. It’s rocking a plain centre and pulling it off flawlessly.

3. Life changing salted peanut caramel: I don’t even like peanuts. In fact, I consider them a waste of a nut. Normally I’d say give me a pecan or cashew or almond, or virtually any other nut.  However, somehow here the peanut is perfection. Their crunch holds up even when bathed in a sea of the most well-balanced salted caramel you can imagine. To be fair, I am always a fan of any salted caramel, even mediocre salted caramel, but I am extra appreciative of a caramel that retains its gooeyness in a frozen treat without becoming the kind of caramel that threatens to extract your teeth. And, while it looks as though there’s barely any caramel at the base of this bar, it is actually far thicker than the picture suggests. It is the perfect ratio of caramel and peanut to gelato. There is no other word for it: perfect. Did you catch that? Perfect.

If you aren’t already Google mapping just how far QB Gelato is from your house, you are already behind the eight ball. Get on it. It might be a $6-8 bar (honestly, I didn’t even look at the price), but it is worth each and every hard-earned dollar. My only regret was not buying a half dozen to squirrel away in my freezer for future indulgences.

Perfect.

 

 

Training Tuesdays: stairs, stairs, stairs

I fondly remember when I was super crazy fit and genuinely enjoyed running stairs weekly. Yes, I looked forward to my stair running days. It was never easy, per se, but I had built up my fitness to a point where running stairs wasn’t the most excruciatingly awful activity I could imagine. I have no idea who that person was and I am a far cry from her now. However, I am committed to getting back to the occasional stair workout because stair workouts are crazy legit and a great way to build fitness. Also, I live practically next door to a giant (and I mean giant) staircase and it seems like something I should probably take advantage of.

That’s my long-winded way of saying, welcome to my inspiration for this  week’s post on tips for getting stair fit!

Why stairs? 
Okay, let’s just come right out and say it: stairs suck. There. Does that feel better? I hear you. Walking or running stairs does suck. But here’s the thing: it’s also really, really good for your fitness. You’re combining tons of muscle groups with almost instant heart-rate elevation (particularly if you’re just starting out).  I’ve done a fair bit of reading about stair climbing (mostly because I couldn’t figure out why they never seemed to get any easier), and it turns out that stairs are so damn good for you because you are fighting gravity with vertical movement, requiring your muscles to work harder. As a result, you not only increase cardiovascular fitness, but you also build muscle. Even running doesn’t have the same benefits (though it obviously does have many other benefits). So there you have it, stairs are awesome for your health…even though, yes, you’ll probably hate them.

A really important note here, when I say stairs, I mean legit staircases, not stair machines. I have no research to back this up, and am relying only on my own experience, but I have never used a step climber or stair machine that felt anywhere near as difficult as actual stairs. Maybe I haven’t been using the machines correctly, but the motion just doesn’t feel the same. I never feel like you have to propel yourself in the same way as on real stairs. It’s a total bias on my part, but I’m owning it.

How to Build Up your Stair Climbing Superpowers

1. Take it one step at a time (pun intended): This gets the prize for most obvious of tips but I don’t even care: start small and start based on your current fitness level. If you’re super fit already, you’re going to be able to start with running stairs. If you’re starting from square one, you’re going to want to walk before you run. If you’re somewhere in the middle, start with mixed intervals. Regardless, don’t be like me and decide to pick up stair running after a two-year hiatus with a set of 300 stairs. You’ll die. Find a staircase length that fits your fitness and goals and work with that. Build up from there.

2. Mix it up:  Stairs offer opportunities for workout versatility. You can just walk or run, but you can also take two steps at a time. You can do two-legged jumps up a flight or two in between running flights. You can mix in some side steps, and even work in a side lunge motion. I can’t say the sky’s the limit, but I can say there are a lot of variations so that you’re not just mindlessly running up and down a set of stairs. Sometimes that simply gets boring.

3. Work on strength on the side: Sure stairs help your strength, but building strength will also make stairs easier. Squats, lunges, calf raises, wall sits, and virtually any other leg and glute exercises will help build up the muscles that will make stair climbing easier. Note, I did not say they will make stairs easy, just easier. It’s all relative.

Other Tips & Watch-Outs

1. Be prepared for sore muscles from going down stairs: There is something about running down a set of stairs that will really engage some lesser-used muscles. When I first run stairs after a long hiatus, I find myself in some serious pain…but only when I go down another set of stairs. It may not happen to you, but if it does, you’re not alone.

2. Watch your step (literally): The last thing you want to do is fall flat on your face when going up or down stairs. Be careful. Walk before you run. We all have varying levels of balance, equilibrium and grace. If, like me, you are on the lower end of these spectrums, take time to get used to the motion of stair climbing before launching into full-on sprints.

3. Always have water: Long sets of stairs are going to leave you tired and parched, no matter what. I spent years thinking I didn’t need water during workouts. I was wrong. Take a bottle, park it at the top or bottom of the set of stairs you’re using and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

4. Outdoors is always, always better: On my lazier days, I used to run the stair wells in my condo building. All 14 floors of them. It was dark and overly warm and completely uninspiring (not to mention I always had an underlying fear that I would trip and fall and be found dead, crumpled at the bottom of steep concrete stairs, days after my fall). Outside, you can at least distract yourself with people watching, fresh air, birds, traffic, and a million other things that will briefly take your mind off the fact that you’re running stairs. Trust me, finding an outdoor staircase is worth it.

So now that I’ve got you all fired up, get out there and get your stair climbing on!

TWIR #108: energy lull

What a doozy of a week! I had zero surplus energy to draw on and felt like I was dragging my ass through roughly 95% of this week. All I can say is thank god for coffee and for workouts. Both helped me immensely as I struggled to work my way through this week. But it is Friday and we have survived, and so let’s take a look at what my workouts looked like, shall we?

Saturday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: all of the wine + all of the fudge
Observations: Well, when one is in wine country, one drinks the wine. And that we did. Although, I’m pleased to say that, unlike when we went to Naramata, I avoided the dreaded day-drunkenness that can come from sampling wines endlessly all afternoon.  Still, there was lots of wine and sitting and eating. Not only did we start the day with waffles, but we continued on with a calzone lunch (but, like, a posh calzone at a Tuscan themed winery restaurant, if that makes any difference), and then nachos and salad (for balance of course) for dinner, which I then followed with probably a half pound of fudge from Tickleberry’s. If you need me to state the obvious, no I did not feel good.

Sunday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 35 min.
Observations: The good thing about Saturday’s gluttony is that I fell asleep relatively early and woke up ready to roll. We checked out our resort fitness centre and squeezed in a decent 35 minute strength training session. Of course, I did all of this before undoing any good whatsoever by eating my weight in my beloved Munchie Mix, a gelato bar that changed my life (more to come on that in another post), and so many M&Ms that I actually felt sick. I have no moderation button when it comes to weekend. I regret nothing.

Monday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: Monday is what I consider my ‘back on the saddle’ day every week. I went back off the sugar and threw myself into a tough workout. There were box box jumps and squats and dead lifts, oh my! So. Many. Leg. Exercises.  My glutes were in a world of pain by the end of the day, but it all felt great in the moment. My big step forward was taking away the small platform I usually use for deadlifts to slightly elevate the bar. Legit deadlifts, my friends–and without any pain in my SI! Hurrah!

Tuesday
Activity: spin
Relevant Stats: 47 min.
Observations: Look at that time slowly creeping up. Before you know it, I might be back to an hour of spin…not that I care about how long I spin for, but for a while there it was hard for me to do any cardio for 30 minutes let alone an hour. Progress. Regardless of workout length, it was an outstanding spin session. I pushed hard on resistance hills and my legs were legitimately too tired to do anything else afterwards. Workout win.

Wednesday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: This session was so hard.  It all came down to the weighted walking lunges.  She had me doing TWO lengths of the gym (which is fairly long). One way was fine but the way back was torture…and I only had 40 lbs of weight. The problem with extended walking lunges, for me, is that I lose my form easily when I get tired so I have to keep stopping and resetting into proper form. And proper form is 100 times harder because I’m not overcompensating with my overdeveloped muscles. Ugh. We also did too many “hidden” arm exercises (i.e. things that don’t seem like they’d use my arms but they did). I was very happy when this one was over.

Thursday
Activity: strength (abs and arms)
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: I decided to make this my A&A day after Wednesday’s reminder that my arms are nowhere near strong enough. I did nothing but abs and arms and left fearful that even basic tasks like typing or reaching for my beer would be altogether too painful by the end of the day. It was a good workout and about as long as I could spend focusing on those muscle groups before both were incapable of anything more. Most importantly, it was a crazy day on the work front so this workout provided the mid-day mental and energy boost that I needed to keep focused and power through.

Friday
Activity: mini hikes!
Relevant Stats: 6.5 km
Observations: In efforts to take advantage of partial Fridays at work and brilliant Okanagan sunshine, we hit a couple short hikes in the afternoon. Both were just around 3 km, but put together they made for a decent stretch of the legs. And, since both featured a ton of incredibly long stair cases, I felt as though it was a reasonable amount of exercise for the day.  Regardless of the exercise, I was super pumped to be in nature again. I really do feel that this year will be my triumphant return to hiking.

With that, a low-energy week comes to a close and I’m highly optimistic that my energy bounces back in a big way.  It’s almost time to hit our patio to enjoy some chilled rose and early evening sunshine…we just need the pesky road paving directly outside our house to wrap itself up.  Here’s hoping you all find weekend fun and adventures. I know I hope to! Happy Friday, y’all.