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I’m definitely going to keep him.

Oddly, I have two posts in a row about my husband … I’ve been too busy with the roof and the other outside stuff to slow down, but this is just too, too, well, see for yourself:

I had to race home early from work yesterday with a malady of GI tract proportions.

John and Cooper met me happily at the door exclaiming their excitement that I’d come home early, but I rushed past them to through my purse, keys and papers on the floor, saying “I’m sick, bring a garbage bag to the bathroom!”

And he showed up to empty garbage from the pale, and put a clean liner in it and set it within reach in front of me, and asked if I needed anything more and left me to my misery, all with the efficiency of a nurse.

Later, as I flumped into bed and burrowed under the covers, I put in a request for Gatorade and ginger ale, both requiring a trip to the store.

I fell asleep.

He went hell-on-wheels shopping for mega-groceries.

When I woke up later he brought me a Gatorade and listed off a few more things he’d purchased — comfort foods to help comfort me in my hour(s) of intestinal distress/dead-asleepness.

I wandered out to the kitchen later to see heaped on the counter: the largest container of Gatorade mix available outside of the commercial wholesale marketplace, a 2-liter diet ginger ale, a 12-pack of regular ginger ale, a bag of triple-chocolate cookies, a bag of mint Oreos (“sorry, they didn’t have them in double-stuff”), bananas, two boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios (we tried to buy them on sale at Walmart Saturday, but somehow they didn’t make it home with us, I was terribly disappointed, but not anymore), string cheese (“and look,” he said, “it’s Cheesehead cheese.”), four Ramen noodle packs, five apples (because that’s his rule), tropical fruit trail mix and Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos.

At the time, I just smiled, which was more than I thought I had in me.

But this morning, as I was telling the story to a co-worker, I imagined John rushing through the store, grabbing every comfort food he could imagine me, or him, wanting, worrying about whether I would want regular or diet ginger ale and searching the aisle frantically for both, and being so obviously torn between buying good for me foods and all the not-so-good for me foods that I like. … Honestly, though, two bags of cookies and spicy hot Cheetos for a person in intestinal agony? I laughed so hard I cried.

My guts won’t be right enough for Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos for a while, but by-gawd, I got ’em.

And a few cookies didn’t kill me none at all today at pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com

(Author’s note: I’m pretty sure the problem was too many days of mild dehydration = total dehydration and a core system meltdown. Is it totally weird to not like water?)

We replaced our front door last weekend, the short, non-holiday weekend. We had planned on it taking two days because of the repairs to water-damaged wood around said entrance. It took three days – with a blanket stapled over the door opening for the two thankfully-good-weather nights we spent sans door.

Even after three days, we only had the door in place – not completely sealed, no trim, no latch and no window.

It also didn’t close really well. The upper corner on the latch side was rubbing hard, but try as we might – and judging by the hellacious arguing involved, we were trying very hard – we couldn’t get the door to sit squarely in our cobbled-together, uneven, exceedingly rough rough-opening. Go figure.

In the end, we decided that this door fit better than the previous door (which we also installed and which also stuck in the same corner. Whatever). I figured I could use a rasp to shave off some of the offending wood.

All troubles aside, after three days we were satisfied we had a real door that blocked the elements and the flies (with many thanks to the makers of plastic sheeting and duct tape for the temporary window, which wasn’t classy but was impervious to flying pests).

Over the week we got the exterior sealant, the door latch and and the window in, and we even did all this before the big storm hit with high winds and driving rain, so there was that saving grace, too. Or it was dumb luck – I’ll take it either way – but I’m still calling it grace.

This weekend, I intended to seal the space between the jamb and studs with spray foam insulation and put up the interior and exterior trim boards. Having a plan was probably ill-advised, the best laid plans being all blah blah blah and making the gods laugh and all.

Turns out I didn’t have white paint for the exterior trim. The holiday weekend prevented purchase of more and my damn guiding morals kept me from breaking into the store, but no big deal, I got the boards primed, and I could spend the rest of the allotted construction time getting the interior just right. Uh-huh. “Lol,” the gods said.

I got the wood shaved down until the door fit well enough, and figured I would finish it after we got done sealing the jamb etc. – on the off chance that things would shift around.

We applied the spray foam insulation, without a huge mess … until it swelled considerably more than we figured, thus making a mess on the pristine door and jamb, both of which would now need to be sanded down and re-primered. And as awesomely crappy as that sounds, it wasn’t as bad as the fact that the foam that squirted out into the open air dried first, creating a seal, but the stuff between the jamb and studs kept swelling just enough that the door got wedged shut.

Aaargh! Let’s just pretend that that is what I said.

So, before the foam completely cured, I used a knife and long screw driver to rip it out. More mess, yes.

However, this is where we get to a cool part of the story, an unprecedented stroke of good fortune. I ripped and tore at the foam only on the latch side until the jamb was free, and before tearing into the other side, I opened and closed the door only to find that it worked smoothly – like a door installed by someone who knows what they’re doing. That smooth.

It was a miracle, and the best kind of miracle: It didn’t come free and clear. There was work and anguish. There will be more work, probably more anguish. It all makes the door working properly seem that much sweeter.

And if “Miracle of the Single-wide Mansion” status doesn’t make you feel good, there’s an entry from the “could’ve been worse” department messaged to me by a friend whose husband manages a ranch south of our place:

“The last hired man (the one that went to jail) redid the door in the trailer they were living in here. He put the door in upside down and then spray-foamed it shut. … [He] had ‘carpenter’ on his resume.”

I still don’t have the trim boards up, but …

hell, yeah, I’ll accept “awesomer by comparison” status at pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com

Be careful what you Give-A-Shit for, you might end up with sore muscles, that then have to be used to shovel more and heavier snow.

I did crunches and pushups last night and then went for a walk this morning, but then this high-wind thing happened today. And I don’t care what anyone thinks, shoveling snow is officially going on the organized-exercise list. I did a bunch of shoveling over the weekend and again today. This weekend’s work was nothing compared to today’s, though. The wind is howling and packing the drifted snow tightly, and the above-freezing temps are making it all the more heavy.

I grunted, a lot. And whined to myself, a lot.

The pain is going to be so much worse tomorrow. So is the whining in my head. As is the wheedling little voice that will be trying to bargain my way out of doing exercise.

Fortunately, none of that will matter because I still have lots of shoveling to do, so the exercising will happen, come hell or high drifts —

which are kind of the same thing some days at pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com

The trouble with drinking lots of water is the constant peeing.

I used to make three stops, maybe four, in a day. But now? 64 ounces a day now? It’s just me making tracks to the nearest bathroom. And you would think that having to get up in the middle of the night — every night — would be the worst part.

But no.

I have to pee at work every day now. Sometimes twice. That’s the worst part. The women’s bathroom at work, I’m certain, does not meet OSHA standards and is in violation of some kind of human rights laws.

Sure, it’s clean, but that’s not the only standard by which a bathroom should be judged. It’s also a little, unheated closet-thing that is right there off the big, open room where editorial staff has their cubicles, not too far from my very own desk in fact. The little closet has tiled floors and one painted cement block which is also the exterior wall to the building that is opposite the door which is one of those cheesy hollow-core doors like you see in cheap-ass old trailer houses, such as the one I live, so I know whereof I speak.

Here’s the problem, you go in to pee and the little tinkly (or big gushy) noise you make doing your beeswax echoes off the tile and the cement wall and out through the thin door to be heard by everyone in the freakin’ room. Of all the things I really don’t care about and will hang out there for the world, this is not one. I am, in fact, a little hinky about public bathrooms. If we’re buds, you and I, no problem. We walk into adjoining stalls and piddle away without a break in conversation.

However, I don’t want to share some things with coworkers.

Back when I couldn’t make it till I went home only maybe once every week or two, I used to just suck it up, tell myself that everybody pees and go in there. Not make a big deal out of it … except, yeah, I’d make sure I started pulling TP off that noisy holder right away to cover up the initial rush of noise. Then one day this week I realized I was getting a little psycho about that, really yanking on the TP end to make that thing rattle and squeak, then turning it back to squeak and rattle a few squares of paper back onto the roll, then squeaking it back off. It seemed a little excessive, and slightly, y’know, more than quirky, maybe obsessive. Whatever.

I had to start being mature about it.

Now I wait until someone has turned on the defective fan in the men’s bathroom — that sound rattles through the whole building, and someone would have to be standing there with their ear to a cup against the door to hear any sound in the bathroom. Problem solved.

What? You think I’m going to turn on the fan in the women’s bathroom? Voluntarily? Then they’ll think I’m in there farting!!

Hydration is complicated at pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com

Not so many years ago my dad commented to me that when I was a small kid I always asked interesting questions and made interesting observations. The example he gave is that I asked why daddy deer have horns and mommy deer don’t. He said he told me that the daddy deer need them to fight. I apparently thought about that a moment and commented that if that’s the case then the mommy deer should have them because they raise the babies and should have horns to use them fighting to protect the babies.

I remember thinking after he told that little story: “Wow, maybe I really am clever.”

In the past few-ish years I’ve come to ask just one short question more and more: “Why?” And not coming up with an answer.

Clearly I peaked early in life, and my only claim to mental acuity beyond the average 2-to-3-year-old asking the same simple question is that I also rephrase it: “How come?,” “What’s the purpose?” and “Is there a point to this?”

That, now, is my only evidence of advancing sophistication. Such as it is.

I’m not here today to delve into those questions, although I will say this: Don’t worry. I’m not suicidal. Unless I’m trying to eat-and-do-nothing myself to death. The good news, though, is that death by lassitude takes a few decades, so my loved ones will have time for an intervention.

I am here today to – maybe, probably, possibly – make an ass out of myself.

I’m doing the thing every expert tells people they shouldn’t because they’re setting themselves up for failure: I’m making a New Year’s resolution.

I have spent many years falling into this general state of apathy, and I have a long list of things I wish to make different, but I’m not going to set a failure minefield by making a physical list of them, changing everything at once (or in a year), or even formulating a plan.

Given my genetics, there is a strong likelihood that I could like another 40-50 years, with a high probability that at least the next 35 of those years will be sans dementia/Alzheimer’s. That’s a long time to wallow in apathy, and I’m almost as apathetic as one can get without being declared catatonic.

As I said, I have no plan, but I do have a guideline. Every week or so I’m going to try changing something, meeting a goal, starting a new habit, whatever. Some of them might take longer than a week to wrap my brain around. I suspect that at some point I’ll be overloaded with so many changes.

I’ve already implemented a few things that are ongoing projects (don’t make me say struggles). More will come about those later.

This week (or so) my goal is simply to drink more water. I know this sounds stupid but, if I remember, sometime in the future I’ll explain why it’s so important. Trust me, I need water. I need to consciously put effort into hydrating myself – 64 ozs. of water each day.

And, of course, I am blogging again. So that’s two things this week. I’m assuming I can handle it.

I have, if you’re wondering, been doing more writing, but I’ve wanted to get back to this. I write blog entries in my head. A lot. I just don’t commit myself to this, the sitting here and writing them in my blog. Now I’m trying. I may fail, but I’m trying.

This blog entry is an uncomfortably personal declaration to the world, yes, but I’m doing it because, well, if I don’t, I won’t start blogging again. I am compelled by my nature to share the things that my brain is obsessing about or share nothing at all.

Nothing at all was lonely. I felt like I had left things hanging out that needed to be on a shelf for display or zippered up for politeness’ sake.

I was hoping to think of a kick-ass name for this new journey, but the only thing I could come up with is:

“The Year of Living Give-A-Shitly” at pam@viewfromthenorth40.com.

Not so many years ago my dad commented to me that when I was a small kid I always asked interesting questions and made interesting observations. The example he gave is that I asked why daddy deer have horns and mommy deer don’t and he told me that the daddy deer need them to fight. I apparently thought about that a moment and commented that if that’s the case then the mommy deer should have them because they raise the babies and should have horns to use them fighting to protect the babies.

I remember thinking after he told that little story: “Wow, maybe I really am clever.”

In the past few-ish years I’ve come to ask just one short question more and more: “Why?” And not coming up with an answer. Clearly I peaked early in life, and my only claim to mental acuity beyond the average a 2-to-3-year-old asking the same simple question is that I also rephrase it: “How come?,” “What’s the purpose?” and “Is there a point to this?”

That, now, is my only evidence of advancing sophistication. Such as it is.

I’m not here today to delve into those questions, although I will say this: Don’t worry. I’m not suicidal. Unless I’m trying to eat and do-nothing myself to death, but death by lassitude takes a few decades, so there will be time for an intervention.

I am here today to – maybe, probably, possibly – make an ass out of myself. I am doing the thing every expert tells people they shouldn’t because they’re setting themselves up for failure: I’m making a New Year’s resolution.

I have spent many years falling into this general state of apathy, and I have a long list of things I wish to make different, but I’m not going to make a physical list of them. I’m not going to try to change everything at once, or even in a year. I don’t even have a plan.

I just know that things have to change. I have to change them myself (shocking as that is). Given my genetics, there is a strong likelihood that I could like another 40-50 years, with a high probability that at least the next 35 of those years will be sans dementia/Alzheimer’s. That’s a long time to wallow in apathy, and I’m almost as apathetic as one can get without being declared catatonic.

As I said, I have no plan, but I do have this: Every week or so I’m going to try changing something, meeting a goal, starting a new habit, whatever. Some of them might take longer than a week to wrap my brain around. I suspect that at some point I’ll be in overload with so many changes.

I’ve already implemented a few things that are ongoing projects (don’t make me say struggles).

This week (or so) my goal is simply to drink more water. I know this sounds stupid, and if I remember sometime in the future, I’ll explain why it’s so important, but trust me, I need water. I need to consciously put effort into providing myself water – 64 ozs. each day.

And, of course, I am blogging again. So that’s two things this week, but I think I can handle it.

I have, if you’re wondering, been doing more writing, but I’ve wanted to get back to this. I write blog entries in my head. A lot. I just don’t commit myself to this, the sitting here and writing them in my blog. Now I’m trying. In fact, I’ll toast with a big swig of water to that.

Feel free to comment or email me, join in on this endeavor. It’s a personal one,yes, but I’m sitting here declaring it to the world because, well, I am compelled by my nature to share the things that my brain is obsessing about or share nothing at all.

Nothing at all was lonely.

I was hoping to think of a kick-ass name for this journey, but the only thing I could come up with is this:

“The Year of Living Give-A-Shitly” at pam@viewfromthenorth40.com.

I’ve been digging and pounding on things again. My hands and forearms are so exhausted that they don’t work right tonight. They’ve stopped tremoring every time I try to operate a pen or an eating utensil, but they’re still weak enough that my handwriting looks even more like that of a serial killer and I may not have the strength remaining to overeat my way to a happier me in this crisis.

Oh, the horror at pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com

Driving to work and home has been an exercise in patience this summer with the road construction. Just recently we’ve been able to drive 70 from our approach all the way to town. Odd the things that seem like a “treat.” Odder still that after all the complaining about going slow, it’s taken concerted effort to make ourselves actually drive as fast as the speed limit. But me and my trusty cruise control have persevered.

So imagine my chagrin yesterday at having to stop along the scant 5 miles to town — twice — because I can’t drive and be skeeved at the same time.

I had just gotten up to speed and put the cruise on for the next 4-plus miles of open black top (sunlight at my back, blue skies ahead) when I felt a scratchy sensation on the front of my left shoulder. Oh great, I thought, I’m such a hayseed I can’t dress myself without bringing half a bail of hay with me as an accessory.

I scratched around with my left hand to find the offending vegetation and realized there was a little lump under my shirt. A suspicious lump. A lump that crawled—buuuug! Bugbugbug in my shirrrrt!

It’s not that I’m particularly afraid of bugs, I’m this way about my personal space with every stranger. And frankly, if I discovered some skeezy guy pawing around inside my shirt I would’ve reacted with a great deal more creeped-out, panic-fueled force. Someone would’ve gotten a knee to the slats, and it wouldn’t have been me. So I think my reaction to the unidentified bug in my shirt was appropriate and rather subdued, all things considered — including consideration of the number of sinister-looking bugs we have around here.

I firmly pinched the bugbugbugbug! in a fold of fabric (without squishing it, I was heading to work after all, and trying not to be a big panicky freak about the bugbugbu-u-u-u-g!) with my left hand, which ended up tangled in or around or with or otherwise impeded by the seatbelt. I finally got my hand out of that fiasco, without losing the bugbugbugbugbug in my shirt! and tried to push the pinched material and bugbugbuuug to the right far enough that I could flip it out the open collar. But my effing arm was, y’know, still in the sleeve and I yanking harder was only managing to cloth burn my armpit.

Mind you, thanks to my cruise control and the gods of construction, I was still traveling at 70 miles per hour down the road with a bug in my shiirrrt. So I wedged my thigh into the steering wheel and tried reaching my right hand into my shirt to grab the bug-bug-buuaaaaugh! but, in an amazingly clear flash of foresight, I imagined the uncontrolled and spastic flailing about that would result if A) I actually managed to get a hold of the buginmyshirt! with my fingers and it turned out to be a biter, or B) I actually lost control of the bugbugbug! and it went on a wild rampage further into my shirt, up my right arm, or into my face (and really, fates forfend that last one should happen).

I decided to pull over, but I was still trying to be, y’know, not a crazy person, and that meant I had to go another 3/4 mile to the next safe turnout with a freaking bug pinched between my freaking fingers inside my freaking shirt. Not happy.

I sanely pulled into a driveway entrance, put the car in park and unhooked my seatbelt (in case I needed to dive out into the middle of the westbound lane of U.S. Highway 2 during morning traffic to get away from the bugbugbug BUG in my SHIRT. Still sane). I steeled all my resolve, reached into my shirt, grabbed the damn bug and pulled it out. Hah! Huh?

Plain as can be, the only thing I had in my right hand was a grasshopper leg.

Despite weighty evidence to the contrary, I am not completely lacking of wit. My brain fired off a quick systems check to the surface nerves of my entire upper right side, and I felt nothing. The rest of my brain was a little embarrassed about freaking out over one solitary grasshopper leg, while being a tad confused about how said grasshopper leg got into my shirt.

I mean, it was safe to assume that the leg didn’t walk there all by itself, right. I reasoned that maybe one of those random hoppers that has managed to find its way into the house died before I could catch it, and its corpse was on the bed where I set my shirt momentarily while getting dressed that morning. That’s not such a bad thought, I mean aside from the fact that there might be a grasshopper carcass in my bed. (And lord knows I’ve had worse.)

Just to be on the safe side, I half exited the car and shook my untucked shirt and patted down my torso but didn’t feel the rest of the grasshopper. I was pretty satisfied with my logic, my rather calm response despite the fact that I had a bugbugbugbuu-uugh in my shirt and the reasonably benign outcome of the event.

Down the road again, still on time enough for work, up to speed, cruise control—and the spiny-legged mother-fucker was in my sleeve crawlingonmyarm! Buginmyshirt! Buginmyshiiiirt!

Honestly, I don’t normally get wound up about grasshoppers, but by now I was kind of, pretty well, juiced up on adrenalin because, in case you hadn’t heard, I had a bugbugbugbugbug crawling around, freakin’ in my shirt. No, not happy at all.

And those grasshopper feet are creepy, clingy, scratchy. Just so you know, in case you’re wondering about whether or not you should invite one to just hop on into your own shirt some day.

I knew there was a good turnout into a business parking lot a mile ahead, so I just held that grasshopper pinched into a fold of my sleeve and cussed him every last yard of the distance. When I finally got parked, I had to fight the urge to jump out of the car, tear my shirt off and hop around flapping it in the wind, leaving bra-clad me and my fat rolls on display for the gods and any passerby with video capability.

Sanely, I simply reached up inside my shirt and halfway down my sleeve, and I yanked that little three-legged bastard from whence he shouldn’t have been creeping around anyway.

He gave me a crabby look and started dribbling brown juices down his chin, like that was going to endear him to me, change my opinion about his recent activities.

“I hope you get hit by a car, asshole!” was the last thing that grasshopper heard from me before I flung him out the window toward the highway and drove off to work.

Two minutes late.

Friends don’t let friends drive skeeved at pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com

*”Beginning of the End” (1957)

Winter, I think I … dislike you with an intensity that makes me want to apply the four letter H-word to my feelings.

I kind of sort of gave up Diet Coke this winter. I quit stocking it in the house and buying it at work. Long has DC been my only source of caffeine and one of my few vices and, lo, I am bereft without it these many days.

This winter is making me want to replace the soda with alcohol. Seriously and forsoothly. A can or two of beer at work, a few glasses of the hard stuff at home in the evening — I’m an embarrassingly cheap drunk, so I think it’ll work for me to be passed out or vomiting the remainder of the winter. It’ll take my mind off the endless succession of cold days and expanse of friggin’ ice across my property. Vomit takes your mind off a lot of things.

I haven’t ridden a horse since November, but then I haven’t had a day outside without slipping at least once since then either. Some days are just a controlled sliding/slipping/skating activity from one place to the other. And just when I think, oh hey, I can make it on my regular route from point A to point B safely if I avoid area 11 there — then we get a day when the temperature jumps 30 degrees and it’s warm enough to melt the top layer of snow and ice (or we get a freezing rain) and we start all over again.

When I get really wound up and ready to do something like swear to quit consuming ice cubes and frozen foods in protest of this mistreatment, I read about the flooding in Australia and the landslides in Brazil and I have to say, well, it’s just ice. It’ll melt and my house will still be here. There’s something to be glad about, Pollyanna.

At that point, I feel all deflated and a little guilty for complaining about something that’ll be a non-issue in a few months and not seeing the bright side.

The bright side sparkles like ice at: pam@viewfromthenorth40.com

Happy New Year, from the coldest spot in the nation. As in -30 F. But, hey, it’s a dry cold with only 1 percent humidity … and no water flowing through our water pipes. So, really dry. We’re frozen at the main in the shop. Yep, really, really dry.

Oh, and the deer wiped out the fence around one of the hay bales last night so my two big horses got in there to make a mess, and someone took out a rail between the boarded horse’s corral and the hay, so he and his pony buddy could get in on a little bit of that action.

Action as in, (along with the downed wire and board) the round bale knocked over, hay scattered everywhere, the pitchfork missing and presumed buried under the hay bale, and the brand new handle to the wire gate also missing but presumed dead.

Despite how all that sounds, I am feeling grateful that no one is injured, beyond a couple minor dings (on my horses, so you know they won’t be getting any sympathy). And the boarder and the pony didn’t actually escape for a free-for-all in the junkyard where all the metal grabby-cutty things are hidden under the deep snow. Very thankful for that.

The real kick start of the year, though, was more ethereal: Two hours before daylight this morning the sky was blue-black and severely clear. All the stars and planets in the galaxy cut through the dark like spilled diamonds, Venus outshining them all to the southeast. The glow from the neighbors’ distant yard lights shot up through the cold dark air in shafts of white-blue light that stretched hundreds of yards above our hillsides. The occasional car and one train pulling a string of black shadows passed to the north, metal parts protesting the cold in shrill echoes, headlights radiating shafts of white that glided by like wraiths through the dark. Then a fingernail sliver of moon rose above the eastern horizon: incongruent to the scene, it burned orange with the sunrise from two hours away.

So there was that to make my day.

And a strong Internet connection at: pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com

It is important to note that A) it was not an accident; B) I am almost totally recovered; and C) I had a lot of fun.

Road construction crews have been working on the highway improvements along our little stretch of pavement. Right now, they’re scraping and leveling the land along the south side of the road, our side. As I’ve watched their progress I’ve thought three things: 1) Wow, this is changing everything; 2) Wow, this is a pain in the butt; and 3) Oh man, I sooo want to gallop my horse over the dirt humps and swoops they’re making.

I couldn’t take it anymore, and Wednesday I became a galloping vigilante to pursue that third thought.

Surreptitiously, I tacked up Jilly while waiting for the crews shut down for the day. Cooper and I (and the horse) took a casual stroll to the north fence line to make certain the coast was clear. Nary a worker was in sight and the machinery was quiet, so (and this was the only truly bad part) I put Cooper in the house because I didn’t want him along the highway … and he can’t keep up with a galloping horse anyway, poor little brick bullet that he is.

I got out onto the dirt stretch, let my horse trot for a bit to warm up her muscles and acclimate her brain to all the highway traffic and construction stuffs, and then we were off. There was wind and thundering feet and dust and breathing like a race horse.

It was exhilarating and I’d love to say that we galloped forever, but I have to say, that the two of us are seriously out of shape, so all that exhilarating stuff occurred for as long as, and only whenever, we had enough oxygen for it. So we galloped like a Hollywood scene aching for a little dramatic background music to accentuate the wind in our hair and thunder of Jilly’s hooves. Then we’d walk gasping like fish out of water. Then gallop. Then gasp.

During the walking parts, we did a pretty good job pretending that we were out strolling along because we wanted to check out the scenery. We do have some pride. And I made sure we always had enough air to gallop the swoopy parts. That was the purpose of mission after all.

I figure we went about 3.5 miles, plus the another .75 miles with Cooper (to make amends I retrieved him from the house, and we took him down to the creek for a swim).

Jilly, who John calls the hippo, and I (if he has a nickname for me, he wisely keeps it to himself) were a tad bit stiff-muscled the next day. She seemed to be pretty well recovered yesterday, though I have a few spots like my hips and those pesky core muscles that still feel a little tweeky.

But it was totally worth it.

My PSA for the day is this though: Physical fitness is a precious thing. Don’t squander it on junk food and a good brisk sit. Keep it, cherish it, let it know you appreciate it. If you’ve lost it or killed it off with neglect or let it age away at an accelerated rate, go build yourself some new fitness. Feed it properly. It may not be like the original fitness, but it’s better than no fitness. Hold it and squeeze it and pet it, and call it George if you have to, to make it feel loved and appreciated.

My George is small and weak, but growing at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com