Friday, April 24, 2015

or how I didn't go to Florida

Unfortunately a new hire at work had to be placed on leave and I decided to stay in town to make sure there weren't any issues. The boss is busy taking care of his mother, who isn't doing very well at all so a lot of new responsibilities have fallen onto me.
The more I learn, the more valuable I am (here and if we ever have to relocate).

I was looking forward to sleep, swimming in the Gulf, laying on the beach, visiting old friends and working out with one of my favorite youtube personalities. All plans only last until initial contact... something like that.
That's the second trip I had planned this year that ended up going nowhere. More to come I'm sure.

I had some antonovka rootstock arrive for the cabin, hoping to get that planted next weekend. The in-law side of the family are heading out of town this weekend and I need to stay and get some things done. We are looking forward to planting both gardens, the apple trees and making sure everything is ready for summer. Planting is a few more weeks away but everything is graphed and plotted out. It won't ever look nice and neat like this picture, but we get a lot of food.

I suppose everything is just normal. Work, working out, running, etc. Added some boxing and kickboxing into my routine. I'm trying to become more agile and less of a meathead but I don't want to lose strength and/or power. It's physically taxing and mentally demanding but I enjoy being all in, all the time.

Still prepping; physically, mentally and with things... Having a good stockpile means we don't alway shave to buy things unless it's to replace what we used. We aren't using much since we have gone to relatively low carb eating. Costco will get a visit soon, the canned roast beef is really good, packed with protein and very low sodium (for canned meat that's amazing).

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tax week!

The last week was very productive at the homesteads, projects galore and accomplishments noted.

Some friends were in town so we went to the cabin and dropped 20 pounds of clover seed around the property. I'm sure half of it blew away but I'm hoping it's going to look beautiful with the white, red and crimson clover. 
It's almost time to rake the pinecones up, damn things will roll an ankle fast. One of our big focus items this spring is getting the spring and creek beds cleaned up. We want to damn them up to create more waterfalls and a larger area for Rock to splash around in. I'm hoping to get some of that done this weekend but there might be a couple feet of snow on Thursday.

Heading out to Tampa on Sunday for work. I have a lot of friends in Florida, mostly in the Tampa area, it will be fun to visit. Usually I'm in Orlando and stay at a friends house (he does have a pool) but things got moved around. I found a beach side hotel to lounge at while I'm not at seminars and such. I always include leisure time.

Work around the city house was done, we are 90% complete with spring readiness and can't wait to get the plants into the garden. Rock is enjoying the war weather, it's great for chasing squirrels and barking at neighbors.

I've always been a fan of a flat tax. If we have to pay taxes (threat of violence, point of a gun), it should actually be fair. Not the fair tax but a simple X percent by everyone, no change for income levels. Call me selfish but I work for my money, not for anyone else's money and I shouldn't have my money going to childcare credits, people getting three times back the amount they paid in, etc. I'm not even against welfare but the current system is broken beyond repair... so I suppose I'm against it.

I managed to eek out a meager $45 balance due for taxes, but that's on top of the over $55,000 they took over the course of last year. I think we will end up paying right at $100k total for the both of us. I always have to tell myself that we make a great living and if we didn't make it, they wouldn't take so much. It doesn't make it sting less.

West Indies, Settle, Tampa, Vegas, Indianapolis and Rome are on the traveling agenda this year. Lot's of in state trips for work, my summer is jammed with things that I need to do for work. I just want to go climb mountains, plant things and build things.

The life.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The end is near! (of the weekend)

April is probably just a taste of what the year has in store for us. Setting records in all departments at work so we are both crazy busy. We are staying on course, and did make it to the cabin this weekend again. There were no plans, nothing that was to be done, we just wanted a weekend of whatever we felt like.

The plan of no plan worked very well (we even got things done!). We drove up the mountain to have dinner at a restaurant we had talked about bringing mother in-law to. Father in-law was with us again and we had a good dinner. They always have the same menu but I prefer that, no surprises and I always know what I want.
The drive back was beautiful, as it always seems to be. I can't think of a bad scenic shot from the cabin area. The above photo was looking east, the below photo looking west.

None of us stayed up much after dark, doe clouds rolled in and ruined what was apparently a beautiful night sky. I needed sleep, so no complaints.

We did a lot of hiking and running, the off road trails are half open and fun to run with the mud, snow and rock. I prefer the trails, someone else doesn't so I was a a sag wagon on Saturday afternoon.
6+ miles from the cabin awaiting a sweaty wind blown runner
The hay makes great bedding!
We grilled up pork chops with applesauce and had a salad. I decided to make some cookies, an old amish recipe our neighbor gave me, that I tweaked some. They were voted best cookies ever.

I'm currently making more, there was 1 cookie left for my after run snack today.

1 C. Butter, 1 C. Veg Oil, 1 C. Sugar, 1 tsp. soda, 1 tsp. cream of tartar, 1 tsp. salt, 1tbs. vanilla, 2 eggs, 4 C. flour, 1.5 C. chocolate chips. Roll into balls, roll in powdered sugar, back @ 350 until the bottom edges start to brown. Here at high altitude it was around 18 minutes (my cookies were big too, no time for baby cookies).

I have all of the seed ordered for the garden at both homes, and I ordered about 12 pounds of clover seed (various colors) so we can get the cabin greener. The water is flowing in all of the creeks again so next weekend we will seed the property. We are going to bring a set of waders down so we can build some dams in the creek and spring. The rushing and splashing water can be heard from inside the cabin but we want it louder for those windy nights.

It was windy for most of the weekend. Running made us deaf on one side from the rushing wind but we stuck with it. I'm in a leaning out phase right now, 4+ gym sessions per week of 90+ minutes plus a MMA training workout:
1000 Meter Row
1 Mile treadmill run
45 minutes of heavy weight training
30 minutes cross-fit type workouts focusing on core and agility

Broke some new records on weights in the last 2 weeks:
Calf raises 285
Seated shoulder press 245
Seated rows 285
Incline Hammer Strength 340
Bench Press 285 (no spots)
Dumbbell presses 115 each hand (no spots)

Honestly it's a really hard balance to lean out, get stronger and add cardio. I'm exhausted all the time and 8pm usually has me in bed. I'm training with a real UFC fighter so we do things with tires because they are unwieldy and cause your balance to improve.

Time for some bbq pork chops, broccoli, cauliflower and 1 cookie. Rationing crap....  I hope everyone had a great last few weeks, and a good Easter.