The Daily Raw - August 29, 2023 - Tuesday

8/29/23 - Tuesday


Nice and cool this morning - low 50’s! Even the cats think it is cool - they refuse to step out on the grass in the morning, opting to stay on the warmer patio concrete.


I completed a 45 full strength workout and it was a good challenge. My lower back is more or less fine - but it is stiff after prolonged periods of rest / lazing around, especially if I try to reach for the ground. I will head to yoga in a few minutes and hit the sauna afterwards.


Yoga was good and the sauna was operating normally so got my sweat on. Once I got home from the Y, I started to cook lunch - sautéd cubed eggplant, ground beef stuffed into roasted eggplant shells, topped with mozzarella cheese and broiled. Very tasty!


Another annoyance worked itself out today. I nabbed local Global entry interview appointment - the local airport announced last week they were hosting a pop up for Global entry appointments. I followed the application process but by the time my application had been processed and accepted, I couldn’t find any appointments available anywhere close. I had resigned myself to completing the process in October after I return from London.


Upon researching further, I came upon a recommendation to check the US Customs scheduling system on a daily basis. Upon checking this afternoon, the local airport showed up with available appointments which i promptly scheduled. It will be nice to have all of that taken care of before my overseas trip.


Today flew by - I took an afternoon walk right before some storms rolled through. I happened to be out walking the local prairie right before the rains came. I got home just in time.


Late Summer 2023


Scott and I watched the next episode of Only Murders in the Building.


The Daily Raw - August 28, 2023 - Monday

Back to our regular programming....


The Y reopened this morning after being closed for deep cleaning ast week. After a quick bike class I went and swam 25 laps and it felt ok. Unfortunately the sauna was not working properly, so did not get my heat therapy in. May try tomorrow instead.


Since my hip procedure Pre op appointment is scheduled next week, I went to have labs done today. There were no tests in the system so I had to call the doctor office, point them to the paperwork I had sent and now they will work on getting the proper tests ordered. I feel the doctors and their staff are stretched thin and don’t look at the details when it comes to non standard situations. But it’s all working out fine.


I’m enjoying my morning coffee on the patio, watching a visitor - a monarch butterfly - eating from our orange milkweed. Even Hannah noticed his wings open and close - she went over to check him out. It is a gorgeous late summer morning.


Late Summer 2023


I enjoyed the rest of the day - working a little in the garden, editing photos and taking walks in the sunshine.


The Daily Raw - August 27, 2023 - Sunday

We stayed overnight at a Hampton Inn in Madison. Due to cost we opted not to stay at the hotel close to UW campus. While we love that campus Hampton, it was more than double the price of the place on the east side of the city.


In the morning we found the nearest Starbucks where Scott enjoyed his first Pumpkin Spice Latte. I couldn’t believe he had never had one. I guess he normally drinks Dunkin coffee and has had their pumpkin spice coffee but not the original Starbucks one. He found its vernacular, “PSL”, funny too, again having never heard it before.


We walked with Erica and Charlie to a restaurant close to her apartment for brunch. There I also ordered a matcha latte. So plenty of caffeine for the day!


We finished our visit and drove back to illinois. The weather was perfect - high 70’s, low humidity with nice breezes. My afternoon walk took me through Porter park.


Some horsey photos I took with my big camera:


Tail Swish


Up and Over




The Daily Raw - August 26, 2023 - Saturday - Trip to Madison

We hit the road at 7am to visit Erica in Madison. I loaded the Blueberry bike in the back of Lexi to deliver to her.

We drove directly to the horse barn where we were greeted effusively by Charlie. We met Erica’s horse, Cookie and plied her with small horse treats. Erica worked Cookie in the outdoor arena while we watched. I took several photos. College friend / fellow horsey rider Mette stopped by to ride her horse, Raven.


The expansive property includes large indoor and outdoor arenas, smaller circular pens, fenced turn out areas and a huge grazing field with apple trees and ponds. We picked some apples and ate them too. The horses have a good life here.


After three hours at the barn we headed to Erica’s apartment, had a snack then took Charlie on a long walk through Maple Bluff. An actual town, this neighborhood flanks Lake Mendota. We enjoyed the water’s edge on this cool afternoon - post heat wave.


Dinner in Middleton and then to Memorial Union on the UW Campus. We parked a half mile away and walked by Bascom Hill to the lake’s promenade up to the Union Terrace. We enjoyed the famous UW creamery ice cream.


A full day enjoyed with family - humans and animals!


Some photos from the day:

Visiting Erica in WI


Visiting Erica in WI


The Daily Raw - August 25, 2023 - Friday

I was wrong thinking the heat would be gone today. The heat advisory lasts until tonight so this morning is still very warm.


I normally take a Pilates class on Friday but the Y is closed this week so I took a bike class instead and followed that up with a Peloton Pilates session. I’ve decided I don’t care for the Pilates content available on the peloton app - I’ll do my own workout in the future.


I have 3 eggplants ready to harvest! They are very nice to eat - sautéed in olive oil. I watched a cooking video last night that uses fried zucchini as a pasta sauce base. I plan to try that in the coming weeks.


I ended up making baba ganoush with the eggplants - very tasty.


I went to see the movie, Gran Turismo with Jill - based on true events about Nissan Corporation sponsoring the GT academy, plucking racing video gamers and putting them in real race cars. Our protagonist loves race cars and races them within the realm of the video game. He gets access to the GT academy, wins the grueling race and enters the pro race circuit.


I’m not a racing fan and the whole concept of driving a performance vehicle at super high speeds around a winding course terrifies me. But I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. The characters were well developed and well acted. I appreciated the great cinematography - sweeping views of the race track coupled with drivers’ view of the experience. Elements of video game notifications displayed on the screen, melding reality with the gamer’s experience. Some viewers might give criticism to the formulaic plot (lots of Karate Kid feels) but it is a feel good, over coming adversary, getting redemption, overcoming the odds to reach your dreams.


The official Trailer to the movie. The soundtrack is pretty kick ass, too.



The Daily Raw - August 24, 2023 - Thursday

The heat is expected to break tonight so it is still very warm and humid. I’ve been able to spend my mornings outside on the back patio which has been nice.


This morning I completed several workouts - power endurance ride, core strength and yoga. The rest of the day was similar to yesterday - try to avoid the heat, take a walk, sweat, water plants, paint a bit.


While Scott was gone golfing, I played Maggie Rogers’ song Falling Water and sang along in the kitchen - that was super fun and something I need to do more of. Without my morning commute, I no longer have a time when I can sing at full blast.


The concert meme caused me to list all the concerts (rock / jazz, not classical) I’ve attended and when I realized my memory has gotten fuzzy, I pulled out the box filled with my daily planners I used to record daily events / journal entries (much like an analog version of this). I have calendars back to 1982! I realized last night, sitting on the floor of the guest room (aka civil war room) that I’ve always been a journalist of my life. I’m a historian, collector and teller of stories. So it’s sad to come to this revelation at 56, when I’ve been doing it for 40 years, but I guess when you’re in it, you don’t see it.


With this new information, I need to channel more time into the blog or something similar. I have projects I know I need to complete - photo books, etc but I haven’t done anything to start. Probably because the task feels daunting. I need to start with something small and easy.


I considered using these daily entries as inputs to the blog. That might work as an easy start to get a daily rhythm going. I really enjoy capturing these daily moments - in the morning, outside on the patio with my coffee. I can see doing this even in winter - I’ll simply bundle up more.


So there is the genesis of something new. Let’s see where it takes me.


Here is the video of Maggie performing Falling Water on SNL in 2018. This video inspired me to sing it - she is amazing





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