Fitness Leisure Nature Reading Recipes Travel

Summer Life Updates and Recommendations

Phew, for somebody with no life, I have a lot to share on today’s post.  I want to share a few updates on my life this summer and make a couple of recommendations.

Renewed Commitment to Exercise

I might have mentioned before that I am taking a little respite from running this summer.  The number 1 reason is because it’s so flippin’ hot.  I’m not a complainer about the heat, but we did have the hottest July on record.  And not a drop of rain in sight for MONTHS.  But that’s not complaining.

The number 2 reason is a tiny little injury that is now much better and not even worth mentioning, but I am continuing to give my muscles a little break.

New Running Shoes Stylin’ the Porch Rug

I did get a couple of excellent deals on running shoes and I’ve been using them to wear holes in the trails walking.  I absolutely love it when my shoes match the front porch rug because that’s where I leave my shoes when I get home.

You know, part of the décor.

Walking has just not been enough and I’ve been lazy with strength training and abs.  I did a Zoom barre class with my beloved Sollangy this week and have worked out the other days with Jessica Smith on YT.  We have a new sub teaching water class and I’ve been attending that two nights a week as well because she’s fantastic and very fun.

You know why this is such a crazy topic for me?  I have NEVER been lax about working out.  In fact, quite confidentially, I’ve battled in the past with over-working out.  No problemo, I’m on it now.

If you feel like you’ve lost some momentum with your workout routine, let me know and maybe we can encourage each other.

New Kindle Paperwhite

Very Soft Leather Kindle Cover – Ahhh Love

One of the loves of my life is my Kindle that my sisters gave me as a gift 100 years ago.  It’s been limping along, but I knew I needed to replace it sooner or later. 

My sister Monique turned me onto Unclaimed Baggage.  Oh, wow, they have reconditioned electronics like new for so cheap I cannot believe it!

Unclaimed Baggage Thoughtful Packing

I’m always happy to share my bargains when companies live up to their promise or even over deliver and boy, did they!

I got a like-new Paperwhite and a soft leather cover with shipping for under $30.  It came second-day delivery and was packed with love in beautiful orange tissue paper.

Highly recommend!

Bearizona Wildlife Park

I took a couple of mid-week days off a few weeks ago and we headed to Williams, Arizona near the Grand Canyon hoping to escape the heat (see record-breaking July, above).  No such luck – it was hot there too.  But we did enjoy a morning at Bearizona.  Bearizona is a drive-through, walk-through park with rescued wildlife in a natural habitat.  There are tons of adorable bears laying around everywhere.

Not-a-Honey Badger

One of my favorite animals was a badger who came right to the edge of the enclosure to visit and let me take pictures.

Due to COVID, the normal animal shows are suspended including the one featuring birds of prey.  We saw it last summer and it’s impressive.  We did get a good look at a handsome eagle.

Handsome Eagle

Plenty of wolves live at the park and I have to say they are a bit scruffy looking.  I thought this white one was the best looking.  I am not prejudiced and have been known to adopt scruffy animals myself.

White Wolf

I love that the animals are rescued, taken care of and that we can enjoy seeing them.


Harvest Season

Cowabunga! Hatch Chiles and Olathe Corn

Two of our favorite summer treats are in season now and we have been gorging ourselves on Olathe corn (John) and Hatch chiles (me).

I have been so delighted that Hatch chiles have reached mainstream popularity.  It used to be hard to get any other than canned and then when they did come in the stores as fresh, only “mild” was available.

Hot Chiles in a Plastic Bag

I was able to get “hot” (personally, I would rate it as medium, as chiles go).  I roasted them on a piece of foil in the toaster oven for about 20-25 minutes.  After they cooled just a tad, I put them in a plastic bag to continue cooling.  That loosens the skin and makes them a breeze to peel.  After peeling, I chopped them up for storage.  Since I do like a little spice, I kept the seeds, but that is too hot for some people.

Chopped and Ready to Add to Everything

Next I put those babies in everything I cook.  Like egg whites or grilled cheese.  Ahhhh.  Heaven.

Grilled Cheese and Hatch Chiles on Sourdough

I know some places have better summer produce than we do in Arizona.  We don’t enjoy the best peaches or tomatoes the country can offer, but wherever you are, wallow in the season’s bounty.



Mandy in the Stockade

I rarely show pictures of Mandy because she doesn’t much care for me and I can never get close enough to take a picture.  I thought she looked funny hanging out of this cat condo.

Not a lot new around here, but I’m still finding a way to enjoy the bounty and blessings of my life.  And I’m thankful you’re part of it.