Monday, August 26, 2013

End of summer post!

Greetings Friendly Bloggers,
I am coming out of a self-imposed three-week retreat for writing and a week of vacation with five of my sweet grandbabies at our cabin. During my writing weeks, I focused mainly on writing. The writing that I do entails a great deal of review of published literature in a number of fields pertinent to whatever topic I am writing about. I have slowly developed a system to keep all my notes in an organized fashion as I wade through all that reading. I submitted one manuscript to a journal, and have two others that have been sent to co-authors for additional feedback and edits. I find that for me, the best way for me to make progress in my writing is to go into seclusion and that is precisely what I did. Once the academic year begins, my attention is on my teaching and some of my other roles that I have in academia with not much time for writing. It is a hard fought pleasure to write it all up. I feel satisfied with my efforts, although I know that there will be much revision and rejection before these three are published.  
I spent last week at our cabin with five of my favorite little people. The weather was just lovely with highs in the low 80’s and the evenings in the low 50s. We spent the week swimming, reading, catching all kinds of bugs, trying new recipes, and riding bikes. We started the week off by making Camp Oma shirts (Oma is Dutch for grandmother).

 Our longest bike ride was a round trip to a "Pirate" ship at a nearby lake. 
It was a 13 mile round trip to the ship. I pulled a very heavy Burley loaded with our food, water and swimming gear, plus almost four year old Noah behind my bike. The other kids ages 6, 8, 8 and 10 rode their own bikes up and down the hills with me. You can't really see the hills in the picture above, but they are there. Our last stop was at the local rock shop where the kids all dug for agates.

 Our reward for such a long ride was swimming in a beautiful nearby lake.
Being a camper at Camp Oma meant you had a few chores to do, too.
Made cookies.
 Plus every day they did some writing about their adventures...
It was a great week for me and a great week for them! 

Throughout the last few weeks I kept track of my food and exercised by riding my bike. I gave myself a little slack over the last weekend where I did not track, but still made reasonable choices on food. I will not weigh in until September. Even with all my efforts at tracking and eating well, I know I will not have lost much weight. But, my fitness level continues to improve. Since my last post, I put over 250 miles on my bikes. I have increased my speed to about 14 mph, even with some rolling hills. I can maintain that speed for about two hours of riding. Now that the academic year is about to start, I know I will not be able to spend as much time on the bike. I hope I can continue to ride through early November, but that will be determined by our weather, I can ride in the cold, and have good clothing so I am comfortable, however, I am not comfortable riding in snow and ice. 
I decided that I will not ride in the Venus de Miles this year. I am disappointed, because I know that I would be ready for that 67-mile ride with 2000 feet elevation gain. However, the event is now at the end of September and it is in Colorado. Last year the ride was at the end of August where I could easily make the drive because I was not yet in school. This year after talking it over with my hubby, we both decided it would be just too much once I start school. Instead, I will look for another organized ride locally were I can test my stamina, strength and endurance on the bike. 
Now it is time for me to check in with all of you. Hope the end of summer means you have made good progress in your own getting healthy goals. Stay strong and TTFN! Michele


  1. How lucky those five are to have you as their Oma. Remembering the fire, I love seeing evidence of so many new memories being made in the cabin. That doesn't erase the pain of the fire, but seems you've put it in proper perspective and moved on. I wish for the best academic year ever for you. Bill began classes yesterday and as always walked in last evening saying, "I love my job!"

  2. What a wonderful week with the grandkids! I have three of mine today, and another three at the cabin this weekend. What a blessing!

    I'm also trying to concentrate on my writing, but at this point, I'm juggling lots of things. That's why I'm not posting on my blog for a while.

    Enjoy the rest of the summer. I will be reading and hopefully commenting. Take care.

  3. Wow! I wish I had a 'camp Oma' when I was a kid. What awesome memories you are creating for the grandchildren! I'm also very impressed with the 13 mile bike ride with all the additions you mentioned. What a fun time:)

  4. Youre an awesome Grandma!!! The memories you are creating!!!

  5. I'm a huge fan of writing, so good for you. And I am in awe of your 14 MPH for two hours. The power of perseverance!

  6. I love Camp Oma! Way to connect with the next generation!

  7. So glad to have stopped and caught up a bit. I loved it when Mike would write about his summer. You really are a great grandma.
    You have come so far and have learned so much. I am proud of you! Keep it up Michele.