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Friends and Food; Bread Winner; A Walk in the Park; Tree Hugger; A Very Long Walk

Suzanne and I were invited out to lunch last week with friends, Catherine Chiesa (from Gurnee, IL, outside Chicago) and Donna and Ron Virgilio who live here in The Villages. We had a great time catching up with Catherine, who has attended several of Suzanne’s events, both here in TV and in Illinois, and who was staying with the Virgilios for a few days. Ron served in the US Marine Corps for six years (Ooh-Rah!) and Donna was a psychotherapist. (MLB may be looking for her to help Der Blogmeister, but that’s not an appropriate subject to mention here.) 

Another meal out (is there a pattern here?) was with our good friends Sharon and Joyce (AKA Little Miss Bluetooth… see earlier blog post) at a local Italian restaurant which had surprisingly good food, in spite of the inappropriate use of an apostrophe in the establishment’s name. (I will demur in naming the specific eatery in case they are offended by my grammatical stickiness, but the word Chef’s may give you a clue…)    

Congratulations to Gayle Hancock, who won the bread machine recipe contest with the tastiest submission among hundreds of entrants. Gayle wins lunch for two with Der Blogmeister and His Lovely Bride.  

My Lovely Bride and I went for a hike yesterday on part of the Florida Trail, this time starting west of Belleview on the Cross-Florida Greenway. It was a Monday, so we didn’t expect to see many (if any) other hikers on the trail. Being retarded… I mean, retired… gives me the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors during low-usage periods midweek. It was delightful, hiking along in mild 60-70 degree temperatures under a blue sky with a gentle breeze pushing puffy cumulus clouds above swaying pines, and the occasional turkey vulture soaring gracefully looking for a meal. Many tree limbs and branches had been bent into fantastic shapes…     

I used to be a member of the Sierra Club, when it was more of a mountaineering organization than a radical environmental/political group, and I had not considered MLB to be a tree hugger, but she proved otherwise on this hike…

An hour into our hike, after a brief stop for GORP (raisins, peanuts and M&Ms), we met a woman through-hiking the Florida Trail from end to end, about 1,200 miles. “Denali” was her trail name, and she was carrying a 30 lb. backpack, averaging 12-15 miles per day for the past two months, with about another month to go. Denali also mentioned that she was enjoying the fine weather; this was the first day in a couple of weeks that she had dry socks on all day. At one point (I think she mentioned a geographic feature called the “Impassable Swamp” near Lake City – gee, I wonder how it got that name?), she had to wade for an hour through waist-deep water. (Anyone who would like to experience that trek first-hand may contact me for directions.) Denali has also through-hiked the Appalachian Trail (2,500 miles), which she considers easier than the Florida Trail because there are hardly any other hikers here and water and food sources are often much farther from the trail than on the A.T. (Brad, please note that Denali is wearing long pants tucked into her socks. I was ridiculed by MLB for my use of this outdoor fashion statement, but as we all know, function is more important than form… tucking keeps ticks and chiggers out of your socks and skivvies!)


  • Anonymous
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Well, Ok, you do have a point Ty. You are re…er, retired after all and can do what you darn well please! As long as you don't go the Speedo's route like some retirees go… Lol Brad

  • Ty and Suzanne Giesemann
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 1:16 am

    Brad, At my age, I have become wise enough not to appear in public in a Speedo. By the way, congratulations on becoming a Dachshund dogdad! Have you learned that the #1 synonym for Dachshund is "stubborn"? Cheers, Ty


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