A Turtle Story [& Video!]

290m

Due to the current drought in the Northeast, the Ipswich River water levels have been getting lower and lower. The waterfall stopped altogether over a month ago, making our house oddly silent. The fish ladder, which is directly behind our house, runs perpendicular to the dam. Because of the falling water levels, turtles started getting trapped in the fish ladder at the end of July. I rescued 5 and other people rescued a whole bunch more.

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Page Speed & New Theme

final speed test results from gtmetrix showing 97% speed!

UPDATED 8/22/16 with more speed & a list of speedy plugins.
On August 4th I decided to retest my page’s speed. I hadn’t tested it since last July. It was a bit of a wake up call! I scored a big, fat F for speed. Yikes! Since then I’ve learned so much about site optimization and page speed. I’ve downloaded a new, more current theme, have “smushed” all 4,500+ of my images, and learned how to cache my files and pages. WHEW!

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If My Site Looks Different…

black and white yay

If my site looks different it’s because I’m fiddling around with a new theme and trying to customize it to look as much as possible like the old theme. My old theme, Mantra by Cryout Creations, is over 5 years old [I’ve only been blogging for 3, but Mantra has been around since May 2011]. My new theme, Nirvana by Cryout Creations, is 2 years old but comes with many upgraded features that will help me streamline my site.

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I Virtually Made it out of Massachusetts!

my virtual mission screenie showing entire mission from ipswich to the seattle aquarium

I started riding 30 miles a week on the recumbent bike at the local YMCA last month, so I decided to sign up for a virtual mission at myvirtualmission.com. I didn’t really have a specific destination on the west coast, so I randomly chose the Seattle Aquarium. And the awesomest part about that is I keep having nightmares about the Seattle Aquarium [think giant tentacles slamming into glass]. GAH!

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A Heron Story

great blue heron catching fish in the ipswich river

We don’t see the Great Blue Heron very often, like hardly ever. But last Friday morning Jim saw him in the river hunting fish. On Monday morning we saw him so I grabbed my new zoom lens and sat in living room window and watched him for about an hour as he stalked, caught, rinsed, and ate a fish. And shook himself dry like a dog.

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Grilled Veggies – Part 4: Veggie Dogs & Quinoa Burgers

grilling 3 veggie dogs, 2 veggie burgers, & rolls

I haven’t eaten “real” hotdogs in a very long time, because they’re typically made with pork. I gave up eating pigs about 15 years ago ever since learning they’re smarter than dogs. I’ve tried all-beef hotdogs, and I’ve had turkey dogs, but I’m also OK eating veggie dogs. Jim picked some up at the store last week, as well as roasted garlic & quinoa burgers.

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Getting Healthier & Stronger [Possibly in a Parallel Universe]

a closeup of my typical salad

Do you ever feel like you’ve somehow jumped the rails to a parallel but healthier path in life? Like, everything feels the same, but you’re suddenly compelled to eat better, exercise, do more, take better care of yourself? And you have no idea what changed? That’s how I’ve felt for the past 3 weeks.
PS/UPDATE – when I first went to the gym 7/11, I rode 10 miles on the recumbent bike in 44:49. Today, 7/29, I did it in 36:19!

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6 Panel Art Project – Part 2: Taping the Tree

6 panel art project, 3 dark panels painted, 3 light panels taped

Almost exactly a year ago [how weird is that?] I started working on my 6 panel art/painting project. The project actually began in 2004/2005-ish when I bought the 6 panels of canvas board, laid them out on the floor in my old apartment, and sketched a big tree onto them. The plan was to paint 3 panels dark and 3 panels light so together they make one picture but half day/half night.

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