Hike and Bike to Rivendell

Haus Meister still has the helm of our virtual map, navigating our workout mileage toward the fictional motivator, Rivendell.

It’s motivating for me, anyway, but kind of odd because he’s doing all the work right now.  I moved the rowing machine across the basement one day.  Oh yes, and I got 120 strokes in once before the toddler yell was heard to start the day.

Another 42.5 miles added to our goal. According to our virtual atlas….

As of today, we’re at mile 247.4.  At mile 200 we reached Weathertop, which has a lot more significance in “The Fellowship of the Ring.” Now we’re between it and the Ford of Bruinen, which again, has a lot more significance in FoTR.

Mile 246: “Continue east. Camp. Weather Hills still visible on the western horizon.”

Row/Hike/Walk/Bike to Rivendell

Welcome to this installment of the family workout goal of doing something (rowing machine, hiking, biking, walking, whatever) until we reach the same number of miles from Bag End to Rivendell!

Or the same number of miles that it would be… if those places were real….

Haus Meister has the helm right now and thanks to a lot of hiking and mountain biking he’s done lately with his Trail Life troop or after work, we can add 52 miles to our goal. All his miles plus a 3 mile walk we did as a family today definitely brings us out past our last milestone!

At the last milestone we had reached mile 149.89, “Camping due south of the Midgewater Marshes.”

According to our virtual atlas….

As of today, we’re at mile 204.9.  At mile 200 we reached Weathertop, which has a lot more significance in “The Fellowship of the Ring.” For Bilbo Baggins travelling with the Dwarves, well, not so much.

Continuing to mix epics…

(Regular family news on hold. The girls–all five–either have colds or croup.)

Rascal set out to recreate The Lonely Mountain. He brought out a goodly deal of yellow LEGOS to form the halls of gold (see his well-loved copy of “The Hobbit”? He just finished reading it). Sigh–it was only a matter of time before Dino’s storm trooper LEGOs appeared.



Mixing epics….

“And now, Frodo Baggins, your journey to the Dark Side is complete…”


The boys corrected me. Elrond isn’t dead, Frodo was aiming at something I couldn’t decipher, and Arwen had gone to get ginger ale because Vader had gotten injured (like in a Star Wars Lego cartoon they saw). But all the same, boys?!?!

Row to Rivendell

Yes, we’re still rowing!  I knew it had been a long while since my last post on this subject, but I hadn’t realized the last post was in July! Fortunately we have managed despite a grueling schedule to get 36.2 miles worth of rowing in on the machine since the last check-in.  This puts us at 141.38 total miles.

According to our virtual atlas….

On our journey from Bag End to Rivendell, we’ve reached the milestone 137 “Continue east-southeast at a comfortable pace. Weather nice.” We are approaching milestone 143: “Road curves more to the east. Marshes fill all the northern horizon.”

Drat the Midgewater Marshes.  As I’ve said previously, this is our third attempt to “get to Rivendell” and we have never passed the “Marshes” yet.  Well, let’s see where we are at the next check-in!

Rowing to Rivendell–made it to Bree!


Thank you, Google Images

Thank you, Google Images


Due to visiting company, the snooze button, or campouts, the row to Rivendell was a bit shorter this time around. In the past two weeks we managed together to row 19.63 miles. Adding that to the 70.88 miles logged already…

Total miles rowed: 90.51

According to our virtual atlas….

At mile 85: Reach Bree. Stay at The Prancing Pony. Spend a late evening. By Mile 91: Camp next to a trail leading north into the Chetwood on Bree-hill. Getting close now to those pesky Midgewater Marshes, which is usually where I’ve petered out on previous workout attempts. Not this time!

yarn along…and a snag/P, H, F, R and the 4th



I have been doing a lot more reading than knitting lately. This is mainly because at some point in the last two weeks, one of my needles for the shawl project broke. Perils of using wooden needles I guess, but I prefer them anyway. I limped to the end of the row by switching out the broken size 6 needle with a new size 7 (interchangeable) but I don’t want to go on like that for the last ten rows. So in the meantime as I wait for my new set of size 6 interchangeable to arrive, I might just work on my other wip. I hope. The summer is slipping by much too fast.





It looks like the Luthien, Haus Meister’s wooden Annapolis Wherry Tandem rowboat, will at last be hitting the waters at a not-so-distant date.


He’s worked on this as and when he can, and while he would have loved to have her in the water two years ago, we’re happy that it will be this summer. He’s proud of his boat, and we’re proud of him.


He pieced together this “Star of Luthien,” an emblem Tolkien himself designed and left in one of his sketchbooks. Originally the boat was going to have my first and middle name, but I thought if he was going to put the star on the boat anyway, why not call it the Luthien? The vote passed unanimously.



A builder’s work is never done. As soon as the Luthien is finished, he’s going to begin the restoration of Thomson & Thompson, our 1960s Thompson motorboat that Rascal named after the bumbling detectives in the Tintin comic book series. The Thompson is also the place where the kids like to watch Dad work while he’s in the shop. And leave behind a cola can, apparently. Posey is smiling for Princess and Rascal, who were keeping her company as she maintained her perch there.


Trooper used to hate fireworks. Now he loves them.


While watching his Dad set off bottle rockets on July 4th, pre-haircut.


Laughing his head off at the ground display out front, July 5, post-haircut.


It takes fireworks to get my kids to line up for a picture. Fireworks, and grandparents.


Not pictured: Posey and Miss M, who had both fallen asleep before our July 5 fireworks from having been up partying past their bedtime on July 4.

Well, almost. And Miss M was NOT happy about being awakened by the pops of the firecrackers and cheers of her siblings.


(Real) 😉

Row, row, rowing again

Thank you, Google images

Thank you, Google images

Remember that about two years ago now we began “rowing to Rivendell,” meaning that we were going to be working on our rowing machine and tracking our progress by taking a virtual trip to Rivendell? Well, it’s been a while. But now we’re back at it again!

It began last Saturday when I was pouting that we never seemed to have time or energy or both in the evenings to go downstairs and do even 10 minutes of rowing. Realizing that the kiddos had been sleeping in all summer, I decided then and there to set my alarm (!) and get up (!!) and row in the mornings (!!!). The beginning was inauspicious. I awoke at 5:30am Sunday to Haus Meister bringing my phone out from under my pillow and holding it out to me. “Your alarm is going off,” he said, wryly amused that my alarm woke HIM up but not ME. “Oh, thanks. I’m going to row,” I added. He thought for a second and decided to join me, and from that came a new morning routine that is doing us both a lot of good.

In addition to 5 miles rowed during my recent pregnancy (ever see a 7-month pregnant woman on a rowing machine? It’s ludicrous–if that woman is me, anyway!), we managed to get 20.88 more miles rowed between us this week. Since last time then, it’s been a total of 25.88 miles rowed.

Total miles rowed: 70.88

According to our virtual atlas, we’ve barely passed the next milestone on the road east: “To the south the Old Forest ends.”

We’re about 19 miles from Bree.

Probably should have hired a pony. 😉


Birthday Girls


Egad–what a horribly fuzzy phone picture!

Posey and I share a special day today. She is officially 10 months old, and I’ve now come of age as per Shire reckoning. I suppose this means I must settle down now and live like a very respectable hobbit, not doing anything unexpected or going off on crazy adventures, but I confess I haven’t much hope of that. In fact, when I’m 63 or even 93 if I make it that far, I fully anticipate I will still be trying to garden something every warm season and rack up a whole slew of overly ambitious knitting goals in the cold seasons, when I’m not traveling the world with Haus Meister. It’s a simple life, but it’s fun.

Not that most people would think it simple if they had caught a glimpse of me this afternoon, trying to pull the boys through their respective math lessons while they were still on a party-high from the previous birthdays this weekend (more in my next) and not wanting to do school at all, and at the same time Trooper was frustrated because his iPad battery is on the fritz, Princess was hollering for a sharpened pencil so she could draw and the toddlers were breaking into the ice cream in the freezer and the baby wanted to be walked around. That was a tough hour. But eventually everything smoothed out and by dinnertime life was good again. 😉

And overall it is a great life, and it is fun, and being in my 30s isn’t nearly as dreadful as it is sometimes made out to be when you’re not there yet.

So thanks, Mom and Dad, for putting up with me for 33 years. I’d thank my sister for putting up with me but she really didn’t have a choice in the matter. 😉  Thanks Haus Meister for putting up with me for 14 of those if you add in the dating years. Thanks, kids of mine, for ensuring that our lives will never in the slightest be dull.