Monday, January 31, 2011

31 posts in thirty-one days: The end of the month

Ok, it wasn't THAT big of a deal. So I wrote a post every single day in January. Whoop-de-doo. Originally, it was meant to be a small, personal challenge to myself... to get myself back into the swing of blogging or get into the blog swinging thing...or, well, you know what I'm trying to say.

Since I was previously a - maybe - twice a week blogger, it's interesting for me now to look back at all the (mostly goofy but some serious) stuff I blogged about: packing away the holidays, goldfish in stock tanks, biting donkeys, egg laying, library books, freezing temperatures, surprise snowstorms, teasing my dog, freezing rain, suspicious pumpkins, extreme humidity, chicken death, fixing a sweet donkey's bad feet, new additions to the farm, fog, family, and animal abandonment, among other things.

Now that I'm on the eve of the end of my blogging challenge, I'm wondering where to go from here.

This was the amazing view I had from a restaurant table in the city of Astoria, on the Oregon coast, today:

This is the Astoria Megler bridge:

It connects Oregon and Washington at the mouth of the Columbia River where it meets with the Pacific Ocean. The bridge is 4.1 miles across and its main span is 1,232 feet in length, making it the longest “continuous truss” in the nation.

I have been fascinated by this bridge for years. It calls to me - I don't really know why. But whenever we find ourselves in Astoria, I make sure we drive over it. Even if we don't have any pressing need to be in Washington state.

The Astoria Chamber of Commerce website states that "The bridge is designed to withstand some of the toughest attacks of nature. Wind gusts of 150 miles per hour from the fierce Pacific storms that occasionally batter the coast still leave the bridge with a safety factor. The concrete piers are built with an eye toward the river flood speed of nine miles per hour when whole trees sometime are swept along by the raging water."

It was as I sat looking at this bridge today that I realized what I'd like my next personal challenge to be: I would really like to run across this bridge on October 2, 2011 in the Great Columbia Crossing. This race is the only time that this bridge opens up to foot traffic. And I really want to run across this bridge.

The race description states: "It is a 10K/6.2 mile interstate road walk/run over the 4.2 mile-long Astoria-Megler Bridge crossing the Columbia River near its mouth."

I haven't done any sort of running in almost five years. Do you think nine months is enough time for a farm gal to work up to a 6.2 mile run? Be honest, now.

Here's a seemingly random bit of trivia for you - I married the man of my dreams and keeper of my heart in this building in Vancouver, Canada eleven years ago today:

Guinness Book of World Records classifies it as the narrowest building in the world. It is only six feet wide. Funny, but on the day I was inside it, it felt incredibly spacious and it seemed like everyone was smiling at me.

But... to come full circle, this is why we were in Astoria today. We love the beach. And being together. Being together at the beach is just a combination that can't be beat, especially on our anniversary:

In just a titch of farm news, Skippy, one of my three new hens (the white one), has left the building, er, I mean coop:

She was last seen happily free-ranging, running madly about, in a way very similar to the kooky nature of Dottie, my White-Crested Black Polish hen, scooping up bugs and nibbling bits of grass:

The integration of the three new hens continues...


  1. Happy Anniversary! You got married at Jack Chow Insurance??

    And yes, I do think that you have plenty of time to train for your 10K bridge run. You are in good shape already being a working farmgirl. Go for it, Danni!

    Very cool bridge and nice photos showing it. I know someone who lives in Astoria. He is a beekeeper from whom I buy my natural beeswax candles that I resell here locally. It sounds like a very interesting place. I'd like to visit there sometime.

  2. Happy Anniversary!
    And congrats on the 31 days of blogging - a marathon in itself.

    I know exactly what you're saying about the bridge calling to you. I get the same thing with this bridge and quite a few others. I haven't heard of a run across the bridge, that would be very cool! I've bicycled the bridge pedal ride in Portland, also a fun way to cross the bridges. Guess you could say I have a thing for bridges. :)

    Nice to see the new hens running around on the ground, rather than up on their perch. I'm sure they are happy about that!

  3. You can do it Danni!!! Congrats on the Blogging goal and Happy Anniversary!
    I'm sure the rest of the new girls will be mingling in the gardens soon.
    Now, we want to see your new sneakers!! hahaha!

  4. nine months is plenty of time to build up to that kind of run. i have been thinking of doing another marathon but have not yet made the commitment! bridges have always scared the heck out of me. when i run i run very fast to get over them!

  5. Happy Anniversary, Farmgirl! I love reading your blog and seeing your beautiful pictures. I enjoyed your daily posts In January (smile). I wish you the best as you prepare for your next challenge.

  6. Jenny in MN (now in AZ)February 1, 2011 at 5:30 AM

    Happy Anniversary! AND Thank you for all of your recent posts! You have wonderful stories and pictures to share. Enjoy your day.

  7. Congratulations - on 31 consecutive posts, and on 11 years of marriage! I suspect the 31 consecutive posts was the harder of the two to get through :) Abolutely gorgeous pictures from your anniversary meal.

    Wow and just look at Skippy go! She looks all integrated into the flock and everything. Yay Skippy! I'm sure the other two will quickly follow her brave example.

    I think you can do anything you set your mind to, Danni. And if you want to run across that bridge in October, I can totally see that happening. 10 months is plenty of time to train for a 10K.

    Ready, set, go!!!!

  8. I've enjoyed your blogging challenge.

    That bridge is amazing. You'll be ready for the run across it this fall.

    I hope you had a wonderful Anniversary!

  9. I have my last post today as I started on January 1. At first it seemed a long way off and now that it's here it's a bit like a fizzle.

    I suppose I feel like this last post has to be a whiz-bang, pull out all the stops post...but we'll see.

    I really liked being challenged and meeting people. I say we find ourselves another challenge!

    Have a lovely and creative day!
    Well done!

  10. I always read, but don't comment often. I wanted to let you know, however, that I have thoroughly enjoyed your month of daily posts. Random or not, it's always interesting.

    And yes, you can! Whether you walk or run doesn't really matter, does it? It's in the doing of it that you will feel accomplishment.
    Go for it!

  11. I think 31 posts in 31 days IS a big deal! I'm quite sure that I've never done it in the (almost) 5 years that I've been blogging. And you've managed to make them all complete, interesting posts while you were at it! Good Job.

    I think running (or walking, in my case) across that bridge would be awesome. What an excellent goal to set for yourself. That's what I need to do ~ set some goals! My daughter is getting married Oct. 1st and I need to lose some weight. But Oct. is so far away, I keep putting off getting started. Maybe I'll just start walking a little each day.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Happy to see Skippy out and about with the other hens. We've got a foot of snow here and although the barn door is open, none of my chickens have set foot outside in months...

  12. Happy Anniversary!! Well done on the blogging front.

    You can totally do the run in October, Danni! That's plenty of time.

    There are lots of on-line resources to help you get up to speed, but this is a good place to start:

    The Vancouver Sun newspaper has training tips to prepare participants for the annual Sun Run and they'll have training advice to ramp you up to a run later in the year.

    I'll be cheering you, virtually, from the sidelines.

  13. oooh....that one picture of the length of the bridge as seen from the span makes me....oooh....a little woozy. I'm okay with bridges but not when they're over water. Part of it is from having nearly drowned as a five year old, and the other part is from growing up in earthquake country. Long bridges over water scare me especially- I'm afraid there's going to be an earthquake while I'm on the bridge and I'm going to get dumped into the water. Pretty irrational, huh?

    Does Skippy ''free ranging" mean that she's escaped and you may never see her again?

  14. That's one heck of a bridge! Oh and can ya see me waving from the other side of the Pacific!! Yoooohoooooo!!!♥

  15. i've enjoyed every one of your posts. especially the one about the gold fish. what a great idea! and kind of fun!

    i have to echo what others have said...did your chicken make a break for it or is she just enjoying a little free range time?

  16. Thank you for all the kind anniversary wishes!! :-)

    Hi Farmer Jen...yes, funny, huh? We got married at Jack Chow Insurance in Canada by a kindly gentleman named Mr. Dong. Jim and I love to laugh about our wedding story. :-)

    Astoria is a fun little city. We decided yesterday that we'd like to explore it more in the future, especially since it's relatively close to our house. If you remember the movies "Kindergarten Cop" and "Short Circuit", these were both filmed in Astoria.

    bluekat - I love that you get what I mean about being drawn to this bridge! Mark your calendar for 10/2/2011 - that's race day across the Astoria bridge! :-)

    Hi Eve - thanks for the vote of confidence! What? I need new shoes? ;-)

    jaz! A marathoner! Is there anything you CAN'T do? lol

    Marge - Thank you for commenting! Do you have a blog that I can read?

    Hey Jenny in MN (now in AZ) - You're so good to me :-)

    Hiya Penny - Haaaaa....yes, you're right...the 31 *were* harder than the 11 have been! How funny! :-)

    Brenda - Thanks for reading my stuff. I know how dang busy you are these days!

    Hi Mimi Foxmorton - bah, whiz-bang & pull-out-the-stops is overrated. I do agree with you on the new challenges, though! :-)

    Hi Clare! I recognize you from Wendy's blog - nice to see you!! Thank you for your kind words - they made me smile!

    C'mon Nancy K. - we can DO this. All we have to do today is walk for 30 minutes.... :-)

    Carolynn - thank you for the link - I will go check it out!

    Sue - You're always makin' me laugh! Now every time I go to the coast, I'll be waving like crazy, hoping you'll see me. lol

    Hi Paula and Chook - Ha! I worded that poorly, didn't I? No, Skippy is back inside, safe and sound - but she did enjoy a few hours outside, which was delightful to see!

  17. Happy Anniversary! You made 31 posts in 31 days seem easy, and as I was reading this one and viewing the wonderful pictures I started thinking that on the final day no critters would be pictured - but you added the chickens in at the end, was that just to keep your streak in tact?

    ps. Were the cookies donkeys or goats?

  18. oops, I just checked the comments again and found that the were donkey cookies! Drat, I had my money on goats!

  19. Happy Anniversary! Way to go on your 31 day goal. I sure enjoyed it. Cheering you on for you new goal - that's an awesome bridge and how cool to run it!

    Ann in WI

  20. Happy Anniversary Danni and Jim! I also enjoyed the daily post. Could you keep it up please? And yes I say do that run across that gorgeous bridge. I walked across the new Narrows Bridge when it opened and my husband and son ran it. It was a fun experience.
    You can do it.

  21. Happy Anniversary!

    Do it! Do it! You can do it. Your 10K reminds me of the run they do over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland every year. Totally cool and totally fun and totally worth doing.

    Congratulations on 31 days of blogging in January. We enjoyed every single day of it.

  22. okay...several things. 1st - I love that you are amazed by things such as a bridge. If we would only all slow down enough to notice such amazing details! 2nd - you can TOTALLY do a 10K by October and I'm not just saying that. Let me think on it, but I may just say I'll train "with" you. Won't be running the bridge but I need some kind of fitness goal. 3rd - do you ever worry about George and his friend coming after your chickens??? I want them ALL to be safe :) and finally and most importantly...... awwwwwww! Happy Anniversary!! At this point in my life, it is always so wonderful to hear of such happiness. It gives me hope :) I hope you guys had a simply wonderful time! Congratulations!

  23. Happy Anniversary!! It's a special time, for sure!

    I, too, believe you have plenty of time to get ready to run across that bridge! Go for it! And--even if you walk across the bridge just one way--it will be quite the feat. I'll be cheering for you!

  24. Well, I knew about the Vancouver, Canada, eloping business, but a 'Mr. Dong' (?!) at an insurance company? Leave it up to number one daughter to start happiness with such good fortune. Now you are deep in your 12th year. It's a good one. I know.

    And thank you for 31 delightful, though sometimes sad, blog entries. If a book were big enough, all of your blogs, not just last month's, should be contained in it.

    Do you have a bridge running/walking partner yet? I see a group forming clamoring to accompany you.

  25. Happy Anniversary Danni and Jim!!!!
    I hope you had an amazing time going back to the place you love~~

    Did I cross over that bridge Danni?? I hope you do it..heck if I was younger and fit..I'd do it.. Good luck to ya...I know you'll do it well!

  26. Hey goatgirl... you aren't so far away that you couldn't come and run it with me...the race even starts on the Washington side of the bridge! :-)

    JaneK - You want to train with me? That would be awesome. Want me to send you my program plan? We can be long-distance workout buddies!
    And no, so far George has given me no concern around the chickens...he has only been down there a few times and only when I'm there. My girls are pretty big anyway (with the exception of Dottie and Skippy) and I think they could totally take him. lol

    Denny1600 - I will LOVE thinking about you cheering for me as I pant and gasp my way across that bridge! :-)

    Hey Mom (Zitrone) - Yup, good ol' Mr. Dong. We will never forget him. :-)
    Roxy is my walking/running partner so far, but I'll take anyone who wants to join in. lol

    Hi Diane - You did not cross that particular bridge - we were about 30 miles south of this bridge in Cannon Beach. If you ever come to visit me again, though, I would love to take you up there - it's so beautiful! And what do you mean if you were younger and fit - wasn't it just last year that you ran into that freezing body of water in your swimsuit in, like, January? You could *totally* do this event!

  27. You and Roxy keep training! I'll join you on the bridge when the time comes.

  28. I'm actually thinking of training for the same run... I LOVE that bridge! It'd totally be worth the drive from Vancouver to run it. As for training, 9 months is easily more than enough time. I actually found an online training schedule that says it should only take 10 weeks. Good luck!

  29. Wow! You made it! I also set a record. I blogged 10 times last month.Big deal for me! COngrats!


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