Balm By Buck

Balm By Buck
Style your hair and moisturize your skin with natural products, not chemicals. Click the image to get to my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Christmas and snow fun, saying goodbye to grandpa

I hate to start out on a sad note, but no other way around it... Before my grandma passed, 5 years ago, she stitched these ornaments for each grandkid. She said if we were ever broke then we would always have a couple dollars. I always thought they were snowmen til yesterday. They're not. They're angels. My grandpa joined her yesterday. I'm sure they are a riot in heaven right now. He never missed a school concert or soccer game. Despite the 3 hour round trip. Always there with his camera and a firm goodbye handshake. I feel blessed to get one last handshake a couple weeks ago. His health had been declining so I took the kids down to see him a couple weeks ago and so glad I got that chance. Miss you grandpa. So much.  My grandma LOVED reading my blog to get updates on what was going on with her grandkid and then great grandkid. Both are in a better place now. 
Let's lighten the mood and talk about something fun: CHRISTMAS!  The kids were very excited this year and 2 and 5 are such a fun age for Christmas.  Evan is just starting to get it and Summer is there to help along the way. It was just the kids and Dawn and me all weekend long and it was very nice to keep it simple this year. 
We did do FaceTime with the family and it was good to check in on everyone. 
It was great to get some snow for Christmas, but MAN it was cold!  We only got to 18°F for the high, so we held off a couple days to get outside to play in the snow. 

I participated in the Gingermas run hunt this year. It’s a running scavenger hunt. This was the “Griswold house” on the list. You get different points for the different tasks or found items. Like fueling on homemade cookies or bonus points spelling out “HoHoHo” and “Merry Gingermas 2020” with your GPS track. Also, bonus points for drinking egg nog before the run. I also donated shoes for two points each pair.
I didn't win anything, but it was a blast to run around in a Christmas sweater looking at holiday decorations. Didn’t find a Mrs. Claus or a dreidel on my run. Also, coffee shop was closed to get a point for hot cider. It was a 10 mile run.  Which has been my longest run for a while.  I have been dialing back the miles a little bit as I ease back into running following a back issue.
I did get out for a half marathon around the neighborhood this weekend.  Roads were still dicey around our parts and didn't think it was worth risking it to drive to a trail. Sun came out for the final mile and it was gorgeous on the fresh blanket of snow. Definitely more sore today from minor traction slips in the snow.  It was all packed snow from the cars driving over it.  The slipperiest areas are where a plow blade packs it down to a flat piece of ice. Thankfully none of that in our neighborhood. 
Enjoy the sunshine we get today because we have clouds returning soon with some rain and the chance of a wintry mix, along with some big temperatures fluctuations later this week. Today we are starting out with generally clear skies, especially for the northern half of Ohio. Our morning temps are below freezing so watch out for icy spots due to refreeze, mainly sidewalks and untreated side streets. Sun to start the day then increasing clouds and we warm into the mid 30s with very light winds today. Mostly cloudy tonight and there is a chance for a quick evening shower, mainly to the northwest. We start around 30 tomorrow morning then warm to 48 later in the day with mostly cloudy skies and rain arriving in the afternoon from the northwest. It will be a wet evening with rain showers moving in from the northwest and heading into Southern Ohio by early Thursday. The back edge of the rain could mix with a little snow, but no indications of any significant accumulation. We see the early rain and mix move into Kentucky and we are mostly cloudy and dry most of the day on Thursday with highs in the mid 30s. Then that rain lifts back north Thursday night and the leading edge could be a little wintry mix then transitions quickly to rain as temps start warming up. So Friday morning could have a few sketchy spots with the early wintry mix before it changes to rain. Temps soar into the mid-upper 50s with rain most of the day on Friday. Rain kicks out late Friday night and cooler temps move back in for the weekend. Highs in the lower 40s on Saturday and then upper 30s for Sunday. Models are split on weekend outcome, but there is a chance of some light rain/snow possible this weekend. The timing is what is up in the air because some have it on Saturday and another model has it on Sunday. It does look light and most of the weekend will be generally cloudy with chilly temps. Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Busy with projects, but taking time for the holidays & kids

The tree is up and we are in the full holiday spirit at the Michael house.  The kids are super excited and this is so fun to be a parent with the kids 2 and 5 years old. 
Every free night we have, we drive around to look at Christmas lights because it is such an easy thing to do with the current pandemic.  We did get out and walked around the lights at the Columbus Commons.  Limited Santa experiences this year, so we had to change up our holiday card photo.  The kids love the lights and we have a list of other places we want to go check out. 
Lots of projects going on as well.  A friend asked for me to build her some window valances for her first floor.  Pretty happy with how they turned out.  I wanted to do a French cleat so it could be removed and decorated, but the trim around the window would get in the way and she said she probably would never remove them anyway.  
Another friend requested a bunch of balm packs for frontline workers to help their hands from drying out.  So I made a big batch of a special recipe of the Clean version that uses more shea butter for better moisturizing.  
Summer helped me pack all of the gift packs. I still have a handful of the special batch available, if you are interested: www.BalmByBuck.com. I will be doing a special 10% off for the next 10 days, starting on December 10th. 
And I have still been running.  I am doing the Runner's World Run Streak from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.  At least one mile each day. This is my 5th year doing it and it is a great motivator to get outside each day during a time of the year where excuses are very easy to stay inside. I went out to Clifton, Ohio last weekend to run along the gorge to the yellow springs and back. 
 
It is an absolutely beautiful area and it is really cool how the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve trails connect with John Bryan State Park that also connects to the Glen Helen Nature Preserve trails.  It is just over 5 miles from end to end if you take the lower trail along the Little Miami River.
 
This weekend's long run was around the neighborhood.  I tripped at mile 3, but kept going for another 7 miles.  Knee was just a little scraped up.  The funniest part is that I was running across Roberts Road and there was a line of cars waiting to turn and they all got quite the show when a grown man went flying through the air.  I bounced back up and kept running. Evan and I went for a neighborhood run last night to look for holiday decorations. 
We have some great news to share: warming temps and sunshine returning! Today we are starting chilly with temps in the lower 30s and cloudy skies, but a warm front will sweep across the area during the first half of the day and help boost our temps into the mid 40s for the afternoon with clearing skies during the second half of the day. Clear skies above us tonight, but patchy fog forming with lows in the lower 30s, so there is potential for some freezing fog. Mostly sunny tomorrow and warming to 50. Clouds moving in more on Friday with highs in the mid 50s. Rain moves in during the first half of the day on Saturday. Some areas may stay dry until midday or early afternoon. Highs in the lower 50s with rain likely for the second half of the day with a brisk breeze. Temps fall Saturday night and likely falling steadily during the day on Sunday. A few lingering rain showers early on Sunday then a few flurries later on. Then we look to remain dry until the end of next week with our next rain/snow system arriving around Thursday. It will be cooler next week with highs in the mid 30s/40s. So enjoy the warm-up over the next few days.  Looking at the long-term models... One model (and this may/will change) has snow the evening of Christmas Eve!  Stay tuned and have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Rain today, snow on the way

The mild temps have been nice... but they will not last long.  I have a few outdoor projects that need wrapped up soon.  Building some window valances for a friend and then also building a shoe/gear rack for all my outdoor stuff.  Waiting on materials for the valances to assemble them.  I'll share some photos when I finish it. 
We are in for a wet Wednesday, today. We have some steady rain moving up the I-71 corridor for the morning and we will see steady rain for the morning through midday today. Then the afternoon, evening, and overnight rain will be in pockets, so rain from time to time later today. Most of Central Ohio will see around 1" of rain with lower rainfall totals for Southern and Eastern Ohio. Temps will slowly climb from around 40 through the day and we will likely see our high temp of 55 later this evening. We could also see a few heavier pockets of rain and the chance for some lightning and thunder. By tomorrow, Thanksgiving, we remain cool with morning temps around 50 and only warming into the mid 50s. We will remain cloudy with a few light rain showers possible. Clouds break up more on Friday with partly cloudy skies and highs in the mid 50s again. A weak cold front Friday night will swing through and drop our highs to around 50 for Saturday and Sunday. Mix of sun & clouds for the weekend.
More rain likely Sunday night with our next weather maker. There are two players with our next system. We have an area of low pressure coming up from the Gulf and a strong cold front swinging in from the Plains. So there are a few variables at play like speed of each system and intensity of the cold and low. Right now two out of the three models agree that we get rain arriving Sunday night and then we see falling temps Monday and rain changes to snow showers then a lingering low continues our snow Monday night into Tuesday with a shovel-able amount of snow likely by Tuesday PM and Wednesday. The other model shifts the storm farther west and we stay warmer Monday into Tuesday and by the time the cold air arrives the most of the moisture is gone and we are just cold and drier. Stay tuned and have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Monday, November 23, 2020

Back to the "Stay at Home" routine

Good morning!  Been limiting my running due to back issues, but no running hasn't fixed much so I did go out for a soggy 7.5 mile run in the rain yesterday.
With the new stay at home advisory it is like we are going back to the beginning of the COVID quarantine.  So that means trying to entertain the kids.  We made a list of fun things to do and Summer has been wanting to play card games.  War is an easy game they can play and Summer understands it enough to help Evan as well.  We will get to poker in a few weeks(years).
The stay-at-home routine also means getting stuff done around the house, like organizing the basement. We had some smaller metal shelves and a random assortment of cardboard boxes. So we found a deal on some totes and I built a shelf to perfectly fit the totes. This allows us to see everything and stack it all efficiently. I have a few more woodwork projects in the coming weeks as well. I am particularly excited to make a "gear shelf" for all my running stuff.
I also have been busy as well with Balm by Buck.  The holiday sale goes through Cyber Monday if you are interested. 
Chilly weather for a couple days then we warm up midweek with rain returning. We may see a sprinkle today, but generally cloudy and chilly with a breeze out of the west. The clouds break up a little later today and our highs will be in the mid 40s. With partial clearing tonight we will fall to around 30 for the low with frost likely by Tuesday morning. More clouds kick in Tuesday and a stray shower possible with highs in the mid 40s again. We have a push of milder air on Wednesday and we warm into the mid 50s with rain moving in and a brisk wind. Rain likely most of Wednesday PM. We stay "mild" with overnight lows in the mid 40s Wednesday night as rain starts moving out. We may see a little lingering rain on Thursday, but we will be drying out with highs still in the mid 50s. We continue to stay in the 50s on Friday and partly cloudy skies. Our highs cool down more, into the upper 40s, for the weekend. More rain moving in later in the weekend and then even colder air kicks in next week. Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael


Thursday, November 12, 2020

It's been a while... too long of a while...

Y-ello! I have been trucking along.  Busy as ever.  Two kids, work, side gig (Balm By Buck), and there is barely any time left in the day for sleep.  I was working from home, but now back at the station.  I have been running as well.  The kids were at Dawn's parents' this weekend and I spent the day in the woods and took my water filter to avoid doing a water drop. Fun times.
Halloween was a lot of fun with the kids.  A little rainy so we did clear ponchos, but we had a lot of fun.  Evan went as a guard from the Wizard of Oz and Summer was Glinda. 
I took the kids to the zoo as well recently.  They love it there and they do a great job at social distancing.  I am interested to see how Zoo Lights goes.
Good Thursday morning! We have some patchy light fog this morning, but that will clear out for mostly sunny skies today and we warm into the mid 50s. So temperatures back to normal after breaking record high temps earlier in this week. We will be mostly clear to start the night then partly cloudy by daybreak tomorrow with a weak disturbance. Clearing in the afternoon for more sun and highs in the lower 50s for Friday. More clouds Saturday with highs in the upper 40s with a slight chance for rain, mainly later in the day. More rain showers Saturday night into Sunday with a push of warmer air and we warm into the upper 50s on Sunday with a brisk breeze. Then a cold front sweeps through during the day and cooler temps rushes in for early next week. Mix of sun & clouds early next week with highs in the mid 40s. A couple models are trying to bring a clipper system through the Great Lakes on Tuesday, but these typically pull farther north than models suggest, so keeping Tuesday at only a 10% chance of precip right now. Enjoy the sun today and have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Fantastic fall weather, but it's about to get chilly!

We normally spend a lot of time outside, but even more so the past few weeks.  The weather has been great.
I did 20 miles at Great Seal State Park last Saturday and it was a GREAT day for a run.  Nice and cool.  This is the last run I have done in the past couple weeks.  Monday morning I threw my back out of alignment.  I have a couple of compressed discs and I have done this before... Never during anything "fun" like lifting a car, but doing simple things like picking up laundry basket or getting dressed.  I need to start doing more core workouts and not just running.
I have been able to bike and Summer and I went on a couple bike rides this past weekend.  Evan came along for the ride and seemed to enjoy himself.  Summer rode great and I am trying to build her confidence in riding without the training wheels.  I think nearly 10 miles did the trick and we are taking them off for good today. 

We also ran into some of the Columbus Westside Running Club peeps out on their long run.  They are training for our group's 50k event we hold each November. I am hoping my back is better this week to get back into running because I signed up for the whole event. 
I did take the kids for a hike on Sunday and we had a great time.  Love seeing the trees starting to change colors. 
Yesterday was a fun surprise.  Grammy has been working hard on Summer's and Evan's Halloween costumes and she had the day off of work and she came down to bring the costumes.  It is a Wizard of Oz theme. Naturally... we spent a lot of time outside.
And we still have a few more great days to spend outside before cooler temps settle in. Our overnight rain is kicking to the east. As the clouds clear we are seeing fog forming in Indiana and that will try to form closer to our area, but it will be a race against time before the sun comes up, so Western Ohio could have some fog this morning. Mostly sunny today with morning temps in the upper 40s and then warming to the upper 60s today with lower humidity and a light breeze. Staying mostly clear tonight with patchy fog and low temps in the upper 40s. More sun to start Wednesday and then afternoon clouds with highs in the lower 70s. More clouds Thursday with scattered afternoon/evening showers possible and highs in the upper 60s. It will also become breezy late Wednesday through Friday with our stronger cold front moving through on Thursday. Friday and the weekend will bring cooler temps with highs in the 50s. Frost possible for the mornings with low temps in the 30s. A mix of sun & clouds for Friday and the weekend with another wave of rain possible late Sunday into early Monday. Enjoy the sunshine and mild temps before it turns cooler. Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Monday, September 28, 2020

It's Fall y'all! And it is about to REALLY feell

We have been spoiled with some GREAT weather lately!  We checked out Lehner's Pumpkin Farm recently.  So much to do there!  

Fun for the whole family!  Oh, and their food was REALLY good! 

We tried our hand at some fall garden crops.  The lettuce didn't come up, but I think the seeds were old.  Peas are doing ok so far.  Kids love the garden!
The kids and I have been doing so much outside lately.  We went for an early Saturday run along Griggs Reservoir while we let mom get some extra sleep.  We have also ran to the donut shop as well. 
I also did get some personal time and ran Tar Hollow backpacking trail recently.  Solid 15 miles of hills and scenery.  I started before the sun came up so I enjoyed some nighttime running as well on the trails.  A personal favorite. 
We camped out this weekend for our final camp-out of the year. I just want to soak in as much time with the kids that I can while they are this fun age.  We always watch one episode of Magic School Bus in the tent before going to bed.  
Hopefully you were able to enjoy some outdoor time this weekend because it is about to get wet, breezy, and cooler. We are dry this morning with clouds moving in and temps in the 60s. We will warm back into the mid-upper 70s quick today, thanks to a brisk wind out of the southwest. There is a slight chance for some spotty rain midday, but we are expecting a line of showers and storms for the afternoon into the evening. There is a Marginal Risk of gusty winds becoming severe. The rain will move into Eastern Ohio overnight and some may linger into early Tuesday. Most of Central Ohio will be generally dry on Tuesday, but much cooler with highs in the mid 60s and mostly cloudy skies. Mostly cloudy again on Wednesday with another cold front approaching and highs in the mid 60s with just a slight chance of rain. More spotty showers possible Thursday with cloudy skies and highs in the lower 60s. We will also have a brisk breeze Wednesday and Thursday making it feel even cooler. A slight chance of rain Friday with highs in the upper 50s and then we should remain dry Saturday with similar temps and partly cloudy skies. We warm into the lower 60s on Sunday with more scattered rain moving in, later in the day. Overnight lows, later this week, will dip in to around 40 so frost may be possible, especially in the outlying areas. If skies clear more then we may dip even cooler, so stay tuned and have some sheets handy for any plants. Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Busy few weeks. Built a shed & back to school routine

Super excited for Summer to be back in school.  I know the virtual learning is a challenge with COVID and we are excited for her to be able to attend smaller classes for her final year of preschool.  
We had a great summer with lots of fun and camping.  We didn't do as man excursions as planned, but made the best of the situation.  Evan got to camp out too for his first time. You may notice the wheelbarrow in the back left of the image...
I had a busy few weeks putting in a foundation and building the frame and rafters for a new shed for us.  We were limited with space for stuff and the garage was getting cramped.  My dad keeps an eye on the price of lumber and I knew it was going up so before I started anything I bought all the materials and stored them in the garage while I was building the frame. My brother had some time off and he visited to help with all the lifting and assembling.
All done!  Well... I still have a couple of small things to take care of to finalize it all, but super happy with how the shed turned out.  It will get the mower out of the garage and the kids can store their toys and balls in here as well. 
I have been enjoying time with the kids and took about 4 weeks off from running.  We have been doing other fun activities like fishing.  Summer caught her first fish! 
I did get back to running this weekend.  Summer ran alongside me too for part of the time.  I wish the kids would stay this age forever.  So fun.
 This past weekend we went back to visit the family farm.  I was walking out of the house while the grandkids and grandparents were getting a photo.  I promise.  I didn't know I was not supposed to be in the picture.  
Good Tuesday morning! We are in for another sunny day today, but the milky skies will remain because of smoke in the upper atmosphere from the western wildfires. We have a cool morning with temps dipping into the 40s and then we warm into the mid 70s. Mostly clear tonight with lows in the mid-lower 50s. The faint stars will be blocked out by the light smoke again. The smoke may impact the sky conditions, but the level of particulates in the atmosphere is low enough that it should not impact our air quality for Central Ohio. Sunshine tomorrow then more clouds later in the day and our warmest day on the 7-day with highs in the lower 80s. A cold front heading our way could trigger a spotty shower or storm, but the front looks to be dry, for the most part. So spotty rain possible Wednesday night or Thursday, but most of us will remain dry. The front will be slowly moving across the area on Thursday. High temps Thursday will be around 70 to the north and closer to 80 in Southern Ohio as the front looks to be splitting the state during the day. We all get into the cooler air by Friday with highs in the upper 60s with mostly sunny skies. Sunshine stays around for the weekend with highs in the upper 60s and morning low temps in the upper 40s. So a cool, dry, sunny weekend. The dry pattern looks to stick around through the rest of the month with the chance of rain being low for a while for Central Ohio. Have a good one!

Best,
Andrew Buck Michael

Back to the main page