Sunday, June 28, 2009
So, I think trekking out is the plan. It's supposed to be at least 5 degrees higher today than yesterday. We Washingtonians melt in weather like that!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
It's 107 degrees here.
We attempted a rockhounding expedition this morning, supposedly before the heat hit. We were after Morgan Hill poppy jasper and some really cool agate. However, by the time we got there it was already in the nineties. We got out of the car, walked a few hundred feet and that was it. Pete says I'm a wuss, but I know Ramona can't function in heat like that, heartwise anyhow. I am not much better.
So we did a tour of some parks in my nice air conditioned car. Air conditioning fools you...because you are finally comfortable again, you start thinking that it might be nice to stop in the pretty redwoods and take a walk. Then you look at the temperature readout on the dash and it says something like 103, or worse, open the car door.
So we're back at Pete's in his nice air conditioning. I used to live here. I never had air conditioning. I moved to Seattle for the climate.
I think tomorrow (or perhaps Monday), we will head north via the coast and visit Redwood National Park. Then perhaps Oregon. What is heartening is that it was 60 degrees in Crescent City today.
And...I have developed some lymphadema in my left arm. Nothing too major, but the heat does not help. My friend Peggy (who we spent yesterday with) is an expert seamstress, and she measured both Ramona and I all over (she's going to sew for us). When she measured my upper arms is when I realized why my arm hurts. It's an inch bigger around than the right, and I'm right handed. She whipped me up a compression sleeve and it's already better. Thank heavens for talented friends like that!
For the rest of today, I'm just going to alternate between lying down with my arm propped up (and reading the new Stephanie Plum novel), making dinner, and of course computing a bit here and there.
G2, I've become twit-addicted. Sad but fun!
Can the Michael Jackson mania please be over?
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wanting to cry, I stepped out of the pool area and tried to collect myself. What had I done wrong? Enter Windy. My sweet little horse. She has had many a tear in her mane. She is a quiet and gentle little soul. We both stood, just the two of us, and watched the tree tops weaving in the wind. She nuzzled my hip. I scratched her jaw. One moment of peace. Then back to reality. And back to the pool.
A green pool. Now that green pool is covered with dirt, silt, leaves. It is very muggy out. and hot. I wanted to have a clean blue pool so bad, as I wanted to jump in. Instead I stand in the heat. And it dawns on me.
A few minutes earlier the pups were madly barking in the house. I walk into the pump house and flip the light switch. Then, with a smile I walk to the house and check the time. No can do. Now I am chuckling. I pick up the phone to call Puget Sound Energy and report the power outage. I think it is the first time I have ever been happy to have the power out. It was out about five hours. I have yet to flip the breaker to power up the pump. After all the drama going on in my head yesterday I admit I am a bit scared.
The trees are quiet today. I will sit quietly and catch up on the events of the week for the next thirty minutes then will go power up the pool. When one buys a house in the woods, one has to deal with power outages. Yesterday's outage will be remembered as the one that made me smile. That was a good thing.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
With that I think I deserve a trip to the jacuzzi tub. I am tired. For the next three weeks I will be eating salad with occasional ramen for variety. I really hadn't figured the bill would be quite that big. sigh.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
But for now, I and my youngest daughter are off on a trip. Along with being a great time to drive to California to visit Uncle Pete and his ripe apricots, I have a new vehicle of conveyance that needs a shakedown cruise. G2 mentioned it in her last blog I think. I hesitate to call this a new (used) car. it's not a car. Nor is it strictly a truck, even though it is quite truck like at times. It's an SUV, sort of. It's like a really big, really luxurious limo type SUV. It's large, yes it is. And I LOVE it. It rides like a dream, it's comfortable, it's getting surprisingly good gas mileage. I'm up above most of the traffic, where I really like to be. It's the Ocean Liner, yes it is.
I love everything about the new 'car', except for those tinges of guilt when I think of how much gasoline it uses. This is not a very 'green' vehicle. I envisioned having to fill up every hundred miles. It's gotten fairly good mileage, actually. Surprisingly good! I'm heartened. Now I can have my massive encasing of metal lifting me up enough to see over most of the other vehicles. Being the control freak I am behind the wheel, I want to know where EVERY other vehicle is, not just the big butted minivans the obscure anything beyond them. And you don't dare pass them, because you never know how thinly strung the driver is at the end of her day.
I love the leather seats with the lumbar support that you can ask to warm up on those days when your low back is achey. I love how relaxed I feel while driving on the freeway. It's just good.
So D3 and I headed off down the road (Daughter #3). The last time I went on a vacation (G2's and my trip back east), I promised she could go the next time. She has a disconnect with anything relating to time. That seems to extend to distance, as well. She is always wondering why Uncle Peter doesn't come over more often. Well honey, he lives 900 miles away. Nope, doesn't compute. She's about to see just how far that is :)
So. Best Western does indeed strike again. Last fall G2 and I had a constant issue with the lack of access at the various Best Westerns we stayed at. I hadn't planned to stay with them this trip, to be blunt. However, I'm on their email list, and they send a pitch that went like this: Complete two separate stays at a Best Western Motel in Oregon from June 21 to July something, and receive one free stay to be taken at your discretion, AND a Jonas brothers back pack. D3 happened along when that email was open, and she CAN read. It was settled, to Best Western we would go.
I made reservations for our stay on the way to California. I specified no feather pillows (allergies), and that there must, must, must be a good internet connection. No problem says she...I'm making a note of it right now. Yes, they have great internet, it says it right here.
Except for a 'Police matter' that had the I5 bridge into Portland closed (forcing a detour), the drive was beautiful. You know how the sky looks when it's about 1/3 cumulus and 2/3 blue sky? Yes, that beautiful.
My favorite roadside sight: Large black SUV pulled over to side of road, where near the rear a man was leaning over holding a sack of....something. When I was much closer, I realize he was holding the bare butt of a young child over a patch of earth. Oh, the frustration! You know they have to toilet train, but sometimes it's downright untimely!
After negotiating some very confusing directions, we get to the Best Western New Oregon Motel. As I was completing the registration process, I happened to say, now tell me you really really really do have good internet, because it is of paramount importance to me. Two men hang their heads and say...our internet is out. maybe we had a lightning strike or something. Me: Uh huh? At least they admitted it, and we headed out to the next Best Western, only a few blocks away.
Now residing at the Greentree inn, we were deep in the middle of allergy attacks before I thought to check the pillows. Yup, you guessed it. In addition, I was given an ethernet connection, just in case the wifi didn't work. The ethernet was to be plugged into the wall underneath the desk. Unfortunately, there are no electric outlets anywhere near the desk, so the computer cannot be plugged in. Fortunately, the wifi works.
A very pleasant night manager did find us a couple of pillows, which I am going to use right about now. Those pillows are much appreciated.
We'll see how the continental breakfast is in the morning. It's a nice place, so I'm hoping for a good experience to start off a long day of driving. All the way from Eugene, OR to San Jose CA in the morning. We can do it!
Finished blog, laid down on pillow and thought...hmmm. So after unzipping the outer layers, I behold the tag on pillow that states: Duck Feathers. I think if I remove the bedspread (thin and contains no feathers) and roll it up, it will approximate a pillow. Sweet dreams.
I have been on and off the ferry more times than I can count this weekend. At this time of the year it is insane to even consider driving on because of the lines of waiting cars. I spent time with the grand kids, so it always makes sense to walk on at one end and pick the little critters up then walk back on and off then go home. Then repeat when the visit is up. Pretty simple except that this time of year the boats are unpredictable time wise, so no matter how much time I think I have, it usually ends in a gimpy sprint up the ramp to catch the boat as it is about to leave. That is what happened last night on my final trip of the day. S2 is off for California and wanted to borrow the cooler that I bought for our trip last fall. I barely made it onto the boat; and she and daughter were meeting me at the other end, after which I would oooo, and ahhh, over her new wheels (appropriately called the Ocean Liner). We went to dinner and then she dropped me off for the ride back to my home port. As we got there a boat was just pulling out, but what we didn't see was there was another behind it waiting to pull in. Another fast walk up the ramp. I tell you all this because when I got home I immediately got the dogs and took them outside. Two steps off the porch I was suddenly on the ground. My leg had fallen apart!! Again, I thank the therapists who worked with me and taught me to fall in such a way that I would do minimal damage to my body. I am fine, although the dogs were a bit shocked. I think about how scared the ferry workers, or other passengers, would have been had this happened on the boat, the ramp, or at the park...and how embarrassed I would have been; not to mention that it would hurt a bit more to hit cement or steel versus my front lawn. I got the leg back together and have an appointment on Tuesday.
The Mom emotions will be left to your imaginations. Suffice it to say that once a Mom, always a Mom. I just want my babies to be happy and make good choices.
My grand daughters are so adorable. I feel so lucky. To be able to sit and "talk" with them is always the highlight of any visit. The way their eyes see the world is something that we "adults" should strive to have in our sight. I'm beginning to think that they are the wiser; needing love and support of family, a warm safe place to sleep, and food in the tummies. It shouldn't be that difficult if we have our priorities straight.
I haven't spent much time on the motorcycle lately. It just hasn't been in the cards. I miss it and guess I need to just make a date and do it! A group of my internet biker buddies got together last week for an annual get together called the "Gritz Blitz." I have met a bunch of the guys in the past. A couple of them had come a few summers back on a cross country ride. One of the guys had his bike until it turned over 100,000 miles. He then got himself a new beauty and has put quite the mileage on it as well. There was a group that met here last summer. Many go to their destination by air, then rent a bike and ride. Not these two. One is from Florida and t'other from eastern Canada. Word came down yesterday that the teacher from Florida "went down." Those two words make my blood run cold. It looks like he will be OK, but will be having some back surgery as he shattered a vertebrae. His bike will not be that lucky. The good thing is that his wife was not perched behind him. The other good thing is that it was all kept under wraps until HE could call her. Hearing his voice, would give her some comfort, and let her know that he really is still alive. It is a hazardous pastime, and we all take that risk upon us when we throw our legs over the saddle. It doesn't make it any easier to hear that one from that inner circle has been hurt. I am incredibly grateful that it wasn't worse. I know that it will drive him crazy to be spending this summer vacation cruising in a true lounge chair this time, rather than a bike that we have dubbed the title. Heal fast, Ringo. The gimp's prayers are with you.
Does any one know where I can put in my order for a quieter week ahead? I'm getting too old for all this emotional roller coaster stuff!
Have a great week...that's my goal.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Progressive lenses eyeglasses for $37! I spent over $400 for mine. I could use another pair or two for those days that I forget where I put them. Sunglasses would be nice as well. I don't need to pay the $$ for designer frames. Glasses are not a fashion statement for me, but that doesn't mean I want ugly...although it would be funny to get some of those big plastic frames with "wings" just to drive the kids crazy.
Thanks to cousin Jen for the site. Her son is wearing glasses, and little boys can do a job on glasses, so she did a search and found this.
That's it for now.
I am not sure why I have all these empty posts; I guess it is the blogspot quirk of the day...
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
OK. Adult children. I have three. They give me more joy now than they did as little ones. I never would have believed it as I adored raising kids. Now we have a strange relationship in which THEY are the adults, and are the victims of my constant teasing. I have said on here many times that I live to embarrass my kids, and it is true. It would fall flat if they did not respond with smiles and a chuckle here and there, so I give part of the blame to them. I cherish who they are; I adore who they have grown to become. Their strength and commitment to their passions is inspiring.
My oldest is the Dad that I wish my children had. He is the husband that I wish I had. He has heart and strength that he wears on his sleeve. He has figured it out. I am so grateful to him for showing me how a young man can overcome a lot of odds. I give credit to his wife and her family for showing him what family truly is.
My daughter also has been growing into her "self." She grew up being passed from friend to friend as her mother was hospitalized. I feel bad about that. The examples she had as parents have shaped her a bit more than her older brother. Again, her heart is bigger than life itself, and she is a good mother and wife. She stands up for herself when wronged, and I applaud her. It was something that I did not do until recently. She is someone that I share laughs with. I completely adore "hanging out" with her. (I think we will soon be embarrassing HER daughter. )
My youngest child, my second son, has found his calling. There were times that I feared for his life as his choices were sadly lacking. I am thinking that he needed to work through some things to figure out not only who he is, but also what he wanted to do with his life. He is the artist. He is pure, raw, emotion. This boy who used to try and melt things out in the shop (at age 3) is now a top notch welder/artist/business owner. His metal fabrication work has been sold all over the world. I think he finally understands how brilliant he is. I came across the coloring book that he started making at the age of three. I now wear his artwork on my prosthesis. He is with me wherever I go. I like that.
These children are still my life. Without them I would have given up the fight. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to see them blossom. It just keeps getting better and better. I love you, children of mine.
A huge congrats to my college friends who were just given a new grand son. Welcome, little man. You give the gift of life to some of the greatest, and strongest, people I know. How healing it is to see how life continues on. May you be blessed with good health.
Life is wonderful.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I also have small town "talkers." You know the ones. Those folk that somehow know everything about every body. I don't understand what they get out of spreading news; false or not. I have people that tell me intimate details of the life of a person that I have never met. Very weird. It would be fun to hear what they say about me. The strange hermit granny that lives in the woods and wanders around in shorts with a black, fish painted, peg leg. We have artists, tree huggers, lumber jacks, and fishermen. Reservation land, and very fancy golf course communities.
Yesterday I went to the neighboring town. My pool pump has died, or perhaps it is the wiring. There is an electric motor fix-it guy that has a shop there. In the city across the sound if'n a store sign reads "Open" and has an hours sign, there is a 99.9% chance it is open. Not so here. Sign said open, hours said 10-4, door is locked up tight. Nope, there was no "Gone Fishin" sign, but there was a sign that had a phone number. I dialed it. The guy answered with the shop name and "can I help you?" I say, "Are you open?" "Tomorrow" comes the reply. OK. Sign says open Tuesday through Saturday 10-2. I really want to get in my pool. Should I go to the pool/hot tub store and talk to them? I know they will try to sell me a pump. I know to replace the pump will run me at least $400. What if it is a wiring issue? sigh. I decide the wise thing is to wait and go to town again today.
My question is: Why do I let a little thing like a sign get to me. It is not the fact that the guy wasn't there, it was the fact that the sign said he should be! I think I need some therapy. That kind where they submerse me into "Sign Land." I think of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland. Signs coming at me from all angles and none of them making any sense. Exits everywhere, but they have no doors. I would either come out of it numb and no longer caring, or I would be a shaking, quivering mess of hyper stimulated neurons.
So I take this tired body, in shorts and koi adorned leg, and I head to the fix it shop, in hopes of enjoying the pool in a week or so. The question is, or course, will the guy be there when I get there?
Song of the day?
5 Man Electrical Band "Signs"
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?
The good news is that the pump is fine. The bad news is that it still won't work. It must be the wiring. Tomorrow I will get into the circuit breaker box and see if I can figure it out. If not I will be calling an electrician on Monday, which likely will still be cheaper than replacing the pump.
Monday, June 8, 2009
One of the Border Collie litters had a problem. Two of the pups were quite ill. One of them, Emma, was their "keeper" of the litter. Little Emma had a huge problem. She had multiple seizures, bouts of severe diarrhea and loss of function and appetite. The vets could not figure out what was wrong with this itty bitty pup. After many bouts, dear Emma continued to fight and she was diagnosed with Equine Ehrlichia, which was unheard of in our area. (She has saved a few dogs and is now on the records at the vet school in the state.) She went in to remission with prophylactic antibiotics. However, the disease had really taken a toll on her poor little body. She was quite small and fox-like. She had severe arthritis at a young age. But dear Emma just kept "keeping on."
The farm moved a few months shy of a year ago. As they were moving a new LGD was given to them. Alex. A fantastic, beautiful Great Pyrenees that would take over from aging Maddie.
Alex was everything anyone could ask for in a LGD. Gentle with anyone and anything, yet looked ferocious. If one got too near, the risk was in getting slimed, not bitten. Alex befriended dear Emma and became her personal protector and guide dog. Little Emma was blind by the time the move occurred. The biggest dog on the place, was "bestest" friends to the littlest dog. She looked to him, and he was always with her.
Until a bit over a week ago. The heat spell we had claimed Alex. I cried then, and I cry now. There was something incredibly special about Alex, and the same can be said of Emma.
Today another note from my sister. Emma is gone. Again I cry. Emma missed her guide dog. She somehow wandered into one of the pastures and when trying to find her way out got hit by the hot wire. In her fear she got tangled in it. She was so stressed that she had a relapse and the Ehrlichia kicked in. She was no longer able to fight.
I believe that my sister is right. Alex met her at the Rainbow bridge. His job has changed now from guide dog to big brother. Emma finally has a healthy, pain free body. She can run and play without hurting. Her world is perfect and she will be waiting when our time here is over.
My sister is also right in that one should not have animals that are the same age. Barring "accidents" they will all go to the bridge in close succession. I saw it happen with the dogs that I brought here. In a matter of three years they were all gone. It seems like I would just start to heal from the loss of one and the next would leave.
So here I sit, corwyn at my feet. Two dogs that are almost exactly one month in age difference. Kate celebrated her second birthday last month, and Henry last week. I'm thinking that five years down the line I will be getting another dog..
God speed Alex and Emma. I miss you both. I loved you both.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Most of my work around the place MUST be done early morning. Before 11am. Figuring that most of my outdoor stuff takes a couple of hours, that means out as soon as I am up and dressed. Sometimes "dressed" around the property is a bit different than dressed for town, if'n you know what I mean.
I put off power equipment until after nine as a courtesy for "Jim." However, lately as soon as I start up the mower, weed whacker, chainsaw, etc, he makes his way over. I think I may revise my time for 8am. Heck, maybe 6am. The problem lies in that he plunks his-self down and wants to chat. I have a pretty small windown of time that I can do what needs to be done. I don't do well in the heat. In fact, I do very poorly in the heat. I get grumpy. I get terse. I sometimes get downright mean. So when I was mowing and he made his way over I first tried to "talk" without turning off the machine. I have a 95% hearing loss in the left ear and a small loss in the right...I want to say around 10%, but I don't remember for sure. My parents reared me to be polite. Yelling over a lawnmower is probably not polite. So, I think, what would Dad do? I let up on the handle that keeps the mower going. BUT, I give him less than five minutes. When the whining got too much I stated a fact: "I need to get back to mowing before the heat comes in." One of the things I have learned as of late is that we all have an agenda. Mine was to get the chores wrapped up. Well, and the obvious (to y'all) send the neighbor back to his house. A quick comment as I grabbed the starter chord: "How's the pool coming" made me realize that, not unlike a child, he wanted to swim. I can't do it. I just can't. I said something about the water still be slightly "off" (which it is) and he left. I don't mind swimming, nor do the dogs, if the water isn't balanced perfectly, but I don't want the responsibility of others. More to the point, I cannot afford to risk MY health if someone drags something into the pool and my chlorine levels are not high enough to kill it. Knowwhadimean? Today my daughter and grand daughter are coming over. We are checking out a movie at the new theatre in town and then will come home and swim. Suddenly it will not be a quiet swim. There will be laughter, splashing and fun. He will know that the pool is "open." I will need to just nip this in the bud, but I am not sure how to go about doing it without hurting feelings. Do I care? sigh. Yes. OK, Dad, get me out of this one.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Arthur's smoke tree is also doing well
And my grape/clematis arbor.
There appears to be a bumper crop of blueberries
For the first time since I have lived here, this rhodie shows its colors