Saturday, August 29, 2009


Me. Yep. Mentally, emotionally, physically. The three day walk is a few days away and I don't get to go. Thank goodness we passed on it for this year as I have had nothing but issues with this prosthesis. The suspension sleeves last maybe a couple of weeks. Thankfully they just keep replacing them on warranty, but I cannot imagine what sixty miles would do to one. This is but one of the bugs that I have only a year to work out. It is so frustrating. I am still training and have now gotten to where I truly cannot stop. I crave those endorphins. I read of friends doing triathlons and think that I may have to check out the possibility. The issue would be transitioning. Trying to get out of the water "gracefully;" aw what the heck, since when have I ever done anything gracefully? I just need to find a way not to get sand and mud in my pants as I slide to the beach. That could make the cycling leg of the race a bit, well, chafing! (So Nom, help me with ideas on this one!)

Yesterday early evening was a ballet recital for one of my little princesses. There is nothing cuter than a bunch of five year olds in tutus. Truly. The day did not start real well. My "residual limb" has been incredibly more sore. The walk to the ferry was pretty excruciating. Nothing I did could make the burn quiet down. I take great pride in not being a lame gimp. Being a gimp is a badge of honor, but years on crutches and in a wheelchair has made me hate to be crippled by my gimp-ness. (Besides, the cracked rib still makes using crutches impossible even if I wanted to; and the thought did cross my mind a time or two). As the evening wore on I found myself being worn out by the pain and burning. Thank goodness for the grand kids! The "warm fuzzies" I get from them far out weigh the pain.

The little sister watched intently, but really wanted to be out there.

To make it a little easier I gave her my camera and let her take pictures.

A proud papa with his ballerina princess

Anyway, I limped my way from the ferry to my truck and headed home to feed and water the horse and dogs, turn off the pool pump, close camper and trailer doors, etc, etc. Then I stumble to my room to remove the leg for the night. I had been looking forward to that moment for most of the day. As I lay there trying to pin point the exact location of my pain I feel something odd. I have a free floating piece of bone about the size of my pointer finger to the first joint. I can actually move the thing around. When my surgery was done, all those years ago, there was a piece of bone that was put in as a bridge between the two bones of the lower leg. Sometimes that is not done, in my case it was. Somewhere around a year later I took a rather hard twisting fall and snapped that bridge. The Xray showed it was still where it needed to be, so hope was that it would heal in place. I think the free floating bone I was feeling last night may be that bridge. What I think was happening is that it was moving around in my stump and getting in a position where I was rubbing bone on bone. A prosthesis is fit to the stump in a very exacting way. Any changes drastically change the fit. The leg is designed to have the weight bearing areas be the patellar tendon and the joint just below, and to the sides of, the knee (the head of the tibia). The cut off end at the base can not bear weight. That surface is not made to do that. OWW! However, the leg does make contact with the end; in a nutshell there needs to be contact to keep the fluids flowing and nerves quiet. Weight bearing can actually cause the bone to protrude through the skin. Another even bigger OWWW! So, that chip was wedging between the end of my tibia and the artificial leg, thereby causing me to bear weight on both. Moving it around last night, while quite painful, seems to have pushed it back where it is no longer a problem, for the moment. I woke up this morning, put on the leg, and it was like yesterday didn't exist. In fact I plan to mow, with the walk behind, as soon as the rain dries a bit. I will make some calls on Monday and get in to be seen. I now wonder if all the murmurs about this leg are misdirected. It may be my anatomy! Such is the life of a gimp. There always seems to be something. This, however, was an interesting and shocking something! (Not to mention quite painful.) Strangely the broken stump makes the broken down emotions get quiet. Hey, whatever works.

Thank goodness for ballerinas. Physical pain comes and goes. The love of a princess or three easily over rides it. I am also thankful that there are things I really HAVE to do. It keeps me going. I would hate it if I had to call someone to do the simplest of things. That is definitely not my style...


Friday, August 28, 2009

Frost free freezer?

I think not! The Spring, now almost Fall, cleaning continues, and I made a few discoveries in the last 48 hours. First, I am not, nor have ever been, a Suzy Homemaker. With that said I have always been leery of having a certain friend over for any visits that might include fixing a meal. Why? Because she cleans her refrigerator every two weeks. I mean empties and wipes down. Not my style for sure. However, the past three days I have been cleaning out the freezer. I have not defrosted since I got it, oh, about six years ago!! However, in my defense, I have never lost any food due to power outages. The frost was substantial, and it is crabbing season for the neighbor. What better time to clean out the expired meats than crab season!! That, or course lead to the defrosting. I was really curious how long the food would stay frozen, but then got sick of waiting after three days. I began to purge. Having done the freezer I decided that I also needed to do the freezer on the top of the refrigerator. I knew there were some things to toss in there as well, and that would leave space for the rest of the freezer foods as the deep freeze shed its "snow." I will say that the crabs will eat pretty well. For a while I went on a heavy meat diet. Mostly I was eating for those twenty eight years of no beef in the house. That went away as I worked to shed the pounds a couple of years ago. I found some interesting things buried in the deep freeze. There was no placenta this time, as there was when I moved here. However, buried in the back was a wee bit of Kira's milk that she had pumped when Mimi was staying here...almost six years ago!! Last night I chipped away at the snow laden racks in the deep freeze and by midnight it was clean and running once again. This morning I just had to do the refrigerator. I also found a couple of things about the refrigerator. The more artwork and pictures held to the front, the nicer it looks underneath, and the less scrubbing. Did you know that raisins and olives look pretty much the same after months in a frost free fridge? Yep. Little black pebbles. Uh huh. So, tools that are handy include the Mr. Clean Eraser, the Dawn pump foam stuff, a scrubby sponge and lots of paper towels. The glass racks all went to soak in the bathtub. I scrubbed, and I scrubbed. The more I scrubbed, the more corgi hair appeared. The paper towels were necessary to finally remove it. Three garbage bags later there is next to nothing in my clean sparkling fridge. That is a good thing because one of the door retaining rack thingies broke so I have only two until after the next payday. I may try PVC pipe cement to glue it together for a couple of weeks. However, all is well as, like I said, there is little in there. There is nothing of "normal" fat content. All the salad dressings are now low fat. If it ain't there, I cannot consume it. The Pedialyte with the expiration of 06 is also gone. It feels pretty darn good. Will I do it again in two weeks? Not on your life! However, there is no need for pickle juice, multiple opened jams, and a container with the dregs of "grow hair on a doorknob." My dogs also don't need the calories, so Kate is now on a different supplement in hopes of continuing her hair growth and shine. As it is each time I do a "deep clean" I stare in delight at my wonderful clean, in this case, fridge and freezer. Now I need to boil some eggs and get some greens. I need to chop some onions. I am back on track with my diet, and I have a nice clean fridge in which to store my fixin's. The last thing to do a big clean job on? The oven. It isn't bad so shouldn't take too long. At this rate I can see me actually getting to the garage before it gets too terribly cold out there. All of this would not have happened had I had a frost free deep freeze. Seriously. Some things that make our lives easier, can also lead to laziness for me. There is always plenty to do that will allow me to put this stuff off for SIX YEARS...I am bad, very, very bad. Now, however, I can have this certain friend over and not worry. We can even fix ourselves some dinner; well, some salad anyway, which is my version of dinner.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wearing out a five year old

First we will search for the theme of the day. In this first picture we could be led to believe it may be cheesy smile. Perhaps gnashing teeth. Then again, it could be the porta-potty blues. You know the one:
Life is tough
I've had enough
Water, that is
And I must do my biz
But all we can find...
Gramma, please, (the dear signed)
I will wait for the permanent kind

Then again, it could be an equine theme. Or perhaps things that go round and round. Or maybe it is indeed the cheesy smile...

Then again, this looks like the blues again.
The Kitsap County Fair opened today. I drug the grand kid. (I said DRUG, not DRUGGED.) What can I say? It was a repeat performance of the one we did about five years ago. Her very first fair. They are all the same. Barn upon barn of hardworking kids trying to make sure that the public does not see any excrement from the animals. It is a tough job for all those kids, but they do it well. It brought back memories of my kids showing in 4H. The late nights and early mornings. The quest for ribbons soon gave way to dreams of that "paycheck" that showed up sometime in the fall. So, while Granny reminisced, grand daughter wandered through the barns looking for the passport stamp stations, then picked out the favorite chicken, horse, sheep, goat, zebra (?!), goat, rabbit, llama, and on and on.
In case you might wonder what might have been the girl's very favorite? It wasn't food related. In fact she wasn't hungry. I did get her an ice cream cone as we were waiting for her favorite thing to happen. All day wandering the fairgrounds. I got her a Princess CD. One where they invite her, by name, to a tea party. Yep. Had it been me at this age I would have had sweet dreams of farm animals for weeks. Not my grand daughters. They are all Princess obsessed. Pink is the color for all three of them. I got my very first pink shirt a year ago. Dress up for me, and my best friend, was putting on riding pants and boots and grabbing the stick horses. I had no tutus and ballet shoes, and was quite happy with that, thank you very much. Poor Mom. Things haven't changed much for me, except that I have accepted that I have three little princesses to dote on. My pink shirt is covered in Corgi hair, and I take the lint brush to it prior to stepping into the show ring. High heels? There are reasons to be thankful I'm an amputee. Anyway, the girl and her CD are home asleep. Grandma exhausts her. There is way too much to do while the sun is up. We never get it all done. I promised that next time we will paint the rock in the field. She has told me her design and the colors needed. Until then my baby's baby will have sweet dreams fantasizing her tea party with the Princesses...from the CD that mentions her by name at least sixteen times. Enjoy, Mommy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Just one more thing

It rained last night. I never heard it, and I had the slider (door) that leads from the pool to my bedroom open. At around midnight I was out sprinkling shock in the pool and there was no rain then. I have no idea when it hit, but it must have been a doozy. Why, you may ask? On the morning routine that I have my dogs get the first consideration...meaning as soon as we are up it is leashes on and out the door. Then they get fed, and then it is "out the door" for me; usually into the bathroom in the hallway. I rush in and sit down and realize, quite quickly, that I am sitting in the middle of a big puddle. A very cold puddle. There is the vent/fan right above the toilet. The first winter I was in the house it leaked. Not all the time, but when the rain came down "just so" and possibly the wind blew "just so." I got on the roof and put caulking around the pipe. All was fine until the rain came down, again "just so" and the get my point. Up to the roof again. This time I think I used an entire tube of caulking. I mean, who cares how it looks up there, right? That took care of the problem for seven years. So the rain leak has come back. The frightening thing is that it didn't rain hard enough for me to even hear it. The wind didn't blow hard enough to budge the two tents in the front. It makes me wonder if the wasps that have settled in the chimney cap of the furnace may have also found a way to disrupt the seals of the bathroom vent. So, there is another thing on the list of to dos, and it is now at the very top of the list. I need to climb up to the roof with my tube of all weather caulk and hope I don't encounter angry yellow jackets. Well, I guess I can finish killing off the moss. I am not up to sweeping as of yet, but I think I can handle the rest. Oh the joys of home ownership.

Tonight my son is supposed to come over and do an evening kayak journey around Liberty Bay. It is a belated birthday gift. However, this past weekend he, his brother and their two cousins did their yearly mountain bike ride up the back side of Mt. Saint Helens. The volcano. The place where S2 and I took our helicopter ride. My daughter in law called late last night wondering if I knew when they were due home. When she finally was able to get reception to the guys she was told it would likely be around 1 am, this morning. My son may be a bit stiff and tired and may put off the kayak trip. Time will tell. I will have an over nighter with the oldest grand kid as her parents have their child birth class tonight. In the morning I will walk on the ferry with her and her Mom will meet us and pick her up. Memories of when she was a baby. This kid learned to walk on the ferry boat. She thought it pretty funny to stand, straddled in the aisle, as the boat rocked in the waves. She would have all the commuters smiling. We all knew each other, so they got to watch her grow from an infant to a toddler. I'm glad that her Mom could stop that job and do the most important job; that of mother. I also was quite happy to turn the reins over to her, as this grandma is too old to be raising kids full time.

So it is another day of tasks and cleaning. The corgwyn want to go do the "chores" and bid good morning to the horse. It is 8 am so they have let me take my sweet time this morning. The Remicade headache is visiting this morning, so it is nice to have a couple of hours to get to task. Outside seems preferable to in here with the darn squeaky ball and the "muttering" that goes along with it as they both argue over who gets to give it a few good squeaks. Ow.

To the pasture, then to the pool for a vacuum. The day has begun.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Englander mattresses

Do the homework. I have. They make some great mattresses. I have the pillow top, my daughter has the memory foam. Both were purchased at a little warehouse place less than a mile from me. A retired age gentleman owns the place and is only open for a few hours on Saturdays. When I first moved here I decided to check it out as I needed a bed. His prices are below warehouse prices. I mean WAAAY below. Why? Because he feels every one deserves a decent bed. Why? Because he has very little cost; renting a small loading dock bay. Why? No friggin' advertising. When my daughter was searching for a mattress I decided to call around over on the other side of the Sound. I could get the same mattress over there for $900 more. Yep. $900.00 more. Suddenly the $35 round trip ferry fee and wait in line seemed a pittance. Yet, we tell folks and they still go out and spend the big bucks on a lesser mattress. I'm not sure if they don't believe us, or what. Why am I on this rant, you may ask? My daughter's wonderful neighbor lady. A grandma to my grand kid. Raising her own grand daughter. She found she had a rash and was trying to figure out what she was reacting to. Then the grand kid showed with a similar rash. You get where I am going here? She had just bought a "new" (refurbished) mattress from a local thrift store. The thing was more than infested with bed bugs. Yep. Itching like crazy as I type this. It was so bad that she could SEE them. EWWWWWW. I called the little Bargain Stop mattress guy. $89 each piece. Of course they go up a little bit from there. That is for a twin, which is what she had bought. I told my daughter: "We need to just do this for her." Turns out her sister, who is her landlord feels the same; only SHE is going to do it. As I type she is on the phone with the guy figuring out which set she will buy. I am going over tomorrow so will go pick it up in a couple of hours and take it up to her tomorrow. Until she gets it she is sleeping on a cot. We are talking about a woman who has kids my age, and is has grand kids that are adults. I feel bad that I cannot deliver it today. So, why is it that all these people we tell will still go buy lessor mattress sets for twice the price? Every one that knows me knows that I cannot lie. I just don't get it. I will continue telling folks and will try hard to just back off and let people make their choices. That's what life is all about, right? Na dean sin! The Scottish heritage just tends to go a tad wonky when people over spend their hard earned dollars. A bheil thu ga mo thuigsinn?
OK, enough of the old language thing. It seems I need to get dressed so I can go get a nice lady a new bed. I could not be happier.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Another checked off the list

Well, almost, anyway.
Since getting the camper I have wanted to somehow get it under cover. I considered moving the tent from the trailer to the camper, but then the trailer is unprotected. So, the easiest solution would be another tent, or so it would seem. I have been watching Craig's List, but have found that folks are getting a bit crazy in their financial stress; either that or greedy. They are wanting retail prices, or more, for used tents. So it is off to Costco. I may not have paid much for this camper, but I don't want to ever have to replace it. It makes so much more sense to take care of it, and that means out of the Seattle area rain fall when not in use. I have not yet put the side tarps on, nor have I anchored the tent. (I haven't put the side tarps on the trailer tent either as I don't see a need as of yet.) What I did find was two issues. The first, and easiest, is that I had set the camper toward the garage a bit too far. Easily solved by putting it on the truck and backing it up 8 feet or so. However, that cannot be done until I extend the new tent, which was built over the top of the camper, upwards by two feet. So, for the past two days I have been pondering the best way to raise the thing two feet into the air, thus allowing me to jack it up and put it on, and take it off, the truck. I played the mindless wander around Home Depot game. As my brain slowly came up with a plan I was constantly interrupted in my thoughts by the courteous folks in orange aprons. (A couple are beginning to recognize me now, however, so quietly smile and move along.) So, this is what I did.
I got some PVC pipe, that was thick walled, and was the same diameter as the legs. I then got doweling that would fit inside both. It was four feet long, the PVC pipe two. The doweling acts not unlike a rod placed inside a long bone to heal a bad break. I attached screws to either side and a long bolt through the metal pipe leg. It ended up working pretty darn slick. I still need to level out the places where the legs sit and then anchor them down. For now they are tied off to buckets of water and sand bags.

I then loaded the camper onto my truck for a set back that will allow for easier parking and turning around in my driveway. Once I get the legs set where I want them I am hoping I will be able to get a wheel barrow through to the barn...with the two tents set up there is not a lot of room and I really want an easy access to the barn for hay and grain. I may decide to move the entire set up back by the barn, but I will need to set a cement pad back there, and I don't see that happening this year. This whole process took at least twice as long as it would normally take with this darn rib; which is also part of the reason I did not put up any sides as of yet. Stretching out my arm, either up or down, is really uncomfortable. I will now need to do it all from a ladder as well as it is way the heck up there...although in looking at the pictures I realize that I can get a good amount from the top of the camper. Cool!!

So that project is pretty well done. Once healed it will take an hour, tops, to finish it all up. For now I need to get cleaned up as I have a date with an elderly friend. It is seafood night at the Casino, and she LOVES seafood. I'm pretty partial to it as well.

Marymoor park is the scene for this weekend's shows. I can go knowing that I got the big job of the week done. As frustrating as it was time wise, it is still quite rewarding having done it.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's 8am

I cleaned the carpet, the bathroom, kitchen, and now a break before I move on to the pool. I'm getting tired of not being able to sleep, but at least can take advantage of my waking hours.

We hit the nineties yesterday. Today will be much cooler, which is a good thing as I really need to do things outside and cannot stand trying to do anything in the heat and dust. It still hurts to take a deep breath, and I guess I am impatient and ready to be done with this rib thing. Why can't I still heal like I was 10??
Some friends who have been living out of town for the past four years have come home. I adore them and am so happy to have them back. They rented the house out while they were gone and it got trashed. Sadly it was a church friend. We had a little work party yesterday to help them get at the grime. It looked as though there was even Kool-Aid in the icemaker...nastiness every where. The grandmother once had an antique store and cannot part with anything. So there was just so much stuff that I think cleaning was really not possible. She lived with her daughter and teen age grandson. No one lifted a finger to the yard in four years. By next week there will once again be a view of Puget Sound from the living room and deck. Oh how I wish I could get them to let me be a part of the chainsawing of the brush that has grown up. Darn this rib thing getting broadcast!!
When I was over yesterday I found out that the owners/friends have a 1913 Model T about 70% restored in a trailer on the property. How cool is that?! He has decided he is done with it, however, and I suggested he contact the Hot Rod shop in town. They certainly should be able to steer him in the right direction to sell it. I would bet the antique shop owner would have gone gaga over that! Fortunately, however, it was safely locked away in a trailer. My Dad, in me, is going crazy. Oh to be wealthy. I would take this car, and the cabin next door, and, and, and...

OK, break time is over. It is 8:30 and I'm thinking the weeds need to be mown. (Is that a word??)


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hey S2

Want to buy a really cute little cabin in the woods?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It was a good one

the weekend, that is. The biggest show I have been to as of yet, was held at the Fairgrounds in Enumclaw. The weather could not have been more perfect. Most of the rings were out doors, and there was a tiny bit of breeze when it wasn't a bit overcast. None of the dogs baked, and most were quite happy to be amongst friends. Kate thinks that all dogs are her buddies, and all puppies need to be gently mothered and played with. It didn't matter that they were Afghan Hounds or Bernese. She did, however, show a particular fondest for the Corgis. Whether it was memories of growing up, or being eye to eye, I will never know. Luckily most the people who were wandering with pups were eager to have them interact with Kate once they found how good she was. By far the cutest interaction was the tall lanky eight month old Afghan who was being shown by a pro handler that I had seen often. Those long skinny legs next to Kate's dwarf legs were just too funny.

Both days there were nine girl Cardigans, which made just the right amount for a three point major. Two women each needed that major to finish their girls and be able to put the important "Champion" before their names. Yesterday one did it, and today the other. It was fantastic to be a small part of that. Kate has decided that showing can be fun and really seemed to enjoy everything about being there. She no longer goes around the ring looking like a slinky. I don't know if she is going through a growth thing, or what, but she really didn't look too out of place this weekend. Some lines of this breed can take up to five years to mature, and I have plenty of time. I am getting more comfortable in the ring too, and I am sure that helps her as we are so connected that she senses my emotions. She is sound asleep at my feet as I type this. I hope someday that I can experience the joy of getting our first point toward the championship. Because I will not be breeding it is not real important to finish her, but I am finding this sport to be quite fun, if only for the camaraderie. The walls have come down and the people who show in this breed are not at all cut throat; we just want to help each other. I'm not sure that too many breeds have that.

I sat around for an hour thinking about the movie "Best in Breed" and started recognizing how true that movie is. It was just the mindless happy game that I afforded myself prior to check in. A friend was there both days; today with her fancy camera and lens. We will see how the pictures turn out. I hope she got some good ones of my Katelan. I know that she missed a perfect photo op when two Afghans and a bald Chinese Crested were walking together. The long flowing locks and the pink and grey skin. Cute in a creepy kind of way.

So, we add a couple more ribbons to the stack. We add a lot of new friends as well. I think the friends were the best prize of all. In that department we take Best of Show.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

An interesting mental test

The following was developed as a mental age assessment by the
School of Psychiatry at Harvard University.

Take your time and see if you can read each line aloud without a
The average person over 40 years of age cannot do it!

1. This is this cat.
2. This is is cat.
3. This is how cat.
4. This is to cat.
5. This is keep cat.
6. This is an cat.
7. This is old cat.
8. This is fart cat.
9. This is busy cat.
10. This is for cat.
11. This is forty cat.
12. This is seconds cat.

Now, go back and read the third word in each line from the top



Friday, August 14, 2009


I watched a show that I had recorded a while back. To tell the truth I am not really sure why I "taped" it, but with nothing much on the telly and being unable to sleep I decided to go for it. The official title of the show escapes me, but the message I will take to my grave. Seriously. Michael J. Fox did the show in conjunction with a book he has penned about optimism. I will be getting the book. He goes around the world talking to folks about happiness and what makes an optomist. He is pretty deep in the throws of his Parkinson's disease. Any time life throws a curve ball that affects your very core, you come out stronger, and clearer. He talks with Lance Armstrong. Lance says what I have always felt. He would not erase cancer from his lifeline. I would not erase my disease either. Those hard times that shake us to the very core, are also the ones that strip away the "fluff" and show us what life truly is about. What is important. That there is no guarantee. Then Michael gets on a plane and goes to Bhutan. I want to go to Bhutan. Bhutan is truly the happiest place on earth. Forget Disneyland, my friends. Bhutan's government strives not for wealth. Bhutan is seeking GNH. Gross National Happiness. The interesting thing when Mike began his journey around Bhutan is that his walk became more "normal." Everywhere he went people were laughing and smiling. From the youngest child to the oldest adult. Mike was able to cut back his meds. You could tell just watching the screen that he was quite high on life.

I miss the vacation that S2 and I took. I still have very fond memories that make me chuckle. Every minute of it was grand. And it was healing for me, and I dare speak for S2 when I suggest she would say the same. We were hot, sleep deprived, stressed by the lack of internet, often hungry. Yet we laughed each day until tears flowed freely down our faces. I guess in some way that trip was my Bhutan. Each morning we arose after a few short hours of sleep, to partake of the oft times sleezy Continental Breakfast. Within an hour we were chuckling about something that seemed ridiculous in our sleep deprived states. The entire trip I probably got only as much sleep as I normally get in three days. Yet I was energized. Something as silly as a forgotten tomato became fodder for our blog. I was high on life.

If you get a chance to see the show, by all means partake. It is fuel for the soul. Who would have thought that the egotist that was "Alex P. Keaton" could have come up with this stuff? I have a new favorite actor. I never really enjoyed the man/kid when he was healthy; back in his former life. He now has a message that the world needs to hear. I hope his health allows him many more of these projects.

I have the show "saved" on my DVR, but we all know that means really nothing if the box dies. I am going to order it. When I feel down I will watch it again and get my attitude adjustment.

Thanks, Michael J. Fox, for putting on the screen what I have felt. May your life forever be even more blessed for sharing.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Of all things wet

Sunday was the family reunion thing. My sister and her husband swung by to pick me up. (Riding the ferry is so much nicer than driving the super slab.) We had a great view where we were parked, so elected to sit in the car. I generally stay in my truck as it is so much more peaceful. We noticed a lot of folks out fishing just off the home port breakwaters. Then we noticed something else. Small triangular fins bobbing in the waters. I had read later about the great white spotted off the Oregon coast; perhaps these wonderful dolphins were keeping the waters safe. You think? It wasn't long ago that I spotted them for the first time. I really didn't realize that we had dolphins in Puget Sound. I love water mammals. They just make me feel good. (And yes; I fantasize being on the Steve Irwin and shutting down the darn Japanese whaling ships!) I won't get into the family event; it was fine. On the way home we found the dolphins still hanging out in the same area. Very cool!
Saturday is the annual Corgi picnic for the North Westerners. It was supposed to be August first, but we were in the triple digits heat wise, so it was moved to Saturday. I will be down south at a dog show and am seriously considering forfeiting Saturday. It is such fun and the dogs have a blast. Anyway, I made up neck coolers for the silent auction. Since daughter forgot the cooling crystals on Sunday, she met me at the ferry yesterday. "Mom, says she. You need to put less than 1/8 tsp per pocket (2.5"x 2"). Seriously." "I will try them in Henry's first and make sure I have the right amount," I reply. The directions call for soaking up to an hour. I make a little pocket to size. Sew in the crystals and put it in some water. 1/8 teaspoonful? That's crazy! I'd best go for a scant 1/4. I begin to sew. About an hour later daughter calls to see how I am doing. I am hot. I have a headache. My rib hurts. I am grumpy. But, I am almost done with the first batch. It is while talking with her that I wander to the kitchen and check the "pocket." This thing has swollen to the point of explosion. I envisioned the raccoon on the side of the road last summer. Its little footsies barely visible protruding from the basketball shaped torso. Suddenly I realize that dear daughter does indeed know what she was talking about. Crap! On to round two. I begin making replacements for the doggie scarves. Then, mostly out of curiosity, I decide to soak one of the first batch and see how bad it really would be. Meanwhile, I take the hour to continue my sewing; adding about half as many crystals as before. I was delighted to find that the overstuffed versions would work OK.
Before soaking:
After soaking:
Directions were typed out and the sets will go in a bag for the auction. Now, however, I am in a quandary. Do I risk mailing them? We are talking only 25 miles, but across the very wet Puget Sound. It is Thursday. Our mail goes out at 5pm...the picnic is on Saturday. I really should deliver them, but cannot ride the motorcycle quite yet. The roads are wet with this morning's rain. All of the oils from the days of drought will be sitting atop the surfaces of the roads. Until there is a good amount of rain they sit in wait for a tentative biker to come along. My ribs just don't allow me the flexibility to "dance" on the roads like I need to. Oy, what to do? What to do...
If it was winter (we wouldn't need neck coolers) and payday was today (I wish) I would get in the truck and deliver these. However, it is a bit too close to the end of the week, it is summer, and pay day is Saturday, sigh.
I guess I'd better start the batch of liver brownies and get the dog ready for her bath.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The tomatoes are in the mail

Last night as I was drifting off to sleep I heard a sound I haven't heard in many days. The rain. We in the Seattle area have come to embrace the rain. That does not mean that we don't grumble when we go day after day with the liquid sunshine, but we do miss it when we have to bring out the sprinklers in fear of losing some native tree that has been on the property longer than the first school house down the road. It is still warm. My windows are still open and the fans still circulate the muggy air. The morning thermostat read is still in the seventies. The laundry room door still stays open to help circulate the heat caused by the running of the freezer. It rained all night, yet the ground is quite dry just below the surface. However, the rhodies leaves are beginning to turn upright as if to drink each drop as it falls. I may lose a few of these twenty something plants. Between the snow this past winter and my lack of watering this summer.
A week or so ago someone back east mentioned that the Seattle area had stolen her weather and she wanted it back. (We were sweltering in the three digit heat.) She mentioned that her tomatoes wouldn't even ripen. I told her that if she would come take it back I would give her some of my tomatoes...


Saturday, August 8, 2009

That "D" word

First off I have to say that I got everything done! Well, OK, not the get up at 04-something to catch the 0505 ferry and meet some wonderful friends for breakfast before they head out on my favorite ride of the year...sniff. The alarm buzzed and I somehow managed to turn it off (at least I think it buzzed; I know I set it) and fall back to sleep. I had forgotten how sore the ribs are when I first wake up. There would have been small chance of even being able to get moving in less than an hour; I still am bummed. Knowing that right now they are all riding together. It makes me sad.

So, on to other things. The family reunion thing tomorrow. Of course it is potluck, so I had decided to take a salad or some fruit. Yes, I am back to counting points. I have been sorely lacking in that department, as has my daughter. We are both back on the wagon. The Mom person calls...seems that tacos and tamales are on the menu. No problem says I. I graciously offer my daughter's wonderful pico de gallo. (All veggies, no points!!) What shall I bring, I ask the maternal one. She says she has a couple of very large melons (alright, no comments from the peanut gallery). So I quickly say "I will bring d-d-d...
dessert(?)! I don't eat dessert, and haven't for years. I think dessert is a crazy thing. This may be in part from growing up with a younger brother who would come to the table and ask, before his bum was firmly in the chair, "what's for dessert?" When he is over I do try to have some fresh fruit on hand, but that's pretty much the extent of dessert at my house...although I can probably scrape up a nice stale graham cracker to put that cantalope on if I really try. The mother figure happily states that dessert is a great idea, and thanks me. sigh. (That was just a teeny sigh, as I still cannot take a deep breath; which means in reality that I did not complete my list of "to dos.") So who do I call? My daughter of course. She is also cleaning up the eating thing. I need ideas. Cupcakes just doesn't sound exciting enough. If I have to do this, I want to be able to taste it and not blow my next week's point allowance. Berries? In the freezer. Angel food cake? aha. Low in points. Sugar free pudding? Now I see where she is going. Then she says...make it like lasagna. What??? Layer it, says dear daughter. A layer of cake, a layer of berries, a layer of pudding, then repeat. Top with fat free topping. Seems easy enough, and within my tight budget. (Pool pump and Doggie Motel.) Then it comes time to put it all together. Do I thaw the berries? Do I mix the pudding with the berries? How the heck does one layer angel food cake without buying out the store? Three calls later I called it done. Not lasagna, unless you figure lasagna has just one layer of everything. If it is good I will claim it. If not, I will give dear daughter the credit. (Just kidding, baby.) Then as I am "layering" I quietly begin to count. Nine in my family. Six in my sisters. Two and one respectively in my brother's families, then of course the two in the maternal/paternal unit. 20. Is there enough angel food lasagna? If I fix it, I want to at least taste it. Then there is the question of serving it. Does one "cut" it or "scoop" it? Alright. The "d" word, round two. On the mini horse forum at Christmas time people share recipes. One was for cheese cakes that are done in muffin tins with vanilla wafers as the crust. After a little digging I found the quite easy to make recipe. Back to the store for the cookies and cream cheese. Alright, I went with fat free cookies and low fat cream cheese. I will likely not eat any, (yeah, right) but I should look out for my family, right? They are now in the oven and I am at peace. Whether he says it out loud or not, I will hear "what's for dessert?" when we sit down for dinner tomorrow night. There will be dessert for all. All will be right in his universe.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday emotions

Today I decided to lay down for a while following gutter cleaning. I turned on the TV. "The View" was on. I haven't watched the show for a very long time. In fact, I think Elizabeth was pregnant when I quit watching daytime TV, and I was shocked to find she still is!!! Anyway, through most of it I worked a Sudoku puzzle and wasn't really paying attention. Suddenly the cast of "Hair" came on. Darned if I didn't start crying. What was THAT all about!?! Aw, 'twas a kinder and gentler time (not really). I sang "Age of Aquarius" as tears ran down my cheeks. When "Let the Sunshine In" started up the dogs actually exited the room. I could almost hear them murmuring to each other as they left, looking over their shoulders. You must admit; I am the Queen if I can even embarrass the dogs! How nice that they don't have thumbs; they would be texting all their friends and former kennel mates and stand ready to call those men in the white coats. And no, S2, I did not give in to the pain; I am still narcotic free. Can you imagine how bad it would have been...oh my.

The news came on next. Pictures of Louisville (that's Loo-a-vull for you folks that have yet to get to the area and lavish in the southern charm and manners. Y'all might want to get it on your Bucket Lists; you will not regret it) and Churchill Downs flooded. Amazing. A year ago they were in drought conditions. 'Tis a time of extremes, it seems. I wonder how the World Equestrian Games venues are fairing. They are being held in the Lexington area, at or near the Horse Park that S2 and I visited.

So, I got up, went out, and brought the lawn mower closer. I have heard that the rain is coming in this weekend. The only place where grass still grows is where the pool dumps to waste. I quickly mowed there and then went on in to the field. Windy tends to poo in the same few places. Grass grows around those areas and makes it hard to scoop. Done. So the list is being whittled down. Unfortunately, as always happens, more things to do. I realized how badly the roof needs to be swept of dead moss. I purposely (again not really) left the bucket up there so I would be forced to get up and do it before the weather system hits. I came in for some ibuprofen and Diet Coke. My two drugs of choice. Both have now kicked in, so I am back out.

Song of the day?

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind's true liberation
Aquarius! Aquarius!
-the Fifth Dimension

Monday, August 3, 2009

This week I want...

To be able to take a deep breath!! I never realized how much I must sigh. This is one of those "things that you don't really miss until you cannot do it" things. I also have my favorite motorcycle ride of the year coming up on Saturday and I really need full use of my balance, coordination, and timing to safely do this ride. I have invited a friend along and really hate to bail out at the last minute. How do people who "shatter" many ribs manage it?

To get the darn gutters cleaned! It is a simple project that takes maybe an hour tops. It has to be done first thing in the morning so that the shingles are relatively cool. I likely could cook a hot dog up there right now, and it is relatively cool out today. What the heck, while I am up there I might as well get the chimney cleaned out for next winter as well.

To retrieve my lawnmower from the "back 40." I need to get a bit of mowing done in the pasture itself, but I think that can wait until next week when I am not risking weekend plans.

To figure out which drawers need to go back to Shirley's. (sigh...OWWWWW) Perhaps while doing that I will get an idea of how to arrange my garage so that all will be back in its place.

To hang the fake bamboo blind on the back slider to the pool. It really does need to be done as I really cannot relax during my late night swims, which defeats the whole purpose of late night swims.

To do Henry's toenails. My son-in-law looked like he had encountered a cougar after he got out of the pool. Whether Henry enjoyed swimming with him, or was trying to save/drown him is hard to say. But those toenails have to be pared down again and that means muzzle and suspend from grooming arm. It takes less than five minutes to do all his nails, and up to an hour to get him muzzled so I can safely do the job.

That will be my week. Only time will tell how much gets done.