Be Happy

I finally accomplished one of my goals since moving here, riding my bike from my place to Bellvue and back along the Poudre River Trail. It is such a beautiful ride, a long, beautiful ride. Next I will do the other side of I-25. The trail goes all the way to Greeley. I think I’ll plan that ride for when one of the kids can pick me up at the other end and bring me back. 

The south side of my house got swarmed by ants. Those are certainly pesky, determined little critters. Two different kinds of ant killers, one spray and one a bait for them to take back to the nest, seems to have slowed the problem. I’m watching closely though. It seemed like it happened so fast, but I suppose I just hadn’t been paying much attention – until there were thousands! I don’t know how you would count them, but it was scary lots!

The longest day of the year – for us – has come and gone. The sad part of that is the thought that now the days are getting shorter. The good part is that means it’s summer! No snow to shovel. Many, many people are dealing with flooding right now though, so keep your eyes to the sky. Many farmers east of me have been hailed out, which is so disheartening. Even though most carry insurance – all that does is get you back your crop expenses – no living expenses. My prayers and heart go out to you. Been there – done that. I know how difficult it is, and how strong farmers have to be to pick up and do it again. Thank goodness for their sturdy souls. I like to eat.

Being one who has left the farm, I also know what courage that takes. Starting a new life isn’t easy either. No road will be perfect. There will be ruts and rocks to get around, but either fork you choose, put on a smile and keep moving. As the song says, “Be Happy.” None of us gets out of this life alive.

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Engagement

My author-interview got published on Smashwords. Check it out! 

https://www.smashwords.com/interview/barbtyner   That was fun.

I went to Rocky Mountain National Park and got in a (they call it moderate) five mile hike to Cub Lake. I was a week too early for the lilies to be in full splendor, but they were starting to open. What was the best part of the day, though, was coming around a bend and spotting three people ahead of me step off the trail onto this wide, flat rock. For some reason I stopped in my tracks. One of the girls stepped back and began to video the other two. There must have been a little collusion going on. I immediately knew what was about to happen. The guy got down on his knee and proposed. 

The bride-to-be’s reaction was classic. She said yes, she squealed and she jumped up and down. After that came the tears and then she punched him. Then they kissed. Perfect! Their whole marriage-to-be was summed up in those few moments. I laughed along with them and congratulated them. Despite the long hike ahead, I was walking pretty high off the ground after that. Joy is contagious. My best wishes to the happy couple.

I remember why I like kayaking, no sore calves at the end of an outing. I had to take 3 ibuprofen when I got home. The next hike I’m doing up there (RMNP) is to Emerald Lake. I haven’t hiked there since I was taking a geology course in college. I’m hoping that getting in enough hikes now will prepare me for Glacier and North Cascades National Parks later in the summer. As fast as summer is going, it will be here before you know it.IMG_3390

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Happy Father’s Day

So, I got a bubble machine for my birthday. It’s a big hit with my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter. I imagine the other grandkids will like it too. They just aren’t around right now to try it out, but we got in a good test. It’s a pretty simple machine. You put six batteries in it, fill it with bubble soap, and hit the button. What wasn’t simple, was getting it out of the packaging. Three tools! It took 3 tools to get an $8 toy out of it’s cardboard box. A knife to cut the packaging tape. A scissors to cut through the zip-ties around the bottle of soap, and a screw driver to get off the three screws attached to the cardboard. Then there was a plastic lug nut type of thingy to twist off and finally the screw driver again to get into the battery compartment. It’s a good thing she really likes bubbles.

I practiced loading the kayak on top of the car. I learned a few lessons. Here are my tips. Tip #1: If you want an early start, load up the kayak and equipment the night before and then get a good night’s sleep. I stayed up late watching a good movie – then couldn’t go to sleep for hours afterward. My start was late and it was already hot by the time I was ready to load. Tip #2: I’m leaving the racks on for the rest of the season. That will save time too. Tip#3: No matter how tempting it is to leave the car in the garage for the practice session – don’t do it. Tip #4: Lift weights or have a partner (preferably strong) to help. I guess I’ll start lifting weights. Tip #5: live on a lake so you can just leave your kayak near the dock and not have to load it at all. 

That last one is impossible for most of us, so refer back to the others. Enjoy those weights!  Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!IMG_3377

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Endings

Happy Birthday to Me

Yes, my birthday is soon. To celebrate, I’m going out to eat. For those of you who know me well, you know how seldom that happens. My sister had a German Chocolate cake from the market in the fridge, so I ate a piece of that. Two celebrations. Woot!

A few days ago, I drove over the hill to see my mother. She has lost her hearing. The difficulty in communication is an added burden to those she already faces at 98. I see this wearing away at her. There are many moments now that aren’t lucid. I listen as she talks to herself in a sing-song voice as if she’s telling a story to a young child or singing nursery rhymes. Then she’ll take a nap and wake up her old self ready to play cards. She still beats me half the time. I know these moments we have left are precious.

One thing that really brings it home is giving up our nightly sessions of M*A*S*H and a root beer float. This has been going on for more years than I have fingers and toes. Mom can’t hear the tv at all, no matter how loud you turn it up, so my sister has put away the set that plays the dvd collection of Mom’s favorite show. Mom couldn’t see across the room either. It was time, but a sad harbinger of things to come. Time is running out. 

I will mourn her absence, but not her passing. There is little joy in her days now, mostly pain and fatigue. She has lived a blessed, and long life, seen her great-grandchildren and played more hands of rummy than can be counted. I wonder when I hear her sing-song in the morning, if she isn’t talking to my oldest sister who died at the age of thirty-one. They have much to catch up on.

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They

In a land where trees talk, the world’s last dragon mentors a young man to lead his kingdom in a fight for freedom. That’s the story of Rhyaden! I can’t wait for you to read it.

My first newsletter went out this past week announcing my new web-site barbaratynerbooks.com. Check it out! And while you’re there, sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss any important dates such as when Rhyaden becomes available for pre-orders and the details for my book give-away. I promise the newsletters won’t come often and will be short and sweet. The team who put all of these elements together did a great job. Thank you! They have been very patient with me. 

Details and more details. They say little things make the world go around. Who are “They”? I ask that because I’d like to have a talk with “They.” The little things are making my head explode at the moment. My brain conveniently opens the back hatch and lets things I’m supposed to remember fall out. I think it’s a stress release mechanism. Eject. Kind of like those notices from I-cloud. ‘Your storage is full. Things will be deleted.’ Well, they don’t have anything on me. My brain has been deleting for years.

Summer is in full swing. School is out so I can leave the neighborhood at any time of the morning and not have to worry about running into kids or traffic. Most of the college kids are gone too, so all in all, way less traffic. Bonus! The flip side is the hot weather. Great Big Bummer! I melt into a puddle of mush in this kind of heat. I’m looking out at my flower pots and some of those plants look just like how I feel: wilted and droopy.

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Rhyaden’s Release

Patience. What lessons I have learned on this subject over time. Right now, I’m working to get all the glitches out of my new web-site. Each time I think it’s right, we find something else. When I do launch it, and it should be soon, please don’t hesitate to point out the obvious things we have missed. I’m sure there will be some. I’m working with an awesome crew of talented web-designers at Beyond Blue media. They have been so kind considering my Un-techy abilities.

I wish I had known then what I know now when my first novel “Wait Here, Wait There” was published. It needed so much more editing. However, I have read other famous writer’s first books and found the same thing. We all learn by doing. We all get better (or change jobs). We all grow in our craft. The biggest difference now is knowing I must rely on myself to be patient and not jump before I am sure the book, the web-site, and the newsletter are ready. I must also step out of my reclusive self and present this book to the world. Hard to do! My hermit-like self wants to write, play with the grandkids and hike the country’s parks – or kayak some quiet lake in the wilderness. No no no. 

Rhyaden is a middle grade novel that takes place in a land of talking trees and the world’s last dragon mentoring a young man to lead his kingdom in their fight for freedom. Good friendship and loyalty are key elements, but also the young people in the story learn the consequences of their actions. Truly a good read. I hope you all enjoy it. In the meantime, I’m back to working on my mainstream novel, Compass Point, a story that has some of my father’s true-life investigations woven in. He was a first class investigator (Special Agent) for the FBI, an avid hunter and fisherman in his earlier years, and a rock-hound in his later years.

  

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Travel

I hate to mention this folks, but we are closing in on the mid-point of this year. Yup. 2018 is almost 1/2 gone. Being 2018, that means we are closing in on the end of another decade. I’m not trying to be negative. I’m just in wonder that it happens so fast, phenomenally fast in my opinion. The slower I go, the faster time gets away from me. There must be some theory of relativity or spacial something or other at work here. Something I don’t understand. What I do understand is that I wish it weren’t so. 

The wind has been a blowing. I always used to tell myself that meant the windmills were a turning and the cows had water. Since I no longer own any cows, it doesn’t have quite the relevancy that it used to. Nowadays, wind means dusting the house more often. That doesn’t have quite the same romantic ring to it – now does it?

My oldest granddaughter is visiting Paris right now: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame. I am so happy for her, a little envious (probably a lot envious), but she has promised me a sleep-over when she returns so she can tell me everything. Travel is the most wonderful, mind-expanding, culturally enriching gift you can give your child. “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine.

The new grand baby is doing well, even sleeping a lot at night. She does prefer to be snuggled over being put down, but then don’t we all? She grunts and groans more than her sister did, but everyone is entitled to their individuality. Her smiles are the ultimate precious gift.IMG_2848.JPEG

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