Kayaking!

New roof, new paint, new windows, I guess this is what insurance is for. What a fun way to spend my Sunday morning though. Not! The insurance adjuster was very nice, very thorough, and I’m sure I’ll be happy with the results when it’s all done, however…there is the matter of actually getting it all done, starting with picking a contractor. Ugh.

I finally got on a lake with my kayak. Oh how I love gliding across the water, listening to birds calling along the shores, and soaking up the early morning sun. The first time out is always a test of my fortitude and desire to really go as I lift the kayak up on top of the car and try to remember how to secure it. It all comes back to me but I’m still learning tricks of the trade. For instance, I should know better than to wear shorts (I hate to use sunscreen). Capris are perfect to avoid sunburnt legs. I always wear a fishing shirt with ventilation so sunburn isn’t a problem up top.

I’ve learned to put my phone upside down in the water proof case I wear around my neck. That way when I grab it and hold it up to take a picture, it’s right side up. A simple thing, but far less frustrating. I’ve finally figured out that for me – 15 degrees is the perfect angle setting for my paddle. Going early in the morning avoids crowds, motor boats, and hot weather, all of which make for a much more pleasant outing. The reservoirs and lakes around here are not remote and wild like some lakes I’ve kayaked on, but they help keep me practiced and anxious to get back to the boundary waters. I’ll be back in Minnesota this fall. Hopefully I will get a chance to kayak. I’m planning on going out on the bass boat with my cousin, which is always fun, but not quite the same as gliding through pristine, quiet water, watching eagles soar high above, and fish jump for their breakfast.kayak 2019

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Symbols

Sizzle. Pop. Melt. Soon there is nothing but a puddle of mush laying on the cool tile floor, and it’s me. How do people function in this heat? I think of the prisoners of war in Vietnam or the Philippines, laying in jungle shacks with little water or food (though who could eat in this kind of horrid heat). I would have simply died.

I had a discussion the other day about protesters using the flag as a symbol. I did not realize that a negative action with the flag is viewed by many in the military as disrespecting our military itself – because service members that die are buried under the flag. It is personal to them. It is an affront to them. This person viewed it as disrespecting America, and thereby disrespecting the men and women who fight to keep America free.

It was a valid point. Never had I considered it in that narrow context, after all, the flag belongs to all of us, not just the military. I viewed the protesting as fighting for a better America and justice or equality of treatment. Just like the women who fought – literally fought (they were jailed, beaten and some gave their lives) to gain the right for women to vote. A right you and I now take for granted. 

The list of issues in which we as a country have had to fight for equality is long. Here’s a silly one I remember: when I was in high school, girls could not apply for jobs at McDonalds fast food restaurants – the only fast food restaurant in my town. Boys only. No kidding. Sounds ridiculous now doesn’t it?

I do believe that when our actions cause other people pain, we can and should find another way to make our statements, a respectful way. But, and this is a big but, sometimes our words are not heard. It takes action. The Civil War took over 600,000 lives to abolish slavery, and still prejudice and racism did not simply vanish at the end of that awful, bloody conflict. As a country, we are still fighting for equal treatment for people of color, for Gays and Lesbians, for women to receive equal pay for equal work.

I don’t know all the answers, but I do know that listening is good. That keeping an open mind is good. That looking at topics from all points of view is good. That being respectful is best of all. I wish there were no reasons for protest in the first place, but until that day comes, let’s keep talking. We can do better.DSC_0769

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Boys

The grandsons are back. The long list is slowly whittling down. The weather is summer hot and lazy. The insurance company has yet to send out the adjuster, though I will concede they are probably inundated at the moment. The next door neighbor’s roof was deemed to be “trashed.” I’ve had a contractor here to look at the windows and paint. All things I did not wish to spend my July dealing with, except the grandsons.

The boys have gone to bed, so there is quiet in the house, the first all day, otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting and writing. This day’s accomplishment, besides keeping the boys alive, was getting all of my parent’s vinyl records into the record boxes brought from Grand Junction. I put an old classic on and started dancing to the swing. The boys laughed so hard I thought they would pee their pants. Come on now. It couldn’t have been that bad.

Later in the day when the boys were playing downstairs and I was up, here they came and asked me to put some music on. A person can stack the records about eight high in that old player. Maybe I’ll try some Eddie Arnold on them next. I think I’ll have to ease them into the classics.

My five year old grandson says his two favorite things are push-ups and pulling weeds. He is the “master” at those two things, he says. Funny thing is, he is good at both. He’s been around my yard and weeded all of the gravel areas, and he did twenty-one pushups to show me. They weren’t slouch pushups either, no butt up in the air. He gets flat at a board and up and down he goes. He also climbs trees without assistance, although I will have to help him sew the shirt that ripped when it got caught on the tree limb. Oh well. That’s something I can do, cause I’m sure as heck not climbing that tree with him.boys in tree

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Hail!

It has been a while since I put fingers to keyboard. I’ve been enjoying the company of my grandchildren since I got back from my last trip over the hill to Mom’s house. My grandsons and their mom are now off visiting other relatives and I am playing catch-up/clean-up. Just for a bit though, the kayak comes out next. I hope everyone had a safe and fun Fourth. Thunderstorms and rain ruined our fire-pit activities, but we enjoyed fireworks on TV after a fun day of play for the cousins.

It took most of a morning to get the yard caught back up from my being gone and occupied. Since my grandsons will be back shortly, I’m leaving the fort up downstairs. The next thing on my list is a nap. The word exhaustion comes to mind, but maybe it’s just that almost everything, the decisions at least, with the estate are done now. My body is telling me it’s shutting down for revamp.

Hail hit the neighborhood, much of it over an inch in diameter. Besides needing to call the insurance company and rake up tree leaves, I can’t complain too much. Some of the Clematis look very bedraggled this morning, and the Lantanas in the pot out front, but that’s about the worst for the small stuff. I am amazed at how many spruce tree twigs are on the ground, and the crabapple in my front yard looks terrible. Poor thing, that tree has been recovering from late frost and hail damage for five years. It was just starting to look ok, and now it looks painfully pathetic – again. The good news: the Hosta I moved under the spruce tree looks un-phased, and since Daylillies close up at night, and this hail hit after dark, they are open and beautiful this morning. Well, I suppose I should go get the rake out, I suppose – or maybe a second cup of coffee…hail

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End in Sight

Did you miss me? I am home for two days, so thought I would take a shot at writing for the half hour I have left open. The suitcase got unpacked and is waiting for the second round of clothes to go in. There will be no time between the next two trips, so the clothes are in a line-up, ready to go.

Lots got done at my parent’s home. The moving company successfully picked up and delivered all the items we wanted to bring back. I met with the realtor and the estate sale people. One more trip over the hill to meet my daughter and bring back the remaining items I haven’t had room for in past trips – and then I am done. What I don’t know is there won’t hurt me. You can’t miss what you don’t know existed.

The worst part of the last trip, was waiting (I’m not good at sitting and waiting), and the horrendous weather coming back in the middle of the night made for a nightmare. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we weren’t able to leave Grand Junction until 8:30pm. We encountered hail, down pouring rain that had us hydroplaning on more than one occasion, snow on the passes and slush coming down the far side – all in the dead of night. We arrived at 1:30am the next morning and had to get up and be ready to receive the furniture off the truck at 8am.  I’m still recovering.

I got in a walk, dead-headed the roses and Iris, and said hi to my neighbors. That will have to do for now. Maybe I’ll get a few more things done but I’m not counting on it. I hope all of you are having a wonderful summer. It slays me that almost a third of it has already flown by. How does that happen?

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Tasty Treats

As I began typing this blog, I looked down at my fingernails and had to wince. My mom would have been less than pleased. My excuse is that I just came in from planting a dozen bedding plants in my flower bed, after feeding the roses. I washed my hands, but well – sometimes it takes a couple scrubbings.

I believe I should go out and mow and fertilize the lawn before this afternoon’s rain hits. This is definitely a strange year for Colorado in the weather department. For a few days, we’ll be in the 80’s as if it were July or August, and then suddenly we’re back into the rainy, cool weather that reminds me of Seattle.

My upper garden seems to be at the mercy of raccoons or squirrels this summer. No bunnies have been spotted and I am vigilant about keeping up the bunny-proof fencing, but of course, squirrels and raccoons respect no such barriers. “Something” is eating the mums, zinnias, and marigolds (marigolds of all things!) out of the flower beds. I planted a hosta up there this morning. Just an experiment. I don’t know whether they are off-putting or a delightful new treat. I should know by morning.

I’m off for my last rounds of treasure hunting in my parents home. I have an appointment with the estate sale company and the realtor that I have chosen to sell the house. I’m turning it over to them. It sounds defeatist to me, to say “I’m done,” but I’m done.

I decided once again to try and attract hummingbirds to my yard. I have plenty of flowers for them to enjoy. I just don’t know why they can’t find my feeder. Birds, butterflies and bees abound here, so it can’t be too bad. At this point in the season, it will be their fall migration back south before or if any hummers stop here. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I miss them.

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Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there. Your role in the lives of your children goes far beyond what many realize. You are the model of your children’s behavior, their ethics and morals when they become adults. The time you spend with them is the most precious gift they will ever receive from you, one they will pass on to their children – your grandchildren – in the future. 

I wrote this on my birthday, the 65th one I’ve celebrated. It seems this is a big birthday. At 65, a person is eligible for medicare, senior discounts of all kinds, even property tax breaks if they’ve lived in their home long enough. Well, that is nice, sort of. I always like saving money. It also means I’m old – or at least considered old. Blech! I’m not really interested in any such label – thank you very much. I still feel 19 inside and I’m sticking with that!

I bought flowers to plant in the flower bed and while I was down on my knees digging in the dirt, it hit me that my mom wouldn’t be calling me to wish me a Happy Birthday later in the day. That kind of blows. It’s one of those ‘firsts’ that you don’t want to put in the memory book. My cousins wrote and called, my grandkids and my kids called, my best friend wrote, my daughter took me out to lunch – so those precious gifts of their time are what I’m concentrating on. I’m so lucky and blessed by them.

The marathon second half of June is about to start. I’m sort of inclined to stick my head under some covers and pretend I forgot. My reward for surviving June comes in July – kayaking – and August – visiting family in Oregon. woohoo! This coming fall has a busy schedule too. I’ll just keep on keeping on.

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