Aging Sucks but Happy Summer!

Big surprise! Well not really. The curvature of my spine has gotten worse over time, so the doc wants me to try using a higher lift. My right I-T band is trying to compensate, and that is where the pain I’ve experienced lately is coming from. The fix is relatively inexpensive, stretches for the I-T, new lifts, and a different supplement than what I had been taking. Easy enough. It’s just that whole aging thing sucks, really sucks.

One really good note, on that note, is that riding bike is absolutely a-okay. No running, no more frog kicking when I swim, but biking is not a problem. Yay! That was the best news of the day. Well, maybe not as good as no surgery required (you know how your imagination gets carried away when you’re waiting to see a doctor), but still, really good news. I like riding bike.

I’m going to the mountains again this weekend. I’m looking forward to getting out of the heat. Hiking will give me a really good opportunity to see if I’ve made any progress on the I-T band.

Sitting on the patio, listening to the rain patter down on the awning is the ideal way to end a day. Have to say, the rain was hardly measurable, but it cut the heat and that ain’t bad.

I’m investigating putting solar on my house. I am surprised at how little it actually costs now. Or I should say, I expected it to cost a lot more. Anyone have any recent experience with solar? I know the technology is improving all the time. It sounds like they expect the battery storage will improve enough in the next five years for a person to go off grid. Won’t that be the ticket? It’s sure worth a thought. Hackers can’t take away your power if you aren’t on the grid.

Long distance grandkids are coming soon. Happy Summer everyone!

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Whose Teeth?

So I guess it is a squirrel eating on my drip line. It is a half inch brown line with holes every eight inches. Anyway, I turned the drip on to water a bit extra since we are in the 90’s this week, and noticed a wild spray shooting up in the air. Turned off the water, looked at it, noticed little teeth marks, and headed to the store for parts. While there, I asked myself if I shouldn’t pick up extras. Nah. Last night, I fixed it and turned the water back on, only to find another spot with similar teeth marks a few feet away. This one didn’t spray up in the air so I didn’t notice it when I saw the first one. My question is: do squirrels eat plastic/rubber pipe? I don’t have rabbits anymore. Raccoons go through here a lot, but their teeth marks would be much bigger.

Back to the store and this time I bought extra couplings and hose clamps. That’s all fixed. Next project was adding a drip line for the new clematis I just planted along the back fence. I dug down and found pipe, punched a hole and put in the dripper. I turned on the system and no water. Went through all the stations and nothing fed that line. So, I dug around in the gravel some more and found another line, the right one this time, punched another hole and the new plant has water. I pulled out the dripper from the wrong line and put in a plug – all the while wondering if I punched a hole in the neighbors line? At least no water came out like it did from the correct line. The incorrect one is a foot inside my fence, but still. Makes a person wonder. I just hope the plug holds.

So, most of the morning was blown. I took a half hour bike ride instead of a couple hours like I’d hoped. Oh well. Everything’s working – for the moment.

The picture is in Pike National Forest.IMG_2211

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Happy Flag Day

Encouraging reviews are coming in for the Young Adult novel. There are some ‘magical’ pieces being worked out, but for the most part, I am very close to being done. Some fun little trips are getting in the way of serious work, but since I won’t give them up, the work will just have to wait. Ah shucks.

Flag Day and aIMG_2170nother birthday is on the horizon. To celebrate, I am headed back into the mountains. Last week’s trip to Steamboat Springs was an absolute feast of beautiful scenery, water falls, and hot springs. Swimming in a cold mountain river was unbelievably ‘bracing!’ I’ve been in rivers before, but I’m usually wearing fishing waders. The best part of the trip was the good friends I shared all the adventures with.

Storms brewed up and hail fell, some of it quarter size, but I was lucky in the yard. A few leaves are scattered on the ground, but not much, and the flowers withstood the pounding well. For a moment, I thought “go hail” because I know I am in need of a new roof, but then I thought better of it.

The grandkids will descend soon. I can’t wait. I have no plans for them as of yet, other than hiking and biking, and maybe a movie when the heat gets bad. I’ll have to find some rocks so we can paint. I remember my childhood summers as unplanned days of laziness. That’s not at all what I see in my neighborhood. Kids going to swimming lessons in the morning and soccer or T-ball, etc. in the afternoons. Play dates and camps. Mom’s running crazy. If you need to have a glass of wine at the end of every summer day, you’re doing something wrong. If you want one because you like wine, that’s totally different. Maybe I’m preaching (again), but I just think I like spelling summer R E L A X.

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Girlfriends

Sitting outside on a lovely afternoon blowing bubbles with my granddaughter, has to be one of the highlights of summer so far. We had three kinds of bubbles, and one’s bubbles turned out to be far superior, both in color and hugeness. I’m sure her delight and laughter contributed to my enjoyment, but it was such a simple hour of conversation and imagination.

Speaking of color, the flowers are wonderful this year. I’ve been riding my bicycle each morning around the neighborhoods, and I’ve seen stunning displays everywhere I go. Maybe that last snowy cold spell brought on the vivid!

My book club just discussed “The Boston Girl” by Anita Diamont. A nice step back in time. We all saw people we recognized in her characters, and hardships the women of that day faced during the wars and the Great Depression. What some called foolishness at the time, is now seen as the bravery it truly was.

We take so much for granted. No wonder other countries are jealous of our opulence. No wonder our ancestors wanted to immigrate to America.

To all women, young and old, I encourage you to find a group of girlfriends and go away with them for a few days once a year. Pick a silly name, make some traditions, laugh, make shirts, laugh, play games at night, laugh, do crazy things during the day, laugh, eat rich food, go on hikes and swim in cold rivers. Most important is to laugh, for laughter is the food of good souls. The bonds and the camaraderie you make having such an adventure are the stuff that a lifetime of friendship and support are made of, the kind that every woman needs to get through the challenges that come to every life. I came to this realization late in life. Don’t wait. Start now.

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Mondays

On Monday, my Internet went down. I wanted to make plane reservations. Nope. I wanted to make car rental reservations. Nope. I wanted to look up an e-mail from a cousin that had a phone number on it that I needed to call. Nope. I love the convenience of the Internet, but I sure hate the glitches. Turned out, that was just the beginning of my Monday. Next, the wind came up, and my retractable awning did not wind itself back in. I went through the manual, again, and called the service number, again. The very nice service person took me through all the steps and then said, “Do you have a hair dryer?”

“Yes.”
“Well, why don’t we see if you have power at your plug in.”

No power. No motor. I checked the breakers, none were tripped. I’d wasted a good portion of the day by now. So, I went to the kitchen and fixed a dish with chicken, water chestnuts, broccoli, carrots, and cabbage. I planned to sprinkle on a little ginger and then add some soy sauce. The top came off the ginger jar and a third of the brand new bottle’s contents fell into the dish. I had no idea ginger could be so hot.

A few hours later, I had a call in to both an electrician and my techy person, so I thought I might as well watch the news in the mean time. No TV. I wasn’t boiling – yet. I called the cable company, and after her deciding I needed a new modem, the person on the other end of the line told me to go “on-line” and find the nearest store location. Then I boiled.

My daughter figured out the short end to this long story, the GFI plug in the garage had been tripped when I unplugged a battery charger that morning. I pushed the little re-set button and instantly had TV, Internet, a retractable awning, and frozen pizza for dinner.

Monday’s ought to be illegal.IMG_2139

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Can and Should

The last flower bed is done. Yay. I picked up some perennial ground cover, so I can do a little planting to keep it from looking so bare this season. In the fall, I’ll plant some bulbs for next spring and that will be that. I have no plans to add any more flower beds. Well, maybe some more Clematis vines on the back fence. Maybe.

The annual community wide yard sale has come and gone again. Thank goodness. The weather was perfect this year, unlike the freezing cold rain last year. It would have been nice to take my daily walk and peruse the offerings like several of my friends were doing, however, the best thing about staying at my house selling the things I don’t need or use is not being tempted to buy any bargains. I’m pretty sure I saved a lot of money.

Leaving clean air for my grandchildren to breathe, a clean planet with beautiful wide open spaces for them to enjoy, and good drinking water so they can have a healthy life is the responsibility of each and every one of us, each and every day. We must act accordingly, vote accordingly, recycle, buy vehicles that serve not just our needs but also our planet, and conserve our resources. It’s all possible. The technology and the innovation are out there. We must lead in this – because we can, because we are smart enough, because we know our grandchildren’s future means more than money, because we know better, because we are leaders and there is only one planet, because we can and should. That’s what makes America great, because we can.IMG_2131

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Bald Eagle Circling

Built a nice fire and the wind came up, it started raining, and that was the end of that. Of course, later the clouds disappeared and the sun came out. Typical. I’ll try again. Bad wind and tornadoes have ripped through the area of our farm, picking up $80,000 sprinklers and smashing them into the ground. Hail beat the corn into the ground, but for most, the growing point wasn’t above the ground yet, so if the weather warms up, the corn will probably survive. The farmers just have to get new sprinkler systems up and running – in a hurry. The problem is everybody wants it at once. That’s not going to happen.

That’s the life of a farmer. Back east, some farmers haven’t even gotten the seed in the ground yet because of bad weather, and others are trying to replant due to flooding. Weather is the great equalizer. Spray pilots can’t fly when the weather is bad, and the ground rigs can’t run either. Farmers might think they have done a great job planning and executing for the year, but the weather doesn’t care. Floods, drought, tornadoes, hail, too hot, too cold – and nations of starving people. Kind of scary.

I took my first long bike ride of the season the other day. I have to admit, there was a little soreness afterward. That will get better – if I keep at it. It was a stellar day with perfect weather and temperature. Several goose families were out with the babies. They are darling to watch. A bald eagle circled above me three times while I rode around Rigden Reservoir. I don’t know if I was close to a nest or just looked like I might be a food source. Either way, eagles are beautiful birds, soaring with such grace, much more than I had on my bike. I had to stop to keep from going in the water in order to watch him, but he had no trouble at all keeping me in his sights. Summer is here.IMG_2126

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