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Outdoors in Autumn

October 1, 2015

Birch Tree as Traitor to summer

There’s something about the beginning of the fall season makes me more intentional in my enjoyment of the weather. I am invigorated by the chilly air in the mornings; I revel in the cool evening air and am nearly gleeful when I feel the need to don a jacket. The leaves on the trees change color and drop to the ground like orange, yellow, brown, and red manna.

DSCN5153 overachiever, RESIZED

Along with being outside for my high school student’s cross-country meets, I’ve been making extra effort to go for walks. Soaking up sunshine on these beautiful fall days is something that my soul demands of me, even to the point that I become grouchy if I am indoors all day. Last Saturday, SuperDad invited me to go with him to the disc golf course (he plays, I walk along and take pictures). On Monday, we made a mid-day date of walking along a newly paved stretch of the Centennial Trail high above the river. We ate our picnic snack of cheese and crackers, talked about how much our old neighborhood had changed (this particular area was old railroad land 25 years ago) and then chose one of the new trendy restaurants with patio dining for the salad course.

I am outdoors for more than 5 hours each Friday for the farmers’ market. One of the new vendors is a craft brewery which had its grand opening on Tuesday afternoon. Since I knew this in advance, I went to work more than 90 minutes early on Tuesday so that I could leave a little early that afternoon. At 4:00 p.m., several of us walked the two blocks to enjoy a glass of beer together, sitting outside on the fenced-in patio as we talked and admired the work of the designer. (I also noted that I was in the presence of more hipsters than I had ever been before.)

Due to work, vending at the farmers’ market, and the times & dates of our “home” football games, I have not yet been able to see and hear our youngest play with the high school marching band. Nearly all of the games are played in a much-too-large (and aged) stadium shared by all of the teams in the league, so the designation between home team and visiting team is made by which side you are assigned to sit and whether or not you can bring your band. I have only one more chance next week to see SM perform and I’ll make a sincere effort to get out of work early to make that happen.

Putting up seasonal decorations makes me happy, and it’s something I haven’t been as timely about since I began working outside the home, but yesterday I managed to take down the spring/summer decor outside and replace it with more appropriate colors for autumn. A few more do-dads will come out of storage for the week of Halloween, but at least from the street it looks like I am aware it is no longer May.
The inside of the house will probably have to wait for a day I don’t want to be outside.

September really does end

September 30, 2015

DSCN2155 cropped 4x6 A at Audubon

On Wednesdays and some weekends, you can find me at cross-country meets. I’m there to cheer on my boy and his teammates. XC parents do not sit in chairs or bleachers; we trot our slower selves all over the course from point A to point B to point C and back to point A, cheering on our runners as they go uphill, downhill, around the bend, and if the course is really challenging, through a creek.

This month seems to have been in race mode: powering through the tougher stretches and trying to make the most of the easier times. Some things for which I’ve been particularly grateful:

  • Time spent with friends
  • H-J getting happily settled into his second year of college, and calling me just to say hello
  • EB getting a week of work at a home renovation (via networking) and interviewing at yet another job this afternoon
  • baby shower for my DIL (and getting to see my son before heading back home again)
  • cool nights and sunny days
  • coffee — and my husband who wakes me up with a cup of black gold most mornings

Breakfast Treat

September 16, 2015

DSCN1912 Summer's End 4x6

Love vs. fear and hatred

September 13, 2015

Gary wrote a blog post last week that resonated with me, so I am sharing it here for those who might have missed it.

2011 April 083 bleeding hearts and reflection

Hatred is not a Christian value.

DSCN5775 bleeding HEART

1 John 4:7-21


September 9, 2015

For Trudie

Ponderosa pine by the river

Ponderosa pine by the river

Do dust storms have silver linings?

September 6, 2015
I had this post written on Thursday night but I was really tired and went to bed without publishing it. For some weird reason, I thought I’d proofread and post it on Friday. Ha! So here is Friday’s post, three days late. You’re welcome. 
  1.  Monday was the first day of school for SnakeMaster. He’s my only one still at home full-time (except, he’s not — read on) but he’s also kid #4, which means that his parents do not always get out of bed before he goes to school in the mornings… after all, school starts at 8:00 in the morning and I never claimed to be a morning person. SuperDad never had to be involved in parenting on school mornings, so he’s a little clueless on how it all works. He thought he’d heard the kid get up with his alarm clock. It wasn’t until 9am when SnakeMaster emerged from his bedroom that we discovered the 16yo was still at home an hour after the bell rang on campus. A whirlwind of activity got us out the door 15 minutes later. This is why there is no “first day of school” photo to share with you.
  2. We’ve got two more weeks with the H-J before he returns for his second year of college. He is moving to a house with 5 other guys, although he doesn’t seem to have any idea how it is being furnished or who is contributing what. I’m trying to not think about this (because it makes me a little crazy) but I also wonder who in their right mind would rent a house to 6 college guys?!
  3. Encyclopedia Blue had a job for two months, washing dishes at a restaurant about 7 miles away. It was a 35 minute commute via bicycle for him (because he is a fitness geek, he thought that was just fine) and we had been telling him he needed to find someplace closer before winter. Well, he doesn’t have a new job, but he rode into work on Wednesday only be to told he was being “let go.”  I’m one frustrated mama… first he drops out of college, then he spends 6 months unemployed, and now after 2 months, he’s jobless once more. He’s nearly 23 years old and living at home. He does pay rent because that has always been our rule: if you live at home after your high school years and are not in college, you pay rent. Tough love. *sigh*
  4. Last weekend we took a quick trip to visit the grandparents (SuperDad’s folks). The resident 16yo was behind the wheel, getting more experience, when we drove into an oncoming dust storm. I was in the backseat, texting my girlfriends about my rising anxiety and trying to keep quiet. When we stopped to change drivers, the 3 males went to McD’s for burgers; I went to *bucks for the biggest vanilla latte they would sell to me. (At that point, I would have willingly paid for Irish Coffee, if only they sold it.) Luckily, it turns out that a couple shots of sugar help to lower my blood pressure.
  5. SnakeMaster took his driver’s test last week but he did not pass the exam. While I agree that he needs more practice (I’m not yet comfortable with his driving ability), he was marked down for driving too slowly on residential streets, which I don’t think is fair. The person administering the test decided the boy was driving slowly because he was unsure of himself, but we taught SM to take it slow on residential streets, especially those with unmarked intersections, because we have seen too many near-accidents.  Apparently 15mph is too slow and he needs to speed it up to at least 20mph.  Honestly, I would rather he drive slowly and carefully. I see fools speeding on those streets every single day.  So now we are telling him, “Drive faster!” His schedule is really full now that school has begun, but we’ll try to get him tested again within the next few weeks. With that full schedule, we practically need him to drive himself places.
Reflecting blues

Reflecting blues

Funny, I don’t remember being absent-minded…

August 28, 2015

THOUGHTS from an email message

If walking is good for your health, the postman would be immortal.

A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water, but is still fat.
A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years.
A tortoise doesn’t run and does mostly nothing, yet it  lives for 150 years.
And you tell me to exercise?? I don’t think so.

Just grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked, the good fortune to remember the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Now that I’m older here’s what I’ve discovered:

  1.    I started out with nothing, and I still have most of  it.
  2.    My wild oats are mostly enjoyed with prunes and all-bran.
  3.    I  finally got my head together, and now my body is falling apart.
  4.    Funny, I don’t remember being absent-minded.
  5.    Funny, I don’t remember being absent-minded.
  6.    If all is not lost, then where the heck is it ?
  7.    It was a whole lot easier to get older, than to get wiser.
  8.    Some days, you’re the top dog, some days you’re the hydrant; the early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
  9.    I wish the buck really did stop here, I sure could use a few of them.
  10. Kids in the back seat cause accidents.
  11. Accidents in the back seat cause kids.
  12. It’s hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere.
  13. The world only beats a path to your door when you’re in the bathroom.
  14. If God wanted me to touch my toes, he’d have put them on my knees.
  15. When I’m finally holding all the right cards, everyone wants to play chess.
  16. It’s not hard to meet expenses…. they’re everywhere.
  17. These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter, I go somewhere to get something and then wonder what I’m “here after”.
  18. Funny, I don’t remember being absent-minded.

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