Nordic Night Skiing

DSCN2347  Destination, Mt. Spokane, WEBSIZED

SuperDad and The Scout took the small camera with them on Monday evening when they went up to the mountain to see the Snow Moon rise.

DSCN2349 Sunset glow, WEBSIZED

Sunset glow from the parking lot

DSCN2350 Afterglow, WEBSIZED

DSCN2359  Snow Moon, 22 Feb 2016, WEBSIZED

Snow Moon

DSCN2363 the Scout on skis, Nighttime Nordic skiing at Mt. Spokane, WEBSIZED

Cross-training workout for The Scout

Since I am not at all ready to hike or ski, all 5 of the above photos are courtesy of our two adventurers. I took a few pictures of the Snow Moon from our driveway but they are still on my camera and not as spectacular as the pictures found in that link.

Faithfully Mundane

DSCN2139, wish-n-puff, cropped, resized for web

The past few weeks have been filled with the mundane of daily tasks, including nagging the teen about his homework assignments, keeping up with the plethora of work e-mail and assorted responsibilities that I can’t pass off to others, and various appointments. While none of this is exciting or particularly blog-worthy, this is where we live — right here in a mundane existence. This is not a bad thing, as Tracy points out in this post.

I hope you click on that link before you get back to nagging reminding your teen about doing homework or cleaning up the pet vomit or dealing with Mt. Washmore (a.k.a., Mt. Neverrest) or washing those dirty dishes.

Thank God for dirty dishes
they have a tale to tell:
while others may go hungry,
we’re eating very well.
For home and health and happiness
I wouldn’t want to fuss
for by the stack of evidence
God has been good to us.

The above poem hung in my husband’s grandmother’s kitchen. My SIL cross-stitched it and framed it for me as a gift many years ago, and it has been in my own kitchen ever since. It really does keep me from grumbling too much about those dirty dishes. 

Attitude? I have a few of those…

Procrastination sign

  1. For my 50th birthday, I got up early, had fresh x-rays taken of my ankle and then went to visit the surgeon. The news was good: everything lined up with surgical repairs has stayed lined up and is healing. He and SuperDad were nearly giddy with relief over it, being the medically-minded people they are and knowing all of the potential pitfalls and poor outcomes we avoided. I was too emotionally spent to react with anything other than tears (which I avoided… barely) as I was clawing my way out of 24 hours of quicksand-like depression. Some people are hounded by the Black Dog; I flounder in quicksand. The doctor wondered why I wasn’t smiling, but since he had proven to be a rather single-minded orthopaedic surgeon, I didn’t bother explaining.  Talking would have brought on the tears, and I didn’t need a lecture about why I should be happy.

    A&K, 50 in 3x4 pic

    The day did indeed improve. Some very good friends brought a dinner party to my house that evening, complete with entertainment and tiramisu. I was beyond blessed.

  2. With my surgeon’s approval, I’ve been putting weight on my securely booted foot for a week now. Of course, I do this using my walker, and it’s probably only about 15% of the normal amount of weight one would use, but this is progress. It’s been nine weeks since I broke my ankle and 7 weeks since I had surgery. I honestly didn’t expect to be at this point already. The doctor had been purposefully vague about a timeline during the immediate post-surgery recovery period, and even prior to surgery. All I really knew was that his other patient with such a bad/complicated break had gone back to work after 4 months of recovery. (That patient had a job requiring standing.)
  3. I don’t feel like I have 4 months to wait. It’s already been 2 months and I’ve been working from home as much as possible. For the first month, I didn’t even have a replacement at work; now I do, but it is the busiest time of the year with annual reports (one is financial which goes to individuals, per IRS regulations; one is comprehensive and built from multiple sources of input.. now if only those multiple sources will all turn in their individual reports in a timely manner) and this is on top of the regular monthly reports which are due at the same time. My sub is awesome; she’s organized and loves the work. (I see vacations in my future!) I’ve gone into work for a few hours the past 2 days, but having my foot down for more than an hour or two causes painful swelling. So I don’t really know when I can fully return to my part-time job. 
  4. I’m currently on a twice-a-week schedule for physical therapy. After Monday’s session and a short shopping trip, we pulled into the garage and I shuffled to the back of the house to remove my CAM boot and elevate my foot for a few hours. This was my first real PT session, and it only took a couple of hours before the pain hit. Luckily, Wednesday’s session was not as bad, or perhaps it is because I kept up on the ibuprofen and acetaminophen dosages.  I’ve been off “the good stuff” (or bad stuff, as I think of Dilaudid) for a week now. For several nights before and several nights afterward, sleep was elusive and getting comfortable was equally difficult; if my foot wasn’t spasming to try to relieve pain, the weight of the blankets was too much to bear. SuperDad solved this  by building a blanket cradle. He misses the weight of the blankets on his feet, but my ankle in its soft boot for sleeping (a.k.a., a Dorsiwedge™ boot without the wedge because I still can’t really get to a neutral position) is very happy to not have the extra weight.
  5. After Monday’s PT session, I accompanied SuperDad to Costco; he pushed the cart while I wheeled myself through the store in a wheelchair. He only picked up about a dozen items, one of which was a packet of photos that I could reach but not see if it was mine from my seated position. I’m seeing life through very different eyes these days. The world is not, for the most part, wheelchair friendly:  poorly maintained sidewalks and ramps, handicapped-accessible parking areas not de-iced or salted on freezing days,  heavy doors that close quickly –these are all things that I’m noticing in my slower-paced world. I had hoped to get one of those knee scooters, but the doctor has told me to get up and walking with my walker. On the plus side, as long as I can safely get myself in and out of the vehicle without help (this includes folding and unfolding the walker from the back seat), I have a little freedom: I’m now allowed to drive!  Whoohoo! 
scan0075

TBT:  Here is The Engineer as a 14-month-old, playing at “driving” our parked minivan. I don’t display that kind of joy behind the wheel.

Working ahead and falling behind

  1. Last weekend I was on a quilting retreat. It was a lovely time with a great deal of sewing and very little sleep.  I managed to have two pajama days this week to recover and to attempt to stave off a threatening sore throat.  I can’t take the time to be sick! 
  2. Two = the number of flannel receiving blankets I made, start to finish (I washed the flannel beforehand).  Those are a gift for a friend’s granddaughter.  I’ve got quite a few more in the queue because they make great gifts, and I wanted to have some on-hand, already made, for those times when I am too busy to sew.
  3. The big project is not yet completed, but I did finish the quilt top and back for the grandson we are expecting within the next 4 or 5 weeks.  I still need to finish preparing material for binding and then assemble the parts all together. I may end up tying this quilt, the way I did back in the 20th Century when I made simpler baby quilts (the only sewing was the prepared satin binding). In this case, the quilt top pattern does not lend itself to machine quilting, so it looks like tying it all together with love is the way to go.
  4. Four is the number of months since the burglary happened at work. There has been a growing pile of papers on my desk since the night before that incident (we had a meeting and I left right afterward instead of staying to put things away) — but there hasn’t been time to properly deal with it all. At first, it was just the stack of papers and folders from the meeting, but piles of papers and paperwork beget more papers; they breed like bunnies. In 4 months, it has grown substantially into (I’m guessing here) an hour-long task. I know it is going to take some uninterrupted time that I don’t have in a normal work week, and the sight of it has been bothering me. So yesterday I moved those papers to the counter behind my desk, building upon two smaller piles papers already there. Pretty soon I’ll have an impressive tower.
  5. Five is the number of Christmas cacti in my house (all in one room), and all of them are budding.

What projects have you been working on? 
What is overwhelming you right now?

At least SOMEONE went to the beach this summer!

at beach in OR, Aug 2015

SnakeMaster is on a 10-day vacation at the beach with another family, the lucky boy!  (Pics seen here are courtesy of the accompanying mom.) When he returns, he will have one remaining week of summer before school begins and just enough time to complete those pesky summer assignments.

At beach in OR, Aug 2015 (2)

Wildfires and World Con

Looking up at the sun through smoky skies, August 2015

Looking up at the sun through smoky skies, August 2015

  • This week we are continuing to be all about wildfires and smoky skies because the Pacific Northwest continues to burn.
  • I need some good book recommendations — nothing graphic, no horror. I am particularly fond of historical fiction and memoirs but I do not limit myself to those genres. What suggestions do you have?
  • The lovebirds and a couple of the mother hen’s friends have been visiting for World Con. Our breakfast table is filled with 6 young adults getting their geek on in the best way possible.  I can’t say I understand their language but I do enjoy seeing them happy and communicating with one another.
  • However, that doesn’t explain why my 19yo and 22yo have been watching the one hour long YouTube video of nursery rhymes that has over 800,000 million hits in the past year.
  • This is a scheduled post because I’m hiding out overnight at the lake, where book group was expanded to include an option for a sleepover. I will be back in town for the afternoon farmers’ market; hopefully we won’t have to shut down early again due to dust storms, poor air quality (smoke and dust) and closed roads. I am blessed that my husband seems to understand my need for getaways, even though I’ll miss seeing the cosplay and hearing about the latest happenings at World Con.

What’s going on in your neck of the woods? 

Bloomsday 2015

Fifty thousand people took part in a race today. Bloomsday is a 12-km course with some beautiful vistas and challenging hills, including Doomsday Hill.

Determination vs. Doomsday Hill

I like to station myself near the bottom of Doomsday Hill to applaud the athletes and take pictures. Mile post 5 is at the top of this hill (off to the right of where the above photo ends). I’ve run up this hill (back in 1994) but I even in my best days of running I could not make it to the top without dismounting from my bicycle; it feels like the uphill climb goes on forever.

DSCN1546

It is a race for all ages. During the time I was stationed near the bottom of the hill, I saw elite racers and some of the faster participants.

Elite runners, Bloomsday

I cheered on racers for about 90 minutes, during which the serious runners mixed in with those who were running for the fun of it.  After all, 50,000 people does tend to bring on a party atmosphere.

Coconut bras and grass skirts didn't slow these guys down.

Coconut bras and grass skirts didn’t slow these guys down.

some older, some colorful, BLOOMSDAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This little guy and his grandfather made quite the spectator pair in their matching sunglass and Seahawks caps. 

This little guy and his grandfather made quite the spectator pair in their matching sunglass and Seahawks caps.

 

Go, BANANA

 

 

My guys were participants but I never caught sight of them.
EB said he passed the banana in the first mile, so by this point he had passed me several minutes before I snapped this picture.

 

 

 

Apparently EB, SuperDad, and SnakeMaster all passed by me unnoticed. We didn’t see each other, despite my looking for them. I’ve carefully looked through all of my pictures, but they aren’t there. Oh, well.

 

In the background, you can see the bridge filling up with runners as they cross the river and approach the bottom of Doomsday Hill.

In the background, you can see the bridge filling up with runners as they cross the river and approach the bottom of Doomsday Hill.

The road does fill up with runners, nearly shoulder to shoulder when the walkers reach this point, but by then I was on my way to church.  As it turns out, so was EB…

EB managed to run Bloomsday and still get to the 10:30am worship service on time, wearing his newly earned t-shirt.

EB managed to run Bloomsday and still get to the 10:30am worship service on time, wearing his newly earned t-shirt.

Happy Bloomsday!

Call me Red

There are a few things that, for me, represent London and the UK in general:

  • red double-decker buses
  • royal guards in uniform
  • Big Ben
  • red phone boxes

Now that so many people have and carry cell phones, the traditional telephone booth is rapidly disappearing. I’ve read several articles lately about this phenomenon, including how it impacts those who do not have or carry mobile phones. (Just try to find a working pay phone!)

This article that gives a fascinating look at the rehabilitation of Great Britain’s iconic red telephone boxes.

At the cost of anywhere between £2,000 and £10,000, a fully restored phone box is not an inexpensive purchase but think how amazing it would be to own one!

You can read more about the history of the red phone boxes here.