Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lazy Weekending

I treated myself to flowers and a pedicure this weekend.   Love the flowers, but the pedicure was the worst ever.    Nicest young woman, but worst possible nail job.   My seven year old Grand could have done it better.   I had to re-do a couple of toes when I got home because of the lumps of polish and missing bits where the nail showed through.    Oh well, I guess that's how we learn which places to patronize.    Or at least which to NOT!

I ran out to the garden just before a thunderstorm hit our area and harvested an armful of potatoes and a handful of tomatoes.   I fried one potato up with pepper and dill and supplemented that with local corn and peaches from the Farmers Market.     I sure will miss the local produce part of summer!

The tie dye shirts that my Grands made have been washed, dried and delivered.   The kids loved them and want to make them again!   Only next time, they say, Grandma should make one, too.  Grandma thinks she will wait and see how long it takes to get the dye out from under her fingernails!  Oh well, I guess most good times get a little messy.  :)
I had to get a last minute photo taken for an ID badge -- does everyone dread photos as much as I do?    It was all I can do to stand there and be brave.   You'd think I was being tortured from the feelings I had inside.  
And, aside from the photo making me feel older than dirt, I also realized this weekend how seriously I need to get back into my walking routine.   My training weekends will require walking all day with a day pack, and today's 1 mile walk -without a pack - was about as much as I cared to do.   Before the summer, I was walking four miles a day, and I think I'd better get back in the saddle asap.  Even my best might not be good enough, but I need to at least give it my best.

Today, before my real job, I worked a booth at a Bridal Show.   I am a chaplain and I work mostly in Hospice, but I officiate the occasional wedding.    The last couple of years I decided to participate in a couple of shows to get my name out and see whether this is a sideline I might enjoy.  Trouble is, the shows cost me a LOT more than I charge.   So far I've done several weddings, but I always end up sympathizing with the Brides' budgets so I am losing more money than I'm making.   Guess I'm just a sucker for love.   :)  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Goodbye Summer - Almost!

Where did the summer go?   Although I'm still enjoying the local Farmer's Market and messing with produce, my Grands are going back to school next week, so I know that summer is all but over.

I've gotten one squash and a handful of tomatoes and potatoes from my garden.    A coworker gave me a bag of pickle cucumbers, so I am experimenting with pickles this year.
 I got to play radio-communicator again last weekend at another Marathon, the Crim in Flint, Michigan, with over 15,000 walkers and runners, and of course that was a lot of fun.   Better still, I went with a friend, someone I am always happy to be with.      Ridiculously happy to spend the day with him,  but reminding myself all the time not to give into that rush of affection, because this is someone who has made it clear that there's nothing here but friendship.   Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to have that, but sometimes it's hard to keep my distance.    Still and all, a good day with beautiful weather, and I had a lot of fun.
My Grands spent a couple of days with me this last week of vacation.   Homemade pizza, fairy houses, tie dyed tshirts (and feet!), a variety of crafts, and lots of giggles.   A few brother-sister spats, too, but that's par for the course.      These long days with the littles must be the Universe's way of telling me how truly old I am, because nothing wears me out so thoroughly!





As always, I have much to be thankful for.   Life is good, truly good.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Training

 I began training this week with our local Search and Rescue group.   I learned how to use a compass for the first time in my life -- I never knew they did anything but point north! -  to determine bearings on a map,  to follow those bearings when instructed to do so by radio, and to find my way back to a point if I get lost.    I've seen some of the charts of the 'homework' the group did with the compass readings and I am hoping I was able to hold my own with the more experienced members -- I guess I'll find out on Tuesday at our next meeting but there's no question I have a lot to learn no matter how well or badly I did.   I haven't been trained in search technique yet but I worked as net control at the home base when very routine, small scale searches were done at the county fair to locate a missing grandma, a child, and another missing older woman.   I've signed up for two weekend training sessions over the next two months where I will learn about search planning and practice.   Tomorrow I refresh my CPR/AED training and I will get more first aid training in the next couple of months. This group is called out by county sheriffs' departments every couple of months to do a search and they have seen some rough duty, so the training is something I will take very seriously.      It's super exciting for me to be learning new skills, some of them skills I never even knew existed!, and a little humbling to think I will be part of a team that will be called out to help save someone's life.
Today has been quiet and boring by comparison!   But I enjoyed eating a handful of baby carrots fresh out of the garden when I went out to fill the bird feeders.      It's been a beautiful and productive week in my little corner of the world!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday

What a day!    I wanted to be on time for the 1:00 pm Forgotten Eagles rally today.  The Forgotten Eagles have a special mission of working toward having all MIAs and POWs brought home and returned to their families.   A shocking number of service men and women have never been accounted for, and their families are still waiting for answers.    I had never been to the little town where they were having the rally, and I wasn't sure how long it would take to get there, so maybe I was driving a little faster than I should have.

According to the police office, I was driving more than a little too fast.
But he was very (very) nice, and let me off with a pat on the hand and a warning.   Thank goodness.   I promised to drive under the speed limit the rest of the way there, and I did, and I still arrived in plenty of time.  Lesson learned.    I hope.

I followed my Google map and found a cute little park.   There was a stage set up and signs saying "Event Today," so I was sure I was in the right place.  Kids were painting the street, and there was a really cool fairy sculpture that changed color when you looked at it through lenses that were stationed around it.    I relaxed and talked with some of the other people there.  

Suddenly I noticed that it was 1:00 pm and the Forgotten Eagles, a veterans' motorcycle group, had not yet arrived.   And the piper, who should have been playing by now, was nowhere to be seen.   I finally found a local, and learned that I was at the wrong park.    Rats, I hate that feeling!

I tore around the corner and easily found the right park by the 50 or 60 cycles parked nearby, jumped out of my car and ran to the memorial area just as the bagpipes started to play.
There were speakers, and many reminders of the sacrifice that our service men and women continue to make to ensure our freedom.    One disabled vet was having trouble holding up his arm in a salute, and another moved in to physically support it on his own shoulder during the color guard.  The piper played Amazing Grace.    Such a tender moment, it brought tears to my eyes.    It was a day filled with reminders that I had a whole lot to be grateful for on this beautiful day. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Weekend Middling

I found another pond today, one that didn't cost anything to get into, so I gave fishing another try.    One thing about pond fishing on the fly, as compared to river fishing, is that I need to cast a long way to get out to the fish.   In the rivers, I rarely need to cast more than 20 feet or so, but in the ponds, I'm hard pressed to get the fly out far enough.    Today was no exception, and in making the longer casts, I believe I snapped my fly off the line.    (One of the cool things I learned when I started fly fishing is how to crack a whip.    The fishing line works the same way and you get a very satisfying 'pop' if you push it forward before the line straightens out in back.   Unfortunately, you can also snap off your fly that way, and since my fly disappeared, I assume that's just what I did.)   So there I was,  without realizing it, casting my empty line w-a-y out there.   And sure enough, right before my eyes I saw a friendly fishy swim right up, lift his head right out of the water, and nibble on my empty line.   Figures he would show up when I didn't have a hook.    Just call me the fish whisperer.
I also had a mini radio-community breakthrough today.   Pretty much any day that I'm sitting around the house, I send out my call sign on the radio and listen for a response.   Except for my Elmer, no one has ever responded.   Today for the first time, someone did.   One of the guys from my local club talked to me for a little bit, very encouraging and friendly.  His wife is planning to take the Tech exam and I offered to help if she wants a study partner.    It didn't hurt a bit that he told me that I look much too young to have  grandchildren, lol.  
And it was another lovely weekend of summer food.    I stopped at a favorite local farm for 6 ears of 'peaches and cream' sweet corn, a quart of summer strawberries, and a pint of raspberries.    The raspberries are already gone -- don't judge me,  fresh raspberries are a particular weakness.    One of many, it's true, but a weakness nonetheless.   And all I have to say about that is, Yum!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Weekend Beginning

Friday is the first day of my weekend, one of the perks of working part time.   The days of the week seem to drag and move too quickly at the same time, because I look forward to the weekend but never have time to get anything done before it gets here.    And then it seems like everyone else is busy on the weekend, and I end up having to fill my time exactly the same way I do during the week!   Time is stranger and stranger the older I get.  :)

I started the day with zucchini muffins, one of the nicest things about summer produce as far as my family is concerned!   I ate a couple of them with my coffee, and then walked several down to my son's house down the street.

I tried to go fishing this afternoon, and discovered that the little pond I found is in a park and they are now charging to get in -- $5.00 a day, with no re-entry!  
 This will be my last trip there unless I have a crowd to go with me, because that's just too pricey to allow me to fish a couple times a week.    So next week I'll be on the lookout for a new safe place to fish, but for today, I paid the toll and went inside.   It was a perfect day to fish because there was no one in the park, not a single soul, but the winds were too high to cast properly.   It was SUCH a beautiful day that I didn't mind, it was lovely just to be outside.     The sign by the little pond claims that they have all sorts and sizes of fish, but you couldn't prove it by me.   I didn't catch a thing.

I started out casting a light fly and finally decided that maybe a heavier one would work better under the conditions because the wind was really strong and gusty.
The heavier fly, which was weighted, did cast out a bit more, but it was too big for the small fish that had any interest in my adventure.   Still, it was a ton of fun to watch literally dozens and dozens of small bluegills and perch trying their hardest to eat my fly.   They swarmed and nibbled at it every time I threw it at them.    I'm glad it was too big for them, because they were much too small for me, but it was so much fun to watch that I just kept casting and laughing.   Even though it was the same fly over and over again, and they bit and tasted it so often that you'd think they'd figure out that it wasn't edible, they kept coming back!   Maybe they, like me, just enjoyed having something to do on such a pretty afternoon.

Afterward, I had dinner with my son and his family, hamburgers and local corn cooked on their grill.  Absolutely delicious!    Fresh corn is one of my favorite parts of summer!
Tonight was my local amateur radio club meeting, too.    I have not joined yet because either some of the people have been a little snippy with me, or else I am being too sensitive.   I forced myself to go because I want to find out whether I'd be welcome there before I pay the dues.   I'm frugal like that, lol.   They are not an outgoing group, a little low on social skills, so it's hard to say whether I will feel comfortable there.    The one person who was snarky to me earlier apparently didn't hear me when I said hello - twice -- because he didn't answer.    I'll give it a little more time, attend a few more meetings and functions, before I make any decisions.    I have such a lot to learn, it would be good to have a local club to help me.