Thursday, March 23, 2017

Yes, You're Lovely, With Your Smile So Warm.

This weekend was a crazy, busy, mix of many of my favorite things.

Stinky and I left at 8 am on Saturday morning for Des Moines. We were going to meet Coadster and Coadster's soon to be mother-in-law, sister-in-law and aunt-in-law to go wedding dress shopping. At one point on the ride, Stinky asked, "So, are you going to cry when you see Coadster in a wedding dress? To which I answered, "Well, I'm perimenopausal, so I might just cry seeing her wear jeans..."

We had a nice 2 hour drive listening to cheesy 80's CD's and singing along at the tops of our lungs.

Coadster got her dress at a woman's house where they had great deals. Apparently, there's some thing where no one is supposed to see the bride in her dress before the wedding. So, I'm just posting one of the dresses she didn't pick. I guess wedding dresses are much smaller than other clothes, so Coadster, who normally wears a size 2, had to get dresses that were a size 4. And I'm sure I'd have to get a size 24...

She ended up getting two dresses. One is bigger and fancier with a long train and the other was shorter and more casual and she might just wear it to the reception, because it will be more comfortable to dance in. They had a deal where she got the 2nd dress for half price and both dressed together were about $1,000. From what people say, that's pretty reasonable, but would have no idea, since my entire wedding probably cost that much.

Coadster is no Bridezilla in any way shape or form, so she had her dresses picked out in less than an hour and we were on our way.

I got to see my Bailey girl grandpuppy, which was so nice. I gave her hugs and kisses and she always thinks I am going to play red dot with her, because I do when she's at my house. It makes it hard to take her photo, since once I pull out my phone, she thinks it's a laser and immediately looks at the ground. Silly puppy.

After the dress shopping, we all went out for lunch and then stopped at Trader Joe's since we don't have one in our college town yet.

It was a great day and then I got home and did some raking and yard work, which always makes me happy.

Then after I ate dinner and John and I watched a movie, he went to bed and stayed up a while and read "The Hobbit" for the first time since the 1970's.

On Sunday we went on a nice, if very windy bike ride to Lone Tree and back. From my photos, you might think that we always stop at convenience stores on bike rides...And you'd be right. But it's only because that's where they keep the Gatorade and the caffeine in any small town.

We ended our ride at the new Big Grove for dinner and beer. Stinky met us and it was so nice and the food was great.

After dinner, we rode home and it was nice enough out to hang out on the porch and talk with our friend, Burne until it got dark. We were supposed to help him with a prairie burn at his farm, but it was too windy. So, it was postponed until Monday evening.

Tune in tomorrow when I post impressive photos from said fire.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

This Was a Pizza Hut. Now It's All Covered With Daisies. You Got It, You Got It.

Oh my god! Remember when I told you I was going to try and plant Gerbera daisy seedlings, but I was nervous about it because they were so hard to germinate? Well, lookee there. I have about 25 of the 100 seeds sprouting and they just started a couple of days ago, so there could be more!

I guess the Gerbera Seeds are super fragile and you need to make sure you get them from a good place and plant them as quickly as possible. I got the seeds on Friday and planted them on Saturday. Also, they need good soil and lots of warmth and light. I mixed some light, fluffy black dirt with about half peat moss and soaked it all in warm water before I planted the seeds. The seeds need to be planted almost at the top with very little soil on them because they need lots of light to germinate. Before I got the seeds, I asked John if he was cool with using some of our joint account money on a grow light. He was not only cool with that, he researched them and ordered one and set it all up for me. We have it timed to light from 6 am to 6 pm every day and it seems to be working very well. Of course, I have no idea what color any of the flowers will be, but it will be fun to find out...As long as I don't screw them all up before I can get them planted outside in May.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Countin' Flowers on the Wall. That Don't Bother Me at All

I've been working on a series of paintings lately. Of course, I'm not a good painter. I just like to play with color and put some of the scary things swirling around in my head on to a canvass. I didn't used to paint or draw much because I worried that I wasn't that good, and I didn't want people to think that I thought that I was. I had been ignoring what my mom always told me, "Who cares what anyone thinks!" I got older and the beauty part of being in your 50's is that you finally do not give a damn what anyone else might think about you. So, I draw and paint now and it never comes out like I envision it in my brain and I'm not that great at it, but the more I do it, the better I get and I love playing with paint. Now, I am painting a series of flowers on 20x 20 canvasses with acrylics. The first one I finished last week and it is called Chicory.

I started the second one on Tuesday. I loved the first background I painted for it, but it was ultimately too light.

So I went over it with some darker grays and I like it too. I'll show you the finished product whenever I get it done.

We'll see how long the next one takes...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Four in the Morning, Yawning, Crapped-Out, Longing My Life Away

So, hey. It's been a while since I've really written here. How have you all been?

This last month has been riddled with migraines for me. I went 2 whole weeks with some kind of migraine. Some days were bearable, and some days I was on my meds and my head was a'spinnin'. Of course, the month before, I didn't have a migraine at all and that was the longest I had gone without a migraine since high school. So, I guess all I can do is ride the roller coaster and hope for the best.

I know I haven't been talking about my girly issues much either and I can only assume you are all missing that conversation (ahem). But whatever, I am having problems with ridiculously tight muscles and cramping of my legs all the way down to my feet, making running not so much fun. I know it's all part of my falling estrogen levels taking away much needed lubrication in my muscles and at some point, when I'm on the other side of all this bullshit, they might get better, but for now, I have to keep my runs nice and short. And on the days when my muscles are too tight to run at all, I go for nice walks.

The cats are doing well. They are happiest while sleeping in nests of soft, fleece, blankets.

Since the weather has still been so nice, we've been able to ride bikes every weekend since the middle of March. I feel pretty damn lucky.

I'm still making as much good food as I can, but not doing great on my sugar consumption. I know I blame everything on hormones (or lack thereof) but I don't know if I've craved bad food the way I have for the past year since I was in high school. If you know of where I could buy me some self-restraint, please let me know.

I am happily working on my new and improved, now taking up the whole front yard garden.

I have my seedlings planted and most of them have sprouted. I'm still waiting on the tomatoes and the gerbera daisies. I've heard that Gerbera daisies are almost impossible to grow from seed. I bought 100 seeds for $5 and I figure if I get even one of those to grow, I'll be even with what it costs to buy one plant and if I can't get any to grow...Well, I've wasted 5 bucks on worse things.

We've watched plenty of cheesy movies lately. John bought a copy of "Bringing Up Baby" and we're binge watching the "William and Mary" BBC show.

I am still doing pretty good on toning down my alcohol consumption. Here you can see where my root beer is being poured. Please note above where I said I'm still having big problems with sugar.

So, I'm going to keep on digging and working and playing and eating and watching and reading and spanking my cats and hope to be feeling better as soon as my hormones right themselves.

Here's hoping for a nice, warm, happy, feeling great Spring for all of us.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ha Ha Ha, Bless Your Soul. You Really Think You're in Control

My cats are always crazy.

This is how yesterday, a full moon, Daylight Savings Time, mid-March, snowy, Monday panned-out for me:

First, as a joke, (because I am hilarious) I told my co-worker to sign for a package as Mickey Mouse, which she did, and then our boss reminded us that if said document got lost, they would look and see who signed for it and if someone else in the office saw that it was Mickey Mouse, we might get in trouble. I swear I was just joking. I can't help it if someone foolishly takes me seriously.

Second, I went an entire day at work and at home with my shirt on inside-out and no one told me. Maybe the just assumed that disheveled was the look I was going for?

Anyway, I hope your yesterday was a little better than mine...

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

When She Talks, I Hear the Revolution

Just wishing you all a Happy International Women's Day and here's hoping that we get away from this horribly misogynistic president and Republican controlled congress, so that things will be better in our country for women and everyone in general. I want all other governments to be better with women's rights as well. We have a very long row to hoe, but we just have to keep resisting, persisting and fighting for our rights.

Monday, February 27, 2017

I'm Losing My Edge but I Was There. I Was There.

The photo above was taken in the 70's and that was me in it. What you can understand by that is...I am old. And because I am old, I still use words or phrases that are archaic and sometimes I do it on purpose to drive my daughters insane and sometimes I do it because I'm old damn it! I've been saying it that way now for a hundred million years, Either way, the joke is always on me.

Here is just a small sampling of things I say that mean I am old:

I use the term "aerobic", instead of "cardio". This tends to elicit a correction and huge eyerolls from my girls, "Oh my god, mother. This isn't the 80's"

I call the remote a "channel changer". I believe this not only makes me old, it might make me an ignorant hillbilly as well. my daughters still call it that, which should extinguish all hope that they might ever enter polite society at any point during their lives.

I use the term "instant access" instead of "ATM machine". It cracks me up and then I say it so much as a joke, that I forget and say it for real and no one knows what the hell I'm talking about and my daughters are horrified.

This isn't a word or phrase but sometimes I leave two spaces after a period.  As you can see, it looks weird now.

I am better now, but I used to say "World Wide Web" instead of internet. It was never all that funny and that's why I quit calling it that.

I still call DVD's videos and use the world "album" to refer to music. Sue me.

My daughters had no idea what this was.

Well, that's all I can think of for now, come back later when I attempt to fix the mistakes on my blog post with White-out.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

I Wish I Was Like You. Easily Amused.

Now, here is another blog post in which I talk about my cats...Again.

The other morning Heidi came running into my bedroom meowing loudly (we like to call it her Defcon 5 meow). She seemed insistent for my love and affection and I felt so good that she loved me that much. I went into the kitchen to make breakfast and she followed me in there meowing and jumping up on chairs, staring at me expectantly. Then I remembered that I fed them turkey as a treat the same time, the morning before and she didn't really love me that much at all. She really just loved it that I fed her turkey...

Today Archie was whining for food so much that I pretended that he killed me with his annoying whining and acted like I died on the bed. I thought if he knew how dramatically he affected me, that he would feel guilty and finally shut-up. He looked me for a second and then got distracted by what he thought might be a flying bug outside of the room and he left me pretend dead on my bed.

The moral to my stories is that cats will never love me as much as I love them and they were apparently not raised Catholic as I was, and will never feel guilt.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology).

I know I haven't been great about writing lately and I'm sorry. I keep saying I'm going to  make it a priority and then it gets really nice out in February and I ride and run and read books outside and it leaves no time for prattling on about myself online. It's a travesty, frankly. As always, I promise to try to write self-indulgent drivel more regularly.

This scary climate change gave us 75 degree days in February this weekend. Sure, it causes 500 year floods every 15-20 years and tornadoes where there have never been tornadoes before, but I feel like I need to take advantage of the good parts of it, since I've had to deal with the bad parts. For me that meant going directly to my back porch after work and reading and eating pistachios and drinking a rare (for me) anymore, cocktail. Ahhhhhh.

On Saturday, I ran 3.5 miles in the morning and then we met our friend, Burne in the Amanas to ride bikes. He lives over that way and knows all the best gravel roads to ride. Plus, the Amanas are funky and interesting.

We got a couple of miles out when we had to stop so John could fix his cranky crank. For some reason, it got loose. So, he cranked it tight again.

I am constantly amazed by the kind of money some people have in this part of Iowa. Are they all doctors? There isn't a whole lot of other business in this area, but apparently, some people can afford to be in such a hurry that they fly their plane right to their front door to get home...

I love trees, I love trees, I love trees.

This is me at my happiest. Playing outside all day on bikes. I don't need much more than that.

We made it to Green Castle Bridge and beyond. This where we have to get off our bikes and portage them over rocks. Once we got to the other wash-out place we had to turn back around. If it had been in the 80's, we would have walked through the water, but it was just cool enough that walking through it would make us uncomfortable riding our bikes against the wind.

Green Castle Bridge is old and I don't think anyone drives over it. It seems to be mostly for people to fish off of it, but it sure is pretty...

...If not all that well maintained.

We got back to the Amanas and went to Millstream Brewery's new German eatery. There were brats and schnitzel and beer flights and most importantly for me, their lovely root beer. They didn't have a huge menu, but they had a couple of veggie options and they offered smoked gouda as melted cheese on veggie burgers and chicken schnitzel too.

We finished eating and then headed back to Iowa City and to our friend's house for a cook-out, and fire pit outside. I didn't eat at the cook-out, except the brownies, of course, but it was great to see all of my friends.

On Sunday we rode to Kalona and back. Since the weather was in the 70's we got 7 people to ride with us. Two of the guys only went halfway, but it was nice to finally get some more of our friends out on bikes. We stopped at a Casey's on the way out and if you've ever been to Iowa, you know that Casey's is the cyclists haven.

They put more gravel down on the dirt roads we ride on, so John got a flat from riding on the gravel. While I was waiting for some of the boys to catch up, I stopped to meet some new friends.

This is my new cow friend. Ain't she a beaut?

We finally all made it to the Kalona Brewing Company and I had more root beer and some shrimp pasta. We rode back a little harder than we rode out, which was good for me, even if it made my legs cry.

This weekend it is supposed to be a lot colder...Which is still probably above normal temps for Iowa at this time of year, but it will give me more time indoors to get all the stuff done that I should have done this past weekend, but I chose to play outside instead.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

I'd Love to Change the World, but I Don't Know What to Do.

Just so you know...Heidi is doing much better, thank you. Last Saturday, John woke me up and he was crying because she hadn't eaten yet and it had been 4 days, and he was going to take her into the vet to have them run some blood tests. He was so sad for her. I said, "Before you do that, give me a minute. I have one more trick up my sleeve..." When I was sick, I didn't want to eat because I couldn't taste anything, and as we all know, I rarely eat just because I'm hungry, so I thought a stronger taste might help. I also remembered my college years, and that weed was a great appetite inducer. I went out to the garden and found some fresh catnip. Since we apparently don't experience real Winter in Iowa anymore, it was warm enough in February to have new catnip growing. I picked a bunch and tore some up in front of where Heidi was lying. She sniffed it and for the first time in 4 days, I saw her actually eat something...Or at least lick it. I wasn't sure if she actually ate it.

I headed out for a run and while I was running, I thought, "Please, please, please, let Heidi eat something before I get home." When I got back, John was waiting for me with tears in his eyes. This time he was happy crying, because Heidi ate some tuna. Yea!

By Saturday evening when we got home from our ride, she even came downstairs and tried to eat food out of Archie's bowl. You know, because...Reasserting dominance. Anyway, she's pretty much back to normal and we couldn't be happier.

As for us? Well, we had a great weekend. Again, since we don't seem to have much of a Winter here anymore, we decided to make the best of our plus 50 degree weather in February to go on a long bike ride.

We rode 50 miles there and back to Sutliff Bridge.

When we got there, we saw that they were having their golf tournament thingy. It used to be a fund raiser to fix up the bridge, but now I'm not sure what they use the money for.

They put a bowl like thing in the river. It's usually frozen in February, but not this year, so they tied the bowl to the bridge and it moved with the current. People paid for three tries and if anyone actually hit it in the bucket, they would get some kind of prize. We didn't see that happen before we left.

The ride was lovely. We rode with a friend who hadn't ridden outside at all over the Winter, so we went a little slower, but that was okay for me, because I wasn't feeling all that strong.

On the way back, we stopped at Big Grove for an early dinner. Since I've cut way down on my drinking, I had a root beer - which I know is sugar, but I'm still working on my sugar consumption.

When we got home, we watched "Kubo and the Two Strings". I really liked it. You don't see too many fables as movies anymore.

Sunday was in the forties, but it was crazy windy. John was going to ride his bike around the campgrounds at Lake McBride. At first, I thought I'd try to run around by our house, because I wasn't feeling great, but then I really wanted to run around the lake, so I risked it and got lucky.

John dropped me off at the parking lot by the boat house and I ran into the wind to check out the spillway.

As you can tell from my bangs, the winds were strong...

I turned back and ran the other way down the trail toward Solon and had the wind at my back the whole way.

My goal was to try and run 7 miles, but I got a little over 8 miles in. I was pretty tired by the end of it, so I went home and bathed and then took a nice, long, nap.

This weekend is supposed to be even warmer. Seriously - 65 degrees in Iowa in February. All I can do is take advantage of it and play outside as much as possible and try not to worry about what is happening to our planet...