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...

Friday, February 10, 2017

See These Eyes So Green. I Can Stare For a Thousand Years.

Sorry I haven't written this week. It's been kind of rough around our house lately. Our girl Heidi has been really sick. I'll warn you that the picture under this is graphically gross.

It all started when I fed the cats at their normal time and right after that. Heidi jumped on the couch to get even MORE sleep, when she suddenly projectile vomited all over the cushion. She then freaked out, ran into the kitchen, puked some more and then crawled under the kitchen table where she became a mouth breather. John didn't think much of it, since cats puke and then we clean it up and they get over it, but you know how it is when you obsess over your pets...You can just feel that something's wrong.

Warning: Graphically gross photo after this point -

Heidi actually slept in our bed all night that night. Normally, she will tolerate us for a little bit, but what with my nighttime hot flashes and the throwing off of covers and then the throwing back of covers when the flash is over and I'm sweaty and freezing (pretty) about a hundred times a night, Heidi is usually way past annoyed and out of there after the first hour or so.

When I left for work, she was still breathing through her mouth, but we thought that maybe some of the puke went through her nose and that it would clear up within the day. I was still worried enough that I asked Stinky to come by on her way to class and check up on her. Normally, Heidi runs and hides when Stinky comes over, because she sometimes has that pesky puppy with her. This time, Stinky said, Heidi let her come up and pet her, so she knew something was way off. She took the above photo so we could see how sick she was.

John took her to the vet and they gave her some anti-nausea medicine and some anti-biotics. They said she had an upper respiratory infection. Poor baby. Her temperature was up to 104.5. John brought her home and she immediately hid, which isn't strange for Heidi.

The other strange thing is that Archie kept his distance and when he did get close to her, he started hissing. Archie loves Heidi more than he loves us and we feed him. I was so mad at him, but John said it's an instinctive response. It probably helps cats avoid getting sick themselves, when they sense a sick cat and avoid them. He said dogs will attack a sick animal. I suppose that's because dogs are pack animals and a sick member could mess-up the entire pack...Anyway, it was just sad to see Archie reacting to Heidi that way, especially when she was feeling so crappy.

So, as of today. Heidi's temperature is back to normal, but we still can't get her to eat or drink. John got some lactated ringers to inject something to hydrate Heidi and she is still taking her anti-biotics. I hope she's better through the weekend. I love her so much.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Welcome to the Working Week. Oh, I Know it Don't Thrill You. I Hope it Don't Kill You.

So, I haven't been the best about writing this week and I STILL haven't done an end of the year post for 2016. I've been a little busy for some reason, but I promise to get on that.

I'll just write about my week up until now, since I'm sure it will shock and amaze you...Or just put you to sleep. On Monday I got to work and they had a surprise happy wedding party for me. It was really sweet of them. That got that frame in the first photo for me, made with bike chain. How cool is that? They also got me a cake with a bike on it and some of my favorite Chicago style popcorn. The got me a Visa card and so I took John out for dinner for his last hurrah.

Archie is an idiot.

And when I say "last hurrah", I mean it was his last meal where he could eat anything he wanted, before he gets his colonoscopy on  Friday (OPP - old people problems).

Just in case your were wondering, Archie is just as big of an asshole as ever. He's still "helping" John do his yoga and trying to wake me up in the middle of the night, because he apparently doesn't get enough attention during our waking hours. Jerk.

Sooo, John had to eat low fiber food for two days and then just clear liquids today and until tomorrow afternoon. The low fiber diet was hard for him, since he doesn't eat much meat and mostly eats veggies. I tried hard to think of what I could make that didn't have much fiber, then I remembered homemade macaroni and cheese. Sure our cholesterol will go up 100 points, but at lease we're following his diet.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Is It Love that Brings You Here? Or Love That Brings You Life?

So, we went ahead and did it this weekend. Since it was a weekend of scariness and bad politics from our orange leader, it was nice to have something to be happy and excited about.

We got married in our reading room. It was pretty stress-free, except having to clean our house before everyone came over. Our house can get a little messy, what with us opting to go outside whenever we can and having bike parts on our kitchen table and then there's the damn cats...Well, the cats don't really mess up our house much, but we like to use them as an excuse whenever we can...

The girls and their boyfriends and their dogs (the most important guests) got there right before the justice of the peace. Our ceremony was short and sweet and very nice. We managed to put each others rings on without dropping them. A big feat for me. Our justice of the peace was very nice and dealt well with the noise and the dogs.

After we signed the license, we all went out for sushi for lunch. You know we like to celebrate everything with food. We got back home and Stinky and her boyfriend went home to take naps. John worked on the book  he was editing, and Coadster and her boyfriend became one with the couch and watched the Iowa State basketball game. I took that time to take Coadster's pooch on a long walk down the bike path. She was one happy dog.

 What we didn't have to do is greet a whole bunch of friends and relatives, make a bunch of small talk, uncomfortably open gifts we don't really need in front of people, have people waste grains or seeds by throwing them at us, and John didn't have to put his back out by trying to lift my 51 year old ass over any kind of threshold. Whew!

We decided to continue the celebration at 5:30 by going out to get BBQ and beer at Mosely's and then meeting some friends at the Dublin Underground. We even got all crazy and stayed out past 9 o'clock...Okay, not much past 9, but still.

The next morning we watched the Cyclocross Worlds race and I got to spend some time with Coadster's dog before they took off back to Des Moines.Then I went for a nice little run.

We found out the mountain bike trails were actually open. That rarely seems to happen in the Winter. We knew how we were going to spend our honeymoon - playing bikes outside with our friends!

There was some ice on the trails, so we had to be a little careful. I made it through almost 2 hours of riding without crashing once. It's a wedding weekend miracle!

We ended out weekend with good food and a couple of beers at Big Grove. I highly recommend the simple, quiet wedding ceremony, with close family and friends and as much bike riding as you can handle.