Thursday, August 7, 2014


I don't know where else to express this sentiment. I still have an active profile on an online dating site. I've paid for it for another couple of weeks, so I'm going to hang in there and see what happens yet.

I know that everyone is free to look at profiles, that that is the point of the site. But I am creeped out by 20 year olds looking at my profile, some repeatedly. I'm not just old enough to be their mother, I'm probably older than their mothers!

There aren't many, and I can't specifically block them because they haven't made contact with me, but there are a handful and well, ew!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Why is my house in such disarray?

Oh, right. It's because I've been out having fun. I'm not to the point where I'm grossed out by the floor or anything, but the clutter around here is getting to "must do something soon" levels.

Saturday Mr W and I joined some friends for swimming at our local reservoir. Due to it being a wet year (for around here) the reservoir is really full. Gloriously full. I guess the rain has made it so farmers (the primary users of the water) aren't drawing down as much water for their needs. It was nice to float and chat. 

I went to a party, we saw a movie, and I had dinner with new friend M. We are both content with seeing how it goes. He's got a different life than I do, much less structured. But it's been fun to get to know someone new and it looks like we'll do something this weekend. It is NICE not to be fretting about it. Nice indeed. 

Something has shifted in my outlook/confidence, and I think it's due to my starting this jogging thing. I started, ostensibly, for Mr W's sake, so I could help him establish the habit of running and then get something out of his participation in cross country this fall. We were two weeks into the C25K (couch to 5K) program (an app on my phone) and I was so sore, I didn't think I could do it. I could feel his interest waning if I was going to quit, so I kept at it and figured out that I need to stretch, daily, to feel good. 

And here we are, about three months into it. He wants to just concentrate on getting faster and faster at running 20 minutes (which is something like the 2K they do for CC races), and I want to do my shuffle (12 minute mile - woot!) for 25-30 minutes. So, I've been going out just with the dog, and riding my bike when he does his run. It works.

Friday, August 1, 2014

White flowers

I've never been a fan of white flowers. I'm not enough of a designer when it comes to choosing plants to appreciate them for their accent value, and it seems to me that if one is going through the trouble of planting flowers, color is an obvious reward for doing so.

So I don't knowingly buy white flowers.

Earlier in the spring, I started some Zinnias from seed and was looking forward to the pinks and purples of this particular variety (whose name escapes me at the moment). They have large, almost Dahlia-like flowers and I really liked them last year. The package clearly shows them coming in three colors: white, pink and purple.

When they were big enough, I tucked four in the alley garden and four in the raised bed out front. As an aside, I have been very pleased with converting that from veggies to flowers (thank you farmers and grocery stores from whom I can buy food).

Here's what I got:

Funny, they've grown a lot since I took these. But you get the point. Two white ones above, two white ones below...

And here you can see two more white, plus the two pink ones that were in the mix.

A friend gave me a few Calendula seeds a couple of years ago and they've gone bananas in this bed. I've pulled a bunch of them, but not enough. I wanted to have a few amongst the other things I put in there. I bought three Dahlias and planted a couple of specialty sunflowers that aren't blooming yet in this photo. 

They are all nice, and the bees love them. It feels good to plant stuff for the bees. 

We've gotten a lot of rain this summer. And not a lot of the scorching heat that can happen in July in August. Good for us, as it hasn't been enough to cause flooding and it keeps the threat of wildfires down. 

In other news, I've been in contact with new friend M, he of the blind date a few days ago, and we're going to get together this weekend for dinner or something. I've finally matured to the point where I realize that it's too soon to tell anything. Too soon to project about what might happen, so I might as well just enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I suffer single sock syndrome

My picture loader isn't working at the moment, but hopefully I'll be able to load my picture when I'm done writing.

I like to knit socks. They're a portable craft that gets done relatively quickly. Up until now, I have always knit one at a time. For some reason, they always come out a little differently, each sock in the pair.

Worse than that is the three or four single socks I have made that either had issues that made me hesitate to start the second one, or I just kind of lost interest. Maybe I could wear them as mismatched pairs...

I've been wanting to learn how to knit two socks at a time for a while now, and finally scheduled time with my good friend and known super knitter S so she could show me how. She pointed to this pattern on Ravelry (not free, but cheap)

that has an extensive sock making part to it, not just about the heel that involves tracing the sock recipient's foot on a piece of cardboard so you can do measurements and insure an exact fit. So armed with that, and Judy's Magic Cast On:

We started the toes of my new pair of socks. I'm doing them on one 40" circular needle. You work around the outside, right to left on these. front of one sock, front of the other sock, back of one sock, back of the other sock. The heels are done separately, I am told, and I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

There, the uploader worked. I don't have a pattern picked out yet, but I've got a lot of options with this sized needle and the fingering weight yarn. I'll update when I've got a good one picked out. 

In other news, I am meeting someone new for a drink tonight. We've been connected by a mutual friend and I've FB stalked him enough to see that he seems interesting and kind. I'm so rusty/out of practice it's like starting completely over, which I suppose isn't entirely bad. 

Update, 7-30-14: It was a very enjoyable meeting. I feel I might be a little too organized for him, but we'll see if he calls and wants to continue. I figured since I reached out initially, he can make the next move. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mistaken identity

Sally and I were on our warm up walk before a run the other day. I run with headphones on to keep a good pace, and to keep motivated. I've been googling "160 bpm running songs" and there are many to choose from. I try to keep it loud enough, but not so much that I miss conversations.

Anyway, we were walking and passed a family with a couple of small kids. As we got closer, one of the kids said, "Is that Jasper?" And the mom said, "No, it looks like Jasper, but Jasper is at home." The kid proceeded to get a little upset because she thought I had their dog.

I called out as we passed, "Her name is Sally!" Hopefully that helped. I thought about how easy it would be to figure someone's got your beloved Jasper when doodles do kind of all look similar. Poor kid.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Herding cats

OK, not really. It looks like I am the one who is coordinating the selection of our destination for the trip to celebrate my dad's 80th birthday this year. It's been fine, actually. People have been more or less "whatever you pick will probably be fine". We've bounced back and forth a little on what exactly our destination will be, but I think we are close to putting a deposit down on a vacation rental house.

Originally, Dad had the idea that we should all take a cruise. If you are like me, your throat tightens up a little when you consider that idea. Not from any bad experience, but from news stories, and the thought of not being able to escape (even if it's a large vessel). But dad likes cruises. But we are restricted to a couple of weeks and a particular port, and that limits our options.

But after getting a link to a site called Cruises Direct, I put in our criteria and it returned 5 options. They were all about the same in terms of what you got and the price. My dad suggested that Mr W and I share a room with him so we could get a bigger better room (fine by me). Click, click, click.

Did you know when you search on those sites, the cost is per person, not per room? Of course you didn't, you don't even want to take a cruise. Bless you. Anyway, the cost of the cruise for the three of us was about $1,500 each. Of course, that does not include airfare, which will be another $800 for me and the kid.

Sigh. I know this is a once in a lifetime party we're doing here, but still. It doesn't seem WORTH that kind of money. As a result of realizing how expensive cruises are when one is as restricted in options as we are, I found a couple of rental houses that go for about $4,000 for the week for all 12 or so of us. I particularly like the idea of sharing a house near the beach, especially one that is big enough for people to be in their own space if they want, and gather together if they want as well.

Now I'm at the point where I am waiting for feedback. I think they will again all chime in and say, "whatever you pick will probably be fine", but I haven't heard that yet for this round of houses.

My sister's youngest kid is graduating about a week before we do this trip with a double major in Computer Science and Engineering and we are trying to have him join us. We'd like to see his brother and dad and his dad's fiancee too and have invited all. We haven't seen them as much since Kris passed. My nephew really has done well and it feels right to celebrate his accomplishment. He started in a program from the get-go where knew his major(s), which involved three co-ops/internships with nearby companies and I suspect he will easily get a job with one of them when he is done.

It'll be nice to be on a beach in December.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Another tornado dream

I don't have what I would call reoccurring dreams, but there are themes sometimes. When I'm anxious about something, I often find myself back at my old high school, trying to get to class, or am there, unprepared for a presentation. Sometimes I'm at my old job in Toledo, where it's the same thing. There's a group of kids arriving shortly and I'm scrambling to put an education program together at the last minute.

I have whale dreams, too, although they haven't been as frequent in recent years (they may have been supplanted by the tornado dream). Whale dreams are when I'm somewhere near the water and see an orca (it's always an orca) under the surface of the water. Once I was at work in my dream and saw an orca in the pond next to the building. In the dream there's always this moment of "Is it? Is it a whale?OMG!" I've figured out that orca dreams represent me feeling like I'm missing out on something, or really wanting something to happen.

Then I sometimes have tornado dreams. In these dreams, I'm looking off in the distance and it looks like a tornado might form. Then one inevitably does, but I'm never harmed and it's more thrill than fear. I never experience the howling wind. Last night it was the same, but my location changed at least once, and I was standing next to my house, in the alley, and it was coming. Funny thing about this one was that it was so close (up in the sky) that I felt I was getting a good look at it. And when I looked hard, the cloud above the tornado consisted of countless gray cloudy mouths, with gray cloudy teeth, and the mouths were moving. Singing? Speaking? Just moving? I don't know.

The dream then cut to a front yard with downed trees and we (me and I don't know who else) were assessing the damage. I think this was shortly before I woke up.

I slept pretty good last night. It seems it's one thing or another that often keeps me from getting a good night's rest, but last night I slept soundly. I've always wanted to see a tornado from a safe distance, same as I've always wanted to see an orca. So I think the two are the same sort of dream. The cloudy mouths were a new part of the theme, though. I wasn't scared at all, just a bit wide eyed that they were there.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer travels

On Tuesday, I dropped Mr W off at overnight camp. It sounded like a lot of fun to me, and he was excited, although he's been working on his under-enthusiasm because he IS a teenager. It's a camp where they have go on a quest and have to solve riddles and work together.

I'm a lot less melancholy than I was when he went to his first overnight camp last year. That was a big hit because it seemed it was only a matter of time before he was going to grow up and leave me for good (sniff). Even though that's what we're aiming for anyway. I'm still prone to bouts of worry, but it helps me a lot to remember that my thoughts don't have any bearing on his experience, so I might as well envision him having a wonderful time.

He'll be home for a few days, and then is off to the midwest with his dad et al. for a 10 day trip to someplace remote (read: no internet). I think he'll have fun. He's better at finding something to do in the absence of internet than he thinks he is.

Then I thought we'd take a few days in August and go...somewhere. My back is better than it used to be, but I still don't want to sleep on the ground for a vacation. However, if I could haul around one of these, I might consider camping:

Anyway, I thought we should go to Seattle, and waited and waited and hesitated and couldn't make a decision, and hadn't really saved any money for it, and... we're not going. It would have been easier if I had planned better and I'm realizing I have a problem with wanting things to be perfect if I'm going to be spending a lot of money on the trip. Yet, traveling means there is so much that one has to roll with. I'm working on it and am going to start to save specifically for a big trip.

Meanwhile, we are fortunate that Colorado has several excellent mountain towns that are not too far away and we'll go somewhere up there for a few days.

Then, my dad turns 80 this year, so we are gathering in FL for something. Maybe a cruise (!), maybe a hotel on the beach. We need to get that planned, but we'll be traveling around Christmas for that big event. My brothers and I reminisced about the quirky little house we rented when we were down there last, and wish we could do that, but Dad wants something more upscale. I don't blame him.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

We did it!

We did it! The dog (who was a willing but unwitting participant), Mr W and I completed our first 5K yesterday. This is shortly after the finish. He finished a couple of minutes ahead of me, but my one and only goal was to jog the whole thing without slowing down to walk. It's all kind of relative because my pace is slow and I can walk almost as fast as I can jog. No matter - I jogged the whole 3.1 miles, in about 38 minutes :-).

Come to think of it, the dog was pretty much briskly walking the whole time as well. But she's still a tired pup, so I'm sure it was a big deal for her too. She's been along for the whole training thing for the last nine weeks, and I imagine has also gotten in better shape. 

This started ostensibly as something we were doing for the kid, as I mentioned previously, but has become a thing I really want to do. I was going to quit after a couple of weeks because my back and hips would get so stiff at night, while I was in bed, that I thought I was injuring myself. 

Rewind to 1992, when I worked as a camp counselor and during the first day of camp, was chasing another counselor during a game of Capture the Flag and fell just so, dislocating my hip with such force they had to do surgery to remove a ligament that had torn. I was never a regular exerciser until I was in my mid-40's (I know, I know) so I only had youth and not any kind of strength from an exercise regimen on my side.

Anyway, I remember them telling me that I shouldn't do downhill skiing (check, no problem) or sit with my legs crossed, which I have taught myself to do. The problem with babying the injury site for all these years is that my hips are TIGHT. So when we started running nine weeks ago, I didn't know if the hip would stand for it or not. Having the pain after a couple of weeks made me think I was going to have to pass.

As a mom, I could see that the kid just might really take to this running thing if I could help him a bit over the very beginning part. This has happened - woot! - he wants to see how good he can get at it. So one day around two weeks into it, I had the bright idea to go to a Saturday yoga class. Maybe I could begin to loosen up and it would help. I dutifully put on my stretchy black pants and went off to the 4:30 class.

That class has always been at 4 pm, and I have shown up at 4:30 about three times. Oh well. This motivated me to go to the library to get a couple of books on yoga. I also searched online for "hip openers" and long story slightly shorter now have a set of five stretches I do daily that has helped tremendously.

I still get sore, and I still have to take some Advil occasionally, but the stretching really has been a game changer for me. The cool thing about this is that my body has given me what I've asked of it. I don't have aspirations to go for much longer than 30 minutes when I jog, and Mr W's cross country races are two miles (about 18-22 minutes when he gets better at it), so we'll concentrate on getting better at those distances/times rather than pushing for more more more.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Eleven minutes

That's how long I am waiting for Mr W's ipod (my ipod, really) to charge before we can go for our run today.

In a comedy of errors, I texted Mr W's dad this morning, asking if he could drop off (or I would pick up) my ipod from his house, which Mr W forgot when he came over yesterday. His dad said he would drop it off at my house today at 4. Great.

I get home at 4:45 and no ipod has been dropped off. I text his dad and after several confusing texts determine that we must go to Mr W's dad's house (15 minute drive) to get the ipod.

We get in the car, get the ipod. Is it charged? No, no it's not. Thus we are waiting a few minutes (six now) so it has a minimum charge so he has something to listen to while we do our run.

Oh, LindaCO, you say, I didn't know you ran for exercise. Yep, me and the kid started a "couch to 5K" program eight weeks ago. We are in the final week this week. I have really liked it, and will probably talk more about it, but it has been a really good way to start to run. I had the idea that we should do this so Mr W would be ready for Cross Country (Is that capitalized? I never know) in the fall. However, I have been the one (I guess this is not a surprise) who has driven this thing.

He has said how he wants to get better at running. Wants to make it his "thing". Alright.

As an aside, it has been a surprise how much more comfortable the right gear is. Decent shorts, a wicking top, jog bra, thin socks - no cotton at all - does make a difference.

OK, time to hit it.