Friday, June 17, 2016

Follow a Negative with a Positive?

I was going to start this post out with the word Ugh, but thought better.

Who wants to read anything that starts out negative?

So!  I gave you two sentences, and now here comes the negative.

This week?  Ugh.  Summer.  Sheesh.  I hate sweat, I hate that trickle wherever it starts and wherever it is I can swoop in get it to stop.

I have become neurotic about Paul's kitten Julia (well, she's now about a year old), climbing into one of our cars and dying a pathetic, 120+* death.  So I am constantly on the lookout for her.  She, on the other hand, is prowling for anything that moves, and this is sort of a good thing.  Moles, you know.  The barn swallows have her number, and I think she has acquiesced on that note.

Neither Julia nor Sister Monica Joan (my pound cat) have much interest in entering our abode in this heat wave.  They have cat food and water, and they stare at me, unmoving, as I hold the door open for them, asking, "Do you want to go inside?"  Allthewhile, the AC is heading OUTSIDE.   Our dog, B., on the other hand, lies in wait for those six words.  She knows them!  And she knows where she is allowed in the house.  She is so gigantic (85+ lbs),  I had to make a few perimeters, lest I trip over a dog and end up in the emergency room.

The bugs are ugly this summer.  UGLY!  The gnats are on high alert.  Too, I hate the fact that, even though my child-bearing years are past, I am still arising at dawn and applying mosquito repellent even as I sip my morning coffee out of my dainty teacup, (which will follow me out the door as I tend to things outdoorsy).  And the tick population?!  Don't start the conversation.

I have been earnest in getting out and doing things during this, my least favorite time of the year.  If I do not hop on a bike, I have been walk/running a 5K before the sun fully rises and before those insidious flies (bot flies?!) attempt to cling onto my sweaty (ICK!!!) face.  I try to ride my bike in the way early mornings, and I diligently swing by the university's pool (the Natatorium.  Like our Viaduct: Rural Kansas likes Latin proper nouns, apparently.)  right after lunch.

I wear a hat that says "Go Outdoors."

I do.

I am trying.


Trying to cope with summer.


Next week:

Estes park and Breckenridge, Colorado.

Saints be praised.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

My Life, My Epitaph

I am 56 years old.  I am sort of an active person.  I like to walk.  Run.  Hike.  Bike.  Swim.  Play tennis.  Play chess!

In so many of the aforementioned, I come in last.  I lose, or am dead last, or somewhere slowly bringing up the rear.  I rarely win at chess or tennis.  I haven't won a running race since high school. My one crit (cycling), I was SOooo dead last.

But: I DID IT!

I still like to do all these activities.  Coming in behind the pelaton or pack or missing that volley? Hey, it really does not bother me.  Not one whit.  I wonder if it used to, back a few decades.  I don't think so.  I still remember running my first 5K, at age 31.  I was having a ball being part of the throng of runners, and it did not bother me when I had to stop and walk.

Last weekend that Spouse o' Mine and I spent time in the Colorado Rockies.  We invited friends to join us up a short hike of Hoosier Pass.  Once we got going, I found myself pacing about fifty yards behind the other hikers.  Altitude!  Deep snow!  Where were my snowshoes?

But I had fun, even though I did not make it as far up as the rest of the gang.

The following morning it was just that Spouse o' Mine and me, hiking up Loveland Pass.  This time we needed crampons for melted snow=ice, not snowshoes.  But, we had not brought those, either.  So we ventured forth as best we could.  Again, I was bringing up the rear by a significant margin.  Still, I got pretty darn high, and was pleased with my effort.  Heck, I did not slide down the icy side of the Continental Divide, screaming and raising a ruckus and pleading for someone to call 911 and a helicopter.  So: all-in-all, I had a good hike.  Albeit slow.

As the two of us were hiking, I remarked that I am always last in all my ventures.  We had a chuckle.  And then we came up with my epitaph.

"Always Last.  But Always in the Game".

I'll take it.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

June! June 1st!

"June's poppin' out all over..."

I love that song.  You shall have to YouTube it.            

I love it because my sweet older sister taught it to her class each year - either K, 1st grade, or 3rd grade, even a 5th grade, I think.  They all learned that song, and a multitude of others.

I sing a lot.  I sing in the house, and I REALLY sing outdoors.  I belt it out, especially going down the road a piece.  I assume no one can hear me.  Sometimes it's show tunes, or musical pieces.  Sometimes, it's Latin prayer things. "Te...ergo que...sumus...."  "I'm just a girl who cain't say no..."  "Zippadeedoodah, Zippadeeay..."

But: back to June.  It is indeed popping out all over.  Normally in rural Kansas, June means triple-digit hot and all our garden hopes hinge on watering schedules or cactus landscapes.  This spring has been fairly mild, but for the tornadoes, and even they have been...not awful so far???

Exciting, fun, sweet news:  Last Wednesday eve, I had already headed in to the bedroom and was nearly planting my head on the pillow, when the phone rang.

Oosh.  A phonecall at 10:30 pm means bad news.

BAD news.

And yet, I could hear that Spouse o' Mine, not in words, but his tone was uplifting.  And then, as he approached our bedroom, I heard him say, "Here!  Talk to Mom!"  And he thrust the phone into my sleepy hand.  But...sleepy, no longer:

"Hi, Mom!  I'm engaged!"


So sweet.

So, so sweet a conversation.  It brought tears to my eyes then, and does now, as well.

My baby.  She has no idea how this affects me.

My baby.

Here she is, calling that Spouse o' Mine and me, late that night:

 I love this photo.  It shows her happiness, talking to us, her parents.  It is not one of those posed engagement photos.  Clearly the photographer, her fiance, experienced and embraced her engagement joy.

As do we.

June's poppin out all over...
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