Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Mid-August, and Bearable

 What a terrific mid-August day it has been: sort-of-coolish, misty-moisty and overcast.  I observed that my Bird of Paradise plants are thriving today.  I haven't seen them look so "relaxed" all summer.  I guess this is my clue to bring them indoors until the triple digits and high-90s abate.  (Who knew??)

I went to a neighbor's for coffee this morning.  (Neighbor: 5 miles away?)  A nice gathering, which we have not done often enough during the past two years of Pandemic.  

On the tails of that, I went to a church women's Circle meeting.  I can't say that it was uplifting, at all, at all.  Too many sad and tired and trying stories.  Discussion about the aging folks in our congregation, Parkinson's, hospice, and so on.  It's difficult to try to raise the bar a bit with regards to positive conversation and interaction.  

And so, I came home to my little oasis, with happy cats and a happy German Shepherd Dog.  Happy Huz came home and we have chicken and vegetables roasting in the oven. 

THE OVEN!  Something we do not regularly use in August.  And I clipped off some rosemary from my 2022 raised garden beds, and I smell them wafting, up to the second floor here, of our rural Kansas home.  

I suppose I should take some photos of my raised garden... something that seemed folly in early Spring looks to be a success.  Ha: Right by our Jed Clampet swimming pool.  (Not cement.)  


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Everything's Up-to-Date

Tuesday, and I am back from Kansas City.

Everything's Up to Date in Kansas City

I just love the choreography in this clip of 1955's Rogers & Hammerstein's OklahomaGene Nelson as Will Parker was terrific, and omigoodness: Charlotte Greenwood as Aunt Eller was THE BEST.  Her acting cannot be improved upon, in my opinion.

This R & H musical, Oklahoma, was based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs, written by Lynn Riggs in 1931.  Lynn Riggs was from Claremore, Oklahoma.  His play was set outside Claremore, Indian Territory, 1906.  

So was Patty Page:
Tennessee Waltz
How Much is that Doggy in the Window?

And if you were to drive through Claremore, Oklahoma this week, you could toodle down both Patty Page Boulevard, and Lynn Riggs Boulevard.

Where am I meandering?  I'm not sure.  I grew up seventeen miles from Claremore, Oklahoma. 

Ah!  I know where I am going: 
I am back from Kansas City, everything's up-to-date there, I came home to a reasonable, manageable,   temperature, I attended Masterworks Chorale rehearsal this evening, (everyone back to masking agin the Covid), and now I am enjoying the light patter of rain and thunder off in the distance.

I noticed that our Golden Campine rooster has decided to eschew moving into the chook house at sundown, and he now roosts high in out front trees.  I'm not sure how wise this is (owls??), but nature will take its course as it does here in rural Kansas. 

And that's how the last week of July looks, 2022.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Resumption: August 2022.

 Here it is, the last week of 2022's July.  I have chided myself on the lack of discipline on writing.  As have some of you, to my face.  Or to my email. 

It's been difficult to write the past few years.  As I mentioned some time ago, when I started this blog, it was sort of a note home.  News and fun.  And, somehow, the past five years have streamlined very thinly as to what might be news and fun.  I guess I should qualify that as too much news, and not nearly as much fun as I think needs be.

So, beginning in August, I will clip into the writing mode (that's sort of cycling lingo.) and commence, once again.  Discipline, discipline.  And more discipline.

In the meantime, the weather forecast says the high tomorrow is going to be raining and 76*.  I announced to That Spouse o' Mine that I am headed to Kansas City for 36-48 hours of city living.  This is a blissful vacay for someone who rusticates in rural Kansas most of her days.  Nelson Atkins, American Jazz Museum, an Ethiopian restaurant, botanical gardens, and many more options.  And I have no itinerary.  I have a swimsuit.

And as I complete this note, I hear rain.  
I smell petrichor.

This is a good re-start.


Friday, April 01, 2022

Our Friend Margaret

 Some years ago, I became acquainted with a fellow cyclist.  Today, I cannot recall the circumstances.  But she and I enjoyed a friendship based on conversational rides, fun and funny life stories, and our enthusiasm for cycling.  Have mercy, I cannot count the times I would hear our dog bark her one bark: "There's a friend at the gate."  

It was Margaret.  Margaret with Gail, or Karen, or Nancy, or Bill, or Toby, or Wendy, or Chris, or all the other cycling friends that counted Margaret in their posse.

I hear Margaret's voice - it's distinctive, and it is very supportive - whatever the conversation, Margaret's voice is in my mind.  She shared her grandkid stories.  Certainly, she shared her Beth stories.  She shared her career stories as an educator.  I hear her laugh, and thanks be to God, I see her smile.

Her smile.

Many have observed that Margret was a pillar of our cycling community.  She was a positive, encouraging friend to so many.  I initially titled this post My Friend Margaret.  Note that I changed it to Our Friend Margaret.  Her passing is our loss, not my loss.  

***  Margaret's natural passing was swift, and for that, perhaps we are grateful.  

Friday, August 20, 2021

Ball Game!

 Weeks and weeks ago, back when we were all fully-vaccinated and life was good, our son and daughter-in-law came to visit.  SUCH A JOY TO BEHOLD.  

Such a joy.

At some point, our son went out to our hay pasture/meadow, (we call it pasture, our hay man calls it our hay meadow, which sounds so much more poetic and peaceable.), and he mowed us a tee box.

I was not privy to what a tee box was.  Come to find out, it's a swath of dirt (or grass, in our case).  "The name derives from the tee used to elevate a golf ball before striking it to commence play."  Ha.  It's rural Kansas, you all.  

After our son mowed the tee box, his wife, (and my amazing daughter-in-law), and I went to the Goodwill in search of:  

Two drivers. 
Two putters.
Two #7s.  (Not privy to that, either.)

Guess what?!   Goodwill has a PLETHORA of drivers, putters, and #7s!!!

I mowed us a fairway: a big long strip of green, in which it is hoped our balls would land, rather than the tall grass on either side of our fairway.  Golly.  It's beginning to sound like Royal Troon, in Scotland!

And so it went.  We hit balls every morning.  Daughter-in-law & I had purchased hot pink golf balls, so as to spot them in the pasture/hay meadow.  But come to find out, that Spouse o' Mine, colorblind, cannot discern hot pink from anything else out there in the hay meadow.  (See what I am doing?  Abstaining from "pasture" in exchange for the more bucolic "meadow".)

Son and daughter-in-law went back home to their Pacific Northwest lives, and we are still in rural Kansas, whacking hot pink golf balls around the pasture.  Excuse me: Meadow.

Two weeks ago, we had a couple of gorgeous mornings in the 50ยบ mark.  I took full advantage out in our tee box and fairway, whacking ball after ball after ball after ball into the fairway and also into the great tall grass abyss on either side (more often than not...).  Such fun!

Such fun...until the following day, Saturday, when I awoke and ambled in for morning coffee.  I mentioned to that Spouse o' Mine that my back needed a bit of a rub.  "I must have done something." I said.  After a 45-second back rub (that's all he's good for first thing in the morning and before coffee.), I declared myself healed.  And so I was for a couple of hours.  But then that niggling back pain returned, and travelled and meandered around, visiting one muscle and then triggering another.  This was not enjoyable.  I took a regular-strength Tylenol (because that's as strong as we have in our home...)  It took the edge off, and I thought I was good to go.

Well.  By late afternoon, I could not find comfort, no pain-free position to sit or lay in.  Nothing was working.  I took one, and thirty minutes later, another Tylenol. Pain edged off, for a bit.  By late afternoon, I announced that I was in serious shape, and we had to make a decision about what to do/how to proceed.  We (seriously: joint decision!) decided to watch the Olympic Marathon, and then if the pain was still REAL, he would take me in to the ER. 

Marathon over, pain is REALLY real, and so we hopped into the car for our 17-mile drive to the ER.

Three miles into our drive, I exclaim that I don't have my purse - no ID!  Go back!  Go back!  He replies that I can use his ID.  I look at him, incredulously.  How would that work, exactly?  (That was the thought bubble above my head, not the words out of my mouth.)  He finds a spot in the road to do a Uey, and we head back.  And that's when I have an epiphany:  "I should call my physician." 

Well, it is 8:00 pm on Saturday evening, so what chance is there of hearing from my physician?  I call and leave a detailed message with his answering service nevertheless.  And then that Spouse o' Mine and I discuss (#argue) about his letting our dog out into the hot evening while we venture on into town to the ER.  As we drive into town, we see the brilliant lightning filling the skies to the near west, coming our way.  Seriously??!

Segue to the ER, where he lets me off curbside, I walk in and put myself in the Saturday night queue, and return to the car to relate the Covid protocol, and suggest to him that he should return home and let poor Lucy GSD back indoors before she gets struck by lightning or hail.  He returns home,  I return, walking like Lurch, to the ER.  My physician's colleague returns my call an hour later, I tell him where I am, and he says, "That's good!  I worry that you have kidney stones.  You are just where I would suggest you be."

It was Saturday night, the university students were back, I was not "urgent care" - in fact, if it had not been for the worry that my problem was gall bladder ("Where exactly IS my gall bladder?"), kidneys, heart attack (women present differently when it comes to that fatal malady) or other...I could have gone to a "ready-care", but I was thinking about blood tests and urinalysis and lab works and surgery and....Gah!

Four ambulance arrivals later, I was seen by the attending ER physician.  I explained my travelling back pain.  He looked at my chart.  He asked pertinent questions.  He remarked that I was a "Duffer".  I told him I had no idea what that meant.  He told me it meant "golfer". 

Ha!  You Readers,  Google "Duffer".

Anyway, he asked me to show him my swing.  I did, and as I did, he touched the very part of my back that had been giving me anguish.

So, fast-forward to the "and they lived happily-ever-after" chapter.  I am alive and well and maybe this weekend I will venture out and hit not an hour's-worth of hot pink golf balls, but maybe a smidgen.  Just enough to get  - ha! - the ball rolling again.

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