Ma’am This *Is* Serious

I know what I’m about to tell you will strain reader credibility but for the third time since the beginning of the year, I have had an infirmity that kept me in bed for a few days.

I keep having issues with my back. I want to say all my clean living is for nothing but perhaps I would be a complete wreck if I didn’t do everything I’m doing.

My backpack was super heavy and I did something as I got on the bus — some combination of awkward bag holding, and awkward getting into the seat. When it was time to get off the bus I could barely walk. I hobbled up to the office and assumed I would shake it off.

I did not. I had to use the restroom which is down a long hallway and there was a point where I thought I wouldn’t make it. I felt okay sitting and that was about it.

Bob came and picked me up and I have spent the last few days in my bed desk, working from my laptop and hobbling around as needed. It’s terrible when I wake up but tolerable in the afternoon.

This morning I was in tears when I got up because I was all hunched over and unable to walk without hugging the furniture going on Day 4. I figured I was permanently broken and would have to quit work and cancel our vacation and never be able to clean my floors again.

I did what normally you should never do when you don’t feel right and I did a thorough online research project and learned that I was mostly approaching it right except I needed more patience and I needed more activity.

I did a 60 minute exercise class for tight low backs which was amazing. So I’m going to assume I’m on the mend and try to power through and move around more.

Other than cropping this is intentionally zero Photoshop.

One thing I’ve learned from being at home during the day more than usual the past several months, is that the strongly accented callers who want to warn you about your computer virus, call almost every day. No point in telling them to put you on the no call list. They don’t have one.

The last time I said to the woman: Seriously? There is no better way that you can make a living?

She said: Ma’am, this is serious.

The good thing about being trapped in a bed desk is I’m making steady progress on the Project of August. I’m slightly ahead of schedule but we’re out of town one weekend and I will take that weekend off rather than stress about writing on vacation.

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Lucia Falls Regional Park & Non-Related Tidbits

A couple of weeks ago we had dinner with some friends who live practically in the middle of Lucia Falls park. I had never been there before or anywhere in the vicinity for that matter. I’ve lived here for almost 20 years and my knowledge of areas beyond the paths I’ve worn for myself is pitiful. The park was lovely. Shady and green on a hot day. We had a delicious dinner outside on the deck. Wonderful way to spend the evening.

This is all that is left of a dance club that was there a long time ago. This is what our hosts told us.

In other news, my grocery store no longer has the prunes I like. It has some generic brand and then a fancy organic brand which is cleverly packaged so it looks like it’s a decent amount but you can tell when you open the package there will only be about 5 prunes in there that you paid about $1 each for. I thought about asking someone but I didn’t want to be that old lady asking about prunes.

You also might have noticed that I haven’t said a peep about Women’s World Cup. It’s a tragedy. I managed to watch one half of one game with the USA. There are numerous contributing factors but the biggest one is this writing project. But also a bunch of miserable commutes stacked together and the timing of the matches is during my commute home. I’m going to try to watch USA tomorrow.

Another weird thing about the writing project is that my brain is so wrung out even if I do read or watch something, I need it to be simple or something I’ve already seen or read. I just got out my ancient copy of the The White Mountains, by John Christopher to read again. And last week I watched The Lake House for at least the fifth time.

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Crazy Late Garden Update

Pumpkins! You can practically see them pushing out of the dirt.

Yay, thanks for the update Photoshop. Just what I need, to set aside time to do a tutorial since apparently the three functions I use are now outdated and who knows what happened to them? I can’t wait until the kids today are old and start complaining about how everything changes so fast. (Kidding, I can wait.)

I am behind on everything. I have so many photos sitting here and notes for posts.

I’m not working on the same writing project that I was at the beginning of the year, but I am working on a different one. I spend so much time sitting at the computer that I now schedule breaks to keep my spine from fusing me into a hunchback.

Here’s the current project of forever which I have promised to first readers the first week in August so it’s actually the project of August:

I think I mentioned that my double whammy illness this spring destroyed my gardening mojo. I kept thinking next weekend I would get some work done and then I would go out and pull a few weeds and plan to do more the following weekend.

I finally found the tomato seeds I’d saved and planted them. And now it’s the end of June and all I have to show for myself are these tiny sproutlets. I have a volunteer in the garden that’s more impressive than this.

I went to the grocery store and picked out two plants labeled as fast growing and productive. Might as well get science behind me.

This morning I finally prepped the soil for tomatoes and pumpkins. So my pitiful little garden will be in. There are some greens sprouting, as well, although at this rate they will probably bolt before they do anything meaningful.

These are the pumpkins now and ready to go outside. I will sprout some cucumbers for my annual exercise in failing to grow cucumbers and set those out next.

I wasn’t even planning on digging potatoes today. But I was weeding and I pulled a weed and there was a potato, just the size to sit in my palm. I gently prodded the dirt and two more appeared. By the time I was done digging this one mound, I had all the potatoes you see in this basket.

For pure entertainment value, there is nothing better than potatoes in the garden. The things I planted were tiny and shriveled and didn’t look like they would amount to much. Potato salad coming in our future.

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Otter Holding A Pizza

Last night I came home and saw this on the counter. I said: Is that an otter holding a pizza? Bob said: Yes. His friend Kitty made a whole bunch otters with pizza and each one had a different topping. She let him pick the one he wanted. The otter is his spirit animal. And here is proof that there are a lot of otters with pizzas out there.

In other news, huge tragedy. My favorite summer shoes finally bit the dust.

We used a chunk of savings to pay off a loan last month and ever since everything you can imagine has been breaking: cars, A/C unit, plumbing issue, my tooth, and now my favorite shoes.

They are super old. Someone was admiring them last weekend and I said they were really old. I looked it up in honor of this post and they are 15 years old. They could have started driving next year. They have been all over the world and all over the country.

They were not cheap and I remember when I bought them a friend balked at how much I paid for them.

I estimate I paid less than a dime for every time I wore them.

Look: the heel completely disintegrated. I was walking back from my dentist appointment and wondering what was wrong with my shoes. Both feet pooped out at the same time.

I went to use my fancy camera for these pictures and that seems to have died, too. I checked and I bought that in February of 2008. The dryer has been acting funny but I thought that was going to die for the past 5 years. We got that before we got married (1996). I hope it hangs on.

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Everybody on the Bus

Strawberry-rhubarb for a get together. I’m always happy when I manage to make a pretty one to take somewhere. Sure, you can argue that the juice burbled around the edges is not ideal, but I think it’s pretty.

I’ve been taking the same bus in the morning for, gulp, 8 years?

I’ve mentioned it before but I go to a park-n-ride and there are 2 buses that go to Portland. One stops in downtown Vancouver and one is direct. I started taking the one that stopped in Vancouver because it was always less crowded. For awhile there, it was three of us who took this longer route.

There have been others taking this but but last week I couldn’t believe it, there were at least 15 people taking this bus instead of the direct one. So by the time you loaded all the passengers in Vancouver, the bus was completely full.

So I took the direct bus and what do you know? Not crowded at all. They arrive at almost the same time, so I guess that will be my bus now.

I love it when I download photos from one of my cameras and find a bunch of photos I forgot about. This one had blurry photos from 2 Timbers games plus a bunch of flowers and sights from our walk around the neighborhood a week ago.

This picture doesn’t make any sense. I found that postal scan in one of my endless “miscellaneous images” folders that I keep in my highly specialized organization system. I wanted to do something with it and I tacked it on this photo which is fine except that I was in Vancouver when I took that photo and that mountain is Mt. St. Helens which is located in Washington. Portland does not figure into this photo.

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Is It Warm In Here?

From the backyard: some rascal nibbled on a tiny green apple. I’m guessing squirrel.

On Wednesday it got warm in the office.

I believe it is well documented here that I am always cold and while I enjoy the practical benefits of air conditioning, I dislike cold air blowing on me or near me.

I bought an indoor/outdoor thermometer so I could prove that during the winter I am “freezing.” The indoor sensor is in my office and the outdoor sensor is in colleague’s office. When I’m freezing it usually reads 70 degrees in both our offices and has failed to prove my point.

But on the warm day it went to 74. Then 76. Then 78. In both offices.

I hate complaining because (a) I’m terrified they will make it so cold I will regret it and (b) because you have to log into this website and fill out a form and then get a series of emails reporting on your work order and I don’t like to do that plus I can never remember my password or username.

But when it hit 79 at Noon it seemed obvious there was a problem. I found my login ID, navigated the website, filled out the form and suggested it might be getting a little warm in our suite.

Turns out the AC wasn’t working for our entire floor. How was I the first one complaining?

They turned on a fan and had a technician come in right away and within 2 hours I had to put my sweater back on. When the building staff came to the office to see how we were doing, I said: We’re usually not the first in line to complain but …”

They said: You aren’t even close to the first in line to complain.

They told me I should let them know if anything is going on. But I probably still won’t.

First berries! I knew the ever-bearing were out there but I was surprised to see some red ones, too. I think the crop is going to be a little smaller than the last couple of years. But still should be plenty.

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Red Eye

Getting organized to hop on a plane tonight and fly to Madison, Wisconsin to visit with friends. I love everything about this trip except the flight.

(Well, and saying good-bye at the end but let’s not talk about that now.)

Here’s a post from when I made this trip in 2011.

My Sweetheart gets a weekend with the house to himself. He already mentioned something about a film festival.

Be good while I’m gone.

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Tacos Make You Have Crazy Dreams

Mad Men is the only drama that Bob and I watch together. We decided that we would watch the series finale live so we wouldn’t have any spoilers.

Since I started using a DVR I have no idea when my shows are on. I watch them when they show up on the DVR.

I checked Mad Men and learned the finale would air on Sunday night from 10-11:15.

Who can stay up that late on a school night? I don’t even like to stay up that late on the weekends. Or ever. Even if something fun is happening.

Normally Monday night is yoga night and Bob goes to visit his Mom but we are swapping so we can watch tonight.

I have been having the craziest dreams lately. Sometimes a bunch in one night or sometimes just a really long one that goes on and on. And if you tried to summarize it for someone it would be like: I was at the movies but I had to go sit by the teddy bear but then I had to go to the bathroom and it was behind the candy buffet and there was a stream running in front of the doors.

Last night we had tacos so that explains the candy buffet dream. I also dreamed someone was flashing a light in the bedroom window so I would go answer the door. I thought it was a homeless man who wanted to sleep in our backyard but it was an Indian whose truck broke down and wanted us to sit in the truck bed.

Yeah. Tacos.

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Turkish Delight

My mother-in-law makes these cookies – I have the recipe but I can’t put my fingers on it right this second.

They are no-bake cookies and I think it’s butter, sugar, butterscotch drops, quick-cook oats, butter, and sugar.

She made us a bunch and we were stuffing our faces. My husband finally asked me to share some with colleague.

I warned colleague: These are Narnia cookies – Turkish Delight.

I said: These are the best and worst cookies you’ve ever had.

Best because they are yummy, worst because once you have them you can’t stop thinking about them. If they are in the house, you are constantly bargaining: should I eat one? One bite? Half of one? They are so sweet. Maybe just 2 bites. I’ll wait until after dinner. Three bites.

It goes on and on.

I gave colleague his bag and then in the afternoon, in a strained voice asked: Aren’t we going to try those cookies?

After he tried one, he agreed.

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Digging Machine

Look at this cute bunny that lives next door. I almost said cute little bunny but Charlotte is gigantic.

But so sweet and innocent. Actually, I think you can spot a little attitude in this one. Charlotte’s superpower is escaping from her cage. She escaped last summer and there were four of us running around the yard trying to catch her. She ran into the hedge and we all gave up. The next morning she was sitting at the door to her cage.

I don’t think we give rabbits enough credit.

This morning I noticed the dirt was disturbed in the pumpkin planting area. (No pumpkins planted yet). It looked like something had been digging.

What could it be?

Of course since I watch too many movies and read too many scary books, I thought it was something that could jump out of the hole and bite my head off so I approached with great caution.

These look like chewed up carrots. Hm. I think I figured out where Charlotte hangs out when she’s not at home.

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