Archive for August, 2011

Moonless Walk

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Walking is the best form of exercise I’m told and it is especially rewarding on balmy days like today. After meeting with the interesting group “Drinking Liberally” at the Red Lion Motel, I walked along the river dark, though it was, the sidewalk sort of shined before me so I had no difficulty in following. I really did not intend to do a river walk but I left our meeting through an outside door that I thought would be a shortcut to my car. Well it turned out to be longer by far than it should have been and harder on my feet than my back yard earthen path but what a great outing it was! I went along the river where there are no street lights so I’m happy to have good night vision. I was not the only person taking advantage of the pleasant evening, several people passed me, one even at a jogging speed overtook me from behind which surprised me. Really worried me a bit but the individual didn’t cause anybody to hesitate or stumble so why not run if they chose. My drink for the evening was root beer so I was in fine shape for a night walk. I dragged the waste bin to the sidewalk for tomorrow’s pickup and put the recycle and yard waste bins out too. Now I am all set for a sleep-in tomorrow.

Rake needed

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

The nifty gate Mike put in my cedar fence allows easy access to the shelter belt. I went through it to look for graffiti on the back side because Nancy asked if she should bring her pressure washer for removal. There is none. There is high grass and weeds that could become a fire hazard. Mike Burke has raked the dry dead stuff away from his cedar fence behind 411 Abbot and I had better do the same from behind 407. The city has a trench in the shelter belt with which it waters the trees and keeps a very narrow strip of grass green. There is a wider strip that is not watered and many weeds have grown and died there.  Grass in the back yard needs cutting also. I watered the front yard early this morning and the native plants are thriving. I have grass on the west side of the house that needs trimming so I will be happy for help there, too.

Worn Knees

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

As promised I drove to the Badger Mountain trail head around eight am. Then I started up the trail. At first the path is level from the parking area, then there is a series of rock ledges where one climbs steeply and I stopped often to let serious hikers go past. The trail goes uphill but not as steeply after that. My knees let me know that I would not go to the summit as I have done many times in the past. I turned back just before reaching the bench where the blue bin was parked to hold the gravel which I hauled in many bucketfuls from there to the summit. My knees felt wobbly and I turned back with a vision of being carried down on a stretcher after collapsing on the trail. What an embarrassment that would be! I met Patty Heasler and George Fearing coming up. They are fellow Liberal Drinkers I have known for years. I used a visit with them to rest my legs. It was ten when I got home and had a bowl of cheerios and milk. A fresh pot of coffee is brewing from which I will pour a cup and drink while I watch squirrels wreck havoc on the walnuts, chewing and dropping shell bits on the walk which are murder for my bare feet to step on. I finished the best of my exertion for the day and will reside in my sun room until I think of something that will not work against the worn muscles in my knees

Digger

Friday, August 19th, 2011

There is no such animal in the Chinese zodiac. According to my birth year my sign is the rabbit. Hey, rabbits dig holes so that is right after all. I had to move one spruce that I put where it would grow up to be in the way of the water spigot.  Arbor Day Inc. sent a questionnaire about receipt of the ten spruce they sent me in April to celebrate national Arbor Day. Yes I received them. Yes I planted them right away. Yes I had learned how to plant trees from the County extension agent. I planted them in my yard. However I returned three coupons to accept ten flowering shrubs which I will dig in when they come. I want to plant them as a border along the front of the lot. More watering. Maybe a slow soaker hose for a few months. If I do get them growing nicely I will prune them like a hedge. I’ve dug holes many times except not very recently. I do not think I lost my touch. I have lost some muscle tone which the Senior Center cautions old folks to exercise that will, if not build up big muscles, at least prevent skin from unsightly sagging. One just cannot sit back and let the world go around. When little kids learn that the earth is round they dig with exuberance expecting to come up in China. Oh to be an innocent kid making mud pies.

Try Again

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

After failing twice to find the trailhead for the skyline trail on Badger Mountain yesterday I had to play it cool today, as if one can be cool when the temperature climbs to 90 degrees. Even with explicit directions from Google I didn’t find the parking lot where one begins. I am really good at looking at directions and turning exactly the opposite. I have people who will vouch for that. I put on my running shoes thinking they would be better for my feet than the Velcro fastened shoes I wear to walk the Refuge trails but my little toes hurt so I couldn’t bear torturing myself. My feet are too swollen to get into them so that’s out. Thongs won’t do on chip rock trail. I scoop up gravel as I walk. Well to cut to the chase, I walked around my back yard instead. I got in some sunbathing. Summer is going fast and I don’t have nearly enough tan to last the winter so I must persevere. Take advantage of what I have. I will get back on the road tomorrow and find the destination I couldn’t find yesterday. Try again. That’s a good motto.

Brace Yourself

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Get ready. I mean brace yourself for complaining big time. Because I hurt all over. Toenails, ankles, calves, hips, back, arms, shoulders, neck, ears, scalp, even my hair hurts. I did not fall off my roof. I was not pushed down on the sidewalk. I was not shook up in Sunday school by the teacher like school kids were punished. I was not stoned like the women who misbehaved in ancient Greece. I have had no alcohol since Tuesday, although that may not be true an hour from now. The day has been a good one as Sundays go. The animals in my wildlife refuge are playing like the rascals they are. Not tense like me. Actually I am clenching my teeth and I have no excuse. It is just one of the things I do. In getting into my medical mode, I wonder if I have the summer flu. If so, then I do know what I’ll do. Heat up the Chicken soup. And go to bed. This is my bedtime anyway. The full moon kept me enraptured last night but I won’t appreciate it now. Sorry for the nasty mood I’m in. I know it is not fair to burden you with it but if you would brace yourself and share it just a little I will sleep so much better.

Computer Stress

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Who would have thought a mouse would injure my right arm? Yes I have a sore forearm from manipulating a mouse. Odd that a mechanical tool would be given the flesh and blood term “mouse.” Maybe not so odd when I take into account the creativity of those who figured out the Internet and computers in the first place. But controlling the little critter takes concentration and muscles not otherwise used. The computer is designed to be manipulated with the thumb but because I use my computer mostly as a word processor my thumb would sweep across the thumb pad which interfered with my typing. I had the feature turned off and plugged a mouse in instead. That’s OK for game playing (I think) but it means more manipulation of the mouse by my right arm. So I have the peculiar stress of muscles. Not brains. Not nerves. Come to think of it in total terms, it causes brain stress. Close the cover and find other amusement, why don’t I? My trees need to be watered so there is an immediate change of muscles to be used. Good. It also changes my posture and prevents broadening of an other part of my anatomy. Yaaaaayyy. Would you call that killing two birds with one stone?

Big Change

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Early this morning, maybe even yesterday, I decided not to attend the Second Saturday event at McNary NWR. I did get into my car; there is no way I can stay at home, so I filled my gas tank and headed in the opposite direction. Pendleton and the Cascino would be a good destination, a place to rest and pull a few handles. No, there are no slot machines with handles anymore so that’s out. I circled around on Badger road, thinking I should walk up that mountain one of these first days and that would take more energy than I’ve had for some time. Well I wouldn’t have to go all the way. There is no law against turning around and walking down. The one trail goes both ways. No vehicles allowed. No horses. Dogs must be leashed. The thought was as far as that went. I drove back through Kennewick and arrived home in time to watch my squirrels play tag in my wildlife refuge. I drank a glass of tomato juice and laid down – like the drive exhausted me! However I did wake up several hours later thinking another day had come. I will begin to cross off days on my calendar so I know what day is next. At least the second Saturday marked my progress, but a meager one. I need to plan a big change. Maybe an over night camp out! And me without a tent, Oh Bother!

Private Viewing

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Squirrels carry on their tail talk which I translate into gossip of the neighborhood. Robins bob along, even dive bomb the squirrels who dare to come to ground. Tiger-leg tom makes his circle from behind the cedar fence to the water dish, drinks, jumps up on my back stoop, sniffs and finding nothing that disturbs him, leaves on the same route. He walks off satisfied that all is well. A wild show goes on a high level. Squirrels steal walnuts and go quickly where they can nibble off the husks and eat the spoils of their theft. I had my oatmeal and am ready to go off to rendezvous with my own species which often brings on more chuckles than the tree hugging mammals ever could because people can easily pretend one idea but exhibit an entirely opposite one. I find no repercussions of a hidden agenda among the wild folk. Maybe I haven’t begun to translate. So I will go on seeing fun and games as they scamper up and down among my trees.

Once a Month

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Benton County Democrats met tonight at 7 pm. The discussion was about public education and the teachers who spoke left me with the feeling that our education system is in dire straits. We had all better get together and straighten it out. I have withdrawn from many activities but the Party is one that I should be more active in. September the Democrats will elect new officers. At home the full moon is beginning to shine upon me and what a great sight it is. As I stepped into the sun room a black streak went past my periphery vision along the east wall. As I stood a moment the black cat I described earlier peeked around the shop at me. Where it had been when I drove in I can’t imagine but I hope it plans to be in the back yard for the night. I have no intention of walking out there to disturb it. I had walked along the cedar fence this morning and only saw the black stubby tail of tiger-leg Tom sneaking between the sheds. If the black tail hadn’t been trailing him I may not have seen him at all. I hope those two can get along. I do not really want to become known as the Cat woman but I would rather be that than associate with Squirrels.