16 July, 2017

Biking To Work

 During the summer, I try to bike to work as often as I can.
Definitely worth the ten years I spent trying to transfer to  the same town in which I live.

There's only about four months where I can do it often enough with my work schedule and the way sunrise and sunset fall.

I live 3 1/2 miles away from work - although it could be 4 miles as my road is 1/2 mile long. In any case it takes me 20 minutes to ride in and 22 minutes to ride out. I have two little hills coming in and two bigger hills going home.

Many people, as in 92%, profess great alarm at me biking. They are 100% afraid to try anything though. So I discount their fears.

It's very safe. I taught my kids to ride safely on the country roads around here. I showed them how to pick the safest routes ahead of time and *plan ahead*.

Last summer was awesome as we stayed below 100' super hot days all summer and this summer is shaping up to be the same. Drivers are as cautious as me - because they know me.

I had a somewhat close call near my home (on the big arterial country road (with the 3-foot ditches)) last year when my neighbor had to pass me - at that particular moment, with oncoming traffic. My neighbor - whose husband bikes miles and miles - I was so surprised.  She called later to apologize. On that side of the road the ditch has mellowed out so if I had to, I have a safe place to steer my bike.

This year, I had to re-route because of a pit bull that is allowed to be off-leash, on the public street. That dog has bitten other neighborhood dogs and I decided to switch my route over one street because I'm pretty sure a girl and her bike will not win against a pit bull.
(And it's my blog, so if any commenters get obnoxious, I will delete you.)
Pit bulls are bred in the Portland area for illegal dog fighting.  I do  not care how nice your pit bull is.

 I don't get to bike past this luscious maple any more. It is my favorite tree in Canby, there are only a few specimens around. It's a bi-color maple that is big and glorious.

Riding my bike to work is a nice work-out. Breathing fresh air into my lungs, huffing and puffing to the top of my two hills, working on different muscle groups than those I use at work.

My ride is short - around 20-22 minutes - just long enough for a work-out  but not so long it becomes a chore.

I leave the house 15 minutes before work if I'm driving, 30 minutes before if I'm biking. There is time to smell the different crops growing on the first part of  my ride. To see and wave to people I know. It does put me in a good mood.

Why are people so afraid of something they haven't tried? Yes, my dad was a physics teacher and cars will always win against a bike. But I have lots of bike lanes. I am not going to bike incautiously. I pick my route with care. It's easier to cross the highway through town at this particular intersection. I don't pick the one where drivers are making too many right hand turns without looking. I also bike on the wide sidewalks if the intersection is dicey.

It was far easier to get around Kyoto on a bike that driving everywhere. I find that to be so (in town) here as well. I didn't have to find parking on parade day - which was a common complaint around me on the 4th of July. I just chained up my bike to a convenient stop sign and stood for our small town parade.

I was talking about biking last summer at the coffee shop and the coffee lady has an 11 year old boy. They lived at one end of town and the school was at the other end. Between them is the old logging trail that is now a bike path. There is no need to even be on a street in order to bike 2 miles to school. Her neighbor, who also has an 11 year old would not allow her boy to bike to school, because of various helicopter parenting concerns. He's 11. He'll be out of the house, hopefully, in just a few years. This is probably the safest biking trail ever and she won't allow her boy to grow up. This boy is driven to school every day. Not even allowed to take the school bus.

Biking is just  one of the adult skills I taught my children.
Although, I think I am the only biker in town that still uses hand & arm turning signals.

 One of my favorite memories of the kids is walking alongside them as they biked through the 4th of July parade in town. Trying not to get caught up in the wild training wheels of the younger crowd.

I did sew last weekend. I was supposed to play with making padded  Doterra oil pouches but I awesomely derailed into making these toiletry bags - specifically, Lipsense bags. The front is a zippered vinyl pocket to show off what you have with a bigger zippered compartment behind. 

Quick and easy.

I didn't use a pattern - just eyeballed the size I wanted it to turn out and I was definitely inspired by an Instagram post

My family crisis's have settled down a little, so I am hoping to sew more.
My overtime continues.

Finally, some beautiful pics from my son on his recent trip to Canada (Yay! 150 years!) near Banff.

08 July, 2017

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I felt like blogging today. Yay me.
This spring and summer has been an upheaval of sorts as I re-prioritize my busy life.

I continue to work forced overtime but there seems to be a break coming up.

Those beautiful red flowers are called Monarda aka BeeBalm. I try to make my yard bee friendly by using very little chemicals. My auto-immune (SIBO) seems to do better if I limit my chemical exposure too.

I had a couple of family crisis's that made me very sad for the choices those members are making. The bright side is they are able to make those choices. They are not my choices and it's difficult to separate out the feelings they invoke. Sadness  seemed to be the June feeling of the month.

While I'm happy at last to have a name and diagnosis for my auto-immune, it's long-term and chronic and progressing. I have a drive to do everything before I am unable to. And I want to do it all. I have no interest in giving up yet.

Like biking to work. I don't have to, but utilizing different muscle groups is not only healthy for my heart, but those muscles help support my joints as the chronic inflammation takes over.

This year has been super duper on the berries with several batches of jam/jelly made and berries in the freezer for the winter.

By letting blogging go by the wayside, I have that little bit more time to spend in my garden. Allowing my bare feet to connect with the earth really helps my stress levels.

I biked into town to see the 4th of july parade.Lots of live music, kids running amuck, and a Volkswagen Van for my friend's DIL - pink!

I had the pleasure of standing next to some seriously awesome kidlets. One in particular was the youngest (3 years old) of several boys. His mama softly urged him to share some of the candy he collected from the floats with other nearby kids  and it was such a joy to see this boy willingly picking up a life lesson in sharing. So easily done by an amazing mom.

Do you recall those potatoes I planted in April? We had a very cold and wet spring so planting was delayed. Now look at them. They are flowering and will soon set those teeny, tiny potatoes for summer salads.

 And, then, of course, the funeral and the wedding.

This is the most beautiful cemetery I've ever seen. I've always wanted to be cremated, but this cemetery on the steep hillside, looking out on the southern Oregon hills might change my mind.

This was a beautiful ceremony for a family member. Definitely filled with family choices that make me sad. It took a few weeks to acknowledge that sadness for the choices people make and allow the feeling to be. What it is. Learn from those choices. I can always be a better person.

The wedding was the direct opposite in the joyful feelings for this beautiful neighbor girl. All grown up now, she played with my kids. Her family actually lived quite close to my older sister for a while until the airplane her dad was building in the garage outgrew it's space.

My nephew. And Mt. Jefferson. Photo credit: my son.

This spring, feeling quite overwhelmed and not knowing how to find time, I stopped blogging. I stopped sewing. I need these things as they are positive creating that helps counter-balance the enormous load of stress at work.

I was also sad not doing these things to make time for those aforementioned family crisis's.
But time has a way of moving quite fast and you get through those things.

I have actually thought about sewing twice this week, so I am going to see if I can putter around in my sewing room tomorrow. Touch some fabric, maybe sew. Or, maybe just dust.

Tomorrow is the first Sunday (laundry day) that I have had free in what seems months. No obligations. No expectations. No helping others.

Mindfulness is something of a trend in a fast-paced world helping to slow you down with meditation and being present in now as opposed to worrying about the future or continuing family feuds from the past. My current job, while stressful and with too many hours, is an excellent tool to learn Mindfulness. Live in the moment - no use worrying about tomorrows schedule.

I'll quit rambling and leave you with my first blooming dahlia.

24 May, 2017

Alyeska Resort

My daughter works at Alyeska Resort.

She arranged for us to eat at the Seven Glaciers Restaurant.

At the top. We took the tram that moves nearly vertical. During the summer it moves slower. In the winter with anxious skiers, it can go top to bottom in three minutes. Awesome speed.

You can see some of the "kettle ponds", leftover from the old glaciers. Sometimes you can see bear or moose around the ponds. The tourist want to know 'when' they'll see their wildlife, as if you can schedule wild things to appear on the half-hour....

The clouds drifted in and put again in a nearly white world up here.

King Crab Legs - nums

...lets see how much gets cut off on this post...when published...

Alaska 1

Girdwood, Alaska.

Where the daughter lives.

Along the Seward Highway, Girdwood is about 45

20 May, 2017

May Madness

 I'm gonna throw a bunch of photos at you.

May has been super busy and I think The Daily Drizzle is finally fizzling out. Another of my favorite Iris above with the Bearded Iris close behind. That will be the end until next year.

  My friend from Kyoto sent me some special items for my birthday earlier this month.
She is getting to be an awesome airplane spotter.
 She found a keychain of the Torii Gates which was one of my favorite sites in Kyoto.

 My sis sent me a Marimeko plate. Also, the cute dish towel on the left.

I had to have a huge talk with myself. I've been hoarding pretty dish towels lately because a certain someone in the household doesn't understand kitchen rules. I made myself put it out anyway. And I ended up shout-ing it, as there are already scorch marks and tumeric from our curried chicken. (le sigh)

I made two more Clothesline bowls for easy peasy gifts and they were well received.

 This was my birthday/anniversary dinner. Yummy. Steamed clams on zucchini noodles. I think I need a spiralizer after all. Super delicious. Just a savory wine sauce instead of a cream sauce.

My iphone isn't great at capturing Mt. Hood in the distance. Lots of snow this year.
  I then "Gave" myself another gift of clumping bamboo. My friend, Teresa, mentioned she had five varieties and I penciled her into my birthday week off.

If you've ever had the joy of dividing bamboo... I took a sharp shovel with me and got a teeny bit of four of her varieties. The black bamboo would have needed a pick ax. ...and maybe very strong young men.

Nearby her is an old favorite restaurant of mine (and hers). My hubby and I came on the very first warm and sunny day and ate our dinners.
The sliding doors were open to the dappled shade along the Sandy River (very high this year).

My hubs had the famous chicken and dumplings. Which I can no longer eat (flour). My dinner was very tasty too. For the life of me, writing this, I can't recall what I ate.

I got to some of my weeding during my week off, but there is still lots to do.
Below are three medium sized blueberry plants. It has been so soggy that this section had to wait until the ground dried out a bit. Maybe in a week or two.

Right to the left of the weedy area is a section that looks all pretty in it's new barkdust coat.

The other morning, I awoke to this pretty picture out my bedroom window.
The Stearman got pulled out for some air.
The pink early morning air with my lovely Weigelia in front

Part of my birthday week was volunteering for Junk Refunk. A local business owner that is an Annie Sloan stockist put it on. Cheryl has previously done two street markets in town and brought a lot of people (and their money) into Canbyland. She needed some help so I volunteered.

I had forgotten how much I love volunteering. With my job, it's nearly impossible to commit to anything except getting through the long work days.

This one vendor, who is local, makes these awesome crowns. Because I was The Most Awesome Volunteer - ever-.

I have some escalating family problems, one in crisis mode. I also have one of the four clerks MIA for an indefinite time at work. Overtime will be the norm as if it wasn't already.

I am going to unblog for a while. I'll still be on Instagram more frequently (RocketGirl50). If you want to see my photos, that's a good place right now. I am seriously time challenged right now.

Trying to find time for sewing and unleashing my creative juices just got harder. If I do find a chance to make anything, I will try to blog just because I like the documentation and my notes.

Next week, I'll be visiting DD in Alaska, so I may have another go at blogging by iphone. Or, not. Photos seem to be more permanent on the blog (as a storage solution). We'll see how it goes.

We plan to go halibut fishing out of Homer and also a flight seeing trip around Denali. I'm especially looking forward to  Denali as this has been an awesome snow year up there as well.

Keep well and have a delicious summer.

10 May, 2017

Potato Planting

This spring has been soggy and cold. I planted my potatoes today - a bit late, but the soil finally dried out enough to till.
And my snap peas did not rot in the ground - they are all of 4 inches high.
Also a late plant in mid-April.

 Anyhow - I thought as I was digging holes that I would share some potato tips.
These are Norland Reds.

The first thing to do is cut them up. Two eyes per piece. See those growths that look like warts? Those are called eyes. Some of the eyes are really growing, others are teeny with just a pink/red spot on the potato skin.

On these smaller reds, you can cut them up into two or three pieces. Let them 'dry' for a few hours. This seals the wet part so it grows instead of rotting.

Your holes should be about 2 feet apart and about 10 inches deep. Or so. By the 20th hole, whatever floats your boat. You can add fertilizer or compost if you desire but my soil is pretty awesome for potatoes.

Place two pieces of potatoes at the bottom of each hole with eyes up to the sky.

Cover the hole halfway with dirt. We'll be infilling later as the green shoots emerge.

 That's it.

 Onto the patio. Most of the hanging baskets and pots have been pruned, churned up, and planted. Lots of time-release fertilizer and slug bait. These hanging baskets are heavy feeders and need extra food to grow.

If you look closely, I have hung my airplane decorations.  My kids painted these over twenty years ago from wood kits. They have held up remarkably good hanging outside all summer.