Thursday, June 22, 2017

Flying into Typhoon Cindy

Water hyacinth was pretty for 2 days then sagged
Maya and her step-sister in Florida
lots of delphinium
hydrangea
coreopsis. Have several kinds
maltese cross

We have been watching the weather down south closely. Yesterday, Naomi's airline offered to rebook her tickets for a time that wasn't during the typhoon. However she can't cancel her prepaid b&b room and rearrange her vacation time. Plus she left while Maya was gone.

She flew to New Orleans anyway. Plane was on time; Uber quickly delivered them to the b&b but then no one answered the door or responded to texts. What to do? She told him when they were coming. Finally after calling me 3 times, he answered the door, let them drop off their stuff and told them to come back in 3 hours. Not friendly.

And it is sunny there for now though hot and humid. They are thrilled to be in NOLA and are out exploring.

After a few days of reasonable weather, it is hot and humid here too. Not much going on...just exercising and gardening.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Fireflies

Allie and Hannah on Father's Day
She is finally tolerating others picking her up. Here she looks so much like baby Josh
squirrel doing gymnastics to get at the berries. At one point he was held up by just one foot
Graduate Tessa
The night I didn't fall asleep before sunset
Steve on Father's Day. He saw all the kids and grandkids except Maya who was being driven down to Florida
my water hyacinth is blooming! The water lilies are fake but maybe it's light enough for real ones
lettuce in my rabbit and deer proof enclosure

I have been getting up early to exercise before the heat gets too intense so I have been falling asleep before the sun sets (which is after 9:30 now). I hadn't even seen if the spotlights I bought are lighting up the house correctly until Sunday when a friend came over and stayed after sunset helping me adjust the lights. Well they look good now. Also I have been missing the fireflies but sitting on the porch that night, they came out and put on a beautiful display. No mosquitoes yet so maybe the drought has some advantages. Deerflies unfortunately are out in the heavily wooded section of my runs.

I did get up early that morning before dawn to bike despite the false prediction yet again of rain. However I did fight against some stiff winds so no personal best that day though the apple watch gave me more calories per mile as battling the wind caused my heartrate to rise.

I bought the water hyacinth a week ago. The nursery owner ( motto: We are so excited we wet our plants!) said I'd need sun for it to bloom but blooming it is. They come from the Amazon and in the South, is an obnoxious but pretty weed that clogs up waterways. It does not survive Northern winters (will keep it inside).

Maya is being driven through Trumpland to go to Disney World. So far they seem to have escaped the assholes that have been recently emboldened to attack interracial couples. I have been worrying for their safety.

And while she is gone, Naomi and a friend will fly to New Orleans soon. Unfortunately they will hit a typhoon.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

This is me

Years ago I bought this bathing suit in California. Thirteen old Shanna told me I was much too old to wear a two piece (I was 39, just a year older than she is now). I was in good shape then. I had lost all the weight and then some from having Naomi but it doesn't take much to embarrass a teenager. I don't think I wore it much, sticking to speedos which actually are more revealing but were good for swimming laps. The elastic has given out around the legs but it clearly fits. Now if I could do something about those arms....

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Finally meeting a goal

This is our route next month. Instead of staying in 6 towns, we will stay in only 3: Frankfort, Leland and Traverse City, all on Lake Michigan so we plan to be on the beach. During the early days of the ride, we'd go from one coast of the state to the other. Now we are confined to the little finger of the mitten.
Things can happen in a second. I had just gone the other way 5 minutes previous to come back and find this in my way. No one seemed to be injured
someone was still walking around in this van. I assume he could get out through the window. No police had showed up yet
Navajo sand painting. It is signed. Maybe worth something

I had promised myself if by some rare chance I would weigh this little again, I would take a photo of me in a bathing suit or at least wearing my big pants all stretched out with little me in the middle, sort of a before and after photo in one. Maybe I still will but not today. I am now a quarter pound below my original goal though that still puts me above my unchubby hubby. It's been 8.5 months since I started this: 68 pounds lost which is embarrassing that I could have been so big. Embarrassing that I was fat in all my kids' weddings (4 of them) so fat Sue is front and center looking her worst in the photos. In the last one, I am wearing some kind of clingy top which shows my lopsidedness to full advantage: One tiny rock hard boob way up there and big, massive jug way down there. Sigh. Those at least are fixed though criss-crossed with scars. From a distance they look OK.

Today is the most hot and humid it has been all week. Again, we seem to be in some sort of rain shadow. Rain all around except here. I spend much time watering and filling bird baths.

Despite the oppressive heat, Shanna ran her first 5K today. She has been training all winter in the few hours that she is kid free. Running is especially hard for her as she seemed to have some sort of lung damage from one of the many antibiotics she took as a child. Before that happened, she could ran just fine as I put the kids in 1 mile races when they were young. On the first day of high school, the cross country coach looked at her tiny body and assumed she'd be a great runner. Not with asthma.

I was out there this morning too. A doe and twin fawns jumped out in front of me. Then I bicycled as thunderstorms are threatening my big ride tomorrow.

A pair of orioles went searching for my feeder today. I hadn't seen the male in a few weeks so I had put the oranges away. If desperate, there are hummingbird feeders and tons of service berries for them. I hadn't seen the female all season. And yesterday, two female rose breasted grosbeaks on my suet cake at once. The males are so pretty but not the girls. In my garden, lettuce, swiss chard and kale are ready to harvest. I have 3 inch long yellow squash. I had planted asparagus roots a few weeks ago though it will be 2 years before I can harvest them more than once. A chipmunk bit off the sprout which would have meant the death of the plant. But more sprouts have formed and have opened up to the feathery leaves so they will survive.

My poison ivy lesions have healed to the point that there are no more open sores and they do not itch so I thought I could finally get a mani/pedi. The woman made a face when she saw a healed sore on one of my fingers. What's that? she asked accusingly. I said it was not contagious. Still she sighed and then put on gloves. But now I have beautiful sparkly orange nails.

Tomorrow is Father's Day. We will have 2/3 of the kids over for early dinner.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Trying on an old wedding dress

Can I fit into this dress yet? I am dancing with a co-worker here
Shanna's kids in their last week of school
Mr Rose breasted Grosbeak checking out our house. He does like service berries
his mate likes the suet


lily

I found my wedding dress in a box in one of our closets. It wasn't a real wedding dress, more like a prom dress that I paid $100 for back in 1977. It smells of dust. I must not have realized I spilled something but the 40 years have converted whatever it was into an unsightly blotch. As it was made before size inflation, it is a ginormous size 11, which I could fit into this January. I think it is really like a modern day 6 or 7.

I am now 0.3 pounds from my 'goal'. So close. It is 10 pounds more than I weighed when I was married. Another goal was to weigh less than my husband, which would have been easy-peasy until he decided to drop 15 pounds since January. Why? He is very thin and a good 5 inches taller than me. So I am no longer 'fat' My BMI is 22.2. I should be happy. I have lost an unbelievable 67.5 pounds. I thought I could fit into the wedding dress but alas, I could not zip it up. Maybe pregnancy caused my breasts to expand (despite all the slicing and dicing due to cancer and reconstruction). It does fit around waist and hips. So I am thinking I need to change my goal. I naively thought I finally weighed less than him but no, he lost another 5 pounds.

No rain here. Every day, the weather warns of storms but nothing much happens. When I complained to a friend, she said, what am I talking about, it poured for hours... but not where I am. It is so hot, going outside is not fun. I exercise early in the morning and it is still hot.

I went to my cancer center's cooking for wellness last night. Usually at least half of us are breast cancer survivors but yesterday we had a lot of digestive cancers survivors and 4 different types of lymphoma survivors. Since most of the food is high in fiber (lots of fruits, vegetables, and beans) some of the digestive cancer people couldn't eat a thing. It is so hard to please everyone. The theme was energy giving food, not just energy from empty calories.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Wonder Woman

Maya happy at a trampoline birthday party with her constant companion C
love-in-the-mist spreading all over Have some dark blue blossoms too
and this...evening primrose. I tried to grow it at the old house (I did grow successfully the larger yellow version) but here it spreads all over the place
both service berry trees full of these fruit lovers
we went out to dinner with Josh's family the other night. Hannah still screams in terror if I try to pick her up
two males face off at dawn
Daniel's school has a thriving barn swallow colony. Ours abandoned our porch nest. Just as well as it was messy

It is so hot and humid. Eagerly awaiting a thunderstorm that hopefully will cool things down. I go running before 7 and in the shade to avoid the worst heat. Unfortunately the deer flies have hatched and are following me around. They are too slow to bite me. I slap my head before they can but I come home full of dead bug parts.

Usually I am not a fan of comic book heroes (or heroines)  that come to life in movies but I did enjoy the 3D version of Wonder Woman yesterday. Nice to have a strong woman figure for a change. We sat for almost a half hour of previews showing depressing dystopias..nothing I would like to see. Most of them were based on comic book heroes too.

Two pounds to go. Do I look like I want to? Nope but some of the changes are due to ageing. Can't do much about that.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Two pairs of pear chairs

My favorite find: handmade chairs decorated with pears. I have a side table made by the same artist
we had this cutie the other day. Garage sale bat ballerina costume
Tessa is now a preschool graduate
The chipmunks have been nibbling on the oranges but the squirrel is making sure he gets every last molecule of orange. I hadn't seen the squirrels in 3 weeks. I assumed big red coyote had eaten them all but one was missed
We went on a garden walk yesterday. One of the homes was owned by two glass artisans who filled the house and their gardens with zillions of glass creations. I did buy a plate


This is the fountain in a courtyard of a restaurant near my co-op I lived in as a student. So many times I had gone there!!!They still serve alcohol in mason jars forty something years later. My friend had never been but wasn't impressed with her tough as nails chicken. They gave her free sangria to appease her
We went to 6 gardens, all within city limits. Some lots were quite small. All were very shady so lots of hostas. Back at my house on the prairie, I have very little shade so I couldn't use too many ideas from these gardens

I am getting faster on my bike. Out the door this morning as the sun was coming up, I finished my 32.5 mile bike ride before 8. I was in downtown Whitmore Lake in an hour (distance there: 14.5 miles) As I travelled west (against the wind!), my body cast 50 foot long shadows on the road ahead of me. The cool air felt good against my numerous poison ivy lesions. At least new ones have stopped forming. I got another week before they start to fade away.

But it will be hot here for the next 4 days, real summer. I prefer cool. No rain either for another 4 days. And we only got a few drops of rain on the day they predicted 100% thunderstorms.

I've been shopping. Got a $160 fancy bike rack for $7 at the Salvation Army and my artisanal chairs at a garage sale in a fancy neighborhood. I am holding off on clothes until my weight stabilizes. I had zipped through 2 sizes without even wearing some of the clothes I had bought. Fortunately I didn't pay much for them. Also I ate out twice this week, much more than I had been. Once with ex-colleagues and then with my friend. I made a bunch of matzo ball soup from my left over Costco chicken, one of the better deals out there. One can get this massive  rotisserie chicken for $5. We got several meals before I diced up the remaining chicken breast for chicken salad to feed my friend. The soup was made from the remaining carcass.

More gardening to do and then I rest for a change.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Peonies and mountain laurel

Most of the mountain laurel was open




I particularly like this variety




only a bit of rhododendrons left. Azaleas gone a month ago 
poppies on the way. They are so pretty but the foliage looks yucky the rest of the summer. I just have California and a tiny variety


Steve and I went to the UM Arboretum yesterday to see the peony garden. Usually they have the peony festival around Father's Day but the peonies came early this year. The blooms have fallen off of mine. No where in the US do they have more varieties than here. Worldwide, either Japan or China has more varieties. Peonies love sun but in the Arb, they have a protected very shady glen devoted to rhododendrons, azaleas and my favorite, mountain laurel, which in general does not grow here as it is too cold but is all along the GAP trail in SW Pennsylvania (though if we go in August, we won't see it)

Today was a great day for a bike ride. Relatively wind free. The cool air felt good against my poison ivy lesions, which look hideous. They are now the worst they are going to get. Let the healing begin.

2.5 pounds to go! Will that be enough? Steve asked, what happens then? Do I start eating everything in sight? No, I will gradually add food. I won't go to bed hungry again.

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