Posts Tagged ‘Living’

The Wheels go round and round. . . or not.

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Man-Wonder and I went for a bike ride.

We’re not bike fanatics and our bikes are at least fifteen years old but they are skookum in structure and wicked awesome in color—honking yellow/black, and purple/black. But mine is cooler since I have extensions rising from the straight handlebar so I can ride upright if I want.

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Man-Wonder says I remind him of the old woman in the Wizard of Oz movie. I tell him I’ll be more like the wicked witch if he doesn’t shut up; which has no effect on him since he was born to flap (and we aren’t talking body parts here Toto).

Yesss indeedy, we make a fine sight when we hit the road.

Anyway, last week, Man-Wonder came up with “Let’s drive over to the fish hatchery; park on the road above and ride down and follow the river. A nice easy loop—under an hour max.”

It was a great ride until half way around I spot a trail heading into woodsy area in the center of the loop.

“Any idea where it goes?” I ask.

“Probably follows the rearing channels.”

Like an idiot I say, “Let’s check it out.”

“Sure, how bad can it be?” the goombah in him replies.

Holy Keee-risttt!

no no It turned out to be absolutely, no way, nada, as in not fit for a bike, and it didn’t take long for the trail to downsize until it felt like it had been cleared by squirrels. There were a few slimy slippy-slidey skids over protruding tree roots and, at the bottom of one slope, we were forced into a sharp S turn to avoid a dip in the creek dead ahead. Another corner and another slope was suddenly funneling us onto an itty-bitty wooden bridge with half its planks rotted out.

Did we turn around? Nah. We were sure the end was near.

And it almost was. For me anyway.

Because, that’s when we hit THE hill and by the time I reached the top I was sucking, really sucking wind. But I did arrive just in time to watch Man-Wonder take off pedaling down the other side like a demented hamster while hugging his handlebars. Hugging—because to reach the other side of the canyon (okay, big ditch) he had to ride under a massive fallen tree trunk . . . oh . . . say . . . a smidgen above bicycle height!

“Are you kidding me?” I said looking skyward.

Apparently not—Man-Wonder made it up the other side with head attached. Which meant it was my turn.

I took off pedaling like a demon child while literally kissing the crotch-banging bar (or whatever that bar is called) and made it almost halfway up the other side before doing a slow motion sideways collapse and watching my bike slide away to rest under the tree.

“Can I help?” Man-Wonder asked, trying not to smirk as he skip-skidded down to grab my bike.

“Use the cell to call an ambulance?” I gasped. “And a new owner for that bike.”

 

. . . . . . I wonder if rollerblading would be any easier?

SOLIVTUR AMBULANDO: It is solved by walking

 

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Once again the wise words of St. Augustine of Hippo have been proven true.

I recently went through a week of growing inner turmoil. Why?

Was it because:

  • A birthday was arriving, meaning I was one year closer to my end rather than my beginning and I still haven’t gleamed the essence of it all?
  • Or because I’ve been pissing around instead of seriously writing again?
  • OR because there hadn’t been enough sun and my vitamin D level was in the toilet?
  • OR, because I still can’t whip the I want, I want mentality that burdens my spirit and I’m so so tired of it?

Whatever the reason, or combination of reasons, I was feeling like a frog on a sinking lily pad and I couldn’t shake it.

So, B-day arrives and when I opened my eyes I knew I needed to take a looong walk and, because Man-Wonder is always game to walk some anywhere, we put on our rain coats, opened our umbrellas, and walked to town in the downpour . . .

. . . And it was wonderful!

We had a quiet, swishy (thanks to passing cars) walk. We spent awhile drying off and reading magazines at the library, then enjoyed a classy lunch in one restaurant. After that (to shake off the class) we headed to a wonderfully, wildly eclectic coffee shop for a loungy cuppa before heading home in the never-ending rain.

Our walkabout took us six hours. We arrived home with tired feet squishing inside soggy shoes, and just slightly ahead of the dark. But most importantly, we were both smiling.

. . And my mind was finally at peace.

I out-walked my piss-ass mood. Somewhere, it fell away. Dropping into a muddy puddle where it belonged.

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Solvitur ambulando indeed!

Waiting and Watching

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Fall strikes me as a time of waiting and watching.

  • Waiting for the shortest day of the year to arrive and then watching the days grow back, minute by minute, until it’s—YAH—summertime again
  • Waiting for this year to end because it is so close now that 2015’s  fresh breath is tickling our senses.
  • Waiting for the leaves to turn their brilliant backsides of oranges, yellows and reds to us.
  • Watching the leaves fall until just the right moment when they hit the perfect crunch level. And then, when no one else is watching we kick our way through them and smile at that momentary spurt of youth again
  • Waiting for the first frost to knock the stuffing out of any flowers brave enough to still be hanging around because the gardening urge hit the compost pile about a month back
  • Hearing the frantic chatter of the birds as they dart here and dart there, finding less and less before they give up and flee in flocks from the coming cold
  • Waiting for the goofy squirrels in the park to stop moving their nuts from one tree to another and carefully watching for them as they have the oddest habit of waiting until a vehicle is rolling by before they make a mad dash in front of it. I often wonder if it’s squirrely suicide because they’re over-frazzled  from their nutty business.

But mostly, for me this fall, I am waiting and watching the pounds melt away. Eight so far. Yah for me as I switch back to better eating habits and more—okay honestly—some exercise. We’ve dusted off and pumped up the old bicycles and are trying for rides between the rainfalls and I’ve found a new twist-on-an-old-cliché mantra to murmur whenever drool-producing smell wafts too close;

If I keep doing the same old, I’ll be living the old same.

And who the hell wants to do that eh. . .

 

Everything and nothing

 

Okay, the great ride finally happened and it was as much fun as I had hoped and I finally understood why Man-wonder didn’t argue so much about me wearing his Ranger Rick hat. He knew I’d be wearing a pair of honking big puffy ear protectors (I got the lime green ones) and the only thing that fit under them was a baseball style hat.

I should have known he was being too nice. . .

My biggest discovery of all—bum muscles I’d forgotten I owned and, two days later, learned that they can cramp just like any other muscle.

Holy muscle spasms Woman-Wonder!

Aside from that spasm of fun, things have been quiet around here; mostly due to the heat. Our biggest excitement is arriving at the beach of our local city park shortly after dawn

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so Man-wonder can join the others patiently trying to lure a pink salmon onto their lines.

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Me? I find a nice bench to sit on and do a little writing, a little reading and lots of chatting with whoever comes by. I ended up sharing the bench with a local artist. I love it when life gives you gifts moments like that. I was able to pick his brain on watercolor paints, brushes, types of paper to use and why and mini-lessons on how he achieved some of the effects in his work. I even managed to snap a picture of his 30-year-old paint box and hear the story of why it was given to him.

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I do deserve a smack upside the ear though because I didn’t think to snap any pictures of his work.

What a big goombah eh?

But I did get his card—which just happens to include his website;

http://www.johndhallam.com/

So maybe I’m just a medium-sized goombah . . .

 

 

 

 

Secateurs and a chin-strap hat to go

So the big ride ‘em lawnmower event didn’t happen.Man-wonder had too long to think about it; his imagination took over and he put it off for a week, hoping he’d be ready.

Curses were heaped upon his head!

But now—here it is—THE NEXT WEEK—and since his back  isn’t one hundred percent back to healthy form yet he ever so nicely asked me if I thought I would mind doing the job. . .

*snort*

Oh, yeah—like I don’t have it all planned; secateurs clipped to my work pants like a six-shooter just in case I have to jump off the machine and annihilate a rogue dandelion popping up just out of blade-chopping distance. And I’ve already picked out the best hat for the job. It’s the one he calls his fishing hat but I call it his Ranger Rick hat since he hasn’t hung any of his hand-tied flies on it yet.

hat shot(yeah, that’s Man-wonder hat and his head in it. Can you see the frown lines? I see them a lot!)

I picked that one because it’s got a chin strap dohicky which might come in handy should I get the G-Forces rocking on the machine (think downhill and wind).

So yes, I am looking forward to this Friday. And if he weasels out again . . . well, let’s just say the property is large and it might take them a while to find him.

Kidding—I’ll just run over his Ranger Rick hat with the truck. . .

I’d better make sure I enjoy every moment sitting on that majestic yellow and green beastie because there’s a good chance I’ll be banned from it after Friday.

Wonder if I’ll have time to snap a ‘selfie’?

Just because a road is paved doesn’t make it smooth

Last Saturday started out easy—we decided to take a drive across island, hit the village of Mesachie Lake and then follow a  widely touted paved logging road which also happens to be called the Pacific Marine Circle Route Drive.

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I mean, what could be more relaxing than a nice long loop to see the Pacific Ocean, follow the coast down to Victoria and then meander home again?

Hmmmmm . . .let’s see

Good description— a day trip through the mountains, to the Pacific Ocean and along the west coast side of Vancouver Island.

Better description—a paved winding, twisting logging road through the island’s the central range of mountains.

Best description—a roller-coaster ride for vehicles!

yield bridge warning bumpy road corner falling rocks  loose gravel narrowing road road flooding slippery sign

And here’s what we learned:

  • That an active logging road doesn’t really have to be wide enough for a logging truck and another vehicle.
  • That a narrow road can be made smaller still, e.g.—when every single creek bed, dry or dampish, and every single crack-in-the-rock canyon, has a single-lane bridge over it with a sign warning drivers to yield to oncoming traffic (if you can see around the corner, past the bridge).
  • That a scenic route can have a gazillion sign posts along both sides of the road.
  • That there are road signs I’ve never seen before (and never want to see again). Like the ones, on approaching corners, where each sharp angled arrow had a downward pointing arrow attached to it; meaning—scissor-sharp  corner coming at cobra-striking speed and turning dementedly fast downhill).
  • That a sign where the arrow was curved into an upside down letter U didn’t mean ‘hell’s a coming’ as Man-wonder moaned.
  • That a lot of people travelling the Pacific Marine Circle Route pack shotguns, judging by the size (and volume) of indents in the signs.
  • That a simple road-trip can take hours and hours (and hours) longer than expected.

What was the most impressive thing about the trip? That I drove and Man-wonder, notorious for his motion sickness, did not even turn green once. . . I might just give his chiropractor a big hug for that.

Would we take the Pacific Marine Circle Route again?

Hmmmmm . . .

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