Saturday, May 13, 2017

Random Musings

I thought that for a lark I would play with blogging on my Amazon Fire. The small keyboard is a challenge, as would be adding photos. I think I'll save photos for another day.

Today was supposed to be somewhat special. The husband took the sons to run a 63-mile race. They took my car meaning I'm housebound which was supposed to be a good thing. I could run, pin a small quilt and perhaps even get it quilted. Then younger son told me I could use normal batting on the housewarming quit I'm making them. Great, methinks, I can get it pinned. Wham! No new packs of batting. I'll piece some leftovers together into the large piece I needed. Did that and it was not a quick process. Despite my best efforts, there were too many puckers; the vatting would not lie flat.

Okay. I'll run. I got down to the road, a half mile, and one of the subdivision dogs usually kept inside was out and his owner was not at home. This dog has never bothered me when I have Biscuit with me, but supposedly went after another subdivision dog. He came toward me in a less than friendly manner, at which point I stopped running and walked slowly by him. So much for running.

By this time, most of the day was gone. Needing to accomplish something, anything, I reverted to pinning the small quilt I'd originally planned to work on. At least that sent well, though as usual I looked at the back and thought I could/should have gotten it pristenely flat which I had not. I've set it aside and will decide tomorrow whether to leave it be or re-do it.

News here has been covering a Central Virginian who's been diagnosed with rabies. The person got bit by a dog in India six weeks ago and did nothing about it. If you've known me once 2009, then you know that I know something about this, having been bitten by a dog in Cambodia. It's too late, obviously, but I want to shake this person and yell at them about seeking treatment. You do not gamble with something that essentially has no treatment. I can't stop thinking how this could have been prevented, how easily it could have been prevented.

Experiment done. It would take practice, but I could do this. The day, while not being totally redeemed, has gotten better. Insert smile emoji here.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Lots of Little

The joy of travel ... lots of little things to do on the way to ones departure, some more important than others. Drugs of various forms were important. In my case, that meant a tetanus booster, typhoid, yellow fever, and malarone (an anti-malarial) and a general antibiotic that I hope not to need. For the husband, it was the same along with flu and pneumonia, two vaccines I already had. The yellow fever was the dicey one. There's a shortage, and by mid-summer, the vaccine may no longer be available in the US. The tour company we're using doesn't require travelers to get any vaccinations, but we're going with what the CDC.

Our burner computer presents another little thing. I'm doing this post because I had to make sure I could get to the "new post" option. It seems that I dhad id not write down or otherwise note what my password was for Blogger. Fingers crossed that as long as I logged into Gmail I could get one Blogger. As we say at the 6:00 am workout, hooyah! It worked.

I still need to assemble all the camera gear--extra batteries chargers, memory cards--and figure out what is going in my carry-on and what the husband is carrying. Our carry-on bags will, I expect, be heavier than the ones we check. I pulled out almost all of the clothes I plan to take as well as the accessories that will go in my checked bag, and I expect my checked bag will weigh not much more than 12 pounds. When we get to the rainforest visit at the end of the tour, there is a luggage weight limit of 35 pounds for the boat trip up the Amazon. I do not expect we will have trouble with that and, should we, there is a secure place at which the overweight stuff will be kept until we come back downriver.

Since older son is our house and Biscuit sitter, I will not need to write down all the info I would leave a non-familial house sitter. Still, there's emergency contacts, Biscuit's medication schedule, and plant-watering to cover, and likely more when I start into it.

There are more items, but the above are enough for me to test out Blogger on the burner, which has been named Hiram in honor of Hiram Bingham. I'm going to trust that adding photos will present no unexpected difficulties.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Oh, the Places We'll Go!

Apologies to Dr. Seuss for blatantly ripping off one of his titles. A friend commented a few days ago that she looked forward to reading my blog posts from our next trip. I guess I had better get back in practice.

I chose the above title because of its relevance to our upcoming trip. We all (well, most of us) have a mental list of places we would like to visit. In my case, I have such a list but in the mental in-basket atop that list has been my list of places I will go. It's a short list, and after the upcoming trip I can mark it as done.



At some point in my early childhood, there was an article about Angkor Wat in National Geographic. I remember looking at the photographs and reading the article and deciding I would go there someday. In fact, when the husband called me to ask if I'd like to spend a month in Vietnam, my answer was can we go to Angkor Wat before or after that month? It turned out that he had had the same thought. We spent several days there, and it was one of the highlights of that trip and not just because it was the start of the rabies world tour.



I have no inkling how Iceland made the places I'll go list, but it's there. We've actually been there twice, both times in search of the aurora borealis or Northern Lights. The first time was for our 25th wedding anniversary and we did, in fact, see a pretty weak aurora on the anniversary day itself. We went back last year on a cheap fare quick trip and saw the most incredible aurora, shown in the photo above. I did not take said photo. I was too busy watching it. Having been to Iceland now twice in the winter, I am actually not sure I'd want to go back in the summer. It's less crowded in the winter, and there's just something magical about being there in the snow.

I made the final entry on the places I'll go list in high school, after seeing classic photos of Machu Picchu in Spanish class. And that's where we're off to on May 22. We're not doing this on our own. I decided a long time ago that this was one trip I wanted to do right, which for me was not worrying about the fine points. We picked a tour company that limits its tours to no more than 24 people. The fact that they handle alumni trips for more than a few universities suggests that they do a decent job. You can see the details on our tour here.

While we're leaving the trip itself to a tour company, there is lots that we've been getting ready. Things to buy such as a burner laptop, walking sticks that come apart to pack more easily and that can double as a camera monopod, lightweight soft-sided small duffel bags, maximum-strength insect repellent with DEET, and permethrin to treat some of our outerwear. We've filled prescriptions for anti-malarials (and let the kind folks at Virginia Blood Services know that they won't see us as donors until sometime later than June 5, 2018). We both got tetanus boosters. I've had a typhoid shot; Blaine has typhoid pills to take before we leave. We're headed to the UVA Travelers Clinic tomorrow for yellow fever shots. We still need to pick up over-the-counter anti-diarrhea something and get some prescription antibiotics for any nasties that we encounter in our food. And to stop any questions in the comments section, I am not getting a rabies vaccination. If I happen to get bitten by a dog, I know what to do all too well.

Someone advised we get a prescription medicine to take to help prevent altitude sickness as we will be going to Lake Titicaca some 12,500 feet above sea level. After a bit of research and reading reviews by people who have taken this tour before, we decided to forego that. Everything we've checked suggests that the tour director will know what to do. We just need to know what symptoms to watch out for. The tricky one for me will be headache since I do have the occasional migraine. I will not assume a headache that I get at altitude is a migraine and treat that; I will treat it as possibly due to altitude sickness and let the  tour director know.

This is probably more than anyone needs to know about the trip prep, but I've actually looked back at blog posts from earlier trips when preparing or packing for an upcoming one. In other words, this is as much for me as anyone else.

Circling back to the theme of the places I will go, I've told the husband that he needs to tell me what's on his will go list. Otherwise, our next trip will be to the top place on my list of places I would like to visit, which is Antarctica.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Resolution or Re-Solution?

Over the years, I have often posted resolutions for the coming year--the calendar year or the year that starts six months later, on my birthday. I've done better with some sets of resolutions than others. The past couple of years falls into the former. For some lists, I'm sorry I publicized them here so that I or others could remind me just how few of them I accomplished. Here's my sole resolution for 2017.


I'm not sure I can explain what I mean by that, but if you ask, I'll try to come up with something.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Bucket Lists

My mother asked in a recent email if the husband and/or I had made a bucket list. She said that it was too late for her to make one, but she thought we should. While I do have a mental list of places I would like to visit, I would not call it a "bucket list." That term has actually always bothered me. Preparing a list of things to do or see before one kicks the bucket stresses how finite one's existence really is. Crossing items off the list (and there is now even a website where one can post their list, cross items off, and post video of oneself doing things) seems as if you're counting down to the day and time that the last item is crossed off the list and then you answer the door to see a figure in a cloak carrying a scythe. I am compulsive enough that I write out a list of things to do each day the night before. The next morning, I fold the list and put it in my right pants or skirt (on those rare occasions when I wear one) or jacket pocket, not to look at it again except in its folded state as I chuck it into the garbage can at day's end. If I did prepare a bucket list, I would likely obsess about items I had yet to complete. I would not treat it as I do my daily list, the one never consulted and easily discarded. I have enough things to worry about; I don't need one more.

As for the list of places I would like to visit, the top two are Machu Picchu, an Incan ruin in Peru, and anywhere in Antarctica.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Birthday Bling

I recently complimented the birthday tiara of a dear friend, The Other Jean, and look what she left for me overnight! My very own birthday tiara. Heck! I may wear it on days that aren't my birthday.


So I'm wearing a tiara and my "I'm Not Dead Yet" t-shirt from Spamalot, and more people (one) have reacted to the shirt than to the tiara. Go figure. Perhaps someone will comment on it when I'm working out at the gym. I won't wear it into the shower, but I will certainly wear it for my workout.

I always like seeing what The Washington Post's horoscope has for me in its "if today is your birthday" entry. I must remember to ask younger son for his interpretation of it when he arrives this evening. Here's the published version:

This year you have an innate sense of independence. You will have opportunities to make certain situations more to your liking. If you are single, friendship will play a significant role in the meeting or development of your next relationship. If you are attached, check in with your significant others frequently to confirm that you are on the same page. Get behind a key mutual project together, and you might be surprised by how quickly the two of you can achieve that goal. Taurus can be very stubborn.

Seems somewhat rosy, but then an entry saying, "Watch out! You're going to be victimized in the coming year." probably wouldn't fly. I guess the entry above just doesn't seem that different from what I'd normally do.

Those pesky resolutions for the coming year of my life or the rest of the calendar year? I've got a couple but I think that, as older son does, I will keep them private. That will take away the chance of my flaming out in a public forum. I'll post next year at this time or perhaps on New Year's Day how I did or am doing. If I remember to. If I make the time to type something here. (I've resolved to be a more regular blogger before, and it does not work.)

I have been treating myself today, starting with a deluxe pedicure using one of the gift certificates the husband gave me. The deluxe comes from wrapping your calves in hot towels and, later, oiling them and rubbing them with hot rocks. This is pretty darn incredible in how good it feels.


I picked the loudest, shiniest color I could find because it would go with wearing a tiara. (I used a glittery polish on my last pedicure, and you would not believe how difficult it was to remove.) The technician asked if I also wanted a manicure; I declined. Had I gotten one, I guarantee that the polish would be cracked with 10 minutes of leaving the studio if not before or on my way out the door. Manicures are not my friend.

The rest of my birthday? I'm stretching it out to two days. Younger son arrives late this evening. I'm told that he and the husband will be making me a cake. Tomorrow we're having breakfast at the place with the best pancakes I've had since our favorite pancake place closed down. The we'll go to the city market for some tomatoes. I'm getting back into canning, and tomatoes are something I've always wanted to try. In my domestically healthful fantasies, I make spaghetti sauce from scratch using all natural ingredients. I also want to do some strawberry jam. Jam implies bread, and we are now out which means the bread-making is on the agenda as well. I'm trying to limit myself to things I want to do even if they are mundane such as running errands. It is nice to run errands if one can do it at a chosen pace and change the itinerary as desired.

And now? I could balance the checkbook, but that seems more like work. The statement's not going anywhere; doing the act of balancing it can wait. Maybe I'll do the New York Times crossword. Or not. It's my birthday (the 61st one as in I am now 60), and I'll do whatever I damn well please for a day or two.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

About Those Resolutions ...

Can I have a mulligan for recent resolutions such as those I made a year ago or six months ago? A do-over? I don't even want to look back and see what they were. I just know I didn't meet the ones I remember making. I came close on the "run the Charlottesville Ten Miler" one, and I did get a very special medal for running the Jean Ten Miler, but that's only one of several. Oh well (said with appropriate inflection).

Back in March, I reflected on how this has been far from the year I expected. It has since occurred to me that expecting that what I want to happen or do will happen or will get done is perhaps more than a bit conceited. Who am I to tell the deity(ies) that my will be done, not theirs? So let's just say that the year from last year's birthday and the six months from New Year's Day were not what I wanted. I certainly did not want a do-over on rotator cuff repair, especially when it appears that this one was a total tear. In terms of a positive side to the surgery, being unable to do some things I never really got back to after the first shoulder respite is making me realize how much I do want to get back to them, that I miss them more than I had thought. As before, shoulder rehab is making me slow down, but I'm not sure I want to put that forward as a good thing. Slowing down because one has to is far different from slowing down because one wants to. The biggest positive has probably been the reminder of how strong some of my friendships are. I just hope those friends know that if they ever need anything from me, to ask as freely as I may have asked them. That's what friends are for, right?

I go back and forth about whether I should do any sort of resolutions this year. Sixty is something of a milestone birthday after all. I'll potentially have to check one box down on a survey-type question of how old I am. I should be eligible for a wider range of discounts should I remember to ask about them. (I had to show my ID once to prove to the clerk I was over 55.) I don't expect I shall feel any wiser. What besides wisdom is supposed to come with growing old? Nothing immediately comes to mind. Wait! Isn't forgetfulness age-related at least stereotypically? Perhaps that's why I can't recall any other accompaniments of aging.

So, if you're waiting for some resolutions about which you can nag me throughout the coming year, they aren't coming today. I'll still be 59 tomorrow and the next day and even the day after that. Three whole days! That seems plenty of time to go back and forth a bit more.