Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Finally less rain and more riding!

12/03/2018 - 12/09/2018

Monday (5.6) - Much peppier than Friday's run, that was nice.    I had a couple extra walks.  Feh whatever.   

He's melting

Tuesday (5.8) - Hills with Ro, we flip-flopped because she was hiking Lantern Hill with some of her retiree friends on Wednesday morning.  She opened up the option to me.  The gales of November are still strong, but it's December, everything seems to be a month off.  I put on an extra layer and didn't spend the rest of the day cold.  I need to dig out my lobster gloves.

Kicked my butt as Rachel promised it would

Wednesday (2.5) - Dave's Friday trip to Boston got rescheduled to Wednesday.  He was taking a Christopher DBG (bass) and an amp to a studio musician for him to record a demo. My morning full of meetings disappeared, so I went with the retirees to hike Lantern Hill.  That was fun!

Sue, Ro, Dar, Me

Thursday (2) + Ass and Abs - Night hike with Jax on the trails I hiked with Gizzy so many years ago.  We got a little turned around in the campground in the dark,  Jax didn't care and didn't know, he was happy to run on asphalt un-oppressed (no leash).

Staring contest

Friday (3.6) - Well, with layoffs come reassigning work.  I ended up with a new assignment, managing the departments budget.  I won't get full responsibility till the guy leaves in June, but there are things I need to know for year-end budget/accruals.  It has been a while since I've managed a department budget and the financial systems have changed in that time period.  From what I can tell it has improved, well, for the most part.  I had 30 minutes scheduled for this conversation and the guy leaving isn't exactly thrilled with this change in his status, he was planning on retiring in 2020, this pulls that up by 18 months.   After 45 minutes it became clear he wanted to talk and to teach and I wasn't going to cut him off because it was time for me to go run.  We talked nearly 2 hours and I think he feels a bit better about relinquishing this responsibility to me, and we had a plan going forward for him to slowly let go and work himself out of that part of his job. Having had to relinquish job responsibilities when I was on a layoff wave, I know how much it sucks and how married I got to my own processes. He needed the time to talk and to vent and to process and to show me what he has been doing and has built.  Hopefully, it was therapeutic for him and he feels confident what he has built will be appreciated and used.

Hopping down the bunny trail

We took Jax on a night hike in Arcadia.  Sunset was 4:17 p.m. and we started just before that.  Hiked for nearly an hour, so weird hiking in the dark, cool but weird. 

Saturday (5 + 3) - Went for a short mountain bike ride between Haley Farms and Bluff Point.  Explored some new to me trails.  I can really build a good ride in there once I learn a few more trails.  Plus it is on the way home from work for me.  An hour is a good ride time.  I rode up on a deer.  We stared at each other for a bit and I rode on, ended up riding in a circle and happened upon the same deer again.  S/he was cute, probably used to bikers or humans, s/he watched me and romped along for a bit and then I was off in a different direction.  That was really cool.  Such peaceful animals, also destructive and rather tasty!


Jax was a little ticked he was alone, I hadn't been on the Hopkinton side of Grills in a while so I took him over there.  I've never parked on that side, I've always gone from the Westerly side.  It was totally different and very cool.  Jax was totally NOT into the Tomaquag Brook Bridge.  He willingly went on the board walk and as I walked up the stairs to the bridge he gave me his "oh hell no" look and did a 180 looked like he was contemplating jumping in the brook to avoid going over the bridge.  I quickly got back on the board walk so he didn't execute his not very well thought through plan.  Guess it's nice he likes me well enough to want to follow me?

Contemplating going off the board walk to avoid the bridge
The bridge is behind me.

We had plenty of trails to wander around on and some water to wade through and sticks to break and leaves to jump on, he was pretty thrilled and in a really good mood.  I know, weird, how dogs have moods.  I think he was thrilled to be out in the daylight on the trails.  After a week of night hikes he was happy to see the sun.  Guess we are all happy to see the sun during this time of year.

Sunday (9 + 1) - Decided I'd explore the new Mountain Bike trails at Woody Hill but first I'd ride down to the end and ride some trails I knew and were already comfortable with.  Parts of that area give me the heebiejeebies and parts seem ok.  I think the area, once populated, was reclaimed by the government and what ever the original plan was went belly up and the land was deserted and un-maintained.  Don't quote me on that.  In any event there are lots of stone walls, quite plentiful in New England, a couple foundations, one really creepy looking shack/house, an old well, at least one pond, an old quarry, miles of dirt bike trails, and I'm really not sure what else.  I've heard there is a monument, this is on the list of things to find.

I got very turned around, I know, no surprise there.  I was a little freaked out, which rarely happens, I'm chalking it up to me being tired, I'd been on the bike over an hour at that point.  The new mountain bike trails, all named at some point, but not marked through the length of the trail, some times marked at intersections, sometimes not, loop around each other like a bowl of spaghetti. At one point I jumped on to a different trail because walking 10 feet through the brush seemed like a "new" trail might send me in the correct direction.  Although in hind sight I wasn't even sure what the correct direction was!  I managed to back track to an intersection that sort of looked familiar another biker was there, one of the nice kind who say "Hi How's it going?" instead of pedaling along, I wonder if that is more of a roadie thing, ignoring other bikers.  Or maybe it's a chick on a bike in the woods that's the difference?  Wait, can I say chick?  Am I going to get my woman card suspended again?  He pointed me in the correct direction, I'll fully admit I was planning to go in the wrong direction and I couldn't remember if the sun needed to be in my face or at my back to get back to the car!

Took Jax on a very abbreviated hike in Riverwood, that too was fraught with disaster, erh, um, ADVENTURE!  :)  I think he didn't really care one way or the other about getting outside, when I got home he was curled up in his chair barely lifting his head to greet me, and went right back there after the hike and stayed there till Dog Dinner time, clearly he was more content sleeping the day away.  Good on ya old boy!


The new sweater was as warm as I thought it was going to be!  Yeah!  The weather has cooperated and gotten cold.

The sweater on the needles is progressing along.  I had to frog out a few inches when I realized I forgot to do something.  I managed to get it all back on the needles and sally forth.  I had to make a decision on the color change.  I ran out of the darkest bison fiber and switched to the lightest figuring the arms would be better in the medium.  I'm still suspecting I'll frog the whole thing but who knows maybe it will look ok as a tri colored sweater.  It will be thin however very warm, bison is great fiber for retaining heat, much like alpaca.


by Ron Chernow

Status:  In Progress

I'm enjoying this one more than Hamilton and far more than "The Warburgs".  Washington was rather a dandy with his desire for fashionable clothes and carriages.  I found that interesting.

All in all a pretty good week, a bit of this and that.


Beth, waiting impatiently for snow and has no idea why the spacing is so off on this post...  gremlins, it must be gremlins.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


November 26 - December 2, 2018

Wow, hard to believe this year is coming to a close.  It didn't start out on much of a high note, at least I had a few answers to the chronic pain and constantly feeling like I had the flu, hungover, and had just run a marathon all at the same time symptoms and some sort of a treatment plan.  Then the advocating for myself, after a stern talking to from my MIL, started.

Monday (5) - The rain was due to start later, and the 'feels like' temp was 47F, that didn't seem so bad, I still put on a headband but left the gloves in my backpack (ignoring my "if it's under 50 wear gloves" rule).  It felt way colder than 47F and the South East wind while making the trek up Shore Road pleasant is a harbinger of not so great stuff weather-wise.  Fortunately, all that seemed to transpire for us was endless rain.


30-second walk 4-minute run, took a mile for my hips to loosen up and to even feel like running.  The next mile was a bit better, a little looser, a little faster.  The third mile presented itself with an opportunity to see how few steps I could get through what, from a distance, looked like a really big puddle but was only 2" deep where the road crowns.  I picked up my feet really high and only my left toes got wet, and it was fine by mile 4.  It would be way more fun to slosh through the puddle but with the temperature and my sensitivity to cold, not the best idea.  I was back to struggling in mile 5 but knew I'd be done in 15 minutes or less so I 'muscled' through it.

Westerly Town Hall and Christmas Tree

Tuesday (1) - Elliptical warm up and then core and glute work, along with the proper way to do a lunge to engage the glute.  My left hip has been wonky, a re-occurrence of my 'hammock injury' from July. I have to walk about 1/8 of a mile to get to a normal gait, but I can regain my normal gait (waddle as I've been told).

Spying on something

Interesting conversation about understanding how someone with an invisible illness feels and the ability for people around us to either understand or not believe us until it happens to them.   I was and am and always will be very appreciative of the people around me who accept what I say when I say I can't, it isn't that I don't want to, it is that I physically cannot.    There is pushing through the pain cave during a race, that is temporary, imagine it as permanent and relentless, the physical, the mental, and the emotional state of those minutes during a race.  I've often heard "revenge is a dish best served cold"  I started to wonder if this is my "cold dish" because I did not believe someone or I pushed someone's buttons enough they whipped out their voodoo doll and started poking pins in it?  The answer I got from my friend was no, you got a bad hand of cards, hopefully, you'll get to play them all and get a better hand soon.

Hideous partition in the alcove I have to look at.

I will never know why my body decided to attack itself, it did, it happened, period.  Fortunately, we have modern medicine to help, although the medications I am on are decades old and there has been minimal progress in research and development of treatments for Lupus and Connective Tissue Diseases, there is something, that does work, for me, for now, to slow progression and reduce the symptoms.

I got it removed.  It didn't even fit in there.

Wednesday (7) - Hills with Ro, the wind, OMG the Gales of November are wicked for sure!  We were both fighting moving forward into the wind and enjoying the push moving with the wind.

My boss emerged from the shadows after a month hiatus and showed up at our weekly meeting.  That was a shocker.  Kind of made me a little nauseous because layoffs are happening.  She did say that I was pretty safe.  There are changes pending. cue eerie music

Contemplating barking at the mailman

Jax and I had a nice walk, he is training me to STFU and just let him sniff and wander.  I really need to bring some earbuds and listen to a podcast.  My headlamp went out halfway through the walk, I was glad we were in the park and not in the woods.

Thursday (2) - Elliptical warm up and butts and guts stuff.  Really sort of sucked on a nice sunny day, but oh well win some lose some.

What's That?

An afternoon of meetings ended with a surprise "Catch up" with my boss and someone else, someone not someone from HR.  Well, that was a relief.

I have a new boss.

Many years ago my company, in my opinion, at the hands of an overpriced overpaid egotistical consulting firm, went through a flattening process, increasing the minimum amount of direct reports to 7 and the maximum number of layers in the company to 7 to make us more agile.  Well, again my opinion, they got re-hired and re-paid to reprint the same report and provide new branding.  Yeah, I'm scratching my head too.  Didn't the incoming CEO pay attention to what the last two CEOs did?  Why can't these guys be like a cat and piss in the corner of the office to claim it?  Why do they need to redecorate and cause upheaval?

Lori asked if I had any questions.  I said, "Is Tara going to want to manage every minute of my day? Because we both know THAT isn't going to work."  She chuckled and said, "Yeah, it's pretty clear you allow someone to micromanage you at the start of a project, and then there is that point where you subtly and firmly let them know if they don't back off, they will be taking it over the finish line. The smart folks, back away, and let you take it over the finish line."

Bottom line:  I continue to have a job, I continue to agree to and seek out new assignments or projects, I continue to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone.  As a benefit, I stay employed (most important) and I get to work on interesting projects (very important) and with interesting people (keeps me amused).  I mean that in both the interesting and interesting sort of way.

Maybe I should be nonplussed by all this, honestly, SSDD, it really doesn't seem worth the effort. I get paid to do this if I wasn't:  BUH BYE!

Friday (6) - Run at lunch I wasn't feeling it.  I was glad I put on long tights, it was a raw cold.  I muddle through 4 ish miles and called it good.  I didn't sleep well, thanks Jax, and I think that was the bulk of it.

The rain started just as I was getting home and I got the boyz out for a walk around the old Burlingame Campground.  They need daily fresh air or they are miserable, or maybe that's me projecting on them, it could go either way.  We walked super slow and that was just fine, Jax could run ahead and run back to check on us.  Funny when you walk a path repeatedly how many new things you see.  For the first time, I saw the old electric poles along the side of the fire road.  We traced the lines and one ended crumpled on the ground and another was twisted on to a tree and the tree grew around it.

Saturday (3) - We raked leaves in the morning, the third time for Dave and the first time for me.  Probably the remainder of the lazy neighbor's leaves will make their way on to our yard, we figure in time for the first snow to make it look really ugly when we shovel.   Jax supervised, he enjoyed being outside unrestrained, his old age is making him less likely to do stupid stuff like wander off.

Dave went for a ride in Arcadia and while that was on my bucket list for the day getting Jax out was more important.  We went to a trail I haven't been on in years.  Although Strava says I was on it in 2013, I don't remember that.  I do remember all the times taking the Treacherous Trio there, and walking out and back with them.  Three huge dogs and me, and only once did I have to leash all three of them kinda made me realize that if they wanted to the 240 lbs of them could drag me across the forest floor.

Woo hoo

We had a nice hike, went on the exciting part by the stream, Jax liked that best if I was to guess. He was pretty wiped out when we got home, supervising Dave and I raking was a big responsibility.

The fun part!

Sunday (1) - It's raining.  I doubted I'd get out but it stopped and it was 4 and Jax was pacing.  We took him to Burlingame and got in a mile wandering around and I fell on my ass a couple times on the slippery leaves, good times!

Be careful it is slippery!


The Warburgs
by Ron Chernow

Status:  Paused

This one may be a better read than listen, there are so many characters in this family and I was getting them confused.  Or maybe I'm simply in need of a mind candy novel.  Hard to tell.  I was getting a little insight into German culture and that was nice.  The German Jew definitely didn't have it easy, far less easy than the German Gentile during WWII.

by Ron Chernow

Status:  Started

Maybe a biography will be better one person to focus on rather than an entire family?  I think I need a detective story, honestly.  I'll get back to all this history in due time.


I finished the sweater on the 29th.  And from my notes, I started this on September 15th, so 10 weeks of knitting.  Let's say the average is 10 hours a week of knitting, that makes 100 hours to knit this sweater.  I probably should keep track for the next one.   If I figure what an hour of my time is worth and add it to the cost of the materials that is one freaking expensive sweater.

I started a new one by a different designer.  I only have a few skeins of yarn left in my bin, yeah!!! and this one looked like it would work well with the three remains of the Icelandic wool I made a few pair of socks with and the socks shrunk and a SIL now has them, or I think she does or I gave them to someone else with cold feet.  Or hmmmm...  I'm really not sure.  I was just so pissed about the whole thing I'm really not sure where they ended up.

It is kind of plain looking, but there are subtle details on the front and down the sides.  It will end up going from a dark to a light color in three stages.  I think it will work, if not, well then I frog it and figure something else out.  For now it keeps my fingers busy and my mind occupied.

Beth happy to run a couple times a week and knit daily.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Nice to not have anything notable happen!

November 19 - 25, 2018

Monday (7) - Decreased the walk to 30 seconds.  That worked well.  My heart rate wasn't all over the place like it had been and I had a bit more energy with less of a break.  Although the last few 4 minute run sections I was constantly checking my watch to see how.much.longer.   I'm pleased to see my run pace pretty consistent and the whole 6-mile loop with an 11:15 pace.  Not sure what my next step is with the walk/run business but definitely my body does get used to that break and while it was looking for another 30 seconds it seemed content to move forward.   My knees were ouchy in the afternoon, but no worse than usual.

A favorite! I can only find this in Ohio. 

The odd side effects of the Prednisone aside, I'm happy to run 6 miles at a time at whatever pace or process.  Oh yeah and actually REMEMBER things and find the right word quickly, wow, who knew how much inflammation impacts the brain.  Owning and navigating a dysfunctional body is not a lot of fun.

A rock with a big goofy smile and a heart over his left eye!

Tuesday (2) - Core work for lunch, not all that exciting, however necessary.  My hips and glutes are weak and always have been.  Might as well work on them on my off days.  Jax and I had a short stroll after dinner.  He was far more concerned with what was going on in the kitchen and Dave needed him out from underfoot while he was cooking.  Possibly me also, based on the "So you are going to stand in my way" comment.  Huh, I say that at least 7 times a week, he gets to say it, and feel like he can be annoyed twice a year when he cooks?  Life isn't fair, never was meant to be.  If it was Wednesday night when he usually does the Thanksgiving cooking Jax and I would be at Grey Sail me having a beer and Jax snacks to prevent him from being obnoxious.  Jax went back to being underfoot when we got back, you never know something good could drop on the floor!  Dogs are forever the optimists!

My beer connection from NH came through!

Wednesday (8.2) - Ro was back from Aruba on Tuesday night and still up for hills, but please let's go slow.  I kinda figured all the excitement over her engagement would keep her at her usual peppy pace and me gasping for breath, not so much.  It was fun to catch up and hear how this engagement played out.  I was very surprised by this news.  I couldn't ferret out if they planned on getting engaged or this was a surprise.  They are both very happy and I'm happy for them.  Mazeltov!

Deep in conversation about not eating deer poop.

Dave and I took Jax out for a hike in Arcadia, I enjoyed the trails, I don't know much about them but that will be where I'll ride my mountain bike once I get back to that.

Thursday (0) - Kinda thought this was going to be one of those days.  We left early for Dave's folks house, trying our best to get everyone moving a bit earlier so we can get the kitchen cleaned up and his parent's house somewhat put back together after the other siblings and their families leave.  Dave's mom fought starting dinner early, but I think she is beginning to understand why Dave pressures her, Dave's father reported she was in bed asleep by 9 and he expected she'd be sleeping late.  My MIL texted the next morning saying it was really nice to only have a few things to straighten out.  Which means I put the sliver back in the wrong places!  Whooops.  I did try and match up where things were, and then made a few guesses.

Friday (5) - Decided to take Jax out to the Boy Scout Camp Yawgoog, and ended up turning the wrong way so we went to another part of Patchaug, a trail named Laurel Loop.  I assumed it was a loop, well it probably IS a loop I just didn't realize that I had to loop back on a different trail.   We had an adventure with me sliding into a puddle, Jax getting the bejeebers scared out of him by some barking dogs, and me loosing, and then finding my cell phone.  I only had the damn phone out to turn on Strava so I could see if I could figure out where I was based on the map.  Unfortunately the trails didn't pop up on the Strava GPS, sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.   I figured out how to get to a road and then how to get back to the car.    I was fun and actually more fun than a run.  Jax and I were wet muddy messes when we got home.

He HATES selfies. 
Plus he looks more gray than he actually is.

Saturday (9) - Met up with Faith to hike at Bluff Point, I'm just not ready to run with people.  We meandered this way and that on the somewhat ok marked trails, looped back on each other, found sunglasses and biking booties we hung on a tree so the biker could find them, hoped that we weren't going to find body parts.

Laurel Loop which wasn't a loop, but had a LOT of laurel!

Took Jax on a short hike to Woody Hill to see if I could connect a few things, I think I managed to bridge the gaps.  Jax was tired, yet happy to get out.  Not at all happy with all the gun shots, he stuck to me like velcro a few times.  Poor guy.

Sunday (2) - Lazy day, it was supposed to rain all day but it didn't.  The sun was decent in the morning I took advantage of that and picked up the stitches for the collar on the new sweater. Faith met up with Jax and I for a short hike. Jax is definitely getting older and taking longer to recover.  I met up with Rachel for dinner, gossip, and a beer trade.  Mostly it was what she requested from MI & OH, with two extras from me.  I'll be interested to see how the Nutter Your Business Peanut Butter Stout goes over with the two people I gave it to.

I need to dust more.


I'm cooking on the latest cardigan, the collar has been completed to the cowl part and I started the button holes last night. I'm a bit fearful the arms won't relax and be too tight, but who knows once water and detergent hit the wool and the whole thing gets a bath and then laid out to dry.   Guess that's why I was supposed to wash the gauge swatch?   

In the interim time when I didn't want to cast on the collar, not enough light, I whipped up a baby sweater, except I have to now go trash diving and find the last few bits of yarn so I can sew up the arms!  Whoopsie.  I think that was my last skein of acrylic. 

Now, time to start plotting my next project....  hmmmm...


by Ron Chernow

Status:  Finished

I loved this book.  Chernow spins a good story around the bland and boring facts of a persons life.  I think it helps when the person is a character!  Rockefeller became more of a character as he aged, took on more of the personality of his father and being an old codger got a way with a lot old codgers don't get away with these days!

"The Warburgs"
by Ron Chernow

Status:  Started

The narration is a bit boring, and it is more facts and figures and lineage, but a few gems of information.  I did not realize the Jews ventured into banking because they were forced into the marginal occupations of tax collection, rent collection, and money lending.  Clearly they made the best of the bad situation antisemitism foisted on them.  I've simplified the history. 

Overall the book is a little confusing as it isn't about one person, however a full family and the marriage into that family. 

Beth, I thought it was a pretty quiet week, but it was a pretty normal week.