Sunday, February 17, 2019

It can be best to not say what I'm thinking

2/11/2019 - 2/17/2019

Monday (3 + 2) - A little too much indulging in beer, these days that amounts to 3, made for a slow start to the day.  Sweating out the last of the ick Muddy style, or maybe my irresponsible indulgence was a tribute to Muddy, guess it could go either way, with a 3-mile run including a run up ‘the bitch’ I made it about half way till that slowed to a walk and resumed the run the last 100 yards or so.

He has a ruff life.

Dave and I took Jax on a hike to round out the night.  Jax was hot on the trail of something and pulling us along.  We never did see what had his sniffer in overdrive.

Tuesday (3 + 1) -  Elliptical with Mikey and then Booty Core day #18, I liked this day, more band work.  The predicted snow happened, yeah!  Dave and I got Jax out to play in it for a bit, throwing lousy snowballs at him and each other, with Jax eating snow and finding sticks to break.  It was fun.  We got back into the car just as the predicted rain started.  It rained the rest of the night.  At least we had some fun in the snow.

It didn't last long, but we had some snow to play in.

Wednesday (4) -  The snow lasted through the night but vanished as the day wore on.  I was able to walk with Ro and Germaine before Ro went off to CO.    It was fun catching up over a peppy walk.

Well, sans chair seats, we have been eating in the living room.
He might as well clean the bowls in there.

Dinner out with friends was fun, other than one of them playing doctor with my health.  I assured her I was in good hands with my rheumatologist and the lupus isn’t a side effect of another medication.  People certainly do get kooky as they age and it was a good lesson in what is empathy (not what I experienced) and not losing my temper (I’m getting better at holding my tongue for longer periods of time) and not contradicting them outright (ok so I may have gone into some unpleasant gory side effects because I was feeling spiteful) for me.

Thursday (2) - Time crunch 2 miles on the elliptical and 15 minutes of Booty Core day #19.

I love his comics.

Dave took Jax out in the daylight so no night hike.  Have to say I was pretty bummed but did get some much-needed grocery shopping and a load of laundry done.

Friday (5) - I felt that run in the last two miles as well as climbing the stair from the gym to the cafe and the cafe back to the long hallway to take me to my desk.  I honestly felt like I ran 15 miles.  Guess that is par for the course with 5 miles being a long run for me.  Honestly, I'm happy to be able to run at whatever distance or pace, I feel like I've accomplished something and won a battle.

I contemplated finishing BC #19 showering and eating won, priorities.

A gal I know through trail running invited me for "Drunken Knitting" I can do those things pretty well so I accepted.  The group moves from house to house once a month or so and the host finds a seasonal, or in this case, not so seasonal cocktail for the group.  This was a tequila-based one, Palmona I believe, more of a spring/summer sort of drink PERFECT for a rainy dreary Friday night.

Saturday (2) - Still feeling Friday's run and generally off, I napped till it was time to take Jax on an adventure.  Jax, Dave, and I went to TriTown Forest and hiked the part of the blue loop Jax and I skipped last weekend and cut back on the yellow trail for a short hike, good amount of elevation gain for 2.5-miles (475 feet).

The new seat cushions!
Nice to not sink through the middle of the seat!

Sunday (3) - The intention was to revisit TriTown Forest.  No dice, the parking area was packed as well as cars along the road.  No good for the crazy dog.  We drove around a bit and I decided on Hopkinton Land Trust Tomaquag Trail starting at the Kenyon Crossroads off Woodville Road.  Seemed like a very uninteresting place to park, perfect, the chance of running into people would be low!

Finally. On a trail.  -- Jax

It was a nice easy walkable trail.  Jax enjoyed running ahead and running back  He is definitely different than Gus.  Gus wanted to please me and he was happy to walk alongside me or sniff around run ahead and run right back to check in.  Jax pulls the whole hike, he wants to see what is up next, what is over there, what is up there, he is clearly in this for himself.  Over the months he has gotten better and will check in once or maybe twice, he finally slows up when I ask him to and will wait at the top of a rise so I can see what is up ahead.  I need to put a package of bribes in my coat pocket, maybe he will check in more.

The sections of trail are about 1.5 miles long and there are three, we will get to each of them over time.


by Ron Chernow

From this, I now gather different parts of history.  Had Mary Lincoln not been so difficult to get along with would Julia Grant have agreed to go to the theater and would Abe not have gotten shot or would we have lost both Grant and Lincoln?   From the gossip Chernow discussed in his book, times haven't changed much with the ability for people uninvolved in the situation being able to determine the outcome.  Fortunately for the folks of the late 1800s, they didn't have Facebook to spread ugliness from coast to coast in the blink of an eye like we have now, it still spread, not as quickly.  Human nature really doesn't change, does it?

"Stone by Stone"
by Robert M. Thorson

I am fascinated by all the stone walls.  Not quite fascinated enough to read every word in the chapters on the geology of New England.  I skimmed the first three chapters.  I was amazed to find out the bulk of the walls originated from the time period after the Revolutionary War until the railroads began construction.  It was the process of deforestation in the time before the Revolutionary War that brought the rocks to the surface.  I don't recall seeing miles of stone walls in virgin forests, however, they are plentiful in regrowth forests.  Not sure what else the book holds. I'm glad I picked it up at the library.


Finished another beer mitten.  I probably should make mittens for the other hand?  Might be a cute white elephant gift?  The yarn for Rusty Nail arrived, it is lovely.  Knitted up a gauge swatch, washed it and let it dry and the needle size met the required gauge so I cast on the sleeves and off we go!

They are cuff up sleeves.

Beth finally on the other side of that horrible cold.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Jax we've talked about this, don't lick knives

2/4/2019 - 2/10/2019

Monday (5+3) - Especially peppy run considering I walked twice and stopped to chat once!  The run by hugger is still on my side of the river so it was nice to have a quick hug.  I think the walk/run actually made me more tired than straight running.  I'm never going to see my once speedy paces in the 10's or dare I say 9's frankly I'm glad I can still run and enjoy it.

I've been running over this tar "musical note" for years.
Shennecossett Road heading south, across from St. John's Christian Church
I'd tell tales out of school but since Mikey didn't post his outside run, I won't.

Schoolhouse Pond Trail
Dave and I took Jax to Burlingame and thought we'd try and find the old trail that ran along the gravel pit or whatever that big dugout area is.  We did OK, not great.  We'd find it then lose it and then it seemed like maybe we were following a deer trail.  Looking at the GPS afterward we weren't too far off what it probably was.  Mike Galoob cleaned it up a year or so ago, but unused and with the huge number of blowdowns (thank you soooo much Gypsy Moths) and in the dark, don't forget it was dark.  Although a really clear beautiful night once we got on the camp roads and out from under the tree cover we enjoyed looking up at the stars.

Tuesday (2) - I woke up with a cold.  Crazy meeting day.  I didn't really study my calendar until it was too late to get to the gym first thing.  Ugh.  I was able to sneak out a little early, mostly to get more fabric sample books for fabric for the dining room chairs.  Dave was going to ride, but it really warmed up and that would make the trails a mess so he didn't and went with Jax and me on a hike to School House Pond.  It was short, half soft flat trail and half dirt road.  We heard and saw a female bald eagle, that was very cool!  Jax was unimpressed by all of this until there was a mostly frozen puddle with a coating of water.  As we waddled across he took the opportunity to get goofy, run full speed at us and try to knock us over. Clearly whatever had him down for the last week, probably a cold is over and he's back to being his goofy self

Sunset on Schoolhouse Pond

Wednesday (3 + 2) - So far this cold hasn't knocked me on my butt, which is good.  I wasn't really sure how my body was going to react to a cold on top of the Lupus, my immune system is already in distress over the internal battle against itself, so what would an actual attack by true foreign invaders do on the immune system do to me?  Would the medications I take make everything worse? So far it all seems like a normal cold and a normal bodies reaction to a cold.  I took myself on a walk at lunch, versus a run which would cause more stress and could that make things worse or better?  I have no idea, so opted to be conservative and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air for 3 miles with a walk.  Who knew these were ever going to be things I'd bother to think about?

The beer mitten cozy

We walked to the old camp and back on the double track.  Jax did a not too well executed Galloping Goofball and landed funny on his back foot.  I was starving most of today and ate like it.  Feed a cold starve a fever?

Thursday (1 + 2) - A quick mile on the elliptical and the booty part of Booty core day #17.  Dave and I took Jax to Burlingame, he was a bit limpy from Wednesday night.  Still feeling starving.  I'm sure this will show on the scale, hopefully, its the cold and not the prednisone (ha!  spell check suggests prisoner is the correct spelling of this word).

A dog and his moose.
And his tags nonchalantly thrown to one side. 

Friday (5 + 3) - Late hill loop with Ro, back in town for a few days before they head out to CO (Silverthorn) for a couple months.  Good to catch up!  They had a blast in New Zealand, on the cruise, and in Australia.

As seen along the trail in Burlingame North
What is this marking?

Got home to find Dave and Jax waiting for me on the porch, we did the North Burlingame loop, it was a bit muddy in spots however nice to do something different.  Jax was busy tracking the truck that came down the double track, his pace was pulling us along.

Sometimes I find these things hokey and other times they help me get through the day.
I needed this today.  

Saturday (0) -  Woke up to the cement snot stage of the cold.  While that sucks it also means it is nearly over.  I made it through!  I hope the constantly hungry and exhausted exit with the cement snot.  Weird.  I wonder if the steroids made it less intense?

The wind put me off the idea of going for a bike ride, instead, I decided to instigate stress with Dave.

Guess we won't be eating at the table for a week or so!!
Still, Dave put down his plate and pulled out his chair and was surprised there wasn't a seat.
I cracked up.
After cornering Dave about the fabric for the dining room chairs that problem is solved.  I am not allowed to make decorating decisions.  I came home from the first visit to my mother, after her cancer diagnosis, to find the living room painted orange.  Not exactly what I was in the mood to deal with after that trip but those were also my whiskey days so things became a lot more muted very quickly and the orange has grown on me over the last 11 years.   Anyhoodles, it was nice to get that nailed down and the seats to the upholsterer.  As another aside, I started the project but after an hour of staple removing, and only getting about 1/2 way done on one chair seat and determining the seats needed webbing, this project was going to a professional. 

Then the day had social obligations.  A friend's baby shower.  They are adopting from Burundi.  Really exciting!  Plus there were cupcakes.  :)

So many stone walls.
Are we ever getting snow?

Then we went to an early movie "They Shall Not Grow Old"  I highly recommend this film.  Remastered from Britan's Imperial War Museum footage, not a story about WWI but a story of the soldiers, what it was like to be in the war.   Do yourself a HUGE favor and stay after the credits for Peter's story of making the film.   Definitely best viewed on the big screen, but I think you can stream on the computer.  (not to worry Dave took Jax to Arcadia for a hike while I was out eating a cupcake and doing my best to be social)

Sunday (4) - Jax and I went back to explore the TriTown Forest.  Definitely did not disappoint on the second visit!  I started seriously tripping on stupid stuff about 3.5 miles in and we were also at a point where we could take the double track back to the parking lot so we did that and cut 1.5 miles off the planned route.  Not sure exactly what was going on but doubtful Jax would pull me to the car if I really hurt myself falling.   What is it that Shakespeare said in Henry the IV: "discretion is the better part of valor" Falstaff wasn't an idiot, the beer named after him may be horrible (is it still around?  do they still have the games under the cap?) but whaddaya gonna do about that?  (I have no idea who the beer was named after) 

It was a fun hike, the Blue loop is the more challenging loop, and it didn't disappoint!  The whole preserve is filled with interesting landscape and structures and walls and Cairns.  One could spend a day in there slowly hiking the trails and exploring. 

I'm sure he thinks he saw something.
Probably the elusive Donkalope of South County RI

Jax was snoring up a storm by the time we hit the hardtop road. Mission accomplished.


I found myself without a project between when I can wash the Rue mitten and see what that process does to it and start on the real pair.  Dar hasn't sent her measurements for her sweater so I don't know how much yarn to order so I can't start on that.  I didn't want to start on a new pair of socks.  A few friends are in a group text about all sorts of things, and one of the gals (MAC) is starting an Etsy store and Gabe piped in she needed a beer cozy mitten and then does Beth have a pattern.  I found one and sent it along.  It is a curious sort of object so I started one with truly my last skein of acrylic yarn in my stash.  I was going to start a baby sweater but this seemed more fun!  I needed something to do to keep my hands busy while watching the latest Netflix binge, Orphan Black.

You join the ends to the hole and its a big loop around the bottle, can, cup!
Nifty?  no?
The mitten cozy was fun to make and now I see how it is constructed.  I am a kinetic learner, I learn by doing.  Now the directions make complete sense to me and it is basically a mitten looped back onto itself with the raw edges sewn together to keep a complete circle.  I couldn't wrap my brain around why the raw edges, DOH, it can be right or left handed due to the bottom!


Dar sent me her measurements, and I ordered that yarn.  The Rue yarn doesn't do anything crazy when washed, I can use a double strand and the same needle. 


by Ron Chernow

Still keeping my attention!  Lots of things I never really thought about, this week was cleaning up the dead and wounded in battle, was one of them.  Lee offered a cease-fire to Grant in the battle of Cold Harbor so he could save the wounded and clear the dead, unfortunately, Grant wasn't informed until after the time period had passed.  Only two of the wounded survived that time. 

I am not a student of history, the facts and figures make me want to scratch my eyes out, in this form, the form of a novel, a story, I can somewhat wrap my head around it and grasp the 'characters' are actual people. 

For having a cold and not knowing what to expect and taking it easy as a result of the first two, not a bad week, I logged nearly 30 miles!  I was tired and it showed on my face, I'll spare you the bags under my eyes.  Now to stop eating everything in sight and to get Jax to stop licking the knives in the dishwasher!

Beth, hoping the end of the cement snot is soon!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Ground Hog day all over again.

January 28, 2019 - February 3, 2019

Holy cow January was creeping along and now its gone?  Krikies.

Monday (3 + 2) - After my success of running a 5K road race, ok for most of you 33 minutes for a 5K includes your warm up and cool down, it's all a matter of perspective, anyhoodles I didn't feel the run in my joints, so I debated what I'd run today.  I had success with that distance so I did it again.  It honestly felt better than walk/run.  Other than the run back to campus uphill into the north wind it was a fun run.

Dave and I took Jax to Burlingame for a hike, some trail some roads.  It was a clear night quite a few stars through the leafless trees.  Are we ever going to get snow?  The 20 bog bridge section of the NS Trail was squishy, guess that didn't refreeze as quick as the rest of the trail.  Jax was on the scent of someone or something and was pulling us along pretty briskly.  Either that or he knew there was chicken skin in his dinner bowl.

Tuesday (3 + 2) - Met up with Mikey on the elliptical, he stuck around for an extra 1/2 mile.   Gak that thing is so boring with no one to talk to.  Booty Core day #14 sounded like all upper body and while I can barely do a push-up anymore and should be trying, I really wasn't all that into it so I skipped ahead to #15.  Besides I'm not doing this every day and I think that workout was meant as a 'break'.  Clearly not something I needed.  This one had more band work.  Whatever is going on in my left hip from my hammock injury is still niggly and annoying and sometimes leaves my leg weak.  Weird.

Back to Burlingame with the Little Black Dog, he looked bummed when we parked in the same spot (Giz's spot) as last time but we didn't do the same hike, so that was good.  Jax got to meet Jeff.  Dave said 'Biker Up' when he saw the headlamp, I said that it didn't look like a biker it looked too low it must be a runner and it was.  Even in the dark, a familiar runners cadence is easy to pick out!   Jax was pretty cordial, and at least didn't hide behind me and let Jeff pat him on the head and didn't growl.  Boxers really are odd creatures, they don't meet other dogs or humans particularly well.  Gus was the best at meeting strangers.  Gizzy barked at them, Diesel tried to hug them, Sage gave them the stink eye as she wiggled her entire ass. We won't go into the crew of fosters, but Lola used to try and eat people.  All except for the couple we disturbed on the beach one night.  I think when she tripped over them it scared her more than them and I saw her flashy light galloping towards me as I heard the couple exclaiming 'what the f was that'.  Anyhoodles, we ventured on our hike and Jeff on his run, Jax was torn about which direction he wanted to go.   We went back via the VG and the NS Bog Bridges.  Eventually, we saw Jeff's red flashy light along the bog bridges and then off into the campground as he ran off in the distance.  Plus there were some workers there with trucks making quite a racket.  It was a very popular night to be in Burlingame.

Wednesday (5) - Yeah it's hill day I ran around the hills instead of running them.  I was more curious how I'd do with a solid 5-mile run.  Ok, I walked twice but not for long.  I did well and didn't seem to feel it in my joints after the run.  The west wind was strong I was glad to get out of it on the way back to campus.  But boy I was overdressed.  I had a warm shirt and a jacket.  I could have left the jacket in the locker room.  Better than being frozen, right?

Went out for a night hike and experienced a snow squall in the woods.  That was SO COOL.  Well a little scary because we couldn't see a thing with the snow swirling around and a little snow blindness with the headlamps, luckily it was a familiar and easy (virtually no rocks and roots) trail and Jax's vest has reflective material on it so we could see him ahead of us so we had something to follow.  By the time we got back to the car, it was over very little snow on the ground.  A very fun hike.

Thursday (3) - Met up with Mikey on the elliptical for his last 15 minutes the next 15 minutes were horribly boring.  Oh well.  Booty Core day #16.  Finally feel like I am balancing, not shifting my weight, on the donkey kick, and fire hydrant type exercises, the trainer, Beth, gives great clues if your wrists are hurting you aren't keeping your core tight.  AH HA!!!  That helped greatly, once I tightened up my core my wrists stopped hurting.  Honestly, this sounded hokey, 21-day booty fix, it really has been good and I've learned more about how the muscles function than I have in all my PT classes or reading about exercises.  I feel like a big dork plugged into my iPhone for this, it is working and I'm feeling less dorky.

Friday (0) -   Someone left a paper flower doused with perfume for Jackass.  I spent the day with watery eyes, a headache, and sneezing.  Took me quite a few hours to figure out why I felt like shit.  Once I put that in the trash I started feeling a bit better.  Hopefully, the gift giver will forgive me for trashing her gift but seriously I was miserable.

Saturday (7 + 1) - Went out to Woody Hill to see how I could manage to get myself lost in the spaghetti bowl of trails.  I managed to get stuck in a loop and the 4th time I went over the same spot all I could do was laugh out loud and say "Well it is groundhog day."  I supposed if I was smart and opened up Trail Forks and started that when I started my ride I would have more success.   There was a group of 3 guys riding, I'd say they were older but I think they were closer to my chronological age (I still think I'm 30) so slightly older, they were going the opposite direction on the trail as I met up with each of them they pulled off the trail to let me pass by.

Jax has been sad lately.  Could be the weather, could be he misses having a friend, could also be he has been eating paper. If he was better with other dogs we'd try and find him a friend, but he's a typical inappropriate boxer when he meets new dogs.  Sarah seems to think he and Tuck would do ok because Tuck is so mellow.  I dunno.  So anyhow, the Little Guy was ho hum about a hike, perhaps it is also the chilly weather we have been having?  Dunno.  We went out for a short hike to a new to him part of Woody Hill and wandered around. 

Sunday (10 + 3) - My bike group, which I belong to and have showed up to like 5 rides over the last few years, did a ride in new place so I went out the next day to check it out.  My fitness is getting back to a point where I may venture out and bike with the group again.  It was a good ride, I mostly followed their GPS track, the first part of the ride I was spot on the second I missed a turn pretty early on, so did most of their route backwards. Definitely easy trails, not a lot of roots and maybe 10 rocks, very odd for New England.  I got out of my saddle a bit more, and by that I mean staying on the bike out of the saddle, not hiking my bike over obstacles I'm not quite ready to navigate or simply can't, by that I mean bunny hop over a 2 foot high log, which is usually what it means for me to be out of my saddle.  HA!  It was nice to pick up some speed and work very hard at laying off the breaks and going with the flow of the trail and the slight downhills.  Those disc breaks stop you on a dime which is freaking awesome till it isn't and I throw myself off the bike.  It happens, I don't know how it does but it does.

Scrolling through FB I found a hike in a new to me preserve, and it is actually a newer preserve, I did some investigating and found they had a good map and a nice 2.3 mile 'easy' loop.  Dave hates most preserves so I billed it as 'you are going to hate this' and we went to the TriTown Forest part of the Avalonia Land Conservancy.  It was super cool!!!  A bit over 400 acres of old farm land, complete with the bazillions of stone walls (and at some point the farmers must have got sick of building walls so they just piled them up) common in New England and very undulating terrain, not very common here in Southern New England, we had over 300 feet of gain in a 2.7 mile hike.  The glacier must have stopped there for a while, leaving ledge and rocks and hills.  Very cool piece of property with well marked and interesting trails.  Jax was totally back to himself, so it was either a doggy flu or paper.


I finished one of the socks, started the second.  Decided to do a big no no and changed how I was knitting it.  I went from two circular needles to one circular needle and ended up knitting it much tighter...  I pulled the second sock apart and it will sit there for a while till I decide what to do about the whole thing.

Started with the Rue yarn, it knits up beautifully.  I made a mitten on Sunday and will wash it and see what the fiber does when it gets wet.  Will it shrink, grow, felt... it's hard to tell.


by Ron Chernow

I am enjoying this and the author is very delicate with Grant's 'drinking' problem.  He seems like a very intelligent thoughtful leader.  I'm enjoying this although not as much as Washington.  I think my brain needs some fiction to level out all this non-fiction.

All in all a good week.  Got in my 10 miles of running in two runs, maybe I'll try for a third.  I just wasn't into anything but having a headache and feeling crappy on Friday.   A few miles on the mountain bike was also great.  I need to get a better clamp for the seat post, it's on the list just like taking off Ruby's chain and giving that a through cleaning has been on the list since July.

Beth, who should consider checking items off the to do list not adding to the list.