Wednesday, September 26, 2018

I saw my first bear! Dave saw his first milk snake! Jax, well he didn't care about either...

Monday (3.5)  Well look at that comments are back to being delivered via eMail!  Yeah!  And to answer your question Padre - the hip thing seems to have cleared it self up, a little bit of stretching and some foam rolling and time I guess was what it needed.

Watching the world go by.

More walk/run this was the first time I wasn't desperately wishing for the walk break.  The weather is more conducive to running which I'll attribute to the wanting to continue to run/not feeling like I needed a break after a whopping 3 minutes and 30 seconds of running.

Tuesday (2) If I take the long way to the cafeteria it is a mile walk.  My knees were feeling yesterdays 3.5 miles.  Wonderful...   Jax and I went on a stroll after I got home from work.  Fortunately neither outing ended up in getting soaked by rain.  I guess this is the remnants of Florence moving north then east, and like a N'or Easter it does come in bands it can be bright and sunny one minute and pouring the next.  I should have snapped a photo of the radar, it really is amazing how it comes through in waves or rather bands.

What's going on out there?
OMG he is so spoiled.
My knees are uber crunchy sounding lately, probably a combination of the humidity and the Euflexxa wearing off (November the shots start again).  I am a little nervous to ask the person walking next to me if they can hear the crunch crunch crunch when I'm going up and down the stairs.  I kinda want to think I'm hearing it because I can feel it not because it is loud enough to travel the 3 feet between my knees and my ears.

Wednesday (1)  Well a mile is a mile, right?  Feeling like the inside of my skin is a the outside of a porcupine makes moving not very appealing.  Guess that's better than not wanting to be touched, and not just by people, by clothes?  Think it's the change in weather.

A little Spud through the trees.

Thursday (1) Got my mile!  Woo hoo!  Breaking all sorts of records aren't I?

Winhall Brook in Winhall Brook Campground

Friday (1) I thought we were leaving early, Dave said we discussed it and we were leaving later.  OK.  My mind gets foggy from time to time, perhaps we did, perhaps we didn't.  It's been a bad Auto Immune week, so who knows, I went to work, no reason to waste a vacation day.

Thought this was a cool tree along the North side of the West River Rail Trail

We left a bit before 4:00 p.m. and got to Winhall Brook Campground in South Londonderry, VT about 8:30 p.m.  We dilly dallied around with dinner and grocery shopping along the way.  This was a super easy place to park the camper at night.  Very big open field.  Electricity and water were our luxuries this weekend.  Although water still needed to be used judiciously because there wasn't also a sewer so no long showers, just the usual quick rinse.  6 gallons of water in a minute is really a lot of water, and consider the grey tank holds 21 gallons, get in soap up rinse off and get out is the only option, unless you go to the pay shower.   With the temperature getting down into the low 40's it would be nice to use the heat.

Watching the world go by

There are two options a heat pump (electric) or the furnace (propane).  Being able to experiment with both, we prefer the propane it is much quieter and heats more evenly, plus it is drier so we don't have to deal with moisture accumulating.  Moisture is evil to campers, they are made with such light weight materials many things can go wrong with extended moisture. 

Dave opted for this place and the open camping versus wooded because it is cooler now and the sun would be welcome.  It was like staying at the Ritz with electricity. 

Saturday (9)  We ended up not using the heat on Friday night, it didn't get much below 50 and we left a window open, plus it was nice to hear Winhall Brook.  The morning greeted us with fog over the valley, very pretty.    Dave went to Killington for some down hill riding.  Jax and I had a long post his breakfast pre my breakfast wander around the campground.  He has so much more energy with the cooler weather.

Jax and I went to the north side of the campground to walk on the West River Rail Trail.  We found both the lower and the upper trail and saw only one person for the 5 miles we walked/hiked/adventured.  He got a little goofy which is nice to see.  Kind of a cross between Diesel's galloping goofball move and Gizmo's four paw drive.  (video above)

Lye Brook Falls, 

We napped and Dave texted he was having all sorts of mechanical issues and would be later than he thought.

West River (north side trail)
I decided we'd explore the south side of the West River Rail trail and did that for a few miles.  I planned on biking those miles of rail trail on Sunday. Jax was up for whatever, at a slower pace, with more sniffing.  Sure thing buddy, no problemo.

Sunday (6 7)  The morning we went on a hike to Lye Brook Falls, that was nice, a very easy uphill to the falls and some time to check them out, rocks and water, woo hoo Jax says... we thought it was pretty.  Jax really wanted to see what that clump of white stuff was about 10 feet off trail.  We were pretty sure we knew what it was and why didn't the person bury it?  Guess the humans and the dog were at odds with what was interesting?

I took a bike ride on the south side of the West River Rail trail, about 2ish miles in it became single track, steep climb then gentle, then the trail markers got really confusing and I was riding through a lot of mud, I lost the trail, no one should be surprised by this.  Eventually I found it again and it was nice until it wasn't.  I wasn't in the mood for single track but did have fun carrying Barney down some stair to see Angel Falls, across a stone bridge while trying to not fall into the brook, and ride a little ways down the rail trail till I decided I'd had enough of that nonsense and rode back to where I saw a bench over looking the West River and had a seat for a bit and enjoyed the view.  I have nothing to prove to anyone or a requirement for doing anything.  There were a bunch of people hanging out at the falls, otherwise I would have taken a picture.  The falls looked like angel wings to me, I found some pictures on the inter-webs.  Not a fan of the slow shutter speed to make the water look all smokey, you can get the jist of it and see the wings.
We all went out to check out Ball Mountain Dam, this was one of the two weekends a year they do releases into the West River and most places were filled with kayakers seeking adventure on the white water of the West River.   They put in after the dam, hiked the kayak up to the top of the dam, then down and then put in and kayaked to Jamaica State Park.  We then went to Jamaica State Park to see that and found a nifty store selling apple pie, no vanilla ice cream to be found but the pie was good without it.

Bear crossing the road South Londonderry, VT

Pretty full day, especially after not sleeping well on Saturday because of the loud heat pump kicking and Dave deciding 8:30 p.m. was a good time for coffee.  Gak.

Milk Snake at the Ball Mountain Dam


The Vermont Spinnery Weekend wool is so nice to work with, I'm nearly over how much the wool cost me, knowing the pattern and the wool will work well together.  The pocket backs are now installed in the sweater and I have a few more rows of ribbing before I start on the cable pattern.


"Where the Lost Girls Go"
by R.J. Noonan

Status:  In progress

I'm slowly making my way through this until something better comes along in my audio cue.   It is starting to get interesting with a detective finding one of the Lost Girls, and her supervisor unearthing some suspicious behavior of his supervisor.

"The Ragged Edge of Night"
by Olivia Hawker

Status:  Started

A friar stripped of his place, and his students murdered, by the Nazis is trying to find his place in the world, answers a want ad for a husband in name only to help a widow raise her three children.   Very interesting.

I never could get my old Kindle to come back to life and an awesome sale on Kindle Paperwhite magically appeared in my inbox, so I have a new Kindle that talks to the computer and talks to the Fire and talks to Goodreads.  I know I should be very scared of all this electronic talking.  Especially after talking about tires with Dave over dinner both our computers had advertisements for tires....


I'm not keeping very close track of mileage, I check the totals in Strava from time to time, and don't do comparisons to last year and previous years. Unfortunately, as part of the corporate insurance we have things to do (physicals, blood work, fall and spring step challenge) this all amounts to $500 a lot of freaking money in my mind.  The problem is $200 of it is questionable in achieving because my authoritative source for activity (steps) isn't one on their list.  I like my Polar watch, I could fetch the Garmins I gave away, nahhhh...   Guess I have to figure out how to make this work so I don't loose the $$$ or my mind in tracking steps.  Stupid if you ask me, even though my activity level is half or less of what it was last year I'm still an over achiever of the rank and file.  Yeah, so that was a little self congratulatory and annoying, but seriously, I am on a tough course coming to grips with what my declining health and advancing age are doing to my endurance, humor me, please.

Beth,  happy she can at least run once a week, while there are others who can't even run at all.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Prepping Jax for the Coming Winter Duldroms

Monday (0)  Not really sure.  Mostly panic and prep for Thursday's presentation.

In other news, I re-homed the blue fancy sweater, it was an awkward "I know this is weird, but I think this would fit you and you would look good in it, take it home, try it on and keep it or give it back.  Yes, it was a tremendous amount of work, no I don't want anything for it, I want the sweater to be used and have a home" as I handed it to her in a plastic bag.  She is a fellow fiber enthusiast so I think she understood and seems like she is going to keep it.

Tuesday (5.7)  Hills with Ro on Tuesday and early, and it is also garbage day, humid and well as long as we weren't downwind of the garbage trucks.

Wednesday (0) Shit show of a day.  Finished the last row on the sweater collar.  Think I nailed it this time.

Dave and his RC Plane

Thursday (0) NYC.  If I heard my name mentioned one more time and awesome I was going to vomit.  I don't believe I deserved it.  Plenty of people take things they didn't earn or deserve so I should just suck it up and accept the compliments?  It doesn't sit well with me.  Wonder how those who take away from the deserving sleep at night?  Probably like the babies they are?  The only saving grace was this wasn't taking any reward away from those who earned it and were the highlights of the meeting.   I am hopeful they will receive the award they have earned for the efforts they put forth and the difference they made.  It was a HUGE feather in the cap of the company and the division, I did the job I volunteered to do, period. (as my maternal Grandfather used to say to end a discussion.).

The big score was a bottle of Central Waters Brewing Company Brewhouse Coffee Stout, the last one on the shelf at The Beer Table.  Not a train beer, a nice sipping while knitting kind of beer.  :)  A couple train beers, I only drank one.  Really not in the mood for beer, as odd as that sounds.

Bound off the collar.  I nailed it.  A good wash to let the fibers bloom and I think this will be the first sweater that fits properly and I like.

Friday (1) The Not Trespassing loop in Exeter with Jax and Dave.  Surprisingly Dave came along for our adventure through the fields and to the pond.  The yarn came for Chocolate Stout, it's a dark purple so doesn't go with the name, much like Dark and Stormy is green.  Oh well...    I make yarn cakes and got started on the pockets for the sweater.  Stayed up too late.

The yarn, the pattern, the swift, the ball winder, and a beer!

Saturday (20) Did a usual bike loop backward.  Not a huge fan of left turns but it was pretty quiet out in the morning.  Saw quite a few people biking.  Explored Pound Road after Tom P sent out an EBAC Testosterone Ride including that, he thought it was a through road, I was sure it wasn't, the Dead End sign is pretty much a dead giveaway, ya think?  Anyhow it goes back to a Rez they are cleaning up.  Talked to the owner for a bit as he was going out with a load of junk as I was biking in on my exploration journey.  Nice guy.  Cute dog too!

Cute fuzzy insect.

Got the sweater cast on while Dave drove us out to his parent's house for the evening. And another too late evening in the books.

Sunday (0)  Took Barney out for a gravel grind and his disc breaks locked up.  Lovely.  Farted around with that for a while, in the hot sun and called it.  Rim breaks have their advantages, for sure.  Guess I get to learn something new.  By the time I got home the breaks were loose and the wheels spinning free again.

Jax spent the time I was home staring at me, being pissed and bored. Can't we canoe? Was all he said before he fell asleep with his eyes open and his tongue hanging out.  It is really disturbing looking.  My parents and Dave and I are all very worried about how he is going to handle not camping and having adventures all winter.  We may have to find a place to store Spud where we can go spend the night in him so Jax doesn't get lost in the throes of a deep depression.  Hell, we all may get lost in the throes of a deep depression.  This has been the best summer we've had since we were first dating.

W. VA. 1997

I spent the down part of my day on family history research.  This is fascinating to me, at first it was "challenge accepted", where my mother said I'd never find anything on her father's family.  Well, challenge accepted. I met the paternal side, all the way to the house her Great Grandfather built when he set up roots in Indiana.  Turns out my mother's grandfather, my great-grandfather was, well, every family has at least one, the black sheep.  My aunt (my mother's sister) and I were met with Uncle Hank had CHILDREN!!  Hell, he had a second family as DNA has proven.   This has all been so much fun for me, putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle where I only have a few pieces of the picture!

6/17/2000 the Volk Cousins, two missing, and second cousin (there are two more)

This week's fun was the arrival of my mother's father's mother's father's death certificate.  I'm in the high 90% confidence range on this one.  He either deserted the family or was compelled to leave the family.  Based on the personalities and expectations of women in my family, on both sides, I'd hazard to guess he wasn't measuring up to expectations.  Clearly, I lost all that chutzpah, and am a disappointment to my heritage.    This opened up some more doors and a view into those I came from.  I really am a disappointment. 

G-G-Grandmother in the PA Coal Patch and me... apples and trees...  funny eh?


I've updated on the sweaters in the narrative.  Suffice it to say, once I find the right buttons and wash Dark and Stormy (who is seafoam green in color) she will bloom and be perfect, I am sure.  Chocolate Stout is cast on and the first couple rows started.  She will have pockets so this will be a very new to me! I'm excited for a new knitting adventure.


"Girl Waits With Gun"
by:  Amy Steward


Excellent book.  Kept my attention and the author doled out the back story backstory measured way, I'm interested to see what happens in the rest of the series.  This is based on true events.

"Where the Lost Girls Go"
by:  R. J. Noonan


So far OK.  The story is probably duller than the narrator lets on.  Her clipped tone keeps me wondering what is going to happen next.  Although I have heard this narrator before and keep expecting the characters (Mike Hunt) to show up.  So far the story is dull and ripped from the headlines... yawn...  It was another 'available now' book and not one on my list. 

Beth tomorrow starts another week and another opportunity to make a difference.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Nearly 40 Degree Temperature Differential in a Week!!!

Monday (0)  Yard work happened.  Bloody hell it was humid and disgusting.  We managed to get the bare minimum done and went back to the cool inside and binge-watched Boardwalk Empire.  WTF with this weather, we are spending more time hiding from the humidity than we ever spend hiding from the cold.  Blargh

Tuesday (3.2)  I thought about running and then I stepped outside.  I walked it sucked it was disgusting.  My left hip has this wonky pain.  I'm old and I'm crabby.  I wanted to sit in the AC and stuff my face with craft stout and craft donuts to achieve my lifelong goal of wearing mumus and looking like Mimi from Drew Carey.  Except I really look horrible as a blonde, all washed out.  But WAIT the blue eyeshadow could add much-needed color to my face?

I've walked under this at Riverwood quite a few times and just noticed it.
Pretty amazing the nest these creatures build.

Wednesday (3.5 1.3)  I ran, 1-minute walk 3:30-minute run.  It went ok, the weather was less gross and while I would like to do the whole Mimi thing, I'm really not sure about the blonde hair, so I guess I should leave that idea by the curb, for now.

"That is an odd mushroom." -- Jax

Took Jax to Riverwood, he had dinner on his mind and his mind on dinner so he was not at all interested.  Plus it is still pretty warm and humid for him.  We got a verbal lambasting from the children, they were probably 3 and 4, at the house before the gate "Hey Lady! Don't put your dog poop bag on the post!!!" they shouted.  I said, "But then I won't forget to take it home!"  I got some huffs and crossed arms "Ok, I'll put it down here behind the sign."  They laughed and shouted something to their grandmother.  It was cute!  

"Can it be dog dinner time now?" -- Jax

Thursday (1) Just one of those days with no motivation, so I didn't do much.   Walked Jax around when we got set up at camp, in the dark.  It is a good thing we aren't fighters because I can totally see why people nearly get divorced over parking a camper or setting up a tent or doing anything in conjunction with their spouse.  Seriously, just scope it out and if you don't know what the hell someone is talking about ask and BOOM it is all good.    Why screw up a perfectly enjoyable escape to the woods with a fight?  This perplexes me to no end.  Someone doesn't have to win and someone doesn't have to lose...

Ready to go to Charlemont!

Friday (3 19)  Took Jax on a hike on the Mohawk Trail and back to camp, short, but he wasn't really in the mood to do much more.  We took a long nap until Dave got back to camp and then I had a very short and uninspiring bike ride. I think the nearly 40-degree temperature differential had a lot to do with all of that.  The weather was supposed to be low 70's and sunny, it was 60 and cloudy.

Cold River

I did get to see another covered bridge in Charlemont, MA, that was nice and explored some dead-end roads.  Just felt flat and unmotivated.

Bissell Covered Bridge, Charlemont, MA

Saturday (6) Took Jax on a long hike on the Mahican Mohawk Trail and other trails around the campsite.  It was very chilly, but moving helped take off the chill.  High 50's when we started, no sun.  Kind of depressing to go from horribly hot and humid to cool, cloudy, and damp.   We had a nice hike and Jax was definitely enjoying the cooler weather and was a goofball for most of the hike.

Meadow in the Mahican Mohawk Trail, Charlemont, MA
The picture doesn't really do this justice, how the woods opened up to the meadow and the fog was just lifting off the mountain and the goldenrod blooming...

We went to Mount Greylock in the late afternoon.  The thought of getting on the road bike and being chilled really didn't appeal to me.  The 5 miles of downhill after the 15-mile climb would probably have frozen me to the bone.  I think Dave was more concerned I wasn't enjoying myself.  Oh yes, I was!  No cell service and fresh air are wonderful things.  This just hasn't been my year athletically, if I can even call myself an athlete.  More trying to figure out how I can do what I want to do and not end up with a Lupus flare  (for me this feels like I have a really bad flu, hot, cold, pins, and needle achy, all my joints hurt, it's really special, not) or pleurisy 

Deerfield River for a quick wade
Sunday (3) It got down into the 40's overnight and I was happy to have Jax curled up with me, he's not a blanket dog normally, he prefers to be on top of not under the blankets.  We had planned on staying later on Sunday and booked the site through Monday, but it wasn't going to warm up over 55.  Dave rode and Jax and I took a hilly hike to warm up.  The climb up was pretty gradual to the top of Thumper Mountain (it really is more of a hill, 800 some odd feet, but he can add it to his summit list) and then it was a quick sharp descent down.  He was very into the bombing down the hill part, and when that came to an end he headed straight to the ranger station to go back to camp.  Ok.  I would have been happy hiking some of what we hiked the day before, whatever.  I probably give him too much credit, or maybe not.  We got back to camp and he jumped right up into the people bed and was sawing logs in 2 minutes. 

I read and he slept and Dave came back from riding after having two flats.  Kind of a bummer, but he got in two great days of riding at Thunder Mountain and I got in some quality naps and good hikes.  

He was seriously thrilled with the steep drop off.


"This House is Haunted"
by: John Boyne


I picked one of the first books on the always available list on Overdrive.  The story is a cross between Rebecca and Jane Eyre and that was exactly how my review started on Goodreads, well yeah, I guess I read it before.   I'm still not really remembering it as I listen.  Not actually all that odd, enjoying re-reading a book I don't remember reading,  probably, I am in a different frame of mind a few years later and paying attention to different parts of the story of Eliza Caine as the Governess of Gaudlin Hall in Norfolk England in 1867. Books can be like that, can't they? 


Reknitting of the collar of Dark and Stormy is going well.  The top part of the collar is much deeper and will lay much better.  I have to get some new bigger buttons.  

The yarn hasn't arrived for More Stout, the next cardigan.  I'm getting excited to start on it when the yarn arrives.  I should be done with Dark and Stormy by that time.

My shoulder seems to not be rebelling against me.  I'll take that as a win.  

Beth happy to have a few days of fresh air and sleep, and so happy to not feel as awful as she did this time last year.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Lazy week

Monday (1) a loop around camp with Jax before we bugged out.  It was so lovely cool and nice in Maine, the temperatures crept up the further south we drove.  A harbinger of yet another blast of heat.  Blech

Hoping those storm clouds mean cooler weather is on the way!!

Tuesday (0) back to work and a calendar full of meetings, what is with people?  I think I had a dinner out, at an outside venue, it was hot and humid and miserable, good company so that was nice, then the mosquitoes came out.

Excellent Beer!

Wednesday (0) I have no idea

Little Bored Dog

Thursday (0)  I have no idea

Oh, that one had a kick to it and it did age well!

Friday (5.7) Walked with Ro, it was lovely out!  We enjoyed our hill route at a pretty peppy pace. 

Jax ready to go!

Saturday (4.4) I thought I  might bike but felt flat and unmotivated, I knitted and Dave texted about going canoeing.  He got the rack for the truck and I was all over that. 

A trip up to the attic to find the people and dog life vests, and the paddles.  I found two dog life vests, I swear we had three, one for each of the knuckleheads, but only found two mediums, the third had to be a large for Diesel, he had such a big chest.  The upper strap wouldn't buckle on Jax but between the neck strap and the bottom strap he seemed mostly secure in the vest.  I can make the strap longer and not buy a new vest.  I'm still perplexed what happened to the third vest.  Jax was pretty perplexed why he had to have a coat in the heat of the summer.  Boxers swim like rocks.  He didn't seem to understand.

Ninigret Salt Pond
The canoe, overall, was in great shape, we only used it a half dozen times when Dave bought it eons ago, and I'm not sure why we stopped, I imagine it had something to do with my truck at the time dying and not having anything to haul it with.  There was one sun fade spot on it and the cane in the seat, mine, of course, cracked.  Easily fixable, or so I'm told. 

Splined cane seat.  Not traditionally caned.

We went to Ninigret Salt Pond, and they had a map of where to go, or really what you'd see at different points.  That was fun.  Jax was a little iffy on all of this and a few times thought maybe he'd try and jump out of the canoe.  We should probably tie a rope on the handle of his life vest so we can drag him back to the canoe?  Wouldn't that be a sight?  My luck the dog would fall fast into the water and tip the canoe.  I am not a big fan of being IN the water, ON the water is ok. 

Sunday (10, 2.7) I took Dolly out to Arcadia for some gravel grinding.  The parts where the roads were packed down pretty well were good.  The sandy parts, slightly fun and slightly terrifying and very slow.  Definitely, need wider tires, and some traction.  I've been looking at 'gravel' bikes.  Dave suggested I should actually get a gravel bike and was a bit shocked when I said, "yeah, I think so."  Then the backpedaling started with well are you sure you need another bike, and yada yada yada...  and maybe I should ride the places with Barney and really decide if I need another bike.  Need? The only things we need are air, sunlight, and water... want is more like it.

Watchaug Pond
Do we really need another photo?

We went on a short paddle around Watchaug Pond after Dave got back from his adventure at Goat Hill.  This adventure included a trip to the emergency room and a trip back to South Kingstown to pick up Dace so she could pick up Bill from the hospital and his car and get them all back home.  Bill took a header off his bike and put his hands out to brace his fall on to a huge granite slab and busted his hand and wrist.   Dave thinks he was going to slow.  Well yeah, most of my falls mountain biking are a result of going to slow, no seriously, they are.  Bill's hand/wrist is likely repairable, however he will be out for the duration for biking.  Their buddy Steve, finished up the planned miles for the day while Dave took Bill to the ER.  Well I guess you might as well, no point in everyone standing around in the ER? 

A Man and his Dog

This paddle included a stop and a short hike.  I didn't wear my shoes in the canoe so it was rather slow with barefooted me in the woods, but Jax seemed fine with just getting out of the canoe for a bit.  This time we put a yoga mat in the bottom and he was much happier, to have something grippy under his paws and only once thought maybe he'd try and get out of the canoe. 


"Girl Waits With Gun"
by: Amy Steward


Very good, well written and interesting.  Based on true events in 1915.  Three sisters living alone in an old house in the middle of nowhere cross paths with an angry man who tries to best them, it didn't work out so well for him in the end.

I totally spaced and didn't down load the books that came up on my hold list so I had to go back to the bottom of the list.  This is the first time in a while I haven't had a book to listen to in the car.  The radio is making me loony.  I'll find something before the drive home on Tuesday.


Finished the baby sweater.  Started another with what I think is the actual last skein of baby sweater yarn.  I need to make sure I didn't squirrel away a skein somewhere, I can't imagine I did, but I've met me, it is entirely possible.

RWB socks finished Acadia tour books, the sock I lost 6 months ago has been found, and the baby sweater.
I like the stripes on the arms. 

Got up the nerve to unpick the collar from the green cardigan with the intention of picking up the stitches again and knitting a deeper collar.  So far so good.  I do enjoy Thea's patterns and picked out another one and some yarn and am anxiously awaiting for the yarn to arrive so I can get started on another cardigan.

That collar around the neck is NOT deep enough.
The buttons also are not big enough.
Glad I got the nerve to unpick it and start over.
Beth, not at all disappointed with a lazy week, must have needed one!