Monday, May 21, 2018

Who will pay for the pederast?

lots of bleeding hearts

Hairdresser's chickens. Yeah I went back but at least it was close to the Mom's group so it wasn't quite another 70 useless miles which I don't think she apologized for adequately. No eggs were offered

I have 2 chestnut trees which are in full bloom now. Hard to get to the nuts before the squirrels do plus I am not 100% sure they are not buckeyes

close up

Recently the many victims of Nassar, associated with Michigan State University were awarded $500 million. I assume at least half of that will go to lawyers but each victim should be able to clear a least $2 million a piece. At least the gymnasts at MSU were adults, adults with child bodies but adults nonetheless. He was the gymnastic team doctor and also for the Olympic program too where he did have access to children. He would do manipulations ungloved to the young girls' privates. He  never had a nurse present and was visibly aroused, a total creep. This went on for years. The school was informed on numerous occasions but did nothing. Indeed the trustees, elected by us, are still on the job. They tried to keep the whole thing quiet so new complaints would not come forward. So it is  a state institution. It as a sizeable endowment but legally that can't be touched (change the law!!!) so I assume we, the tax payers will end up footing the bill.

I've been busy between training and doing lots of gardening. Aside from lots of weeding and pruning, I got most of what I want planted. The most disgusting job was cleaning the pond, about half the size of a bath tub. Steve thought he sealed it tightly but he was wrong. It was an extremely vile smelly gemisch of decaying chipmunk and mole bodies. We pumped out most of the water after I shoveled the carcasses out (yuck, yuck) leaving just a few inches of wormy putrid water which I scooped out and then scrubbed everything thoroughly. Not fun.

After my second attempt at a haircut (at least it looks good), I went to the Mom's group at her farm. We sat on her deck overlooking her pond having a great time and eating (to much) and drinking (too much). I made an Italian cheesecake with rhubarb sauce for dessert. I processed quite a bit of rhubarb last week. Will make roasted rhubarb scones for my guests coming tomorrow and perhaps a rhubarb pie.

I have much less orioles now than last week. They were not amused at me being near their feeder as I did my many chores. They made their angry squirrel clucking noises as they did their fly bys hoping I would leave.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Local art

this beauty from a local glass artist I got at a church sale for a fraction of its price. I have little lights behind it so it glows at night

Some of my hairdresser's chickens who were there to greet me when I showed up to my hair appointment today. Who wasn't there? My hairdresser! I was so irritated as it is a 60 mile round trip. Today was the best day to get it done. She seems sorry for messing up. Maybe she should give me some of these girls' eggs..
Naomi overlooking Los Angeles

Catalina Island

I helped Allie make slime the other morning

She likes to wear her turtle outfit

I bought this cool tile from an artist down the road

My cousin's entry to the Holland Tulip Festival quilt contest. She's quite creative

Mother's Day flowers from Shanna

and from Steve

White bleeding hearts. Have several sets of pink ones in bloom too

Apres moi, la deluge!  Rain, rain, and more rain for the past 4 days. Thunderstorms greeted me when I awoke to do Sunday's big ride. I awaited until they went away leaving a steady cold drizzle. My loop usually has 2.5 miles of dirt roads which I imagined would be impassable. As the sun never shone, I could head back east on the paved roads. Hard to avoid the water that swamped some of the low lying areas. I was a muddy mess when I returned even though I wasn't on dirt roads.

I probably had ten orioles, most of them Baltimores but probably some of the smaller orchard orioles too. It was difficult keeping them fed. The constant rains would wash away the jelly. They would empty the humming bird feeders (fortunately for the hummers I have suitable flowers for them). And the catbirds would eat all the fruit put out for the orioles. Other birders reported the same strange oriole attack too. One said that scarlet tanagers came with the orioles, a person who lives only 3 miles from me. I have my eye out for them but so far, no tanagers. I never have seen a scarlet one, our alleged local variety. I've see the summer kind out west and the lilac ones in Costa Rica.

Many of the orioles seemed to have moved on. I still have 4 or so eating the oranges.

So less biking than I would like. I've been running in between storms.

For Mother's Day weekend, I saw most of the grandbabies. I've done more gardening. Getting the vegetables in was my first priority followed by the summer bulbs. I will eventually finish with flowers.

Today I had planned to have my hair fixed, a long drive but she does a good job. However she needs a better appointment minder!! So annoyed that she wasn't there. I try again in a few days. Grrrrr.

Went to a local art show. Years ago, the main artist who sponsors the show and has a studio 1.5 miles away had a friend in common with me. This friend would farm sit her farm (about 4 miles away from where I live now) As she was nervous staying out in the country by herself, I would keep her company. I hadn't met the owner until a few years ago. We both aren't friends anymore by the friend in common. Her husband makes fanciful life sized sculptures. I had photographed his blue giraffe in Grand Rapids ArtPrize not realizing it was made just down the street where it now stands in the parking lot.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Oriole photography

female rose breasted grosbeak

The pair was on the feeder at the same time. Alas the male was spooked but I could see his underwing red which I hadn't seen before

so I did get some plants, mainly vegetables which I've spent hours putting in

A bit of whimsy amongst my newly blooming lilacs. They smell so good

new orchid

new frame for my blue and orange room

I've seen five orioles today at once: two full pairs and either an immature male or a brightly colored female

They were ignoring the oranges. Let's try blueberries and figs

catbirds like blueberries too

It is a cold rainy day today. Mrs. Oriole looks waterlogged

May is bird month here. Only in May (and into a bit of June) do we see the chipping sparrows, the crown sparrows, the orioles, grosbeaks and once the above blossoms turn to fruit, cedar wax wings. Usually I see one of the orioles at a time even though I know I have a pair but while I was drinking my morning coffee, the feeder was covered with 4 of them. Later five could be seen at a time. They are nervous around humans so they are a bit hard to photograph. I tried to get photos with them all on the feeder at once but that turned out to be impossible. I got two at a time. The male grosbeak however continued to feed while I planted flowers a few feet away though he was giving warning chirps.

So much to do to get these gardens going. I've got most of the vegetables in though the place I went to didn't have the summer squash I wanted. And I should have looked at my beds before buying as some of the Swiss chard reseeded. The kale finally died. It lived through 2 relatively mild winters but last winter was a killer. I didn't eat it. I just harvested it for a friend.

A big cloud going into the week was my annual mammogram. Even when they don't find anything wrong, they have trouble angling my seroma just right so it matches up with the previous mammogram. Very painful. The seroma is the size of an egg and is very hard as it is a mass of calcium salts. On the mammogram. it looks identical to a tumor but as it is either hollow or filled with fluid, by ultrasound, it is not a tumor plus they have biopsied it in the past, a stressful and expensive procedure. I had a very sweet technician who kept apologizing for causing me pain. Other women who got there after me left way before me. They called me back, not a good sign. They wondered why the seroma now was a larger portion of my breast. Did I, by chance lose weight and if so, did I do it on purpose? I thought I had lost most of the weight before last year's mammogram so I didn't mention it.

It is strange that when people notice  have lost weight, the first thing they think is that it could be cancer though while having cancer, I gained most of my excess weight. Recently my former daughter-in-law noticed a recent picture of me and asked Josh if my cancer came back. I guess they wouldn't consider me disciplined enough to do this on my own. But eventually I got the all clear. Yay! So I don't have to deal with them for another year. Yay!

A plus, they replaced those nasty hospital gowns which I never could adequately tie despite all my experience with them with spa robes. One woman was so enamored, she walked out wearing one. She quickly came back for her street clothes saying it was a hectic week. A bigger plus, I had scheduled this close to my cooking class so I came early and they took me early so I got to the class on time. Subject: alternatives to dairy. We tasted milks from rice, almond, peas, goats, and coconut plus dishes made with them. Non dairy macaroni and cheese sucks especially with gluten free pasta. Cream of cauliflower soup was good however.

Still fine tuning our big trip. Big snag: Amtrak lets only so many bikes on each train. They are at their limit! We could check them in as luggage which means buying special packing boxes and partially disassembling them. We do have train reservations but we might cancel them and rent a truck. I have been able to bike a lot but he cold and rain came back. Sigh.

Monday, May 7, 2018

spring at last

new doll

my frog prince

Naomi ziplining

I've been seeing lots of these guys. Not my photo though

6 weeks late, my Easter flowers finally bloom

lots of tulips too

Shanna and Tessa bowling

The boys at a mother/sons dance

I should wear gloves I know. Now my hands are open blisters from trying to manually remove dandelions from our 2 acres. There seems to be close to zero tolerance here but now, no heads can be seen and we aren't poisoning our aquifer and birds. I've planted my summer bulbs and seeds. Need to buy vegetables for my garden. I've spent hours in the last few days but still much needs to be done.

Now we have three hummers: the new one the female.

Naomi is back from her adventures so less time now with Maya. It was especially hard yesterday as we had a power outage: no water either.

It was so nice not to have to bundle up as the sun came out to do my 32.5 loop. Extra bonus: no wind. This is half the distance of our longest day. True we won't be on paved roads but I am definitely getting stronger. Went by several Canada geese families with newly hatched goslings.

Friday, May 4, 2018

The return of the swallows et al

Dead tree sculpture in New Orleans taken by my niece

We had her all week. Her mom had sent winter clothes for her when two of the days were in the 80s. Thus we went short shopping

Every night we had homework and reading

Every year, second graders in Shanna's district spend a day in the one room school house down the street from me. This is Daniel

The kids dress the part. When I first moved in, I assumed it was an Amish school until I saw the boys' shoes

on her rocking hippo. We went for a long walk together with her refusing to look at me

Maya had fun playing with Allie

May is the month of the pretty birds. The oriole returned before I could put out his special feeder. Now he and his mate have an orange and grape jelly


Yesterday the rose breasted grosbeak reappeared

First of our migrants to return were the barn swallows last week. Already they have decided to add to their nest inconveniently above our front door. They seem to be ignoring the over the garage nest. They fly back and forth repeatedly to check on their nest. If we are on the porch, they perch nearby staring us down or fly swiftly by our faces. Usually the hummingbirds come back towards the end of April but I figured they would be late as the whole Eastern half of the country had delayed spring. I saw the lone male a few days ago, a day after I put up a feeder. I don't have many flowers for him to feed on..just primrose, Pasch flower and lots of daffodils.

Yesterday, the male grosbeak appeared. He is so pretty. I haven't seen his rather ugly mate yet who looks like a large sparrow with a unibrow. We do have our spring migrant sparrows, the tiny chipping sparrow and the fat crowned sparrows. The boring, invasive house sparrows are a constant. We found the oriole sipping out of the hummingbird feeder today. It didn't take long for him to find the oriole feeder which I quickly put out. Gone finally are the juncos aka snow birds. They breed far north. Usually they leave in early March but they stuck around until last week.

We finally have a break from Maya who although very sweet and cute, is a handful. Her mom returns Sunday but her dad will pick her up from school today. I won't miss the commutes to school during rush hour. Maybe tonight I can sleep without dealing with someone with night terrors.

It was warm, bordering on hot, for two days. Not good for running but OK for biking. I am getting more in shape. I took some on-line health survey from my Medicare plus provider. According to it, my biological age is exactly my actual age. Hmm. I am very active, have good glucose, cholesterol levels, normal blood pressure, not overweight..absolutely no health risks yet I am no better than average in their book. See if they could ride a bike as fast as I can.

I am ignoring my yard work..too much to do. Right now there is a high wind advisory and thunderstorms so that's my excuse.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Cancer causing shirt

These are popping out all over

I recently bought a new shirt from an actual store instead of the usual thrift store buys. It does look good on me. As I was hanging it up, I noticed a tag:

May cause cancer and/or reproductive difficulties

It  also said that  the State of California made them put the warning on. So what causes the cancer? The dye? The raw ingredients to the synthetic material? Some kind of finish? If I wash it, will the cancer causing ingredient go away? Who knows.  I heard that coffee sold in California needs a similar label.

Also from the State of California: a cold case  involving a serial rapist/killer/ burglar was cracked.  32 years after his last known offense. He was an ex cop with an axe to grind and was very careful to cover his traces but he did leave lots of DNA behind. It was compared to a database of known criminals. Nothing found. But then they ran it in GEDmatch, a database that people could upload their raw data from Ancestry.com and the like and search for relatives. He wasn't in it but some of his close relatives were. Somehow they were able to figure out who he was from that. It hasn't been said how close the relative was.

Also in California: my daughter on vacation so we have Maya for the week. Right now she is in school. A school bus stops right in front of our house goes to her school but we weren't sure how quickly she would adapt to change and whether the school system would allow it for one week so 2 drives a day through rush hour. Fun.

We went for a walk last night to listen to the peepers, which she likes. We came across several neighbors whose houses are deep in the woods that I usually just run right by but we stopped to talk. Maya clammed up and stared at the ground, sever stranger anxiety.

No more freezing nights in the near future! It was below zero yesterday when I left on my big bike ride. How I dress for running is about 20-30 degrees different than for biking. I have been slowly preparing the gardens for spring which is very laborious. Lots to do.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Back to the bike

birthday flowers

the world's largest glass sculpture weighing in at 2800 pounds. This was made by Suzanne Pascal, whose serigraph I bought last week. She had sold it for $3 million to a winery. It was valued at $3.5 million when Trump took over the winery. I assume that was the tax deduction value so I guess we all paid for it assuming he had paid any tax that year.What is  art? What is art worth? With a 5 mile detour, I can see it in person in Pennsylvania on my big ride.

A new serigraph for the same wall of the dining room. Maybe it has a back story as interesting as Pascal's but as it is signed illegibly I won't know

My pretty granddaughter in a new frame

It is finally spring. Blossom buds are appearing on my service berry and lilacs. More daffodils in bloom. I was able to sit outside in my cabana to enjoy the fresh air. Some evenings drinking wine outside...Still it was a frosty 32 degrees when I went for my big first ride early Sunday so I was bundled up. It was close to 50 when I finished the 32.5 miles so I was overdressed by then though going into a head wind at the end cooled and tired me out. I felt more confident that I could be ready in a month now even though one of the days will be twice as far over far rougher terrain. I will go out today once the traffic clears and the temps increase though not as long.

Aside from one more birthday lunch, my week of birthday celebration is over. My son is very bad with dates and had forgotten. I did get a call late in the day (after a text from Steve). I asked if someone had reminded him. Of course not. He wouldn't have forgotten such an important date. I did go out to lunch with him and Allie the next day and then to the park for Allie to play.

A friend who I knew from elementary school had asked me to go to Italy with her once she reached the same lofty age as I this fall. I hadn't heard from her in a while. Does she still want to go? It turns out she can't due to a new job though a bit of heads up would have been appreciated.

Aside from the long trail trip, my travel plans are disrupted. Do I do the Michigander by myself? I need to decide soon.

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