Saturday, July 30, 2016

Squash and dolls

yesterday I purchased 3 handcrafted dolls for a total of $7. This one didn't have any info on it but the other two, particularly the sheepman, were originally quite pricy


today's squash harvest which I will share with the bicycle posse later today
Steve picked these while I was gone. Probably the first thing he has picked in his life, city boy as he is. Note size of squash compared to his hand

Storms are skirting north of us per usual. We must have an invisible shield around us that repels rain. Thursday's storms blew right by; yesterday's storm sprinkled for 2 minutes. It is pouring a mile north of us. Still the constant  thunder made me nervous to venture too far from home on my run today.

We are to have a pool party today with the bicycle posse. Our hostess lives right in the thick of the storm belt NW of me. Still it can't rain every second that we are there and we will be near shelter. And it should be fun even if we aren't in the pool.

A man who lives about 2 miles from me buys up small estates and resales them every 2 weeks in his barn. Most of the stuff is quite junky but I have found a few nice things. The dolls I bought yesterday were especially a good deal. One of Steve's favorite shows is Antique Roadshow, puzzling as he never had antiques aside from his comic book and baseball card collections. Hs has learned never to take labels off though. While looking over my shoulder while I was looking up Sheepman, he said, Don't take that label off!

I have uploaded Maya's  DNA to Promethease, which is an ever expanding database that keeps track of what genes influence one's health and appearance. Most conditions are quite multigene controlled. They have about 10 genes identified for hair curliness alone (and there are probably more not identified) I seem to have all ten of them for hair straightness. Still lots of bugs in the system as Maya's eye color was predicted to be green ( I am sure she has lots of genes for that) but she has dark brown eyes. Naomi had fun going through the predictions, 3 genes for small breasts, for example.

One set of genes not covered are the BRAC1and 2 gene deletions.  Naomi's health care provider seemed quite concerned that she was Jewish, had a mom with TNBC, and a grandmother and great aunt with BC (ER+ and late in life). When I had it, I was deemed too old to be worried and not Jewish enough (1-2% doesn't count) but guidelines have changed. Naomi has much better insurance than meand the provider really thinks she should do it. And of course there is Shanna and three (for now) granddaughters whose health is on the line.

Friday, July 29, 2016

A snake in the garden

double petalled cosmos opened up Planted from seed. Rabbits ate most of the seedlings
front garden
zinnia
leopard lily
yellow shrimp plant with cigar plant in background
cleome
After waiting 3 days for them to turn red, I assumed orange is their final color. These came up all my themselves
new aperitif glasses

Unless I aerate the small pond regularly, mosquitos will grow in it though this year has been so dry, I haven't seen any. I was thrilled when the two frogs showed up as they would eat any larvae and also the grandkids like them. Two nights ago, Steve found a garter snake slithering back and forth in the pond. It probably ate the smaller frog. The large frog was seen hopping away from our pond to look for a snake free environment. The snake is now gone too.

I am still recovering from the bike ride and hesitant to ride much though I did get the bike together again, a miracle in itself. We, the 4 person bicycle posse, were to get together last night for a ride near Josh's house but the threat of rain stopped that. Since my friend's bike carrier was destroyed going to the bike ride and I don't relish taking my bike apart and putting it together, I spent a lot of time installing a bike carrier I got years before but never used. Instead, we are going to have a swimming party tomorrow, more up to my low energy level.

And it's been so hot. Rain keeps missing us. We sat on the porch late last night with our mules watching heat lightning in the distance. Instead of being vertical, sharp silvery lines arced across the sky. Very beautiful. And fireflies lit up the yard in between lightning displays.

I've been busy. Lunch yesterday with my friend recovering from the stem cell transplant, a friend over last night and later this afternoon, another friend comes by. Tomorrow our pool party. Soon I will be off to the East Coast for more fun.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Roots

Above are the various African areas that Maya's ancestors come from. Based on this, her father is 86% African and the rest European.  Maya's European part that doesn't come from Steve and me appears to be from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) What she is not is Native American though her paternal grandmother swears this is so. Her father asked how he could find out his background. Um..multiply all of Maya's African parts by 2 and there you go. Must do more reading. I thought the English grabbed slaves from Ghana to bring here and the Portuguese grabbed Nigerians to bring to Brazil (and about 100 fold more than the English)
Tessa and Maya enjoying a popsicle
some of her European roots shining through

Recently I was reading a blog of a white adoptive mom of an African- American girl being raised in a black neighborhood in NY. The mom's white friends tell her Oh you should just let her hair be natural. Black little girls look so cute with their ringlets cascading down....

But do the other black little girls in that neighborhood have their hair in  Afros? Apparently not. They are in tight braids. Maya often comes back from a weekend with her aunts with her hair in tight braids and part of me is disappointed because yes, she does look cuter to me with that mass of curls. Are Ann Arbor black girls the same as the ones in New York? I don't know. If we want her not to stick out as a girl obviously raised by white folks, I guess we should pay attention. The other little black girl in her class is raised by an adoptive mom (who looks my age) has her hair in very loose braids or lumps.

As for the adoptive mom in New York, she doesn't have the skill set to do her daughter's hair but finds others to do it. Eventually Maya will learn from her peers how she should wear her hair. Right now, she is focusing on clothes: the shinier and sparklier the better.

In a neighboring county, someone put up a sign
Make our county white again

Geez.  Presumably it was a joke, a take on Trump's slogan\

Make America great again

Which means what? More white? Less Mexican? More Jim Crow?  No women voting? Less caring for the old and the sick? What time period were we greater? The end of the 19th century with child labor and all the wealth in 5 men's hands?

Trump is appealing to the evil that isn't buried too deep inside of us. Before Trump, I bet that man would not have dared put that sign up but now, it is AOK as that is what the presidential candidate presumably feels.

And I fear for my family: part black, part Asian, part Jewish, part Arab, part gay..groups that certain white men love to hate and some of them find a religion to justify it.


Monday, July 25, 2016

The big ride continued

A newly hatched cicada on our bags. I love its gossamer wings. Although we heard cicadas, bugs weren't much of a problem while camping though we saw horse flies near the river we camped by
Our bicycle posse in Saugatuck. The larger woman was a grad student who worked with my friend is  in the yellow vest. Her excess weight was very hard to haul up those hills. I know the excess I have certainly is and I have less. The dark haired woman in back is our new friend. I am dubbing her The Maltese Lost .She is Maltese. On the first day, she followed a different ride's markings and ended up 35 miles away from where we were supposed to go. She hadn't taken the map book, had no idea where she was, and was out of water. She didn't have the HELP number in her phone. She did know that we were camping outside of Hart and called the campsite on her few remaining moments of her phone (no charger either). They had no idea what she was talking about (I need a sag!!!) but eventually connected her with one of the ride's organizers who rescued her.
one of the many sculptures along the Berry Trail

Berry trail outside of Whitehall

roller coaster at Michigan Adventure
Ships docked in Muskegon Bay


On the 2nd day, we ate lunch in Fremont at a reasonable time for a change. Fremont is home of the Gerber baby food company. Just as I was thinking that I hadn't needed to walk up any hills much less use the lower chain ring, we hit Newago where we had to go up a very steep hill from a standing start only to have to go down a hair raising steep hill to the water where our camping supplies were left. We set the tent right next to the water. As it turned out, all the facilities were on top of the hill where we were supposed to camp but due to some miscommunication, the stuff was dropped off in the wrong place. No one was eager to take down their tents and set them up again.. Putting them up once  is energy sucking enough when you have been riding all day. No bathrooms but there was the Muskegon river right there. Cool, clear and swiftly moving. Soon most of the riders were sitting in the river. Wish I took a photo of that. The cold water felt so good. Someone asked me the time. My display was blank. This watch, not old at all, was supposed to be waterproof to 100m and it leaked at 6 inches. $%#!!!

Later we took a moonlit (full moon that night which looked cool but I didn't want my phone wet) kayak trip on the river ending at our campsite. Was it wise to paddle in a river in the dark with many obstacles? It was light when we started but we were out there 2.5 hours. Many kingfishers darted in front of us hunting bugs. I thought I saw an eagle soar by. Early in the ride, we were to pull up on an island and roast marshmallows for s'mores but the current was so swift, we almost missed the landing. Someone had grabbed our rope to haul us in. I knew the water was swift near our final landing and obsessed about missing it. We were totally wet from inefficient paddling. We had been given a choice between canoes or kayaks. I am a much more experienced canoer but my friend wanted the kayak. In the low water areas, perhaps the kayak will be better. Also safer in rapids. Still we had different styles of paddling with her trying to control the direction by back paddling (putting on the brakes) whereas I would just change sides. As I had those 2 months in which I was not to lift more than 5 lbs after my surgery and then I didn't go out to the Y to lift like I usually do in the winter, my upper body wasn't as strong as it usually is. I was plenty sore that night. The DNR wouldn't let us bring the shower truck down but agreed to let us have a few bathrooms. At dinner someone asked if I had taken a shower. No, didn't want to walk up the mountain for a mile. Why ...do I stink? No not at all but you still have your bicycling clothes on. I told her I washed off in the river.

Day 3: Newago to Comstock Park 50 miles. This was probably our easiest day aside from the beach day as the 2nd half  was on a smooth downhill path that was well shaded. I had taken this trail unpaved in the opposite direction (uphill!) with Josh, his buddy and his buddy's mother (very hard on her;she never came again). We stopped in Rockford, a very cutesy town full of galleries  and good restaurants to have an excellent lunch. We camped at a school in Comstock Park, right on the northern edge of Grand Rapids, Michigan's second city. We were bussed to Whitecap Stadium, which is a triple A team associated with the Tigers. Seems like they had quite a crowd. Little girls wearing princess costumes got in free and got tiaras. We had a BBQ on the upper deck during warm-ups for both teams. I had a giant grapefruit shandy, not nearly as good as the one from the fancy brewery that I forgot the name of. It was fun but unless we bought a baseball ticket ($5), we were kicked out and bused back by an obnoxious Trump supporter ranting on and on about socialism then demanding a tip so he could have a living wage. Not on your life, buddy. See how Trump will take care of the 'little ' man. Our new friends lay under the trees talking about this and that until dark. Everytime the Whitecaps scored, there would be fireworks especially when a three run homer was knocked in.

Funny story told by a new friend. He owns an Amazon parrot that has an extensive vocabulary and knows when to use his words. He is also moody sometimes and wants to be left alone or he will bite. But he will warn before biting. Hurt Momma or Hurt Daddy depending  on who it is. His voice sounds that of a child. They took him camping and the parrot was hormonal again warning them repeatedly he wanted his space. To someone walking by, it sounded to them like a child was pleading not to be hurt over and over. Soon a cop showed up wanting to see the child. There is no child, just a parrot in a bad mood.

Day 4: Comstock Park to Holland: 55 miles. This day was the hardest due to high heat and humidity and lack of shade and water. It started off fine winding through Grand Rapids Parks along the Grand River and through the downtown area at rush hour. I whiled away the miles talking to the Maltese Lost. They had us cycle too long through a nature preserve that I ended up even doing more miles as I missed a turn. Soon we were out in the country in the static, moist air with unrelenting sun beating on us. They advertised sag stops (to pick up water) every 15 miles but it was almost 25 miles if not more since I had been at one. Do I drink the warmer than piss 2 inches of water I have left? I stopped in the only bit of shade to consult the map to see how long I'd have to make it last. Unfortunately I failed to notice a steep hill that I didn't have the momentum to get off and started to walk. When you are riding, you get a bit of a breeze. None of that while walking. I felt weak and unable to get back on the bike. Someone stopped and gave me fresh water so I could go the next 2 miles to the sag where I rested a long while. Once I started up again, I noticed it was getting cloudy. Good.by the time I got to the third sag in the middle of no where.  the storm warnings were blaring over the radio for 2 separate storms. We were able to get to shelter fairly quickly for both of them. A third storm was to hit us late at night. As I set the tent up under a tree, it could be hit by lightning. We were advised to sleep inside of the school which turned out to be awful as they shut the air conditioning off and the motion sensing lights were easily triggered. But I had good wifi for a change. We had gone back to downtown Holland that evening which was chock full of people attracted by the many street performers. We hit the breweries per usual.

Day 5: Holland to Saugatuck to Fennville: 25 miles. Our easy-peesy beach day. We were given the choice between 100, 50 or 22 miles. With the detour to the beach, that made it 25 miles. We slept in a little, walked around the artsy town of Saugatuck where Steve and I stayed right before my surgery in December Then we spent a relaxing day at the beach jumping into the waves of Lake Michigan. Warmer than that spring fed river. The artisanal gelato maker visited the school before we had taken off to downtown Fennville for yet more drinking. Toasted coconut almond fudge. Yum.

Day 6: Fennville to Fruitport 50 miles. 95 degrees at the finish though the last 10 miles were in the shade and the humidity was low. We were presumably riding along the Lake Michigan coast yet it was not visible at all. A disappointment. And just as we were almost finished, the markings were so bad, almost everyone got lost. I was going back and forth in circles for awhile cursing the organizer. Finally a pack of riders told me to join in as they knew the way. Gradually this pack morphed into just two of us. Finally he asked me Are we on the right road? I thought you knew the way! Nope just following the crowd. But in the distance I could see one of the rare markers so we were OK. I did save him from blowing by the last turn.

294 miles later, we were done. Twenty miles more than last year though a bit less than the year before. We ate at the nice restaurant in Spring Lake that my cousin had taken me to 2 months ago and then on the road again. But this time in a car.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The big ride

Collage made from moss at our fancy farm-tp -table restaurant the last night
Cute frog bench at the Hop-In. Unfortunately they could only serve us Bud Light so onto the next bar where we wee seated on wooden versions of bicycles seats (ow!!) until we could get real chairs
Douglas Beach. I gave the ladies the choice of big, beautiful Oval Beach, pictured on sidebar of favorite places, that involved going over and back Mt. Baldy, or a small beach involving very little hills. They chose the flat option. The rides's theme was Beaches and Brews but we were given very little guidance how to get to them. Thus the only rider there were the ones we gave directions to. Fortunately I know the area well

One of the ladies needed beach supplies. I chose not to take a backpack this year as they get so hot and heavy but on beach day I had to carry supplies in a series of plastic bags threaded through my fanny bag belt. The ride from the grocery used to purchase beach food was only a mile downhill. I looked silly but too bad.
Beautiful sky greeted us after a day and night of storms. Weird reflections due to it being through a window.

The last storm we were informed about through a series of blaring bullhorns urging us to take cover immediately in the school  at night didn't involve much rain but the wind broke one of the poles. We still needed the tent the next night. Duct tape alone didn't fix things  but a splint involving a suitably curved tree branch plus duct tape did the trick. Clever?


It's been a week since we left for the Big Ride. 294 miles on the odometer, which is way more than advertised plus additional miles put in due to very poor markings, etc and last minute detours. We had a new ride director this year chosen amongst many for her people skills and ability to form corporate connections. Unfortunately she is not a bike rider so she guessed wrongly what was necessary (water, good road markings, information on what was coming up). On very hot days, the bikers want to leave as early as possible to take advantage of the cool so we want an early breakfast, but from her standpoint, who wants to eat so early? So immediately she was off to a bad start though towards the end, breakfast times were adjusted after much whining. Still people are carrying a grudge vowing never to return. When you are hot, dehydrated and tired, crabbiness sets in quickly. Yesterday I followed an arrow pointing to a restroom that I needed badly. I biked and biked. Finally I asked a walker if there was a restroom down there. Nope. I went in the bushes (classy but I was desperate) and went back to the ride. There was a sag stop (for water) a half mile ahead. I complained to a volunteer. Yep others had complained too. Then why was the f@@@king sign still there? Oh too busy to take it down.

I had 1100 miles on my legs this year before the ride. Was I prepared? Well I didn't get as saddle sore and get various muscle aches that I would have without training. But I had done my rides very early in the morning usually so my body was not prepared for the intense heat. I did do a 21 miler in 90 degree heat that totally sapped me a few weeks ago. Should have known better. And my body started behaving strangely. I noticed I rarely had to pee despite drinking lots of water. Convenient when the bathrooms were far between or far to walk to in the middle of the night. I should be peeing so I drank more and more. I assumed I was sweating it out. After a shower one day, I tried to squeeze into pants that usually are quite loose. I couldn't zip them up. WTF! Did Steve use extra hot water to wash them? Did I suddenly become obese despite little food (way less than I usually snarf  down...food shortages were another issue)I happened to look at my face. All my wrinkles were gone  and my eyes were puffy though I had no eye infection. My feet were swollen too making shoes instruments of torture. I morphed into a water balloon. For some reason even though the heat was still there (and then some) on the last night, the decompressing started with bathroom trips in the middle of the night (stumbling on tents staked (ow!^&$%^!) in front of the school's entrance (note to our na├»ve director: need a clear, safe path..you have the police tape) continuing into the ride all day yesterday (need a bathroom NOW and then finding the one advertised did not exist) and into last night and today where I am quite close, thank-you very much, to relief. My unlovely pruneface has reappeared though my fingers still are sausage like. By tomorrow, I will be normal. Maybe.

I have not taken a break since the first Sunday in April. A storm is going to happen soon (yay! we need rain). I was thinking about going to the Art Fair, which I have missed for the past 5 years due to the ride but I will be resting all day. Also need to be near a john

The ride had its many ups and downs literally and figuratively though smaller and less hills than way up north where the last 4 rides have been. Lots of time to reflect; lots of time for some negative thinking  (how I have declined!)and reminders for the self to live in the moment, not in the future where I was not riding. At one point, I was riding through some nature preserve quite alone among the rushes and finally a 13 year old rider appeared. I told him Good, I thought everyone left me behind. No he said, most everyone is behind you. I thought the sweet boy was just trying to make me feel better but he was probably right. How many 60 something women can ride 300 miles in 6 days? The positive self tells me. Negative self says, look how slow you are now when you got trophies in time trials before. Older people  and fatter people are passing you. Even your friend, with little training refuses to wait for you (which of course pisses me off. I would have waited for her. My sometimes riding buddy, Rastaman, is 10 years younger than I and rides much more could easily beat me in a race but will go at my pace because he doesn't see the hurry. When I ride with Soulmate in a few weeks up and down the Delaware and NJ coasts, I know I will have to slow down for him)
The forecast was 90% severe storms in the area we would be camping the first night 5 miles north of where my cousin lives. Would she invite us to spend the night? Seems rude to ask and besides my other cousin might be staying there to look after his father, my uncle, whose medical issues are getting severe which was more important than women who didn't want to put up a tent in the rain. Turns out the bad storm hit early, not good for the 2 day riders, leaving only a stiff wind which wrecked the bike carrier and later my rain fly.. At one point she couldn't see her bike and we imagined it smashed to pieces under semi tires on the freeway. It had hit the ground messing up the brakes but was repaired by the tour's bike lady overnight. I had to take my bike apart into pieces to fit inside her car (fortunately, a very helpful rider helped me put it back together..it is currently in pieces again)

I had expected only to have a drink with my cousin but she had dinner prepared for us. My uncle's condition had improved so my other cousin returned to the east side of the state before we got there. And my aunt was there waiting for me looking so much like my mother (dead now for 9 years), it was a bit eerie. From my genealogy searches, I had a photo of her grandmother (yep that's her all right) but the photo of said great grandmother with a bunch of grandchildren, she didn't think any were of her. Though she's the oldest child, she had plenty of cousins that were much older. Blueberry season has started in Western Michigan. Plenty of big freshly picked berries by my cousin for us. Plenty of craft beers in the fridge for us. It was nice. My cousin and my friend had yoga and sewing in common with my cousin doing hers on a paddleboard on the lake she lives on. Lots of grandma, aunt and cousin art on the wall (there are artistic and musical genes that seemed to bypass my mom) In the end, it appeared that though the storms were passed, their door would be open for us to return if need be.

The stiff wind made it difficult to put the tent up. The clips that hold the fly to the tent snapped off in the wind so we had to affix them another way. Then the shock cording broke a few nights later on the fly part. No problem. Just need to put the poles together manually but later in the week, a fiberglass pole shattered. See temporary fix above with duct tape and tree branch. Might be time for a new tent. It had a lot of use (and abuse) over the past 25 years.
We met up with a few friendly people that night. Most of the riders are quite talkative. We made a new permanent friend who lives an hour away and already have plans with her. She rode and ate with us most of the week . We had seen her on earlier rides and had lots of interesting talks over the miles and miles and miles.

Favorite conversation starter? Where were you when the storms hit? On Thursday, between Grand Rapids and Holland, two storm cells developed early in the afternoon. The air had been oppressively hot and heavy. Out in the wilderness, at our third sag, I could hear the weather warnings and didn't want to be stranded in that nature preserve. I thought we had 20 minutes before the first cell and told my friends as soon as they got there, we needed to leave immediately to get to the populated part ASAP. The hail and horizontal rain hit just as were in front of a gas station/ convenience store. That cell was skinny but a much bigger one was coming. I thought we could make it to downtown Holland in 25 minutes or so. We almost made it with just a block to go before our target restaurant. Still in that 5 minutes, we were totally drenched. We went from unbearably hot to cold just like that. Where did we want to sit? Where there was the least amount of air conditioning. When we apologized for being so disheveled (dirt splashed on us from the first storm, she said No matter, she was disgusting TOO. (hot and sweaty)

During one storm, one woman saw lightning hit the ground very close to her and noticed an open garage and immediately went in. Startled homeowners pulled in soon after to find her huddled in their garage but were very understanding and invited her in for something to drink. Some found barns to hide in. Others in a library in a very small town that I had bypassed.

One positive feature of the ride that was kept was the coffee lady. At 4 am, she starts firing up the burners to make her gourmet coffee. Her official opening time is 5:30 am but often at 5, she will have some ready. I keep a huge plastic mug to bring there. Riders gather there to gossip about the route. I learned more from them than from the official route guide.

Before breakfast, I wash and dress. Afterwards pack up the gear. We are allowed 2 bags apiece. Each of us had a personal bag but then needed two bags for the tent, pads and sleeping bags. We load them onto a truck that takes them to the next stop where they are thrown onto blacktop for us to pick up. The heat this year caused my deodorant and my Vitamin D capsules to melt. They did put a tarp over the bags during the rain but some of my bags got wet anyway. Packing clothes and everything else in giant ziplock bags is necessary. Even without rain, the dew causes everything to be damp.

First day: Fruitport to Hart: 62.5 miles due to a detour adding on 4 miles to the route. We spent too many of these miles in Muskegon, an industrial town on a sidewalk bicycle path that we had to stop many times on due to turning traffic and many lights. Not pleasant nor was it marked. Then we doubled back along the water, which was much more pleasant and recently improved.


Then along the shore in North Muskegon, a much more upscale area with expensive houses along the water with beautiful gardens and big shady trees. Onto the pretty Berry Junction Trail whose tail end weaved through woods and sculpture gardens towards the Whitehall side. By that time, I was hungry and wanted to eat in Montague at 40 miles or so but my friend wasn't hungry. I ate my one allotted Kind bar (they got more generous as the week progressed) and sighed. I agreed to wait until Mile 52.5 (very long) to outside New Era, Country Farm, a very popular place. A young man checking us in extolled the milk. For $1, you can drink all you want and he was able to guzzle down a gallon. Well I had the chocolate milk which was so rick and creamy, it tasted like a milkshake. They served sandwiches and pizza too. It was a very late lunch so I was not hungry at dinner time. Just as well as we were served some disgusting version of Shepherd's pie.
The 33 mile Hart- Montague trail is the first rail-trail in Michigan. It was just recently repaved so it was very smooth. I had been on it years before with Josh.
We camped in a county park outside of Hart on a lake. After dinner, we walked to town to find beer at the Pour House sitting outside enjoying the musicians on the lake brought in for our benefit and meeting new friends. A pleasant night.

Day 2: Hart to Newago 52 miles. Still sunny and warm. We backtracked on the smooth trail past the Country Dairy and then went uphill (hadn't seen a hill until then) inland and east. Still I didn't need to get out of my 2nd chain ring. An ambulance blew by us outside Fremont. Hope it isn't one of us. But it was. The director of the Michigan Greenways who this ride is the chief fundraiser for. Also she lived on the same street as I did from 5th grade to graduating high school and is my Facebook buddy. She hit a large pothole hard on a downhill and went flying off her bike face first with no time to protect her face. As she kept repeating It happened so fast, they assumed she had a concussion. She broke her cheek bone and had black eyes but otherwise was OK. I talked to her two days later. She seemed to be mostly recovered except for the bruising.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Taking refuge

flights of beer in Holland Thursday night. We found beer every night except the night we were kayaking

Trail bridge in Grand Rapids. Years ago, Josh's friend's mother became separated from us around this bridge. We waited re forever

Warm-up of the Whitecaps versus Peoria No we didn't stay for the game. Dinner was a BBQ on the Upper Deck

bathroom door at Ramona's in Rockford

moon at sunrise at Muskegon River in Newago

our campsite

Amish around Fremont MI

Lake we camped by in Hart

Country Dairy New Era. All the milk you can drink for a dollar

sculptures on trail near Whitehall

Muskegon waterfront

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Pool day

Allie after getting out of the pool, which she did not want to do
floating in her ladybug.She was very tentative in the beginning clinging to Josh for dear life but gradually relaxed
I put a bunch of zinnia seeds in the calla lily pot, which are way past their prime. Lots of zinnias though
I have several types of day lilies
petunias

this front garden will peak while I am gone with blazing stars and tiger lilies
first of the sun flowers
lily or day lily? Despite its name (leopard lily), it is an iris

Each day I knocked off one big chore to get ready for the bike trip.
Friday: Communal camping equipment spread out in 2 bags. My friend helped me with this. I never got around to putting the tent away last year. Now it is  in a bag.
Saturday: clothes.
Today: toiletry, bike equipment, repacked waterproof wallet

I have checked all my lists. Hopefully I have not forgotten anything. It is supposed to rain tonight where we are camping. Will my cousin, just 5 miles away take pity on us and let us stay with  her? We are visiting her ahead of time

Water woes. Two weeks ago, we were suddenly without water. Despite it being a holiday weekend, we got the well people to come out. Broken switch. Ten days later, same thing happened. The replaced switch was faulty and replaced again. Then yesterday, just as I needed to take a shower, no water again!!!! Do I interrupt Shanna's special weekend to go over to take a shower? Fortunately, it came back on after a half hour all by itself but since it died while the sprinkler system was on, Steve doesn't want to use that again until it is checked out thoroughly. Will my many gardens get watered while I am gone? I hope so. We do have hoses.

I asked him if he will miss me. Only in that I would be the one watering the flowers and feeding the birds.
I divided up most of the squash between the kids because he will not cook it. I showed him what vegetables should be ripe.

The condo complex where we own a condo that Naomi 'rents' (at least it is appreciating in value) has a wonderful pool, which was a 2 minute walk from my old house. Allie went swimming there yesterday with her parents, It was nice just sitting at the edge of the pool with my legs in the cool, blue water. As it was only in the 70s, no one else was at the pool.

In an hour I will leave for the big bike trip. I might be able to post photos occasionally. We wll be in campgrounds 2 of the nights which probably lack wifi.

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