I have been going around with this one for a while.
I thought I had it with a lovely photo taken last year of Quaking Aspens.
Eldest Daughter nixed that, saying 'Lame-o'. She gave me a list of Q words, from quasimodo to quell to quicksand, none of which I could portray with photographs.
But spellcheck kept trying to change one of those Q words to 'quart', which reminded me of a particular Friends episode. The Offspring then thought is would be a good idea for me to imitate Joey doing this:
But I am not so wasteful as that. (Even if I was a little bit tempted...but what a mess it would make...but still the Offspring would be so surprised...but practicality won out.)
Quilt I used last year, quandry, query, quarter, quote, quotidienne, quality... all Q but how does one illustrate these concepts?
Then Lovely StepDaughter sent her Utah photos, where there was this one. Taken by request of Eldest, of Dearest Sister and I with our new cameras.
Here we are, the quintessential photo...of being photographed..while photographing...
No more quibbling, even if hers is the step above mine. Lots of cameras made for wonderful photos, and digital made for immediate gratification.
I spent a lot of years listening to, and following, the advice of others.
Some of that came from a lack of confidence, the disbelief that I could know what was best to do. Some of it came from a perverse way of escaping responsibility. Failing while doing what someone else told me to do kept the failure less mine, I think. A third piece was that, in general, we hear people share a slice of what’s going on, and believe they are asking for help. And generous souls that we are, we are willing to offer a fix.
With the dee-vorce, and subsequent period of self-growthy-ness, I came to the understanding that I not only could, but needed to, follow my own instincts in figuring out what I needed to do in any given situation. Very difficult to establish these new habit patterns after years of doing it differently.
Understandably petrifying to try. Incredibly self-esteeming to do.
It was very helpful that my 12-step group supports its members in this fashion. We put our stuff out there and others listen. That is all, just listen. Someone may share their own experience, strength, and hope that may relate, but never in a manner that tell the other what they ‘should do’. Never in giving advice.
I got used to that, of sharing with that kind of people, those that would listen, really listen without giving advice. Just hearing my feelings and my experience for what it was.
It’s a gift. And maybe not so much the habit of the real world.
I remember going to work one morning and visiting with a co-worker, whom I liked a lot. We had kids about the same ages. She had been very supportive through my way-down-lows of the dee-vorce. I admired a lot about her life survival skills. And her life was that…a story of survival. This morning I was telling her of something one of the daughters had done that had perhaps illustrated a bit of a lack of judgment and/or maturity.
She listened. Then she started with, “Well, what you need to do (pointing her finger at me) is to tell her…”
There was a time in my life when I might have listened with grave attentiveness.
At this point I had reached a place where I was sort of taken aback. And recognizing why was a victory in itself.
Well meaning and loving people still give advice, and some is very good advice indeed. And sometimes, probably way too often, I offer it, much to the Offspring’s chagrin.
I still maintain that sometimes the best gift given is that of just listening, of hearing what one has to say.
On my last trip out of town, much to the amusement of the Offspring, my really cool phone was…er….given a drink of water.
This trip, there was going to be no carrying of the phone in pockets. The new camera was going to be carefully tended to. Smarts we have, and these smarts we were going to use.
There was fun with the Eldest Daughter ‘hacking’ the blog password. Not really so tough. See, I am not terrible creative with the password I use for the things that ‘really don’t matter’.
Seriously. I trust the Offspring. And we all had a good laugh.
And that afternoon, upon my return to the room from swimming with Grandbebe Girl, Youngest Daughter says, “I was just going to text Eldest to get your computer password so I can check my email…”
Haha, isn’t that funny! Texting the east coast from Utah, when I am 3 floors down...but no need now, see, because I was there, and I proceed to…not be able to get into my computer.
Computer says my password is wrong. Check caps lock. Try again. What the…
I don’t get it. Try try again. And again. And against all logic, continue to try the same thing over and over and over. (Because sometimes it does work with computers…unlike in real life…)
But, alas, to no avail. Something...corruptive...has happened and I am unable to get into my computer. I use the other computers available and do some searching for some solutions and am frustrated by what I find to be the solutions. Doable, but frustrating.
Going to have to wait until I get home. Probably going to have to do a recovery. Probably not a terribly big deal, but still….why is it always something…
Stupid password…stupid computers…stupid technology…that I love...
Seriously. In the hotel room? 3 laptops, 4 cell phones, and 5 cameras. Five cameras? Yes, five…3 point and shoots, and 2 dSLRS…mine and the even more brand frikkin’ new one the Sister’s Mister gave to her at lunch the day she came to see us…the 'big sister' of mine! (…I still cannot even believe that!)
Anyway. Upon my arrival home, I begin to tell Wonderful Guy the Sad Story, and he says, ‘well, start it up.’ So I did. And he sits down and starts to log on.
And as he does so, I remember…
My real computer password.
Not the one I tried forty seven times in a row convinced without a doubt that it was it.
Not the password I use for ‘most things that don’t really matter’.
That I tried to use over and over and over again.
Yes. I am that girl.
Then Wonderful Guy turns to me and says, ‘Anything else need fixin’?’
Every one is home now. And all is accounted for. Every toe and finger!
I have had a time of it. For five whole days, I was this one's second favorite person.
And this bebe momma deserves kudos for packing up her bebe 11 day after delivery, and traveling 450 miles with me, just to be with her sister. And doing it brilliantly.
Lovely Step Daughter 'stepped' right in and took care of whoever needed caring for.
The newest bebe momma knows how much I love her now.
Dearest Sister and I had a blast, with no need to share a bebe. We each could have our own...so to speak.
Like I said...she 'stepped' right in, and seemed to enjoy it. But these bebes? They make it soooo easy.
Honest. No one planned to dress them alike. Little Strawberry Shortcakes...
Other attire included hand embroidered onesies, gifted to the newborns by Dearest Sister.
There was also the Utah bebe shower, post bebe, and us Coloradoans, and Nevadans crashed it, as it were. This time I brought hand knits.
Other extracurricular activities included some sight seeing. Here we have the Great Salt Lake. Now we can say we saw it.
Also Dearest Sister and I had the opportunity to meet up in real life with some blogger people I have come to know through their blogs and their comments on mine. What a great experience that was. Thanks so much, Wunx and Kate, for the 3. Hour. Breakfast! Time flies when I am having fun. We will do it again when next I am in Utah to check on GB3. Dearest Sister and I had a blast meeting you.
Eldest Daughter: Whatever...I know the password you use for everything...Old lady memory that you have....
So I am working hard on a real post in a dark motel room, texting one daughter in the hospital about why Aunt Dearest isn't getting here before 11PM, and listening to the sleeping sounds of the grandbebes, and emailing Eldest Daughter about stuff that doesn't matter apparently because it is just to throw me off while she hacks into my blogger account....
The evidence...of something...I am not sure what....but it might be something to do with family.
I am posting a new photo, a smooshier face one, because Eldest Daughter complained about my choice of yesterdays. I told her I was working with what I had. She threatened to swipe my password and take over my blog. This is what I deal with.
Daily. Impertinent daughters.
Last evening, upon leaving the hospital with Youngest Daughter, Grandbebe Girl, and Grandbebe Two, we were chased down by a nurse type person. (Dressed in scrubs type, and with plastic id cards around her neck. I suppose she could have been anything!)
"Mam, did you just have that baby?" (she was not asking me...)
Youngest replied, 'about 11 days ago', whereupon we showed the brew fest band.
On entering the 'bebe halls', with one's own bebe, the new bebe gets tagged. With one of those wrist bands one might get at an all day brewfest to show one has paid for free beer all day.
The band shows that we brought our own bebe, and aren't leaving with one we shouldn't be leaving with, I suppose, even though, I think this person might have thought Youngest was leaving after birth without permission...like...'I have had enough and am blowing this joint!'
Anyway. Woman In The Scrubs With ID Tags was assured after seeing the brewfest band and let us proceed with bebes intact. We are glad that they are doing their job, and that no one is going to be able to walk out of there with our Grandbebe Bean...
Sounds like Middle Daughter and Grandbebe Bean (who has a real name now, but I am thinking is going to stay Bean in my heart for a while) is going to go home tomorrow. A far cry from night before last. The women in this family have a remarkable power to bounce back.
I am having a ball with Grandbebe Girl, and Grandbebe Two. So much one on one time I have not had with them, surrounded as we are by so many other 'favorite people' where we live, and distractions galore. Here I am one known entity.
And I am loving it! At least until Aunt Lovely Step Daughter and Greatest Aunt Dearest Sister show up tonight.
Doc says if tests show Bebe Bean's lungs are ready, birthin' will happen tonight. Otherwise, bebe will happen on Thursday, at 34 weeks.
What am I doing? I really don't know yet, except waiting to hear.
Then I will head up there.
How? I don't know.
Remember Dearest Sister's visit? She may head up to SLC to participate in the events. We were just talking about how we used to not have any August birthdays in the family. Now it's a big birthday month!
Thanks for the good thoughts, folks. Keep 'em coming, please.
A year ago, we bought new bathroom scales. Wonderful Guy determined he needed a more accurate reading than my old fashioned scales gave in their relative approximation. Relative approximation worked just fine for me. Relative approximation was...friendly.
The shiny new digital scales were decidedly unfriendly to me. This new evil thing came into our home and was set up in the evening after a dinner out. I stood on the screaming mean beast to see that it was working, after it was all programmed (programmed!) and…
The reading was more than my old friendly scales had ever told me I had weighed. This was beyond being comfortable with who I was and where I was at age-wise. All rationalization aside, this trend had to be stopped.
I cannot tell you all what I did differently or changed. I continued to exercise 5-6 days a weeks pretty vigorously, walking, bicycling, either in (stationary bike/elliptical) or out, for at least 30-45 minutes. Often longer. And I know what ‘they’say, but I had picked up eating breakfast as part of ‘healthy start’ to my day. I had not done that before, and I dropped that now, returning to past habit.
I quit eating cottage cheese at lunch, which I had been having only ¼ cup every day. I cut out the evening snackage, almost completely. Not all, but by and large, I seldom eat after finishing dinner. And I watch my portions. I seriously watch my portions. I quit eating when I was full. I tried to eat at home whenever possible, avoiding eating out. When I was out, I didn’t order when I wasn’t hungry, just because the opportunity was there. And I didn’t eat everything in sight.
Somehow this all added up. Or subtracted off, as it were. I noticed I dropped some pounds. And I continued to drop through Spring. Mostly.
I have reached a plateau that I have been at for months. It seems this is going to be my weight and I can live with it. I thought I would like to loose a few more, but mostly because that would make it a round number, and I like the tidiness of that. This has resulted in a whole lot of clothes fitting me better (older clothes I hung on to) and a lot of others being just a bit too big (which are now dried in the dryer).
But this plateau? It takes work! Always with the portion control. Consistent with the exercise. And vigilance. I will gain a pound or two just. Like. That.
If I drink a couple of glasses of milk? (2% - that was another change I made about 4 years ago, use to always – ALWAYS drink whole milk….I love milk!) That will do it.
Scarf down some rolls with butter with a meal when out? Might as well just tuck them into the waist band.
Drink a margherita? (And I just love a good Margie.) Well, I will be wearing Lake Superior in water wgt the next morning…2 lbs easy. Seriously.
Talking to an old college friend a few months back, she said ‘remember when, if we wanted to lose a couple pounds, we would just skip lunch?’
Not anymore, girlfriend. Not anymore.
And with this week's commuting, I have a total of 470 miles on the bike for the summer. For a total of 17,000 calories. The math of middle age metabolism is way off!
Tonight I am heading to the Grandbebe Two’s homestead with dinner. Not hers, of course, but for the parenting units. And Grandbebe Girl’s, too.
She loves her sister. For now, at least.
Dearest Sister is intent on helping me with Grandbebe Three’s quilt when she come to meet GB2 in 10 days. I best have it patched together, so that is next on the list. We have it all cut out. How hard will it be?
It is hard though. I have been trying to learn all about my new toy/camera, and it is complicated!
Way complicated!! But I am persevering, picking it up bit by bit. A little tweaking was required so I could download the RAW images in Adobe Elements, but I prevailed. And there lies the crux of the matter...it’s just not learning about the camera. It’s the additional editing opportunity, finding the photo ops, all of it.
I know. Just what I needed. Something else to fill up my time, and my head.
My new old job, as a temp (without benefits), has been extended through the end of the year. Yippee! The boss is working for the permanent w/ benefits approval. They like me! They really really like me!! I am just lovin’ it, too. Real work, a sense of accomplishment, learning and growing, being appreciated. It’s just a nice thing to get up to each morning.
My camera is scheduled to show up tomorrow. I bought a Canon EOS 1000D (Rebel). Verra, verra excited I am. It will probably show up while I am at work, and Wonderful Guy says he will have it all figured out by the time I get home. (He works from the house.) Without reading any instructions. That’s how he rolls. Not how I roll. One of the ways we are different. And he knows how saying that will get me. After all my research and thinking and weighing and shopping around…to think he will get to it first and open it…
Grandbebe Two has not made her entrance yet.
Dearest Sister has a trip planned to my fair city in just a few weeks. She will meet her newest grand-niece (who will surely be here by then!), help me with Quilt, the Third, and together we will visit a local quilt show. And visit. And laugh. There will be lots of laughing. There always is.
I clipped the ‘more than 400 miles’ mark on the bike with today’s commute, and yesterday I saw a very large, several pointed buck elk resting in a field on my ride home. It was enough to make me stop, get out my phone (which, btw, is still working!) and snap a photo.
I have also clipped the ‘more than 400 posts’ on the blog this week, and I am wondering if some change up might be due. I am wondering about the layout of the blog, but that is cosmetic, and I just don’t know about that. Fun, but maybe just fluff. Still thinking that one through. And I am thinking about a contest later this month. A new baby/ lot of running of the bloggery mouth/ general end of summer celebration give-away. I haven’t put that all together yet. (Maybe some catnip? I have plenty after all.)
But this is what I have been thinking of for changing for a while, and I think I am going to start doing now. I have seen, in other blogs, authors who respond to their commentors as a commentor. I don’t always remember which blogger I read does that, or to check back myself, nor do I always read all the comments made by others. I am sort of a ‘between me and you’ type. I tried to answer my commentors with an email or with a comment on their blog.
But then…things change. Opinions, tendencies, ways we do things, and the time we have to do those things…and I find that I am not getting my commentors responded to. I have taken to reading the comments besides my own on other blogs, and am finding interesting discoveries there. I want commentors who ask questions feel like they are answered (Lynne-see camera, above!), and I surely don’t need a whole post devoted to such. Plus answering a question pertaining to my post in a comment on about another’s post…is disconnected at best.
So. I am going to start commenting in my own comments…right back atcha! If you remember, check back for answers to your questions, and otherwise snappy repartee.
A while ago, I cut back the catnip that grows like crazy in the yard. This stuff gets seriously out of control, and if I didn’t have two old lady kittee grrlz that didn’t go goofy over the stuff, I probably wouldn’t have around.
But they do. So I have.
And I related how instead of trashing said harvest, I thought to try my hand at drying it for future…purpose, as the current ‘stash’ was diminishing. The mostly leaves and smallish stems have been down in the cool, dry, and darkish basement for lo, these several weeks, being turned regularly, and by regularly I mean whenever I remembered toss that particular salad.
Until this weekend.
Saturday I brought the catnip up and put my thinking cap on. How was I going to get that stuff cleaned up so the old lady kittee grrlz could enjoy themselves and we wouldn’t have dead leaves/stems on the carpet?
I scooped portions of the dried catnip leaves and stems into a large Ziploc and with both hands inside the bag, worked the stuff. It fell off the stems easily, and I was able to pick out the bigger stuff. PS I did this outside on the patio (under my new-ish pergola) (it was delightful!). I continued this first stage cleaning, adding additional leaves/stems to the stemless crumbled leaves until eventually all the dried stuff was a. mostly stemless b. mostly crumbled, and c. all in the Ziploc. I retrieved a colander and large 4 cup mix and pour from the kitchen. I aliquoted some of the 1st stage cleaned into the colander and worked it through into the measuring vessel with hands, then a cork, when my fingers were getting too much wear and tear. This broke down the leaves further and separated out the smaller stems.
This container? It has taken 9 years to use what filled it previously. (See the line of demarcation? My new stuff is green!) It took hardly any of this to fill that jar up. I have catnip to last til the cows come home.
I hope it’s good stuff. The girls like it well enough fresh.
Geezopeez! All from one harvest!!
Wonder what the neighbors would have thought if they saw me doing all that?!
Last Saturday, Wonderful Guy headed out early on the Bandit to meet a friend for breakfast. I chose to stay home, wanting and hoping to get some things finished up and off. my. list.
Well. I had a pretty good run at it.
The results of quilt, the second have been posted. And thank you all for your very kind and generous comments. Dearest Sister and I both appreciate your remarks.
Planted iris, which means I found places to plant eight different iris rhizomes. Not an easy thing at all in the yard, and still allow for maximum unimpeded lawn watering by the sprinklers, which is someone who shall remain nameless greatest concern. (Or so it seems.)
Six dishcloths were seamed. All caught up.
Two bebe sweaters had ends woven and were blocked. Seaming was completed last evening. Only fasteners remain.
I cleaned and stored the dried catnip and lavender.
There was a trip to the farmers market.
All the inside plants, and the outside container plants were watered and fed.
I caged the tomatoes.
I caught up on some paperwork for a group I chair.
The current book was finished.
I completed my research, and decided to change to a free internet security provider.
A call to Verizon resurrected the flushed phone when the battery arrived.
And we took a field trip to Mount Evans on Sunday.
It was a really, really good weekend.
And to top it all off?
I ordered the dSLR camera I have been jonesin’ for since last fall.
I hope I can wait ‘til it gets here…which ought to be Friday.
Apparently, the original plan, back in the day, was to connect Long's Peak, Mount Evans, and Pikes Peak, all fourteeners, with a peak to peak highway. For those not from Colorado, a fourteener is a peak above 14,000 feet. That's really pretty high. Above treeline, which is about 11,400 in these parts. Oxygen is...different up there. Like less. Noticeably less.
But I digress. Back to the Peak to Peak Highway. It proved to be unfeasible at the time, which was...I forget...back in the day...when the day was 1920? 1930? Up above treeline, weather can be brutal. It was 90F in Denver on Sunday. It was 50F at the summit. On August 2nd. Heat of the day. That's the middle of the alpine summer.
But gorgeous? Bee-yo-tee-full! (P.S. I swear that I did nothing to this photo but size it down a bit. Honest. The colors are as they were captured by my little point and shoot. It is a simple fact that the sky is bluer and the trees/grass is greener here in Colorado. I am sorry. It cannot be helped. Don't be hatin' me for it...)
And there are flowers! Kings Crown (or Queens...I can never keep them straight).
And we saw mountain goats! I have only seen real live mountain goats like these up in Glacier, and then with a telescope. These were just over a ridge off the road. Hard to see them, I know, and there is a baby! almost in the middle of the photo. The grownups were all sheddy and ratty looking. One of the coolest parts of the day. Seriously. (Lynne, these were the real thing!)
As we were walking back to the car, after the goat siting, I spied this, a Big-Rooted Spring Beauty. That's the for-real name.
We made it to the top...of this sign. No, really, we made it to the summit. How could we not. We were in the car! One other thing about the Mount Evans road...it's the highest paved road in North America.
It was this guy's shift to entertain the touristas. (noon to four, sit on the rock by the road and let them take pictures....what a job...) It's a marmot, and related to the groundhogs back east.
Artsy sky shot, just in case I couldn't get any closer to the alpine sunflower in the center.
But then I did! It's the largest of the alpine flowers, and stores up energy for...alot...of years before it finally blooms, sets seed, then that is all. Or so I read somewhere. I am pretty sure I am remembering that right.
Also in this patch of National Forest, there is the northern most stand of bristlecone pines in North America. These were cool. Really really old. Sloooo-ooow growing.
Best Dog Ever went with us. She enjoyed herself as much as we enjoyed ourselves. And we really truly did. It was a great experience.