Friday, June 11, 2010

06.11.10 Been a few miles around town since last posting.

My brain (*"If I only had the brain") just isn't as reliable as I wish. I know I've been triking. And I know I've taken pictures. And I know I've downloaded the pictures into Picasa. But, I cannot find them :-( I know I labeled them. I have a new (cheap) digital camera which has a functioning zoom. But, apparently I have not learned how to find where they are in Picasa.

Sad note re: recent traveling. Not traveling on my trike. Traveling in my Element. The other day, I stopped at the local Dollar Tree to buy a water gun for a friend's birthday. Well, that 25 cent water gun (4 in a pack, which cost $1) ended up costing me $46! Upon exiting the store, I reached in my pocket to retrieve my door unlocker clicky fob. It wasn't there. Then, I remembered that for some reason I wasn't paying attention between loading groceries into my Ele and driving over to the Dollar Tree. I had tossed all my keys into the front of the vehicle while I quickly transferred groceries from the Amigo cart because it was beginning to rain (aha, this is the aforementioned "for some reason"). Fortunately, I purchase AAA every September as a portion of my family's birthday gifts. UNfortunately, I've used all allowable roadside services until Sept 1st.

Last time I called AAA I specifically asked if there was a limit to the number of service calls I could make. I was informed there was no limit. At that time I was concerned they would cancel my policy b/c I'd made many calls to them lately (my brain doesn't work so well post accident). I was assured there was no limit.

Well, when I called for this week's "locked key in the vehicle", I was told I could pay for the locksmith or have a family member present when the locksmith arrived. All my family members were over 1 1/2 hrs away and I had a meeting in less than one hour. The AAA person said I'd used up all my service calls and said that someone had misinformed me re: no limit. :-( So, that water gun better be greatly treasured by my friend. Would've been much cheaper to purchase one at the grocery store.

Service calls w/i the past nine months: 2 @ YMCA (key locked inside); 1 @ college (key locked inside); 1 on OH turnpike (dead battery - left lights on); 1 @ clothing store (key locked inside). I guess AAA allows 5 calls. The water gun purchase was #6. That makes for 82 (EIGHTY-TWO) more days of making sure I don't: lock the key inside, run out of gas, leave the lights on, . . . . Perhaps, I should travel only by trike until 9/1.

I am sitting @ the Honda dealership getting routine maintenance completed and a couple (minor) warranty issues fixed. They are investigating whether my model makes a remoteless fob w/ the key inside it. That will help me immensely. In the long run, I imagine whatever it costs will be less than a few more locksmith calls. Also, I purchased a magnetic key holder to place underneath my vehicle. Trouble w/ that is I can't find much metal w/i arm's reach underneath the vehicle. I suppose I may have to always be attired (or keep coveralls in my Ele) to be able to lie down on a parking lot and slide underneath this machine which has the keys locked inside, to obtain the spare in the magnetic key holder.

My daughter suggested the magnetic key holder. I poo-pooed the idea thinking that car thieves would automatically check "all the right places" for the magnetic key holder, thereby making their "job" much easier. My daughter laughed at me. She said thieves need the thrill of breaking into a vehicle and hotwiring it. She assured me that if there was a magnetic key holder underneath the vehicle, theives would bypass my vehicle b/c it wouldn't be "fun" for them. I'm trusting her. She's WAY smarter than me. So, I bought one of those magnetic key holders and gave it to the Honda techie to tell me where to place it. Gosh, I hope he remembers to show me where he placed it or that I remember to ask.

Life is not easy. Should've brought my trike w/ me. Could've ridden it all around this city vs sitting in the children's play room in a cushioned rocking chair and ottoman. But, it's pouring rain. Glad I didn't go to the effort to load the trike, only to get here & not be able to ride b/c of the pouring rain. So far this morning, four little girls, ages: 3, 3, 2, 2, have come in for tea parties (all together for 1/2 hr). Two families of 3 & 2 yr olds. Their dads were terrific - they sat down and enjoyed all the food served by their little ones. NOW, wouldn't it have been cooler if the dads had prepared and served the food for their daughters? Life is not easy.

There are many more things I brought in my rolling backpack to address while waiting for "at least half a day" to get Ele's needs managed. Glad this blog is now caught up to date :-) Hopefully, I'll figure out how to find pictures and upload them to here. Supposed to get rain all weekend, therefore, likely not much triking anytime soon.

*When my "WAY smarter" daughter was really young (ages of the tea partiers this morning), she loved, L-O-V-E-D the movie, "The Wizard of Oz". She and her older brothers memorized that entire movie. With tremendous gusto, my daughter, very loudly & with a switch of articles, would sing the Scarecrow's song, "If I only had THE brain". I have A brain. All the information I use to have is in there. Just scrambled around. Seems like there must be THE brain that will make me not lock my keys in my car, nor leave the lights on, not forget how to transfer & locate pictures. I guess the good thing, better thing, is that I am much, much better at living in this one simple moment. Most of my focus goes here vs there, too. Even when I am walking through my house. Whatever I see if what I do, unless I turn my head. Then, I move on to the other thing, not remembering I was doing something else and didn't finish it. Simply living in "the here & now". Fortunately, I remembered to put the raw chicken in the refrigerator last night -- it was still cold (how do I put an image here of crossed fingers?).

GOD is and that is all that truly, eternally matters. Chicken can be re-bought. In Sept, AAA will, once again, pay a locksmith for retrieving the keys I lock inside my vehicle.

Blessings Abound!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

05.30.10 11 miles: Memorial Day wkend (Sun) on the trail, following along the Flat River

I saw 4 groups of river floaters. What a perfect day to rest on the water! I wondered whether I'd rather be rafting down the river or triking alongside it. I decided that I'd rather be RUNNING alongside it and through it. I wonder if there are rivers in Heaven. I suppose it really doesn't matter b/c GOD will be all that matters.

On the trail between the lake and Hwy 91, this tree stands (below). At least for now, it stands. It appears to be dead. No green anything was on it. I wonder if it is cheaper to saw it down b/f anyone gets hurt or to wait and clean it up. I imagine it will be much more expensive to manage if someone gets hurt while it falls down. One good storm and it will surely fall. If no one is nearby, will a sound be made when it falls?

Summer snow. That's what the white, fluffy stuff is drifting up the grass. The pollen is covering the ground today as quickly as snow covers everything during winter.

NO WAY will I intentionally catch one of these "flakes" on my tongue. One of my favorite things to do during winter runs was to catch snowflakes on my tongue, while running. I imagine if anyone watched me they thought that I was "special". Only if they were from a Southern state :) People in the North do that sort of thing during the winter while out for walks or runs.

Here's an updated picture of the activity at the lake. This town is blessed w/ beautiful trails. I discovered another new one today. It zig-zags a hill from a special education camp to the lake. I triked UP it today. Next trike toward the lake, I will plan to zoom down it. Not sure if the camp is considered "private property". Gonna have to investigate that. The trail is amazing. There are places where I am guessing park benches will be placed to overlook the lake.
Speaking (blogging) of zooming: I got up to 27.7 mph going down the hill toward the lake. That is definitely the fastest I've gone down that hill. During today's outing, my chain came off twice - not sure what that's all about. Guess it's time for a tune-up. On Hillcrest, by the high school, I got up to 24.3 mph. Then, on the final street to my house, I got up to 20 mph (flat road). I guess my legs are stronger than I thought.

Today's 11 miles took 1 hr 20 mins. Not too bad. There are a plethora of hills in this town compared to where I was posted in the South, where there was a plethora of flatness. My legs lost their strength to conquer to hills as easily as last summer. I think it will take less time to recondition my legs this summer. My legs are certainly working well going down hills!
The top picture didn't upload after a few attempts. Now, it showed up, but at the top. It was supposed to go here. The billboard reads, "Say yes to a better life", w/ the city limit welcome sign below it. The billboard is sponsored by a town bank. Here I go wondering again, were they intentional about their advertisement by the town welcome sign? I guess "yes".
Blessings Abound!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

05.19.10 7.4 miles Back on the trail!

(May 28: catching up on this previously started post)
I triked a couple - 3 or 4 more times, also. Either forgot to take my (new) camera (w/working zoom) OR forgot to use it. And, no idea how many miles - changed my Cateye, but don't recall the number of addt'l miles -- 10 or so.

The 1st trike on the trail included around the lake. I just wanted to see everything that was there. At the lake, a worker told me they are constructing a winding trail up a cleared hill. One or two houses use to be there, if I recall accurately. I'm glad those people have jobs. Doesn't seem like the best way to use money in these poor economic times.

The other, recent times, I triked was to make my muscles work as hard as possible. I needed to RUN, but obviously cannot. Running would've been much more exhausting and leaving me w/ a sense of release. Triking just does not provide catharsis. Triking is more *fun*; running is EXERCISE - intense, engages every muscle, drains the brain.

Speaking of which, I need to make a decision re: "local" gym. I prefer the gym 19 miles from my house - it has "more" options of class times, 3 pools w/ very nice locker room. The gym 2 miles from my house is inhabited by local people. That is the greatest issue for me re: the 2 mile away gym. Not sure I'm ready for local people. Which would I attend more? IDK. 19 miles is not that far, but it will require an investment of time to drive there and back. I can be anonymous there. I can go do what I need to do and leave. Will I use this gym frequently? Will I go to the 2 mile away gym frequently if I do not want to "encounter" local people? A decision has to be made SOON. My body needs the movement exercises.

Numb today. Enough to catch up this post so I can put it out of my mind of things to finish.

blessings abound/.

Friday, May 7, 2010

05.05.10 Wed @ VAB w/ R: 14 strenuous miles!
Very warm day. Very.

I triked 2 miles of this trail a few wks ago. Today, R & I tr(b)iked 14 miles: out & back (7 miles one-way). Took ~ 2 hrs.

The trail started out paved. Very nice - had to curtsey "stop" as we rode through a neighborhood. Then, the trail went through an "interpretive" area re: the Chesapeake Indians, including fitness work-out stations for children (& adults). Then the trail turned into sand, covered w/ pine needles. This provided for quick thinking & maneuvering reflexes not to end up in sand pits. This was fun & challenging.

This section (below) was very weird, compared w/ the rest of the trail. It's like death visited this area. We saw a huge bird nest atop one of the dead trees. Wondered if it was an eagle's nest. it was huge. (Friend, R)
Next came the difficult section of the trail. Mostly sand. I kept asking if the large body of water to our left was the ocean. It was a lot of water w/ a (small) beach. I'm thinking it was likely some portion of the Chesapeake Bay.

I had to dismount my trike a few times and pull it through sand pits. No traction whatsover!

This sign came as a surprise. I thought "poop" became manure, useful for fertilizing. (Sorry I forgot to flip it upright -- compiling this trike memory @ 1 am, two days after the outing .......... I'm pooped!)
Perhaps I will get one more NC trike outing before heading to MI. Thought about triking on the return trip to MI, but I have to remove the "seat" from the trike while carrying it on the hitch rack. Leaving it on creates drag, thereby decreasing fuel efficiency, so says the terratrike creators. It takes a bit of time to thread on and remove again. I'll wait and see if I want to put that much effort into triking in another state..... Also depends upon weather along the way.
Blessings Abound!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May 1, 2010. 11 miles

HOT weather. Too hot to have been out, perhaps. But, oh well, 11 miles done.

Tobacco is growing in NC - it is on the other side of that dirt path.

My friend, R, a self-professed "non-athletic white boy" rode w/ me today. He's from MD and is completing his first year at the college where I presently reside. R plans to attend a college, "back home" next year and do as much commuting, as possible, via bicycling - so, he's building up his endurance. Today's 11 miles is his new PR. We both leave NC very soon.

While riding we came across a man-made small lake. Various geese were around the lake. This fat duck was sitting in the grassy area when R & I pulled over for a water break. We believe this duckooster is a combo duck & rooster. The bill part looked like a rooster's bill.

Here's the lastest update on the house being built by the river. Its personality is beginning to form.

When I returned to my apt, after the ride, it made sense to wash my vehicle before showering. Not only did I wash my vehicle, but I washed a student's vehicle, also. This college has a rule that students cannot wash their vehicles on campus. Being that I am not a student, I washed the student's car. It was nasty!! Not any longer :-)

When I came into my apt, setting up my computer to update this blog a MOSQUITO bit me!!!! I am not ready to deal w/ mosquitoes. This one will not bother anyone else.

So, what did I learn today? I really miss running. It is much easier to do than pumping up tires, collecting all the gear (helmet, sunglasses, water, flag,) and getting it out the door and then back in the door.

I also learned I am easily bugged. I guess I knew that. I allow little things to accumulate, then the next little thing really annoys me. After cleaning my vehicle: washing, detailing, & drying, some students decided to use the waterhose by my apt to clean themselves off from birthday party gone wild. Well, the party gunk was sprayed onto my clean vehicle. I refilled my little green kitchen trash can and took it, w/ the cleaning supplies, out to them to clean my vehicle as they were hurrying into the residence hall. I do not mind good, clean fun, but I get bugged when people don't bother cleaning up after themselves. I always went the extra mile and did more than required when my fun interferred with someone else's space.

Maybe it's a generational difference. I dunno. Perhaps my isolated, small segment of the world is skewed. Young people seem to do just enough to get by, to fall under the radar screen. The highest goal seems to be acquiring a "passing grade" with as little, as possible, required from them. Granted, there are some who "give of (their) best to the Master," yet many more seem to give what's left-over after they get all they want (selfishness). And to all of us who do not require their "best" - SHAME ON US!

I guess I am sounding off today. The heat was hot today - it may be contributing to my frustrations. I do not like "good-byes". I do not like "leaving". Damn computer just truncated where I was in emoting! Grrrrr. I do not like ending books or chapters. I fear I haven't learned all I need to learn in order to move on. I guess I just need to "go w/ GOD", trusting GOD will continue offering opportunities for me to learn what is necessary/needed.
I still don't like it.
Blessings Abound!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

04.17.10 SEVENTEEN miles. Light mist of rain for a few miles.

Two modes of transportation. I am truly blessed. Most people of world only have feet for transportation. Once, again, I thot I had the "rule" figured out for uploading pics in "correct" order - wrong! Thought this angle was clever -- recycle - get it?
Friend, R & her dog, Pepper, joined me on a 17 mile tr(b)ike ride this morning. I think Pepper burned as many calories as R & I. She shook from fear (rain, wind, etc), as well as produced muffled growls at other dogs on the trail.
We tr(b)iked the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail (I think it is technically in VA). Turns out that this morning was a 1/2 marathon event on this trail. I think it'd be a totally boring 1/2 marathon as it was an out & back run. Flat (good for timing) & much of the same visuals (road, canal on one side, fields on the other side). We passed the tail end of the final runners/walkers.
I am always amused by the line of porta-potties at running events. Seemed to be plenty of places where someone could've peed into the canal w/o having to wait in line.
The welcome sign:
Had this sign pic saved in the proper position, but for some reason blogspot wanted it sideways. Note: BEAR alert!
This is the only bear I saw this morning:
And here's proof that it once walked on the trail :-)
Blessings Abound!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

04.06.10 9 1/2 miles

THIS was still "there," but much more dried up. The temp was low 90's, so it got a good bakin' today.

Saw some friendly walkers while out.
My friend, R (another "R"), invited me to tr(b)ike this evening. Turns out that was a really good thing to transition my mind back to real time. I returned my daughter to ORF this afternoon for her trip back to CO. We shared several days & had a great time together: tr(b)iking, cooking, swinging, wal-marting (I do not like that store, but we needed things other than groceries, so did the one-stop-shop thing), OBXing, VABing, OGing, YMCAing, movie watching, etc. I'm glad she loves her job, condo, etc in CO (makes it easier for both of us when we part ways) & it makes for a wonderful break from my life to visit her there. Hopefully, this summer. Will have to see about driving there so I can take my trike to tr(b)ike w/ her in the mtns! Oh, the muscles to build in prep for that adventure.
Students are returning from Easter break for their final 3 1/2 wks of classes. I will miss the energy they give me when this semester is over. They keep me on my toes (HA! Been over 2 yrs since I've literally been able to stand on my toes) mentally, physically, & spiritually. An academic year of living in a residence hall w/ students probably saved me this past year. Likely, I would have gone insane (or worse) had I remained in MI this past winter.
Been pondering what's next. For now, I trust that GOD is revealing what is next (I just don't see it yet). For the immediate time, after this semester is completed, I will return to MI. Looking forward to seeing my flowers. Really looking foward to triking on the trail, which is a few hundred feet from my garage and triking around the lake. I've missed going around the lake. And I want to see if I can make it up "that" hill at the other end of the lake w/ greater ease this summer. I do have things to eagerly anticipate. . . .
Blessings Abound!