Monday, September 26, 2022

Someone broke their arm!

I broke my arm yesterday, the result of a slip in a bit of mud at the end of a driveway just a few blocks from home.  I landed smack on my upper arm, leaving a big purple bruise that looks like a squashed eggplant and a break all the way across.  Stunned, I sat in the mud for a while marveling at the pain while Turbo sat patiently at my side.  My Apple watch began squawking that it had detected a fall and did I want emergency assistance? I painfully managed to shut off the alarm and turn down the offer.  

 I tried to call Ben but didn't reach him.  After a bit, a neighbor spotted me sitting in the alley and called out, "Are you all right?"  No, I certainly was not!  Ben arrived and helped hoist me up and drive me off to Urgent Care where x rays were taken and a preliminary diagnosis of a dislocated shoulder and a fracture determined.  Then we were off to the ER to get it reset, but more detailed x rays resulted in a final diagnosis of a break across the upper arm, the "kind of fracture which requires a very long recovery,." When the doctor asked if I'd like some painkillers I said "You bet!  Ah, the magic of a little morphine. 

It looks like I have two weeks of doing nothing ahead of me except a visit to the followup orthopedic surgeon and wincing in pain off and on during the day.  Then four weeks of mostly doing nothing except a couple of simple movements at home. and then many months of physical therapy.  I asked when I might ride my e bike again I was the cryptically told, "It will be quite awhile."
Excuse me while I go scream! 

Ok, ok, it could be worse.  The fall whacked my left arm, not my right.  All my fingers are still working.  I didn't bang my head.  I have my sweet Ben to help me.  I can still walk.  We had to  cancel our biking and  hiking trip trip next weekend to Aspen but our trip to Hawaii next month will probably be a "go," though at a much slower pace.  Still, it's going to be a long road.  

Good thing I was able to get a few thing accomplished before the accident.

I saw a big mama bear and her two cubs up in a neighbor's tree, which was very cool.

Ben and I spent the weekend in Denver to enjoy the sights and see Hadestown.

I was able to attend my brother-in-law's funeral and celebrate his love of his many children, grand- and great-grand-children, his devotion to wife (my sister Jean) his faith and his love of live.  It was a warm and loving service and I was able see many family members. including my three siblings. Dave had several years of hard trials, including dementia.  While he will be greatly missed, we were all glad he was released from his suffering.  

While I was back in the east I had a bit of time to spend on the water, always a treat for us westerners. 

It happened that Dave died a few days before Jean and I and our long-time friend Janice were going to meet at Rehoboth beach for a few days.  The funeral was Friday and our vacation started Monday, and since the beach is Jean's "happy place," and she certainly needed a little vacation, she decided to go.  We had a wonderful time.

Life certainly brings both pleasure and pain.  

Saturday, September 3, 2022

What August Brought

This screen shot of a tweet just about describes how I felt the past month.  How interesting to be alive during such amazing and fascinating events!  I find it hard to pull away from my many screens where they are unfolding, and I've spent far too much time on following new developments minute by minute. 

In addition, several of my extended family members are dealing with serious health issues and they were much on my mind this past month. 

But I have managed to have some fun and accomplish a few things besides keep up with current events.   Let's start with a birthday report!

I had several special dinners to celebrate and I made myself a German Chocolate cake, which is always a treat.  

At one of the dinners we managed to take a few photographs.  Here I am with Ben and Paul and my fun friend Sara enjoying pizza..

...and I received a little birthday treat for dessert.  

I tried to make a point of riding my e-bike every day and that led me to try out some new routes.  One day I managed to make my way out to the bike path that runs along Route 36, the main connector to Denver.   I didn't get very far out from town, just a couple of miles, but when I turned back I was delighted at the view of the Flatirons from the bike path. 

And I've been trying out some fly fishing. One of Ben's climbing partners is seriously into the sport and included me on a trip up to the high country to fish in a mountain lake.  That was an adventure, complete with an unexpected dunk in the lake, a thunderstorm, and hail!  I didn't catch any fish but I sure learned a lot and I enjoyed it so I signed up for a free Intro to Fly Fishing class and then a few hours with a guide who introduced me to fishing on Boulder Creek.  There I did catch a few fish and again had a great time.  We'll see if if the sport catches on with me, but in any case, I've learned a lot about it.  

One of the things I like about it is that you get to be in some lovely places.  I took this photo of my friend Gina as she made a cast way out in Mitchell Lake.  

I also did quite a bit of stitching this month.  While cleaning up my studio I found some old fabric masks and decided to use them in a little wall hanging as a remembrance of the noble efforts of sewers, quilters, and crafters to supply much needed masks for medical workers and family and friends. 

It includes copies of calls to action, tutorials for making masks, and other ephemera related to the effort.  My favorite is a quote from a mask maker:  "We're doing what the federal government should be doing."  

I made a big push to complete a piece I've been designing for several months.  I had taken this photo of our cherry tree last summer, laden down with beautiful ripe fruit.  

I fussed around with it in Photoshop for a while, using color saturation and filters to make it more dynamic and exciting.  I had a commercial company print it on a yard of fabric and then then put it up on my design wall as I considered my next step.  After several months of looking at it I decided to crop it and add some interesting hand-dyed fabrics, and stitch it heavily.  

Here's how it turned out.  It's about 36" square.

And here's a detail showing the stitching. 

I was thrilled when a week or so ago I received a notice that it was accepted in a show that will hang at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum!  Not only that, I had a second piece accepted as well.  I was pretty excited, as getting a piece hung in this museum had been one of my goals, and they took not just one but two of my pieces!

Years ago I took this photo of a blooming artichoke at the Denver Botanic Gardens.  I loved the contrast of the pink zinnias against the purple blossom of the artichoke and wanted to capture in a wall hanging. 

It took me a while, but I think I did it.  And I guess the person jurying the show agreed!     

And now it's Labor Day weekend and the summer is drawing to a close.  We're heading to Denver in a bit to spend two nights enjoying some new restaurants and seeing the production of the Broadway musical Hadestown at the Performing Arts Center.   It's always nice to get a way for some new fun.      

Monday, July 25, 2022

Summertime and the Living is Easy

Yesterday was Paul's 22nd birthday and I made him this lovely chocolate cake.  One of the many things I appreciate about Paul is that he is very kind and thoughtful.  On this occasion he wanted to share the cake with his workmates, many of which are Vegans, so he asked me to make a Vegan cake.  Ummm....well, sure, Paul.  And how do I do that?  Turns out that applesauce can substitute for eggs, Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks can fill in for butter, and cocoa used instead of chocolate.  I'm waiting for a report on  how it tasted, but you can see that it sure looked tasty! 

Our weather was hot, hot, hot for quite a while but for the past few days we've had thunderstorms most afternoons which have cooled things down.  I had Turbo up in the park the other day after a storm and we caught sight of the this beautiful rainbow.  Today is another day of high 80's instead of 90's and almost every one of the people on our Meals on Wheels route this morning volunteered that they were sure happy to have some cooler weather.   

I flew out to Cincinnati for a short but super visit to see my two brothers and a niece and nephew who live in that area.  I saw one brother last year but hadn't seen the others since before COVID hit, and it was way past time to catch up in person. 

Here I am with my niece Vicki. I love her outspoken posts on Facebook and admire her plans for her upcoming "empty nest" years.  Because her husband works for the state of Kentucky, the family gets a hefty reduction in tuition for state schools and he expects that once their younger child is out of collage he'll take advantage of this wonderful benefit and get his bachelor's degree, probably in history.  And once he's done, Vicki wants to enroll as well.  Pretty adventuresome for 40-year olds!   

Vicki's father is my brother Glenn, who has Parkinson's and can no longer do political and community activist work for the issues that he feels strongly about.  He received a special award from the Cincinnati government for his advocacy of LGTTQ rights, which gives you and idea of how he was using his retirement years before he was diagnosed with this horrible disease.  As you can imagine, it was hard to see him struggling, but we both enjoyed our visit.  Glenn's wife, Jan, is always a pleasure to see and for a special treat I got to see Glenn and Jan's daughter, Amanda, who had just come home from a tour of Ireland.  

This great pose was struck by my great-niece,  daughter of my nephew Daniel.       

...and here is Daniel and his family posing with me.  Well, most of them are posing!  Reminded me of how hard it is to get kids to cooperate sometimes when the camera comes out.  I was so happy to visit Daniel and have a chance to really sit and talk after several years of just occasional texts.   

And here is my other brother, Jim, with Daniel's little cute son.   It sure was nice of Jim and his wife Kathy to drive down to see me, and I loved catching up with them. 

Ben has been hiking more 14er's, two in just this month.   You can see from these photos how sparse and raw it is way up there above tree line.  Yes, that is a mountain goat!

The arrival of the sour cherry harvest came around again.....could a year have gone by so quickly?....and several hours were devoted to picking, cleaning, pitting, and freezing the yummy fruits.  This year my friend Lolly joined me, so it was more fun and less work.  And the other day I made the first muffins from this year's harvest. 

Ben suggested something new this year, a little celebration of Bastille Day on July 14th.  We invited our next-door neighbors, Jack and Cathy, over for champagne, brie cheese, rich butter, a baguette, and an elaborate dessert from a local bakery.  The dessert wasn't identified but we all agreed that it certainly looked French and we all thought that Bastille Day was a perfect excuse for enjoying such delicious food, drink, and companionship.   

I decided it was high time that I did a bike ride that is a classic here in Boulder, the ride up the big hill to NCAR, the National Center for Atmospheric Research.  The ride from our house to the base of the NCAR hill and back is about ten miles, but the climb itself is about 1.5 miles with a grade of about 6% and an elevation of 512 feet.   It's considered a great close and short training ride and I've avoided it.  But when our friend Raymond did it on his new eBike, I got the bug and decided to give it a try.  So early one cool morning I joined all the other cyclists chugging their way up the hill.  Even with an eBike, it was a do have to pedal all the way up... and I was quite proud of myself.  I took a triumphant photo at the top with the NCAR building in the background....

...and a couple showing the views on the way down.

It was fun and I'm adding it to my repertoire of rides.

One of these days I'll have to get my act together and show you my recent fiber art work.  Always seems by the time I've finished something it's too much additional work to write about it!   

Monday, July 4, 2022

On the Camera

We're having a very quiet Fourth of July.  The city cancelled the fireworks since we're still experiencing a high risk of fire and our friends cancelled their annual July 4 party due to continuing Covid concerns.  But since we returned from a little trip up in the mountains on Saturday and  had friends over for dinner last night, we don't mind a relaxing day to catch up at home. 

We returned from our trip to find that the Shasta daisies, lace hydrangea and all the lavender bushes had bloomed. They were all so cheerful that I had to bring a few blooms into house to enjoy.  

Our yard is a pleasure to see this time of the year....

... and it's satisfying to compare it to how it looked just a few years ago.   

But the most vibrant and exciting flowers aren't to be found in our yard, but in the alleys and along the sidewalks around the neighborhood; the tall eye-catching hollyhocks.  I have hollyhock envy, and I guess I always will since I can't find anyplace in our yard to grow them. 

Luckily, I can take photos of them.  Aren't they amazing?

As I mentioned, we celebrated our wedding anniversary last week.  It is our 44th, and my sister Jean texted her congratulations along with this photo of the big day so long ago.  I wrote back, "I remember  those youngsters!"  

We headed up into the mountains to stay a few days at the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort,  a lovely property near Buena Vista and Salida, known for it's numerous and pleasant pools.  This is one of about six large pools there and you can see what a pretty location it is.  

We did two nice hikes while we were up there, one of which was a killer two-mile climb up to the top of a ridge which offered a super view of Mt. Princeton.  The two-mile descent on loose gravel and down steep switchbacks was particularly exciting.

Mostly we enjoyed just hanging out on our balcony overlooking the creek.

On the way up I-70 we stopped in Idaho Springs to charge up the Tesla.  I have zoomed past the exits for this old mining town many times but had never actually gone in to see what the town was like.  Turns out it has a very well preserved downtown, some of which had been blocked off as a pedestrian mall.  

The Tesla charging station was right near the pedestrian mall and next to a "quickie mart" with snacks and restrooms.  When you are traveling and set your route up in the navigation system, it figures out when you'll need to recharge and suggests options for where to stop.  Charging doesn't take long or cost very much and I like the experience much more than pumping gas.  And while I really dislike driving on I-70, I have to say that the Tesla's acceleration power, smooth and fast braking, and ability to hug the road made it a pleasure to travel in.  

The caption for this photo is Where is the moose? On the way over beautiful Guanella Pass we stopped and hiked a couple of miles on the trail up Mt. Bierstadt, a 14, 060 foot peak that Ben climbed a few years ago with a friend.  Last time we were on this trail we spotted a big moose in the lake at the foot of the peak, but this time no moose was to be found.  I'd given up looking for him, but on our climb out the people in front of us stopped to take photos and when I looked to see what they were shooting, there he was!  (If you haven't spotted him, he's on the right side of the photo, just below the middle horizon line.)   

Isn't this a cute little flower?  I made it to include in a bouquet of fabric flowers made by members of the Visions Museum of Textile Art for its 15th anniversary.  This museum is in San Diego and I've been there a couple of times.  But I'm lucky that there are often good fiber exhibitions near Boulder.   

The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden currently has its annual Evolutions show on display and I saw it about two weeks ago.  Its goal is to present cutting edge quilting.  Here's a piece by the First place winner for this year, Viviana Lombrozo, a Mexican artist who combines text and calligraphy using her own hand-dyed and painted fabric and extensive machine quilting.  

Here's a piece by Shannon Conley that represents new direction in fiber art, the creation of sculptural forms out of fabric.  She painted, stitched and manipulated cotton fabric into a 3-D piece, Cloud Rim.  

I loved this work by Kimberly Lacy called 20 Shades of Gray, which was inspired by her love of ammonite fossils found in the southwest. 

Tomorrow I'm going up to Estes Park to see the FACE of Fiber in the Rockies, an invitational exhibition featuring several local fiber artists.  I feel very lucky to be able to see so many great fiber shows. 

(I have been doing my own fiber art and finished I piece I'm very happy about, but that's a story for another post.)

Well, let me end with one last photo.  Here's Turbo meeting Mars, a "mini Turbo" who I spotted playing in the school playground across the street.  He looked so much like Turbo at that age that I went over and chatted only to find that Mars came from the same breeder as Turbo.   I invited him over to our yard to play and Turbo literally jumped for joy, something he doesn't do all that often when meeting other dogs.  He's polite and sometimes even enthusiastic, but I think it was the only time I've seen him literally jump in the air with excitement.  Very cute!  And Mars' owners were really fun to chat with as well, so it was a nice moment.