Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Moon Shadows and Skunk Adventures

The moon was totally an awesome thing of beauty yesterday morning. I started my run at 4:50 and when I started down the hill on Berkshire's entrance, I noticed the moon was huge, down close to the horizon, and yellow gold. I would have loved to have gotten a picture of it, but I doubt a camera could capture that much splendidness.

This morning, I slept in, and didn't get out on the road until 5:10. The moon was again full, but higher up. It was lovely but it's usual silver/white color. It was kind of neat making a shadow all the time. I like watching my shadow when I run, and since it's always dark, I only have shadows when I'm near a street light or somebody has their porch light on. With the moon, sometimes I made two or three shadows.

I have been seeing (and smelling) lots of skunks this past week. One morning, I very nearly kicked one, and thank heavens he tolerated me sharing his space. It was a dark stretch of sidewalk and he ambled onto the sidewalk right in front of me. I stopped abruptly and he stopped and stared at me. I took a few steps back and he ambled on across the road. Skunks must be either dumb or hard of hearing, or maybe the city skunks are used to people and not all that afraid of us.

I am ready for a race and have picked the Holy Family 5K run as my first race ever. It's in downtown Ashland so it should be flat, and it's only 5K, so it should be easy (oh, does that sound like famous last words or what!). Jerry says he wants to run it with me. My only goal is to finish the run, I don't need to compete with anybody. I figure he'll be way out in front of me after the first 100 yards. I hope there are little old ladies who just walk it, so I don't have to be the person finishing last. I have no idea how long it'll take me to finish 3.1 miles. I always run farther than that, so in theory, I should be able to run the shorter distance at a faster pace. I think when I'm running 4.5 to 5.5 miles, I'm running about a mile every 10 minutes. There are a couple of big hills I take too (up and down), so it's hard to say what I'll do with a flat 3 miles course. I might figure out a 3.5 mile course for myself this weekend and start timing myself to see what my time is, and work on improving it.

Shall I blog about karate? I'm still not sure I'm into it. jerry is definitely into it. I have to admit, I was pleased to get my first 4 tips - all in one day. I think the self-defense aspect of it is good to know...I can think of a few times in my long lifetime I wish I had been able to defend myself better. I think sparring will be fun (as long as I don't have to touch sweaty, gross people). As for the forms and all those ethics to memorize, it's going to be a chore. I like hobbies I can do without thinking. Maybe that's why I like running, gardening, and golf so much - I can just daydream the whole time.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday Morning Adventure

I have to thank my dear, sweet Sarah for nagging me all summer. Sadly, she has gone back to school today, but this morning, I woke up early and decided that HECK, I'm going to throw caution to the wind and go get on a horse. She nagged at me extra hard last night, put a royal guilt trip on me. It worked, obviously. I'm so glad she did, because we no more than broke into the first canter and I decided this was the best day I've had all year. I do love riding horses.

Sarah saddled up her beloved Joey and Strawberry, a gelding, for me. I've been hearing what a gentle (predictable) horse Strawberry is, but I do know there is no such thing as a predictable horse, and knowing Joey is so young and Strawberry isn't ridden everyday, I was a bit wary. Once we were mounted, the beginning got rough. I almost aborted the ride. Partly my fault, I'm sure, I'd never ridden a horse with a bitless bridle. I was probably not giving him enough slack in the reins and he probably got pissed off at me. He side-stepped off the path then freaked out a little. He tried to throw his head and ended up bucking a bit, which started to freak me out since we were on a rather steep hill (not really that steep but definitely elevated, and I was up high on a horse so it seemed like a long way to fall...I can imagine broken hip at my age). Once we were out of sight of the barn, both horses settled down. Sarah taught me about posting when we trotted, which was hard for me at first but I got the hang of it. It makes it easier to trot without jarring your teeth loose. Strawberry preferred to canter and I love that, it's so much fun. Being unfamiliar with the trail though, and riding behind Sarah, I took a few branches to the face. Still, it was the most fun I had all summer.

The trail was pleasant. We saw thistle, queen anne's lace, ironweed, goldenrod, touch-me-nots, and some kind of red flowers that I don't know what they are. We rode through a field that had a thousand baby gum trees. Some day, it'll be a forest of gum trees (unless it's paved over into a parking lot or turned into a subdivision). We also rode through a dump, which saddened me. It was a contractor's dump and they dump explosives there, along with old PVC, brick, block, miscellaneous crap, etc.

We had our ride and on the way back, we neared the road just as a truck passed. Joey flipped out briefly and Strawberry stopped and reared up a bit...scaring me heart skipped a few beats. Then he didn't want to move forward. He started backing up and I had concerns he might back himself into the fence row and freak out even more. But no, he chilled out and followed Joey across the road and into the field on the other side. It was a perfect morning for the ride, and I'm still totally in disbelief that Sarah actually rolled out of bed before 9:00 AM to ride with me.

Today was as fun (maybe more) than our rides at D.H., which is unfortunately now out of business. I've read that the D.H. property is now up for sale and if I could buy it, I'd love to have it. I found an awesome arrowhead in Indian Creek, which runs across the property. It is beautiful there. I'm sure it'll be carved up into housing sites, many of those beautiful hardwood trees will be cut down, the hills will be cut away to make level building sites, and the place will never be the same.

This reminds me that I need to renew my search for some land I can afford that's not too far from here. It needs to be within an hour's drive, and I want something way out, so there won't be noise from sirens, trains, boats, trucks, etc. I want space to plant an orchard and anything else I want to plant (pumpkin patch comes to mind). I want 30 acres, at least, the more the merrier. I might just have to dream about it, but I hope I can find it and make it mine.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Summer JUST can't be over!!!

Where has the month gone? School started yesterday and it seems like it's as good as over now. We'll have frost on the grass before you know it, but no, I'm not even going to think about that! We visited Dad in Indiana earlier this month. We only had one day at the lake but we made the most of it. Brittany went with us and the kids tubed all day, Dad doing his part to keep the oil companies in the black (hmmmm...I think profits are the red means you're losing money, right?) Jerry and I had to try out the tube a bit as well. It was a blast but all that bouncing around is killer on us old folks. If we'd had more time, I would skied a bit, just to see if I could still get up.The swans on Tippicanoe were just as lovely as ever. They are magnificent birds!

Last weekend, we just stayed home, or I should say, we didn't go out of town. Jerry and I got a round in at Sandy Creek and it was a perfect day for that - sunny and high 80's, the air was as clear as it gets around here. Let's see, I shot an 83 (41 and 42), had a couple of great drives (for me, anyway), birdied #13, lost 2 balls total but found 4, should have birdied #5, but didn't, choked on a 4 foot putt. I had a couple of awesome approach shots. We still need to use our raincheck at Shawnee...I hope we can get back there before the month is over.

One more thing we have to do before we give up on summer - go camping. I'm hoping we can fit that in this coming weekend if the weather cooperates. The girls have been begging me to go all summer. Last weekend would have been ideal but I was not wanting to go anywhere. I'll have to make a reservation tomorrow if we're going to go for it. I'll have to check the extended forecast and make a decision (and start collecting paraphenalia...seems like there's so much stuff we need to take for even a night or two). I think we'll try Grayson since it's so handy, but Cave Run would be an awesome adventure. I love Cave Run.