Share Your World | Tulips A-Go-Go

Once a week Cee asks the questions on her blog, and I answer them here on my blog.  

• Have you ever participated in a distance walking, swimming, running, or biking event? Tell your story.

Yes, *sigh* back when I was a crazy, younger, athletically inclined woman who followed the crowd, I was a cyclist.  I did lots of 30+ mile bike rides for charities, and even once went so far as to go on a Backroads bike tour vacation.

This adventure in hell vacation started in New Bern, NC, and involved days of bike riding on dodgy, bermless country roads, littered with dead snakes and frogs.  Roads, filled with 18-wheeler lumber trucks zipping past us, spewing bits of pine bark and needles as they went by.  It was scary.

Throughout the tour we were on a strict time schedule to get to ferry-boats to go island to island along the NC Outer Banks, with the goal of getting to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?

However, this did not happen because a huge storm, the aftermath of a hurricane, disrupted the ferry service to Cape Hatteras.  Meaning that our last ferry-boat was abruptly cancelled, leaving us stuck one island short of Cape Hatteras, on Ocracoke Island.  In a dumpy motel.

So with torrential rain falling and nowhere to go, we abandoned the pretense of cycling, made note of Ocracoke’s famous ponies, and drank excessively in the one bar that was open while it stormed, all the while lamenting that we were never going to get to Cape Hatteras.

Which *sigh* was the whole point of the bike tour.

• Name one thing not many people know about you.

I will not wear the color orange, so keep all your sports fan gear away from me.

• What is your favorite flower?

Tulips. Graceful and colorful, with no excessive leaves to muddle up their lines or draw attention away from their colorful petals.

• Things I want to have in my home (paintings, hot tubs, book cases, big screen tv etc)

While it’s true that I like things, and that if my life had gone in a different direction I might have become an interior designer, I feel that for me to list all the things that I want to have in my home would take hours.

Instead, I’ll leave you with the following quote by William Morris that summarizes how I’m learning to evaluate the things in my home: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

• Optional Bonus Question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Last week’s gratitude award goes to the cats featured in the YouTube video below.  They make me smile.  I’m beyond impressed by their focus and skill– and that any human being was able to get them to do what they’re doing.

This week’s looking forward to something goes to Zen-Den listening to S•Town podcast so that he and I can discuss it.  At length.  Produced by Serial and This American Life, S•Town is the most compelling investigative-journalistic-true-crime-ish story I’ve heard [or read] in years.  Think Southern Gothic genre.  The language is coarse.  The topics are mature.  And the story is so good… in a bad way.  Highly recommended.

~ • ~

This post is part of Cee’s Share Your World Weekly Writing Challenge.

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I Am Clumsy But With My Priorities In The Right Place

I fell on my face at Goodwill. Literally.

On a beautiful sunny afternoon, I parked in front of the donation door at our local Goodwill.  I started pulling items out of the trunk of my car, and was carrying two folding chairs, one in each hand, when I tripped over a 3″ high little curb painted a jazzy shade of yellow.

And with that I face-planted myself on the cement sidewalk.

Save for a small scratch on the little finger side of my left hand & a scrape on the top of my right ankle, I didn’t hurt myself.  I went down too quickly to even tense up, plus I’m somewhat plump in my older years which helped keep me safe.

I kind of bounced more than I splatted.

I’ll admit that it was a fascinating experience to calmly realize that I was falling face down onto the sidewalk with no way to stop myself.  No one near me to catch me.

Just me on my own, falling down. Unceremoniously.

And what was going through my addled brain as this was happening?  Well, to be honest, and you wouldn’t want me to be anything but that, I was thinking: “Hmmm… well at least this will make for a good story.”

Yep, no need to worry about me, my gentle readers, I have my priorities in order.

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{ via Giphy}

 

Hobbling, But Happy: An Early October Walk In The Park

We’ve yet to see any fall color here, but on Sunday the sky was clear blue.

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Zen-Den and I decided to go to a city park for a mosey.

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It seemed like a sensible thing to do.

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You see, Zen-Den, who sprained his ankle a few weekends ago, was just getting back to walking without a crutch.

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And I had twisted my knee while mowing the yard on Saturday morning, meaning I was moving slowly, too.

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So, not wanting to let a glorious day go to waste, we hit upon the idea of going to a nice flat park.

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Where we hobbled ourselves around, park bench to park bench, taking photos and laughing about how we’ve somehow morphed into old people.

Of Cemeteries, Segways & Common Sense

A friend convinced me that it would be a great idea for us to rent Segways and then move through a large cemetery known for its unique tombstones and mausoleums.  

We’d be doing this at sunset on an evening when the cemetery closed all the roads to car traffic and encouraged visitors to walk, run, bike, move through the roads.

I hesitated because I’d never ridden on a Segway, but I loved the idea of seeing this cemetery, known for its history, on a more personal level.  So I said “yes.”  

At first I doubted whether I’d be able to master a Segway, but I did.  Sort of.  Or at least I did enough to be allowed by the rental company to go move around a cemetery without car traffic.  

• • •

If you’ve not been on a Segway, there are 3 things I learned:

1)  You have to stand completely still on the device, with your feet locked into a perfectly aligned specific place, or you’ll cause the gyroscopes to reposition you.  This means that if you do shift your feet at all, the Segway wiggles underneath you.  Uncontrollably.

SO DON’T MOVE YOUR FEET, EVEN ONCE, WHILE ON IT.

2)  Going up hills on a Segway is easy to do because all you do is lean forward.  [MSNBC would approve.]  Going down hills is more difficult because you have to lean back while never moving your feet, yet while softening your knees, so that the impact of any hole in the road doesn’t cause you trouble.

THIS IS NOT AS SIMPLE TO DO AS THE INSTRUCTORS SUGGEST THAT IT IS.

3)  Turning a Segway is an unnatural skill that is nothing like driving a car or maneuvering a bicycle.  While I was able to easily do it in large movements, such as turning right or left at a 4-way intersection, it was difficult to do on a smaller scale, such as wandering over to look a specific object.  In fact, at one point the machine stopped responding to me altogether and took over steering so that I was thrown from it.

YES, I WAS THROWN OFF OF A SEGWAY ONTO THE GROUND BECAUSE IT INSISTED THAT WE WERE GOING TO THE RIGHT WHEN I TOLD IT TO GO TO THE LEFT.

• • •

So did I have a good time on our adventure through the cemetery?  Well, to be honest, not really.  

I mean I enjoyed spending time with my friend and we did cover a lot of ground in the cemetery, but we weren’t able to see any tombstones or mausoleums up-close because once on a Segway you’re stuck there. 

And because it doesn’t go onto grassy areas many of the monuments we wanted to explore were way too far away to get to, let alone photograph.  So the whole adventure seemed pointless to us.

Common sense suggests to me that I wouldn’t rent one again unless (maybe) it was part of a guided tour on paved paths (perhaps in a well manicured city park?) that were far away from car traffic.  And even then, I might just pass on the whole Segway thing and go for a walk by myself.

It really wasn’t much fun at all.  Not recommended. 

So Anyone Know Where I Can Get Some Steel-Toed Flats?

[Sub-Titled: A Party In Review*]

THE GOOD:  The party went very well.  The pre-party helper elves were wonderful.  Highly recommend that approach to party giving.

The homemade hot dips were a hit.  Next year I’ll make more of those.  Chips & dips were very popular as well.  Healthy veggies & humus & dry snacky snacks, like sesame sticks & salted cashews, were not so popular.  [Of course, those may be more for me than the party guests.]

The wraps and the pretzel sandwiches, which we got from the Kroger deli, were snarfed.  Inhaled.  As was were the fancy cheeses & fruits pastes & crackers & wafers.  God bless Murray’s Cheese [at Kroger] for putting together a perfect cheese board.

The plates of cookies from a local German bakery were a big hit.  Truly yummy.  And the adorable cupcake Santa from the Kroger bakery was almost all eaten, leaving behind a rather Dali-esque image of Mr. Claus.  Oddly though, candy like M&Ms and Snickers was hardly touched.  Who’d of thought?

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THE BETTER:  The pre-party started at 5:30 p.m.  The last party guests left at 1:30 a.m.  [The helper elves were spending the night with us.  So we all went to bed at 2:00 a.m. after doing a fast pre-collapse clean-up.]

During our 8 hours of merriment we went through 7 bottles of wine, 40 bottles of beer, 20 cans of soda & 20 bottles of water.  There was also some shots of bourbon & a Brazilian liquor.  [Both were gifts.  Both were tasty.]

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THE UGLY:  I got hurt during our party when I dropped an ottoman on my left big toe.  The wooden leg of the ottoman went exactly onto my big toe.  Not onto the floor.  Not onto the top of my foot.  No, it went onto my toe which was inside my cute Stuart Weitzman flats– which I’m sad to report do nothing to stop a falling object, like an ottoman, from hurting a toe.  Wussy shoes.

Nothing is broken so I’ll probably survive this self-inflected act of stupidness.  But really, it hurt when I did it.  And it still hurts as I sit here typing.  *meh*  So on that cheery note, I’m out of here.  Going to put my foot up with a bag of ice on it.  Take some acetaminophen.  And rest my weary self.

Later kids.

*  This post is probably more for me than for my readers.  I need to put this info somewhere where I’ll find it next year.  And as I always know where my blog is, a post here seems like the logical place to me.

[Hello FTC!  Please rest assured that I was not compensated for my opinions here.  Just a few of my personal thoughts about stuff & things.  This & that.  Nothing for you to worry about really.  But, as always, thanks for stopping by, FTC.  And Merry Christmas to You & Yours.]

Driving Mr. Bean

Zen-Den has fractured his foot.  His right foot, to be exact.

He doesn’t know how he did this.  Sometimes weird stuff happens.  All he knows for sure is that: 1) it hurts A LOT when he puts any weight on it;  & 2) the X-rays taken yesterday at the ER confirm that it should hurt a lot when he puts any weight on it.

The words “stress fracture” have been bandied about.

He is not to put any weight on it AT ALL.  So, for the moment, Z-D has a temporary soft cast on his foot.  He’s walking/ hobbling/ hopping with crutches. This is not a smooth or quiet process.  However, he is getting to his destinations unaided, so I won’t complain.

This afternoon we go to the orthopedic surgeon who will either: 1) schedule him for surgery [BOO!];  or 2) put a walking cast on his foot [YEA!].

In either case, I will be driving Zen-Den everywhere he needs to go in the next 6-8 weeks [maybe longer!!!]. To doctors’ appointments.  To work.  To wherever.  Because, as I previously mentioned, it’s his RIGHT foot that he has hurt.  The foot which pushes the pedals that start and stop the car.

Oy vey!  This is going to be a long fall.

Late afternoon update:  We’ve been to the doc and it’s good news all around.

The fracture is so slight that there’s no need for surgery– or even a cast.  Instead, Z-D is to take one month of anti-inflammatory meds + he is to slowly, deliberately keep walking– first with the crutches, and then without them.

Meaning that in about 30 days he should be as good as new– walking, driving, and jumping for joy when ‘ere he wishes to do so.

I’m smiling.  A really, really big smile. 🙂