Duct tape for people


Faithful Readers, you may remember that I blogged about how turning 50 was nothing to be afraid of, and that it is a joyful thing to reach this age. That’s still true, but some days I have to work harder at remembering that than others.

To be perfectly honest, sometimes being 50 is kind of painful. Yeah, I’m falling apart a bit, but most people my age do to some extent. The thing that really gets my goat the most is the anti-functionality of my left knee.

My left knee reminds me of one of those old beater cars you see driving around, eaten up with rust, creaky, missing parts, and you wonder how it doesn’t lose a door or tire as it coughs down the road. Some days, this old knee feels like it might just fly apart, and it aches.

I’m sure it will need surgery at some point, but right now I’m babying it along until I build up enough sick leave to get that done. In the mean time, I’ve have found a way to tape it together so I can keep on going. KT Tape is some pretty freaking cool stuff. Basically, it’s just duct tape for people.

Seriously, using a bit of this tape gives that crappy knee enough support that I can walk up and down stairs normally again. That sounds like a little thing until you work on the 6th floor and the elevator goes out, or you have run up and down the basement stairs to do several loads of laundry.

So, what’s the blessing to be found here? Don’t be afraid to do what you need to do to keep yourself moving. Whatever little things you can do to stay mobile is good. I hope to have at least 30 more good years, and I’m not afraid to duct tape all of it if I have to. I just may end up looking like some weird tin man, and that’s ok, as long as I’m still getting up and doing for myself.

Here’s hoping you can find ways to keep on keeping on when it hurts to move. Life’s too short to miss out on any of it. Blessings all!

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Of good BBQ and found blessings


Yesterday The Flirt and I went to The Monster Truck Show at the ND State Fair grounds, which was part of Ribfest. Ribfest is a good time, as there is always something going on, and you get to eat delicious pulled pork, ribs, or some other smoked goodness. This year, they invited the Monster Trucks to come, and we thought it would be a good show.

It turns out we were wrong, and it was an expensive mistake because it was $20/ticket. They brought 3 trucks, one of which died early, and all they did is drive back and forth and jump over a few cars, with large gaps of time in between. There’s more disappointment dripping from this experience, but I won’t belabor the point. Long story short, it wasn’t what was advertised.

Here’s the good news.

We went to the Monster Truck Show with friends, and even though the show was a complete bust, we had a good time chatting with them.

It gets even better.

Later we came back for supper and to listen to an Eagles Tribute band called The Long Run, and they were awesome. We met a couple in line to get supper, and ended up sitting together. We’d not met them before, but we hit it off and spent the entire eventing chatting with them.

I think that was the best part of the whole day, was meeting Bob and Sue. They were really awesome, and I hope I run into them again.

The lesson I took away from this experience was that just because one part of the day was a huge disappointing flop, it doesn’t mean your day is ruined. It’s a good lesson to always seek out the good things in any situation, no matter how small. Little things do add up.

Faithful Readers, life is too short. Here’s hoping we can all have the presence of mind to be aware that there are blessings to be found in most situations, and actively seek those out. Also, eat good BBQ… hmmm!!! Blessings all!

We need more Jon Stewarts


Today, I saw something that blew through my brain like few things do anymore. I witnessed raw honesty and integrity that we lack so much in our current society.

I watched Jon Stewart, formerly of the Daily Show, give testimony at a Congressional hearing, which you can watch here. To say his speech was impassioned would be a gross example of understatement. Jon has taken up the fight on behalf of 9/11 first responders, and they couldn’t have asked for a more driven and eloquent speaker on their behalf.

There is a bill getting ready to be voted on that will fund health care for the first responders for 9/11, and it is a very important bill. Many of the first responders on that most horrific day are now sick or dying due to being exposed to Gods know what during the aftermath of that day. I won’t belabor the stats, but you can check those out at the Never Forget Project.

All of those people who responded to the call on that day, and for months afterward, because of a terrorist plot carried out against our country, deserve no less than our full support. No excuses.

Please do take time to watch his speech. After you do, really think about who is running things, whether it is your city, state, Congress/Senate, or our President. Do the people you vote into office have the same kind of honesty, integrity, and intestinal fortitude as Jon Stewart? If not, then we need to elect people into office that do.

Faithful Readers, you are all aware that I don’t blog too much about politics, but I will make an exception this time. We are living in a time when every vote counts, and there are those who work very hard to make sure folks don’t have the opportunity to vote.

I’m a dyed in the wool Independent, because I vote for the person, not the party, as the parties are corrupt. At the next election, and in your everyday life, look for people like Jon Stewart who have integrity, honor, and stand up for what’s right. We need more people like Jon Stewart. He’s labeled as a comedian, but I think it’s ok to call him a humanitarian. So what if he started out his first career as a comedian? Ronald Reagan was an actor, and Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer, but both became President, and both had honor and integrity, even if their political ideologies were different.

Here’s hoping that you find many people in your life who exude honor and integrity. Life is too short to wallow in the mud with those who don’t. Blessings all…

Enjoying the light while I can


This is what I saw when my eyes popped open this morning:

I so love that my room is lit up with sun shine when I get up in the morning, and that the sun is still setting at 10:00 at night.

We are approaching the Summer Solstice, and the longest day of the year. It makes me so happy to have so much light, and this is my favorite time of year given the lack of darkness. Winter is always so depressing, and the lack of sun light plays a major part of that.

I feel more than a little sadness thinking about passing by that day, and the darkness slowly creeping back in.

Time to focus on what is, and enjoy that while I can, rather than worry about what will be.

Here’s hoping you have all the light you need, and that you have an awesome day. Blessings all!

Road Trip: Western North Dakota


Yesterday The Flirt and I went on a road trip, which is one of my favorite things to do. He has had a jones to trade in his truck for something new, and so we went to Williston, ND to check out what they had to offer.

Williston is two hours from Minot, and is smaller in population, but it was a good excuse to get out of Dodge, if you will. I really enjoy getting out of Dodge.

I also enjoy it when he drives, so I can bring a crochet project along and keep my hands busy. This afghan is one I’ve been working on for my nephew. I used a modified block pattern which leaves a lot of tails to weave in at the end, but it’s worth the work when it’s all done. I actually made good progress, and am finally nearing the end of this one.

First stop on the way was in Stanley. We heard that all of the Shopko’s in the nation were going out of business, so we thought we’d check out the going out of business sale. Holy buckets… I had no intention of shopping, but the deals were so good I couldn’t help but pick some things up. Having filled up The Flirt’s back seat, we got back on the road to Williston.

We arrived at the dealership, looked over what they had to offer, and he began the process to see if a trade could be made. While the dealership crunched numbers, we went to lunch at a restaurant called Famous Dave’s. Minot doesn’t have a Famous Dave’s, so this was a particular treat. I ate what they called “burnt butts”, which is like burnt ends, but is pork instead of beef. The coleslaw was really good… not bland at all, and not too soupy or too dry. The Mac and Cheese, which had a good spice to it, also included sweet corn. The corn was unexpected, but turned out to be a great addition. There was also a corn muffin, which was a little more like a cupcake than corn bread in consistency, but it tasted good. All in all, it was a fabulous meal, and there was so much we both had to get to-go boxes. Looking forward to going back!

As it turned out, no deal was made for a new truck, so we made our way home by way of New Town, which is south of Williston if you take highway 1804. The terrain here is so lovely. I am a huge fan of the High Plains with its rolling prairies, but western North Dakota is particularly beautiful with more prominent features starting with the Missouri River, Lake Sakakawea, and then the Badlands in the south west.

I love taking pictures, and so I snapped a few from the truck as we drove between Williston and New Town on highway 1804.

Across Lake Sakakawea, you can see Saddle Butte.

Taking pictures from inside a moving vehicle, and the gloominess of the day, make for less than stellar pictures. On top of that, I was using my iPhone, which doesn’t take the best pictures. However, you get an idea of the terrain in this area.

One of the bad things about this area is that it is in the top end of the Bakken oil play and all of this beautiful countryside is dotted with oil wells. In this picture, you can see natural gas flaring:

Oil wells, and wasting of natural gas notwithstanding, it was still a beautiful drive. We made it to New Town, and hit that Shopko as well. We ran into some people we knew, and I found a few more things to buy, and then we drove home.

It was a good day.

I love a good road trip, and have a few more planned for the summer. This fall, I am driving out to NV to visit Younger Son, and a few others. It’s going to be a great adventure, and it’s killing me that I can’t get in the car and go now!

Here’s hoping you all have opportunities to get out of Dodge, whatever that looks or feels like or looks like for you. Getting away for a little bit is a good thing. Blessings all!

Creeping Jenny gets evicted


As you, my Faithful Readers, will remember, I have rock beds around the foundation of my house. Weeds growing up around the edges of the quickly disappearing plastic under the rocks has become a problem.

The most prolific weed I deal with is what we on the High Plains call Creeping Jenny. She’s quite a nuisance, and is impossible to get rid of. This noxious weed is otherwise known as Field Bindweed, which is an appropriate name, because it winds up all around and inside anything it touches, including the siding of my house, and my air conditioner. I just spent an hour going around my foundation pulling a whole lot of it out by the roots.

Now that I think of it, I may have even blogged about this last year. Well, enough complaining…time to redo the rock beds. This time I’ll put a rubberized pond liner under the rocks, which will help a great deal.

Something lovely I did find tonight, in the old gardens in the back yard, was a strawberry plant. I thought they all died, so it was a nice surprise to find this sweet little plant peeking out between the weeds.

Here’s hoping you all find a sweet little surprise while doing an icky chore. Little things like that can go a long way to lift your spirits. Blessings all!

Coffee thwarted, a 1st world problem


Today I had just enough time to grab some coffee from one of my favorite local coffee shops, With Room Coffee. I’m trying to quit my coffee habit, but everything in moderation, right?

Just as I turned down 3rd St towards coffee paradise, the train warning lights lit up and the gates started on their way down.

Harrumph!!

So, quick turn down a different street toward work. I can get coffee at work, for free even, but it isn’t the same.

As I sit here feeling fussy about being coffee blocked, I need to remind myself that if this is the worst my days gets, I’m really ahead of the game.

Well, on with my day then.

Here’s hoping you all find the coffee, or other beverage, you need to get your day going. If not, keep in mind making do with something else isn’t so bad. Blessings all!

Spring rituals


This morning I had some time to putter outside in my yard, which was lovely. I’d have not come inside except that I have to go somewhere this afternoon and need to get cleaned up.

I realized today that we are now into June by two days, and it’s time to put my snow shovels away until Winter comes back around. It sounds strange but, living in North Dakota, I know that snow is possible late into Spring. I use June 1st as my safe date to put winter things away.

Is it superstitious? You bet. Do I feel embarrassed about it? Not one bit. This little Spring ritual works for me.

Speaking of Spring rituals, lilacs are blooming. Oh joy!

I love the smell of blooming lilacs, and am so glad I remembered to cut some and bring them in the house. I was almost too late, but they should last a few more days, and that makes me so happy. ❤️

Here’s hoping you all have little rituals that help you mark the seasons, and bring you much joy. Blessings all!

Last gasps of Spring…


I don’t have much going on in my yard this year yet, but I do have a few things blooming, and it does my heart good.

It’s not lost on me that Spring is almost gone, and Summer is upon us. Yesterday it was 90+ degrees here in central North Dakota, and that is unusual for May. We are looking a drought right in the hairy eyeball, and I am worried that things will be brown for most of the summer season. Time to strategize a passive watering system.

Anyway, today’s nature walk through my yard is certainly something to be grateful for, and I thought I would share a bit of it with you.

Here’s hoping you all have some nature nearby to appreciate. Take a deep breath and stop to smell whatever’s blooming. Blessings all!

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