Wednesday, October 31, 2018

we all fall down

Last Saturday morning, I was out enjoying a lovely fall morning run.  I saw a hot air balloon a little off in the distance.

I've mentioned my acrophobia here before.  I have no idea why I'm afraid of heights, but I just know I have been for as long as I can remember.  People have nightmares that involve being chased or haunted by ghostly images.  In my nightmares, I'm always up someplace high like a skyscraper or a billboard, or the worst - a billboard atop a skyscraper - and the only way down is to jump or climb.

Seriously, I once had one of these nightmares in which I was on top of a precarious stack of chairs.  What the...?  Yes, my nightmares are of chairs?

My first memory of this fear was when I was a toddler, and my dad lovingly picked me up and placed me on his shoulders - a thing most kids seem to strangely enjoy.

I was terrified. He put me down, back on my beloved terra firma.  So much for that bonding moment.

So, in summary, a ride in a hot air balloon does not appeal to me.  But I like looking at them from the ground.

When I got home, Chaco had texted me this photo.  The hot air balloon I'd seen floated over his house and landed in the field across the street.

It's a hot air balloon with no friggin' basket!  I had to look closer:

Where were the propane and burners?

Oh there they are - strapped to his un-basketed back!

I asked Chaco about it later.  He said the guy was basically sitting in a lawn chair with a propane tank as a backpack.

Maybe I'm envious.  It does seem like fun, in theory.  But I'm pretty sure if I went up in a balloon, I would want to spend the entire time, tucked in the fetal position at the bottom of the basket.  What to do if there's no basket??

Well, it's Halloween, so I'm thinking of scary things.  Last night, I was tutoring one of my younger students, a pleasant talented-and-gifted 8th grader.  She was telling me of her and her friends' plans for Halloween, and I mentioned that I'd bought a bunch of candy, but wasn't sure how many trick-or-treaters we'd have since it was currently snowing.

"*GASP*", she gasped, "I've never seen snow!"

She lives in Florida where, "it's summer all the time".  I don't think I'd like that, I've always lived where there were seasonal changes.  Just when I get sick of one season, it goes away and is replaced.  Our winter often arrives around Halloween.  Not typically scary.

Back yard this morning

So Happy Halloween, y'all!  It should be clear around here for the little goblins to be out trick-or-treating tonight.

But if anyone shows up dressed as a STACK OF CHAIRS, I'm out!!

What scares you?

Monday, October 29, 2018

trash and fur

Here I sit, looking at trash.

No, I'm not watching porn, my trash is sitting at the end of the driveway.  That's where I put it last Thursday night.  Almost everyone on my street has their trash sitting at the end of their driveways.  Trash truck avoided us on Friday trashday.  Not the first time this has happened.

I called.  Some neighbors also probably called.  "Relief Driver" is coming tomorrow.  I'll believe it when I see it. 

I don't like to post negative reviews online.  I think, in general, people give feedback when they're either extremely satisfied or extremely dissatisfied.  I don't read much, "Uh... yeah, it was okay I guess".  Except for books and movies.  I've seen plenty of 3-stars for books and movies, and I'll give bad or mediocre book reviews, always with the disclaimer that it "just wasn't for me".  But for products and services, I'll sometimes give 5-star reviews or keep  my  mouth shut. 

So I won't go online and trash the trash service.  Relief Driver's coming tomorrow.  Right?

Anyway, ready for some pet pics?  The cat was probably not too happy with me after last week, but he seems better now.  He can't stay mad at me.  But he had pretty good reason. 

First, I stuffed him into his cat carrier (not without a fight) and hauled him to the vet's for his annual checkup and shots.  He's not a fan.

On Saturday, Chaco's pooch, Ella came for a sleepover while Chaco was out of town.  Ella and Napolion are still quite wary of each other, so we do a bit of pet juggling when Ella is around. I'm seeing progress, though.

We took Ella for some good walks.  I'm convinced she would walk for days and ask for more.  Wouldn't stop moving in order to get a nice photo with the ducks. 

I put her in the dog run while I was working in the yard, partly to give the cat some couch potato time and partly for her to keep me company.  She is perpetually smiling.

The Inktober 2018 challenge is about to come to an end.  I managed a few more submissions, but it looks like my Inktober is going to spill into Inkvember

Do YOU give online reviews for products and services?  
Are you professionally subjected to client reviews?  
Pros and cons?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

not parents weekend

Last weekend was parents weekend at Meego's school.  As such, Magnum and I avoided the place, then took a 3-day to visit THIS weekend.  We're such rebels!

It was a good time, and I think I've gotten used to the drive.  At least it feels like it's gotten shorter.  Really, it's only a couple of hours in decent traffic, which is a rarity because Denver gets in the way.  So it was nice to spend time with Meego and also with Wolfgang since he happens to live and work there too.

We did quite a bit of recreating in our short visit.  I don't have many pictures because we were recreating, not taking pics.  For one thing, I think I mentioned that Fort Collins is designated "Platinum" status for bicycling.  In fact, "Gold" used to be the highest designation, but Fort Collins made it necessary for the powers that be to come up with a better-than-gold status.  Platinum it is.

Magnum and I brought our own bikes up this time so we didn't need to rent the granny bikes like last time.  I think Ariel and Ralph (our bikes) enjoyed all the platinum-ness.

In fact, Magnum observed, "That would be bad if you grew up here, then moved somewhere else and wanted to bike ride".
Yes, much better the other way around.

It didn't hurt that the weather was great for our visit.  Wolfgang led us up to Horsetooth Rock on Horsetooth Mountain in Horsetooth Open Space near Horsetooth Reservoir.

...uhm yeah, Horsetooth Rock is a prominent landmark in FoCo...

It was a lovely hike with a decent elevation gain and nice views considering how relatively flat the town of Fort Collins is.

See it?  The Horsetooth??  How many times can I type "Horsetooth" in one blog post?!

Anyway, good times.  I've fallen behind in my Inktobering - just 3 to claim for this past week - but I'm pretty sure the world will keep turning despite my lollygagging.

Friday, October 19, 2018

getting caught up and stuff

It felt like this week flew by, but looking back, I think it was productive.

On Monday, we got some new windows.

The guys arrived just a couple of  hours into our record breaking low-temperature morning.  Not the best time to have a good portion of windows gone from the house.  But the sun was shining - on the other side of the house, of course - and the temperatures crept up out of the teens eventually.

In the end, we're happy with the new windows:

In fact, we're so happy with the new windows, we couldn't bring ourselves to rehang the old tired blinds that covered our old tired windows.  Guess we're going shopping for new window treatments  now.  Any suggestions?

17. Swollen

The week continued with a mix of tutees, P.E.O., and time wasters other enriching activities.  I'm behind on Inktober, but still breathing.  At least I got some playtime to play with my new pens!

I checked in with Wolfgang and he's behinder than I am.  Yes, I know "behinder" isn't a word, but my blog.

Speaking of writing skillz, I came across this and needed to steal it for some tutees who claim to have never actually seen a semicolon "irl" :

Happy Friday, y'all!  ;)

Sunday, October 14, 2018

body mousse and the bionic girl

We had our P.E.O. fundraiser shindig last night.  By the end of the night, all of the wine and food was gone, and we'd sold all of the auction items.  Success!

I don't know the total headcount yet or how much moolah we made, but either way, it was a fun night.  Mag and I brought a white wine that supposedly pairs well with cheddar cheese, so I made some vegetarian quesadillas from a recipe I made up on the fly that included cheddar cheese.

I wanted to bring something vegetarian since I'm trying to not eat things that once had a face, and to have something to offer others in the group that don't eat things with faces.  The quesadillas were actually quite good, I'd say.  Maybe I should try making recipes up on the fly more often.  Or maybe it was the wine talking...

Anyway, it was a good time.  This was our second annual wine fundraiser.  I missed it last year because, well, this is high school marching band season, and that was Meego's thing.  We used to do Oktoberfest which had been successful too, but was more work to throw - all those brats!  Wine and potluck works better.

I also "won" some body mousse from the silent auction.  I really wasn't interested in buying anything, but, all proceeds go to the philanthropies.  One of my P.E.O. sisters teaches engineering at a local high school, and she's quite interesting and  knowledgeable about geeky things and also makes a crappy salary.  As such, she sells Mary Kay on the side.

Among the auction items were a few Mary Kay things, from whom we all knew.  Anyone who knows me knows I'm not in the target audience for Mary Kay items, but I saw a canister of  "body mousse" and was all, "What the heck is 'body mousse'?", and nobody really knew.  So I asked the Mary Kay Teacher Sister, "What the heck is 'body mousse'?"

She said it's like lotion, but thicker, "more like 'body butter'".

...which left me wondering what "body butter" is, but at that point, I decided to just bid on the darn stuff.  And now I own it.

Another highlight of the evening was the bionic girl.

See, the couple who hosted have three adopted Chinese daughters in addition to their four biological kids.  The youngest daughter was born with an incomplete arm - it ends just above where her elbow would have been.

Daughter had recently gotten this cool new prosthetic arm, and we all knew about it because her mom/our sister has been working on getting the arm, and there were several hurdles to clear, etc.  Daughter recently got it and began using it, just in time for homecoming, no less (she's 16).

I and others wanted to see it, of course, but didn't want to be all, "Hey Sis, bring daughter out and make her do stuff with her arm!"

But, without us needing to be obnoxious about it, Mom and Dad had her mingle with us while they talked about how cool the thing was, and Daughter did a few demo moves.  This isn't her arm/hand, but close enough:

 Anyway, it's pretty cool what these things can do.  And hers isn't even the most advanced.  I was impressed at how dexterous she was with the prosthetic, considering she just started using it after being one-armed her whole life.

Friendship, wine, faceless food, charity, body mousse, bionic Chinese adopted girl.  Three hours well spent.

*and I've fallen behind on Inktober, but so bet it...*

Saturday, October 13, 2018

baring arms

"You're the first person to come in wearing short sleeves today"

This from Geej, the girl who gives my weekly allergy shots.

And I was all, "Well... yeah, I'm here for shots"

In fact I told her that I'd changed before going because it wasn't a day to be wearing short sleeves - the reason why everyone else who'd come in had to figure out ways to bare their upper arm(s).  I like to keep it simple and skip the disrobing.  Plus I'm strangely obedient when a medical person tells me to do something like, "wear short sleeves when you come in for shots".

But yeah, it's been cold and drizzly here all week.  We got snowed upon.  It's early for that stuff, so people are confused, and I got a gold star from the allergist's.

And speaking of prizes, looky what I won from Ann over at Annster's Domain!

Yup, Ann had a blog door prize of sorts to celebrate her 1000th blog post, and I won the Starbuck's Gift card!  What a treat!

For those who don't know Ann and her blog, it's always a fun place to visit with upbeat posts and good times.  Take a break from the &%*!^# news headlines and visit Annster's!

In other diversion news, I'm managing to keep my head above water for Inktober.  Here are thumbnails of the latest submissions:

I ordered some new pens and expect them to come in the mail today.  The ones I've been using for Inktober are on their last legs, I think, but I'm keeping the drive alive πŸ’ͺand trying to put some ink on paper every day as I excitedly watch for the mailman.  Yeah, simple pleasures...

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Sunday speaking of

Happy Sunday, blogworld.  I'm currently enjoying a cup o' tea, getting ready for a pleasant tutee and thought I'd do a Silver Lining Sunday post.

Speaking of tutees, my schedule is full of 'em, and for that I'm grateful - all nice kids/young adults.  I'll give a shout out again to high speed internet finally finding our neighborhood.  And I do have a handful of local students because it's nice to get outta the house too.

Speaking of getting outta the house,  I went for a bike ride this morning, and fall is definitely here.  Two words for this morning:  FOG GEE.  It was noticeably chilly too - I had to break out gloves and stuff.  I snapped this pic after a good portion of the fog had cleared out and I could actually see across the street.  I'm grateful for my bike lights!

Speaking of recreation, I'm having fun riding the Inktober bandwagon.  I've managed to keep up for this first week.  I'm finding it nicely therapeutic, but I'm not sure just what the therapy is for?  I'm following a few others on Instagram in addition to seeing what Wolfgang's got to offer.  Here are my days one thru six:

Speaking of social media, my P.E.O. chapter is having a fundraiser coming up next weekend.  Wine and Cheese and silent auction social - actual face-to-face socializing and nice way to bring in some cash.  I'm also glad I'm not Prez this year 😊.

Onward to the tuting, and then exhaustion!  (That's today's Inktober prompt: exhausted)
Thanks for stopping by!  

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

pigs and hazmat gnomes

3. Roasted

Happy day 3 of Inktober!  I'm managing to keep up... so far.  Three down, twenty-eight to go.
Today's prompt is "Roasted", so thought I'd draw some sunflowers... and an uneaten pig.

I used to be quite a carnivore, but more and more, I find myself eating meat less and less.  Especially mammal meat.  I've caught glimpses of slaughterhouse videos, and they make me think twice.  I know that my abstaining from meat eating isn't going to save many pigs or cows, but oh well.  And I'm considering the appeal of "Moo Shoo Tofu"?

So Inktober is a fun diversion.  I've fallen off the artplay wagon, and this is a good thing to get me back on it.  I even cleaned up Meego's old gaming area and took it over as my "drawing studio" a.k.a. "little desk in the corner with some pens and stuff".

Inktober is something Wolfgang got me into last year when he got into his Copic®️ marker hobby.  He likes to ink fun cartoony things as opposed to my purist black-and-white things.  He sent this image he did for Day 1:  Poisonous

1. Poisonous

Well, now, I do eat mushrooms.  But what would Inktober be without some Hazmat Gnomes?