Monday, April 16, 2018

Waiting on Spring and a Meet and Greet at Our Home

It's mid-April and I'm sitting by the fireplace with my feet up, feeling like it's the dead of winter. We just dug out from a major snowstorm that blanketed us with between 15-18" (38-46 cm for my metric friends) of snow. We've broken the record for snowfall total for the month so at least we earned bragging rights for that. Our snowbanks are as high as they've been all winter it seems but I'm hopeful that some milder temps in the offing will make quick work of them.

The snow is pretty but so are flowers, bone dry single-track trails, and freshly mown fairways. I'm ready for a change.

I completed another larger stained glass panel over the weekend. Of all of the pieces I've made since taking up residence down in the glass shop last November, I think this is my favorite. There's something about the flow of the lines and the minimal touches of color that works for me. I listed it on my Etsy site but I'm in no hurry to see it go. I added a few extra dollars to the price to take the sting out of selling it should someone want it.

Here's a link to it with additional photos on my Etsy site.

I tried sitting down last night to come up with my next stained glass design but I came away empty. Often times a fresh pair of eyes the next day makes all the difference. I hope to find time tomorrow to come up with something because I need a project to work on.

We're hosting a meet-and-greet/fundraiser for Maggie Williams this coming Saturday afternoon from 2-4 at our home. Maggie is running for the Minnesota State Legislature in district 58A. We don't technically live in the district (we're a block away) but what's important is supporting candidates who share our views no matter where they reside; plus, I'm her treasurer. Feel free to come out and ask Maggie whatever questions you may have for her. We'll have some snacks and drinks as well. I hope to see some of you here. Contact me for our address if you're interested.

That's all I've got. Carry on!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Toby, A Winter Without End, Glass Projects and Alpe du Zwift!

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination. I was 10 years old and too young to appreciate then what his short time on earth meant for our country, but I knew his murder was a significant tragedy. I have a distinct memory of being with my parents in our front room that night and looking up King's name in our World Book Encyclopedia. I checked with them first before penning in the date of his death.

Toby has entered that phase of his life that as a pet owner I dread. His vision is very diminished as is his hearing, and his rear legs appear to be losing some strength -- I'm guessing he has arthritis. I have to mix in some easier days on our walks so he doesn't overdo it because he still wants to run when we're out there. I have to be his eyes while we're on our walks but he seems to do well especially if we're on an open road that's free of traffic. A little nudge from the leash works well to correct his course.

He struggles with steps now so I find myself carrying him around inside our home more and more to help him out. He fell down the steps leading to our main level a couple weeks ago and hit his head. He moaned for a while afterword and I felt so bad for him. Last week I found him stopped halfway up the steps as he tried to follow me but couldn't. That's never happened before. I'm much more attentive to his needs than ever. He used to love being held but that's no longer the case but he's content to sit by my side where he is now. Like any dog, he sleeps most of the day but his naps are much more than naps, they're a very deep sleep. I love that sweet boy so much. We'll be taking both Toby and Charlie with us when we drive out to Oregon to see my brother and his family next month. The thought of leaving him in a kennel or in an unfamiliar environment at his age would be too big of a worry for us.

It's April 5th but you'd never know it by glancing outside. It looks like the dead of winter out there. I have no idea how the early arriving Robins are faring with all of this snow covering their main food source: worms.

My Timehop app is a daily reminder of how far behind we are in terms of snowmelt from previous years. Yesterday's feed was of photos I'd taken on a round of golf at Boulder Pointe Golf Course last year. Looking at the extended forecast, we're still at least a few weeks away from the courses being ready to play. Even that sounds optimistic at this point.

I've been keeping myself busy down in the glass shop, still working on larger panels to hang in the windows of our sun-porch. I've completed 4 of 7 so far and hope to sit down and spend some time tomorrow coming up with a design for the next one. My favorite TV viewing of the year is happening now so I'll be multitasking while watching coverage of The Masters golf tournament. My pick is Rickie Fowler at -9.

It's been a productive five months for me.

My workouts are still taking a backseat to my time spent working on glass projects but I've been making time when I can to get on my CompuTrainer and trash myself for an hour or two at a time. There's a new route on Zwift's Watopia course that closely resembles one of the most epic climbs of Le Tour de France: the climb up Alpe d'Huez. It's called Alpe du Zwift, and it's a blast! My first attempt at climbing it I managed a time of 1:01:15. I improved some on my 2nd attempt with a time of 1:00:33. Obviously, my goal is to break an hour. I'll get there soon enough. It's a fun climb that has an average gradient of 9%. And there's nowhere to hide on it -- no downhills or easy sections. Fun stuff!