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In My Dreams, and for My Conservative Friends

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Wednesday night. I was watching TV last night when a memory of a dream I'd had the previous night flashed into my conscience. In my dream, I was with Charlie, telling him how much I love and miss him. It was so real I literally woke up in tears. A few days ago marked six months since his passing . I still miss him dearly. Tammy and I have talked about bringing another pup into our lives, but we're putting those plans on hold. It's still too soon for both of us.  My physical therapist gave me the green light to resume riding last week, as long as I don't push too hard. She mentioned it's okay to lean into a little bit of pain — that's expected, but not to overdo it. I've been riding every other day for two to three hours, and my knees seem fine. I've tested my limits briefly to see how my knees react, but I hesitate to exert too much. I'll reserve that for a few weeks when I try a prolonged harder effort. I was recently playing around with an AI app f

Sidelined, and Closing a Chapter

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I met with my orthopedic doctor one week ago about the tendonitis I'm experiencing in both knees. He recommended taking some time off and allowing the condition to heal through rest. That's pretty much what I figured he would advise and the approach I'd been taking prior to meeting with him. Dr. Johnson also looked at previous X-rays of my right knee and said it's been bone-on-bone for several years and that I should give consideration to having knee replacement surgery—something I've been hesitant to do because I've worried that a knee replacement wouldn't hold up to the active lifestyle that I want to continue.  I first injured my knee in June 1975 while playing softball. I tore the meniscus when I slipped on some loose sand over hardpacked dirt when running from home plate to first base. The treatment then was to immobilize my entire leg in a full-length cast for 4 weeks. All seemed fine, but shortly after getting the cast off my leg, I managed to tear th

In Full-Swing with Spring!

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Tammy and I spent much of this week buying and planting flowers for our flower beds. It's nice to have the work done. Rather than simply turning over our newly planted flowers to the deer and rabbits for them to feast on, I'm using Liquid Fence as a way to deter them from decimating our plants. As much as we love the critters we share our space with, I need to set some boundaries so we can all live in harmony. It's a smelly boundary, though, when it's first applied. I had to laugh at some neighbors walking by holding their noses. The musty, putrid smell goes away once it's dried. I'll report back on our results. Stay tuned! I'm sitting on our deck this morning listening to the birds sing and using my phone's Merlin app to identify what I'm hearing . A hummingbird is flitting around behind me, maybe a little perturbed by my presence as it surveys our two feeders. The air is calm, and the sun is obscured by clouds, making for ideal deck-sitting condi

Feeling Unsettled

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As of a few years ago, my daily routine began with about 20 minutes of prayer. It was somewhat meditative but mostly it was simply my way of touching base with God and lifting up my concerns to him: prayers for my family and friends; prayers for marginalized people and those facing hardships; prayers for the leaders of our world; prayers for peace, and prayers of thanks for the countless blessings in my life.  I seldom reach out in prayer anymore and that saddens me. It was an exercise that both grounded and centered me. I miss it. We used to be solid members at  Hosanna , leading a weekly bible study in our home and helping out on Tuesday nights at the church where they would offer a meal and a sermon to those in need within the community. Tammy and Rachel would paint the fingernails of tiny hands while I would apply stick-on tattoos to little arms and faces while their parents rummaged through the community clothes closet for items they could use.   Sunday mornings at Hosanna were t

Train-Tripping and Goodbye, Maria

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Slow down, 2024! What's the hurry? I've likely wrapped up work in my glass studio until next winter. I was pleased with how many pieces I was able to create in the few months where I regularly worked on stained glass projects. Now that I've got a decent inventory in my Etsy shop , I hope to be able to focus on the panels above our kitchen cabinets and on the windows in our master bathroom when I begin work again next winter.  The final piece I did was of a mountain biker riding through a forest. Tammy bought me this wood art as a gift and I used it as inspiration for the design. I figured it was past time that I finally merged my two passions (stained glass and cycling) into a sun-catcher.  For comparison, like most of my pieces of late, it's a smallish panel . This piece of art glass won't make it into my Etsy store. I would much rather gift it to Cliff (our grandson) at some point.  Tammy has taken time lately to work on some watercolor paintings for Clifford'

Can We Talk?

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Our curling league is done for the season. I hope to join league play again next winter and improve on my budding but limited skills.  I woke up this morning and reached for my phone on the nightstand to read Heather Cox Richardson's most recent update—an update that usually lands in my inbox just after drifting off to sleep for the night. It's how most of my mornings begin. In another era, it wouldn't be this way. I wouldn't have to spend even one second of my day worrying about the direction many in our country would like to lead us or force us to go. But that's no longer the country we live in.  Read Heather's most recent update here . It's not just the direction of our country under a Republican administration led by an authoritarian-curious kleptocrat that worries me, but that far too many people seem oblivious to what that will mean, or that some may even welcome it. I've spent my life free from such worry, always so sure that nothing would or coul

Projects, Politics, and Pedaling

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I blinked and February was gone! I have a confession: I've been watching an embarrassingly large amount of curling videos on YouTube. Now that I understand some of the strategies (there's still much that goes over my head), I find it fascinating to watch.  I've been experiencing excessive knee pain lately. I know that curling doesn't help the matter but this began before I ever joined a curling league. I'm concerned it may possibly be related to the statin (Rosuvastatin, aka Crestor) I've been taking to manage my cholesterol level. There are reports of the kind of pain I'm experiencing as a side effect of the drug. My right knee has been a problem for me since high school when I tore the meniscus in it (twice in two months) but I've managed to keep it mostly healthy through exercise (and arthroscopic surgery in 1991). But back in December, before curling was ever a thing for me, I developed aggravating knee pain in my right knee that limited how hard I