Tuesday, March 26, 2024

March Buffalo kayak

Well, I did my 2nd cold weather kayak Saturday.   I did another one on the fall with my friend in Southern Missouri.  We really enjoyed the peace and quiet.  Not many other people on the river.

Well, I did my 2nd cold weather kayak Saturday.   I did another one on the fall with my friend in Southern Missouri.  We really enjoyed the peace and quiet.  Not many other people on the river.

We joined a group of gals from Western Tennessee.   It was nice.  It was about 50 to 55 degrees then, overcast.

Saturday it was 40 degrees when we got to the Buffalo.   About 44 by the time we shoved off from Steele Creek.  But brilliant sunny day right after we got going.

4 of us showed up.  

1 experienced, me and my friend P much less experienced and one of us a first timer!

Well, bless his heart A went over 3 times the last mile and we really freezing! More on that in a minute. 

I realized as I prepared, I have done this same section of the Buffalo another time...30 years ago!  Do we get more cautious and consider danger more as we mature?  It would seem so, as I had a healthy apprehension about preparing Saturday.   While 30 years ago, I barely gave it a thought.

Anyway, I realized we were doing same section when my friend said we would stop about 2/3 of the way through to Kyle's Landing and hike to the waterfall at Hemmed in Hollow.

In 1994 I did this same stretch of the River and hike with a guy I worked with, his wife and their friend.  The friend was experienced and we shared a canoe back then.  

I do t remember much about that trip except the hike - very cool waterfall...tallest between Appalachians and Rockies...and seeing elk on our drive to and from...oh, and we dumped back in 1994...stupid rock!  I remember it was cold, but not THAT cold.  Maybe it was April or later?  Not sure.

But lately, last I don't know how long...you pretty much have to go in early spring to the upper Buffalo, or the water is too low.  Climate change?  Drought?  Not sure, but the change is real.

So, Sat my friend S and I wore were suits.  Our other 2 friends, not so much and the one who tipped...well the last part of his day was tough.

He ended up VERY cold and we hurried and got out and got him to some kind stranger's camp fire.  My other friend had mistakenly left his keys back at Steele Creek, so that was another wrinkle.  Otherwise, the day was perfect and fun.  

Just so you know, in my dry bag on my yak I also had a change of dry clothes and 2 beach towels, one which I lost because I gave them both to the pre-hypothermic friend in need!  Older and more cautious...and PREPARED.  

And boy did I enjoy crocheting on the couch Sunday!

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 2, 2024

March Already

My cute little star magnolia bush is blooming, it starts even before the forsythia.

I gave up some medicine I have been taking long term for years to help with insomnia and depression.  I tapered off in December.  I had read that this medication may contribute to weight gain, thinking if I went off of it, maybe it would help me lose a few pounds.

I think it did help a little but I was worried about the insomnia.  It came back worse than I ever remember it being before I started taking this medicine years ago.  Perhaps that is a function of aging also.

Well, one of my hiking friends the other day said try melatonin, which I have, but not 10 mg try 5 mg.  I think it might be helping, or I am just getting used to being without the other medication finally.  I feel my sleep slowly improving this past week.  Then it will be time for the time change anyway and once it gets hot outside, I can't sleep then either.  Oh well.  

I went on a couple nice hikes that past few weeks.  I have been in my current job position for about a year and a half now and I am finally feeling more comfortable with the workload and technology and feeling more comfortable to take a day off here and there to get a hike in once in a while.  

First hike I did after my New Years hike was more like a walk on a concrete path through the woods and a couple of fields to the Illinois River done by the Walton family.  It goes to WOKA whitewater park in Oklahoma on the Arkansas border near Siloam Springs.  I did not even take a photo until the end, but it is a pretty area.  You can kayak down the Illinois River and detour through this whitewater park and learn skills and they have events there to teach kayaking.  Its a great feature for that little section of the state/s.

After our "walk" we had lunch at a quaint little cafe in downtown Siloam and it was worth taking a day off.  

The next hike was on super bowl Sunday, it is an area called Smith Creek Preserve.  It is a really beautiful valley with a pretty stream and some pretty water falls.  The impression I always get from this area is the beautiful vibrant green moss everywhere.  There was not as much water this time, depends on the time of year.  

We also just did Alum Cove (again - did it in November) and  Glory Holy Waterfall.  Two of our friends had not been here, so that was fun sharing these cool features with them.  The Alum Cove is a natural bridge rock formation and Glory Hole Waterfall is a giant hole formed on top of a karst rock formation that channels water down a rock stream and into this hole and down.  You can climb down around the huge opening of the karst/cave-type rock formation and see it from underneath as well as on top.  It is a real geologic marvel.  Since it was a Saturday (my friends regularly do Sat hikes so I can go more often) there was a lot of people there.  Including a woman carrying her baby in a pack on her chest - she was getting a workout!

Well, hope you all have a wonderful spring weekend!  It feels like spring today so I am going to do some plant moving and raking.  

I haven't done a look-what-i-have-sold post lately, so show and tell time!  My sister and I every couple of months check out the thrift stores.  I found a pair of Sorel boots for $20 and sole them for $80 on Poshmark!  Score.

Here are a couple of my most recent afgans.  I have about 12 or 14 listed on my ebay page now.  Haven't sold one yet.  Maybe I have them too high.  I wish people realized how expensive yarn is now!

Here is a funny meme bringing my love for the Chiefs with my love for yarn.  

Have a great day!

Monday, January 29, 2024

Aging Challenges

 So in the last year I have had a couple of concerning medical issues regarding my eyes.  

I do have a chronic condition which has resulted in dry eyes and some uveitis, but have not had problem in a few years now (knock on wood).  

So last year developed a sudden large floater in R eye.  Went to my normal eye Dr - he sent me to retinal specialist.  Was told I had Posterior Retinal Detachment.  Was told this was a normal thing that sometimes happenes to people as they approach 60 (I have a few years, yet, till 60).  As we age, the gel substance in our eyes dries out and can pull from retinal.  In my case, it caused a tear.  

I had that lasered and seems to be doing ok.  The large floater is still there, along with several smaller ones.  They seem to be less noticeable, but will never go away.  Bright sky and computer screen makes it more noticeable and prevalent.  My eyes get tired and I feel like I am struggling to see.  My focus is a challenge.  

Well, I had quarterly and monthly follow ups all last year with the specialist.  They pointed out my tear laser (weld) was doing fine and all the blood in my eye cleared up.  My pressure is fine and my macula look fine (my father and paternal grandmother both had glaucoma and macular degeneration - my grandmother surgery both eyes, legally blind by her 80's or 90's).  

As the year went on, I learned it has also developed in my L eye - but no tear.  Thank goodness for that.

So my last follow up was last week.  Now I am getting what is called Epiretinal Membrane on one eye, which will likely happen in both eyes.  The specialist said that "not if, but when" I will need eye surgery to correct.  He relayed the information very blase - like it was what he was having for lunch and then left the room.  I felt like I had more questions and want to know if there is anything I can do in the meanwhile.  He is not even wanting to see me until next year.  So that is good.  

So for now, I am doing a little of my own research into what this all means for me.  What I should be doing.  Supplements?  Is working long hours looking at a computer screen hurting me more?  Should I consider retirement, etc.  

My mind is whirling.

Saturday, January 20, 2024


 I am sitting in my home office, which is the northern-most guest room of my house - it is freezing!  6 degrees.  We were so lucky last week to have been able to fly to see our friends down in Tampa.  It was a very quick trip - Friday to Monday.  But it was a nice break from the cold.  

Our friend J has a Christmas tree burning party each year in January.  He collects about 80-100 trees and we enjoyed the bonfire, white chili and hot chocolate.  It was a real nice weekend.  The last time we made it down was about 5 years ago right after DH retired.  

This past weekend my niece stayed at our house with our dogs.  We were really concerned about the winter store all over the country, but we were very lucky and not affected.  The walk from long term parking (no shuttle?!) was about .2 miles and it was brutal wind.  So, of course we had our coats and all our warm gear all the way to Florida.  When we got back on Monday, DH truck had snow and some ice on it - well, we realized in Florida - no ice scraper!  Ha.

Anyway, while in Florida my friends took us to Siesta Key, beach near Sarasota - my first time to go there.  Was really beautiful.  It stayed about 58 degrees the 4 days we were there.  It was sort of overcast on Sunday when we went to the beach, but the sun was trying to peek out and the rain held off.  There were people walking on the beach - most bundled it in coats and long pants, but a few in shorts and barefoot.  

I could not believe how many pretty shells!  SO many.  And colorful!  Gorgeous.  Since we flew a economy airline, all we could have was one small carry on - so no shells collected by me.  Darn.  I would have loved to collect some for our lake condo.  Oh well, guess I will just have to get some next time!

It was all over the news the really cold Chief v Dolphins game last weekend.  It was like -10 degrees in KC Sat night.  We could not see the game unless we were Peacock subscribers, so we just kept checking the score.  People I knew were there posting photos of peoples beers and drinks freezing and running out over the top.  Crazy!

Well I hope you are staying warm and safe where you are and your 2024 is off to a great start.  Namaste.

Saturday, January 6, 2024


I loaded the blogger app on my phone to see if it woul make me blog.  But it tedious typing this way, so probably not. 

I used to blog regularly starting in approximately 2017, but I had a job where I could quickly do an entry here or there.  

Then I retired for about 6 months...decided I was not quite ready and went back to work.  Since my husband retired and we moved to the next state, I had to get a different job.

My first job was remote and involved 2 years of mandatory 60 hour weeks..  Then they promptly laid a bunch of us off after the pandemic work leveled off.

Now I am back in a field I left years ago, again 100% remote and the learning curve was steep.  I am now almost 18 months in and just starting to feel like I can manage this workload for at least 3 more years.

At least it's easier to add photos this way, so I am going to try to at least do a post every so often.

I started the new year with a hike which makes me happy.

So here's to 2024!

Sunday, April 30, 2023

 Over a year since my last post. 

Well, things are going MUCH better.  DH is doing well, actually went on last spring to have surgery on his neck, but the neurosurgeon explained to us beforehand that they do not like patients to wear neck brace after surgery and my DH was like "I'm IN!".  If he would have had to wear neck brace, he would not have gotten the surgery.  The neck brace gave him essentially clastrophobia and off the chart anxiety.  The new hardware (forgot the name of the material/composite they use) is more flexible than 20 or even 10 years ago and so it "gives" more with movement and they actually want a little more movement.  So no neck brace.

So that was April.  Then in May I enjoyed my garden, my flowers, couple of fun floats in my kayak when I was not working.  Still working 60 hours mandatory.  Then last May miraculously my employer made us work a couple of mandatory 70 hour weeks.  Really!  Then 2 weeks at 40 and then bam!  I got laid off.

So, all of the sudden I had no income.  I did manage to get signed up for unemployment - what a hassle that was, took about a month to get signed up, provide the documentation required and get a check.  But it was a relief.  I have paid all my life into unemployment (I am late 50's) and had never used it.  So, that was a relief - just enough to pay the absolute bare necessities - but a safety net nonetheless.  

Well, at least when I was not enjoying my yard/flowers (I did not plant veggies last year because of all the hours they were making us work), enjoying the lake condo and seeing my Florida friends at the lake.  When I was not outside, I was inside looking for a job.  So, I looked all of June and part of July, then I had a couple of phone interviews.  Then a 2nd Zoom at the place I really wanted to work.  Then they told me they would be in touch.  I waited about another month and saw that they had done a background check on me and still I waited.  While waiting I half heartedly keep looking for other jobs.  

I even got a haircut for my Zoom interview.  Well, late July I finally got word that I got the JOB!  With a large very well known insurance company in claims, which is what I did before I worked for the law firm.  But, it had been since 2005...would I be able to get over that learning curve?  


Saturday, April 9, 2022

Stressfull last month and a half

So, my husband suffers from chronic back pain.  Had surgery in 2009 and it helped for a while, then over time one who have had back surgery, including any type of fusion of the vertibrae, the movement can translater more to the level above and below.  Along with normal age related degeneration that is unavoidable...one has more problems and pain.  This and the fact that my husband is not terribly health conscious and does not stretch or walk - he is aging poorly.

Well, we had a family member who had a morphine pump installed and it did wonders for his pain, my husband went through all the pain protocol and tried everything and finally decided he wanted that also.  He had the pain pump installed under his skin in Nov.  He has lots of problems just with that procedure, then it took several weeks to heal and get the medication level right.  Then about 6 weeks ago, after I got home from Texas...he was walking to the bathroom early in the morning and fell and had a huge gooseegg on his left upper forehead.  I ran into help him and saw that his head was bleeding and huge bump...I helped him off the floor back onto the bed.  He was crying out in pain.  I took him to the hospital...

I was concerned about his head injury, but not only did he hurt his low back, now he had shoulder and neck pain.  They did films of all...come to find out - he had 2 neck fractures!  So crazy.  So, they put him in a very stiff neck brace and released him to follow up with a neurosurgeon.  Cut to 5 weeks after that, they have done more films, recommend MRI (did this past week - still waiting on results).  And has to wear the brace 2 more months!  And it gives him severe anxiety and depression.  And now we wait to see if he has to have surgery.

Just wanted to check in and jot down some thoughts.  Has been very difficult, the depression and anxiety is the worst, i know he will eventually heal his neck and stablize his back (please Jesus).  But I just feel so helpless.  Meanwhile, I am working the same crazy 60 hours and now it is mowing season.  We have a large yard...1 acre we mow.  I did the entire yard last weekend by myself and it was not too bad...so I feel that is doable.  I am not going to have a garden or flowers in pots this year to also take care of.  

I am trying to streamline things around the house and minimize, get rid of even more clutter/unnec stuff and just put one foot in front of the other.  The prospect of caring from this house, 4 dogs, the yard, my job...it gets overwhelming at times, but i just take a deep breath and know I can do it and remember how grateful I am for a warm home, a loving partner and dogs i enjoy, good friends and extended family.

Well, I will try to come back and write down more to help process everything.  I hope everyone out there is doing well and dealing with whatever things life is throwing at you with patience, love, and prayer...deep breath, some sort of inspiration and gratitude...and a little humor.

Thanks for reading.