Friday, February 27, 2009

Winter Weather Returns!

Well, it's baaccckkkk!!!! Evidently February is a little too early to call Spring. We're about 30 degrees cooler today...not exactly COLD, it's upper 30's/lower 40's...but after the past few days of 70 degree temps, it's a little hard to like.

I met an old friend, Barbara, at Allie's Deli yesterday for lunch. We were there for over two hours.. absolutely great conversation. She's a retired real estate agent that I've either bought from or involved in my buying of the last four houses I bought. And also in selling three of those! (I'm still living in House #4.) I met her several years ago at an open house and we became instant friends. Her husband was involved in a pretty severe car accident a couple of years ago and she feels she needs to be home more now, so she's retired. We hadn't had lunch together in quite a while and boy, did we ever catch up! It was fun! We plan to try to do it again in 3 or 4 weeks and I'm sure looking forward to it.

Then today I was going to meet Patsy at Roy's Barbeque for lunch, but when I got there, a big sign in the window said "CLOSED FOR VACATION - BACK MARCH 3".... so we wound up going to Fraese Drug for lunch. I know the woman that cooks there and had heard it's really good...and it is. I really had my mouth set for Roy's, but Fraese was a good second choice. Greg and Sharon joined us as well, and it was great conversation as well as very good food. Another fun day!

Today is also Schiz' fifth birthday...that's "THE DOG" in case you don't remember. She had pure chicken meat for breakfast (no Science Diet)...then mid-afternoon she had chopped up chicken in her Science Diet (normal)...two tiny pieces of a Little Debbie Swiss Cake Roll (guess who ate the rest...and yes, I know, dogs aren't supposed to have chocolate), and just a few minutes ago a couple of tiny pieces of peppermint candy (she loves it!). It's her she's spoiled a little. But I'll have you know, it's NOT just on her's EVERY day that she's spoiled. She expects it, she demands it, and much like her owner, is worth it! HA! And it appears it's pretty hard work being this spoiled and 5 years old. Happy Birthday, Schiz!!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

72 Degrees at 5 PM

WOW! Another gorgeous day! Weatherman said it was still 72 degrees at 5 pm...and this is February 25th!
I did get out and ride A LITTLE today. I rode over to the newer bike path that starts at about 32nd and Lorraine and goes northwest for .8 of a mile. Then I just cranked around the neighborhood until I was too bored to continue. I wasn't really concerned about miles, just wanted to warm up some of the muscles that I used yesterday. I didn't even wear riding shorts...just regular old denim bermuda shorts. If you're not a cyclist, you may not realize how much better cycling is when you have on riding shorts. They have a chamois liner in them...makes sitting there a lot easier! If you really want to feel like you're getting better at riding, start out in jeans. Then a couple of weeks later, go to regular denim shorts. Then in a week or two, switch to some $24.95 riding shorts. Then when you're thinking you've really made giant strides, go get some $80-$90 shorts. There's incredible differences here. To begin with, long pants really pull down and make pedaling much, much harder. And you're sitting on that seam..OUCH! Riding shorts have no seams (and you don't wear underwear with them) and the chamois liner cushions your under-carriage. The difference between the $24.95 ones and the $80-$90 ones is just's an enormous difference. I'm also a firm believer in helmets, gloves, proper riding all just makes life easier. And regardless of what shorts I'm wearing, the helmet, gloves and shoes are always there!
It was really nice to see so many people out on the new bike path today. Walkers, other cyclists, and even some roller-bladers...and some workers spreading what I assume was grass seed! Everyone's enjoying this unseasonably warm weather. I know I definitely am!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Beautiful Weather!!!

What an absolutely gorgeous day!!!! Warm temps and almost no wind...WOW!!! Mary and I went out about 2:15 and rode 17 miles...ok, so not a lot, but consider this: I haven't ridden for at least two months! It was kind of like starting over again. By about mile 9 I was thinking, "This is going to be a problem tomorrow if we ride!" For those of you who may not be cyclists, I'm not talking leg muscles or back muscles. I'm talking "sitter" (to put it delicately!). But since I've been home, I've decided that if it's nice again tomorrow (and I think it's supposed to be) I'm going to get out and go again. I'm having lunch with another friend on Thursday, but Mary and I have already scheduled another ride for Thursday afternoon too.
As I was getting ready to go today, I pulled on a pair of riding shorts and noticed that they were pretty thin and worn out. I thought, "I've got some better than these..." I didn't. So Ebay tonight...and I should have another pair on the way soon. Amazing how quickly those things wear out!
But then, it was pretty amazing at how quickly I wore out today. I left here, rode through Kisiwa and down through the neighborhoods to meet Mary at 11th and the bike path...and at 30th and Monroe noticed my heart rate was 150. That's WAY too high; but, I'm WAY too out of shape! When I met Mary, we both decided that just a nice little jaunt down and around Carey Park would do very nicely. It was a beautiful ride. Miles go by much, much easier and quicker when you've got good company.
It feels like spring is on the way. I'm truly looking forward to it. I realize that winter could still easily hit us...but I'm hoping we'll just slide right through and keep all this beautiful a little rain would be nice (preferably between 2 am and 5 am...with no tornados or high winds). (Hey, I figure if you're going to ask for something, get all you can!)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Greener Solutions

I'm sending the following editorial to the Hutchinson News. I'm sure I won't be in the popular majority, but sometimes things become so stupidly obvious that I just can't stand NOT to say anything.

If you've read this once, please note: it's been revised.

In Sunday’s News there were several complete sections devoted to making our environment greener. Elements of Progress: Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water. Interesting stuff!
However, in Saturday’s News was the report of killing feral hogs southwest of here around Sun City. Those boars were tested for disease - and in the past four years no animals have tested positive - and yet those bodies were to be buried. Couldn’t this pork be used to feed some of the homeless and hungry - or donated to the prisons to feed the people there? Maybe the local grocer can’t put it in their cases due to some federal law (just a guess), but surely someone could use it, rather than just trashing it. There are still plenty of people who remember growing up eating rabbits and squirrels, even possums and raccoons on occasion. And I know first hand that barbequed goat can be delicious! If it’s ok to slaughter deer and "dine on venison", why can’t we find a use for all that pork? If we’re trying to cut our tax dollars and our tax dollars are in part funding our prisons, wouldn’t free meat help with that? If your response is "the prisoners don’t want it" response is "then don’t get sent to prison!"
If it’s somehow not fit for human consumption, how about getting it to some of the local zoos for the big cats and other meat-eaters. I’m sure they wouldn’t turn up their noses and say "Ew, it’s wild boar!"
I don’t have any problem with the killing of these animals. I understand they are destructive. But, all in all if we’re genuinely looking for ways to be "greener", wouldn’t it make sense to try looking in our "own backyards"? The article stated that the first three years of the program cost about $450,000...maybe we could re-coup some of that?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Very Messy Blog - Fault: User Ignorance

Seems to me I'm not doing a very good job of keeping up with my blog. I've had a fairly busy week, but very little of interest to others.

Tuesday my sister, Jude came from Joplin, and we went to Wichita that afternoon to go "rock" shopping. She makes jewelry and needed more settings and stones.In mid-March she and I are going to share a booth at the Hutchinson News' Monster Garage Sale. My friend, Pat, who makes gorgeous creative cards may join us in the booth as well. Between the three of us, we should have a good time...and hopefully we'll all be filthy rich when we leave there that day! Yeah, right!

Then on April 3rd I'm going to host a "Come and Go Party" where Jude and Pat and I will all be displaying "our wares." I have a list of 80-some people to invite...hoping to get at least 20 to actually drop by. If you want on the list, please email me at and I'll be sure to email you back with address and time. I'll tell you right up front, if you wear jewelry or send cards, you'd be hard-pressed to find better prices than these. If you know me, you know I like a bargain...and this stuff is ALL a good bargain!!!

My friend, Mary Lou was in the hospital most of last week with pneumonia...she's home now but still recuperating. Patsy is doing absolutely wonderful and out and about pretty much full time. However, I heard from another friend of mine, Marilyn, who took the wrong way off the curb at Chili's and broke her hip and had to have a total hip replacement. She said she's now home, using a walker, and feeling very old! Hang in there, Marilyn!!

And about this weather! My ex used to always say that for every winter day we get like these, it's just one less day of snow and ice. It has been absolutely gorgeous here. I know we need moisture, but wow, what a nice winter! I saw in Patsy's blog that she already has crocus blooming. Where I lived before I always had lots of little flower starting to spring up early (nothing to do with me, the lady before me had planted them!). That just seems like such a sure sign of spring. And I've been noticing more geese flying south again...that's good too!

This is a fern that someone convinced me to bring in last fall. I didn't want to, I knew it was a mistake...but I brought it in. It has spent the winter dropping little golden needles that nearly refuse to be picked up by the sweeper, plus just look at the long runners this thing has developed! And the geranium in the middle is leggy and stringy....never again!

Ok..Patsy, if and when you read this...Please tell me what I'm doing wrong!! Why is part of this underlined and part isn't and how do I fix it????

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I've actually had comments from a few people that they've noticed I haven't added anything new to my blog. My response has been "I have a very boring life." I've heard that if you are bored, it's because you are boring. That's probably so true!

But, just to bring you up to date, everyone of the "sickies" is doing absolutely wonderful. My cousin's daughter is doing fine, my other cousin's husband is doing absolutely great I hear, and I personally have seen and spent time with Patsy and she's doing incredibly well. I took Patsy to the doctor day before yesterday to have her sutures (staples) removed. She doesn't even walk like she's had surgery or any pain whatsoever. She goes up and down her front porch steps (about 4 or 5 steps) big deal!!! She was a little concerned about having the staples removed, but said afterwards only one or two twinged a little.

I had asked her a couple of computer questions on the way to the clinic, and so after her "unstapling", she suggested that we come over to my house and she'd show me how to do some of the things I'd asked about. WOW!!! It's great to have a computer-savvy friend! She cleaned up my favorites list, and gained me some speed, and suggested other changes I could do to get even more speed (which I'm still considering), but maybe best of all, she showed me how in insert pictures in my blog and know where and why they'd show up. She gave me a basic lesson on html language. (I'm sure it was a basic, basic, basic "html for real dumb dummies" lesson). But I honestly felt like I learned a bunch! Now I need to practice some of it in order to remember it.

Here will be my first attempt: This is to show you how very dry it's been here...we've had a little (usually referred to by the weather-guesser as "a trace") of moisture...but just check out Schiz' tail!
I swear I never did anything to it...she merely walked out, hopped into the car, and this is what it looked like. And I am a kind person....I DIDN'T EVEN TOUCH HER NOSE!!!!

On to other thoughts: Mary Lou and I plan to go to the Picasa3 class at the Hutchinson Public Library tomorrow. Hope we learn alot. I attended several different classes there and afterwards always think how helpful they were. I'm already using Picasa3, but certainly can afford more instructions! Hutchinson Public Library offers free classes in many different computer programs: Intro to Microsoft Word, Intro to the Internet, Intro to Excel, Basic Microsoft Excel, Internet Safety, Basic Training A and B : Computer Skills for Beginners, Beyond the Basics, Intro to Burning CD's, Intro to Yahoo, Buying on Ebay, Selling on Ebay, Intro to Blogging, Working with Digital Images, and many, many more. Each class offers not only the instructions and supervision, but also intelligent, computer-savvy Kristine is there to help you individually. The list of offered classes is available either at the library or I believe the second Wednesday of the month it's published in the Hutch News.

I guess I'm always somewhat amazed at people who won't take advantage of free knowledge. For 19 years I worked for a company that offered to pay 80% of books and tuition if you took a college class (whether it was job-related or not) and received a grade of C or above. That company had about 65 employees at that time, and rarely did we have anyone take advantage of that offer. Personally, I did! I really did!! I started and completed my Associate's Degree totally on their (80%) money! And, for what it's worth, I advanced in my job because of it! And while I said wasn't at all unusual to be able to sell your books back and get the other 20% covered too.

Well, I've covered about all the news I can...just not much happening here. Schiz and I walk daily when the weather allows...which it really has been great here lately. It's still kind of windy for me to want to go bike riding....'course, it's not windy in the basement, I could go ride that trainer..........yeah, right! That's all for now....stay healthy!