Thursday, April 14, 2016

Why? Rhymes with Cry

Ugh, I've struggled with this post.  Made a few attempts at it, and now will change it yet again.  These pictures were taken a week ago, so things have changed a bit now.  The petals are falling on the cherry tree, pink snow, and the leaves are unfurling.
We have finished our second stretch of summer like weather.  The temperature was 26 C or 78 F last Thursday, and almost as warm Friday.  The trees have gone wild.  Cherry trees, both ornamental and not, apple trees and pear trees and plum trees all in full bloom, or are finished.

A while back, son David started a fairly involved application for a work term for his university course.  He Googled all sorts of things related to interviews at this particular company, questions asked, waiting time to hear back after the interview etc.  After his application was received, he was asked to complete two online, timed tests.  One was reading comprehension, and the other was math related.  He obviously did well on those, as he received a phone call to set up an interview.  Because of the distance involved between the place of work and here, it was a phone interview.  That interview led to a second phone interview, and eventually he was offered a job.  Now one of the questions he came across that is sometimes asked at interviews, was to describe yourself with one word.  He doubted he would get asked that, but thought that 'just in case', he should come up with something.  His word was 'genuine'.  And lo and behold if he wasn't asked that question at his interview.  He had to give examples to support his 'word'.  

When we were all talking about this later, other family members tried to come up with a word of our own.  I can't remember what the others said, but my word was 'why'.  As in 'why do you have to do it that way',  'why are you telling me to take this road, when that road looks like the better option?, why, why, why?'  Now I don't recall ever being told that I was one of those little kids that was always asking 'why, Daddy?', but I certainly am one now.  Don't tell me not to do something, if you aren't willing to tell me why.

As most of you know, Meredith and I were training for the 10 Km Sun Run, to be held this Sunday.  
Last Friday I was walking down the driveway, normally.  I didn't step in a hole or on a rock, but suddenly my knee felt like it had exploded.  Extreme pain and it felt like it was going to just give out.  I cancelled that day's training run, and limped around.  If I stepped slightly wrong I screamed and swore, and felt like I was going to fall.  I was sure I must have torn ligaments.  I was sure my Sun Run was only going to be a spectator event.  Why oh why had it happened.  So close, and now so far.  
I felt like I wanted to cry.

I made it through the weekend, and on Monday afternoon I went to see the doctor.  The knee was definitely improving, but I still had those 'gasping, swearing, I'm sure I'm going to fall' moments. and I wanted to find out what was going on, and the best way to deal with it.  Of course when I am in the examining room, no matter how he moved it or put pressure on it, the doctor wasn't able to make me gasp once.  Based on what I told him, he figured that it was just a rough piece of cartilage that was causing the pain.  The good news was that he said cartilage heals fast, and there still was hope for me to do the Sun Run.  Meredith was pretty happy when I told her, since we have trained as a team and planned to race together.  The doctor told me not to run on it until the race, but that cycling would be a good alternative. He sent me for an xray, and I went there right after leaving his office.  Well wouldn't you know it, there was something just outside the door of the lab that I caught my foot on, and I jarred the whole leg and the knee went back to feeling how it did when it first happened.  
I couldn't believe it, once again I wanted to cry. Mostly because it hurt like H E double hockey sticks.

I couldn't straighten the knee out properly on the xray table.  I had asked about putting ice on it, but the doctor said there didn't seem to be a lot swelling, and he didn't know where exactly I should ice it.  Well after I got home I thought there was some swelling, so I did put ice on it. It seemed to help a bit.  Yesterday I got on my bike and rode 10 km, and the knee didn't bother me at all, while riding.  I still couldn't totally flatten the knee while walking or standing.  The cringing moments were definitely less though.  Today I rode the bike again, almost another 10 km.  The knee feels a bit better, and I looked up some acupressure points and that seemed to help too.

My xray came back just showing some minor signs of the start of osteoarthritis. Usual for my age.  That was good news I guess.  A very small part of me was almost disappointed that there wasn`t something more dramatic to explain the pain of the first few days.

The plan is to go to Vancouver for the run on Sunday.  Hopefully if I continue to improve I`ll be able to run, or at least start the race.  Larry has offered to drive us in.  That is nice, as otherwise we would have driven part way and then taken the skytrain with a few thousand other people.  That way if my knee decides to tell me that I am a stupid fool for trying to run on it, it will be nice to have a car and driver to get me home.

Our third round of summer weather is starting on Sunday.  I`m not a warm weather runner, or hobbler, or whatever....I`d much prefer a cool day, with no sun, or sun and a cold breeze.

Oh yeah, back to David.  He has been offered, and accepted, a thirteen month internship in the Wood Shop Planning and Bespoke Division of Rolls Royce on the Goodwood Estate in England.  A dream job combining his education in wood and his passion for cars.
This may be your `you learn something every day from reading blogs` moment.  Yes, I had to look up the meaning of `bespoke`.  Rolls Royce and bespoke go hand in hand.

Hope Spring at least, has arrived where you live.

I hear that you think my breath stinks and my back teeth look bad, and I have to go to the VET! next week.
Sorry Nelson!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Calli Climbs a 'Mountain'

(You may want to skip this first paragraph, it's just me, wanting to make everything clear (as mud) as usual).

On our way to Oliver, we took what I refer to as the back way.  When we get to Keremeos, which is 45 minutes from Oliver, we have a choice of going north towards Kaleden, or south to Osoyoos. Neither route is direct. There is another route, a rough road that goes over the mountain out of the back of Cawston, which is just south of Keremeos, but while probably the most direct route, it takes just as long because you have to go slower. I guess that would be the back, back way. We've only taken that once. In case anyone is interested, you can zoom in on the map below for a better view.  I'm often surprised how many BC people don't know exactly where Oliver is. I think it is because it is between two main routes. Those would be north from Keremeos to Penticton and Kelowna, the two main Okanagan resort towns, or south to Osoyoos and points east. As you can see, Oliver is not very far east of Keremeos, if you are a crow. Anyway, the back way for us is heading north towards Kaleden, and then turning off at the Twin Lakes junction and heading towards White Lake and Willowbrook. (if you zoom in you will see it).

We have often passed this sign, seen the trails on the hill, and thought that some day we should take a walk there.  Usually we are arriving at Oliver around dark. This time there were a few hours of daylight left, so we made a snap decision that it would be a good place, a new place, to take the dogs for a walk, and then we wouldn't have to walk them later.

There was another sign talking about it being a conservation area, dogs having been found down at the lake, and harassing cattle, and there was a possibility of dogs being banned from the area, so please keep them on leash, and we did.

As you can see it was a very grey day, not really cold, but the wind sure made it seem that way.  As soon as we set off down the laneway, Calli was just marching right along, out in front.  When we got closer to the lake and the corrals, the trail headed uphill. It was quite damp in that area, with running water (which was really quite a surprise to see, in such a dry area), so we kind of had to pick our way across the slope to avoid getting our feet too wet.

We made it up the first hill.  You can see the lane we started out on running at an angle below. I had to literally pull Calli up, she was game to try but it was steep enough that she would slip back each time she lifted up a front foot if I didn't keep pressure on the leash.  The leash is attached to her cart.

After that hill there was a gentler one, and she was out in front again. More running surface water.

At the top there was a lake, mostly fenced to keep the cattle out, so the birds were undisturbed.

But one end was open, and old tired dogs needed a drink.  

We were interested in continuing on, but the trail continued uphill, and we had come quite a way already.  Time to turn back.  We didn't need to overdo it with a 16 year dog who only has two good legs.

When we got to this spot, I said 'oh lets try take a photo all of us'.  So I managed to prop the camera on a rock, set the timer and then ran down the hill to join the group, which got Jake and Luna all bouncing around in excitement.  All I got was a lot of blurry shots of me trying to control the dogs and Larry making a weird squinting face, trying to see if the camera was actually taking any pictures.

Colourful lichens

Tiny wildflowers blooming.

Younger dogs waiting for the old dogs;-)
There was something about the light that made Jake look extra red.
And the wind was still howling. 

Almost done.

And as usual we pulled into Oliver right around dark.

Friday, April 1, 2016

A Trip

On Tuesday night we got home from a trip to Oliver.  A nice relaxing time.  Oh I take things with me to work on. Fabric to do some sewing, and there is fruit there in the freezer if I feel like making jam.  Guess I didn't feel like either, as no sewing or jam was done.  Oh well, too many good books to read. Too many walks and runs to do, and mountains to climb.  I had a book by Joanna Trollope that I took with me to finish off.  We got there the Wednesday evening before Easter.  Both the library and the thrift store were closing for all four days of the Easter weekend, so we had to get to both of them on Thursday.  I found another Trollope book at the library, and then realized that I had one already in our bookcase there.  Got both of those finished, and fully enjoyed them.  I also read this book. 
 A pretty quick read.  To summarize it quickly, a person goes through all of their possessions, in a specific order, starting with clothes.  You handle each one of them, and only keep the ones that give you a feeling of pleasure as you handle them.  Something I will attempt to do with certain things.  One thing I did take out of it was to fold clothes so that they are not stacked, but stand vertically.  Easy to see everything at one glance when you open a drawer, and you don't have to rummage through stacks to find what you want.

I did chuckle at the irony of bringing that book home, because I had just come back from the thrift store, and they were having a bag sale. I swear that just about everytime I go to the Oliver thrift store, they are having a bag sale. So of course I came home with a $5 bag. Some clothes, including a pair of Tilley pants, a Denver Hayes skort, and a flowery skirt.  A nice china mug, a November one with asters on it, my birth month. A couple of English china plates. A burbury plaid scarf for Larry, and one of those rice bag things you heat, he needs it for his neck.  A few little stuffies for dog toys. Just what we need, more 'stuff'. 

As usual, the day we left home was spent madly rushing around to get things done.  Surprising what it forces you to do when you know you aren't going to be there for a while.  And then the same when we were leaving Oliver.  The gardening that should have been done days before instead of reading all those books!  I did manage to get some potatoes planted, the grape vines trimmed, fertilizer tossed around and grass seeds spread on some bald spots in the front lawn.  And of course we have to give the dogs a walk in the morning.

We went to one of our favourite walks, the dyke at the Number 9 Road bridge.

It's always been a pretty stretch, with a relatively smooth couple of wheel tracks down the middle.  Well since the last time we were there, they have graded the whole top of the dyke and it's kind of ugly now, like a two lane road, dyke style.  We are worried that they are going to dump a layer of gravel on the top, which will make it totally unsuitable for Calli, unless it is packed hard.

Sometimes along the dyke we see the weirdest things.  This was a big mess of what sort of looked like sheep's wool, or maybe llama wool?  Why and how did it get there?

There are a few good dog swimming spots along there, and on the way back Jake and Luna ran ahead and sat to wait.  They wanted to swim but the water really was too cold.  They both went in once, half heartedly, but after that if they couldn't reach the stick by wading, they just watched it float downstream.

Larry took Calli down for a drink, and then I had to help him haul her back up the very steep little hill.

Just before we got back to the truck, we passed this tree.  I'm not sure what kind it is, maybe a maple of some sort, I'll have to remember to check it out next time we go, when the leaves are out.  It was just covered with these tassels, and the bees were all over them.  Can you see the yellow pollen sac on the bee's leg?

We left Oliver just before 4pm, and were home four hours later.  This is what greeted us at home.
So nice that the evenings are lighter longer.