Deep thoughts while picking blueberries

I don’t remember if I wrote this already or just *thought* about writing this.  There are many parallels between life and picking berries.  Sometimes the berries, like opportunities, are just right there in front of you. There really *is* such a thing as “low-hanging fruit.” Sometimes the berries are hiding underneath the leaves. Sometimes the berries aren’t worth picking – they’re overripe, bug-infested or too green.  Sometimes it’s not worth the thorns to get the berries.  Sometimes you have to get up, move away and look at the bush from a different perspective.  And sometimes you just need to go inside and cool off.

Perspective

If you have one of these ….

 

find someone who can loan you one of these (thanks, Sue!):

because it makes attending a seminar with hallways like this much, MUCH easier:

That was just halfway.  Turn left, and you still have to make it to the door:

P.S. I have a whole new appreciation for these:

And a renewed appreciation for family and friends.  And walking.

My Summer Vacation

We went to the beach for a week – long, long overdue.  Here’s a brief synopsis told in pictures.  (I will, however, omit the picture of C.’s horrendous case of poison ivy gone bad that earned him a trip to the ER the night before we left. Yeah, it was like that.)

First, here is my official t-shirt to kick off vacation.  It was a very heartfelt message, heh.

Here is the view from our condo on the 16th floor:

Here’s where I learned what a circular polarizing filter can really do (cut the glare and make the colors pop):

We saw this game being played on the beach but had no idea what it is.  It looks like they are throwing short sections of lumber.  ?  Update: I Googled “yard game throw sticks” and it returned “kubb.”  I think that’s it.

The beach at the peak of the afternoon:

Went shopping and tried this stuff.  Although it sounds very weird, it’s amazingly good and has a decent kick to it:

So does this:

And this is nothing short of brilliant:

We went for a walk along the main street near where we were staying.  First I saw this in a real estate office window – it’s all foreclosure sales:

Then we went into what appeared to be an old-timey barber shop.  C. was in search of the classic hot towel + straight razor shave treatment, but alas, they do not do that any more. I went back later with my camera and asked the gentleman if I could photograph his shop. He was very nice and said no problem. (His customer was a hoot as well.)  He’s been cutting hair for 62 years.

We went to the Flying Fish Public Market and they had this cool mobile:

They also had these.  !!

Later on, I took a ride on the Skywheel:

That was the smoothest ride ever! What’s cool is each compartment is glass-enclosed and completely air-conditioned, ha ha!  I noticed a reflection during one of the revolutions and got this:

My photography buddy, K., kept bugging me to set up my tripod, at sunset, with a long exposure, maybe do some time lapse, but I just wasn’t feelin’ it.  I did snap this one, though.  P.S.  All of these are SOOC (straight out of camera) except the barber shop – maybe I’ll do a little post-processing later on the rest, but you get the idea.  😉

Well, it’s about time.

This Thanksgiving, I seemed to hit a new low. I was just hating the fact that once again, another holiday would pass where I wouldn’t get to see my own family. (Didn’t matter that logistically it’s challenging, not to mention damn expensive, for my own family to get together, given that my nearest relative is about 1,000 miles away.) The worst moment came when I realized I’m not sure if I can remember what my parents sounded like. After all, they have been gone for 14 years.

I don’t really care for this holiday. I can pretty much take or leave the traditional Thanksgiving food, and it just seemed like a burden to have to endure yet another holiday meal, table loaded down with food I don’t really like, while missing my own nutty family all the while. I just couldn’t take it, and I was teary-eyed a lot. The thought of another holiday hot on our heels wasn’t too thrilling either, since there are no surprises and it’s really rather lame.

Wah, wah, wah. I just felt like a complete failure. Really?! 14 years and still having trouble coping? What the hell. I felt like an ungrateful, whiny bitch and couldn’t seem to pull myself out of it. I’m not sure when the pivotal moment came, but somewhere in all that wallowing around in self-pity, I realized I could either be miserable or be happy.

I choose happy.

I’m still not sure how I’m going to pull it off, but the grey miserable shit seemed to lift. This year, when I put up the tree, it will be for me. I like my collection of little wooden German-style ornaments, and I’ve always liked the mini lights. This year, when I buy all the gifts, I will give them gladly without any expectations. It’s time to stop feeling all put-upon – to just stop.

Peace on earth begins with peace in our souls, so I say let’s go.

PRP update

Went for the PRP injection today – it all went well, was at most uncomfortable, and is now achy but not bad at all. I will have to take it very easy for the next couple of days – oh darn! 😉

Am hoping it gets this hamstring tear to *mend.*

Details: A small amount of blood was taken from my arm and put into the centrifuge to separate the plasma. The doctor then numbed the back of my leg with Lidocaine, and used an ultrasound machine to figure out where to aim the injection. Once the needle was in, he kinda poked around in several places along the tear. The idea is to kick the area into “recovery mode,” then flood it with the platelet-rich plasma for better healing. All in all, it was not very painful – I think at worst it was maybe a 3-4 on a scale from 1-10. Took about 5 minutes total with the needle. Post-injection instructions are to take it VERY easy for the next 2-3 days, then cut my total walking in half for the following 5 days. No yoga for 10 days, and no jogging/running for 3 weeks. Follow-up visit in mid-December.

Produce and chickens

I went shopping and when I saw this, I was glad we’re growing our own:

Later on, I went out to work in the garden and to my horror, I saw this had happened to one of my watermelons!

So I did what any self-respecting chicken farmer would do. P.S. The chickens didn’t do the initial damage – they were on cleanup crew.

New arrivals

As you walk into the greenhouse….

and look in the back corner where we have extra pots….

you’ll see we have some new arrivals.

A very small, brown bird laid 5 eggs in there. They hatched and they’re all in a big pile. They all seem to be alive and I’ve peeked in there before when their mouths are wide open!

Good weekend

Weekend stats: 24 more things planted. 1 bucket of blackberries picked. 2 dozen eggs collected. 10 more jars of pickles made. 2 dogs walked. 1 husband taken out to dinner with 2 very nice in-laws. 1 very satisfying hour of quality chat with son. 1 movie watched with 3 nice friends. 1 get-together with 3 more friends that involved 50+ wings. 4-5 dips in the pool. Oh, and 3 loads of laundry, 2 loads of dishes, and 1 big bag of chicken crap!

Also celebrated officially hitting 21 lbs. lost in the Biggest Loser challenge going on here at work. w00t!