16 July, 2017

Biking To Work



 During the summer, I try to bike to work as often as I can.
Definitely worth the ten years I spent trying to transfer to  the same town in which I live.

There's only about four months where I can do it often enough with my work schedule and the way sunrise and sunset fall.

I live 3 1/2 miles away from work - although it could be 4 miles as my road is 1/2 mile long. In any case it takes me 20 minutes to ride in and 22 minutes to ride out. I have two little hills coming in and two bigger hills going home.

Many people, as in 92%, profess great alarm at me biking. They are 100% afraid to try anything though. So I discount their fears.

It's very safe. I taught my kids to ride safely on the country roads around here. I showed them how to pick the safest routes ahead of time and *plan ahead*.

Last summer was awesome as we stayed below 100' super hot days all summer and this summer is shaping up to be the same. Drivers are as cautious as me - because they know me.

I had a somewhat close call near my home (on the big arterial country road (with the 3-foot ditches)) last year when my neighbor had to pass me - at that particular moment, with oncoming traffic. My neighbor - whose husband bikes miles and miles - I was so surprised.  She called later to apologize. On that side of the road the ditch has mellowed out so if I had to, I have a safe place to steer my bike.


This year, I had to re-route because of a pit bull that is allowed to be off-leash, on the public street. That dog has bitten other neighborhood dogs and I decided to switch my route over one street because I'm pretty sure a girl and her bike will not win against a pit bull.
(And it's my blog, so if any commenters get obnoxious, I will delete you.)
Pit bulls are bred in the Portland area for illegal dog fighting.  I do  not care how nice your pit bull is.


 I don't get to bike past this luscious maple any more. It is my favorite tree in Canby, there are only a few specimens around. It's a bi-color maple that is big and glorious.

Riding my bike to work is a nice work-out. Breathing fresh air into my lungs, huffing and puffing to the top of my two hills, working on different muscle groups than those I use at work.

My ride is short - around 20-22 minutes - just long enough for a work-out  but not so long it becomes a chore.

I leave the house 15 minutes before work if I'm driving, 30 minutes before if I'm biking. There is time to smell the different crops growing on the first part of  my ride. To see and wave to people I know. It does put me in a good mood.

Why are people so afraid of something they haven't tried? Yes, my dad was a physics teacher and cars will always win against a bike. But I have lots of bike lanes. I am not going to bike incautiously. I pick my route with care. It's easier to cross the highway through town at this particular intersection. I don't pick the one where drivers are making too many right hand turns without looking. I also bike on the wide sidewalks if the intersection is dicey.

It was far easier to get around Kyoto on a bike that driving everywhere. I find that to be so (in town) here as well. I didn't have to find parking on parade day - which was a common complaint around me on the 4th of July. I just chained up my bike to a convenient stop sign and stood for our small town parade.

I was talking about biking last summer at the coffee shop and the coffee lady has an 11 year old boy. They lived at one end of town and the school was at the other end. Between them is the old logging trail that is now a bike path. There is no need to even be on a street in order to bike 2 miles to school. Her neighbor, who also has an 11 year old would not allow her boy to bike to school, because of various helicopter parenting concerns. He's 11. He'll be out of the house, hopefully, in just a few years. This is probably the safest biking trail ever and she won't allow her boy to grow up. This boy is driven to school every day. Not even allowed to take the school bus.

Biking is just  one of the adult skills I taught my children.
Although, I think I am the only biker in town that still uses hand & arm turning signals.


 One of my favorite memories of the kids is walking alongside them as they biked through the 4th of July parade in town. Trying not to get caught up in the wild training wheels of the younger crowd.


I did sew last weekend. I was supposed to play with making padded  Doterra oil pouches but I awesomely derailed into making these toiletry bags - specifically, Lipsense bags. The front is a zippered vinyl pocket to show off what you have with a bigger zippered compartment behind. 

Quick and easy.

I didn't use a pattern - just eyeballed the size I wanted it to turn out and I was definitely inspired by an Instagram post
.

My family crisis's have settled down a little, so I am hoping to sew more.
My overtime continues.


Finally, some beautiful pics from my son on his recent trip to Canada (Yay! 150 years!) near Banff.





08 July, 2017

How Does Your Garden Grow?


I felt like blogging today. Yay me.
This spring and summer has been an upheaval of sorts as I re-prioritize my busy life.

I continue to work forced overtime but there seems to be a break coming up.

Those beautiful red flowers are called Monarda aka BeeBalm. I try to make my yard bee friendly by using very little chemicals. My auto-immune (SIBO) seems to do better if I limit my chemical exposure too.





I had a couple of family crisis's that made me very sad for the choices those members are making. The bright side is they are able to make those choices. They are not my choices and it's difficult to separate out the feelings they invoke. Sadness  seemed to be the June feeling of the month.


While I'm happy at last to have a name and diagnosis for my auto-immune, it's long-term and chronic and progressing. I have a drive to do everything before I am unable to. And I want to do it all. I have no interest in giving up yet.

Like biking to work. I don't have to, but utilizing different muscle groups is not only healthy for my heart, but those muscles help support my joints as the chronic inflammation takes over.

This year has been super duper on the berries with several batches of jam/jelly made and berries in the freezer for the winter.

By letting blogging go by the wayside, I have that little bit more time to spend in my garden. Allowing my bare feet to connect with the earth really helps my stress levels.




I biked into town to see the 4th of july parade.Lots of live music, kids running amuck, and a Volkswagen Van for my friend's DIL - pink!

I had the pleasure of standing next to some seriously awesome kidlets. One in particular was the youngest (3 years old) of several boys. His mama softly urged him to share some of the candy he collected from the floats with other nearby kids  and it was such a joy to see this boy willingly picking up a life lesson in sharing. So easily done by an amazing mom.



Do you recall those potatoes I planted in April? We had a very cold and wet spring so planting was delayed. Now look at them. They are flowering and will soon set those teeny, tiny potatoes for summer salads.


 And, then, of course, the funeral and the wedding.

This is the most beautiful cemetery I've ever seen. I've always wanted to be cremated, but this cemetery on the steep hillside, looking out on the southern Oregon hills might change my mind.

This was a beautiful ceremony for a family member. Definitely filled with family choices that make me sad. It took a few weeks to acknowledge that sadness for the choices people make and allow the feeling to be. What it is. Learn from those choices. I can always be a better person.

The wedding was the direct opposite in the joyful feelings for this beautiful neighbor girl. All grown up now, she played with my kids. Her family actually lived quite close to my older sister for a while until the airplane her dad was building in the garage outgrew it's space.





My nephew. And Mt. Jefferson. Photo credit: my son.

This spring, feeling quite overwhelmed and not knowing how to find time, I stopped blogging. I stopped sewing. I need these things as they are positive creating that helps counter-balance the enormous load of stress at work.

I was also sad not doing these things to make time for those aforementioned family crisis's.
But time has a way of moving quite fast and you get through those things.

I have actually thought about sewing twice this week, so I am going to see if I can putter around in my sewing room tomorrow. Touch some fabric, maybe sew. Or, maybe just dust.

Tomorrow is the first Sunday (laundry day) that I have had free in what seems months. No obligations. No expectations. No helping others.

Mindfulness is something of a trend in a fast-paced world helping to slow you down with meditation and being present in now as opposed to worrying about the future or continuing family feuds from the past. My current job, while stressful and with too many hours, is an excellent tool to learn Mindfulness. Live in the moment - no use worrying about tomorrows schedule.


I'll quit rambling and leave you with my first blooming dahlia.