We had a visitor!

I had to go out this afternoon to the Honda dealership to have my car serviced.  I took my tablet with me so I could surf the web and play a card game or two, since there aren’t ever any good magazines there and I generally don’t enjoy chatting in the service area.  Anyway, my battery began to die on the tablet, so I shut it off.  When I looked up, there was this amazing yellow glow coming from outside the dealership.  As it happened, my car pulled up at that very instant and was ready to go.  I quickly headed home to get Ozzie for a walk, because we had blue skies and sunshine!!

sun

 

We made it to the park and walked for an hour.  We were almost back to the car, when we could see the fog creeping back.

fog

 

There is a small canal that runs right in front of the stadium and the fog sort of starts to rise out of it (and the river behind me), but in addition to that, the fog just suddenly begins to swirl down from above.  It just appears out of the blue, as they say.  Yes, I know they usually say that about bolts, but in this case, it’s the fog.

I’m hoping the sun will come back and stay longer tomorrow.

I’m still here

Getting into the groove of the New Year has been a bit of a struggle.  I’ve really wanted to be out walking with the dog, and I have been doing that quite a bit, but my right foot/ankle is really giving me trouble, so I don’t know how much walking I’ll be getting in.  My Fitbit stats were supposed to be showing up on a weekly basis here, but since the last time they appeared was the 6th, I think something has gone wrong there.  The other thing that went wrong this week was a bit of a mishap on the trail.  Ozzie and I have worked our way up to about six miles a walk.  We’ve been on the paved paths through the park for a good portion of our walks, because the new bark is so thick and soft, it feels like walking in quicksand.  As I said before, we’ll wait till some of those swift gazelles pack it down a bit before we go back to bark.  Sharing the paved bike trail has never been a problem.  After all, it’s only me and a little dog.  You see many folks out with their kids in a stroller and they take up quite a bit more room than we do.

Anyway, on Monday afternoon, Ozzie and I were very near the far easterly end of our walk (see below on the map)Monday walk

It’s a bit more than three miles from the car and I was already out of gas, wondering why I was so very tired, when Ozzie decided he wanted to sniff something over on the left side of the trail.  Dogs do sniff — especially male dogs.  If they smell a rival or some hot babe, they have to mark and leave their scent, just as their little calling card or Facebook post, as it were.  So, I went over with Ozzie and I saw a bike coming towards us down the trail, so I stepped up off the trail and pulled Ozzie close, tightening his leash.  The bike rider continued straight at us, and I mean straight at us, in a forced collision course.  I finally yelled “HEY,” and he yelled back that I was on the wrong side of the trail.  Hmmmm.  Mr. Rules, how do you know the direction in which I was traveling?  And, since the trail is about 10′ wide there and there was no one else around, what the hell difference did that make?  At any rate, I yelled back, but I won’t repeat what I said here.  I may not venture down in that area again until the pepper spray I ordered arrives in the mail.  If he tries that again, he will get a face full of it.

Most folks are so friendly and kind.  I guess it takes a real jerk like that to make you really appreciate the nice people.  I will say that I did appreciate the adrenaline rush I got from the fight or flight experience.  It did propel me all the way back to the car.  I had been worried that I didn’t have the energy, but in the end, I had more than enough.

I’ve been out walking

Sorry that I haven’t posted much lately.  As you can see by the Fitbit stats, I’ve been out walking some miles lately.  I swore I would take the day off yesterday, but the sun came out again, and I couldn’t resist.  It is shining faintly today and I am feeling a pull to go out, but I need to get back to quilting, so I have promised myself (and Ozzie) that we won’t go.  Besides, I was supposed to clean and organize the spare bedroom so I can paint it, but I’ve been so tired from all the walking the past few days, I’ve gotten very little of that done.

Since I shared photos of the fog with you the last time, I thought I would show you how Eugene looks in the winter when the sun is shining.

autzen in the fog autzen sun

 

As you can see, Autzen stadium looks a lot different in the sunshine.

heron

 

A heron sunning itself on a mossy log in the middle of the pond

hooded merganser

 

I’m not a birding expert, but I think this may be a hooded merganser.  Generally, we have a large mallard population, but these little fellows seem to have arrived in great numbers lately.  There were a few in the pond, but most, like this fellow, were in the canal along which we walk.

wading heron

 

This heron was wading rapidly across the canal.  I think he may have noticed that I had a dog with me and was determined to reach a hiding place before we got too close.

hiding heron

 

He seems to think he is quite well-hidden here.

I5

 

Our walk takes us down under the Interstate 5 bridge, newly built and just reopened last summer.  We were on our way back to the park here when it occurred to me that I should take some photos of the artwork under the bridge for the next time I post about a walk.  It’s surprising that they actually invested quite a bit in some nice art that not too many people would see.

autzen footbridge

 

Coming back up along the Willamette River, you can see the Autzen Stadium footbridge that joins the campus (to the south) with Autzen Stadium.  This bridge is, of course, quite busy on game days.  Ozzie and I walk under it on the right side there before getting back into Alton Baker Park.

Canada geese

 

A very small portion of a flock of Canada Geese in the park.  They are lovely to look at, but unfortunately, they leave the trails quite a minefield with their droppings.  Years ago, the city hired dogs to chase them out of the park because they were making such a mess.  We are now much more hospitable to them, either because it is PC, or because they realized that resistance was futile.

sunsetAnd, at the end of a beautiful sunny day, we have the beautiful sunset, taken from the not-so-lovely vantage of over the fence of my back yard.

Fitbit stats (I hope) will now be confined to once a week on this page.  I think they’re really cluttering up the view, and my steps are likely to take a dive as I plunge back into the pile of quilts.  It’s also supposed to rain over the next few days.  That doesn’t usually stop us from walking, but it does make it slightly easier to stay indoors.

 

What is the meaning of this?

Okay, Weathergirl, you’ve got some ‘splaining to do.  You said that today would be just as foggy and cold as yesterday.  I had planned to stay in, take the tree down (sob – I really don’t want to), and start organizing my spare room while removing everything from it so that I can paint and start fresh.  However, I awake to find this!

blue sky 039

 

There’s blue sky accompanied by a yellow glowing ball of some sort off to the southeast there.  How could you do this to me?  I have plans, but I cannot resist taking the dog out for a walk or a ball-toss in the park when the sun is actually in the sky.  Harumph!  You have totally ruined my day, but I’ll take it anyway!

New Year’s Traditions/Superstitions

I don’t really make resolutions at the New Year any more.  As the years have gone by, I’ve learned the things on which I need to work, or I’ve accepted the things I cannot change.  I have, however, heard many folks say that what you do on New Year’s Day is what you will be doing for the rest of the year.  I’ve made a good list of possibilities as to how I will be spending the year.

We started with the usual let the dog out, make coffee, give the kitties some treats, let the dog in, read email and surf a little Facebook while drinking morning coffee.  Then I made chicken soup out of the chicken I boiled last night, cut up the rest of the holiday ham and packaged it in small food saver packages for ham and eggs or soup and put those in the freezer.  I got a few things that were in danger of becoming biological experiments out of the refrigerator, disposed of them, took the trash out, but stopped at the litter box and cleaned that on the way.  I then went upstairs, took the LeaderGrips leaders off my quilting machine, zipped the take-up and quilt top leaders together, rolled them back and forth several times, and then sprayed them down with water.  I left them to dry while keeping them quite taut.  In a few minutes, I’ll go up and repeat the process with the take-up and quilt backing leaders.  With a 14′ table, the middle of the leaders can get stretched out while the outer edges get a little flappy from smaller quilts not using the total length of the rollers.  This will just help to square things up.  I am also considering making new small leaders for the LeaderGrip tubes.  The ones I have just aren’t all that neat.

After that, Ozzie and I went to the dog park (see photos in the previous post), went for a 4 mile walk in the pea soup fog, and then came home to hot chicken soup.  I’m still not warm, so I’m on the couch under a quilt that I just took out of the dryer.  After I go straighten/stretch the remaining leader, I intend to go out to the kitchen table and do a little sewing.  I’ve got my bag of UFOs all ready to go.

So, I now have a whole variety of activities, some fun, some not, with which to occupy myself for the rest of the year!   I hope you all gave yourself a good variety of activities today, just in case the saying is true.  Although I don’t enjoy the cleaning activities, I made sure to throw a few of them into the day, as I do need to clean this place much more frequently.

New Year’s Pea Soup

No, I’m not talking about what we had for lunch or dinner, I’m talking about the Outer-Limits-type fog we had today.  It’s supposed to stick around for a couple of days.  Actually, we do generally get a lot of fog in January, and often it happens when the temps are below freezing.  When the frozen fog happens, you can walk outside and instantly turn into a frost-coated popsicle.  Fortunately, today we were up to a blistering 38° so, while it was chilly, we were spared of looking like Frosty the Snowman.

Autzen Stadium (home of the UO Ducks) looked like a space ship coming out of it’s landing fumes when we went to the dog park today.

autzen in the fog

 

Of course, this didn’t stop a little ball-crazy dog from running, running, running, and chasing the ball, followed by a quick dip in the pool.

cold wet dog

 

I don’t know how he can bear to lie down in the water when it’s nearly freezing out, but he gets really upset if someone had dumped the water out of the pool.  I always have to fill it up for him so he can get in.

We followed up an hour of playing ball with a four mile walk.  Despite my long underwear (top and bottom), insulated boots, super insulated coat, wool hat, gloves and mittens over the top, I was still freezing when we got home and I’m still trying to warm up.  I’m lounging on the couch now under a quilt I just took out of the dryer, so I think I may thaw out in a half hour or so.  I really hope that we’ll figure out what it is that causes me to have an unreliable body thermostat!

Some dogs . . .

are just a bit too big for their own britches.  When Ozzie wants to play with a stick, he’ll settle for half the tree.

Ozzies stick1Pardon the picture quality, we were at the end of our 5.5 mile walk yesterday, and I didn’t have the camera, just the cell phone, so I did the best I could.

Unfortunately, being a tad too big for his britches also comes with the desire to misbehave or not pay attention when I’m talking to (or yelling at) him.  Ozzie has a grain allergy – he eats grain free dog food.  But, yesterday on our walk, he decided to eat a road apple, even though I told him to drop it and leave it (many times).  By last night, he was in obvious distress.  Breathing hard, scratching up a storm, and panting a bit.  I was ready to take him to the emergency vet, but decided to try some Benadryl first.  Fortunately, it evened out his breathing, settled him down, and a good lie down in the cool leaves in the back yard seemed to really help the itching.  He’s doing very well today, but he really gave me a scare.  I got very little sleep.  He’s a very smart dog, but I’m hoping that he’ll be able to put together that horse poop is something that makes him very, very ill.  I’ll be more vigilant in the future.