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Missed an Anniversary!

Day 5123

Well, two anniversaries actually.  Way back on the 15th of August, the spousal unit & I marked 37 years of wedded bliss.  Or at least hard work towards that end.  No point in breaking it down into discrete levels of satisfaction, right?

The other anniversary was on the 22nd – my 14th consecutive year (now 5123 days!!) of being free of the evil weed (tobacco that is).  Now if I could just get my weight back to behaving again.  Thing is, I am not working out anywhere near as much as I used to.  This getting old nonsense is rough!  Ruptured tendons, arthritis, there’s a Morton’s Neuroma in there someplace, still.

Maybe I’ll break down and get the neuroma fixed, then I can at least get back to biking.  Right now it just feels like a giant dead spot on the ball of my foot and it isn’t comfortable at all.  Did find some treatment options other than cortisone shots that had a 2 day recovery period.  Now to find out if my foot guy can hook me up.

I keep promising pics of the grand kids.  Welp – here we go.  First, we have the oldest two, and their parents.  That bearded guy is our eldest.

Z J and kids

This was from a hot air balloon festival in Letchworth State Park here in upstate NY.  Behind and below (400 feet below!) them is the Genesee River, cruising through the gorge it’s cut out of the bedrock over the last  who knows how many years.  This is downstream from 3 sets of waterfalls that drop the river to the level you see here.

Logan up there is 3 (he’ll be 4 next week) and Avery is 6 going on 16 already.  She hits 1st grade next week.

This is the other two –

favorite red heads

My two favorite red heads.  Cecily is also 3, a whopping 4 days younger than Logan and little miss Corinne joined us March 1st.  No doubt she’ll also have red hair just like her mom.  Good thing we have some red heads in the family so our son could contribute too!

Anyhow, there’s the wee ones and a couple of the not so wee ones.  We’ve got us back to back birthday party weekends coming up, so there’ll be plenty of quality time spent with aaallll the kids.  Ought to be a blast.

Also getting closer and closer to the tipping point regarding getting back to Al Anon.  I know it’ll be a good thing.  I just have to suck it up, be a little selfish and not worry about the ripple effects of me admitting I need to go there again.  It’s kind of hard to hide the fact that one is headed out at 7:30 on a Tuesday evening.  Answering the question “where are you going?” is the pebble that starts the ripples.  To finish that metaphor, it’s time to decide when to toss the pebble.

Soon.

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Limited my ass!

Day 5100 (2 weeks to my 14 year smoking quitaversary)

Well that was an attention grabbing title, eh?  Learned something yesterday afternoon that upsets me a little bit.  Let me set it up for you.

It was a Wednesday during the summer.  Sweated out the entire day looking at weather forecasts, guessing if we were going to be golfing in the afternoon/evening or not.  Nasty storms blew through, weather cleared up about 2 – 3 hours before we were slated to start.  All was good.

Did the usual.  Slipped out of work, made the 45 minute drive to the course.  Found a spot in the parking lot close to our finishing hole.  Met up with Zach, went and got our cart and we each got a bag of balls to hit on the range.  Headed to the range and started warming up.  I like to start by hitting some wedge shots (short range stuff) then work my way through the clubs hitting longer and longer shots.  Finish up hitting the driver.  Always interested in seeing which way I might be curving the balls on any given day.

As I was wrapping up with my driver, I hear Zach say “Limited flight?  What kind of crap is this?”  So I pick up one of the range balls I’d been beating on and saw this:

Limited

Please excuse the fuzziness, but you can still almost plainly see the “Limited Flight” marking on that golf ball.  Been hitting these range balls all season and NEVER paid attention to the markings on the ball except to note the manufacturer (Srixon, if you’re curious).

Sheeee-yit.  That adds a wrinkle to things.  If you were trying to figure out how far you hit a club, maybe 7 iron, this would NOT be the ball to use.  Say you invested some time on the range and found out that you average 150 yards with your 7 iron (wimp) using these range balls.  Then you head out to the course, and find yourself needing to hit a 150 yard shot.  You pull out your newly calibrated 7 iron and proceed to smack the ball 170 yards using your not so “limited flight” ball.  What’s the problem?  Depends on what’s 20 yards behind the green.  Sand trap?  Water? Out of bounds?  Maybe just more green.  Maybe not.

In the long run, I have no one to be upset with but myself.  Shoulda noticed this earlier.  But I was curious why my shots on the range weren’t carrying as far as I thought they should.  Passed it off as not being warmed up enough, hitting into the wind or just plain getting old.  Now that I know, if I want to gauge my club distances on the range, I’ll have to use the better balls that I find while I’m tromping through the woods looking for my own stray shots.  As it turns out – I have two gallon freezer bags full of them.  Might just have to launch a few of those next week.

How’d the golfing go last night you ask?  Rough.  Actually shot ta little better than my average.  Unfortunately the guy I was playing against shot really, really well.  While my score was ok for me, it couldn’t stand up to what my opponent shot.  Might have squeaked out 3 points out of 9 total.  Overall a good night of golf.  Some good scores made, we just ended up on the short end of the stick this time.

This weekend is our Not Fathers Day outing.  Saturday morning we are headed half way to Syracuse to meet up with son #2 and his father in law for our annual outing.  We’ll be at Seneca Falls Country Club just south of Seneca Falls (very near the Women’s Rights National Historic Park)  if you want to come & be part of the gallery.  You’ll have to spring for your own cart.

Through out the course of this weekend we will get to see all 4 grandkiddies.  Don’t get to see the Syracuse clan often enough, so we gotta really soak them up this weekend.  I will try to make sure to get pics worthy of sharing for y’all.

Ouch!

Day 5093

A – thanks for the kind thoughts.  It’s the little things, ya know?

B – That body of water up above this post is Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park up near Bar Harbor, Maine.  The view is looking north from a nice little picnic area (no tables, just pick a comfy rock) at the south end of the pond, just off the carriage trail.  We took our bikes up there one summer (2012?) and pedaled all over.  This was our view during our picnic lunch.

The other image that is kind of behind the post is a shot of Eagle Lake from the same trip.  Same day even.  The trail we were on looped around the entire lake.  At this point we were maybe 100 ft above the lake I think.  That’s from back when I was an official bike nut and knocking off a 50 mile ride on a Sunday morning was considered a nice work out.  That’s another thing I really need to get back to.  Kind of used it as a meditation tool and to burn off steam.

The ouchy part?  Golfing last night.  First 5 holes went fine.  Hitting the ball well, mostly sticking to the fairway and avoiding trouble.  Then something happened on the 6th hole and my right hip was screaming at me.  Must have over worked something during a swing.  The last 3 holes were a challenge and really wrecked what was a good round.  This getting old business isn’t for the weak!

Sleeping last night was a chore too.  Couldn’t get comfortable for more than a minute before wtf ever was wrong in my hip forced me to re-position.  But moving, even rolling over, hurt.  Laying on either side hurt.  Laying on my back with my right leg bent so my knee was popped up like a tent pole was the most comfy, but also the worst for sleeping.  Eventually broke down and took 3 ibuprofen.  Too bad they took an hour to kick in.  Feel like a zombie today, and boy, could I use some brains.

Get to see the wee ones next weekend.  Golfing with my boys at a course between us.  Eric lives near Syracuse, Zach & I are near Rochester.  We try to get together for a round with the 3 of us & Eric’s father in law (who is a fine golfer).  This year after golf we’re headed to Eric’s for the remainder of the weekend so we can spend some time with our 3 favorite red heads (That would be Eric’s wife Kelly and their two girls, one nearly 4 years old, the other just past 5 months old)  Yes, yes, yes, there will be pictures.  But it’s a week & a half off, so don’t get too excited.

I gotta go use what brains I have left and finish up some reports.  Type at you later.

Like a Pressure Cooker

Day 5091

5091 days without a smoke.  3 weeks short of 14 years.  And counting.

In other news, that visit to my old Al Anon meeting is getting closer & closer to happening.   The amount of anger I am harboring is alarming.  I don’t know if I’m getting overly sensitive about things or if seeing the same antics over and over again justify my anger and frustration.

Coming home to a spouse that’s drunk 4 – 5 nights a week should be upsetting, right?  I don’t mean drunk like she’s had a couple glasses of wine.  I mean drunk like she’s sucked down 2 or 3 mugs of whiskey & ginger ale.  About a 50/50 mix.  Probably the equivalent of 3 – 4 shots per mug.  Slurring her speech, walking and moving slowly because her inner gyros are struggling to maintain some semblance of balance.

Did I share about the evening she cracked her head open?  Hold on . . . .

Nope – I didn’t.  2 – 3 years ago, wintertime, maybe that cold ass February we had in 2016.  Anyhow, we were enjoying the hot tub.  I had a beer (Edmund Fitzgerald I’ll bet) and Cindy was at least 3 of her gigunda drinks into her evening.  After 1/2 hour plus, it was time to head in.  I was grilling something (yes – we grill all winter), the spousal unit was on the back porch having a smoke.  Came in, changed in to dry clothes.  Cindy goes back out for another smoke.  I was getting the rest of dinner ready when I hear a couple of loud thumps.  Look over to the (now open) sliders that go to the porch and see Cindy sitting there on the porch looking rather stunned holding a hand to her forehead.  Thump 1 was her head hitting the sliders door handle.  Thump 2 was her butt hitting the floor.  She managed to catch the edge of the door handle with her forehead above her left eye.  Opened up a lovely 2 – 3 inch gash.

Had 2 problems.  1-  getting her to even stand up.  2 – convincing her that we had to go to the ER and get her stitched up.   The really amazing part is that even with her on Warfarin AND having a sizable scale/head wound, the bleeding was remarkably light.

Turned off the grill, brought in what ever I was cooking.  Got Cindy into something more substantial than nightie and hauled her to the ER.  Passed the whole thing off as slipping on a patch of ice on the back porch, losing her balance and whacking the door handle.  I forget how many stitches it took, 10 or more I’m sure.  Luckily it healed nicely and left a barely visible scar.  Never did have dinner that night, and I am positive the ER doc was aware of Cindy’s drunkenness.  Not the way to spend a winter evening.

So yeah – THAT’s the kind of struggle she has regularly with her inner gyros. Five or more nights a week.  Then there’s making sure the couch doesn’t move all day Saturday and Sunday.  Her reason?  Either sinus headache or upset stomach.  The real reason?  Hangover.

Mostly I need to stop making the choices that keep from rocking the boat and start making the choices to better defend my own boundaries.

Next time I’m getting a bottle of wine to cook with?  No – I won’t pick up a bottle of your favorite whiskey.
You want to spend all day on the couch nursing your “sinus headache”?  Fine – I’ll mow the yard then go do something fun.  Golf, bowl, work on a project . . .
Don’t want to go out to dinner because you’re already drunk?  Stay home and eat.  I’m headed out.

Think I’ll also keep my Al Anon books where they are more accessible.  Sitting on a high shelf in the closet isn’t doing anyone any good.

For tonight?  Spencerport 12 & 12.  8pm, the White Church.  (No, not because it’s for white people.  It’s just a huge, old Presbyterian style church)  It’ll be good.

OMG, you gotta see this one

This:  post from Margaret & Helen  is an absolute must read.  Go do it now.

And if you’re nice and tell me how much you loved what she wrote, I’ll share some pics of the grand kids in their Halloween costumes.

Oh – did I mention that grand #4 is officially percolating?  Had the gender reveal a couple of weeks ago.  I got a phone call from Cecily (3 year old grandkid #3) one evening.  After the “Hi Poppy’s” and “how’s my Matilda” (Cecily can’t hear if you ask her to do something.  But if you call her Matilda, she’ll turn around and announce “I’m not Matilda!”  Then she’ll actually do as asked. It’s a work in progress.) I asked her if she was getting e new little brother or sister.  She was so excited she squealed “I got a PINK present!!  I’m going to have a sister!”  Due right around Easter, plus or minus any inaccuracies in the storks flight plan I suppose.

Bowling has started for the season too.  I think the bowling alley is on a budget for lane oil, cuz geeze Louise, are they being stingy with it!  It’s that or the pattern is just different and I’m finding all the dry patches.  It’s forcing me to learn to trust a shot where one must throw the ball from the center out towards the gutter 20 – 25 feet down the lane and pray that it actually turns back towards the head pin.  In theory, it works fine.  In practice?  It’s HARD to intentionally throw your ball towards the gutter (cuz bad things happen over there).  But if you trust it and get all the little details right, it does work.  Just scary as hell for a while.  By the time I get comfortable with it, they’ll increase the oil budget and all that struggle will be for nothing.

I’m also finding that 3 advil about an hour before bowling starts helps immensely with what is either sciatica or arthritis in my left hip.  Well, it help until Friday morning, then the payback starts.  But!  in a move mandated by my need to burn up what remains of this years vacation days (use it or lose it), I am not working Fridays for the remainder of the year.  So Friday’s first order of business may be sipping a cup of coffee while getting a hip massage in the hot tub.  That won’t suck too bad at all.

What WILL suck?  Getting the yard cleaned up this weekend.  Saturday looks the best weather wise – 48 degrees and only 20% chance of precipitation.  Leaves, mowing (last time), getting the perennials put to bed.  The camper is winterized plumbing wise, but still needs a wee vacuuming & a quick mop.  Outside of the camper needs a bath too, but that can wait till spring.

Go read Margaret & Helen.  Now.

Durations

Day 4756

That’s one duration – 4,756 days or 13 years and 1 week – how long its been since I quit smoking.  For real.

Here’s another one: 21,440 or 58 years, 8 months and 12 days – how long I’ve been hanging around in this life time.  Significant only in that it is also the same amount of time my dad had before he passed away.  Massive heart attack that was really a complication of diabetes.

There’s another duration, length as yet unknown.  That is how much longer I’m going to put up with a certain persons poor choices when it comes to drinking.  I need to get my butt back to some Al Anon meetings.  The ones I frequented before were all on the west side of our county.  I live there, worked there, found meetings close to work & home.  It helped.

Now, I still live in the western side of the county, but work has been re-located to the far eastern side.  On a good day it’s a 30 minute commute, not the 5 – 10 minute jaunt I had become used to (or the 25 minute bike ride that was such good exercise!)  The first meeting I ever found started at 5pm, took me 15 minutes to get to and was easy to pass off as “working late”.  Now?  Not so lucky.

Maybe I should just say the heck with it and go back to the group where I spent the most time.  Meets at 8pm.  I’ll just have to tell that certain person I’m off to a meeting.  That cold hard slap in the face might actually help her.

To publish or not to publish?  Eh, she doesn’t even know this places exists.  Publish.

STELLA!

Good ol’ Winter Storm Stella seemed to start a little slowly.  Or maybe just late.  But that gal had some staying power.  Our area had just recovered (almost) from a one day windstorm where the measured peak gust topped out at 82mph.  Here in western NY.  Over 100,000 customers without power.  That’s about 1/3 of out county.  We were spared  from that and actually hosted our son and his clan for a day before their power was restored.

Spent Saturday morning at their house cleaning up some ash trees that fell.  The largest took out a swing set we had just built last summer.  Clearing out the rest of the ash trees is high on this springs to-do list.  The Emerald Ash Borer is wreaking havoc here.  After that, the swing set will be re-built.

Then came Stella.  Slow, steady and with the endurance of a marathon runner.  Tuesday morning, not so bad.  Tuesday night?  Less than great.  Got home to 12″ in the driveway (I love my 4WD truck, yessir!).  Got the driveway cleared out, came in and collapsed.

Wednesday morning got up early so I could clear another 10 inches out of the driveway.  If you’re keeping score, that’s 22 inches in about 30 hours.  Made it to work fine.  Schools closed, many businesses closed.  Traffic was wonderfully light and our road crews here kick some serious butt.  Sure, there was some snow in the road, but for the most part you could find clear wheel tracks to ride in.

I’ve been providing rides to a colleague at work who is up visiting from Florida.  She’s helping me clean up some work that got delayed by another client flexing some muscle and re-arranging my schedule.  She got a front wheel drive car but hasn’t driven in snow for years.  Her hotel is also having trouble keeping the snow from drifting in over their driveway.  My truck gets in & out fine, no way her car would make it.

So.  Wednesday night I drop colleague off at her hotel.  Drive home – house is cold-ish.  Dropped to 60 or so.  Turns out the furnace vent got drifted in and the controller won’t run the furnace with a clogged vent.  Went around the side of the house, cleared out a 4 foot tall snow drift from around the vent.  Furnace is fine & we were back up to a toasty 68 in a couple of hours.

There are another 4 or 5 inches of snow waiting for me in the driveway – I’ll get that in the morning.  That makes our total snowfall from Stella 26 inches in about 42 hours.  Not a record for here by a long shot, but it was nearly double the forecast.  Oops.

Thursday?  Back to normal.  Roads were actually pretty clear coming home tonight, morning rush ought to be back to usual.  That’s too bad,  I was actually enjoying driving on the nearly deserted roads during our local travel advisory.   Guess normal is all relative, eh?